Wednesday, February 27, 2013

World of Tanks: Premium Tanks

Welcome Tankers! This will probably be familiar to most of you but several people do not know the glory and amazing versatility of a premium tank not only for earning credits but to also train crews in.
This is an image of an IS-7 crew placed inside a premium KV-5 without any retraining or penalty added.

Which Premium Tank to Buy?
This is an interesting question that depends completely on what you want to do with the tank. If you want to grind credits like a fiend then your choices are more limited to the Tier 8 tanks. This is because they have the highest credit per game return since even on a lose unless you shoot a ton of gold rounds you'll be making 10,000~30,000 credits easilly.

However if your primary goal is to train a crew line which I'll get to a bit further down then you'll choose a tank of the same nation and class. If you want to go up a heavy line like the IS or KV line then getting an IS-6 would be a good idea. Not only does it earn credits but it also earns your crews experience.

Finally and the most important is that pick a tank based on its play style since if you hate the tank you won't be having fun and making credits / exp in it. It could be the best credit grinding tank in the game and you could hate it so much that you just play poorly in it.

Credit Grinding
Premium tanks can grind credits faster then other tanks of the same tier for two very good reasons. The first is that their repair is lower then other tanks of their tier and the second is that they naturally gain additional credits as well. This grants most premium tanks Tier 5 or better a nice boost of income compared to their counterparts. Tier 8's will see an average of 40,000 credits and will break 100,000 credits on a good game.

Training Crews
One of the biggest things about premium tanks is that you don't need a dedicated crew for premium tanks because you can use the crews from other tanks of the same type like an IS-3 crew for your IS-6. This is because premium tanks don't suffer penalties to reload speed, aim time, acceleration, and everything else when a crew that is not trained in that tank is in it.

As a reference the penalty of having a crew trained in another tank inside of non-premium tank is around 25% (a 100% crew will act like they are 75%) and they won't use their skills or perks. This penalty is also greater for crew in a different class of vehicle from which they are trained is closer to 50%. Also placing a tank destroyer crew in a heavy premium tank will have a penalty to their abilities as well, but it is not the full penalty.

This is why my premium tanks along my Russian line (I have a lot of Russian tanks) have no dedicated crews since I will just place a crew from another tank of the same class like my KV-1 into my IS-6 or Churchill III or my SU-100 in my SU-122-44. This is extremely effective when credit grinding since I can train my crew for a commonly played tank and make money at the same time. So instead of two crews with just one crew skill each, I'd have a single crew with two skills on them.

Preferred Matchmaking

A cool thing about certain premium tanks like the IS-6, KV-5, and T-127 is that they don't get normal matchmaking for their tiers. Instead of getting the standard plus / minus two in matchmaking where a Tier 8 will see Tier 10's, these get something closer to plus one / minus two (so a Tier 8 IS-6 will only see up to Tier 9's). This is nice since you'll be more likely to fight against weaker opponents so you'll have an easier time scoring damage and kills. However this is offset due to low penetration (they can't hurt tanks two tiers higher without a gold shot to the ass) so it is balanced out nicely.

In Short
  • Don't have a dedicated crew for premium tanks when you can use a non-premium crew in it since you'll be making both tanks better at the same time. If you do need a dedicated crew, have it trained for a tank you want to get eventually instead.
  • Pick them based on what you want out of them, Credits, Crew, Fun.
  • You do not need to retrain a crew that you place into a premium tank, you just send them to the barracks (right click and send crew to barracks), and then on the premium tank select the empty crew slot (in the garage) and click on the crew member you are transferring to that tank. Nothing else is involved.
  • This is a short list.

Well Known Premium Tanks

  • Russian Heavy (4 crew)
  • Preferred Matchmaking
  • Role: Brawler
  • Weakness: Driver hatch
  • German Heavy (5 crew)
  • Role: Sniper / Support
  • Weakness: Relatively weak armor on chassis
  • American Heavy (5 crew)
  • Role: Hull Down Brawler
  • Weakness: Commander hatch under the two barrels on the turret, don't bother hitting the front chassis unless you know you can pen it easilly
JgTig 8.8cm
  • Russian Heavy (6 crew)
  • Preferred Matchmaking
  • Role: Big ass Tank
  • Weakness: R2D2
  • Extra: Side-scrape for increased effectiveness of fighting on corners (wall is covering R2D2). Ramming is the most fun you'll have, but do it where you'll come out better for it. Laugh at T-50's that try to pen your ass.
Type 59
  • Chinese Medium (4 crew)
  • Role: Wolf pack / That guy that shoots you in the side / ass
  • Weakness: Sides and Rear (not much on the front besides the commander hatch)
  • Extra: You're a jerk.
Tog II*
  • British Heavy (6 crew)
  • Role: RR and go off to watch tv until it gets to battle, then just mouse over an enemy and shoot
  • Weakness: Slow as dirt at 14 km and fairly weak armor when not side scraping.
  • Extra: Amazing side scraping abilities and has HUGE health, also so special it has a star next to its name.
  • British Tank Destroyer (6 crew)
  • Role: Assault Tank, push the enemy and use your high gun traverse to angle that armor.
  • Weakness: The angled plate on the front of the tank under the gun.
  • Extra: The gun traverse is HUGE, use that for your advantage.

