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Welcome, fellow generals.
This tactica offers an approach to the seize ground standard mission that takes advantage of less open-minded players' expectations of how the game is supposed to be played, thus I have classified it as a "psycho-tactica".
But never mind the name: enjoy it. All comments welcome.
Fifth edition has drastically changed the ways of the game. While in fourth edition half of your score depended on your units surviving and killing off the enemy's, fifth edition games do not use a victory points system and keeping your units safe and destroying the enemy is not so important outside of annihilation missions.
The seize ground mission is defined by the struggle for objectives, and as long as you and your opponent both have at least one model on the table at the end of the game that isn't falling back, only holding and/or contesting these objectives matters for victory, draw or defeat.
The tactics presented within this post represent the effort of using this to your advantage. A prerequisite for these tactics to be successfully employed is the willingness to sacrifice units for a victory, without these units obviously (by destruction of enemy units of a certain points cost, etc) "making their points back". They will most certainly be making their points back, but in a more subtle, less obvious way.
The tactics presented here may seem somewhat unorthodox, but should be effective. They are most effective against conservative players who have not learned to be mentally flexible and instead rely much upon their impressions of how the game is supposed to evolve, who have expectations and a hard time overcoming them if something unexpected happens.
The tactics presented here may not be suitable for all armies alike. I am a Space Marine player and thus this tactica is written from a Space Marine point of view. It should work well with almost any mechanized army or equivalent in the game, though.
I will be using the terms "fire supporters" for very shooty support units (e.g. Space Marine devastators), "hard-hitters" for those expensive units with a large fear factor (e.g. Space Marine assault terminators in a land raider), "troops" for your standard scoring units (e.g. Space Marine tactical squads), "speedbumps" for units you are willing to sacrifice in order to slow the enemy's advance and "contesters" for units with high maneuverability. Just think for yourself which of your units will fit best with which terms and the tactics.
Note that it isn't at all obligatory to follow every single step I will describe. Instead I trust that you are able to filter and understand the core mechanics and the spirit of this tactica and then decide for yourself how you best realize it with your army.
PLACING THE MARKERS
Before deployment zones are assigned the players will alternately place up to D3+2 objectives. That is 3-5 of them. Whether you may place first or second does not matter. The aim is to have a majority of objectives on one side of the table instead of the more balanced placing where there is an equal amount of objectives on each side of the table.
It is key that these objectives are spread out as far as possible! Make sure there is still one objective on the other table half though...
For ease of explanation I will assume there to be four objectives. Placing them could look like this:
CHOOSING DEPLOYMENT ZONES
If your opponent wins the dice roll for first turn he will probably opt to go first. Good. If you win the dice roll pass first turn to him. The aim is to make the opponent pick the deployment zone with the many objectives nearby, to make him deploy his forces before you do, and to be sure to get that last player turn of the game for some last-minute contesting.
(On a side note: if you are a fan of bluffing and you win the dice roll but pass first turn to your opponent you could go all like "oh noes, now he gets to choose deployment zone too, what have I done?" and appear to regret your decision, but this behaviour is actually purposefully deceiving and as such I condemn it and would advise you to refrain from such measures.
If your opponent would fall for your bluff he doesn't need to be bluffed. Sure, he won't understand your decision and possibly declare you a madman in his mind, and he might expect you're up to something, but he won't figure it out until it's already too late. And on the other hand if your opponent is able to see what you are heading for then he probably wouldn't fall for a bluff anyhow. So in any case: this is rather pointless and in no case very sportive.)
The before mentioned procedure will hopefully yield your army a great advantage: the opponent will probably deploy near all of the objectives in order to claim them. This will cause him to split up his army, think he is already winning, and put him in the defensive. This is what you want to exploit.
You will deploy some little troops, fire supporters and some speedbumps to claim the objective on your table side (objective #4 in the picture above). This will be distraction number one: to your opponent who already has three objectives it will appear as though you are relying on this one objective very much and he will think that if he can knock you off of it that you don't even stand a chance of winning, because you would have to make way too many captures on the other objectives. It will give him a target for his attacking force.
