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Tactics question of the week #8 
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Here is the next issue of the Tactics Question of the Week!

For those who don’t know what it means: every week someone presents an interesting situation with two forces somewhere in the middle of the battle (usually, featuring not full armies but just parts thereof). The situation is usually described with a picture, and some accompanying explanations regarding the units, their rules, distances and anything else that the person presenting the situation deems necessary.

All people who read this forum are then welcome to present their “solutions” to the situation – i.e. explain what they would do in such a situation, as well as the reasoning behind certain steps. In a nutshell, this is an attempt to give substance to discussion revolving around tactics and share the common battlefield experience.

The links to previous issues of “Tactics Question of the Week” threads can be found below:
#1: http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?t=60560
#2: http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?t=60625
#3: http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?t=60840
#4: http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?t=60931
#5: http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?t=61022
#6 http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?t=61131
#7: http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?t=61217

And now, finally the question:
Image

Previous Tactics Questions focused mostly on fairly isolated situations, where a lot of attention has to be paid to small details, and where many things could be calculated with a fair degree of certainty. This time, the question is a bit different: it shows the whole battlefield, and it is the very start of the game, where Lizardmen have made their first turn, and Druchii are yet to make theirs.

Small explanation of the lists

Druchii (from left to right):
5 DR with musician, no RxB
5 DR with musician, no RxB
10 Crossbows with shields
20 warriors, shoields, FC
RBT
Chariot
20 warriors, shields, FC
=> the general is inside, with MR2, Blood armour, SDC and GW
=> the assassin in inside with ahw, +d3A, KB and re-roll 1's to wound
5 harpies
20 warriors, shields, FC
=> scroll caddy is inside, Level 1, 2xDS, has chillwind
10 corsairs, Frenzy banner
5 DR with musician, no RxB

Also, in the wood on the lizardman side is a single surviving shade with a hidden assassin, who has ahw, manbane, rending stars and the gifts that reduces the attacks of the enemy in base contact by 1

Lizardmen (from left to right):
10 skinks with blowpipes (skirmishers, M6, BS3, 12" range weapons with 2x multishoot and poison)
10 skinks with blowpipes (same)
15 Saurus warrirors with banner (M4, T4, S4, 2A, have spears and shields and scaly skin 5+)
=> inside is the saurus with Great weapon, shield and light armour (he has the bound Steed of Shadows with Power Level 5 - this is known, as he attempted to use it last turn but was dispelled; also he is 4A, S5, T5 with 5+ scaly skin)
18 saurus warriors with banner
=> inside is a Level 2 Skink priest with Portent of Far (unit re-rolls all 1's to hit, wound and armor; 5+) and Forked lightning (no range, need LOS, unit takes 1d6 S4 hits; 6+) - this skinks has already used a One Use Only magic item worth 25 points that makes an enemy take a T-test or suffer a wound and take another, until he passes one; it was dispelled with the Druchii general's MR2
5 Cold One Riders with banner (they have S4, T4, 2A, spears; cold ones are identical to Druchii ones, but riders' Ld is 8 cold-blooded)
Ancient stegadon with a skink priest with engine of Gods (Steg is T6 W5, A3, S6, AS3+, M6, ItP, Stubborn Ld4 with 5 Ld6 skinks on top with AS2+ and the priest who can use engine's blessings int he same way as we use cauldron's but at the start of the magic phase; there are three blessings:
1. Every enemy unit within 2d6" suffers D6 S4 hits, no AS
2. All units within 12" have 5+ ward against shooting from outside 12"
3. All casting values from one lore are reduced by 1
Last turn it has fried some shades with first blessing; the skinks on top has three spells: Portent of Far (explained already), Uranon's thunderbolt (any unit within LOS suffers D6 S4 hits with no AS; 9+) and Comet of Cassandora (RiP, caster nominates the landing spot of comet; at the start of each player's turn the comet hits the ground on a roll of 4+; the area of effect is d6" multiplied by amount of turns waited till the comet struck the ground, and all units within area suffer 2d6 S4 hits)

3 terradons (flyers who can fly into woods; they have the ability to drop rocks once per battle, and they have already used it on the shades - so I don't need to explain what it does)
3 kroxigors (ogre-sized infantry with A3, S4 WS3, 4+ scaly skin and GW)
10 skinks with blowpipes (already explained)
12 skinks with 2 kroxigors (ranked unit; kroxigors can reach and be reached over one rank/file of skinks)

---

So, thoughts are welcome on how the Druchii general should be proceeding in this battle. I'd note that a special attention should be given to conditional planning - i.e. what happens if something else happens, as this is the very beginning of the battle, and many things can still happen that affect the outcome drastically.


