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TheUnsullied

Weekly Skirmish Strategy Week 1(Jabba's Palace)

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The community had decided! Not actually though there was kind of a mixed bag of what everyone wants to go over with these articles so I think we'll start off by doing a couple weeks of mixed topics while we get into a groove.

 

I think covering maps will be a good broad topic that everyone could benefit from so the two most recent maps will be on the agenda for weeks 1 and 3(leaving out Obi's because I assume it will be replaced before most regionals.)

 

So without further ado this week we will be covering Jabba's Palace!

37.jpg

 

My favorite map in the current rotation. I think it's beautifully designed with many intriguing choices to be made each match. A lot of these will depend on the list you are running and the capabilities that is has. Bringing eRangers with you? Probably a good idea to open the door and goad your opponent into pressing the green button on theirs. Maybe melee is your thing. Well swing down towards the middle of the map and the pit as well to get in close quarters.  

 

This map has so many way that it can be played and very few of them are just wrong in and of themselves. 

 

First off deployment zones. I almost always go with the red side if given a choice. The terminal on that side can be held by someone on the staircase diagonal from it with very little chance of getting lit up on round 1 or even round 2 unless you advance them. I'd love to hear other thoughts about these if there are any.  

 

Secondly objectives.

Spoils of Crime - I can't say I've played the objectives for the A side of this map very often. And if I do it's generally sending a damaged/support figure down to the pit to grab the two tokens down there just to put a little bit of a timer on the game for my opponent.  The loss of 2 movement and 2 speed along with an action is generally enough of a deterrent to keep me away from them unless the game is coming to a close and I just need a couple more spare points. 

 

New Ownership - Completely different story over here. With 12 points up for grabs every single round you cannot afford to give your opponent control of these stashes. Any list with beefy units is going to have a good time holding down those points while your opponent try's to whittle them down. A specific interesting interaction is always the fight for the stash inside the pit and making sure to get enough forces down there to hold the objective while also keeping enough units in the fray up top to not get overwhelmed. I've found Alliance Smugglers are really strong round one with the ability to open either of the doors on their side and then jump down into the pit where they can sit scoring you points all game or at least to force your opponent to come after them. 

 

A couple tips in general for the map from my playing it(mostly as an imperial player) 

eJets love the red deployment zone. Be careful if you are playing against them because moving diagonal through difficult and blocking terrain in the middle of the map they can get some very surprising shots off on round 1. Often even with fly-by for the extra blue. 

 

A great spot to hide melee units round one is the 4 spots on the red side right in front of Jabba statue between him and the blocking terrain. Units from the blue side have a hard time getting close enough round 1 to put the hurt on you and then you're close enough round 2 to get into the thick of things.

 

Enough from me what do you guys think about the map? What has worked for you and what tips or tricks do you have for us?

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This is very helpful! Are you going to do one for each of the maps in rotation? As a newer player who's unfamiliar with the strategy behind each of the maps, this type of map analysis is perfect.

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I couldn't disagree more with a lot of what the OP said.

So, the most obvious initial consideration is the doors - same for both sides, one annoying square away which means you'll either need to spend a move and interact to open it, or some other way to get adjacent, in order to (for example) interact then shoot (obvious methods: Hera's deployment, Fleet Footed Command Card, Gideon's ability, or any of the other ways to gain one or more movement points without spending an action). If one or other player chooses not to open the door (for example to hide from long ranged shots across the room) they're just shutting down their own options, for not much benefit. Once the doors are open, the map  divides into three parts.

First, there's the Rancor Pit. Neither side can get there more easily than the other, and once you're there there's no advantage for either side either. (In fact, whoever goes there first is at a disadvantage if anything, as the opponent can move there too, and attack them first). To be honest, I rarely see anyone bother with that room - holding one stash for the VPs is appealing, but if that leaves your opponent ready to take the other two, you've not gained anything. IME most people fight over the other two stash; if my opponent did send someone in the Pit for the stash, I'd just send in someone to contest it so they won't get the VPs; it's a wash really. As for the crate mission, the 2-Speed penalty is enough to mean most people don't bother with them until they're deep into the 30s on VPs (though someone like Ahsoka, who's main methods of movement - 2 free movement points at the start of her activation, plus Force Leap - doesn't rely on Speed, could be useful here, for a couple of VPs per turn). So really, there's not much reason to go into the Rancor Pit at all IME - and if your opponent does, you can react to it easily.

