Initial SM impressions

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CALiGeR190
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Initial SM impressions

Postby CALiGeR190 » 21 June 2016, 20:22

Well, I got my first Space Wolf Battlebarge and played a couple of dozen games against hard bots with all the different Cruiser variants and escorts, so from that I've developed a little bit of an idea of how they perform and all. May change my opinion yet, since they have just been released.

Some general stuff:
REALLY thick armour, but not a lot of health. Anything AP will ruin your day.
Torps wreck SM ships.
They have very little health to begin with, so a torp strike which ignore shields and armour basically OSKs almost any SM CL and cripples anything bigger... seriously stay away from torps as the SM

Really good at boarding. No surprise really. Much higher chance of succeeding assault actions and higher chance of crits.

Wont insubordinate if they cant jump.

Escorts: They're all pretty good, although expensive, really very simple.
They are all basically better versions of the standard IN escorts (which is lore accurate).
Despite the hike in price, they are all quite usable, even the supposed 'weakest' in my opinion: the Gladius, since it isn't improved over the Sword in terms of firepower and is only a little more durable for the significantly higher price. Only problem I really have with them is that they cant be spammed, but they really don't need to be in the case of the Nova and Hunter at least, with upgrades.

CLs:
Mk1 (torp variant): completely stock, this is basically a marginally better and more expensive Dauntless Mk2, but if you give it the upgrade for homing-boarding torps, the ship can be a beastly Ordnance cruiser which pretty much makes carriers a mandatory addition against SM if you want to deal with the Torp/thunderhawk swarms.

Mk2 (lance variant): At first glance, I assumed this one would be the worst of the bunch. You basically get 16 DPS that's AP instead of 30 DPS from a Bombardment cannon that is also AP and significantly higher crit: but she does have her place. For one the Bombardment Cannon isn't particularly accurate beyond 3K range, while the lance never misses, and it's much easier to increase the max effective engagement range of the lances. Basically, if you really want a fleet of longer-range chase-orientated warships then this is the best choice. Its also guaranteed 16 DPS as opposed to the often less reliable Bombardment cannon.

Mk3 (Bombardment variant): Undisputed as the best of the three when completely stock. The bombardment cannon it comes with, fresh out the box, gives you 30 DPS flat that ignores armour, on a very fast and very well armoured chassis. Also Bombardments Cannons do some grizzly things to ships if you mass them in your fleet.

SC:
Mk1 (Carrier variant): Basically a bigger brother to the Mk3 Vanguard. Bigger guns, more health, more carrier capacity. Very decent ship indeed, especially with upgrades.

Mk2 (Torp variant): This ship is REALLY strong with the homing torps, boarding on Overpowered given the number of torps can be put out which seek their targets without a range limit, otherwise It's a very competitive brawling cruiser. Would defiantly recommend taking at least one, especially if you aren't making any specific builds.

Mk3 (lance variant): Really strong ship if you keep it frontal, I mean it, really REALLY strong. You get 69 (gigity) flat DPS that ignores armours, 24 of that of that guaranteed to hit and do damage. Very dangerous cruiser, with good frontal range, that really doesn't need many upgrades to be dangerous.

*Won't go into the Battlebarges just yet, since I only played one of them, and only played one or two with that one... will get back on my impressions on that.
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Imperator5
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Re: Initial SM impressions

Postby Imperator5 » 21 June 2016, 21:24

I'm not sure if that is a genuine review, a joke, or are you trying to out-sarcasm Randy Marsh. I'll just copypaste this here.

Okey, I managed to grind my admiral to level 8. The animations are lovely and the ships are very beautiful, and I only unlocked the Smurfs yet!

So far, the impressions are lets say, mixed balance wise.

The race feels really underpowered until they get the battlebarge. The -200 health is crippling and goes against the faction's theme of being resilient. The 75 armour does not mean much, most factions have weapons that ignore armour, and those (green fellas) that do not have better than average ramming.

So in fact the Space marines feel like how Eldar should play. They are fast glass cannons with lots of forward firepower.

The Space marine escorts are more expensive than IN ones... and got +10 troop value and optional boarding torpedoes for the Hunter. Does not seem to merit the huge point costs.

Light cruisers:

The Vanguards, with a tiny health, simply die when sneezed on. Armour doesn't matter much, they go down in flames all the same. An Eclipse can blow one up without shields in one volley of pulsars.
The Thunderhawks got no Interceptor mode and need an Upgrade for bomber mode. The torpedoes need upgrade for boarding torpedoes and got no Short burn upgrade.

400 health, 100 shields, troop value 70, speed 225. They all got the same broadside macros and a single hangar.

