1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hemos actualizado nuestra Política de Privacidad acorde con la nueva RGPD. +Info // We've updated our Privacy Policy to comply with the GDPR. +Info
    Dismiss Notice

The Varuna Immediate Reaction Division: A Tactica

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

  1. SuperD

    SuperD Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2017
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    332
    I'm about a dozen games in with Varuna and the consistent MVP is the Zulu Cobra sensor profile. I have never killed so many enemy troopers with combi rifles as I do with this sectorial.

    Part of the problem is that they feel somewhat weak when it comes to big guns - no kriza profile here! Kamau HMG, shotgun Crocman and Echo Bravo do their best but game after game they lose a F2F and drop when I really can't afford it.

    The rescue seems to come in the Zulu Cobras. I usually put one on each flank in a tall perch and theres always an opening for a sneaky combi shot to save the day... I just wish we had easy access to COC. My cheeks sure clench every time the lieutenant Zulu pops up to fire...
     
    barakiel and Cadmo like this.
  2. Tongfa

    Tongfa proudly selling out since 1991

    Joined:
    May 6, 2018
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    296
    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again - there’s like no reason that the Zulus should be veterans classification or whatever - they and the crocs (spec troops) should have it swapped around. The crocs are meant to be like originated from vet fusiliers anyway.

    But yes - Varuna is like mad spec ops - killing /delaying everyone with sniper rifles and combis.
     
  3. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
    Warcor

    Joined:
    May 5, 2017
    Messages:
    2,167
    Likes Received:
    7,040
    @SuperD
    Good points. Speaking for myself, I don't use the ZC LT unless it's in a mission where I know the opponent will be actively hunting my LT. AVA3 ZCs is one of VIRD's huge selling points, and I want each of those ZCs to be available for combat. If I have one as my LT, I'm either risking my Lieutenant in front-line combat (not ideal) or I'm holding a ZC back to keep it safe (and I just don't want to commit 29 points to hiding in the backfield.) Typically, this means I have a Fusilier running the show.

    I don't mind the Fusilier much. In the time I've played Acon, NCA and VIRD, I've primarily used line trooper Lieutenants. They get the job done.

    As for getting a lot of work done with Combis... I think that's a PanO sectorial specialty.
     
    AdmiralJCJF likes this.
  4. Goorie

    Goorie Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2019
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    21
    Folks, do you mind helping this VIRD noob out?

    Disclaimer: english is not my mother tongue so, please, bear with me :pray:

    I will be joining a bi-weekly league in which every 2 weeks we will have a random mission and a random pairing. Not repeating mission nor opponent.

    Lists will be mid tier ( 300/6 ). No LI. No TW. ITS XI.

    We are allowed to submit only two lists. e.g, button pushing and shooting. No changes allowed until reaching the equator of the league.

    Metagame will be something like: 2 hassasin, 2 shas, 2 spiral corps, 2 TAK, 1 OSS, 1 generic yu jing, 1 generic ariadna, 1 japanese, 1 ramah, 1 corregidor.

    Now, following Barakiel's advice I've been using lists that are pretty similiar between them so I get used to one playstyle.

    Basically I've been building list with these blocks:
    • Kamau Sniper as main staple.
    • At least 4 fusiliers with the LT hidden between them, at least 1 SWC weapon ( mainly LGL ) and depending on the situation some speciallists.
    • 2 more pieces to fill the core. Either kamau HRL, ORC HMG and/or Kamau HMG.
    • 2/3 snake eaters. Normally 2 ZC jammer ,1 ZC KHD and/or 1 ZC Spitfire.
    • 1 Doctor + Palbot as main staple.
    • 1 Surprise model. Leaning more and more towards Crocmen ( FO/minelayer) but been using a lot EB both LRL to destroy poorly positioned fireteams or medic to steal objectives.
    • 2 helots. Usually LRL.
    • 2 Fugazzi.
    So having all this info in mind I started to build two lists: one heavily oriented in pushing buttons and light firepower and another one with lots of firepower and less specialists.

    Enough small talk, the lists.

