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VIRD: first games, early lists

Discussion in 'PanOceania' started by barakiel, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    Obviously we don't have the full picture yet for VIRD, but we know a lot. The video last week gave us Echo bravos, Zulu Cobras and Helot Militia. Combined with the units we already know quite a bit about (Fusiliers, Kamau, REMs) I felt comfortable building a couple of lists and trying them in some games.

    Thankfully my local community is wonderfully supportive of my obsession, so I found two opponents willing to let me experiment.

    Here's the initial list I used (note that errors are possible, and even likely... None of this stuff is in Army of course.)

    Group 1
    Echo Bravo with Red Fury
    Zulu Cobra with Jammer, Sensor, combi rifle, assault pistol
    Zulu Cobra with Killer Hacking Device, breaker Combi Rifle
    Kamau HMG
    Kamau HMG
    Kamau MSV2 and MULTI Sniper Rifle
    Fusilier Forward Observer
    Fusilier Forward Observer
    Fusilier
    Fusilier LT

    Group 2
    Echo Bravo Paramedic with Combi Rifle, Light Shotgun, Wild Parrot.
    Fugazi Dronbot
    Fugazi Dronbot
    Mule Baggage Bot
    Trauma Doc with Palbot
    Helot Milita with light rocket launcher, submachine gun
    Helot Milita with light rocket launcher, submachine gun

    300, 6 SWC
    15 Regular, 2 Irregular

    The list is a bit of an odd one... I can't remember the last time I used two AD units in a list, but I certainly wanted to try both Echo Bravo loadouts as well as Cobra Jammer/Sensor. The competition for the various Cobra, Echo Bravo, Croc and Kamau loadouts is intense... Those are all very good units.


    Game 1 vs Operations SubSection: Acquisition
    Opponent's list was pretty standard fair, except that it went light on midfield troops and brought an Asura. Still, plenty of backline REMS and fairly squishy troops, not much defense.

    Turn 1
    With VIRD going first, ALEPH didn't want to stand up against the Kamau HMG or MULTI, which gave me a defense gap for bringing on the Paramedic EB who promptly Parroted 3 Dakini and a Yudbot. The EB ran up and shotgunned the link before dying to a crit, but the link was mostly out of action with only the HMG remaining.

    Using the Parrot for that kind of juicy, grouped up target was amazing. Felt a bit like playing a Fiday... You can use that big mine template to help open up link teams and ensure some damage, since engaging with only a Burst 2 shotgun is always going to be risky.

    Finished Turn 1 by maneuvering the Jammer Cobra up to control a chokepoint, running my lone Kamau Xenotech runner up the table to end in Suppressive Fire.

    ALEPH responded by spending several orders repairing the Dakini and fixing the link, costing several Orders. A Garuda looked for a place to drop into my DZ, but the Limited Camo Helots (i.e. 360 total reaction SMG/Light Rocket Launchers) meant there weren't many gaps for an AD to safely land. He dropped into the midfield instead, taking on my suppressing Kamau. Burst 2 on 9s with the boarding shotgun vs Burst 3 on 7s while Suppressing. The Kamau snuck a shot through to drop the Garuda.

    The Cobra Jammer and linked Kamau HMG managed to hold off the Asura, making my opponent nervous with the combination of BS16 Burst 2 AROs and Jammer. Obviously the Asura has monster BTS, but all it takes is one failed roll... My opponent didn't try to press that attack hard. The Jammer's a great deterrent.

    Turn 2
    I walked the second Echo Bravo in behind the Asura, catching it between two fires with the Kamau HMG in front, EB behind. I expected this EB to bait out the Posthuman Mk2 Sniper that I was sure was lurking somewhere out there, but it never showed up. I think my opponent may have taken the Assault Hacker instead, which really let me wreak havoc in his backline.

    The Cobra KHD hit a button and ended Turn 2 in base-to-base with the center console, since my opponent would begin his turn in retreat.


    Game 2 vs Hassassin Bahram: Armory

    This would be a challenge. I'm deliberately not using ORCs or Patsy since we still know very little about their role in VIRDs, so trying to play an armor mission with a host of 1-Wound units with no templates would be challenging.

    Opponent's list had an Asawira Haris, which was unusual but would present an interesting challenge. The usual Mutts, but only a couple of Panzerfaust Daylami.

    HB went first, running a Mutt and a Haris of Asawira (!) into the Armory by blowing up their door. That was going to be a huge chore to dislodge with Jammer, linked Nanopulser, and BTS9.

    Fortunately though, the Fiday were extremely limited in terms of options. Every Camo Token in my DZ might be hiding a Burst 3 Submachine Gun or Jammer ARO, while my Kamau and Fusiliers were not easy shotgun targets with their high BS and link bonuses to contest any incoming shot (best case for the Fiday is Burst 2 on 17s vs Burst 2 on 15 from the Fusiliers...)

