When the dice gods have favored me with FEWER strikes than my opponent at the beginning of the game, I get a little giddy. It will be seriously difficult for them to handle Deimos-9 on Kill Again’s Island, which many people claim Invaders are superior on. And, as I said before, things get worse with Quantum Deimos-9 out. Blue Hit and Run is borderline absurd for the Invaders, as they already have easy access to Synchronized Move, Sprint and the likes, to really get their units moving. That being said, my units play a HUGE roll in my macro-level strategy, probably much more than they do in other forces…
…is to use my superior repositioning abilities and immunity to radiation hazards to keep the aggression high without taking as much damage as my opponent. Toss, and to a lesser extent, the “blast-into-brawl combo” can give me some explosive monster turns to balance out the turns where I merely do one damage and reposition. My units will constantly be focused on damaging the enemy monster, and using the granted Hit and Run and the innate Synchronized Move triggers, with the occasional addition of Tow, Cargo, or Sprint, will simultaneously secure power zones, negative zones, neutral spawns or just buildings, for a nice, consistent powerbase that can still counter my opponent’s disruption attempts with extra unit killing.
1) Make my opponent look silly by taking away their best options through disruption and repositioning
2) Tag opponent with units as much as possible
3) Secure power zones and neutral spawns, and to a lesser extent, buildings and negative zones
I absolutely can accomplish all three if I’m going second. It is VERY easy for any force to disrupt powerbases on this map, let alone a force as good at killing units and disrupting as the Invaders. Not only that, but my units gain even more powerdice for killing units due to Power Gorge, so killing units to disrupt then moving my units back through teleporters and onto powerzones is WAY more effective at getting power dice consistently than securing a powerbase. Tagging the monster is also very easy on this map, so sometimes I’ll do that on the first turn, gain a power die from p-gorge, Hit and Run/Synch Move to safety/powerzone OR into soft disruption! It’s actually quite crazy how many options I have…
I’m going to list what allows me to control my opponent aggressively, that is, to keep them off of their game by constantly denying them their best options. This is absolutely what makes this monster tick (for me that is), and it is the backbone of my entire strategy.
The Invader units are particularly good at denial strategies. They have so many good units capable of hard and soft disruption. The most important of which is… drumroll please… TORNADUS.
The fact is, while Invaders do have their share of really, REALLY good units, nothing compares to Tornadus… Ever. The reason why I say this should be clear: Fling and Hoist, Flight, 2 boost, 7 speed. For 10 a-dice, I can spawn Tornadus and an Elite Vanguard or Marauder, move, Hoist for soft disruption, then Fling or Explode whatever it is I’m shooting with 2*4 or 2*3 + Indirect Fire. I’m comfortable attempting a shot at defense 4 units with either of these, either in the open (with 2*4) or cover (2*3 + Indirect Fire), as long as I’ve already used Hoist to disrupt the base, Radar, Shuffle, etc… If not, I’d probably go for something else. The point is, if I can do this, and hit with the Fling or Explosion, I just jumped ahead a significant amount.
And that’s only looking at Tornadus. I also have the amazing Spadefin Skimmer threat looming in my reserves or securing a power or neutral spawn zone. We all know how threatening some units can be, and Tow units are the most threatening, often not being spawned all game. The mere presence of one of these in your reserves plays mind games with your opponents. And when you do have to use it, it is always well worth it. Sometimes you just need to get a Nautilus Blaster closer, other times you Tow away that Stealth Ape securing 3 different buildings right into a radiated zone, leaving your opponent with no powerdice on powerup and you with an extra one. Always a good unit for sure.
Another star in my force for disruption is the Spiral Relay. This unit can get to many buildings easily with hover, and has 5 defense while in cover. Sprint allows for it to go the distance and really dig itself deep into the opponent’s base. Once there, generally a monster has to remove it, and even that can be difficult. I like to slingshot the Relay deep into my opponent’s base with Synch Move. 12 spaces with hover on a defense 4/5 unit is nothing to scoff at, especially since it can hold objective spaces.
The Saucer/Nullifier Pod combo also provides a ridiculous amount of disruptive force for me. Not only does it have good reach and flight, the Saucer also has Ground Control so it can occupy an objective space while disrupting as well. A Nullifier Pod deep in my opponent’s base makes their units easier to hit and less mobile, both of which end up separating me from my opponent in terms of power-dice accumulation and control of the game. I am forcing them to deal with it or suffer the consequences, oftentimes cargoing it onto a unit spawn, further forcing them to deal with it instead of my monster or other more important units.
