Saturday, March 19, 2011

Game the Mission, Win the War!

The mission variations available at the Contest of Champions are impressive. Simple enough to fall into the standard mission formats - but a serious effort has been made to force hard decisions on the players each game, each round. Additional Victory Conditions and the Personal Bonus Objectives compound the possibilities. Its the grim darkness of the far future over there in Sacramento, and there is only war!

The Generals encountered at CoC are brutal and amazing. Careful thought and practice and plenty of pain/time has gone into the army lists there. The Tournament format, mission layout, and all the other etcs will force a hard thought list - to be successful on almost any level players will need a deep understanding of their own list as well as great skill at breaking down the opponents forces.

Know your list. Know the mission. Know the rules!

Now that we are familiar with the missions and understand things like the personal bonus objective, composition scoring, and the like, we can get into the business of Winning the War.

Build an Army for the Task at hand. Have a plan, at least a basic strategy to win the missions. EACH of the missions. Earlier we categorized the missions into three categories much like the Big Rule Book. Work out the various tactics, specific or not, that the units in the list will use to defeat other probable units and obstacles.

Paint the Army! The CoC uses a Checklist format, dont leave points OFF the Table! Dont be a jerk, pick your battles on and off the table, there is sportsmanship at this event. These are the bare minimums to stand a chance. This is where we begin!

The mission categories we identified earlier were Annihilation (3), Dawn of War (3), and Standard (4). 

We fully expect some mixing and matching of these mission formats and deployments, and even Additional Victory Conditions. Personal Bonus Objectives are worth mentioning once more because you cannot choose the same Bonus Objective as the Additional Victory Conditions. These are the three tiers for victory each round, and many can be accomplished without killing much of the opponents forces.

Further breakdown of the missions gives us the following:

* One Objective each, Table Quarters x 2
** Multiple Objectives x 4
*** Annihilation x 3
**** One Objective with VIP unit x 1

The reasoning for this further breakdown is to help matrix out which personal bonus objectives will be most likely and most beneficial for YOUR ARMY, as well as draw a big fat arrow right at the basic strategies YOUR ARMY will need to win the majority of missions.

These info bits combined with a careful understanding of each mission/deployment/additional/bonus tell us that Troops - good Troops and Proper Deployment and Use of Troops will WIN these Missions and that HQs of all sorts become more of a liability then usual. Although neither of points should be a surprise, we think that troop strength is even more important for the CoC format then many other Tournament formats because of the overall arrangement of scoring and the various victory conditions.

The next main considerations are the same as usual but require proper mention.

- Alpha Strike: Strategy and Tactics to deliver and survive - and does YOUR ARMY actually have an alpha strike against many of the army archetypes it is likely to encounter.

- Reserves: Army and Mission match up specific obviously. There are still strategy and tactical generics to be worked through and considered long before each battle. Reserve deployment options for each mission type on down the line of victory tiers. Hybrid reserve options for deployment like Spearhead or Refused Flank offensive/defensive strategies. For many lists we could be making considerations on only one or two units - others, the entire army!

This mental and physical preparation will improve performance on the victory tiers!

Here is a quick example breakdown of MY ARMY:

++ Sticky (FnP) Troops x 4
+ In fast Skimmers (some Aether sails!)
+ Reserve deployment advantages
+ Archon/Incubi SWOOPY KILLY: Hard hitting, fast, hard to kill, full of power weapons.
- No Real Alpha Strike vs Mech. Anti-Tank at a medium level (at best) overall.
- 16 Kill Points available in regular Annihilation
- Surgical Requirements for victory
- Tell my opponents my plan to win.... a future article.

To the Wolf, there is only the Hunt and the Joy of the Kill.

... end transmission ...

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