This is a guest post from Owen at farfaraway.org.
Last time out I talked about some of the basics of getting prepared for a Steamroller event. Knowing the SR2013 scenarios is one of the fundamentals. Today I talk about two of them – Incursion and Close Quarters. There are twelve different scenarios in Steamroller 2013 and getting to grips with them can be pretty daunting for a new tournament player. We have a tournament for newer players coming up in Dublin in the next few weeks and I thought I’d run through the scenarios the players are going to see there as they’re some of the more popular ones you’ll encounter. Ciaran, the Event Organiser (EO), was kind enough to roll up these scenarios in advance.
Let’s talk about that… what does it mean to ‘roll up’ the scenarios? Well, there are six groups of scenarios (with two scenarios in each group) and no group should be repeated until a scenario from each group has been played. The groups stress different types of gameplay – some are based on seizing flags, while others are more objective focussed. For the upcoming tournament the scenarios are –
- Incursion (Scenario 5)
- Close Quarters (Scenario 3)
- Destruction (Scenario 1)
- Process of Elimination (Scenario 11)
They may not be run in that order, but that’s the order I’ll talk about them in. Let’s dive into Incursion.
Disclaimer: This is not a substitute for reading the scenario and SR2013 document!
Brief: Three flags, one disappears, control or dominate the others to win.
Setup: There are three flags (40mm bases; placed 12″ apart) along the centreline, one of which (chosen at random) will disappear at the end of the second player’s first turn. Player 1 has a 7″ deep deployment zone and Player 2 has a 10″ deep deployment zone. Advanced Deploy models are placed up to a further 6″ from your deployment zone.
Scoring: Players can score on both turns and they score by controlling or dominating a flag. You get 1 control point (CP) for controlling and 2 CPs for dominating. Scoring starts on the end ofthe second player’s second turn.
A flag is controlled if you have a model in base-to-base with it and, if that model is part of a unit, the rest of its unit are within 4″ of the flag at the end of a turn. Additionally, if they are part of a unit then 50% of the starting strength of the unit must still be on the board (and within 4″!). If they enemy contests the flag, then you do not control it. For your opponent to contest a flag (and stop you scoring) they must have a model within 4″ of the flag. Importantly, Warlocks and Warcasters cannot contest (there are some other models that can’t as well).
Warcasters and Warlocks who ‘control’ a flag, i.e. are in base-to-base with it and there are no enemy models within 4″, are deemed to dominate it. This scores them 2 CPs. Only the active player scores when multiple players dominate a flag. In other words, as your opponent’s Warlock/Warcaster cannot contest the flag you score on your turn. This is an unlikely scenario as both Warnouns would be in base-to-base with the same flag!
Winning?: First player to earn at least 5 CPs (and has more than his opponent) wins. Assassination results in an instant victory.
Kill Box?: No! (I’ll explain this when I talk about Close Quarters)
Playing this Scenario: This is a relatively easy scenario to understand, but if you’re not careful a bad deployment can really mess you up. For example, if the centre flag is the one to randomly disappear then there is a gap of 24″ between the flags. That’s a big gap and difficult for some Warlocks or, to a lesser extent, Warcasters to cover if their Warbeast/Warjacks are central to the scenario strategy. A central deployment is often a decent plan. If you have a fast moving force then a specific flag disappearing isn’t too big an issue.
If you’re going for a scenario win dominating a flag probably has to be foremost in your plans. At 2CPs a pop you could wrap the scenario up pretty quickly (remember you score on both player’s turns if they don’t manage to contest!). Denial feats/spells that prevent your opponent getting close can be devastating. Imagine you’re a Sorscha1 player and on your turn you get in to dominate a flag. Then you pop your feat! Only models with the ability to shake effects (or with Immunity: Cold) will have a chance to get in to contest. That could be 4 CPs in the bag if your opponent doesn’t see it coming.
