Sunday, September 25, 2016

Relthoza Tactics: SeerK Style

Erebi's Awesome Fleet From the Spartan Community Forum
Greetings my spidery brethren.  SeerK here to talk Relthoza.  I recorded an episode of The Hub System Podcast with Alex Mann which was posted a few weeks ago.  The main topic was the Relthoza and the tactics of this rather hard to play fleet.  Craig, from the FSA Focus Group, was also a guest host.  Both of us have been Relth players for a while, but like most Relthoza players I have met,  we all have very different play styles and tactics which basically all move towards one common goal.  Sowing discord in your opponents fleet and directing them where you want them in a well laid web of destruction.  I wanted to share my style of spider.  So lets take a glimpse at the Relthoza from my perspective.  I will be be rather General in this post and I feel as though it is time to delve into the fleet once again now that we have a bunch of new ships.  More tools for the tool box.  Lets dive in.

The Relthoza are one of the more difficult fleets to really master.  There is some reference and common tactics, but ultimately every good Relth commander plays completely differently than the next.  You kind of have to find your own style and own it. If you have been reading my rantings for a while, you know I have never been a real fan of the Shunt matrix MAR.  Although it does allow you to move your ships around and keep your opponent off balance, it is far to unpredictable for my taste.  Some would say this is a Relthoza Hallmark.  It is historically and because every other ship has it, but not the way I play them.  I prefer surgical strikes and having more control over my squadrons.

I personally like to use shunt deployment for squadrons and using the Ambush MAR.  I am a big fan of the Venom Destroyer.  Yes it has a squadron size of 2, but they are resilient ships. With 6 hull points, a cloak and Stealth systems they can survive quite a bit of punishment and still be combat effective.  The Ambush MAR also allows me to place the destroyers ahead of the main fleet and makes my opponent have to really think about deployment and lets me somewhat direct where ships are going to go.  Having 4-6 ambush tokens on the board can really cause some concern.  You can advance your fleet and use the destroyers to engage your opponent and tie him up once they have made themselves known.  I would really like to see the Ambush MAR changed slightly.  The starting at a full stop is pretty detrimental.  I really want the ships to be ready to rock and roll if I am the one to reveal them.  If your opponent does, then the full stop.  This would be pretty apt I think as the ships would not be ready to attack and were forced into the open against their terms.

Shunt deployment used in conjunction with the Ambush is really effective as well.  The real secret to a good shunt deployment is getting your opponent to move his ships in such a way that it opens up a prime spot on the table to drop your squadron into.  So while the enemy fleet is trying to deal with your revealed ambush squadrons you drop in behind them or in a spot that puts ships in a cross fire.  I like to be able to engage enemy ships in as many arcs as possible with my venom's hitting from the Other side.  Mines do present a problem, but it is easily overcome.  Suicide frigates or even just dropping your big ships into the mines via shunt deployment in a "damn the torpedoes" kinda way is an effective demoralizer.  Experienced players know small mine packs are more of a mental weapon than an effective anti ship weapon.  Mine packs of 6 or less may do a point of damage on a tier 1 ship if the dice are on your opponents side.  You must make a threat assessment based on the DR of the squadron dropping onto the mines. Dropping in on mid to small size mine packs can also have a benefit if there are opposing tier 3 vessels in the blast radius.  Use the enemies weapons against them to really play the mental game.

I think the real key to playing Relthoza is to sow discord in your opponent.  You are playing a very tactical game and a very mental game.  Ship position, when to drop your cloaks and where to drop shunt deployed vessels make up the tactical portion.  Skillfully establishing a short range kill zone between an advanced squadron and a shunt deployed one, dropping into mine packs on purpose to kill small ships and using your own ships as bait all help throw your opponent off.  You have to tempt your opponent just enough to lure his ships into the positions you want them in.  As they say every well laid plan does not survive combat.  This is why you must be adaptive.  You have to be able to deviate from a previous plan and adapt to battlefield conditions.  I think this is the hardest thing to do for players.

This is mainly because its not really something that can be taught.  It comes from playing game after game and losing.....a lot.  The real key is to actually learn form the game.  Like any gamer I will blame my dice or just dumb luck, but position and movement is a real key to victory in FSA.  Telarion and I almost always go and do a debrief after each game we play.  I usually get trounced, but we go through and look at what I could have done in hindsight.  This helps me learn and identify similar board conditions in the future and teaches me how to evaluate them.  I can them adapt plans based on the current conditions.  The Relthoza are a dynamic and adaptive race and they need to be played as such.

That is my two cents on the Relthoza.  I have been pretty busy this month.  I have been wanting to write more and the creative juices have been flowing pretty well.  If you are on the forum you may have noticed that my handle has changed.  "Spartan Linde" is now my official title and I am doing some development work on FSA in conjunction with Spartan Neil and Spartan Derek.  So stay tuned for some new stuff.  I really cant talk about what we are doing, but rest assured its going to be awesome.

Next time I have some news about Adepticon.  The Schaumburg Prime Offensive returns and this year we will have something for every Spartan fan.  Every Game with the exception of Uncharted Seas and Dystopian Legions will be at Adepticon this  Year! More on that next time!

Until then crush the Alliance and as always....


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