Mind Games: Forcing your opponent to choose.

The other night, when playing a Tau player, I realized that some times I employ a nice little mind freak that I have in part touched upon previously but I felt warranted it's own post. Here was the setup.

The Tau player had all of his guns lined up on his edge of the board thanks to Dawn of War deployment. He knew he would be facing my 5 Rhinos and 3 Predators among other things as they came onto the table in my turn, and he knew that I would be unable to reach him. I forgot to mention that I deployed a rhino and Dante behind cover to begin the game.

Turn one came, and all of my stuff moved onto the table as far as I could. The problem was that I would need at least one full turn of movement before I could return fire, and he would have up to two full turns of shooting during which he could cut down my rhinos like they were made of paper. My solution? I fed him a Rhino and Dante.

On the bottom of one, I fast moved the rhino I had deployed up to within 18" or so of his edge, and jumped Dante over to hide on the right side of it. Then I popped smoke. This rhino was right smack in the middle of the table and was carrying a 5 man combat squad... it was now on an objective. I had no delusions of it surviving the turn... but it did not have to. The point is that I forced my opponent to make a choice. He could:

A. Shoot his guns at this rhino and Dante because if he did NOT kill them, they would surely be on top of his troops.

B. Shoot his guns at my transports, leaving my troops stranded in the open and easy pickings for his missles.

Now, if he chose to ignore Dante and pop my transports, sure Dante would have gotten into his lines and tore it up... but what he did not quite realize was that Dante is not the strength of my army... my fast moving transports are! So he fired every gun he had at the first rhino and Dante. He actually failed to kill Dante due to some lucky dice on my part!

What did this do for me? Now my transports had a chance. I was able to fast move them the next turn up into cover and into lanes of blocked line of sight from his rail guns. He had missed his opportunity to stop them cold, and I was in position to win the game.

How do you translate this into your own games? First of all, pick a unit that has high survivability, coupled with a unit that is expendable. In this case, I took Dante and one of 5 of my troops choices. Then move the expendable unit up as far as you can to provide cover for your survivable one. Storm Shield terminators deep striking next to a rhino, or a fast moving seer council next to a Wave Serpent would be good. Use the transport to block LoS from as much as you can. In my case, I angled it to block about 60 percent of his guns from targeting Dante. He had to blow it up to get to him...

Now you cross your fingers! In this situation, he exploded up the rhino on his first shot. If you are lucky, he will simply destroy it and your troops can disembark into relative safety. In my case, with the rhino gone, my marines went down fast and Dante suffered more shots then he should have... but his 2+ save and 4+ invulnerable saved him! I knew I was going to lose the rhino and troops, but hoped that Dante could survive... and he did.

With Dante alive, any thing he did from that point was bonus. I sacrificed him to give my transports a chance to move. Now he was able to get up into it, destroy a squad, survive yet another round of shots, and die to a fire warrior charge... but we wont mention that. The second round of shots that he sucked up were the cake though. They are what won the game for me.

So there you go! A perfect example of my mind games in practice. Sacrifice a juicy target to give the rest of your army a chance to do their jobs.

I will add that the next round, I moved my Death company rhino with Corbulo into that same position, to fill the same role. I did not want him shooting at my troops, so I fed him the DC. The Rhino got popped, not exploded, and they got out on the safe side, and hunkered down. Now I had a nice LoS blocking heap of slag in the middle of the table, and my troops were able to move up unmolested.


Fritz said...


Mitch said...

Thats a great idea actully!


Docrailgun said...

I used to run my DC outside a Rhino, but with a Chaplain and 2 DC Furiosos behind them. My opponents ALWAYS shot at the DC models until they were dead, no matter that the Dreads were much more of a threat.

Even inside a Rhino, opponents shoot at the DC first when I mention that they are in such and such transport.

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