Author Topic: Persia: A new kind of stand and shoot?  (Read 861 times)

BubblePig

  • Shoeless God of War
  • Playtester
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Y'all are just hating on my steez.
Persia: A new kind of stand and shoot?
« on: July 24, 2017, 02:41:25 PM »
I was just noodling around and came up with a couple of fairly missile intensive Persia builds:

Build 1:

2 Satrapal Cavalry, 2 Kardakes, 1 Sparabara, 6 Thanvabara, 1 Saka Horse Archers, 2 Scythed Chariots, 2 Immortals = 2194 points
16 units, 4 core, 8 javelin dice, 34 LOS range dice @ 10.5" (or more if you need the skill and King's Favor on the Immortals)
You can place hold objectives to get the flanking units in this position, the Chariots would probably be on close.

Let's assume an open map for simplicity. Persia isn't going to quite get all the LOS range dice right away, but I think it can get most of them most of the time, and all of them some of the time. The idea on the Saka Horse Archers and the Chariots is that Saka can win a degenerate endgame and Chariots can mess the opponent up if they let them break free and roll the line.

So what I want to know is do you think this is a decent stand and shoot build? What do you think is the best way to crack this nut? Also, Persia spent a command action on levies, do you think there are factions (maybe Dark Elves?) with enough defense skill that it should spend another on King's Favor?

Build 2:

3 Satrapal Cavalry, 1 Kardakes, 2 Sparabara, 6 Thanvabara, 2 Saka Horse Archers, 2 Immortals = 2200 points
16 units, 4 core, 12 javelin dice, 42!!! LOS range dice @ 10.5" (or more if you need the skill and King's Favor on the Immortals)
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 04:48:18 PM by BubblePig »
 

BubblePig

  • Shoeless God of War
  • Playtester
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Y'all are just hating on my steez.
Re: Persia: A new kind of stand and shoot?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2017, 03:13:29 PM »
Also are there any refinements you would add? Do you think 1 command action is enough if you are just sitting there pulling cards and you should therefore give both Immortals King's Favor? Would you try to squeak out a couple extra points and go for Royal Guard instead of Chariots hoping for some 'free' Kings Favor?

Did you notice how often the Thanvabara routing behind a friendly unit immediately puts them in position to shoot again after the automatic rally to hold?
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 03:15:59 PM by BubblePig »
 

Hannibal

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4486
Re: Persia: A new kind of stand and shoot?
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2017, 03:45:58 PM »
My first gut reaction is that this is a strong build but those wings are gonna spend a little time getting into place, which will mitigate the effects of their shots.  As far as beating it, most likely any one of your units is going to be stronger in a straight up match (even in the Yellow from all the shooting), so my counter would be a Deep Battle style assault.  Engage on a wide front wherever possible and exploit whatever breakthrough happens.

In my experience what happens with a S&S is somewhere the dice roll up and somewhere the dice go to crap.  That can be really bad if you're trying to go with a Stars & Scrubs build (i.e. 2 Knights and a bunch of chumps) because if the flank protector unit to that Knight goes down, now the Knights either peel back or get pinched.  The key to a Deep Battle mentality is don't try to force a breakthrough, but rather take advantage of it.  So if those Great Swords suddenly have to peel back to prevent the Satrapal cavalry & Saka cavalry from flanking them...so be it.  But on the other side those Spear of yours hit his Sparabara and it's all over.

And yeah the degenerate endgame favors the chariots.  That's why I like the default mission being Breaking Point.   8)


Did you notice how often the Thanvabara routing behind a friendly unit immediately puts them in position to shoot again after the automatic rally to hold?

Yup.  Very clever.  Of course they still have to survive free swings.  A charging (5)5/5 unit in the Yellow will 2-3pts and with a Cge 10 means two-thirds of those Thanvabara are gonna evaporate. 

(Yeah you can drop a Thousand Nations on them, but that's frankly a win for me if you're using one of your best cards there)

BubblePig

  • Shoeless God of War
  • Playtester
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Y'all are just hating on my steez.
Re: Persia: A new kind of stand and shoot?
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2017, 03:52:22 PM »
A charging (5)5/5 unit in the Yellow will 2-3pts and with a Cge 10 means two-thirds of those Thanvabara are gonna evaporate.

Are you sure you are crunching the numbers right? In my experience the Thanvabara evaporate less than half the time. Maybe even less than a third.
 

RushAss

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3781
  • Eat your beets - Recycle!
    • My Facebook.  Where you can see my, uh... face.
Re: Persia: A new kind of stand and shoot?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2017, 03:56:45 PM »
Did you notice how often the Thanvabara routing behind a friendly unit immediately puts them in position to shoot again after the automatic rally to hold?
Yeah, that's some nice layout right there.  And I thought my Dwarven S&S build was mean.
"Art as expression, not as market campaigns
Will still capture our imaginations"
-Rush, Natural Science

Hannibal

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4486
Re: Persia: A new kind of stand and shoot?
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2017, 04:04:03 PM »
A charging (5)5/5 unit in the Yellow will 2-3pts and with a Cge 10 means two-thirds of those Thanvabara are gonna evaporate.

