Author Topic: Greeks vs Wuxing: Ticking Clock, 2000 pts  (Read 1299 times)

Hannibal

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Greeks vs Wuxing: Ticking Clock, 2000 pts
« on: January 09, 2014, 01:09:44 PM »
We're rounding out this set of playtest games with Greeks vs Wuxing.  Since the Wuxing are nailed down (and Kevin is helping explain to us some of how the rules work for this faction), we decided it was appropriate to test them against the Greeks.  After doing our usual "set up 3, each player gets a veto" we ended with Ticking Clock on Map 4F.

Both of us knew the Greeks fairly well, their strengths and weaknesses, so while I could take units that I knew could address the fact that I'd be wounding on 1s or 2s, he also knew that he could take advantage of my mediocre Courage and that most of my units were D:2/2.

Wuxing:  5 Salvaged Terracotta Warriors, 4 Jun Horse Archers, 1 Jade Dragon

Greeks:  4 Athenian Hoplites, 1 Corinthian Hoplites, 1 Perioikoi, 1 Boeotian Cavalry, 1 Thracian Cavalry, 2 Thracian Warriors

Greek units for reference:

Athenian Hoplites - Core - 202 pts
O:(7*)4*/5*  D:2/2  Rge:-  Cge: 12  Mv: 3.5"  6G/2Y/2R
Phalanx, Ponderous.

Corinthean Hoplites - Core – 295 pts
O:(7*)5*/5*  D:2/3  Rge:-  Cge: 12  Mv: 3.5"  6G/2Y/2R
Phalanx, Ponderous.

Perioikoi - Core - 274 pts
O:(7*)5*/5*  D:2/2  Rge:-  Cge: 13  Mv: 3.5"  6G/2Y/3R
Phalanx.

Boeotian Cavalry – Standard - 198 pts
O:(4)5/5  D:2*/2  Rge: 3.5”  Cge: 12  Mv: 6"  3G/2Y/1R
Cavalry, Javelins.  No Lock Shields box.  D: +1/+0 when charging.

Thracian Cavalry – Standard - 127 pts
O:(3)5/4*  D:2*/1  Rge: 3.5”  Cge: 12  Mv: 7"  2G/2Y/2R
Cavalry, Javelins.  No Lock Shields box.  O:(+0)+0/+1  D: +1/+0 when charging.

Thracian Warriors – Standard - 205 pts
O:(5)5/6  D:1*/2  Rge:-  Cge: 13  Mv: 5"  4G/2Y/2R
Impulsive (At the start of any turn Thracian Warriors are within 7" of an enemy unit's center point, its orders change to Close).  D:+1/+0 vs ranged attacks.  No Lock Shields box.


As you can see, I went for width.  My whole plan was to envelop him somewhere and still have enough units to tie down a flying dragon.  Knowing that he's a D:1/3 faction, I took Athenians who would be less hurt by their Off Skill 4.  Saving 50 pts per unit on 4 Core choices basically let me take an extra unit of Thracian Warriors.  The Perioikoi were there because they're not Ponderous, as so I could defend my flank against any tricksy Foo Dogs or Water Stance'd Monks.

Meanwhile, Scott took 4 units of shooters, knowing that it was highly likely that I'd have a D:2/2 unit out there somewhere.  Greeks are very fragile if you concentrate ranged fire on that one unit and bust through for a flank.  Often they don't have an answer for that as they lack units that can bust through quickly like Knights or Orc Axemen.


Deployment


Greeks (L->R):  Perioikoi (in front of Boeotian Cavalry & Thracian Warriors), Corinthians, Athenians, Athenians, Athenians, Athenians, Thracian Warriors (in front of Thracian Cavalry).

Wuxing (L->R):  Jade Dragon, Salvaged, Salvaged (in front of 2 Jun Horse Archers), Salvaged (in front of 2 Jun Horse Archers), Salvaged, Salvaged.

(I didn't print out enough Jun Horse Archers, so we drafted a Wildmen Horse Archer card to serve in that role.)

