Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Builds and Tactics

ST-07SLCb Assault Chub
After playing numerous games of MFZ at the Denver Comiccon last weekend, I got a first hand look at how certain builds and tactics play out on the table.

The three companies I brought to the Con were as follows

Rattler Division (Starting Initiative: 24)
Fat Snake Grunts x2 (2d6Rd, 2d6Rh, 1d6B, 1d6G, 1xSSR)
Fat Snake Snipers x2 (2d6+d8Ra, 1d6B, 1d6G)
Fat Snake Scout x1 (2d6Rh, 1d6B, 2d6Y, 1d8G)
Fat Snake Knight x1 (2d6+d8Rh, 2d6B, 1d8G)

Pit Vipers (Starting Initiative: 28)
Iguana Grunts x2 (2d6+d8Rd, 1d6B, 1d6G)
Iguana Longbow x1 (2d6Ra, 2d6Rd, 2d6Y)
Heavy Assault Chub x1 (2d6+d8Rd, 2d6B)
Fat Snake Blitzer x1 (2d6+d8Rh, 2d6Y, 1d8G, 2xSSR)

31st OMU (Starting Initiative: 49)
Salvaged Chubs x2 (2d6Rd, 2d6Rh, 1d6B, 1d6Y)
Meerkat Grunts x2 (2d6Rd, 1d6G, 1d6Y, 1xSSR)
Sentinel x1 (2d6B, 2d6Y, 1d8G)

Out of all the games played, the OMU won all but 4 with the Pit Vipers winning 3 and the Rattlers winning only 1. Part of this I attribute to the fact that nearly everyone who played a game at the table had never played MFZ before and both the vipers and rattlers require certain tactics and playstyles to win while the OMU just has to not lose anything. The games where the Vipers and Rattlers won were because they effectively used coordinated and deadly attacks, making good use of spots and focused fire.

At first glace, the lack of yellow dice on the Rattlers seems like a huge hindrance, in practice it isn't as debilitating. The amount of firepower they bring to the table tends to eat through cover quickly and paired with increased mobility (every frame has a green die) they are able to maneuver around cover to line up a good shot, which means they are often able to use their white dice to lay down spots for their allies. The snipers hung back and layed down some hurt across the table. There was only one game where they ever got touched (granted that one instance it got one shotted by a salvaged chub's hatchet with 11 damage dice) and they were rarely anywhere near close enough to the thick of things to be a serious target.

The Vipers had the advantage of versatility. They had solid firepower all around (only one frame didn't have a d8 for attack) as well as two frames with double yellows. This meant they had some heavy attacks that could be very effective if focused correctly. The Iguana Grunts were awesome assault frames, swooping in quickly and dishing out the hurt while the Longbow peppered them from afar, assisting with spots wherever needed. The Blitzer hung back by the stations and used it's SSRs to pepper any incoming frames before they got in range of his huge melee damage, all the while supporting the reast of his team with his yellows.

What did I (and should you) take from this?
  • One defense system can make a huge difference in how long your frame stays on the table and contributing to the fight. It may not seem like a sound investment on paper, but trust me, it is.
  • Yellow dice are useful, but not always necessary. If you have the firepower to chew through cover or the mobility to get around it, your white dice will do just fine.
  • Make sure you activate your frames with yellow dice before your last frame. Those spots wont do any good if you don't have anyone left to use them.
  • Be aggressive and coordinated. This doesn't mean be reckless, the team who attacks relentlessly and effectively will almost always win.

Pit Viper Assault Chubs shake down an OMU soldier.

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