Tyranid assault boats?

Hey all,

Spend this afternoon doing some tests with a friend of mine. He tends to play Nids and I like IN and SM. He kept turning my ships into lifeless hulks in seconds during our games this week so I thought id ask him abit how he did this and if he would let me experiment a little. Turned out he had a fleet of mostly carriers because he cant alter it because his game keeps crashing. So I figured id setup some controlled scenarios to see actuall numbers here.

So first test I send out a IN light cruiser with 27 crew. He send a wave from 2 launch bays at it and reduced it to 5 crew. Which would mean that 1 assault boat does 11 points of crew damage. Ouch.

Ok I thought, thats pretty nasty. How quikly can they clear an IN cruiser of crewmembers? So I asked him to send 2 of these waves at the same time. They have a total crew of 36 so 2 waves should clear them out completly, and sure enough. 2 waves cleared the ship.

I hear from everyone on the forums who has been here before this week telling me that brace for impact makes you immume to ordnance so I figured I test that out. Same scenario, 1 cruiser beeing attacked by 2 waves of 2 assault boats, but this time with the ship on brace for impact. First wave got completly destroyed, but because the 2nd wave got send at the same time the 2nd one came in almost completly. Did almost 20 points of crew damage.

Fighters were fairly effective at shooting down a single wave of 2 assault boats but anything more was already a problem and things would easily come through. If he send fighters of his own everything came through.

We did some more testing but this was the only testing we did with regards to ordnance if memory serves.

Now dont get me wrong, im not against factions having strong weapons but this is abit silly. All this testing we did was with ships with 2 launch bays. The nids have acces to one with 4 launch bays and even one with 7 launch bays. That latter one (their most expensive ship, but still) could instantly strip a battleship of its crew if thes numbers hold up. Infact my buddy mentioned that he does this to people on a regular basis.

As far as I can tell assault boats have the same 'damage' to crew value as a normal boarding action does which is just insane considering the unlimited range. Yes, they can be countered but not if your opponent goes all in for launch bays and just strips your entire fleet of crew in a matter of seconds. Specially if they have the biggest carriers in the game. The only ones coming close to size are Orks and Tau protector fleet with 6 and 5 point carrier respectivly.

And lets not get started on some fleets which have little to no carriers of their own. They wouldnt stand a chance to protect themselves against this. Huddling together and massing turrets also only does so much and makes you completly vunerable to other tactics so id say that can work in a pinch but isent a complete solution to this.

And before people come with their 'well hur hur you can recrew your ships and the drawbacks are nothing'. Are they really? First of all your recrewed ship is back at 1 crewmember. Which it can lose when rammed, randomly shot at or whatever. You suffer pernament crit damage and a temporary crit damage for 0 effort and your shooting, skill etc go 20% slower. And best of all it took 0 effort for the nid player who can then pick off the next ship. And the next ship. And the next ship.

Back in the previous game Chaos carrier fleets were called out for beeing overpowered and this is ALOT stronger then what they brought to the table. Id say that assault boats are to strong for the range that they have and the number of assault boats that nids have.

But they also need alternatives and as far as I can tell they really dont have these either. I think they need work.

Cheers

@demoulius I have heard tell that Assault boat AI is not all that good (fighting ordinance ratehr than heading toward the target) and that Tyranid ether swimming brood carriers are among the slowest assault boats in the game, meaning it is quite possible for many ships that have access to orders like all ahead full to just outrun them and wait for the ship turrets to do the job. Has that been your experience?

As for low troop strength on recrewing, have you tried using abilities like the Imperial Navy's Call to Arms that lets you recover lost troop strength? That seems like it could quickly boost your troop value back up if used judiciously.

For myself when using Tyranids, I like to start on run silent orders and then send out a harpy brood or two toward any opposing fleet blips to see what I am dealing with. Once I get some idea of the opposing fleet's disposition, I try to pick out isolated ships where possible to avoid massed turret fire from multiple ships, and then supress a target ship's turrets with a few broods of harpies before sending the brood carriers in, and then follow up with Feeder Tendril attacks and boarding actions to seal the deal, though that runs serious risks with scuttle damage.

Even though it is risky, boarding an opposing ship and eating its crew alive just feels like the most Tyranid way to go about things.

@demoulius I think the crew damage is a bug not a feature.

