Posted by Jawaballs at 7:53 AM
Hmmm, Tactics... where to begin??? I have been meaning to do some posts on tactics lately, but wanted to wait until I had a decent idea of what the hell I was talking about before I started shooting off my mouth... In this day and age it would be nice if more people did the world this courtesy. :) But I have been on a winning streak with my Blood Angels lately so I wanted to discuss a few tactics that seem to be working for me.
First of all, army list is key. We all love those toys and want to get as many of our beloved models on the table as possible. But we have to just settle on the fact that some units just are not practical. An army of cobbled together, expensive units with no synergy will get owned and you will not have fun. We all want to win no matter what people say. This brings me to selecting the right units for your force, which will be the focus of my first tactic post.
First of all, avoid point sinks! The new Space Marine codex is FULL of point sink units. Sternguard Vets are one huge example. Plopping them on the table inside a Land Raider Redeemer is an extreme example that can be ruined by a single 50 point attack bike. Avoid building your army around that one kick ass unit inside that one kick ass transport. In my opinion, rather then taking that 600 point+ combo, it would be better to pick up say... three tactical squads. In some cases, it is quantity, not quality that matters.
But if you are going to go, go strong! If you want to play your Sternguard, commit to them. Take the commander that makes them all scoring units, take as many Sternguard as you can get on the table, and get em in Rhinos. (more on the value of the rhino in another post) If you want Land Raiders, play two. Vindicators? Play three! At least take more then one tank if you are going to take a tank at all. I play my Vindicator and Baal Pred together. They make a great team, especially when supported by an attack bike and speeder. This forces my opponent to make choices. Putting just one tank on the table is probably a waste of points. People will single out that lone vindicator and pop it like a virgin on prom night. This is especially sucky if that tank was your lone anti tank unit...
The same goes for transports. Taking just one rhino will probably result in that one rhino getting whacked by turn two every game. People will see it and think there is something special inside, (and there probably is) and zone in on it. If you are going to go transports, go multiple. Make your opponent make choices and if one goes down, you will not feel the loss so strongly.
5th edition has sort of turned the focus of 40k towards lots of troops choices. In the past you saw armies taking just two small tactical squads and loading up on Veterans and elites. I personally feel this shift is a good thing. My army has evolved from two to four troop choices. But seriously, there is something to be said for 40 space marines with bolters and plasma guns who have zoomed up to an objective in a rhino and deployed in cover. That little tactic will run you around 900 points and force your opponent to have to deal with 4 tough little nuts to crack. Again this sort of gets me back to my, "If you are gona go, go strong" mind set. Go with the 4 ten man tacticals in Rhinos, hell add two more in drop pods. Attach a cheap but solid commander some place, and spend the rest on a few speeders with Multi Melta and Heavy Flamer and you are well on your way to winning games without even putting a real thought into strategy. Some people find just 10 space marines in cover hard to kill, try 60.
Summary: Put some real thought into your army list. Do some research and make decisions before you put a lot of time into modeling an army that you are going to be unhappy with down the road. Take units that compliment each other and avoid taking hugely expensive point hog units as the core of your army. Sure a squad of 10 assault terminators lead by a chaplain and commander will tear things up... but what happens when they are stranded on one half of the table with nothing left to kill?? It is good to take multiples of things. 1 Speeder is nice but 3 are better. One Rhino is a lascannon magnet, 4 are a bewilderment and confusing. Your opponent will hesitate and not know which one to shoot. Make your opponent make decisions. Taking just one Vindicator makes his choice easy and will probably result in the throwing away of 125 points. Taking 3 will make him panic. Play that up and go with it!
More to come on choosing an army list in the next post.