Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Path of the Autarch: Mobility [Part 5] Endgame

We have reached the last installment in this series. If you've been reading them all up to now, thank you. In case you're behind or maybe this is the first one you've seen, I have included links to the previous articles. Sorry it has been so long, but moving, work and lack of internet at the new place had been keeping me delayed.

Path of the Autarch: Mobility Part 1
Path of the Autarch: Mobility Part 2
Path of the Autarch: Mobility Part 3
Path of the Autarch: Mobility Part 4

Well, we have covered some strategy up and through most of the game. This time I'm going to be talking about the mobile army and how it can interact with the latter few turns and some end game tidbits in this, the final article.

As usual, I will be breaking the game down to a few common "closing acts" to the saga of our game. I break the sections of the game into these chunks because I think it is important to work that brain muscle and deliberately think about these perspectives. I do this partially for you, the reader, but it has also helped me personally to actually have to think about the nuts and bolts of these thoughts.

My  possible closing acts:

Closing Act 1: "Good game, man."

While I never advocate for just giving up, sometimes it is proper to concede when victory just isn't possible within the constraints of the mission. For example, if your army is reduced to just a ragged single scoring unit on an objective, but your opponent controls the other four and is closing in on you, it is probably classier to merely offer your handshake and congratulations for victory rather than forcing your opponent to hunt down every last model or wait out the turn clock.

Closing Act 2: "The Hail Mary"

You should never concede if there is even a glimmer of hope, no matter the odds or how much of a long shot it is. Weird stuff happens in 40k, and you may also benefit from a mistake made by an over-confident opponent who has been lulled into carelessness.
Traditionally, you are just going to give the best slim chances of success to your units. It's a useful tactic to do this in as many places as possible.  Probability being what it is and all. So, it is "game point", what's the plan?

Possible plans of attack for a "Hail Mary"turn:

-Try to hold an objective with a weak unit, but hiding one of the models so that the only way to completely kill the squad is to somehow get line of sight to it.

-Tank Shock! with every tank you have to try to get some units to Fall Back!

-Tank Shock! units off of objectives and park your tank on top of it. If the opponent wants the objective, they are going to have to work for it.

-Assault the unit that just got pushed off of an objective to possibly hem them up long enough so they cannot attack your tank sitting on the objective.

-If you got a unit to Fall Back! assault them and try to destroy them or use the bonus movement to get into a contesting position.

-Swarm the opponent's objectives with everything you can. Remember, your opponent should be a little low on options this far into the game unless you are just completely getting rolled over.

-Block, assault, tie up, pin, or otherwise neutralize enemy units that would be a great tool in the opponent's toolbox on their following turn.

-And anything else you can think of (no matter how unlikely) that will either result in your score going up or your opponent's score going down.

In general, just create chaos on the battlefield. The more you can cause disarray, the better the chances that some of it will work out. The mobile army has the ability to throw wrenches in the gears of Defeat and can sometimes bring it to a screeching halt. Sometimes, a weak unit will survive against all odds and hold a key enemy unit in place for just long enough to make a HUGE difference.

Remember to be creative, be bold and go "all in".

 Closing Act 3: "Finish Him!"

As an homage to Mortal Kombat, this is Act is all about putting the nails in your opponent's coffin. If you find yourself here, it means that victory is nearly assured. I say nearly because we still must be vigilant and make solid choices, lest we be robbed of our hard fought victory. Odds are, if you are playing out this act, and your opponent hasn't conceded yet, they will be trying to pull off the aforementioned "Hail Mary" tactics from Closing Act #2.

This is no time to get cocky or overconfident. Keep up the coldly logical and brutal maneuvers that got you here in the first place.

We need to look at the battlefield and look at all the possible ways that the opponent could try and increase their score and/or decrease ours. We need to over protect our objectives and scoring units. Put up screen units or blockades, tar pit their more useful units, and kill off their scoring or contesting units.

We are basically just trying to remove or render useless as many of the opponent's tools and options as we can. This can literally win you the game before the turn count runs out.

Closing Act 4: "Tooth and Nail"

 This is the neck and neck bloody fight to the end where it is literally anyone's game. Sometimes the whole game can come down to a single die roll, or hinge on whether one model can either hold its ground or make those critical last few inches to an objective. These games are usually my favorite ones. Either the game is ending on the upswing of a massive comeback for one of the players or it has been a knock down, drag out fight every turn.

In this scenario, there generally aren't many resources on the table for either player. Little things can make a big difference in the game at this point. Scrutinize the board and give yourself every option and opportunity you can. It might be that one last Bolter being fired at maximum range into your models in heavy cover that can seal your demise.

Utilize the strategies, advice, and perspectives of the previous Acts (not Act 1 obviously, we're too close!). Make good decisions and don't be afraid of long odds. As a friend of mine is prone to say, "Don't let fear and common sense hold you back". Be tenacious and give no quarter. If you got this far, stick with it and keep focused. Losing your edge at this point in the game will certainly end in defeat.

   And remember this: double check the victory conditions often. This is how the game will be won.


I hope that you have enjoyed this journey through my take on the strategy mindset of using a mobile army in a game. Mobility is kind of a hidden stat in that its significance is based on the general, not necessarily on the unit itself. Now that I have laid out a framework for the game as a whole, I look forward to writing some more articles on specific aspects of waging war on the tabletop. Until next time...


  1. Completely agree that the close games are the best. Last week I had an entire game hinge on whether or not Saint Celestine would make her 4+ revive roll......which she did and promptly got Line Breaker AND denied me an objective.

    1. Hehehe, sorry for your loss, but that is awesome. I love it when the game literally comes down to a die roll of some kind. They truly are the best games because both players usually come away from it with a smile and a feeling that they haven't wasted the last few hours.
      Don't get me wrong, in a tournament, I want a one sided fight favoring me, but in a pick up game, I want something memorable.

  2. I have had way to many "Hail Mary's" in the past few games. I need to get in more games. I need to play this codex

    1. Hehehe. Yes, practice is both fun and dripping with rewards. Overall, I am liking the new codex. I have also been thinking about trying my hand at Foot-Dar. Shocking, I know. But I have had the urge to use Dire Avengers. a lot of the them. and since Guardians bring the pain from Wave Serpents, I want to see if Dire Avengers are good on the field.

  3. Just found your site from a link from House of Paincakes, and promptly devoured the whole series. Really really good stuff. I love global strategy articles, but there are very few to be found, especially of this quality. Keep it up!