Disagree, escort carriers lose pretty much all value if you can just brute-force through their fighter cover.
If you have carrier superiority, you've got the option of deploying your own fighters first to outnumber and tie down theirs. Throwing strikecraft into their hard counter is poor play and shouldn't be rewarded.
The addition of the Emasculator cruiser, Hecate battle-cruiser, and Hellfire grand-cruiser are all cool additions to the Chaos lineup, and something I thought would have been trumpeted a little more in the patch notes as I had to log in and check to see if there were any additions before I found them. Though I'm not good enough to know their multiplayer impacts, I think I will be making use of these happily in the new campaign/compstomps, so the effort is appreciated! The little details, like the new bow on the Hellfire and the more detailed icons in the fleet creation screen are particularly nice to see.
With the hope that this expansion will be a financial success, though, I'd like to offer my take on what sort of extra ships I'd like to one day see for the Mechanicus and Tyranid factions. As they've already had faction overhauls I suppose they're at the bottom of the list of priorities, but I hold out hope there'll be interest long enough to come around to them.
For the Mechanicus:
GC: Demios Pattern Ark Mechanicus
Proximity to the Eye of Terror and the Cadian Gate has left Demios Binary in a constant state of high attrition since the first black crusade. It has been difficult to maintain or repair the Arks Mechanicus deployed there, and other forgeworlds are loath to loan such relics. This pressure has driven some uncharacteristic adaptation from the Magos of Demios Binary, where damaged Arks and hulked cruisers have sometimes been recombined into more economical forms. The resulting 'Arks' are less individually potent, more akin to the Imperial Navy's old Grand Cruisers than a Battleship, but are far easier to maintain and replace. It is likely the Imperial Navy would raise concerns about the pattern were it not frequently deployed alongside their own ships in the defense of the Cadian sector, though this very proximity to the Archenemy may be why other Forge worlds are unwilling to produce it.
Armament- 4xLance Battery (2 per side), 4xLaunch Bay (2 per side), 1xLance Turret.
It offers a unique option that gives the Mechanicus a ship that trades the traditional Nova for greater carrier ability, as well as filling in the GC class.
For the Tyranids:
GC: Great Kraken
While most Kraken rarely grow beyond the size of an escort vessel, those few that survive and evolve in the void become terrifying specimens. Their nigh impenetrable armor and rapid tissue regeneration make them exceedingly hard to bring down through normal battery fire, and they can wade through fleets as few of their fellows could manage.
- Jaws, 4xBioplasma (2 per boadside), 2xPyroacid (1 per side)
- Feeder Tendrils, 2xBioplasma (1 per side) 4xPyroacid (2 per side)
- Bio-torps, 6xPyroacid (3 per side)
The unique element these bring to the Tyranids- a class with lots of health, armor, and health regeneration that can soak a lot of broadsides, but suffers in the face of ordinance due to the characteristic lack of spore-clouds. Additionally, unlike hiveships or battlecruisers they lack a Synapse Node, and can go feral should connection to the hive fleet be lost. A kind of dangerous punching-bag, more expendable than a hiveship but lacking the synapse-utility of a battlecruiser.
For discussion value: What do you think of these suggestions, and what sorts of ships would you like to see added down the road?
@Fosil The big problem there is that Tau are nowhere near the Eye of terror and even lack any means of traveling there. Adding them as a campaign faction is just odd in that regard.
Malos paces the bridge as the final moments of the sacrifice are at hand. The last of the imperial refugee ships detonates, spinning thousands of souls into the chattering sorceror's ritual, and opening a swirling vortex into the warp! Surely, the ritual will give them a direct and stable portal to the heart of the malestrom, and all the reinforcements they could ever need.
His grin of triumph darkens, however, when the ships that come tumbling aimlessly from the portal are not the reinforcements he intended, but a flotilla of confused Tau warships. Within the portal's iris, a world of the Tau's forth sphere is visible, and he's given them a highway right into the heart of his territory!
The twice-dammed navigator scratches his head, poking at the pict-map. "Hmm. Should have taken that left at Albuquerque."
I'm pretty hype about this expansion. The Chaos roster, while maybe a bit more limited in Multiplayer, is one of the more diverse and interesting in singleplayer where roleplay and memes are possible. A full on campaign will be great!
Also, Chaos tends to have the more memorable character moments- what was the name of the librarian from DoW I? nobody remembers, but everyone remembers SSSIINDRIII! I've got high expectations for our word-bearer boi here, and I hope that toast to the warmaster involves overthrowing him and running the show for ourselves at the end.
It’s a vestigial mechanic from the fleet-building RPG-Esque skirmish mode from the first game.
The trouble was that as popular that mode was with the single player crowd (and rightfully too) it was a massive pain in multiplayer. They tried to make it more multiplayer friendly in this game with the current system, but it’s still a clear descendent of what came before without capturing the old feeling in singleplayer. A roundabout of compromises to make one mode for two different flavors of play. Understandable for a team with limited time and resources, still non-ideal for the players.
I think they directed most of their resources into the campaigns instead, which are quite good.
If you double tap alt to get the extra ui details one of the things it adds is little colored pins of light that come up from damaged components to make them easier to spot at a glance, as well as highlighting of damaged model bits on some weapons.
It's something I wish was default but it is in there. You can also pull it up momentarily by holding alt, but I prefer the always on double-tap.
As far as I know there's no menu to show it when the model is obscured.
I don't know about adding torps to any existing ship, but I'd love alternate patterns that have torps instead of novas. The original Admech rules only say cruisers 'can' take a nova cannon, not that they 'must'. I'd like to see some of those 'plasma boosted batteries' mentioned in the rules that increase 30cm weapons to 45cm (which I think is from 9000 - 13500) for those alternate patterns.
Vortex torps would be tricky, as we've seen what ubertorps do on the Eldar. Perhaps they could be more like partial Damage + Speed reduction (cause of gravity distortions) or Damage + crew damage. I could see a slowing torp having a support role for an admech fleet, as they do want to keep anybody from getting close.
Chaos lances aren't good weapons right now, so stay clear of them. Tau protector cruisers are all carriers, so they tend to smash less numerous wings if that Player uses them to cover their torp salvoes, which are fully capable of erasing ships. Also, most chaos carriers have lances as backup weapons, which makes them quite piddly in dps for their cost in general and non-ideal in this matchup specifically, unless you dedicate your whole fleet to overwhelming fighter numbers so you can get the fighters and the torps, too.
Tau have heavy armor on the front hull, at least until the generator is crit out. They also can put all their fire downrange while facing you, ideal for focus fire at longer ranges with their best armor eating return fire.
Tau are weak in that they have poor top speed, and their morale isn't great. To exploit these, you specifically need to get close and wrap around so you have good dps ships shooting into the rear with some ships still out front to draw their fire, or force them to take rear shots if they turn. Boarding to take down the generators removes that heavy armor in the front and makes direction less important. The boarding combined with ramming (not into the heavy front, ideally) depletes morale and makes them vulnerable to mass rout if you focus the admiral out.
Slaughters and Carnages work because they've got good dps, speed, and boarding to exploit the tau weaknesses, while being distributed enough that no single ship can be focused down on approach and cripple the whole formation. Any other solution you develop will need to mimic those advantages.
I'm pretty sure the unlockable portraits are the ones they use for the randomly-generated admirals, so they probably show up. I got the default portrait as an admiral once.
Don't think there's any voice-changes though, not like Spire himself tells us when he's going ALL AHEAD FULL!