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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:56 pm 
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After Rick's excellent tournament last weekend, in which Matt used a scout screen to (almost) block an air assault on his Riptides, I got to thinking about the ZoC rules in assaults.

So, the new rules compendium section 1.12.3 says:
Quote:
A charging unit that enters a zone of control must move into base contact with the nearest enemy whose zone of control has been entered. Once a unit has been contacted it loses its zone of control for the rest of the assault, allowing other units to move past it.
There is also a neat little FAQ on the subject:
Quote:
Q: What happens to a charging unit that enters or starts in the zone of control of an enemy unit and it does not have enough movement to make it into base contact?
A: The charging unit would move as much as possible towards the closest enemy unit. The intent of the rule is that you should not be able to charge through a ZoC to reach a unit further away but should always move towards the closest enemy unit even if you cannot make it into base contact.
The situation I was wondering about is a unit with scout surrounded by units without scout:
Image

My reading of the rules tells me that an assaulting force (say, Assault Marines) must move towards the scout (red) - but they cannot contact it (there is no room) so they will just move as close as they can. The question is, can they contact one of the other units while moving "as close as possible"?

If the answer is yes, what about in the case where the orange unit is not there and the assaulting force is coming from the side the green unit is on:A valid path exists to the scouting unit, but you don't have the move to get there. Do you have to try, avoiding contacting the other units? Or can you run straight at it and contact the green unit?

Am I overthinking this? Or is ths a way for say guard to use scouts in their units to deny (or reduce) CC and enable more FF?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:05 pm 
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I've seen that issue debated before, so looked it up. The only thing I am crystal clear on is that it is a contentious issue ( http://www.tacticalwargames.net/taccmd/ ... 8&start=90 )

I found this FAQ in the most recent netEA Tournament Pack:
Quote:
Q:It is possible for an aircraft to assault into a formation which is completely covered by the Zones of Control of a formation of Scout units. That would force the dismounting troops to enter the ZoC of the scout formation, which is not allowed. How should this work?

A:In general, treat this as if the unloading formation is starting a move in enemy ZoC. They are already Engaging the target formation, so that requirement is met. The other requirement is that they must attempt to move out of the enemy ZoC. Keep in mind that as enemy units are contacted, they lose their Zone of Control.
If the dismounting troops enter a target’s ZoC, they must attempt to reach base contact with that unit, per the charge rules. If the dismounting troops can move out of all enemy ZoC (avoiding the target’s ZoC entirely and escaping the screening ZoC), they may choose to do so instead of charging to base contact. If the dismounting troops cannot escape all enemy Zones of Control, they must attempt to reach base contact with the target formation.
I also have 2 photos from the game we played, where the assaulted formation wasn't completely in scout ZOC but was covered enough to make an assaulting unit have less freedom of placement.

In this Tau tetras (diamond shape in bottom left corner) make a semi circle around the riptides (the other 4 tetras don't show up in the photo)

Image

The Thunderhawk has landed in the narrow gap between scout Zones of Control.

A closer view shows the assault marines and TH, several of which are in CC, a few in FF, and all have avoided the scout's zone of control. Avoiding the ZOC is the reason for their unusual funnel shape; they'd all prefer to be in base to base.

Image

They won the assault and hacked down some tau as usual, but reading that FAQ they might have had an alternative way to do the same assault. The TH can't barge riptides because they are WE, but if it had collided with one they might have been able to jump out into both the riptide and scout ZOC, and then go in to contact with the closest units (riptides) while still being in the scout ZOC.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 8:44 pm 
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Thanks for the link Matt - a really interesting read, as was the older thread it links to.

It actually fits with my preconceived notions of just how powerful and unpreventable Thunderhawk assaults are, so that's nice :).

It also answered my actual question in this thread, about score in a mixed formation playing funny buggers to stop other units in the formation from being CCd: no, they can't.

Next time I'll do some more searching of my own.

Thanks!

Colm


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:17 pm 
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Air assault with barging war-engine transport planes: the darling rules contention of NetEA threads since at least 2009.

I'm looking forward to some of those "powerful and unpreventable" air assaults when my Ork Landa proxies arrive. ;)

I've been brushing up on the rules and realising all the things I've been playing horribly wrong in my games so far. Rallying Ork formations seems a lot less daunting when you get +1 to the roll if there's 5 or more units left (+2 if there's 10)! I also had no idea how hit allocation actually worked, which changes things drastically.

Now that I know enough to start properly building lists, I can't seem to find space for even a single Great Gargant at 3000 pts. :(


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:23 pm 
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Quote:
I'm looking forward to some of those "powerful and unpreventable" air assaults when my Ork Landa proxies arrive. ;)
I think that's an accurate description of air assaults with these rules. I am trying to work out some alternatives for non-cc formations to defend against them, but they all lead back to mandatory intermingling which is a great way to either get more dice in a fight, or to lose half your army at once. Usually both actually :D
Quote:
Now that I know enough to start properly building lists, I can't seem to find space for even a single Great Gargant at 3000 pts. :(
Solution: 4000pts :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:03 pm 
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BTW When I say 'mandatory intermingling', note that it is never mandatory for the attacker to declare two enemy formations as the target of the assault even if they are intermingled (unless they have a special rule like Space Wolves pack rules that allow the SW to always declare their own formations intermingled).

What I mean is placing the formations so overlapping or close together that while an opponent can assault just one of them, they can't assault just one of them in close combat. They can't move into base contact with one without entering the control zone of the other, so they are either all in the fight (charging units may not enter the zone of control of enemy units from another formation that is not the target of the assault) or it is just a firefight vs the first formation.



Quote:
1.12.10 Intermingled Formations
Occasionally an attacker will wish to attack a position where units from two enemy formations are intermingled together. When a player declares the target for a charging formation he can choose, if he wishes, to include any enemy formations that are intermingled with the target formation as being part of the target of the charge. Two formations are intermingled if they have any units within 5cm of each other. If there are two or more formations within 5cm of the target formation, then the attacker can choose to include one or more of them as the target, he does not though have to include any of them.
For the purposes of the assault, the intermingled formation is treated as being a single formation. All of the intermingled formations are allowed to make counter charges, and hits may be allocated to all of the formations involved. Once casualties have been worked out, a 2D6 roll is used to resolve the assault. Add together all of the Blast markers on the intermingled formations when working out the result of the assault. If the defender loses then each formation is broken and must withdraw. If the defender wins then each formation receives a number of Blast markers equal to the number of casualties it suffered in the combat (ie, if one defending formation lost two units and then another one, then the first would get two Blast markers and the other would receive one Blast marker).
Quote:
Units making a charge move are allowed to enter enemy zones of control in order to move into base contact with an enemy unit from the target formation. Moving into base contact allows the unit to fight with its close combat value rather than its firefight value, as described below. This is the only time a unit may enter an enemy zone of control. See the rules for zones of control (1.7.3). Note that charging units may not enter the zone of control of enemy units from another formation that is not the target of the assault


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:48 pm 
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Of course if the attacker chooses not to intermingle, they need to get a wipeout to avoid taking supporting fire anyway - I guess you are just denying the counter charge move.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:55 pm 
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I am in favour of 4000 points. Once I get my planes, I'm pretty sure I could happily field a decent 7500+ force. Orks seem to scale well. :)

I'm still struggling a bit with defending against assaults in general - the air assaults don't bother me as much because they generally want to get stuck in and fight, which Orks are fine with (plus, tons of cheap AA to load them up with blast markers before they land). My problem is fast attackers who just want to clip and FF - with decent placement and blast marker application, it doesn't seem possible for the attacker to lose against the kind of large infantry formations that Orks prefer, which can't effectively respond to clipping attacks.

It does lead to different pressures in the tension between staying in transports and deploying, and I really want to see how that plays out on the table - if you leave units in transports they might get killed by AT/MW fire and suffer more casualties than they otherwise would, but on the other hand their ability to launch or respond to assaults gets a massive boost and they're immune to AP fire. I've read some discussion of a compromise solution, keeping half the infantry mounted and the other half screening, which gives up the resistance to AP fire for a defense against getting locked into transports by engaging enemies. I guess the 'correct' placement depends on a lot of factors in the battlefield situation. Throw in the possibility of LV rapid-response elements in the formation (with a 10cm counter-charge and good FF) and the waters get even muddier.

