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Subject: [faq] Ways to counter Stasis Field rss

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Andrey Mikhaylov
Russia
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Hi!

Today i won a Brood War game by conquering two enemy Conquest Point-rich areas and holding them with Arbiters wielding Stasis Field (in addition to my own Conquest Point-providing areas).

I had both Stasis Field cards in my hand and a tech that allows Recharging a card once per turn.

Both enemy players had absolutely no means to dislodge my Arbiters.

They felt tricked, deceived, and i can understand them. I managed to name them some ways to counter Stasis Field: some technologies allow cancelling reinforcement cards or destroying units without dealing attack damage. But even with those counters, Stasis Field looks very imba to me.

Firstly, it forces opponents to go into specific development sequence. Not having spent their orders and resources for very specific buildings, upgrades, units and technologies, players appear completely helpless against Stasis Field.

Even worse, unit-destroying techs let their victim (i. e. Arbiter's owner) choose which unit to destroy. Thus he can choose losing a derp unit while still keeping the Arbiter and one more derp unit.

The Protoss player can even build a base on the Conquest Point-rich area covered by Stasis Field. Then he can produce cheapest High Templars to serve as lightning rods for enemy unit-destroying cards.

I fail to come up with a reasonable counter for each race. Copyrights simply indicate who has first mentioned a strategy in this very thread, not who has first invented it.

Questions:

1) Ain't it an imba?

2) Could you please help name all ways to counter Stasis Field for each race?
I will update this post to collect them all in one place.

UPD Known counters against the Stasis Field strategy
I rated them by my understanding of how easy they are to carry out.

General tactics:

Keep pressure against Protoss in the first place so that he cannot afford the luxury of building Arbiter and researching Stasis Field. © MisuVir

Brute force. Attack the Arbiters multiple times in a row. Three attacks will force Protoss to discard both Stasis Field cards and become vulnerable for the fourth attack, unless the Protoss researches and fights a lot to draw Stasis Field back. © MisuVir

Zerg tactics:

Having "Plague", Defiler allows Splash Damage that is triggered even if defender's front-line unit hasn't been destroyed. Thus, you can destroy the Arbiter and make the FLU vulnerable for a second attack. © MisuVir

The Queen may have a small chance to destroy the defender's front-line unit with its "Spawn Broodling" technology. Lets the attacker conquer the defended area with a single attack, but only if it is defended by a Zealot or a Dragoon. © lolmaus

Terran tactics:

Science Vessel's "EMP Shockwave" technology cancels an opponent's reinforcement card. This lets conquering the defended area with a single attack. © FaydeShift

Protoss tactics:

Dark Archon's "Feedback" kills the Arbiter and cancels Stasis Field. You can conquer the area with a single attack. © lolmaus

Dark Archon's "Mind control" can deprive the defender of his Arbiter, making the area vulnerable for a second attack. © FaydeShift
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MisuVir
Australia
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Re: Ways to counter Stasis Field? Ain't it an imba?
You only get to recharge once per turn. My tactics would be one of:
(1) Avoid. Attack areas where your arbiters aren't.
(2) Brute force. Attack the arbiters multiple times. If you've got both stasis cards in hand with recharge, three attacks will certainly force them all into your discard. Next turn, you'll have to research like crazy to get them back, leaving you open to the first two attacks next turn.

In future games, I'd recommend the other players keep a close eye on the Protoss. Allowing them to hold the resources necessary to tech-up and build these kinds of units is a mistake. Once the Protoss get going, they're nasty. As a primarily Zerg player, the Protoss are usually my first target.
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Joshua Love
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Re: Ways to counter Stasis Field? Ain't it an imba?
I second MisuVir on the watching Protoss. Knowing each race in the game has a massive impact on how the game is played. Protoss specifically has some sneaky abilities that can make them very hard to contend later in the game. The trick is to not let them get that far, or specifically develop your own tech in ways to counter them. If one pays attention to each players units that are on the table, you can at least make a good guess as to what that player is working on. Again, knowing each faction will go a very long way. Suggest to the players to either play different factions each time, or to take some time to look through the Research deck of each faction.
Also, I suggest printing aids out, like this one:
http://files.boardgamegeek.com/file/download/46eqp78imb/SC_B...?
It has the typical stats that brood war had, but actually gives brief info about each Research card available for each unit type for all races.

EDIT:
Forgot to post counters for each race. Haven't played in a while, and I don't have the game in front of me either, so here's only some guesses:

Zerg: First thing that comes to mind is just attack constantly. Over and over. They get the extra combat card draw for attacking anyway.
Terran: EMP field. Cancels a reinforcement card.
Protoss: Dark Archons can use mind control on them.

Again, knowing the races is key in this situation. A player sees Protoss building a Star Gate, and in a good position to build some Arbiters, immediately build counters to those units, or make a preemptive strike to prevent Toss from using them effectively.