So it's the other two parts of the board that matter. First, the main room. Open lines of sight and easy movement. But where does that movement take you?

1.png

Ignoring the crates (greyed out) because I think we're all likely to agree that it's not usually going to be worth picking them up until the dying rounds, we see the stash token is 5 squares away from both DZs. However, the blue player finds himself one square further forward having moved up to the stash, meaning it's more likely for him to have range for shots into the red deployment zone. The red player could take the same position of course, but would take a double move to get there - the blue player could move (with Speed 5) or get a boost as mentioned above then move (with Speed 4) and still have an action to attack someone in the red DZ. For red to do the same to someone in the blue DZ, they'd need 2 more Accuracy.

(If staying alive is deemed more important than threatening the enemy DZ, there's no cover for either side, but blue can move right to the south of the map in the same 5 movement, putting him that square or two further away; red can't, they'd need a double move).

This is a specific example of one of the limitations of the red DZ: the steps into the main room from their door have dashed lines to either side, so they can't diagonal out of the doorway. This restricts their movement, only by a square but by enough to make a difference, as we'll see more of in a moment.

Neither player can reach the other stash easily from the main room. Fire arcs are otherwise basically the same for both sides, as is movement except for the dashed lines the red player has to contend with.

So the final area - and the one that IME makes the most difference - is the middle of the room, where the blue side of the board has a clear advantage.

Let's look at red first.

2.png

I've called out a few key spaces here. Again, I've greyed out the crates because they're probably not going to play much of a part in the mission.

Firstly, look at position A, reachable with a four-square move. From here, the model can see into the main room to the south (not explicitly shown) - but can also be seen from there, so it's not a very safe location. The yellow A squares show the line of sight into the blue side of this area - which looks promising, but as we'll see in a moment, none of those positions are places blue is likely to want to take up, while red at position A is vulnerable to return fire, as we'll also see shortly. So, A is an OK position, but vulnerable to being shot at. With Speed 5, bonus movement, or mobile (again see how the dotted lines by the steps get in the way of the red player), the figure could instead finish one space north of A - making him much less vulnerable to fire from the main room, but also vastly reducing his line of sight to attack into the main room, without improving it onto the blue side of this part of the map.

Position B is a four-square move along the alternate corridor. It's a reasonable defensive position, holding the terminal and with some line of fire (yellow Bs). But it's a very poor attacking position, offering no threat to blue at all. Why not move further forward to be more threatening? Because you'll get shot, as you'll see in a minute.

Positions C were mentioned as good for a double-move on turn one for a melee unit, ready to attack on turn 2. There's some truth in this, but note that there are three equally-good positions for the same type of unit on the blue side of the board (I'll highlight those in a moment). It's really not an advantage.

Finally, to get line of sight along the top corridor, positions D are probably the best - but both are exposed to return fire.

So let's look at blue's best positions and why they're just better than red's. It basically comes down to the asymmetry of black walls and dotted red walls.

3.png

Here, position A is a four square move through the door. (Note again that a four square move gets further north due to the absence of dotted lines next to the door on blue's side of the map. The OP mentioned that eJets on the red side can make that diagonal move; well, yes, but on the blue side, everyone can). While a single model can't cover both the middle of the map and the main room like one red model could, it's not vulnerable to attack from both directions either. In fact, if you look back at the previous map, blue's position A is actually invulnerable to being shot at, unless red comes all the way across the table, while being able to shoot "round the corner" and be threatening deep into the red half of the board (including red's position A!). 

Blue's best position to hold the terminal is actually slightly off the map on this image - all the way back in the corner - and is as defensive as red's position B as a result; more exposed if red can move somewhere to threaten him, but they can't without exposing themselves as we'll see. But blue's position B (albeit not reachable in one move by a speed 4 figure, without some kind of buff) gives him line of sight, shooting "round the corner", all the way over to the red side of the map - while being unable to be shot at in return, again unless red comes rushing across the board to expose himself. So blue's A and B positions are both much harder to attack than red's A and B, but offer much more ranged-attacking options. This is why red's position B was the "best of a bad bunch" - any further north or east and he could be shot at, without being able to shoot back.

