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

July 12, 2005

Tactical Implications of High Functional Hit Point Efficiency

After I did my posts on functional damage I didn't do any follow up posts on how to use that information. The biggest reason is that... duh... you go smash things with your high functional damage efficiency. All of the nuances in attack deal with other special abilities or with non numbers relate tricks. Things like how to abuse a cleave and patience in making your opponent to close so you can get the first full attack. But what about survivability numbers? Immediately I see two implications of this. One regarding your opponent's models and one involving your own.

When dealing with your own creatures with high FHP efficiency you need to realize that their most important role is as a pin cushion. Generally speaking the role of pin cushion is most important in the round that your figures close. When the contested ground has basically been determined, and you know where both of you are going to collide within the next round of movement, I like to send in as my first figure someone who will give me the most bang for the buck. Because whoever you send in to that death zone is going to get hit... a lot. And if they are hitting a creature they will get a low VP return from for their efforts you are setting yourself up for a victory when time is called.

My favorite creature in this regard for limited play is the Wood Woad. Cheap at 15 points, AC of 17 means about half of the lower costed figures will miss it, and 60 HP means that when they do, it's like whittling away at an oak tree. When we know where the collision will take place I send my bladeless lumberjack right in the place that will cause the most problems for my opponents navigating around. I do this fully intending for him to have four to six mid to low costed figures thrown at him to chop him down. That's a really good exchange, because that is four to six figures hitting my one figure. I can now take most of my other mid to low costed figures and attack the vulnerable weenies who haplessly tried to fell my timber terror. Striking second does have it's advantages.

The second implication deals with your opponents efficient figures, or more particularly their inefficient ones. In a timed environment, and especially in a sealed timed environment, games are often called before the victory condition is met. And even when time isn't called other ways of scoring victory points can leave many figures on the losing side still alive and kicking on the battle grid. The key here is, when all other considerations are equal and you are given a choice, focus on creatures with low efficiency first. These creatures are the ones that will reward you with more victory points for the same amount of effort.

This is most often seen when playing against the Zombie White Dragon. I usually do my best to ignore and/or distract this frozen lizard with as many crunchy fodder pieces as I can. While my 3 point wonders are being served to the winged icicle I focus the rest of my efforts collecting tile points and working on the rest of my opponents army. Four rounds of tile points are all it takes to not have to eliminate the Zombie White Dragon and still win the round. Since the amount of support pieces I tempt the dragon with average around 25 points I almost always come out ahead in that exchange.

Efficiency may not be everything, but an efficient strategy can go a long way towards victory.


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