The rest of your force will deploy midtable, ready to charge right up and into action.
You will probably need more than one turn to reach objectives on the far side of the table. That is why you will move your main force straight ahead towards that center objective (objective #2 in the picture above).
At the very last instant (probably turn 2 or 3) you will divert your troops from your main force and head for one of the objectives at the side of the table. It is imperative that you pick the one that is least defended, this will most probably not be the one opposite to your own objective (objective #3 in the picture above) but instead the one on the far side - this is good, as you will want to be as far away from the enemy as possible. They will try to claim this objective and hold it, fortify on it, and provide fire support for your main force towards objective #2 as soon as they have secured their position.
While your troops divert and head off to capture this least defended objective your hard-hitters will crash right into the center objective as your main diversion. This is where you want the actual battle to take place. His main force will concentrate all its offensive power unto your units here and eventually kill off your most favorite and expensive units rather quickly. That's okay, because then the enemy is not shooting at your troops, and he won't lose his impression of already having secured victory for himself. The aim of this is to tie up any units here and those coming for aid from objective #3 and block their way to objective #1 and distract them from it, while at the same time contesting objective #2.
Your firebase on objective #4 will hold out and provide support for your main force on objective #2 or defend itself if attacked from the enemy forces on objective #3. As soon as the enemy is within range of your speedbumps engage it. Slow them down and hold them back for as long as possible. Don't worry if you don't manage to hold your home objective uncontested, as long as you keep it contested too (or the enemy doesn't have troops near to contest it). If he managed to roll over you here then that will have disburdened your main force, keeping objective #1 all the more safe.
Your contesters can support your main force and/or your troops and/or your firebase, where ever the need is greatest. Just make sure to keep some of them alive to contest objective #3 on turn five (and possibly turn six or seven).
If you have any deep-strikers coming in you may use them to support your troops on objective #1 if needed, or - much better - add to your distractions by deep-striking in between objectives #3 and #4 or between objectives #3 and #2, cutting off the advance of the enemy forces from objective #3. Use them to distract rather than actually destroy. Good for you if you can combine both, but the focus is on keeping the enemy away from objective #1 all the while contesting objectives #2 and #3, so act accordingly.
If your army is mechanized you will find it best to leave your troops on the home objective #4 and objective #1 inside for extra protection, except if you need them to shoot and lack hatches and firing points. Remember, though, to start turning your transports into contesters on turn 4 or 5 if they are still alive.
If the enemy has many deep-striking units beware! Don't give away your plan too soon. But if he had first turn and you capture objective #1 on turn 3 or 4 he will already have had most of his reserves come in and already have made a commitment - and very probably the wrong one.
Be sure to pick off enemy contesters. You have a turn more for this than your opponent, since he had first turn, but he can still try to be as mean as you. So beware.
If your advance is slowed be stern. Go on and pull it off. If your advance is stopped (by immobilizing or destroying your transports, for example) then - depending on your current position - decide if it is better to stick with the plan or to fall back with your troops to your home objective and hold that one instead, ready to contest all the others. Whatever is closer. Foot-slogging across the field will earn you nothing and only get you killed.
Don't be shy making sacrifices. If you can sacrifice a unit to slow the enemy - do so. It's all about who's holding the objectives in the end, it won't matter if your victory is a Pyrrhus-victory with the major part of your forces obliterated.
If there are five objectives you may want to make sure to place objective #5 opposite to objective #2, not opposite to objective #1. Otherwise you will give away the effectiveness of attacking straight up the middle while you will also have to spread out your own force and be much more vulnerable.
If there are three objectives you will want to make sure that it is the position of objective #2 that is not taken. Spread out the two objectives on one board side as far as possible. Claim the one whose defense is weaker and move your main force to clash with the enemy on the other one. Still move up the middle a little, though, instead of heading for those objectives in a straight line. You will still want to block the way to the objective you want to claim, and you want to draw the major part of the engagement to the middle of the table.
