Sunday 7 May 2017

Dwarf Rangers and kiting

I like Let's Plays and one of my favourites is the Side Quest series on the Extra Play channel. For the past year or so Dan Floyd, the voice of Extra Credits, has been playing his way through the Dark Souls trilogy. Its not as educational as most of the other series rhe EC crew put out, at least not since James Portnow stopped giving his designer's perspective early in the series, but its fun to watch Dan die over and over, plus he has a really relaxing voice.

Just me? Okay.

Anyway, his commentary introduced me to an idea that finally allowed me to put one of my favourite Dwarf units to proper use: kiting.

In a video game, you exploit an enemy's programming to make them follow you. You use the tactic to draw members of a horde out one by one or drag enemies into an area where you have an advantage.

On the tabletop, you present your enemy with a target they can't ignore but don't want to deal with. In this case, I set up my Rangers the minimun distance away from a unit of Dark Elves Dreadspears. This unit was holding down the right flank of my opponent's army with most of my power units set up towards his left. This unit was already at the farthest extent of his line and the furthest thing he had from the rest of my army. Chasing my Rangers would mean turning to face away from my army, marching twelve inches out of his way and charging into a hail of crossbow bolts.

Ignoring them meant having a unit with great weapons and crossbows attacking his right flank as my Warriors and Irondrakes moved in on his left.

I also had my Organ Gun positioned to take advantage of a failed charge or the complete massacre of my Rangers (who do not have a particularly long history of surviving contact with the enemy).

As it happens, terrible dice rolling on both our parts meant the tactic worked better than it had right to. I kept losing combat and he kept pursuing me exactly one inch short which meant three consecutive turns of stopping just shy of overrunning my Rangers and getting an Orgun Gun in the flank for his troubles.

Its essentially a psychological tactics so I'm going to have to work on making sure the bait is sufficiently annoying in future but I think I finally have a line on how scouting units are meant to be deployed.

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