Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Steamroller 2014 - Helpful hints (Hopefully)

A new year and a new steamroller pack. In 2012 I managed to work out little hints about the scenarios and it saved me a lot of time in tournaments and quite a few games. I did it for 2013, and though a few nuances passed me by I got up to speed fairly quickly with that pack. The 2014 pack hasn't changed much it seems but it is always helpful to run through the pack and work out the differences.

Like before I will start with the reference sheet as there are commonalities with all scenarios that it is worth knowing before going further.

Contest: very similar to how it has worked in the past. Though the rules now state that out of formation models cannot contest so be careful of those command ranges.

Zones: Same rules as before. You just need a model in the zone to control it. If that model belongs to a unit then the unit must be at 50% or higher of it's starting number.

Flag: And again the same rules, you need to base-to-base the flag and if that model is a unit then it needs to be at least 50% strength and within 4" of the flag.

Objectives: They have changed slightly in the fact they are all ARM 18 with 15 boxes so that's easier to remember. The other major change is that there are no rules for dominating the objectives.

Warcaster/Warlock units: A new little segment here but it is there to say that these guys can only contest and dominate. So no sending the little guy forward to claim the flag as the caster hangs at the 4" mark for safety.

So very minor changes there, it seems that the scenarios are where the main differences are.

Scenario 1, Destruction

Some big changes here. We still have the centre rectangle zone and objectives but only two of them this time. You can't have the objective as your prey target (sorry Nightmare) nor can you move them around by any means. This one has a nice little bit of flavour though, if the objective is disabled you can sacrifice a friendly model within 4" to heal it by one point

Ranged feats are going to be helpful again but only if they are backed by the power to clear a 10" circle of the board. Again, the focus of the scenario is to get you in the centre of the board so do that fast and hold the zone to be safe on scenario.

Scenario 2, Supply and Demand

The set-up hasn't changed but you can no longer dominate the enemy objective. Oh well, I never saw that happen anyways. The objective is the special thing here as you still cannot dominate the zone with the objective in your control area. Focus 7 and above really need to concentrate on the objective to get the CPs rolling in.

The major change is that when the objective isn't contested (enemy within 4") you can run or charge without spending focus/fury. For those with long threat ranges it is a little more efficiency and thus killing power at the end of the charge.

Just concentrate on the zone and let your army work through the enemy.

Scenario 3, Balance of Power

A new scenario with a new little twist. There's a rectangle in the centre of the board and two flags, each off the players left and 15" up the board. You get one control point for controlling the enemy flag or the zone and two for dominating those points. Where the fun comes in is you can remove CPs from the enemy by dominating your own flag.

With the ability to remove CPs during the game I have no idea how this will play out on the table top. You can only remove one so if the enemy is dominating all you are doing is slowing the defeat down. The zone is the most important thing and thus a fast jamming list probably will have an advantage here. Clear and hold the zone and you are on the way to victory.

Scenario 4, Process of Elimination

Really minor changes here, you can't prey an objective and that's it. No matter what if your opponent destroys an objective make sure you can kill the other one to keep control point parity else you'll find yourself doing desperate things to catch up.

Scenario 5, Close Quarters

No changes. Dominate your flag for a safeish but slow win or go for your enemies for complete subjugation of your enemies.

Scenario 6, Two Fronts

I think this was called Chemical Reaction in the previous pack, but I could never remember which was which between that and Incoming. But new scenario is nicely designed. You have two vertical rectangle zones and two objectives 18" up and in the centre of the board. The objectives have the same rules as the ones in supply and demand, free charges and no dominating with the enemy one in your control area.

However, I think that a 7 or less focus/fury caster can dominate their own zone without having to kill the enemy objective. Play it safe and move up the left or be aggressive and charge up the right, either way Two Fronts seems to be fairly well named.

Scenario 7, Incoming

The way this scenario is played hasn't changed but I think the placement of the zones has changed. Anyways, I would move up on the right flank and then across into the enemy zone/objective.

Scenario 8, Rally Point

Old name but new scenario as the objectives no longer move around. The zones are circular and the objectives centrally located. The important thing here is if your objective isn't contested it gives out inspiration to friendly faction solos. This is really important for those who suffer from command check issues (like Satyxis). But it'll never matter for those who mostly/only play Master scenarios, this isn't one them :(

Without the moving objectives this scenario becomes really simple, claim your zone and beat the hell out of the enemy trying to get to theirs.

Scenario 9, Incursion

A long time scenario with a major change, no longer can the middle flag disappear. The outer flags are slightly more on the flanks as well but that's the price you pay. This time around you can march the survivable stuff up the middle and not worry about having to move it to one side if the middle flag goes away. Other than that make sure you can reposition to either side and you'll be fine for this scenario.

Scenario 10, Outflank

No changes at all to this one, move up and try to clear at least one zone of the enemy to start the control points flowing in.

Scenario 11, Into the Breach

No longer a masters scenario but they have also added in some objectives this year. They do the same as the ones in Rally Point (grant Inspiration) so I can see them being a great use again. Personally I would make a massive attack on the zone and just threaten the flag/objective with mobile and hard hitting things. That's because you can get 2 control points for dominating the zone and be 6" back from the centre line. If you are over at the flag it's only one point a turn and you are in the middle of the board, or as it should be called, the Danger Zone.

Scenario 12, Fire Support

This one has become a masters scenario which I rather like but it should be noted a good player can score four control points in one turn very, very easily. You still have the two flags on the centre line and one objective on your left side and slightly closer to you. Where the danger comes in is if you let your enemy destroy your objective and control/dominate the other flags (can only dominate one thing a turn). That four point swing is a major issue so be very careful against those scenario power-houses of Harbinger, Deneghra2, Kruger2, etc.


Little pointers about each scenario are below

Destruction: 1. Destroy enemy objective. 2. Protect your own. 3. Clear the zone

Supply and Demand: 1. Clear the zone. 2. Destroy enemy objective

Balance of Power: 1. Dominate friendly flag. 2. Clear the Zone. 3. Clear enemy flag

Process of Elimination: 1. Destroy an objective. 2. Clear at least one zone

Close Quarters: 1. Dominate friendly flag. 2. Control/dominate enemy flag

Two Fronts: 1. Clear left zone. 2. Destroy enemy objective. 3. Clear right zone

Incoming: 1. Clear right zone. 2. Destroy enemy objective. 3. Clear left zone

Rally Point: 1. Clear left zone. 2. Destroy enemy objective. 3. Clear right zone

Incursion: Go for middle flag whilst being flexible about the side flags.

Outflank: Clear the zones

Into the Breach: 1. Clear the zone. 2. Destroy enemy objective. 3. Watch out for the flag

Fire Support: 1. Clear the flags. 2. Destroy enemy objective. 3. Protect friendly objective.

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