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Secret Routes - is it too powerful?


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#1 Nibe

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 10:09 AM

Hello,

We have played 2 games of Horus Heresy and we are obviously loving it
But during both games the Secret Routes order card has been used in a way that takes away from the game experience.

In the first game the Emperor skip hopped around the map whilst holding one space port with a huge army.

In the next, rather odd perhaps, game Horus and Angron had drop podded into an empty throne room. After that the Emperor secret routed back in there to create a coexistence battle (non conclusive). So far - so good. Great fun. After that Horus moved up reinforcements but could not get them in there (as he couldnt move into the throne room due to it not being neutral or friendly). On his next turn the imperium player played another Secret Routes to move Rogal Dorn with the Imperial Fists into the throne room. In this coexistence battle Horus was overwhelmed.

Secret routes gives the imperium player the chance not only to reinforce to an area he can not move into - he can also start a battle for 8 iterations that no one can flee from.

Has this come up for some one else? Is the card too strong? It has been game changing for us twice (out of 2 times).Sec



#2 Dam

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 07:41 PM

I was posting last night to this thread on BGG, but stupid comp froze and didn't feel like retyping it all .

Anyway, the gist of it was that first, why is the Traitor drop podding Horus or anybody into the Inner Palace? In the 1993 game I could see that being a goal, since you needed 4 spaceports + Inner Palace to win via control, but in this game, just 4 spaceports. So Traitor resources should be geared toward taking those, not going after the Emperor. If/when the Imperials come after your units with the Emperor, then if you can do your best to kill him.

Second, sounds like the Imperials have been lucky, getting both of the Secret Route cards. Were they drawing heavily and not recycling much or just luck of the draw? Third, with a 6-unit stacking limit at a spaceport, that army is by no means large, not when you consider that you can attack one region from all the adjacent regions, it's not hard to get 15+ units attacking a single region.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#3 Nibe

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 09:11 PM

I agree with you on the strategy. The space ports are a much more viable option.

But... not anywhere near as epic. I want epic. It makes me giddy inside. I want to smash the palace and the Emperor to tiny little bits. I want that to be a vaible strategy. It isn't it seems, and that is sad.

Of course 6 troops in a space port isn't that much. But those darn White Scars were nearby ready to disrupt plans and also (since I want to smash the palace :) ) I had a lot of troops in the center and had taken south east space port. I didnt have all that many troops south west - strategical mistake maybe. But I WANT to kill the Emperor :)

So it seems killing the Emperor is an off chance that may happen if he comes out in the open. That is fine, I guess. I just want to crush that palace (how many times have I said that now? :) )



#4 Dam

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 10:18 PM

I'd say the best chance for you comes late and requires timing the Initiative Track. Attack the Emperor with ideally Mortarion and Magnus, supported by their Chaos Space Marines, maybe Horus joins in as well to help cull the bad cards. This attack should be so strong as to force the Emperor to retreat (either by choice or by combat effects). The initiative cost for this attack needs to move your token onto or past the one of the last two Event Phase spaces. This triggers the Event, which in most scenarios are 2x Titans Stride the Earth which allow you to make another attack, with the Emperor in a region with a routed marker, unable to retreat. Of course, your marker cannot first pass over a Refresh Phase (this would allow the Imperials to flip the routed marker to the activated side), so careful timing is needed as the last Event Phase space is only two spaces after a Refresh Phase space

Alternatively, get him to a place where his retreat paths are blocked (against a ravine, just your troops on all sides or destroyed region in Scenario 3 I think it is) and hammer away.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#5 Nibe

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 11:23 PM

Hehe. You have certainly played the game a few times :)

Very good ideas. I will deifinately remember them. They actually are enough to give me hope back in crushing that glorified maniac the call Emperor. I will make them understand the true power of the four gods whose power courses through my veins. Do not ignore my veins.... oh, right. It's only a game.... yeah...sorry :)

Thank you



#6 Dam

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 12:27 AM

And I've thought about the game even more than I've played it . Main reason I'd say the above attack -> Titans Stride the Earth strat hasn't been employed around here is that it's not uncommon for the game to end immediately when either Initiative marker reaches the Spaceport Victory Possible space on the track. Only two of the 20 games have ended in an Imperial Holdout Victory, getting to the last two Events is fairly rare.

Although from a thematic POV, it doesn't seem so off that getting to the Whimperor early isn't easy. Traitors pounded and pounded the Palace and fought for the spaceports, getting each inch of ground through massive efforts (at least in terms of numbers lost, not that they cared). There was no going right for the Inner Palace, as it is in the game, you grind and grind, until the Imperials are either forced to bring out forces to re-take a capture spaceport and you hit them on the counter or they have been ground down in size until one or two attacks is enough to kill the Emperor.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#7 Nibe

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 02:26 AM

What you say is true.

And since you gave a couple of ideas that makes it possible to do if you hammer the "good" little boy the right way. I will do just this. I'll play another game in a few hours. I will try to avoid and deny space port victory but make it a real threat in order to lire the whimperor (like the name) out in the open where I will tear him a new one and let Nurgle make him a few more new ones :)



#8 Dam

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 06:36 AM

I long since pledged my soul to Chaos, so he'll always be the Whimperor to me .


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#9 Nibe

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 10:04 AM

The bastard opponent asked to play Horus, and to my eternal shame I agreed. So I have to wait to kill that little whimperor, even if he was kind of cool, charging Horus, a Titan and some fluff and routing them.






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