January 20, 2010

Nauticans in Depth: The Movement Phase

This post continues my analysis of v4 of Sigmars Nautican Army Book by looking at the Nautican army phase by phase beginning with Movement. Overall, the Nautican army offers some interesting options in this phase and has some solid strengths. However, it also suffers from a serious weaknesses in relation to other armies. These on the whole balance it out more and require the Nautican general to think carefully about his options. Nauticans seem to be an army based on synergy - units working best in combination rather than one built around 1-2 stand out performers.

Basic advantages
  • Average movement of 4" for majority of troops.
  • Rare units have movement 6"
  • Cheap core choice flying unit (Manta Rays).
  • Solid character mounts inc. Chariot & Great White Shark.
  • Spellcasters can use 'Eternal Wave' to gain flying movement.
  • Crest Riders can make single 20" wave charge per game.
  • Four units: Wavebreakers, Sandgangers, Crabs & Aqualops gain +6" deployment.
  • Magic item Compass Banner eliminates all movement penalties.
  • Magic item Eversail Banner adds +d6" to charge range & pursuit range
Basic Disadvantages
  • No cavalry of any kind.
  • Only one flying unit.
  • No scouts.
  • Character mounts limited in terms of ability to select them.
  • Spellcaster wave movement is good but balanced by weakness of spellcasters.
  • Key units notably Trident Guard are only movement 4"
  • Magic banners (Compass & Eversail) can only be taken by Trident Guard.
  • Only skirmisher unit in army cannot advance deploy.
In comparison to a number of existing armies such as Dark Elves, High Elves, Wood Elves, Bretonnians, Empire and even Orcs & Goblins Nauticans suffer seriously from a lack of fast moving cavalry units and flyers. Yes they have a good (and cheap) core flying unit but this is the only real fast mover.

The key to effective control of the movement phase is the use of the forward deploying Wavebreakers and Sandgangers. The Sandgangers especially should feature prominently in any Nautican list. The ability to put cheap(ish) core unbreakable units on the table 6" in is invaluable. The Wavebreakers too are effective infantry and along with the Crabs & Aqualops you have four very good (but not overly strong) units you can use to great effect.

Nautican skirmishers too are incredibly effective at least at delaying any enemy advance. Very cheap you can field them in good numbers, but their 16" range blowpipes rely on them being able to get in close. Spread them out on the flanks and to the rear and you can march the majority of your army forward while the cheaper Sprats guard your flanks.

Of the units on offer the Crest Riders perhaps are the most interesting. Limited in numbers, you can usually only take 1 unit in a standard game, maybe 2 if you are playing more than 2000pts their single 20" charge would be devastating. Deploying them last you would seriously require your opponent to think about what he/she was going to do with their army. They would in most games I suspect become a magnet for the opening enemy attacks. Deploying on the edge of your army would allow them to charge 20" across the front of your main battle line effectively into the flank of anyone who was to their front.

All up the Nautican movement phase is solid. Next I will examine Nautican Magic.

1 comment:

Sigmar said...

A nice summary Kiwi.

I think some changes will soon be forthcoming, esp in relation to Stingrays (which might be moved to Special or limited in someway) and Crest Riders which will probably be limited to 1 per Siren and 2 per Mermaid.

I haven't told anyone else about the Crest Rider idea yet so you're the first to know :)

Thanks for taking so much of an interest and for being such a great supporter.

Sigmar