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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How To: Cornering

So, cornering. We had a brief little look at it before but that was me basically being lazy (I.e. busy) so wasn’t really in-depth but thanks to the comments which helped me put this article together! This article is going to look at what the concept of cornering is, how to use it effectively and when to use it. We’ll also look at what to do as an opponent facing this. First let’s define it. Cornering is deploying long-ranged (preferably 36”-48”+) anti-armor weapons in extreme posititions of your deployment zone (see Figure 1). The more mobile these guns are (I.e. vehicles, specifically fast vehicles) the better as they are able to move up and back from midfield to create greater angles and thus be more effective at anti-tank by hitting side armor. The advantages of this should be obvious…your anti-tank and suppression fire are better because of it. Some prime examples of units for this are Fire Prisms, Leman Russes (even though they aren’t anti-tank), Hydras, Predators, Hammerheads, Typhoons, Dreadnoughts, Broadsides, DE Raiders, Ravagers, Exorcists, T-Fexes, etc. It’s important to note this is also the most extreme version of cornering and even spreading out in the middle of your deployment zone can gain these effects.

So this is pretty basic and not hard to understand (..right?). Afterall, getting side shots on your opponent is awesome right? Let’s look at what this does more in-depth as not only does it open up your opponent’s flanks but it forces them to make decisions on where to attack/move and the spreading of your defenses. As you can see in Figure 2, the Chimera has decided to attack one flank which has opened up its side armor to the other predator. On a bigger board, going up the middle means the Chimera allows both predators side shots. This seems like lose/lose for your opponent but before we look at how your opponent can negate this advantage, let’s take a look at what it does to your army. Quite simply, you’ve split it up.

Now some armies can do this and not give a flying tahoodle. Tau, Eldar, DE & BA are all capable of moving 12” and shooting or more than 12” + are generally good shooting armies or have other defenses in place (I.e. Krootshields, blockers, night shields, energy fields, etc.). These aspects allow them to split their army fully or wholly to gain an advantage against the right opponents (I.e. minimal shooting) and it forces the opponent to attempt to eliminate one firebase whilst suffering the fire of another firebase or split their forces, too. Other armies however, cannot always do this as your opponent is able to eliminate one firebase quickly enough without suffering crippling damage (this can happen to the above armies, too). This then means you need to look at what type of army you are running. The more static and less able to fire on the move your army is, the less likely you want to use cornering to the extremes as often. You also need to look at your opponent’s army. Are they capable enough of running the gauntlet, wiping one of your firebases and moving on with enough force to drop your 2nd base? If so, you might not want to split your army but perhaps one or two units (Tau Hammerheads with krootshields, fast skimmers, etc. are great examples). You can still gain some of the benefits of from cornering but your opponent is more likely to ignore (or focus too much attention) on the separated portion of your army.

So now we’ve looked what cornering gives you as the offensive player, extra defense against midfield by increasing damage potential against tanks (an important part of 5th edition) whilst also improving survivability to an extent as your opponent either has to split their army or focus on one half. With an appropriately shooty army of death this can spell the death of your opponent no matter what. However, there are ways to defend against it if cornering is employed against you. What you need to do is continue to offer higher AV values to your opponent which we shall call the hedgehog. TKE pointed this out by using a semi-circle and can be seen in Figure 3. Here the Chimeras are using the board edge as one defensive side and then rotating their front facings to gain a better coverage. The Chaos player now has the choice of shooting at the lower AV (if the Chimera can be seen) with a 3+ cover save or at the front AV of the other Chimera. Whilst this has slowed the Chimera advance down slightly and has it focused in a specific area (so the Chaos player is happy), the IG player is still able to move into midfield with authority without offering up easy side shots.

And that’s the wrap… Anyone else have anything to add or ideas where fleshing out might be necessary? Questions? Rotten fruit? A pillow?

6 pinkments:

TheKing Elessar said...

SOME of us have the courtesy to link each other's blogs when we name-drop. ;)

Smurfy said...

The article doesn't factor in terrain, so that could be added to see why cornering doesn't simply happen all the time. *Big wall blocking the vehicle's line of sight, etc*

It could be mentioned that Preds don't always gotta be on the corners exactly, just know they're turrets and put them in a place they won't have to move much in the game.

Why Preds are superior to Vindis would be a good article to follow up on because of this :3 I might.

Meister_Kai said...

Wow, this is great! Thanks a lot for this Kirbs, and thanks go to TKE for the defensive maneuver that didn't come to mind!

Now, I guess doing the semi-circle as Eldar is probably unneeded, but I will be watching for it if I choose to deploy using corners.

Actually, fellow Eldar players, how often do you corner deploy Fire Prisms etc when going first?

Someone should do an article on cover saves and hwo different grades are given out, such as defining when a situation is 3+, 4+ etc. I'll continue to stave off writing my next article to paint moar Eldar (should be done today finally, had to repaint all my Fire Dragons...)

Smurfy said...

Very often, Kai. With their range and linking ability, it's pretty much a given to split as much as possible and try to bait people into trying to reach 1.

Unknown said...

@TKE; woops! :P

@Smurfy; factoring in terrain is an obvious part of playing 40k and if there's a huge BLoS piece of terrain which would make one of your cornered tanks useless...well maybe don't put it there unless it's a fast skimmer. Also, the non-extreme is covered at the end of the 1st para.

@Kai; pretty often even when going 2nd as they can move up and down fairly easily.

Anonymous said...

If you are in the side arc of a vehicle, but can only see the front, the target vehicle gets the 3+ save, *and* uses the front AV.


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