Blog Archives

Quick Tip: Tag-Team to Win Combat

Hey all Son of Adam here with a quick tip about tipping the favor of combat.  This technique is a very particular one, but it can be shaped to good effect against most non-fearless armies; it’s called the tag-team.  Please keep in mind that this technique cannot be used in every circumstance, but when it can be used, it can be the shift in power during a game.

 

            Once in the last round of a tournament, I was facing a horde ork army with a full sized nob biker unit.  There was nothing in my army that could have faced that unit head on and my opponent knew it.  He stretched the squad out across the board so that no matter where I went in my turn he would be close enough to engage me.  I was stuck in a hard place and had to employ the tag-team.

           

            I happened to get the rule book power terrify (it relieves a unit of the fearless special rule) and I used it on his nob bikers (keep in mind this tactic can only be used on non-fearless units).  I moved up my combat unit and did not shoot in order to keep the formations that he had put out in place.  Then I multi-assaulted his strung out nobs squad (big scary unit) and tag-teamed his boys squad (an easily killable unit).  I used my movement in such a way to make sure that nearly all of the combat squad could only get in on the boys squad and I dumped nearly all of my attacks into it.  During his reaction most of his nob squad was too far away to fight, and most of the boys were dead.

            For combat resolution I had killed enough of the boys that his biker squad was taking its leadership test on a two.  Even with the re-roll they failed, and since the boys were still big enough to be fearless I couldn’t pursue them.  The Nobs with both warbosses rolled their three dice and fled off the table.

           

            That is the tag-team.  In these pictures you can see how the eldar jetbikes are facing off against a paladin squad.  During their movement they position themselves in a place where they can declare the convenient rhino as their primary target and the paladins as the secondary. 

 

            After they charge they dump all of their attacks into the rhino and only one of the warlocks hits the paladins.  Since in sixth edition all damages against a tank count towards combat resolution the paladins end up loosing combat by enough to make them test on double ones.

 

            They fail their leadership and if the bikes roll low enough to catch them, then the paladins will break and run off the table.

 

            This is very situational, and it’s not a guarantee, but if you find the opportunity, try it.  You can help push favor of combat towards your units if you can find a way to push the combat resolution to 9+ on your side.  Good luck all.

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List Building: Checklist

Be intentional about the Heavy Support and Fast Attack choices that you pick.

Hey guys, Son of Adam here again with a little list building checklist.  This is not the end all be all of list building, but is simply a quick check to run through your list in order to see if you are missing something.

            If you are building an all-comers list for any mission in the new BRB, then there are some things that you ought to make sure that you consider.  Here is a very basic two part checklist to run through your list.  The first is directly written with the Golden Rules in mind, and the second are with the potential meta in mind.

Mission Specific:

  • How will this list handle scoring/contesting 6 different objectives?
  • Is there any way to reduce my kill point total?  Does this list have too many?
  • Are all of the heavy support choices in this list diverse enough to take advantage of Big Guns Never Tire without creating too much of a victory points liability should they be destroyed and award the opponent victory points?
  • Are all of the Fast Attack choices in this list diverse enough to take advantage of The Scouring without creating too much of a victory points liability should they be destroyed and award the opponent victory points?
  • Can this list get a near guarantee that I claim one particular objective of my choosing?
  • Can this list guarantee that I can deny one particular objective of my opponent?
  • Does this list provide a solution for seizing and holding the relic?
  • Does this list provide a solution for forcing an opponent to drop the relic?
  • Does this list have a hard to kill Warlord?
  • Does this list provide a means to kill the opponents Warlord?
  • Does this list have an easy to kill unit?
  • Does this list provide a means for getting the first kill?
  • What in this list is poised to be in the enemy’s deployment zone at the end of the game?

General Defense:

  • Does this list provide a solution for AV14 vehicles?
  • Does this list provide a solution for Deathstars?
  • Does this list provide a solution for fliers?
  • Does this list provide a solution for hordes?
  • Does this list provide a solution for MSU?
  • Does this list provide a solution for 2+ saves?
  • Does this list provide a solution for Monstrous Creatures
  • Does this list provide a solution for Psykers?

Expect to see more fliers in the 6th Edition.  How will your list defend against them?

            Notice that these are not overly specific.  That is intentional.  There are many tricky ways to deal with the different threats and achieve different objectives.  For example you can deal with a deathstar without killing it (see here for that article).  Or win “The Emperor’s Will” without trying to claim the opponents objective (article here), or any at all (article here).  Keep an eye out for providing an answer to each of these items in non-traditional ways.

