Strategic Assaults: Tips and Advice

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The topic of discussion is strategic assaults: breaking through heavily defended areas, especially points with suppressing fire.

Anonymous comments:
Although I prefer to play Fantasia, I have to say my favorite Assault figure is the G3 Predator. Line two of them next to the suppressed area, toss a Disruptor Grenade and wait to see what happens. These things are powerful enough to even get at heavily-armored figures, and still cause havoc if they miss. Then, once the disruptor has succeeded or failed, toss a Prometheus bomb (remaining stationary, and if you have it spending leadership) directly on top of the suppressing figure. Wait to see if the suppressing figure is smart enough to leave the burning area (assuming it's not immediately killed) and then use the Prometheus Bomb's -1 modifier to block any further suppression as you take the corrider or room. If you want to get fancy you can even try walking /through/ the bomb, since your -1 GM gives you /some/ survivability. Not the smartest, sure, but it's definately got style.

Fantasian troopers can try a similar one-two punch with a burst and then field mode gauss grenade, but you want to put the field two inches in front of the suppresser to take advantage of the full -3 modifier (-1 per inch fired through) and you certainly don't want to walk your poor stormtroopers through an EMP field.


Mitchel's (jmsm@ucla.edu) comments:
I believe I know which battle, in particular, he is reffering to. Just so people get a better idea of what he is talking about, here is the scenario in which he used this strategy to great effect against me.

My outnumbered (as usual) Black Empire force had to defend a computer terminal room. There were only a few entrances into this room and I figured that if I could just lay down as much suppression as possible, he could do nothing to me until he ran through it. Here is a rough diagram of the situation.

                               __________________
                              |                                  ^|
                              |                                  :|_|G |
                              |               D------ S-------> ___|
                              |                                  :|
                              |                                  :|____
                              |                        S-----> : __    |
                              |                                 D|    |G|
                              |                              T   |
                              |______________   :   |
                                                          |    :  |___
                                                          |__:___A_

D=Drakkar, S=Seth Drakkar, T=Tozai, G=G3 Predators, A=A1 Assault Fiend
                   ^
the --> and  : are used to illustrate lines of suppression. 
So, as you can see, I had the place lit up. The machines had a snowball's chance in hell of surviving a stroll through all that suppression. Unfortunately for me, Chad (the machine commander) wasn't planning on taking that route. Imagine my horror when he said "Ok, I think I'll go ahead and displace throw a disruptor grenade right... here", as he placed his finger directly on top of one of my Seth Drakkars. To make a long story short, he disrupted a bunch of my troops, tossed a couple promethius bombs over the doorways and just waited for my troops to die off due to the disruption. Since all his machines were skulking behind corners, there wasn't much I could do as they would have the jump on me while I was rounding a corner. Once I was down to about 2 troops, he sent in a G3 to bat clean-up. I lost the scenario royally and only caused one casualty (my Tozai had the honor of tearing his A1 apart in Hand to Hand combat). Kudos to Chad on a totally unexpected and devestating move.

The only problem with what he did is that it will _never_ happen again. Now I know to stay way the heck away from doors when laying down suppression fire :). Permanent damage was done, however, as I will forever be hesitant to supress for extended periods of time again.

Chad asks, "Any better suggestions?

Yes, I suggest that the people of Fantasia surrender to the immeasurable might of the Black Empire. Should you choose to submit peacefully, the Empress will show mercy on you by allowing your people to enter into the Department of Slavery where you will serve the Tzoren people with honor for many millenia to come.


Joseph Hewitt (jhewitt@beothuk.swgc.mun.ca) offered the following advice:
Grenades w/displaced throwing are probably the easiest (and in many cases, best) way to get around well-defended areas. Being a Fantasian player, you should also be able to throw in a few expendible troops. If an area is just being covered, not supressed, it's usually not a bad trade off to lose the first soldier in so that the next few can march on through unharried. Snap fire is also something to remember.

Remember, depending on the scenario, it might not even be desirable to try and get through a well-planned defense. Sometimes, your opponent will need to come out to meet mission objectives. Other times, his troopers in the back would be more usefull somewhere else. By keeping him on the defensive, you're keeping all of those soldiers occupied.


Mark Langsdorf (mlangsdo@engr.trinity.edu) suggests:
The easiest way to get through suppressive fire is to remember the odds and not lose your nerves. Most weapons don't have better than a Short (4+) range, which means works out to a 1/3 chance of being hit by suppressive fire. An assault figure- Assault Fiend, Predator, or Assault Trooper- with a -1 GM reduces that chance to 1/6. Add in a FTG or Nachmacter grenade between the suppressor and the target, and you should be able to make it easily. This works even better with figures with significant close-combat abilities- the trusty M1 assault fiend.

If you don't have assault figures, or grenades to block line-of-sight, it is sometimes possible to get a line of fire on the suppressing figure without moving into the fire lane. This is especially true if the figure is suppressing from a room or wide corridor. Suppressing figures must fire down the suppression lane. Use this to your advantage.

(A collary of this is to support figures using suppressing fire with figures using covering fire. A kneeling Nightmare, suppressing down a corridor, with a standing Nightmare covering at 0 behind, will most likely not be destroyed by anything other than a sustained attack by assault units, at a high cost to the assault units).

Even if you have no assault units, or leadership, or grenades, and the suppressing figure is in a corridor and there is no other way to get to him, the situation is not hopeless. Supressing fire isn't a guaranteed kill. Send some cheap units into the fire lane, hope that they aren't taken down, and dust the guy performing the suppression. You could get lucky.