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Форум » Другие вселенные и производители » WARHAMMER HISTORICAL » Legends of the Old West Tactics (Тактика игры)
Legends of the Old West Tactics
MisterNurglДата: Суббота, 05.06.2010, 06:28 | Сообщение # 1
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Having recently taken part in a Legends of the Old West campaign day at Warhammer World, I got to thinking that some players find full-blown campaigns daunting, or don't have much luck, and so prefer to play one-off games and home-grown scenarios instead. While that's fun, I think the campaign system is the most fun part of Legends of the Old West, and so I've put together a guide to campaigns, for players of all experience levels. While these tactics and suggestions in no way ensure victory (on the aforementioned campaign day, I finished in the lower half of the table), I think they will help you get to grips with important concepts such as balancing your Posse, coping with setbacks, and boosting that all-important Infamy rating. I also take a look at some generic in-game tactics that any Posse can use. I hope you find these notes enlightening!

Types of Campaign
Now, I recently wrote some extensive notes on campaigns in the Showdown supplement, so I won't labour on here. Suffice to say that the type of campaign you're playing in will affect your strategy.

The most popular type of campaign for Legends of the Old West is, I think, the long campaign favoured by gaming clubs and larger games groups. This is the kind of campaign where a bunch of people show up each week and play some scenarios straight out of the book, then work out experience and trading before heading home. An organiser usually keeps some form of leaderboard, and after a set number of weeks the campaign closes and the winner is announced. This type of campaign is popular for a reason, and is really what the rules were written for. It allows players to take part with minimum preparation, with a good number of games under their belts. It also allows Posses to really progress, and purchase all kinds of juicy upgrades - and perhaps even hire a few Legends. The downside is that if you don't have much luck early on, you'll often get left behind and may even have to withdraw and start a new Posse.

Other types of campaign are map-based and narrative, or 'tornado' campaigns, like the Warhammer Historical campaign day. I won't dwell on the map-based and narrative campaigns, as you'll find plenty of information on these in Showdown.

Tornado campaigns (my own term for them) take place over one or two days, which means that players typically won't play more than half a dozen games each, and perhaps a big multi-player game or two if the supervisor is feeling adventuress. These types of campaign really require a lot of thought from players, as you don't get enough games or time to rectify a poor choice, and sometimes you have to make the best of a bad situation. If you've ever been on the receiving end of a whupping during a tornado campaign, then these notes are for you!

 
MisterNurglДата: Суббота, 05.06.2010, 06:30 | Сообщение # 2
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Gathering the Posse
The most important choice you'll ever have to make during a campaign is the first one - which Posse you take and what goes in it. As you'll hopefully discover here, those choices aren't really about gamesmanship, but about your playing style and personality.

Which Posse is for me?
I'm amazed at how many forum threads I've read and conversations I've had that lead to the same conclusion: that some Posses are more powerful than others, and thus make campaigns unbalanced. My response: nonsense!

These conversations always drag out the usual suspects: 'Texas Rangers have better profiles than other Posses' starting models'. 'US Cavalry are more survivable than other Posses and are too good in combat'. 'Outlaws have more fame than Lawmen or Cowboys and this makes them powerful early on'.

While these are all good points, I just don't think that people have really gotten to grips with how to nullify their opponent's strengths and play to their own. Texas Rangers and US Cavalry Posses are very powerful, but they're also very small. With enough cheap marksmen toting rifles, you'll soon have them displaying a little caution. And the US Cavalry charge doesn't work against every opponent - just wait until they meet the Chinese Tong! Likewise, Outlaws can call more quickdraws early on, but their Kids are very vulnerable to long-range shooting - the kind that Buckaroos and Deputies excel at.

So the question of which Posse you should choose really depends on you. If you want to heroically walk (or ride) down Main Street, taking fire from all sides, then Texas Rangers and US Cavalry are your best bets. If you prefer skulking about and outnumbering an opponent, then Outlaws, Bandidos or Native Americans are for you. And if you want a solid, all-rounder Posse, who can give as good as they get, then perhaps you should consider Lawmen or Cowboys. These are just broad strokes - Posses not mentioned here have other strengths and weaknesses, and appropriate styles of play, which will be better served in a later article.

 
MisterNurglДата: Суббота, 05.06.2010, 06:30 | Сообщение # 3
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I Need a Hero.
Once you've chosen your Posse, you need to decide on its composition. For a starting Posse, Heroes are very expensive, especially if you want to tool them up. However, think of the long game. Heroes advance more quickly than Henchmen, and boost your income. For those two reasons alone, you should always take the maximum number of Heroes in your starting Posse. Economise on equipment throughout the Posse to boost your numbers - after all, the size of the Posse counts most towards the Infamy rating, and small Posses always suffer early on. So, if you buy a model a rifle or heavy pistol, don't buy him a knife as well. An improvised weapon will do just fine to start with, and characters with these types of firearm shouldn't be rushing into a fight anyway. Likewise, if there's a choice between a Henchman with a repeating rifle and two Henchmen with sixguns, take the latter. More men is always better, and you'll reap the rewards of outnumbering your opponent by earning plenty of loot after the first game - spend it on guns.

