The Road To The 2015 Warzone International: Part Four

May 25, 2015 by crew

So another week has passed and my Bauhaus models are slowly edging their way towards a state you might call painted. Right now I am focusing on a single Vulcan and some Hussars so that I will have a 500 point force ready so that I can demo some games at my local club. After that I will branch out into the more specialised units – assuming they are still on one of my two lists!

Heroes Of The Solar System

Since last week, I have continued to make small adjustments, adding a model to a squad here and taking away an upgrade there but really the most difficult choice is how to equip my Warlord.

One of the great things about Warzone: Resurrection is that it allows you to create your own leader with Heroes Of The Solar System and while some of the more unusual abilities are reserved for the “named” heroes in the fiction, there are still plenty of weapons, skills and equipment to pick from. For a long time I was resolved to take a Venusian Ranger Warlord with a rocket launcher turned up to eleven – a weapon that could easily deal with those pesky Purple Sharks or even assassinate a rival Warlord with a single shot.

Download Heroes Of The Solar System

However, such a weapon is ill suited to surviving a Rapid Deployment assassination attempt and with only a single shot per turn, a brazen attack on the rival Warlord could still be negated by a nearby minion (thanks to the Shielded skill) or a simple Heal check.

Warlord Builder

Now I have decided to play it safe with either a Deathlock Drum – a hard-hitting machine gun with a decent rate of fire but isn’t so good against vehicles – or a Gehenna Puker, a pretty nasty flamethrower that will save me points because it can’t be upgraded very much and neither does it need a Warlord with a very high Ranged Skill since you don’t roll to hit with flamethrowers.

It’s tempting to abandon these plans altogether and just take a Juggernaut Warlord but while they are both tougher and more offensive, I feel like he is a bit pricey if you want to do him right; 250 points out of my 1000 point allowance is just too much and even then, his mediocre Ranged Skill makes me think that the machine gun’s rate of fire is going to be largely wasted.

Burny McFistyPunch will have to wait for another game!

While I debate the pros and cons of piercing damage versus plasma damage, let’s take another look at some more of the missions in the Warzone: Resurrection Tournament Pack

Mission 4: Retake The Field

Deployment Type: Battle Line (Each player has the full width of a table edge to deploy along, with a deployment zone that is six inches deep).

Mission 4 Deployment

Objective: For the Attacker the objective of this mission is to have more than half of their surviving squads within six inches of the table’s centre point from the start of turn five onwards (within a zone called the “Convergence”). For the Defender the objective is simply to destroy more than half of the Attacker’s squads.

For most factions in the game, the standard infantry rifle has a range of twenty four inches. That is exactly half of a four foot by four foot gaming table and I am sure this is no coincidence. Thus, the trouble with this mission is that you are attempting to control a circular area on the battlefield that is going to be within range of almost everyone.

At first glance, this is similar to Mission 1: The Advanced Base but the difference here is that for a Major Victory, contesting the central zone is irrelevant. This mission could be very short indeed!

Because you always round up in Warzone: Resurrection after dividing and most lists are going to contain between seven and nine squads (the maximum number you can have in a standard game is eleven), “half” means four squads so the magic number here is five.

Bauhaus Hussars

As the Attacker, you have the unenviable task of cramming at least half the models from half of your surviving squads into that central zone. As with Mission 1: The Advanced Base, your options are to take it early and weather several rounds of incoming fire or rush it on or around turn three to ensure that all of your squads have enough time to manoeuvre into position.

The latter is quite straight forward although you will need to be prepared to deal with roadblocks – particularly models with large close combat weapon ranges or mine-like tokens – which will surely be placed in your way.

If you are fortunate enough to draw some movement related cards in the early part of the game don’t be tempted to discard them in favour of something more offensive because organising that rush on the Convergence is going to be tricky, particularly if there are terrain pieces sitting in that zone.

As usual, keeping a unit with Rapid Deployment in reserve can help here but be cautious – with too many troops off the table, the rest of your force might lack the firepower to fight their way to the Convergence to meet up with your squads arriving via Rapid Deployment. Never the less this could still net you a Partial Victory if a third of your squads are in the zone by the end of turn eight or if the mission runs out of time.

If you plan to take and hold the Convergence as early as possible, you can take some consolation in the fact that you do not, at least, have to keep the enemy away from the zone (except in the case of a Partial Victory for the Defender – more on that later).

The main problem with taking the zone early is that you don’t just need one squad in the middle of the table, you are probably going to need five, at least until you start losing units. That means that there are going to be plenty of templates coming your way because a scattered template placed near the very middle of the table is almost always going to deviate and hit one of your squads gathered here.

Bauhaus Juggernaut

While every faction has a couple of really resilient squad choices such as the Bauhaus Juggernauts or Vulcans, these are typically quite expensive meaning that the bulk of your army – likely three of the five squads you have in the Convergence zone during the early part of the game – are going to be rather more fragile and almost certainly vulnerable to Blast damage – exactly the kind of damage that most templates will deal.

