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EPIC: Mechanised Marines Playtest #1

3 Minute Read
May 8 2010
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To those who thought maybe I died, I’ve been gone that long…you’re not far wrong—my new RealLifeJob(tm) is SMASHING ME MERCILESSLY, and time for Epic playing, let Epic along article writing, is somewhat thin on the ground.

But you’re not here to read my whining. Noooo. My readers want The Epicness! I invite all three of you to read on…

BRINGING MUDDY BACK
In my last post, I lamented the fact that Mechanised Marines (aka “mud marines”) forces—and the Land Raider in particular—in Epic:Armageddon are not fielded because they are not competitive, and I pitched my thoughts for rectifying that; namely, by adding greater flexibility to Marines armoured formations without adversely impacting balance.

To that end, I put forward army list changes like these:

Land Raider formation (4 Land Raiders base): 300pts [reduced from 350pts]
Options:
0-2 Land Raiders at 80pts each
=OR= 0-2 Predator Annihilators at 75pts each
=OR= 0-2 Predator Destructors or Vindicators at 50pts each

I have since run a few playtest games to suss out the viability of these changes.

My testing indicated these formation changes achieved the goals of increasing flexibility and overall competitiveness of the Land Raider formation with little apparent impact to balance.

So I took my testing to the next level by using two new formations:

Predator Destructor formation (4 Predator Destructors): 200pts
Options:
0-2 Land Raiders at 80pts each
=OR= 0-2 Predator Annihilators at 70pts each
=OR= 0-2 Predator Destructors or Vindicators at 50pts each

Predator Annihilator formation (4 Predator Annihilators): 275pts
Options:
0-2 Land Raiders at 80pts each
=OR= 0-2 Predator Annihilators at 70pts each
=OR= 0-2 Predator Destructors or Vindicators at 50pts each

Note the way the pricing on the Land Raider option is balanced against the option cost of a Predator Annihilator. My playtesting to-date indicates this works well.

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Also worth noting is the equivalence and lower points cost assigned to the Predator Destructor and Vindicator. My experience thus far is that this 50pts price point works well; however, more testing is needed.

ONE PLAYTEST OF MANYFor the playtest battle pictured here, I utilised three maxed-out armoured formations as the pillar of my force, and added to this foundation a Landspeeder detachment and two Tactical detachments. I weighted the right-hand side of the table with formations in order to create a refused flank. I then placed Tactical formations closer to the middle in order to create the illusion of a balanced line of attack across the front. Thanks to this strategy, the Marines were able to initiate a decisive assault upon the right-hand flank that resulted in a crushing blow from which the Guard could not recover.





While the Marines had managed a decisive victory, my opponent was nonetheless happy this victory over his Guardsmen was due primarily to superior maneouvring by the Marines forces rather than the list changes. (And, it’s worth noting, he was very happy to have the opportunity to play an armoured “mud marines” list for a change; as mentioned previously, you pretty much never see Marine armour-oriented forces on the battlefield as there are too many other superior options in the current Codex Marines army list).

CONCLUSIONS
Blistering victory in this particulay game notwithstanding, this was a successful playtest. The other test games were much closer wins and losses (and one loss was utterly abysmal—oh the shame!) but also, I believe, quite successful, in that they all would seem to indicate the list changes I propose are quite balanced.

Nevertheless, more playtesting is needed, and input from interested third-parties is more than welcome.

~So, if anyone out there is keen to chip in and help playtest these changes, start a thread in the Lounge Epic forums and let me know how you go. Any and all feedback gratefully received.

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