Battle Commentary: Radio Free NeoTerra #50

Game Theory

I was watching this battle by Guerrilla Miniature Games of Tohaa vs Military Orders.  And I saw comments like this:

GMGi50o06

No.  This battle is not your crystalline example of Tohaa Balance™.  But it was a very good example of some very bad plays.  Follow along in this smartass article as I go through Ash and Owen’s battle play-by-play and give my commentary.

I stopped ½ the way through, I was so flabbergasted.  And apparently, there is a vicious argument on Farcebook at the moment about Tohaa being overpowered/overpriced, and some commenters are happy to take this as proof that Tohaa is fine™®©.

Ash is playing a WYSIWYG list like so:

logo_801.png White Whale Hunters
──────────────────────────────────────────────────

GROUP 1sep.gifsep.giforden_regular.png7  orden_impetuosa.png1
logo_24.pngSUKEUL (Forward Observer) K1 Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Breaker Pistol, Knife. (0 | 32)
logo_1.pngKAMAEL Paramedic (Medikit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
logo_8.pngMAKAUL Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades / Pistol, Viral CCW. (0 | 13)
logo_21.pngKOSUIL Engineer K1 Combi Rifle, D-Charges, Nullifier / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 29)
logo_20.pngKAELTAR (Chain of Command) Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse + 2 SymbioMates / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 21)
logo_1.pngKAMAEL Combi Rifle + Light Grenade Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 16)
logo_7.pngCLIPSOS (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 25) (I presume the Clipsos is here, there’s a 25-point deficit)

GROUP 2sep.gifsep.giforden_regular.png8  orden_impetuosa.png3
logo_8.pngMAKAUL Combi Rifle, Eclipse Grenades / Pistol, Viral CCW. (0 | 20)
logo_8.pngMAKAUL Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades / Pistol, Viral CCW. (0 | 13)
logo_8.pngMAKAUL Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades / Pistol, Viral CCW. (0 | 13)
logo_2.pngSAKIEL Viral Combi Rifle, Nimbus Plus Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 24)
logo_20.pngKAELTAR (Chain of Command) Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse + 2 SymbioMates / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 21)
logo_1.pngKAMAEL (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 13)
logo_16.pngKOTAIL Spitfire / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 36)
logo_10.pngCHAKSA AUXILIAR (Baggage, Sensor) Heavy Flamethrower / Pistol, CCW. (0 | 10)

First mistake, I would say, is the split.  I would have split 10-5, instead of 7-8.  10 orders is for whole-turn goals and power units, and 5 orders is still plenty of orders to lob Eclipse Smoke around.  The other reason to stay away from a 7-8 split is that having 4 triads in 2 groups costs twice the amount of Command Tokens to reform triads.

The second mistake is that there are no long-range weapons.

Ah, well.

GMGi50tohaaarmy

And Owen is playing a mostly WYSIWYG list like so:

logo_103.png The White Whale
──────────────────────────────────────────────────

orden_regular.png10
logo_23.pngJOAN OF ARC Lieutenant MULTI Rifle, Nanopulser / Pistol, AP CCW. (+1 | 49)
logo_22.pngDE FERSEN Spitfire / Pistol, Templar CCW (AP + Shock). (2 | 58)
logo_4.pngKNIGHT HOSPITALLER Doctor (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, DA CCW. (0 | 37)
logo_4.pngKNIGHT HOSPITALLER Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, DA CCW. (0 | 33)
logo_4.pngKNIGHT HOSPITALLER Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, DA CCW. (0 | 33)
logo_2.pngSPEC. SERGEANT (Multispectral Visor L2) Spitfire / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 24)
logo_2.pngORDER SERGEANT MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 21)
logo_2.pngORDER SERGEANT Paramedic (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 15)
logo_1.pngFUSILIER Hacker (Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 18)
logo_1.pngFUSILIER (Forward Observer, Deployable Repeater) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)

Good, but I would swap the Fusilier Hacker and SS Paramedic around, so that my Hacker has WIP13.  The Joan link lacks ranged punch, but then, that’s what BS18 is for.

GMGi5militaryordersarmy

You can either watch the whole battle report, then come back, or tab between the timestamps and my commentary below.


sep.gif

GMGi50o01

04:15

So, right off the bat, we have what is very bizarre placement, even for someone going first.  Ash does show both list’s open information before deployment, which isn’t how deployment normally goes―but even presuming that we (Ash) know that there isn’t a Missile Magister link being placed in front of us, this deployment is a surefire way to get your triads shot up.

As we’ll see in a few minutes.

GMGi50o02

04:48

Owen bunkers his valuable Joan link, and scatters his light infantry in either advanced or defensive positions.  The reserve mini, the SS Sniper, is placed in an overwatch position.


Now, this means that Owen doesn’t care about protecting his order monkeys.  He wants his fireteam alive.  The SS Sniper is just a speedbump.

I wouldn’t make a Tohaa list―any army list―without a long-range weapon.  Failing that, Ash can still use Eclipse Smoke to gain an approach to the sniper, outshoot it, then park a Makaul or the whole Makaul team in an ARO position to roast Joanie at the start of her turn.

