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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Feast of Blades Mission #4

Dusk Raiders. Yay!

Alright! On to the mission itself. Dusk Raiders made an appearance once before, in the preliminaries, though it used a pitched battle deployment instead of the spearhead we have here, so the objectives were placed differently to achieve the same ultimate play effect.

Each player gets to place one objective in their deployment zone, and there are two "fixed" objectives in no-mans-land to either side. These are far enough apart that units can't really bounce between them, forcing a non-centralized engagement plan if you're hoping to capture both. A middle push can work, but you'd better be really planning your split in advance.

The real kicker that makes this mission work is the late-game night fight. Because of this, it becomes much more difficult to shoot units off of objectives, which gives real value to getting up close and personal when you try to take them. It also makes searchlights much more valuable, so there's a nice reward for people who bothered to take them. Because of searchlights, and the fact that things tend to get closer near the end of the game, shooting armies aren't really at a disadvantage because of this. Long-range static fire support becomes a little less valuable, but shorter range and mobile units can still easily see and function normally.

I really like that this scenario encourages the split advance, as it really rewards forward planning. In the spearhead variation, reserves are quite potent as well, as they can come on and get close to an objective almost immediately. It's not a terrible idea to split your army into a deployed force to attack the far neutral objective and defend your placed one, and a reserve force to roll on and take the objective closer to your board edge.

The important thing is just having a plan. There are plenty of scenarios out there in tournaments that you can just take as they come. Deploy to shoot, wait until turn 4, see where things stand, redeploy to win. Don't do that. Figure out how you want the game to go from turn one, and then execute that plan, don't take things as they come. This is, of course, important for all missions, but during playtesting it created really pronounced difference in play level on this mission.

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