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Hi all, I've been having some trouble dealing with MEQ deep strikers. My army advances forward to claim objectives, and everything seems to be going good... and then he deepstrikes by my tanks. Melta and powerfist, boom.
So the question is: what do you do to prevent something like this? Do you keep a chimera with plasma/melta behind to wipe them out? Do you group the tanks together? Just curious what other people have done to ward against something like this.
Thanks in advance for any replies!
1. In case all his units are deep striking:
- Place everything in a corner. Deploy infantry in front of vehicles so he don't get within range of the melta bonus.
- Or get the Astopath and deploy everything in reserve.
2. If he just have some deep strikers - it depends a little what you have in your army. If he just deep strike some units and melta-to-death a chimera or two, that shouldn't be a problem. The same with tanks. He will sacrifise units which shouldn't be that much cheaper than yours. Unless you use some of the "bad" choices in the dex.
Have a lot of Chimera with vets with 3 melta around. Vendettas works great against all vehicles. Can easy get into range for rear shot even for deep striking dreads.
You should consider the officer of fleet too. Great for delaying his later waves.
Remember: He can't assault after deep striking (with very few exceptions). If I'm out in the open, there are a few ways other then cornering to defeat this.
One is to place your tanks in a pinwheel fashion, so the best he can hit is side armour. It looks stupid, but is totally legal. Two: Have a lead "carrot" unit. This unit is probably going to die, so you want to try and psyke your opponent out to hit this unit instead.
Three: Pop smoke when you think they'll be coming in. Popping smoke has saved my units more often then I can count.
Four: Go near terrain, make him scatter.
Get an allied Daemonhunters Inquisitor with 2 x Mystics. Have him hide near your Demolishers/Chimera with Vets/Heavy Weapon Squads. Anything deep strikes nearby, fire away.
A very standard tactic is to 'bubblewrap' important targets like tanks. Basically, this involves getting several cheap, disposable squads (we have tons of these!) and deploying them very spaced out all around the tank. Don't clump together, spread out (about 2" between each model). The idea is to force any deep striking target as far away from your tank as possible, as he cannot deploy within 2" of an enemy model.
So if you have a tank, with two lines of models around it in a circle (doable with 2 x Infantry Squads), that's just over 6" - out of close melta range. If he wants to charge the tank, he can't, because your squads are in the way.
It's a very effective tactic, one that Tau use quite a lot with cheap Kroot. Our Infantry is even cheaper, so give it a go.
As legal as the mystic is, it's a crutch. People should be using proper play to deal with deep strikers. I'd recommend against taking a mystic, as legal and effective as it is.
Learn to castle up and deal with Deep Strikers without the Mystic crutch. I've never lost to a deep-striking army, and I've never used I+M to do it.
Hmm ok. The pinwheel seems ok.
What about keeping the chimera nearby to wipe out the squad? Is that an effective tactic? Or do you just turn around another tank and blast them with a pie plate?
I may try to fake him out with a basilisk (for some reason he hates these, and he really shouldn't).
As far as scatter goes, my opponent uses Blood Angels with Dante. With Infernus pistols and less scatter, these guys show up (reliably) on turn 2 with several melta pistols on the back armor of my artillery.
When we played SM vs. SM, I'd keep a dreadnaught back near my tanks and block the rear armor, then the dread would tie them up the next turn.
Thanks for all the replies, maybe I'll have to severely alter my tactics.
With the pinwheel tactic (and deep strikers showing up on turn 2), you'd have to pop smoke on the first turn (and not fire) right? I guess I could face the tank away and "rotate" the turret towards the target.
Here's a couple of my own battle reports that will show you how to castle up:
This one versus Daemons
And another versus old-style drop guard.
The only thing I'd add is that since the release of the new BA Codex, you need some "bubblewrap" troops spaced about 4-5" in front of your tanks to deny short-range melta shots and to soak up assaulters. For this I use the Carapace Veterans that normally ride in my Vendettas.
As for the Bassie, trade it for a Demolisher (no sponsons!). Demolishers scare the crap out of people too, but are much harder to take down.
Officer of the Fleet works well too, but BA get to re-roll their reserves for deep-striking squads, so he's not as great here as he is against other Marine colors. Plus almost nobody uses reserves as they should, so I often just leave him out of the list. Which pains me because he's one of my best looking models.
I agree about the Basilisk, only problem (with everything I've posted so far!) is that I bought the tank about 10 years ago along with 2 comissars, that did nothing but rot in a box. So now that I've got an army, I'd like to continue using it at least for fluff (it's "old reliable" to the troops, been around a long time, etc).
I like the idea of bubble wrap. Thanks for the pictures on castling up, that makes a lot more sense now. I really should use a demolisher now though, since we end up playing shorter tables than most for some reason.
I'll try spacing the infantry around the tank and see how that works out.
Thanks everyone for all the help and guidance. It has been very informative!
One thing you can do with Russes against deepstrikers is to arrange an infantry platoon around them such that the enemy can't deepstrike within 6". Russ armor is heavy enough that even meltas are not a sure thing without that additional D6.
Bait is another idea. If you can put a cheap yet high-value target off by itself--say, a Basilisk or Chimera with a SW team--he might send a deepstriker after that, kill it and then be out of position for the rest of the game. A similar idea is to start the game very aggressively, so that most of his deepstrikers end up in his own deployment area or at least spread out. Deepstrike-heavy lists lose a lot of mobility once the units come in; make him choose between your objectives and your tanks.
A third trick is to watch the clock. If by chance he doesn't have many deepstrikers come in on turn 2 then you know you're going to get hammered next turn, so consider forfeiting a turn of shooting to use smoke as a preventative measure.
A fourth trick is followup. Your opponent is generally going to go for back armor even with meltas, and when you DS and shoot then you can't also spread out. Arrange your vehicles to cover each other, ready to drop some templates to avenge their buddies.
A fifth (and less reliable) trick is a honey trap. Deploy in such a manner that exactly two deepstrike units can land in the middle of your force. Accept the resulting losses and then take advantage of your enemy being bunched up in a killzone. This also increases the chance of a deepstrike mishap.
Hmm, looks like SandWyrm beat me to a lot of my points.
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard