Guest Editorial by Loopy on Stronghold Assault

Loopy brings us his experience and opinions on Void Shields in competitive play. Check out his blog, WAAGH DrillTeef for more of his work!

Last weekend I played in a tournament where we were trying out the Stronghold Assault rules which I was totally game for.  One of the teams, a Taudar list, brought two Void Shield Generators with three shields each.  They overlapped the shields so as to create a bubble of approximately 16″ x 20″ which they filled with models. This made it extremely difficult to pod in with any effectiveness.  I must say that it was a largely extremely frustrating game.  I can see why much of our community feels that, even they do embrace Stronghold Assault in some fashion, that Void Shield Generators should not be on the list of allowed Fortifications in competitive play.

I’ve had a few days to think about it and I’m starting to think that perhaps a ban on Void Shield Generators should be enacted with caution and certainly with a great deal of thought.

A lot of people, when they think about how broken something in the game is, they look at Space Marines. Many power armored armies are notoriously medium range and shooty.  The Void Shield really does negatively affect them more than anyone else.  Their buckets of bolter fire at 12 to 18″ are completely useless against a Void Shield and it takes a lot of heavier weaponry to take them out before the real shooting can begin.

Long-range shooty armies, of course, benefit a great deal from these models.  They can camp up and launch a fusillade of missiles and cannon fire while their opponents must either advance or fire uselessly at shields until they can start making any hay.  One could easily argue that a long-range army which takes Void Shields may have a gross advantage over a long-range army which does not.  This could be a real problem, especially if you’re trying to shoot through four or six shields per turn.

Assault armies, one might assume, stand to gain little to no benefit from Void Shields.  I’d like to respectfully disagree.  A lot of armies out there are more than capable of tearing to pieces well over 300 points of models in a turn with long-range firepower.  These armies rip into monstrous creatures, vehicles, and infantry alike on the first turn, crippling the enemy before they even get to do anything.

Void Shield Generators could be the answer many armies such as Tyranids and Orks are looking for to bring the balance back.  Also, I’m sure all of you ‘Nid players are scratching your heads trying to figure out what to do with all those spore pods anyways.

The idea is to deploy your shields at about the 6″ mark and to fill the back field with models under your shields.  This way, any first turn drop pod assault is denied and if the enemy does want to get close and shoot you, they will be in assault range the next turn.

You can go two ways with this, either zoom forward in turn one and go for the turn 2 assault, or turtle for a turn, then advance after the shields are expended.  In both cases, if it doesn’t look like a unit will be able to assault on turn 2 or if it is a key unit like a Synapse creature, go ahead and leave it’s butt sticking in the shield.

Of course, your mileage may vary based on opponent.

Now, this does not fix the problem of Void Shield Generators not being fun for most Space Marine armies and armies like them.  I propose that folks try out Void Shields, including the Void Shield Generators in their games, however, I also propose that you try them in two different ways.

  • Method 1:  13″ minimum distance between Void Shield Generators. This method would still allow for easy access to both generators for your key units, but other models would have to be outside or only under one shield.  This would also negate one shield protecting another.
  • Method 2:  25″ minimum distance between Void Shield Generators.  This would allow for some moderate protection of your army and allow a much smaller number of units to take advantage of the shields.

In either case, the idea is to allow your opponent the chance to bring down one shield and either destroy the generator or focus on one flank at a time.  I think this might balance out the Fortification and also help some armies that are perceived by our community to be stuck in the mire of competitive mediocrity.  I could see this Fortification really helping Tyranids and really almost making horde armies completely viable, but people need to try it out in the field.

I understand that some folks do prefer blanket bans over picking and choosing from a release for one reason or another, but I think that, in the case of Stronghold Assault and competitive play, it is the most reasonable and logical course of action.

Please let me know if you give it a try and let me know how it works out for you.

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6 Responses to “Guest Editorial by Loopy on Stronghold Assault”

  1. Avatar
    Kraggy January 17, 2014 1:42 am #

    Simple Answer.

    Allow the fortifications from Stronghold, deny the fortification formations.

    The prevents a lot of the fussing that these Void Shields will cause.

    I personally feel that the Void Shield generators have a fair number of issues even using just one.

    If I shoot at a unit within the 12″ bubble with a blast weapon and I miss, scattering onto open space, I should still be able to resolve that weapon attack against the void shield, its a shield protecting an area. Although thats just a minor gripe to be honest lol.

    Void Shields are almost a must have for an assault army. Tyranids for Example would greatly benefit from 3 x Void Shields, granting them the cover to get close enough to deal with those pesky enemies they want to much.

    The other problem with Void Shields is the lack of a model, which given the rules of (measure from some point of the model) leaves peoples ‘conversions’ open to massive abuse, the cynic in me talking I know.

    If we allow them at my local tournaments, as one of the TO’s my initial thoughts are to tweak the rules so that it is measure from the centre of the model, at least until something official comes out.

    Overall the Stronghold Assault book is great.

    The 55 point bunker is a cheap alternative to a bastion, the Firestorm Redboubt provides good cover for troops with lots of them capable of shooting out, although its Offensive fire is not great as you get no choice in what it shoots.

    For me the outstanding winners are the Vengeance Weapon batteries with Quad Lascannons, two of those rocking in at 150 points is amazing value. While BS2 isnt great at least they get to pick and choose their targets, and not having them on the same buidling means a refocus of the enemy fire to benefit from them.

    On a side note the base of this model is what I will use for any Void Shields I may build myself.

  2. Avatar
    Mr E January 17, 2014 9:06 am #

    I think this article touche’s on a very important meta point, everyone who is complaining that tyrranids is a garbage pile turd mountain, I feel that it is very important to weight these things that also just dropped and maybe see that GW is pulling the giant wool sock over our heads and they really do intent to make these fortifications and formations an almost must have like flyers where in the summer of 2012. lets just see maybe for all we know the nids are not garbage but the most unbreakable codex in the game right now, we all said it for eldar at first, ya big daddy wriathknight sucks the small D for sure.

  3. Avatar
    Mike January 17, 2014 9:56 am #

    Well written article Loopy.
    …How do you find the time to go to tournaments and be omnipresent on the HPC? ; )

    • Avatar
      Adam Fasoldt January 17, 2014 11:24 am #

      Thanks!

      My secret is my Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Tappatalk app. I can really get a lot of posting done at odd times like while waiting for something to load at work or on lunch.

      Or waiting for a light to turn green.

      Or between turns at tournaments.

      😀

  4. Adam
    Adam January 17, 2014 1:18 pm #

    I really do like the book, and overall I think it does work to improve the game, but I could see tournaments restricting Fortification Networks, as well as Massive Fortifications (ie – Aquila, though maybe even the Fortress of Redemption for the sake of size).

    One void shield generator on the board wont ruin the game. In general, I really like how the book does open up more variety of fortifications in general.

    • Avatar
      Interrogator_Chaplain January 19, 2014 12:09 pm #

      That opens up precedence though. First we ban the Fortress of Redemption for size, what’s next?

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