    I managed to hold off the Fiday, eventually Discovering it with a Coordinated Discover to soften it up.

    A Lasiq was in overwatch. Kamau Sniper, 3 dice on 16s vs the Lasiq with once dice on 9. I missed all three shots and the Kamau died. I reformed the link to 5-man and tried with the Kamau HMG, five dice on 13s vs one dice on 9. Missed with all 5 shots, Kamau HMG died. Eventually I had to bring on the Echo Bravo Red Fury 1 turn sooner than expected and shoot the Lasiq in the back. Ouch.

    My opponent knew I hadn't achieved everything I wanted in Turn 1, so he tried to finish me off in Turn 2 with an aggressive rush from the Asawira. He knew their BTS9 could tank Jammers all day.

    Thankfully he hadn't counted on a scrappy LRL Helot who managed to threaten with his light rocket as the team maneuvered. My opponent survived one lucky round (hitting on 14s against the team, both LRL shots missed) but he had to break the link and knock down the Helot with the Spitfire before reforming and continuing.

    That slight tax to his orders stalled the Asawira before they could do real damage in my backline, letting me bring on the Parrot Echo Bravo behind them, deploy the Parrot, Immobilize 2 of them (got some luck, sneaking that E/M past their effective BTS5) before catching them in the crossfire of BS16 Echo Bravo Combi and BS15 linked Fusilier Combi to wipe out all three Heavy Infantry.

    I had a tricky last turn, having to knock down Daylami Panzerfausts guarding the armory, and then Dislodge that one plucky Mutt who Jammed 3 of my Specialists maneuvering to open the doors (two of them Crit Jams.)

    I finally managed to get the door open, blow away the Mutt and claim the Armory.

    This game definitely revealed how valuable ORCs might be, for those missions where you may want more than just 1 Wound troops. It really made me wonder what to expect from the ORC character, and whether her emphasis will be short range (submachine guns?) or flexible (MULTI Marksman rifle would be nice...)

    Anyone else? Games? Reactions? List ideas?
     
    #1 barakiel, Oct 23, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
  2. Make PanO Great Again :P

    Make PanO Great Again :P Varuna, with the deadliest reptiles in the sphere

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    the crit´s are the punishment for not blasting the song
     
  3. Make PanO Great Again :P

    Make PanO Great Again :P Varuna, with the deadliest reptiles in the sphere

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    Awesome games, loved the gun+jammer ARO game you put there.
     
  4. MikeTheScrivener

    MikeTheScrivener O-12 Peace Kepper

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    This is just really really mean, haha
    Is there any reason you didn't use the montessa? I think the stealth + DA CCW could have helped in the second mission. Reading through your reports I think a 2 wound model definitely would have helped a lot. I'm interested to see how you will incorporate ORCs into your lists. I hope they tweak ORCs just a bit. I think tactical sense on an HMG profile would be really cool.
    I'm happy to see you jumped for the LRL helot. How did you feel about filling up on SWC? did you feel stretched or thin?



    I'm sure my regular opponent would be cool with me doing this, I should try it out. Although, I hate mass proxying.
     
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  5. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    Good questions.

    • I think I will definitely use the Montessa for future objective room games. The Montessa's not my favorite unit, but I'll definitely incorporate it from missions where it can offer a useful role. I wasn't expecting to play Armory, so didn't come prepared with a hand-written list and appropriate proxy, but I think you're right that the Montessa would have offered a lot.
    • I'm curious about ORCs a lot too. I certainly could have tried using one for this experiment, but I still feel like we don't quite know the full picture yet. Having 2 Wounds definitely would have been nice here though, even if his gunfighting odds aren't going to be quite as good as a Kamau.
    • Yeah, the LRL Helot's great. It definitely deserves to be the cheapest of the bunch, just because Burst 2 with Neurocinetics isn't fantastic, but it's going to be a popular one just for that cheap cost and the added flexibility of the SMG. As far as building VIRD lists wand their SWC requirements, I actually did not feel SWC starved... It's the 1 SWC on the Kamau HMG that makes the difference. If that HMG loadout was 1.5, I think Varuna would have to make some very difficult decisions. But since you can grab a couple of Kamau or a Kamau Sniper/ORC for 3 SWC, and since that takes care of most of your long-range shooting, that still leaves quite a lot of SWC for those little .5 cost profiles. I think it really helps that Cobras are going to be in every list, but are not SWC hungry at all. This list had two HMGs, a MULTI Sniper, 2 light rockets and a Red Fury (which is a very impressive amount of firepower) and it all fit in very nicely.
    Definitely experiment a bit if you can. I found it to be tremendously fun.
     