If you have any cards to increase the armour value of your troops, or abilities that limit your opponent’s ability to perform Ranged Skill tests, be prepared to burn through them! Also, be sure to use terrain to your advantage, keeping your smallest squads concealed behind terrain – or vehicles – big enough to completely block line of sight. For everyone else, you need to make sure there are four or more pieces of cover (including other models!) between your fragile squads and enemies with either template weapons or a high rate of fire.

This arbitrary rule means that your opponent must declare a “Lucky Shot” attempt which will only hit on the roll of a one, but beware – as far as I can tell, anything other than a one is considered a normal miss so template weapons will scatter as normal.

No matter how effective your defensive strategy is, however, you won’t be able to stop all of your opponent’s squads from moving in so from the start of turn three onwards, be prepared to move any flamethrower troops to the front and go on the offensive with whatever you have left, utilising grenades and plenty of Rapid Fire actions.

Above all else, keep your Warlord alive! Not only is he an easy squad to keep in the Convergence, his Leadership score will help the nearby squads with their morale checks as they sustain casualties. It doesn’t matter if each squad is reduced to a single man as long as that squad hasn’t broken and fled from the Convergence by the start of turn five!

Brotherhood Guardiani Oblati

From the Defender’s perspective, things are a bit simpler. The game ends as soon as you have destroyed over half (typically five) of your opponent’s starting squads and in the event the game runs to the end of turn eight – or that you run out of time to complete the mission – you can achieve a Partial Victory as long as you have wiped out a third of your opponent’s squads and you are contesting the Convergence (e.g. you have an equal or greater number of models In the zone than your opponent).

Just like the Attacker, you really have two options – go at your opponent with everything you have from turn one or position your force around the Convergence and let them come to you. Certainly with the resources available to Bauhaus (and Capitol), the first option is more attractive with plenty of squads possessing Rapid Deployment or Infiltrate.

Locking your opponent’s squad commanders in close combat is especially mean as the other members of the squad won’t be able to move towards the Convergence – or if they do, they will have to run back towards their deployment zone on their next activation to return to squad coherency.

Even if these squads are expended on a one for one basis, as long as you don’t leave any surviving models, you should find that your opponent is already down two squads and / or tied to his deployment zone at the start of turn two while the rest of your ground forces are moving into range from the other direction.

Cybertronic Mirrormen

If you have plenty of template or high rate of fire weapons (or in the case of Cybertronic, plenty of high rate of fire Rail type weapons) the other strategy might be preferable, positioning forces in an arc approximately eight inches from the centre point of the table. This will mitigate abilities such as stalk and allow you to make effective use of the Rapid Fire while your units such as the Scorpions can lurk beneath the surface in the Convergence itself, making it painful for your opponent to enter the zone, and punishing for them to stay there.

Perhaps most important of all, focus on one squad at a time, preferably the smallest squads first since they are the easiest for your opponent to hide and potentially, the fastest for you to kill!

Mission 5: Linebreaker

Deployment Type: Battle Line (Each player has the full width of a table edge to deploy along, with a deployment zone that is six inches deep).

Mission 5 Deployment

Objective: From the start of turn four onwards, the Attacker must have 75% of his starting squads in the Defender’s deployment zone or leave the table via this deployment zone. For the Defender, they must destroy 50% of the Attacker’s starting squads.

This is the first mission in the lineup where the player is faced with a difficult choice regarding list selection because the Defender and Attacker roles call for different lists but a player won’t know which role he must perform until after the lists have been selected and both players have rolled for initiative.

Clearly speed and mobility are key for the Attacker so fast units such as the Necrobeast Riders, Dragon Riders, Purple Sharks and in my case, the Bauhaus Vorreiters are ideal for this mission, as are units with Rapid Deployment such as the Etoiles Mortant or Infiltrating units such as my Venusian Rangers.

The only limitations the Attacker must be wary of are the deployment restrictions for this mission and the fact that he can not complete the mission until turn four. The deployment restriction in this case is that squads with Rapid Deployment or Infiltrate may only be deployed within the player’s half of the table and while this is still a great head start for them in the mad dash to the Defender’s deployment zone, arriving well in advance of the rest of the force has its own problems.

Brotherhood Troopers

Consider that most non-vehicle models have a movement value of five and would be limited to ten inches of movement per turn; With a six inch deployment zone at either end that is still thirty six inches to cross assuming it is possible to move in a straight line.

Models Rapid Deploying or Infiltrating along the half way line can conceivably get there in two turns while everyone else can do it in four but that’s assuming you don’t want to shoot at anything along the way! While the list might call for speedy units it will require careful timing on behalf of the Attacker.

If your forward squads make it to the enemy deployment zone too soon they might get wiped out before the rest of your forces can arrive (or before turn four comes around) and the loss of even two squads will likely prevent you from scoring a major victory worth ten mission points but if you leave it too late, your models are going to get in each other’s way as you try to move them into an ever shrinking escape corridor.