    League Buttons
    ──────────────────────────────────────────────────
    GROUP 1[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]9 [​IMG]1
    ZULU-COBRA (Sensor) Combi Rifle, Jammer / Assault Pistol, Knife. (0 | 29)
    KAMAU HMG / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 28)
    KAMAU (Multispectral Visor L2) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 32)
    FUSILIER Combi Rifle + Light Grenade Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 14)
    FUSILIER (Forward Observer, Deployable Repeater) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
    FUSILIER (Forward Observer, Deployable Repeater) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
    FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    FUSILIER Lieutenant Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    HELOT MILITIAMAN Submachine Gun, Light Rocket Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 9)
    PATHFINDER DRONBOT Combi Rifle, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 16)
    GROUP 2[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]7 [​IMG]1
    ZULU-COBRA Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Breaker Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 28)
    CROC MAN (Forward Observer, Deployable Repeater) Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 32)
    FUGAZI DRONBOT Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    FUGAZI DRONBOT Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    MULEBOT (Minesweeper, Repeater) Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    MACHINIST (Varuna Div.) (CH: Mimetism, Stealth, Aquatic Terrain) Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 17)
    TRAUMA-DOC Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
    PALBOT Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)
    HELOT MILITIAMAN Submachine Gun, Light Rocket Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 9)
    4.5 SWC | 299 Points
    Open in Infinity Army

    This one is oriented, as the title depicts, in button pushing and missions in general. Pretty straightforward VIRD list. Kamau defensive core in the first turn that goes hunting with the HMG and LGL to clear the way for the speciallists. Different types of speciallists just in case.

    League Shooting
    ──────────────────────────────────────────────────
    GROUP 1[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]9 [​IMG]1
    ZULU-COBRA Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Breaker Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 28)
    ZULU-COBRA (Sensor) Combi Rifle, Jammer / Assault Pistol, Knife. (0 | 29)
    KAMAU HMG / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 28)
    KAMAU Heavy Rocket Launcher, Submachine Gun / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 23)
    KAMAU (Multispectral Visor L2) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 32)
    FUSILIER Combi Rifle + Light Grenade Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 14)
    FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    FUSILIER Lieutenant Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    HELOT MILITIAMAN Submachine Gun, Light Rocket Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 9)
    GROUP 2[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]6 [​IMG]2
    ZULU-COBRA (Sensor) Combi Rifle, Jammer / Assault Pistol, Knife. (0 | 29)
    FUGAZI DRONBOT Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    FUGAZI DRONBOT Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    TRAUMA-DOC Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
    PALBOT Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)
    HELOT MILITIAMAN Submachine Gun, Light Rocket Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 9)
    WARCOR (360º Visor) Flash Pulse / Stun Pistol, Knife. (0 | 3)
    ECHO-BRAVO Boarding Shotgun, Light Rocket Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 25)
    MULEBOT (Minesweeper, Repeater) Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    6.5 SWC | 300 Points
    Open in Infinity Army

    Same as before but with more firepower. EB instead of croc. More link options. More templates. Enough button pushing to complete some missions.

    Now, here is were I need your help:
    • Do you think the lists are good enough to deal with impersonators?
    • What would you change in both lists to make them more competitive?
    • How do you deal with impersonators playing VIRD?
    Feel free to CC any of the points I've made.

    Thank you all in advice, you are all awesome people :)

    EDIT: Damn it, army is showing that the shooting one is valid ITS list but i just noticed it has 6.5 SWC D:
     
    #144 Goorie, Oct 28, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
    Cadmo and barakiel like this.
  5. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
    Warcor

    Joined:
    May 5, 2017
    Messages:
    2,167
    Likes Received:
    7,040
    @Goorie
    I like your lists! I'm biased of course... My lists follow a very similar structure... But I think your unit selection, the structure of your Combat Groups, the specific profiles you've chosen, etc. are all excellent. Check the SWC on your second list, but I think you've got some very good options there.

    If you were playing a standard tournament, I wouldn't propose any changes. Because you might be playing any ITS mission though, you might consider a list centered around Patsy Garnett. Her profile, her durability, as well as her Haris Team, give you some options for Looting & Sabotage, Biotechvore, Counter Measures, Highly Classified, PowerPack and Acquisition.

    I don't think she's crucial, but she'll give you some options for those more difficult missions. If you don't think you'll have to play those missions, or if you just want to use the lists you're comfortable with, then play what you're accustomed to.

