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The Varuna Immediate Reaction Division: A Tactica

Discussion in 'PanOceania' started by barakiel, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    I don't think Patsy's a great combatant, but I do use her in situations where I need to do a massive amount of Classifieds in a very order-efficient fashion. NCO basically making her worth two Orders really helps refund on her cost, and she's quite good for delivering herself (and one or two other Classified-capable buddies) to different parts of the table. I especially appreciate her in Countermeasure, where your objective may change suddenly, and you need to be able to smash through your opponent's defense to grab whatever's available.

    I do wish we had better ways to leverage her Nimbus Plus. Right now, I value it for the -1 Burst when tackling dangerous enemy links. But VIRD doesn't have many direct template weapons to pair it with (peacemaker remains our best tool here, and often I just think it's too expensive and order-consuming to justify the attempt.) I think the Zulu Cobra + Triangulated Fire option is useful, but not as a mainstay to combat; it's too expensive and doesn't generate particularly great odds, even vs 1-Wound, ARM 1 targets.
     
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  2. Lameth

    Lameth New Member

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    @barakiel : may i ask you, except the fact that it is a awfull lot of point, Why you did not consider your own tactics proposition regarding Squalos and Patsy support?
    Duo Patsy with Squalos(duo + hmg + zapper) sounds great in your tactica and may even be better in season 11 as it is a 4 order duo team on its own.
     
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  3. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    I do think it's a good combo, it just takes a lot of points to run. Not every mission or ITS lineup will support that kind of list. As you say, I think it's quite good right now, since that group has 14 orders to spend. But you can also buy a lot of Orders and Snake Eaters for those points, so it's difficult to justify the cost unless you're very comfortable (or brave.)
     
  4. BLOODGOD

    BLOODGOD Vampire Hunter

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    Wait, how are you getting to 14? The TAAG has its tac awareness order and Patsy can use the Lt order, that gets you to 12. I'd love to have 14 in a group in NCA, though!
     
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  5. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    Misspoke! 12, of course. 10 + NCO + TAC Awareness.

    I think I took the 12 already in my head, then added 2...
     
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  6. Barrogh

    Barrogh Well-Known Member

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    Well, you get 2 more orders in that group because of single CG immunity, maybe that's what caused it.
     
  7. Teslarod

    Teslarod Trebuchet Enthusiast

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    For Limited Insertion shenanigans I can see someone taking a 12 Order Squalo HGL+Patsy Duo.
    You won't be able to use Patsy's Order for much other than Movement, but that should always be happening anyway.

    With that amount of Orders you could probably do massive damage with both HGL and Multi HMG combined.
    As much as I dislike Limited Insertion as a format, for someone trying to minmax the shit out of Varuna to participate in a local LI tourney, I'd recommend looking into it.
     
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  8. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    I agree. I think it's a nice LI option for Varuna, which I would never touch in LI except when bringing TAGs. The Snake Eaters just aren't order efficient enough or robust enough for Limited Insertion format, unless you're using them to support a top-tier TAG. I don't play much LI either, but being able to choose between the Cutter and the Squalo is pretty nice.
     
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  9. Tongfa

    Tongfa proudly selling out since 1991

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    Squalo Patsy Experiment
    ──────────────────────────────────────────────────

    GROUP 1[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]10
    SQUALO (Armored Cav.) (Varuna Div.)(Fireteam: Duo, Aquatic Terrain) MULTI HMG, Zapper / AP Heavy Pistol. (2 | 94)
    [​IMG] CRABBOT Flash Pulse / Knife. ()
    PATSY GARNETT Submachine Gun, Nimbus Plus Grenades, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 37)
    FUSILIER Lieutenant Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    KAMAU (Multispectral Visor L2) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 32)
    FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    ZULU-COBRA (Sensor) Combi Rifle, Jammer / Assault Pistol, Knife. (0 | 29)
    ZULU-COBRA Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Breaker Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 28)
    MACHINIST (Varuna Div.) (CH: Mimetism, Stealth, Aquatic Terrain) Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 17)
    PALBOT Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)

    GROUP 2[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]1 [​IMG]1
    TRAUMA-DOC Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
    TECH-BEE (Remote Assistant Level 1, Specialist Operative) Flash Pulse / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)

    3.5 SWC | 299 Points

    Open in Infinity Army

    Very odd looking list - best I could come up with. Would feel the lack of Helots - think the Zapper works well with Patsy.
     
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  10. Teslarod

    Teslarod Trebuchet Enthusiast

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    That's a good example of a list that gets much better if you cut Patsy. Setting up Nimbus+ to use the Zapper is a trap. Instead of the one Zapper you could have blastet the Target twice with the AP Heavy Pistol or Multi HMG, if the targets shoots back and you decide to tank it the Zapper hits either way.

    Cutting Patsy and downgrading the Machinist to a regular one gives you 3 Helots and a Fusilier who will be useful as a 6th member for the Fireteam.
     