We discovered a neat little trick with the new objective rules.  Scott gives the two Jun Horse Archers in the third row Hold with an Objective.  The Objective is the Horse Archer unit directly in front of them (in the second row).  During the game, Scott can DC one of the Horse Archers in the second row to move over and shoot at a new target.  Then, the Horse Archer in the third row will follow them and shoot at the same target.  Its a way to control 2 units with 1 CA.   8)


Other than that, orders were very simple:  Greeks attack, Wuxing Holds.  The Jade Dragon had an Objective so it'd move out to guard the flank.  I gave my Perioikoi a Hold objective and the Thracian cavalry on the right a Close with the Jade Dragon as the objective.  The Thracian Cavalry would be on "Dragon Duty" to keep them contained, selling their lives if need be.


Greek Advance


This is several turns in, with me plodding forward. The Jun Horse Archers took their shots and I got great use out of the Lock Shields ability.  Him needing 2s to hit during most of this stage meant that I could basically negate almost any hits.  Plus the fact that I got 2 boxes for 1 CA meant I could use the ability against each attacker.  The Greek army ability is much like the Wuxing army ability:  it works better against an enemy that is concentrating multiple unit's attacks on one of your units (which is usually ranged fire).


Containing the Dragon


The Greeks advance into final rush range, on like turn 4 (of 8).

Last turn, Scott used the "control 2 units for 1 CA" trick.  Since shooting at my Athenians with Lock Shields was a pain, he DC'd one of the Jun Horse Archers to slide to the right.  The other unit, having them as a Hold - Objective, followed.  Now both units could fire at my Athenians without Lock Shields.  They ended up whiffing pretty badly and on my turns, I spent the CA to Lock Shields on those hoplites as well.  I literally spent more CAs on Lock Shields this game than I have on any normal game (when we were playtesting the ability, we played several games where we spammed the ability on every unit to see if it was broken).


On the left, I've pretty well contained the Jade Dragon, which was the lynchpin of Scott's plan.  The Perioikoi on the front can absorb the Dragon's charge and then the Thracian Warriors (backing up the Perioikoi on the left) can pinch, thanks to the off-map charge rule.  The Thracian Cavalry have moved all the way behind my line towards the Dragon, as much because they didn't have much else to do at this point.

The Boeotian cavalry (backing up the Perioikoi on the right) aren't actually there for the Dragon.  They're their so that when my line hit, they can squeeze through the gap and pinch the Salvaged Terracotta.  See, the Jade Dragon can either protect his own from from the Thracians (on the left) or guard the flank of the line (on the right), but not both.


Greeks Charge


This picture is a few turns later.  I've slammed into the Terracotta (red dice indicate the unit is Broken Down).  On Scott's turn, he DC's his Jade Dragon back to avoid the pinch.  My Corinthians have put a hurt on the Salvaged on the end of the line and so with or without the Boeotians pinching them, the Wuxing line is gonna start crumbling.

However, Scott's shooting dice pick up and he manages to force checks on two of my units.  I actually forgot to place a black die for the second check.  Look for where horse archers are:  those Athenian Hoplites have to take check this turn.

Two Yellow Cge 12 checks passed.  And I play Reorder the Lines on the one on the right (the one without the black die), so I heal a point of damage and mark my Lock Shields boxes.  (I'd already rolled the rout check and healed the damage by the time I snapped the picture).


Enveloped


On the left, the Thracian Warriors flank-pinch the Salvaged.  On the right the Boeotian Cavalry flank-pinch as well, while the Perioikoi move up to prevent the Jade Dragon from charging anyone but them.

Both pinched Salvaged units blow up and of the three that are left, two are Broken Down.


Wuxing Crumbles


This picture is on my next turn.  On his turn, Scott does the "Horse Archer DC trick" again to move the Horse Archers out of final rush range of my units.  I only have one turn left, so he's preserving points.  He then fired at the Athenians engaged on the right, putting them into the red.  They passed (having now made a Yellow check and a Red check on Cge 12).

On this turn, the Corinthians & Boeotians flank the Salvaged and Jun (respectively).  The Corinthians destroy the Salvaged, but the Boeotians whiff bad against the June Horse Archers.

On the right, my Athenians flank the Salvaged and they're Broken Down as a result.  My early expenditures of Lock Shields meant I basically had no Command Cards and Scott was dropping Blue cards like they were 2007 real estates futures.


Endgame


Turn 8, what we used to call the "suicide turn" in 40K because the player would do things that he'd never do in most turns, but he knew the game was ending.  So in goes the Jade Dragon (because he doesn't fear getting pinched anymore) and the June Horse Archers on the right get DC'd to move right and shoot at the Athenians in the Red (they have no fear of being flanked as the game will end).

