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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Vassal BatRep on Blocking

Well my mate of mine who is starting 40k read over all the rage and pinkness about blocking recently. Let’s look at his overarching comment:

“I agree although I haven't played. Smurfy did seem to be making a few assumptions though, but it's hard to say without having played myself.”


“He kinda assumed he'd just be able to do it, where as the other people were suggesting there was more to it than that. Also I think Wyddr's posts were actually a bit better as Smurfy kinda lost his temper... always a turn off = p but the logic of blocking a really powerful unit with a shitty unit seems like a common sense thing…”

So a nice rational outside opinion; I think we agree Smurfy lost it *raises eyebrow* but that’s his way. Rational discussion is the way here and we can link outside to Dethtron for ensuing lols; its the internet afterall and Dethtron likes to make us laugh by pretending to go off his rocker (you do pretend right Dethtron...?). So I offered to do a mock battle on Vassal for my mate (1am FTW) to show him some of the principles discussed recently on the blog. MagicJuggler, Chub, Vinsanity, ETP & Loring were there as well and they made sure I didn't weigh one side, etc.. I’m writing this before the game happens so blocking may not even come into it but target priority certainly will. This is not a "haha you fail 40kO" because you're not listening to our points. This is illustrating to anyone who cares some principles of two good lists going head to head with same generalship (that's me!). This is how one can test lists, quick games against yourself. Eldar & SM were used as examples to continue with the blocking examples though. Lists were double raider SM & mech spam Eldar. Key points will be blue'd; this is highlighting tactics I discuss on this blog and should be taken note of.

Eldar won roll off and gave it to SM who picked a BLoS terrain down bottom. Eldar can now contest/grab objectives late game and see where Raiders are moving to block if required (otherwise would need to park directly opposite for a 24" zoom). Mission was pitched w/sieze. Dreads/Speeders hid behind terrain where they could move out next turn but were protected early on. Raiders knew there wasn’t much threat early on and deployed in front to protect Rhinos/Preds. No tanks in front of the higher AV to slow the mech train and thus blocking or destroying AV14 is needed. Raiders were put in front because they are not afraid of 3 TL-BLs or 2 Prisms whilst AV10-12 doesn't like Eldar S6. The raiders have two lines of access to midfield and are on the objective weighted side.

Due to Vassalfail we are assuming forest is providing cover. The line ruins provide infantry cover and the building ruins all cover. Eldar deployed behind forest at an angle to SM. This gives them more distance from SM but still close to the objectives. Vypers closer to front to provide blocking potential and Dragons are in the middle for quick melta. Prisms in corners to provide flank shots as SM move into midfield.

Space Marine T1
SM move raiders/rhinos up and Preds/Dreads/Speeders vie for shooting lanes. Redeemer moves full speed towards forest whilst crusader wraps around more towards midfield and pops smoke to ward off dragons. Riflenoughts drop a Vyper & Dragon Serpent (dragons pinned) but otherwise shooting is poor (one SL off a vyper).

Eldar T1
Eldar branch off using Vyper + Dragon serpents to protect dragons as they fire into Redeemer also forcing the Redeemer laterally. BL serpents move to get pot shots as does Falcon and Prisms move it up on flanks. Dragons fail on Redeemer dropping the closest redeemer cannon but Eldar shooting otherwise is good. Rhino & Speeder are exploded (3 marines dead from explosion/ensuing fire after GtG) and Redeemer gets stunned from BL. Other Rhino & Speeder are shaken.

We debated whether or not to get termies out for lols and just ran the dice instead. Serpent got stunned, Vyper nothing. Termies left in open. Blocking worked. Marines don’t have much shooting because of suppression which means the termies aren’t happy, no goodies to chew. Dakka Preds line up shots on Vypers/Dragons whilst Dreads line up more Serpents/Dragons as well. Speeder zooms w/Rhino & Crusader forward to pressure Eldar backline. SM shooting drops 7 dragons all told leaving 2 & 1 + shakes a Prism & drops a Vyper. Redeemer’s MM immoblises final Vyper on objective.

Eldar T2
Eldar use serpents + unloaded dragons to block Redeemer and the other dragons converge into forest. BL Serps all move back towards right to give some separation room whilst Falcon also runs away. Prisms moved up and down flanks again. The lone dragon…well he died in an explosion of Raider bits which pinned the termies and killed one. Go him. Group of 5 dragons seem to fail still, getting a stunned and weapon dest x2 on Redeemer. Other 2 dragons wreck the Rhino. Serpent drops the Speeder (w/ S6) and explosion kills a Termie. Rest of shooting immobs a Pred, shakes the other and drops a marine. Heading into T3...

Not much for SM to do atm. Dreads move into positions to try and break the lock on the Redeemer whilst shaken Pred + Tacs move towards right obbie. Vyper falls but Serpent is saved thanks to SMF. Tac squad removes dragons in middle.

