Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Notes on NEAT

Last Saturday, I went to the Third Northeast Epic Armageddon Tournament (NEAT III). We had a good turnout - around a dozen people from Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire. Most of us played three rounds, and I think everyone had a good time.

I lost my first two games - the first primairly due to bad dice rolls. On average, I think I failed two activation rolls per turn. On top of that, I totally forgot about my Supreme Commander rerolls. It didn't help that I was fighting Marines. Those guys always crush me.

The second and third games were much better. The second, a fight against Eldar, was somewhat close until the third round, and in the third game, again versus, which I did win, my opponent had my first game luck. It was his turn to fail activations left and right. Now I know what it feels like to be on the other side of luck like that, and I did feel bad for the guy.

In the last game, my IG versus Swordwind Eldar, I threw out my usual "rush forward" tactic and held back and advanced slowly. Moving only 15 cm at a time with my troops kept them alive longer and actually threw my opponent off. He wound up playing conservatively, because no one threat ran up to present itself. On top of that, there were quite a few buildings on the table that I was using for cover - very helpful when your armor save is a 6. We wound up going four turns because I wasn't able to push his troops off my side of the table by the end of the third round.

I think I'll try the slow advance next time I play, just to see if it was a fluke or if it actually has some merit. I did like playing with a large number of buildings on the table. I feel it also adds to the flavor of the game as well, as most modern combat is fought in urban areas. With an empty table, I usually feel like I'm recreating some WWI no-man's land slaughter (and my troops are the ones getting slaughtered.)

I also learned a valuable lesson: Manticores are AWESOME in batteries of three.  I usually take a nine-gun strong Basilisk unit, but decided to break that up for the extra activations. I took two batteries of three Basilisks and one battery of Manticores. The reason I did this was because I feared the "slow firing" rule of the Manticores - fire one turn, reload the next. I found that the slow firing is outweighed by the "disrupt" that the unit provides though. Two BP per gun PLUS one blast marker PER HIT is nothing short of great. Three gun batteries of Basilisks may be able to fire every turn, but they can't provide the morale breaking power of the Manticores. I'll definitely be adding them to the list from now on.

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