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A little bit of musing that I have been indulging in has led to me coming up with the following rough guide for things you need in a list, not things that are nice, things that are required. So pretty much heres a preview of the tactica segment on list building (or part of it at least), enjoy.
Scoring units, or troops, are essential and not just the madatory amount to build a list. Two thirds of games are objective based and therefore having these units alive to claim said objectives is the only way to win. As games get bigger the more stuff will get killed. This is inevitable and as such you must make sure you have enough scoring units to cope with the changing conidtions of play.
Remember that a savvy player will target your scoring units when he can afford to ignore other threats to do so, or when doing so will ensure victory. Both these conditions are met when you have few scoring units or weak scoring units (read small squads) as a small amount of firepower diverted from a threat will remove them from play, making victory then a matter simply of keeping their scoring units alive.
So, what does this mean? In my extensive experience, and through alot of theory work, I have come to the not earth shaking conclusion that you require one substantial scoring unit per 500 points to reliably win games. Yes this means that a 3500 point game cannot possibly have enough points without using detachments.
Now these numbers are minimums, not optimums or maximums, minimums. That is to say if you want to take six troops choices in a 1500 point game, knock yourself out, but please, please don't take two. This shouldn't be too arduous, our troops are fine units aside from the fact that they are scoring so no one should be finding this rule too hard to follow.
tl:dr 1 Scoring Unit Per 500 Points minimum
Dark Light Weaponry
Dark lances are great, blasters are great, heat lances are fun. We like all these things, but we need to make sure we take enough. In small games the prevalence of vehicles is lower, in large games higher, so naturally we need more anti tank in larger games, but how much more?
Well there are two important considerations, Killing Vehicles (Wreck, Explode) and Disrupting Vehicles (Other results on the table). You need enough anti tank to destroy roughly one sixth of the vehicles on the board every turn on average and enough to disrupt one third to one half. So how much is that, well every time we fire a lance or balster we have a 7.4% chance to kill a vehicle and a one in three chance of disrupting it. So with six tanks on the board we would need a minimum of thriteen dark light weapons to achieve our goals. This works on the assumption that we are always firing at armour twelve, taking into account that that is not the case this number drops to about eleven.
Why did I choose six tanks? Two reasons, first one sixth of six is easy to work out to follow through my example, second six AV12+ tanks is about the right number to budget for in a 1500 point game, about two tanks per 500 points when facing a mech force. Sure some armies will have more, but they will tend to have less troops and each tank you disrupt will mess with there plans all the more as they tend to be overly reliant on armour. Additionally against such armies movement and target priority can often effectively nullify extra vehicles.
With an estimate of two tanks per 500 points we then come to the crux of this section, for every two tanks the enemy has you need four anti tank weapons, when he has six you need twelve, for example. This is once more a minimum. I would suggest that an optimum is clsoer to five per 500 points, but anywhere inbetween the two is workable. I'll talk about maximums and optimums in detail at a later date this section is on minimums.
tl:dr 4 Anti Tank Weapons per 500 points minimum
Please sir, I want some more.
Nice work, although are the loss of dark light weapons during the game taken into consideration? As well as shorter ranged weapons like blasters and heatlances won't be in ranged until the 2nd turn. I'd consider it a minimum of 9 for 1000pts and 20 for 2000pt minimum reasonable. This is just from experience though.
They are taken into consideration in that you should be losing dark light weaponry at a rate similar to that at which your opponent is losing tanks. I'd agree that 9 and 20 are better at those points levels, but would argue that 8 and 16 respectively are the absolute do not ever ever drop below this minimum. Personally I run more than the minimum and in the range I would consider closer to optimum, which I'll put a long post up on later. 20 would be up at the low end of the optimum range, 9 still below it.
Additionally whilst Heat lances are a special case Blasters can be brought to bear turn one if neccessary, such as when facing a heavily mech force, through movement + disembarkation. Although this makes the squad carrying it more vulnerable. Also they will be able to be broguht to bear often if the opponent has first turn. Hope that clears up my reasoning somewhat.
Thanks for asking the question, making me think about and justify the things I'm spouting helps the eventual tactica be better as I'll realise when I've made a mistake.
No problem, I look forward to the tactica, looks to be a thorough analysis
Fetch me another plaything. This one seems to have broken- Urien Rakarth
IMO blasters should not count too much when discerning anti-tank unless you are pro* as they create a metric ton of issues with balanced list construction i you start assuming they are a viable source of anti-tank in their own right.
Same for heat lances they (like blasters) are good at what they do, but you cannot generally use them to their fullest as they are somewhat counter to the strengths lances have outside of their application on infantry. Infantry lances are a sadly overlooked area due to their icnrease over their old cost, when i nreality they remain a perfectly useable and (typically) cost effective choice.
*Read: spam the hell out of them, this usually creates totally diabolical lists designed to work on tables with bugger all cover, in which case you're not playing 40k how the ruleset is designed.
You know, I was a bit worried about playing my old Dark Eldar models because I thought they would limit me with the new rules but after reading your tactica articles I think I will be okay.
Finally got the new Dark Eldar Codex. Time to scrap the old record and start anew.
Space Marines 0 - 0 - 0
Dark Eldar 0 - 0 - 0
Totally agree about the troops. I usually always go with all 6 slots filled and I don't mean with just 30 guys. And all the squads that can get a Raider transport.
Just curious...would you count a Talos with TL Haywire blasters as anti-tank?
I don't count a talos at all.Originally Posted by Omegabob
While monstrous creatures that pop out of the webway are comical, I don't see it ever having more utility then a ravager. Period. We have a billion other options to kill infantry.
Based on experience I'm more of the opinion that you need 1.5 troops per 500 points (rounding up) and 6 darklight weapons per 500 points. And I usually run more of both.