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Dealing with the Huddle


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I'm still seeing people complain about the ECM "huddle", even with the game out for several months now. I have to admit, I'm kind of disappointed in the fact that people either aren't coming up with ways to deal with this issue, or else they have, but they're just not talking about it. So, I guess I'll take the initiative and list a few of my favorite ways to deal with the huddle.

 

1) Air Strikes - move a FiST Model about 40" away from the ECM Model and call in your Air Strike. With that 2" wide AOE and those targets bunched up, you shouldn't have any problem getting rolls against 3 or 4 of them, but the Recon model is your primary target. Guess what? ECM doesn't protect against Strikes, so a RAV +4 vs the standard Recon DV of 9 means you hit on a roll of 5+. Most Open Recon models immediately drop their TC to 2 after that first hit. This tactic works even better if you have multiple FiST and Strikes.

 

2) Flankers - Spend a measly 226 points on a pair of Pumas, race them down the side of the table and use cover to close w/the huddle. Once in range, use those +5 Flamers against the Recon model. Even with its ECM bonus, you should hit on a 7+. Its risky, but it can work and its cheap. Plus if you encounter a player using Soft Transports, you can chase them down with the Pumas.

 

3) Cruise Missile - The eratta has fixed it for MClass Air Models so that they can move through (over really) any other model. So now your Cruise Missile can just take a straight path right over that Super Heavy guarding the ECM guy and go straight for the kill. Again, ECM doesn't protect against Strikes, so its 1d10 + 6 vs a DV 9. Ouch!

 

4) Indirect Attacks - Even with ECM on, the new eratta makes it a lot easier to hit your target now. Get creative, use your own TC 3 Recon model w/CFP and FRS as your spotter, then drop a round right on the Recon Model. Either take your chances rolling a 2 RAV vs a 9 DV (remember ECM doesn't do anything against the IA Damage Roll) or use the CFP's ability to Salvo Strike and take one +4 roll on the model. Any lucky rolls you might get against the other guys in the huddle is just frosting on the cake.

 

4a) The cool IA Models - If you're using Sultans, Mastodons, Thunderbirds, or any of the other heavy hitting IA models, you're even better off.

 

5) Gunships - Their high speeds mean that they can get back around behind the huddle and take some shots directly at the Recon Model. True, not very many of them have a big punch vs. hard targets, but if your opponent starts worrying about your gunships, he might screw up moving his models and leave your big guns a clean shot at his little guy.

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I agree with all of the above. Personally I have more luck with the Gunship route since I usually take the Terran Airpower Doctrine with my forces.

My regular group has fortunately moved beyond the ECM Huddle tactic mostly since everyone spent most of the game dropping as many AOE/4 IA salvos on them as possible. One regular opponent even went out and bought enough Sultans to have a FULL (6 models) section of them, upgrading one with EST, he drops 6 AOE/6 templates on top of the huddle. Like throwing mud at a house, something always sticks.

 

On a side note, with all the changes to transports I can see Chads Sultans doing a lot of anti-transport work now, not to mention my T-birds.

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One way I've thought of for altering the huddle would work but in the process, would kill the Adon Fire and Fury Warfare doctine unless that was 'upped' to adjust to the changes. Spreading the distance of the bubble would break the huddle, spreading forces out but they would still be under the ECM bonus. The good thing there is that while spread out, they may make easier solitary targets to gang up on chipping away at the section. With the rules changes and use of some of the IA models as mentioned above, it will help.

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See I don't see the Huddle has having anything to do with the size of the bubble; to me its a protection thing. You have this whimpy 4 DT, 9 DV model out there in the thick of it and it needs somewhere to hide. It just happens that the models its providing bonuses to, happen to make excellent cover as well. With the exception of the Recluse, or other small vehicles that can hide behind hills and such, I wouldn't see an increase in the bubble radius effecting my huddles at all.

 

My Panther would still remain tight on my Rhino's six. :poke:

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OK let me rephrase my argument. I fully agree that you have cited effective ways of dealing with "the huddle". I guess I would like to see Reaper's focus at Cons and such change to larger point value games. My experience has been a distaste from the casual observer to the tactics employed at tourneys which don't typically have enough points to effectively deal with it. So, if you are limited to 1500-1750 in points how would you combat it?

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So, if you are limited to 1500-1750 in points how would you combat it?

 

Not very well, at that level I rarely can afford the airpower to use my favorite tactic. Certainly can't afford my T-birds , LOL.

 

We have upped our points to 2500-3000pts.

 

say it with me "2500pts, the new 1500pts with attitude"

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So, if you are limited to 1500-1750 in points how would you combat it?

 

Not very well, at that level I rarely can afford the airpower to use my favorite tactic. Certainly can't afford my T-birds , LOL.

 

We have upped our points to 2500-3000pts.

 

say it with me "2500pts, the new 1500pts with attitude"

 

Moezilla, Mad Pat, and I have been doing that for several months now, and have been happy with the results.

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Yea, larger points games are something that we've been doing and it does work very well. Allows a good balance to be brought, big enough size and games can be either quick or a bit longer. Either way we get through our games within 2-3 hours max, sometimes quicker.

 

A couple of other ideas I had thrown around in the rattle trap I call a brain would be to limit the amount of units an EW model can cover. Maybe base it on their TC value, so a TC value 3 Panther or Talon can cover 3 other models in its 'network' as it would no longer be a bubble per se. Yes, that would mean adding tokens to the CAV's covered and could become a pain in the posterior, so that's probably not a good one but it's one I thought I'd throw out there. Possibly make an EW upgrade, if you want to upgrade your model to cover more model's pay xx amount of points per TC value to a max of 4 or something.

 

Another option was similar, yet a bit different but again a bit complex for tracking in the CAV system. Pay upgrade points per model to add in a network module so it could be covered by the EW CAV, you have to decide if you want to trade off points for attack to gain defense sort of thinking.

 

I've got some other ideas I think I scratched down somewhere, will have to go looking for them as I'm brain dead right now getting ready for a party tomorrow here at the house.

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Only 2500? I'm not happy unless I'm using at least 3000, and even then I want more.

 

Another method...

 

Infantry with AT-23s, either dropped from fast transports or dropped from orbit behind the huddle. Yeah, you've still got to shoot through the ECM, but if you're dealing with the typical DV9 TC3 recon model, you need to roll a 6 or better in the first range band.

Variation on this, CC the recon model.

 

One point of caution. Most recon models have shredder weapons or higher than normal CCVs. Numbers increase your chance of taking it out in one fell swoop. If not, then he has to decide whether to repair or not and an action repair is an action he's not maneuvering or engaging your models.

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Only 2500? I'm not happy unless I'm using at least 3000, and even then I want more.

 

Another method...

 

Infantry with AT-23s, either dropped from fast transports or dropped from orbit behind the huddle. Yeah, you've still got to shoot through the ECM, but if you're dealing with the typical DV9 TC3 recon model, you need to roll a 6 or better in the first range band.

Variation on this, CC the recon model.

 

One point of caution. Most recon models have shredder weapons or higher than normal CCVs. Numbers increase your chance of taking it out in one fell swoop. If not, then he has to decide whether to repair or not and an action repair is an action he's not maneuvering or engaging your models.

 

The recon vehicles that don't have high CCV's have decent-to-high Avenger ratings as well. The Nomad and Ryoshi have Avenger/3, and the Mamba, Rudegern, Sabre and Warden have Avenger/2.

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