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The way of the water warrior.


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#1
Silent Requiem

Silent Requiem

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This tactica contains my thoughts on warfare, 40k, Grey Knights, and a number of other things. It is looooong. I hope that you get as much out of reading it as I did out of writing it. Check the Table of Contents for updates and news. Click on the link to go to the post.

- Silent Requiem

Table of Contents


Post 01: Table of Contents, Introduction, Disclaimers.
Post 02: Combat and the Four Elements.
Post 03: Why Play Reactively.
Post 04: Analysis of Grey Knight special rules.
Post 05: Analysis of Grey Knight unit choices.
Post 06: 1000 point List, Evolution of the List, Massaen.
Post 07: Fighting the Four Elements.
Post 08: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Gamers.
Post 10: Common Tactical Manouvers.
Post 11: Who's the Beatdown?
Post 12: Battle Reports.

Useful Links


Marines v Iron Warriors: A fantastic Water batrep courtesy Aidonius.
Water Batreps: A rehash of my batreps, and two new ones from number6, including his innovative use of seraphim.
Grey Knights v Nids: Another great batrep by Aidonius.

Thousand Sons v Orcs: A batrep by InquisitorMatticus, who has designed a Chaos Water army. His list also features two Raiders at ~1k points.
Tzeentch v Slaanesh: Another Chaos Water batrep, this time by Kalrik.

GK v Necrons: Discussion about beating Necrons with Water GK.
[url="http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/index.php?showtopic=112464"%20target="]GK v Nidzilla[/url]: Discussion about beating Godzilla Nids with Water GK.

Asartes Thread: A thread considering how best to play Water style with codex marines.
Ultramarine Thread: Similar to the previous link, but working within the more rigid Ultramarine structure.
Reaction, Control and Warfare: Brother Tual's take on Water tactics for Ultramarines. Full sized tactica.

Tournament Report: A 5th edition GK tournament report from number6.

Introduction


First off, who am I and why the hell should I be writing a tactica?

Well the first question can be answered simply (for our purposes at least), by quoting myself in another thread:

I'm mostly a lurker here, so forgive me if I feel the need to establish my credentials. In my most recent gaming period, Jan 06-July 06, I played 4-5 games a week, take all comers, with my pure GK list. The gaming group consisted of 30ish players, with about 5 being hard core tournament players. That's about 140 games. I lost 2.

You don't spend 7 months as the top player in a group like that without facing tooled out lists designed specifically to take you down. It didn't matter. My two losses were suffered in the middle of my final law exams, and were utterly stupid mistakes on my part.

As to why I am writing this, I received a PM regarding my army list. Here is my response:

Greetings,

I have tried to answer your email several times, but each time I have been dissatisfied with my work. It is not simply enough to give you my list, as this would be of no true value. Several people at my local club have gone out and purchased identical armies to mine after seeing me play, but have had no success. It is necessary to understand the list, and thus far I have not been able to communicate that understanding adequately.

Realising this, I am prepared to set about writing a tactica on the subject, but as I feel it will be necessary to teach tactics from the ground up, it may take me a while to prepare. When it is finished, I will message you a copy, and post it on the forum.

- Silent Requiem



Personal Disclaimer


This tactica does not claim to be the definitive Grey Knight tactica. I cannot say ‘this is the best way’, and do not wish to. This is simply my way. Take from it what you will.


Grey Knight Disclaimer


Let me make very clear my feelings on Grey Knights from the outset:

GK are seriously underpowered, and there are glaring deficiencies in the list, even when it comes to their stated purpose of killing demons. That will probably never change. In fact, I will be seriously surprised if they ever receive another codex of their own. I play them because I spend more time painting than playing, and GK have some of the best standard models out there.


Anyone playing pure Grey Knights (and to a lesser extent, Daemon Hunters) should know that they are going into battle with a self inflicted handicap. Anyone not comfortable with that should find another army.

Edition Disclaimer


This tactica was written in 4th edition, and as such some of the specific applications of the principles discussed may have changed (the principles themselves are less vulnerable to changes between editions). I endeavor to keep this work up to date, but I may miss things, so keep an eye out for suggestions that no longer apply. Feel free to PM me if you notice something, and I shall take steps to correct it.

Edited by Silent Requiem, 16 February 2009 - 01:18 PM.

QUOTE
About my list; it is weak. But it fits me, and that counts for a lot more than any amount of mathammer.


Since 5th edition: 3 wins, no draws, no losses.

#2
Silent Requiem

Silent Requiem

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Combat and the Four Elements


Each of the four elements represents a style/philosophy of approaching combat. Few people or armies are simply an expression of one pure element, as nothing in life is that simple. However, understanding yourself in terms of these elements is useful, as playing an army that reflects your way of thinking makes the process more enjoyable (and more successful). It can also help you to understand your strengths and weaknesses as a player.

