Spread the Net is one of the more active Scenarios in the packet, with five scoring locations and unusual demands from a list building perspective. This scenario is one of the reasons that I recommend having three solos in most lists - you're going to need something to come hang out on your flag and potentially something to run to your opponents flag to score free points.
Ambush models have incredible value on this Scenario, as coming in and contesting or killing models in the zone or on flags is very potent. This Scenario will almost always end up with something camping on a flag about 13.5 inches from a table edge, which is well within charge range of most Ambush units.
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 guide to Deployment, Terrain, and Reading the Game, I would stop here, click on the link on the line above, and read that first.
Should I go First or Second?
This is another Scenario that I think favors going second by enough that I recommend it in most games.
You should consider going first on this Scenario if:
- As always, Ambushing units on either side means that you probably want to go first. It's very important to be able to force your opponent to do weird things with movement turn 1 and it's equally important to not have to do them yourself.
- You have a fast list that needs a melee alpha to put you in control of the game. Getting up the table first means that you can dictate where your opponent puts their models.
- Your caster needs to go down to zero focus or fury turn 1 in order to cast all of their upkeep spells.
- Your opponent has not built a list that is particularly good at scoring the Scenario, so you don't need to worry about it as much (example on this one is if they don't bring any solos).
Some more reasons to go second:
- You cannot mitigate terrain and have to choose the side that allows you to move freely.
- Your opponent has no ways to mitigate terrain, and you want them to deal with some awful rough terrain clusters all game.
- You are playing a long-range gunline that can force your opponent to come to you.
- You can prevent your opponent from getting an Alpha Strike on you with a feat, spell set, or other ability.
- You have a lot of models that need to target specific enemy models in order to win the game and you want to deploy them correctly.
Game Plan for Going First:
Going first on this Scenario requires some pretty interesting positioning. There are two main objectives for turn 1.
First of all, get a solo to within walking distance of your flag. This is hugely important since if you play turn 2 correctly, your opponent will have a difficult time getting a contesting model to that flag and you'll be able to score.
Secondly, you need to get to a point where you can threaten your entire rectangular zone as fast as possible, and ideally the same for the circular zone in the center.
Outside of some very specific builds, you're going to have to cede at least one control point to their flag, but watch and see if they let you come in and contest. A large based model with reach cannot hold a flag and still attack something at 4 inches away from it, and if all they have over there is a solo without a ranged weapon, it might be worth putting a model up to contest. Your opponent will either have to give up the flag to kill it (and therefore not get a point) or not kill your model and let it contest (and therefore not get a point).
On turn 2, you want to have your flag safely in hand and you also want to be threatening your entire zone width on the right while contesting the middle zone solidly and, if possible, threatening the left hand rectangle zone.
That's a lot to take in, let's look at a sample game!
The first turn plays out as expected. Player one runs up, he's threatening the entirety of the zone (although it's a little odd because there is a house), and he has a solo (two actually) in range of the flag.
Player two has to advance somewhat cautiously, but they put a solo on the friendly flag right away.
Because they've set up to threat the entire central zone, player one is able to take out a Rattler on turn 2 and solidify their grip on the center of the table, putting a solo on the left flag.
Side note - even if your opponent has a model with which to contest here, put the solo on the flag anyway. It forces them to make that play, and if they do not, you get a point. If they do, you get a free model.
The Second player responds by contesting both zones and scoring their flag, but because the first player contested the top left zone correctly (article on good contesting strategies forthcoming), only one point is scored which is about the best the first player can ask for.
Game Plan for Going Second:
Going second makes your plans, as always, a bit dependent on what your opponent decides to do and how their list is built.
In general, turn 1 you want to set up to take your zone and your flag with as little resource commitment as possible.
Turn 2, you're going to respond to where your opponent put their models, but priority one after staying alive is taking your flag and your zone.
Priority two is preventing your opponent from scoring on their scenario elements. Cheap infantry models are good ways to handle this, or really cheap heavies like Crusaders or Marauders which require a significant investment to remove and can do damage on their own if they're left to their own devices.
If you've gone second and have ambushing models, they can be a great way to keep your opponent from scoring as well, since they can come in from either side and contest and kill controlling models.
Player one runs up, the rough terrain on the right is really hindering their ability to get a solo at that flag. (An intentional choice from the second player). The giant forest in the top left zone is also a problem for the mostly pathfinder-less Skorne army.
As a result, player two moves up and chooses to just make absolutely certain nothing is coming into the right hand zone.
Notice that player two has chosen NOT to put a solo on the left side of the table. This was largely due to the ability of the Mad Caps to make solos on demand and take the flag with them on a turn by turn basis.
The first player contests on the right with a single model, but notice how they have not put a beast in the left zone or a solo on their flag?
Player two is now under basically no pressure at all from a Scenario perspective, and is able to comfortably score a point on the right on their second turn and eliminate most of the contesting models on the left, all while keeping the bulk of their army outside of the first players threat ranges.
Again, I recommend going second most of the time on this Scenario. The instant scenario pressure and the ability to choose favorable terrain makes it feel like you are in control of the game from the start against most lists.
Obviously, there are exceptions to every rule (don't go second against Ghost Fleet if you have the choice for example) and knowing what your opponents army does is very important as always.
That being said, if you can, choosing the best terrain and getting an early Scenario lead is a great idea on Spread the Net.