            This is a very general checklist, but not a bad one to give your list a quick run-through.  Most of us try to run through this checklist in our heads anyway, but it is good to have a tangible list in front of us, and will benefit those that have not considered it before. 

            Run your list through this checklist and tell us about how it fared.  Feel free to post an overview of your list and its strengths and weaknesses in regards to the checklist in the comments below.  If you want to send me a copy of your list and your review personally send it to SonofAdam@MasterCraftGaming.com.

Road to NOVA: Necron Air Force

The Necron Air Force is a powerhouse in the 6th edition.

Hey guys Son of Adam here with a NOVA prep discussion about the Necron Air Force list.  As you guys know from the teaser below I recently had a chance to play against the dreaded Necron Air Force in a NOVA primer mission. 

            Some quick updates on my progress before we begin: with 7 days left, most of the army is built, most of the basing is done, the army list is getting near finalized, and the display board needs a bunch of work.  Tonight some of the fellas are coming over and we are going to paint all night.  Even though my stuff isn’t done yet, I’m still going to try and produce some content for the site and so here we go.

 

            The Necron Air Force is a very potent list that has most NOVA attendees frightened.  That is one of the reasons I wanted to get a battle report in here about them.  This list is generally based off of having maxed out, or nearly maxed out flyers.  It also tends to add one of the Necron characters (typically the Traveler or the Stormlord) with a large and tough enough squad not to get wiped on the first turn.  Then the question has been what travels in the night scythes.  Some swear to the survivability of the immortals, some the fire power/tricks of crypteks, and other the points effectiveness of the 5 man warrior squad.  In the end you are generally left with 8+ scythes (3 of which are doom scythes), a beefy/deathstar unit, and massed mobile scoring units.

            Some of the guys at my FLGS were talking about how to challenge this list and flyer lists in general.  Each time an idea came up; there would only need to be a slight change to the Air Force list that would knock it down again.  We even ran the IG air force against it, but the Doom Scythe is just too strong for aerial combat.  In the end it kept looking like nothing could shoot down enough of those flying croissants without being wiped off the table.  This may change with new updates and war gear, but for now the biggest threat to flyers is other flyers and even then, cron flyers are the best of the lot at this point.

            One problem that developed was a mirror match.  In the competitive scene, you have to expect that whatever is being considered one of the most powerful lists is going to be there in numbers.  If that’s the case, everyone who is bringing this list must consider this possibility and prepare accordingly.  This is where the special characters come in.  The stormlord allows for some extra defense, while providing unreliable support at bringing flyers down.  On the other hand the Traveler allows you to potentially get control of 4 Doom Scythes a turn with his mind in the machine. 

Necron’s firepower destroys units.

            As far as a response to flyers goes, some armies have a few options to bring them down, others must rely on allies.  Presently flyers are the best way to fight flyers, but this inherently has the problem of escalation.  If I bring three flyers then my opponent will bring four.  And, in the flyer vs. flyer games, first turn tends to loose as they will alpha strike an empty table and then get alpha’d in return.  On the other hand you can bring AA defense guns on the Aegis or the Bastion.  However, the Aegis gun tends to get dropped rather quickly and the Bastion is expensive and disallows scoring.

            There is only one real weakness that I can find for the flyers in this pre-AA adolescence of 6th edition in regards to NOVA style tournaments.  However, this weakness is not one that is exclusively held by flyers.  Tanks and flyers don’t count for scoring in table quarters missions.  If you start the game with 8+ flyers, or >1000 pts for crons, you will be at an initial disadvantage against armies like nids that are all scoring.

            All in all the air force lists are very strong until 6th gets more AA rules and there isn’t much that can compete with them.  However, with the prevalence of table quarter missions, some inexperienced cron players may be eliminated during these rounds.  I won’t go into what happened in my last match, but you can watch some of the other air force games on different sites and check back here by the end of the week to see how this one went.  I will be a little more thorough in how I tried to defend against the crons in the strategy follow-up that comes out after the report.

 

Thanks for reading.  Check back soon for some of the content that will be coming out.  Make sure to follow our website, like our facebook, and subscribe to the YouTube channel. 

-Peace.

Tournament Review: Outside the Box Games 8.12

Hey all Son of Adam here again with another tournament review.  This last weekend Vanguard and I drove out to Jersey and played in Outside the Box Games’ tournament.  This tournament was a 1999 tournament with 20 players.

