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KoW Are Salamanders Underpowered?

Discussion in 'Salamanders Discussion' started by BAE, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. BAE
    Razordon

    BAE Well-Known Member

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    I've posted this on the Mantic Forum, but I thought I would post it on here as well in case some Sally players are more active here than there:

    As I've been playing more battles I have had a building suspicion that the Salamander list in general is slightly underpowered. There is nothing that I can point my finger at to prove it, but I get the feeling all the same. Here are a few things that go through my mind:

    1. Even when I have demonstrably 'won' the deployment phase and played a tactically superior game, I can only seem to eke out a good draw or a very minor win. This compares with games where I have played worse get absolutely mauled. I've generally been playing opponents that are of similar strategic and tactical experience, and their armies (KoM, Elves etc.) seem to be far more forgiving than Sallies if played badly and effective if played well.

    2. Salamanders don't seem to feature much on competition winning rosters. When the 'top 10 player' lists are released from various competitions and shared on forums, very few (none?) seem to have used Salamanders. This could either be because they know Sallies are underpowered and won't play with them, or that the Sally players don't win, but either way the conclusion is the same.

    3. Bat reps seem to go against Sallies more than for them. It'd be interesting if a full analysis of bat reps available online was collated, but I'm pretty sure Sallies tend to lose more than win from what I've seen.

    Obviously all three of the above could be explained away - I might be a worse player than I believe, competitive players might have other reasons not to play Sallies, and a small sample size available online might be skewing my view of bat reps. However, all three existing simultaneously seems to give a little more credence to my hunch. What are others' thoughts? Have you felt the same thing at all? And if so, does anyone have any suggestions as to why this might be?
     
  2. Crowsfoot
    Slann

    Crowsfoot Well-Known Member

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    I haven't played much and not competitively but my Sally army has never lost, played against Undead, Ogres, Goblins, even when I play another army and my son uses Sallies he wins.

    I know what you mean some units just seem meh, but I like that challenge of trying to make something work but sometimes you can't because the said unit is just meh.

    True you don't see them played a lot in bat reps and less win, but you have a chance to change that when you win at the October event ;)

    Are you using a set list or mix and matching?
     
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  3. BAE
    Razordon

    BAE Well-Known Member

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    What do you mean mixing and matching?
     
  4. Crowsfoot
    Slann

    Crowsfoot Well-Known Member

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    Against your opponents are you using the same list or swapping units and trying new stuff out?
     
  5. BAE
    Razordon

    BAE Well-Known Member

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    I've swapped around my list only a little but my opponents have changed theirs massively, so it's the same end result.

    And the chance of me winning the event in October is somewhere between zero and zero.
     
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  6. Itepixcauh
    Ripperdactil

    Itepixcauh Well-Known Member

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    Well I do tend to agree with you on this point, I do win games but there is always the feeling that we get less for the points.

    I really like my Salamanders don't get me wrong but the feeling that at some point we got hit a bit too much with the nerf hammer is still there.

    I won't be changing my army for the time being though :cool:
     
  7. classicflava
    Cold One

    classicflava Active Member

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    I think the problem with salamanders is there are not as many competitive builds as compared to other armies. My other main army is the Herd and i seem to do way better with them. When i have played around with building lists with other armies there seem to be more good options. I could be totally off but who knows.
     
  8. Rapax
    Skink

    Rapax Member

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    Underpowered is a strong word, but I do feel Salamanders are slightly below average.
     
  9. Jack Trowell
    Cold One

    Jack Trowell Active Member

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    Well, they are not underpowered as in "why do Tomb Kings have some units that are stricly inferior to their Vampire counts equivalent ?", an more in that they lack some of the easy to use options that most (but not all) other armies get.

    Byt being different, it gives the army a bigger learning curve, so it's harder to master it, but I think that the potential is there.

    Sure, it's possible that there a a few units that might be slightly overcosted, and some options that would have been nice to have (like a kaisenor mount option for the battle captain), so it's not false to say that they are probably slightly below average, but there is probably less difference between salamanders and so called "top tier" armies like ratkin or abyssal dwarves that there would have been in Warhammer between armies in the same "tier".
     
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  10. Rapax
    Skink

    Rapax Member

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    Kings of War is a much better balanced game than Warhammer was, no doubt about it. But it's still only in its 2nd iteration, and there is still some progress to be made as far as balance goes. The house rules made for Clash of Kings points strongly to this. If Mantic imposes house rules to their own game when holding a tournament, that means that they are admitting some things need to be fixed.
     
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  11. Itepixcauh
    Ripperdactil

    Itepixcauh Well-Known Member

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    I must admit that the game needed some slight changes but still is far more balanced than Fantasy ever was.

    The slight gap between Salamanders and some other armies is small and can be closed with good tactics but we have to admit that against a good general with a top tier army there isn't much we can do on the long run.

    Still, I will keep playing and testing other options and builds in the league I'm playing, more to come soon!
     
