Saturday, 11 December 2010

Deployment in Action: Lesson 3

Seize Ground! Spearhead! A fantastic combination, a game quick to close the ground and with victory built on shifting sand!

We’re back again with the Hammer-Mech BA vs the Mech IG. We’ve completed Capture & Control for Spearhead now our intellectual exercise moves to a new mission.

Seize ground builds in variation every time we roll the dice for the number of objectives, which is great – but for our sakes we’ll go with 4.

With regard to placement of objectives, more and more with mechanised armies I’m seeing them concentrated around 12” from one another, along the mid line of the table.

This is due in general to dealing with the unknown. We do not know which table edge we are going to deploy in, and in order to balance out this unknown quantity, we make a compromise of sorts.

If we knew where we would deploy we would place for our own advantage. Not knowing, we place to reduce the opponent’s advantage.

Final note on Vassal: For the sake of terrain, assume that only TLOS blocking is in the centre of the board as shown, assume all other terrain to allow partial LOS as seems to be very common in tournaments and meets the 25% minimum.
Remember, that with good placement and movement, this central piece really can block a lot of shooting.

BA Going first:

Let’s see how we’d react to an aggressive BA list deploying first and choosing the ‘optimum’ board edge/zone.
 In this case, the LR deploys so that it can pivot and move as close to ‘crow flies’ straight at the IG lines. As it hides in the shadow, it has an excellent threat range for Spearhead and is also hidden from the majority of the IG fire.

The Baals flank the LR ready to scout out and get side shots on chimera hulls first turn. How is the BA player confident of this? He/She knows that the IG dude is packing melta vets and they are the most efficient way of tackling the Raider. This lures them into range of a good scout move and 12” move.

The PlasBacks are hiding in the shadow of the terrain and Raider, using their long range weaponry to reach out and touch the IG, whilst protecting themselves from a large proportion of retaliatory fire.

The Preds are placed as they are for 2 reasons. The first is their excellent range, still able to strike all IG vehicles bar probably the Colossus an/or Manticore. The second only really relates to the bottom left Pred. This is placed to give the appearance of a weak and over extended flank. The truth is the BA player can sweep out to the top of the map with the majority of his force, but he can also sweep out in both directions in a pincer movement, using the central terrain as an anchor and blocking the most direct route to their objectives.

So a very solid deployment for the BA. Using their speed, mobile firepower and the threat of deadly assault combined with terrain protection they have created a very difficult deployment to counter.

How would I deploy the IG then?
This is the first possibility… The demolisher acts as a physical shield to the Autocannon Vets providing 3+ cover and blocking LOS unless the BA player sweep out far to the top right. It also provides cover to the CCS Chimera.
The Meltavets are choo-choo’d cos well, there is no reason why both have to die first turn!
You’ll notice the C’loss and Manticore have not moved a great deal compared to Capture and Control. This is primarily due to their function. Regardless of mission, both require good distance to get their shots off and neither truly care about LOS.

The second autocannon vet squad hides in the backfield using the superior range of the Multilaser and Autocannon (whilst not perfectly complimentary, they are close enough in Spearhead)…it can move up to secure one of the objectives in the IG quarter later in the game.

The Vendetta’s use their scout move mobility to put pressure on the BA in the only way they know how in the movement phase. 

They stick close together, very threatening visually and actually. They deploy close to the mid line of the table and use their scout to push down the table like so:
With 2 Vendetta’s, not squadron’d, with 4+ cover and extra armour (I am writing that last point not just for statistical use, but because I FORGET every game) they are hard to kill completely without a good deal of fire power.

But of course we have a roll off to go first and the Baals need to get in range.

So what if the BA player wins the dice off to Scout first? Will he take that opportunity or use it as an opportunity to throw us off track and push units out of position? I think I’d like to go first most of the time, but lets assume the BA player wants to see what area we push into and react to that.

So we push our first empty Vendetta to the bottom (as in the above pic). The response from the first Baal? Well the bottom guy next to the objective (above) has his side armour exposed, but knows he is going first so is not too concerned. Does it require a response?

Certainly. There are a few options:

Firstly, we being a counter response in kind. Push the first Baal out to the right side of the IG lines. Like so;

This may force the IG guy to reconsider the second Vendetta’s  move. 
This may mean that the second Vendetta makes a more flexible move than a definitive one. Like this:
By doing this, not only is the Vendetta out of LOS from the lascannons in the BA backfield, it is ready to strike out depending where the second Baal goes.

So what does that Baal do?
It could move across 18” to move in first turn 12” and get rear shots on the Vendetta hiding behind the central terrain. The Baal could end up first turn on Objective 3, getting prime shots in turn 1. 
Or it could strike up field to assist its brother Baal. If it does this, it does not want to take the left fork, as this brings the Baal into melta range…there is a strong melta centre there, not to be fooled with. By taking the right fork , the Baal keeps out of melta range reposte, but in range of its guns, turn 1 moving across to fill the space currently occupied by its brother. In turn 1, one Baal targets the side of the Demolisher maybe, the other hits the Autocannon Vets hiding from all other shots. This would really punish one flank, leaving the Vendetta in the bottom left corner alone and being targeted by several lasplasBacks and the Pred along the board edge from it.

Meanwhile the hidden Vendetta is in place to do some serious damage. Turn 1, assuming no seizing has been done, would look like this for the BA: 

LR has pressured the front, the Baals have really pressured the flanks of the IG, if able to stop the Demolisher from moving they can also keep the Melta unit next to it from advancing properly. Why? Because the other melta vets are going to want to move up and shoot too, in a narrow passage this is hard to do…bottleneck.
The lasplas have moved to ensure the only fire coming at them comes from the Vendetta, which both are going to fire at in combination with the Pred which has shifted back as it has range advantage and wants to keep out of LOS of the rest of the IG…

Not looking good for IG in this scenario.

Next time, we’ll do some quick mathammer as to what is likely to happen here, before moving on to looking at what we would do if IG went first…

Hope this has been useful, please feel free to comment and point out what you would do, or whether you feel I’ve made any tactical errors on either part….

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