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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Why Mech > foot

Ever since 5th came out a lot of people have been raging against the Mech paradigm and saying it's not "that good." First let's look at the changes from 4th to 5th in vehicles.

1) glancing cannot wreck a tank
2) pens only wreck 1/3 of the time
3) no more entanglement
4) less restrictive forced disembarkation rules

These combine to make AP1 weapons (rare) and rate of fire weapons more significant. Alongside the ever decreasing tank cost in newer books and armies need to be able to neutralise Mech whilst still running effective Mech themselves. Now Mech spam is not always the way, Hybrid can quite often be better (see IG and Tau with bubblewrap units) but very few lists can pull off foot and survive such as Tyranids (new ones), Vanilla Bikers, BA Jumpers and Space Wolves. Why? Because these books can produce lists that are in your face quickly (calvary, bikers or reliable and efficient deepstrike, etc.) and still have the ability to completely deal with your mech or neutralise it until they get there (RBack spam, LFs, HKs, mass blasts and high rate of fire, good fire suppresion, fast melta, etc.).

But why then does Mech or Hybrid trump foot so badly? Can't foot get more guns since they are not paying for Tanks or transports? Yes they can but because transports are so cheap the lose in firepower for Mech is generally minimal and being meched up compared to on foot has a twofold reaction.

1) The foot player is shooting at tanks first and needs to pop them before he can shoot at the infantry
2) The mech player is shooting at infantry from T1

Mech is simply an extra layer of protection which can be further protected by bubblewrap units which force your opponent further away and negates alpha striking. So not only does the Mech player have an extra layer of protection and thus an extra turn of surviving but Mech generally gets to dictate the fight. I'm sure many of you have had games against Eldar or Dark Eldar where it is very hard to get to grips with them as they are so fast. It's the same if your opponent is on foot and you're mounted. This is again why certain foot armies can deal with mech. They have the speed to keep up with mech if their fire suppression falls away.

My recent game against Orks with my Mech Wolves is an example. I was able to dictate when I charged and was quite often able to drag his units into combat very slowly and thus only have to deal with 5-10 orks attacking me at once. Also by the time he reached my lines because I had removed his most effective anti-tank, he hadn't busted me open and thus I was able to hop out whenever and wherever I wanted.

Mech isn't going anywhere and people who say foot or horde armies can consistently beat Mech are delusional. Foot is just too static and has to deal so much more damage to a Mech army in a mobile and defensive enviornment that they just can't cope (barring the aforemented armies). Whilst mech is expensive and can be annoying in KP missions (I've only lost one KP mission that I should of won because of KPs; generally if you should win a game you're still going to win it through KP even if you are Meched up and the other guy isn't) it's an exciting and competitive army style.

Edit: with new armies out there are more armies that are competitive without using mech. See my Armies in 5th articles or this one here.

3 pinkments:

Anonymous said...

Once I get another rhino I'll be able to mech my list. Either that or I'll get a pack of Long Fangs to support my Blood Claws who are footslogging it up the battlefield.

Anonymous said...

This is really sad, I hope I never encounter anyone like you while I'm trying to enjoy my hobby.

Kirby said...

Stating the state of the game is sad? I hope I never encounter someone like you who attends tournaments with bad lists and complains. Oh wait, I come across people like that all the time.

At least say what about the state of play or what I wrote you don't like above random internet dislike.

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