Note that this tactica is of only little use in a spearhead deployment game.
This tactic works best with four objectives and pitched or dawn of war deployment.
Let's recapitulate and sum up. We want to accomplish the following:
- Have a majority of objectives on one side of the table, spread out as far as possible.
- Make the opponent go first and pick the side with the majority of objectives.
- Fortify with fire support and a small detachment on the home objective, fend off any attacks launched on it as long as possible and at least keep it contested at the end.
- Carry the battle to the center of the battlefield, making it look as though the goal was to capture this objective, while actually only distracting from the true goal, tying up the enemy and if possible contesting the center objective.
- Surprise move to capture the weaker defended side objective with your troops and as big a support force you need to knock the occupying enemy units off of it. Hold this at all costs!
- Contest all enemy held objectives on turn five with your fast units.
Have fun trying it out. It is nothing that couldn't be countered, and very experienced players probably catch on early with what your plans are and will be able to counter your moves. You will still have your usual chances of winning then. If you pull this off against players that don't have so much battle experience you are almost sure to claim a victory.
I take issue with this advice, and I do so for a reason you've mentioned yourself repeatedly: it doesn't really work unless your opponent doesn't really know what he or she is doing. It doesn't really work against particularly experienced or particularly open minded* players.
While you certainly have admitted to this failing, you have downplayed it to a degree which seems disingenuous. Your advice includes by its nature a sanction of presuming that your opponent is a poor player (and, really, any player who would fail to see the ramifications of your approach is a poor player).
I think that it is always unwise to assume that your opponent is a poor player, or to assume that your opponent will make any particular mistake. Your opponent might make mistakes, but most competent players will avoid most of the opportunities you give them to make mistakes--that's pretty inherent to being a competent player. By this strategy, you're giving your opponent the opportunity to make one particularly large and important mistake--spreading out his forces too much upon deployment. But, unless you really know your opponent, and know that he or she is particularly likely to make this particular mistake, you really have to assume that your opponent will not make this mistake, since any other assumption is, essentially, the assumption that your opponent is incompetent--which is always a poor choice of assumptions.
Of course, you assert that:
"It is nothing that couldn't be countered, and very experienced players probably catch on early with what your plans are and will be able to counter your moves. You will still have your usual chances of winning then."
If this were true, perhaps the failings of your advice wouldn't be such a big deal--but it is not true, and that makes it your most significant sin, here.
By setting up the game in the way you describe, you do set yourself up at a disadvantage, should your opponent deploy his army in an effective manner. The other army could easily cover the point directly opposite yours and the point next to it, leaving it compact enough to support itself (and avoiding the pitfall you've presented) while still having a distinct advantage, in that the onus is on you to better your position on the board--he still starts with two objectives to your one. If your opponent is not lured into spreading himself out to be piecemealed (or has a mobile army which is virtually impossible to piecemeal, like Mechanized Edar) then you have, in fact, reduced your own chances of winning by setting up the board with this tactic in mind.
Given that it is a tactic which you should assume will not work (since you should assume that your opponent is competent and should not assume that he or she will make any particular mistake) it is basically a bad idea to try this tactic ever, unless you know that your opponent is susceptible to this sort of thing. And, really, you'd only know that if you knew the person well, and why would you want to take advantage of a close acquaintance like that? If you knew your friend well enough to know that this would work on him, you'd be more of a friend if you pointed it out to him, rather than levering it to manipulate him into losing games to you.
Like most "tactics," this one fails because it relies on an opponent to make a particular mistake, and it puts you at a disadvantage if your opponent fails to make that mistake. Since you should never count on your opponent making any particular mistake, it is a bad idea to try for this tactic unless you have such intimate knowledge of your opponent that you can be confident that he will make this particular mistake (in which case it's probably a bad idea for social reasons).