Blue's A, B, and C are also both the same distance into the middle as red's C positions mentioned above, so equally good for melee units, but vastly better for ranged units as we've just seen. Once those melee units do make their attack, look how many spaces are covered by both blue A and B. The reverse wasn't true - red's A and B had no overlapping zones of fire. (Note, that's not entirely true. I didn't extend red A's sightlines north like I did with blue. This is basically because blue doesn't need to advance into those squares to get into a good position - red doesn't have as good positions in the first place. But it's not quite so bad as I've made it look, there is actually some overlap). Also, very importantly, note that any attempt by red to hold the stash objective will see him shot by both A and B. Blue will be exposing himself to danger by holding the stash, but less of it.

Finally, blue's D position controls the top corridor, just like red's D positions could. However, note that both red's D positions are vulnerable to being shot at by blue's D - whereas blue's D can only be shot if red takes the more northerly red D position. This is why I said red's D positions were exposed. Oh - and although I've not shown it here, blue's position D can also see most of the spaces A and B can see, as well as the "blind spot" of all four of red's C squares, while being unable to be shot at at all, unless red enters the top corridor! (Blue's D can even see the space between the door and red's DZ, that's how good the LOS is from there!)

So, in summary, the Rancor Pit and main room are basically even for red and blue, though blue arguably sneaks the main room (not much in it though). The middle of the board, however, is heavily tilted in favour of blue - the best positions on the blue side of the board are less exposed to enemy fire, with much longer fire lanes that threaten deep into red territory, plus with overlapping fields of fire; in a gunfight, red will tend to come off worst. Melee units have basically similar options (red has one more safe square in the C positions, but that's it). Mobile, figure placement (e.g. Ahsoka's Force Leap), and very fast units have equal capabilities on either side. All the advantages lie with blue - there's barely a square on the red side of the board that's better than the blue equivalent.

Now, of course - neither side will have exactly two models placed at positions A and B, neither side will have every model at the edge of their deployment zone, both sides will have to open the doors while losing as little potential as possible, whichever side has more activations could dive into the Rancor Pit with a later activation to grab the stash in that room without the other side reacting until the following turn; there is a lot to think about on this map, and whether a given army is more melee or ranged, more elite or horde-like, will change up a lot. But all of that is always true and is part of the joy of this game; the specific features of this map that favour one side or the other, favour blue.

Edited by Bitterman

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To me, it's a huge advantage to be able to focus with 3PO and still get to the terminal. Also, I think you're undervaluing the four C spaces on red's side of the board. They are safe from most all first round strikes, and then they'll strike into the heart of blue's units round two, including their terminal sitter who is left exposed. Additionally, while blue's A space is good, I often can open my doors without my opponent opening his (threatening with my Rangers) and then move up to hit that space round one. Or,  if I have Urgency, Luke can get there for two attacks. 

I agree that blue has some advantages, but to me it depends on the list I'm playing against. I don't want to play eJets and yield them the red side, for instance. 

However, really solid and detailed analysis! Thanks for posting (to both posters)!

-ryanjamal 

Edited by ryanjamal
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I think you're overvaluing red's four C spaces. Blue's A, B, and C are equally useful to any of them. There's no additional benefit to red's C spaces at all - there's just one more red C.

Even the red C squares are all vulnerable if blue is capable of a move of six plus attack, though (Speed 4 plus Gideon's bonus 2, for example - or Urgency, which you mention for Luke, and of course Luke is equally useful for blue as he would be for red, just as the main room is equally open for both blue and red; neither of those things are an advantage for red). Here's the squares threatened by shooting from blue positions A, B, and D:

5.png 

That's literally every square on the red side of the board that can be attacked from at least one of those three positions, of which A is trivial to move there and shoot, B is possible for any list that has a unit with Speed 5 (so most lists), and D is possible with some shenanigans (Gideon is hardly a rare sight - neither are Imperial Officers...).

Meanwhile, here's the squares from which red can attack back against a blue in position A, B, or D:

4.png

[edit] Doh - some of the ADs should be ABDs, my mistake. Doesn't change much though.[/edit]

It's pretty stark when you look at it like that, isn't it?

  • There's not a single square in this entire area of the board where red can attack but not be attacked.
  • There's not a single square within a non-mobile Speed 4 or Speed 5 move where red can get a shot off on turn one at all.
  • Mobile speed 4 has one square where he can shoot B or D (if B isn't blocking D), but that square is vulnerable to A, B, and D.
  • Of course, red is equally capable of Gideon+Speed 4 as blue might be; but even then, that gives him precisely one square from which he can shoot at B, and be shot back at by D.

