NOTE: ITS Season 8 Post
As always, the breakdowns and advice for this mission assume equivalent player skill and roughly even dice luck.
There is a lot going on with this mission. A lot. I’ve tried to make this article as ‘chewable’ as possible. Hunting Party is essentially a ‘Bring ‘em back alive’ version of Decapitation. It’s a narrative mission, of a style we haven’t really seen since Paradiso.
Reinforced tactical link (Capture Version)
This functions identically to the Decapitation rule, with the addition that Lieutenants in either version of the Immobilized state must be replaced as if they were Null.
Restricted Range is an abstract rule to say the least. It is however easy to apply. Any attacks that are determined to be more than 32” in range are automatic failures. No dice are rolled.
- Troopers with Multi-weapons can fire Stun Special ammunition. As of N3, this no longer requires consent from your opponent. It does however, limit B to 1.
- In this mode, the multi weapon does not cause the Stunned state. Instead, if the ARM save is failed, the target is placed in the Immobilized-1 state.
- The table below lists the troopers from each faction who receive a bonus ADHL at no cost. Troopers with an ADHL already in the profile receive a second one.
- Troopers with any kind of pistol receive a stun pistol. Troops who already have a stun pistol receive a second one. The second table below lists troopers with stun pistols by faction.
|Troops who receive a free (or a second) ADHL|
|Panoceania||Akalis, Sikh Commandos
Knights of the Holy Sepulchre
Knights of Montesa
Knights of Santiago
Bagh Mari Unit
Guarda de Assalto
|Yu Jing||Imperial Agent, Pheasant Rank
Imperial Agent, Crane Rank
|Hsien Warriors||Zhanying Imperial Agents
Dao Fei Tactical Section
3rd Highlander Grey Rifles
5th Minutemen ‘Ohio’
Sekban, Naval Special Unit
|Asawira||Kaplan Tactical Services
Druze Shock Teams
Al Fasid Regiment
|Combine Army||Umbra Legates
|Troops who receive a second Stun Pistol|
|Panoceania||Cypher, Switch, Warcor|
|Yu Jing||Cypher, Switch, Warcor|
|Ariadna||Cypher, Switch, Warcor|
|Haqqislam||Cypher, Switch, Warcor, Sekban (Not HRL profile)|
|Nomads||Cypher, Switch, Warcor|
|Aleph||Cypher, Switch, Warcor|
THINGS FOR TOs TO WATCH OUT FOR
The Veteran Troop classification is entirely separate from the Veteran skill. There is some overlap, but it’s not consistent. Refer to Army 6 or the Profiles PDF if there is a question. The tables above are accurate as of Strikezone: Wotan, Phase 1
The difference between Immobilization-1 and Immobilization-2 can be tricky. It’s very easy to conflate the duration, which is determined by the source of the state change, with the cancellations, which are native to each state.
IMM-1 caused by Multi weapons has no duration. It will last until the trooper in the state successfully Resets or it’s cleared for him by an engineer. There’s no change to the duration of IMM-1 caused by hacking attacks, it still has the duration indicated by the hacking program.
IMM-2 cannot be cleared by Reset, and has no duration. It can only be cleared by a friendly Engineer.
GETTING A MAJOR VICTORY
Hunting Party has a nice spread of opposed points, which helps to keep the game uncertain. That’s nice in a mission that scores at the end of the game. It does however make getting a Major Victory in Hunting Party a truly challenging achievement.
2 points are unopposed, 1 each from 2 classifieds. The remaining 8 points are opposed, with a slight caveat of a possible 3-3 tie if both players Hunt Down the same number of Lieutenants.
Like decapitation, you are likely to have only 3 opportunities to Hunt Down a LT. Unlike Decapitation, these points are not ‘locked’ because only the enemy trooper’s state at the end of the game counts for scoring.
Killing enemy Engineers should be your first priority. Only Shasvastii (Caliban) and Nomads (Tomcats & Carlotta the Tomcats Sgt Major) can hide an engineer at all. Enemies with HP1 could ‘Spartacus’ their real engineers by placing fake ones on the table.
Killing engineers does not count towards the 2 OPs for killing more enemy specialists. You can glue the last engineer, and any other specialists they may have brought, but it’s worth it to leave the 2 points for specialists Hunted Down in contention if it allows you to lock in the 4 points for hunting down more LTs.
Only when your enemy’s engineers are depleted can you count on your points to be yours. Even then, only IMM-2 will ‘lock’ your points. After the engineers are killed, turn your sights to enemy Lieutenants. Killing them will not score points, and Loss of Lieutenant doesn’t exist for this mission, so there’s very little value to paying attention to an enemy LT until all his engineers are killed. Then Glue him.
HOW TO STOP A MAJOR VICTORY
It is possible to lock out a Major Victory by ignoring the ‘Hunt Down’ and instead holding both antennas and scoring both of your classifieds. It’s not strategically very sound for a couple of reasons.:
- Bringing enough specialists to cover the classified missions makes you vulnerable to the Hunt Down objective for enemy specialists
- The Antennas also can only be connected by specialists, potentially pulling your precious engineers away from ungluing your troops.
But playing to lose isn’t strategically sound anyway… so if blocking a Major is the only path left to you, do what you have to do.
KEY LIST ELEMENTS
Chain of Command, G:Mnemonica, and Executive Order
Much like Decapitation, Chain of Command & similar skills are diminished in value in Hunting Party.
- If your LT is glued, you’ll bypass Chain of Command and end up picking a new LT
- Loss of Lieutenant never happens, so that effect of Chain of Command is redundant, leaving you with specialist that, if glued, counts towards the Hunt Down objective. (and yes, you must reveal that the trooper has Chain of Command during the points count at the end of the game.)
- If your LT is actually killed, your opponent loses his chance to Immobilize your LT until you are forced to pick a new one in your next Tactical Phase. Since LT is made public information, CoC reopens this door. Chain of Command is obligatory so you can’t just choose not to activate it.
- Ghost: Mnemonica is optional, so you can elect not to use it.
- Be careful with Executive order. It can both help you and hurt you, depending on how you time the arrival of your XO.
Glue Gun Fun
Kaplans and Moblots are engineers who also qualify to receive a free glue gun, making them very effective troopers for this mission. Both can form fireteams in their sectorials. Kaplans even have an engineer who gets a second ADHL!
There are numerous Infiltrators and Impersonators that combine Surprise Shot with ADHL. In some cases, like the Prowler, they receive a second ADHL and gain the +1 burst from Twin Weapons.
All Warcors receive a second stun pistol, allowing the use of the Twin Weapons automatic skill.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU WIN THE LT ROLL
Despite it’s similarity to Decapitation, this is absolutely a ‘go second’ mission. The focus on Immobilizing instead of killing enemies makes controlling the final scoring turn a critical advantage that can easily turn a major victory into a minor or reverse a minor victory into a loss.
As always, deploying first and going second will be a massive challenge, but it may be worth it to weather the first turn alpha in order to control the final round of the game.
In my rush to get this out for Strikezone: Wotan, I apologize if I made any mistakes in my analysis. If you catch me in an error, please post in the comments and I’ll credit you and amend the article as quickly as I see your comment.