Thursday, August 4, 2016

Movement as a weapon.

I have kind of seen movement as a weapon for a long time.  It was SO clearly illustrated to me in my last game that I felt compelled to post about its virtue.

There is an incredibly potent build for Space Wolves that is being used by Chancy Rickey (you can look for him in the ITC rankings).  It is very good.  VERY fast and it hits like a truck.  I really mean it.  That list will crack the skulls of anything and anyone it reaches.

Having said that, it is hyper aggressive and in your face as lists go.  And so I decided, playing Dark Eldar (and at that, kind of a hodge podge Dark Eldar force) that I would attempt to get him to chase into me as he is already wont to do...and then...  use units to interminably fence him in from going back towards their objective!  My shooting wasn't overly impressive in the force (2 venoms plus kabalites inside, two Ravagers, 3 Raiders with Lances and a Voidraven Bomber that could come in later) but it was potent enough to give him pause about letting me shoot him for too long.  His 3+ invuls made my shots far less valuable but still...

This worked very well.  It required that I be willing to sacrifice vehicles, and then units inside but the important part of the equation wasn't what I was losing (and it was a lot).  The Equation favored me in only one way:  where and when I was losing them.  So in round 2 he rushed at me on the left flank when his pods showed up and were ready to join the grand melee.  In turn three he was massacring my Beastpack but they managed to turn four, both my ravagers which moved between him and the objectives died horribly...  and in round 5 my Beast pack which had run away, came back to block him again.  The Bomber joined in on the merriment as well, slaying his entire Devastator squad just so he would have to crack my vehicles the hard way.  I used other units being blown out of transports to form rainbows and blockade his other units in similar fashion to the Beastpack.  While I was hopelessly outgunned in melee (and I took a melee force!) I refused to compete with him on his ground and give in to my urges to charge him in most cases, preferring to stall and impede until the very end of the game when the Power From Pain chart was in full bloom.

This worked.  The final score was 21-0.

There are many more times when movement has serves as a way to penalize over aggressive enemy units.  Null deployment kind of draws the enemy to disparate corners of the board in order to flood them from behind with firepower they cannot then get back to in time to stop.

The concept of simply BEING somewhere is exemplified in Multiple Small Unit (MSU) strategies also.  I took 23 point Crisis Teams with nothing on them and used them to negate enemy scoring in a bunch of places during ITC missions.  Going second made those little guys pay off.  The resources used to kill one suit were, needless to say, exorbitant in some cases.

Yet another good way movement can be a weapon is to play the falling retreat game.  By pushing something up that cant compete, the enemy is forced to slow down to kill it rather than speed up and kill it.  When you force that decision with something, the enemy cannot possibly know how their shooting will go so they have to decide if they want their assault unit to handle it or just to keep pushing the field and hope the shooting doesn't go poorly.  Should they opt to move around the obstacle instead of charging it you've done some good.  Then when the unit is sent packing you just regroup, spread out and block again, running instead of shooting when necessary to regain the position.  this works better with Space Marine Forces of course but it can be used with others if their initiative is high enough to handle the fall backs.

Ablating the enemy's choices can be as good as ablating wounds at times and I really enjoy the movement part of the game.

Think about how you can maneuver and gain an advantage over superior hyper aggressive units.  I think that we get very wrapped up in kill ratios and damage output and the like as far as discussion goes but sometimes the best weapon is where and when you are.  Some enemies simply will not be overcome by strength of arms.  When you see that, you can despair...or strike!


  1. Thanks for writing a great article! I also love the aspect of movement in games and hope to read more about this in the future.

    1. thanks for the input. You likely will. its a theme in many places here. Maybe not as blatantly as this.

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  3. So you have baited his aggressive melee units to move towards/charge your units and then cordoned the points off with whatever remained to score 21-0?

    1. Yes. he essentially dropped his pods on me and his Jump packs to three of the four corners of the board, where I was deployed, with vastle superior melee units. His other units were holding the center because of the objective. So once he had me "cornered, I zoomed free of the area with as much as i could, and used the rest to engage or slow him down and keep him "over there" as long as i could. He could not get back to the objective with a fair amount of his force and it allowed me to Overwhelm the center with the units i had posted away from the main group. Losses were heavy as i had to essentially sacrifice vehicles and units just to put them in his way and he had more than enough melee firepower to simply destroye them. But the mission was flawlessly executed. =)

    2. Also, my spelling isn't normally this terrible... But, sometimes it is. Lol

  4. Love it,great little read. Keep them coming friend, I check back often and I'm always glad I did ☺


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