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Old March 17th, 2008, 01:42 PM
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How order marker roles change (OM IV)

Shifting Roles (OM IV)

As I hinted in my original order marker article, my categories are far from immutable. How often you use certain units depends not only on what other units are in your army, but also what your opponent has in play, as well as any glyphs that are present. Recognizing these factors is key to stepping it up a bit.

Again, this will likely end up sounding an awful lot like UranusPChicagoís In-GamePointValue (UPCís IGPV), but I think any informative discussion of order marker usage will- he knows what heís talking about.

For those new to my overly colorful unit descriptions, hereís a brief recap.

Support units-(donít activate very often):
Defenders use the power of engagement to restrict opponentís movements and reduce their turn effectiveness. Examples: Gladiatrons, Deathreavers, Sentinels of Jandar
Cheerleaders use their auras and enhancements to make other unitsí order markers more effective. Examples: Swog Rider, Raelin, Marcus Decimus Gallus

Active units:
Sharks are units which require careful protection and constant movement and activation, but can be deadly as long as their support holds out. Examples: Airborne Elite, Venoc Vipers, Cyprien Esenwein
Bread and butter units are powerful squads that can dish out and take beatings effectively for their point cost. Best used early to mid-game. If played well, you wonít see ďlate game.Ē Examples: Blastatrons, Valiant 4th Mass
Menacers are tough, balanced, but somewhat expensive units. They have fewer attacks than BBís, but can be a threat throughout a game. Examples: Major Q9, Minions of Utgar, Krav Maga Agents
Cleanup units are late game run-and-gun types that will most assuredly take out their point cost at the end. Examples: Kaemon Awa, Guilty McCreech, Sgt. Drake Alexander (SotM)

I. How your own units affect order marker usage

Before a recent 470 point tournament, my friend KaBoomboomBoom was debating between two armies:

Army A: Major Q9, 4x 4th Mass, Isamu?

Army B: Major Q9, 3x 4th Mass, 2x Deathreavers

In both cases, his plan was essentially to play Suicide Q9 (a tactic I like to call ďSuzy QĒ) and see how much havoc he could wreak. Heíd typically toss his 1 and 2 on Q, and his 3 on the 4th, to move them up, as well as allow for the outside chance that Q9 might whiff his defense and disappear early. We decided that out of these two armies, that Army A with Isamu would be pretty bad, because after Q9 went down, heíd probably have to waste a turn or two trying to kill his own Isamu just to get his Valiant bonus. So that left him with the choice between:

Army B: Major Q9, 3x 4th Mass, 2x Deathreavers

Army C: Major Q9, 4x 4th Mass (BB once Q9 goes down)

Eventually, he went with army B, largely because the glyph pool seemed pretty strong and important, and there were two maps where a double-spaced figure could not hold onto the glyphs. It also filled all of the points. He did rather well, taking 2nd and losing only to spider_poison. Army C might have done better in that particular matchup, but itís hard to say, he had an unlucky glyph no matter what. That was also the only game that K-boom lost his Q9 all day, so itís reasonable to say that the rats were worth it.

At that same tournament, spider_poison played:

3x Gladiatrons, 2x Blastatrons, Raelin, Marcu Esenwein, Isamu

I usually think of Marcu Esenwein as a great glyph holder, but when given the choice of moving 4 Gladiatrons and 4 Blastatrons or Marcu in those crucial early turns, spider elected to not put an order marker on Marcu all day.

Another great example of this role-changing concept is again with 4th Mass. UranusPChicago did quite well in the first few Dallas tourneys by playing the following army, or something similar to it:

2x Roman Legionnaires
2x 4th Massachusetts Line
Marcus Decimus Gallus
Me-Burq-Sa

Although both the Legos and Mass are usually Bread and Butter squads, the 4th Mass lose their Valiant bonus but gain more movement and potentially more attack with Marcusí boosts. With their shorter range compared to the minutemen, the Romans become more about map control and distraction than taking every single turn with them. Something similar happens when you combine the 4th Mass with Knights of Weston, even though the 4th Mass retain their valiant bonus. Compared to the Knights, they are still more fast and less tough, so the Knights are used as a screen while the 4th Mass attack.

