Faces of Death. How to take advantage of "Facing."

Want to see your opponent's face turn green, blue, then explode? Try this!

First of all, as Flekkso pointed out in my last post, and I agree, you should at least offer to explain "Facing" before the game starts. It will help to bring a photo copy of page 60, or even try to print out my illustrations if you can. At least offering will let you off the hook for sportsmanship points. "Dude, I know you want to kill me, but I'm not being a dick! I tried to go over this before the game started..."

Now. A Jawaballs post would not be complete without me saying how I use rules to win games. Want to take advantage of "Facing"? Here is a quick tip or two.

Butt the front of your tank up against low walls. Your opponent will try to get angles to take shots at your sides, but will probably, for at least one of his shots, still be in your front facing. He will attempt to minimize his exposure, while getting a side shot on you. It happens all the time. You can still fire your turret over the wall, but you will get a 3+ save because he is in your front facing. If he starts to come around the wall and you have room, slide over a bit and draw him out more. If you can, rotate your tank a little, keeping the front hidden but side exposed. He will try to get the shot, but hopefully still be in front facing. This will only work for a turn or two fellas, and will not work all the time. Remember, this is not an instant win tactic, it is just a way to get an extra round of survivability out of your tanks. That can make all the difference.

What about boards that have very little cover? Luckily for me I bring my own. This is not so great in Kill Point missions, but in capture and control, this is effective. Lets look at my illustration. Forgive the colors, they were Yellow Blue and Red, but something happened when I brought them over. Blood Angels have a sweet advantage in that their tanks have Over Charged Engines. They can sometimes move up to 18". This is great because it allows nice flexibility for moving your tanks.

At the start of movement, my opponent had a Rhino and Predator tank in the open. There is very little terrain on the board. I moved my rhino into its current position and popped smoke. I then moved my Baal Pred right up behind the rhino, perfectly hiding its front facing behind the transport, BUT leaving the turret and sponsons exposed! With my Lascannon Tactical marines about 2 feet off the edge of the illustration, I popped the rhino. (The marines conveniently got out in front of my tanks for illustration purposes.) Now, I have options! I can bring all of my Preds guns to bear on the poor tactical marines. The right sponson may have a hard time targeting, but I can certainly fire the left, and the turret as well as Storm Bolter. This will be 12 shots raining down on those marines. Substitute a Chimera and Guardsmen and they will get no saves at all! Or I can take my assault cannon shots at the front armor of the enemy predator. Knowing how I play, I will probably take the shots at the infantry and at least force a leadership, while my other preds take care of the tank.

Here is the kicker! On my opponents next turn. He will be shooting at my front facing if he attempts to shoot my Predator. (Unless of course if he moves... I made this a tight illustration for well... illustration purposes... most of the time the enemy tanks will be further away and not as close to the "facing" line, leaving them in the front facing after they move 6".) Remember, most tanks cannot move and fire all their guns. A marine predator tank with Lascannon sponsons will probably just rotate and fire all of its guns.

If he shoots my predator, I will get a 3+ save because the rhino is completely blocking the front facing! I will at least get 4+ save if he tries to shoot the rhino instead... But then that is like giving my Predator a wound!

How can you apply this to your tactics? With a little thought I'm sure you can work it in. I have created a moving Rhino line. 3 Rhinos lined up next to each other, with a few inches in between, and butted my 3 predators right behind them. Now the rhinos move up, and angle themselves taking "Facing" into account, and the preds move up and take their positions behind them. Some can pop smoke, and using fast vehicle movement switch out with fresh rhinos that are coming in from behind. Be sure to leave "bail out" room if you have troops inside your rhinos. :)

Is this cheating? Well, in World War II the American Sherman Tank was fast and thinly armored like a Baal Predator. German Tigers were like Land Raiders. The Americans were NOT going to win a gun fight with Tiger tanks. So they had to use their speed and movement to give each other cover! I am willing to bet that they may have even run less important vehicles up in front of their tanks and fired over the top of them in an effort to give themselves more cover from those German 88s.

Were either side cheating? Hell no! It's war. So is 40k.



The_King_Elessar said...

For Eldar players, it is easy to place a Wave Serpent in front of a Fire Prism or Falcon, preventing the enemy clear shots, but allowing you to shoot back.

A quality follow-up here Jawaballs.

jawaballs said...

I prescheduled this as a followup to yesterdays discussion before it was complete. After all of the comments, it was decided that even though a tank could have its entire front facing blocked, it could still be targeted due to its turret, therefore only granting a 4+ coversave. In order for a tank to get the 3+ cover save, it needs to be untargetable from the front facing...

Now, Rhinos can take advantage of this by hiding behind Baal Predators though. Often times guys will try to zap rhinos to eliminate the ability to contest, and ignore tanks. So keeping them noze up to a Predators backside will just about always grant them a 3+ save... provided that the shooter is in the front facing.