Earth overview: An Earth army wins by outlasting it's opponent, and is characterised by it's resilience and staying power. This means that good Earth armies tend to have high model counts and/or resilient troops.

Movement phase: For reasons given below, Earth armies are usually firepower based, and movement precludes the firing of heavy weapons. Thus, Earth armies do not usually invest much in mobility. Moreover, Earth troops often benefit (directly or just generally) from being in proximity to each other, so high movement , which serves only to separate the unit from the whole, is to be actively discouraged. However, this often means that Earth armies surrender the initiative to the enemy, and it is this phase that will usually defeat an Earth army.

Shooting Phase: The rules of 40k mean that Earth armies are almost always firepower based; cover adds resilience in a shooting war, but means little in protracted close combat, and ranged weapons allow a concentration of force despite the army's size and sluggishness, whereas in assault those numbers cannot be brought effectively to bear. This is the phase in which an Earth army tries to win the war.

Assault Phase: Although not geared for assault, Earth armies are by no means pushovers. High numbers of resilient troops (often receiving the charge in cover) mean that Earth armies can often grind their opponents down over time.

Example: An infantry heavy marine army with Purity Above All and hidden power fists.

This reference is now out of date. A similar example would be Necrons. Highly durable, with special rules that make them hard to kill, and a strong (though not the strongest) shooting phase.

Personal Comment: I dislike Earth armies as I find the play style dull. Undeniably effective however.


Fire overview: A Fire army wants to overwhelm it's opponents, and is characterised by it's specialisation. Good Fire armies often have high model counts and use specialist troops.

Movement phase: Fire armies, for reasons given below, tend to be assault armies. This means that they have a vested interest in getting to the enemy fast, so Fire armies often have good mobility, though not on the level of an Air army. This is where Fire armies may lose, as their specialist troops must survive in enough numbers that they can overwhelm the enemy in assault.

Shooting phase: There is one shooting phase (that you can use) for every two assault phases. This means that it is easier to overwhelm an opponent with assault superiority than fire superiority. Moreover, assault tends to be a more "one on one" affair than shooting wars, and the specialist nature of fire troops really shines when compared model for model with other armies. Thus most Fire armies will focus on assault, and because of their troops specialist nature, shooting will be weak, or non-existent.

Assault phase: This is where most Fire armies try to win. Ideally, their specialist troops empty their kill zone before the enemy can strike back, avoiding the protracted fights that often shows up the lack of resilience that characterises many Fire armies.

Example: An all genestealer army.

Personal Comment: I dislike Fire armies as the play style tends to be very one track. It also requires a certain flair that I lack.

Note that the changes in 5th edition have made Sisters of Battle a very viable Fire army. They buck the trend by being shooting based, and highly tactical. For those drawn to the Fire paradigm, they are worth checking out.


Air overview: An air army wants to out manoeuvre it's opponent, and is characterised by high mobility. Good Air armies are very fast, often at the expense of numbers.

Movement phase: This the bit where Air armies try to win. They get to choose where and when they hit you, and will choose a time and place that limits any counter attack.

Shooting phase: Unlike Fire and Earth, there is no strong tendency for Air to go shooting or assault, as both are well represented. Good Air armies do tend to specialise in one or the other, however.

Assault phase: As above.

Example: Ravenwing.

Personal Comment: Played Air for a long time. Very intellectual style, and Air v Air battles are some of the most impressive to watch. Table size and the tactical scale of 40k limit the style greatly, however.


Water overview: Unlike the other elements, Water fights reactively, responding to the plan of the enemy. Whereas the other elements try to dominate a particular phase, and "inflict" their plan upon the enemy, Water has no plan other than to defeat the enemy's plan. Good Water armies use well rounded, generalist troops.

I could go through the phases, but there is no point, as a Water army requires an opponent in order to truly define itself.

Example: Deathwing.

Personal Comment: This is the type of force this tactica will consider.

Edited by Silent Requiem, 16 February 2009 - 01:26 PM.

QUOTE
About my list; it is weak. But it fits me, and that counts for a lot more than any amount of mathammer.


Since 5th edition: 3 wins, no draws, no losses.

#3
Silent Requiem

Silent Requiem

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Why Play Reactively


So why play the Water way? For me there are two reasons, one simple, and one complex.

The simple answer is that it is the only style that does not become 'same-ish'. With the other styles you know roughly, before you see the table, or know what army you are facing, what your plan is. In fact, it goes deeper than that. You're locked in. Any deviation from your overall plan weakens your force. Playing your beserkers against the all stealer army? Neither of you really has the option of any tactic but all out assault. Hope you were in the mood for a meat grinder.