I’m sorry that I haven’t put out too many strategy articles recently, but I have been busy playing in these tournaments and painting for NOVA.  Good news is that we should be having some graphics for the articles soon to help clearly display the techniques.

This weekend I brought an Eldar with Dark Eldar allies list.  It had the same council as before, two squads of three jetbikes, 3 squads of snipers, a squad of swooping hawks, an aegis, the duke, and a 20 man warrior squad.

My first match was against Damian and his Necrons.  It was a fun game against a good opponent, and it was good prep for us both as we are both planning on attending NOVA.  You all asked for a more in depth report and so this is my effort to accommodate that; if you are uninterested just take a look at the pictures and scroll down to the bottom.

 

Damian’s (sorry bro, I have no idea how to spell this.  feel free to post a revision and I will throw it in here) list had an overlord with two 10 man immortal squads, a destroyer lord with two 6 man wraith squads, 3 night scythes with 5 man warriors onboard, two annihilation barges, and a doom scythe.  The mission was dawn of war deployment and the victory conditions were Kill points with the BRB secondary for battle points.

 

Damian won the roll for first and passed it to me.  There was already a sky-shield platform in my deployment so I didn’t need the aegis.  I castled up and dumped all of the foot troops in it except for the hawks who skylept at the beginning of the turn.  Then I placed the council on the far side of the middle to try and get Damian to split his forces.  He then deployed all of his wraiths with the destroyer lord across from my castle, and setup everything else across from the council.

In first turn I turned on the fortune and flat out the council to my left flank just in front of the platform to cover up the firebase from assault.  Then everything shot at the one squad with the destroyer lord.  Damian was running him in the front in order to pass off all of the wounds.  However, I was able to get a few sniper shots in on him and reduced him to one wound, and knock off two wraiths.

In his turn he charged all of the wraiths forward and left the destroyer lord to the back.  Everything else changed direction and took its time getting in range of the castle.  One squad of wraiths was 11 inches away from the council but didn’t want to chance the overwatch for nothing and decided to run instead. 

For the start of my turn two I moved up the council and prepared for a multi-charge.  The fire base split its shots between the two squads, reducing the lord’s squad to a man, and the other to four wraiths.  Then the council charged in and knocked some more down. 

Damian’s turn two started with all of his fliers coming in trying to get shots on the castle, because the council was still engaged.  The rest of the army continued to adjust to being out of range.  All of the fliers opened fire on the castle, forcing them to go to ground and only managed to kill a few models.  In combat more of the wraiths dropped, but one survived and tied up the council for my turn.

 In my turn three, everything had gone to ground and the council was still engaged, but the jetbikes came on and hid on the now vacant part of the table.  In combat the last wraith went down and the council consolidated the best it could for the oncoming fire.

 The crons turn three had all of the night scythes continue to move forward, as the council was out of position for them to turn and fire on them, but the doom scythe moved into position to engage them.  The command barges now changed direction and went back to their original side of the table trying to chase down the guardian jetbikes.  All of the night scythes fired on the castle and it went to ground again, only loosing a few models.  The barges were out of range, and the doom scythe shot on the council, but couldn’t do enough damage.  Between all of the tesela’s arcs the doom ended up being hit and loosing a hull point.

 For the top of turn four the council charged over towards the first immortals squad and eliminated them between shooting and combat.  The castle snap fired into the same immortals squad to help reduce its numbers, and the guardians went flat out across the table to eliminate one of the barges range.

 In his turn four the night/doom scythes all flew off the table, the barges continued their pursuit and the immortals climbed a mountain hoping that the dangerous terrain would kill some of the council.  They fired on them and didn’t do much damage, but the barges were able to take out two from one of the guardian’s squad.

 For the top of my five the council moved into the mountain, shot, and charged the immortals killing all of them.  The guardian’s squad split up and flat out to the safest places they could find.

 In his turn five, all of the scythes came back and finally hunted down the remaining guardians.  The game ended, and Damian ended up getting three KP’s; two for the guardians and one for the Swooping Hawks that scattered off the table (sorry I forgot to mention that, they didn’t do anything but jump all game anyway).

 

 

My second match was against Mike Ludwig and his ork horde army.  Mike is the president of the Big Gunz gaming club and was a real fun guy to play against.  The table looked like a wave of green orks all game.  He had six 30 man ork boy squads with nob/claw/pole, three squads of 10 lootas, and a KFF big mek.  The match that we played was dawn of war deployment with four objectives across the middle.  There were special rules that said that the objectives could disappear if a six was rolled at the beginning of the turn.