Eldar T3
Doom goes off this time on Marines in middle. Dragon serpents move around Raider some more whilst Prisms move into position to fire on marines. BL Serps swap places and Falcon stays put. Dragons pop Raider and survive ensuing blast though one Termie doesn’t. Prisms drop more termies from that squad. Rest of shooting drops another termie and shakes a Dread but little else.

So 4 Termies reach the lines in the end thanks to blocking & shooting. SM firepower is down but let’s see what they can do to regain game flow for T4. SM shooting is a bit more effective stunning one BL serpent and immobing/shaking a FD serpent in front of a Dread. Termies move into midfield and towards Dragons. Libby dies on the charge and Termie drops one dragon so combat ensues and Dreads cannot damage serpents in combat.

Eldar T4
Doomed the Marines again and Eldar armada mobilises for objectives and shots. Prisms drop 4 marines + a terminator. Further shooting drops another marine, stuns a dread (+ loses an arm) and shakes the Immob’d Pred. In combat dragons & termies fail to hurt each other & Dread knocks off the turret of immobed Serpent. Both termies & Tacs fled w/Ld 11 & 10! Ouch.

Marines have all but lost here as Tacs + Termies keep falling back. Dread moves to rear armor another Serpent and left Pred rearranges itself. Pred fires @ BL Serpent and immobs it (yay for target priority!) whilst MM fails to do anything. Dread knocks off all weapons of the Serpent and charges it but fails to damage it. Termie kills one dragon and they hold.

Eldar T5
Weaponless Serpent tank shocks termies (who fallback 11”) and Tacs who pass their Ld but is now a contested objective. BL Serpent shocks fleeing termies/tacs and they both fall back 6”. Prisms move forward whilst mobile BL serp & Falcon move back but still hold objectives. Firepower is pretty ineffective from Serpents/Falcon but knocks off final gun from middle Dread. Prisms drop 3 tacs on objective but they fail to flee. Termie kills 2 dragons forcing the final one to flee and moves towards falcon/serpent objective.

Game continues on a 4. Tacs/Termies run off board. Marines move to contest all Eldar objectives and try to down as much as possible but shooting is ineffective thanks to Eldar SMF saves. Termies/tacs/Dread assault [note: we forgot heavy weapons can’t shoot then assault but it didn’t change outcome]. No damage is done in combat and over to Eldar.

Eldar T6
Dragon flees 11”. Termie is shocked off objective & doomed. Bottom BL serpent zooms to uncontested objective and weapon less serpent immobs itself whilst clumping tacs w/a tank shock. Prism move forward (one blocks Dread access to objective on which Falcon/Serpent are camped). Prisms drop Tacs to the sarge whilst immobed BL serpent stuns the Predator. Rest of shooting cannot bring down Terminator and Sarge holds.

SM/Eldar T7
Game goes on a 5. Dread & pred cannot down Falcon which means win for Eldar but we’ll play it out. Termie shakes Falcon, Dread does nothing and Sarge Wrecks Serpent (no weapons & immob fun). Tank shocking and zooming ensues to give Eldar 3 objectives to SM 0. Dread was wrecked from Dragon in the end and AC shot off of a Pred.

Majority of people left around T4 but game was essentially over at that point. So let's recap. First off, two armies which were balanced and well-run going head to head was really fun until Eldar fusion took it's toll on the Raiders whilst SM firepower couldn't crack enough Serpents. In the end Eldar suppression fire + board control from mobility and delaying tactics meant they were shooting more often than the SM. The Eldar were able to brunt the assault from the Terminators and shut down as much SM shooting as possible whilst keeping them at arms length. Once the SM midfield collapsed, Eldar were able to capitalise on their mobility and really take control of the board and the game was essentially lost on T4. Whilst the SM were unlucky on a couple of Ld rolls (termies x2), Eldar firepower, mobility and board control won the day and this was helped through blocking.

I know the critics will jump up and down on this as rigged, fail movement on Marines (because that's always what happens in these cases), it was Vassal, one game, etc. etc. etc. but it's an example showing good armies and good tactics where blocking was certainly useful. Without blocking there would of been one less Dragon squad running around and the Terminators would of been punching things on T2 rather than T4. Huge difference. So let's hear your thoughts. Was it beneficial or too hard to follow? Once exams are over I'll certainly try to do this often with my Tyanids as I prep for LoT.

19 pinkments:

Smurfy said...

Lose my cool? I apologized and such, what more they want from me?

Anyways thanks Kirb, thought I think their main argument was that they're not scared of BLs/Massed Str 6 with their other Armour either, that the LR's stay back in "Zone Defense" mode (Which, I would see if you faced a army willing to get out of it's transports, but with a Mechdar...haha...funny.)

