Enforcer Strike Teams win games by controlling the battlefield. It is not always necessary to wipe out your opponent (although it certainly never hurts); if you can focus on your mission objectives, concentrate your fire on key enemy models, and prevent your opponent from contesting the objectives through pinning key enemy models, you will be able to defeat forces who would otherwise outnumber you.
For this article, we will focus on the Patrol mission, although the tactics discussed will be broadly applicable to most mission types.
The Patrol mission awards VPs for eliminating enemy models, and for controlling objectives, of which there are four: Two 1VP objectives close to each player’s deployment zone, and two 2VP objectives towards the center of the mat. The quicker you can make a play for the central objectives the better – not only will you start earning VP sooner, you will put pressure on your opponent to react to your plan instead of implementing their own, throwing them off their battle plan.
Enforcers, as a rule, will have fewer models – and thus, fewer activations – than their opponents. This means you have to choose your engagements wisely, moving your models to where they can have the most impact on the game at any given time. Both of our sample Strike Teams are built to accomplish this, in different ways.
Strike Team Aleph-4:
|Enforcer Specialist with Burst Laser||Specialist||20|
This team is built with battlefield control in mind. The Enforcer Sergeant’s Command ability, Mobile Infantry, will let you move models around the battlefield quickly, letting them take a Sprint action and still have the ability to take a shot afterwards. Deadzone is a game of mobile firepower, where getting a clear shot on a model or seizing the high ground provides a decisive advantage.
Your first priority should be to move the Burst Laser into a position with good sight lines onto the two 2VP objective cubes. Being able to slow down the enemy’s approach will allow you more time to earn VP from them unmolested; this will also buy you time to move your other troops into position to claim or contest objective points.
While the Assault Enforcer is, on paper, weaker than the close combat specialists of other factions, the key to using them effectively is to choose your battles. Using the Burst Laser and the Rapid Fire ability of the Enforcer troopers, you can pin enemy models ahead of a charge; alternatively, the Assault Enforcer excels at counter-charges, coming to the rescue of other models who have been charged by your opponent’s melee troops.
The Sergeant’s Energy Gauntlet is both a powerful melee weapon, and a useful tool for battlefield control. If it looks like the enemy will be in a position to move into an objective you hold, being able to use Knockback to remove them from the cube and take the objective back can be the difference between defeat or victory.
The Frag Grenade is your ace in the hole. Knowing that you have it will make your opponent second-guess their movement, spreading out models that might otherwise be better bunched together, and using it to shift models away from an objective you might not be able to reach yourself is a handy tool to have in a pinch.
Pathfinder Team PT-204
Pathfinder Team PT-204 has the benefit of having almost all of their models with Scout. This will allow for some aggressive early maneuvering, getting models on objectives as early as round 1.
More than most teams, target priority and co-ordinated fire are key to a Pathfinder’s success. Tag Rifles will give you a valuable +1 dice to Shoot actions against a designated target; ordinarily this requires a model to spend a Special action to designate the target, which means that you need to consider your activation order and actions used to maximise the number of shots taken that benefit from this bonus. However, the Pathfinder Sergeant’s Target Acquired Command ability will let you spend Command dice to designate targets, freeing you up to use your actions to move into position for a better shot.
Focus your firepower on one threat at a time, where possible – you don’t have any AP weapons on this list, so identifying the strongest threat and concentrating on taking it out before moving on to the next is a key tactic to use.
The D.O.G Drone’s rule here is twofold. It doesn’t have the best Shoot stat in the world, but the Burst Laser’s Suppression ability affects all models in the target cube even if it fails to cause any potential damage, which is useful for slowing down your opponents. It also has a very respectable 2-4 Move stat, giving you the option of making a last minute dash to a critical objective that your opponent might consider as being out of your reach.
As you won’t have as much armour as a regular Enforcer team, the Smoke Grenades are there to protect you from the worst of the enemy’s firepower. Use them to block line-of-sight to objective holders or to cover your advance up the field, and remember that firing through a smokescreen imposes a -1 dice penalty on shooting attacks.