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Any way to cancel a speculo?

Discussion in 'ALEPH' started by MerloyJenkils, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. MerloyJenkils

    MerloyJenkils Well-Known Member

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    Well the question says it all... Is there any way to do it? Apart from opponent botching rolls or make a bad decision to whom to attack? Or you just gona have to assume you will lose your most valuable asset unless the opp botches the roll?

    I once did kind of a wall of other minis around the "main" asset but it was too cumbersome of a solution...
     
  2. yoink101

    yoink101 Well-Known Member

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    A Speculo Killer will kill something. There’s not really anything you can do about it. The best defenses are:

    1) Going first
    2) Making sure that the Speculo only gets one chance.

    Going first means that you can hunt it down.

    Denial is the other tactic. Cover the Speculo’s intended target with mines, jammers, or msv2+ shooters. Any of those will mean that you have a chance to shut the Speculo down as it comes out of impersonation to hit its target. If you can make your response hard enough that the Speculo is almost certainly dead, it only has one attack. You might fail that monofilament armor roll, but there’s also a chance you will make the save.

    Remember that a Speculo is a significant points and swc investment.

    On another note, if you have deployment and your opponent didn’t bring an Avatar, hold the model you are most worried about when playing against combined or Shasvasti.
     
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  3. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    Walling is a good solution. An Impersonator is basically always going to get one Order's worth of attacking. There's basically nothing you can do to stop that. So defensively, you need to make sure that one attack is as weak as possible, and you need to make sure the Impersonator gets punished/killed for that one order it gets revealed.

    To make the attack as weak as possible, you need to make sure it doesn't reach b2b with your best asset. As you say, walling is a good idea there. You can do this by placing your valuable unit in the corner of a building, and placing a palbot and/or camo token in b2b. As long as you stop the Impersonator from doing crazy setup antics with smoke, this basically forces the impersonator into a shotgun blast, which you have a good chance of surviving with any trooper that's more than 1 Wound / Structure or has Remote Presence. Just be ready to heal/repair.

    To make sure the Impersonator only gets to use one order, it's basically about ARO coverage. Cover those angles, protect those dead zones. The Posthuman Mk2 Sniper's great here, for just being the eye in the sky that can deter or challenge an Impersonator who thinks he's safe and is trying to lay down smoke.

    Jammer and Perimeter weapons are really good for this, but since those aren't really an asset for OSS, you can always rely on hidden deployment, nanopulsers, etc. to try and deny area in a similar way.
     
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  4. thirteenpixels

    thirteenpixels Well-Known Member
    Warcor Aristeia

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    Unless it's my Speculo. Then you're guaranteed to roll a 13+. Every. Damn. Time.
     
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  5. Stiopa

    Stiopa Trust The Fuckhead
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    A savvy opponent won't even go for the biggest target, but will use combination of Impersonation, template weapons (Speculo BS and Speculo Minelayer are the most dangerous ones), and Smoke to kill key units, deplete order pool, and they he'll bunker somewhere where you'll have to use a lot of orders to dig him out. Walling is good, but when your wall gets a mine or a shotgun to the face...

    The good thing is that Speculo is fragile.
     
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  6. WiT?

    WiT? Well-Known Member

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    The trick is to make the valuable targets hard to get, and force the opponent to make the WIP roll if they want to go for something good.

    If your opponent is going to gamble 40 points and 1 SWC on a WIP roll to stab one guy, then sucks but they get to do that. Not how I would design the rule but it is what it is. Its an expensive, swingy and unreliable way to play the game, but its something that unfortunately exists and believe me, the opponent is paying a lot for it. Most good players are not going to be relying on this, so you will see it from newer players or players who are not seeing good, safe options for the Speculo, or players who need that specific model to die and are willing to pretty much bet the game on the WIP roll to get it done.

    Most Speculo attacks come from the edge of the DZ. So putting interceptors, such as cheap warbands or jammer areas, between the best Speculo deployment locations and your valuable assets is a good way to either slow them down or kill them, or force your opponent into that 60% roll. Learning this defense is just part of getting better at going second in the game, and will work well against all sorts of different alpha strike angles that the opponent can take.

    As Stiopa said though, if the assets are well guarded, the Speculo will likely go for cheerleaders or other easy targets. Write them off. The 40pt, SWC munching Speculo is an expensive asset that your opponent gets and its nearly impossible to "just take X and their Y is useless" in this game. Instead of trying to defend them entirely, make them expensive in orders to attack - thats what you do to 'negate' most enermy attacks anyway.
     
