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Assemble + Boarding action + Assault = too powerful?


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#1 Tanan

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 10:05 PM

Am I understanding the rules correctly?

Traitor turn 1: Execute Port landing/Drop pod from Strategic Map
Loyalist turn 1: Place “Assemble” on Palace region (Strategic Map)
Loyalist turn 2: Place “Boarding action” on Vengeful Spirit (Strategic Map)
Traitor turns 2-3: Do something that moves the iniative marker 3+ spaces forward
Loyalist turn 3: Execute “Assemble” from Strategic Map and move all available loyalist forces to Inner palace
Loyalist turn 4: Execute “Boarding action” from Strategic Map and move all loyalist forces from “Inner palace” to “Vengeful Spirit Catacombs”
Loyalist turn 5: Execute “Assault” from hand and attack the Vengeful spirit Command Center

Interesting details about the battle:
- With Dorn’s and Emperor’s special ability, the loyalist player basically draws the entire combat deck to his hand.
- All traitor forces in Vengeful spirit Catacombs and Command Center join the battle -> Horus can’t retreat
- Sanguinius special ability negates the Command Center fortress
- Assuming that the loyalist player manages to eliminate the three units in the Command Center, he moves three Blood angels, Sanguinius and the Emperor to the Command Denter and kills the Horus in the following coexistence battle.
 



#2 Dam

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 11:27 PM

Tanan said:

 

Am I understanding the rules correctly?

Traitor turn 1: Execute Port landing/Drop pod from Strategic Map
Loyalist turn 1: Place “Assemble” on Palace region (Strategic Map)
Loyalist turn 2: Place “Boarding action” on Vengeful Spirit (Strategic Map)
Traitor turns 2-3: Do something that moves the iniative marker 3+ spaces forward
Loyalist turn 3: Execute “Assemble” from Strategic Map and move all available loyalist forces to Inner palace
Loyalist turn 4: Execute “Boarding action” from Strategic Map and move all loyalist forces from “Inner palace” to “Vengeful Spirit Catacombs”
Loyalist turn 5: Execute “Assault” from hand and attack the Vengeful spirit Command Center

 

Looks legit.

Tanan said:

Interesting details about the battle:
- With Dorn’s and Emperor’s special ability, the loyalist player basically draws the entire combat deck to his hand.
- All traitor forces in Vengeful spirit Catacombs and Command Center join the battle -> Horus can’t retreat
- Sanguinius special ability negates the Command Center fortress
- Assuming that the loyalist player manages to eliminate the three units in the Command Center, he moves three Blood angels, Sanguinius and the Emperor to the Command Denter and kills the Horus in the following coexistence battle.
 

 

 

 

Of these, I don't think the Traitor units in the Catacombs join the battle, if the Imperials would stop at Catacombs and then the Traitor would attack from Command Center, then the Traitors in Catacombs (target area) would join in, but attacking CC from Catacombs, they won't join in. But Catacombs is a contested area, so Horus is unable to retreat in any case.

How to stop this? Well, for one, don't let the Imperial player get 3 initiative of space on the track (this is really hard in Scenario 4 I found out ). For another, you can place an Order during setup at Imperial Palace region, then choose bury order to put the Assemble on bottom of that stack. Similarly, you can mess with Boarding Action. Early on, this is tough, with just 4 Orders, but can buy you time. Holding on to the first Orders Phase and getting Interdiction will piss off the Imperials really nicely (BA goes to discard even with its recycle icon). Other options, if you see the Imperial place two orders at the places you mention and can't bury them or place orders on top of them, bring Horus down to Terra (or move him to the Catacombs). In the Catacombs, Imperials can't attack him, can only fight coexistance battles, while you can do Port Landing to bring in more troops to support Horus if he survives.


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#3 Tanan

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 12:11 AM

How to stop this? Well, for one, don't let the Imperial player get 3 initiative of space on the track (this is really hard in Scenario 4 I found out ).

This means that the traitor player can never play the Assault order from his hand. Good luck taking those fortified areas.

Other options, if you see the Imperial place two orders at the places you mention and can't bury them or place orders on top of them, bring Horus down to Terra (or move him to the Catacombs). In the Catacombs, Imperials can't attack him, can only fight coexistance battles, while you can do Port Landing to bring in more troops to support Horus if he survives.

