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Hi guys, the following is something that I have been working on. It’s a sort of guide to picking units for your army using 3 principles that I almost always take into consideration. (The 4th ‘D’ and the one not covered is the “Damn that unit looks cool”). It is by no means a comprehensive guide, more of an expose on the principles and concepts behind army construction. It is still a work in progress so by all means feel free to comment, criticise or whatever.
When choosing a unit for an army there are many factors to take into consideration, and in this article I will attempt to highlight some of them as I see it. I find that units in 40k can fall into three main (and intertwining) categories: that of Destruction, Distraction and Disruption. More often than not a unit will fall into multiple categories.
This is the most straight forward. Destruction units quite simply do what is implied, they cause destruction. Whether this is through direct destruction or passive destruction it doesn’t really matter.
Direct destruction is simple in so far as that it is the amount of damage a unit can cause to an enemy unit whether through shooting or assault.
Passive destruction is something a little harder to explain. In essence it is the ability of a unit to bring about the destruction of another unit without actually causing much, if any, damage itself. A bait unit, like the guard squad mentioned below, makes a good example as do things like marker lights, spotters and other units, not to mention units that can act as ‘tar-pits’ in close combat, allowing your specialised units to deal with the threat.
Distraction is the ability of the unit to throw out a proverbial smokescreen to draw your opponents’ attention away from a vital unit, objective, area of the battlefield or a trap that you are setting. A carefully placed unit that has been left in the open begging to be assaulted can make a great distraction, drawing your opponent into an ill considered assault in which you can bring the greater part of your force to bear. For example an infantry squad in a guard army moves up to within easy assault range for the enemy unit. The guard unit is nice and soft and won’t take much at all for the opponent to slaughter so they charge in. The guard predictably lose the assault, getting massacred by the charging unit who consolidate D6 inches. However, due to careful placement, the victorious squad finds itself in the unenviable situation of being in the open with a lot of angry guardsmen aiming their weapons at them.
Another good distraction unit is something that is so overwhelmingly destructive, so obviously destructive that it will draw an immense amount of fire power and your opponent, upon seeing it, will try to destroy it at all costs. A heavy tank such as a Leman Russ or Predator makes excellent distractions. More often than not an opponent playing in the heat of the game will sometimes foolishly get carried away with trying to halt this threatening piece of machinery and focus so much firepower and effort into removing it that the other threats in your force will largely be ignored.
Therefore a good distraction unit is something that is, either directly or indirectly, rather destructive.
This is when you use a unit, portion of your army or a calculated move to throw a proverbial spanner in the works. Disruption is when you thwart your opponents’ battle pan or advance by placing a unit in a position that it requires immediate attention. Deep strikers make extremely good disruption troops in that they can often buy the rest of your army enough time to close in on the opposing forces. Disruption and distraction can often be caused by the same unit in a single situation.
For example, an opponent is using a tank as their main fire support and causing havoc amongst your lines. If you had a Deep Striking unit with the destructive ability to destroy it and you land it within range of the tank then it is something that your opponent must deal with. If the tank manages to survive the turn it must either rapidly reposition itself, subsequently losing a turn of firing at more suitable targets, attempt to gun down the squad itself or your opponent must confront the squad with another unit – shattering the cohesiveness of the attack.
Another good disruption ploy is charging a walker or similar vehicle into a block of troops that have minimal chance of stopping it, e.g. a sentinel charging a unit of guants or guardsmen, tying them up with relative impunity.
Dovie'andi se tovya sagain (It's time to roll the dice)- Mattrim Cauthon
Nice concept. Can't wait to see a more comprehensive piece!
"It takes a vast amount of self control to be this dangerous."
---Ogvai Ogvai Helmshrot, Jarl of Tra, VI Legion Astartes
So, using this, things like the Tau Railhead or Sky Ray tank, a Dakka Flyrant from the Tyrranids, or a well equipped unit of Ultramarine Jump Infantry would be the best ones to take? In all three cases, the unit is highly mobile, with a ton of firepower and a good amount of damage-soaking ability, with the ability to ignore or bypass enemy battle lines to throw off formations.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, just what i could toss out off the top of my head.
I fight for the Greater Good. Too bad for you it's MY Greater Good.
Snow Forces of T'olku W/L/D : 3-4-2... I like to think I'm learning, though.