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thomedwards

Obstacle Placement Importance

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When reading about strategy, I often hear how important obstacle placement is. For some things like Rebel Han, it makes sense to scatter them so there is more area for him to be within range 1. There are other pilot and upgrade specific instances like Trick Shot, and others I can't think of off hand. But I can't seem to get my head around why *generally* it is so important.

I hardly ever get to play against people, so my experience and skill is very low. I'm trying to learn, though, so please give me some thoughts, reasons, and examples as to why I need to think about where the rocks are.

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Think about it this way: if your opponent gets something extre out of the obstacles and you don't then he has an additional edge. That something can be different things:

  • Forcing/nudging you to move in a certain way
  • Information about ranges
  • Information about certain movements (pivot rocks)
  • Intentional defensive boni at specific points
  • Denying specific positions for you with his own placement
  • Construction of clear engagement zones/jousting lanes

These can also be completely meaningless - I had a game today where we only played around 2 small rocks. My pivot rock didn't matter, closing a lane didn't matter. At the same time, keeping a specific part open did matter, and range information did matter. We didn't engage where he probably wanted to be, and also not where I wanted.

Obstacles are part of a plan and such plans will always fail to some degree. The more you get out of it (and the less the plan fails) the better, generally.

For some lists or ships, obstacles are just a clever illusion that they don't actually have to fear - like a large animal that doesn't dare touch an electric fence because it couldn't do anything when it was small.

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Sadly there's a lot of games where the obstacles don't matter. 

And while thankfully we got gas clouds errata'd I've now played quite a few games again where opponents drove right thru the clouds to basically no effect. 

Kind of wish they simply gave the strain 100% of the time. Then the lack of action might be more palpable. 

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Let's talk about this: Is it possible to consistently, over 33% of the time, use obstacles in a way that isn't just opening first move block for large and medium bases, and not about making a dense field? Especially in those games where the opponent intentionally puts the smallest fields/obstacles as far away as possible, usually on your side of the map. 

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9 hours ago, thomedwards said:

When reading about strategy, I often hear how important obstacle placement is. For some things like Rebel Han, it makes sense to scatter them so there is more area for him to be within range 1. There are other pilot and upgrade specific instances like Trick Shot, and others I can't think of off hand. But I can't seem to get my head around why *generally* it is so important.

I hardly ever get to play against people, so my experience and skill is very low. I'm trying to learn, though, so please give me some thoughts, reasons, and examples as to why I need to think about where the rocks are.

Obstacle placement has basically won me many many games by iteself. Its either created an angle my opponents could not make letting me get an entire round of firing for free, or placed in a way so my aces always have protection when needed, or forces your opponent to make bad decisions (shoot me now, but fly over rock later and have no actions and take damage).

For instance, at a system open, in one match I played against Drea and 3 scurrgs. I positioned rocks at tad over range 2 from sides, and a tad over range 3 from opponents edge (one on each side, so matter which corner he setup on that rock was in that position) hint hint: this is probably best rock placement I have found in the game against slow plodding joust lists. Been using it since 1.0 days against jumpmasters, and I also beat SOOO many rebel beef 2.0 lists with this rock placement. Anyways, in scurrg match, my goal was to engage on turn 3. On turn 1 he set out slowly with 1 straight.  Then 2 straight next round. He wanted to 2-turn on turn three to engage me but that rock was there. He tried anyways and a scurrg landed on the rock. I got a free round of fire and took a scurgg down to half health. Next round was his big engagement but I PS skilled the injured skurrg. That won me the game, thanks to that rock.

I use the same strategy against every rebel beef list, and they all fall down. Same for sinker swarms, etc. That rock prevents most banks on turn 2, and most turns on turn 3, against those slow plodding lists that like 1 and 2 straights. Knowing where their arc isnt gonna be, is a huge advantage.

Another example is with my imperial aces. I flew Grand Inquisitor, Vader, Soontir. I place a gas cloud near my corners. Whatever corner the opponent sets his list up in, I place Grand Inqy opposite of my opponent like Im gonna joust head on. Grand Inqy just sits in the corner doing 1 hards, etc. Baiting the enemy list as they come straight for him, and Vader and Soontir flank. If the opponent comes for Grand Inqy, he has that gas cloud to hide behind, otherwise, the opponent turns to Vader/Soontir and Inquisitor is instantly behind his entire list.

In one tourney, I had a plasma Wedge come hardcore for Grand Inqy and that gas cloud saved Inqy from 3 rounds of Wedge firing at him, letting Vader and Soontir unleash on Luke and friends. In another game Sinker swarm came for Inqy and after firing at him range 3 through the cloud, gave up and turned to vader. This let inquisitor get behind the sinker swarm.

Obstacle placement, and your strategy with them is very important.

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