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  6. MikeTheScrivener

    MikeTheScrivener O-12 Peace Kepper

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    one last question,

    why no crocmen? granted, I don't love them myself – I find them too expensive for the role they play, especially now with Zulus introduced. I think I might find a way to include one though, minelayer/mines in general can be really useful for locking an opponent in their DZ and then hitting them with an Echo Bravo
     
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  7. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    Questions are good! Love the discussion.

    The hope this first time through was to use as many new units as possible, and only units where we had a pretty complete picture of how they're changing. I think your viewpoint on Crocs is right on the money though. I imagine I will use Crocs, but the competition from Cobras is going to be fierce.

    I'll try to order my thoughts here, because I like what Crocs do relative to the other units.

    Pros:
    • Hidden Deployment. With multiple Camo Tokens and the threat of the Echo Bravo off-table, it's possible to keep an opponent guessing about whether there's a Croc out there. I think it's going to be possible to stretch an opponent's defense thin as they try to account for a lot of unknowns. I think this is really important, since a lot of our threats will be telegraphed very clearly during deployment: Fusilier Core link with add-ons, Helots in the DZ, Cobras just in front of the DZ with FDL1, etc. so having the Croc there to throw off the neat and clear unit expectations will help.
    • Mines. Mines are so good, and VIRD doesn't have a lot of them. We have great defense, but this defense doesn't help us much against encroaching Camo. Mines remain one of the best tools for that kind of defense.
    • x-visor. It's a signature of the Crocs, but it's easily overlooked. But it's a great tool for Suppressing, or taking down light targets from far away.
    • Full Infiltration. FD on the Cobras is good, but it's not great. It's a nudge up the table, but it's not hyper-efficient as far as Orders are concerned. Having a Croc Specialist with full Infiltration is big for those button-pushing needs.
    • Boarding shotgun. Just a minor nudge, but if you like shotguns, the Croc's a very, very good platform for one. This is a strong unexpected attack piece.
    • Deployable Repeater. If you want your Hacking Game to shine, this is a nice way to get it started. It'll often be easier than moving a Fugazi in range.
    Cons:
    • Cost. A Croc FO is almost a full Regular Order more expensive than its Cobra or Echo Bravo counterpart. You gain a lot for those points, certainly, but the competition exists between the two.
    • Firepower. Combi and mines are good, but the new hotness are all bringing some very dangerous, multi-faceted loadouts. Marksman, COMBI Breaker, combi+lsg, these are all very good weapons for upfield units.
    So the pros very much outweigh the cons here, and I imagine I'll definitely fit in a Croc when I need that range of tools.
     
    #7 barakiel, Oct 23, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
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  8. MrNailbrain

    MrNailbrain Relentless Optimist

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    This may be a question more relevant when we know what Varuna Orcs and Patsy do, but I see you chose some very large order pools for your initial list, presumably because that’s your playstyle. Would you be willing to try a smaller, more elite list that accomplishes more with less? If not full Limited Insertion then maybe only 13-14 orders. Small second group focused on utility.
     
  9. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    Certainly. The challenge there of course is that neither Helots or Echo Bravos fit well into 10-man lists, and both of those are really strong staples of playing VIRD. The same is true for our TO camo choices... Crocs and a Cutter are fantastic, but Hidden Deployment can make those order pool issues problematic. Once we know more about ORCs, as you say, then I think VIRD can certainly run Limited Insertion well. A cutter with some midfield choices and an ORC+Kamau+Fusilier link sounds great.

    With all that in mind, I think VIRD is built really well for ~14-16 Order pool setups. Fusiliers, and a lot of units in the 20-30 point range, all add up really nicely to hit those point totals. It isn't quite the diverse cheap order fuel that NCA has, but VIRD also doesn't have a Guard unit either, so I'd say these factors balance out and allow for good medium-to-high Order play.
     
  10. MikeTheScrivener

    MikeTheScrivener O-12 Peace Kepper

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    Really great rundown

    For me, the croc is almost always going to be FO (for button pushing/ deployable repeaters) or minelayer (for zone control/ kill point missions). I wasn't a huge fan of them before but being in a sectorial I think I will get more use out of them.
     
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  11. Make PanO Great Again :P

    Make PanO Great Again :P Varuna, with the deadliest reptiles in the sphere

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    Do you feel that the 4 orders were good enough for the Echo paramedic to set up the parrot and take a shot? did you saw that the profile could press the advantage with a larger order pool or the lack of range starts to become an issue? how similar to the Garuda Spitfire does the Echo RedFury feel?
     
  12. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    One nice thing about the Helots is that they can become Order fuel if you need it. I can potentially convert irregular to regular to help the EB Paramedic do what's necessary.