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  7. natetehaggresar

    natetehaggresar Backlogged Painter

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    Its very hard to deny an impersonators one chance. Sometimes you can manipulate terrain and things like disposable yud bots/netrod etc to deny B2B contact with an important model you're trying to save. Speculo are only likely to kill big targets in melee so..... don't let them do that.

    Also if you're playing steel, sixth sense granted by your links goes a long way to negate the threat.

    Make sure to watch approaches to your important dude, making hard to lay down smoke all the way to your asset can sap a whole turn or even deny it assassiniation as an option.

    EDIT: Also don't forget, even mono doesn't instant kill. Speculo don't have CC above 20 so they "only" have a 20% crit chance with MA, and you still can tank a regular mono hit 40% of the time. There is a chance you'll survive. If you don't have other AROs incoming it may be worth considering shooting a nano pulsar or something if you can to stop repeat attempts.
     
  8. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    Yeah, for sure.

    Walling is only good if you're absolutely trying to prevent that CC engagement, AND you can deter the Impersonator from just throwing smoke on top of the whole mess, AND you have the stats to oppose a shotgun blast. Best examples here would be a 2-Wound or NWI unit, or a linked dude with a doc nearby. You're likely to oppose or save vs at least one of those shotgun blasts, which hopefully leaves you alive on either NWI or your remaining wound, or Unconscious and able to be doctored/repaired back up. It's definitely not a guaranteed deterrent to damage, but simply a way of keeping that unit away from a mono hit/viral hit/coup de grace and able to stay in the game in one form or another.

    You also need to cover nearby corners so a mine doesn't get placed... A mine blast + 2 shotgun hits makes NWI and 2-Wound guys nervous.

    Can you tell that this isn't an exact science :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
     
    #8 barakiel, Jul 31, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
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  9. RobertShepherd

    RobertShepherd Brisk antipodean

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    An attack by a speculo killer is one of those things that I've begun to use the word 'triage' to describe my reaction paradigm for. As people have noted already in this thread - there is going to be damage done, so your focus needs to shift to limiting it rather than preventing it outright. Direct template weapons will typically be your best defence, followed trying to arrange your deployment zone so that models are covering each other from positions across DZ (e.g. a total reaction bot deployed conservatively but watching up the length of your DZ so that it can see positions the speculo might throw smoke from).

    (To note: warband attacks fall into the 'triage' category as well. Do not believe the Yuan Yuan's lies when he tells you you can dodge to avoid his chain rifle. Trade and be done with it.)

    If your opponent isn't running the Avatar, your choice of reserve drop can be heavily influential in how well a speculo attack can be stopped. If you're playing posthumans (just my little joke, suggesting an Aleph player might not be running posthumans) then deploying the 10pt forward observer aggressively next to her just to watch and die to the speculo can slow her up significantly at little actual cost to you (and ideally you'll just get off a nanopulser if she tries to attack).

    Alternatively, for vanilla Aleph a libertos can be an exceptional counter-deployment to a speculo because with two camo markers you can often bracket her in and trap her completely (if she deploys touching a wall) since she can't move into contact with either camo marker without discovering them first, and if she discovers them first the mine detonates.

    If you're regularly playing against an Avatar+Speculo and not taking a Marut yourself, your best bet in vanilla is to just load up on templates and your own smoke + melee. Two Krakot Renegades, a Libertos and the Posthuman set gives you a massive set of forward deploying elements with weapons highly dangerous to the speculo at a very attractive price point. Again, the expectation is that some of these models might die to her (but as a combined player myself I'm keenly aware of how easily she can get unlucky), but you're trying to limit the damage to models you're willing to accept the loss of.
     
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  10. xagroth

    xagroth Mournful Echo

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    If you go first, the Speculo is a Speed Bump, since you will need at the very least 2 orders to take her down (Discover, Discover+shoot). Ideally, you will do so with a troop who is at more than 40 cm (16') from the Speculo, Discovering the speculo and Shooting at another CA unit (legal if you have LoF to both), also if you fail with that unit, you still did something with the order (shooting at an enemy).

    Against a Shasvastii army, having MSV2-3 troops is great in vanilla, because you drop a smoke on top of a visor and start making Discover + Discover (legal too, but you need to Discover 2 different enemy markers, I think... anyway, the Asura can make an autodiscover + attempt to discover a Speculo), while the Biometric Visor is not really needed but can be a good help (the Deva Functionaries discover at 8, then 14, while the Shukra discovers at 17... remember to add Cover and Distance penalties, however).