@Greg_G If assaults boats get intercepted they will try to fight back. They also do damage but nothing like fighters and its a fight they will lose. Unless they vastly outnumber the fighters in which case they still win. I think ive seen a group of 3 waves from 2 launch bays win vs 2 fighters with only 1 beeing half damaged.

We were mainly testing the effects of damage and in how the 2 main defences (fighters and turrets) counter them. My ships were static for the test. Call to arms isent exactly a FAST way to gain back troops. First of all it shares a cooldown with the morale and repair abilities. And I think it starts on cooldown after regaining the ship. Second it only adds a small number of troops at a given time, so unless you can park the ship in a corner for 5 minutes then no; its not a good away to repopulate the ship.

Your tactic is almost the same as the one my friend uses. But if scuttle damage is nerfed (and by all accounts it should be) then it isent so much of a deterence anymore.

Noming up a crew is a rather Tyranid thing to do, yes. Buts mostly done by boarding, feeder tendrils or a ship biting into a ship and the nids pouring in afterwards. Their boarding torpedoes should by comparison still be nasty but not equally as nasty as a full on boarding attack.

@Fosil im not sure if its a bug to be honest. The number of troop damage that the assault boats did seemed to be pretty stable.

I lost a battleship almost instantly to tyranids from distance and the opposing player said it was boarding torps though I never saw them incoming.

@demoulius said in Tyranid assault boats?:

who can then pick off the next ship. And the next ship. And the next ship.

1.lets clear things up first
no he cant because he has 3 charges and unlike bombers you cant get them back
in that bomber scenario, a single undefending, unsupported and unmoving cruiser would not be hulked but instead destroyed, dealing morale damage to the rest of your fleet
and with those you can go off the next ship. And the next ship. And the next ship.

2.your math is off by a lot
one assault boat deals 3 crew damage
a launch bay sends out 4 boats per charge so thats 8, 16 or 28 for all variations of nid ships
for a total of 24, 48 and 84 troop damage
similarly a chaos bomber squad 6 dealing approximately 25 damage per for 150 per bay with chance of crits
but that requires them to land
close formation, brace and moving away will cause none of these to hit
im fairly certain your friend has been fighting people who dont double tap alt at the start of the match so had no idea that assault boats where approaching as assault boats are even more fragile then bombers

3.try brace and boosting away once they get in 4.5k and have a second cruiser next to it
isolated targets are the ideal scenario for carriers, an isolated target that doesnt move is even better, and it still cost him a charge that did nothing
thats like testing macros against the back of an unbraced ork and claiming macros need a nerf.

4.assault boats wont get past a well placed interceptor squad
easiest way to place it correctly is aim it at the targeted ship
i have stopped 2 7bay hive ships with two bays of interceptors and none sneaked past because they will all attack the interceptors
thats one defensive charge of two bays stopping a charge of 14 bays
even necron scythes, the weakest interceptors in the game can completely block any ordnance from even starting their attack run

5.add moving away to the huddling and bracing and your basicly immune and after a few moments your opponent is out of weapons so what other tactics are going to happen especially after a slow nid ship has given away its location by sending out ordnance

6.using all your weapons for an unlkely chanse to do a permanent crit (the temp and permanent crits will always be the same system considering the speed at wich the second chunk is lost after the first so no chanse of selecting a second)
meanwhile you have 6 refil charges and no 20% slower firerate is negligable
its still a weaponsplatform , you need to protect it but can still wreck nid ships easily, they could hulk it again, but that has no effect at all and you still have more recrew charges then they have boarding actions
you can even use assault boats to recrew from across the map
also no need for the etc, its firing rate and skill cooldown nothing else, if it hurt morale or speed or shield regen it would be a point, but only weapon cooldowns are affected

7.assault boats are all or nothing weapons curently, completely worthless if your opponent defends at all
damn good if you can keep him distracted while you launch, but that requires putting your entire fleet at risk
atleast vs half competent opponents
its not 0 risk or 0 effort, it requires a distracted opponent wich means you need to distract him with your vulnerable nid ships coinciding with the assault boat arrival and make that timing pretty accurate

there are exceptions like necrons whose pulse rework have made them pretty vulnerable

did you know that you can kill an entire hive ship reliably with two torpedo volleys? just need to shoot its shields down first then its helpless
should torpedoes be nerfed because people leave their hive ship undefended and helpless? i dont think so
just like nobody used carrier chaos in the first game against experienced player, same thing exists here, easy to kill noobs but very hard to pull of vs a competent player

last edited by Ashardalon

@ashardalon nr.2 on the bfg1 leaderboard used doubled tzeentch styx with nurgle slaughterers. it probably could have been further improved with using slaneesh on the slaughter cruisers to remove stances/skills. crit lance builds were just easier to use.

@fosil easier to use and better
could do the same with archerons and slaughers and they would synergize better

leaderboards dont mean much as almost nobody played ranked
as is noticeable by the lack of orks in the first 15 spots

@Ashardalon

1: Thats 3 charges per carrier. Im well aware of the fact that my cruiser was unsupported and unmoving. Doesent take away the fact that nid carriers with 2 assault boats did the things on this list. We dident even try the bigger carriers who would do significantly more damage.

2: Im using my mark I eyeball to see the effects from the attack lol. Im not using that math because the game doesent provide the information and (apparently) you needed to be in the closed beta to even get knowledge on how your own carriers performed attacks... The tooltips need some serious updates.

3: Oh im well aware of those countermeasures and thats not my point that im making. You can easily make tactics for and against carriers. The point is the insane crew damage that they do.

4: Again, wasent the point. Also I pointed out myself that a squad of fighters stopped them unless completly overwhelmed by several waves and/or fighters.

5: Well if your opponents sends 1 or waves after an entire fleet hes bound to lose his assault boats. A player worth his salt wont do that and bide his time to strike.

6: Dont know about you but I find a ship with either no shields, no ability to use abilities or no speed and movement boost. To be a pretty big neutered mess of a ship. Also, again; you can lose crew from combat damage as well. Which would instantly hulk your ship yet again. So tell me HOW it exactly isent effecting your ships?

7: I fail to see how thats a point? Your argument is that because it isent point and click its fine? If your opponent counters it doesent work? Yeah that tends to happen if something gets countered.

Nid ships are stealthed unless detected early. Its not hard to sneak up on a player if you are patient and resourcefull. If you go a few minutes without seeing a carrier and suddenly have a few waves of assault boats arriving in your rear that can be pretty devastating. You cant ALWAYS prepare for enemies, specially if you dont know that they are there.

And torpedoes are pretty patthic as they are now. Limited charges and the damage is only so so. Even if all torpedoes hit and did full damage (which they dont because of armor, but lets assume that they did) then it would still be far from the damage needed to kill a hive ship. Lets be generous and go with the biggest torpedo volley in the game. 8 torpedoes. 45 damage per torpedo. 2 volleys would be 16 torpedoes for 720 damage (and like I said thats get lowered by armor, but whatever). Hive ships have 2000 hp.

What you are saying with regards to torpedoes is an outright lie, or a poor attempt to troll. Its also something else entirely then assault boats so why bring something up thats both completly irrelevant to the issue and filled with misinformation.

Dont know about you but im here to beta test this game and compared to the previous game (and lets face it we have no other reference point) the effect of assault boats, at least for nids; is complete overkill.

Thats not to say that the nids as a faction themselves dont need work but this item in particular id say needs some serious toning down.

The only issue I have in this sense it that due to the lack of visual indicators on the model itself unlike the assault boats of other factions it's hard to spot waves of them in a pinch and tell how many there is because the actual indicator icon doesn't tell you. I have certainly had ships hulked out of nowhere because I didn't notice a 7 stack wave to micro away. Nid anti stealth play also isn't exactly hard either. The main issue I have in the match up as IN equivalent is that nid ships on reload WILL catch you at some point and board the shit out of you.

You are indeed correct.