My quips.

Chumbalaya said...

Like I said in the room, it's a lot more fun watching two good armies go head to head than watch Footdar demolish noobs all day :P

This is an excellent example of how something as simple as blocking can have a profound impact on the game. Pretty much, when armies can ignore your 900 points of death, they have a much easier time gunning for your support, leaving your super unit high and dry.

Anonymous said...

Smurfy, apologising is easy. Continuing to act with courtesy and humility would be the sign that such an apology was genuine, rather than simple obeisance for the show of it. Have you not found?

Smurfy said...

Which is what I'm doing, thanks for the tip Anon.

Smurfy said...

Being genuine I mean, if you guys want to continue debating, it's with Kirby and not me.

Anonymous said...

L2P. Seriously L2P. Lol this game is a two-player game not a masturbation session, L2P. L2P noob.


Kirby said...

Good analysis; care to show us your brilliance? And you do know putting down your own armies against each other helps your building and playing process? No? didn't think so. Waiting for some actual constructive "you fail" compared to trolling.

Vinsanity said...

Obvious Troll is obviously a troll :D

So the blocking bat rep was quite useful, its definitely a viable tactic vs LRs and allows you to focus on the rest of the marine army, as opposed to focusing on the LRs, quite possibly not killing them and then suffering the wrath of the rest of the list.

If you kill them, then you aren't killing the rest of the list though which is also an issue. So blocking the LRs with sacrificial units becomes important since it deviates them enough to let the rest of your list focus on the juicier Rhinos and marines which will be the ones capturing objectives later...

Imperial Guard can do this really well, and in the 3rd and 4th ed codex, you had to sacrifice one squad when the enemy got closer so that you could have the other squads survive. Blocking LRs is a similar principle imo.

Anonymous said...

AKA - moc065 -- as I am not so childish as to remain Anonymous.

I thank you for the attempt to show your side of the blocking tactic; but honestly.... I do not think that very many players would throw their Landraiders etc at Mech-Dar in quite that fashion... I am much more accustomed to seeing the SM Player advance a little, then Steamroll on a future turn with the Move, dis-embark, assault gimick that Landraiders full of Termies bring to the table. Thus beating the Vypers or even Skimmers into the dirt...

Your example does work, but I would like to see a better example, as I actually use blocking; but I don't get to do quite that easily...

In support of the blocking technique though... here is a Battle report Link --
-- where I block a Rhino with a JBCouncil... But honestly, the tactic is very situational, and I got lucky... something for the backburner in any event though...

I have also Blocked with Vypers, Skimmer tanks, and even a lone Guardian Jetbiker if a vehicle was Immobilized (door blocking).... as its certainly a viable tactic; but it is hardly something that you can actively plan out in most cases. Unless your opponent is silly enough to fall for some bait...


Smurfy said...

The problem with using JBCouncils, Moc, is that they gotta get lucky just that, to keep vehicles hem'd in place. A unmodified damage table is that brutal.

Smurfy said...

And as I stated in the thread about LRs vs Eldar

- If you the SM player are deploying first might dread it having LRs in front...But consider where the Fire Dragons have to go in you deploying 2nd and, you're in game control if I can't get my Fire Dragons in position.

But as Wyddr said, the real winners of the game are Tactical Squads usually, so I'd rather try to focus as my attention on those elements with the support. If I have Terminators in my grill, it's just so much more of a chore to keep those Terminators chasing me while I try to go after said supporting elements.

Enter the Movement Block and while I'm not killing the LR, I'm buying myself time to deal with the LR on my terms rather than his nasty Terminators determining my movements.

Chumbalaya said...

Councils can be tank shocked and S9 vs AV14 isn't exactly reliable.

Anonymous said...

AKA - moc065

You don't use a JB Council to Block and just sit there... you are normally hoping to get the LR immobilized or better with your armies firepower.. the JB Council just removes the getting out options in the event of a Wreck, and if he is tank-shocking a figure, then he is already restricting his other actions in regard to the Landraider and its contents. So you have accomplished what you set out to do...

PS.. the block can turn into a number of other things as it evolves.


Kirby said...

@Moc065; these are the type of comments I appreciate, even if someone is claiming something like the world is flat, it's rational and opens up a discussion about the topic which can only lead to further enlightenment for involved parties and bystanders. So moc, thank you for that. Onto your points =D.

It's one of the drawbacks doing batreps like this, there's always going to be "well I could of done this, etc." and if I did this battle again it would be played differently even with same deployments. It's the nature of the game. However, it gives a concrete example for people who are more visual or completely lost and it limits (to an extent) arguments of I do this, well then I do this, and I do this, etc. In regards to what the Marine list did (note also if anyone in the room disagreed with what I did, and I checked, they could say something and we'd discuss it since it was for all intents and purposes, a training exercise), pushing the LRs and Rhinos midfield forces the Eldar player to move you off the objectives whilst also threatening any infantry that get out with the Terminators.

