Current meta of different races aka all of their strong builds

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Current meta of different races aka all of their strong builds

Postby Zeblasky » 02 July 2016, 21:01

Please notice, that this is mostly about my personal experience while playing with or against those races(and actually more of an attempt to establish current meta), so feel free to correct me.
(Also I've been writing this for 2 days while being ill, so really, feel free to correct me where I'm wrong)

This is currently the most defined race in terms of it's playstyle. You can create your fleet to be:

1) Long range kiting lance fleet

2) Long range kiting carrier fleet

3) Close range brawling fleet

4) Balanced mix of those tactics

Chaos full lance fleets are quite powerful, with reliable DPS, and can cripple ships quite fast from a 12-15k range with focused fire. But they can be bad when you have a enemy right behind you chasing and you can't get away to safe distance as you're doing zero DPS while enemy attacks you with his prow weapons. So it's better to split your fleet in 2 groups preemptively in case you'll need to kite hard.

Carries on the other hand, can run strait from the enemy and still do most of their DPS via bombers. They are great for kiting without stopping and taking down small-medium ships, already damaged ships and they are great vs torpedo spam and other carriers as well, but their DPS is not that reliable and can be negates with enemy turrets, smart fleet positioning, fighters and running silent(if carrier fleet admiral didn't used beacons to tag his targets). Still, they are very solid choice in almost any engagement.

Chaos pure brawling fleets... well, they are certainly not the best brawlers in the game, but they are still very solid. They can be quite useful against dedicated long range fleets, granted if they can catch up - and, considering the speed of Slaughters, chaos brawlers are one of the best at chasing down their prey.

Mixed fleets... Well, that's where the most interesting build options are. Sometimes, pure something fleet is the best. For example, kiting fleet is the best bet against an enemy pure brawling fleet. And sometimes you better mix it up. For example, lance fleet can use a carrier for some support and defense against ordinance. Or 2 long range kiting ships plus 2 close range brawling Slaughters can work wonders against an enemy specialized fleet by disrupting his plan and formation. And you can tag his ships with beacons in the meantime. Sure you are very likely to lose Slaughters, but in the meantime your kiting ships are still there doing damage and ready to kite.
At the very least, even for a pure kiting fleet a sacrificial Nurgle Hellbringer Mk2 in 700p games is quite a nice addition. Besides being a good tribute for the dark gods, it can act as a scout and as a distraction both. And if enemy ignores it - well, now he got a Nurgle LC right behind him.

Chaos Favours are quite powerful, but they just enhance the existing playstyles without creating anything new. Khorne is an okay close range offence upgrade with a little defensive bonus. Nurgle can be used both for offence on close range brawlers, and as a defense on a long range ships(aka don't come too close or you'll regret it). Tzeench is powerful in order to cloak your whole fleet so you could not be targeted. Slaanesh is great to have against specific threats like Eldar or carriers, and just good in any other situation.

Against other races.

VS Navy: bombers or lances are you friends, just try to kite and stay as far away as possible. Good Navy admiral will destroy you at close range.

VS Chaos it's either Slaughters chasing kiters, mirror brawling fleets, or a game of vision with 2 long range fleets. Aka try to tag an enemy with a beacon without getting tagged yourself.

VS Eldar - Beacons, carriers, Tzeeench and Slaanesh, bang, you won. Or Slaughters with MWJ and Slaanesh if you really hate eldar and just want to ram them - less reliable, as it needs more skill to be executed properly, but quite fun. Against very good eldar player you can still lose 1-2 ships in the process, but still, if you know what to do and you got ships with good levels, you will most likely win.

VS Orks If we're talking about usual orks, only long range kiter fleets are viable, lance and carrier both, DO NOT come close. If we're talking about curent Zzaps... well, 2x Tzeench Styx and 2x Slaughters(with Nurgle and maximum tankiness plus AP ammo) strat works for me. Brace for Impact with Slaughters, go in with them while carriers deal damage from 12k range, ram his formation as much as you can, one ship into the other, try to stay in the rear of ork ships, as far away from the Zzaps as you can, and try to explode your Slaughters as close to enemy as possible... When Slaughters die, kite with Styx, stay invisible as long as you can, DO NOT get tagged with the beacon at all cost. And that's hard, but possible way to victory.

VS SM Well, long range with at least some carriers(against boarding torps) is the safest bet against 2x Battle Barge. But be careful, if a good player will catch your fleet with a MWJ on a BB, you will lose your fleet very fast.

Well, this race currently has only 2 viable ways to play with some bonuses, depending on how you upgrade your ships and crew.

1) Pulsar runs with some carrier capacity.

2) Kiting carrier fleet.

*) Bonus playstyles in form of strong favours.

Currently almost all eldar ships with the exception of Voidstalker are very weak at the start, which is why there are so few eldar players overall. But if you get levels, favours and the right upgrades, even Solaris can become deadly.

