Friday, October 7, 2016
Scenario 8: Recon
We're here! If you've read the other seven, I salute your diligence. If you haven't, check them out!
I absolutely love this Scenario. It's a central zone with a live Scenario that uses every piece of Scenario tech in the book outside of killbox. I've had some of the most dynamic games I've ever played on this Scenario, and it's never dull.
This is one of the few Scenarios that I think can actually still be a good game without relevant terrain.
Be warned, this is extremely live. Control Warcasters/locks can sometimes trivially get three points with no retaliation on their second turn, especially the ever present Haley 2 and Wurmwood.
Going First or Second?
It's a good idea to go first on Recon if:
- You have a really fast army that can get far enough up the table to prevent your opponent from getting into the zone.
- Your opponent is playing a very small footprint army. Going first gives you a lot of flexibility to go for one of the flags with your Warcaster/Warlock for a surprise dominate.
It's a good idea to go second on Recon if:
- There are very relevant pieces of central terrain that you want to exploit.
- You have a list with a hard control feat or spell list that will allow you to clear the zone turn 2, kill your opponents objective, and get 2-3 points on your second turn.
- You need to counter-deploy to your opponent.
Game Plan for Going First:
Depending on what you're playing against, you need to flood that zone with stuff on your second turn. If you're playing against a control list under Haley 2, Wurmwood, or even something like Rask or the Witch Coven, you need to be aggressive turn 1 and 2.
Turn 1, run. If there's LOS blocking terrain on one side of the table, consider getting your Warlock/Warcaster behind it, preferably within walking distance of the flag. This will give you a lot of options after turn 2. If you can cut off half the table and then take the flag while preventing your opponent from contesting, you will probably win this game.
I have won games with literally my warlock and two-three infantry models left to my opponents entire army just by shoving models down his throat and dominating a flag for several turns in a row.
Remember, you always have the option to get three points in one turn by blowing up the objective and dominating the zone, so if your opponent starts committing their army hard to contest your flag after you score two, look at potentially just running your Warcaster/Warlock into the zone and destroying the objective for a surprise win from no where.
Turn 2, you need to flood that zone if you're playing against a list that wants to alpha and then feat to prevent you from attacking back. You should contest regardless as well as you can since even a non-control caster can get 3 points and be safe from retaliation if you don't put pressure on them.
Have models behind your contesting models for a counter punch. If your opponent commits to clearing that zone with his important models, you need a way to kill them or hurt them enough that he won't be able to dislodge you easily.
Watch out for the second player to get 3 points on his turn 2 and then....just run to the flag and laugh as you scramble to catch up to him. If you can, contest the flag that the enemies Warcaster/Warlock is near to prevent this from happening.
This is a live Scenario.
Game Plan for Going Second:
If you haven't figured it out by now, I love playing control lists, and Recon is one of the most interesting puzzle boxes to unlock for Scenario games. The potential for wins from nowhere is tantalizing, and one of the best ways to beat me in particular in this Scenario is to give me a difficult (but still possible) opening for a blistering 3 point turn 2. I will almost always go for this, even if it means my warcaster is exposed, I can't help it!
With that in mind, here's how I like to play this Scenario if I go second. I'll also include a slightly safer play afterwards.
Turn 1, you should be moving up as far as you can without getting either shot off the table or charged. You NEED to be able to get attacks into every part of the zone next turn in order to 1 - kill the objective and 2 - kill everything else in the zone.
Pick a side that your Warcaster/Warlock is able to be pretty safe while still within walking distance of the zone. I like to have the Fuel Cache objective in my control lists to make a cloud for my Warlock or Warcaster to hide behind.
Ideally there's a wall or forest to hide behind on turn 1.
Turn 2, time to go! This is really only a good idea if you're playing a list that can prevent you from getting alpha'd in return, since a canny opponent will have a solid, devastating counterpunch for you otherwise. There are some cases when this is fine even knowing that. If, for example, they haven't put hardly any models on one side of the table and you can run your warcaster over to the flag and dominate it for a couple turns safely, this is still worth it.
Kill. Every. Thing.
And dominate the zone for 2, netting you 3 points after the objective is dead. Also, feat with Haley 2 or Wurmwood if you're playing them.
Next turn, if you're not playing Wurmwood or Haley 2, they've probably contested pretty heavily, and if you can clear all of it, great! Do so and win. If not, run to a flag and get another point.
If you are playing Wurmwood or Haley 2, they won't likely have a ton of stuff in the zone. Kill it and win.
The Safe Way:
Set up a favorable piece trade on turn 2, and then attrition down one side of the table until they don't have much left. Find the flag with your warlock/warcaster, dominate it, and eventually blow up the objective while contesting the zone and their flag.
You set the pace, so use that to your advantage! Learn to love Recon as I love it, it's one of the great Scenarios.