Capitol players should have a relatively easy time of achieving a Major Victory worth ten points with this mission owing to the large number of squads with fast movement (Purple Sharks, Martian Banshees), Rapid Deployment (Air Cav, Martian Banshees) or Infiltrate (Free Marines, Sea Lions) but the other factions will find being the Attacker rather more challenging.

Having 50% of your starting squads in the enemy deployment zone when the game reaches the end of turn eight or runs out of time will still net the Attacker a Partial Victory, however.

Capitol Martian Banshee

For the Defender, things are a little easier although deployment comes with an additional restriction – there is a 25% chance that each squad in your force is delayed and can not be deployed at the start of the game.

Any squad delayed in this way will arrive using the Escalation rules but only in your deployment zone, which means there is a 50% chance of arriving on the first turn (this could actually be an advantage), a 75% chance of arriving on the second turn and will automatically arrive on the third turn if they have not already done so. Once they do arrive, they will be placed in your deployment zone, within six inches of a random table edge but not within ten inches of an enemy model.

With a list of around seven to eight squads, the Defender should expect two squads to be delayed and thus unavailable for deployment at the start of the game. Since it makes sense to deploy most of your forces in the middle of the deployment zone where they will be able to cover both sides, it is probable that the Attacker will try to surge down the flank. Depending on terrain placement, you should be wary of a fast moving enemy who can move into cover yet still block off the areas where your “reinforcements” might arrive.

For example, if the Attacker can race a single Purple Shark down the table on the first turn and position it in your deployment zone but ten inches from the side of the table, that Shark is going to prevent any squads who are still delayed from arriving in that half of your deployment zone. A pair of Sharks could even break formation and block off your entire deployment zone and while this would be certain death for the jet bikes, the possibility of delaying any of your second turn reinforcements to the third turn might be worth the risk.

Capitol Purple Shark

Also, watch out for any Mishima player using Captain Hiroko as their Warlord! He has a nasty Strategy Card that will allow any Troop type squads within six inches of a table edge to leave via the table edge and on their next activation, reappear (anywhere) along the opposite table edge! So if his Troop squads are lingering near a corner or table edge during turn two, be prepared for them to execute the Pac Man attack on turn three and appear on turn four in your deployment zone along your table edge or possibly the sides of the board.

Mission 6: Take & Hold

Deployment Type: 50/50 chance of Battle Line (Each player has the full width of a table edge to deploy along, with a deployment zone that is six inches deep) or Quarters (Each player has an opposite table corner to deploy onto, with a triangular deployment zone that is eighteen inches along both table edges that make up the corner).

Mission 6 Deployment

Objective: From the end of turn three onwards, a player must have uncontested control of all three Objective Markers.

This is one of the simpler missions in the tournament pack. Just like the Retrieval mission, the three Objective Markers are placed along the centre line of the table (in the case of Battle Line deployment) or diagonally from one table corner to the other across no man’s land (in the event of Quarters deployment). One of the Objective Markers will be placed in the middle of the table, with the other two positioned half way between the central Objective Marker and the side of the table (Battle Line) or corner of the table (Quarters).

As with the Retrieval mission, the only global restriction on interacting with the Objective Markers is Heavy Vehicles but as these are not found in Standard OOC Games, a player should refer to the relevant force lists to see which squads have a particular restriction on controlling or contesting Objectives. Controlling in this case means being in base to base contact with the Objective Marker, while contesting means having more of your models within four inches of the Objective Marker than your opponent has in base to base contact with it.

Dark Legion Praetorian Stalkers

Luckily for me, none of the Bauhaus squad choices have specific limitations on controlling or contesting Objectives so for me it is once again a matter of timing if my force is going to make it through this in one piece.

Out of all the missions in the pack, Take and Hold seems the most likely to result in neither side scoring a Major Victory. More likely the game will run to the end of turn eight – or the allotted time for the mission – and one player will score a Partial Victory for controlling two our of the three Objective Markers but I think it is also the mission most likely to result in one opponent tabling the other because, unlike the Retrieval mission where you can pull back from the Objective Markers as soon as you have found the secret plans, Take and Hold essentially requires both players to hold the centre line of the table.

While there are units such as the Tiger Dragons and Juggernauts who can safely dig in around an Objective Marker and weather the incoming fire, they are usually expensive and a force will rarely have enough of those squads to hold all three at the same time.

Imperial Trenchers

Instead, most lists will require numbers (maximum sized squads of Undead Legionnaires, for example) to prevent enemy models from approaching within four inches, Brotherhood, Dark Legion or Mishima style debuffs (limiting movement and the range of ranged attacks – or preventing them entirely) or squads with Rapid Deployment as long as they can pass the delay check at the start of turn two in order to remain in reserve until the third turn.

Hussars are too expensive for the swarm approach and Bauhaus don’t have many debuff options besides the Smoke Flare doctrine for Close Combat Warlords.. so I think it’s going to be up to my Vulcan walkers or my Etoiles Mortant squads to snatch victory in the final activation of turn three.

You gotta love flamethrowers!

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Ryan Chamberlain

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"Burny McFistyPunch will have to wait for another game!"

"You gotta love flamethrowers!"