Pulsars in this game are quite infamous, mostly because of their OP reign of terror in the past. But even then they could be beaten. And now... A Voidstalker with pulsars can be a nightmare. To people who are bad at this game, do not know how to kill it, do not have a couter yet at their disposal or just ignore it. Then VS and the rest of the eldar fleet can destroy everything. But if you tag a VS with a beacon, focus it and chase it only, well, then then you will see just how weak can an Eldar fleet be. I personally do not think that pulsars currently are a good strategy, considering how easy you can beat it. But I had to include it here, considering that most of Eldar players still use it. If Eclipse pulsars would have 9k range as well and just 1 launch bay(or other way around, 4000 range, but way more damage on a single run aka big risk big reward play), pulsars could be good. But currently, you just need to kill a VS fast enough, and you've won.

And Eldar carrier fleet... well, that's the most interesting one. And may be quite OP, more below. With this build you can have up to 8 launch bays in 600p games, which deal 960 raw damage, while Chaos 12 launch bays at 600p deal 1080. But damage is not the OP part here, but how reliable it is. If you take an Eagle Pilot upgrade, in order for you ordinance to be destroyed it needs to fail 2 tests, one with 35% chance of being hit, and other with 40% chance of being destroyed(while other races ordinance has 70% chance of being destroyed with pilots upgrades) thanks to Dodge trait. After all recent eldar launch bays buffs, considering, how hard it is to catch an eldar fleet which just runs without stopping, this... is a bit too strong, and Dodge needs to get reduced to 10-15%.
If you take Alaitos Favour, you have a free "going back into being a blip" card, so, unlike Chaos carrier fleet, you can use Reload all the time to increase you DPS as well. Starcannons with 9k range are actually useful in this build, as you need to get shields down in order to tag enemies with beacons. With such combo, you can just stay at 12 range and send waves after waves of ordinance. Your biggest counter however is a counter carrier fleets.

So, what about favours... considering, that the smaller Eldar ship is, the weaker it is than it should be, favours fix that quite nicely by being very powerful the more of them you have. While Alaitos and Saim Hann are just enhancing already existing playstyles(Carriers and Pulsars), Biel-Tan and Ulthwe are creating sub playstyles, that are not typical to eldar without them. Biel-Tan turns Eldar into a dangerous lightning strike users with permanent crits enabled, even if is quite a risky strategy for eldar ships. And Ultwe is great, when you can bring down enemy shields and storm 1-2 of his ships. This strategy can be quite deadly, if you have enough Ultwe ships.

Against other races.
Generally, do not get spotted for as long as you can. Beacons are Eldar bain.

VS Navy - well, Pulsar fleets are okay here, even if carrier fleets are way more safe, as good Navy player can do some mischief while you trying to shoot your Pulsars. But 3-4 Nova cannons or Emperor with long range Overlords(second strat needs more testing however, but Ramming Voidstalkers with MWJ Emperor is quite fun) can wreck you.

VS Chaos - do not be in 6k range of any okay player with Slaanesh ever. And try not to be in 10k range or any good chaos player ever as well(you can be be at 9k range only if you want to take shelds down in order to place beacons). Only carriers really work here, as Pulsar Eldar fleet is really easy to kill with Chaos.

VS Eldar - Starcannons and bombers are your friend. Also, Ultwe's Maelstorms are very, very dangerous in eldar to eldar combat.

VS Orks - if you're against regular ork - well, I've yet to see a strategy, with which regular brawling ork could beat Eldar, unless it's a Nova ork fleet with belt armour. Would like some good ork players opinion on that one. VS Zzaps - do not get spotted and tagged with beacons, or you're dead.

VS SM - well, this is kinda unfair fight. Just have your defensive fighters ready and beat them to death from 9k range. Good Battle Barge admirals can do some mischief however.

Well, this is the most universal and flexible race of all(and currently with the best shield and good armour tanking), so it's very hard for me to clearly allocate their best playstyles, but I'll try anyway.

1) 4 Nova cannons with MWJ trick and a close range brawling(Marses+Dictators).

2) Powerful macro broadsides with universal range(up to 12k, just needs 2 upgrades to be good) with torpedoes(Overlords+Emperor/Retribution).

3) Close range brawlers with torpedos and enhanced ramming(mostly tyrants and Overlords).

4) Dauntless mk1 prow wolf pack with Emperor support.

One very important trick with broadsides DPS for everyone - Imperial broadsides are slow firing, and you got 2 of them. Unless you're between 2 ships, half of your broadside DPS is wasted, and here's an easy fix to that - right after when one of your broadsides fired, issue an 180% turn with special maneuvers. If you do not want the broadside fire to be wasted on the other ship(broadside during this maneuver will fire on the first ship it can, not on your original target), issue Cease Fire command as well before the maneuver. You can also fire off your torps during that maneuver. This does not work on the Battleships hovewer. Well, unless you want to waste an MWJ for that. It's quite macro intensive, yes, but worth it for a big ships.

