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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hex War Games - Strategy Part V - Off the Grain Defenses

So far I've discussed defenses going with the grain.  On the grain defenses are generally better than "off the grain" defenses, and this article will discuss why Off the grain is worse, and compare the only truly effective "off the grain" defense.

Optimum Off Grain
Other than placing a unit on every hex, similar to the "ideal" defense, the next best defense is to place a unit with one hex gap between each unit.  This arrangement looks like the following:
Optimum Off Grain Defense
Although it looks similar to the Most Efficient On-Grain defense, there is an important difference in the hexes surrounding the unit.  In this configuration each defending unit may be adjacent to three enemy units.  In a best case scenario, the enemy attacks each unit 2:1, but one unit may be attacked 3:1, as shown in the diagram below:
3/2/2 Attack on Optimum Off Grain Defense
 I consider the above to be best case only in relation to the worst case scenario in which every other unit comes under fire at 3:1 odds and the remaining units come under 1:1 attack.  This configuration is shown below:
3/1/3 Attack on Optimum Off Grain Defense

When attacked with a 3/2/2 it will usually lead to a "roll up" of the flanking units.  In the 3/1/3, it will create multiple breaches at a time.
Breaching Optimum Off-Grain Defense
A breach anywhere along the Off-Grain Defensive line leads to a difficult to contain situation:
Off-Grain Breach
If two or more of these breaches occur along the line simultaneously, not uncommon given a 3/1/1 attack, it can lead to isolated units which can be quickly surrounded and destroyed.
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