Are you sure you are crunching the numbers right?

Probably not  ;D

I was thinking a unit in the Green which should do 2pts (94% of the time) and then the Thanvabara fail the yellow check 62.5% of the time.  When you factor in the Yellow check, 67% of the time you'll do 2pts.

So evaporating less than the half the time is a bit off, but so is my statement that 2/3 of them will evaporate.  I think the answer is somewhere in the middle.  A little more than half of those Thanvabara will go away on the charge.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 04:08:07 PM by Hannibal »

BubblePig

  • Shoeless God of War
  • Playtester
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Y'all are just hating on my steez.
Re: Persia: A new kind of stand and shoot?
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2017, 04:18:38 PM »
Quote
My first gut reaction is that this is a strong build but those wings are gonna spend a little time getting into place,
I think you might be overestimating the delay. if you plan it out, the amount of time to get in that position should be minimal. On second look, the Sparabara in that first build should probably go somewhere else, but the Satrapal Cav don't care, they are just 3.5" range anyhow, and the Saka are pretty quick and don't suffer move and shoot, so they would probably have a target right away unless the opponent is far enough away that they are taking a long time to get there so I would probably chalk that up in the 'still counts as a win' column. The Taka bara get to deploy out of zone so they I don't think that is an issue for them either.

In terms of a Deep Battle Assault, I have two questions:
Does that mean you are always taking that build vs Persia on the chance you are facing stand and shoot, or are you playing rock paper scissors?
Do you realize how awful it is going to be to engage the flanks in the wrong order without flank support? I am thinking that Persia should preserve his command actions instead of taking King's favor for this reason, to force the opponent to shuffle around, delay, wait for flank support etc. Which is going to be brutal to take those extra turns of missile fire. I might be overestimating this issue, so that is something to try out in the field.

Edit: I moved Sparabara on the first build to get into position, I think it was a 3 way trade of unit positions. Anyhow, thanks for the refinement, Corey.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 04:51:32 PM by BubblePig »
 

BubblePig

  • Shoeless God of War
  • Playtester
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Y'all are just hating on my steez.
Re: Persia: A new kind of stand and shoot?
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2017, 04:23:02 PM »
Some terrain will favor this build and some will cut against it, and as you say the scenario is a factor, too. One mistake I commonly make is treating a scenario like total warfare when it isn't. Gotta stop doing that.
 

RushAss

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3781
  • Eat your beets - Recycle!
    • My Facebook.  Where you can see my, uh... face.
Re: Persia: A new kind of stand and shoot?
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2017, 04:37:42 PM »
What do you think is the best way to crack this nut?

I can't counter with an ideal build to take this on because you won't know you're facing it until you've already chosen your army.  What I will say is that since you've used Levies, you're opponent is probably going to choose to go first.  That could be a problem if he's got something zippy on the flanks that is also tough on ranged fire like Antonians or Stags.  On the other hand, Companion Cavalry are going to absolutely hate it.
"Art as expression, not as market campaigns
Will still capture our imaginations"
-Rush, Natural Science

BubblePig

  • Shoeless God of War
  • Playtester
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Y'all are just hating on my steez.
Re: Persia: A new kind of stand and shoot?
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2017, 05:00:19 PM »
What do you think is the best way to crack this nut?

I can't counter with an ideal build to take this on because you won't know you're facing it until you've already chosen your army.  What I will say is that since you've used Levies, you're opponent is probably going to choose to go first.  That could be a problem if he's got something zippy on the flanks that is also tough on ranged fire like Antonians or Stags.  On the other hand, Companion Cavalry are going to absolutely hate it.

I assume that the opponent will elect to go first, but I don't think that is a huge issue b/c range 10.5 instead of 14. I tend to agree with Corey that Deep Battle Assault is a better answer than a couple zippy units, especially on that first build, but maybe I am wrong. I think there is a lot of potential to unleash chariot style fury if the wings get sacrificed in a pinchfest but that might be easier to avoid than I am envisioning.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 05:06:06 PM by BubblePig »
 

Hannibal

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4486
Re: Persia: A new kind of stand and shoot?
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2017, 05:20:12 PM »
Quote
My first gut reaction is that this is a strong build but those wings are gonna spend a little time getting into place,
I think you might be overestimating the delay. if you plan it out, the amount of time to get in that position should be minimal.

You're probably right.  Like I said, it was my first gut impression.


Quote
In terms of a Deep Battle Assault, I have two questions:
Does that mean you are always taking that build vs Persia on the chance you are facing stand and shoot, or are you playing rock paper scissors?