I wouldn't move Horus to Catacombs because:
- Moving Horus costs iniative and doesn't really protect him.

- Loyalist player still takes the Command Center so that the Horus can't retreat.

- In coexistance battle, the loyalist player can play 16 (1+3+5+7) cards instead of 9 (1+3+5) cards. Sanguinius does 8 points of damage in Catacombs. I don't think that Horus can survive that battle.

 

This combo is even more effective in scenarios where each player receives those "Discard to reduce the iniative cost" special tokens. In those scenarios, Horus must abandon Vengeful Spirit before the loyalist third turn or die.

I think that this order combo needs to be nerfed in the FAQ. Possible fixes:

- Boarding Action activates the Catacombs -> To kill horus, the loyalist player needs an order that allows attacking from activated areas.
- Boarding Action moves only 3 units + heroes -> Teleporting the entire loyalist army is just silly
- Boarding Action isn't a starting order

 



#4 Dam

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 01:02 AM

Tanan said:

This means that the traitor player can never play the Assault order from his hand. Good luck taking those fortified areas.

You can, just need the Imperial marker 2 spaces ahead of you , that way Assault moves you 1 up on the Imp marker, allowing him 2 1-cost actions. Mortarion + Magnus combo can clear places with Firefight (most of the time they seem to clear out units even before the combat properly gets under way).

Tanan said:

I think that this order combo needs to be nerfed in the FAQ. Possible fixes:

- Boarding Action activates the Catacombs -> To kill horus, the loyalist player needs an order that allows attacking from activated areas.
- Boarding Action moves only 3 units + heroes -> Teleporting the entire loyalist army is just silly
- Boarding Action isn't a starting order

That last one is a point I found kinda off, why does the Imperial player get BA as a starting order? Making it a normal order (with 2 in the deck), Imperial player would be encouraged to draw more orders instead of just recycling. It would also make the attack on the Vengeful Spirit an unknown aspect for the Traitor, does he have the BA in hand, what did he place on the VS region?

The activating Inner Palace with BA is another minor glitch. Imperial player doesn't even need the Inner Palace with BA, since it states from 1 area of the Palace (not only Inner Palace), BA only activates Inner Palace, even if no units actually board from there. I liked the old game's goals of controlling all 4 spaceports + Inner Palace to win through that route,  just 4 spaceports seems on the easy side for the Traitors.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#5 Three Headed Monkey

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 05:02 PM

I really dont think it's that bad. The traitor can place an order card over boarding action to force the Imperial player to spend at least two initiative to execute it. Then he just has to play carefully to not give the imperial player too much intiative in one go.

Also, he could just come down to earth once the imperial player has set up the combo. I think this is pretty much the best move for Horus in this situation especially if The Sky Fortress Rises has come out. The Sky Fortress Rises allows the Imperial player to skip the assemble part of the step, so with Boarding Action seeded he just needs leeway of two initiative (the minimum a player will get in his 'turn') to pull off the assault. Burying the Boarding action can help, but then the Traitor player is pretty much restricted to playing everything from the strategic map and if the Imperial player finds Sieze Initiative its all over anyway.

I think putting Horus in the catacombs could work. The Imp player cannot place units in the Command Center from Boarding Action so Horus will be able to retreat into it straight away, buying himself a turn in which he can then just Port Landing to Terra. Still, I think just moving him to a secure place on Terra to be the best option once it is apparent that the combo is set up.

As to the combo being too powerful, I disagree. If the Imperial Player cannot get an assault force with a good chance to kill Horus on the Vengeful Spirit and attack with them on the same turn, then there would never be a reason to move units to the Vengeful Spirit. Horus would just leave the ship once the assault force showed up. In order for killing Horus on the Vengeful Spirit to be a viable option, it has to be able to be done in one turn.

If it wasn't set up this way people would be complaining that it would be impossible to kill Horus on the Vengeful Spirit like in the fluff, when playing against a half decent traitor player.



#6 Tanan

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 07:12 PM

I think putting Horus in the catacombs could work. The Imp player cannot place units in the Command Center from Boarding Action so Horus will be able to retreat into it straight away, buying himself a turn in which he can then just Port Landing to Terra.

No, it doesn't. The Loyalist player still plays the Assault order and takes the Command Center, so that the Horus can't from retreat from the coexistance battle.

