Tactics > Tactics

Tactics Tuesday: Specialist Raiders and midfielders


Last week we looked at using your fast raiding tanks, mostly the Wolf and Cheetah, to race past enemy defenders and cause havoc in the rear areas. This week, we’ll look at the Viper and Crocodile as more specialist raiders, and expand that to encompass other midfield tanks like the Cougar.

In a recent game, I took a pair of Vipers to the field to use as raiding tanks. Unfortunately, it had been so long since I last played that my mind defaulted to the fast raiding scenario rather than using them properly. It’s important to understand that the Viper, Crocodile and Cougar should be used in different ways to the Wolf and Cheetah. They have less speed and less firepower than those in-your-face raiders. Your strike will occur on turn 3 or 4 in most cases rather than turn 2 or 3, and leaving them in the open in the middle of the turn is a good way to lose them.

First to the Viper. This is a stealth tank with an energy weapon at Firepower 3. Stealth gives you a flat -1 to be hit, but this does stack with all other modifiers. If you’ve moved fast, are in cover and also have stealth, they will need to find some way to get a positive modifier in there to even try to hit you. That stacking of effects is the key to using the Viper effectively: don’t leave it in the open, don’t leave it without some form of defensive effect (like movement, hull down or similar) and it will be too hard a target for your enemy to have any real effect on. Beware travelling within 16” of something like the Jackal, which will strip your cover modifier away, or of being within 20” of a Centaur with a sensor pod using Guided Missiles... they will have a sensor lock to counteract your Stealth trait!

When you’re getting the Viper into position, try to move from cover to cover. Risk a Redline order or Forced Crossing if you need to, but don’t leave the Viper in the open with only Stealth as its defence. If you absolutely must cross open ground, play a Stealth Mode order on it first and then follow up with Redline and Move until you’re into a nice covered position for your later strike. Once you’re ready to heat up the laser and start frying Wombats and Armadillos, your covered position will make you a very hard target even in the midst of the fighting. Your longer sensor range of 12” will mean that you can lock more targets and blaze away with Rapid Fire, or simply outrange defenders like Elephants. Beware that while raiding with a Viper, you’re more likely to get a high-speed Squirrel crashing into you, so hiding in or behind Obstacles or Soft terrain is a great way to protect yourself.

The Crocodile doesn’t have the benefit of the Stealth trait to get it to the target. Instead, if the enemy is deploying based on terrain and have left you an approach corridor with impassable water or soft terrain, you’re good to go. The Crocodile is one of those tanks that is good to have as a production spec rather than in your starting lineup for this reason, so that you can snag the spec and play it in a later turn to counter the battlefield. On a side note, remember to add Soft terrain and water to your battlefields! It’s less common to see that sort of thing in some other games, but you’ll find that even just adding a bit of boggy ground or soft sand to your games tables will make for more enjoyable games of AD.

Move your Crocodile to a position on the near side of the water or soft obstacle(s), then use cards like Redline and Forced Crossing to get to the other side in one hit. You want to give as little warning as possible, so don’t cross until you’re ready to drive hard and cause havoc on the far side.

The Cougar could be used as a raiding vehicle as well, but one of its best uses is as a counter-raiding vehicle. The Explosive weapons will make a mess of any Wolf, Viper or Crocodile that comes your way, and Sensors 3 gives you a decent chance to hit your quarry. Use a lot of the same techniques that I’ve mentioned above for the Viper and Crocodile when operating your Cougar (move from cover to cover, use defensive orders before firing, pick your position and then drive hard). If you can, work from the edges of the formation: identify an outlying target and destroy it before moving on to the next.

With all these units, remember that they have better sensors than the other raiders. This means that you can lock targets for your artillery, so you can get supporting fire on target without giving the enemy the bonus for your drone shooting.

For the Crocodile and Cougar, they also have Comms 3. This might not seem all that important, but it lets you have more control over your attacking forces as well as more scope to impact enemy units within your comms range. Using other drones as repeaters (which can be simple Comms 2 or worse drones), Comms 3 vehicles can add that 12” of range to the already useful 16” of the Centaur, so even with only one relay vehicle you can manage nearly 30” of control range. When you put a couple of Comms 3 drones at that extreme range, you also get lateral control over larger sections of the table, giving you the flexibility to manoeuvre as you need to, and reach deeper into the enemy formation to deliver your System Crash cards.


[0] Message Index

Go to full version