Little help here

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Jeff965
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Little help here

Post by Jeff965 »

Ok, never played SP until version 2 appeared and now I must have about twenty to thirty games under my belt.
I'm ok with the rules though it was a steep learning curve lol, and right now the thing I'm struggling with is gameplay.
What I mean by that is that I've played each and every scenario in the book and just about every time I've played the attacker I've lost. Now this could be because I'm a shit general and I'm quite happy to live with that, but do any of you struggle when playing the attacker.
I mean to march the length of a 6x4 table and take an objective when your opponent has the same size
( in points terms) force as you is a bit of an ask.
I suppose what I'm asking is are the book scenarios weighted to much towards the defender, every book I've ever read on tactics will say when attacking you must outnumber the defender so why should SP be any different.
I'd appreciate the forums thoughts on this, especially some of you veteran SP players. I must also add that I've enjoyed every game I've played, win or lose, so this really is not a rant about the rules.

Cheers, Jeff

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Captain Reid
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Re: Little help here

Post by Captain Reid »

I think sometimes as the attacker it can be easy to commit too quickly (true also for the defender, but the defender doesn't have to move as much).

I think 'Defend in Depth' might be the hardest to attack in because the defender can let the attacker get a long way up the table length before committing anything and then has the potential for ambuscade knowing wher ethe attacker's whole force is (it's hard to hang back with part of your force as the attacker because you will get cut up piecemeal.

However I also think that often the choice of supports is a bit overlooked. Scouting cavalry can put almost immediate pressure on a defender to cover his primary DP, and then restrict where he can deploy too. Equally, if available and the terrain suits, a moveable DP can be very useful for an attacker.

The flip side is that in Escort Duty I have taken the defender's primary deployment point on the first turn. If he hadn't had a secondary DP, he'd have lost immediately!

With regard to needing to outnumber the defender (or at least out-quality him if not outnumbering), I'm not sure. I think adding too much to the attacker's forces will potentially quite easily tip a game too much in his favour.

Looking back over the unadulterated rulebook missions I've played:

Sweep the Table (the sweeper is the attacker really, though the book claims otherwise): Attacker won - 1 Defender won - 1
Defence in Depth: Attacker won - 0 Defender Won - 2
Escort Duty: Attacker (trying to capture the escorted) won - 3 Defender won - 0
Attack an Objective: Attacker won 2, Defender won - 2
Rescue Mission: Attacker (attempting the rescue) won - 1, Defender won - 0

obviously the sample size is too small to draw any conclusions, and terrain can make a big difference, but it might be a starting point for other folk to add data too.
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Trailape
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Re: Little help here

Post by Trailape »

I think careful consideration to terrain placement needs to happen.
Remember a defender will want to pick terrain that favors him but also an attacker will also decline to attack a position that he deems impossible to take, waiting for another opportunity maybe,...
Last edited by Trailape on Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Saltflats1929
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Re: Little help here

Post by Saltflats1929 »

Interesting, I'm struggling with the same question with Chain of Command where I have yet to see an attacker win.

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Trailape
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Re: Little help here

Post by Trailape »

Saltflats1929 wrote:Interesting, I'm struggling with the same question with Chain of Command where I have yet to see an attacker win.
Hmmm,...
I've played plenty of CoC and have won often as the attacker.
Attacking is usually a harder proposition however.
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Archdukek
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Re: Little help here

Post by Archdukek »

In CoC the trick is often to encourage the defender to deploy early, then try to fix them in place with one section/squad while creating a local superiority of numbers elsewhere rather than attacking on a broad front. Terrain is often a great help in that regard.

The same principle should apply in SP but I've found it is often trickier to achieve, particularly if you are playing lengthwise down the table.

However, there is nothing to stop you tweaking the support points for the attacker in a scenario in discussion with your opponent and see how that works. Then play it again swapping roles to see who does best overall.

John

Jeff965
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Re: Little help here

Post by Jeff965 »

Thanks guys some good points made which may be obvious to some but for those of us still learning they help focus the mind.

