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Deploying Swarm on Sparse Tables

Discussion in 'Tohaa' started by borings, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. borings

    borings Well-Known Member

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    I've had a few people ask me about how i am deploying 20 troops on the table and not getting just wrecked going second. So, this last sunday i spent a couple hours setting up tables to simulate some of the "worst case" scenarios, in hopes that if people do want to try swarm they can have some helpful guidelines on how to do so and have a reasonable first turn going second.

    First off, for the purposes of this, i am deploying this list:
    Swarm Demo
    ──────────────────────────────────────────────────

    GROUP 1[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]10 [​IMG]5
    SUKEUL Lieutenant (Forward Observer) K1 Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Breaker Pistol, Knife. (0 | 32)
    MAKAUL Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades / Pistol, Viral CCW. (0 | 13)
    MAKAUL Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades / Pistol, DA CCW. (0 | 13)
    MAKAUL Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades / Pistol, Viral CCW. (0 | 13)
    MAKAUL Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades / Pistol, DA CCW. (0 | 13)
    MAKAUL Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades / Pistol, DA CCW. (0 | 13)
    CHAKSA AUXILIAR (Baggage, Sensor) Heavy Flamethrower / Pistol, CCW. (0 | 10)
    CHAKSA AUXILIAR (Baggage, Sensor) Heavy Flamethrower / Pistol, CCW. (0 | 10)
    CHAKSA AUXILIAR (Baggage, Sensor) Heavy Flamethrower / Pistol, CCW. (0 | 10)
    CHAKSA AUXILIAR (Baggage, Sensor) Heavy Flamethrower / Pistol, CCW. (0 | 10)

    GROUP 2[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]9 [​IMG]1 [​IMG]1
    SUKEUL HMG, D-Charges / Pistol, Breaker Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 35)
    KRIIGEL Submachine Gun, Phero-Booster / Viral Pistol, Knife. (0 | 24)
    MAKAUL Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades / Pistol, Viral CCW. (0 | 13)
    KAAURI Sentinel Submachine Gun, 2 Nanopulsers, Nullifier / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0 | 12)
    KAAURI Sentinel Submachine Gun, 2 Nanopulsers, Nullifier / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0 | 12)
    KAAURI Sentinel Submachine Gun, 2 Nanopulsers, Nullifier / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0 | 12)
    KAAURI Sentinel Submachine Gun, 2 Nanopulsers, Nullifier / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0 | 12)
    KAELTAR (Chain of Command) Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse + 2 SymbioMates / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 21)
    TAAGMA Breaker Combi Rifle, Nanopulser / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 16)
    DIPLOMATIC DELEGATE (iKohl L1, Specialist Operative) Nanopulser, Flash Pulse / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)

    2 SWC | 299 Points

    Open in Infinity Army

    after playing around with the newer stuff this seems to be what i have settled on, and it is working pretty great so far.

    the tables i will be deploying on have 20% cover, and very minimal scatter terrain. 20% seems to be the low end of how most people play, if your meta plays with less, i'm sorry?
    the white slips of paper are laid down to denote the edge of the DZ.

    ok so first off, a 20% table laid out in a pretty reasonable way
    [​IMG]
    this is looking down the midline, with deployments on the left and right. going second means we get to choose table sides, which for swarm really just boils down to whichever side has more places we can deploy dudes in total cover. height only matters if there are pieces higher than the rest of the board that we can put dudes on and out of line of sight, or if the tall buildings also have things to hide behind on top of them. the right side would prolly be better if we were going for sniper aros or forward deploying aros, but we aren't, so the left side is chosen.

    here is a view from the deployment side
    [​IMG]

    we effectively have 4 things to hide behind here, with the left corner being pretty reasonable chokepoint. now the hard part of all this is that the positioning of our troops should be reactive. like, if they have some killer piece on the left flank, with 7+ orders available for it, we prolly want to position more to the right flank.

    lets assume that is true, and deploy like this:
    [​IMG]