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  11. SuperD

    SuperD Well-Known Member

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    The Montessa has been huge in the few games of Varuna I've played so far. Maybe not MVP but every game he's generally killed a model or two, tied up something else valuable in combat and bagged a classified on his way in. He usually dies or gets immobilized but he does his work in an order efficient way so his loss doesnt hurt much compared to the damage he wrecks on the way in.

    Having that second wound and armour 4 is very useful compared to other bikers.
     
  12. Mune

    Mune New Member

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    So what are your thoughts about Varuna in Countermeasures?
     
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  13. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    Good question.

    The big challenge, of course, is that cheap, disposable flexibility isn't Varuna's strong point. Every individual Snake Eater profile tends to be very good in specific interactions, and weak in others, which makes it hard for them to be flexible for the changing, evolving nature of Countermeasures. Countermeasure rewards having a broad spectrum of cheap, flexible units who can act opportunistically, darting up the table to score Classifieds while maintaining a strong overall table defense, and that's not a huge Varuna strength.

    Still, Varuna's obviously strong in the defense department, and is going to be supreme for locking down areas of the table and denying an opponent many chances to score. VIRD's success in Countermeasure is probably going to stem from simply denying an opponent many chances to score. The more that an opponent focuses on broad Classified coverage, the fewer big guns or deadly tools they're likely to have for cracking VIRD's defense.

    List building for Countermeasure is challenging, because VIRD (like a lot of PanO) isn't great at getting broad Classified coverage without also gutting your list's ability to attack or defend. You still need enough guns and offensive/defensive tools to play the game PanO-style, but also need enough Specialists to achieve the mission, and also need enough Orders to get those Specialists where they need to go. That's a tricky balance. This also means that running a VIRD Countermeasure list in a 5-game format can be really tough, since your Countermeasure list may be very poorly optimized for other missions.

    So it's really up to you, based on your plastyle: Either:
    • Build to VIRD's strengths (firepower, defense) and just settle for being light on Classified coverage,
    • Or go for broad Classified coverage, but sacrifice firepower and defense.
     
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  14. Phillimon

    Phillimon Kazak Diplomatic Operative

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    @barakiel or really anyone just looking for some input.

    I switched from Ariadna to VIRD, and besides the Fugazi I don't run any rems. Can Varuna effectively use a lot of Rems? It seems like a lot of points, after buying the Rems and support, that could be better spent on snake eaters.
     
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  15. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    Good question. VIRD certainly can run REMs, and they do fill some useful gaps. Minesweeper Mules are nice cheap orders, and the boost to points they provide can be a useful tiebreaker in big ITS events. The Bulleteer is always a useful little combat REM. And the Peacemaker is one of our few few (very few) options for a Direct Template Weapon, and combines well with Patsy's Nimbus Plus grenades (though this is quite an expensive configuration.) VIRD also struggles a bit with aggressive attack into the opponent's half of the table, and REMs can help with this due to their speed.

    On the whole though, I agree... I rarely field any REMs in VIRD, except for those 8 point support REMs. As you said, the pricepoint for REMs competes pretty directly with Snake Eaters. Even for a very good unit like the Bulleteer Spitfire, I often invest those points in a Heavy Rocket Kamau (great unit, versatile at multiple ranges, awesome backup ARO piece for your Kamau Sniper) or even the Zulu Cobra Spitfire or Marksman Rifle.) It isn't that I mind buying the REMs, but sometimes I do mind buying the Machinist, standard device for Supportware, or Killer device to remove Hackable threats. VIRD is only at its best when it interweaves all the different game mechanics, with Jammer, MSV, Neurocinetic, etc all working together to support each other. Once I buy those units, I find that this doesn't often leave a ton of points for the support units that help make REMs really shine. Does that make sense?

    The one time where I do really like REMs in VIRD is if l expect a big meatgrinder in the middle of the table, like an objective room, or a mission like Acquisition. The Auxbot on the Peacemaker is worth its weight in gold here, since it can help you sweep mines, block doorways, lay down that big Fire template, and force some bad decisions. Those are areas of play where VIRD isn't traditionally strong, so the Peacemaker can help fill those gaps.
     
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  16. osoi

    osoi Well-Known Member

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    So I have been enjoying Varuna since January but come the end of November I will be putting them back on the shelf to work on a new project. Never before have I found an army that just clicks so well with how I want to play before playing Varuna.

    Now a lot of my are sick of facing Kamau snipers (there are 2-3 of us that have been playing them this year) and have really upped their game on removing the Kamau as a threat through co-ordinated orders, dazers, stratuscloud, nimbus etc. Now I have lost my sniper several times and still pulled off a win due to the resources it sucked for my opponents to deal with. I'm wondering how others are dealing with the countering of their snipers to see if there are things that I'm not thinking of as I have some answers but dont want to railroad my thinking in just the one direction.
     