I love that this game constantly brings up complex tactical considerations using simple mechanics, like needing to assess the various ways in which the enemy might approach your key units and working out how to place them (and which enemy units to attack/suppress) to reach the best defense compromise. I'm sure that with experience it will become second nature (much like the subtlety of model placement and interaction in Malifaux) but for now it sure is fun to dive into. There's a lot of "Oh, so THAT's why that option exists!" moments.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:12 pm 
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Quote:
Of course if the attacker chooses not to intermingle, they need to get a wipeout to avoid taking supporting fire anyway - I guess you are just denying the counter charge move.
If you can engage the target you want to attack without being in 15cm of the other units (attacking the green unit from the top of your diagram, for example) then there's no supporting fire. My impression so far is that supporting fire is very tricky to set up defensively, since the attackers choose where the fight happens and can just avoid it. It seems much easier to set up for an offensive.

Not sure if the rules were designed that way intentionally to discourage turtling? Seems plausible.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:23 pm 
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Quote:
Of course if the attacker chooses not to intermingle, they need to get a wipeout to avoid taking supporting fire anyway - I guess you are just denying the counter charge move.
Correct that you'd get supporting fire from formation 2 (as long as Formation 1 isn't wiped out). There are more things to be gained from this though:

Formation 2 might have CC units they can add to the combat
Formation 2 might have more distant units that can only firefight/support if they get the chance to counter charge
They get to unload men from transports
They add to the 'Outnumbered / Outnumbered two to one' bonuses
They add any inspiring characters to the resolution
And finally, they decrease the chance of the formation being wiped out, which increases the chance that a 3rd Formation in range will be able to support with firefight :twisted:

So as you can see there's more to it than just the firefight support, because any of those factors could dramatically swing a combat result.

(It's not without risk though, this sounds like a great way to lose 6 riptides at once 8) )


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:38 pm 
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Quote:
I'm looking forward to some of those "powerful and unpreventable" air assaults when my Ork Landa proxies arrive. ;)
A gem I picked up playing Matt was how suppressing AA works.

The first "gotcha!" is that all units in a formation with line of sight and range count for suppression, even if:
- they can't hurt what they are shooting at (AP vs a tank company, for example)
- they can't even shoot (ff only guns or AP/AT vs aircraft)

This means that some gun wagons can soak up suppressing blast markers, enabling flakk wagons to keep doing their job.


As a reminder, suppression works from the back of the unit forward. This was my second nugget: as long as you enter the AA bubble from the right direction you can change which units count as suppressed.

I used this to avoid flak on the way into an assault even though Matt's unit only had a single BM - because his AA gun was on the rear edge of the unit, and I just matched my flight path to suit. This would not have saved me from getting shot at as I flew off, but that's only a problem if both the Thunderhawk and the AA are still alive then, and we'll stop the possible two point swing in the assault for less BMs and no BMs.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:39 pm 
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Plus when you put the AA tanks on the edges of units, they get shot and die. :P


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:04 pm 
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One thing I noticed in the rules that was a bit confusing, with regard to AA fire: You resolve the attack at the end of the aircraft's approach move or at the edge of the table when it disengages, as long as it passed close enough to the AA unit during the move.

My question (couldn't find an FAQ for it): When do you determine suppression for AA fire? Is it at the time when the aircraft first comes within range, or when it's at the end of its move, or at some point in between?

If it's when the aircraft comes within range (which seems like a safe assumption, given that you also need to check range for other units in the formation to determine who can fire and therefore take the suppression), a follow-up question: If the AA was suppressed according to its position relative to the aircraft during the approach, but is still in range and now in a position that it is not suppressed when the aircraft disengages, can it fire? (Essentially, does being suppressed count as having made an attack? Can you choose not to make an attack in which you would be suppressed in order to make an attack later which would not be suppressed?)

Can you "wait" to check range on your unit's AA attack at a different point during the aircraft's move so that other units will be in range and take the suppression, or do you have to check as soon as the aircraft enters AA range?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:09 pm 
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Oh yeah, another one: can a formation of aircraft making an Interception use all their weapons, or just the AA ones? The wording of that section is really vague.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:33 pm 
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Quote:
Oh yeah, another one: can a formation of aircraft making an Interception use all their weapons, or just the AA ones? The wording of that section is really vague.
Just their AA as that is the only type that can target air units

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