    (sorry about how fuzzy these are, the lighting in my local is kinda weird for fotos, and i didn't realize til now)
    ok so starting from the far right:
    we have a chaksa baggage tucked deep in a corner. any aro he gets should be provoking while in heavy flamer range.
    next we have the sukeul lt and two makauls. the makauls are both prone, there is really almost no reason for these guys to start the game standing up. this makes it so that if someone rounds that corner they will prolly be visible to both, but also makes it harder to see them from midfield on top of the crates there.
    up at the top we have a kaauri smg. these guys get to stand up, because they are the main speedbumps to progress. i almost always lost at least 2 kaauri when i go second. sometimes all 4. its not really a big deal. it is behind cover that is about its height, making its sight lines pretty weird, which is on purpose. again, these guys are just meant to be an annoying confusing hassle.
    next up, the triad of the kriigel, sukeul hmg, and makaul, all on ground level. these guys are visible from the right flank, but not in a place the enemy can be in cover and see them. which means we get a b2 hmg shot and a b2 smoke throw if someone walks into LoF. the kriigel is tucked in but close to the sukeuls so that it can provide some safety with eraser.
    up on top of those crates is the diplomat. shes in a spot where if we want we can bring her into play, but otherwise she just protects out back area. her facing is not great, but that's cause she kinda sucks for aros and we really want out opponent to ignore her so we can have more orders later. if we were feeling more defensive she could be out a bit more, looking over the back field. doing that opens her up to shots from midfield, but sometimes that's worth it.
    on the left is another kaauri, looking up a tiny gap to the left flank.

    on the left side we have
    [​IMG]
    some blatant product placement. my bad.

    ok starting from the far left:
    two more chaksa, hanging out next to the kaeltar. these guys prolly wont move all game. walking into that back corner sucks, and there isn't much payoff.
    up in front of them and we have another kaauri, tucked in a weird way so it can only really see stuff within 24".
    on the right side of the white crate we have another chaksa, just sitting in a weird spot hoping to live through the battle.
    in front of him is another kaauri, looking up the left flank so it can react to walk ins from the side. to its right is a triad of makauls, positioned such that they can answer prollems from both sides.
    above them on some crates is the taagma pretending to be a gao-rael. its in a pretty reasonable place for a sniper to start that i want to bring out on my turn, which makes it a good target to kill for the opponent, even if it is a pain to get to.


    basically the general theme is just put triads where they can fit, and then put kaauris to block the approach, and then put everyone else wherever they can stand without being seen from the midfield.

    talking about LoF, lets check some of these guys, so we can see where these units are first visible.

    makaul on the right flank, and the pink kaauri
    [​IMG]

    these guys can be seen from the midfield, which is fine for the makaul as it is aroing smoke with b2 16s from cover. that is actually as good as our aros get, across the faction, unless you count the gorgos. sure it isnt killing the unit with aros, but i prefer to have my guys to that on my turn when it is more reliable anyways. as for the kaauri, it turns out that even with the height difference, the first spot it can be seen from is still within 24". i guess practice has made it easier for me to eyeball that.

    proof:
    [​IMG]


    ok next up on the right flank, the best shots for guys out there is again from the top of crates. specifically the grey one on top of the green one without sandbags.
    from up there they can see the blue and red kaauris, as well as the chaksas on the left flank.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    its not great to lose those pieces from that spot, but in order to get there they either hafta super jump, which is always gonna be a prollem on sparse tables, or superior infiltrate, or spend 2-3 orders just getting up there. also as an added bonus, they cant even see our fake gao-rael from up there. i've had games where people would commit to a thing like that, killing a few orders and then going into suppressive fire, if they do then good for you. makauls just waltz past suppressive which makes it a waste on their part.

    now lets check our right flank, to see where people can see that sukeul and makaul from
    [​IMG]

    pink kaauri gets to see them here, out of cover as they cross the sandbags. the sukeul can shoot hmg and the makaul can throw smoke. heck even the red kaauri gets to take a pot shot from downtown. anyone walking in on this side is walking into a hot mess is all i'm saying. as for a 5-man moving up here, the sukeul might get killed as well as the others, and while that would certainly be a blow, most lists with 5-mans don't have enough orders to kill these guys and then also follow through to kill more than a few more, meaning we prolly still start our first turn with 15+ orders, and their 5-man is left with their butts flappin in the wind.

