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Thormind

How do you react to this situation

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You have a squad placed at  B or D and your ships are not good jousters (lets say Miranda/Nym). Your opponent is placed at A or C (lets say a squad with Nym/Dengar) and decide to rush you in a straight line. It could be at the beginning of the game or at any other time.

I know that obstacles play a big role here but most of the time when i have to deal with situations like that i'm not sure how to react.

What do you usualy do? How would you react?

 

rush.png

Edited by Thormind

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I'd usually try to lead them through the rocks to engage. I'm a big fan of not setting up facing forwards so you can turn in to go for the joust or dust off out of there and force a chase/pincer/switch and bait move. Especially if I was running Nym/Mianda, I'd want the chase so you can drop bombs and TLT plink them to death whilst keeping range at a max and using obstacles where possible to survive. Really depends on the lists though...

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The plan for me would be to circle the enemy. Head for the right side of the map, at an angle. At some point, he will have to turn to get you. In that moment, you speed up and leave him at your tail. You break forces and force him to pursue part of your squad. The other has to flank him and nibble, but from a distance, since otherwise he will switch targets. 

In other words: Be water, my friend.

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You need to be mindful of your opponent's list when you are placing obstacles.  If you know that you don't have a strong jousting list and/or you know that your opponent's list wants to joust then you should be placing obstacles to clutter up the center of the board and then fly in such a way that forces them to come through the obstacles, break formation, or come around them.

In your diagram, I would try and head East/South and put some obstacles between my ships and his.  You've already made the mistake on turn 0 though, so it very well may be an uphill fight.

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Just now, Burius1981 said:

You need to be mindful of your opponent's list when you are placing obstacles.  If you know that you don't have a strong jousting list and/or you know that your opponent's list wants to joust then you should be placing obstacles to clutter up the center of the board and then fly in such a way that forces them to come through the obstacles, break formation, or come around them.

In your diagram, I would try and head East/South and put some obstacles between my ships and his.  You've already made the mistake on turn 0 though, so it very well may be an uphill fight.

This.  And if those ARE the rocks on the table you should have mirrored your deployment into the bottom-right corner, not bottom-left.

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34 minutes ago, Burius1981 said:

You need to be mindful of your opponent's list when you are placing obstacles.  If you know that you don't have a strong jousting list and/or you know that your opponent's list wants to joust then you should be placing obstacles to clutter up the center of the board and then fly in such a way that forces them to come through the obstacles, break formation, or come around them.

In your diagram, I would try and head East/South and put some obstacles between my ships and his.  You've already made the mistake on turn 0 though, so it very well may be an uphill fight.

The diagram was just to show an example. Another one could be an almost perfect obstacle placement. You have to place your ships first and put them in a corner. Instead of shoosing the opposite corner, your opponent place in front of you.

If i understand what you guys are saying i should try to fly so my opponent needs to chase me?

 

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Great to see an actual tactics discussion!

Generally, if you're setting up first, you want to give yourself as much space as possible to react to your opponent doing something nasty.

 

  • As a rule, that means setting up in one corner, because you've got space to go up that side, or along your own board edge.
  • If they're clearly a better jouster, you don't want to be in a situation where they could be ahead of you down a narrow channel, so either deploy facing along your board edge, or else at a 45' angle (so you can turn to face your board edge or the neutral board edge with just a gentle bank depending on where they deploy). Making sure you have space to do this is important - placing a rock at range 3 from your board edge and one side (so about range 1 in from the corner you intend to deploy in) creates a nice 'dead zone' where you have space to turn through but your opponent can't place a rock in the corner to block it because it can't be within range 1 of the one you just placed.
  • In the deployment you've got there, I'd be wanting to go along my board edge to the right hand side and then turn up - try and pull the fight through the confusing trio of rocks in the bottom right.
  • Note that to a degree it doesn't really matter in the specific case of Dengar. The point of pulling a jouster through rocks is to force them off green moves and to force collisions with rocks, aiming to deny them actions for the initial shots. With Expertise and K4 Security Droid, Dengar can fly straight over a rock and still bin off a fully modified torpedo. Of course, Debris (which would shut down expertise at least) is still useful, and don't mock the odd 'free' point of damage.
  • More important when trying to engage Dengar specifically is to make him need to turn RIGHT (that asymmetric dial is still way too good but at least it doesn't have any green hard turns!). So going up the left hand side of the board is a better plan, even if the obstacles aren't quite as advantageously placed.

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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I'm not a big fan of splitting a two ship squad. With TLTs each ship can provide some overwatch to the other. Getting Dengar to chase you counterclockwise around the board has advantages as Magnus has said. He can catch you, speed wise, but will be facing bombs or rocks if he tries cutting the corners.