I like a lot of what you've written, but I just can't get behind this. It seems a lot more likely to convince poor or inexperienced players to set up games to their opponents' distinct advantage than it does to help those players win.
*By which I--and I presume you as well--mean players who think through the possible unfoldings of the game thoroughly rather than presume that it will go a certain way and plan more-or-less exclusively for that).
Last edited by Left of West; September 18th, 2009 at 12:24.
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Thanks for your comments, Left of West!
I haven't come across many of your posts on the forum yet, probably because we frequent different sections of the board. But from those that I have read I know that you understand what you're talking about, so I have much respect for you.
But I fear I must disagree with you on my "most significant sin"
I used a similar approach to chess. An opening move that frequently triggered a huge mistake if the opponent was inexperienced, or that was just a simple move amongst others - as good or bad as any other thoughtful move - if the opponent was experienced. So it was kind of an auto-win against inexperienced players, while it didn't really put me at a disadvantage against experienced ones.
Now I am not saying that chess is an equivalent to Warhammer 40.000, but the comparison fits very well here. I pledge that this tactic will put you at a great advantage against a whole lot more players than you may think (in a casual setting - I don't play tournaments, you see), while it shouldn't be very disadvantageous against all those who don't make the mistake of spreading out their army.
In theory we all make the right decisions all the time. We know the rules, we know our odds (some of us do, at least) and so on. But in the heat of the battle we tend to make mistakes. This is fact and integral to us puny humans. Now as an empirical psychologist I can also tell you that mistakes are pretty much predictable and that mistakes are very much provocable. It's actually dreadful to see how easily our perception and decision-making can be influenced subtly enough to not notice.
Tour around some GW shops and fight some random seize ground battles with the tactics presented here. You will be surprised how many opponents make the mistake. Probably none of them will put a third of their army on each of their objectives, but their deployment will be a whole lot different than in a capture and hold mission - to your favor.
But let's assume your opponent isn't susceptible to subtly influence and he is not tempted at all, deploys his forces very calm-mindedly. What did you lose? Nothing.
I totally see your point that relying on your opponent to make mistakes isn't a viable tactic, but the procedure described here does not actually rely on your opponent to make the mistake. It just tempts him to, and if he does, it grants you kind of a safe victory, if he doesn't you still have a pretty good stand. I shall explain why...
What does this tactic effectively do? It tempts the opponent to spread out, go into defensive mode and react only, effectively stealing the initiative (not rules-wise, but you know what I mean). But then it goes a lot further than that.
If your opponent focuses on the center and one side objective you basically have him surrounded. Not totally (the boards pretty much prevent that from ever happening anyhow, though they are rare cases), but instead of coming straight ahead from one side you will attack at least from two directions. This is effectively outflanking. You could do this anyhow and still place objective markers the orthodox way, but then you would have to leave behind troops to hold your second objective and that won't be part of your attack.
If you place the objective on the opponent's side and he spreads out - fine. If you place the objective on the opponent's side and he doesn't spread out you can easily capture and claim it while at the same time using the forces doing this as an outflanking attack force on the enemy.
It will be so much easier defending a side objective on your opponent's side if the main battle is taking place at the center objective, because to get to you he needs to directly cross that main war zone or go a very long way around it. If that objective were on your side the opponent could attack it without having to move right through your main attack force, unless you divert some of it to protect your objective at home, again reducing the effectiveness of your attack.
This is all pretty abstract talking, I am sorry. The point is: if your opponent has three objectives on his side and you have one on yours, then you will automatically outflank him, leaving him with two sides to defend instead of one, and you will be able to use a much greater part of your units for your attack on the enemy positions, as this attack will at the same time be the speedbump for any counterattacks on the objective you intend to hold.
I hope that by being put at a disadvantage you meant the opponent's side having more objectives. Because there are no others. The enemy deploys first, so you will be able to react to his deployment. See if he makes the mistakes or doesn't. You still have every other flexibility (except for objective placing) to the very last moment...