This is also why I dislike playing the Airborne Elite in an army that has both the 4th Mass and the Romans. There is too much overlap for the AE and the Mass, and you give yourself an order marker headache, unless you just suicide the AE, but I never like using them that way. Playing that army above plus the AE for 500 points is actually what inspired me to write the original order marker article. I wondered how such a great, synergistic army could go so wrong. Itís still a good army, but not great.

II. How your opponentsí units affect order marker usage

At my second tournament, I played the following army, and had my personal best record of 4-1, placing 4th out of 30 people. It was a 550 point tournament, with 24 hex starting zone limits.
Cyprien Esenwein 150
Nilfheim 335
Sonya Esenwein 380
3x Deathreavers 500
Marro Warriors 550

I had rats to tie down and protect my expensive unique heros, Sonya to boost her hubby, who would attack in the early game, Nilfheim who would rock non-stop, and the Marro Warriors who would only be called upon if everything else fell through. However, this game plan would change depending on what I was facing.

In my first game, I played against Nakita Agents, Krav Maga Agents, Major Q9, Kaemon Awa, Isamu, and Marcu. I started off by moving my rats toward the glyphs (one of which was Unique Attack), and he started by moving Kaemon up early. Since he did that, I sent Cyprien out at the start of the next round, because all he had to worry about was Major Q9. Nilfheim shifted to a Cleanup role, as Cyprien went on kill everything but Major Q9 and one Nakita. Then he ran away and Nilfheim took out the Major.

In my second game, I was faced with Kaemon Awa, Raelin, Braxas, 1x Deathreavers, and Krav Maga Agents. I used my rats to tie down his Krav. Because I was worried about what Braxas would do to Cyprien or the Marro Warriors, Cyprien shifted to Cleanup, and I had to send Nilfheim up to soften the opposition. Because I didnít have many ranged squads, and he had Raelinís support, Snotwalker 8000 played Kaemon more as a Menacer, and actually took out my Nilfheim first with a bit of bad defense rolling on my part. I had no chance after that point, and Braxas killed the remaining rats and Cyprien. The MW took out Braxas, and Sonya actually somehow took out the KMA, but Kaemon then shined in the cleanup role.

In my third game, Supergeek was playing 3x Gladiatrons, 2x Blastatrons, and Nilfheim. Because the blasties can be so good early on, he shifted Nilfheim to cleanup, which really wasnít a bad call, although the special attack would have been nice against my rats. But thanks to my rats and the narrow spaces on the map, I clamped his glads down pretty well, and my own Nilfheim put the Ďtrons on ice. I was worried about what his G-trons would do to Cyprien, so I shifted him to cleanup until he only had 1 more unengaged gladiatron left. Then Cyprien got a lucky roll against SGís Nilfheim, sealing the game for me.

In my 4th game, I played Jormiís extremely defensive 3x Sentinels of Jandar, Raelin, KMA, Isamu, and Guilty. Because Nilfheim wasnít so great against sentinels, I shifted him to cleanup and just ran the table with Cyprien, being careful to make sure that nearly all of Jormiís figures were engaged to rats. His army wasnít really offensive enough to bring Cyprien down.

In my 5th game, I had to face Codemanís 5x Minions army. I was scared as hell, and mostly got lucky because of the lack of powerful glyphs. Nilfheim had some great rolls on offense and defense, but ultimately it was those 4 little Marro Warriors that won the day for me, taking out roughly 4 times their point value in red winged nightmares.

The army worked out quite well, in part due to some good die rolls when it counted, but I think also because of the distinct order marker roles that I gave them. I had an interesting little toolbox to handle a variety of armies.

III. How Glyphs and other factors can affect OM decisions
With that same army above, there are definitely times where you might want to remember that your deathreavers can attack. In one of my practice games for the tournament, I got the common attack glyph. Since they were the only thing in my whole army that was common, I started to play them aggressively as a bread and butter squad. I actually killed Q9 with some 3 -strong attacks from height. It was hilarious. Similarly, the Marro Warriors benefit more from a Unique attack glyph than Nilfheim or Cyprien does, since they attack 4 times per turn.