Finally, every Posse has access to at least one type of 'special' Henchman. These are usually more expensive than the regular Joes, but they can often compensate for a weakness in the Posse, or exaggerate the Posse's strengths. Toughs, for example, are more survivable than Rowdies or Kids. Upstanding Citizens allow you to increase the size of your Lawman Posse for little initial outlay. Wranglers let you get a mounted fighter into a Cowboy Posse at a bargain basement price. Whatever your Posse, unless purchasing one or two of these special models will seriously impinge on your style, I'd recommend you take at least one.

If you have a problem, and no-one else can help. Hired Guns are a two-edged sword, if you'll pardon the mixed metaphors. Their solid profiles, special abilities and Infamy rating boost (and, sometimes, Fame points) can really get you out of a tight spot. However, they eat up your income right from the start, and their retainers can cripple the unwary. The cheapest Hired Guns aren't really of much use to a starting Posse, and the most expensive are, well, too expensive. So, you have the mid-price range (I'd say around $15-22), which are most economical for new Posses. Of these, look at how their abilities complement your Posse. Soiled Doves, for example, are the most common Hired Guns for a starting Posse to take, because they allow you to shield one or two characters from harm, and seem eminently useful for their low cost. Their retainer, though, is disproportionately high. Free Trappers make fantastic ambushers - ideal for Posses who already like sneaking about (see above), but they really come into their own with a buffalo gun, which bumps up their cost considerably. Chinese Rail Workers have the potential to be combat monsters, if you can keep them in one piece long enough. Tejano Guides are useful for giving you the edge against an unwary foe. Finally, spare a thought for Prospectors and Prize Fighters. These oft-overlooked Hired Guns can give you a short term cash injection, which means that you can afford to lose a game or two and still come away with a decent stash


My Kingdom for a Horse.
Horses in Legends of the Old West are expensive. That's intentional. Background wise, a horse was the most valuable commodity a man could own or trade in the West, and in game terms their cost amounts to one important factor: speed. The price of horses seems very steep to start with, but as the campaign progresses you'll understand why. From the start, an average horse gives you a 10" movement rate, and a free 4+ 'In the Way' test against incoming fire. If it gets taken out of action, you don't lose it, and it comes back next game. A horse is a sound investment. Now, think about how useful they are in certain scenarios, when speed is of the essence (Hang 'Em High, Bank Robbery and Open Range). They're even more useful if they're ridden by a Hero with the Born in the Saddle skill. And don't forget, of course, the added range they give you when calling a Yee Haw or a Time for a Whuppin'.

Having said all that, I personally wouldn't blow my stash on horses to start with. The only time I take more than one is when I'm playing Cowboys (because they're cheaper), Plains Indians (because they're awesome) or US Cavalry (because you have to). More than one and your Posse starts to shrink. Try an all-mounted Posse when you don't have rules like Cavalry or Expert Rider, and you're asking for trouble.

 
MisterNurglДата: Суббота, 05.06.2010, 06:31 | Сообщение # 4
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When a man with a rifle meets a man with a pistol, The man with the rifle will win.
So goes the movie quote, anyway. In Legends of the Old West, this is partly true, providing your rifles have decent fields of fire and don't get snuck up on. Again, initially the problem with rifles (and repeaters) is one of cost. That useful range and strength is phenomenally good, but only as long as the opponent doesn't outnumber you (Bandidos), or close the gap with horses (Cavalry or Native Americans), or sneak around terrain out of sight (Apache or Mountain Men). In most scenarios, there are ways around this, but remember that the rifle outlay is wasted if you play a Bar-room Brawl.

The question of arming your Posse is one of personal choice. I like to take a 50/50 mix of longarms and sidearms. If a longarm is cheaper for Henchmen than Heroes (or vice versa) then take the cheapest option and hope that you roll a Shootin' advance early on. A tough cadre of riflemen will be worth their weight in gold later in the campaign - again, think of the long game.

Playin' the Game
Once the all-important Posse selection is out of the way, you just need to win a few games. Easier said than done! What follows is some general advice for playing scenarios.