Sort of.  I tend to take heavier builds against Persia because it's Persia.  I tend to think of D:2/2 units as my chump units and D:2/1 type units as "something you stack like a Mo-fo."  Persia has very heavy units and very light units, but not much in between.  If you take lots of D:2/1 units against them you're gonna have a bad time, because they're designed to beat exactly that type of army.  So I tend to build on the heavy side with them.


Quote
Do you realize how awful it is going to be to engage the flanks in the wrong order without flank support?


Sure.  Because if you engage frontally you expose to a pinch the center.  But also, because a bunch of things on the flanks are lighter you can also try to blow through them before you get flanked on the next turn.  The Saka Horse Archers, for example, are only 4 dice.  If I have a T3 unit, I'll let you have the flank a lot of times if it means I kill that other Saka unit when I charge.

These are just hypotheticals mind you.  I'd like to see this build in action.  It's a strong build and would be fun to try & come with ways to beat it.


Quote
I am thinking that Persia should preserve his command actions instead of taking King's favor for this reason,

As a guideline, I don't like dropping down below 3 CAs in a 2,000pt game.  I've broken that rule a lot and usually I end up feeling it that lost CA at some crucial part of the game.

BubblePig

  • Shoeless God of War
  • Playtester
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Y'all are just hating on my steez.
Re: Persia: A new kind of stand and shoot?
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2017, 09:44:18 PM »
I want to save this list as a less shooty alternative. There are no javelins, less 10.5" range dice than the other two builds, and no cavalry, but considerably more resiliency when the melee starts.

Build 3:

3 Kardakes, 1 Mercenary Hoplites, 2 Sparabara, 5 Thanvabara, 2 Takabara, 2 Immortals = 2198 points
15 units, 4 core, 31 LOS range dice @ 10.5"

This one is for Brook, it uses all 7 Thanvabara.
2 Satrapal Cavalry, 2 Kardakes, 1 Sparabara, 7 Thanvabara, 1 Takabara, 2 Scythed Chariots, 2 Immortals = 2199 points
17 units, 4 core, 8 javelin dice, 33 LOS range dice @ 10.5"
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 10:38:19 AM by BubblePig »
 

GoIndy

  • Playtester
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 544
Re: Persia: A new kind of stand and shoot?
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2017, 11:37:48 AM »
OK....here is my first thought, presuming I get to "know" this is what is coming.  Not saying this is genius or anything, but generally how I'd go about the problem.

I'm going with the scenario that you got 1/2 CA's a turn, but even three wouldn't be horrendous.

1)  I'd have a healer mage, maybe two.  No matter what I did later in the following steps, I'd delay engage for as long as possible.  I'd be drawing cards 4 to 1/2/3, and I'd be applying an aura on every useful unit.  Once everyone is aura'd up, and I am holding my entire dang deck.  Also, depending on the faction, if I was playing Dwarves or Mercs or Men, every stinking dude is gonna have every spoils set, bravery, rune, whatever. 
2)  I'd go down the line on mostly one side, and since I had basically forever to set this up, I'm gonna have my guys lined up right.  And no matter what, I'm gonna have a ridiculous card advantage everywhere. 

Now, after I thought about this, I thought about something else that might be as humorous.
What if I just have two bowmasters and start firing away at your flanks.  You'll have a hard time reorganizing your lines with limited command actions, and even a sound the charge, just means everyone going pell mell forward.  Would be interesting.

Kevin

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5086
Re: Persia: A new kind of stand and shoot?
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2017, 12:36:32 PM »
Yeah, those two forward-jutting flanks are just begging to get smashed, one way or another.
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

BubblePig

  • Shoeless God of War
  • Playtester
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
  • Y'all are just hating on my steez.
Re: Persia: A new kind of stand and shoot?
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2017, 12:44:24 PM »
I dunno about that healer mage: 30 or 40 dice is like 7-10 damage a turn; talk about skating uphill...
I have taken an even less shooty Persia build than this against Bowmasters (I had an elephant IIRC). 7 Thanvabara and I was dealing out damage faster than the bowmasters. The evil thing about Thanvabara against a shooty build is that they get +2 against shooting.

Yeah, those two forward-jutting flanks are just begging to get smashed, one way or another.
That is what those forward jutting flanks are for. Maybe get some spite damage, but mainly to delay. Unlike most builds, I would not mind my opponent taking this one apart piece by piece... just so long as I can shoot him in the face while he takes his time doing it. I think the success or failure of this build depends more than anything else upon how efficiently the opponent can take it apart. That is going to depend on the dice to a certain extent and on timing to a large extent. The thing that makes me optimistic is that there are things that can be done to actively mess with the opponents timing and with 15-17 units one might even be able to get that ball rolling during deployment and issuing SOs. The more experienced the player the harder that is going to be, of course.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 01:16:15 PM by BubblePig »