Monday, October 29, 2012

Concepts In Pictures: Assault Flow

Trench Raid by U.S. Marines, Capt. John W. Thompson, Jr.

Eriochrome here.  I took some pictures to show how I thought assaults should be run.

Unit Declares Assault Action: Pass Leadership Test.

Assault Pass:
1.  Attacker Takes Leadership Test if any suppression markers.
2.  Attacker makes close combat weapon attacks and might knock back enemies with hits.
3.  Attacker makes assault weapon shots with models that did not make close combat attacks and are not in base to base.
4.  Attacker moves models not in base to base up to Mv/2.
5.  Switch Attacker and Defender and go back to 1.
To set the scene we have 3 knights approached very close to a group of 10 veteran Laansguard.  The knights have 1 flamer, 1 plasma pistol and chainblade, and 1 knight with rifle and pistol and start the turn with 2 suppression markers.  The veterans have 1 powerfield glove with pistol, 2 more pistols, 4 shotguns, 2 snipers, and a missile launcher and no markers but 2 hits from other shooting during the knights turn.

Knights declare an assault move.  They pass their Leadership test with 2 successes so clear both their suppression markers and remove their hit counter.

They move up and are able to make base to base contact with an enemy model using only a normal movement so they are not subject to snap fire for the assault move.  The enemy shot them up last turn (hence the 2 markers to start) but were to close to stop now.  I also decided that it works better in the flow if the assault moves does not allow weapons to fire since I found that I was essentially firing the same weapons twice in a row.  Shooting has been pretty effectively built into assault.

The black knight at the top who was in base to base is allowed to make a close combat attack and hits but does not kill the veteran so the veteran is pushed back.

Now the other 2 knights shoot.  The plasma pistol downs a model which the veterans decide is a sniper in the back.  The flamer hits three models and kills 1.  This leaves the veterans with 2 markers since they took a causality and their hits counter ticked up to 7.

The knights then get their move.  The flamer and plasma pistols are more effective in shooting than close combat so they just change their positions with the knight at the top reengages the model he knocked back.  Both of the knights at the top and the bottom moved farther from the center.

The veterans pass with leadership test with 1 success so they remove 1 marker and the veteran hits the knight at the top knocking him back but does not kill him.

The veterans then shoot but are not very lucky and only generate 3 hits and no kills so they end up with no markers on the knights.  The veterans then engage both the flamer and plamsa pistol in close combat to prevent them from firing on their next pass but they risk being hit in close combat which is a good tactical trade in this situation.

The knight do not need to make a leadership test so proceed right to close combat where they kill one of the veterans but do not knock back the powergloved veteran.

The knight at the top who was not engaged downs one of the unengaged veterans.  So the veterans are again at 2 suppression markers (1 uncleared plus 1 for the lost model.)

The knights continue to split apart and the top one engages a veteran during their move.

The veterans pass their leadership test but again only clear 1 of the markers.  They are living pretty dangerously this way.

The veteran with the powerglove finally downs a knight which gets them a marker and 1 on the hit tracker but the veteran at the top misses.

The unengaged veterans fire at the knights but land 2 hits without downing a knight.

The veterans then move to engage hoping to over power the knights but since the knights have split apart the powerglove cannot get into base to base with its 3 inch Mv/2 distance so will not be striking in its next turn.

The knights down 2 more veterans in with close combat attacks.

The knights had no engaged models at the start of the turn so no one can shoot so going straight to movement the flamer goes to the far side of one of the veterans to keep the powerglove at a distance.

The veterans fail their leadership and try to run away.  I set the distance as a normal move.

The knight follow with a half move and are able to get into base to base with the veteran with the powerglove and therefore kill him and add another suppression marker to the veterans who are now not very dangerous and probably going to be running off the board soon.

Now how does that look.  What I see is that it is very important to be able to kill models or generate a number of hits per turn or you will lose as you do not force the enemy to take leadership tests.  This feels correct to me.  Every section seems to have choices that matter in the combat.  How do I position my models to maximize their effectiveness while limiting their danger?  Do I want to risk models to prevent the enemy from shooting me with that special weapon?  If I have 2 models engaged with another and say 1 has a plasma pistol do I not want to have him close combat attack in hope of the other guy killing or knocking back the enemy so he can use his plasma pistol.  Tons of interesting stuff with even needing an objective or something that I am trying to push to.

One thing I did notice is that assault is a great way to break units with several markers as it forces the target unit to take a normal leadership test before they get to attack back which could be auto fail with 4+ markers.  Normally they could take the rally action in their next turn to try to more easily clear the markers without the -1 Nv penalty for each marker after the first.  I think this also feels correct.

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