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I've finally realised that I love the idea of Battlefleet Gothic and have been mulling ideas around in my head all day for an Imperial Navy starter force. I may have too pathological love for torpedos, so feel free to slap the following list down:
Mars class Battlecruiser
Lunar class Cruiser
Lunar class Cruiser
4 Cobra class Destroyers
750 points exactly
I realise there are very few ships in this list, but I wasn't sure what else to do for an all-comers list. I am missing a gunboat, so maybe one of the Lunars could be switched to a Gothic.
My basic strategy would be to close off much of the board through use of torpedos and attack craft, and while the enemy ships are funneled into a particular area start crossing their T with the ships-of-the-line, using the nova cannon to pick off any stragglers that are separated from the main battlegroup by torpedos. The Cobras would be there to deploy some tactical torpedos where I most needed them.
Does that strategy even make sense? Any thoughts?
Its a lot better than mine. I'm collecting a space marine fleet, and i cant seem to focus on anything but how to mount my Thunderhawk ordnance. 3500 points assembled without a lick of paint, not even an undercoat yet. Good luck sir, and sorry i could not offer sound advice.
Jager bombs. Very efficient at wiping out friend or foe.
Looks like a decent list, but the whole area denial idea isn't all that viable.
Torpedoes are dangerous but far too easily avoided to deny territory - unless I've managed to get so close to a torpedo salvo that collision is inevitable, I simply move my ship a few centimeters to either side and watch them pass harmlessly. If my ship is moving across the torpedoes, the only way they hit me is if I'm dumb enough to let them do so. And once you're close enough for torpedoes to auto-hit (<30cm), you're fully engaged with the enemy fleet and definitely not caring about area denial anymore!! They're best treated as a semi-direct fire weapon - long hail-mary shots rarely work.
And even in a worst case scenario, a healthy Cruiser can barge its way through an average sized torpedo salvo without much fear - not a good situation, but not likely fatal unless the salvo is huge.
And attack craft aren't much use for area denial either... If you've got bombers scattered everywhere then they're going to be single squadrons, maybe some doubles. One enemy carrier can pick off several solo squadrons at once, punching a hole for the fleet, and any unused weapons on the enemy ships can go after them, too. Even if they get through to attack ships, arriving in ones and twos means that most if not all will just get wiped out by defensive turrets. Not to mention that most cruisers (particularly Chaos) can outrun bombers, and any Eldar or Necron admirals will just laugh as their insanely fast ships fly rings around you.
Bombers are all about numbers - one squadron gets jumped by fighters or killed by turrets. Two squadrons likely suffer the same fate, but might do some damage. Three squadrons are almost certainly going to do some damage, even with some losses. Four squadrons are a big threat unless there's a sizeable fighter group nearby to kill them off, and five, six or even more squadrons are going to cause massive damage, easily killing cruisers outright. FYI: fear the Styx class for exactly this reason!
Yeah, a Lunar and a Gothic working together would be a pretty good combo, you lose the volume of fire from the Lunar's weapon decks, but the Gothic's double strength Lance decks might be even more useful. They're essentially the same ship otherwise.
If you're not overly attached to the Mars, you might want to look at the Armageddon class from Armada. It swaps the Nova Cannon for a Torpedo salvo, and the launch bays for more lances. Quite a respectable gunship, really. Back it up with a Dictator for fighter support, a Gothic, Lunar, or Tyrant class, plus a 3 strong squadron of Cobras and you're ready to go.
You might also try experimenting with some light cruisers - they're a bit more fragile, but they're much cheaper and still pack a punch. Plus, having more targets (you might almost double the ship count!) might dilute enemy fire and keep the fleet going that much longer.
The reason for the Mars was that I was wanting a nova cannon in the fleet, but I'm not sure how vital it'll be in a small-scale engagement. Maybe a Dictator would be better? A Battlecruiser in a 750pt list does smell a bit like overkill to me. I'm not sure.
If I subbed in the Dictator for the Mars, and did an Armageddon-Dictator-Gothic cruiser line, as well as as many Cobras (or maybe Dauntless light cruisers) as I can squeeze out of my remaining points, would that be a decent fit? I'm still curious as to how much the loss of the Nova Cannon would matter.
As for the loss of the nova? It's hard to tell, really.
Think of it like a Basilisk in normal 40K - You've got to hit first, then it does a random amount of damage. If the Basilisk hits, it's good... Misses not so much. And if you roll lots of ones, or poorly for armour penetration, it's still not much good. The minimum range comes into effect here, too - the Nova ship has to lurk out on the edges of the battle if they want to keep firing and if they don't do telling damage, the other ships may find themselves facing a full scale fight with an enemy that's half again their strength, since the Battlecruiser's not there to support them.
By the same token, the Nova's only good if it doesn't scatter, and if you roll ones for its damage, it's accomplished very little indeed. If you hit and roll sixes (like my IN opponent does EVERY DAMNED TIME!!!), you'll cripple a cruiser in one shot. So you can definitely live without it, but when it works, it really works.
Then again, a really lucky Torpedo or Lance barrage can hurt pretty badly, too... Everything's relative, you see?