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  12. Jack Trowell
    Cold One

    Jack Trowell Active Member

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    I'm not so sure about that, I think that between two veteran genreals, when you are no longer relying on crutches like spammed fliers or LB/BA, that the game would be much closer.

    The same way that a pure dwarf army lacks light fast units and must play differently (or use allies and no longer be a pure dwarf army), I still believe that salamanders have enough tools to be competitive at high level.

    See Daniel King salamander list as an exemple of a perfectly competitive salamander army (especially the second version with only one flying drake).
     
  13. Crowsfoot
    Slann

    Crowsfoot Well-Known Member

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    Have you a link to the list @Jack Trowell
     
  14. BAE
    Razordon

    BAE Well-Known Member

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    Here. They're both on the first page (the second list is slightly further down).
     
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  15. Lord-Marcus
    Carnasaur

    Lord-Marcus Well-Known Member

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    I think that used competitively they can work.
     
  16. Rapax
    Skink

    Rapax Member

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    I just read through the lists for the US Masters tournament that was held a few weeks ago. It was sad reading for the scaly people. Of the 21 factions in the game, 20 were represented in the lists. The one that was missing? You guessed it, Salamanders.

    To be fair, there was also no League of Rhordia list. But one player had them allied in, so they were at least present in the tournament.

    It should also be said that the CoK 2016 rules were used, so the buffs to the Salamanders had not kicked in yet.
     
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  17. BAE
    Razordon

    BAE Well-Known Member

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    Tom Robinson (UK No. 1 for past year, No.3 for this season) is using a League of Rhordia list at the moment and has won multiple tournaments with it. I do see where you're coming from though, and it is the build up of evidence like this that started me wondering about whether they were underpowered or not. We will have to wait until KoW V3 (current estimate is 2019 I think?) to get a competitive list as the Rules Committee cannot admit that Sallies are underpowered - they would essentially be admitting that they screwed up (some involved in the testing have said that Sally balancing was a bit of a rush-job) and there would also be completely legitimate calls for them to do a larger rebalance of the list, no doubt involving points changes, which they have specifically ruled out.

    I can't see the CoK book changing the situation - the buffs aren't all that massive:
    - CLoWFD is still expensive for what it gets, and on top of that since Ensorcelled Armour has been taken away this unit type (lord on dragon) has pretty much disappeared from tournaments
    - Clan Lord is fairly decent and I use him with Wings, but this unit type (combat-focussed individual) is again not that prevalent in the lists of any armies
    - Kaisenor Lancers now pack quite the punch for a unit so cheap, so I'm pleased with this. Unfortunately the Salamander list doesn't provide any fast chaff to be able to use them effectively as an offensive force.
    - Fire Drake is still considerably overcosted due to good melee and good breath, but an obvious inability to use both at the same time. The only way I've seen good melee/range monsters used well is as threat projection (and charge if enemy comes close enough) while still being able to shoot things, but with a breath range of 12" the Fire Drake will often get charged if its breath is in range.

    And you have to weigh the above buffs against the negative that all of our breath weapons (Mage-Priest, CLoFD, Fire Drake, GFE... it adds up!) got nerfed by the cover change.
     
  18. Rapax
    Skink

    Rapax Member

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    If you think that lords on dragons are disappearing from tournaments then you should have a look at the US Masters lists.

    Here is a quick summary:
    - There were 8 Undead players at the tournament and collectively they had 7 Revenant Kings on Undead Wyrms (ALL of them with wings) and 3 Vampires on Undead Dragons.
    - The 9 Elf player brought 12 Dragon Kindred Lords and 2 Drakon Rider Lords
    - 4 Night Stalker players took 4 Void Lurkers
    - 4 Abyssal players brought 4 Archfiends of the Abyss, ALL of them with wings
    - The 4 Varangur armies included 5 Kings on Chimeras
     
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  19. Jack Trowell
    Cold One

    Jack Trowell Active Member

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    For the kaisenors and the lack of chaff, I can see several ways to make it work :

    1) In a defensive list with things like komodons and/or Lekelidon used to force your opponent to advance towards you, a simple ghekkotah warriors troop can be enough to screen a kaisenor regiment, they still have a decent speed of 6, enough to get into position to face your opponent own advance

    2) if you want to advance faster, ghekkotah hunters with speed 7 are only one less speed than the kaisenors, and with nimble have an easier time to get out of the way

    3) finally there is another tactic that I have seen used in some other armies : using kaisenor troop(s) to screen kaisenor regiment(s) (and/or rhinosaurs). At 110 points, they are not to expensive, and they are tough enough that anything that would be able to kill them in one charge would not like being charged in turn by the regiment being

    There is also the option of advancing kaisenor regiments beings skyraiders and/or a skylord, it's more expensive but if you took them anyways, they will still work.

    Just because the default tactic is using some cheam light cavalry troop or similar to screen a heavy cavalry regiment or large cavalry horde does not means that it's the only way to make it work.
     
  20. Negator
    Saurus

    Negator Member

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    maybe if ghekkos had nimble
     

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