 Mike got first turn and deployed everything in the only way he could manage, which was filling the board, throwing the mek as centrally that he could, and spreading out the lootas evenly.  I responded by putting the council out of range of all but one loota squad, throwing all the rest of the snipers in buildings, putting the warriors in the aegis, and reserving the hawks and one five man sniper team.

 Mike rolled for night fight first turn, which saved me from a lot of dakka.  He ran all of the boyz forward and shot what he could, but didn’t kill anything.

 In my turn the council moved up, but stayed in range of only one squad for charging.  All of the fire base fired on one unit and removed a chunk of it.

 For Mike’s turn two, he again advanced and fired on the council.  The one squad that was reduced and close enough to charge decided to not take the bait and instead backed up and covered the lootas.  Not much damage was done from his shooting.

 In my turn two the scouts came in and outflanked on the wrong side.  The council charged forward and with the fire base laid into the squad that had a chance to counter charge, reducing its effectiveness, and pinned another.

 For Mike’s turn three he wiped out my snipers easily, as they were out of cover.  Then he shot everything into the council and charge them with two squads.  I over-watched and hurt one and then the other came in without being hit.  I ended up kill the first squad and knocked out a lot of the other one as well.

 In my turn three the council finished up the rest of that squad in combat, and I fired into the pinned squad and the lootas.  The pinned squad got knocked down a few and the lootas had one member left.

 In Mike’s turn four we lost two of our objectives but evenly.  He moved everything up to hit the council at once.  The rest of the army shot into the council.  Then the one squad that was pinned, charged in and did a little bit of damage before being wiped.

 In my turn four the council charged one squad on his remaining objective and the firebase was generally getting out of range to do much else, but knock off the remaining loota and weaken the squad the council was charging.  The guardians came on and hid out of range of the remaining lootas.

 In Mike’s turn five, everything counter-charged the tied up council, and did a bunch of damage.  The lootas fired ineffectually into the snipers.  In the end he had three squads that remained in combat and the councils numbers began to get thin.

 For my turn five I boosted the bikes onto an objective, dropped the hawks on his in case the council didn’t make it, and shot the lootas off the table.  In combat the council killed off one of the squads but took a bunch of damage in return.

 The game ended here, but Mike wanted to see how it would go so we played it out.  He ended up killing all but one wound on each of the farseers, but they won combat and stuck around giving me the win on objectives.  Mike got first blood with the snipers that I shouldn’t have outflanked with, and I was able to pick up line breaker and kill the warlord.

 

 

For the final match I played an old friend of mine named Steve.  Steve brought a very nice, non-net-list, Necron army.  He had a destroyer lord with 6 wraiths, a night scythe with 15 warriors, two arks with 10 warriors, a 14 man warrior squad on foot, a squad of scarabs, a triach stalker, a doomsday ark, and two barges. 

 The mission this time was “The Relic” and the deployment was again dawn of war.  Steve got first turn and setup his stalker and ark on my right and spread everything else around from there to the left.  For my deployment I setup the council in the middle with the warriors in the aegis, and the snipers infiltrated onto my left.

 In Steve’s first turn it was night fighting, which ended up not mattering too much.  Almost everything advanced forward and shot off the one squad of guardians that I put on the table and killed a few warriors.  The ark shot my council and knocked off one guy.

 In my turn, I moved up the council to cover the snipers from the advancing wraiths, and my shooting didn’t do anything.

 Steve responded by moving everything into position to fire on the council and the snipers.  His night scythe came on the far left and contributed to the fire.  The Lord detached and went after the snipers and the scarabs and wraiths charged into the council.  I over-watched the scarabs nearly to death and killed the rest in combat, and the wraiths and I traded damage.  His Lord ended up rolling double ones and didn’t make it into combat.

 In my turn two, one squad of guardians came on and everything that was in range/free to shoot, shot at the lord reducing him to one wound.  The combat with the wraiths reduced them to a few members.

 Steve brought all of his guns to bear on my warriors in turn three, and nearly wiped them out, and then he killed off my guardians with his warriors.  Another squad of warriors dropped out of the ghost ark and picked up the relic.  The lord charged my snipers and lost his last wound to overwatch.  In combat my council removed the last three wounds in the wraith squad and consolidated towards the middle of the table.

 For my turn three, I charged the council forward and shot down the whole warriors squad with the relic and then consolidated on top of it. 

