Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Astra Militarum Tactics: 3 tricks you can use in your next game

It was observed recently that often times when you see tactics threads, they are more like unit analysis threads.  They lack the "How to" element that makes a true tactical read.  In the spirit of responding positively to that, I thought I'd list four things you can do in your next game in order to maximize your chances of success.

The Age of Knights


Like it or not, Imperial Knights are a thing now and they are an official Codex, ending any debate over whether they are legal in normal Warhammer 40,000.  They are.

With that, I have personally witnessed the slaughter they can perpetrate and the unlikely comebacks they can cause.  They can do filthy amounts of damage to the bitter end and one is wise not to underestimate it.  In this new age of 375 point models, we need to rethink the value of some units. 

My suggestion for dealing with the Imperial Knights is this:  Don't be subtle. if your meta actually sees these monsters being used, you must fight fire with fire.

My suggestion is to reserve the Devildog Squadron and lure the Imperial Knight in the first two rounds to one side of the battlefield.  By placing them at the maximum range and isolating the Imperial Knight to one side it will have its shield towards one side only, probably towards its existing targets allowing you to easily maneuver BEHIND the shield.  The angle of your lure is of importance when you do this so make sure the charges it has to make are angled such that the sides of the Knights become exposed.  While the armor itself is still tough, you don't have to deal with the shield.  Use a very good shooting unit as bait.  One it can't ignore, and be willing to back it up rather than firing.  Confident in its victory the enemy wont allocate a lot of resources to killing a unit if the Imperial Knight is going "I got this, you guys do your things".  Once the bait is safe, you can use it to wreak ever more havoc.  being a lure is its first job so don't lose sight of that or your whole effort will be for nought.

Now this requires a very expensive unit, but take heart:  It's only necessary if the enemy is daring to bring these things in the first place.  Happily, the unit is also exquisite at  exterminating most any armored threat, TEQ threat and MEQ threat it wants.  So you're not exactly "wasting" points on the unit.  Most players are absolutely mortified at the prospect of pouring that many points into a Devildog Squadron and if you are, fine.  Just know that there are few units that are tougher than this one, that can reach as far as they can with as powerful a weapon as they can.

This same tactic can work albeit with less accuracy, using deep striking units, but to get the same killing power you need two really really good Deep Strikes.  Militarum Tempestus Command Squads can do this but it takes two of them and those squads alone cost as much as a Devildog and they will be killed with far more ease while requiring a near total commitment to the Militarum Scions as your bread and butter.  For the cost of the Taurox you can get the Auger Relay to make certain of the Deep Strike but...  the odds of it surviving to do that job are slim because it will lack the element of surprise and likely be wiped before you can set the trap.  The Devil Dog solution makes it essentially impossible for the enemy to  use your own luck against you.

Some would argue that the overall cost of the Vindetta is still worth it and is the answer to Imperial Knights.  But are you really going to count on a flyers limited movement to allow you to get into position for this shot and are its lascannons going to be better than short range melta shots?  No.

The tactical thing to do is angle your lead lure model so that the enemy is charging a very dangerous shooter and must turn its shield to face it so that the Devildogs can get their angle.

The Battle of Medina Ridge


In 1991, the largest armored battle in U.S. History occurred, called the Battle of Medina Ridge.  Iraqi forces deployed well, using the ridge to obscure themselves from longer range threats forcing the United States to fight in closer quarters.  Had the Iraqi's possessed anything like what the Imperial Guard have at their disposal, the story of that battle could have been quite different.  The United States tanks were built for range, as are many of the Imperiums enemies, and the defilade gave them less rounds to fire into the Iraqis so to speak, while allowing the Iraqi tanks to fire down on the approaching enemy while not having to deal with the movement issues. 

How do we make this happen?  First when Deploying, consider the terrain.  If going first, you wont want to be in motion, but instead firing.  To do so means a clearer lane to AND from the enemy.  This doesn't serve your purposes.  So you must BRING a ridge to the fight!  Your tanks can fire, weapons free, if you position your other units AND THE TERRAIN, to then use the shooting phase to form the ridge AFTER your Leman Russ's have had their say.  Inexpensive units can be used for this to form a reticle forthe more damaging tanks and they also then become guards against assault.  Armored Sintinels are superb for this purpose.  Fire the weapons through the reticle of terrain and walkers, then run them into the gaps so the enemy gets no such clear shots in return.

Commander Straken  can give the Armored Sintinels Counter attack which no longer requires a LD roll, and so with them you can create your own Battle of Medina ridge.

Rollin Rollin Rollin...


Has anyone yet noticed that you can get three Enginseers and connect them to a unit, fixing the wrecked systems in round one and joining them in being ejected in round 2?  Better yet they can have meltabombs!  And as Independent Characters, they can easily pass wounds or take them.

Further, in 7E, you can take a Crusader and stuff it with a Guard unit or just have the Battle Brother unit joined to them.  This means that unless the enemy can kill the Land Raider outright in one round of shooting, which is a serious feat given its 4 Hull Points and better ability to handle hits, that thing may never die.  That these COME stock with Power Axes means you can pretty much roll with confidence forward into many enemies head first and with considerable!  This is a rather indelicate but ultimately scary as hell way to go if you want to transport your Assault unit and give it all kinds of oomph.

Now consider that Land Raider Score!  I am somewhat in awe of the sheer difficulty it now takes to ruin that plan.  If the enemy loses any of its meltas early, it is in serious trouble to try and stop this from scoring Tactical Objectives and there aren't a lot of downsides to daring an enemy to come anywhere close enough to it to try something.

You can pretty much assault two units out of the Land Raider here plus ensure its survival.  So for example you can swing to one flank and then next round, drop both a unit of Enginseers and a unit of {fill in the blank awesome assault unit here} and have an excellent chance of annihilating two or more vehicles with the Multicharge.  Eldar Mech spam is rendered fairly useless against that until someone gets out but by then they are being blown to bits by grenades and satchel charges.

 Prioritizing STR 9+ weapons as targets early will be important.  So stay frosty and nuke them.  this is why a flank swing might be the wiser choice.  you may not hit AS primo a target the round you eject BUT you can make up the diff in subsequent rounds and the enemy wreckage can hide you or else you can tie yourself up if you think its worth it of a round.  Just make sure you're strong enough to break free on their turn.  By doing that you don't get shot in their shooting phase, then you break them in their assault phase and look around for fresh meat as you begin YOUR next turn.

Anywho, have fun and let me know how these things work out for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment