The sequel to Line Breaker, and a much more boring Scenario in my opinion. The only way to make this Scenario particularly live is to have a ton of LOS blocking terrain between the two flags, and even that isn't going to help much since the line between the center of both flags is only 13.4 inches.
Going first on this Scenario is almost always the correct play, with notable exceptions being the ever present Haley 2 and Wurmwood, who can actually camp that flag turn 2 and expect to hold it for 3 control points in a row fairly easily thanks to their feats.
Going first allows you to keep your opponent off their flag pretty easily by presenting some significant threats across from it (heavies, big guns, etc) and also to wait out the second players second turn, and then clear off models from your flag and start dominating it.
BE CAREFUL NOT TO KILLBOX YOURSELF!
If you've not played with the killbox rule much, here it is in a nutshell - if, on your second turn or later, your warlock/warcaster doesn't have at least part of their base farther than 14 inches from any table edge, your opponent gets two control points. If you do this, you will usually loose as the other player can afford to sacrifice massive amounts of their army to take over flags and grind out the other three points they need to win.
Fortunately, the front of your warcaster's or warlock's base just needs to be 14.01 inches away from the back of the board, so getting out of the killbox is pretty easy.
Be aware that this advice isn't going to work against a Warcaster like Sloan, who can happily sit back and shoot your army to death. If you're playing against Sloan, be ready to sacrifice models in order to win on Scenario.
Going First or Second:
Going first in Take and Hold is a good idea if:
- There isn't a central, Line of Sight blocking terrain feature making it difficult to contest one of the flags.
- You have a fast list that can swarm the flags and prevent your opponent from contesting yours by sheer weight of bodies.
Going second in Take and Hold is a good idea if:
- There is a central, Line of Sight blocking terrain feature that you can use to make a scenario play.
- Your list needs to counter-deploy against theirs in order to not horrendously lose the piece trade war.
- You're playing a caster like Wurmwood or Haley 2 and can take your flag and protect it for many turns in a row.
Game Plan for Going First:
I'd deploy some fairly dangerous models across from your opponents' flag, and your warcaster/warlock across from your flag. Your plan is to force your opponents' army away from their flag while giving yourself the option to score if they only contest lightly. Warcasters like Butcher 3 and Warlocks like Kromac 2 are fantastic for this Scenario since they can afford to sit out on their flag fairly unprotected and expect to survive.
Turn 1, run your models up and get your spells up. You can play fairly aggressively here since you don't want your opponent moving too far up on their turn 1.
Turn 2, threaten the opponents flag, and make sure your Warcaster/warlock can walk to your flag on the following turn if the opportunity arises.
If you have expendable dudes, contest your opponents flag at max range (4 inches from the flag) to force him to commit if he wants to dominate it. Behind those models, I would also recommend having your heavy hitters waiting to prey on their Warcaster if they try and move up to dominate. This will force their Warcaster/Warlock back, central, or both, giving you the tempo advantage. If they move too far away from their flag, look for ways to control it on turn 3.
On turn 3, there are probably opportunities for you to cripple the majority of your opponents' list, dominate your flag, control your opponents' flag, or some combination of the three. First player determines the pace of this game most of the time, so take advantage of that.
Game Plan for Going Second:
You get to see how your opponent deployed, which is one of the saving graces of going second on this Scenario. If there's a good piece of central terrain for you to abuse, and they don't deploy to aggressively threaten your flag, then playing for Scenario is probably the best early-game plan you can have.
Turn 1, they've already probably screamed up the field. If you have a good way to deny LOS or slow down your opponents' army, this is the turn to use it to get up the field as far as you can. I would consider popping feats that prevent your opponent from moving much or attacking you, but it's almost always going to be better to wait until turn 2.
If you have really fast, AD jamming units like Daughters of the Flame, you could also consider sacrificing them to blunt your opponents' momentum.
Turn 1 boils down to blunting your opponents' turn 2 momentum as much as possible, while still preserving your own models.
Turn 2, if they have not contested/prepared a good counterpunch, or you have a way to negate such a counter-attack, I would highly recommend going for the dominate. The Witch Coven of Gharlghast's or Rask's Feat will protect most of your list from incoming charges and attacks, as will something like a cloud wall from Trenchers or Druids.
If you do not have such a tool, see if your opponent has overextended and try to capitalize on that. Maybe they didn't realize that you have access to a threat extender, and have positioned one of their heavies where you can get at it without too much fear of counter-attack.
I would still consider whether or not dominating your flag is worth the risk. High ARM feats like Stryker 1 or Lucant are perfect for that since forcing your opponent to commit to you on Feat turn is exactly what you want, and if they don't, you get free Scenario points!
Going second is a lot harder in this Scenario, and it forces you to react to your opponent much more than going first does.
Ignore the deployed models, I'm just going to talk about the terrain and the flags' relative placement to them.
This board actually could come down to a Scenario game with certain casters (Haley 2, Wurmwood, etc.) that can stall out the opponents' ability to contest easily thanks to spells and the forest in the center of the table. Both sides are going to have a fairly hard time getting to the others' flag, barring mass pathfinder, and as such the game is likely to be more interesting than a typical Take and Hold table will be.
That being said, the flags are still ridiculously close together, and contesting will still be a lot easier than it would be on most Scenarios given that table layout.
The only pieces of terrain that really matter on the table are the two forests and the trench in front of the close flag. The two forests prevent easy flanking and easy charges from the center, and the trench gives incoming models a safe place to hide for a turn before charging in to contest/attack. Even though the board is very terrain dense, the rest of the terrain won't have hardly any impact on the game, and that, I think, is why I don't like this Scenario as much as I enjoy others in the packet.
This is, in my opinion, the most dead Scenario in the book as usually the game will come down to attrition or a surprise assassination, and rarely will a player be able to win on scenario without already having destroyed 90% of the opponents' list.