Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Capture and Control - Auto Tie? Or is it?

Who's that playing that nasty mission?

Capture and Control -Two objectives, one in each player's deployment zone.  Often berated as the "auto tie" mission from the basic book.  But does it really deserve this reputation?

To win you have to control one objective, and keep the enemy from controlling the other.  There are a number of ways to handle that second objective - control it yourself, contest it, or kill the enemy's troops so that he can't control any objectives. 

Sounds simple enough, and people apparently manage to handle Seize Ground, with 3-5 objectives, half of which might be a hair over 12" from the other guy's table edge, so why is Capture and Control seen as so difficult?

I think that a good part of it comes down to mindset, and difficulties in allocating forces. 

With only two objectives, players naturally consider them precious.  They have one right in their deployment zone, where they can have their entire army protect it, while the other one looks so far away, with the entire enemy army available to protect it.  It's natural to focus on holding your own objective - it's right there - and throw a little bit at the enemy in order to try to sneak in a contest at the end.  Both players wind up throwing token forces forward, where they bounce off of the mass of the enemy.  In effect both players are playing for the draw, not the win, so that's what they'll probably wind up with. 

But are there better ways to go about it?  Can you play for the win?  I think so.

Instead of focusing on controlling your own objective and making a stab at the other one, focus on getting the other objective and denying him yours.  Rather than concentrating on denial, send your army/firepower at his objective, and either have some small holding force, sufficiently mobile elements who will be able to loop back later in the game, or some Reserves to walk on and squat.  Bonus if these can also be Troops, to give you a backup.

If your opponent goes into typical 20/80 attack/defense mode, your 90/10 attack can sweep aside his attack force and then deal with his defenders.  If he goes full defense, try to find ways to turn his static stance against him - multi-assaults, blast/ord blast weapons, forcing morale checks on units stuck so close to the board edge, etc.  You don't have to kill his whole army, you just have to keep them from being within 3" of a certain point while hopefully getting something of yours into that area.  If your opponent also goes into full attack and you meet in the midfield focus on slowing them down - immobilize vehicles, take out jump troops/bikes, etc.,  reassess which objective you want to control and then get there "firstest with the mostest."

While the full on attack naturally makes one think of assault armies, firepower armies can do it as well.  The key for them is setting up in such a way that they can fire upon the area around the enemy objective, focusing on blowing the enemy off of it so that their own Troops can roll up onto it.  Consider setting up your own objective far away, but in range and LOS of your firepower base. 

Remember that you're positioning for turns 5-7.  The first four turns are prep work - taking out enemy troops and mobility, crossing the table.  If an enemy unit pops onto your objective turn 2, don't sweat it, just be sure you can get it off by the end of turn 5, or if it is only contesting, that you can control the other objective by the end of turn 5.

Next time you roll up Capture and Control, instead of groaning about an auto-tie, go all out and try to win!


  1. I agree it can be won with sound tactics.


  2. While we tend to see more ties with this mission than on others, I still like. I agree that good tactics, and going for the win agressively (at least decisively) is the way to play it.

  3. I've only got two 5-man squads that can "claim" objectives and I still play this one to win it.

    The "tie" mission for me is Seize Ground (I think) where you have all the objectives lying around on the field.

    From the Warp

  4. I find this mission to be easier to win than Seize Ground, because the variables are smaller and opponents generally have to be in one of two areas, so they tend to be easier to find and kill. Of course, I prefer to actually play games to win instead of to not lose.

    So your advice is brilliant! :)

  5. Interesting that some folks find Seize Ground harder to win. That's probably my favorite of the three basic ones; I like having multiple objectives to keep track of and the options it brings. I should start tracking my W/L/T based on the mission and see what I end up with.

    Glad to see that many folks are going for the win! I do think that C&C can be less forgiving than the other two basic missions - if you lose focus it can be hard to come back.


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