On the left, the Jade Dragon charges my Holding Perioikoi.  I pass my Fear check and drop my best Blue card (and my only card!), reducing the damage he does to 4 pts.  Not enough for a check.  My Perioikoi respond with 3 damage...no color change.

Near the center, my Beoetians are flanking his Jun.  He plays the card that autopasses rout checks this turn.  So although I put him into the Yellow, I can't get the full points.  His attacks fail to put me in the Yellow.

In the center, both units of Salvaged are destroyed.  His Jun Horse Archers target my Athenians.  He does 1 pt instead of 2 and my Athenians pass their rout check (1 Yellow check and 2 Red checks now), although it doesn't matter as they'd only go disrupted.


With that, the game ends and we tally the score: 202 pts for the Wuxing vs over 1,000 pts for the Greeks.  A clear 5-1 win for the Greeks (aided by the fact that Ticking Clock gives a bonus for having units in your opponent's DZ, to discourage stand-and-shoot armies like this).


Post-Game Thoughts

How to sum this game up...  Let's go with "Scott had sub-par shooting and Corey passed every single Courage 12 checks he took."  Two of those checks came on my turn, so if I'd failed them, my line would've been in trouble.

Also, I bottled up the Jade Dragon, which was the unit I knew Scott would be interested in trying to use.  Now, I did send 600 pts to tied down a 470pt unit, but it was a trade-off I was willing to make as he simple didn't have enough punch elsewhere.

After we talked about it a bit, we decided that if a person was going to go this route, it'd be better to drop the dragon and go for 5 Terracotta Warriors, 4 Jun Horse Archers, and 1 Salvaged (whose whole job is to hide in the corner and play cheerleader so that the Jun don't run away).  The problem he ran into is that although the Jun could dish out a lot of damage, the Salvaged were just so terrible that they couldn't finish the job.  If those were regular swordsmen I would have been taking checks down the line and I probably would've failed somewhere. 

Another version of that idea is to take 1 Terracotta Sword, 1 Terracotta Spear, 3 Salvaged, 1 Jade Warriors, and 4 Jun Horse Archers.  That gives you a nice T4 to soak up that Two's Company you're going to have to eat.  Either way, with more Terracotta Warriors you can dish out more damage but also get better use of Manipulate Qi.  With your smaller line, you're going to be taking a Two's Company somewhere and Manipulate Qi could turn your Swordsmen into D:2/3 for that turn against two units.


As for the Greeks...well, for now we're good.  I'm happy with where the faction is as a historical faction.  Its actually relatively versatile in terms of units.  It does some things very well, but it also has some glaring weaknesses that can be exploited.  We'll want to come back to it at some point, and also let other people take a chance to playtest it, but for now I think we're done with out first round of playtesting.


We'll have some tweaks for Command Cards that I'll post up in a new draft soon.

Mexico

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Re: Greeks vs Wuxing: Ticking Clock, 2000 pts
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2014, 06:30:47 PM »
I think Scott's big mistake was going for too much shiny.  In order to succeed with the shiny units in Wuxing, you have to focus on them.  The Jade Dragon is a great beatstick, but it won't save you when your line is being crushed everywhere else.  You simply can't afford to have so many points off the front line.  And the fact that he didn't commit to a fight with it was just wasted points on top of that.

Your other builds would be a much better test of Jun-spam.  However, I think you'll find that Wuxing is so CA-hungry that you won't get the full value out of all those Jun, or else you'll find your line crumbling due to unanswered melee attacks.

Also, Salvaged are terrible against so many attack dice.  Salvaged are remarkably terrible in so many ways, but they do have their uses.  Battle-line tank ain't one of them.

Hannibal

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Re: Greeks vs Wuxing: Ticking Clock, 2000 pts
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2014, 07:04:01 PM »
I think Scott's big mistake was going for too much shiny.  In order to succeed with the shiny units in Wuxing, you have to focus on them. 

When you say "too much" shiny, are you including the Jun Horse Archers in there?  Because I really wasn't thinking of them as shiny (anymore than, say, Ravenwood Archers are shiny).  I didn't consider a single 470 pt unit as too much shiny.

I'd say the issue he had is that his components didn't work well together.  He had 500 pts of Jade Dragon, a unit meant to "go get'em" and 800 pts of Jun Horse Archer, which are meant more for "sit back."  So whichever way he went, he had dead points.