One of the biggest problems a non-jousting ship has is the initial, range three encounter vs a missile or a torp armed ship. Especially if you're running a board edge. Not only do you lose the R3 defensive bonus but your following moves are, or can be sharply curtailed. With the board edge on one side, rocks on the other and the enemy in front, you just became the poster child for "between a rock and a hard place".

Watch Paul Heaver's movements during the Nova Open with a Miranda-Nym build. Turn off the sound and just watch the game. It's pretty informative.

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7 hours ago, Burius1981 said:

You need to be mindful of your opponent's list when you are placing obstacles.  If you know that you don't have a strong jousting list and/or you know that your opponent's list wants to joust then you should be placing obstacles to clutter up the center of the board and then fly in such a way that forces them to come through the obstacles, break formation, or come around them.

In your diagram, I would try and head East/South and put some obstacles between my ships and his.  You've already made the mistake on turn 0 though, so it very well may be an uphill fight.

 

7 hours ago, Stay On The Leader said:

This.  And if those ARE the rocks on the table you should have mirrored your deployment into the bottom-right corner, not bottom-left.

Both of these are spot on.

But also, if you do have rebel Nym/Miranda, you can block off that middle (right where their lines intersect) real quick with a bomb and leave it there, forcing your opponent into rocks.

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I have to admit, I don't really understand "high level" obstacle placement.  I fail to understand it to the point that I'm not 100% sure the people talking about it in depth aren't secretly pulling my chain.

My obstacle choices come down to three things:

(1) What size obstacles do I want?  (This is primarily in consideration of what I'm flying, with a secondary consideration toward what I expect to fly against a lot.)

(2) What type obstacles do I want?  (Parenthetical ditto.)

And then, for placement:

(3) Do I want open lanes for jousting, or do I want to deny open lanes for jousting?

If it's the latter (it usually is, as I don't fly jousting lists much anymore), I work on placing every one of my three obstacles so that it chokes off a new lane in both the horizontal and the vertical.  Usually, if place carefully with that in mind, there will be no way for someone to fly straight toward me without being willing to run over obstacles.

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8 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:
  • Note that to a degree it doesn't really matter in the specific case of Dengar. The point of pulling a jouster through rocks is to force them off green moves and to force collisions with rocks, aiming to deny them actions for the initial shots. With Expertise and K4 Security Droid, Dengar can fly straight over a rock and still bin off a fully modified torpedo. Of course, Debris (which would shut down expertise at least) is still useful, and don't mock the odd 'free' point of damage.

It's not just the potential for rock damage that you're getting. Dengar might get full attack mods if he charges over a rock, but losing his action does mean that he can't Focus defensively or barrel roll to maintain arc or dodge bombs. If you see it coming it can be a great opportunity to push for damage on him.

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I try not to get too technical with rock placement, but usually the most important one for me is the one that will be closest to where I want to set up as it could well force an adjustment to my opponents maneuvering after the initial contact. In fact I am usually more likely to place rocks on my side of the mat than the opponents. As mentioned above, if you have a list that is vulnerable to a good joust then place them at 90 or 45 degrees and give yourself options.

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14 hours ago, Stoneface said:

One of the biggest problems a non-jousting ship has is the initial, range three encounter vs a missile or a torp armed ship. Especially if you're running a board edge. Not only do you lose the R3 defensive bonus but your following moves are, or can be sharply curtailed. With the board edge on one side, rocks on the other and the enemy in front, you just became the poster child for "between a rock and a hard place".

Watch Paul Heaver's movements during the Nova Open with a Miranda-Nym build. Turn off the sound and just watch the game. It's pretty informative.

It's exactly the problem i have. Most of the time players are careful and dont like to rush. It's surprising because it can be so effective if your list can joust. When i do face a player whos not affraid to "get dirty" i always get a little nervous because i know i have not learned how to react properly. Same thing happens when a player decide to setup mid board (A on my picture).

Let's look at a different setup. This one is much closer to how i would actually place my obstacles.Here is the logic behind my choices:

1.1 -  Like @Magnus Grendel suggestion, i usualy place my first obstacle at 3*3 from one of my side corner with the intention to deploy in that corner. I chose the left corner because i want Dengar to start "top right" and be forced to turn on his bad side to get to the action.

1.2 - Obstacle in the middle blocks both diagonals and center rush.

1.3 - This was the hardest to place. I hesitated between that position and "1.3x". I chose to place here because i really like to dance in an asteroid field and i felt it created a more complex patern for a large ship to get in.

