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So I have been spending a lot of time the last few days reading the back 40k: Imperial Guard and I have to say that his approach to army building and tactics have been truly eye opening. The one question that I have is this; How do you both bubble wrap your armored units with cheap infantry platoons preventing drop podding/deep striking/assaulting units from frying your armor while at the same time not bottleing them up and therefore hindering their mobility and leaving them as great targets for ordinance templates?
The main reason to do it is to deny deepstrike heavy armies like Daemons or really fast mobile assaulty armies like Dark Eldar. Vs such mobile enemies you'll be castled for the first few turns anyway so mobility isn't the main issue. As they blunt themselves against your bubblewrap you can move past the dregs or form them into a smaller area, whatever is most appropriate. As for templates, get a bit of plastic and cut it to be 2 inches along one edge so you can easily get maximum spacing. It's sneaky but it's great.
Copy, Improve, Innovate
That makes perfect sense about castleing for the first few turns after which the remnants of your infantry can be consolidated in order to open lanes of advance for the armor behind them. I guess the next logical question is what do you do with all that infantry against lists that don't have assault/deep strike/drop pods as threats? I guess they could be left to babysit objectives in or near your deployment zone, but if the rest of your army is charging across the table won't this leave them unsupported against outflanking or deepstriking reserves. For example, a 1500 point Tau army with two squads of outflanking Kroot isn't a good army to bubble wrap all of your armor with, however those two squads of Kroot could definitely wreak havoc in your deployment zone if your bubble wrappers are left unsupported. This then beggs the question, are the benifits of bubble wrapping your armor worth the points spent on the infantry squads who are more than likely going to get severly mauled by your opponent?
You can bubble wrap against kroot, if your opponent does not have mnay broadsides you will likely have the advantage at a long range. Often you will want to sit back for a turn or two, even if you decide to move up you may want to do it at 6" per turn to keep your vehicles firing. Infantry can keep up with this and sit there as a barrier between your vehicles and those assaulting kroot.
The Emperor Protects
IG Best Gen 1st overall of 10 DE 4th overall of 6
Eldar 3rd Overall/Best General of 26--2nd Overall/Best General of 7--1st Overall/Best General of 11
There's the boring option of using them to hold backfield objectives. They are solid and hard to shift thanks to orders like dig in and get back in the fight.
Personally I'd advance them, use spare orders to issue "move move move" and aim get them into the middle of the board and in some cover.
If you can get your inf into 24 inch range of enemy forces and in cover they are also an awesome fire base. "First rank Fire! Second rank Fire!" can wither down anything, elite infantry like terminators hate it so much.
Keeping a couple of squads advancing but behind your tanks can be really nice against outflankers, lone deepstrikers or evil wolf scouts coming on the back board edge.
It also lets you fall your tanks back and sacrifice squads to hold the enemy at bay. Strategic roadbumping with infantry can be really nice to stall the enemy, even if you don't want to bubblewrap.
Marching them towards an objective can also be a pretty good move. Forcing the enemy to divert forces to deal with a 65 point squad is pretty effective since it depletes what your main force is having to deal with.
Copy, Improve, Innovate
If facing Orks/Nids, line them up and advance forward, with your armor about 5" behind. When they hit your line and wipe it out, you'll be in a perfect position to hit them with your Heavy Flamers and Meltas.I guess the next logical question is what do you do with all that infantry against lists that don't have assault/deep strike/drop pods as threats?
If facing Guard or similar, blob them up and twin-link their heavy weapons with orders to kill enemy armor.Yes, but you'll know if your opponent has these, and a blob isn't an easy thing for a few Wolf Scouts or Snikrot-led commandos to kill. Especially if it has a Commissar attached. Throw a couple of Power Weapons in and even Marines will think twice about their chances.I guess they could be left to babysit objectives in or near your deployment zone, but if the rest of your army is charging across the table won't this leave them unsupported against outflanking or deepstriking reserves.Platoon Squads are expendable cannon fodder. Line them up along your close board edge so the Kroot have to pop out in front of your line instead of behind you. Or line them up behind your tanks along your own board edge to dictate where Wolf Scouts must pop out.For example, a 1500 point Tau army with two squads of outflanking Kroot isn't a good army to bubble wrap all of your armor with, however those two squads of Kroot could definitely wreak havoc in your deployment zone if your bubble wrappers are left unsupported.If bubble-wrapping was all your Platoon Squads could do, no. But they're scoring units that can do a lot of things for you tactically. From popping tanks at range to allowing you to push into mid-field against assaulty armies. They're as flexible as Vet Chimeltas, but in a different way.This then beggs the question, are the benifits of bubble wrapping your armor worth the points spent on the infantry squads who are more than likely going to get severly mauled by your opponent?
wow, thanks for all of the replies! So I am now clearly sold on the benifits of bringing along some basic infantry platoons in my all comers list. I guess the last question that I have is how many and what equipment should I bring? Do I want to add commisars and power weapons to them or do I want to make them shoot better with a grenade launcher and autocannon or do I want to do both? Should I bring along only a single platoon command squad and 3-4 infantry squads or should I maximize the ammount of platoon command squads and only bring the minimum number of infantry squads per command squad? Thanks again for all of the help.
I think Commisar's and Power weapons are a matter of personal taste and preference. I prefer using commisars in my Inducted platoons with WH. I mainly use them to hold objectives and provide long range fire support with their AC/GL loadouts. I join the two squads together most of the time. Occasionally, I'll fit in a cannoness with Book of St. Lucius instead of commisar, so the LD is a bubble, rather than with a single squad.
With the commissar, the unit's automatically stubborn, so if you want the unit to sit tight from shooting, he's good. If you want them to run so you can get shooting in on an assault unit, he's a bit of a problem. Ideally, you want your bubble wrap to crumble and run. You can help with wound allocation. Any powerfists or power weapon attacks should go into your commissar, and Sgt's if you want to fall back.
You can likewise run the squads without the commisar, but you run the risk of fleeing because you got shot at. neither's a perfect approach.
Platoon squads do open up some good tactical opportunities, and sometimes, surprise you.
check out Farmpunk's blog:
the Back 40k
Unless you're specifically building an assaulty list (Strakken), then I'd keep them cheap. Autocannon + Grenade Launcher works pretty well. Put a Commissar in one squad per blob so you can keep them from running away when you don't want them to. If for some reason you do want them to run away, let the Commissar take a bullet before you roll your test.
If you're bubblewrapping to deny deep strikers, then try to keep your troops spaced out so the outer edges of your squad is around 6" away from your tank. I usually play against Tau, and this keeps those annoying Fusion-armed suits from popping in and frying my tanks. If they can't land close enough to get that double penetration, then they either have to waste time whittling away at my bubble wrap, or assault in close, which isn't as sure a bet.