Monday, January 3, 2011

Building Your Apocalypse Army Part II



WARMACHINES


So, now we get to one part of Apocalypse that is the most different from 40K...Warmachines.

Titans, Super Heavy Tanks, Gargantuan Creatures, these are all units that are unique to Apocalypse.  Now, these all started with Forgeworld.  10 years ago Games Workshop started Forgeworld as a way of creating special resin models that would be used in big games.  With the advent of Apocalypse, Games Workshop made these models VERY useful.  Then, GW released the Baneblade, Stormlord/Shadowsword and Ork Stompa kits.  Models that were twice as big and twice the price of anything GW had previously produced.  They were specifically for use in games of Apocalypse.  So now you didn't need to buy Forgeworld to have an ass-kicking model for games of Apocalypse.  

But some of us live off the resin crack that is Forgeworld.  We have Titans, multiple super-heavy vehicles, and just about anything Forgeworld decides belongs to our army.

Now, a Baneblade is a great basic super-heavy.  Every Imperial army needs one.  A 10" S9 AP3 pie plate, three twin linked heavy bolters, two lascannons and a Demolisher cannon.  Plus 3 structure points.  The Ork stompa has a ton of variants and looks awesome (in an Orky way).  Both are good, not overpowering units that are very common in Apocalypse games.

Do you need more?  Well, there are two ways to approach Apocalypse.  One is to build an army that is themed, fun to play with, and has all the basics we discussed in the Part I and a few Super Heavies.  This is what you see most often.  It is the natural way people tend to build armies. 

The other way is to gi even further and build all the big nasty units...Reaver and Warlord Titans, Hierophants, Ork Gargants, etc. and then smack the competition.  If your opponent doesn't have similar units they are hard pressed to beat you unless they build their army to do so.  

A scractbuilt Emperor.  WAY too powerful for most games.
Most players I face approach building their army the first way.  They have cool, armies with lots of cool units and some Forgeworld mixed in. This is the best way to enjoy your game, not go broke and have an army that is fun and challenging for your opponents to play against.

But Titans are sexy.  Big nasty units that can kill lots of stuff are fun because we all want to win!  But if you build an army like that, you have to be smart about when, and against who you play it.  Otherwise, you will find no one wants to play you!  It is not fun to play in a game that is not competitive.  No one wants to have their stuff wiped off the board with no chance to win.  Some people don't get that.

Now I built an Armorcast Reaver, bought two Warhounds and brought them to a bunch of games early on.  But I quickly stopped playing with them unless my opponents had Titans.  I don't want to spank my opponent with superior firepower, I want to win through better strategy and tactics.  And I want us BOTH to have fun.

Oh, there is another player at the L.A. Battle Bunker, Hannibal Sanchez, who has a Chaos Warlord, a Reaver and two Warhounds (all beautifully done!).  We have had some epic Titan battles.  But that is because we each have some and we knew what to expect.  When each side has Titans, they usually beat the crap out of each other and the games are fun.   I will also bring the Titans to The Big Game, or to the Siegeworld event in St. Louis, but those are games geared towards the big stuff.  I want a Warlord and even an Emperor, but only to use once or twice a year. 
My Reaver in its first Deployment, 2008
I love building up all the forces I have...Titans, Super Heavies, big flyers...but I don't use them
in most of my games.  The point is, you need to use these units in very well defined games so you and your opponents have fun.  Themed games, games with a pre-defined story line, or really big games where you know it is all out war, that is when you should think about using your big stuff.

Partake in the arms race....build your hammer units, flyers, AA, etc.  But when it comes to going crazy with Titans and "D" weapons, be smart about their deployment.  They are fun to build and collect and I want to see more big games with them, but be smart so everyone has fun.   Apocalypse games are about fun first and foremost.

Alec

3 comments:

GP said...

Wait a minuet here. I really don't think that bring a titan to the table automatically unbalances the game. It is really all in how you play your army and your titans. If you are of the camp that Titans are just platforms to bring as many strength D shots to the table then yes you will cause problems with your opponents. No one likes getting spammed by strength D templates. But in the other hand if you bring a balanced titan you can have a decent game. I have a Warlord and 6 Warhounds and beyond the first turn of a game I have never had many serious complaints on their performance in the game. In the 6 Warhounds I think I only have 5 Turbo Lasers and my Warlord armament is one Turbo Laser, A Apocalypse Missile Launcher, A Volcano Cannon and either a Quake Cannon or a Gatling Blaster. I could have built the Warlord with 2 Turbo Lasers and 2 Laser Blasters putting 10 strength D 5" templates on the table. Would that be fun for me? Maybe once,... maybe. But that will never be fun for my opponent. Any one who thinks this game is just about himself needs to go back to sitting in front of his computer. In the first game I played with my Warlord it got taken down by a combination of close combat with elite units, flybys by several Dark Eldar Raiders with Lance weapons inside my shields and finally going toe to toe with a Khorne Brass Scorpion. Most of the Damage was done by the first two units which both came from players with relatively small armies. My Warlord did a lot of damage that game but I really don't think it tipped the scale on the outcome and a lot of people got to help kill one of the biggest targets in the game. Now I am not saying that as the owner of a titan you should field it to let your opponent kill it with no thought to it help you winning the game but at the same time you shouldn't field it to totally crush your opponent either, there needs to be a balance here. Titans should enhance the game for everyone on both sides turning a large game of 40k into an epic struggle to win the battlefield.
Greg

MattP said...

I don't know if "It all started with Forgeworld" is exactly correct. I'd say it all started with Mike Biasi.
http://www.collecting-citadel-miniatures.com/wiki/index.php/Resin_Vehicles_&_Titans
Matt

Alec Peters said...

Greg:

I don't think I said bringing a Titan automatically unbalances a game. In fact you made my point for me time and again in your post. I am referring to players using Titans with no regard for the effect on the game or their opponent.

I am talking about people who show up to Apocalypse games with Warlords kitted out with all "D" weapons. The do not care about game balance, only winning. You said it best:

'I could have built the Warlord with 2 Turbo Lasers and 2 Laser Blasters putting 10 strength D 5" templates on the table. Would that be fun for me? Maybe once,... maybe. But that will never be fun for my opponent. Any one who thinks this game is just about himself needs to go back to sitting in front of his computer."

And that is EXACTLY my point!

Alec

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