Again... this stuff is not game breaking... just smart tacitcal touches to give you a nice advantage for a turn.

TheDietmar66 said...

40k is a game of army composition, strategy and tactics. All of these factors work within the context of the rules. Being well versed in the meaning and application of the rules simply allows you a knowledge of what can and cannot be done on the tabletop by both you and your opponent.

If someone applies a rule that you don't know, view it as a learning experience and try to incorporate it into future games.

On a side note, have you tried sniper scouts with Telion in your 2k BA? I have found a measure of success with them even against other marines.

jawaballs said...

Can't use Telion in Blood Angels armies, and BA scouts really suck because they do not grant Death Company models! I would love to use him though.

pissclams said...

Heh plus in WW2 it was a case of quantity over quality. I think we would field an overwelming force of 10-1 tanks.

Chris wouldnt you still only get a 4+ cover for the pred directly behind a rhino if you can see the front vector of the turret over the rhino ?

pissclams said...

late post... i see your post on my above question chris. no need to comment.

ctreleheb said...

I find a great way to solve facing issues for both players is to keep a length of small string in you box so when discrepancies occur it is easily solved. You and the opponent just pull the string tight and place it above each corner of the target tank and see which side the guns fall on at a distance. This is the same as the illustration pictured except is easy for anyone to see on the tabletop with no one getting angry, the string doesn't lie or care whos tank is being targeted.

jawaballs said...

Yah I addressed that in a comment here... I wrote this post yesterday before we were finished discussing the other post.

Flekkzo said...

WW2 was also a quality assurance war. The formidable King Tigers broke down insanely often. Imagine having a 40k vehicle with massive firepower, armor 30 all around, and each round you roll a dice and on 5+ the thing breaks down on the spot.

Plus the rule books were widely different from 40k:P

I'd love to hear some more about vehicles and terrain. Terrain is always the part that takes the longest for me to learn:)

pissclams said...

Chris and i had an interesting issue regarding terrain and a vehical.

One of his rhinos had crossed difficult terrain. When the squad inside had dissembarked i was able to see under a portion of his tank. I wasnt clear as to weather i could target it. I diidnt think i could. However vchris cleared up the issue claiming i could target his squad.

These are the differences between 4th and 5th edition that sort of continue to get muddled. TLOS can be weird .. however once fully understood and accepted it makes things alot easier game wise.

jawaballs said...

Yah, the tank was up on a terrain piece, and slightly angled... the guys disembarked on the far side, but he could still see a couple due to the angle of the tracks...

TLoS means if you can see em, you can shoot em. Period. I get cover save though.

Sabb said...

Great topic Chris! It's one of those rules that most people overlook, and then call shenanigans on. If I remember correctly, you can hide the Pred's front behind a Landraider. Works great for Vindicators that first turn

Since this is a blog with good traffic, you might want to open up the "assaulting multiple squads" rules if you haven't already(being blood angels and all). I still get some cock-eyed looks when I do it. Not that they don't know you CAN, just that they don't know HOW it works. . Good thing I don't play like a D-Bag

The "1 inch away" assaulting through cover is another great debate my store is currently giving me shit for(in a fun way). I'd be interested to see your reader's PoV on it.

jawaballs said...

1" away? What ya mean? I spoke about assaulting multiple targets once before, don't remember where, but I will write a post on it and make a nice illustration! :)

Sabb said...

"1 inch Away"
The debate is:

If I'm assaulting into cover and start 1 inch away, even if you roll double 1's you can still get into assault(says in the rule book under the assaulting through cover heading). What gets funny is if you can say to your opponent, "Oh I'm stopping 1 inch away from your squad." Lets be honest, unless you have a micrometer, it's next to impossible to measure exactly one inch so that if you roll double 1's you can still assault. . .
Let's just say I'm packing a micrometer for the next tourney.

Big Bro's and Big Sister's Tourney is definitely Sept 12th. We'll have even more of the new terrain finished. It seemed like everyone at 'Ard Boyz Semis loved it.

jawaballs said...

That is just douchebagedness to the extreme. Don't just say it, measure it. You have to any way to make sure you are 1" away from his model. That way no matter what you got the assault. Really, any DB that will even make you roll if you are that close needs a slap. In most cases, if the guy is a tad short, shooting or assaulting, I will always give it to him, unless he is a DB! I can't imagine dudes messing with you though. You are NOT a DB. I am working up a nice post on multiple assaulting. I will have it posted tomorrow!

The_King_Elessar said...

The reason you'd still have to roll is bc you may not have Grenades.

If, for instance, you assault me with Dire Avengers, and I'm in cover, I'll make you roll, because that's what the rules say.

As for the turret - your gun cannot be targeted. If they can't see the turret for the gun in the way...tough.

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