 

Still, I think just moving him to a secure place on Terra to be the best option once it is apparent that the combo is set up.

In my opinion, the problem is that it's too good starting move for the Loyalist player in scenarios 2-6. For 2 iniative Horus is forced to the ground and Vengeful Spirit gets ignored for the rest of the game. I don't think that the designers intended the game to be played this way.

 

 



#7 Three Headed Monkey

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 09:15 PM

Tanan said:

 

I think putting Horus in the catacombs could work. The Imp player cannot place units in the Command Center from Boarding Action so Horus will be able to retreat into it straight away, buying himself a turn in which he can then just Port Landing to Terra.

No, it doesn't. The Loyalist player still plays the Assault order and takes the Command Center, so that the Horus can't from retreat from the coexistance battle.

 

 

True, didnt consider that.

Tanan said:

 

Still, I think just moving him to a secure place on Terra to be the best option once it is apparent that the combo is set up.

In my opinion, the problem is that it's too good starting move for the Loyalist player in scenarios 2-6. For 2 iniative Horus is forced to the ground and Vengeful Spirit gets ignored for the rest of the game. I don't think that the designers intended the game to be played this way.

 

There are other options. The Imperial player does need a further three initiative in a row to pull off the attack. Although that still hampers the Traitor player as he will never be able to move that far in front of the Imperial player on the initiative track. Still, I'm of the opinion that the traitor wants to use the strategic map as much as possible anyway, to conserve the amount of initiative he uses.

Bury the BA or assemble and the traitor has bought himself some breathing room. Plus forcing the Imperial player to not really do anything useful trying to keep the combo executable. The traitor player can buy time until there is a safe spot on terra.

Not too mention the Imperial player has just ignored whatever large force the Traitor player is building up to seed the combo.

TBH though I do see your point. It does seem like a too good of an opening move. Although I think that in any game like this, when you get to a high level of play, these sorts of combos and tactics that may be emergent from the original design are inevitable. Hopefully further tactics and bluffs will develop to deepen the options after this seemingly obvious opening move.

If FFG do change the game to only allow a BA to occur later in the game, say for instance not having it start in the Imperial player's hand, then that would not be a bad move. However, I do think that it does benefit the traitor player to know that the imperial player has a BA in hand. The imperial player could just bluff horus out of the vengeful spirit after the first orders phase anyway. Perhaps disallow BA from being played until after the Spaceport Victory space has been passed? It would be interesting to know that the developers think and whether or not they knew of this. I'm of the opinion that they did. They put BA in the imperial player's starting hand for a reason.

This is a game that, for the most part, has a preset setup. Of course there will be known best moves and deployments. I dont see the point in complaining too much about it. As I said, it is inevitable. Any changes FFG make will just mean that a different set of known best moves will develop.

Also, frankly, the Vengeful Spirit is ignored for most of play anyway, so I dont think its that bad! Perhaps the traitor player will find an interdiction order and remove the BA, allowing him to move horus back to the ship :P.



#8 FLGS

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 09:45 AM

Just a thought!  I might be reading this wrong, but in order to eliminate the order combinations power could you implement a house rule where using boarding action activates both the inner palace and the destination area?

In doing so it would mean it is very much about timing as to whether the power of this combination can be implemented or not.   I think it would make it harder for the loyalist players to implement as several key things would need to be in place... the refresh phase being implemented (removing the activation marker) while the loyalist player still has the initiative (enabling assault to be played), as well as the (loyalist) orders on the strategic map not having been blocked by the traitor player.

What do you think?



#9 Dam

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 09:52 AM

Would make Boarding Action in particular almost useless. You BA, activate Catacombs, so can't attack. Next change on initiative, Horus drops back down to Terra. Like you say, only feasible way get any use out of BA then would to either execute BA so that you still have initiative AND your token moves to or past a Refresh Phase OR have in hand that order that removes an activation marker.

Traitors have won more than the Loyalists in my games, so making things harder for the Imperials wouldn't be my first thought.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#10 FLGS

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 12:39 PM

I think the way that I will go from here on is to remove the BA card from the starting orders for the loyalist player and replace with either 'reconnaissance' or 'seize the initiative', which should hopfully reduce the chance of the combo being used to early on.  also to balance things up a little bit more I quite like the idea of how the original GW release required the Traitor player to have control of both the inner palace and all four port to achieve space port victory.

