SR 2017 Scenario Guide 5: Outlast

Outlast is the only Scenario that barely changed physically between SR 2016 and SR 2017, but thanks to the way that scoring zones and flags happens, it is a completely different Scenario. 

Ambush models have a lot of value here, as several of them can threaten essentially to the middle of each zone. Pathfinder and stealth models also tend to shine on this scenario, as contesting the central flag effectively can be the difference between winning and losing. Remember that there is often going to be a forest between the two, and when not a forest it could also be a building. 

If you haven't read the Scenario 1, Scenario 2, Scenario 3, and Scenario 4 guides, check them out, and if you haven't read the article on Deployment, Terrain and Reading the Game I would stop, go read it, and then come back. 

Some quick housework before we get going:

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. 

As always, this article is based off the idea that you win the roll off and get to go first. 

Should I go First or Second?

This Scenario, while it is very central, is one that I cannot give a clear answer on going first vs. second. Because of the central flags and the tendency for SR 2017 scenarios to have a big piece of LoS blocking terrain in the middle, going second can be very strong. 

On the other hand, going first lets you set the line of engagement (as always) and cannot be discounted. 

Reasons to go first:

- You have a very fast army that can set the line of engagement on the other side of the Scenario elements. 
- You or your opponent have a unit or units with Ambush. 
- You rely on getting defensive or offensive spells up turn one without exposing your caster to risk. 
- Your army does not care about terrain. 
- Your opponent did not bring a list that can effectively play to the Scenario. 

Reasons to go second: 

- You've got a feat or set of spells to bunt or negate an incoming alpha. 
- You can play the Scenario very, very well. 
- You think the game will go to turn 7 and want the final turn. 
- Your army or your opponents army has no way to mitigate terrain, and you need to assign the correct table edge to take advantage of or nullify that. 
- You need to counter-deploy to your opponent in order to win the game. 

Game Plan for Going First:

Just like the other central scenarios, this one is all about claiming table space and punishing your opponent for coming into the Scenario. 

Turn one largely consists of running and casting spells with your caster, and turn 2 gets interesting. You have to strike the right balance between forcing your opponent out of the scenario and also not getting charged/shot/blown up yourself. 

If you can avoid threat ranges (you probably can't, but sometimes you can), contesting their flag with a heavy can be game breaking. Otherwise, I recommend throwing a solo or light warbeast or random trooper model to the wolves to contest in order to force him to come to you. Take your flag to put them under a little pressure, and wait for them to come to you. 

Example game!

Player 1, Turn 1

Player 2, Turn 1

Player 1, Turn 2

Player 2, Turn 2

In this game, the Grymkin player aggressively moved up turn 1, and then, when the Retribution player had to respect the considerable threat ranges available to the Skin and Moans in the list, used his units to take over the zones and also took his flag on his second turn. 

A point - notice how the Dread Rots in the right zone are positioned so that the Griffons would have to come over the wall to get to them. This meant that either Synergy would be lower for Vyros the next turn, or the Grymkin player would have a chance to retaliate. 

On the Retribution turn 2, the player had insufficient resources to clear either zone, and also could not contest the Grymkin players flag. 

Game Plan for Going Second:

Going Second on this Scenario can be really great if the terrain is in your favor (which it should be if you picked it). 

You're going to be on your back foot almost immediately. Turn 1, you shouldn't necessarily feel pressured to come into the Scenario. You don't have to be there until turn 2, and if you can keep your opponent back with your threat ranges and still be relevant, that is the best strategy. 

Make sure not to get yourself wiped out here, you can premeasure their threat ranges and should. 

Turn 2, you need to push back if they've flooded you and contest the Scenario elements if they have the ability to score them. Cheap infantry, high DEF light warbeasts or solos, and cheap heavies are great for this purpose. Defensive feats often get popped this turn. 

Example game!

Player 1, Turn 1

Player 2, Turn 1

Player 1, Turn 2

Player 2, Turn 2

Here, the Khador player did an excellent job of pressuring the Grymkin player out of the zones. Look how far back the Grymkin player had to keep their models in order to not instantly lose!

You'll notice, however, that the Grymkin player is able to stablize and create some table space by using the forest in the middle to block off charges and keep the pressure off because they kept so much of their army in reserve and kept contesting the zone.  

Also note that on the second turn, the Grymkin player took the flag with the Witchwood in order to score. 

Conclusion:

This is probably one of the most interesting scenarios to play in the packet, with a fairly live way to play and interesting choices between going first and second. 

I think going first is probably slightly better more often, but both first and second player have a lot of counterplay in most matchups. 

Next up will be the final guide for the SR 2017 Scenario set, Recon II!