 The game ended there, because we ran out of time.  The game ended in a tie, but the tiebreaker was kill points which gave me the win.  Steve again got first blood and I was able to pickup kill the warlord on an overwatch.

  

All in all it was a fun day.  I ended up getting top spot and Vanguard tied the hard fought fight for the smoking boots award.  The store was great.  It is a bit newer but has great tables, terrain, and community.  Many thanks to the owner, Mike, for putting on such a great event.

 

Thanks all for reading.  This is a long post, but it is also the more detailed report that you guys were asking for.  I hope that is what you were looking for.  Please note that the pictures are all from my punny camera as the Mighty Squig was not able to attend, and should be looked at graciously.  On a side note, would you rather the perspective shots from the first matchup or just the turn overview from the second two?  Should we continue this longer, more detailed version, or just do the smaller one?

 

Check out our videos and make sure to like/follow/sub/friend our pages.  Thanks again all.

Strategy Follow-up: Eldar vs Salamanders

Hey all. You guys asked for a strategy discussion for our battle reports and here is our first go at it. Leave a comment and let us know if this is what you were looking for. In this video I go through how I approached the game and explain the different micro tactics that I used to help give myself the edge. If there was anything else in particular that you were interested in knowing just ask in a comment below and I will try my best to answer.

We have really appreciated all of the great support you guys have already given to us in our very short start-up so far. We are always improving with your advice, so keep it up.

So far we have on the battle report request queue we have: Dark Eldar vs. Grey Knights, Tyranids, and more Grey Knights.

Be sure to friend, like, subscribe, and follow our respective social networking sites. Thanks for watching.

Deployment: Refuse Flank

Hey all, its Son of Adam again with a littletactic for deployment; the second sphere of Game Strategy.  In this write up we are going to talk about how faster armies can really take advantage of the refuse flank deployment.

Swarm/non elite armies have an advantage and disadvantage in their numbers.  They can overwhelm an elite force or outlast it in a battle of attrition.  However, its disadvantage is in the deployment sphere.  You can only physically fit so many models on any given portion of the table, and so these armies are forced to spread out or play some squads in reserve.  Either way, this deployment style has a weakness against the refuse flank deployment.  (Something else I must note here is that swarm armies are forced to do this, but many elite armiesdo this as well, from tactical necessity, or poor play.  Either way it will open up the opportunity to take advantage of the refuse flank style of deployment).

The Tau Piranha is a good example of a unit that can take advantage of the refuse flank tactic.

In the refuse flank tactic, you can counter deploy against an enemy that has spread out by focusing all of your forces on one flank of the table.  The advantage here, which is best utilized by ranged or fast moving units, is to be able to bring the full force of your army against a smaller portion of your opponent’s army, in order to overwhelm it with less losses.

For example let’s imagine that a Vulkan player takes 4 rhinos full o’ tacs and evenly spreads them across his dawn of war deployment zone.  You take your speedy Dark Eldar list and counter deploy them all on his right flank.  Now when the game starts all he has to do is prepare the two rhinos in range for your force, and hurriedly try to move the other two to that side of the table, forfeiting all of their support until they get there.  Then you can bring all of your mobility and firepower to bear in order to overwhelm his two tactical squads just in time to now take the same force against the other two that have essentially just made it to the fight.

This is a fantastic way for making up for being outmatched

with your list.  If your opponents army is better than yours and makes this mistake (or is forced to), then you can even the odds by making a portion of his army irrelevant for the purposes of the game.

Thanks for reading.  Leave a comment or write us an email with any feedback.  Check out our other stuff and sub/like/follow our sites.  Thanks for the support all.

Cheers

Quick Tip: Trapped in a Transport

Simply moving to surround an immobilized transport can sometimes be more effective than charging it.

Hey guys, Son of Adam here with a Quick Tip.  These tips are all going to be under the Micro-Gameplay heading.  Quick Tips are going to be short, very particular, ways to fight on the battlefield.  Today’s Quick Tip is called Trapped in a Transport.

            If you are holding, or trying to deny the enemy from holding, an objective and a unit that has the strength to take it from you just got immobilized in a transport right on top of that objective, what should you do?  The first and most obvious thing people want to do is charge it, but I want to suggest to you a different approach.

            For our example let’s take the mission I just recently play against Steve.  Near the end of the game his Rhino full of Grey Hunters came running down on top of my home objective.  Then in response I tried to come and take it back with my own, combat squad, of purifiers in a rhino (4 halberds, 1 hammer).