As a general rule, Invaders have Power Gorge. This makes hard disruption even more tempting, and so, when I can, I hard disrupt and get 2 powerdice. I’ve recently included an Elite Despoiler to push this advantage even further. Sniper makes Nautiluses deadly to pretty much any unit, and if I can take 2 seperate potshots with 2 powergorge units and hit both, I’ve just disrupted and gained 4 powerdice. This actually happens quite often, and helps me control the game.
Also, when Deimos-9 in on my side of the map, Refuel is a fantastic way to stay out of trouble. The Power Pod is great for me because it allows me to decide whether I want to be aggressive or defensive, and makes Alpha Deimos-9 move 6 additional spaces when she otherwise could not. Quantum CAN move 7 this way, but more than likely will only get 4 spaces, which is still more than Beacon, and if I ended my monster turn adjacent to the little bugger, it is equal in cost.
Although my buildings don’t necessarily help me reposition, they do help me control the game and deny my opponents options. I place buildings very aggressively. The idea is that I’ll disrupt my opponent’s powerbase before it ever forms! If they can’t get any good buildings together, they won’t have their optimal powerbase, and will oftentimes put things like Radar or Shuffle buildings on MY side of the map, because there simply aren’t any spaces left on their side! I often laugh out loud when this happens, as giving Invaders RADAR or Deimos-9 Shuffle seems absurd.
Not only am I screwing up their placements, I’m spreading the radiation hazards around, and unless I’m against another radiaiton immune monster, this plays an important role in the flow of the game. They have to be vigilant to not end up in a death blossom, or somewhere where Deimos-9 can deal 2 or more damage, and they can only retaliate with 1 or 2.
One of the greatest problems pedestrian or partial pedestrian monsters have is playing against monsters with a movement ability. That’s where Arsia’s come in. No Fly Zone does a lot for Deimos-9, and the building sticks around for a while, despite being a tempting target, thanks to its 6 defense. Not only that, but it comes with Beacon, which I use liberally to move Deimos-9 into or out of adjacency with a monster or just to a spot out of reach of certain buildings or too far away for my opponent to throw/smash me…
This map helps me play the aggro/control game by allowing my units to reposition through teleporters and makes it difficult for my opponent to rely on powerbase strategies.
Alpha Deimos-9 is very limited in mobility and cannot consistently reposition. I don’t think I’ve ever blasted with her, but if I did it would have to be for a form kill and to keep myself from losing my Alpha at the same time. She relies on unit turns for repositioning.
Quantum Deimos-9, on the other hand, is a master of repositioning. With 2 Hit and Run triggers, Toss, and Sprint, this monster can make gaps, take the high ground, or simply cross the board or retreat in one shot. The best Yo-Yo monster there is, Quantum Deimos-9 can often force her opponent into more dangerous positions while minimizing the damage she takes in response.
It’s important to note that ALL of my blasting units have Hit and Run, so ideally, I can reposition my units into better positions where they are difficult to get to or manage. Also, I can Hit and Run my units into my opponent’s powerbase, making subsequent secures difficult unless they deal with the unit either during their monster turn or as part of their unit turn, which means they’ll be back at square one or distracted, either way, I’m happy. There is always the chance they’ll miss that unit too, which is VERY bad.
With this force, I find it important to try to hit the opponent as often as possible, if only for 1 on my monster turn, and as much as I can on my unit turn, sometimes getting 2 here and there on either. This steady amount of damage can win the game, but more it’s more likely a single whiff for my opponent or even a big risky attack or back-to-back on my part is what wins. The reason I find this strategy so strong is that my opponent will not be able to do what they are used to doing to my monster… that is, I will undoubtedly be denying them their best options, and will be incredibly annoying and dangerous no matter where my monster is. If they win, I want them to feel like they had to get lucky in order to win, because, the flipside to that, is if I win, they will feel like I was in control the entire time, which is how this monster HAS to win. Here’s how I’m able to do that…
When I say “tag” I usually mean by units. Vanguards are capable of getting to the opponent, Nautilus Blasters and Null Pods do the debuffing, Hunter Kor’Al and Tornadus give all my units better reach. -2 defense is pretty fantastic, but -1 isn’t so bad either. On a full spawn/attack, a Vanguard pair with a Naut have roughly an 80% chance to hit a def 6 monster. That’s pretty darn good odds for a first turn tag against a monster without healing available. I find this opening good against any of those types of monsters. Even vs def 7, a 62% chance isn’t that bad, especially if I am securing some things along the way.