Vanguard cruiser macrobattery: 6 damage, 3 attacks, 9 reload, 6k range. 2 Dps raw. Lotsa guns, you got a rival for most pathetic guns ever!

Mark 1 Torpedo - 118 points: These are pretty much useless without the 2 aforementioned upgrades. Fires 4 forward torpedoes.
Mark 1 Lance - 112 points: Got 2 prow lances with 8 damage 8 reload and 6k range. Would be ok for chasing, if anything ran away from it instead of ramming it to death.
Mark 1 Bombardment- 111 points: Got one Prow light bombardment cannon with a forward only angle. 30 damage, 15sec reload, 15% critical chance, armour piercing. I feel like this would be an OK brawler if the prow cannon could fire 270 degrees like on every other ship.

Cruisers.

Strike cruisers suffer from the same problem as Vanguards. They are actually light cruisers and are fragile, and do not measure up to real cruisers at all. They would pack a mean broadside for a light cruiser, but for a real cruiser they don't. The fact that Thunderhawks need the upgrade to be bombers makes them even less imposing, since its a mandatory upgrade. Same for boardint torps.

600 health 100 shields 700 troop value 188 speed. They all got the same broadside armament and 1 Dorsal Bombardment cannon.

Strike Cruiser macrobattery: 18 damage, 12 reload, 4 shots, 6k range. Basically the same as a Dominator's, except these guys only got one of them not two. 6 dps raw.

Bombardment cannon: 45 damage, 15 reload, 6k range , 22,5% critical chance. Armour Piercing like a lance. 3 dps raw. 270 degrees. This is a really nice choice of hardware, thought it needs lock-on to be accurate.

Mark 1 - Hangar 154 points : 2 Hangars. At least this variant can broadside easily. Needs Thunderhawk upgrade.
Mark 2 - Torpedoes 147 points : 6 prow torpedoes. Needs boarding torpedo upgrade.
Mark 3 - Lance 140 points : Has a heavy prow lance with 24 damage, 8 reload, 9k range. 3 dps raw. Makes a good chaser, but less broadside potential.

Battlecruisers: there are none, you get 4 cruisers and 2 battlebarges at levels 6 and 8.

Battleship:

Very expensive but rather good, these are the only ships that do not feel like they are made of wet cardboard. You can have two but they are exorbitantly priced. They also need a lot of upgrades to function well.

1200 hull, 400 shield, 150 speed, 70 troops and 3 hangars plus a single set of broadside batteries are standard.

Battlebarge broadside battery: 24 damage, 10 reload, 5 shots, 9k range. 12 raw dps.

Mark 1 - Bombardment 306 points: The only ship that really feels good out of the bunch. Has 3 bombardment cannons and 6 prow torpedoes. It can give out a nice broadsiding of 12+3x3=21 dps. It does not pack a Retribution's range or torpedo attack, but it can really dish out broadside hurt. Giving it AP shells and setting it loose is sweet vengeance for having the floor wiped with you for 6 admiral levels. This is a powerful ship. But for 306 points it should be. I feel like it is on par powerwise with its point cost.
Mark 2 - Lance 309 points: Has 3 dorsal lances with 12 damage, 12 reload and 12k range, and 2 heavy prow lances with 24 damage, 8 reload, 9k range. For its point cost, it is rather underwhelming and suffers from the same problem as the Hades/Murder. It can not bring all of its weapons to bare, and space marines only got the Range upgrade for lances. This would be a good ship to chase down enemies, for 200 points.

All space marine ships also got better boarding attacks, with double subsystem damage chance and reducing enemy troop value by 10.

I feel like all ships except the Battlebarges are extremely weak and fragile for Space marines. Everybody and their pet Squig ignores armour, and even if they did not, the -200 health really kicks them in the powergroin.
The cruisers are all undergunned, and this should be more than enough to compensate for the 75 armour.

Boarding torpedoes and Thunderhawk bombers needing an upgrade is really bad too. Eldar and Chaos lance fleets wreck Space marines like nothing before. Orks ignore the armour and ram them to death. I could score a few wins against Navy with very lucky criticals, but RNG is fickle and their ships are tougher and more powerful. Were it against a living player, the IN would have annihilated me with rammings. Only faction I could beat on easy ai without getting very lucky was, ironically, space marines.
The only ship I can enjoy is the battlebarge with the bombardment cannons. Even the lance one is underwhelming. I could live with that if it was cheap, but it is the most expensive ship in the entire game.

