Since I'm starving for some tactical conversation lately, and I've bounced off the Malifaux Wave 3 beta due to burnout, I thought I'd keep the Epic activity here going with a new discussion.
My first games of Epic used two Mega-Gargants at a hefty ~1050 points each (in 3000-point games, which seems to be standard). It immediately became apparent that there were some problems with this setup - the Gargants packed a horrendous amount of firepower but could only bring it to bear against one target per turn each, they moved slowly and had trouble crossing the board to capture objectives, and having only four activations made it easy for opponents to run rings around my forces (especially those with sky-high Strategy ratings, like Space Marines, who could afford to retain two activations before I got a chance to act and still had plenty left over once my whole force was done).
The Mega-Gargants also have terrible survivability due to a lack of Reinforced Armour, and I subsequently dropped them back to Great Gargants at ~900 points each, but found they still suffered from the same issues.
In my recent list-building efforts, I've found it increasingly difficult to justify spending the points required to field a Gargant of any kind, and indeed War Engines in general (other than air transports). In part, this is probably a peculiarity of the Ghazghkull list, which requires that a Great Gargant include your Warlord, making it both the Supreme Commander and the Break the Spirit objective (which I'm not comfortable with). They also compete with Landas.
In the tournaments I've attended so far, I noticed that lists tended to fall into two categories: all-Titan lists (including Ork Gargants and Imperial Titans) which included a small number (generally 4-5) of heavy war engines and basically nothing else; and non-Titan lists which focused on air superiority, mobility and activation control (generally 8-10 formations) with only a few low-budget war engines (mostly the dirt-cheap Warhounds).
Both of these list types seemed to do well. Conspicuously missing were lists that used an expensive war engine as a central element, combined with multiple cheap activations for board control.
This made me curious - do mixed forces simply not work as well as the focused either-or style? How much of this phenomenon stems from the tendency of army lists to lump aircraft and Titans into the same restricted pool? Given that restriction, are aircraft simply a more effective choice for most armies, or are there other reasons not to choose Titans?
Additionally, how do the people who run all-Titan lists deal with being out-activated, out-maneuvered and attacked from all sides (including the air)? What sort of play style do these lists lend themselves to - are they aggressive, defensive, evasive? How do you keep your Titans alive, given that each loss is a huge blow to both your firepower and your ability to capture objectives?
I (and my sad, retired Gargants) look forward to hearing people's thoughts.