  • To level my IS-3 crew faster I will send them to barracks and then play a x2 game in my Churchill, IS-6, KV-5 so if I have a good game in each one I'll make 8k exp off doubles on just one crew. (without accelerated on.)
  • In a nice battle I'd get 100,000 credits off my KV-5 before taxes. (making 60,000 to 80,000 after taxes)
  • In a great battle in my IS-6 I can make over 100,000 credits.
  • They're already elited so you could train your crew, get credits, and get convertible exp to get that next tier.
  • I grabbed a Matilda IV so that every so often I can pop my T-34-85 crew in it to level a smudge faster when I feel like playing Tier 5's with a platoon mate.

So you might be wondering why not place my MEDIUM crew into my HEAVY premium tank, well lets go over the side effects of why that is a bad idea. By effectiveness it means your 98% crew will act like they where a 73% crew. 
  • premium to premium of the same class = 100% effectiveness
  • non-premium to premium of the same class = 100% effectiveness
  • premium to premium of a different class = 75% effectiveness 
  • non-premium to non-premium of the same class = 75% effectiveness
  • non-premium to premium of a different class = 75% effectiveness
  • non-premium to non-premium of a different class = 50% effectiveness

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mordheim Warbands: Mercenaries

And so it begins...

Reikland, Middenheim, and Marienburg Mercenaries.
Averlander, and Ostlander Mercenaries.
This also covers 90% of all the other human based warbands such as Pirates and Norse warbands.

Empire Militia (20 bodies)

Why These
The Empire Militia box (Free Company) is the most versatile box of humans in the whole line of Warhammer miniatures, not only does it contain 20 models (5 more then the average max warband size) but it also comes with virtually every bit you'll need for any equipment a human warband can take. It has swords, daggers, bows, crossbows, pistols, axes, clubs, halberds / spears, double handed weapons, rifles / blunderbuss's, and more.

The only thing it really doesn't have that people use on a semi-regular basis is shields / bucklers which can be modeled with some plastic card or even Popsicle sticks. However due to how useful having a second weapon like a free dagger or a club is compared to a small boost in armor save or a parry that can be negated easily in most cases.

Along with the coat, the axe on the back really makes my Captain stand out.
I do suggest mercenaries to be the first warband for anyone to get since they are very versatile, you just have to pick which mercenary warband to use based on what you want to focus on.

  • Movement Phase: Averlander's Trappers who can block off paths of approach.
  • Shooting Phase: Reikland's BS4 Marksmen
  • Combat Phase: Middenheim's S4 Captain and Champions.
  • Out of Combat: Marienburg's +1 to find items and +20% gold at the start of the campaign / one off game.
  • Equipment: Ostlander's double barrels, dwarf axes, prayers as no other Mercenary warband can use spells / prayers, and an Ogre!
One of my big modelling suggestions involve having your five heroes use the torso with the coat. I did that and visually they are all very easy to find as it is a common trait separating them from the henchmen.

Marksman, Warrior, Young blood, Swordsman.
Personally I really do like the Reikland Mercenaries more due to their better Marksmen. When looking at my list it is split into three parts. My dedicated two to four archers places on the tops of different buildings for a wide angle of shots. My warriors and swordsmen act as my dedicated melee users who pretty much rush up and act as a buffer between their melee characters and my firing lines. Then finally my heroes who push up behind the front line of henchmen and either act as archers or melee depending on the situation.

For expanding the warband I think a warlock would be a good choice as most mercenary warbands have zero magic presence along with a war dog or two to help flanking. Beyond that see what you are suffering from as you play and boost that aspect of the warband with more henchmen. Generally though more melee characters are better since piling on three characters into combat with a single one, especially a strong hero will give you better odds of killing him compared to the low strength range attacks.