So... red has got slightly safer access to a terminal, but blue will still be completely safe on his own terminal until at least the second round if he chooses to do that. Otherwise, all red's squares are worse than any of those three key blue positions A, B, and D. If red has four melee units, he can double-move into a good position and only expect one of them to be shot - but if blue has three melee units, he can double move them into equally good positions, and again only one of them might be shot. There's really not much in it. Luke is scary whether on red or blue, with or without Urgency; Rangers are threatening at long range through the doorway for both red or blue; an eJet can move into a restricted firing position for red, but it's still inferior to position A for blue. Units are a factor of the army, not the map.

Red's side of the board really is quite inferior. If this is to be a reasoned analysis, there's very little to speak in favour of red. Those three key positions give blue huge LOS advantages.

Edited by Bitterman

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Fair points! I play blue most of the time, and I like all the things you point out. But a lot of the time, when I'm playing red with a list like Luke/Rangers, my opponent doesn't push out to the points you mention until round two (the threat of Luke), but by then all of these spaces are exposed. Blue has the advantage of retreating back into his hallway, but in my experience, the fight generally plays out right along that wall that those figures are lined up on. This gives a clear sight line for Rangers from the top room (though, yes, that might leave him exposed in return), and it means that the terminal for blue is almost always exposed. Red's isn't, so if I want that command card draw I may be sacrificing a figure. 

Blue's D space is the strongest position for both sides, with B being quite strong as well, but all of these spaces can be in danger round one by a Ranger simply moving four spaces for A (with the bump from Hera to start) or an extra one of two from Gideon or cards. It's just so easy to snipe from the top room down that hallway, so figures don't stick around there for long. Of course, they can move up and then back, but then they're just as exposed. 

Blue of course can counter that by opening the door and taking out whoever is sniping them, but that creates problems as well. 

I like to play from blue, but I've had to forego a command card several rounds before because of how exposed I am, and with SoS and all that Hunter gold in my deck, that is a significant cost. So maybe my reservations are more specific to my list. 

-ryanjamal 

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 The nice thing about either side of the map is that C3PO can double moved from the terminal area in round 2 to contest the stash if need be. On the blue side, if you are running mercs then sure you may have trouble getting him to the terminal (without a movement card or using Gideon on him), but in Rebel lists you will (in most cases) take the RLG team with Hera, and if you put 3PO on the edge then you can still focus w/ him and move 3 without any cards played or shenanigans.

As far as the stashes go, it's worth noting that you should be careful about when you move your figures in to contest if your opponent is playing Onar or Chewie. Onar's ability works for him to move 4 into the pit and still push someone, so watch out for that too sometimes. Chewie is highly unlikely (and frankly a massive waste) to go into the pit, but he is likely to contest in the middle stash with slam at the end of round 1. Also Chopper's location should be noted, as he can sit on a terminal round 1 and then come in round 2 and try to push someone off. So sometimes you want to make sure you are sitting ON the stash so you cant get pushed away from contesting it. Just something else to consider.

Also it's very easy to get "zoomed in" on one part of the map and get flanked if you aren't careful. Make sure you are taking into account the fact that figures could come from either side of a deployment zone, so count those spaces carefully!

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The Rangers consideration depends on mission, I suspect. If it's the crates mission, maybe the other player (red or blue, doesn't matter) might not open the door so as not to get shot by Rangers (though they're conceding a lot of board position). If it's the stash mission, they'll basically have to - otherwise if they don't, they're giving up one stash objective and access to the Pit with another stash objective, and that's 8 VPs straight away; if they don't at least contest the middle stash objective, they could be 12-0 down by the end of turn one on objectives alone, with their opponent set for between 0 and 12 more VPs at the end of turn 2. Getting shot by Rangers looks much the lesser of two evils when you look at it like that.

In practice, I've yet to see this mission played without both players opening their door. I can see it could happen with the crate mission, potentially.