    As for Impersonators:
    • Try not to leave any of your units by themselves. Make sure that all of your models have 2 or more allied units within Line of Sight, to help protect and reinforce.
    • Your Camo tokens are excellent for defense. Keep your Helots close to your other troops, to force the Impersonator to sneak around or waste orders deploying smoke.
    • Keep your units prone, so that they can see over the heads of friendly models. You don't want your troops blocking one another's LoF.
    • Keep a Zulu Cobra Jammer as your reserve drop (assuming no Strategos) and then deploy it to counter the enemy Impersonator. The Impersonator may still get one Order to attack, but at least you'll have a Jammer there to threaten Isolation. If your Jammer coverage is strong, you can prevent an Impersonator from performing many of its more annoying roles (climbing onto rooftops for safety, throwing smoke for CC attacks, deploying mines in your DZ, etc.)
    • PanO Link teams are very good at contesting shotgun blasts. Don't be afraid to fire your Combi Rifle or pistol to defend yourself, since Burst 2 with link bonuses may very well beat the shotgun, or contest enough hits that you can Doctor any casualties after.
    • Keep your Doctor well protected. VIRD loves Doctoring, and losing your Doctor can make Impersonator casualties much more severe.
    • Be careful of rooftops or catwalks that extend outside of your deployment zone. You don't want to deploy your Kamau Sniper on a tall rooftop, only to find an Impersonator deploying safely there, and then walking in close to stab your Kamau. Make your opponent roll to enter your Deployment Zone whenever possible.
    • Watch out for mines. The Shock and ability to drop around corners is dangerous. Don't line your models up (this is pretty obvious, but still worth mentioning) and use Jammer and Camo to help defend the blindspots and danger zones in your DZ.
    • You can't stop an Impersonator from spending at least 1 Order attacking. Your goal should be to limit it to only 1 Order before it gets shot or Jammed.
     
    #145 barakiel, Oct 28, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
    mauriciorjbr, Cadmo and Goorie like this.
  6. Goorie

    Goorie Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2019
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    21
    @barakiel

    Thanks for the advices! Much appreciated.

    After your post I started to think that I do not have any list with a reliable DT in case I had to go second against a very invasive army.

    Maybe I got your advice wrong and screwed the list up but, since I really like my "button pushing" list and I had to remake my "shooting list", I merged both your advice and the aggresjve list. Anyway, I really liked the lists with the Patsy/kamau/machinist haris back when they were legal, so mimicking them feels kinda natural to me.

    League Shooting 2
    ──────────────────────────────────────────────────
    GROUP 1[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]9 [​IMG]1
    ZULU-COBRA Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Breaker Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 28)
    KAMAU HMG / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 28)
    KAMAU Heavy Rocket Launcher, Submachine Gun / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 23)
    KAMAU (Multispectral Visor L2) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 32)
    FUSILIER Lieutenant Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    PATSY GARNETT Submachine Gun, Nimbus Plus Grenades, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 37)
    HELOT MILITIAMAN Submachine Gun, Light Rocket Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 9)
    GROUP 2[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]7
    ZULU-COBRA (Sensor) Combi Rifle, Jammer / Assault Pistol, Knife. (0 | 29)
    FUGAZI DRONBOT Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    FUGAZI DRONBOT Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    MULEBOT (Minesweeper, Repeater) Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    MULEBOT (Minesweeper, Repeater) Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    TRAUMA-DOC Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
    PALBOT Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)
    ECHO-BRAVO Red Fury / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 25)
    5.5 SWC | 300 Points
    Open in Infinity Army

    My idea is to have the defensive core as lean as possible and rely on either Patsy haris with hmg and HRL or, if things goes south leave the hrl back as defensive ARO and move duo Ptasy HMG up the field to clean and push buttons. Or if things go really south, move fusiliers with whoever is alive up the field.

    In group two the idea is to have enough orders for the jammer and/or the palbot/doc to do their thing. All this until, when the time's right, deploy the Redfury EB to hunt people down with enough order pool to cause mayhem among their button pushers or whoever is poorly positioned.

    I am not out of my comfort zone with this list but I am afraid that maybe the list is just a senseless pile of miniatures.

    Sorry for the hassle and thanks one more time.
     
    barakiel likes this.
  7. Teslarod

    Teslarod Trebuchet Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2017
    Messages:
    1,558
    Likes Received:
    3,213
    @Goorie If you're worried about Impersonators, Varuna has something to fix that.

    Unless you're going up against an Avatar, you can keep a Helot with Decoys in reserve to box the Impersonator in between 3 Tokens he can't pass without revealing.

    For you that Impersonation Marker will be a friendly model, so you can deploy in base contact. But for the Impersonator your Helot Decoys will be enemies, so he can't walk through them.
     
    #147 Teslarod, Oct 31, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
    mauriciorjbr, Cadmo, volgo and 2 others like this.
  8. SuperD

    SuperD Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2017
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    332
    That is fantastic advice! I've done it before with a Hardcase but it never dawned on me to use the Helot. I just played back-to-back games against Fidays and Speculos too...
     
    barakiel and AdmiralJCJF like this.
  9. Ayadan

    Ayadan Knight of the TAG Order

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2017
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    1,083
    So, I was hesitating a bit about giving my returns about Varuna because I still haven't been able to try the full stuff right now but I started to have a feel about what really is great for me and what is not in this sectorial:
    Pros:
    - Huge firepower at long range. This is something really impressive. An ORC HMG in a Fusilier FT is a astonishing pointman and so far, he did really well.