Also Navy got the best escort in the game, called Widowmaker. Use him well for detection.

So, Nova cannons spam can be quite powerful even at long range, but only if you're really lucky. Better to use them at minimal range and on targets that already do not have shield(poor, poor Eldar), as shields are really good at absorbing Novas damage, and overcharged shields leave you with 0 damage done even to shields. But Nova igrores armour, and that means it is really strong against it. MWJ trick can help you when you're engaged in brawl already and your target has lost his shields. You jump with all your ships away from it, but facing towards it, and cast all of your Novas on it. It can cripple enemy ships very fast, considering that with 4 Novas you do from at least 200 up to 800(if very lucky) pure damage on its hull.

Nothing to say really about macro broadsides with universal range - just use the broadside trick above, shoot torps well, use Lock On on the long range and Brace for Impact in close, and be smart about how you engage different fleets, and that's about it.

Same with Close range brawlers. However, they can be powerful against one enemy, but really weak against many other threats. Not the best composition against everything.

But Dauntless mk1 Wolf Pack... oh boy, that's my favorite. Big prow lance DPS, plus some Macro, plus 75 armor against the macro of a ship you're attacking... and those ships are really great at chasing too! Very strong fleet, but can die quite fast as well, so do not leave it doing nothing under fire.

Favours: quite strong as well, Mechanicus for their upgrades(usually best favour for Cruisers and Battlecruisers), Inquisition for its crew bonus(best upgrade for battleships, especially for the Emperor), Space Marines... well, they are okay, but mostly on Dauntless. But only Navy favour creates a new type of sub playstyle aka "Wait for reinforcements to arrive". It's very micro intensive and you better have at least 4 ships with this favour(best to be used with Dauntless, both versions are good), with the right crew and Reload used at the start. But against certain threats(like Space marines) it's very much worth it.

Against other races.

VS Navy - there are so many ways to fight and win against other Navy, that I wont even try it. But try to have some Lances and AP ammo.

VS Chaos - better to have a good chasing brawling and ramming fleet against chaos, even if outshooting chaos at long range can work sometimes(I kid you not, it does).

VS Eldar - at least 3 Novas or 2 long range Overlords with the Emperor cover. Widowmaker is a very nice thing to have too. And beacons. Always have beacons.

VS Orks - against brawling fleet - Emperor with his amazing 10k range escape is a must bait to have. Besides that, you can go either Novas, carriers, Overlords, even Gothics... anything with 9k range or more. And you better to kite, yes. Also, use melta torps against orks. But against current Zzaps - as a Navy better to just warp out, but, considering, that Orks usually got weak shields with this setup, Dictators Novas can do some damage. Then just scream FOR THE EMPRAH!, Brace for Impact, go in, and try to stay behind ork ships. Dunno if it will actually work hovewer.

VS SM - forget about macros. After the AP ammo nerf if you try to go in close Macro battle with 2x Battle Barges, you will be destroyed. You either need to go for at least 2x Gothic(this ship is like a perfect counter to SM) or for 4x Dauntless 1 shooting Lance from the prow with Navy favour and Emperor in support(if it's 700 points). Why Navy? It kinda counters Librarian plus it gives you Cobras. Which have torpedos, and torpedos are great against SM. Very micro intensive, but you can win with it.

And yes, sadly I'm not familiar enough with SM and Orks to make a post about them too. Hope someone can fill this gap.
Last edited by Zeblasky on 03 July 2016, 13:22, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Current meta of different races aka all of their strong builds

Postby McNash » 03 July 2016, 04:24

I use the dauntless 1 wolfpack with SM favour, AP and Mezoa, they work great for assassination games as usually you can catch nearly everything, they can also do a decent job in data recovery, particularly if you invest in navigators, lately I have switched from techpriest to navigators as it's far easier to have these guys pull back than hope the low hp recovery saves a burning ship, if you already have all your ships at level 10 then is not that much of a deal to simply warp out.

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Re: Current meta of different races aka all of their strong builds

Postby Halstead » 03 July 2016, 16:51

Don't forgot that in addition to granting an skill slot, the Mech favour also reduce renown cost on anything for the equipped ship including repair cost and upgrade/skill costs.

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Joined: 15 May 2016, 21:59

Re: Current meta of different races aka all of their strong builds

Postby Zeblasky » 03 July 2016, 17:01

Halstead wrote:Don't forget that in addition to granting an skill slot, the Mech favour also reduce renown cost on anything for the equipped ship including repair cost and upgrade/skill costs.

I think this actually is more of a bug, which is left from the original Mech favour bonuses? I'm kinda okay with it, just wondering if this is intentional.

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