A Water army, on the other hand, has no plan until it sees it's enemy. And each game is different, depending on the details of your opponent. If you fight the same guy over and over, this won't help, but in a decent sized club, this can keep your interest alive.

The more difficult answer is that I am a very 'problem -> solution' type person. Take my painting for example. I have never, EVER, amounted to anything as an artist when presented with a blank canvas, a clean sheet of paper, or a lump of clay. I simply have no idea what to do. But put me in front of a mini, and everything changes. So many problems suddenly arise, needing answers. Colour matches, shading and light sources, fluff accuracy, and more. I can take weeks to painstakingly paint a single trooper. In short, once I am given a context, my artistic side really blossoms.

This is true of my martial arts and my war-gaming. I have a hard time formulating battle plans, but when you try something, my brain goes into overdrive, trying to figure out how to stop you.

I suspect I'm not alone in that. I think there are others out there just like me. So this tactica is for the Water Warriors out there.

- Silent Requiem

Edited by Silent Requiem, 16 February 2009 - 01:28 PM.

QUOTE
About my list; it is weak. But it fits me, and that counts for a lot more than any amount of mathammer.


Since 5th edition: 3 wins, no draws, no losses.

#4
Silent Requiem

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Before I begin on the units themselves, let me first comment on the GK special rules.

Grey Knight Special Rules


Fearless: This is a fantastic rule in a reactive army, because we depend on absolute precision and control. This rule means we can depend on our troops.

Deep Strike: To be covered under the unit descriptions.

True Grit: Another fantastic rule, not because it gives us an obscene number of attacks (which it doesn't, and it ought to), but because it liberates us from the need to charge the enemy. Although there are many situations in which it is beneficial to deny the enemy the charge (such as when they have furious charge), there are just as many times where the decision is less clear cut. Often, WHERE the combat happens in relation to terrain, objectives, and other units is of incredible importance. By falling back and then receiving the charge we may have blocked an important LOS, or lured the enemy away from an objective or supporting units. While all this can still be done by a unit without true grit, this rule reduces the otherwise high cost of certain tactical decisions.

Aegis: Honestly, this one is disappointing. All the nastiest Psychic powers are buffs directed at a players own troops (like Fortune) or are unaffected by this rule (Thousand Sons). All in all, I'd have preferred a free psychic hood.

Note that with the new Chaos Codex Aegis is now fully effective against Chaos powers that target our troops. Psychic powers are getting progressively stronger, however, and it is definitely worth trying to fit a psychic hood into your list, both to catch the 'Fortune' type spells, and so that you can test with ld 10 against damage spells, rather than the lower ld of your PAGK. That said, I can't seem to run one, and have not felt too punished by psychic powers.

The Shrouding: A much maligned rule, this is one of my favourites. People complain that it doesn't let you get close enough to make a foot assault viable, and they are right. However, that is not the purpose of the rule, and the view taken above is one very much in keeping with someone on the Fire path, not the Water path. What shrouding DOES do is allow a psycannon to fire at extreme range with less than a 50% chance of the enemy returning fire. This is nice. But what is even nicer is that it allows your troops to engage forward and flanking elements of your opponents army (with stormbolters) without fear of effective retaliation from the rear elements. And where are the guys with the big heavy weapons usually kept? That's right. The rear.

Rights of Exorcism: Yawn. Not only are daemons fairly uncommon (in my experience), but this rule is so hit and miss that you cannot build a strategy around it.

Daemonic Infestation: Overkill. The reason GK actually suck against daemons. One of the worst games I ever played was recon against a Daemonette heavy army. It is important to note that the rule does not seem to say that the 'new' daemons are not worth any victory points, despite not being able to claim objectives. Thus I have seen GK armies wiped out to the last man but still win by victorious slaughter.

It would seem that with the new Chaos and Daemons codexi that this rule affects almost nothing, as the units listed largely don't exist any more.


Well, there are the GK rules. I'll refer back to them from time to time, but I suspect they will feature more heavily when I tie all this information together and lay out strategies. Now onto the units.

I would now like to apply this reactive philosophy to the Grey Knights, evaluating each unit in turn. For each unit, therefore, we must ask ourselves the following questions:
How does it perform in the movement phase?
How does it perform in the shooting phase?
How does it perform in the assault phase?
Are there any significant special rules not mentioned above that add utility?
Do these answers tend to force the unit into a particular role?
Overall, is it worth the points?

Edited by Silent Requiem, 16 February 2009 - 01:36 PM.

QUOTE
About my list; it is weak. But it fits me, and that counts for a lot more than any amount of mathammer.


Since 5th edition: 3 wins, no draws, no losses.