My two champions, another marksmen and warrior, then my other young blood on the end.

Monday, February 25, 2013

World of Tanks

So the last few months I've been addicted to playing World of Tanks. Through my journey from Tier 1 to Tier 10 I've had some good and bad games and over the course I've written a few helpful tips for my clan mates. However after an internal drama breakup thing that happened I left and and took my little guides with me. However I've yet to get a new place to put them down on so I've decided to just throw them up on here! Wooooo.

Anyway World of Tanks is a very fun game that fits my desires for free time activities almost perfectly. I classify it as a slow paced shooter along the lines of Chromehounds (I loved that game). You have enough time to think between shots like angling your armor to get a bounce, but unlike a turned base game you won't have all the time in the world or else your team might loose a flank.

Another interesting thing results in the fact that you meet different tiered tanks where you could do 10% of a tank's health in one shot, but he can take away 50% of yours and he'll reload before you do. In order to fight at a disadvantage in either numbers or tank strength you'll have to use your head and skill to take advantage and win out.

This game isn't for everyone, but if you like a shooter that takes less twitch then try it out, just remember that it gets so much better as soon as you get to Tier 5~6.

Cheap Mordheim Update

After some deliberation I have decided to test out a restructuring of my earlier Cheap Mordheim posts to a more standardized and readable format. After looking at most of my previous posts the only real take away I've got from skimming them is that the suggestions on what boxes to buy to put together a war band for Mordheim gets bogged down by all the other information I'm typing out along with it. I've wrote these not only for my own use as I gather more and more warbands together as at time of writing this I now have 5 distinctive warbands. I am also putting all the information I have gathered together for each warband in one place so that anyone else interested in Mordheim may use the research and reasons I've come up with to help decide what boxes and warbands to get.

Now remember that any suggestions I make will likely be from Games Workshop as I almost exclusively play at my local Bunker on their tables and in Games Workshop hosted events. To do so each model needs a certain percentage of GW product (50%), so in most cases I'll be pointing to their stuff first and will include links to the products I talk about so you can see what I'm talking about.

To test this new format I'm thinking of implementing I'll be rewriting my first Cheap Mordheim post on Mercenaries and if I like how it turns out I'll be rewriting all of my other posts in the same way. I've just decided I should just say this here anyway in case anyone cares to know why there are two posts for Cheap Mordheim: Mercenaries.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Cheap Mordheim: Dwarf Treasurehunters

Another fun warband to play against and has dominated our Mordheim league (One dwarf warband was about 200 rating over everyone else) are the Dwarf Treasure Hunters. They are also very hard to knock out of action since you have to get a 6 on the injury chart to take them out through lots of armor (hunting arrows can take them out on 5's though). The easiest way to picture Dwarves are as walking tanks. They are very slow (movement 3) and they start out small because of all the armor you'll be crazy to not use.

The biggest problem with trying to figure out how to put together a Dwarf Warband from a single box or two. Initially I'd recommend a Dwarf Warriors Box since it covers all of your non-range dwarves (dwarf axes / hammers). My biggest problem with this is that you have no out of the box ranged dwarves without using some spare bits or making your own. The next issue with this is that you can't really use a normal dwarf as a substitute for those Troll Slayers (Because they're naked) and make it believable / different enough.

Even if you don't get those bearded crazies known as Troll Slayers you'll still be running a 100% melee based warband, which is okay since you could probably rely on one of the dwarves best quallities, being impossible to kill! With a helmet, shield, and armor you'll pretty much shrug off most hits and even if you start undermanned you'll be able to enlarge your group and if someone decides to get too close those axes are deadly. Another thing is that you could use a non-ranged wielding Engineer until you can get a dwarf with a gun.

Another idea to use would be substituting the Dwarf Warriors box for a Dwarf Thunderers / Quarrellers and focus on your pistols and crossbows instead of melee. This may be a better option instead depending on your playing style though I would recommend picking up that pack of Troll Slayers just so you have some melee focused characters to run interference.

So in short, get either a Dwarf Warriors box if you want to focus on melee or a Dwarf Thunderers box if you perfer to sit back and snipe (Get that Engineer for the range bonus. Your Engineer or your Noble can be made from either box (Remember, max heroes always) so the only thing left is to get a few Troll slayers to round out your warband. They can either be your main melee force (range focus) or a flanking force (melee focus). Looking at it I'll probably do the two box setup myself after I finally get around to finishing my Skaven warband! (Or at least having them all put together and have a roster written out)