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Attrition or Assassination?

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OK, I don’t want to scary anyone, but I’ve won my last two games with Ravyn. OK, there has been some freakish luck involved, however in both games I’ve also changed my play style a little. Experienced players should probably switch off now because is all bleeding obvious stuff.

RavynIn Warmachine/Hordes, there’s normally two broad styles of play.

Playing with an attrition style, you try to trade models/units with your opponent on an advantageous basis. If you can use a 7 point jack to remove a 10 point warbeast, it is a good trade. The trick is to break down your opponent a bit at a bit. Most Retribution warcasters do not really lend themselves to this style, which bring us to…

Assassination. One of the great things about this game is that if you kill the opponent’s king piece, their caster or warlock, game over, you’ve won. This is the quick route to victory but normally involves a large element of risk. It also means there’s often a way to come back from a very bad position in a game.

For example, in one game I watched this week, a new Menoth player at club had two key jacks made stationary by Kommander Sorscha’s feat. Unfortunately Epic Eiryss was also parked next to these jacks so he could not unfreeze them. At this point he was about to concede; however his caster had a very good chance to assassinate Sorscha directly, and almost pulled it off. As the saying goes, it ain’t over till it’s over.

The trick for me now seems to be balancing these two aspects of the game.

In my last game against, I played High Exemplar (prime) Kreoss with Ravyn, my newly upgraded Mage Hunter Strike Force, plus Aiyana and Holt. Rather than just go down the assassination route, I started with removing set pieces, starting with a jack with a flame thrower which I identified early as a potentially big threat.

Of course, once an assassination opportunity presented itself, I took it (and then rolled crazy good dice and won), but I found myself planning the rest of the turn around not succeeding and looking at which models I needed to block/murder to win control points and keep Ravyn from instantly dying (this seems to happen a lot).

The end result was that my opponent’s army had taken a heap of damage, whilst I only lost a few Mage Hunters; and more importantly I had options in case the assassination did not succeed.

So this is my next challenge, play attrition, and only go for the throat if I have to, or if there is a really good chance it will work. Or if its funny…

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