            I was able to take out his rhino but his troops took the objective from me.  I believe it was at the top of turn four that his grey hunters then made a counter assault to stop my purifiers.  He charged my rhino and destroyed it.  This however ended up giving me the advantage.  At the bottom of five I was then able to move the purifiers into position to contest the objective, and then get a full volley off before charging.

            Being outmatched, Steve could have employed this tactic to trap me in my transport.  (To be fair, in our particular game my rhino was not immobilized or stunned, but we will continue to talk about it as if it were for the sake of the example).  If his unit had simply moved into position to surround the rhino, my purifiers would have been stuck inside the transport and only been able to shoot out of it.  Even if I killed most of the squad I would still have been trapped in my transport.

            This is far more relevant in 6th edition when we consider a change to the rules.  Look in your rule book with me at page 123.  It shows you that units that remain fully in a transport can neither score nor deny objectives.  Furthermore, neither can any tanks (with the exception of “Big Guns Never Tire” and “The Scouring” missions where they can become scoring –but still cannot deny, take a look at that part closely).  With this in mind we can see the tactic come to life. 

            If the Grey Hunters were to have trapped the Purifiers in the rhino I would have only been able to shoot him, but not score/deny his objective.  In this instance we can see the very heart of the Golden Rules of the Art of War(hammer).  It would be more wise, and potentially game winning, to simply sit in front of the rhino’s doors and not attack anything than to charge the rhino and kill it.

            Remember this little tactic whenever you are facing an immobilized transport with some very nasty units inside.  Trap them in their transport and win the game.

Cheers

Again let us know your feedback.  Has this ever worked for you?  Have you seen this done against you?  Were their games you could have won if you had trapped that deadly unit in their transport instead of freeing them?  Let us know.  And while you are at it check out our other stuff and like/follow/subscribe to our sites.  Thanks guys, we are always looking to improve.

Tying for the Win

Hey guys, Son of Adam here with a quick article on tying for the win. This is part of the third sphere of game strategy; macro-game-play. Let’s hop down this rabbit hole and see what’s inside.

After a long hard fought battle sometimes both players get the same number of kill points, or have the same number of objectives and the game comes down to those good ol’ secondary objectives. Now that we are talking about sixth those are the; slay the warlord, line-breaker, and first blood objectives. When tying for the win, as the name says, you try to do this intentionally. However, if you are playing in a tournament with different rules you will need to figure out if this tactic will work and what other subtle things you need to do in order to pull it off.

Jetbikes are often overlooked in list building, but their manueverability is useful for getting into the enemy’s deployment zone.

Playing for the tie is often much easier than going for the win, but with this tactic you can achieve both. At the start of the match take a minute and look at the mission and both armies, then judge for yourself; do I have an easier time at winning the secondary and tying the primary or at winning the primary? Whichever one turns out to be more of a sure thing is the one you should go for.

You must be subtle when you do this, as in the minds of most players it will be the battle for the primary and a disregard of the secondary. Let’s continue on in the Art of War(hammer) here.

“9. As circumstances are favorable, modify your plans.

10. All warfare is based on deception.

11. Hence, when able to take the objective, we must appear unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must appear far away; we must make them believe we are other than what we are.

12. If your enemy’s strength is greater than your own evade him and seek victory another way.

13. Attack where he is unprepared, appear where you are unexpected.

14. These tactical methods, which lead to victory, cannot be divulged beforehand.

15. The general who wins has made many calculations before the battle is fought, likewise the general who makes few looses. Therefore, calculate how you may achieve victory beforehand and it shall be yours.”

So, when your force is outmatched you must modify your plans and play for a victory through secondary objectives while still appearing to play for the primary. When doing this, you will then appear where you are not expected, and attack what he has not prepared, and secure the victory.

When considering the secondary objectives, Draigo is a great choice. Not only is he hard to kill, but he also excells against other warlords.

When you are building your list keep this tactic in mind. As an example; if you know you will be playing the standard 6th edition missions, build a list that can achieve first blood, has a general that is hard to kill, and can use its mobility to get into the enemies deployment zone, while still being able to contest objectives. This may make your list look weak to some, which in the end is a good thing, as it will further the deception that you are outmatched and boost the confidence of your opponent.

Go out and try using this tactic. See if you can take victory from a strong opponent or against a list that is stronger than yours. Then make sure you come back here and tell us about it. Be sure to check out our videos and follow/like/comment/sub to our stuff. Thanks for the help fellas.

