================Adeptus Mechanicus fleet tactica============

Mar 28th, 2016
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  1. The elevator pitch:
  2. The ships of the Adeptus Mechanicus are absolutely brutal snipers, with the longest consistent engagement range in the game. Though their batteries are a little weaker than most IN fleets, the range boosts you can buy (as well as your long-range Dorsal lances) mean you'll be firing more often, and consistently getting in damage before your opponent does.
  3. Their upgraded turrets, however, only barely make up for an already-weak attack craft complement; AM ships are cripplingly (ha) afraid of being boarded and of H&R attacks. They can spam novas if a) you want to be a dick and b) your opponent will let you, or just drop massive torpedo waves if he won't. They also provide an opportunity to use large numbers of Light Cruisers and add unique models to your collection, including an obscenely powerful battleship.
  4. Unfortunately, all your advantages come with a price. AdMech ships are extremely expensive and their random upgrades are unpredictable. Games with them are fast, furious, swingy, and deadly - for both players.
  7. Benefits:
  8. First off, the Ark Mechanicus is >fucking terrifying<. Auto left-shift on the batteries, plus it ignores maluses from blasts and dust in base contact. The ship is a lethal sniper in its base configuration, and it can also pick up four flights of attack craft in lieu of its broadside lances.
  9. Upgrades in AdMech fleets (as you'd expect) are cheap and plentiful, from Nova cannon to plasma-fired batteries and special torpedo ammo. Hell, every ship >has< to have at least one random upgrade. In addition, all of your line cruisers get an LFR S1/60cm jousting lance. This is sickeningly powerful in high-points games, but barely noticeable in skirmishes. Light Cruisers gain some powerful (and free..) upgrades, but without access to Dauntlesses you suffer from a speed problem. Although you can put a nova cannon on almost anything, you're still a cockmaster for taking 5 of them.
  10. Your fleet has a very potent turret defense. All AM capital ships get a bonus turret as part of their points cost, and about 1/6th of their cap ships get Fleet Defense Turrets on top of this. Escorts can also buy an additional turret for only 5pt. It can be very hard to crack AM ships with torpedoes or bombers - opponents will have to use both, which means that they can wind up focusing on massing their ordnance to get damage through, rather than using their numerical advantage to best effect. When you're playing against opponents without Nova Cannon, a pack of Escorts massing turrets can essentially ignore their first ordnance contact every turn.
  11. You also have a free choice of Imperial reserves and allies, as well as access to all standard Imperial and Marine escorts. That opens up your line cruiser options somewhat, especially the Rogue Trader and Demiurg ships - though it's easy to forget that they don't have the AdMech's upgrades.
  12. In campaigns, you earn bonus repair points (critical with your smaller fleet size, since you'll be getting shot up more and feel any losses much more keenly), albeit at the cost of a strained relationship with the Space Marines.
  14. ========
  15. Cons:
  16. The Adeptus Mechanicus fleet has a serious gap in its ordnance production, even with its above-average defenses. First, you get no A-boats or boarding torpedoes. That means you can't launch hit-and-run attacks without exposing yourself to enemy Boarding actions, which are a very serious threat to your ships. Second, your launch-bay-to-points ratio is lower than basically anyone but Eldar, without any of their benefits - you're still flinging Imperial Navy ordnance. Since your ships are weaker against boarding actions, any A-Boats that get through to your escorts will pop them very easily. Meanwhile, it's very tempting to strip the torpedoes from your light cruisers (which would normally be your most reliable remaining anti-torpedo option) to beef out your battle line's lance strength.
  17. As if it weren't difficult enough to establish space superiority with your lower number of available bays, the AdMech also get Civilian leadership. Reloading is harder, so timed waves are more difficult. Poor LD means that your smaller, more expensive escort squadrons are less-reliable at keeping up torpedo production to flak enemy ordnance waves, or to perform emergency orders to avoid enemy attacks. Of course, you can just mass turrets and ram enemy ordnance waves...
  19. You suck shit in boarding actions, and again your escorts are essentially guaranteed to explode if an A-boat gets through. In addition, you have a penalty on the Marine Favors tables, which makes patching that particular weakness more difficult in a campaign. Hope your AA gunners are well-trained.
  21. You get no Battlecruisers, Grand Cruisers, Dominators, nor Dauntlesses. Having an additional jousting lance on >all< your line cruisers is, however, more flexible than having one ship out of every three get a couple of bonus lances. The upgrade rules also do allow you to emulate other classes. For example, you cannot purchase a Mars-class BCV for an Adeptus Mechanicus fleet. You can, however, buy a Dictator (255pts.), and upgrade it with a Nova Cannon (+20pt) and Plasma-Fired Batteries (+10pt); the end ship will have 3 turrets, an S1/60cm LFR Lance, a random Mechanicus Gift, and an otherwise identical profile for only 15pts more than a vanilla Mars with the optional battery upgrade. Essentially you're trading up a lance for another turret and a random bonus.