With the 4th Mass/Q9 armies listed above, Q9 becomes an even better place to put order markers if your opponent has the Thorian glyph (or is playing Sgt. Drake, Ninjas, or something like that), because his Special Attack cuts right through those powers. The Romans in a mixed legionnaire/mass army would also become a better place for order markers if your opponent has the Thorian glyph. On the other hand, 4th Mass become much better if the range glyph were in play. Neither of these glyphs are very popular in tournaments, but it bears mentioning.

Melee units also become great turn 1 choices if you have the initiative glyph and enough guys within range to engage. That can then change the face of your opponentsí future turns that round.

You should also pay attention to what your opponent is attacking. If you find him singling out your 4th Mass even though your Knights are getting dangerously close to his squishy units, you probably out to make him pay for it, and toss your 1 and 2 on the Knights. (Now that I think about it, this is what happened to me in my last tournament at least once!)

Hereís another example. In the game between K-boom and spider, K-boomís Q9 got summoned early into the water, and swarmed by 2-3 Gladiatrons. Recognizing that his Q9 could be killed at a momentís notice, he shifted his OMís to the 4th Mass. In true IGPV fashion, spider correctly opted to attack down at Kís non-valiant 4th Mass from height, with attacks of 2 v. 2 defense.

Well, Iím still bad at this game, but my hindsight is awesome. I hope you all enjoy it. As usual feel free to call me out if Iím giving bad advice, or giving away too many trade secrets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fomox View Post
(I've also played many matches with great, fun people who were using Q9. So using Q9 doesn't make you a tool. But being a tool sure seems to make you use Q9.)
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Old March 17th, 2008, 01:59 PM
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Your going to make my head explode with all these great articles!

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Old March 17th, 2008, 03:43 PM
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Re: How order marker roles change (OM IV)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexik
Well, Iím still bad at this game, but my hindsight is awesome.
I can honestly say I agree with only one of those statements :P (the second one of course!)

Your articles are always top-tier, Jexik, and this one is no different. They're always thought out, well-written, and informative...maybe too much sometimes . Keep up the great work.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 04:27 PM
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That was another excellent read. Thanks for taking the time to provide so many great articles. I'm looking forward to OM V.

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Old March 17th, 2008, 04:42 PM
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Re: How order marker roles change (OM IV)

Quote:
Originally Posted by spider_poison
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexik
Well, Iím still bad at this game, but my hindsight is awesome.
I can honestly say I agree with only one of those statements :P (the second one of course!)

Your articles are always top-tier, Jexik, and this one is no different. They're always thought out, well-written, and informative...maybe too much sometimes . Keep up the great work.
Agreed!

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Old March 17th, 2008, 05:52 PM
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Re: How order marker roles change (OM IV)

Quote:
Originally Posted by spider_poison
Your articles are always top-tier, Jexik, and this one is no different. They're always thought out, well-written, and informative...maybe too much sometimes . Keep up the great work.
I can't say it any better than SP - agreed 100%
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Old March 17th, 2008, 06:06 PM
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Another good one, Jexik.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 07:00 PM
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Thanks, Jexik!
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Old March 17th, 2008, 07:19 PM
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Jexik, your articles always make me want to get off the computer and play some Scape. Great job!!!!!

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Old March 17th, 2008, 09:12 PM
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You know Jexik,you have to stop making such intresting articles. They make me want to read them 5 or 6 times to understand everything you mean!
The whats in an order marker strategy helped a lot when I am teaching others how to make competitive armies!

I must be sounding old when I repeat the phrase" another great article!"

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Old March 17th, 2008, 09:38 PM
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Great article as usual, Jexik. I particularly liked the part II stories about deciding which unit to put on point and which to leave for cleanup. One of the things that I value in your order marker articles is the way they tie army-building and tactical decision-making together, and that is a great example of it.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 10:02 PM
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Really nice read, as usual Jexik, thanks for the tips.

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