    In OSS, by nothaving smoke, you are more limited in using this tactic, since the enemy can have several units watching your discoverer.

    None of this work against IMP-1 or IMP-2 enemy troops (they are considered allies, so deployables won't trigger. And the MSV only denies visual maluses, not the -6 from IMP). At most, those measures help to ensure that the Speculo gets one shot, and one shot only.

    Elaborating:
    AM3 means she forces a -3/+3 to your unit and herself, respectively. So unless she goes against a Myrmidon (normal, character...), she is effectively CC23 and applying a -3 or -9 to the ARO of the guy eating the melee hit... (Surprise Attack imposes a -6 to the roll of the defender...). If the monofilament hits and it's not a crit, its an ARM0 roll against Damage 12 (can't be modified), so it's a 60% chance of the miniature dying, and a 40% of nothing happening...
     
  11. MerloyJenkils

    MerloyJenkils Well-Known Member

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    Ok so that's the thing, if you start second there really is NO way to prevent that attack, so you have 60% chance of loosing your main asset, Lt, whatever. It's tough to just rely on luck for this, it's hard to swallow.

    I'll be playing Shasvastii too but I'm sure i'll miss the attacks most of the time bah.

    But overall, I think I always tried to do what you are refering too, trying to cover angles, so at least the opponent has a hard time reaching the asset or at least know he will loose the spec after.

    But when it kills your Lt, or your Marut, or Achilles or Asura... it's very very hard on the game after.

    Thank you guys for your replies
     
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  12. Cartographer

    Cartographer Well-Known Member

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    Well, Achilles has a better than even chance of killing the Speculo on his own.
    Remember that the Asura ignore the surprise attack mod, so her survival chance is low, not unbelievably crap.
    The Marut, well chances are you were going to use the Marut to fire a multi-HMG out of smoke, so you kind of deserve the beating (you should also have Myrmidons nearby).
     
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  13. Nenyx

    Nenyx Well-Known Member

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    We also have various sync remotes. Scylla, arjunas, deva ... Put the 4 pt remote to threaten the speculo, keep the controler unit safe. Or even yudbots.
     
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  14. KestrelM1

    KestrelM1 Well-Known Member

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    The Marut should never ever be deploying before the Speculo if you're going second.
     
  15. psychoticstorm

    psychoticstorm Aleph's rogue child
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    My dice aside the Spekulo is guaranteed to kill something, your job is to make sure she does not get a chance to kill another thing, mines defensive ARO, lucrative targets to deviate from the true target are all good solutions and getting a high impact target killed is frankly much more preferable than loosing your order pool.

    Surprisingly Spekulos are wasted in obvious LT kills (in armies that have chain of command) or high profile targets instead of hunting down the order reserve.
     
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  16. ijw

    ijw Wargaming Trader, Freelance Editor (UK)
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    Stopping the second attack (and doing it all under smoke cover) is what yoink was talking about.
     
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  17. Ayadan

    Ayadan Knight of the TAG Order

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    Wrong. MSV3 units are immune to Surprise attacks coming from units in Camouflage or TO camouflage state. They will suffer the Surprise attack coming from Holoprojector 2+ and IMP units, as opposed to BMV1+ units which exchange this immunity with them.

    One other way to handle them is to not rely on only one good troop which will carry all your list. Decoys, backup, CoC, cheap remotes as main attack pieces, Camo/TO units etc. are ways to make a Speculo a waste of points and orders more than a valuable asset. I don't know if Vanilla Aleph is good at this but it is also a way tame down the alpha strike of a Speculo.
     
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  18. xagroth

    xagroth Mournful Echo

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    People sees "monofilament" and understands "intended use: remove the biggest thing with most ARM", barring that they go for what they think will hurt the most in a single swing.
    On that regard, the Fiday is more dangerous: the haqquislamite player is more used to the unequal exchange, and prefers to order-starve the enemy.

    Efficiency, as Aleph understood when creating the Steel Phalanx, can become a trap.
     
  19. yoink101

    yoink101 Well-Known Member

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    That was my point. They don’t work against the speculo until it is revealed, but protecting your key pieces with mines, jammers, and msv means that the speculo will only get one attack.
     
  20. Urobros

    Urobros Well-Known Member

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    Ummm... Not, are plenty of options to counterattack the speculo. With big targets, place some rem so, the speculo can't reach base to base combat. Yes, she still could do "shoot" but then you can "shoot" her back.

    So, don't be afraid of speculos ;)