I do recognize that what I am saying above does not work for all armies equally. I don't know what army you play and what your point of view thus is.
As a Space Marine player I am thinking from that angle. And Space Marine armies are very mobile and would have to attack in that seize ground mission anyway. So the outflanking part, using the main battle as a distraction and shield for your objective, all the while tempting the opponent to make one or more of several different mistakes, is a gain.
Apart from that I would like to emphasize what I have written in my post above: that this tactica does not need to be taken as a whole, but that instead parts of it are good advice on their own.
For example being willing to sacrifice expensive units. Many players, even experienced ones, still think 4th edition, when getting a unit killed equaled points for the opponent. Many will hesitate to throw their unit of thunder hammer toting terminators away without them making their points back by killing expensive enemy units. This thinking is not timely any longer. Etc...
So I do think there is some things to learn from this tactica, even if it is not a "step-by-step recipe to win every game" which is nonexistant anyhow, as you implied so yourself.
I do agree that you need to focus on objectives instead of killing which is something that some people have a hard time doing. I find the idea of handing objectives to your enemy to make him sit on them an interesting thought.
However I do have to question how useful or good this advice would be against some of the extremely fast armies in the game. As an Eldar player I can completely ignore objectives until round 3, 4 or even sometimes 5 and still be fast enough to contest or control any objective on the board. You are advocating spliting your force into support units on your objective, a smaller unit holding an objective and the majority of your force in the middle. Both the support and small controlling force are prime targets for an overwhelming attack followed by a redeployment.
I do think the idea has alot of good points but I would worry trying to use it against the faster armies in the game. Have you had much experience against such forces when using this tactic? How did it turn out?
Thanks for your opinion, nakaruru! And your point is a very valid one. This will not work out well against mobile armies, their advantage being that they are able to focus their entire army on parts of your own and then redeploy quickly. I play Space Marine all-bikes list a lot, and if I played them or against them (either of both) I would not use the above mentioned tactics for a seize ground mission.
If you play a fast army yourself it's probably best to spread out all the objectives as far from each other as possible, and if you play against a very fast army it's probably best to cluster objectives as best as possible. My advice on that...
Thanks for your opinion again!
The tactics above neither work FOR every army nor AGAINST every army. And of course it's not a no-brainer, it still requires you to think and make good decisions yourself without a step-by-step recipe. But I guess - and hope - the general idea may be helpful to some of the players out there.
Sorry for not being helpful with your Eldar!
Our disagreement is going to be virtually impossible to argue, since it does not seem to be fundamental, but rather revolves around where we place certain values on their respective scales.
When looking at any suggestion of this type, one must weigh it by valuing the potential benefit (in other words, how much would it help you if it goes the way you want it to), weight that by the probability that it will go the way you want it to, and compare that against the disadvantage you're giving yourself by promoting it or allowing it to happen, essentially, we must discover whether:
Benefit x Probability (is greater than, less than, or equal to) Disadvantage
Your claim is that the tactic, if it succeeds, virtually guarantees an easy win (a high Benefit) that it will work against a substantial portion of players you're likely to face (high Probability) and that it doesn't involve placing yourself at a disadvantage at all (zero Disadvantage)--or, in short, that the left side is greater than the right and the suggestion is worth using.
My claim is that the tactic, if it succeeds, is of mediocre benefit, that it has a low probability of succeeding, and that the disadvantage you give yourself, while not enormous, is certainly significant.
I support my claims, then, with the following:
1: The potential benefit is mediocre
The benefit amounts to no more than your opponent spreading out across the board and playing reactively and defensively.
However, many successful armies perform best when playing reactively or defensively.
Others are so mobile that an early game spread means very little over the course of the whole game--they're able to easily reposition themselves and draw together again as necessary.
Guard fall into the first category, Many mechanized armies such as Eldar and Orks fall into the second category. Tau fall into both categories. In short, even if the tactic succeeds flawlessly, the actual benefit you receive from it will be minimal against a wide number of armies, and I would assert that it is game breaking only against a very few and that those few will mostly be poorly built armies anyway.