The problems i see once placement is finished:

- My original intention was to deploy at C but if i do that i think my opponent will place at A and rush.

- No matter what, i think my opponent will place at A. This will allow him to turn on his strong side (left) in a relatively open space.

- My opponent still has 2 strong lines to rush and both lines dont force him to dedicate to a specific direction before he knows where im going.

So assuming i place at B and him at A, what would you do if you were me to avoid the rush? What would you have done differently to get a better rock placement? I placed my opponent rocks as best as i thing he would have placed them.

 

rush2.png

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One way to blunt the charge is to set-up at an angle. In this case angled toward edge B(D). If your opponent charges, move towards BD on the angle. This will force him to either continue the charge and take the long way around the rocks or risk running through them. Slow move till he commits.

Have you heard of the the "Rulle of 11". Basically,  when you and your opponent's moves total 11 you're in gun range. This applies to small base ships only. There should be an old thread that talks about this. You'll need to search for it. This applies to a head to head joust.

Watch for rock placement at 3x3 at the corners. This prevents rocks being placed at 2x2 and gives a wide lane for large base ships to move down. It might telegraph your opponent's placement.

There's different opinions on obstacle placement for fighting large base ships. One that I like, is to cluster the obstacles tightly in the center of the board. Small base ships can hide in the cluster but large base ships take damage and lose actions trying to navigate the cluster. This forces them to run around the outside or risk damage by running  through them. Be careful though! Some players will risk the rocks if they think it will give them the advantage.

Edit. It's not only jousters that like to close fast. If you're not using bombs, be wary of Arc Dodgers closing quickly. Once they get to that R1 sweet spot, they can easily stay away from your arcs, they're in the donut hole for the TLT and can eat you alive. That's why I love this game. For all the complaints about the meta, you still need to be ready to face anything.

Edited by Stoneface
Added additional

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But think about what you're trying to achieve.  You're not trying to avoid him ever getting close enough to fire, you're just trying to manage when/how that happens.

I think you're approaching it from the wrong end.  Instead of thinking "I start here, now where do I go?" you should be thinking "I want the fight to be there, now where do I start to make that happen".

The key against jousters is often not the engage turn, but how awkward you've made it for them on the next turn to sustain the pressure without you slipping away.  That's blocking their k-turns using asteroids or your bases, that's having escape routes for your ship while boxing them in.  You've been completely passive so far in this thread, worried about what the opponent is going to do to you... what are you going to do to your opponent?

Edited by Stay On The Leader

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16 hours ago, Jeff Wilder said:

I have to admit, I don't really understand "high level" obstacle placement.  I fail to understand it to the point that I'm not 100% sure the people talking about it in depth aren't secretly pulling my chain.

My obstacle choices come down to three things:

(1) What size obstacles do I want?  (This is primarily in consideration of what I'm flying, with a secondary consideration toward what I expect to fly against a lot.)

(2) What type obstacles do I want?  (Parenthetical ditto.)

And then, for placement:

(3) Do I want open lanes for jousting, or do I want to deny open lanes for jousting?

If it's the latter (it usually is, as I don't fly jousting lists much anymore), I work on placing every one of my three obstacles so that it chokes off a new lane in both the horizontal and the vertical.  Usually, if place carefully with that in mind, there will be no way for someone to fly straight toward me without being willing to run over obstacles.

Here are a few other tidbits for you to consider in points 3:

- If your opponent is flying a YV-666, you want to avoid placing them in order to create a perfect tic-tac-toe kind of grid because it allows him to fly it around obstacles and keep shooting every turn.

- If facing Jumpmasters, you want a tic-tac-toe formation because it has the added benefit of blocking 2 S-loops.

- If you use tractor beams, you want to place asteroids at roughly range 3 - 3 of a corner (a bit less than that) to deny the opponent to put an asteroid in a corner.  This creates a thighter field that makes tractoring on an asteroid easier.

- If your opponent is playing Biggs, Rex, Jess and Low, you need a thight formation and to lure him towards it to ruin his day.

- If you use cluster mines then you can block off paths if the distance is a bit more than range 1 between asteroids.

- Etc.

So many possibilities :)

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All good stuff. 
For opening tactics in general, one of the most helpful things I've found to do is watch some tape and start doing simulations. Latest tactics I tried to hammer down were the opening moves against Dengar/Nym or Dash/+1. I'll use Dengar/Nym for this example. 

My list was Nym/Miranda, both with missiles (Cruise on Nym and Homing on Miranda).

