Thursday, January 17, 2013

SSU Tournament Time

Well, the time has almost arrived. Saturday is the tournament over at Huzzah Hobbies, and aside from a few rules questions everybody is locked and loaded. I gave my tournament army a go yesterday, and aside from a fluke shot destroying my Matrioshka in one go, I'm fairly impressed with the performance of my force. Now to finish up painting the new additions to my force (in the form of Chinese Volunteers and another SSU Battle Squad). The Matrioshka and Natasha are ready to go (as soon as they get varnished) and I've dullcoted the rest of my force.

Everything is coming together.

Now, despite losing my only test game, I've got to figure out how to pull together and employ the battle plan I've envisioned. Lots of suppression, lots of bullets, and walker superiority early on. The Matrioshka should send a few shots into enemy anti-tank walkers (hopefully either crippling or destroying them) and then proceed to advance forward with the rest of my line. Even once its main guns are rendered ineffective (mass walker death) the advance of the KV3 will be useful as it still boasts two machineguns to whittle down infantry. The KV47 will assist in keeping enemy troops pinned down with its pair of howitzers which boast the "Grenade" rule allowing them to inflict suppression regardless of weather they hit or not. Of course when being barraged by ten dice worth of cover-ignoring shrapnel I'm likely to off infantry any way. My concern is Infantry 3 units. I have nothing to efficiently destroy them with aside from my snipers. Should I lose them to things like enemy snipers (who tend to hit much more often) I will be fighting an uphill battle. My worst fear is an Infantry 3 Allied air-drop army. Its speed and maneuverability will cause big problems for my thin red line which is designed to sweep forward gradually and lay down a hail of gunfire. Seeing as we Soviets have some of the most expensive Infantry 2 units around, and no Infantry 3, it's also entirely possible that I'll be outnumbered. I really don't expect that to go very well either.

The SSU shoots. A lot. the problem is that our effective range is 6-12 inches away from the enemy. Opponents who blob up and wait for me to come to them will have two advantages. First of all, they out-range me. most rifles in Dust have a 16" range, but not the SSU where our guns shoot twelve inches. We trade those extra four inches of range for an extra shot against Infantry 2. In doing so, however, we must advance to within reaction range of the enemy. This leads to shooty death of our squads, or simply being suppressed so that we can either move into our weapons' effective range OR return fire. When the enemy skirts around your range and suppresses you, there's not too much you can do about it. It's really frustrating getting your troops into position.

...And then there are the Fakyeli. Our flamethrower squads are not "Fast", and so have to move 6" into position and then shoot 6". This means they have to be used with far more care than their Allied or Axis counterparts. What we get instead (for the same point cost) is "Assault". So I can move 12" and do nothing at the end, but you can only react to the beginning of my movement. The only real use I've found for this rule is rushing an entrenched enemy unit and hoping I get fewer orders than they do in the next turn. This just seems like an awfully big gamble to me. They do scare opponents however, and therefore attract a lot of fire, but why is a mystery to me. Sure, the Yakov + Fakyeli + Grizzled Veterans combo (which costs 44 points) is nasty, but a squad without this makeup is a non-threat. as soon as they move into position all a smart opponent has to do is react and blow them off the table. I mean it when I say they're tough to use.

So I have settled on this army list for the tournament:

Faction: SSU ( 300 / 300 )

---  Defense Platoon (190)
Command Section: "The Medvedi" SSU Command Squad (25)
1st Section: "Frontoviki" SSU Battle Squad (20)
2nd Section: "Frontoviki" SSU Battle Squad (20)
3rd Section: "Frontoviki" SSU Battle Squad (20)
Support: KV-3 K "Matrioshka" (65)
Support: KV47-B "Natasha" (40)

---  Defense Platoon (110)
Command Section: Yakov (21, Hero)
1st Section: "Fakyeli" SSU Close Combat Squad (21)
    + Grizzled Veterans (2)
2nd Section: "Fakyeli" SSU Close Combat Squad (21)
    + Rat Fighters (1)
3rd Section: "Chinese Volunteers" SSU Auxiliary Attack Squad (15)
    + Rat Fighters (1)
Support: "Jnetzi" SSU Sniper Team (14)
Support: "Jnetzi" SSU Sniper Team (14)
Lots of machineguns, which extend my threat range to 16", and enable me to get into shootouts with enemy troops. Two sniper teams allow me to threaten heavily armored enemies, like the dreaded Infantry 3. A Fakyeli squad with "Rat Fighters" permits them to hop over line of sight obstructing buildings almost as effortlessly as troopers with "Jump". Then there's the surprise unit, the Chinese Volunteers. Deeply hated by most SSU players, they're 15 points for a squad with five sub machineguns and grenades. If they can get into range they can unleash hell. Many opponents won't even bother reacting to them, and if they do it takes heat off of the rest of my line. If I had another squad I'd run them instead of the second Fakyeli unit and use the leftover points to give my snipers "Walker Dissection". Alas, they're really rather expensive (dollar wise) and would leave me with a second transport helicopter I would likely never use.

In the end I'm not 100% sold on this army (just mostly), but barring a second squad of Chinese Volunteers falling out of the sky, it's what's hitting the table.

Here goes nothing...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Interweb Outage

Well, my home internet has crashed and Cox has been far less than helpful in assisting us trying to get things back up and running. Due to them wanting to charge us $100+ to get the service we pay them for back, we're switching to Verizon FiOS. Because of this switchover I'll be without internet for a little while, at least until Saturday night. This internet blackout leads to me being unable to post the article I wanted to share on me painting the newest Super Dungeon Explore minis. I promise I'll have that article up ASAP. In return I offer you geek cheesecake. Don't let this image fool you, it's not just Princess Leia at her slave girl best, it's also a hint as to which game system I've taken the plunge into.
Maybe tomorrow I'll slap something together here at work when I upload all my images onto my flash drive, but Internet Explorer won't let me add pictures to my folder. It's a bit annoying to tell you the truth. Any way, I hope to have these problems resolved ASAP, but it could be a while until something of substance comes from here.
Fair warning.