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Warhammer 40k Force Checklist
There are several aspects that must be considered when building a 40k force. These are divided into three different categories: Facing the enemy, Scoring the table, and Point impact.
I have tried to write this as general guidelines to any codex facing any other (unknown) codex.
Facing the enemy:
Having units to deal with whatever the enemy may throw is very important if you are not able to custom build your force to face a specific opponent. Here follows a list of what you have to plan against. Counter elements are listed after importance (A + B = A more important than
Indirect Fire Vehicles (ex. Basilisk)
Fast + high ST
Long Ranged LoS Vehicles (ex. Leman Russ)
Fast/Long Ranged + high ST
Short Ranged, or Melee Vehicles (ex. Dreadnought)
+ Light Vehicles (ex. Land Speeders)
+ High RoF
Light, Melee Infantry (ex. Orks)
High RoF /AoE
Light, Ranged Infantry (ex. Tau)
Long Range + High RoF /AoE
Heavy, Melee Infantry (ex. Chaos Space Marines)
AP + High RoF
Heavy, Ranged Infantry (ex. Space Marines)
Long Range + AP + High RoF/AoE
Fast + AP/Power Melee
Concealed Advance, Light, Melee Infantry* (?)
Indirect Fire + AoE
Fast + High RoF/Melee
Concealed Advance, Heavy, Melee Infantry* (Jump Infantry)
Indirect Fire + AP + AoE
Fast + High RoF/AP/Power Melee
Monsters (ex. Hive Tyrant)
A note must be added to monster:. They generally have a good toughness, a fair armor save and (unlike vehicles) are able to suffer several wounds.
Rending + High RoF
Sniping + High RoF
High ST + AP + High RoF
* In my experience such units are to some degree rare than most other units.
High RoF may come from a single weapon, or from a large formation.
Fast also include mobile.
AP generally means AP 3 or better.
Long Range is generally 36” or more.
Scoring the Table:
It is dead-important that you are able to claim victory points, or you won’t win. In most standard missions your presence on specific locations may reward just as much as you can get from defeating the enemy.
When a game reaches turn four or five and both players have about equal forces left, the player with the most fast/mobile units have the best chance to win the day. Alternatively, a player with slow/less mobile units may spend the first rounds claiming victory zones with durable units that may hold on to it unit the end of the game.
A force should always look to include some of the following element to insure it is able to take control of victory zones:
A unit with multiple of these qualities is better at doing the job. Durable is not as good as getting the job done in the first place, but helps keep the zone through the game. Mobile indicates units that pass though or over terrain with little or no difficulty, often such units may be able to conceal themselves behind terrain as they advance. Having a deep striking, fast unit is properly overkill in regards to claiming victory zones (but may be great in other regards).
Consider these three units:
1)A SM Landspeeder is not very durable, and why would you deep strike it? However, if it makes it to turn six it can claim any victory zone within 24” regardless of terrain.
2)A full SM Bike Squadron tooled for melee survives its battles with toughness, armor and turbo boost. Any victory zone within 24” is reachable if terrain allows for it.
3)A full SM tactical squad in a drop pod lands in a victory zone mid-game and holds out due to numbers and armor.
Finally, the following applies to most victory zones:
1)If the zone only contains enemy units you loose it.
2)If the zone contains units from both players nobody scores it (mutual denial).
3)If the zone only contains your units you score the zone.
Therefore you must be able to deal with your enemy as described under Facing the Enemy, above.
Most often I play games of 1500 points, and when playing with different point values I experience drastic changes. Having three heavy vehicles (armor 13+) in a 1.500 army still allows for a balanced force able to face the enemy and score the table. In a game of 2000 points the enemy will likely be able to field more anti-vehicle weaponry, and your three heavy choices may not perform as well as they use to. In a 1000 point game, there would be very few points left to spend on a balanced force.
So far only the vehicles, but these logics may be applied to many more unit types, and even tactics. When facing a horde army in a big point game, your mobile units may find fewer places that are safe. In a low point game a single durable unit will be even harder to destroy, as there are fewer qualified weapons on the field.
I have yet to find what units to include and exclude in larger battles, and I do like vehicles so much that I always bring a few to even the grandest battles.
That’s it for now, hope to see some comments that will improve what I’ve written, or show me the errors of my way.