2: The probability of success is low:
The scheme is utterly transparent from the beginning. Any player who isn't familiar with the consequences of spreading out his or her army (be they significant or not) is a poor player. Any player who would accept game-breaking consequences in favor of starting on top of an objective is even worse.
Any marginally competent player whose army is significantly hindered by spreading his army out will realize this and refrain from spreading his army out--he would have to either not realize the consequences or decide that the consequences are less important than the benefits of starting on top of more objectives (in the case of some armies, the latter is often true) Either way, it's a rookie mistake you're relying on your opponent to make.
If you're trying to beat incompetents, then by all means: go for it. Personally, I try to tailor my strategies who players who know what they're doing.
3: The disadvantage is significant
Starting on one objective while your opponent starts on three is not a disadvantage for all armies, but it is for some. If you are playing a shooty guard army, for instance, against another shooty guard army, the army which starts on top of more objectives will win the majority of games--since guard have a difficult time crossing the table and taking objectives from other shooty armies.
It is an advantage to start the game winning. It means that your opponent is obligated to win--to press for change in his favor, while you need only retain the status quo. By taking this approach, you give your opponent the option to exploit this advantage, should it be one his army is suited to exploit (and some are) and giving an advantage to your opponent is certainly giving a disadvantage to yourself. Why do you think players would even consider jumping on all three objectives if there wasn't some sort of advantage in it?
Even if it doesn't pan out, and he clumps his forces, he has greater choice of objectives to sit on than do you. He can pick to start from the one closest to yours, or the one farthest away. Often, the board will be such that he can easily start with two and still have his forces clustered. No matter what happens, your decision to position more objectives on one side of the board, coupled with your decision to give him the first turn gives him an advantage.
I know that I've restated some of the things I said earlier without responding to your post, and I know that's somewhat rude. I chose to do it this way, because I felt like my original post was poorly organized, and that poor organization was likely to reduce the value of further posts along that line. I decided, instead, to frame the discussion and attempt to describe the disagreement more clearly, then to assert and defend my position in adherence to the the terms of that description.
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I like your tactica. I dont have much advice at the moment. I do like the idea however of using small bit of player psychology in game. I tried to categories player styles for uses such as this. My idea was shot down by people who didn’t understand it, however think this could be an area to branch out to with your tactica. I.e. a defensive player will more likely act in such a way when presented with objectives early. However a fast player might..
Don’t know if you think this worth consideration but thought might fill in areas which are slightly different such as fast armies.
"Should take you a while though because of your sloth like pace"
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@ Left of West:
I will try to keep my reply as short as possible.
You are focusing way too much on the need for the opponent to actually spread out his forces on all three objectives. This is a best-case-scenario, but nothing like a requirement for this procedure to grant you advantages.
I do see your point that this tactic isn't a good idea to use for many armies. Maybe I should have named it a "possible unorthodox mechanized Space Marine army's approach to seize ground standard mission", but I did state in my opening post that the tactica was written from a mechanized Space Marine army's point of view and that it probably won't work with many other armies.
I am not relying on my opponent to make a mistake.
Going last in a seize ground mission has several advantages.
It has a disadvantage too: that your opponent gets to shoot first. But at least the boards I play on provide plenty of cover to use so there isn't actually too much risk involved, none that would outweigh the advantages. Because you gain ultimate flexibility to the very last moment while your opponent is forced to make decisions with a blindfold.
- You can wait for your opponent to deploy his forces, study his army set-up and take it into account when deciding what to do yourself (put something in reserve, maybe deep-strike or outflank certain units, deploy close to his forces or far away, etc).
- Your opponent has no chance whatsoever to react to your deployment and he won't know if you are deep-striking or outflanking anything or keeping something in reserves until it's too late.
- If you want first turn you still have a chance to get it - so it's all still possible.