  23. The lack of heavier cruisers in a Mechanicus fleet has another side effect; AdMech fleets have a lower maximum size than most other Imperial fleets. You still have the usual 12 Cruiser limit (including Light Cruisers), but lose the additional 6 Battlecruisers and Grand Cruisers. This is really only an issue in long-running campaigns and ridiculously large games, of course, and can be patched with ally squadrons. The AdMech ships also cost, on average, 15-20% more per ship than their Navy equivalents. Light cruisers have less of a penalty, but must pay heavily to gain access to most of the "normal" AdMech upgrades.
  25. The Mechanicus upgrades are random, with the exception of the free additional upgrade included with a Magos. This can make squadroning choices much harder.
  28. ==================Fighting against the AdMech:======================
  30. If you're playing anything but Eldar, Necrons, or Nids:
  31. You'll usually outnumber an AdMech fleet, often by a significant amount. Spread out on the initial approach to minimize the effects of his Nova Cannon, moving as fast as possible. If you can, take a few NC of your own to keep him from massing turrets; they're particularly good for knocking Light Cruisers into the red and forcing them out of the game before you make contact. Chaos can use jousting lances to good effect as well, but batteries are less-reliable since most of his ships will have 6+ prows.
  32. Crash into his formation at full speed and re-concentrate your ships to use your firepower advantage, but make sure you're aiming for a few ships at a time to keep his defenses off-balance. Once you make contact, stay close - ramming and boarding where possible. Don't dawdle in the gap between 60 and 30cm, or he >will< pick you apart. Try to swamp his turrets with massed hipshots from torpedoes, Assault boats, and/or bombers all at once. On that note, remember which ships have Fleet Defense turrets, and dedicate at least one Ordnance attack to each to suppress their guns. You want to force him to take some damage - and hopefully crits - on several ships at once in your initial pass. If you just try to concentrate ordnance on one ship, it's very easy for him to have 5+ effective massed turrets defending it.
  34. The lower price of light cruisers compared to Line cruisers means you'll often see quite a few of them. Remember, they're easy prey but not usually the real threats, so only go after them if you can guarantee a withdrawal. AdMech escorts, on the other hand, are basically free points - most players will undercommit if they get them at all, buying escorts in quantities too small to affect the battle but still to expensive to easily lose. Send in waves of about 50/50 Fighters and A-boats (or just Thunderhawks..) and they'll pop like zits. Alternately, a single fast light cruiser can often strip the shields from one or two per turn, running H&R attacks and boarding anything that it can catch. If he bunches up to mass his turrets (which can get problematic quickly), apply a Nova Cannon or just saturate him with several sequential torp waves.
  35. On that note, against cap ships you should save your torpedoes for hipshooting; a Mechanicus cruiser going into a torpedo wave has a less than 50% chance of taking even a single point of damage. On the other hand, feel free to build up a wave of attack craft and ride it in, reloading as you're able.
  37. The AdMech player's massive ranged battery capability is going to leave a lot of blast markers on the table along your lines of approach. Try to steer his ships into them; that will start slowing down anything he has without repulsor fields. If he lets his fleet start to get strung out, or when you land solid movement criticals with your re-rolled H&R attacks and boarding actions, focus fire on the slower ships and let the faster ones run away. Even if they regroup, he'll still be sacrificing some of his already-limited ships.
  39. Tyranids:
  40. Kiss your hiveships goodbye. Plan to work entirely without them; in fact, taking a Vanguard fleet is usually a better idea if you have the option. Again, spread out on the approach, rely on your boarding to break up his lines, and pray.
  42. Eldar:
  43. Concede now, it's less painful. Cry a bit if you have to.
  44. If you're determined to fight, break his LoS as much as possible and use your ordnance superiority to try to get around all those 45cm batteries and 60cm Lances. A Mechanicus player is more likely to land at least some hits on you than most other enemies at those ranges, but you can still keep him from fighting at his full effectiveness. Don't use Light Cruisers - they have short ranges and a single lucky shot will Cripple them. He's got a lot of shots to get lucky with.
  45. Take advantage of your Resilient ordnance, and use fighters to suppress those extra turrets and guarantee hits. Remember, he's paying almost as much per launch bay as you are, but your bombers are flat-out better than his. Same with your Torpedoes and fighters. Better yet, with a little luck a wave consisting of a single bomber and a trio of fighters can cripple most of his ships (if it gets through).
  47. Necrons:
  48. You deserve what's about to happen to you. It's not going to be pretty for either side.
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