Thursday, 5 June 2014

Getting Started: Shaltari Deployment Part 2

It's deployment time.
Heeelllooooooooooo! Time for more Shaltari goodness. Prepare to be inundated with information which will you fill your mind chasm's with deploymental goodness! Let's get it on...

Set up a firebase

This step is fairly important. Although the Shaltari excel in manoeuvrability, they are suspect to folding if an enemy can get some harrying units within their ranks. This is why it is important to set up a firebase around midtable. An ideal firebase is made up from units which can provide both decent enough AA and AT fire to keep an opponents units at arms reach, and even possibly cause them to change their deployment. This is where the Jaguar really steps up. As far as utility units go, it is second only to the Ferrum. With two E10 guns, four E6 AA shots and a tough enough frame to take a few shots, they are an imposing force midtable, and are just about fast enough to get a decent deployment range from an Eden on first turn. Kukri's and Tarantulas will also do the job, but will be harder to deploy a decent amount in the first turn.

Having your firebase midtable will help stop quick fliers getting in your midsts (the Ferrums drones and Scourge Reavers spring to mind), and if an opponent wants to deploy a squad on the second turn closer to your table half, they will think twice (or thrice) before running the gauntlet of reactionary AA fire.

Although getting this kind of set up isn't imperative, I have always find it helped me gain a strong grip on the game. Getting the activation right is also key. If you can deploy them after an enemy has activated their uber doom squad, even better. This also leads nicely to our next point-

Some units can wait until turn 2 or 3

The temptation to want to get your units on the board turn 1 is incredible. After all, you have this awesome army, why are you not using it all as soon as possible?! Well, because you don't need to, that's why. A good unit for this example is the Tarantula. As a squad they are bulky, and if you have a 4 you will need a Gaia or 2 Eden's to deploy them. Rushing this deployment for turn 1 won't only leave them well way from a useful range, it will also dominate your gate usage for the turn. Units like this can wait until turn 2, or even turn 3. Deploying them later will also let you react to where you need them the most. For example, if a player dumps four Gladius on the left flank in turn 1, you can safely deploy your 4 Tarantulas on turn 2, in a position to jump them in turn 3.

Deployment in this way allows you to play the game to your speed, without the risk of predicting where your opponent will drop their units. It also heightens the effective of your counterstrike, as you will have units exactly where you need them, and the Shaltari excel when played in this format.

Don't neglect your infantry

Tanks and walkers are all well and good, but Infantry win you games. Be sure to plan ahead when deploying your fine mass gates, and also try to make sure you will be able to have enough on the board to have the option of deploying every squad. Spreading your Havens and Spirits around your half of the table is very useful for shenanigans and redeployment at speed. Sometimes you will be forced to move your infantry quickly, be it because of a building falling down around you or a must win CQB, and you will need a good spread of fine mass gates to achieve this.

I will admit that deployment of infantry very much depends on the mission, but in most cases you delegating one Eden to gate through 2 Haven's is useful. As this is a little difficult to explain, I have turned to my mastery of MS Paint to help me.
S = Spirit, H = Haven, E = Eden, B = Braves, J = Jaguar

This set up is a standard Targets of Opportunity game. I have used one Spirit to set behind my building and disgourge a unit of Braves into it. This Spirit will then be able to reploy any unit to one of the two central buildings next turn, as it has a huge 15” move for deploying. The Spirit on the left is ready to deploy in the following turn. I have let one Eden deploy two Haven's, and one of hose Haven's has had a unit of Braves add itself to my building. Both of these Haven's will be ready to suck up and spew out more units next turn potentially into the central buildings. In my army, I would have 2 more in readiness for turn 2 and 3 in case I need them. Also, I will sometimes drive a Haven on to collect the objective which a Braves squad will eventually find, in the building nearest my edge. I have also shown deployment of a Fire base containing 2 Jaguars. In my standard list, I only have 2 Edens, and my Firedrake will gate something in the first turn.

A few tips in regards to other specific missions:

Recon: Get as many units into as many buildings, as quickly as possible. Your infantry should supersede all other units in this mission, as you can never count on finding an objective, and should an opponent you will need as many intel VP's as possible.

Landgrab: Focal missions are hit and miss for Shaltari. On one hand, we are super frail and don't want to crowd around buildings for fear of being shot at. On the other, we have some very expensive units, and most of our army is very good at contributing points. My advise would be to play coy until turn 4, or maybe even 5, and then move into position. Troops and fine mass gates can be held in readiness until turn 5 as you won't need them, and if on the board will be easier targets (unless you need to stop infantry shooting you from buildings, warriors really hit hard!).

Encroachment: A pretty standard set up will suffice for this, apart from keeping your Haven's in readiness for turn 1 and 2, as you will want your troops in the opponents buildings for double points. When on the board, you can just push forward with your ground units.

I hope this helps a little, Shaltari can be a pain to start with and I could have done with a little advice when I first started... pity the game had only been out for a few months...

Anyway, catch you on the flip flop!


  1. Thanks for this zombiestate. Having recently started the game and gone for shaltari, this really puts into perspective the possible shaltari shenanigans that I've heard so much about.

    Hopefully with practice it will be easier to understand.

    1 question how can I explain to my my opponents (club memebers) the rules behind activating havens but not actually doing anything with them for a few turns

    1. I'm glad it is of help! Havens start the game in readiness, and the rules state that they MAY enter the battlefield. Units in readiness may be activated just like units on the Battlefield, which means you can activate a Haven and then not bring it on because you don't have too.

      It is wanky, but then again so are Shaltari!

      It is worth noting that if your friends have troops or tank units they don't want to bring on yet (in missions like ground control for instance) they can activate the unit and not bring it on, effectively skipping an activation. This is what is regarded as a dead activation.

      Hope this helps!

  2. Ah, sweet so everyone can take advantage of it. Should mean that I take less stick for being wany ;) there's 5 of us just starting out each with one of the factions so it's a learning curve for us all.

    A few of us are thinking of making it to Croydon in September so might see your brilliant selves there.

    Love the podcast by the way especially the jingles keep it up dudes