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franknarf
03-01-2013, 05:50 PM
I haven't seen many (any?) threads on tactical questions (as opposed to "what should the game be like" questions), so here's one. I was stumped in this situation during my first tournament:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-CKuKV5d-fww/UTEs8FFfZgI/AAAAAAAAAOQ/n_xC4aTi1IU/s1511/for_pillage.png

At the time, I thought the relevant question was: Should I sacrifice my PK (by killing the archer) so as to pillage the WH? It looked like my last chance to do so, as the archer could just hang back in safety.

I ended up doing it, but my opponent let Snorri go, instead walking the zero-exertion WH towards the center. I ended up with a very narrow win. So, was I thinking about this wrong? Would you have done something else?

Note: wow, the lack of auto-resizing of images is really annoying. I could've sworn it resized every other time....Full screen link (https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-CKuKV5d-fww/UTEs8FFfZgI/AAAAAAAAAOQ/n_xC4aTi1IU/s1918/for_pillage.png) Lucky that all the units fit here.

EDIT: Well, fancy that. It does resize, just not in the preview for a new thread, apparently.

djangoc
03-01-2013, 07:09 PM
Need to get that enemy WH's armor down and archer killed... I probably would have popped the horn for the archer kill and then play footsie until the enemy WH was dead/without armor.

Wordplay
03-01-2013, 09:44 PM
Love this problem. I think that you made the correct choice.

Every way I play it through, the Shieldmaster and the Backbiter die on this round, regardless of what your Provoker does, but only the Provoker can kill the archer in the next three rounds.

Let's say you did nothing, and rested. The Warhawk doesn't have the range to reach your other units on this turn, so the Warhawk moves. The Skystriker then moves and kills either the Shieldmaster, or the Backbiter. If the Shieldmaster lives, it attacks one of your units for break or minimal strength damage - not enough to kill them, or to cripple the Thrasher.

If the Backbiter survives, it can do some break, use the saved Willpower to run through, or move to buff the Warhawk. None of this is enough to kill a unit or cripple the thrasher. The worst options is to try to buff the Warhawk.

Now it's your Warmaster's turn. The Warmaster either kills the remaining unit (out of Backbiter and Shieldmaster), or, if the Warhawk's moved closer - it goes for the Warhawk. If the Warhawk moved closer, and the Backbiter tried to buff him, it can do both. If the Warhawk didn't move closer, then it just kills the remaining unit in the middle.

Now we're on the Siege Archer's turn. The Siege Archer attacks your Provoker, killing it.

Essentially, the Backbiter and the Shieldmaster were going to die on that round whatever, for very little loss. The Provoker is going to die if you don't attack the archer, but merely likely to die if you do. Whatever happens, your job of whittling down the Warhawk whilst keeping the Thrasher or the Skystriker safe for the decisive blow is made much easier by the turn advantage of pillage. Pillage will definitely be triggered this round, and before the Warhawk can do any damage, if you kill the archer, and will definitely not be triggered for the foreseeable future if you take any other action.

If you'd gone for the Shieldmaster, essentially you'd have either the Skystriker or Warmaster hanging about with no way to hit the Warhawk, and nothing to do that turn except move.

Impressively, whatever you did, you'd put your opponent in a position where they were left with no good choices. This scenario looks more even than it really is. The win would always be tight, but if you played merely well, as oppose to perfectly, your opponent was going to lose.

Strategically speaking, your opponent was entering the battle with their hand tied behind their back fielding a Warhawk with no exertion.

sweetjer
03-01-2013, 09:54 PM
Nice analysis, Wordplay. I also would have stopped the archer asap and forced pillage! to focus fire on the WH. Due to your low armor reducing the archer threat would be integral in this setup to safely deal with the WH without puncture looming overhead.

netnazgul
03-02-2013, 02:40 AM
WH is a very dangerous unit to be leaved in pillage full-strengthed :)

As for an alternative to think - has anybody thought about 4-armor breaking the WH here?

franknarf
03-02-2013, 08:13 AM
Thanks for the replies!

@Wordplay: That reasoning's a lot clearer and more well-grounded than I had, even when looking at it after the game! Yeah, I think my opponent's planning around protecting a zero-exertion WH 'til the endgame helped a lot.

Follow-up quiz: Why is it a horrible idea to take out the archer in the case illustrated below (from a Tirean vs LeCheeba stream, starting around 1:35 (http://www.twitch.tv/tirean/b/372657758))? The next Raidmaster to move is up top; and both Raidmasters have one exertion.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-9S1Y-omicLI/UTH32IGnYZI/AAAAAAAAAOg/bSbAowkPBDE/s1915/for_pillage_tirba.png

In the rest of the game, Tirean lets the archer live and she protects the WH from pillage until the last minute.

EDIT@nazgul: That would let the archer get away, but make the WH less dangerous for the rest of the (probably pillage-less) game. Interesting idea. As sweetjer emphasized, even if I wasn't close to pillage, it might be best to kill the archer just to avoid puncture on my armor-deficient crew.

Tirean
03-02-2013, 11:02 AM
This is a really neat idea :) maybe we could have a seperate forum section of analyze of games/positions?

RadioactiveMan
03-02-2013, 01:42 PM
I think you made the right choice- In near-end game situations where your opponent has one really strong unit remaining then you need to get to Pillage as fast as possible. 2v4 situations can be really rough if one of those 2 is near full strength.

BrainFreeze
03-02-2013, 06:08 PM
Follow-up quiz: Why is it a horrible idea to take out the archer in the case illustrated below (from a Tirean vs LeCheeba stream, starting around 1:35 (http://www.twitch.tv/tirean/b/372657758))? The next Raidmaster to move is up top; and both Raidmasters have one exertion.


Well, i'm not expert, but my reasoning is this: killing the archer would give the turn to Warhawk, who would obliterate both your Varls in one motion and screw you. On the other hand, if you don't kill archer your raidmaster will move and block Warhawk's path to your more precious units.

Edit: you'll lose only one Varl if you use exertion while killing the archer(and move out of tempest reach), but point still stands