    - Really interesting fireteam possibilities. The fact that they are all stealthy outside of the Clipper, Squalo and Fusiliers is really handy and awesome.

    - Patsy brings a huge value in versatility and packs a lot of tools you really need in this sectorial.
    - Good access to tricks, surprises and special ammos.

    Cons:
    - Squishy as hell. In my meta full of DTW and Mines with rather dense midfield in scenery items, I have a lot of difficulties to navigate. Until now, I feel forced to play two HI or at least a TAG to be able to get someone in the midfield and survive to it. The lack of shotgun is really hurting too. This is something all the other PanO sectorials can deal with efficiently in comparison. I suppose that the combi+LGL fusilier is a good way too, haven't tested it yet but seems very order intensive.

    - Lack of vertical mobility. While this is the most stealthy sectorial, even before MO, they have no vertical mobility at all. It's also true for NCA until Uma comes in, but NCA has access to a lot more DTW, forcing troops on the roofs to stay prone or out of cover if they don't want to receive something in the face.

    - Lots of difficulties to get classified done. To the point that Patsy is an autopick in case you play scenarios heavily oriented toward them. The lack of shotguns makes her even more important as a CQB fighter able to stand some punishment.

    - Difficulties to get impact template weapons in your list. Because your troops are so squishy, I really don't feel good to play the Kamau HRL. Maybe I'll be able to get some later in my lists but so far, I can't punish a spammy list with guys deployed in base to base because I can't deploy a shotgun or a HRL.

    @barakiel, maybe you or another top VIRD player can help me to get it better covered. You wanted to know some months ago how I was feeling with the sectorial, and here we are. While I'm globaly doing great with it, I don't feel the same confort as I have with MO or NCA so far.
     
    Cadmo and barakiel like this.
  10. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
    Warcor

    Joined:
    May 5, 2017
    Messages:
    2,167
    Likes Received:
    7,040
    @Ayadan
    Your points are all correct ones. I think that the global attitude towards VIRD tend to be inflated. VIRD's certainly very strong according to certain criteria (as you say... Long range shooting, or robust defense.) But when you need to build two lists for a 5-game ITS, VIRD's limitations become very clear.

    Certainly all true. Those are basic and fundamental strengths of the Sectorial. In addition to the long-range firepower, they really need to layer their defense in order flourish. VIRD needs to get their MSV2 ARO setup, their non-MSV ARO in place to support it, plus Jammer, so they can "lock" the table as quickly as possible and restrict the opponent's ability to operate. VIRD can't trade hits with the enemy, can't swamp the table with direct templates or mines for area denial, and lacks the cheap, fast units that can rush an enemy DZ and remove a key piece. VIRD can't go after threats very effectively... They have to wait and see what the enemy gives them. And that's a very difficult way for PanO to play, and it's also very clear why VIRD has such strong defensive tools.

