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When you play a portal army, what turn do you deploy your portal?
Do you aim to go first or second?
I ask these questions as my last few games playing with the portal i've almost been destroyed, or been close to having my portal covered by the enemy units each time.
I have actively tried to go second
I would aim to do it turn 2, but I have played a couple of very aggressive witch hunters (penetent engines), and jump pack armies where they can make combat easily by turn 2, and then possibly consolidating onto the portal marker.
So i have come to the conclusion that I take second move. observe what they do for the first turn, where they move, what they try to shoot at. Then decide whether to drop immediately or move forward before deploying (or possibly in a lateral direction).
I use 2 haemo's and 2 ten man warrior squads and 2 sniper squads. 1 haemo wit ha WWP and one sybrite with a rifle (no other wargear so he is not conspicuous) in a splinter cannon squad. This is just in case they decide to attack both haemo's i have a bit more of a chance of surviving the assault. Although the IC status makes them seem much more powerful deployers.
This is another place where i see the raider style of deployment failing (although i have not done it myself) as if you get close to the enemy you have more chance of being attacked and deployment of the portal being stopped.
now i don't want an arguement on whether or not you can stand on a webway marker, or whether or not skimmers can still come through them, for surely the best arguement is not to let it occur.
So anyone elses opinion is appreciated. If there is any facet i haven't covered please do, as it is a major part of my (and other peoples) plans, so the more knowlegde i have the better i will know what can happen.
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WWP and other Dark Eldar how to
I have very little experience with DE so I'm mostly playing theoryhammer here, but I would take two portals both in fairly large sized warrior squads and both on unit leaders, not Haemonculi (fleet of foot is too valuable too lose IMO). If there is enough shooting in your opponents army to whipe your squads on the first turn, however slim the chance, have one squad deploy their portal as soon as the game begins, take no risks. The other squad can then move on without risking losing your army. As to how far to go with them it depends on so many variables I wont go into it, but most of the time I would imagine you would have to deploy it next turn, usually it will end up 7-12 inches further up putting it near the middle of the board, which is ideal most of the time.
I swear I was going to ask about the whole moving a skimmer out of a blocked portal thing. Way to crush my dreams.
I "aim" for turn 2 where I get the first turn but the whole point of using a portal is to close the gap between you and the enemy and if this is going to happen of its own accord because the enemy is in fact coming to you then using only the criteria of which turn becomes moot, it is in fact more relevant to consider "How do I time all this so I can get the charge as soon as possible."By this I mean if you are facing off against another fast army then stop thinking about turns so much and consider your positioning relative to the charge.
Pure straight forward speed towards the enemy is not always the solution.
Sometimes turn 1 is a good option after going second if it means that you get the better timing - its all about timing and the turn is only part of this, as is speed and dice luck.
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That's a good one splata, it happened to me a few times playing marines.
One instance the marine was so afraid of my ravagers and disintegrators that he took mainly a scout army, needless to say he won, as i had no choice but to deploy the portal fast and get my units out asap to counter the onslaught of scouts approaching my deployment with few numbers of my own to counter, It depends on the battle really but turn 2 is ideal so you can get that extra 6-14" (raider and FOF dependant) to hit hard and fast.
If you're always worried about crushing the ants beneath you...you won't be able to walk.
Turn 2 is always best, regardless of whether or not you chose to move your carriers forward towards the enemy or bacwards or sideways a little to prevent being engaged in CC.
Nothing says you have to put everything else, or even anything into the portals either. Size up your opponent's army and likely playing style and decide before deployment.
My regular Tau opponent uses infiltrating Kroot and jump pack Vespids as Speed Bumps for the Greater Good (tm). They threaten to enage my portal carriers mid field while his firing line sits on the back edge, literally. If I'm careful I can stay out of CC but then the portals are too far back to reach his table edge units. So instead I don't bother to deploy anything in the portals.
War Record Since Sept 2005
Old Codex 48-20-9 Dark Eldar
New Codex 1-0-0 Dark Eldar