This is particularly important as only the Preds who stayed in backfield really care about flank shots (everyone else wants to avoid rear shots) so you're not lowering your defenses hugely like an IG army would be. Whilst going slower can indeed get an assault with Terminators upon the skimmers, this is a gross underutilisation of Termies and is unlikely to do much damage (see the example of what would of happened if I did, stunned Serpent I think and nothing on Vyper) and leaves them open to the Eldar’s excellent anti-infantry firepower and is unlikely to significantly impact upon the Eldar army although it would encourage them to ignore the Raiders and focus on removing the Terminators w/Dragons.

Furthermore, the Marine list didn't have the firepower to keep up with the Eldar due to their two rock units. The Eldar had too many units to suppress and have better defenses/mobility than the Marines so in a 'slower' game the Eldar would still have the advantage and just back-up more and all which that entails. All up, the dual termies/raiders don't really like playing pure Mech Eldar because of their lack of fire support in comparison and there's no real "juicy" targets for the Termies compared to say a Jetlock Mech army.

My friend agreed with you moc in relation to me playing this way in relation to how others might run it, etc. but again, it’s an example highlighting specific tactics (not only blocking) and underscoring previous arguments (I’ve noticed less trolling but maybe they got bored?; though quite frankly I’m surprised no one has trolled about lack of EA on the Raiders, woops >.<). Again though, these are the type of comments I appreciate, yes even if they are saying I’m wrong and should never play 40k again (as long as said politely :P) because people can learn from this rather than flaming and trolling which simply wastes time.

The_King_Elessar said...

A JBCouncil, with Seer and Embolden, is ALMOST as viable as a vehicle, except that they can still just move through you - DoG is NOT a viable tactic vs AV13+ without Melta/Chainfists etc.

The whole idea of blocking (I get you get it, but other readers may not) is that it isn't contingent on anything else being successful. If you whiff all your dice, you still slow them down, and get another attempt. While you may well kill them, dice can never be truly relied upon, as they are random. Unless you cheat, in which case, why even play*?

* - Seriously, no-one likes a cheat. If you happen to read this, and regularly cheat with dice**, go jump off a bridge.

** - In a non-gambling sense. If you win copious sums of money, I can understand - but still stop it you nob.

MagicJuggler said...

Yeah, I did call Kirby out on the lack of Extra Armour...I think a few other people did as well.

On a semi-related note, I find blocking tends to be more noticeably useful for Tau armies, simply on account of their even more pronounced glass cannon nature (Not having holofields, plus their vehicle defenses only working at range). Piranhas as mentioned earlier are the prime unit for this and have been MVPs for me in quite a few games, forcing Land Raiders to move at perpendicular angles to my main gunline, etc. Or to park them on the sole access point of a Wave Serpent carrying the Wonder Twins (makes you kinda wish the Eldar could take Venoms huh?)

Kirby said...

Ya you and Chumb did and then Loring was going on about how it's 5pts for BT lol. That's what you get for doing the lists in your head pre-game.

I think the Tau armystyle plays itself into the hands of blocking which is why Piranhas are so useful. Half the actual choices for Tau are all about keep your Crisis/Broadsides/Railheads firing and Piranhas are no exception. I'd chuck SM in there next in the SM speeder being that much faster than the rest of their choices. Eldar/DE have the best mobility to block but you'll also find they use their mobility more often than not, though Fire Dragons really do benefit from the screen and slowing Raiders can be important, etc.

Anonymous said...

AKA -- moc065

I do agree that for me, the Eldar have great potential to block; but their mobility is often used in other manners...

I ran a JBCouncil + 5 Skimmers + Hawks in a recent 2K tournie (Came 3rd overall)... I did have a couple chances to "Block" but at the same time, it actually looked more viable to simply ram the barstitch (and this is what I did)... as with my configuration (JBCouncil) its often better to have a vehicle popped so that I can attain CC action to avoid smalls arms fire, etc.. And the JB Council does fine vs 5-8 Termies... Yet I still find DS Termies more popular than Raider-termies, and Mech SM's can spam a lot of softer Rhino's etc, where the Spears/Witchblades make DoG very Viable.

With my Tau army, I find blocker is more desirable as I really have nothing to deal with certain Vehicle/squad combo's... Ass-Termies are freaking mean vs my Tau, unless I pop the Raider early and trim them down (seams to happen less often than I would like)... Thus Blocking buys a turn or three.

Cheers, and I have no issue with most unconventional tactics, as those are the items that have kept me going for years now.... Try Necrons in 5th without being imaginative (it sucks).


JRV said...

Hey I just nabbed vassal(again) but this time I want to actually play some games. Can you add me or whatever, or run me through it?


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