It's a game, too! (Favorite tactics?)

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It's a game, too! (Favorite tactics?)

Postby Blorf » Sun May 06, 2018 6:59 pm

It strikes me that a new community member could be forgiven for thinking this is a community exclusively for builders of robots and their lore. I don't think the building and lore should be reduced, but let's have more talk about this tactically rich game in its own right!

I'll get started. What's your favorite game tactic?

For me, it's a highly mobile close range force (such as swarmers) packed together and backed up by a pair of delegators. I love the scare tactic of advancing several close range frames in formation onto a brightly spotted target. You can usually plan on cutting a path of destruction in whatever direction you choose as long as you stick to the plan, and activating the delegators early can also let you avoid too much incoming spot chaining. I don't always run it, but it's a great time when I do.

And just to keep the discussion more than just a list of favorites... How would you counter the person above you's tactic with your own favorite force?
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Re: It's a game, too! (Favorite tactics?)

Postby Mantisking » Sun May 06, 2018 8:52 pm

Blorf wrote:I'll get started. What's your favorite game tactic?

If I can pull it off, "Stick & Move". Chain spotting with a bunch of Soldiers and moving them across the board to take the objectives I want.

Blorf wrote:For me, it's a highly mobile close range force (such as swarmers) packed together and backed up by a pair of delegators. I love the scare tactic of advancing several close range frames in formation onto a brightly spotted target. You can usually plan on cutting a path of destruction in whatever direction you choose as long as you stick to the plan, and activating the delegators early can also let you avoid too much incoming spot chaining. I don't always run it, but it's a great time when I do.

And just to keep the discussion more than just a list of favorites... How would you counter this tactic with your own favorite force?

Since we got chewed up by this tactic a few weeks ago, I think the best bet would be to try and break the chain by targeting individual Swarmers and knocking them out of sequence.
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Re: It's a game, too! (Favorite tactics?)

Postby VitorFaria » Mon May 07, 2018 7:17 pm

I believe that Swarming is a right risk/right reward tactic.

If you manage to find favorable positions and use movement optimally it gets really hard to counter. The issue is that an opponent that knows what you're doing will seldom make that an easy task, by keeping distance and coordinating different ranged units from afar it's not incredibly difficult to drive swarm squads into dead zone where they will be next to useless.
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Re: It's a game, too! (Favorite tactics?)

Postby KungFujiApple » Sun May 20, 2018 9:38 am

As a fan of close combat, I do favor tactics that cater more towards hand to hand melee. I guess a better question for the Swarming tactic would be: When do you find this tactic to be more effective, in 1 on 1, 3 players, or more?
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Re: It's a game, too! (Favorite tactics?)

Postby CmdrRook » Sun May 20, 2018 8:55 pm

Favorite tactics, hmm? Well I haven't played as much as many of you have, but I notice myself trending towards two techniques when I do:
1. As defender, instead of ceding my activations, I use a pseudo-delegator to destroy a piece of cover and spot a threatening enemy frame behind it first. If no other opponents are nearby to seal the deal, I use a brawler to do so immediately. This hopefully means a major threat is likely neutralized or tied up with another opponent and eases the pressure I'm about to endure.

2. As attacker (any): I deploy one of my stations within capture range of a defender frame who is already defending a station. This is a risky leap-frog effect to allow late game maneuvers to swing points more aggressively, hopefully in my favor during the final moments.

Both of these strategies are aggressive and demand an all-in method, leading to varied results, but I love daring plays and hard-earned underdog victories, so they suit me fine.
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Re: It's a game, too! (Favorite tactics?)

Postby darksyntax » Tue May 22, 2018 2:08 am

Two things I'd note on tactics: a general observation that I took too long to learn and a loadout I like to build companies around.

Distance and Movement
Most games only last 5, maybe 6 turns. The average frame will move about 4 ruler units per turn: about 20-24 per game. A play area is, per the rules, 4-6 rulers wide, thus an average of 40 units across. An average frame will only be able to traverse half of the width of a play area; much less if moving using cover or changing direction (based on priorities/targets).
- You need to know your goals before the game starts (move frame 1 here, move frame 2 there, try to take station A with frame 3...). You will have to adjust after first contact, but having a solid plan early prevents you from making a decision to try to move a frame 20 ruler units in 2 turns.
- You need to be thinking about your movement plans for the 3rd or 4th turn during the first turn.

My favorite single frame loadout
d6W d6W d6Y d6Y d6B d8G d8Ra d8Ra d8Ra
This nets a frame with a double spot, a better move (d8 vs d6) that's free (doesn't count as a system), and is effectively a soldier for 3 turns (1d8/rnd vs 2d6 Direct). As most games only last 5-6 turns, it becomes a slightly gimped hand-to-hand frame after 3 turns. And if you're underbidding for defender, this frame gives you a rather effective and safe 3 system frame.
This old Transit Gate blog post has good info on dice odds if you want to see how this loadout stacks up to a soldier.
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Re: It's a game, too! (Favorite tactics?)