Tue May 05, 2009 6:03 am
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Left to right

DR 1 & 2 charge the blowipe skinks, or manouvre to do so next turn.

RXB shoot at best target

spear 1 turns 90 degrees and moves to the left to open up the arc for the RBT

RBT shoots at saurus in range with multi shot

Chariot remains stationary

spear 2 remains stationary

Harpies can march block the cold ones, angled so that they flee within range of the general's leadership if charged.

spear 3 remains stationary

Corsairs turn 180 and wheel 2.5 inehes to their right.

DR move as needed to stay out of charge reach.

Assassin charges engine and directs all attacks against the skink priest.

Remaining shade charges terradons.


Basically the DE deployment is too cramped. We need to sweep up the blowpipes so we can get to the flank and rear of ther saurus warriors with the DR. The DE right flank is outmatched, so withdrawing to give us time to sort out the saurus warriors is needed. With any survivors from that battle flanking the krox when thy are in turn engaged.

The assassin will be dead in the next lizzie phase to the engine, so must kill the skink priest to have any chance odf survival.

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Tue May 05, 2009 8:53 am
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The situation is difficult, in my opinion because the starting deployment could have been better. The druchii forces should have been positioned in a wider formation, but this is what we've got so I'll proceed with the comments.
First of all I don't think that the drs are able to charge the skinks because the wood.

I'll proceed phase per phase

Charges: nothing. The only charge that would be possible will be the one of the shade+assassin vs the terradons, but you'll probably fail to catch them and the assassin will do nothing important, while the terradons will probably regroup after fleeing. No other charges are in range.

Movements: from left to right
2x5 drs on the left: you've to get some risk, so you need to advance along the left flank, being covered with the wood from the right unit of skinks. Both the units will face the same skink unit (the left one) while the right unit of drs will turn a bit towards the wood to threaten the advance of the second skinks unit. You've to stay more than 12" away from the skinks units.
In the next turn probably the lizard will bring ahead the skninks and fire with the blowpipes (both units against one drs unit) hitting on 6 with a single shot getting a pair of casualties (3,333 wounds to be saved at 5+).
Assuming to pass the panic check you'll get a double charge against the skinks getting an average of 1 killed on each unit of drs: passing the panic check with the already wounded unit (reduced to 2 models) you'll have the next cr:
4 drs (the left ones) against 10 skinks +6 for De player
2 drs vs 10 skinks (on the right) +1 for De player

Major risks: you could not pass the first panic check. In that case you've to be conservative retreating the other drs unit and wait for better times. If both skinks units flee you have won the side being able to destroy them in the next turn (they could even not regroup).

Xbows: stay where they are ready to shoot

Spears: the left and the central units move back a little bit. This is to prepare the trap for enemy units. The right unit should move ahead full speed, jumping on the hill and turning to the right to see the kroxigors: be sure not to take a flank charge from the coks in the middle.

Chariot: it moves on the right, going near the hill, staying betweent the two units of spears (the central and the right ones). It has to get the flank of saurus infantries.

Harpies: they have been positioned too much in the rear. So you need to use them to stop the advance of enemy infantries. Take them in front of the left saurus unit, blocking its path. Be sure that if he charges the saurus will turn a lot, so blocking the path of the other saurus unit. The same way you need that this happen even if there will be a charge with the central saurus unit, so I suggest to move the nearest harpy between the 2 units, in front of them.

Drs (before the corsairs): I'd move them between the 2 units ahead (kroxigors and mixed one) so that they should block the march move of both units. Be sure that if the opponent charges he'll fail the charge, so you should move the riders forcing a large conversion from the right unit in order to charge them while you should be able to easily avoid the kroxigors' charge only because you're to far away from them (at least 6" from them).

Corsairs: they should be positioned straight back to the drs ready to countercharge.
In every situation you should be covered. Here are some hypothesis for the right flank:
- both the units charge the drs: you flee with them, countercharging with the spears on the left and the corsairs on the right.
- only the kroxigors charge: you countercharge with the spears
- only the mixed unit charges: you countercharge with the corsairs
- no one charges: ok, they cannot move much further.

Assassin + shade: the next turn they'll probably die, so they need to do something in this phase. Charges have been already excluded, so they should shoot. First move them near the stegadon (assuming they passed the terror test), staying on the flank of the beast. They will block the monster in this way, as if it want to go ahead it could risk to avoid the assassin + shade when casting the 2d6 hits. Your unit should even block the charge of the coks, if not already done by the harpies.