- You won't be in for any surprises because your opponent can not steal initiative.
- You can contest objectives on the last game turn without your opponent having a chance to cleanse the contesting units.
- Your opponent has a hard time using the fast-units-turboboost-for-contesting tactics because you will always be granted a chance to kill off or drive away the contesting unit before the game ends and scores are determined.
Now let me explain the advantages I see in the objective placement described above (apart from the possibility of your opponent making any mistakes). Or let us start with the disadvantages.
You say you are forced into an attacking role. That is correct. But a mechanized Space Marine army is kind of stuck with this role anyway. (Certain opponents are an exception, but they are not the majority.) Attacking won't be too difficult, because either your opponent is spread out, allowing you to attack a small part of his army with a large part of yours, or your opponent is leaving the objective you want to take unclaimed so you can just have it without even fighting.
Now the advantage of taking an objective in a line with those of your opponent is that the objective you are holding is very easy to shield. Because the ongoing main battle at the center objective will screen against any approaches from the enemy's side objective to your side objective. You have a much smaller contact surface than when your objectives are opposite to those of your opponent.
Your opponent on the other hand has a larger contact surface because you are not only able to attack from your deployment zone but also from one the flanks where the objective you took is placed. That is practically nothing else than outflanking.
Another advantage is that objectives on opposite sides of the board are probably more than 20" from each other, while the objectives in a line on one side of the board won't be much farther apart than 12". This allows for the troops holding your objective to give rapid-fire fire support for your main attack force at the central objective, whereas troops holding your home objective could not put that firepower to any use.
Now the more I think of it, the more I understand that many armies will prefer other approaches to this mission. But for armies that occupy the role of the attacker anyhow, and that are very flexible ones like Space Marines (unlike, for example, Necrons, who leave little room for flexibility and are pretty much fixed to a certain course of action on the battlefield) this tactic is very viable.
It offers several advantageous to flexible attacker armies like a mechanized Space Marine army, with the bonus of offering some temptations to influence your opponent into making mistakes, or at least catching him with surprise and provoking a little insecurity with the unorthodox procedure.
Thank you very much for your reply! I'm glad you like the tactica, it's good to see that someone actually approves of the effort.
Thank you also for your suggestion on how to add to this tactica. I wasn't actually putting so much emphasis on the game's psychology, though, and I do regret how I titled this thread. Probably should have thought of a different name!
This is a very interesting topic, though, and I may even consider following your advice and incorporating such considerations, despite them having no big impact on the tactica itself and there being so many possibilities that it's hard to cover them all...
There are still some points on which we're not communicating clearly.
You assert that "the tactica was written from a mechanized Space Marine army's point of view and that it probably won't work with many other armies."
But, this isn't really a point I raised. I was never talking about your army, but about the armies you should be expecting to face. It isn't just that it isn't the best approach for all armies, but that it doesn't work against some armies. It's not that gunline Guard or mechanized Eldar should themselves adopt a different approach, but that taking your suggested approach is ineffective against those armies.
You assert that you are "not relying on (your) opponent to make a mistake."
But, really, you are. You want him to deploy his forces in a particular way. Either this manner of deployment is a mistake on his part or it is not. If it is, then you are relying on him making a mistake. If it is not, then you shouldn't be trying to get it to happen. The latter, in case it is in question, can be determined by a little bit of logic:
- A mistake is something which imposes a disadvantage on the player making it.
- You should want your opponent to make as many mistakes as possible.
- Your opponent will make a limited number of moves.
- Therefor, the more moves he makes which are not mistakes, the fewer moves he will make that are.
- Therefor you should not want your opponent to make moves which are not mistakes.
You state that "Going last in a seize ground mission has several advantages."
Of course it does. It's obvious, and I've never disputed it. If your post had been about the benefits of going last, I would have agreed, but would have pointed out that the benefits of going last are well known and not particularly novel.
