Wednesday, 12 October 2011
Apocalypse ~ Strategic Assets
My first continuation of what could possibly become a regular feature on Igota4.
After going over the concept of Formations in Apocalypse and my thoughts on them last week I thought I'd discuss the basic idea and tactics behind Strategic Assets this time.
People seem to give far less attention to these than they do their formations or legendary units when discussing Apocalypse games, which is understandable from a modelling standpoint but from a competitive or army list standpoint it seems rather odd.
As before I personally feel Apocalypse should be about making use of your collection in ways you wouldn't usually, whether by fielding things you wouldn't normally, forming them into a formation or just fielding everything you have for one huge attack. Alternatively it should be able the story, which is where special missions, home-brew items and umpired games tend to appear.
This doesn't mean it shouldn't be somewhat competitive and challenging. You perhaps shouldn't build a highly tuned and designed list as you would a tournament, since your opponent is likely using whatever models they have together (by all means pick a force that fits together tho, don't just take whatever). Instead the competitiveness should come by making the best use of what you end up using.
Strategic Assets then, all too often I see these taken as a gimmick or last minute "that seems kool" idea with little to no thought on how it affects the strengths or weaknesses of the force you'll be using. At times I've even seen selections which totally go against or mess up the game plan you'd typically use for your force. So my first golden bit of advice is:
Always keep your list in mind when selecting Assets.
Careful Planning is a common one, selected by people wishing to get their stuff on the field as soon as possible. In my area it seems rare for a player to try and purposely hold troops back, which is a shame as there are so many possibilities with this (grabbing objectives with less risk of destruction for one).
Worse is the player who selects careful planning in order to bring their units on early instead of deploying, since they intend to bid a single minute in order to gain the first turn. Okay this works with some armies, but when you intend to use devastators or similar it is detrimental. Especially as unless you are a fast paced force like Dark Eldar it allows the opponent to make a grab objectives in the no mans land or your deployment zone easily.
Selecting Assets without considering your list or plan just gets worse if you are able to select more than one asset or if you've gained a few extras already from any formations. A number of Assets simply don't work well together, so my second golden bit of advice is:
Keep in mind your other Assets when making selections.
Selecting Flank March and Scheduled Bombardment may give your opponent a bit shock, but if you are not careful your own troops will be in the opponents deployment zone where your bombardments are landing.
On the other hand a number of Assets work really well together, for example if you intend to use Flank March for a large portion of your force then Careful Planning will mean that large portion is on the board when needed.
My third golden bit of advice applies when playing as part of a team, whether against a single opponent or another team. That piece of advice is:
Check how your Assets affect your allies.
Careful Planning, Hold at All Costs and a great number of other Assets only affect the player that selected it, not his team members. Others such as Recon affect all models on one side, making them more worthwhile in teamed games. Lastly, some like Vital Objective and Scheduled Bombardment should definitely be mentioned to your allies so they can take them into account during play.