Friday, 16 January 2015

Dust Elba Campagn: Enter the Allies!!! - Dust Tactics Battlefield Blog (Intro) - Part 2

...And Knowing is Half the Battle! 

This is the continuation of my thoughts prior to the beginning of the Elba Campaign being run at our local Store by Guillaume Sartem...if you didn't start with part 1, please go back and read it!

I will use the G.I.Joe Slogan a lot in the next few posts as the more I play games, the more I will get a feel for my units...and Knowing is Half the Battle!

Here is a recap of my Starting List (150 pts) for the Elba Campaign:

USMC Rifle Platoon  - 77 pts
(units & M3 opened topped Walkers gain Brave Skill)
Machete Mack - 9
The Saints - 5
Mavericks - 6
Steel Marines - 9
Devil Dogs - 6
Mickey (Light) - 11
Devastator - 31

Medium Combat Walker Platoon - 73 pts
(All M3 Walkers can use the Get Moving You Bunch of Monkeys Special Action)
Pounder - 14
Pounder - 14
Hotdog - 13
Rattler - 16
Jagdluther - 16 (14 +2)

And lets not forget, each player gets a free Hero/Ace who is either S1 or S2 (choice of the player to be able to join units accordingly). The Hero/Ace also has the same Gun as our S2 Command squad, therefore Allies have the long range, horrible M1 (no under-barrel grenade launcher!).
Your Ace also has the Ace Skill as per your choice of Infantry/Tank/Aircraft...I'm choosing a Tank Ace!

Unit Breakdown & Thoughts:
(Note the pictures are not my units, they are simply a google image search)

Machete Mack
I'm using him mostly because he is an officer, his abilities are cool and all, but I only have 1 Officer since our aces never gain officer I cannot send him to far into combat. Unfortunately, we do not yet have Soldier 1 Observers so I can't attach him to a cheep radio...eventually a change I may make to the list is including a Mobile HQ

Saints, Mavericks & Devil Dogs
At first I really feared Soldier 1 Troops would suffer in the game and be under powered as they created the game with Soldier 2-4 troops. These guys will have different roles, but I found Soldier 1 troops have good (even more than S3) staying power, especially if they're in cover. They all did well in the game I played and will help me secure objectives & deal with what ever my MCWP can't deal with...

Steel Marines
Our new S3 troops are a Weird Beast for Allied players, where all our other S3 troops are extremely fast & mobile, these guys are really slow! All our other S3 troops have a distinct Task on the battlefield as their weapons are all identical (I'm not counting the Big Boss as a Troop)! These guys are different...during the 1st half of my game using these, I wasn't impressed. It's when things started Heating up near one of our objectives in the second half of the game that they shined. Having them sit near the objective in cover caused a dilemma for my opponent, the potential of their Flamers & Bazooka gave me multiple options against his damaged incoming force. They still suffer from the same problem as all our other S3 troops in that having only 3 models means they have no staying power on the board, but all our other options cost 10-12 pts, so they are slightly cheaper. Also they are the only S3 Soldiers who can benefit from the Platoon Advantage, so I'll give them a chance!

Mickey (Light)
When designing my list, I knew I wanted at least 4 Walkers in my MCWP, as the points added up it became clear that I could only include 1 of the 2 KS Walkers in my USMC Platoon. During my test game both the Mickey (Light) & Barking Dog (Light) did well.
The Barking Dog because of it's damage potential vs Vehicles seems to be a Walking Target for enemy Walkers. I also found the fact it has Reload to limit it a little too much. I figure I'll get more out of the Mickey and can look towards other Walkers for Anti-Tank Damage.

This is the Regular Armor 4 Mickey, the Mickey(Light) is Open Top with Armor down to 3
This thing is a Brute! Not only is it's main gun CRAZY GOOD, but it really helps you control half the board. Granted I don't want to be on the losing end of a trade off with enemy Ar 7 vehicles, so placement & Strategy are key...but once you clear a few threats, your enemy will be afraid of his potential and will start concentrating his efforts on the other half of the board. So this is a blessing and a curse! If he overwhelms the other side of the table early, I may not have enough units on that side to defend...however, it gives me the possibility of predicting/controlling his advance, which in a game like this can be crucial! Granted the Punisher can do pretty much the same (without a Phaser) and has the Transport capability & 1 more machine gun...but this IS the new TOY and I really want to field it! I'm may switch it up to a Punisher later in the Campaign...

Originally I wanted 75% of my list to be my MCWP, however that meant I would need to purchase too many Walkers before starting the Campaign...I also believe being closer to 50-50 gives more options! (Mind you I do have 2 Walkers in my USMC Platoon...)
The Pounder was gonna be my Staple, MY SHERMAN!!! Well I didn't realize how much like the Sherman the Pounder would feel!!! So disappointing, 1 dice against all Vehicle Armor really? That is supposed to be considered Anti-Tank??? Without a sustained attack action, odds are I'm not doing much!!! My Rattler can average more damage per attack against Ar 1-4!!!
After playing them in games, I realized I should see them as Machine Gun Mobile Platforms with the ''potential/threat'' of vehicle damage. The machine Guns are awesome however I got a lot out of them! Hopefully with my Platoon Advantage (GMYBOM), I can make them work better! I know the Mickey could've worked well also, but visually & Fluff wise I wanted the Pounder to be my Backbone...who knows, if all goes well I may field more Pounders!

The undewhelming Pounder, the backbone of an Allied Walker Platoon
The Rattler doesn't fit into the required units of my MCWP but it does get the GMYBOM as Support, so that won't stop me from using it! This Walker is great!!! It's Anti-Air, but all Anti-Air are also great against Troops and I believe there will be lots of those! I only have 1 Rattler so I can only include 1 in my list and at 16 pts, my list is becoming tight...I'll need to Strategically use this Walker as it will be a target, luckily Advanced Reactive Fire will help me put it to use before losing it! I do believe that for it's points, this guy is A++!

The Hotdog originally wasn't in my list...but when I added the points up between my USMC & MCWP Platoons + my Captured Walker, I had 13 pts to spare which is exactly the cost of a Hotdog & a Mobile HQ. I really hesitated between both, the fact that the Mobile HQ doesn't get my Platoon Advantage & the Rattler can't count as a required unit for my MCWP (It requires three M3 Walkers) kinda sealed the deal! I also believe the threat of this walker getting close will make it a priority target for enemy fire, hopefully giving my other stuff a chance to accomplish what I need them to! Plus, if I do get to use the LARGE Template, it'll be extra fun!

The Jagdluther ?!!!I know not everybody is happy about captured walkers, as a matter of fact players all over the globe have been complaining that it takes away from the uniqueness of each faction. I on the other hand am ecstatic about this possibility...I love how it gives Fluff and Flavor to a list!!!
Let's be frank, not all possibilities of captured walkers are better than what can be done In-Faction and you can't bring back a Captured Walker using the Officer Action. But it only makes sense that each Bloc would start capturing & using enemy tools against them!
I chose the Jagdluther...1st because it's the new toy, 2nd I had the 16 pts for it, 3rd it helps me trow 2 dice (instead of my Pounder's 1D) at most vehicles, 4th I really like how it looks, 5th Ar 5 will help!
I know it takes a spot where I could have another Allied Walker that can use GMYBOM, my Platoon Advantage...but I can't wait for the moment when i get to destroy an Axis Walker with an Axis Walker!!!! Sometimes, Fun comes before Tactical Choices!!!

And this covers it for now time around, I will share my thoughts after my 1st game or 2!

And remember kids;

...And Knowing is Half the Battle!


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