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Very nice to talk about maps this way. I try to make similar analysis and basic setups and R1/R2 positioning in a similar matter.
A few additions to the work already done:

- Red is also a tougher side if you are player against a Chopper (since you simply don't have the room to advance, but not be close to your terminal. Blue has more 'safe' spaces if you decide not to camp your terminal).
- In general the red deployment zone is harder to manouver in the middle part of the map (as also shown in the various pictures)
- While a lot of important positions have been discussed, the blue A position is one that is probably not used a lot: yes it is reachable by a 4 move figure round 1, but that figure then has to be very close to the door. This means you are putting this figure in a lot of danger (since you also need to open the door to reach position A with a 4-speed figure and ready to attack). In that case you might be limited to a multi-group deployment (but in the current meta, the number of groups that would do that is really low; rangers will want to stay further back, eWeeq want to Prowl turn one or at least not move *that* far forward...)
So while in theory it is reachable and a good spot, it won't often be used turn 1, unless there is a movement CC involved.
- since the distance to other figures end of round 1 is usually very close, initiative plays a huge role on this map (more than the other 2 maps in rotation in my experience)

 

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6 hours ago, Soulflame said:

- While a lot of important positions have been discussed, the blue A position is one that is probably not used a lot: yes it is reachable by a 4 move figure round 1, but that figure then has to be very close to the door. This means you are putting this figure in a lot of danger (since you also need to open the door to reach position A with a 4-speed figure and ready to attack). In that case you might be limited to a multi-group deployment (but in the current meta, the number of groups that would do that is really low; rangers will want to stay further back, eWeeq want to Prowl turn one or at least not move *that* far forward...)
So while in theory it is reachable and a good spot, it won't often be used turn 1, unless there is a movement CC involved.

True, it's the most vulnerable of blue's strong positions. Whether it will be used depends very much on the opponent, I think. If they flood the main room, blue's A position is suicide. If they have a strong melee unit that can move six squares and attack, then likewise a blue model at A is in trouble. However, in either of those cases, the models threatening A are vulnerable to attacks from blue's DZ - they'd have to be pretty confident of surviving to rush into a position to threaten blue A. So it depends very much on the forces involved and how aggressive they are. I think if red is not that aggressive, blue A is a strong position.

I'd also contend that if it's the stash objectives mission, blue has very strong encouragement to hold position A. A blue figure at position D is only going to have one shot (at most), and blue A can fire at spaces that blue B can't see (like red's own A position); not to mention that all three of A, B, and D might be needed to fire on red models around the stash objective. Finally, figures at either B or D are unlikely to be able to reach the Rancor Pit on turn 2, to contest the stash in the Pit if red sends a figure there (though a figure in blue's DZ is probably even better placed for that, to be fair).

So, yeah, agreed that A is the riskiest of the three key positions, but IMO it's still a key position.

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...but actually (having slept on this) that reminds me of something: I've concentrated so far on showing that blue's side of the board is much the stronger in terms of potential positioning, as the opposite claim was made in the OP and I felt that was a mistake. Still, it's all very well to say "choose blue if you get to choose", and hopefully I've convinced people of that now; but the question then becomes: what do you do if you're stuck with red?

And actually, that's where @Soulflame's comment about blue A's position being vulnerable comes into focus, I guess. Red is onto a very poor proposition if they put the main thrust of their attack through the middle part of the board. So this implies that red's tactics should probably be: forget the middle part of the board, and dominate the main room. Make blue's A position untenable by aggressively moving models into the room, and firing (or with six or more movement points, melee attacking) up that "corridor" of blue A, B, and D (as @ryanjamal mentioned). You'll probably take shots from blue's DZ, but with aggressive moves you can make shots into blue's DZ as well. If blue takes up those key positions, red is going to be out-shot in a fight for the middle... so don't get into a fight for the middle. Make the fight about the main room.

Of course I'd still rather play blue (after all - blue also has the option of making the fight about the main room if he chooses; red is pretty much forced into it) but if I don't get that choice, that to me seems the next best option for red. Certainly better than moving figures into a position where they will be shot at but can't shoot back. Embrace the risk and make a gunfight out of it.

Perhaps people had already picked this up implicitly from those other posts, but I thought it worth mentioning explicitly. Blue has more and better tactical choices available, so red's tactics are somewhat forced on them - but they've not automatically lost!

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Good points all. This is very -very- helpful reading. I don't get enough games under the belt currently and don't play 'enough' to go into such map details. So getting to read about it, is really good. Totally changed how I'll be looking at new maps going forward and definitely put one more layer to the game, that I didn't explore enough making this perhaps the best small-scale tactical battle game :)

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@Bitterman I still am curious about your strategy for blue. You mention the problem of red having figures on those four spaces (positions marked C) because they can then be shot at without being able to shoot back. But of course they would move the one or two spaces forward on their turn to shoot at blue's figures, so what makes the red side's position more dangerous? For either side, if they've moved up to those positions, it's whoever has initiative who will take out the other's figures. So, do you play blue by hanging back and then moving into those positions round two to shoot, or do you get there round one and immediately retreat back to the hallway behind the terminal? 

