Breakdown has some very interesting potential, but it is entirely dependent on terrain. If there's a nice obstruction in the center of the table, this Scenario can be one of the most dynamic in the packet.
If there's nothing, it becomes fairly boring, fairly quickly.
This Scenario is one of the ones that is designed to reward well-balanced lists by making it very difficult for incredibly battlegroup skewed lists to win on Scenario.
As usual for SR 2017, Ambushing models have a big impact on this game, with the average ambush unit threatening over half of each Circular zone.
Rectangular zones can be score by Warjacks, Warbeasts, and Battle Engines.
Circular zones can be scored by warrior model units that have the entire unit touching it.
Objectives are models that can be attacked and killed starting on player 2s second turn. They have 15 boxes, ARM 18, DEF 5, and are considered friendly faction models.
Flags can be scored by solos.
Warcasters and Warlocks can score any Scenario element.
Player 1 gets seven inches of deployment, player 2 gets ten. Some themes add to this.
And a couple more pieces of Vocabulary:
Contest - to have a model or models in the zone so that your opponent does not score it.
Ambush - an ability some models have that lets them deploy three inches from any table edge (except your opponents deployment zone) starting on your second turn.
Alpha/Alpha'd - shorthand for "alpha strike", or a decisive first blow that one player makes to begin the part of the game where models actually attack each other.
If you haven't read my article on Deployment and Terrain, I would stop here and go read that first.
As always, I am assuming that you have won the roll off and get to choose whether to go first or second.
Should I go First or Second?
This Scenario, like the other Scenarios that have limited scoring elements situated right in the center of the table, rewards players that go first most of the time. Being able to dictate the placement of your opponents models is critical in Standoff, since there are no back edge pieces to score on, so the other player has to come to you.
Other reasons to go first:
- You have models with Ambush or your opponent has models with Ambush.
- You have a fast army that can control your opponents movements by good threat ranges.
- You need to get upkeep spells up turn one in safety.
- Your opponent has not built a list capable of scoring on this scenario efficiently and you do not need to worry about turn 2.
Some reasons to go second:
- You cannot mitigate terrain very well OR your opponent cannot mitigate terrain very well and you want to abuse a particular side of the table.
- You have a long range gunline that can shoot turn 1 if you go second.
- You can blunt an opponents alpha through use of spells, feat, or terrain and want to score on scenario.
- Your game plan relies on targeting enemy models specifically with your units and you need to deploy accordingly.
Game Plan for Going First:
Turn one, you want to get up the table as fast as possible. This scenario very much favors you if you've built a list that can score the zones, as against many lists you can force them out of the scenario with the bulk of their army.
Make sure your upkeeps are out and that your caster is ready to commit to either side of the table.
Turn 2, be able to kill something that gets into the zones. Your opponent will have to contest or you will trivially score multiple points, and that can often be the game.
In this example game, the Grymkin player going first moves up the table and uses his fairly large shooting threat ranges to control the Skorne player. The Skorne players first turn is relatively blunted by the presence of so many guns, and as such he sacrifices a couple of pieces to contest zones.
The Grymkin player is still able to kill a few models and stay relatively safe on turn 2, and the Skorne player commits fairly heavily on the right to score that zone while contesting with a Brute on the left.
Notice though how far back most of the Skorne army is, and how far to the right the force has skewed - the Grymkin player has a fair amount of control over the game now, and losing one point early isn't a big deal when there is so much material gained.
Game Plan for Going Second:
I feel like the second player is often quite disadvantaged in this scenario, as the line of engagement is typically set on their half of the board - not a comfortable position to be in when the zones are so central and there are no other scoring elements.
As such, you really have to abuse the terrain if you can and choose the spots at which you will engage. Alternatively, if your opponent doesn't have a list that is designed with units in mind, it might be possible to play cat and mouse for a few rounds in order to get an attrition advantage while not getting too far behind on Scenario.
Turn 1, try to stay out of your opponents' relevant threat ranges. For example, don't let your heavy get charged by a heavy, but don't worry too much about taking shots from unboostable pow 10 guns.
Be aware of ambushing units, if your opponent has any.
Turn 2 you have to contest, and this is where terrain is particularly important. Walls/Linear Obstacles are amazing for this, as are buildings and forests that block Line of Sight to portions of the board. If you outthreat our opponents army, you can turn the tables on them by contesting in this way and suddenly become the aggressor in round 3 and onward.
Just be careful you don't get forced out of all three zones the next turn or you will almost assuredly lose.
Turn 1 the Menoth player has run up as far as he can. Notice that his list only has two units in it, and they are both support units that aren't going to be coming forward and controlling zones without seriously hindering the list.
The Grymkin player sets up his turn 1 abusing the forest in the center to limit the Protectorate threat ranges in melee and threatening the entire zone with most of his models.
Turn 2, the Menoth player clears off a Skin and Moans with shooting, but has to back up to be out of threat range, allowing the Grymkin player to take over the right hand zone and score. Note how the Grymkin player can safely ignore the left zone - the Protectorate player has no way to score that zone without killing off all but one of his choir members and running them over there.
This is an excellent example of how important building lists with the scenarios in mind is, a good balance gives you options that a skewed list does not. It also serves to illustrate that going second, while not advantaged, can put you in the lead if you take advantage of the terrain on the table.
Again, going first is my recommendation if you get to choose, but going second on Breakdown shouldn't cause you to do so yourself as it is still a very winnable game as long as your table has enough terrain on it and you use it properly.
Hopefully this has been helpful, if you have feedback specifically on labeling the pictures I would love to hear it. It's an extra step and a bit time consuming, but if it makes the article more readable/understandable then it will become a staple and I will make it routine.
Thanks for reading, up next, Scenario #5: Outlast.