Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Iron Curtain: Drop Pods Reign Supreme

So the new Space Marine FAQ has opened a HUGE can of worms in the form of drop pods. Here is the FAQ.
So to sum up
1- You don't ignore doors
2- The model construction defines LoS.

The implications of this
1- All doors open, you get a 10" diameter (is it bigger?) scoring unit and a 12" denial unit (since the enemy has to stay outside of 1"). SO with only 4 of these, you can BLOCK all movement across the width of a board. Also you can nearly ALWAYS deploy with at least some part of the pod staying within 3" of an objective. Even worse is in a CAD or Gladius, they are OBSEC and FREE.
2- People who glued their doors closed for expediency (not painting the inside, not worrying about the door breaking) now have LoS blocking models. And relatively large ones.
3- Even worse now, what if you glue 2 or 3 doors shut (since is says SPECIFICALLY "It depends on how the it is modelled") and open the others, you have large scoring/blocking unit like bullet 1, but STILL block LoS like bullet 2, so SUPER CHEESY!
4- TECHNICALLY you can now deploy up to 6" from the end of the door, so that is like a free 12" when you deploy out of a drop pod.
5- Lucius patter drop pods ARE HUGE. So just magnify all the above.
6- Can I open and close doors? Can I re-embark? Can I hide in it like a bunker?
7- When do I open the doors? Do I scatter first or after? Do they all open? If I scatter first, and I am within the doors range of the enemy, how do my doors open?
If you couldn't tell, this is REALLY REALLY BAD. This is bad for the game. This is bad for the hobby. It is endorsing competitive modeling and clearly goes against the intent of the game!

So here is a quick list I came up with to demonstrate the maximized silliness.

This is an 1850, ITC legal list

2 x Demi-Battle Companies
-Captain, Chaplain, no upgrades
-6 Tactical Squads (5 ea), all with drop pods, 4 with flamers
-2 Assault Squads (5 ea). drop pods
-2 Devastator Squads (5 ea) with 2 Multi-Melta each

Auxilary- Armoured Task Force- 3 x Whirlwinds

Sanguinary Priest, Chainsword
Scouts (5)- BP & CCW
6 Drop Pods

Sanguinary Priest, Chainsword
Scouts (5)- BP & CCW
6 Drop Pods

For the Gladius I would suggest as a chapter tactic
1- Iron hands- FNP
2- Salamanders- reroll hit/wound w/ flamers, 4+ FNP against flamers, Characters MC their weapons
3- Firehawks- flamers are +1S when you DS (including, surprise, drop pods)
4- Black Templars- crusader and admantium will (get your psyker defence on) chance to gain counter attack and rage

Those aside, you get 22 Drop Pods in this list. Assuming a 12" footprint, that is 2487 sq. inches of denial, 1130 of which are OBSEC, and a board is only 3456 sq inches. THAT MEANS YOU CAN COVER 72% OF THE BOARD, 33% OF THE BOARD IS OBSEC. YOU CAN CONTROL 36% OF THE BOARD TURN 1!!!! You will AUTOMATICALLY be within range of every objective and likely be OBSEC.  And that is just with the drop pods, let alone the 64 marines you have in the army!

Now let say you reduce that to 11 with the doors shut and 11 with it open. You can still block off around 40% of the board AND you know can create an entire line of LOS blocking pods across the board. That is where those barraging Whirlwinds come in (at 65 points each, they are a bargain).
Put the Sanguinary priests in their own pods and then have then join assault squads after the drop.

The common response to this new FAQ is "Destroy the pods", but that is 66 AV 12 Hull points to deal with. If you had BS4 models with S7, AP4, it would takes an average of 297 dice to strip all those hull points. Sure there are other ways to do it faster, but that gives you an idea of how unfeasible that option is, especially since the pods stagger in. AND you have to deal with the Marines too.

If this doesn't break the game, I don't know what does. The only solace is that this would cost over $800 in drop pods alone!

Now sure you likely won't see 22 pods, but 10? Easy and that is still insane levels of board control. All it takes is 4 open ones placed across the board width wise to cut off your opponent's movement.

Let us hope that those words on the top of the FQ hold true and this idiocy is something left in just the "first draft".