Please note that all references to the Art of War(hammer) are a fictitious knock off of the real Art of War by Sun Tzu. Some portions are a direct quote; I do not mean to take credit for any of it. Go check it out, it’s a great book.

Defensive List Building: Overloading the Zone

Son of Adam here again with another game strategy article from MasterCraft Gaming. Today’s discussion will be about a method for the list building sphere of game strategy, one I like to call overloading the zone. (Please note: any article relating to game strategy is not recommended for friendly play. Not all games are competitive, but these articles are written for the ones that are).

For any of you basketball players or fans, you may already have an idea of what I mean by overloading the zone. In basketball one defensive strategy is called the zone defense. Each of the five players is assigned a particular “zone” of protection that they are supposed to defend against. When someone from the other team enters their zone it is their responsibility to defend against them.

If your opponent is stacked with anti-tank units, consider building a horde army. Now a large portion of your opponent’s army has been rendered ineffective.

We often see this style of defense employed in 40k as well. Maybe you have even considered this when building your lists; I have to have something to be able to take out a land raider, and something for tanks, and something for hordes. This is an approach some people use when building a balanced list. Each part of the army is assigned a part of the possible enemy army to defend against. These are their “zones” of defense. The strategy that we are talking about today is overloading those zones.

First we have to answer some questions about the setting. Where are we playing? A local tournament (where everyone plays marines), a regional GT, or how about one of the big shows like NOVA? (By the way I’m starting a series called “Road to NOVA.” Check out some of my posts as they come out). If you are playing at a mostly standard tournament, that is, a tournament that adheres pretty closely to the 40k rulebook and has a range of competitive armies being played, we can assume some of these answers. Now that we can anticipate a zone defense or an all comers lists, we can begin to try and counter it.

How can you take advantage of overloading the zone in order to counter the balanced defense of your opponent in order to achieve the victory conditions in near standard missions? We can predict that the opponent is going to have some weapons that counter tanks right? But they will also have some weapons that counter hordes, their respective zones. We can overload the zone by putting all of our pieces into one of the defenders zones, such that the other zones of defense will not be able to contribute much to the battle. If all you had were tanks then you could get more of them and potentially overwhelm your opponent’s anti-tank-zone of defense. Furthermore, any flamers or other anti-horde weapons in your opponents force would be wasted; you would be able to use the full weight of your force against the now limited strength of what your opponent would be able to use against you.

This type of thinking has produced some army builds that we are expecting at NOVA; there is the all fliers list, the MSU build, the 2+ save Deathstar units, the full horde, and the full AV14 army among others. Each of these takes advantage of the balanced build defense by giving it too much to deal with in a certain zone of defense in order to gain the advantage. The sweet spot is found in being able to overload the defense, but maintain a defense that cannot in turn be overloaded.

When you find yourself out matched in list builds, do not despair, the game is not yet lost. There are many lists that have counters and whatever list you come up with will probably be able to be countered by some other extreme list. We can try to mitigate this inherent rock-paper-scissor by trying to make a list whose counter is not popular or not very good against anything else and therefore uncommon. If all else fails, there are still the other two spheres of the game that can help you overcome the disadvantage and achieve the victory conditions. However, the goal is to have your list give you the advantage as it helps you achieve the victory conditions, and this combined with the other three spheres will make you a hard to beat opponent.

This is only one of many different ways to approach the 1st sphere of game strategy, and more articles are bound to come. Thanks all for reading. Go ahead and check out our other stuff. Subscribe to our YouTube, like our facebook, and leave some comments.

The Three Spheres of Strategy Gaming

Hello all. Son of Adam from MasterCraft Gaming here again with another article on fundamentals; the three spheres of game strategy.

     In section number one of the Art of War(hammer) the three spheres of game strategy are presented:

3. The art of war(hammer), then, is governed by three constant factors, to be taken into account in one’s deliberations when seeking to determine the methods for victory.

4. These are: (1) List building; (2) Deployment; (3) Method and game play.

5. List building is the art of predicting what pieces your will need in order to take the victory conditions from your opponent.

6. Deployment prepares the army you have taken to achieve the victory conditions, and to disrupt your opponent from doing so.

7. Method and game play comprises of the strategy, both micro and macro, that bring your plan into effect to achieve the victory conditions.

8. Not one of these spheres is more important than any other. Success is found with their cooperation.

     None of these rules are absent from the first two. Again these may seem a little basic, but they are fundamentals after all. They will become the language and framework with which we will learn how to better discuss and learn the game. Let’s check them out individually.

