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Tactics Tuesday: Supply and Demand


ďThe line between disorder and order lies in logisticsÖĒ ĖSun Tzu

Among wargames, itís rare to see logistics represented in battle-level games. Itís assumed in most cases that the supply, transport, medical, workshop, rations and quartering work is all done either before or the battle. Itís assumed that players just want to battle and not care about the challenge of logistics in a contested environment.
AD cares, though. We think that thereís no reason to keep that challenge from you. And so, with the technological advances from the AD universe in place, you find that the basics logistic elements (repair, resupply and production) are all present at the pointy end of the battle.

Letís start by having a look at what logistics resources you have available. The primary unit that you will want to pay attention to is the Wombat. Currently the only production unit in the game, the Wombat is your source of replacement vehicles and repair of damaged drones. Itís large, itís slow and itís quite vulnerable to the right type of attacker. Itís also easy to hide behind and can roll over the top of and crush enemy drones.

The next unit you will want to look at is your transport (or transports). Here you might go with the Squirrel, the Raccoon or the Armadillo. These guys are all about getting resources and getting out, but as they have more freedom of movement than your combat units (typically), you will find theyíre useful as comms repeaters, artillery spotters or even as battering rams.

The Squirrel is the Ďstandardí transport, packing a great capacity of 8, and hardened armour to defend against artillery and ramming damage. This is a great all-rounder to run with, and that additional capacity to take resources is fantastic for any high-resourcefulness commander or a Nomad whoís looking to score the faction victory condition.
The Armadillo is a great way to deny raiders. With both Reflective armour and the Resilient trait, it will shrug off damage from energy weapons, at the low cost of only a single point of transport value. If the enemy is guarding that Extractor with Wolves, Crocodiles or Vipers, send these guys in as a hard tactical counter. Just keep an eye out for those Cheetahs, Cougars and Elephants! Also, if youíre the type who loves ramming, stick to Squirrels. Reflective armour is a poor choice to do that with!

The Raccoon is a very different vehicle from the other two. With a 12Ē standard move, you get a much longer single-bound range than you do with the other vehicles. The reactive armour will save you from projectile attacks at long range, but at only Prot 2 even those will get through from time to time. Carrying only 6 resources isnít as great as the others, but with your faster moves you might be able to make up the efficiency by getting more loads back to base.

Good logistics starts with a good deployment. At the start of the game, there will be a combat phase before any of your logistic units can move, so thereís no -1 mods for being mobile. Youíll have to decide between an aggressive deployment to get your transports into the Extractor early, and deploying your logistics assets in cover to keep them safe.

Pay additional attention to your Wombat here. Itís a massive unit compared to others, so think hard about where it can or canít fit through gaps. Itís also one of the few units where you need to think about which way it faces: the transports need access to the rear and the repair and construction work all happens at the front.

Your Wombat comes loaded with enough resources to give you a single new unit, or a couple of the lighter units (like a Jackal or Cheetah). This means that you can probably replace your first loss with a new unit from your existing stocks, but after that youíll need a resupply. Ideally, youíll want to keep on hand enough resources to produce a new command unit, in case you lose your existing one. If your commander isnít logistically inclined, you might not even start of the game with enough to do this, so acquiring more is your top priority.

The most efficient a transport can be is if it is touching the back of the Wombat and one of the docking ports on the extractor at the same time. Then, it can simply spend two logistics actions to move resources to the Wombat, and the Wombat is still free to use all three orders to build rather than loading up by itself. Stepping down from that peak efficiency (which doesnít happen all that often in real games), you want to look for single-bound distance. Single-bound distance is where a transport only has to make one move action to get between the Wombat and the Extractor. This still gives you a bit of tactical flexibility as to where to place your Wombat, but makes a transport highly effective at its job. It can load, move and unload in a single turn. If you canít achieve this, donít worry about bringing your Wombat too close. Use the distance afforded to you by a second bound to put it somewhere out of the fight.

Where possible, keep your transports moving, even where they wonít make it to the Extractor, to keep up that -1 to hit mod. Also try to maximise the cover available to you when moving in, and remember that when docked to the Extractor you will almost always count as being in cover.
A quick note on using your transports for things other than, well, transporting. This is usually the case where you have two transports, and can afford to use one for its primary purpose while the second one hangs out and waits to step in if the first one is too damaged or is destroyed. While all the transports only have an 8Ē comms bubble, if you put them in range of something that your comms net canít cover (or provide a second channel if the enemy is using Jamming), you can get some use out of your transport while itís waiting to step up.

Using them for artillery is also good. If the enemy is putting Reflective-armoured vehicles within range of your artillery but out of LOS, the enemy may not be expecting to be sprung by a sneaky transport at the end of the turn. You can get your lock now and be ready for the enemy next turn, as your transports still count as having moved until the following logistics phase. Make sure that youíre prepared to lose a transport that you use for this purpose, or use an Armadillo if youíre up against energy-armed raiders.

If youíre packing Squirrels, youíll probably have figured out how great they are as guided torpedoes on wheels. Seek out those enemy units vulnerable to explosive attacks and hit them as hard and as often as you can, as your Squirrels will save against the damage back on a 3+. Also remember that when ramming something with a lower protection stat, youíre going to add +1 ADE and +1 firepower to the attack. Seek out those Prot 2 support units with your Squirrel, or even use your Wombat to roll over Prot 3 raiders!


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