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The Miniatures War College
Advenio paratus. Egressus melior paratus.
D&D Miniatures strategy and analysis.

March 22, 2005

Time Limit Strategy: Planned Withdrawl

Brave Sir Robin ran away.
Bravely ran away, away!
When danger reared its ugly head,
He bravely turned his tail and fled.
Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about
And gallantly he chickened out.
Bravely taking to his feet
He beat a very brave retreat,
Bravest of the brave, Sir Robin!

Sometimes the rules of the tournament and the rules of the game interact in strange ways. Recently at a couple of 200 point events I noticed a strategy that plays off of the limited time and relative durability of a few creatures vs. the squishyness of others. This is a move I call 'pulling a Sir Robin.' In the last round a player takes his pieces that can be eliminated and moves them as far away from the opponent's graps as possible, at least a single move from all opposing figures.

Seriously though, when the goal is to deny your opponent more points than you can score sometimes the only reliable way is to keep him from eliminating your creatures. And as the rule currently stands routing creatures score no points.

So how do you exploit this? First, make sure it is really going to be the last round. If time has already been called it's easy. But when time is short you play a dangerous game. You cannot stall (that's cheating) but you can weigh out your moves. And your opponent will be weighing out the their moves too. So the rule of thumb I use is that if there is 45 seconds per activation remaining, I treat it as the last round, 12 unactivated figures will take about 8 minutes to resolve. But be sure it is the last round! If a creature doesn't rout off the board in one turn, it almost certialy will in 2, and by then your opponent has caught up with the runners. But the 3/4 rule is a relativly safe bet, especially if you pull the following stunts:

  1. Turn the Other Cheek: Provoking Attacks of Opportunity isn't bad, unless your opponent can kill you with all of the AoOs possible for that creature. An injured creature is worth as much points to your opponent as a completely healthy creature: zero.
  2. Fear is your Friend: Dont worry about half hit points, unless you are within a double move of routing off of the board. In fact, routing is good! You get to move at double speed if you have already attacked and moved or even moved some more. So wisely done you could concievably get a triple move off of a lat round move.
  3. Hide and go Seek: Failing morale is generally good, as long as you stay on the battlegrid. You cannot choose to not add your command bonus to morale saves, but you can hide your commander behind a wall! This is one time where command is bad.
Remeber, discrestion is the better part of valor!


  • Hmmm. This sounds somewhat familiar. You're not referring to my decision to move my Catfolk Wilder away from the grasp of your Yuan-ti Halfblood and Warpriest of Hextor in our match on Saturday are you??? ;)

    While it proved to be a smart move in terms of preserving victory points on the final round, I still would've done it in a longer game because she needs space to cast her spells. A based Wilder is somewhat less than useful. :P


    PS Nice write up.

    By chattan, at 2:24 PM  

  • While that was one of the games I had in minde I've seen it several other times, and it's been the basis of the win. Once it was when I was playing a Silver Dragon Band and all that Lucky_KSY left w/in 27 squares was beefy orc champions and an ogre ravager. There have also been other games where I have lost scoring points with a full attack because the target fled after the first one hit.

    It's been a consistant theme I've seen in many games. There was rumbelings at GenCon SoCal that they were looking at some way to make routing figures score points when time is called. I think the best way to percipitate a rules change is to form a winning strategy around it, like too many puppies and the summoning rule.

    By Danno Ferrin (aka shemnon), at 2:32 PM  

  • One of my big complaints is when you make a creature route with your first attack and don't get a chance to swing at him with your other attacks because he has run away and you don't get your AoO. It seems like your secondary attacks should have just as many opportunities for the AoO as another creature's attack who just happens to be standing nearby. It doesn't seem right to me for a rout to be advantageous to the routing creature.


    By chattan, at 4:04 PM  

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