    I have to say too, I think the Parrot is a really good tool for those missions where you're fighting over a critical center objective. For something like an objective room mission, I could even see walking the EB on in my own DZ, reloading with baggage, and sending a few waves of Parrots up to threaten a scary Heavy Infantry or break up an entrenched link. I think that equipment is good enough to actually justify using an EB in that way.

    The Red Fury vs the Garuda Spitfire, good question.

    The Garuda's one of the best optimized AD units in the game. 6-4 and Mimetism is startlingly good. The EB isn't that optimized, but it's cheaper, isn't going to get hacked, can Dodge (not well, but still nice) and most importantly, can go Prone. Shock is great when attacking DZ units too, because you can knock enemies out of the game without worrying about a hidden doctor bringing them back up in 1-2 Orders and undoing all your hard work.

    So I'd say the EB isn't orchestrating the same top-tier f2f rolls as the Garuda, and you'll have to be very careful about taking on things like link teams or durable HI who are good in ARO, but it's a superior piece for ripping up a backline or getting unopposed rear-arc shots on opponents in the midfield, and then hiding/surviving so that that the enemy has to come dig him out. The Garuda doesn't hide well, and is likely to fall over to a determined counterattack... Hacking, chain rifles, inability to go Prone are all pretty fatal. But the EB is great as a persistent annoyance.
     
  13. Make PanO Great Again :P

    Make PanO Great Again :P Varuna, with the deadliest reptiles in the sphere

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    Dude, you are just evil
     
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  14. MikeTheScrivener

    MikeTheScrivener O-12 Peace Kepper

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    It really helps that the Parrot comes bundled with the para option, that is just optimized to hell.
    I'm really looking forward to using this guy. he doesn't even have to directly engage anything on the turn he comes in to be good. He can just lay a bunch of traps and hide himself or go suppressive and deny the enemy almost half the board.
     
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  15. MrNailbrain

    MrNailbrain Relentless Optimist

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    I’m personally jazzed for the BSG/LRL Echo Bravo, it’s a lot of templatey pain in a small package. Having the range options to go close in with the impact template and potentially get a line of guys, or the longer range circular fire template is going to contribute a lot of tactical flexibility in picking your fights. It’s also a rare source of fire ammo in the faction for burning down TO & ODD if you can get to grips with them. Avatar in Suppression is no big deal if you walk on behind him, in +3 range, no cover, and BS13 gives you pretty great odds of at least burning off ODD, if not pushing a wound or two through on bad armor rolls.

    Although the WildParrot is also a good solution for this, especially if it’s another unit doing the shooting to trigger it.

    I’m pretty pumped for the Echo Bravo in general, probably the first AD unit to get that level of hype from me!
     
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  16. Make PanO Great Again :P

    Make PanO Great Again :P Varuna, with the deadliest reptiles in the sphere

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    I can suddenly see this as a very bad experience for whoever is on the other side of the table.
    So fast if it goes first and not easy to run over if it goes second even with the link prone.

    G1 10 orders
    Zulu Cobra - Sensor & Jammer
    Zulu Cobra - Sensor & Jammer
    Echo Bravo - Red Fury
    Kamau HMG
    Kamau MSR MSV2
    Fusilier
    Fusilier
    Fusilier Lt.
    Fugazi
    Fugazi

    G2 4/3 orders
    Echo Bravo - Paramedico
    Zulu Cobra - KHD & Breaker
    Mulebot
    Mulebot
    Helot - Shock Mrifle
    Helot - Shock Mrifle
    Helot - Red Fury

    #VIRDIsTheWord
     
    #16 Make PanO Great Again :P, Oct 23, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
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  17. MrNailbrain

    MrNailbrain Relentless Optimist

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    Zulu is AVA3 in Varuna, otherwise I dig it. Might change out a Helot SMR for an SMGLRL, find the points for a Croc AHD as a rude surprise for a Rambo TAG or HI. People expect the Jammer Zulus, expect the Helots, but up at the centerline they won’t be expecting the Croc!
     
  18. Make PanO Great Again :P

    Make PanO Great Again :P Varuna, with the deadliest reptiles in the sphere

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    yea, went 11 units in group,was changing the khd to G2 and forgot to erase, fixed, thanks
     
  19. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    That's a good list, @Make PanO Great Again :P .
    I have to think about fitting in the right balance of button pushers. I love that Jammer/Sensor, but of course it isn't a Specialist. The second you start dropping them to include Specialists, it detracts from your defense and your Jamming coverage.

    So I have to think a bit about which units to give priority. Hmm.
     
  20. Judge Dredd

    Judge Dredd Well-Known Member

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    Why aren't Zulus ava total? :sob: