Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tactics: The Chronicles of the 356th Independent TAG Company, Part 2

As we prepare for whatever changes and tweaks are coming down the pike with updates to ITS and the TAGLine, let’s finish off our quick jaunt into the wonderful world for G:RP TAGs and the joy that they bring to the hearts and smiles to the faces of the HYPERPOWER’s players everywhere.  As a reminder, you can see Part 1 of my breakdown of PanOceania’s TAGs here, and, as always, questions, comments, concerns and quibbles are welcome, either here on the blog, or through the forums, or via Facebook.  If you ask it, your (un)friendly neighborhood Inner Hexahedron Officer will answer it (just don’t blame me if you don’t like the answer…)!

Today, we’ll start with the 3rd Platoon “Bane” (as an aside, all of the platoons have new names for the next…  oh, however long I like.  2nd has become “Raze” and 4th “Cães”), all of whom pilot Stingray-3 Tikbalangs.  As to why I have four Tikbalangs, two regular and two Eduardos, well, the short story is that I’m insane, and the long story is that I was always going to have two, since both Tikbalangs and Uhlans are AVA 2, and I like to have full AVA on all units, except for REALLY silly AVA Total units (no, I’m not going to have double digit Auxilia), so two boxes was going to happen.  Then, the TAGLine ITS pack with Eduardo…  how could I say no?  Well, actually, I could have said it, but I didn’t want to, and then a very good friend rounded out the collection be sending me an Eduardo.  From a modelling standpoint, they’re all lovely models, and I’ve built them so that two are stock arms, and then two have their left arms swapped.  I also made sure to swap out some of the left pauldrons, so there’s a double sword Eduardo and and HMG/HFL as well, and vice versa.

Yes, we do hedges and edging as well.

From a gameplay standpoint, I like my Tikbalangs very much indeed.  They’re running with PanO TAG BS of 15, a decent CC of 17, as well as PH15, (PanO) WIP15, but with very nice ARM and BTS of 6, meaning they can take a licking and keep on ticking, with those protection status linked to a very robust STR3.  They have a good all around weapon load out, with something for every range and every condition.  The HMG obviously gives you good MODs across the board, and you have the template HFL for when someone has gotten in under the HMG.  A neat addition (which I need to use more often) are the Anti-Personnel Mines, which aren’t something you see that often on a 6-4 MOV heavy platform, but opens up lots of nice possibilities.

The Tikbalangs S6 is also rather nice, because (at least locally) we have decent number of Hexagon Mill tables and the S6 Stingray-3s can move across the bridges linking the various buildings.  Now, the Tikbalang’s (to me, at least) best skill/equipment from it’s list is Climbing Plus.  Now that I’ve had a chance to really try it out, I LOVE IT!  It has opened up much of the board to me, and has made it very simple to get to better positions on the board.  Now, I’ve still lost, but I’ve made it a tougher go, and I’ve given my opponent something to think about with it.  The CH: Mimetism is wonderful (I’ll never turn down any type of CH) to add one more negative MOD on your opponent’s shot, giving yourself that better chance of making a shot stick.  ECM is a nice little buff (I’ve only ever had opportunity to use it once), as is Jungle Terrain (more Operation: Flamestrike-type missions, please).  G:RP is always worth its weight in gold to me, since you’re adding on that extra Unconscious state.  I’m excited to see what the coming changes are, as I hope it will give me more reason to get these boys on the table.

We're friendly, once you get to know us...

To wrap up, we’ll take a look at the 1st Platoon, “Fogo”, composed of three Squalos (Lancers) and one Dragão.  First, the Squalos, and then, to polish things off, “Meu Filho”.

No, three Squalos isn't overkill.

If you had to pick one TAG as the “standard” PanOceanian TAG, the Squalo would be it.  Truth be told, this particular entry in the PanOceanian Military Complex, while referred to in the game as the Squalo, is a Lancer.  The Squalo refers to the chassis, which is also used as the base for the Jotum, Dragão and (formerly at least) the Cutter.  The Armoured Cavalry are all of the TAG regiments together, and the Lancer refers to the additional heavy weapon system, the HGL.  Speaking of the HGL, it’s a kick in the pants.  While yes, you do pay for it in points and SWC, the ability to rain down grenades on pretty much any point on the board on 9s after at most a single move out of your deployment zone is FUN.  Not only that, it’s effective at times, too!

In all honesty, the Squalo is a wonderful tool, even without the HGL.  The MULTI HMG is a weapon that I love, and find to be very effective, no matter what the time or place.  I also am quite pleased with the Squalo’s backup weapon, the AP Heavy Pistol.  It’s ability to give a +3 at close range makes it, to me, more effective and a better weapon than an HFL.  I like the ability to get that Face to Face, since the absolute worst I can be on is a 6, and most likely I’ll be on a 9 if against some kind of camo/ODD, and there’s a decent chance I could be on a 15, and doing DAM 14 AP.  ECM is, again, a nice perk, as well as the G:RP, and the standard PanO TAG stats meaning that I can go toe-to-toe with, well, pretty much everything.  He’s one of the TAGs I personally use aggressively, whereas something like a Jotum might be more of a static piece.

Nada mais q' dizer: o Meu Filho.

And what better way to end than to talk about my favorite TAG, the one that has only ever failed me once, that TAG that has perforated Jotums, has pockmarked Sin Eaters, has splattered Lasiqs, has put down Maruts, that has, in fact, won a name of glory for himself, going back well into the mists of N2.  That is, to say, “Meu Filho”, o Dragão!  What can I say?  I am infatuated with the power of his HRMC, and with the changes that came in N3, my affection for it only grew in leaps and bounds.  (I WOULD apologize for waxing so lyrical, but it’s “Meu Filho”, so I won’t)  That B5, DAM 15, AP/Shock, with the B1 DA for ARO?  Harmonious and melodious music to my ears!  The only time he’s ever failed me was (as mentioned in my SAA Tactica Part 2) was against a Sin Eater HMG.  Every other time I’ve had the courage to field him, he’s been epically good.  He has the standard Squalo ECM, as well as G:RP, and Squalo stats.  I love to get him partially up the board, in a good shooting spot, and just let the enemy come to him.  If I can make sure to have that cover, I feel quite confident that I’m going to have as good, if not better MODs, on every shot that I take, and ofttimes in ARO as well.  It’s glorious.

That wraps up the second part at of our look at the 356th Independent TAG company.  While some might say I have a problem, I say:  NO!  I have SOLUTIONS!

We're from PanOceania and we're here to help!

Your (un)friendly neighborhood Assistant Hexahedron Officer

Capt. R. Foster-Johnson

As a note, I've been using this image and forgetting to give credit to Vyo from the forums.  I apologize and will not forget in the future.  Sorry.

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