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Being Reactive - WestGamer
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 Post subject: Being Reactive
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:36 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:42 am
Posts: 1640
Location: Thornlie
The last couple of games I have played have seen both players act very aggressively with one to two models right from the first turn onwards while leaving the rest of the army behind. This leads to high casualties on both sides as one player mercilessly pushes their active piece to cause as much damage as possible before it falls over to a lucky ARO, and then the other side responds in kind. A prime example was the game last night against Dave where both our order pools had been cut in half by the end of turn one, and we spent the rest of the game floundering around trying to achieve anything with four orders each!

What could be the reason for this pattern in play? Surely its better to support our troops to avoid them getting hunted down one by one in the opponents active turn? For me it’s a lack of discipline and time pressure. I am normally terrified by the damage a player can inflict on my during their turn, be it horrible hidden deployment troops appearing out of nowhere and killing several of my troops before I can get a lucky smoke grenade off to stop them, or maybe a rampaging link team running across the table and messing me up with a BS15 B5 spitfire (or some such unpleasantness). The result normally manifests as me desperately trying to create an opening and then pushing an infiltrator or drop troop through the gap to damage the opposing order pool as much as possible and thus limit their damage potential…..normally resulting in several deaths on my side. Alternatively I get it into my head that 3-4 turns is only just enough time to complete objectives and I need to Rambo up the field and get them all done now now now! In reality two turns is ample time to achieve objectives, and so using turn one as a staging post for turn two should be no problem at all.

This got me thinking that we must be being too rash with our troops, there must be a way to play a tighter game and get the bigger wins. The conclusion that I have reached is that mitigating the enemies active turn is probably the key. Almost all forces are more effective in the active turn, thus if one player can counter the active turn advantage they will preserve their own troops more effectively while still bleeding the enemies strength away. But how is this possible?

Enter the realm of speculation……

Total reaction remotes - are actually not that great – they have a mediocre BS, no armour, one wound, no mods to hit. Basically they are easily eliminated by camo attacks or anything within optimal range and high BS/ODD/TO camo/moderate BS and mimetism……..basically a lot of our meta!

Cheap templates – guarantee a hit against a target even though they have the active burst advantage. Thus any light to medium infantry don’t want to be trading hits with cheap templates e.g. myrmidons hate attacking Caledonian volunteers since a 6pt volunteer and a 25pt myrmidon are likely to kill one another.

Heavy armour templates – as above but relies on absorbing the active shots and replying with guaranteed damage e.g. ajax holding a choke point using his nano pulser. Need at least ARM4+ for this.

Heavy armour and high BS – as above but relies on absorbing damage until its high BS allows it to win a face to face roll.

Massive penalty to hit – basically needs to be a 9pt swing in BS e.g. myrmidon in open within optimal range vs enemy in open in average range….assuming both BS12 the myrm would hit on 15s, the enemy on 6s……this is just about acceptable. Anything less would be too dicey. To pull this off a model needs cover,+ ODD/ TO camo and a long range gun.

Mines – if people cant come and get the reactive troops due to mine risk they don’t have an active turn advantage. Mines can be countered by high ARM and very cheap troops (preferably with templates) unless they are mono mines.

Suppressing fire on decent troops – can force people to waste a tone of orders getting round it, or give up their active turn advantage. Needs to be a troop that will normally win a face to face roll e.g. in cover, decent BS, mods to hit. E.g. myrmidons with suppressing fire are more likely to win face to face than those throwing smoke (3-4 shots normally needing 9-12 or less vs one shot needing 16 or less)

Link teams – self explanatory, they get proportionally better as the link gets bigger. The reactive player is still at a disadvantage (unless using a shotgun) so the trick is being within optimal range itself but keeping the enemy out, thus maximising the benefit of the reactive burst.

Smoke/flash – these weapons can halt an entire advance, or at the very least force the attacking units into the open and LOF of multiple defending troops (it’s hard to get multiple ARO’s if the opponent is patient and willing to attack one model at a time, smoke can change this and force a model to either stop attacking or risk multiple ARO’s)

What do we all think? Has anyone else had similar experiences/thoughts? Has anyone else come up with solutions?


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 Post subject: Re: Being Reactive
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:05 pm
Posts: 3020
Location: kardinya
Well...ISS players can take a bunch of Kuang Shi (AVA 5 iirc) and place them at strategic points when going 2nd.

Voila...5pts human mine with Chain Rifle!! :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Being Reactive
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:20 pm
Posts: 3347
I feel that defensive plays are too much of a commitment, well at least for me and the sectorials I play. Though it might be quite possible for Morat Aggression Forces (MAF), it would be nice to impossible for Shasvastvii to get a solid defence that isn't just camo tricks [Of which I just thought of a hilarious one...].
Also the a question I raise what units go ramping off by themselves that you have commonly come across? because things like impersonators, TAGs, and AD troops seem to be most common for me, but I would argue that if they didn't they would targeted at first chance so might as well get a fair amount of use out of them before that. Though this leads on to idea that some troops are skilled up to do that, especially with skills like dogged where you are better off investing orders in the dying troop that you won't be able to get to use for the rest of the game. Another note I don't see a lot of doctors being used, and if they are its only been with limited success. This can be about engineers as well (slightly different case, but similar), so are people accepting that their models will die and why bother? or is it something else, as I would suspect that this may be linked.

Though something to speculate is the use of camo, forcing them to burn orders to discover or not be able to do anything.


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 Post subject: Re: Being Reactive
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:03 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:42 am
Posts: 1640
Location: Thornlie
I think the last couple of games we had saw a fair bit of back and forth.

I wonder if its partially our meta where things tend to be either very long ranged hard hitting camo things (snipers, tank hunters etc) or maxed out link teams. This makes it quite hard to set up for a reactive turn that can actually be weathered outside of total cover. As such the opposing person has to rambo right the way up the field if they want to get the alpha strike.......which I think is probably a strategic failing of both players (to be enticed into it, and to allow it to happen)......but thats just a theory.


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 Post subject: Re: Being Reactive
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:14 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 10:53 pm
Posts: 1300
Location: Rockingham, WA
I think that a lot of what really needs to be done for getting decent reactions is to try and limit the amount of times that there is a 1 on 1 shoot out. Being able to stack 2 AROs back against a model that has only a burst of 3, for example, means that either they split their fire 2 and 1, in which case your odds as the defending player are better on the dude who is eating two shots and you're looking dicey on the 1 on 1, or you take all 3 at the primary target and eat a shot in return.

This goes especially true on face to face rolls against link teams, where the odds are stacked in favour of the defenders if you're being fired on with a combi rifle or other burst 3 weapon. Especially if you've got a 4-man link or greater, where you get the benefits of Sixth Sense level 2.

Perhaps something that I might try in my next couple of games is trying to set up what are hopefully better firing lanes using suppressing fire orders, to force my opponent to either walk infront of a lot of guns, or into zones that I'll be covering with direct template weapons. Rather than trying to kill the enemy, then, my main objective will be to control the table, and from there hopefully be able to launch into achieving my mission objectives in the later turns. I think keeping one or two key pieces in hidden deployment or off the table really gives you and advantage if this is your aim, because it means that your heavy hitters aren't left to try and survive the enemies first turn (when they're most vulnerable) and instead can actually outflank and get behind enemy pieces and play much closer to how I imagine they were intended to be played.


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