    All the cons are true as well. Most interactions are going to be a f2f roll of 1-target-vs-1-target Ballistic Skill weapons.
    • Squishy as hell. Yep, that's VIRD. My lists are routinely all 1-Wound units. Perhaps I'll have a single 2-Wound Heavy Infantry. Anything more than that, and you start losing out on the things that VIRD needs: Firepower, layered defense, Specialists. The biggest challenge with VIRD is that they're very, very bad at going into the opponent's table half to get things done. As you say, a few antipersonnel mines or Chain Rifle wielders hiding around a corner causes big problems. It's clear too why VIRD got the Montessa Knight; in an abstract way, the Montessa at least allows a fast, kinda-durable unit that can run into the opponent's table half to try and score something important. I don't think the Montessa is a great solution, but it's clear that the designers of VIRD saw how weak VIRD is in that kind of mission. For units like Capture & Protect, PowerPack or Looting & Sabotage, VIRD basically has to hope that they deny the opponent any points at all, and hopefully can find a gap in the opponent's defense to run up and score a win. It's a scary prospect, but VIRD's not good at it. They need their full defense of Kamau MSV2, Jammer, Helots to make sure the opponent can't score. It's actually the main reason why I was hoping Patsy would get a MULTI Marksman Rifle, rather than an SMG... Having a durable Specialist with Haris capability and flexible rangebands, able to romp into the enemy tablehalf and engage in flexible combat, would give VIRD a very flexible, valuable ITS tool.
    • The lack of vertical mobility is very challenging, and this is one reason why Jammer is really critical to how the Sectorial functions. If you go second, you can use your strong AROs to hopefully challenge maneuvering opponents, and stop them from reaching rooftops, catwalks, and other high areas where we can't really chase them. If we go first, we need to advance our Jammers up into the midfield so that they can contest and deny these areas to the enemy. So rather than using Dart to climb to a rooftop, or McMurrough to superjump up there, you need to use your AROs to stop an enemy from climbing, and use Jammer to make those areas impassable. You want to trap your opponent into a No Win scenario with going first, or going second. If they go first, they should fear your shooting AROs. If they go second, they should fear the Jammers you've advanced on Turn 1.
    • Classifieds: I achieve fewer Classifieds with VIRD than with any other force I've ever played. Every VIRD unit you field takes the place of some other unit. If you try to build with broad Specialist coverage, your lists will feel weak: either undergunned, or without enough defense. As a result, I rely more on Secure HVT than I ever have before, and I'm very cautious about using VIRD in ITS events where Classified missions are very important. I like Patsy... She's a good bandaid with her versatility... But she's not a great combatant. I take her when I absolutely have to, because she's a good tool for VIRD's tougher mission lineups.
    • The Peacemaker is really the best bet for what you're describing. It's cheap, and it brings several tools that are very rare in VIRD: shotgun, direct template, and the ability to start halfway up the table. I often have difficulty using the Peacemaker though, because I don't often want to spent the 18-20 points on a Machinist to support the Peacemaker. But it's a very good unit for bolstering the weak points you've mentioned. I often want to try the Croc Man Boarding Shotgun, but I often can't free up the points for him. Perhaps the best compromise is the Echo Bravo Paramedic. You get a key Specialist, you get a great AD attacker, and you got two different template mechanics: the light shotgun, and the Parrot. I think this is a highly valuable unit for giving you diverse ways to threaten the enemy. Lastly though, don't be afraid to use both the Kamau HRL or a Croc with mines. The Kamau HRL is a brilliant, brilliant unit for cheap. It's a good active turn attacker, it's a good ARO piece that's immune to White Noise, it has 4 different ammunition types, a wide variety of rangebands, is suppressive-fire capable, and is a very good use of 23 points. You probably won't have room for it if you're running an ORC (45 point HMG is very expensive) but I routinely run Kamau HMG, Kamau Sniper, Kamau HRL and find that they provide a flexible, versatile array of firepower for very cheap. A basic Croc FO can be important too. They always get overlooked, because most opponents fixate very intensely on Jammers and Helots. A Croc FO revealing on Turn 1 to lay mines and push buttons is a very good opening play for VIRD. The Croc is very much a quality-over-quantity choice, but sometimes they win games for me based on simply being an Infiltrator with Mines and Specialist that the opponent doesn't plan for.
    I hope that helps. VIRD remains strong, but their tactical weaknesses are many.
     
    #150 barakiel, Nov 8, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
    volgo, Ayadan and AdmiralJCJF like this.
  11. Ayadan

    Ayadan Knight of the TAG Order

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2017
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    1,083
    @barakiel Thank you for your answer. I think I'll give to the Peacemaker is chance, maybe it is what I need (damn, I have so much stuff to paint just to be able to test them).

    How do you deal with crits if you're relying only on 1W troopers? Doesn't this make your list a bit too much relying on the fact that your opponent's rolls will respect the statistical outcome? Because you can end ungunned really fast if your opponent is a bit too lucky (and that's something I hate above all as it happens too often with my current opponents). In the last 4 games I played lately, my wins were heavily due to the fact that my ORCs had 2W and ARM 4 in addition their great overall attribute values. Patsy in a Core is also a really nice ARO piece with WIP 16 flash pulse (this makes me think too that the FK FO is way better than I initially ranked).

    I'm really curious as I have the feeling that, maybe, my meta doesn't authorize the standard VIRD listbuilding with Aleph, Shas, Dashat and Ariadna being the hot sectorials of the moment. This and the way our tables are designed (the one Sathuli and Executor played on is a bit crowdy but still in the standard of what we have in Paris).
     
  12. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
    Warcor

    Joined:
    May 5, 2017
    Messages:
    2,167
    Likes Received:
    7,040
    @Ayadan
    Crits are a major concern. Three of my biggest non-wins in Satellite tournaments in 2019 actually came from making the same mistake.

