Visitor Q’s WH40K Tactics- Army selection and Deployment I.[/ - Warhammer 40K Fantasy

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    LO's unofficial Jester Visitor Q's Avatar
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    Visitor Q’s WH40K Tactics- Army selection and Deployment I.[/

    Visitor Q’s WH40K Tactics- Army selection and Deployment I.

    I am going to post these tactics as a series of threads over the next couple of weeks. (i) so it will be easier to skip to the relevant bit you want to look at/talk about.
    (ii) because reading a mammoth 10 page on screen article is quite boring. This is only the introduction so its quite short and most of the points are fairly obvious but I may refer to some the points and concepts later so it may be worth skimming over.

    Many tactics articles focus on the game itself and indeed this is obviously is the most important part of the battle. Arguably however the actual table top “encounter” represents merely the conclusion to the battle. In reality the battle begins with a sound army selection and a good deployment. On more than one occasion I have played a WH40K battle where after deployment the outcome is (even if one side doesn’t realise it) already decided. Of course luck and some “in game” tactics will play its part but on balance the probabilities will for the most part even out and every squad vs. squad encounter can be predicted across the board.

    It is vital then that you get a good head start on your opponent by selecting an army that is tailored to suit your objectives, and secondly by knowing how to deploy it in such away that each unit can immediately be used in a useful and decisive manner.

    Army Selection

    Introduction and Basics.

    There are different conventions as to how an army is able to be selected, sometimes you know the opponents race, other times you will know the mission, rarely will you be able to tailor an army to an exact opponent as this (quite rightly IMO) gives one side a distinct advantage. As a result you will have to in some small measure adapt these tactics to your particular gaming group.

    Neatness is surprisingly important when making an army list, the first few drafts can be scribbled down in rough but once you have your definitive army list you should really take the effort to write it out neatly. This helps you during the game to remember what each of your units have and is especially important in remembering character wargear (don’t hesitate in highlighting or underlining anything you have a habit of forgetting)

    Points values are another issue to deal with. The points system means that every part of your army must be able to interact with each other and do its job properly, there is little to be gained in taking numerous tanks if you have no points left to buy units who can secure a particular objective that the tanks can’t get to. Equally remember that points are an abstraction designed for a particular size game, (around 1500-2000pts). Certain troop types especially vehicles, characters and elites become more powerful in smaller games because it is less likely the enemy will field something that can counter them, yet their points values remain the same. Of course whether the practice of using of such troop types is permitted in smaller games is left up to you and your gaming group.

    The theme of your army is very important. I am not really referring to the “background” of your army but more what type of army do you hope too field?, what are its objectives?, what strengths do you see it as having?. Once you have established this you will then be able to pick a core of units (I like to use about 50% of my points on this process). These units represent what the army is all about, don’t worry too much about what fulfilling particular troop criteria at this point (i.e at least one HQ at least 2 Troops or what ever) simply pick the units that best serve your purpose. So for example in a space marine army built around engaging the enemy in HtH a couple of units of Assault marines, a tooled up a captain or chaplin and probably some kind of support vehicle like a predator would seem a good choice at this point. Next you assess what weaknesses you have, and what units your opponent will likely field. I would spend a good 30-40% of my points in addressing these issues adding supporting units or further equipment and fulfilling army selection criteria and so on. The last 10-20% can be used on a variety of things, experimental units you haven’t tried before, an extra wild card independent character, a particular model you love the look of or whatever.

    Finally comes the juggle, simply called because you probably haven’t taken everything you want (which general does?) you may well be a little (or maybe a lot) over the points and you aren’t sure if you have fulfilled all the correct troop selection criteria, as a result you are having to juggle points and units around as you try and make it all fit.

    An easy process to make the juggle go smoothly is this: (i) Make sure you have all the correct troops you have to, (two troop choices 1 HQ or whatever). If you don’t, see what is really unnecessary, normally I would take this from my last 10% category and use it to buy the mandatory units.

    (ii) Are you over the points? I hate being over the points by even 1pt , but your gaming group will have its own rules as to what is an acceptable level of points slack. If you do find you are over the points scan the list and start taking away the minor bits of war gear that you probably won’t need, this is obviously a hard call to make but some general pointers are; If you have a short range special weapon (like a flamer) and a long range heavy weapon the chances are you don’t need both in the same squad. Watch out for units especially light vehicles which seem to serve no purpose in your overall plan…..Is that lone sentinel really worth it?. This can be a very hard process sometimes. By getting rid of particular bits of wargear you sometimes make a unit impotent while getting rid of the squad altogether may leave a hole in your plans. All I can say is that practice makes perfect and don’t be afraid to re-introduce a unit or character if you think you can juggle things around.

    (iii) Does your army work? You have to be somewhat harsh on yourself here, take a step back and look at the army as a whole, what’s missing? What’s redundant? Do you have any points left to juggle things around? Remember no army will be able to deal with every little thing. At the same time looking at your army you can suddenly realise that, for example you have only one unit that can deal with vehicles and are facing an IG army or you have a total of 25 models against a tyranid hoard and so on (extreme examples but you get the idea)

    Well that’s the Introduction dealt with. In a week or so I will probably post the next section dealing with the specifics of army selection, HQ’s Troops and Elites.

    Last edited by Visitor Q; November 4th, 2006 at 16:38.
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