Postby Mantisking » Tue May 22, 2018 7:36 pm

CmdrRook wrote:2. As attacker (any): I deploy one of my stations within capture range of a defender frame who is already defending a station. This is a risky leap-frog effect to allow late game maneuvers to swing points more aggressively, hopefully in my favor during the final moments.

I got to see this first hand in this game. A couple of players from my group used this tactic in a game earlier this year.
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Re: It's a game, too! (Favorite tactics?)

Postby CmdrRook » Tue May 22, 2018 10:28 pm

I just wish it had worked as well when I used it again at Unplugged, last year.
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Re: It's a game, too! (Favorite tactics?)

Postby Blorf » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:56 am

This was a great companion post. I know there's luck involved, but you can almost see how the strength of the strategies going in really determined the outcome of the game.
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Re: It's a game, too! (Favorite tactics?)

Postby Mantisking » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:49 pm

Blorf wrote:This was a great companion post.

Thank you.

Blorf wrote:I know there's luck involved, but you can almost see how the strength of the strategies going in really determined the outcome of the game.

Makes me wonder what would have happened had my initial strategy not been wrecked by Tom's.
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Re: It's a game, too! (Favorite tactics?)

Postby PJ_Nichts » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:20 pm

darksyntax wrote:
My favorite single frame loadout
d6W d6W d6Y d6Y d6B d8G d8Ra d8Ra d8Ra


This is also one of my favorite frame loadouts!

I always make sure I have at least one frame that has a double spot to light up priority targets for my other mechs. Spotting is one of my favorite elements of the game and I tend to rely on it pretty heavily to try and debuff another frames defense.
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Re: It's a game, too! (Favorite tactics?)

Postby VitorFaria » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:37 pm

I was thinking about opening a new thread, but it might add to this one instead.

Have you guys ever sensed a pattern on how beginners behave and evolve strategically?

I have observed that they almost always tend to have many d6G starting out, but as they are too unexperienced to move effectively, they end up wasting those on mostly immobile frames. Then they evolve to that phase that thinks that d6G are useless and start avoiding them completely, which inevitably means they suffer on positioning and station capture even worse.

Only after a healthy dose of experience they discover the true value of greens, and movement in general, and start throwing them at the right frames.
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Re: It's a game, too! (Favorite tactics?)

Postby Blorf » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:25 am

I've noticed new players nearly always max out on frames/systems. There's also an over use of frames with multiple ranges. In my estimation, multiple ranges are generally a waste of space. Better to have a strategy going in than plan for flexibility and see what happens.

Inexperienced players also rely too much on ranged weapons and double systems. I think h2h in general is underestimated, and good spotting trumps an increase from d6 to d8 every time. A d8 system here and there is fine, but if a company is full of them it's probably missing something else important. Spotting is often that missed necessity.

I still don't go to d6G super often outside a few soldiers. Building for a speedy role, I'd rather go for a h2h-based frame and get the d8G for free. They're really effective with a backup spotter.
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Re: It's a game, too! (Favorite tactics?)

Postby PJ_Nichts » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:14 pm

VitorFaria wrote:I have observed that they almost always tend to have many d6G starting out, but as they are too unexperienced to move effectively, they end up wasting those on mostly immobile frames. Then they evolve to that phase that thinks that d6G are useless and start avoiding them completely, which inevitably means they suffer on positioning and station capture even worse.

Only after a healthy dose of experience they discover the true value of greens, and movement in general, and start throwing them at the right frames.


VitorFaria, You just described my arch as a player with mobile frame.

After a rough match trying the maneuver a Hammer and Anvil loadout in unison across a battlefield, and another match where I lost to some very devastating h2h hits, I think very much about movement systems and utilizing h2h combat. Including utilizing the fact that every frame can use its whites for h2h.
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Re: It's a game, too! (Favorite tactics?)

Postby Blorf » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:57 am

For some reason, only very experienced players seem to notice that frames attack better using a white for h2h than they do with dedicated systems at any other range.
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Re: It's a game, too! (Favorite tactics?)

Postby Mantisking » Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:27 am

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Re: It's a game, too! (Favorite tactics?)

Postby CmdrRook » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:03 am

Hey, I used the "place a station in capture range of the defender" and "attack cover while spotting the thing behind it" tactics again, and they bore fruit!

I abandoned my primary strategy and adopted a new one that panned out, as well, basically bisecting the battlefield to cut off an escape route for a bruised and battered defender. Deployment was key in making that strategy work, finding a weak spot in the Defender's perimeter and committing to a pincer that sliced about a third of the total map off. There were moments when I thought it was falling apart, but committing to the maneuver and spotting like crazy paid off, allowing me to steal the win. Big thanks to Mantis and a new player JIm for the game.
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