Step one was determining how Dengar/Nym are typically set up. You can thank Aaron Utley and others for their dedication to our sport RE: the unending list of competitive games you can watch on YouTube. After watching enough games, I will place Dengar / Dash in their most common starting positions THEN start practice placing rocks

Edit: Be smart and realistic. Don't think you're going to get an opponent who sets up their ships directly facing a rock that they will have to forfeit their opening to miss. 

Step two is working through your goals. My goal for this example was getting both munitions off on Dengar and taking advantage of the 5-dice potential of Cruise Missiles. 
Then the dirty work starts. Run through any combination of movements Dengar would most likely do in the opening two rounds (heavily utilizing the Rule of 11) and determining where I could place rocks to force a situation that I wanted

By working in this mixed-order you can really hone in on your goal and work backwards to how you make it realized on the table. 

Will gladly share some diagrams on my results when I'm not at work but I found a way that I could reliably do a 4-straight into range 2 of Dengar, and have Miranda follow-up with a Homing Missile by round three. 

Oh, and the answer is to always take the largest asteroids you have...

Edited by Rinzler in a Tie

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3 hours ago, dotswarlock said:

Here are a few other tidbits for you to consider in points 3:

- If your opponent is flying a YV-666, you want to avoid placing them in order to create a perfect tic-tac-toe kind of grid because it allows him to fly it around obstacles and keep shooting every turn.

- If facing Jumpmasters, you want a tic-tac-toe formation because it has the added benefit of blocking 2 S-loops.

- If you use tractor beams, you want to place asteroids at roughly range 3 - 3 of a corner (a bit less than that) to deny the opponent to put an asteroid in a corner.  This creates a thighter field that makes tractoring on an asteroid easier.

- If your opponent is playing Biggs, Rex, Jess and Low, you need a thight formation and to lure him towards it to ruin his day.

- If you use cluster mines then you can block off paths if the distance is a bit more than range 1 between asteroids.

- Etc.

So many possibilities :)

Tks! Im not sure i understand what you mean by "tic-tac-toe".  One in every corner and 2 in the middle? Placed in lines?

1 hour ago, Rinzler in a Tie said:

Run through any combination of movements Dengar would most likely do in the opening two rounds (heavily utilizing the Rule of 11) and determining where I could place rocks to force a situation that I wanted

I dont understand how the rule of 11 can be useful when you do not want to go against your opponent face to face.  There might be a part of the rule i dont know and/or grasp?. The only thing i could see is if you want to move in a way that will bring you just outside of range 3 and then next round move to either block your opponent or end up behind him.

The way i see it you are taking quite a risk if you do that, no? I mean depending on your opponent moves you could end up at range 2-3 on the first exchange, which is something you want to avoid at all cost when going face to face vs Dengar. You could also end up eventually at range 1 of Dengar. Im not sure how good/bad this is compared to range 2-3 plasma torp. Probably better but i would rather be outside of its front arc. Best scenario would be to end up behind him but i think that would require a misplay by your opponent (who most likely also know about the rule...)

Is there a way to use that rule when being chased or when flanking?

 

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question- has anyone experimented with angled deployment, and how did it go? And if so, how has/does it impacted your rock placement?

 

I feel like someone who places their ships at awkward angles may have some advantage with obstacle placement since they will not need to adhere to the usual 90 and 45 degree angles the game usually utilizes.

Edited by Kdubb

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15 minutes ago, Thormind said:

I dont understand how the rule of 11 can be useful when you do not want to go against your opponent face to face.  There might be a part of the rule i dont know and/or grasp?. The only thing i could see is if you want to move in a way that will bring you just outside of range 3 and then next round move to either block your opponent or end up behind him.

The way i see it you are taking quite a risk if you do that, no? I mean depending on your opponent moves you could end up at range 2-3 on the first exchange, which is something you want to avoid at all cost when going face to face vs Dengar. You could also end up eventually at range 1 of Dengar. Im not sure how good/bad this is compared to range 2-3 plasma torp. Probably better but i would rather be outside of its front arc. Best scenario would be to end up behind him but i think that would require a misplay by your opponent (who most likely also know about the rule...)

Is there a way to use that rule when being chased or when flanking?

What you quoted was in reference to engaging Dengar to get off munitions - sorry, I was using that as an example to explain the way in which I practice for match-ups. I think the premise is the same though. Understand your opponent's options for the first rounds, then decide where you want rocks to be in order to influence those options. All of this is based on the assumption that you know where-abouts they will set up, which I believe you can reasonably determine based on the list and the setup of other successful players. 

But to your point, yes - the Rule of 11 can be used by lists that want to avoid engagements by determining the speed at which you have to move to avoid shots in the first two rounds.. In your situation, where you would be kiting your opponent, the Rule of 11 isn't as valuable but still worth calculating. 

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