It seems to me that all of these places will be in danger round two, despite blue's strong positions. 

-ryanjamal 

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I haven't really recommended a strategy for blue - that depends on his list, and red's list. Then round two depends on what happens in round one. All I've really said is that blue has round one options that red doesn't have, while the converse is not true, so that makes blue's position stronger.

What we do know with reasonably high confidence is that red models moving into the middle area of the board will struggle to get shots off in round one. However, they are at risk of being shot at in round one by blue, which implies that they might take casualties (or at least wounds), which could give blue a model advantage for later rounds.

What happens next? Well...

  • If red did move into the middle area, blue can fire and retreat if he feels outclassed.
    • Or, if blue has an advantage in this area (especially if he killed something in round one - I one-shotted Hera Syndulla last time out), blue can advance and fire again to gain even more board control and put more pressure on red. 
    • Or, if blue is a melee-focused army, by advancing to positions ABD (perhaps also C) where he knows he probably won't be shot in round one, he has undamaged melee models in a great position to charge in round two.
    • Basically - he's potentially done some damage to red, probably not taken much if any in return, and can advance or retreat as the situation demands.
  • If red decided to ignore the middle area and make the fight about the main room instead, blue's ABD can move southwards to attack them (perhaps with a crossfire from the blue DZ), or retreat into the north or east hallways if the ABD corridor has become a firing line.
  • If red realised the middle area didn't suit him, but didn't fancy the main room either so decided to camp in their DZ, blue can either move forward and attack, or seize the objectives under no pressure:
    • Stash objectives are a no-brainer; blue can get all three if red stays in his DZ, but will need to fight for one or two of them if red takes the main room. This probably means red will need to fight for the main room, and blue can plan accordingly.
    • Crate tokens are a bit trickier due to -2 speed; but if blue can grab most of them and say: "OK red, I'm getting 6-12 VPs per round for as long as you don't kill me, what ya gonna do?", that might not even be a problem because red will have to come to him.

Basically... the point is that blue has more options on turn one, due to the map layout. It's not a suggestion that taking positions ABD inevitably leads to a win.

On round two (and especially later) the two armies may easily get intermingled and then these positions are available to both sides and/or worthless. That's Imperial Assault for you. (I once rushed Luke, Ahsoka and Obi-Wan from the blue DZ into the red DZ on turn one, to kill Jabba and an eWeequay and set myself up for some brutal melee attacks on turn two, because I'd taken a list and drawn Command Cards that made that the better option. No-one went near positions ABD in that game - pretty much all the fighting was in the red DZ!) It's also true that at some point, you are going to get attacked, and you will almost certainly lose figures... no matter what you do.

But you have very little control over any of that, not until it happens. By the time there's a swirling melee and/or gunfight going on, and it's round three and both armies have lost half their models, theory-crafting your strategy on internet forums is probably a bit late; there's too many variables we can't anticipate. However, by understanding what you can control, and choosing the blue DZ if you can, you give yourself the potential of a better first turn, and potential for more tactical choices, and potential for more board control; and if you're stuck with the red DZ, you know to either avoid the middle of the board, or if you do go down the middle, make sure you can survive a couple of unanswered shots. (Darth Vader is probably not bothered for example, and will happily take on the middle of the board, even from red's side. eWeequays moving into the middle of the board from the red side are going to have a bad day - I've seen this happen). In either case, you'll still have to make the right moves. Blue just has more options.

Edited by Bitterman
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I love the discussion. Bitterman, you're argument that blue is the superior deployment zone seems to hinge on the idea that both players are going to want to open their door on turn 1. But from what I've seen and what I've played, opening the door only favors lists that have strong long-range units. If I'm running a list with melee or short range units, would it not be more advantageous to me to take the fight into the maze, and if that's the case does that make the red zone better?

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33 minutes ago, Tvboy said:

I love the discussion. Bitterman, you're argument that blue is the superior deployment zone seems to hinge on the idea that both players are going to want to open their door on turn 1. But from what I've seen and what I've played, opening the door only favors lists that have strong long-range units. If I'm running a list with melee or short range units, would it not be more advantageous to me to take the fight into the maze, and if that's the case does that make the red zone better?