Play to your strengths. Sounds obvious, but it's amazing how many people try to mismanage their Posse, like trying to drive a square peg into a round hole. If your style is for close combat, then why play Lawmen or Cowboys? You'd be far better off using Mountain Men, US Cavalry, Texas Rangers or Chinese Tong. Likewise, if you favour longarm shooting, go for a Posse with high Shootin' values, like US Infantry, Cowboys (or those pesky Texas Rangers again).

Extreme example, I know, but remember that every Posse intentionally has a major strength, and if you identify that strength, and arm them and play with them to emphasize it, you'll reap the rewards later.

Approaching Scenarios.
Before the campaign, take a little time skimming through the different scenarios in the rulebooks. Most campaigns generate scenarios in the regular way (by rolling on the tables). Some make it easier by only drawing scenarios from one or two books instead of the whole set. Find out in advance and plan ahead.

Try to get a feel for the scenarios, as they all work slightly differently and encourage certain types of play. Horses might well be useful for those Open Range games, for example, while explosives make the Jailbreak scenario that much easier. Also, when you're not just playing a one-off game, it's important to think about how to maximise the Experience points you'll earn, too. Some scenarios, like the Bank Robbery, don't allow Henchmen to gain experience for putting enemy models out of action. This is to encourage Posses to get stuck in with skirmish actions rather than relying on long-range shooting, so bear things like this in mind when you turn up to play.

Bottling out.
In one-off games, it generally doesn't matter if half your Posse lies dead and the rest run away, as long as a good time is had by all. However, in a prolonged campaign, the more models you have taken out of action, the more chance there is of some models not pulling through. Voluntarily Heading for the Hills is a part of the rules that many players overlook, or view as cowardly. In a campaign, it can be the only way of saving face. If you're severely outgunned and your models are dropping like flies, weigh up the situation at the start of your next turn. If the odds are still stacked against you and you can't see a way of achieving the scenario objective, then swallow your pride and high-tail it out of there!

 
MisterNurglДата: Суббота, 05.06.2010, 06:32 | Сообщение # 5
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Sportsmanship.
I don't want to labour on about sportsmanship, as there are countless essays about it online and in various wargames mags. What I will say is that people's ideas of sportsmanship vary wildly, as do their definitions of 'rules lawyering' and 'beardiness'. This only really becomes an issue in those 'tornado' campaigns, when a bunch of people who've never played each other before are brought together in a competitive environment.

When you do something unusual in a game, a masterful tactic or extreme-instant-death-combo, look at your opponent's face and check yourself for a moment. If you find that their idea of fun isn't the same as yours, try cutting them some slack and resist the urge to jump up and down with glee as the stagecoach and half the opposing Posse run over your three vials of nitro and explode in flaming death.

Gamesmanship versus narrative.
On a related note, there is a difference (though sometimes a minute one) between sound tactics and beardiness. Some players are just great at the game - they view the measurements, statistics and odds of a situation in an almost Matrix-like array of numbers and manoeuvres. Bear in mind, however, that while sound gamesmanship is commonplace in a tornado campaign or Swiss tournament, you'll probably get hog-tied if you go all-out to win in a narrative campaign.

Stick to the plan.
Finally, when it comes to winning games, there's an age-old wargaming tactic. Formulate a plan and stick to it! Of course, don't take this advice too literally, as all the best plans need to be flexible. The idea is that you come up with a very broad strategy, such as "I'll split my Posse into two groups. Group A will rescue the hanged man, while Group B stand back and cover them." However detailed your plan, make sure that you do more innovating than reacting - you know you're onto a good thing when all of your opponent's moves are geared towards countering yours, because that means he doesn't have a solid plan of his own.

Experience
For many players, the most enjoyable part of playing in campaign is watching your Posse grow and evolve. Unsurprisingly, there are some tactics to employ here, too. Players who buy all the expensive and shiny equipment without giving their purchases any real thought will generally come second place to those who think about complimentary purchases and advances. Here are my top tips for a better Posse:

Characteristic advances.
While most players crave a Skill advance for their Heroes, or The Kid Done Good for their Henchmen, it's the characteristic increases that are the most common - and the most important - experience gains in a campaign. Sometimes you'll just get given an increase, but more often than not you'll have to choose between two, such as Shootin' or Fightin', or Strength or Grit. What you choose generally depends on your Posse and playing style. Close combat Posses will want Fightin' and Strength increases, while rifle-heavy Posses will be after Grit and Shootin' advances. Before making your choice, however, look at the Wounds chart in the back of the book. Let me explain.

As the cheapest firearm is the sixgun, and the average Strength of a starting fighter is 3, we can assume that most hits you'll take in a game will be at Strength 3. If your fighter is at Grit 3 to start with, then a Grit increase will offer that bit more protection (your opponent will then need 5s to wound, rather than 4s). However, if you're already Grit 4, you won't notice much of a benefit by taking another Grit increase, unless you can get up to the heady heights of Grit 6.

