Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Path of the Autarch: Mobility [Part 3]

The Surgical Strike

Used without permission. All rights belong to the artist.
Welcome back to the third installment of this series on mobile armies. To recap, we've discussed a few rules that help mobile armies out and the general thought process behind setting your army up for success in the deployment phase. Finally, in this, the third article, we're actually going to start to talk about moving things!

I was torn initially, on how to approach this part of the subject. Do I do a turn by turn strategy guide, or just do a massive strategy dump that addresses everything? I had some options but I couldn't choose. What I eventually decided to go with is discussing strategies that are more purpose driven. Obviously, there are sooo many different variables in any 40k game. From the armies, to the terrain, to the mission's rules, to the play style of the opponent, etc.

Therefore, I could figuratively  write forever about all the little situations you can find yourself in. Which isn't a goal I could reasonably achieve. Now, what I could accomplish, however, is to speak to the commonalities of all these situations and also address the fundamental concepts of the game and, more specifically, how they apply to the mobile army.

Now, that the transcripts of my internal monologue have been presented, it's time to move along to the meat of the article. This edition of Path of the Autarch picks up where we last left off. The board is set, models deployed, and it is time for the first turn. Let's get into it.

The First Cut

One of three things has happened since deployment:
A) We are taking the first turn.
B) We are taking our first turn but the opponent has already taken one as well.
C) We took such horrid casualties on the opponent's first turn that we concede.

So barring the ragequit option "C" (I suppose you could have gotten tabled and saved face), it is our turn to bring destruction to our enemy.

As I proposed in the last article, we have a specific purpose in the first turn or so:

 We need to establish battlefield dominance. 

Depending on what kind of list you brought to the game, this will mean different things to you. We are focusing on the mobile army, so we have two main tasks to achieve as quickly as possible. 

The Initial Two Objectives:
A) Eliminate the threats to our mobile units with extreme prejudice.
B) Ensure that our mobility is unmatched within the context of the battlefield.

Objective A
Be specific and strike quickly.
As you remember from the last edition of Path of the Autarch, we have identified the main threats to our army by doing recon on the opponent's list and observing its deployment. We have also either deployed our forces in such a way that we will be able to efficiently attack those threats, or we were thinking of the best ways o do so while the opponent was deploying. 
The first turn needs to basically have tunnel vision in the sense that nearly everything we do needs to be with the intent of removing or reducing the main threats to our army. That's why I call this section the Surgical Strike. We are hitting the opponent specifically and deliberately. It's up to you to figure out how to do it with your list, but needs to be your goal.
Are we going to completely remove all the opponent's hard hitting resources? Probably not, but we are going to give it a good go. The more damage we do now,  the less that will be coming back at us and that is going to pay great dividends over the course of the game.
Now, not all of this has to take place on the very first turn, however. This is generally an "early game" goal. We may have to spend the first turn maneuvering in order to set up a more coordinated attack. This is fine, but everything we do needs to be viewed through the lens of accomplishing this goal quickly.  Mobile armies excel at getting combat assets into position with alacrity. 

This advantage MUST be leveraged. 

Objective B

Remember, when I said we needed to have tunnel vision on Objective A?
Do it like this or attack stuff like this.
 I lied. 
Kind of. 
There is an acceptable secondary objective that you may, in good conscience, distract yourself with. And that is bringing destruction to the opponent's mobile elements.
Why is this ok to deviate to? Because, if the opponent is slower than us, our mobility becomes even more of an advantage, relative to the opponent's lack of mobility. An opponent that is "de-meched" (short for de-mechanized) has a tendency, in my experience, to do one of two things; either send a small foot slogging force into the mid field to gain some ground, or castle everything up near or in their deployment zone.
Either way, this sets us up nicely to cherry pick which portions of the opponent's army want to engage. And we do want to engage.
The mobile army benefits greatly from the fact that it can focus a large quantity of its firepower on a small amount of the opponents models. For instance, having a hand picked 1000 points of your army rip into six unsuspecting enemy models and maybe a vehicle is going to be pretty one sided, we want one sided. And since we have the opportunity, due to our mobility, to choose which cluster of enemy models get the business, this is going to doable and repeatable.

Also, Objective B can be a good candidate for getting First Blood. Pop that light transport or lone open topped skimmer. It's a two for one.

They have the right idea, it just needs to be much faster.
Being able to move your models into position, concentrate your firepower on smaller elements of the opponent and remove their ability to retaliate is going to help us greatly in accomplishing Objective A. This is exceptionally deadly, because we can theoretically do this every turn, eliminating threats in order of.... Threatiness? You know what I mean.

I've presented what I feel the mobile army needs to accomplish early in the game. Achieving these goals, especially quickly, will greatly increase the chances of securing victory later in the game because the opponent simply will not have the resources they require to effectively compete in the mid to late game.

Next time,  on Path of the Autarch, I'll be talking about what the mobile army needs to do mid game. Sorry, I don't have a snappy title for it yet.

Used without permission. 
All rights belong to the artist.

And now my question to the crowd:
What are your main goals that you try to accomplish first turn or, at least, very early in the game?


No comments:

Post a Comment