Plus there's also the fact that the Greeks have an army ability in Lock Shields that matches up very well against a shooty build.  Plus his shooty dice suuucked.  Tactics don't matter with dice like that.   ;D



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Your other builds would be a much better test of Jun-spam.  However, I think you'll find that Wuxing is so CA-hungry that you won't get the full value out of all those Jun, or else you'll find your line crumbling due to unanswered melee attacks.

I'll PM you privately, because this forum isn't really meant for debating the Jun Horse Archers and I don't want to make waves in the Wuxing forum.


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Also, Salvaged are terrible against so many attack dice.  Salvaged are remarkably terrible in so many ways, but they do have their uses.  Battle-line tank ain't one of them.

Interesting.  Because that's how we both saw them.  To me a D:0/3 is basically a D:2/1.  So I viewed these guys as essentially fearless Brownies (which, if you make Brownies fearless and give them comparable boxes, you're very close in terms of cost).

So if they're not tanks, what is the Salvaged's role?

Mexico

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Re: Greeks vs Wuxing: Ticking Clock, 2000 pts
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2014, 10:26:32 PM »
Pardon, let me rephrase - they are tanks, but you can't take a line of them and expect them to do anything but crumble en masse.  They won't perform as a shield wall.

As for "shiny", I meant the two new and flavorful units - Dragon beatstick vs. Jun shooter.  Same goes with the RAB, and arguably the Monks.  If you get distracted by the shiny and take too many disparate units without a real tactical plan, you're hosed.

And yes, Lock Shields is very good vs shooty.  As it well should be, according to flavor logic.

Hannibal

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Re: Greeks vs Wuxing: Ticking Clock, 2000 pts
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2014, 01:17:35 PM »
Pardon, let me rephrase - they are tanks, but you can't take a line of them and expect them to do anything but crumble en masse.  They won't perform as a shield wall.

Ah, I see what you're saying.  I think Scott was looking at them like they were zombies.  

The funny thing is, I think he could have actually made a go of it.  I passed every rout check I had to take (with mostly Cge 12s).  If I'd failed that first or second one, he could have pulled it off.  The one thing that is going for the line o' Salvaged is that Wuxing has some very nice Blue cards.

So while I agree with you that if he was going to go for the shiny, he should have gone with shooty or the dragon, the dice made this seem like much less of a viable option than I felt it was during the game.  Every time I had to roll a check it a was a tense moment.


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As for "shiny", I meant the two new and flavorful units - Dragon beatstick vs. Jun shooter.  Same goes with the RAB, and arguably the Monks.  If you get distracted by the shiny and take too many disparate units without a real tactical plan, you're hosed.

Yeah, I agree.  

Funny story, we actually set up Key Objective, with the map with the giant hill in the center, aligned vertically.  It was the 3 level hill where you can only get to level 3 via level 2.  So the mission was "hold the mountain pass."    I took a very similar build:  4 Athenians at the bottom of the hill, 2 cavalry units, 2 Thracian warriors (they went on level 1 of the hill as they were 5" movers), and a unit of skirmishers plus Theban Sacred Band to grab the hill (if I got the uphill, they'd be D:4/2).

He took 4 Terracotta Warriors, 1 Jun Horse Archer, and 2 Jade Dragons.  His whole plan was to grab the hilltop with the Jun and have the Jade Dragon follow behind.  Claim the objective first, and go for the quick win.  

That build of his is similar to what he did in this game (1000+ pts of shiny stuff), but I think it would have worked better because all his shiny stuff was cohesive.  The two dragons wanted to get stuck in, vs his build in this game where 800 pts wanted to hang back and 500 pts wanted to get stuck in.

In the end we didn't play because after we deployed, I realized he'd missed the "No Flying Units" part of the mission rules.   ::)  At first, he said "okay, they just won't fly," but I wanted to get you and Kevin some decent data.  So we ended up having to start entirely over.


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And yes, Lock Shields is very good vs shooty.  As it well should be, according to flavor logic.

Ironically it's less good than the flat -1 die.  I'm coming to the conclusion that as an army ability it was probably slightly overpowered in addition to being kind of clunky.

I appreciate the advice on the Wuxing.  We were planning on playing another game with the Jun-spam, so if we do I'll post it up for you guys.