With several games under my belt I wanted to make a blog post about the missions available in Matched play. It includes tactics for choosing your mission and how to go about winning. Finally I have jotted down some thoughts on how these could be altered to created a closer game.
For the purposes of this I want to look at three options a skirmish a confrontation and epic clash, therefore, I have assumed an equal number and scale of titans on either side for comparison.
The lists are therefore as follows, and fit roughly into the maximum bracket shown.
|Skirmish (1250pts)||Confrontation (1750pts)||Epic (2500 pts)|
|Two reavers (8),||Warlord (10),||Two Warlords(10),|
|Two warhounds (6),||Reaver (8),||Two Reavers(8),|
|Banner of Knights (4)||Three Warhounds (6),||Three Warhounds (6) ,|
|Banner of Knights (4)||Two Knight Banners (4)|
|Total Scale 32||Total scale 40||Total Scale 62|
There are currently 5 missions available and these all have a primary and secondary objective, based on the armies above I have summarised the maximum scores possible from these.
The rules state that wiping out your opponent is an automatic win, however for comparison purposes I have ignored this.
The first number is the primary mission score, the second is the secondary mission score
|Engage and destroy1||38||5||49||52||80||5|
|Glory and Honour||20||12||20||12||20||12|
|Hold the line||20||16||20||20||20||31|
1 It should be noted that there are discrepancies between the book and cards I have assumed the cards are incorrect and the book is correct. I.e. the
2 Both players can score this objective.
The first thing that jumps out on the above matched play missions is that two of them really scale with the size of the game. Both Vital Cargo and Engage and Destroy can be comparable match ups and result in tight games.
Unfortunately, if you draw these and your opponent does not then they are in for a hard time. Taking Confrontation as the “typical” game.
|Engage and Destroy||54|
|Glory and honour||32|
|Hold the Line||40.|
At first glance these scores look close and it seems like any match up may work out well. I have looked at these in turn below starting with the mission that seems to be the worst option on the board.
Glory and Honour
Why is this mission so hard? The reason is that basically you have to kill the highest point Titan on turn 1 to score 20 points, and whilst doing so is possible by bringing all guns to bear, your opponent knows you have chosen this so all they have to do is hide / protect that key Titan for a couple of turns and the max that can be scored is suddenly 10.
The secondary objectives are also weak, you must control an entire quarter with no opposition, that is no hiding Knight, or a stubborn Warlord. So at best you will score 9 extra points from three quarters, and that is tough. So this mission will score you probably 19 points at best.
You will always have two options of missions and unfortunately I really cannot see a time when I will ever chose this mission as it will be very tough to win. Top tip: choose the other mission. Glory and honour will be going to your opponent otherwise!
Hold the line
You can net a decent 40 points in this mission. All your princeps needs to do is to keep your titans alive and keep the opposing team away from your board edge.
Keep them in the first 18” of their board edge, sounds easy enough. Consider one Knight (or Warhound) remaining with 10”/12” movement with full stride orders. Small enough to hide behind terrain, and move 20”-24” on the last turns, whilst probably arc dodging and hiding in terrain to avoid being killed. That gives a really good chance of making it to the last 12” of the table reducing your possible vp’s to 0 or 5. Secondary points are still a good source of points, but not as good as the main missions. A max of 20 from my example, for a total score 25.
If I have taken this mission then I would focus my energies on stopping the fast titans and knights. I would ignore the bigger slower titans in the earlier turns, (unless a close combat Reaver is steaming across the board at you) and try and weather the storm.
Note the card provided with the game differs from the Rule Book.
I personally really like this mission as it poses a challenge, and there is always a titan crew to rescue from somewhere.
However, the points will let you down again. If you can get it off the board you score 20 points, and prevent your opponent killing Titan, but a lot of the game your titan will be moving fast to avoid shots and so is unlikely to be shooting in return. It will also expose its rear as it heads back to your table edge!
You then score a decent amount for killing the opposition but in my example 22 is the best. So 42 points can be scored. Depending on game length getting off the board can be tough, so 30 to 40 is likely.
Personally I use a Warhound for the mission due to the speed and turning ability of the Titan. I try to run a pair up to the objective before one splits away to rescue the crew.
If you pick this there is a stratagem that really helps…blind barrage, it great for keeping your Titan alive when they grab the crew. As it is this turn when your opponent can really line up their fire corridors.
Edit: As with Vital Cargo below you will lose a titan if it escapes off the back edge, but I have found that by this point it has taken sustained fire so you want to escape and not delay!
This is a potential high scoring mission, but you need to make the trek across 48” of board in 4 turns. Looking at a 6” deployment zone that is 32” of movement. A Warhound with a few full stride orders can make this without pushing the reactor if there is a straight line and no opposition in the way, a Reaver can push the reactor to move and make it too.
The problem being is you then lose your titan from the game.
The secondary mission is to get into the enemy deployment zone so you really want your entire force pressing the opposition or making a hole and breaking through.
There are variances on all these, and playing close quarters really helps win vital cargo as the deployment zones are 18” deep. So even titans in zone c only have to move 24” as opposed to 36” on all the other setups.
On all other missions the score will be lower as getting into the rear 6” zone will restrict the secondary mission points as probably only knights and Warhounds will make it, while still playing the tactical battle. So a score of 15 plus 22 for 37 is a good score.
Plan early as to where you will target, deploy a fake flank with fast moving titans and knights which can switch to support your main battle force. Decide which of your titans will be trying to make it into the opposing deployment zone for extra points, and how they can do this whilst still fighting. But also by disguising which it is from your opponent.
Engage and Destroy
Note the card provided with the game differs from the Rule Book.
This is in my opinion the stand out mission for winning. You need to kill the opposition and one thing this game does is ensure a fight. The board are such that something is in range from round 2 onwards. The only point of note is that the secondary mission is worded such that both sides can win it, which means there are 5 points available for anyone playing you. Still with a good battle destroying 50% of the opposition scores you 30 points. 75% is 42 points. At this point the game is probably yours!
Focus down units make sure of your kills. Kill 70% of the opposition for an almost certain win, no matter what your opponent does.
35- 40 should be your winning score, but as discussed several missions just won’t ever make this total.
There is a counter to this obviously, that is don’t lose your own titans, but that is harder said than done. Especially when you are fighting for your own mission.
Adjustments to scoring
Engage and Destroy scales massively with the more titans that play. Therefore, there is in my opinion this mission needs a scale depending on the level being played. These points are probably good for skirmish but could be dropped by one / three for Confrontation and Epic respectively.
With Structurally compromised titans these adjustments may drop something to zero in Epic and so it could cap out at 1 point minimum. Structurally compromised Titans should also reduce the points by the same amount.
Whilst I have not Play-tested these changes I feel it would begin to even out the missions based on available points. It would have made a few games I have played under this scenario much closer, and winnable by both sides.
I can understand why one table is provided, and that they use scale for determining points. My table above requires additional sums and so is not as user friendly.
The immediate change to the scores as shown at the start of my blog would be
Skirmish – No change = 43 points
Confrontation One point reduction drops by 6 = 49 points
Epic = Three point reduction drops by 27 = 58 points
These point drops would also apply to structurally compromised titans
The other way to look at this is perhaps all missions need a scale factor applying to them. So that they can produce close games no matter what level you play at.
Thanks for reading.
Edit: 11th Jan – Incorporated some comments following Facebook feedback regarding cards and missions.