    lets say they get past the kaauris on the left flank, as well as those chaksas and the makauls, from the back left they have either this view
    [​IMG]

    or this view
    [​IMG]
    (chaksa helper bot here for example of where they can see the kaeltar)

    both of those spots are not great for going on a kill spree. first off they hafta live through a ton of templates, and secondly if they do breach there isn't much damage that can be done, especially if the makauls are good about throwing smoke.

    just for reference, here is how i would deploy if i wanted to have the sukeul lt on the left flank, and the kaeltar on the right
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    basically the same. the sukeul/kriigel/makaul triad swaps with the triple makauls, and otherwise only some chaksa move around so we aren't too bunched up.


    this table is pretty sparse, with almost no scatter terrain. it has some extremely long firelanes, but i think we have all seen worse tables...
     
    #1 borings, Aug 13, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  2. borings

    borings Well-Known Member

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    ok lets try this again on a worse table.

    [​IMG]

    again, about 20% coverage, this time with the cover clumped together so the open spaces are even more so. with the additional problem of both DZs having firelanes going clear across them, and the far side of the table having a firelane going clear across it. Minimal scatter terrain, placed haphazardly, i was reassured that this has the look of "a bad tournament table". If your tables have less terrain than this in your DZs, i suggest never going second no matter what, or at least only playing full camo lists.

    Ok so we are going second, and we get to choose table side. the right side has more height, but the blue crate with the white stripe is prolly just past the DZ, which means there are really only 2 buildings to hide behind, and the cover is too far back to force people into template aros.

    we take the left side, and our dz looks like this
    [​IMG]

    three decent blobs to hide behind, with an inherent arc to them which is nice.

    after deploying the left side looks like this
    [​IMG]
    from the left:
    pink kaauri, positioned so that it can only really see within 16"
    triad of sukeul lt and two makauls. the makauls facing in ways they can see most stuff coming at them.
    above them on the crate is the taagma pretending to be a gao-rael, again in a position it could reasonably get some pretty good shots from if we just moved it once.
    that chaksa in the back i moved to the other side, pretend like it isnt there! (oops, sorry it was a long day of taking photos)
    to their right is another chaksa, pushed back as far as it can , hoping that people round the corner into flamer range.
    next are two makauls, prone in the middle. the one on the left is in a fireteam with the makauls on the right, the other one is part of the fireteam with the sukeul and kriigel. this is prolly the best spot to advance from if the opponent has clogged up the midfield with suppressive fire and such.
    next is the red kaauri, watching over the mid chokepoint like a boss. the kriigel is as far forward as possible, giving a decent amount of eraser coverage from a pretty defensible position.

    on the right
    [​IMG]

    most of the dudes are on the left, since 2 of the hiding spots are there, so not many guys left for this section.
    we have kaauris watching each side, backed up by chaksa with the kaeltar ducked in there hiding and hoping it never has to move.

    ok lets take a look at some of these firelanes we get from this
    first off, to show that there is nothing to see from the right flank when still in good hmg range
    [​IMG]

    from a little further up, they can start to see the kaauri
    [​IMG]

    if they keep pushing they start to see our back line, which isn't great for us
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    only thing really stopping the advance from that side after the kaauri is the chaksa, but there are enough of them there that it should slow people down somewhat

    ok so the right flank is like, meh, how is the left flank
    the first unit the can see is, the red kaauri
    [​IMG]
    just barely through a gap. a lucky shot from this guy might kill something, but prolly not

    next to be see is pink kaauri
    [​IMG]
    but this guy can only be seen from out of cover, in decent range for smg.