    The error was this: an opponent left a key unit close to one of my Jammer Zulu Cobras. In all three cases where this happened, they were key Specialists that my opponent could use to score at a critical juncture in the game. My Jammer was protecting a key area, but I felt that gunfighting the enemy Specialist was low-risk enough that I could take a chance. In all three cases, my opponent scored a Crit in ARO (or I simply missed all my active turn shots.) I not only failed to kill the target, but lost a crucial Area Denial piece.

    The moral of that story is that you never want to risk Snake Eaters unless it's crucial to the scenario. This is especially true with Jammers. You may feel tempted to use that gunfighting, but you should only do so if you do not need their area denial. Obviously VIRD is very good defensively, but their defense falls apart really quickly if they lose 1 or 2 key units. This is very different than many factions, who can use tools like direct template warbands and mines to deny area, and the loss of 1 or 2 units doesn't really stop the other units from working effectively. You don't want to risk any part of the VIRD's overlapping defense unless you already have a backup plan in place. So, as I learned the hard way, don't attack with a Jammer ZC unless you don't really need that unit's defense anymore.

    It also explains why Kamau received Shock Immunity. I know many players saw free Shock Immunity for Kamau and thought "what... why?" But VIRD's dependence on medium-cost, 1 Wound models makes them very unforgiving. Shock Immunity on Kamau really lets you invest in Doctoring, allowing you to "try again" if you do eat an unlucky Crit.

    That Crit vulnerabilit also makes ORCs good. In VIRD, ORCs aren't a great deal compared to Kamau. BS13 + Mimetism for cheaper than BS14 is a spectacular bargain. But sometimes you need that second Wound, especially when you're attacking aggressively, you're 2/3 of the way to your opponent's Deployment Zone, and a lucky Crit by your opponent means a lot of wasted orders and a generally wasted turn. That 2nd Wound lets VIRD make aggressive moves that are very, very risky with 1-Wound Snake Eaters.

    If you're not using ORCs for your attack, you simply have to weigh the risk-vs-reward. If you're attacking with a Zulu Cobra or an Echo Bravo... How badly will a Crit hurt you? Is there a way to create redundancy, by having a second Snake Eater in place to help? Is there a different way for you to attack or accomplish the mission, that doesn't rely on face-to-face engagement, such as using Camo to sneak behind an opponent, or simply pinning that enemy in place with strong AROs?

    The opposing factions you mentioned are very difficult too. Since I started playing VIRD, I estimate that about 40% of my losses are to OSS, the other 40% are to Dahshat, and the remaining 20% are all other armies. The reason for this is that OSS shoots as well as VIRD does, but is much more resilient. The NWI or Remote Presence on a lot of their units really makes a difference. NWI + Nanopulser + mines is particularly dangerous with OSS, since it means OSS midfield troops can often trade with Snake Eaters. Dakini are dangerous too since they can very easily keep pounding away at a Kamau Sniper and take her down. A lucky hit/crit against a Dakini can easily be repaired, and the OSS player can try again.

    Dahshat's lethal because their cheap camo and mines restrict the mobility of your Snake Eaters, and reduce their ability to maneuver to good Jammer points, or set up dominant AROs. This often means that McMurrough or a Camo shotgun can sneak past your defensive setup and do heavy damage to your backline. Ariadna can replicate some of this scariness (obviously, lots of mines and templates, as well as rushing with a werewolf) but at least Ariadna lacks the ARO or active turn firepower that the Dahshat has. Additionally, Ariadna doesn't necessary have mines and shotguns on all their midfield units, which is a very threatening combination for VIRD.

    Additionally, the in-built weaknesses of OSS and Dahshat (hacking, cheap warbands / direct templates that can wreck their REM backline, cheap troops that can trade and contest the midfield) aren't available to VIRD. So you'll definitely have to work hard to succeed against both of these matchups.

    The success I've found with VIRD comes from staying methodical, conservative, and sticking to the mission. If you can keep your gameplan strong and intact through all 3 Turns, constantly looking for opportunities to score objectives or inflict attrition on your opponent while keeping them locked down with your defense, you'll frequently outlast them. Versus skilled opponents, you'll almost never get a chance to alpha strike with a peacemaker or Echo Bravo, so don't build a gameplan that relies on those kinds of maneuvers. Take advantage of your opponent's defensive weakness if they present themselves though. One unit that I hated at VIRD's release, but now love, is the Zulu Cobra Spitfire. I never used to take it, but I recognized how valuable it is to suddenly accerlate into aggressive attack, and be able to reach from the midfield into an opponent's Deployment Zone with higher Burst, longer Range, and improved Damage compared to what you typically see on a Zulu Cobra.