Favours: You can only have one per fleet.
Master of Sanctity: Ability makes you immune to all boardings for 30 seconds. 180 cooldown. Unlocks Chaplain crew member, reduces cooldown by 5 seconds for each point. Feels really nice, but I feel like 5 second reduction is just too little.
Chief Librarian: Forces the enemy to pass a leadership test or be insubordinate. Unlocks librarian crew member who gives 10%(?) bonus chance to make them insubordinate per point. Not sure what the basic chance is, should be in the tooltip.
Chapter Master: Gives your whole fleet a bonus to their special orders, or gives your ship a bonus to resisting boardings. You can switch between these permanent modifiers with an ability. Unlocks Chapter master crew member. Points given into him make his passive bonuses better. I feel like the fleet wide bonus is just plain better.
Master of the Forge: Gives +1 upgrade slot. Unlocks Master of the Forge crew member who gives you +1 upgrade slot for each point, for a total maximum of +4 upgrade slots. Best upgrade ever. Put it on the Bombardment Battlebarge you get at level 6. Put all your renown into upgrading this ship. Save up as much renown before as you can.
Laugh manaically as the battlebarge sweeps in and takes sweet, sweet vengeance with massive broadsides for 6 levels of humilitatian and being the butt monkey of every other race.

Oh and if your prow blows, like orks, all the stuff on it blows. So you are more vulnerable to critical damage than any other faction, since SM weapons are either single broadside batteries for the whole deal, or all in the prow.

Also, bombardment AP is currently bugged and not applying. Not sure if taking AP ammo upgrade fixes it at 3k or not.

Also, you may want to freshen your elementary school math up.

Bombardment cannons are THREE dps, not THIRTY. 45damage/15seconds=3dps.
Last edited by Imperator5 on 21 June 2016, 21:57, edited 1 time in total.
http://forum.battlefleetgothic-armada.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=621

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Re: Initial SM impressions

Postby Bludfist » 21 June 2016, 21:34

i freaking hate playing vs eldar as SM
Chaos walking into Aldorf be like
Spoiler : :
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Re: Initial SM impressions

Postby Halstead » 21 June 2016, 21:56

Vanguard Mk1 has Four Torpedoes though. Not 2.

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Re: Initial SM impressions

Postby CALiGeR190 » 21 June 2016, 22:08

Bludfist wrote:i freaking hate playing vs eldar as SM

Yeah those are always the harder battles.
Only time I actually lose ships as the SM is always against Eldar.
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Re: Initial SM impressions

Postby Avlaen » 21 June 2016, 22:16

CALiGeR190 wrote:
Bludfist wrote:i freaking hate playing vs eldar as SM

Yeah those are always the harder battles.
Only time I actually lose ships as the SM is always against Eldar.


so far im crushing every sm who dosent have a battle barge. :p

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Re: Initial SM impressions

Postby CALiGeR190 » 21 June 2016, 22:36

Avlaen wrote:so far im crushing every sm who dosent have a battle barge. :p

Eldar? Shouldn't surprise me even if you wherent. Most are still learning the ropes of the faction.
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Re: Initial SM impressions

Postby FieserMoep » 22 June 2016, 01:22

SM are really underwhelming so far and the fact that you cant even aim for a decent ship in 2v2 makes it even worse. I only play 2v2 and as it stands I cant get anything else than Escorts and Light Cruisers for the price of an actual Cruiser.
The Feedback of Imperator is pretty accurate and one has to wonder if they intended to implement them that way so later adjustments might be taken more favorably by the community.

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Re: Initial SM impressions

Postby BanjoJohn » 22 June 2016, 01:28

I haven't really though of a good system of skills to take on ships for fleet synergy, I've just been taking the 'place or attach' probes on vanguards and stasis bombs and attach probes on strike cruisers, still no battlebarge yet.

Upgrades in general seem a little unfocussed, I wouldnt mind the space marine ships having lower armor if you could give them the +100 hull upgrade, at least they can take +100 shields.

The upgrade that makes your lightning strikes treat enemy ships as having 10 less troop value is nice, but it seems weaker than upgrades which make lightning strikes have 2 assault actions instead of just one.

Bombardment cannons were stronger than lances in TT Battlefleet gothic, they both would hit on a 4+, and since lances 'automatically hit' in this game I figured they probably would automatically hit in this one as well, but that doesnt appear to be the case.

Is it just me, or do the space marine ships seem to have too slow of a turning rate compared to the tabletop?

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Re: Initial SM impressions

Postby Valthic » 22 June 2016, 02:10

Worthless. As i imagined.

This is my first impression of SM ships. Overpriced, undergunned, and tough as a toilet paper sheet. Cardboard is too much for them.

To strike some sort of balance with SM bombers and torps should start hitting target's worst armor. That way ordnance could still be some sort of danger to anyone else and not the "1-button-doom" they are to SM.

Just my 2 cents.


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