Now that the initial spoiler frenzy has passed, we can start to talk brass tacks about our colossal: Conquest.
First off: no grousing in this thread. If you're disappointed/unhappy with Conquest, I can definitely understand your perspective, and I respect your desire to discuss it; just please don't do that here. Start another thread for complaints/venting (or use the old spoilers thread we have hanging around.) I'd like to keep this discussion neutral/positive, with a focus on how we can use our new toy.
Next, stat/ability rundown (all stats are based off the Juggernaut.) Apologies if this is too vague (or specific) in places; not really sure how much the wording needs to be muddled for the forums, but I want to try and facilitate good discussion.
Also, while I'm certain of most of what I've posted, there are a few grey areas that I'm only 80% or so on; if anyone can clarify those, I'll update this accordingly.
DEF: -3 (*sad trombone*)
Damage Grid: 62 boxes (31 in each grid)
- Main Guns (Location: Superstructure)
RNG: Bombard + 1, ROF: as Bombard, AoE: +1" bigger than Bombard, POW: Bombard + 1.
Special Rule(s): Crit Devastation - as per Mule's gun; short version is everything in the template is thrown backwards in addition to suffering damage.
- Secondary Battery [x2] (One in Left Arc, One in Right Arc)
RNG: Hand cannon, ROF: hand cannon, AoE: as Bombard, POW: Hand cannon
Special Rule(s): Creeping Barrage - instead of firing, each non-crippled Secondary Battery can place two 3" templates completely within this weapon's range; templates must be placed centered at points in LoS (ignore intervening models for determining LoS for template placement.) Templates in pair must be within 1" of each other. Models entering or ending activations in templates take POW 6 blast damage. AoEs stay in play for one round, are removed if Conquest is killed.
Linked Guns - When making initial attacks with this weapon, after resolving the initial attack you can make an additional attack (ignoring ROF) against the same target as the initial attack with this weapon.
- Fist [x2] (One in Left Arc, One in Right Arc)
Melee weapon. P+S = Jugg's Ice Axe + 3.
Special Rules(s): Open Fist
So, what to make of all that? Well, there are a few other things to bear in mind when evaluating Conquest:
1) Basic colossal benefits: Immune to KD, Stationary, Disruption, control effects (i.e. Haley2's Domination,) innate Pathfinder, cannot be slammed, pushed, or placed, innate Reach on all melee weapons, access to extra power attacks (Power Strike and Sweep, as outlined on the Stormwall card posted here,) able to fire guns while engaged (and also possibly fire out of melee; need to confirm this with someone who has the NQ/book.)
2) Basic colossal drawbacks: Huge base (nothing blocks LoS except for other Huge bases, even terrain/smoke,) Pre-deployment, can't gain DEF bonuses from terrain/elevation/smoke (not like it would help Conquest anyways!), can be shot at in melee without penalty, can be targeted by CRAs while in melee, cannot move or be moved outside of their normal movement.
3) Arcs of Sight: Not something other factions are used to (the majority of Battle Engines didn't have guns specific to any arc of sight,) but with our Gun Carriage we have some practice with this. A gun can only shoot what's in it's arc, so even though you may have a bunch of guns, it can be tricky to bring them to bear on the same target. There are two exceptions to this: a) if a model is on the dividing line between the front arcs, it can be targeted by weapons in either arc, and b) so far as I know, a weapon located on the Superstructure can target models in either arc (need confirmation here.)
4) Warjack rules: colossals are, so far as the rules go, just big warjacks. They have the same focus allocation/spending rules, can be bonded, can be buffed using "target warjack(s)" buffs, and they can be included in any theme list that allows for non-character warjacks (barring other restrictions, such as "warjacks without ranged attacks.") They also suffer damage largely the same as a warjack (i.e. roll on the grid,) but the grid taking damage is based on which arc the attacker is in (damage laps over if a grid is filled mid-damage resolution.) As expected, an attacker with LoS to both arcs can choose which grid takes the damage.
