Steamroller 2013 Primer pt. 5 Scenario 5

Posted: August 9, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Today we’ll be taking a look at the Incursion, aka disappearing flags, aka “the flag I want to stay always disappears” scenario.

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This is an “Invade” scenario. Near as I can tell the characteristics of this type of scenario are that the warcasters are intended to be active participants in the game and for that reason dominating is a bit more common than in some of the other scenarios.

This scenario is another standard scenario that you will see quite often at scenarios and seeing 3 flags across the middle of the table will let you start planning your win condition.

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There are no zones in this one, just the flags. Let’s do a quick refresher of what flags are in SR2013.

Flag (40 mm base): All flags are models with the following qualities: Incorporeal, stationary, immune to all game effects. They do not activate and cannot be targeted, damaged, moved, placed, or removed from play.

So, flags are incorporeal models. What that means in a nutshell is that you can move through it and see through it, you just can’t end your movement on top of it. You also can’t target it, which means you can’t scatter an AOE off of it or use a spell like Hellmouth targeting it. You can’t charge it for extra movement.

Okay so we know all the things we CAN’T do to/with it, how about seeing what we can?

Well, we can control a flag by having a model in base to base with it. If the model is a single thing (such as solo, warbeast, warjack, etc) as long as there are no contesting models it is controlled. If the controlling model is a part of a unit it must be at least 50% strong and every model must be within 4″ of the flag. The flag is “contested” if even a single enemy model is within 4″ of the flag unless that model happens to be the enemy warcaster/warlock.

We can also “dominate” a flag by having a warcaster/warlock base to base with the flag with no enemy models within 4″ of it.

That is pretty much it. Now that we have the generic rules for it down, let’s take a look at the conditions specific to Incursion.

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One of the first things we notice is that this scenario does not have the killbox artifice. This means if you want your caster to hug the back table edge all game, you can. You might not WANT to do that though, as the victory condition for this scenario (in addition to caster kill of course) is getting to 5 control points.

How are these control points gained? Well, you get 1 point for controlling a flag and 2 for dominating it. That means in a single turn you can get a max of 3 control points (2 for dominating one flag and 1 for controlling the other). Why only 3 you ask when it should be 4 since there are 3 flags?

Well because we don’t start getting control points until the end of the 2nd player’s second turn (remember that this is the rule with scoring in all SR2013 scenarios) and at the end of the 2nd player’s first turn one of those flags, generated randomly, will disappear.

And that, as they say, is that. The rules are really basic on this one and there is a legitimate scenario victory condition in this one which makes it very popular. This is also one of the scenarios that I recommend for generic games store pickup games. It is easy to set up with no zones required and there is no interaction with them beyond control/dominate unlike the objectives. All you need is 3 40mm (medium sized) bases and you are good to go.

Now we know what we are trying to do, so what is the best way to do it?

Well, this scenario is extremely “live”. This game can actually be won as early as the end of top of turn 3 with one caster getting 2-3 points at the end of round 2 and the remainder at the end of the first player’s activation on turn 3.

The uncertainty as to which flag will disappear means that in general you want to deploy much of your stuff centrally so you can slide left or right as necessary depending on which flag disappears. Fast moving models have an advantage here – I have seen some slower models/units spend 2-3 turns redeploying when one of the flanking flags that they were planning on claiming/contesting disappears.

This scenario is one of the big reasons that fast jam units are so valuable in SR2013. If you can run through the flags and put the back of your models’ bases about 4″ from the flags you can make it difficult for the opponent to contest these flags. You can then dominate or control and be done with the game super fast. Obviously this has it’s risks but there are times that you might be able to get a unit like the Boomhowlers to jam the enemy out of the flags and just walk the game in.

Casters with strong control elements to either their spell list or their feats are really good here – models like Haley2 and Kreuger2 can use telekinesis to push their enemy back and then feat to slow down or negate their ability to get back into control range so be aware of it. I personally have lost on turn3 to a Kreuger2 list by not paying attention and failing to saturate the area around the flags well enough and then got shoved out and jammed.

That isn’t to say that the only way to win this one is with speed and going for that early game win. This scenario can also be won with solid attrition play just grinding out your opponent’s ability to contest it snatching 1 or 2 control points as they get chance.

Some of the more tanky casters are also good at this scenario with the ability to dominate. Butcher1 is good at this as is Terminus. They just hulk out as much as possible and then stand there dominating as they can. Typically they will kill their opponent’s models and only get the dominate on their own turn, but sometimes they can pick up a quick 4 points in rapid succession.

Remember that while you cannot contest with a caster, the tooltip informs us that when multiple warcasters dominate the same flag, only the active one scores. If you are desperate to stop a win and can’t get any other models over there you can at least stop them from winning on your turn. Granted, they will likely win on their own turn if you were doing that move out of desperation, but you can also get a sneaky win that way if you are at 3 points and they were planning on winning on your turn or something. It is edge case, but it is an important one.

My final point on this scenario is that it is a fun one, which is another reason I recommend it for pickup games. It tends to be very dynamic with a lot of strategic movement as well as just outright killing.

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