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UPC Strategy Lesson 3 - Don't Forget to Move!

Posted May 9th, 2007 at 05:04 AM by UranusPChicago
If I had a penny for every time I see a player forget to take advantage of movement strategies, I would be a rich man...

The error that I see most often in tournament as well as casual play is negligence with moving active units. Whether it is simply moving a character to gain height advantage, moving ranged units back to avoid immediate melee counter attacks, or moving around an engaged unit (maintaining engagement) to better control travel lanes of the enemy, players seem to forget that just because their unit is within range of an enemy unit doesn't mean they need to forgo their movement phase.

Melee Dance... back in the early days of Heroscape I think I remember a description of a melee engagement occurring up a hill as a "do-se-do". One unit would attack and then the other player would move his unit around to gain height and attack, and so on and so on up the hill. Even if you cannot gain height advantage, but can at least remove the enemy's height advantage by moving to level terrain with the enemy, then do it. Never forget to dance! The same principle works with ranged units; if you are able to gain a height advantage and be in no more dangerous situation than you were previously, always take the advantage. And while we are talking about ranged figures...

Maximize Range... if it is possible to maximize range (by standing X hexes away from the enemy unit, where X equals your unit's range) without giving up height advantage or endangering your units, then do it. Even if you miss on your attack, you are forcing your enemy to possibly over engage his units (or at the very least spread too far out) to counter your attack. The enemy now has to reevaluate the situation based on the fact that your units are not where they were a second ago. Changes to your opponent's strategy open up opportunities for mistakes.

Move to Engage... control thy enemy! When you engage an enemy unit (one without Disengagement), you force the opponent to determine whether their objective for that turn is worth chancing a disengagement swipe or staying there and battling it out. Either way, chances are strong that the opponent has to do something that they did not plan on doing. However, be careful not to over engage the enemy. Remember, when you engage an enemy unit, you are also locking yourself into a melee dance as well. Rarely is there a need to "swarm" an enemy squad unit; save that for Hero units. When engaging a single squad unit, one or two engagements are generally enough. Use the other units of your activated card to engage other units or move toward your next objective. Or you could always...

Move to Deny... irritate the enemy! There is nothing more irritating than when an opponent plants a tank right in the middle of a chock point. Or how about this one word irritation, "Deathreavers". Deathreavers are the creme de la creme of units that define movement to deny. Mostly, they are used to "deny" glyphs or chokepoints or any other thing or area that is important on the battlefield. Make your opponent move out of the way to get to where they want to go. Dealing with "irritants" can sometimes completely derail best laid plans of the enemy. An irritant can take the attention away from what you are really trying to accomplish. Use it to your advantage.

Special tip for Airbourne Elite...

When placing your AE on the board after a successful drop, remember to place them at least one turn's movement away from where you want them to actually "land". Example: if you want to throw a grenade on your first turn, place your AE four hexes (away from the enemy and hopefully with height advantage) back from the hex where you plan on throwing it from. If you happen to lose the initiative, those 4 buffer spaces should at least keep them safe from melee attack on the first round where you can then hopefully reevaluate the situation.

Good luck and good gaming!
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