Sorceress: move her into central spears, being able to shoot her bolt on the coks.

Shooting: Assassin + shade on the machine, Rbts and xbows on the coks (first the xbows and then the Rbt, because if the Rbt makes some casualty, some xbows could be out of range from the unit.

End of the phase: at this point you forced a panic check and maybe picked off a couple of wounds from the machine. Any movement is blocked and you're ready for some good charges.

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Tue May 05, 2009 11:49 am
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Charges: Assassin and Shade into the Terradons. Charging the Stegadon seems to me to be a mistake, unless killing the skink priest nullifies the engine of the gods. My inclination would be to hit the terradons, overrun beyond where you can be affected by the engine of the gods, and then swing in from the rear on the stegadon, marchblocking it and taking advantage of our rending stars. I see only one other potential charge, which is the rightmost DR into the Skinks + Kroxigors.

Movement: Shift both units of DRs on the left forward and to the left, and aim to be ~14" away from both skink units - this will make sure that they are hard to hit by the skinks' blowguns.

Move the harpies forward to attempt to marchblock both units of saurus and the saurus cavalry.

Shift the centre unit of warriors to the right in order to get LOS with the Reaper, and shift the COC for the same reason, making sure not to block yourself in.

Shift the rightmost unit of warriors slightly forward and towards the centre - threaten the middle without committing to it.

Advance with the dark riders up the right flank into a march block position on the Skink + Kroxigore unit.

Shooting - our aim is to reduce the unit of Saurus cavalry to 3 or less. Start with the Crossbows - see if we can kill two with them first, since they all appear to be in range. Shots from the Reaper will depend on how the crossbows do. If we kill two with the crossbows, start working on the Stegadon with a single bolt. If we didn't get two with the crossbows, hit the Saurus cavalry with 6 shots.

Combat - kill the teradons and overrun.


Tue May 05, 2009 4:45 pm
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Tough position. OUtclassed in combat in the centre, outmanouvered on the flanks, outmagicked too.

First thing first; charges. The assassin is dead next turn. He can't get out of range of the EotG So he has to do something before his investment is wasted. He can either charge the terradons or the steg. Neither is a great payoff... the terradons will just flee, the palanquin armour will probably protect the priest. But I would go for the big potential payoff of charging the priest. Kill him and the enging is neutered. Don't forget to challenge either... it takes the crew attacks out of the equation.

Next, we have the better shooting, so don't need to move forward and force the issue. I would move the corsairs forward (but not into charge range of the skinks) to threaten the krox unit in case they try to outflank the spears. This would mean I will need to bring the right flank DR forward too in case I need them to block a charge from the skinks.

The spears and harpies will stay where they are unless the chariot has failed stupidity. If it has, they will advance forward the same amount.
The crossbowmen advance 5".
Both DR units will reposition on the left flank of the trees close enough to march block both units of skinks and threaten a charge on both if possible. They'll take a pounding next turn but should get rid of one or both units in their next turn.

The lone shade will move to get LoS to the cav.

Magic phase; 2 dice Power of darkness, then remaining dice on a chiilwind at the Krox unit (unless there is LoS to the terradons; I can't tell if that is all one forest or there is a LoS pathway through to them).

Shooting phase; RBT now has LoS to the skinks so it will shoot at the extreme left unit, as will the crossbowmen. The goal is to weaken their shooting to allow the DR to win this flank. The shade will ping at the saurus cav and hope for a lucky shot.

In summary, My overall goal is to play out this turn whittling down the skinks and hunting them with the DR on the left, holding on the right (no need to advance into charge range of the saurus cav) and cautiously advancing on the right to limit the lizards advancing options on thise flank. The assassin's charge is

I see the lizard response to be to try to distance themselves and with the skinks and try to shoot the DR to pieces. The centre of their army now has a choice to advance forward and probably concede a charge.

They will probably calculate that the 2 saurus blocks and possibly the krox can take a charge while the skink cohort and the cav can't. The right hand skinks may thread through to redirect but they are probably better off moving toward the forest to occupy it and hold the tablequarter.

Magicwise, their best choice seems to be to use 4 dice on a comet near the front of the DE ranks and play out the rest of the turn depending on whether it is stopped or not. The EotG will (assuming the assassin didn't get lucky and kill the priest) blast him with a burning alignment if he is still alive killing the shade as well, or make a ward save shield if the assassin is already dead.

Shooting is as mentioned (vs DR).

That's how I see it playing out.