But 16x90=1440. Still not enough to kill a hive ship.

actually a assault boat landing makes a popup above the ship that says 3crew lost
thats a pretty good indicator that it causes 3 crew to be lost
using that methid i found out today that ork assault boats only do 2 crew damage
no need to be special beta tester to find that out

  1. correction, that they can do
    in the ideal situation
    with no opposition
    if there is any opposition at all they do 0 and you wasted a charge of 7 bays leaving the most expensive nid ship without weapons
    i was serious about the test being as valid as testing macros against an orks ass
    ideal situation that never or rarely happens

4.no amount of waves will overwhelm them if you just have them cover your ship, even 22 bays, wich is the maximum a nid fleet can bring wont get trough
there is a simple and cheap counter to them
game cant just have a winbutton, some effort needs to be done to defend even something as minimal as launching a single interceptor squad

5.thought you said no effort
@demoulius said in Tyranid assault boats?:

And best of all it took 0 effort for the nid player who can then pick off the next ship. And the next ship. And the next ship.

now you say it needs skill tactics and careful timing

6.it shoots, thats better then the hiveship with 0 charges

7.it has clear counters that you can use ... to counter it
its not a simple @demoulius said in Tyranid assault boats?:

And best of all it took 0 effort for the nid player who can then pick off the next ship. And the next ship. And the next ship.

weapon

assault boats have blips, if you see a few waves of assault boats arriving in your rear you know where the nid ship is and then its dead
just did exactly that to a nid carrier fleet with orks because i didnt care enough to bring an escort
a ship got hulked, sure, and recrewed and stayed healthy for the rest of combat, even rammed his synapse ship to death

torpedoes, just like bombers can crit
they regularly do and deal massive damage when they do
a simple torpedo volley can deal more and worse crits then hulking a ship
the extra damage and fires is usually enough since nids cant repair

and thats the thing, its not overkill
its all or nothing and easily counterable
if you want to tone it down first make a suggestion that would make it a viable weapon against anything but noobs
i didnt even need to launch interceptors vs that nid fleet and its two carrier hiveships, and orks have low turret numbers and low speed and maneuverability to buy the turrets time
and he sent 2 waves of harpies first
this is a scenario where my ship is guaranteed hulked according to you, but none of them reached

@BrohanBroski spot early, especially with current map generation, suiciding a escort to reveal them all is worth it since they dont have silent running
then focusfire the synapse and its easy win
sooner you spot the more time you have that you are shooting and they arnt biting

Yeah that's what I do lmao

@ashardalon said in Tyranid assault boats?:

                actually a assault boat landing makes a popup above the ship that says 3crew lost

thats a pretty good indicator that it causes 3 crew to be lost
using that methid i found out today that ork assault boats only do 2 crew damage
no need to be special beta tester to find that out

They stack though so if several hit simultaniously you will see a far larger number appear. Say they do 3 crew damage and 4 hit, it will say 12 crew lost. Seeing as we dont have an indication of what did the damage after it arrives, just that it happend. Newer players can be puzzled and suprised by thats going on. So yeah some indication of what happened to your ship is a good idea to improve the new player experience, as well as to offer the more experienced player more information. Its easy to miss things if you are microening several ships. And having a good new player experience is vital if we want the game to have any longevity.

@ashardalon said in Tyranid assault boats?:

correction, that they can do
in the ideal situation
with no opposition
if there is any opposition at all they do 0 and you wasted a charge of 7 bays leaving the most expensive nid ship without weapons
i was serious about the test being as valid as testing macros against an orks ass
ideal situation that never or rarely happens

Guess youve never heard of a baseline? Also an ideal working condition would be no turrets, but I digress. If we dont know what something does under the most favourable conditions we dont have a basis to work with.

4.no amount of waves will overwhelm them if you just have them cover your ship, even 22 bays, wich is the maximum a nid fleet can bring wont get trough
there is a simple and cheap counter to them
game cant just have a winbutton, some effort needs to be done to defend even something as minimal as launching a single interceptor squad

Yea... About that. The group that attacked my fighters earlier was above my ship. Not only did they kill the fighters handsomely they then attacked the ship. so I seriously question that.

5.thought you said no effort
@demoulius said in Tyranid assault boats?:

And best of all it took 0 effort for the nid player who can then pick off the next ship. And the next ship. And the next ship.

now you say it needs skill tactics and careful timing

How cute, youre trying to put words into my mouth. Just attacking with them takes 0 skills. You dont need to think about bearings, shields or whatnot. You click on the ability and off they go. Even boarding takes up more skill and thought then just attacking with assault boats because you have to get your ship close and think about the potential damage you will get on getting there.

You only need tactics and timing if your opponent is paying attention or has defenses in play. Which is fair as that applies to all tactics generally. However if hes not paying attention or if youre patient and attack him in the middle of a battle rather then just outright start with assault boats you can very easily overwhelm an opponent. Fact that something has a counter should never be a reason to let it be insanely strong. Thats the worst kind of balance inmaginable.

