Author Topic: Tactics Tuesday: Electronic Warfare (part 2)  (Read 15 times)

CGReynolds

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Tactics Tuesday: Electronic Warfare (part 2)
« on: May 30, 2019, 11:53:52 pm »
Electronic Warfare in AD: Part 2

So in last week’s Tactics Tuesday article, we looked at selecting the right commanders, units and upgrades to get a decent Electronic Warfare action happening. We also looked at the list of EW orders cards available, with a bit of a focus on System Crash and Hard Reboot.

This week, we’ll take a closer look at some of the other cards available at the moment. As stated last week, there are more cards in development (which will be included in future releases), but we’ll leave those out of the conversation for now.

The first cards we’ll look at are Buffer and Tactical Analysis. Both of these cards work similar to a ‘get out of jail free’ card, in that you play them and then hold on to them as an insurance policy for the remainder of game (or until you use them). With both cards, it’s best if you play them early, and the ideal time is the first turn of the game. Not only will you then have them available for when you need them, the first turn usually has a lower likelihood of direct combat so you can afford to spend a couple of your precious orders on these, and you won’t tie up your command unit too much in the process, either.

Both cards are great to play if you’re having a really big turn (6-8 orders), or if you’re having a terrible turn (2-3 orders). If you’re having a big turn, you won’t miss the additional card that you might otherwise have played. If you’re having a terrible turn, grab a couple of System Crash cards to shut down attacking enemy (or Move/Redline to avoid them in the first place) and then play your Buffer to ensure that your next turn is much better.

Flexible Programming came with the Kickstarter sets and is a great card to play if you want to limit your risks in playing something. Maybe you’ve taken a Barrage to use by your fantastically-placed Cheetah, but there’s a decent chance that vehicle will be blown away before it can fire a shot. Take that Barrage and a Rapid Fire to follow it up, but add Flexible Programming to your hand to make sure that you can capitalise on it.

Signal Boost is a great card to play with most electronic attack cards. As cards like Capture, Core Wipe and Jamming all need comms range, adding 8” to your reach is a power move par none. Just remember that it also makes you an easier target to hit, so put yourself in a safe position before activating it (or have a move action handy to drag yourself out of the way of return fire!).

This is a very powerful combination with Jamming. If your Meerkat plays Signal Boost followed by Jamming, you’re up for a 28” bubble of annoyance that may force your opponent to abandon tactics they were relying on. Jamming has a range of uses, but mostly it’s there to put a handbrake on your opponent’s ability to control their drones. However, it can also be used to sneakily play cards like Capture on their drones- ask your opponent to test for comms when you’re about to play an order, and if you find a juicy target is without comms this turn you can skip the Core Wipe and go straight for the invasive reprogramming!

Core Wipe and Capture are some core mechanics to the game that set AD apart from others. In fact, in some cases it may be easier to play a Core Wipe/Capture combo than to shoot your enemy directly. They can also be used to get around the loss of your production unit… either capture the enemy one or just let them do the building for you and steal their units as they’re made!

If you’re looking to play these cards, there’s a couple of ways you can go about it. One is to take just one Core Wipe card for your command vehicle to take a stab at. If you succeed, great! If you fail, well, it’s only one order. Try again next turn, and remember that the enemy will react to the threat you’re presenting.

The other way to approach it is to play aggressively. Take at least two Core Wipe cards and hammer away at key targets. Make this your primary strategy, but realise that you’re going to run a risk when there’s only three cards that can fit in your command unit per turn (assuming none of them succeed). Take a Capture card or two so that you can capture the units now, as leaving abandoned units on the table will mean that the enemy will be racing you for those next turn.

Capture can also have a couple of quirks. We’ve talked about the combination of Jamming and Capture above, but also think about the enemy’s disposition of units. Is there a link in that comms chain that you can remove to leave their most distant unit vulnerable to direct Capture? What about that Meerkat lurking in the middle of the enemy formation… if you use your artillery to destroy it, will that remove comms? Also remember that if the enemy has naturally abandoned units on the field (like the Hoplite’s faction ability or by producing when you don’t have a slot handy), a quick move and/or Signal Boost may have you in range to sneakily grab something from the enemy’s backfield.

The final card that we’ll look at is Disrupt. This one is best played against a low-surprise commander, where you’re more likely to get more cards out of their hand. However, even if you can only grab one card you may well have a disproportionate effect on their strategy for this turn. What if the one card you grabbed was their only movement card, and now all their shooting is worthless? What if you knock out their Signal Boost, and they can’t cover the logistics vehicles all the way to the Extractor this turn? You don’t know what you’re going to randomly cause them to discard (we usually find it best for the disrupted player to hold up their hand and let the disrupting player randomly select the card to remove), but a decent read of your opponent may tell you which one/s they don’t want you to pick!

As we said before, there’s plenty more planned for this space in future. This includes the ability to make an enemy unit make a sudden move, to fire on the nearest unit (friend or foe), the ability to lock down a unit to prevent it being stolen, the ability to ‘turn off’ a unit’s special abilities, the ability to deploy viruses, a quick remote triggering of an enemy commander’s ejection system, and a comms attack that blanks a particular unit’s comms for the turn.

What are your favourite electronic attack strategies? What are you most looking forward to from the future cards?

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