Sunday, 16 December 2012

I would walk 500 inches: Part III

And it's time for Part III in the footsloggers 'tactica' I have been composing. So far I've talked about the positives and negatives of transports and footslogging and examined a list to see the ideas behind unit choices. Now, I will move on to:
  • General Deployment ideas
  • The Power of the Mind

So without further ado:

General Deployment

Always use pushy sticks. Always.
So when we look at a gaming table with regards to footslogging, what do we have to see?

Well, we have to take a little look at the opponents list to see if it is:
a) fighty
b) shooty
c) fast
d) all of the above

Starting with a) fighty:

For a look at the list I will be using for foot sloggers, see this post here:

Hopefully this is big enough. It's not the size of your diagram...

Let's look at Orks. What better for a fighty force? Of course, I haven't put a whole Ork list on here, just the bits that I focus mainly on in deployment, the rest of the force may fall into the shooty category for example but here I'm highlighting how I plan to deal with an aggresive force.

Now, when I've fought Orks in the past, Battlewagons and Trukks have been used to transport large Boy squads into combat (and Nobs in the case of Battlewagons). Now, this naturally means they're going to be coming straight for me. This is good, because it counters my speed disadvantage. However, if they get to me in any number, my combat capabilities are nowhere near good enough to deal with that. This is why I've deployed slightly further forward. My whole force (bar the Dread) has only 24" and I need to make that count. If I go first, I will edge into range and hit the Trukks with my psycannon and storm bolters. Why not the Battlewagons? my chances of taking them out rely entirely on s7 rending and 1 lascannon. With the Trukks I have S4 & 5 bolters to help out and I need to reduce the amount of Orks making it into combat straight away.

As I've alluded to, this force can't stop them all from getting to your lines. And whatever they hit is going to be hurt pretty badly. I've positioned my Purifiers on my right flank facing the warbikers, this would be my standard reaction to a fast, fighty 'infantry' squad (anything with a Toughness and Wounds characteristic). This is because with S4 bolters they're not likely to do much to vehicles other than ping a Hull Point or two (best case scenario), but against 'infantry' they have a fair chance of doing some damage, followed by d3 incinerator overwatch and 2 I6 hopefully S5 halberd attacks they can probably put up a good fight (long enough to send in help if needed). I say S5 because against small units it's better than Cleansing flame. If I can keep one or two alive I'll send them into the large Ork squads to Cleansing flame them, they aren't scoring so in most missions are sacrificial. On the whole, Once they hit combat I'll try to funnel them onto the Dread/5-man SS/Purifiers to absorb the charge before getting a counter attack from the BroChamp Termies. With the rerolls they can be pretty sure of winning against a unit. It's a matter of containing the assault  but that's a discussion for a different time.

On to b) shooty

looks a little one sided here. Crush those 10 guys my little supersoldiers!

This one just looks like I've slid my men over to the other side but there is a point to it. Most shooty opponents will have a few big, static guns. If not static then at least slow anyway. Now as these have a huge range (and I only have an effective 30" range) then there is realistically little way I'm going to be able to avoid them. Therefore, I will deploy directly opposite where they will be because they need to be silenced fast. If you're not in range, run(or if you can't hurt the shooty units, I'm speaking mainly of the purifiers here. This is especially important if you're looking at AP2 or even 3 as that is going to drastically reduce your survivability (for non-marine footlists, substitute in your own majority armour save). That's mainly it. Of course, for templates spread out, otherwise make sure you're close enough to be able to advance fairly quickly. The Dread is there in this instance to lascannon for most of the game but assault once you can (S10 can solidly trash most vehicles) so advance with the force. The large SS and termies are most central because if objectives come up then you will need these to be able to head over and grab them. Don't move them all the way forward because of this, the purifiers and Dread are fairly safe to just sprint over.

Now, c) fast

sadly, that's nowhere near enough venoms to be accurate enemies. Once again the deployment appears quite similar to the above but slid along, mostly this is because with small forces (like many Grey Knight armies) I've come to realise that you need to stay together to support each other. If you try and spread this list out it can be picked apart too easily, particularly as it is foot so cannot redeploy fast enough to counter this. The main idea here is to grab the middle ground. Venoms are an absolute nightmare for this list as their inbuilt Night Shields reduce my 24" range to a paltry 18"! Catching them is a huge problem. For this reason the dread is away from the Ravagers. These are it's main threat but, only pumping out 3 shots each a turn they aren't so much of a worry for most of my squads. It's not good losing three-ish marines a turn but it could be worse. Keep the termies away too, that's a small squad that would much rather use its 2+ against Venoms than 5+ against Dark Lances. So, hit the middle ground, you can't just run up a flank because the Venoms can very quickly jet to the other side and shoot away without any chance of you catching them. For this reason shut down their movement. From the middle you can push some of them into corners and beat them down. Remember to run too to get there quickly. Also expect the Dread to die. It's got the only big gun in the list and it's the only AV for any Dark Lances, it will get killed eventually. Try to keep it out of sight of most of the enemy so it doesn't get overwhelmed too quickly. Remember, mobility is your enemy, just shut there's down. Once something's immobilised you can leave it in preference to other targets if they're in range. You can hunt the rest down later.

d) All of the above

Well, I guess this would be 'most' of the above as you'd be unlucky to fight large amounts of every one of these options. Just remember to support your own units. Keep an eye on objectives and deal with the biggest threats first. This is standard tactics and is very much subjective to the precise foes you are against. I may expand more on this at a later date.

The Power of the Mind

Was this your card?
So what is this mystical Power of the Mind to which I have been alluding? Well, it's nothing magical or superhuman (sadly). Basically, with this kind of list, your men are going to get shot. A lot. And die. That's a fact, your men will die in fair amounts. You have to accept this when you put your little plastic legion onto the table. If you spend the whole game trying to keep your people perfectly safe you are going to be disappointed. I did this in a game against Melons not long ago. I succeeded in prolonging some of their lives but I was whittled down and eventually destroyed. Just think 'to hell with this' and go for it. Once you have a plan just go for gold. This sounds simple and it is, you just have to remember to do it. It's only a game.

*disclaimer* this doesn't mean forgo survival plans/cover. Just make sure hugging cover isn't dictating your game, you need to be active and pursue victory. Not passive and let your opponent take the initiative and the win.

I hope this article has been of some use to you. I will revisit this series at some point in the future, for now I bid you adieu. Game on!

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