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Monday, June 21, 2010

Back to Basics: Part 1: Moving units


Hey guys, BroLo here! Thanks to Kirby for giving me a stage on which to humiliate myself. For some reason he's invited me (well, I think forced is probably the most accurate term) to post something on his blog. I'm not sure what to be honest, but I'm always up for a challenge.
Anybody that knows me should know I'm still lacking experience in 40k 5e. I played briefly in 3rd, skipped all of 4th and only started playing again just under a year ago. I've been pretty fortunate having some good players at my local club and I was lucky to be directed to some of the more 'enlightened' sources on the Internet - props to Messanger of Death - keep it up big-guy!

I've been interested in doing something similar to the 'Basics' articles posted here on 3++, but taking it even further 'back-to-basics'. Broader concepts are extremely important but the execution of a strategy also requires much finer detail. I'm going to attempt a series of posts that are aimed at people coming into the game and trying to develop from the most basic level.

My first is going to be on model placement. This is relevant to all of the phases of in the game as model movement is involved, as well as deployment. I'll try and use examples where I can, as I'm pretty terrible at explaining myself.

Okay... I'm a big fan of snooker and pool because of the incredible amount of forethought involved. 40k takes this to a whole new level, as your opponent will always have a go in-between yours. You may say this is more like chess, but as chess is boring (read: I'm bad at it) I'm going to stick with snooker. It is vital that you are always thinking ahead. Moving your stuff so you have line of sight is probably the most obvious example of this, but you also need to prepare yourself for your opponent's turn and your own next turn (etc etc.). Model placement is vital for this.

My first example is something I saw on Vassal a few weeks back. A unit of foot harlequins were deployed within 6" of Eldrad ready to be fortuned at the beginning of their turn (going 2nd). It just so happened that the Shadowseer was placed furthest away from Eldrad. When some wolves started dropping shots into the unit, wounds were placed on the regular Harlies and were removed from the Eldrad end - maintaining coherency. Come the Footdar turn, the Harlequins were no longer in range for Fortune. No biggie, the player realised the mistake immediately and I'm sure we've all made a similar mistake at some point. But there is a pretty simple way around this. If the Shadowseer had been placed next to Eldrad, it would never have happened. There are not many units that can put sufficient wounds on the squad in shooting to force you to place one on the Shadowseer, so the chances are, he'll be there next turn. Yes it doesn't matter if you do make the mistake, remove whichever models you please (you don't have to maintain coherency when taking wounds/removing models), but if you are taken out of coherency, your movement is forced in the next turn and if a bottle test forces you to 'Fall Back', you'll find yourself out of coherency and unable to attempt to rally.

Second example is something I've done (badly) before. When moving through area terrain, most people place models thinking about lanes of fire and keeping half of the unit in cover - which is very important - but don't think beyond that. What happens when you start taking wounds? Which models are going to take saves and be removed? I've seen many people just place any old models in cover and when injuries need to be assigned are forced into making difficult decisions. Remove the models that are keeping the unit in cover or risk putting wounds on those valuable members of the unit. So, that Sergeant or meltagun that is/are going to do nothing in the shooting phase are better off placed in terrain, that way, they can stay alive AND keep those models outside of terrain 'in' it.

The third example I'm going to discuss is about preparing for an assault. Again, more veteran players will have no problem with this. When I first got back into 40k, my over-zealousness made me push all of my guys as close to my opponent without any thought beyond actually getting into combat. With time I've started to think and plan assaults a lot more. Part of the planning is knowing exactly what you're assaulting (which is difficult for newbies, but there is no harm in asking your opponent what you're getting yourself in for) and the other part is rules knowledge. I'll discuss the rules part first as it's the easiest.

As we all know the order of movement is...

1. Declare assault
2. Closest to closest (rolling for difficult/dangerous terrain) using shortest possible route
3. As many models into BtB with unengaged models
4. As many models into BtB with already engaged models
5. As many within 2" of a friendly model within BtB with an enemy model
6. Defenders react

Steps 2-4 are the important ones here and mean that an assault HAS to be planned in the movement phase. If I put my powerfist sergeant at the front of the unit in the movement phase I have no say in which model I assault with him. If I put him one model back I can chose who I can assault which is important for engaging ICs with power/insta-kill weaponry. The other part to point 2 has given me draws in tournament games where I should have lost. If it is at all possible, leave your path for assault clear of are terrain. There is nothing worse than rolling snake eyes for a 2" assault that you could've avoided. If you've not done this, trust me, I have and it's annoying.

Points 3 and 4 are also all about planning. The best example I have of this is with my BT terminators assaulting those nasty lash whip 'nids. My lightning claws really don't like gaining some initiative just for it to be whipped of them by a lash whip tyrant. So, when I move my raider up I have to think a little about the assault ahead of me. If I move as close as possible and unload, it's likely they'll all be in base-to-base. If I move about 7-8" away and drop off my thunder hammer terminators in front I'm all good. The hammers can make base-to-base, the Ini5 lightning claws can't.... shame! Whip those initiative 1 thunder hammers all you please, the claws are about to pwn you (sorry Chumb)!

Anyways, like I said, nothing new for most experienced players, but I think it's little things like this that can really change games and I've seen even the most 'veteran' of players making very basic mistakes.

That brings an end to this first instalment. Thanks for getting this far. Please add anything you please, or tell me if my logic is incorrect. Fancy another dose of the 'basic' medication?

22 pinkments:

Kirby said...