Alternatively, the Kotail and Clipsos can zip in and kill some valuable squishies.  This might be trickier, since one of the squishies is a sniper, and the other four are not lumped up together.

I would advance afterward the Makauls up to a suicide ARO position against the Joan team.  If the Joan team is killed or dispersed, that’s basically GG.

What does Ash do?

GMGi50o03

05:21

Before Ash does anything, Owen reduces the Kotail pool by 2 orders, so Ash has 2 split pools of 6 and 6 orders.

Ash’s first orders are to move out his Spitfire Kotail (forgoing Holo tricks in order to use a Symbiomate) and beelining, presumably, to try to shoot up Joan.  His first targets are the SS Sniper and OS Paramedic.

Now, first things first.  Ash is an intent player.  I certainly don’t advocate the intent houserule, but, since Ash is an intent player, he could have declared intent to shoot just the Paramedic.  I don’t know why he didn’t.  After that, presuming the Kotail wasn’t crit, he could have leapt past the sniper, tank the snipe on the Mate, and move into a flanking position in the DZ with 1 to 3 orders to spare.


Naturally, of course, the Kotail is critically hit by the SS Sniper, and the OS Paramedic passes its ARM saves.

Now, stop right here―if this is your position, look.  You still have 4 orders that you could spend on a BS12 Spitfire.  At this point, presume the Kotail is dead, so use that BS12 Spitfire while it’s still there.

GMGi50o04.png

07:07

Alright:

Your entire triad is threatened by a sniper.  You have no snipers of your own.  You have 4 sources of smoke.  What do you do first?

You throw smoke from the other triad.  You don’t move the threatened combi link forward into the open and shoot at the sniper, unless you’re a confident crit-fisher.  If you do move the combi link forward, you throw smoke on 16’s, not shoot on 5’s.

But Ash is a confident crit-fisher, though it doesn’t go his way.  He spends a couple more orders on the remaining Makauls, orders which could have gone into the BS12 Spitfire on the other side of the table.  This was a totally preventable risk.


And before you’re even in this situation, just don’t deploy your models without cover, wide open to the enemy deployment zone.

GMGi50o07

08:44

He’s fighting a Joan link with two B3 BS23 Boarding Shotguns.


Unbelievable move.  If, for some reason, you are possessed to place three models in a row facing a wall for an enemy shotgun link to shoot, at least put your shotgun (Kaeltar) first on the corner.  And put her prone, so that at least 1 other model can shoot over her shoulders.

Alternatively, relink with the Makaul, and eject the Kamael, since the Kamael is where he needs to be, and the Makaul will actually benefit from the link.

GMGi50o08

09:06

All fine stuff, but the Chaksa Auxiliar should really be in there to whomp enemies with a flamethrower template, while the valuable Tohaa units are AROing as usual.

Flamethrowers will make quick work of even Heavy Infantry, especially when you are taking no effort to shoot the Flamethrower in ARO.


GMGi50o09.png

12:19

Owen moves up a Shotgun Hospitaller.


Sigh.  Whouldda thought?

GMGi50o10

19:57

Ash moves the little Sakiel to do B4 BS9 shots at a B2 BS11 shotgun in ARO.


This is a fine move, but you would be better off having used those same orders +1 or 2 more to get closer to the Armory, since the Armory scores at the end of the game, and you need to get down to kill the Knight team, anyway.

The shootout ultimately goes in Ash’s favor.

GMGi50o11

21:57

Ash moves the Sukeul around so that it has cover against the Hospitaller, but denies the Hospitaller its own cover.


This is a good move, and you should do it too, when you’re boxed in like this.  The Sukeul would be lost in the reactive turn, anyway, so it’s wise to make use of the positioning and the BS13 K1 Combi while you still can.

GMGi50o12

22:58

Owen swivels around the SS Sniper to try to pick off the wounded Sakiel.


At this point in the game, I would recommend that you Dodge on an 11 instead of shoot 2 shots on 3’s, since you will want those last few scraps of orders into the final turn.  A long shot either way, but better to have your orders, than a dead enemy sniper who has no more  targets.

GMGi50o13

23:28

Owen just cleans up at this point and secures a major victory.


Where was the Clipsos?

GoodSportsmanAsh

Ash is a good guy, but that was not a great example of Tohaa at their best.  Part of it of course the fact that Ash can’t possibly grok all factions of all fifty wargames he plays.  He also plays more sporty, and less WAACky.  More hobby than wargame, as it were.  But I might also say it’s time for Ash to add to his Tohaa collection, since I think he’s had the same Tohaa models for a year.

Better luck next time.

</prickmode>

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2 thoughts on “Battle Commentary: Radio Free NeoTerra #50

  1. Great commentary, I have to say there were quite a few facepalm moments during that batrep. I think that Owen is generally better at miniature games and brings the WAAC spirit to the party, but in fairness to Ash; I think he is generally better and more on point when he’s playing his Ariadna.

    The only other point I would make is that this game seems like both parties were just playing ‘funsy’ mode, Owen had bought a silly list, and Ash isn’t good with Tohaa. Neither were really bringing their tournament game.

    I’d love to see more of these battle analysis in future, especially when both parties bring something a bit more competitive.

    Like

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