Hope that helps.
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Andrey Mikhaylov
Russia
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Re: Ways to counter Stasis Field? Ain't it an imba?
Thank you for your contributions, i've added them into the first post of the thread.

I still consider Stasis Field to be too powerful.

Let's have a look:

* Keeping pressure against Protoss is a good idea even without taking Stasis Field into consideration: when Protoss grow strong, they are the hardest to stop even without Stasis Field. But this approach limits your stategy dramatically: if you concentrate on causing trouble to Protoss, other players may take advantage of you.

* Brute forcing is useless. You waste all three attack orders to deprive the defender of his Stasis Field cards, and he still keeps the area. Next turn, he can fight and execute researches to get the Stasis Field cards back into his hand. Naturally, you'll never knock him out of the area if you act alone!

* Zerg's Spawn Broodlings only works out if the defender holds the area with a Zealot or a Dragoon. Any other defending front-line unit renders Zerg helpless!

* Protoss' Mind Control is nice, but it is more difficult to obtain than Stasis field and requires two attacks to capture the area.

* Terran's EMP Shockwave is the only balanced counter against Stasis field.

* Protoss' Feedback is almost as good as the EMP: it is more devastating in action, but more difficult to obtain.

When i used the Stasis Field strategy, i was playing against two Zergs (races had been randomized). So i still have no argument for my opponents to prove that Stasis Field is not unfair.

I'm starting thinking about a home rule that extends Spawn Broodlings effect, allowing the Queen to immediately kill Arbiter like Feedback does.
 
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Rafael Castrequini
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Re: Ways to counter Stasis Field? Ain't it an imba?
I am not giving a complete answer... it's a suggestion.

Since the arbitrer is a assist unit, it cannot be alone. Because if it does, you attack him with a zergling, and per the rules, the arbitrer must retreat. Even if you use your stasis field...
 
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MisuVir
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Re: Ways to counter Stasis Field? Ain't it an imba?
lolmaus wrote:
other players may take advantage of you.

Quote:
... Naturally, you'll never knock him out of the area if you act alone!


If you're playing with more than two players, half the game is convincing the other players to attack each other. If the Protoss is winning, the other players should be taking them down.

Quote:
* Brute forcing is useless. You waste all three attack orders to deprive the defender of his Stasis Field cards, and he still keeps the area. Next turn, he can fight and execute researches to get the Stasis Field cards back into his hand.

I'd have thought it unlikely that the Protoss player would draw both stasis cards. Regardless, you're playing a three player game... so you've got more than three attacks.

My suggestion would be the Defiler. Plague triggers ground/flying spash damage even if you don't destroy a unit. Stasis field reduces all attack values to zero but doesn't do anything to stop plague from taking effect.
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Jonathan Folkert
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Re: Ways to counter Stasis Field? Ain't it an imba?
Plague would indeed be Zerg's best answer.

I agree, however, that if inexperienced players were confronted with this strategy for the first time, without prior warning, it would seem unfair. As has been said, the best counter is simply to attack Protoss early, and make sure you build the counters as soon as they build their first-level Stargate.

Also, keep an eye out for a Protoss player setting up shop on or next to Torus, Vyctor V, or Erebus Station.
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Andrey Mikhaylov
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Yay! I have totally overlooked that Plague triggers Splash damage unconditionally.

Now the list has an acceptable counter for every race.No need for a homerule!

Thank you MisuVir and KirovThug.
 
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Andrey Mikhaylov
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Rafaelc wrote:
I am not giving a complete answer... it's a suggestion.

Since the arbitrer is a assist unit, it cannot be alone. Because if it does, you attack him with a zergling, and per the rules, the arbitrer must retreat. Even if you use your stasis field...


Nah, if you attack a lone assist unit, it fights using minor values and without his abilities.

But the Stasis Field area retention strategy supposes using a front-line unit in addition to the Arbiter.
 
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Andrey Mikhaylov
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By the way, when i was holding two Conquest point-providing areas with Arbiters, one of the areas was flying-only.

Thus, only Terran could counter my Arbiter there. And i was playing against two Zergs. Imba!

Now thinking of a homerule that forbids using Stasis Field on a flying-only area.
 
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Jonathan Folkert
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lolmaus wrote:
Rafaelc wrote:
I am not giving a complete answer... it's a suggestion.

Since the arbitrer is a assist unit, it cannot be alone. Because if it does, you attack him with a zergling, and per the rules, the arbitrer must retreat. Even if you use your stasis field...


Nah, if you attack a lone assist unit, it fights using minor values and without his abilities.

But the Stasis Field area retention strategy supposes using a front-line unit in addition to the Arbiter.


It fights using minor values, but remember that it has no attack capabilities (air or ground) and so it can't do any damage. Only the health will matter.

And as Rafael said, if, after a battle, the defender has only assist units remaining in the area, the defender must retreat those units. Thus, in his example, even though the Zergling couldn't kill the Arbiter, the Arbiter would be forced to retreat after the battle. This is an important rule that we missed the first few times we played.
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