Captain Reid I have no problem with commiting to quickly, I found in my early games I couldn't get the main part of my force to hardly move at all.
Now by using two command cards to activate if they haven't already been activated by the Officer I at least now am fairly confident of delivering the strike part of my forces to the point of decision in the time it takes us to play a game. The problem now is getting them there in a condition to fight lol.
I find little value in the step out mechanism but that just might be me, I would rather use two command cards to make sure the part of the force I'm trying to push forward at least makes some progress each turn than live in hope that their commanders card is turned and I have the requisite number of command cards at hand to add a measly d6 of movement. ( I've just read that back and I hope it makes sense to you)

I must admit that I haven't used movable dp's and ambuscades as yet, I will have to look into that aspect of the rules.
Neither have we used much cavalry, as in early games they tended to perform quite poorly (scout cavalry that is) which I think has put my little group off using them, something else to have another look at.

Trailape I take on board what you say about terrain and I will give it more thought, thinking about past games there have been obstacles in the way of the attackers that need not have been there (placed mostly for aesthetic reasons) and from my own military experience it's better to have a clear run in and not get your attack broken up by the ground you are moving over.

Saltflats I've never played CoC but it's nice to know I'm not on my own :D

Archdukek, I'm playing mostly with forces of about 70 points, I find when it comes to tactics I am splitting my force into the larger part, that is going to try and gain the objective of the game, and the rest are broken into one or two supporting forces that will try and keep the enemy away from my main force.
This is where I am at the moment in trying to learn how to play the game rather than playing the rules.

I think I will start introducing Cavalry again and also look into ambuscades, I'll stop using the ready made forces in the book and start picking my forces from the army lists and try to pick units that will help me achieve my aim and maybe I'll get a little better at attacking. (fingers crossed lol)

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Captain Reid
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Re: Little help here

Post by Captain Reid »

The trick (I think) with scouting cavalry is never to charge with them unless you're going into flank or rear of an already shocked group at the canter or gallop. But as I say, you can use them to curtail where and when your enemy can deploy. It's easier to get them on a flank playing widthways. Playing longways, as Archdukek says, is harder becaus eyou hav efurther to go and less width to exploit. I often play on a 6 x 5 so there's less difference between long and short sides, which might make a bit of difference.

Dragoons who can dismount as skirmishers can be good too because they can zoom up into position but get off and shoot when the enemy deploys, so they can harass more effectively in a way.

I have found Step Out increasingly useful (though not dreadfully useful to be fair). It's situational, and slightly chancy (a bad roll often leaves you hanging), but it can sometimes just put you out of an arc of fire or get you to a point where the enemy worries about a charge. I don't think it's the answer to you issue really though as to use it, you've deployed, and so shown your hand.

The whole use of command cards is, I think, the hardest to get right, especially as you cannot know, or even really anticipate with much certainty, whether a key leader will be able to use one or more of them in any given turn. It may be that their best use is opportunistic and reactive rather than planned.
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Archdukek
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Re: Little help here

Post by Archdukek »

Keep persevering and victory will come. :D

One small thing, are you remembering that you only need a single Command Card to activate a unit on the Tiffin Card if their Leader isn't activated during the turn? Can make a difference as you press forward.

John

Jeff965
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Re: Little help here

Post by Jeff965 »

Archdukek wrote:Keep persevering and victory will come. :D

One small thing, are you remembering that you only need a single Command Card to activate a unit on the Tiffin Card if their Leader isn't activated during the turn? Can make a difference as you press forward.

John
Yes John I was aware thanks, reading my second post back to myself I can see why you would think I wasn't lol.
In the early games if any of my troops had sharp practice I was using the command cards for that rather than activating units that had not yet been activated and I think that stopped me moving my column every move because when tiffin was turned I had no initiative cards left.
I tend now to concentrate on moving rather than firing at least in the early stages of a game, I expect I'll get the balance right eventually :D
The couple of entries on this thread has already got me reading parts of the rule book I had been neglecting (moveable dp's ambushes and deployment to name a few) I'll also be giving some other troop types a run out, especially the ones that can get across a table quickly.

All that said I may even eventually get around to using minor characters in my games lol.

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