Posted by Jawaballs at 7:28 AM
Last time I briefly talked about army selection. Choosing the right army for you is a huge part of the game, and you havn't even started playing yet! So now what the heck do you do when you get on the table? As you set up, the first thing you need to do is roll the dice to see what mission and deployment you are going to play. In the 5th edition rule book there are 3 missions and 3 deployment options. I will discuss them now.
This mission is my favorite and placing those counters is the key to the game. You need to subtly set up your opponent and get him to help you arrange the loot the way you want them. You will usually have 5 counters. Ideally, you want 3 of them to be arranged in a triangle with no two being more then 24 inches apart, and the other ones to be on the other side of the board. See the illustration. If you only have 4 or 4, you still want at least a triangle shape arrangement of 3. The others dont matter. You need to roll the die to see who places first. If you win, you place counter 1, twelve inches from the edge, in a terrain piece. That is going to be your base and you need to try to get it. The first person to place will get to place 3 counters, which is actually a great advantage. This will let you create your triangle no matter where your opponent places his. Since there are sooo many variables in how they will be placed, we will focus on the fact that you were able to get your triangle set up, and the two other counters are on the other side of the table as shown. In most games, you can get something like this pretty easily. If you can, you want to take LAST TURN. Let your opponent go first.
What do you do now that you have the loot the way you want it? Here is what I do. I place my 10 man tactical squad on Loot 1 in cover. I arrange my Lascannon so that he is actually out of cover on the table with the best angle on the table. Be sure that no matter what, as this squad takes casualties, the last man standing is on that counter. From this point I set my attack. The two counters on the right are basicly out of play, and my opponent can have them. I am not going to waste resources and split my force trying to take 24 square feet of table, when I only need to take 12 square feet to win. Most opponents will usually split their forces, sending some to take the two on the right, while sending others to try to take the 3in my triangle... Let them, the ones taking the 2 will be basicly useless and out of the game. Note, I did not say forget about thsoe two for the whole game... Try to save a fast moving vehicle for later.
Now for the rest of your forces. I place my Tactical squad, then the rest of my troops around that point. I roll my Vindicator right into cover with the Tacticals. As you can see in the illustration, the vindicator will have complete fireing range on 2 and 3. Also, I placed loot 3 intentionally in open space. Let your opponents go for it! The Vindicator should make short work of them. I will deploy my Baal Pred to the right of Loot 1, with the attack bike and speeder supporting it. My troop Rhinos will be deployed to the left. They are going to make a sweeping angle to the right, fanning out into a 3 pronged formation and claiming the objectives. I will roll the rhinos right up onto the objectives, and keep the squad inside. But I dont move them out until turn 3 or so. My Rhinos are fast enough to make it where ever I want by turn 5 so no need to expose them to fire yet.
In the meantime, My DC in their Rhino, Dante and the two Dreads are going to deploy somewhere in between my Baal and my Troops, in the left corner and march. The DC Rhino is going to lead the charge and I am going to do my best to keep the dreads and Dante within 12" of it. The DC Rhino is going to roll up to Loot 2 and Dante and the dreads are going to head that way as well, sweeping over loot 3 on the way. They are the spear tip, hammer and anvil. With my hard ass assaulters moving up to clear out whatever feeble forces my opponent has put there to try to take 2 and 3, supported by the Baal, Speeder and Attack Bike, my Troop Rhinos should easily make it to their locations with at least one rhino intact.
So, all has gone well. After 4 turns of furious fighting, my assaulters have done their job and taken Loot 2 and 3. My Rhinos have moved into position and are either sitting functional on counters, or destroyed with troops using them as cover and holding objectives. I should have at least one rhino still functional... and hopefully at least one Death Company, and or Corbulo alive. By the end of turn 4, you want to plan for the game to end on 5. Get your DC and Corbs into an operational rhino, and get that rhino lined up for an 18" move to loot 5. I know I know, there is a lot that can go wrong here, but the plan is to move your Rhino with the DC to contest Loot 5, and if you are lucky, you can move your Baal and/or speeder or attack bike to contest Loot 4. If you were successful, you shouldnt have to do any of that since you should be firmly in control of 3 loot counters to your opponents 2.
On turn 5 you move out your contesters. Send whatever you have to get within range of your opponents counters. Tank Shock or Ram if you have to. Also, use whatever you have left, Dreads, Troops, Rhinos to form rings around the ones you own to stop your opponent from being able to do the same to you. It should be obvious where he will come from if at all, and you should be able to use your Rhinos and Dreads to protect the vulnerable counters. All you have to do is get them arranged so your opponent cannot get within 3 of the counter... Remember, he cannot get within 1 of you...
Hopefully at the end of turn 5, you own 3, and are contesting at least one of his. The game will be yours if it ends on a 1 or 2, AND you will be in good shape for turn 6 if it goes. He will have to not only have focus on trying to take your objectives, but now he has to try to retake his.
What happens if your opponent trys to set up and take your three just as you have? Good question... I am confident in my Blood Angels to be able to handle it. Your opponent will be gunshy from the Vindi and will get his stuff away. Rely on that to open up your 3 objectives. It is mandatory to get that Vindi within range of all 3, and use the Baal also. They both should be able to fire on Loot 1, 2, and 3 the entire game. If your Vindi gets knocked out fast, (and it probably will) no worries, it did its psychological job and helped you control the table. If it did not get destroyed and your opponent is foolish enough to try to take Loot 2 or 3... punish him.
Do these tactics work with other armies? Yes. You do need certain units though. A hard hitting and scary tank (Prism Cannon, Russ) to hold Loot 1 with a tough as nails troops squad supporting it and claiming. Fast moving troops to be able to get to the other objectives, and rock hard elite units to do the fighting, and clear out your opponents. (They dont have to survive, just win.) Finally you need something fast to contest. Obviously this works best for Eldar, Blood Angels and Drop Pods, but every army should have units that can fill these roles, though maybe not as well.
So, I hope that made some sense and you can use it to win! I will no doubt edit it once I have more time. JB