Friday, February 22, 2013

So Let's Talk About The Close-Combat Sequence

Well, it seems that there's some desire out there to re-think the close-combat sequence. So let's do it!

To recap, this is the basic sequence.
  1. Someone moves into CC range.
  2. The Defender gets Defensive Fire on a Ld check.
  3. The Attacker gets a free consolidation move.
  4. The CC cycle starts
    • Attacker Melee
    • Attacker Shooting
    • Attacker Consolidation
  5. Defender rolls Ld
  6. If Defender Passes, they become the Attacker
  7. Continue until no opposing troops are within 6" of each other.
Now, I had proposed switching shooting and Melee. To prevent (in a way that doesn't require remembering) models from killing all the enemy models they're engaged with, and then shooting in CC. But now we've started discussing the possibility of having the attacker consolidate first, instead of as the last step in the cycle.

I'm not totally opposed to the idea of making the moves happen first. It's something I've thought about testing. But I do want to convey our experience testing the existing cycle on-table. Which is quite positive and different from 40K.

Even without the old pushback idea that led to this sequence, we've had some very dynamic close-combats during testing. With units moving all over the place. Not because they have to, but by choice. Having the attacker consolidate last makes them choose between shooting the enemy next round, or getting into combat where they would be safe from enemy CC shooting.

In practice this has a definite effect on the tactics of different units. LaansGuard DO NOT want to be in melee with Knights. So they tend to give ground and hope to stop the enemy with shooting. Whereas Knights love melee, and want to get stuck in as soon as possible. Especially against other Knights, who would rather shoot them with their higher-AP weapons.

From the defender's standpoint,  there are also interesting choices. Do I sacrifice the models that just got engaged, shoot, and pull back? Or do I pile in?

So I guess my fear is, that putting consolidation first will lead to 40K-like blobs of boring melee. Instead of the odd, but very dymanic system that we have now.

Let the arguments begin! :)

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