As the game progresses and I can spawn more and more units, the odds go up dramatically that I’ll be tagging the enemy monster. The basic 2 Vanguard + Naut with a Null Pod in reach becomes 80% vs Def 7. Add just one action and one boost to the attack (say, from another Naut or even a Glass Spiral Relay) and it becomes 83% vs Def 7 without weaken! That’s a HUGE improvement, and likely something I’d go for often. It gets crazier with Null Pods and lower defense monsters. With an Elite Despoiler, I might rarely go for single shot, single unit tags if there is a Null Pod next to the monster; although just under 50% chance to hit, as long as it’s safe for me to TRY without wasting my turn (IE, if I also secured some stuff and Tow-disrupted or something), getting even 1 50% hit is ridiculously awesome, getting 2 pretty much swings the game in my favor no matter what.
I know this might be redundant, but I have Power Gorge and Hit and Run as well, which allows for me to gain powerdice while tagging the enemy monster, as well as reposition for a secure or for disruption.
My buildings do not really help me tag the opponent. Perhaps, once in a blue moon, Telekinesis will put a unit close enough to hit the enemy monster… Doubt it.
As Scott said in his wonderful breakdown of Kill Again’s Island, this map is very hard to stay safe one. The teleporters everywhere give my units an amazing reach, as well as allow them to retreat. If Kor’Al is involved, it becomes even easier for my units to tag the enemy. Frankly, I love this map because there really is nowhere to hide, but it’s not as easy to move units around is as on Killer Canals, nor is it advantageous to morphers.
Deimos-9 is really good at hitting, having decent boost and all around good stats. Obviously I don’t intend to blast the enemy, but swats for one are sometimes the best option, especially when I have Sprint available through Spiral Relay or on my Quantum. As I said before, sometimes just Tossing an opponent into nothing is the best option I have, because I can then move away from them at least 3 more spaces. That 7 space gap is pretty large, but it can be up to 10, and that’s with 3 diagonals (assuming I was touching only a corner when I brawled them). That can ruin an opponent’s planned back-to-back, unit turn, or even subsequent monster turn.
Because my units are so mobile after an attack than most units, it seems to me that securing powerzones is more lucrative than securing buildings. I have a few reasons I find this to be true: it takes three units to secure a building, one to secure a power zone; buildings are easier to disrupt; and buildings can be destroyed.
If I move more than one unit post attack into teleporters, that can mean 2 powerzones secured (on this map), or neutral spawns, or negative zones. Those spaces hold so much more power than even a bunch of secured buildings because the opponent has to deal with each unit individually to keep me from getting the benefits of those spaces.
Spiral Relay is the big player here. It can get quite crazy with these floating around, triggering Synch Move to slingshot into teleporters, onto zones etc… They also offer Sprint, which can mean that 3 units can move post attack! Awesome on maps with a lot of power zones or powerzones next to teleporters (like this one).
Of course, Saucer can play a big role in this game too, securing 2 different zones, potentially with Amplify on a powerzone via Power Pod. It can even secure buildings if I need it to!
Tow also helps at times, and this Spadefin Skimmer often fits the role of securing something, just being a body spawned and moved for 2.
Arisa Outpost gives adjacent units Ground Control, which is great for Vanguards and Marauders! I generally place one of my Arsias with this in mind, second to blocking my opponent from certain areas, but it can be incredible on this map, and sometimes opponents forget about it; when they do, it’s usually pretty bad.
Nuclear Power Plants are decent buildings to secure if I can hold a power zone too, so I do not forget to secure these occasionally, when it is beneficial to do so.
The Teleporters and large amounts of zones make this map ideal for me. I can always reposition my units to grab some zones, and make it difficult for my opponent to secure any of their own.
My monster offers Blue Hit and Run, which is of utmost importance to my force. I owe what I can do primarily to Deimos-9, loving how all forms of this monster give that edge… And it really makes a huge difference on this map!
Overall, I think my experience with this monster is pretty solid, and ne’er I say, I may even be the most experienced with her, having 30 + games under my belt. Well, enough bragging… I think it’s good for this series however, because I can really apply my experience to my theorizing, and can still get a game or two with her every now and again. My strategy is strong, and I feel like it works, but that doesn’t mean I’m unwilling to adapt constantly to what’s happening, my own reactions to what I can and cannot do, etc… This series has really allowed for me to get all my ideas out there where I can step back and take an objective look them.