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Dropzone Commander- The state of the Shaltari Army

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    I posted this on Facebook but also decided to post it here.

    What is the state of the Shaltari army?

    I own all five armies. But my main army is, and always has been, Shaltari. Love me some space elves! Or angry hedgehogs if you prefer. Personally, I prefer rightful heirs of the universe, but I digress.

    In Version 1.1 of the rules, there seemed to be a general consensus amongst non-Shaltari players that the Shaltari were overpowered and under costed. Amongst the reasons given were the ability to teleport, the ability to have a transport pool that could reassign transports every turn and nearly universal passive saves. There was also significant grumbling about individual units.

    As a result, most changes that were made to the Shaltari army were increased points costs. Those point costs largely carried over to Version 2.

    The problem is, V2 dramatically changed the game. Now, every army has a transport pool, thus diminishing the advantages formerly enjoyed by Shaltari players. True, you still can teleport between gates, but the activation sequence necessary to do this makes it a fairly situational ability.

    The near universal passive saves have been rendered dramatically less effective. Now instead of taking saves in hits, you calculate damage first, then takes saves. Given the rather flimsy nature of the armor on many Shaltari units, and a significant increase in the number of Devastator 2 or better weapons, Shaltari units are frequently taking four saves off a single hit, making those passive saves dramatically less useful.

    Consider the Shaltari skimmers. With virtually no armor (Armor 12), they rely on speed to stay alive. Given a more or less standard accuracy of 2+, that Evasion 2 means you’re getting hit 50% of the time. With Energy 10 weapons being near universal, if you’re hit, you take one point of damage on a on a 2+. On a 4+, you’re taking two points of damage. Throw in Devastator 2, you’re now at four points of damage. It’s not easy making four 5+ saves.

    Battlestriders with Armor 13 and no Evasion aren’t exactly doing well either. Even the big Warstriders with Armor 14 can lose half their damage points to a single E10 hit, so those passive saves really took a beating in the current edition of the rules.

    There are also some weird holes in the army. Currently, there are no indirect fire weapons. How did that happen?

    And the current units equipped with flame weapons are an expensive command unit (the Gharial skimmer), a weird scout unit (the Samurai walker) and the Khopesh flyer. Though I will admit I find the Khopesh very interesting even though I think the rules on fast movers need to be completely re-written.

    Then there’s this unit, the Tate, pictured below. What is it named after? I did some internet searches and the best I could come up with was an obscure art gallery in the UK.

    This weird little unit is an unarmed scout that boosts passive saves. Since there are no indirect fire units in the army, the scout function only serves to extend the range of influence for a commander.

    But the ability to boost passive saves is a limited 3 inch bubble. So if you want to use both the scout and the passive save boost abilities, you have to put it right next to the commander.

    Now if there were other scout units around it, like a Yari, then it might make your scout units more survivable. But you can’t mix units in the same squad. So no Yari/Tate mixed formations.

    There’s also way too many Dragon Cannons and Microwave Guns that simply never get used. Now, if you make them Flame weapons, you might have something there.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are outstanding units. I love my Firedrakes, Caimans and Braves, but they can’t do all the work themselves.

    So, am I way out in left field here? Or did the Shaltari take a real beating in the latest version of the rules?


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