    when they push past they next see the makauls and sukeul
    [​IMG]

    and finally they can get into the back lane for a shooting gallery
    [​IMG]


    of course, in order to get to the back lanes, they actually have to move there and kill things.
    lets talk about some typical rambo scenarios:
    a 5 man hollow-man team deployed up as far as possible
    [​IMG]

    this would be a very aggressive way to deploy, especially since they are deploying first. but lets assume your opponent knows you are playing swarm, and knows that you are not going to have aro pieces or any tricks or ways to interact with guys placed this far out in the open.

    i placed red tokens to mark the orders they would take
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    they have a 10 order pool, and counterintel, so we stripped it down to 9 orders
    1-3: move up
    4: kill red kaauri from cover
    5: kill pink kaauri
    6: move up
    7: move up and kill makaul from like 2 inches away, tanking the double flamer aro like a boss
    8: move up a bit and kill the sukeul, who just dies even tho it has a symbiomate, because of course. the makaul next to it has now failed a change facing twice
    9: back lane rambo shot from downtown, the baggage guys and kaeltar on the other side of the table are pretty far, but hollow men rule and they know that its worth ending their turn in the open like this to kill the Lt and the CoC guy.

    it is possible go into LoL here, but i don't think having 20 guys is the prollem here, the prollem is that the opponent won every roll and we failed every roll. i doubt there is a way to deploy 10 guys on a table like this and not die to this chain. in fact, having 20 guys makes it more resilient, as there are more chumps that it has to cut through.

    ok scenario B "dashat swarm":
    lets see what happens when yer opponent is running rui-shi 5 man and mcmurder
    [​IMG]
    mcmurder starts in the mid, because of course.
    [​IMG]
    the 5-man starts on the left flank, near mcmurder so it can use his smoke to good effect. (we are assuming since they deployed first that we put our lt as far away from the rui-shi as possible, right?)

    ok mcmurder goes first. for some reason we took orders out of his pool with our command token
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    impet: move forward
    1: advance and throw smoke so he doesnt get shot by kaauri
    2: jump up
    3: advance and smoke
    4: move up and position
    5-6: throw some smoke down so he can get into cc safely, and to let the rui shi be awesome
    7:kill the chaksa behind the kaauri
    8:kill the kaeltar

    5-man advance
    forgot to get the photo of the first part of their move sorry
    [​IMG]
    1: turn on assisted fire
    2-4: move up
    5: kill the kaauri
    6: advance
    7-10: 4 orders to kill any guys it can see

    the kill zone for the rui shi
    [​IMG]

    of course, mcmurroughs might be in the way if the chaksa was killed after the kaeltar (which would make sense as the kaeltar is the bigger target)
    [​IMG]

    however lets just assume the ruishi kills all 5 of the makauls it can see with its 4 orders, despite some of them being in bad range and them having eclipse grenades.

    we start the turn with 11 orders and one irregular. we can swap the makaul from group one to two, and convert the irregular to regular, so our pool looks like this
    [​IMG]

    the makaul impet moves forward and mcmurroughs can throw smoke (we assume the rui shi isnt still sitting in a spot where it can just get flamered by that chaksa that is like right next to it).

    order one we move the sukeul down, and then spend a command token to form a triad of the sukeul/kriigel/makaul.
    order two is moving forward
    [​IMG]

    order three is advance, and then 4 is eraser with the kriigel on one of the weaker guys in the 5-man

    order 5 is move the makaul and sukeul into cc, and have the kriigel walk around to force mcmurroughs to aro change facing. then the makaul does a b2 dam 17 viral hit that vs mcmurroughs phys 10 check. mcmurroughs is weak to viral, so this should do the trick?

    alternately we can just have the kriigel isolate another guy from the 5 man, and then have the makaul walk over and double flamer that group.
     
    #2 borings, Aug 13, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  3. RobertShepherd

    RobertShepherd Brisk antipodean

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    I absolutely guarantee you're going to get a response in the vein of 'that's not a sparse table at all'. :P
     
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  4. borings

    borings Well-Known Member

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    gotta wait for the second table, im still editing
     
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  5. RobertShepherd

    RobertShepherd Brisk antipodean

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    I stand by my prediction :P

    For reference - I quite like, and would play on, both those tables. You've set them up well, and they represent what I'd expect as a good minimum standard at a tourney event.
     
