Codex: PVP

Shangular

Brigadier
Spent the past month heavily queueing PVP to for the Sept PvP Season, an upside from COVID and working remotely is that you can PvP while being on virtual meetings. Fought many warbands, had some really good fights, and just want to say GG to everyone I faced.
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What I've mentioned in other posts is that I'd really love to see the player base learn and adopt tactics for more competitive gameplay. I think this game is similar to Chess (albeit with an RNG), in that the rules are fairly simple, but there is potential for a breadth of tactics. Wanted to share a few of them here that perhaps not many people think about or if they do, maybe I'm just late to the party. There's already plenty of posts and wiki on tactics like alpha strike, pathblocking, rating management and stuff like that so I'm not going to repeat. But for those seriously interested in PvP, here's what I think are some key factors to making my Marienburg Come and Get your Love warband successful in this past PvP season. This was a warband I built specifically for PvP.

1) Build Design: The key here is Redundancy. Make sure your warband doesn't rely on one or two warriors to win. I've seen many that rely too much on their leader or just a couple of warriors. Make sure that it is still competitive even if the captain dies. I've designed this where this warband is flexible in that all warriors are capable of winning the game. In a couple of games, I've even played the "Sacrifice the Queen" tactic as in chess, where I let my captain get killed in order to draw the opponent into a position where I could win in the following turn or 2. With this warband, the pistoliers ganging up with their pistols and blunderbusses is just effective as the captain souped up with Crimson Shade and Mad Cap.

2) Positioning is Key to winning or losing. This is obvious, but I've been able to defeat warbands twice my rating because my opponent didn't manuever very well.
2a. Don't underestimate Speed Skills: Being unstunnable, being able to hide at double distance, extra movement are vital. I usually focus on levelling these up first.
2b. Take the Pit Fighter skill and always try to end your movement in cover (+10 WS) can make a difference.
2c. Try to force your opponent to move the kill zone of your choice. This applies more in the Treasure Hunt and Wyrd Stone Shard scenarios. In Treasure Hunt it's obvious, grab the chest and force enemy to come to you. But for the Shard scenario, what I'd like to advise is to focus on getting the shard that's closest to the enemy not the one that's closest to you. This will force your enemy to react to your tactic. In addition, if a shard lies conveniently close to you, have a support warrior get it, not your main dps warriors. The reason is that your main dps will go after the shard nearest the enemy and if one of them dies, the enemy won't have the opportunity to grab your shard that's being held by a support warrior standing on the other side of the map.

3) Control the Map: I've designed this warband to maximize the opportunities to have a "home field advantage" by intentionally not unlocking any of the maps. Thus when I queue there are only 2 possible maps (the one with closed buildlings and the cemetary. Why this is important? One I gotten very familiar with these 2 maps that I know every potential treasure spawn location, shard spawn location, best places to set-up firing lanes and kill zones, etc. In addition, these maps play to the advantage of the warband I built. For example, 3 out of 4 PvP scenarios are the Treasure Hunt. My captain and elf has Flight. Neither of these 2 maps have blockable pathways that prevent Flight.

This tactic doesn't prevent you from farming the University District for gold as you can buy a Map of Mordheim to play that map.

4) Initiative is key: Having a lower starting initiative is not necessarily a bad thing. Having the captain going first ahead of your other warriors isn't always a good thing. With this warband, I intentionally have my captain be the lowest so that the others can do there attacks first. This is helpful in that the pistoliers can do their barrage of blunderbusses without risking having my captain get hit and then he can mop up after.

Also what some people may not know is that you can re-adjust the initiative order by using Crimson Shade. So for example, my enemy starts of as higher initiative. He passes, I pass, he has to go next and activates. I then active and use Crimson Shade which gives my a higher initiatve in the following turn and gives me 2 actions in row before he activates.

5) Most important - Have fun. Win or lose I always enjoy a good match :)
 
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Mork

Major
Hi Shangular - great report, thank you!
Concerning "unlocked maps" : This tactic may only work if you are the challenger.
Accepting the battle-offer by other higher ranked warbands, I often played on maps which were actually not unlocked for me.
 

Shangular

Brigadier
Hi Shangular - great report, thank you!
Concerning "unlocked maps" : This tactic may only work if you are the challenger.
Accepting the battle-offer by other higher ranked warbands, I often played on maps which were actually not unlocked for me.
True, it's not 100% because it only works if someone joins when you que. For that past month, I'd queue often and the large majority of my matches were people joining my queue. Also, if your opponent is very familiar with those 2 maps, it neutralizes it as well, but at least this gives some advantage vs those who don't know the maps.
 

Shangular

Brigadier
I'll continue this Codex to focus on PVP against the Skaven Throwing star build. I've use this build last month, GG to all opponents I've faced. This is a very good build, it was common a couple years back when the community was more active. But it is beatable. I think some may feel it is OP because proper counter tactics aren't used when fighting this build. This assumes warbands between 600 - 1000 rating. At high level end game, there are many ways to beat this warband. Now assuming the you have a good build as well (if you have a really bad build, most tactics probably won't be effective anyways and solo warbands will also have hard time against this), tactics to defeat the Skaven throwing star/pistol warbands are:

1) Infiltration: Skaven have and use this skill. You'll probably see the Enemy is moving at the very beginning of the match. In this situation, always pass your turn. This will prevent the Skaven from getting 3 turns in a row (Infiltration move, last turn first round, and first turn second round) if you have a lower initiative. Many opponents fail to do this and getting 3 turns in a row with this build results in an easy win.

2) Throwing Stars: While great at ranged attacks, these cannot be used in close combat nor can they be targeted at opponents who are in close combat. Thus obviously get into close combat as soon as possible. But do this strategically. Be mindful of which opponent's warrior moves first and last. Try to engage the Skaven who moves last with as many of your warriors as possible and remember not to kill this Skaven. Now your opponent's turn happens. Their Skaven that move first can't shoot your warriors. Sure they can pass, but then you get to activate before they do again. If they move that Skaven engaged out of close combat (assuming its the last moving Skaven), you'll get to activate before the others who passed. So again repeat this tactic.

3) Positioning your warband: This is important too. Don't just run up as bunch and allow the Skaven to target everyone in one round. Stagger who goes forward first. This is the beauty of the turn passing mechanics in this game as it creates a strategic depth where you can have some warriors active and some wait. The ones who move forward may get killed but then you have someone to counter attack in melee. Again the key is get into melee. Skaven's are a true glass cannon where they need to hit first and hard to win. If an opponent is able to launch a counter attack with the majority of their warband, they stand a good chance of winning.

4) A common tactic to beat Skaven is normally to kill the leader and sorcerer and force a rout test. Most of the times they fail due to low leadership. The best way to identify the leader is to wait and see which non-sorcerer casts a spell. Of course players like myself will try to obscure who the leader is by having every warrior have the same name as well as switching equipment that impacts initiative order and weapon. So sometimes my leader here will be wearing an Asssassins mask and go earlier, sometimes they will be wearing a thunderer's hat and go later. But do your best to try to note who casts a spell.

Of course no tactic is 100% absolute because of the RNG mechanics as well as adapting to the opponents reactions but the above principles should help.
 

Mork

Major
Yesterday I defeated with my 640er Ladies of Sigmar a 1260er warband who obviously thought them to be an easy prey - walking around the rest of the day with my nose up... But still I am totally scared to fight against the Master of Puppets again. :oops:
 
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