If you’re planning to assassinate you need to slow your opponent’s ability to pick up CPs. Fast models can be useful to get in to deny CPs, as can tar pit models/units. I wouldn’t advocate fully ignoring the scenario as picking up even a point or two can put any opponent under pressure.
Closing Thoughts: This is a nice scenario, but it can hurt certain armies (particularly if they deploy badly). If the two flags end up close to each other (12″) then the opposing armies can end up being on top of each other resulting in high attrition. The opportunity to either assassinate or dominate a flag can present itself. If the flags are far apart your force may end up divided and your Warnoun can probably only support one part of your army!
At first glance Close Quarters seems pretty similar to Incursion, but the different scoring on the flags makes it a very different challenge…
Disclaimer: As before, this is not a substitute for reading the scenario and SR2013 document!
Brief: Two flags, one friendly, one enemy, you can score on both, but one is much better!
Setup: Two flags are placed in accordance with the diagram above. A player’s ‘friendly’ flag is the one on their half of the board. The ‘enemy’ flag is on your opponent’s half of the table. Player 1 has a 7″ deep deployment zone and Player 2 has a 10″ deep deployment zone. Advanced Deploy models are placed up to a further 6″ from your deployment zone.
Scoring: Players can score on both turns and they score by controlling or dominating a flag. The enemy flag is worth much more than the friendly flag – 2 CPs for controlling and 3 CPs for dominating. The friendly flag can not be controlled by the owning player and they get 1 CP for dominating it. Scoring starts on the second player’s second turn.
Winning?: Just like Incursion, the first player to earn at least 5 CPs (and has more than his opponent) wins. Assassination results in an instant victory.
Kill Box?: Yes! Forgetting about Killbox can often effectively give your opponent the scenario win, so let’s talk about what it is and when it is in effect. Actually, here’s the Kill Box text from SR2013 –
Starting on the first player’s second turn, if a player ends his own turn with a friendly warcaster/warlock completely within 14˝ of any board edge, his opponent immediately scores 2 control points. A player can measure 14˝ from any board edge during his warcaster/warlock’s activation
I’ve tried to highlight the important bits, but it’s ALL IMPORTANT! Nobody wants to hand their opponent two free control points! It’s important to note that you can measure 14″ from any board edge during your Warnoun’s activation. It’s also important to note it’s not from your Warnoun to the edge, but from the edge to them.
What this means is that if you are the second player you need to move at least 7″ (and a bit) out of your deployment zone by the end of your second turn so your Warcaster/Warlock is not giving away free CPs! Remember, as long as your base is not completely within the 14″ Kill Box, you’re fine. It’s not as severe for the first player, but still impacts them.
Watch out late game for wandering (fully) within 14″ of ANY side of the table. It’s a Kill Box, not a Kill ‘Parallel Lines’!
Playing this Scenario: Other than determining who is the first and second player there is no randomness in this scenario, unlike Incursion. As such you should have a plan for how to deal with Close Quarters. The flags are about 13″ apart (Yay for Pythagoras!), so the fighting will be at close quarters no matter what you do. If you think you can control or dominate the enemies flag then that is a solid shot at victory. Equally, if you can deny the opponent from easily getting near your flag you can prevent them picking up easy CPs. I’ve actually managed to get a scenario win on this by only dominating my own flag, but that’s a slow way to win and was definitely not Plan A!
Unlike Incursion, brick armies can do quite well in this scenario as they can grind down the enemy near the enemy flag while preventing them scoring on the friendly flag. Equally, fast moving forces can do well at overrunning the flag and attempting to keep the enemy from getting up to the flag.
Closing Thoughts: This is a balanced scenario, but even more so that Incursion you need to be sure about the rules for dominating flags. If you think you can dominate the enemy flag or prevent your opponent from doing so you can exert a lot of control over this scenario. However, this can sometimes be a scenario that neither side gets on top of. The armies can attrition each other down leaving you with the chance to attempt an assassination or try to dominate the flag on two back-to-back turns. This would net you 4 CPs, so if you pick up an early CP it can be very valuable for this late game opportunity.
Until next time,