  6. RobertShepherd

    RobertShepherd Brisk antipodean

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    Here's an example of what I think people think of when they talk about sparse deployment zones (highlighted in blue):

    Sparse.jpg

    For reference, I think this is a gorgeous looking table set up terribly. I actually ended up asking the owner about this one and confirmed they hadn't quite got it tourney-ready; there were a few elements missing that didn't make it to completion in time for the event.

    I can imagine in this case that the response to a DZ like this is "I don't pick that table side by choice; the other side looks a lot better".
     
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  7. borings

    borings Well-Known Member

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    yeh i would say they are minimum standard, and are what i expect from tournaments mostly because they hafta make their terrain last for a ton of tables. i think having firelanes going across the back lane on both DZs is terrible, and would make me want to play swarm even more, even if it occasionally gets blown out going second, if only because swarm is almost a guaranteed win going first on a table like this.
     
    #7 borings, Aug 13, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  8. borings

    borings Well-Known Member

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    that does look pretty cool, but if you are going second on that table with 20 dudes why aren't you taking the table side with terrain in the dz?
     
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  9. RobertShepherd

    RobertShepherd Brisk antipodean

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    Because you're intentionally contrarian, obviously.
     
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  10. borings

    borings Well-Known Member

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    also just from eyeballing it it looks about the same as the second table i posted as far as number of places you can have guys be prone, especially since the close side has two buildings, and the left one would definitely fit 4 prone guys prone on top of it.
     
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  11. borings

    borings Well-Known Member

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    stop interrupting me im trying to post this jawn, even if its not helpful!
     
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  12. RobertShepherd

    RobertShepherd Brisk antipodean

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    It's good content, mate. I'll buck up :P
     
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  13. borings

    borings Well-Known Member

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    ok its all up there now. i meant to leave a third post open for my thoughts on why worrying about getting blown out by another person running a 20-order list is sort of pointless, since this list recovers pretty well from a bad first turn, but i missed my chance.
     
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  14. RobertShepherd

    RobertShepherd Brisk antipodean

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    I can trim out my immediate response post and request a mod delete it to free up your third post in the thread for that if you like. It sounds like worthwhile content.
     
  15. OrderMonkey

    OrderMonkey Well-Known Member

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    I love it!
    Thank you for the insight, going to keep it in mind this weekend!
     
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  16. OrderMonkey

    OrderMonkey Well-Known Member

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    I have one quick question about your list. What made you deviate from using the Draal? Is it just the Lieutnant option on the Sukeul? I think I'd rather have a Draal than a Sukeul HMG.
     
  17. borings

    borings Well-Known Member

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    Yah i am personally just more comfortable with the sukeul FO for my scenario neutral list (where i dont know what mission is being played), as it can do so many of the classifieds and i like having an Lt. that can spend its order doing useful things (like going into suppressive after being pulled across the table). as for the hmg, i like it as a sweeping weapon, like after breaching a flank it is sometimes nice to have a b5 gun that is good at long ranges to shoot perpendicularly across the table. Its also nice as a "lightning rod"; nothing in the list really stand out as an important target, except for the sukeul hmg, which means i can usually predict and/or somewhat comtrol the attack vector my opponent will choose, whereas the draal, as good as it is, doesnt present itself as being as bug a threat.


    Also, and dont tell anyone else this, i keep putting down dazers sloppily and making it so my second and third wave troops cant advance. I think it might be possible that dazers are bad for swarm, since the game plan revolves around sending waves of shitty dudes across the map
     
  18. Chickenprawn

    Chickenprawn New Member

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    I tried this list out last night. I forgot how much I like the Sukeul FO.
    You are spot on about the HMG getting targeted. Luckily she took them all down!
     
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  19. Romulas

    Romulas Member

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    those are tables i wouldn't mind seeing at some tournys i've been to... (some were wayy open)

    thanks for doing those pics though, it does help to get in the mindset to think about deployment. pretty sure thats where i still loose a lot of my games....
     
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