“AR, Who? AR, Oh!” Effective ARO-ing

Corny title aside, it’s been made apparent to me that I use the term ‘ARO pieces’ a lot, but I’ve never actually explained what this means to me.  I touched on the subject a little bit in this article from my own blog, but I didn’t exactly explain what makes a good ARO piece or how to properly apply them.

 

What Makes an ARO Piece?

These are the troops you leave visible during the reactive turn to shoot your opponent to smithereens or force them to waste orders avoiding being shot to smithereens. They might be hiding around a corner, or on top of a high perch. ARO pieces are relatively easy to spot on the table and easy enough to apply yourself.

ARO pieces are the troops who can…

  • Pack a wallop in one shot
    • Missile launchers, autocannons, feurebachs, viral sniper rifles, and the like are examples of this. One shot from these weapons can even kill or render unconcious Heavy Infantry!
    • Flashpulses pack a surprising ‘wallop’ as well.
    • Troop examples: Haramaki ML, Tankhunter autocannon, Azra’il feurebach
      azrail
      Boom goes the dynamite!
  • Stack modifiers to give themselves a high chance of hitting, but the target a low chance of hitting
    • Camo of any variety, ODD, and even Hidden Deployment are extremely effective in the Reactive turn. Cover works in a pinch too.
    • It also helps to negate the enemy’s modifiers, X-visors, Sixth Sense, Biometric visors, and Multispectral Visors, Marksmanship Lv. 2, etc help.
    • Troop examples: Scouts, Swiss Guard, Armand LaMuet
      armand
      ARO King himself
  • Use their full burst in the Reactive phaseNeurokinetics and Total Reaction work like charms
    • Even simple increases in burst are beneficial and can make excellent ARO pieces: ‘Enhanced Reaction’ hacking program and Fireteams are examples.
  • Shoot further than the average trooper
    • Both X-visors and long range weapons fit into this category. Missile launchers, sniper rifles, heavy rocket launchers, etc. If it out-ranges an HMG, it’s a long range weapon and effective in the Reactive turn.
    • Troop examples: Raiden HRL, Sun Tze V.2, Overdron 2x plasma snipers
  • Use Suppression Fire effectively
    • X-visors, spooky weapons (i.e. viral rifles and T2 rifles), modifiers, high ARM (3+), cover, Infiltration, Forward Deployment, and 360 visors can turn any active turn powerhouse into a lean and mean ARO machine.
    • Troop examples: Veteran Kazak T2 rifle, Rasail viral rifle, Maghariba Guard 360 visor
  • Make effective use of templates
    • Multiple wounds, high ARM or being cheap and disposable make for excellent template throwing Reactive troops.
    • Troop examples: Domaru chainrifle, Caledonian Volunteers, Ghazi
  • See through smoke
    • MSV2+, plain and simple. Sixth Sense Lv. 2 can in this situation as well, allowing the troop to ignore the negative modifiers to being shot through smoke and stick react.
    • Troop examples: Black Friar, Intruders, Veteran Kazaks
      veterans
      Nothing surprises a Veteran Kazak…nothing

A lot of troops can be effective ARO pieces if they fall into at least one of the categories above; however, just because they can do one or more of the above things doesn’t make them ‘good ARO pieces’. There are other things that play a role here.

 

Effective Usage of ARO Pieces

Just because a troop can be an ARO pieces, doesn’t mean it’s a good one. You have to know how to use
an ARO piece effectively before it can be a ‘good’ one. Effective ARO pieces force your opponent to waste orders avoiding them or trying to kill them (do remember that it’s almost inevitable that every ARO piece will die eventually). Proper application and understanding what makes them good is what makes them effective, kind of like hot sauce. You apply them poorly or don’t understand how they work to start with, will end up a recipe for disaster.hot-sauce

 

Here are some general rules:

  1. Never deploy an ARO piece with line of sight to your opponent’s entire side of the table. Your opponent will be able to quickly bring to bear the most effective counter and eliminate them easily. A fourth of the table is usually good enough, but half of the table is good too. I wouldn’t ever go more than 2/3rds of the table though.
  2. Use them to isolate your opponent’s troops. Cut off routes, so backup won’t be arriving anytime soon. This helps you keep the front lines and objectives clearer for longer.
  3. Lock down objectives. Don’t have them deployed where they can see a lot, but have them deployed where they block access to the objectives. Your opponent will then have to deal with the troop, but waste plenty of orders doing so. Or they’ll risk their specialist to accomplish it anyway and more than likely lose their specialist.
  4. Bait your opponent. Whether you use an objective or valuable trooper who’s weak in the Reactive turn, bait your opponent into trying to kill a target while you’ve set up an ARO trap.

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