Table Talk: Playing Efficiently as the Defender

Earlier I had talked about building your frames and using them efficiently. But how do you utilize that knowledge on the table? Here are a few tips for playing efficiently as the defender.

1. Denial, denial, denial.
When you’re deploying your stations on the table before anyone else, you may be tempted to put them in a corner somewhere so that there is only one angle of attack. Don’t give in to that temptation. One of the biggest advantages you have as the defender is area denial. You opponents are not allowed to deploy within direct fire range of your stations, make sure to use that to your advantage. Try to place your stations so that your entire defensive perimeter is actually on the table, if your stations are too close to a table edge you are wasting a valuable asset. Also, find the most advantageous place on the table and make sure your opponents can’t deploy there. Force them to deploy either in a large open killzone, or force them to move through one to get to you.

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These are weapons in your arsenal, make sure you learn to use them.

2. Sometimes the best defense…
…Is to not defend at all. Remember that station you used to deny a huge chunk of the table to your opponents? That one right next to, or better yet, in the middle of that big open killzone? Don’t try to defend it, let the other guys fight over it. As your opponents move towards that juicy station you’re dangling in front of them, fall back and let them take it. Chances are if you lose that station you won’t be in the lead anymore, and then you won’t have two people gunning for you anymore. This is called the fade maneuver and it is pretty much essential to win as the defender on the regular.

3. Premature Activation
Having the highest score at the beginning of the game, and thus the initiative can be a bit tricky. You have the capability to activate your frames first, but most likely it isn’t in your best interest to do so. As tempting as it is to start unloading into that point frame right at your front door I wouldn’t usually advise it. Instead of looking at having initiative as being able to go first, think of it as having control over when you get to go. If you pass, you force one of your opponents to go and play their hand before you give up your precious few activations. This let’s you play more reactively and take advantage of beneficial situations as they present themselves. It takes a little practice to figure out when to jump the gun and activate your frames and when to hold off, but with a few games under your belt it should become easier.

Hopefully these will help you out on the table! If you have any other tips you’ve picked up be sure to let us know!

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