Monday, April 9, 2012

Matriarchy Trooper Strategy

Here is an article I wrote a while back for FFG but it didn’t make the cut, these things happen, but I thought it was still good enough to go ahead and post here.

The latest Tannhäuser expansion is the Matriarchy Troop Pack which brings some new firepower to your Matriarchy and UMTOMA forces. As with the previous Union and Reich Trooper Packs this expansion gives you two new troopers for your forces, but unlike the previous releases these Matriarchy troopers are completely new. The new Boepripacy Soldat and the Zazigag Soldat are both quite unique.

Fresh Conscripts

The Boepripacy is a ranged combat expert armed with an automatic weapon, and carrying enough extra ammunition for your whole squad. Much like other troopers armed with automatic weapons he can make great use of Overwatch and maps with long paths, which give you the opportunity to fire before the enemy too gets close. But the Boepripacy's greatest advantage is one he starts shooting, it can be awhile before he stops, his ability to make multiple attacks in a single turn can be a real game changer.

Joining the Boepripacy Soldat is the Zazigag; he has one of the most unique weapons to be seen in Tannhäuser to date. The Zazigag is the first character to be armed with a flamethrower, and while it has a shorter range than most ranged weapons, it can damage multiple targets and leave a lasting effect. While burning his way through the battlefield makes the Zazigag a force to be reckoned with, his weapon's heavy trait means he won't be as effective on Overwatch duty as the Boepripacy.

Raining Lead, Raining Fire

The introduction of these new troopers really changes the options available for Matriarchy only teams. While in the past Voïvodes were your only choice you can now form teams with no Voïvodes at all. But should you? Both Zor'ka and Oksana benefit from Voïvodes in their squad so you may find that when using either of them you're going to want to maintain at least one pair of Voïvodes. So that leaves one slot left for one of the new troopers, but which one should you bring?

The Boepripacy has excellent ranged attack abilities and while you will be tempted to use him very offensively, keep in mind he can make great use of Overwatch. This makes him perfect for more defensive strategies. He is very good for maintaining map control, or protecting vital objectives. Also you'll find he has a very useful Stamina Pack allowing him to provide excellent support to your squad. While he'll lose some of his multiple attack ability, you'll gain a first aid kit and a smoke grenade, both are rarities in pure Matriarchy squads.

While the Boepripacy brings long range and great Overwatch coverage, the Zazigag brings true firepower. The new Gnev Bogov Ognemet flamethrower not only allows you to target any characters standing adjacent to one another, it can places burn tokens that cause damage to your targets in a subsequent activation. However, its limited range means it's not going to keep your enemy at bay as well as the Boepripacy's PPSH-42, and its Heavy trait means the Zazigag won't make very good use of Overwatch. This makes the Zazigag an excellent choice for frontal assaults, literally taking the fire to the enemy.

The Zazigag’s great direct attack capabilities make him a great choice for any mission where destroying the enemy is your primary goal, but like the Boepripacy he carries some equipment that makes him great at supporting any divine mission. His first aid kit will give your Matriarchy squad a much needed boost in the Stamina department, and with his fireproof coat the Union’s fire grenade AN-M11 will no longer provide the ring of protection it once did. While his Tesla grenade will allow him to fight the Union’s AN-M11 with fire of his own.

Of course the addition of these troopers also gives you the opportunity to create Matriarchy squads that are not Zor'ka, Oksana, or Voïvode centric. Giving a chance for the other great Matriarchy heroes to play a more central role in your games. Character combos like; Irina, Gorgei, Irishka, and the Troopers, make for new and interesting game play; while allowing the Matriarchy player a chance to try out much more traditional tactics, usually reserved for the Union, without losing any of the Matriarchy’s uniqueness. Furthermore these more traditional troops make for greater Union, Matriarchy integration, making them great options for your UMTOMA squads. An UMTOMA force like Gorgei, John, Barry, Commando Alpha, and the Boepripacy Soldat, can bring an unimaginable amount of firepower to the board.

You can’t run from the rain.

While these new troops are a boon to the Matriarchy and UMTOMA forces, they can be a real bane to the Reich and the Shogunate, but they’re not unbeatable. The Reich has perhaps the safest option when it comes to taking out these new troops; their Out-of-Path attacks like Doom, allow them to remove this new Matriarchy threat before it can bring its firepower to bare. An attack and retreat strategy that always keeps you just a few circles away from the enemy can be very effective, just be sure not to back yourself into a corner.

However, a pure Shogunate force does not have the Out-of-Path attack advantage, and will have to use more traditional means. The Ashigaru trooper has a good long range attack and can make effective use of Overwatch, allowing him to deal with the Zazigag before he can get into range, but a Boepripacy on Overwatch will be much harder to deal with. In that situation your best bet may be to use a tough character like Itami, who can take a beating, so he can suffer one or more attacks, and still be capable of delivering a deathblow to the enemy trooper.

The combined forces of the Reich and Shogunate have many different strategies to deal with these new threats. Using Hoss to teleport your new enemies adjacent to Itami allowing him the chance to "subdue" them, or transporting them near a powerful character on Overwatch, can be a powerful tactic. Also a combination of smoke, Out-of-Path attacks, and Overwatch characters on key map positions can be used to bog the Matriarchy forces down, preventing them from brining their weapons to bear.

Hope you enjoyed, and found it useful. Keep an eye out for more here and maybe even on FFG’s front page, you never know.