Good question. I very rarely open the door early when I'm playing Imperials because there is no way I can compete with the range of eRangers or eQuays. I'll just end up getting shredded to pieces. I generally try to open it later in the round with one set of Jets and move one of them towards the maze objective and one towards the pit. I rarely seen opponents in my area contesting or going for the objective at the top of the map(what we've been calling the main room) in the first round because it's such a vulnerable position. If they do contest it then it's normally with a activation towards the end of the round where they aren't as worried about getting blasted. 

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I typically don't see my opponent open his doors against my rangers, but occasionally they do. 

This discussion has me itching to play this map again from both sides, so kudos to all!

-ryanjamal 

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1 hour ago, Tvboy said:

I love the discussion. Bitterman, you're argument that blue is the superior deployment zone seems to hinge on the idea that both players are going to want to open their door on turn 1. But from what I've seen and what I've played, opening the door only favors lists that have strong long-range units.

As I said before, I can totally see not-opening the door being totally valid in the crates mission. In the stash mission, if you don't open the door, you're giving your opponent free access to at least one stash objective (main room), probably two (Rancor Pit), possibly all three (middle section unless you grab it and expose yourself to being attacked) - that seems a hefty price to pay to avoid being shot. Never say never by any means, but... a hefty price.

If I'm running a list with melee or short range units, would it not be more advantageous to me to take the fight into the maze, and if that's the case does that make the red zone better?

More advantageous to fight in the middle part of the board? Very probably, yes. There's still no reason to consider the red side of the board better than blue. If you don't open the door, then from the red side of the board you need to be able to move a minimum of 7 squares and still attack to get any ranged attacks off in round one (8 for melee); not many figures can do that (Ahsoka, Jedi Luke... anyone else?). But then, whichever position you move to (whether you get a shot off yourself or not) you are at risk of being shot; red's C positions are probably your best bet, being protected from blue's A and C, but a blue at their D position can still get you. Now, maybe you can tank the shot - Vader don't care! - but maybe you can't (I one-shotted Hera in this situation last time I played this mission), and from round 2 onwards it's all up close and personal with basically no or minimal advantage to either side. (Unless the opponent doesn't meet you in the middle; if they camp in their DZ, probably best to claim stash/crates so they have to come to you).

But now look at doing the same thing from the other side of the board. As blue, you can still make all the equivalent moves as red (blue's ABC positions are the same number of squares across the board as red's C positions but better protected), and still get yourself in equally good positions for a pell-mell scrap in round 2 and beyond; but you've got a decent chance of getting a short-to-mid-ranged shot off after moving only 5 or 6 (e.g. 4+2) spaces (4 if you do open the door), and you're much less likely to get shot at in return (realistically only from the main room up the ABD corridor, if the opponent moves that far into that room). So, even if your only thought for round 1 is to get in a position to charge in round 2, forgetting any thought of attacking at all, blue is still the better DZ as you'll take fewer shots.

So, yes, if you're running a melee list you may well want to make the middle section the battleground. Blue is still the better side of the map to do it from; red offers no advantages that blue does not also have.

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One specific reason I like the red side is when I'm running a melee centric list. I've be mostly been running ePigs x 2 and eJets x 2 and adding Terro in to finish the list off. If you look at the four red safe spots we've been talking about they have a much greater reach on round 2 to attack if you put 4 ePigs there. If you look at the three safe spots on the blue side if you opponent is playing conservatively or takes his strength through the main room then it's possibly even 4 move figures with reach don't have an attack on round 2. That could be devastating and potentially cost you the game by losing out on those attacks. 

 

Like I said this is going to be a much more specific problem to the list I was running by I imagine other melee centric lists without access to extra movement could potentially have the same issue.  

 

Edit - for those looking at the new map Tvboy posted the four spots I'm talking about are H9, H10, I9, I10 for stashing melee units. The other safe spots on the blue side are F8, F11 and F12. 

Edited by TheUnsullied
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5 minutes ago, Tvboy said:

This might be a slightly better reference pic. Reoriented the great scan image to match the actual skirmish sheet, and a grid and coordinates added. 

je9Vs92.png

It's beautiful thanks! What are the odds we could get something like that for Nal Hutta?(planing on that for week 3)

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2 minutes ago, Tvboy said:

Sure, I'll make one for all 3. 

I probably won't do anything with Obi's map since it will likely be rotating out before Regionals season. But when we hear news about the new map I'll hit you up for the third one. 

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