The problem is that you conflate the advantages of going last with the purported advantages of your scheme for setting up the table. Going last is advantageous, but those advantages exist, in their entirety, without employing your scheme at all. Further, I don't see any particular reason to believe that going last becomes more advantageous with the use of your scheme than it would be without it.
The part about marines generally being the attackers is something I agree with.
It doesn't, however, help the value of your suggestion. At best, it merely indicates that a potential disadvantage doesn't apply to your particularly army (though I concede that, since you are only talking about that one army, it does eliminate my one objection).
I'm going to have to muddle over the meaning of your paragraph about the advantage of attacking objectives in line. I can't really envision what you're trying to say, here. This is a shame, because I feel like this is the meat of your position. If I work it out in my head, I'll let you know.
Once again, the conservative, sandwich-heavy portfolio pays off for the hungry investor!
A few words on my last post: you said you don't see the advantage of the tactics presented (unless I was playing a "fool", as you stated) and instead claimed that following the tactics above would put me to disadvantage.
I can't argue - as you already noted yourself - with you about the former, as our estimates for how many players would deploy their army to my advantage just don't match. This is why I focused my last post on explaining why the disadvantages you conceive (placing the majority of objectives on the opponent's side being the first and making my opponent take first turn being the second) are actually advantages to me.
But this is just natural. Despite being very complex, Warhammer 40.000 still has a paper-stone-scissors (or whatever you call this game in English) element in regard to some kind of armies and/or tactics work very well to counter some other type of army and/or tactics but don't work well to counter a third type of army and/or tactic.
I don't really care how he deploys his forces. His decision, of course, will affect my courses of action throughout the game to some extent, but I am not relying on any kind of deployment. He has to deploy in some way, and all are fine with me.
Because that is what I was trying to explain with my last post: it is kind of a win-win situation. I don't rely on anything. He could be splitting his forces, he could keep them drawn together and sit on two adjacent objectives. It doesn't matter: both are good for me!
Please have a look at the following three pictures:
Please note that pictures one and two represent possible results of objectives placement as suggested in this tactica and the enemy (red) clustering his forces on two objectives (the center objective #2 and either objective #1 or objective #3), while picture three represents the objectives being placed in the orthodox and balanced way.
Red circled objectives are enemy-held, blue circled objectives are held by friendly forces. The purple circled objective is the heavily contested one, the one the tactica advises you to throw your hard-hitter units and any and all expendable other units at.
Since the enemy has clustered his forces on either objectives #1 and #2 or on objectives #2 and #3, the remaining objective (#3 or #1 respectively) is easy to take. Since this is the weakest defended objective, this is where the tactica advises you to divert your troops too.
Now notice two things:
A] If three objectives are in an approximate line on one side of the board, they are closer to each other than objectives on different sides of the board usually are - to be exact they are very close to the minimum 12", instead of usually almost 24" for objectives on different board halves.
B] Notice how the opponent's possible routes to approach your objectives are direct in picture three, but indirect in pictures one and two.
This leads to two advantages:
A] our troops can sit on and hold the objective while at the same time providing close-range fire support (while long-range fire support is sitting on your home objective #4) for your forces at the main battle zone (the heavily contested objective), and
B] the objective you have taken on the opponent's board half is automatically screened from him by the main battle zone and must be approached either indirectly or through the main battle itself.
You could say that advantage B is actually nothing more than turning the front line by 90°, effectively letting you defend a parallel to the short board edges, while with orthodox and balanced objectives placement would force you to defend a parallel to the long board edges, abstractly speaking. And since the aim of your all-out attack is only to distract and block the way, the blocking of the way is much easier if you fight short table edge to short table edge instead of long table edge to long table edge...
This is what the tactics are trying to exploit.
Your all-out attack will be subject to many casualties and on the long run you are bound to lose in the main battle zone, with much more enemies left alive than friendly forces surviving, but the sole purpose is to screen and shield your objectives, to contest and distract and just hold out long enough to protect your troops...
Maybe that helps a little.