This post has been archived with permission from the Impact X blog.
Kiting is the tactic of keeping distance between the attacking unit and the defending unit so that you can get extra activations and an attrition advantage before the opposing unit is able to attack optimally – so called because in most instances you will have one unit running and another unit following behind them like a kite. Kiting is a key tactic leveraging range or speed advantages over your opponent to maximize your longevity while still whittling down your opponent. Knowing how to kite or how to avoid it can often be a deciding factor in the attrition war.
The premise is pretty easy, and the actual execution isn’t too difficult either. The core of kiting is to reduce the targets optimal actions by allocating suppression or keeping distance to maintain an activation or damage advantage.
- Range is measured in 6″ increments
- Speed 1 is just short of 3″ plus base size
- Speed 2 is just short of 5″ plus base size
- Speed 3 is just short of 7″ plus base size
- Small base is 27mm or 1.06″
- Medium base is 50mm or 1.96″
- Large base is 70mm or 2.75″
- Huge base is 100mm or 3.9″
- Small base moving speed 2 is just short of 1 range band
Courage: If a trooper unit ever has a number of suppression tokens assigned to it that is equal to or greater than that unit’s courage value, that unit is suppressed.
Suppression: Immediately after the “Rally” step of a trooper unit’s activation, if that unit is suppressed, it loses one of its two actions for that activation.
Given the above rules and constans we can see that there are situations we can create that give us an advantage in attrition – to strike the enemy and prevent them from striking us or to at least prevent them from striking optimally. The core of this tactic falls within the Speed and Move constants and the Suppression clause that reduces the units actions.
Range Kiting: This is the most common type of kiting as it is the least dependent on outside elements or chance. To properly set up a distance kiting scenario you will want to position your attackers opposite defenders with shorter weapon range than your unit. This is especially useful against melee units but also works against units with below average range or if your unit has above average range. To optimally execute this technique you will begin your activation with your unit at its maximum range of the target, shoot the target, and then move back out of range. Because you have a range advantage and moved the target unit will not be able to retaliate even if they move up and shoot because the distance of their move in addition to the range disparity means they will still be out of range even after moving.
Action Kiting: This is another common type of kiting and is easier to set up than range kiting, but it is somewhat reliant on chance so it is less dependable. To properly set up an action kiting scenario you will want to position your attackers opposite defenders with equal or shorter weapon range than your unit. To optimally execute this technique you will move your unit so that it is at maximum range of the target, shoot the target, and then move back out of range. Because you have equal range with the target and moved the target unit will also have to move as well to get a shot, but the suppression from your attack has a 2/3 chance of denying them an action (assuming they are courage 1) and thus they have a good chance of being unable to retaliate.
Line of Sight Kiting: This is a more reliable form of kiting than action kiting, but it depends on specific terrain and unit positions so it is less common. To properly set up a LoS kiting scenario you will want to position your attackers near LoS blocking terrain opposite defenders who are not near that piece of terrain. To optimally execute this technique your unit will have LoS to the target unit and have enough movement to get behind the terrain after. The technique is quite simple shoot the target and then perform a move behind the terrain to prevent the target from retaliating.
Steady / Relentless Kiting: Adding steady or relentless to any of the existing kiting tactics makes the tactic far easier and more effective to. Adding Steady to range kiting allows you to out range units with equal weapon ranges because your move speed is now double the defenders, maintaining your advantage. Steady allows you to both begin and end its turn behind LoS blocking terrain, keeping the attrition advantage. and for action kiting it allows you to step into range, perform your attack and then step back out of range.
Counter Play: The simplest form of counter play is to not become the kite. If the opponent tries to put the string on you and get you to chase after them, it is often best to change priorities and either focus on another unit or objective and not chase them. If for one reason or another you are unable to not deal with the kiting unit it is often best to spend your activation to double move into position so that the following turn you have closed the distance and have a new chance to respond to the unit.
With these 4 new tools in your kit, you should have a much stronger control over the pace of the games attrition. Keep these tactics in mind when moving your units as well to prevent the opponent from controlling the pace of attrition. As with all new tactics you learn, keep an open mind on how to apply them while playing and use them in ways that make sense to your playstyle – understanding and applying in your own way is always more valuable than copying.
Good luck and may the force be with you.