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Tue May 05, 2009 9:33 pm
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sulla wrote:
Kill him and the enging is neutered. Don't forget to challenge either... it takes the crew attacks out of the equation.


Can he refuse the challenge? Being a single model I don't see how, but I thought I would pose the question to see if there is a cunning way for the priest to avoid it.

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Tue May 05, 2009 10:33 pm
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Some notes:

Yes, if you kill the skink on top of the steg, you neutralize the engine (and the majority of the enemy magic phase)

The chance for the assassin to kill the skink in CC is 25.7%, due to AS 2+ (but I'm not sure if the palanquin's AS carries over to the priest or only the crew; if it's only the crew, then the assassin has 94.4% chance to kill the skink in CC)

Oh, and the skink can't refuse the challenge.


Wed May 06, 2009 7:30 am
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This looks interesting, i'll give the question a better look later on...

Out of interest, what application do you use to make the units/map?


Thu May 07, 2009 1:07 pm
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Pm sent Lord Monkey.

I'll give this a looksie in a bit.

-Rex

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Thu May 07, 2009 5:11 pm
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sulla wrote:
Tough position. OUtclassed in combat in the centre, outmanouvered on the flanks, outmagicked too.
Situation not that bad.
We're outmagicked but, as said, the assassin should take care of the priest.
We have a clear lead in shooting and can make good use of that.

The fighting will happen in the centre.
This is where we can take a lead.
The lizzies's left flank is far away from the centre, our DR can march-block them.
On our left flank, we can shoot the blowpipes down and remove them with DRs.

Overall our situation would improve if, from right to left:
- DR march-block lizzie's left flank
- corsairs turn 90°left and get close to the centre.
- all three warrior blocks move to the left (or backwards for the central one).
- harpies march-block, as said in above posts.
- MXB and RBT shoot at blowpipes (if they are on the hill, LOS on them is not blocked).
- DR remain behind wood: they need to stay alive.
- as mentioned in above posts, the assassin charges the priest on the beast while the shade can shoot at teradons.

The idea would be to get rid of the blowpipes on our left and get the ability to roam freely there with 2 units of DR, as intact as possible. Here we threaten flank-charges.
With the 3 spears, we set a trap, the 3 units making an open circle.
Corsairs and COC get ready to flank charge whatever comes into the trap.
The right DR delays the left Lizzie flank as long as the blowpipes allow that.

Meanwhile, we should deal more damage with shooting than we receive from their magic.

The scroll caddy should not bother to use PoD, cast chillwind with all 3 dice instead.

Progressively, we move the whole to our left, where we have the lead.
The lizzies should have difficulty to get all combat units in position.

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Thu May 07, 2009 8:28 pm
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Actually, I have checked and the priest does indeed get 2+ AS from the stegadon, so assassin will have difficulty killing him in CC.

(Just as a side note for your amusement: I forgot to reflect it when drawing the diagram, but in the actual game the right unit of DR on the left flank had already been reduced to one model; I still won the game with a massacre largely due to a lucky 1st round shot of the RBT on the Steg killing the priest. However, let the Tactics Question stay as it is drawn =))

Also, I agree with Calisson that we can get an upper hand in the center, as we have better SCR, and we can get good ACR, especially if we are the ones charging. The biggest CC problem in the center is the COK of the enemy - they have a longer charge range than our infantry. However, it's nothing that clever manoeuvring wouldn't be able to mitigate. One just needs to figure out how ;)


Thu May 07, 2009 9:26 pm
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Bit behind on the Tactics Question this week. Will be coming out either Wed or Thurs. Thanks for being patients!

-Rex

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Tue May 12, 2009 5:06 pm
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Azure wrote:
Bit behind on the Tactics Question this week. Will be coming out either Wed or Thurs. Thanks for being patients!


Thank you for this awesome tactical issue !wink!

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Wed May 13, 2009 2:31 pm
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Alright boys and girls, cue the groans directed at Azure for absolutely failing for this week. Combination of finals coming up and work has lead to a significant decrease in time spent online.

On the plus side, it gave me an idea for these tactical issues that we can try out and I WILL be posting it tomorrow. The idea is to work specifically on the different phases of the game. Not necesarily movement/combat/magic etc but more Deployment, midgame, endgame etc essentially trying to capitalize on the parts of the game that aren't thought through as clearly. (For me at least!)

Thanks for reading and once again, my apologies.
-Rex

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Mon May 18, 2009 8:15 am
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Yup, I also feel a bit ashamed that I didn't come up with a question, but I hope that I'll be able to contribute more soon. Currently, this is a slightly busy time...


Mon May 18, 2009 8:57 am
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