The Human Element

I’ve had the desire to coordinate playing a multiplayer game of Ultimate Apocalypse with Will, since he recently downloaded and installed it. We gave it a test run on Hamachi, in which Eldar (me) lost to Chaos Space Marines. In a most displeasing fashion as well. I had nothing that could stop his daemons.

Tonight, we squared off as Tau Empire (me) met Chaos Space Marines. The speed of our engagement was significantly faster than yesterday, and we began quarreling near the 6 minute mark over a middle relic. He defended the hell out of it and left me with few options but to expand and unseat his position. I accomplished this with Barracudas and Kroot Hounds with a few Krootox at the end. Being unable to stop the Barracudas, defeat was inevitable.

For a change of pace, I set myself as Tyranids vs the tried and true Chaos Space Marines. Tyranids lack a substantive counter to most anything ranged in tier 0 and tier 1. Hormagaunts were shelled with mortars. Termegaunts as well. Lictors killed infantry, but then he brought in some aircraft… which Tyranids appeared incapable of destroying. They have no counter to aircraft. This is exactly why I took to Facebook’s UA page and asked the developers to give them a tier 1 flying unit or an equivalent. Anyway, he annihilated me.

We played two more games, both Tau Empire vs Chaos Space Marines, both victories for me. Tau Empire has vehicles which are hard to reckon with. Barracudas hover above melee range and punish vehicles and buildings. Skyray Missile Gunships have tier 2 artillery missile upgrades and can fire off a full payload deployment every few minutes. They hammer infantry and buildings. I used each in the two games, hitting back hard after his initial offensive. I backed up the vehicles with Kroot Hounds and Krootox. They took care of most anything on the ground. The final blow was dealt by persistent vehicles on an auto build.

It’s amazing to face a human foe. I remember that Eldar game, the first one, I was actually nervous and antsy. It did terrible things to my game, as I had my hat handed to me.

So far, I have yet to lose with Tau Empire. They have ambitious intentions if used wisely. I’ve found a way to balance the two races (Tau and Kroot) and achieve great speed and deadly efficiency. I can make the Tau Empire go fast dude. I dilly dally in tier 2, building hounds to fuel the 12:00 mark offensive. Our games are short, sometimes only 14:00. To me, there must be a damn good reason to go to battle so soon. I’d rather coil back and wait for my technologies to be ready, then execute a militaristic strike. I can manage about 4 commander level upgrades before the game is over, or he dies.

Humans make unpredictable decisions. Like the aircraft move. Or the ranged artillery move. I get you. But for me, humans never do the same thing twice. They’re always adapting, modifying.

I can already tell, we’re in for some fun.