5) System spread: unlike warjacks, who have their systems relatively clumped up, the systems of the colossals are spread out well across both grids. Moreover, a lot of those system boxes are reasonably deep in the grid, so taking out systems is going to require significant damage. As an example, in order to take out Conquest's cortex, you would need to do 46 damage, across 10 columns! That's much less likely to be sniped out than a normal warjack's cortex, which means Conquest will be dropping boosted attacks long after a normal warjack would be scrapped or rendered useless. Likewise, this make Mechaniks a really compelling inclusion, but more on that in a minute.
Due to when the spoilers came out (and when my buddy sent me the info from L&L,) I haven't been able to proxy Conquest yet, so all I have is theory. However, it's as good a place to start as any. When I get some proxy games in (hopefully in the coming weeks,) I'll post my impressions in this thread. Theorymachine time!
- First observation: Conquest is all about the Main Guns. Even with good 'ol Khador warjack RAT, it's a really nice gun, with a great set of stats and a fantastic critical effect. At least one focus a turn will be going into boosting that shot, and if you're firing at a harder target (better overall, since you're probably more likely to crit,) you might as well boost the damage too!
The Main Guns also have the virtue of being flexible, in that they can fire in either arc (again: need confirmation.) You can line up Conquest's facing for the best defensive posture for you (i.e. keeping one arc toward the enemy for damage, lining up Creeping Barrages/Secondary Battery shots,) while still shooting what you want with the Main Guns.
However, the Main Guns are also relatively easy to pick off: "just" 14 damage across two columns will do it (though I don't know how often in practice this will come up.) For this reason alone, I think Mechaniks are mandatory with Conquest; you need to keep those Main Guns online as long as humanly possible!
- Second observation: The Secondary Battery's are odd, but I think still useful. I'm still not 100% sure how the Linked Guns rule will work out in practice - against a target you're likely to hit, that POW hit isn't going to do much, and against infantry if you kill the initial target you're not getting the bonus shot (though I guess the consolation is that you killed something.)
I can see it being still useful as a way to float two templates into a unit. Given Conquest's RAT, you're not likely to hit without boosts (and all boosts should be going to the Main Guns,) so you can just fling a shot into a unit, and fire again if you didn't happen to kill the original target. Actually, thinking more about it: because Linked Guns doesn't specify that you need to hit for it to trigger, you could totally get the extra shot by just firing at something out of range, and scattering both shots into infantry. Very strange, but it should work.
However, I think the main use of the Secondary Battery's, aside from turns where you can get really juicy shots off (KD would awesome, but we don't have access to a ton of that yet) is Creeping Barrage. I mentioned this in the spoilers thread, but I think the real value of Creeping Barrage is going to be aggressive board denial. POW 6's aren't really enough to dissuade models from charging Conquest that are going to want to charge him (though if you stack them up appropriately, they'd at least have to eat 4 POW 6's on the way in.)
Instead of trying to prevent charges, I think the Creeping Barrages can be useful to prevent general movement by placing them in places your opponent is going to want to move. Your opponent is going to brave POW 6's to charge, but are they really going to risk that damage to move into position for that charge next turn, or move up to shoot, or repair something, etc? Definitely something that requires a lot of table testing, but I think this is going to be an ability that requires thinking about it beyond "crappy covering fire" in terms of utility.
- Third Observation: Similar to the other colossals, Conquest is mostly a gun platform, even with his RAT. What I think does separate him from the other colossals is that Conquest naturally hits hard in melee, so your opponent is going to be really reticent to commit anything heavy to attacking him if it can't one-round him. It's a model you can afford to take your time with, because the Main Guns give you a credible threat projection (and hopefully the Secondary Battery's are going to mess with your opponent,) and then have it float in to meat-fist something. With Mechaniks behind him, Conquest is going to be hard to wear down at range, and I think that's going to be a huge factor in making him work (and probably why the designers were reticent to make Conquest super-duper durable.)
Alright, enough of me yammering! What are other people's thoughts/musings? Who's going to proxy this guy soon? When you do, come back and let us all know how it did, what you thought about it, what you might have done different, etc. Lets build up a solid knowledge base, and have some fun discussion. With only two models this release set, we need to milk this one for all it's worth.