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Monday, March 7, 2011

Jumper/BA DoA Deployment 101

I  had an e-mail and a couple of PMs on this recently and and after Vince's play at Centurion, I think it needed to be addressed (not picking on Vince :P). We all know Jumper BA have some bad match-ups and when all your anti-armor is close ranged, it happens. This is why adding Devs helps against a lot armies but deployment is also a huge thing for Jumper based armies. Let's take a quick look then at some of the things you should and shouldn't do. The key unit here is Vanguard Veterans.

These guys are not just taken to clear out bubble-wrap and open the way for the rest of your army. They are also generating cover for your whole army (read: whole) so you don't need to land in ruins (though you are backed up by Shield from the Libby) and in turn bubble-wrapping the weaker ASM from stronger units. That's why they have SS and why I don't like to outfit them with a ton of combat potential. They are meant to die at some point. This is where I see a lot of people go wrong with VV, once they've cleared the bubble-wrap they run off and do their own thing or deploy the rest of the army where the VV can be ignored/negated. You should rarely if ever do this.

Combining this understanding with the short-range and 'small' nature of the army, you need to drop in a localised fashion. Do not spread out around your army. This effect is three-fold.

  1. most if not all of your army should benefit from FNP/FC bubbles
  2. your opponent is either castled (which means Blood Lance is going to cause a lot of damage) or spread out more than usual. This means you've essentially deployed in a 'refused flank' and force your opponent to mobilise to get to you.
  3. the VV can protect the rest of your army as much as possible.
Number 2 is the kicker and what really hurt Vince in Round 1 and Round 4 where he was tabled by Razorspam and Hybrid Tau. Why? He spread out which meant the whole opposing army could shoot basically whatever they wanted and he wasn't able to focus his fire. This ended up in very bad defeats. If he had deployed on one side of the opponent's army they would of had to move to engage him. Even if the Razorspam list had to simply move his Razorbacks to get LoS it was more likely the Jumpers would get cover saves and could use that forced movement to its advantage. Same against Tau. Great you killed the Kroot and now you're standing in front of his army but if you've killed the Kroot on one side and your 3++ units are in front of the rest of your army, well suddenly your army isn't going to get roasted. With Jumper mobility you can start on one side of the army and easily work your way across the board.

However, there are exceptions. In my game against Vince on Friday night he did spread out and here it was good (I told him to do it :P). He bottled me up in the corner because I had bubble-wrapped myself in (Spearhead deployment). With objectives being the primary mission I was on the back-foot late game to snatch objectives away from him even though I had more of my army left. This was due to his mobility and whilst I think he should of left his combat squads and 'fled' with the meltagun squads to further delay me, it was the right tactic against such a list when his VV were unable to survive.

These pictures show how Vince has blocked my army in using my own bubble-wrap against me and deployed his VV after combat to ensure my MCs and Raveners cannot simply walk up and start munching on tasty ASM targets.

Another example of when not deep-striking in a localised area is using units as distractions such as 5-man swiss army knife ASM squads or when you start on the table and reserve the Vanguard, etc. Remember though when you don't deep-strike together, how much of an advantage are you gaining and how easily will your opponent be able to take you apart. ~50 Marines aren't that hard to kill over 5-7 turns but ~50 Marines with FNP? Different story and much harder to take down.

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