Eldar Apocalypse is back. Here is my thoughts and a question to you guys out there about reserves in Apocalypse. First off, before I get into anything too deep, I need to explain how my group runs Apocalypse games. Some people use a Turn Limit, or predefine some victory conditions for the mission at hand, but my group uses time limits for the game.
One popular tactic in normal games is to reserve everything in your army, speed in, and grab up kill points and objectives when you enter the table. Generally this relies on a little bit of luck and praying to the dice gods to bring in units at the right times. Apocalypse is a little bit different, because reserves are no longer random, allowing the player to choose what units to enter the game at what time. However, Apocalypse forces all of your units to be on the table by Turn 3.
So I'm about to reveal a little secret to countering all those reserve armies in Apocalypse so long as your group is using a time limit for the game. Do Nothing.
Wait...what? Okay, let me explain. Let's say that your opponents decide to reserve everything, in their army in Apocalypse and for the sake of argument, will be going second. You set up all your models, and they deploy nothing. On your turn, unless you need or want to collect some cover saves or advance forward to get into firing position when your opponent comes in, stay put. Here is what the turn sequence would look like.
- Your Turn, Ends
- Opponents Turn, No Models, Ends
- Your Turn 2, Ends
- Opponents Turn 2 (They can either bring half their army on, or stay in reserve)
- Your Turn 3, blast the reserves that enter the table or do nothing depending on what your opponent did.
- Opponents Turn 3, all reserves must enter the table.
So, after Turn 3, you are basically playing the same game starting from Turn 1 anyway if your opponents would have just started with everything on the table, since if you are using time limits, the actual number of turns matters little, unlike a regular game.
This of course isn't taking into account any kind of tricks that might be used coming in from reserves...
Speaking of tricks, Eldar have some that let us change the above sequence up a bit. How about coming on the table using the Flying abilities of a Cloudstike squadron, appearing anywhere on the battlefield thanks to the Flyer rules? After that you can land and spill out the contents of the Falcons to go toe to toe with the enemy. Using a Webway assault to appear at key locations on the battlefield. Of course there is always the Flank March asset, but beware of someone taking the Ambush to counter you. Also, try some Deep Striking units. Don't forget the Storm Serpent to cause some general confusion, and acting as a mobile webway portal.
Remember, as Eldar, you can't afford to engage the enemy head on, you need to use every trick you can come up with to get around the enemy and do things they aren't expecting.
So, for Apocalypse, what do you do with your reserves?