Posted 23/11/2017

Battleplan Tactica – Total Conquest

Total Conquest is one of the trickier battleplans in the General’s Handbook 2017, featuring an unusual deployment map that can leave a poorly prepared player in a precarious position! Thankfully, with Russ and part 3 of his battleplan tactica on hand, you’ll find yourself totally ready for Total Conquest:

Russ: Total Conquest is one of the most disruptive deployment maps, often leaving armies that rely on careful deployment out of position at the start of the game. With units potentially being within 18” of each other at the start, a fast-moving opponent could leave you flat-footed.

Key points:

  • The major victory is won with the points scored by capturing objectives. The minor victory is determined by kill points.
  • An objective that falls under your control remains so until an enemy reclaims it.
  • Claiming an objective from your opponent gains you a bonus point.
  • Units of 20+ trump smaller units for control, otherwise control goes to the player with the most models within 6″.
  • Units can be within 18″ of each other at the start of the game.
  • The narrow deployment zone is not big enough for models with large bases to deploy in.

Setting a Plan for the Game

When approaching this mission, you really need to have a clear idea about how you will deploy your force, which objectives are you going to focus on, and how you can counter your opponent.

Usually, when I play this mission, I will take note of my opponent’s army composition, and this will affect my approach to the game. I generally ask a few questions to help me plan my approach.

  • Do they have any special deployment rules, such as those used by armies with the Stormcast Eternals or Nighthaunt allegiances?
  • Do they have units of 20 or more models which are resilient?
  • Do they have any units that can deploy on the narrow edge which could cause me problems?

Your army needs to be flexible; if you can, include a mix of fast-moving units which hit hard, resilient units of 20+ models, and special deployment units. Deployment is where Total Conquest can be won or lost, so it’s a good idea to have a solid plan before placing your first units. Here are a couple of approaches you might take.

Plan 1 – Take and Hold

This strategy relies on you having some durable units that can take the two objectives opposite the narrow deployment zones. This is particularly viable if you can take turn 1 and get a decent board position, especially if the units have 20+ models to make it even harder for your opponent to claim them.Plaguebearers, Skeleton Warriors, Dryads and Savage Orruk units are especially good at this. Be aware of the double turn; if you lose an objective, your opponent could score 2 points before you can react, so you need to hold those objectives as long as you reasonably can.

Having a strike force to move and reclaim a lost objective, or to swoop in and deny your opponent an objective, is a real asset here. Be ready to respond to the counter-attack from your opponent, and you need to be wary of leaving your home objective vulnerable to special deployment units.

Plan 2 – The Anvil and Sweeping Hammer

This strategy relies on using a swift, aggressive force (the hammer) to sweep around the table in an arc while holding the opposite objective with a tough unit or two (the anvil). You will want a fast-moving force that can dish out a lot of damage (particularly against infantry units) as your hammer. Units such as aLord-Celestant on a Stardrake backed by Fulminators or a Vampire Lord on a Zombie Dragon backed up by Blood Knights are great in this role.

You need to take control of an objective and then rapidly push to the next one. While they remain under your control, it can be quite risky to leave them unprotected, so it can be worth leaving behind a cheap Battleline unit like Liberators or Dire Wolves. This strategy works best if your opponent has spread their forces thin, or has slow units that cannot react to the sudden attack. By deploying equidistant from the two objectives you plan to attack, you can keep your options open.

Plan 3 – Trade to Win

This strategy is all about trade-off, using weak units to hold an objective. This will force your opponent into attacking the small cheap unit and exposing them to a counter-attack. Ideally, you will have access to cheap units that are fast and can take position early-on. You also need a counter-attacking force suitable for removing your opponent’s units once they take an objective.  The idea here is to take the objectives which lie outside your deployment zone early on (one in each territory). Your counter-attacking units can then emerge victorious with their main combat threat destroyed, enabling you to hold out for the win or push for their home objective to keep the pressure on. Successfully executed, this plan should secure the major victory by the end of turn 3, due to securing objectives and scoring points in turn 1.

Plan 4 – Defensive Long Game

If you have a lot of ranged units backed up by resilient (or simply numerous) troops, then you might want to try this approach. Focus on 2 objectives, using your range to whittle down and destroy their attacking forces while holding your own objectives. Usually, one enemy objective will be lightly defended, and using a ranged unit to slowly pick off the models there can pay dividends, letting you swoop in and take the objective in the late game. For example, use a unit of Judicators to shoot the enemy sitting on an objective, and then use the Lightning Chariot ability to capture the objective in a later turn. This can win you Total Conquest without having to risk your units in combat.

Putting it all Together

Like any time you go to battle, make a plan and keep your eye on the objective. Focus on taking down units that can threaten your objectives. Try not to compete for all four objectives at the same time; remember you only need to get one more point than your opponent to score a major victory, so it’s perfectly fine to be patient and only focus on two or three objectives. Your army composition and that of your opponent will also dictate how you play this battleplan. Understanding when to attack and when to defend is the key to victory in Total Conquest!

Thanks, Russ! If you’ve not got your copy of the General’s Handbook 2017, you can pick one up here.

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