  17. Saitan247

    Saitan247 Active Member

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    Fugazi´s all the way...other rems are staying on the shelf. There are too many better options to take in Varuna then rems.
     
  18. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    @osoi
    Agreed, particularly with the idea players are developing new and innovative ways to take the Kamau Sniper down. I've been really impressed with some of the ways that players are innovating with their lists and their tactics, and working to find solutions against VIRD. Whether it's just coordinated orders, using a g:synch unit through White Noise, etc., I've seen a lot of players up the savvy of their game.

    For VIRD players to react, it just means being more strategic with the Kamau Sniper. It might even mean waiting until Turn 2 or Turn 3 to risk the Kamau, letting the game unfold a bit so you can take down some of your opponent's gunfighters, and relying less on the Kamau to impact your game. Curiously, in my last half dozen games or so, I've just ended up losing the Kamau Sniper very early, then just gone on to play the game using the rest of my list. I build my lists with a lot of defensive redundancy though... Two jammers, two helots, two Flash Pulse bots, not to mention plenty of units capable of Suppressive Fire in a pinch, so I find VIRD can often plug the holes in their defense pretty easily in case the Sniper does go down. PanO's always been about actively projecting ARO and table control... We lack the tools to passively interact with missions... So whether I'm playing VIRD, Shock Army or NCA, I'm always aggressively contesting my opponent's ability to maneuver.

    As far as looking past the Sniper, there's plenty of other good tools that deserve attention. A single Croc with Mines can really plug key gaps, the Kamau HRL is very cheap and is a decent ARO piece, and the Fusilier missile launcher has been around forever and is similarly very cheap.

    The thing I haven't been able to get away from though, is building primarily around defense and area denial. Except for maybe playing a TAG list, I haven't identified any way to get away from it. VIRD's best tools are all focused on defense. Units like Patsy, Echo Bravo, Croc, Montessa, are all carefully calculated to let VIRD go get an objective or press attack, but at very high point cost, and operating with very clearly designed restrictions in place. VIRD builds the castle, then sallies one or two units out from the castle to attack with. That was definitely the intended design behind the sectorial, and I think it was mission accomplished from a game design standpoint, but players inherently hate getting locked down in their own turn.
     
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  19. osoi

    osoi Well-Known Member

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    @barakiel
    Couldnt agree more.

    I dont mind mind losing the Kamau sniper as usually its has left my opponent out of position to deal with it. I often rely heavily on Zulu Cobras finding all their profiles useful under various circumstances. I usually switch gears to Fusilier SWC weapons, Zulus or Croc Men when the sniper goes down, I try to have 6-7 possible models to go into that defensive link to help cover for the inevitable casualties. I have also moved form wanting to dominate all of the board to controlling an area that you really want to lock down which limits the effectiveness of some of the counters.

    As far as setting up a good castle to defend but struggling to push out of that is the issue that I am having as well. My game of Capture and Protect last night against Dashat really highlighted this issue. I managed to put him into retreat through a really strong defense and some calculated counter punches but was left so short on orders that I couldnt get the beacon to win even though all I lost was a single Fugazi.

    I really do think we need to lean on Zulus, Crocs and Echo Bravo along with Patsy to provide that forward momentum and push buttons or take zones
     
  20. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    Makes sense, @osoi . Right on.

    I rarely maneuver my Core links outside of the DZ in general, unless it's Turn 3. I find that the risk associated with it is just too great... Even the best linked AROs are so vulnerable to getting counter-punched. But I do tend to have good success when I get the link moving up the table in Turn 3. Opponents don't always expect it, and it's really hard to resist a full 5-man team trying to get where they want to go. Agreed too, I always have 6-7 bodies to be able to relink. As I learned with Shock Army before their Mixed Link Team overhaul, a 5-man team of Combi Rifles can be a potent threat too.

    Speaking generally to VIRD players:
    I find the best way to get work done with VIRD is to set up that castle, let opponents try to punch through, and see how it goes. If they commit a lot of troops to the midfield, and those troops stall, you can often go hunting with a Snake Eater and counter-attack those stalled enemies in a very order-efficient fashion. This is most common vs inexperienced or flustered players, who might fail to "clean up" at the end of their turn, leaving their own troops in vulnerable positions. More commonly, vs experienced players, they'll keep their troops neatly bunkered to resist the counter-punch, and in situations like that, it's important to have the Orders and Specialists necessary to do the mission while your opponent is hiding.

    Since VIRD's pretty bad at attacking bunkered opponents like that, I think that having strategies to use the "dead time" in a game is really important. This includes when an enemy is bunkered, or even if you're forced to go first, and your opponent's Deployment Zone is packed with strong AROs, mines, chain rifles, and other defensive threats that make it dangerous to get in there. Rather than trying to crack that defense with frail 1-Wound Snake Eaters, it's a perfect time to push buttons, do Classifieds, and even push up the field and get your Jammers up on rooftops.
     
    #140 barakiel, Oct 24, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019