See how that works out!



#11 redsimon

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 04:46 AM

@ FLGS: I think that would be way too hard. In scenarios 1 and 2 it is almost impossible for the traitor player to get the spaceports and also into the centre of the palace.



#12 HappyDD

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 11:39 AM

Dam, I know you are a rules guru around these forums, so maybe you can explain what I am missing here:

Assemble: You can bring all the guys in the palace to the Inner Palace region. Then you have to activate this destination location, right?

Boarding Action: You can bring your big group of guys up to the Vengeful Spirit, but at the bottom of Boarding Action doesn't it say "Activate the Inner Palace either way" (meaning if you used Boarding Action to board or disembark from the Vengeful Spirit)?

So my question is: If an area (the Inner Palace) is already activated with Assemble, how would you be able to activate the area (Inner Palace) again to execute the Boarding Action?

I feel like I have missed something elementary since everyone has bought into this strategy.



#13 Dam

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 07:15 PM

HappyDD said:

Dam, I know you are a rules guru around these forums, so maybe you can explain what I am missing here:

Assemble: You can bring all the guys in the palace to the Inner Palace region. Then you have to activate this destination location, right?

Boarding Action: You can bring your big group of guys up to the Vengeful Spirit, but at the bottom of Boarding Action doesn't it say "Activate the Inner Palace either way" (meaning if you used Boarding Action to board or disembark from the Vengeful Spirit)?

So my question is: If an area (the Inner Palace) is already activated with Assemble, how would you be able to activate the area (Inner Palace) again to execute the Boarding Action?

I feel like I have missed something elementary since everyone has bought into this strategy.

Assemble when executed from the strat map has a strategic effect of "do not activate the region" (or close enough wording).


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#14 matt486

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 12:46 AM

I think I might have figured this one out, but correct me if I'm wrong:

I don't think you can use Boarding Action if there are any traitors in the Catacombs of the Vengeful Spirit. It needs to be an Attack order if you're going to try to move any unit on to an enemy section of the board, and Boarding Action is quite specifically a Move order. So the only time you'd be able to do it is if the Traitor player completely clears out the Catacombs.

I've only played the game once so far (and that was, at best, a warm up as neither of us knew the rules and kept having to go back to the book!) so there may be a loophole in this that I haven't seen yet, but as far as I can tell that's how this situation would work.



#15 Dam

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 02:59 AM

BA is one of the exceptions (either mentioned in the FAQ or a thread). If you could only use BA to an empty Catacombs, it would never happen. And I mean never.


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#16 redsimon

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 03:22 AM

The FAQ says that both Port Landing and Boarding Action can be used to move onto the Vengeful Spirit Catacombs area even if the area contains enemy units.



#17 matt486

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 02:45 AM

Ah, I thought that was a bit wierd. Still, first time trying the game...



#18 Zerodemon

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:06 AM

 Assemble, even when activated from the strategic map, activates the DESTINATION AREA. This is the inner palace. No models may move from an activated area, precisely because it is activated. Since each area in the palace can only hold 3 units (and any number of heroes) any excess left in the inner-palace region would be removed from the game at a change of initiative phase. The rules that models can not be moved from activated areas takes precedence over the instruction on the Boarding Action card. You may not give any orders to a unit in an activated area.



#19 Dam

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:29 AM

What Assemble do you have ? Page 20 of the rulebook clearly shows Assemble with a Strategic Effect "Do not activate the destination area".


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#20 Zerodemon

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:23 AM

 Oh man! My card must be a misprint. It has no strategic effect!

To be fair, beaming up in to the catacombs early on would be a mistake anyway. Assaulting Horus (considering his command centre is a fortified area) is difficult. Couple with that a coexistence battle and an obvious Port Landing move by the Chaos player once the initiative shifts and some of your excess units die and the fact that any experienced player will stock up on at least one hero and more units in the Vengeful Spirit to guard against such a move (Mortarion is particularly nifty) and it's a bold move, a big risk and a potential game-ender now you've left the palace under-defended or got the Emperor injured or killed.

Horus Heresy is a lot like chess really. Over-commiting yourself rashly is often a mistake. If you know for sure the Chaos player has used all the Port Landing cards in his hand and he's left Horus vulnerable, go for it. Otherwise, weigh up whether it is worth the risk and whether you could afford to wait out the Imperial Victory.






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