I heavily encouraged... I never forced! Good article Loring, and I think setting up assaults is really important. Usage of tank shocks (or just tank hulls) and spreading out your unit (or self-blocking) can change the face of a combat and allows you to dictate how many models engage, etc.

Maybe do that for your next article :P?

Brother Loring said...

Don't ruin the surprise Kirby!

Chumbalaya said...

Even if I had to suffer for this knowledge, it was well worth it.

Good stuff Brolo {^}

Matt Varnish said...

I love how Brother Loring states he is a newb in that he just got back into the hobby, and already knows how to play better than 90% of the morons on some unnamed forums out there.

Here is another tip, when assaulting a vehicle in order to block the doors (eldar skimmer and chimeras especially) make sure get all the way around with other units.. reason is: if you blow up the vehicle on a 5, they can still deploy PAST the door, or out the fron end, as unrealistic as that is, using Emergency Disembarkation. Sure, the unit is pinned for next turn, but its better than being dead, and if it is late game, even while pinned they can contest an objective.

Tyler said...

Matt- they are pinned for THAT player turn. (The rules are written badly, check yourself) so it really doesn't hurt at all to emergency embark, because it goes away the next player turn (yours)

Maiku said...

It says turn actually... In other parts of the rulebook, it does state specifically "Player Turn" when it means Player turn. Thus, since in the emergency disembarkation entry when it says "...rest of the turn" it means a full turn.

Please correct me if I'm wrong somewhere but that's how I'm reading it.

Tyler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tyler said...

pg 67- "... the models are deployed anywhere winthin 2" of the vehicle's hull, but the unit can't do anything else for the rest of the turn"

pg. 9- "whenever a rule uses the word 'turn', both in this rulbeook and the codexes, it means 'player turn'. otherwise it will clearly state 'game turn'."

Stupid oversight? Most likely. Are there a lot of other things in 40k that also don't make sense? You bet. So unfortunately it is a rule that is pretty useless. /:

Smurfy said...

Or, you could go with the intent of the rule, but that's too far for some folks because RAW is RAW?

Tyler said...

If I go into a competitive/tournament game, the argument between RAW/RAI usually isn't worth it, so I have the expectation that it will be RAW. I'm not going to try and tell my opponent that his units cannot do anything in his own turn when I know for a fact that the rules state otherwise.


Once you pass into RAI, its difficult to draw the line, and I hate those intense rules arguments in the middle of the game, that just make the rest of it awkward. lol.

Tyler said...

But if you are with a buddy, or things are clarified beforehand (like I usually have to with my all reserves tyranid army) then sure, RAI to your heart's content. :]

E said...

Looking forward to another dose of "newb medicine" Loring, it's more helpful with my ailments then expected.

Have an internet cookie, on me.

Cheers
E
http://es-paintedminis.blogspot.com/

Messanger of Death said...

I <3 you too Brother Loring

How about you edit this* and put it up in BnC (can use pictures from Vassal to illustrate what your saying).

Messanger

*like change noob to neophyte... we are knights and should not lower ourselves to such insulting terms as noob or coward ;)

Smurfy said...

I personally, even competitively, go with intent.

Argue to me in a decent way why your Troops crawling through the cracks of their misshapen tank remains and fully ready to charge within mere seconds, go ahead, it doesn't fly and I'm sure ate competitive events, people would go with the RAI there, if not, people know you're "That Guy" and label you as such.

I donno about you, but I like a friendly AND competitive game of 40k, not a "I'm a douche and abuse rules" 40k.

Smurfy said...

Hell, I helped my Nid opponent in the GW "competitive" event yesterday a lot and the guy was like "You shouldn't be helping me, I'm your foe here."

"Yeah, well I would feel like a twat if I forgot some basic rules too, and I want a good close game more than a massacre, dammit! Challenge is better than no challenge!"

Good times :)

grav said...

I seriously don't get why you think the intent here would be that the units cannot move for a game turn. Wouldn't it simply read "they are auto-pinned"

Surely you must also realize that that would be far worse than the destroyed-explodes result.

Brother Loring said...

@Matt -thanks for the compliment. I doubt I'm that good, but cheers. I'm alright with the theory, just not so great with the execution, it's coming though.

@E - I like cookies! Very pretty minis... I may steal a pic for the next one if you don't mind!

@MoD - Maybe we'll have to start an interwebz bromance? That is sort of the aim, just need somewhere to help with refining it... I'm sure Kirby would love the hits too!

With regards to the pinned debate... I'd have to say I think RAI is pinned, but have to agree, by RAW it is not. I play it as pinned, but that's me. @grav...it should be worse, surely!

If I've got guys surrounding your transport and just wrecked it... good luck with me not cutting you up as you try to get out. If I've got one guy at the front of the vehicle and just boshed it, it'll blow-up and we'll all be pretty confused before anything else kicks off. Simple really. Shame GW don't think so.

Anyways, thanks for the comments guys, I planned to do one article on assaulting vehicles, guess I'm going to have to now.

Now to go and read about how to Rodeo!

Brother Loring said...

Oh... and sorry Chumby! I forgot to add that the footdar nearly won that game too!

Kirby said...

I haven't done a Rodeo How To yet :p.

Brother Loring said...

Blood Rodeo is not the only kind of Rodeo Kirby! Why do you always think everything is about you?

=P

Kirby said...

Egocentric.

Messanger of Death said...

Hehe are you asking me on a date Brother Loring? Maybe we should start our on blog*.

Messanger

*I can steal you away from Kirby... all he cares about is himself (he does look cute and cuddly though)

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