about the universe forum commander Shop Now Commanders Circle
Product List FAQs home Links Contact Us

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Engineer and the Infantryman

This is Steven Petrick posting.

SVC and I are both products of our training in the Army, but both of us come from different branches and it seems to color our thinking.

Recently SVC was running a solitaire playtest of a scenario for Star Fleet Marines: Last Stand. He had laid out his defenses, then reviewed them and chose an axis of advance for the attacking force. After running a few turns he called on me asked me to review the set up and situation.

To my eye, SVC had chosen to attack the strongest point of his defense, and I indicated that I felt that his primary attack should actually have been a supporting secondary attack. The position did need to be attacked in order to divert the fire from that location away from where the primary attack (in my opinion) needed to be made. I chose a point where there was a little less open ground to cross, and the primary defensive bastion was more easily isolated and subject to being overrun, in my opinion -- only if, however, the strongest position was also attacked to draw its fire away from my chosen principal point of the attack. Both of us agree that trying to attack everywhere simply means that all of the defending forces get to shoot, optimizing their defensive firepower against attacking forces trying to cross “the deadly ground."

SVC, noting my selection of points of attack and stated reasons for doing so then asked how I would deploy the defenses. The only real difference between us is that I opted to pull the heavy defenses back in a little bit to make the perimeter tighter and allow more overlap of the available firepower. The upshot, in the end, was simply to reinforce my own observations about attacking the location. The best place for the primary attack still remained, but the supporting attack still needed to be made against the strongest part of the defense. It was just that now both of those attacks would face greater peril.

In the end, both of us chose the same general defensive layout, I simply chose to place more emphasis on interlocking fire. I also chose to be more active in the defense (moving troops up to support the outer defenses, planning to retire to the final defensive lines if the outer perimeter were breached). SVC seemed to take a more passive stance, establishing defenses and planning to simply allow the attackers to advance into them.