Arctic Apocalypse: Pre-Game Pep Talk

No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.
— Field Marshall Helmuth Carl Bernard von Moltke

While that quote may be true, it’s a foolish general who doesn’t at least think up a plan and some contingencies prior to taking the field.  We at Team Bug took our strategery seriously, so we took time to draw out battle plans of what we wanted to accomplish, and how we proposed we would do so.  By and large, we stuck to it–though the massive waves of ordnance did blow some gaping wholes through it.  Combined with our Army Selection and Strategic Assets, this pre-game planning proved to be the trifecta which set our invasion plans into action:

Below was our final draft of our battle plan that we took to the game:

Pre-Deployment:

Before deployment the spore mines are unleashed.  We’ll get to drop 20 down on the enemy to screw up their setup.  The goals should be to deny them good setup areas, so the places I’d like to see them go:

  1. In and around areas of cover in their deployment zone
  2. Just outside areas of their deployment zone that have good LoS to areas of our deployment zone (this I because I assume they’ll put screening units of troops in front of their tanks to get cover saves, and if we place mines nearby to blow up on those troops, it could dissuade them from this).
  3. Away from where we expect to be charging (well, with anything except big bugs).  When in doubt, go fairly heavy in the center of the board to push them to the sides–so blaine can molest them later…

 Standard Deployment:

They REALLY want to have first turn, and with careful planning strategic asset, we can let them have it just them bad choices to shoot at… then  move on our big bugs on turn 2 and blast ‘em away.  Since we’re ok with going 2nd, we can just bid 30 minutes for setup—but in case they’re doing that as well, let’s go for something odd… like 27 minutes–The only issue there is if they move their titan and stuff on later–but I suspect if they really want turn one, they’ll deploy them and try to bring our big bugs down….  Whatever the case, if we don’t get turn 1, I think we should try to seize the initiative (well, assuming they’re not super sneaky).

As a change from the earlier strat, it’s really three phases:  deploy small bugs, move on big bugs, then throw in deep strikers last.

The units I think we should deploy are as follows (and any side thoughts):Endless Swarm (60 termies and hormies that come back when they die) – In front of everything… just a front line that charges bawlz out into the frey.  Go get ‘em Simon! …. When these die, they’ll just come back each subsequent turn.

  • Zoanthropes x12 – We’ll need synapse out first turn, so put the ones with an invulnerable save up front, right?  They’re best in places where they can’t be targeted.  Intermingled behind the gaunts, and advancing towards the tanks.  They really won’t have range on anything for a while, so hiding behind trees (right up against them) or rocks to minimize the amount of shooting at them is good.  They’ll be the bulk of our synapse so we have to keep them alive—and advance, so they’ll be in range to pop tanks later).
  • Tyrant x3 (see above—but also can pop tanks from far) – again, I don’t like putting them out to be shot at with strD available, but I don’t see another choice.  We need to be able to outflank with stealers, and it’s better than getting our big bugs killed, right?  Again, I’d put these in places behind other units so they at least get cover saves, but preferably in places where they can’t be shot at all.
  • Biovores x6 (spread out behind cover to minimize the chance they’ll get hit.  Keeping in mind they have to have LoS now… and can move and fire!—derek rains death down on anything that’s not in a tank).
  • Kraken Swarm x7 (tons of gargroyles, termies, & warriors) – comes on from our board edge… just provides the clean-up wave to hold objectives, counter assault anything that gets through, and—most importantly—steal objectives at the end of the game. – hopefully in cover, and if they get shot at, they can go to ground.

NOTE: If we fail to get the first turn, we can try to seize initiative and/or use blind barrage to protect us.  If, however, we succeed, we have the option of using that strategic asset to either protect one flank of our army for that turn, or to use it later when the ‘stealers come out to get them further onto the board.  We can also shift some of the zoanthropes to strategic reserves as well.  I figure if we don’t get first turn, we’re going to take a massive pounding, so best to have some more synapse that can come on later…

Strategic Reserves (turn1):

  • Hierophant x3 – Move on and kill targets of priority
  • Hierodule x2 – In area terrain (to get cover) or completely behind hills. — staggered between the phants–they can also use the big guys for cover.
  • Swarmlord (see above – Blaine’s toy—keep ‘em behind other bugs so he gets at least a cover save).
  • Tervigon x3 (out of site, in the back, away from termagants.  Their job is to give bonuses to the big bugs.  They can either give them FNP (4++ save) or run & shoot (which is amazing with big bugs). VERY IMPORTANT THEY DON’T GET KILLED, they’re the coolest thing on our force really.
  • Stealers x5 (outflanking goodness, and instant charges with the Ymgarls).
  • Rippers x4 (deep strike into their face and hopefully annoy anything not in a tank)
  • Lictor  (comes in right in the thick of the battle to ensure the Trygon and his friends don’t scatter) {Hindsight: It has to stay alive to be effective… doh!}

 Strategic Reserves (turn2):

  • Death Leaper  (comes in last so we can maximize his leadership penalty on the enemy—probably someplace safe, but could also just serve to extend the Trygon’s doom.
  • Trygon + 4 Ravener Squads (BOOM goes the dynamite)
  • The rest of the ‘stealers

 Shooting Target Priority:

This is the rough part now, with us taking Careful Planning.  We only have one turn to accomplish the majority of our shooty.  We absolutely need to stop the Titan from firing, take out Mystics, and open transports for Blaine near the sides of the board.  We also want to take out the null field generator if they have it (please no… please please no).

  1. Anything with strength D weaponry.  I believe this will only be the Titan.  Really though, it’s a matter of shooting with something to take down the AP12 shields (x2), and then just dumping the strD shot into it.  That maybe enough to decimate the thing first turn.
  2. Transports near the sides of the board (so Blaine can mop ‘em up with genestealers) – ideally we’d like to have a big blog of disabled transports together, so that makes a lot of infantry we can assault on t2 & 3.
  3. Mystics (if Cole’s using them).  They get free shots at anything that deep strikes near them, and can be nasty… as well as that deep strike prevention asset if they get it. (we just need to take care of these by turn 2—when the Trygon comes on). {Hindsight: they opted not to use Mystics}
  4. Null field generator (If they use it) – it automatically nullifies psychic abilities within 36″ on a 2+…. YOWZAS {Hindsight: they opted not to use this strategem}
  5. Big tanks—they’re relatively easy to destroy and are worth a lot of points. {Hindsight: Baneblade formations are indestructable}
  6. All other transports & tanks

Assault Target Priority:

  1. Anything that moves.
  2. Anything that stopped moving—until you’re absolutely sure it’s dead.

As stated above, we held fairly strict to this plan–though there were certainly a few surprises along the way.  In my next post, I’ll go into some detail of the happenings of the game itself… some notable events, and some good take-aways.

 

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