friday 40k humor

friday 40k humor

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How To Play the Flying Circus: Part The Second

originally posted on 40k Daemons

We have established that the basic strategy for every game with a circus is to get first blood, contest objectives, and win 2-1. This is good enough to win almost any game. In the early game you focus on staying alive over taking things out.

One thing I kind of skipped over is objective placement. It's pretty important, you see. You want them as far apart as possible because you are probably faster than the other guy, and spreading out the objectives prevents them from concentrating their forces.

Let’s use the example of Crusade with 5 objectives and DOW deployment. Say you lost the table edge, so your opponent has three objectives in their zone. Here’s a simple diagram of how that often looks. Assume everything is behind a wall or in area terrain like how we all usually place objectives. In this scenario, the objectives are fairly spread out, which is what I want. This is my plan.

It may or may not be necessary to contest all three objectives depending on how many scoring units I kill over the course of the game, but this is the plan. I’ll park my troops by my objectives once they come in from reserve. I cannot possibly support them, so they're on their own. Instead, I have to use my mobility and high threat to keep my opponent occupied. This forces my opponent into making choices. Because the objectives are so spread out they can do one of three things unless they’re playing Drop Pods, in which case they can only do one thing.

The first option is to sit back and camp their three objectives, conceding me the two I hold. Tau would likely do this since they suck at crossing the board. If they do this, I get to hold two objectives, and now if I get first blood, I only have to contest one of theirs, which is easy enough.

The second option is to send some aggressive units after my objectives, but leave most of their force on their side of the board. If they do this, they have broken their force apart, so it becomes much easier to pick things off without taking risks. If I can safely take out portions of their army with my MC’s without losing any, it makes a late game push onto their board edge less-risky because they won't have the firepower to deal with them anymore. Most armies would at least make an attempt at this. Drop pods armies can only do this option, except they'll try to land in your face and get the alpha strike. But we've covered that.

Then there is the third option, which is the right answer. The third option is to push everything to the board center so that they can keep their army in mutual support, and be able strike most places, but move onto objectives in the late game as is prudent. Bike armies, assault armies like Nids or Reece’s Rhino rush Raven Guard might do this. Death stars do it too, though they are limited in how many units they can engage in a game. Imagine that board up above with JY2’s 18 Wraiths and two Destroyer Lords supported by Annihilation Barges holding down the center. Now imagine four Night Scythes coming on, and you don’t know which objectives to contest until late in the game. Or imagine an O’vesa star sitting in the middle supported by some Skyrays and Broadsides with single Crisis suits dropping in where they please.

If your opponent does this, congratulations, you’re playing someone clever. This makes for the most difficult game because your opponent has put you in the exact same bind he is in because now you don’t know exactly what to do. He doesn’t exactly have the advantage, but he’s taken it away from you. This game will come down to player skill, or luck if you’re both equally matched.
If your opponent is this smart, it’s likely they will place their objectives close together in the center as well so they don’t have to break anything off from the main force. If they didn’t, then they can’t keep up the formation forever, and will eventually have to split their forces, leaving them vulnerable.

I can’t theoryhammer every possible scenario for how you would go about beating a smart opponent who knows how to counter what you’re doing. Some things require experience. A couple examples for you would be the battle I did against Chewie’s bikeseers for an example of how you fight an army castled up in the board center playing defense. In that battle, he did put his objectives right near each other. To beat him, I darted around the edges and focused exclusively on killing troops while making him play defense with his death star instead of coming after my scoring. I did the same thing to Ian's Beaststar.
The takeaway from those two battles is that it's really tough to play defense and offense at the same time. If you can keep the other guy on the defensive, you might just be able to keep your troops alive. Fortunately, only a few armies can effectively hold the center and still be able to break off and score effectively.
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