Thursday, November 25, 2010

Setup Fail

So I’ve been reviewing some of my battles from last weekend’s tourney, and trying to make some bat reps. I simply don’t have the heart to make a 7 minute long video detailing the hammering I got against the Necrons, but I did think the pictures might make for a good instructive “How Not to Setup with Mech” article. Being the first time I have attempted to field an army with that many tanks, there was bound to be some mistakes, and I definitely walked away with a few insights that I’ll use next time round.

First the field. Typical terrain, the deployment was spearhead and the mission involved taking three mobile objectives from center board back to our respective bases (located in the corner of our deployment).

As you can see, I deployed with my heavy weapons up front, with my Landraider in center field and my preds on my flank. My thinking here was twofold: give my opponent a solid wall of AV13 &14 to shoot turn one (I went second), and take advantage of the fact that Necrons can’t assault their way out of a wet paper bag by using my Serks and Kharn to dominate the center. The Chosen infiltrated towards the middle as a diversion unit intended to solely to provide cannon fodder for a turn whilst my army got in place.

Two critical mistakes where made here, that in hindsight, made defeat almost a foregone conclusion. First, was the deployment of my heavies forward which essentially trapped my rhinos in the back, and nullified most of the shooting from the blastmasters. This also guaranteed over half of my army would not be able to bring effective fire to bear towards the center, instead throwing shots at the destroyers on the my opponent’s flanks. More importantly, when the Necrons were able to immobilize the Landraider on the first turn (gauss weapons not giving a shake about AV) my route to and away from the objective completely obstructed. Worse, my assault troops would have to walk into the open in order to capture the objectives. Waiting here was a Monolith, Immortals, two destroyer squads, and a Deceiver. In short, way too many shots for a handful of Serkers to soak.

Second big mistake was that I wasted almost 550 points worth of Chosen on outflanking shenanigans or pointless suicides. Outflanking was folly as their bodies and tanks could have provided critical cover to my assault troops and Noise Marines while they grabbed objectives. Knowing that Necrons are very good at immobilizing tanks, but crappy and destroying them, I should have deployed all Chosen forward and raced them just past the objectives turn 1. This would have forced my opponent to cut through a rhino wall (and some guys behind it armed with melts guns) to get at my troops and the objectives.

In hindsight, my deployment should have looked like this:

With only 3 lascannons, I would have been hard pressed to neutralize both the Monolith and the Deceiver, both of whom basically dominated the center board once they marched up there. It would have been worth a shot however, as he placed his monolith dead center, just like I did my Raider. Theoretically, an immobilization could have choked his movement just like my Raider did mine.

Would this different setup have pulled a win? Truth is I’m not certain. That said, with more efficient concentration of force, better blocking, and more prudent use of firepower I could very likely have changed that game from a blowout to a hard fought draw.

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