Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Path to Victory: Assassination or Scenario Win?

This is a question that's come up from time to time, and I admit that I honestly don't mind winning either way. Still, when you're building an army AND when you're calculating the matchup between your list and the other guy's, I think it pays to prioritize which one you'll go for.

At the very minimum, you need to play to not lose the scenario. Know your objective; what do you need to do to claim it and what do you absolutely HAVE to do in order to keep the enemy from getting it. This usually means putting your guys in a place, and/or denying your enemy claiming units in those same places. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, and ALWAYS pay attention to this. It's very easy to watch turn three roll around and be like "Wait, I lose? What the hell?!" because you forgot there was a scenario in play.

Your List
Honestly, some casters (and, well, frankly, some armies) are better at assassination than objective wins. Cryx, for example, has some casters that just SCREAM to set up the enemy for an assassination; Warwitch Denegrha can put a -4 ARM on a target and knock it down, provided she can put an arc node on the target, and just wants her army to finish the deed. The Butcher...brings an army to deliver him. Magnus is happy to bring a couple of Renegades with their Tactical Nuclear Devices followed by a point-n-LOL, and so on.

Alternatively, some lists can do objectives just fine; Wraith Witch Deneghra is one of several casters that can lock down a huge number of enemy pieces and set you up for an assassination OR keep the enemy from the scenario. Similary, one of the happy lil' Rhulic fellows can shove you all out of important real estate with his Feat.

Bottom line: when you're designing a list, focus it on what you want to do, and then bring a backup plan. This is kind of self-evident; if I plunk Lich Lord Terminus down across the table from someone they can be reasonably sure I'm going to attempt to apply Termy to their caster ASAP. I need another threat, at least, in this case.

So far, it seems that lists vary on a few axes when it comes to winning.

1) How to Kill the Enemy Caster
Surgical Strike (I only need to kill the other caster) vs Attrition (I'm willing & able to trade casualties with you and still out on top)

2) How to Take care of the objective
Bring a unit that don't mind sitting on objectives? (IE: Shooters; they can still contribute)
Bring a unit that doesn't mind not directly contributing to the fight (small unit)
Bring a solo or two that you can sit on objectives
Bring a unit/solo/jack that is an absolute pain to dislodge
Engage the enemy on the objectives
See #1; kill the enemy before the objective becomes a factor on turn 3+

3) How to prevent assassination

I: is it something I bring to deny a type of assassination? IE, against ranged assassination, I can bring an Ogrun Bokur or a warjack/warbeast with Shield Guard to eat a shot, or Gorman di Wulfe to hide me from assassination via cloud?

II: Screening units; do I bring something like a medium-based unit to deny tramples, or otherwise block off some avenue of approach?

III: Does my caster have some kind of built-in defense against it, like DEF 16-17+, high ARM, Stealth, Incorporeal, or a lovely denial spell like Hellbound (just say NO to being charged...)

Bottom Line
These are some questions I've occasionally failed to ask mysefl, and usually paid for. Basically, if you want to win you've GOT to keep an eye on the win conditions; assassination and the scenario.

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