Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thoughts on playing against eGaspy

You only have to go to page 5 to pick up on the fact that Privateer Press wants you to go for the throat.

Look at it this way: most anti-infantry stuff has something like MAT/RAT 6, DEF 12-13, and ARM 15 tops with a low end of POW 10.

That means they generally need a 6-7 to hit, and a 6+ to kill you, and that's average power. What's that mean? You probably want to shoot first and, y'know, cripple the other guy.

Now, some folks CAN play attrition; Lich Lord Asphxious is one example. He can swell the ranks of his undead troopers by killing yours, AND bring back a chunk of them for one last charge via his feat, which usually kills you or takes out a large chunk of your stuff.

Bottom line? He's happy to trade troopers with you, since he can always get more. Worst case scenario, he trades a unit of Bane Knights (mmm, weapon masters with reach and Vengeance for when the other guy kills some...) for something, then fires them at your caster via his feat.

The Situation
Since I occasionally suffer from a critical lack of reading comprehension skills (...I thought the league point value had changed; we're doing an escalation league with gradually increasing points levels and I thought we were at 45...) the matchup was thus:

3 Slayers
Necrotech/Scrap Thrall
3 Scrap Thralls
2 Warwitch Sirens

10 Bane Thralls + UA
10 Bane Knights
2 Deathrippers
Bane Lord Tartarus
Gorman di Wulfe
2 Warwitch Sirens

Scenario: Mosh Pit

End Result: turn 3 Caster Kill for me
Casualties: 4 Bane Knights on his side, 4 Scrap Thralls on mine

What's the Lesson Here?
So, there are 20 Weaponmasters across the table, and he can probably trade most of them for most of my jacks, and then promptly pop his feat and assassinate Morty, since her Tier 4 list does not bring infantry units (so, no easy screening...)

Frankly, I lucked out a bit because he wasn't aware of the power of Overrun (I put the spell on a jack; it kills something and another jack gets a free full advance outside of its normal movement) combined with a Leviathan and Mortenebra's interface.

Basically, Deryliss slaps it on Deathjack, DJ crushes a couple of Banes after the Warwitches and Slayers clear some space. The Leviathan Overruns up, Morty pops her feat and moves into base with it. The Leviathan then uses its access to re-rolls, an aim bonus for RAT 7, and and Morty's 7 focus to blow Gaspy to hell (again) with a pair of fully-boosted POW 14's and one boosted to-hit POW 14 in reserve.

So, what's my point?

For me, this is kind of the 'Aha!' moment, the proof-of-concept that sometimes, assassination really IS the way, and some kind of crazy balls-out aggression really IS the way to go. Frankly, if that had failed, it would've been game. Then again, I'd rather play the odds* early and go for the win than try to fight attrition, since I saw a shot while I still had my ranged assassination guy intact.

Bottom Line
Sometimes, crazy plans, "Where did that come from?!" tricks and catching your opponent off-guard will get you the win. However, I don't think it'll work a second time. On the other hand, it's always good to have that tool in your arsenal.

*On the odds: Leviathan's RAT 7 vs Gaspy's DEF 15 means an 8 to hit on 3d6. The average of 3d6 is 10.5; so I was probably shooting at a 60-70% chance before a re-roll, so I could reasonably assume two hits. He had 1 Focus on him, so that's ARM 17, so it's 3d6-3 damage. That's an average of 8 damage. Given re-rolls, again, it's a fairly reasonable assumption I could take him. It could've backfired, but again, at the time, I didn't see really great options for me in this matchup.

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