Thursday, January 5, 2012

Terminators: Psychology

(Editor's note: this terminator article series is almost finished up. All credit goes to g3nius_monkey for writing it.)

As I mentioned before, I really like Terminators. In fact, I like to play with 10 of them, and will do so by plopping all of them in the very middle of the board. My opponent will generally assume one of three courses of action;

1) Shoot them with everything he's got.
2) Ignore them entirely for the duration of the game.
3) 1 followed by 2

No matter the reaction, they're all typically driven by one thing; fear. People are terrified of Terminators, and for good reason. Whether it be a novice who's intimidated by their scary name or a veteran who once felt the bite of a well placed Terminator assault, you cannot under estimate the psychological impact that Terminators have on the table, and a good player is quick to recognize when that appears (or if it never does, he is duty bound as a Marine to instill it by making him pay dearly for his foolishness!)

Unlike the psychological impact that some other Marine units might have, taking advantage of a Terminator's requires little more than putting them on the table. For the reasons described above, Terminators can be devastating if left to run around unopposed, and it is typical (and wise) for an opponent to deal with them right away.

For a large group of Terminators like the one I mentioned above, this might require diverting massive amounts of fire away from my other units for a full 2-3 turns. For smaller groups of Terminators mounted in transport or arriving from reserve, this might require dealing with the Terminators when and where they arrive, by again diverting large amounts of fire or by moving vulnerable units out of the Terminator's kill zone.

I have won many games where an over wary opponent was quick to move his troops off objectives and away from more valuable troops just to get out of my Terminators kill zone (he would call it "tactical maneuvering," but he still lost). Other games I might have lost a squad of Terminators to massive barrages of fire, but still won because my opponent failed to divert enough resources to chasing a Tactical squad off an objective or stopping my Captain from reaching his infantry.

Regardless, the psychological impact that your Terminators can have on an opponent serve only to make him more predictable, which I shouldn't have to explain is a good thing.

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