Friday, October 4, 2013

Tactics 101: Maximizing Damage

Tactics 101
When designing your frames, don't just slap on systems based on what looks cool, or what you think makes sense. While there is nothing wrong with doing that, we're talking about tactics to win, and looking cool does not equal winning (most of the time). I'm going to talk about what I call "System Synergy." It means getting the most out of each system on your frame's loadout to build an effective cog in your company. In this brief installment I'll be going over spotting systems a bit in regards to maximizing your damage potential. 

Spotting is what makes your attacks really effective. In general, one weapon system and a spotting system will be more efficient than two weapon systems. With spotting systems on your frames, you are much more likely to always be able to spot your targets for your other frames. Assuming you can spot consistently, a weapon system and a spot system gives you a max potential of a 12 for your attack, while two weapon systems only gives you 8. If you manage to use that spot with a frame using two weapon systems that max goes up to 14! Even against the highest possible defense of 6, thats 8 damage dice. So obviously, spotting can really pump up your firepower and you should be utilizing it as much as you can in every game. Let's take a look at some good builds that focus on using spotting systems.

"The Commando": 2d6Rh, 2d6Y, 1d6B, d8G
Unless i have a very specific tactic with a company, I really like to include one of these in each company I field. The two spotting systems make sure that whatever the highest priority target on the table is, it;s gonna get a big fat spot on it. Use this frame for station grabbing (aided by that d8 for movement), taking out squishy targets in compromising positions with the melee system, and for setting up your heavy hitters for success with a big fat spot to maximize potential damage dice. Depending on your company, you may want to add an SSR to this guy as well. That tiny bit of extra oomph and flexibility can really help keep this guy contributing every turn. The defensive system is the only system I would consider dropping for this build if you're trying to underbid someone, but even then, I would consider dropping systems elsewhere in the company before doing that.

"The Support Soldier": 2d6Rd, 2d6Y, 1d6G
Much akin to the Commando, this guy will help maximize your damage output all over the table with his two spotting systems. The difference with him though, is since he is using ranged weapons he wont have quite the durability or mobility of the Commando. So why does he have a movement system instead of defense? Simple, cover is better and minimizing damage than defensive systems are. That movement system will allow you to move around more freely and keep this guy in an advantageous position in cover more often. This is a guy you want when you like to play very tactically. Rushing him in to the fray will likely get him destroyed quickly. This is another solid candidate for SSRs, as it can up your attack dice potential in key situations. Generally, the first system you want to lose from damage is one of your spots. At that point you wont be able to tag anything on the board, but you'll still be able to consistently tag whoever you're engaging in combat with this guy. If you lose the movement you may get stuck out in the open with no cover, and if you lose the direct fire system you've got no way of shooting back.

"The Mobile Cannon": 2d6+d8Ra, 1d6B, 1d6G
But wait a minute! He doesn't have spotting systems! Hold your peaches there buddy, I know. This is the guy you want taking advantage of the spots your other guys are laying down. Two artillery systems give him the maximum potential for attack rolls with a possible 8 and being able to target pretty much anything on the table. This is the guy you want to hang back in a nice cover filled position shooting at targets that have big spots on them, and/or low defense. In the right situation, you could one-shot a frame with this guy from across the table. Why the defense and movement systems over a double spot like the other guys? They keep him alive and, ironically, less of a target. If he had double artillery and double spot, he's pretty much saying "HEY GUYS, I'M OVER HERE, SHOOT ME." When everyone is taking shots at a frame, and the frame has no way to really help defend against them, he will go down quick. I mean epic quick. If you dont put the spotting systems on him, he's just that guy that can peg me from over there. The bigger threat is all of a sudden the guy right in from of him that keeps tagging him with those pesky yellow dice. The movement helps him stay in cover or make a last minute station grab, while the defense keeps his defense score high.

One thing to always remember about spots, even if you don't have spotting systems it doesn't mean you cant spot. White dice can be used to spot frames, but they need to be out of cover to do so. Since spotting is the last thing you do on a turn, use it to your advantage against targets in cover that you pretty much have no chance of landing a hit on. Shoot at the cover and tear it apart, then after the frame is no longer in cover, spot it with those whites setting up the attack for your other frames (like the Mobile Cannon).

So next time you think about adding more weapons to your frames, think about adding spotting systems instead. It may just make the difference.