@ashardalon said in Tyranid assault boats?:

6.it shoots, thats better then the hiveship with 0 charges
That hiveship (or heck an escort) can bump into that 'better ship' causing it to lose 1 crew and its back to beeing a hulk. If its a big ship like a battleship blowing it up to do some damage to the hiveship is probably the worst of ideas. Or heck, heres an idea. The player uses morale to make the ship flee. Cant execute your crew if you only have 1 crew and if memory serves other ships fleeing also impacts morale, yes? Far better even then to nom on that 1 crew. Make them work for you to rout the rest of the fleet.

7: well torpedoes also has clear counters and they arent nearly as OP as you make them out to be. You want to talk about how they 'might' do more damage? Then also factor in that they ALWAYS will do less then full damage due to armor, unless they crit.

I do want to tone it down, yes. Because quite frankly for all the upsides it has it has precious little downsides. And even recrewed ships arent a minor thing as you make it out to be.

But yes, lets talk solutions then. Lets first take a look at what a assault boat is in lore and how it compares to a full boarding party and lightning strike.

For reference, heres a link to what space marines often use: http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Caestus_Assault_Ram

So basicly the small assault boats we see flying is one of these. They fly towards the enemy ship, ram into its hull and then allow the cargo inside to board the enemy vessel. Usually a few dozen men/woman'/(things for nids) will be aboard these things. Im not using space marines as an example but the assault boat, so we have an idea what we are going with here.

In contrast, boarding is where your ships are so close together that you can launch drop pods, life boats and simular devices at an enemy ship and almost not miss it. They are more numerous and will probably have a small cargo of 10 or such. This is by far the biggest number of bodies that you are getting on the enemy ship and its also the most agressive and violent form of entry, because point defense guns on the ship will also be firing along. Even if you dont see it ingame.

Lightning strikes are a teleport attack of a small group of elite soldiers. They land in the middle of a ship, are surrounded almost instantly and would lorewise be used to drop near an important objective to blow it up before beeing overwhelmed. Or in the rare case of terminators to drop aboard a bridge to kill its captain and take a ship shrug but thats kind of far to OP for this game so lets leave that out 😛

Id say judging by what an assault boat attack is in the lore and how the mechanics in game work that its damage should sit between boarding actions and lightning strikes. Perhaps give it a little increase to crit a subsystem temporarily because they can be used somewhat with precision.

Currently if the numbers you listed are true and all assault boats hit a 2 launch bay wave would do double the damage a boarding action would do, which is just silly.

message pops up repeatedly shoing you losing 3 repeatedly
never seen it say 12 crew lost except from a nid, necron or marine cruiser boarding

"You dont need to think about bearings, shields or whatnot."
you need to worry about trajectory formation and speed tho

and you are still just suggesting nerfs with no way of making them viable
not everyone is mindless
people can watch approaching blips and prepare vs ordnance
if the opponent doesnt react at all they got outplayed
if you sit next to a eldar escort with a battleship on hold fire eldar escorts will seem op too
all shooting will be op because a cobra can win vs a retribution like that
ordnance is the easiest to counter mechanic in the game, it doesnt need to be worse

The list of fixes to make nids viable would be abit long in discussion just about their assault boats. And some things in their arsenal like the jaws are currently not working at all.

We even tested the jaws with him humping his hiveship into a light cruiser and it almost killed his hiveship.....

Their lances pierce shields, which is nice. But leaves their batteries seriously ill prepared to pierce shields. So generally shields stay up, because of that as the batteries themselves are lost as dps because of it. They dont normally have lightning strikes but the lictor upgrade is one. But seeing as rarely shields go down its kind of a non issue.

Well 'give them alternatives' would be the gest. I dont think ive ever lost a ship to nids in a typical gunfight manner. Always either by ramming, boarding attacks or assault boats. Out of these ramming is also a serious hazard to themselves. But I think if the jaws are fixed we should have a better idea of what overall work they need.

have you guys eperienced invisible strike craft? I played against a torp build once (navy with cr only) and half of the torps were not shown for each salvo. I think the same happened to me against orks carriers after several strike craft groups where on the map at the same time.

Yeah it has. I think its a bug but im not entirely sure.

During testing I saw all of them though, but sometimes the marker only appeared very late.

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