    Regarding Patsy:
    I can't say I've used her much in a Core, simply because I can buy three Fusilier Forward Observers for the same cost as her, and they can do a lot of the same things she can. What she does well, compared to other VIRD choicse, is maneuver aggressively up the table, deliver Specialists, provide Classified coverage,and clear the way for a heavy weapon Kamau. The only times I maneuver my Core out of the DZ is during Turn 3, or if I plan to retreat them back into the DZ. In both of those cases, Patsy in a Core can be useful, but I typically prefer an ORC HMG for the firepower.

    As a result, I like Patsy as a Haris leader, for quick, aggressive pushes up the table. She can clear mines easily, she can use Shock to knock over annoying Dogged enemies, and she's just a generally good bodyguard for making aggressive forays that lone Snake Eaters are too fragile to do, and a Core link doesn't want to risk.

    I hope that makes sense... It's Sunday morning here and I'm running around taking care of some things, so my thoughts are a little disorganized.
     
    #152 barakiel, Nov 10, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
    volgo, Cadmo, Ayadan and 4 others like this.
  13. Phillimon

    Phillimon Kazak Diplomatic Operative

    Joined:
    May 25, 2018
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    60
    @barakiel

    What do you take as your other two Zulu Cobras picks if you're running a spitfire Cobra?

    The spitfire Cobra is something I can't quite fit into my lists. I usually take 2x Jammers, 1x KHD and if I had to sub in a spitfire it's a tough choice. While I'll miss the second Jammer, the KHD fills too many roles to drop. I'm thinking I can lose the redundancy of a second jammer, at least in my meta were they would expect me to take 2 jammers.
     
    #153 Phillimon, Nov 11, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  14. Musterkrux

    Musterkrux Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2017
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    511
    Just a quick note here to discuss counter play against resilient attackers and the Kamau Sniper.

    I've started to use Stun ammo against Dakinis, TR HMGs, TAGs and other attack pieces that can afford to lose a F2F roll against a Kamau, get repaired/Doctored and then go in again.

    Sure, you're not killing the enemy model but they can't repair or otherwise mitigate that Stun and if that's their only piece they can use to grind the Kamau down, they either cede table control to the Kamau for a turn or risk a more vulnerable piece to try and finish the job.

    That said, that's also usually about when a Camo Libertos makes its way down the table and go for a Kamikaze DTW attack against the Kamau...
     
    AdmiralJCJF, Cadmo and Ayadan like this.
  15. Ayadan

    Ayadan Knight of the TAG Order

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2017
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    1,083
    Yes, I'm using stun ammo a lot too against tough/zombie-like pieces which don't have TI. It works really well excepted against BTS9 troopers.

    @barakiel thank you a lot. This helps me a lot. Certainly, VIRD is at 180° of how I like to play and it will take me time to get my blood cold enough for this methodic style. MO was really fitting me better but I promised to play Varuna so the guys in Paris discover the sectorial.
    Got a game against @Sedral yesterday on Countermeasure and I played my core in a way you would have suffered to see that (but would have fitted right for MO). Ended 10-4 thanks to the awesomeness of Patsy and my Varuna ORC HMG but I don't think I can continue to play the sectorial like this. So thank you again, this will help me a lot.
     
  16. Cadmo

    Cadmo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    55
    @Ayadan first of all, thank you for your questions and also the answers that allow us to continue to deepen the strategy of Varuna. The answers that have been given, especially those of @barakiel have been very useful and clarifying.

    On the other hand, I empathize with you in this quest for the VIRD game style. I was playing before NCA, MO and JSA, and I also spent a long time (about 10 months) asking VIRD to play as I wanted, that is more frontal and aggressive, and believe me that it did not go bad forme but a little forced ...

    However the entertainment increases when we try to do different things even if they go against our natural/spontaneous tendency (which I imagine is something that you understand perfectly) and from there my complaints with Varuna (which have never been many) have diminished and it has been very exciting to play PanO in such a different and often unexpected way for my rivals (at least at the first few times).

    Now speaking of the comments, I have a doubt, perhaps very simple, but when you try more than one ARO piece in the fireteam, like a Kamau sniper + a Kamau HRL or ORC Feuerbach, do they use them simultaneously? that is, the two visible at the same time in reactive turn, or sequentially, one first and after his death the second?

    I ask because there are many possibilities here, for example, if you know you are going against white noise, it may be useful to go with both deployed visible at the same time, but there is also the risk of losing two members of the link very quickly, thinking about the case that you still have a Kamau HMG in the same team.... Also It is true that two Kamau (MSR and HRL) is not the same that one Kamau MSR and an ORC Feuerbach, for the durability of the latter, but anyway how to play this combination of two ARO pieces? ...

