Thursday, December 15, 2011

Guest Article: Playing My Way

We received an article from ZerkeX today, and it looks like December is a hot month for Tactics.

Check out his article on how to make your opponent play by your rules.  I must say I enjoy the theory behind forcing your opponent's hand in their decision making by using well planned and often times brutal tactics.

First off, as a long time player, and short time writer, allow me to say that I am pleased to bring you my first widely spread article of any consequence.

This is entitled Playing My Way.  In the following I will describe how it is that you can simply push players into making a bad decision by forcing them to play your way.  This is after all a tactical game.  I'm going to use my most recent trip to a tournament to help you to understand what it is that I am talking about on this one.  As it will most defiantly keep things in the right perspective.  I'll start out with my list for you, so you can see what I was using to play here.


10x Thunder Hammer Storm Shield Termies
10x Thunder Hammer Storm Shield Termies

10x Tactical Marines with Lascannons, meltagun, and powerfist
10x Tactical Marines with Lascannons, meltagun, and powerfist

10x Assault Marines Sergeant equiped with Powerfist and Melta Bombs
10x Assault Marines Sergeant equiped with Powerfist

Totals out to 7 whole killpoints, 13 if I combat squad everything.

We are going to start out with my round one opponent.  A good solid list, and had I not seized the initiative from him, I'm sure it would have been a real uphill battle.  Lets start with deployment.  My favorite type, Spearhead.  He was running a Librarian, a Captain, 4 tac squads with varying weapons, a scout squad, and two dev squads one running 4 missiles the other running 2 missiles 2 plasma cannons.  When he told me he had no power weapons, I went nuts with it, as I knew I had to get in there as soon as I possibly could because if not he would gun down a full squad or two.   so Shrike and his assault squad right there front and center. I placed on either flank on the deployment line a squad of 10 thunder hammer termies, and right behind the table center squad I placed the second assault squad.  The Tac marines stayed in the backfield to shoot their two whole long range guns a turn, which had absolutly no effect on this game at all.  His Deployment was his dev squads in their buildings his tac squads out in the middle between the two of them, and his Dreadnaught off to the right of his right most dev squad.   This gave me a lot of advantage, as his biggest threat to me was the Dread and his libby and captain.  The dread was out of position, and the Cap and Libby were right there in the two front squads.  So an easy mop it up if I could get there.  His Scouts outflanked onto the board, thus making them a nonissue.

So now is where we go into playing my game and forcing him to play the way I want him to.  I know that all those plasma shots and missiles over there are going to begin to dwindle my assault marines, and terminators if I don't take care of them.  Since I managed to seize, I got lucky and wrapped up two tactical squads the librarian and the cap all on first turn.  He lost enough to Shrike and the marines to force lead, which he ran with his libby and with his captain.  I caught the captains squad, the libby ran off the board.  Turn one I'm up two kill points.  But how is it that I'm making him play my way you ask?  He needs his shots from the dev teams to survive for any length of time, so he can't let Shrike and the Marines get out of that close combat.  To keep them there, he uses his other two tac squads.  which is what I wanted him to do.  Get his units all tied up in the front, and let my termies get in there to finish the job.  And that is exactly what it is that I did.  I pushed up the termies, and multiassaulted the left dev squad and the tac marines.  Crushing both squads more than enough to cause them to run and while I couldn't sweeping advance, I could still give chase causeing them to run again.  Putting most of his army out of the game.  The dread assaulted me.  I lost a termie and beat it to death with thunderhammers, next I lose Shrike to wounds and take out the Captain with my own thunderhammer termies.  Pushing him to just the scouts who are tied up with my tactical squads, and a dev team.  I've dropped two kill points to his 9 at this moment.  It's turn 3.  I crush the Dev Team under the weight of my termies, and turn 4 finish off his last scout handing me the game.

So what could have been done differently by him to allow him a better chance of success.  Well he could have used his scouts to better effect in my opinion by screening his front lines with them, and not letting me get into his squishy bits turn zero.  Then the game was a serious challenge, as a lose libby with Null Zone kinda makes me scared.  Also the close range dread would have been a good item to deploy in a better spot. Yes he had cover from the lascannons, but he didn't do much other than just get cover the whole time.

What was my tactics here you ask!  Allow me to enlighten you on how I made him play.  Knowing that he would instinctivly protect his Dev's with his tac squads, I simply threw my fastest stuff at him first turn.  Forcing him to play my way by keeping his shooting tied up with Shrike and the assault marines, allowing my Terminators the chance to get there and finish the job.  On Spearhead, there really isn't anywhere to run to.  I just simply throw everything at the person I'm after to start with, and then blam it's over.  But on Pitched you can eaisly run from them for the most part and set up your own counter assaults to keep the Terminators out of the game long enough to escape from the fighting again.

Well that is it for the moment.  I hope that you all enjoyed the read on playing my way.  Any questions comments or concerns, feel free to tell someone else...just kidding.  Please feel free to ask questions, and I will answer to the best of my ability.  I was going to use the whole tournament, but I'm lacking in drive at the moment, so maybe a second installment at some point.

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