The same principles apply to Strength increases. If the average Grit value is 3, then you'll need a Strength of 5 before it starts getting easier to take models out of action in close combat.

Hired Guns.
Now, once you start earning loot, you'll be eager to turn to the Hired Guns section in order to bolster your Posse. Before doing this, take a quick look at your Posse list to see if there are any areas you could strengthen on the cheap. This is especially important if you've lost a Hero during the campaign. Buy another ASAP!

 
MisterNurglДата: Суббота, 05.06.2010, 06:32 | Сообщение # 6
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If you're determined to blow huge wads of cash on Hired Guns, then consider some of the points I made earlier about Posse composition and playing to your Strengths. Hired Guns can compensate for a weakness in your Posse, or they can make you even better at what you do best. However, always keep one eye on the bank balance, and don't hire a mercenary unless you're sure you can pay their retainer. It's bad business sense to get a Hired Gun, then sack him at the end of the game in order to buy another later.

Legends.
All of the points I made about Hired Guns apply equally to Legends - more so, in fact. If you can find a Legend, and if you can afford them, they can be one-man armies (depending on whom you pick, of course). Their retainers are often as much as - or more than - the recruitment fee of your average Hired Gun, so if you plan on having them in your Posse for more than one game, try to save some loot between games.

Although it's often tempting to save up for Wild Bill or Doc Holliday, spare a thought for the cheaper Hired Guns. John Wesley Hardin is great value considering his store of 3 Fame and 3 Fortune. Likewise, Curly Bill Brocius is a good investment for an Outlaw Posse. Military Posses could do worse than hire Benteen rather than Custer. I'll say it again, because I can't stress it enough - spend the loot you save on more Henchmen.

 
MisterNurglДата: Суббота, 05.06.2010, 06:33 | Сообщение # 7
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Rare Items.
The only rare items that most Posses look for in the first few games are weapons, and more exotic items are kept for when the stash has grown a little more. Most rare items are incredibly useful, some are just for fun, but in the context of a campaign really come into their own. I organise items by means of three factors - items that fall into more than one of these categories are at the top of my shopping list: (1) Increase the staying power of the whole Posse (Night on the town, fancy duds, medicine pipe); (2) Increase the offensive potential of the Posse (US Flag, explosives, rifle scopes); and (3) Protect the Boss (boilerplates, heavy furs, medicine shields).

Losing fighters to a bad case of death.
The last thing anyone wants in a campaign is to lose fighters outright. Sadly, it really is down to the luck of the draw. In the last Warhammer Historical campaign day, I played six games and lost six models outright, two of which were Heroes, and one of whom was my leader. It worked out that half the models I had taken out of action in the whole campaign died. There's just no accounting for luck like that!

You can, however, try to minimise the effects of death on your Posse. Remember to buy back dead Heroes as quickly as possible. Try hiring a Prospector (if you can afford him) to boost your income next game so you can buy more Henchmen. Sell off equipment if necessary just to get more bodies on the table. If you still end up severely under strength, then remember what I said about voluntarily heading for the hills earlier - it might be the better part of valour. Finally, I've seen several players start new Posses halfway through campaigns. This can work out for you, but you're unlikely to claim the top spot if you do. As a general guide, if ever you find yourself with fewer than two thirds your starting number of models, and no money in the stash, it's worth considering starting afresh.

Winning the Campaign
When all's said and done, the only way to come out of a campaign as top dog is to have the highest Infamy rating. Here's how to get it:

Important rules for a healthy Posse:
The best way to secure a high Infamy rating is to do well (not necessarily the best) throughout the campaign. Following the tips on Posse selection, playing to your strengths and choosing advances and equipment wisely, you'll (hopefully) have managed that. Now, to put the final polish on that rating.

First up, the number of models is the most important factor in boosting the rating. Buy more Henchmen. I'll keep saying it because it's important. I'd even go so far as to hire a Cookie at the end of the campaign just so I can exceed the maximum size of the Posse.

Next, experience points and Hired Gun bonuses are added to the rating. Far be it from me to encourage the illicit, last-ditch recruiting of Hired Guns after the final game of the campaign, but it does seem to do the trick! However, the best way to get that experience bonus is to be savvy during the game. If you want your Heroes to earn more experience, be careful how you resolve fights. Keep them out of unnecessary harm. Better still, look at how you can earn bonus points in the scenario objectives. It's worth only spending your Fame points to claim a kill, just for the +1 experience point it guarantees you.

So there you have it, my tips for a better campaign experience. Now, if only I can follow my own advice next year. And bring along my loaded dice.

 
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