Once we are familiar with the term, it’s time to pay attention to the other side. Lists that are specifically built to Overwhelm are not easy to handle with, and get even harder if the player is experienced in that playstyle. The following article is a mix of many tips, models and traits that will give an edge when heavily outnumbered. If you are heading to a tournament you should check if you are able to at fulfill at least one of those requirements.
First of all, let’s have a quick check on how Factions can get nasty and abundant in activations.
1 Cult of Yurei: Very dangerous. It’s plenty of Fear and Ki feats that will make you lose activations, summoners and extremely resilient and cheap models.
2 Savage Wave: Very dangerous. Bakemono is what we are talking about. A great horde with extreme mobility along summoning and denying powers. Limited in list variation.
3 Silvermoon Trade Syndicate: Dangerous. It’s plenty of Cards and Ki Feats that will steal many activations, plus can get nasty on model count with cheap, efficient models.
4 Prefecture of Ryu: Concerning. A full Ashigaru list is a headache, but their true Overwhleming potential resides on very delicate synergies which can be broken.
5 Temple of Ro-Kan: Concerning. Not very usual, but Ro-Kan can abuse in numbers with Kamis and Peasants. Currently not very effective by themselves. They still need Monks.
6 Ito Clan: Safe-ish. Currently, Ito Clan really has a hard time to get Model Superiority and most players will prefer counting on the beefier models.
It’s important to know exactly what the strenghts and weaknesses of your opponent are. Before you start the game, take a few minutes to check the models you are going to face. Make an imaginary list of priorities and dangers. Decide how to fight or deal with them. Sometimes running forward is not the best option. Use your first movements to relocate your models to face the enemy they are supposed to fight, optimize your chances.
In those precious minutes, you should check the following points in order to counter an Overwhelming Warband.
Don’t let them touch you!: Traits like Fear and Disguise are good options to fight numbers. For every activation they waste trying to get you locked or tired, you are closer to victory. Ki Feats that tire models (Comtemplate the Existence, Hipnotic Gaze) can help you somehow and pay special attention to the Ki Feats and Special Cards that burn activations instantly (Mirage, Traps, Control Tokens). The objective is to make your opponent roll to be able to get in Btb with you, or force him to waste “Walk” actions.
Multiple Fighting: When avoiding fight is not possible make sure their models don’t get away from combat. Split Attack as much as you can to tire many models in a single activation. Use Tireless models to preserve your activations in a fight and tie additional models when in range. Shisha is awesome for being 2 Tireless models, and the Rat Swarms can absorb a lot of activations (care Combo Attacks). Monks and some Samurai are excellent Split Attackers for their 4 M.
Use their numbers against them: Special Attacks and Defenses that move enemy models around are very effective when the board is crowded. Slams and Throws are key to knock down multiple enemies at once.
Sacrifice: It’s quite dangerous but, if you find yourself unable to prevent your opponent from getting the first Victory Point in turn 2, go full attack. Forget Scoring in Turns 1, 2 and 3 and try to kill as much as you can, regarding you opponent is Overwhelming you with cheap models. Make him pay for focusing in model superiority and seize in the first turns. Remember you forgo the first Victory Point in order to make the way to the other incoming Victory Points much easier.
Run the Objective: Get yourself a Middle Board Rush list (like seen in previous articles) and score on Turn 1. Your opponent, unless also running another Rush list, will need much more activations than he intended to score, giving you precious time to fight their numbers.
Order like a surgeon: Use your Order trait with a perfect timing. Let your tied models get exhausted in melee, but make sure you are free after your second exchange. Specials like Side step and Push are best. Then, use your Order Trait to get an extra activation with those models that got away from Melee and now face exhausted enemy models. Use that breach to focus on doing the objective while your opponent has no rested models nearby to intercept you.