    Finally.. @Ayadan could you share your countermeasure list please? It is always good to see other ways to play a mission and two ORCs sound very nice :).
     
    #156 Cadmo, Nov 11, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
    AdmiralJCJF likes this.
  17. Ayadan

    Ayadan Knight of the TAG Order

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2017
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    1,083
    In general, I deploy my ORC HMG in a different spot, looking at closer LoF than my Kamau sniper. Patsy is deployed to guard shorter LoF and I use the rest of my troops to create a pesky ARO net, often asking to my opponent to come out of cover to challenge my troops but still blocking the progression on the table. This results often in the possibility to go through my AROs with Cautious movement but this is not something you use often with a FT or REMs/TAGs/bikes (since you can't for the laters).

    Here is the list, not sure everyone would love it but it worked so far :
    ORC test 2
    ──────────────────────────────────────────────────
    GROUP 1[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]10
    FUSILIER Lieutenant Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    FUSILIER (Forward Observer, Deployable Repeater) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
    ORC (Varuna Div.) (Multiterrain: Aquatic/Jungle, Stealth) HMG / Pistol, Knife. (2 | 45)
    PATSY GARNETT Submachine Gun, Nimbus Plus Grenades, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 37)
    KAMAU (Multispectral Visor L2) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 32)
    KAMAU Hacker (Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 28)
    KAMAU HMG / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 28)
    KAMAU (Fireteam: Haris) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 21)
    MACHINIST (Varuna Div.) (CH: Mimetism, Stealth, Aquatic Terrain) Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 17)
    PATHFINDER DRONBOT Combi Rifle, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 16)
    GROUP 2[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]3
    MULEBOT (Minesweeper, Repeater) Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    TRAUMA-DOC Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
    PALBOT Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)
    ZULU-COBRA (Sensor) Combi Rifle, Jammer / Assault Pistol, Knife. (0 | 29)
    5.5 SWC | 300 Points
    Open in Infinity Army
    Not sure I would win against top tier players with it though.
     
    Cadmo likes this.
  18. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
    Warcor

    Joined:
    May 5, 2017
    Messages:
    2,167
    Likes Received:
    7,040
    @Phillimon
    I always run 2x Jammers also... I don't view them as optional. I also rely on the Zulu Cobra KHD a lot, for missions that involve button pushing. So I totally get your question.

    If I'm playing a mission that doesn't need Specialists, I sometimes leave the KHD at home. VIRD doesn't require a ton of KHD defense. In those cases, I'll sometimes grab the Fusilier HD in order to authorize REMs and give me a Classified option. But for missions that are focused purely on firepower, and especially missions where taking Specialists is penalized, I'll gladly skip the ZC KHD, and bring a bigger gun on that ZC instead.

    @Musterkrux
    Stun is worth its weight in gold. Definitely a good counter for resilient or persistent attackers.

    @Cadmo
    When it comes to using both your MSV and non-MSV AROs, circumstances are going to vary so much, it's very hard to make general suggestions. I might leave both units hanging out. But it's more likely that I would look at the specific opponent, how likely I am to face White Noise, and then select one unit to use for ARO while the other stays hidden. And of course, I may choose to leave non visible, or even both visible, depending on the type of threats my opponent is fielding, his list composition, the area of the table I want to protect, as well as the presence of Helots and Zulu Cobra Jammers.

    Ultimately of course, the longer a game goes, the more valuable your AROs become. Being able to have an intact 5-man Core with HRL and/or Kamau on Turn 3 is going to be a big deal, especially if you've been able to take out your opponent's White Noise Hacker, lined HMG, or any other threat that can bypass your ARO.

    Generally though, I would definitely suggest you don't reveal multiple AROs while your opponent is at full strength. Save that for when the opponent has suffered attrition and has lost most of its good tools.
     
    #158 barakiel, Nov 11, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  19. Musterkrux

    Musterkrux Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2017
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    511
    That's a really interesting heuristic. I'll have to explore this for myself. Thanks!

    Sidenote: I'm also coming around to the ZC spitfire. Same cost as the Kamau but +.5 SWC to get FD1 and a Marker State (trading off for a few things here and there, of course).
     
    RobertShepherd likes this.
  20. MikeTheScrivener

    MikeTheScrivener O-12 Peace Kepper

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2018
    Messages:
    2,320
    Likes Received:
    3,089
    great piece with some reach no one ever expects.

    I often find my opponents usually just assume its a jammer under the camo marker
     
    Musterkrux likes this.