     Rule #5; list building. Sometimes you can nearly win or loose depending on your list. What you bring to the table versus what your opponent brings to the table in light of the given victory conditions for the mission being played really sets up how the rest of the game will be played.

List building is important, but poor deployment and gameplay can keep you from victory. Don’t ignore the other spheres!

 

     When approaching this we first have to remember rule number one. How do we plan an army based on achieving the victory conditions? Well there are a couple of things to consider. First what is the setting of your tournament/game? That is, finding out the points level, mission types being played, any key changes to the rules that would change what in an army is appropriate to achieving those victory conditions, what you can expect other armies to look like, and what kind of terrain to expect (amount/type). Second, how will your army, with its separate parts, work together.

     We are not going to get too deep into the real particulars of this here. This is just a description to highlight what types of things to consider, and to lay out other, more specific, things to discuss in the future.

     Next up is rule #6; deployment. Often the overlooked stepchild, it is certainly what controls the rest of the game. Deployment is your starting moves in chess. You can control where the game goes with it. For example, if you overload one side of the table your opponent is forced to react. If your army deep strikes, outflanks, infiltrates, or scouts then you can force your opponent to respond. Again this is more of a description than a tactical discussion, but be familiar with the very real power that proper deployment can have, and check out the other articles that we have on the different ways to manipulate the deployment sphere of game strategy. Take your time and consider how you can deploy in order to achieve the victory conditions or force you opponent to fail to achieve his.

     There are many ways you can do this, and some of them are particularly irregular and potent. The following is an instance that will give a more real life example of the types of creativity and their relative strength in deployment.

     In one particularly satisfying game back in 5th edition, I played the puppet master using deployment. The game was kill points and I was playing eldar against my buddy’s nids. He had four squads of genestealers in his list that he declared to be infiltrating. Then I knew his primary deployment tactic would be to infiltrate them within 1st turn charge range of whatever was vulnerable. So, instead of trying to play against this I appeared to play into his hands by placed two of my very delicate transports in very vulnerable positions to that tactic. He, quite predictably, placed all of his genestealers in the best positions to get that 1st turn charge. After reminding him that I had Eldrad in my list and reminding him of his divination power, (friendly game and all that it was) I then proceeded to use that power and move both of those juicy transports one inch back making it impossible for him to get the first turn charge.

     He was then forced to do one of two things with the stealers, given their new found, and very deliberately, dangerous position. First he could try to find a defensive position during his first turn, or just charge forward hoping to overwhelm my fire and survive; both very dangerous and ultimately game ending moves.

     In this instance you can see that the game was essentially won simply by manipulating the second sphere of strategy gaming. I determined his deployment tactic, countered it with a bait and switch, and the game was won. Never underestimate how much of an impact that deployment can have. There is more to come on this subject in future posts.

     Finally we have rule #7; method and game play. This may seem like the most obvious and most important part of the game, if not the whole of the game itself. It generally has the most strategic discussion about it, but I must stress that this sphere has the same amount influence on the game as either of the first two spheres and no more. If you have a poor army and terrible deployment when playing against a good opponent, your chances to win are minimal regardless of how talented a player you are. However, as many veterans know, with good play you can overcome the odds of a match to defeat your opponent (sometimes this is the most satisfying way to win a game).

     There are two different ways that we will talk about this sphere as we go forward; macro and micro. Macro method and game play refers to strategies for moving around your dudesmen on a table-wide scale, something like an alpha strike; whereas micro refers to the minutia of details involved in every little part of the game like using a squad as bait.

Understanding macro and micro gameplay is vital. Adjust your tactics to maximize your army’s potential to increase your chance for victory.

     Here is just one quick side note on this sphere. It is important to predict how your opponent is planning to execute this sphere as well. Sometimes your opponent won’t be following rule one and their method and game play will be to kill stuff. If you recognize this while they angrily charge forward with some death-star unit, eager to swallow whatever poor and helpless models have the misfortune of being near it, you, being aware of rule one, can take some (or many) different units and throw them near this squad, but in positions that are irrelevant to the game. More concerned with killing things then boring objectives, your opponent may take this bait and chase/kill these units while moving themselves into useless positions and winning you the game. So remember to try and figure out what your opponent plans to do on the table in order to better figure out your own strategy.

     Thanks again for reading. If you have any comments, criticism, or questions post them below. If you find these useful and are interested to hear more check out some of the other articles and find some of our videos on youtube.

If you don’t get the reference to the Art of War by Sun Tzu go buy a copy and read it. It’s good stuff.