#5
Silent Requiem

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HQ


After promising the units, I’m actually going to discus psychic powers first, as both our HQ choices are psychers. I’m going to look at these powers from a “take all comers” list, and so I won’t even bother with the daemon specific powers, which I have never seen anyone take. You will see that our powers pale in comparison with the 4th edition powers, but they are still worth reflecting on. Note that some of these powers no longer have any effect with the advent of the new Daemons rules/codex

Hammerhand: A nice little power that adds a great deal of utility, as it gives a number of essentially powerfist attacks at initiative against vehicles. While it can be used against non-vehicles, generally speaking an S6 power weapon is better, unless you are hoping to instant kill a T4 multi wound character. In that case the GM will still be better off using his force weapon, and, as we shall see, the BC is likely to be dead before he can swing.

Scourging: Nice, but inferior to a psycannon. The range is too short for real utility, as anything you shoot at is either going to charge you or rapid fire you next turn. I also dislike the variable number of shots.

Holocaust: Notice that you don’t have to be in assault to use this power. Nice, but most effective only on lightly armoured horde armies. Still, it is extra oomph in assault, and that can’t be a bad thing.

Word of the Emperor: Pointless. Elite assault troop almost by definition come with high leadership. If, like the Necrons, we had an assortment of ways to attack non-daemonic leadership, this could be interesting. But we don’t.


Brother-Captain

Movement phase: Standard infantry movement, BUT the BC loses absolutely nothing by moving, as the terminator armour allows him to fire even heavy weapons at full effect on the move. The cost is the lack of a sweeping advance. The BC can also Deepstrike in any game. This is not uncommon in a GK army, but what is uncommon is that the BC is cheap enough to risk, coming to less than 100 points with a psycannon.

Shooting phase: The GK standard, but what a standard! Double the firepower of a marine in an assault weapon no less. But an easy upgrade is the psycannon, turning him into a highly mobile, untargetable (thanks to IC status) devastator marine, capable of shredding infantry and light to medium vehicles. Note that outside the Tau, I can’t think of an HQ that can pack more firepower. Since 5th edition, targeting of IC's has changed, and it is no longer possible to become untargetable. Wound allocation rules make it difficult to hide a 1 wound character in a squad. All in all, the BC has become far more vulnerable to shooting in 5th edition.

Assault phase: Let’s be honest, for an IC, the BC is a poor combatant. With 1 wound and an average stat line, he can be taken out by a fairly determined guardsman with a wiffle bat. There is almost always something better for this guy to be doing. 5th edition assault rules may have added a layer of protection when the BC is in a squad. I will review this after further games.

Special rules: The BC can wear a psychic hood. Although very overcosted, with the rise of 4th ed psychic powers, this may become increasingly effective, and meshes well with a “hang back and shoot” approach.

Role: As we have seen, the BC favours a ranged approach, where IC status works for, rather than against him. However, assault is always an option, and combined with hammerhand and Deepstrike, the BC can make an effective, if fragile, vehicle hunter. Given the low price tag, however, the BC’s weakness is not too hard to overlook. Incidentally, in this role, master-crafting the psycannon is often worthwhile. Again, note the IC targeting changes in 5th edition.

Cost effective: Very. The BC can easily make his points felt by either vehicle or troop hunting. Cheap enough to risk in a deep strike.

Personal comment: Although I prefer my Avatars to be big and beefy, the humble BC is one of the most lethal models I field. A solid Deepstrike can really turn the tide on those Air armies, and BC has contributed heavily to many of my victories. As a side note, many opponents are surprised to learn that he only has one wound, and so sometimes avoid him more than necessary. I don't have enough games of 5th to properly evaluate the position, but I think that it shifts the balance slightly in favour of the GM, if you can afford him.


Grand Master

Movement phase: See Brother-Captain.

Shooting phase: Like the BC, but better. No need to master-craft this psycannon. Given the more “up close and personal” approach of the GM, however, Scourging may be more cost effective. I tend not to like that power, however.

Assault phase: With decent wounds and initiative, the GM is solid in assault, and by dropping the stormbolter for a power weapon he can reach a truly staggering number of attacks on the charge. Master-craft his NFW and with some planning he can reliably clear his kill zone, avoiding hidden powerfists, making him an effective MEQ hunter. His NFW also makes him a potential monster/character hunter, though be warned, he does not have the initiative to deal with a number of the most dangerous assault units and IC’s. Hammerhand adds versatility, as it does with the BC, and Holocaust adds some swarm killing power. An important 5th edition change is the meshing of force weapons and the instant death rules. With our old codex, the GM still uses the old force weapon rules, which means that he can still use the force weapon on models with the eternal warrior rule.

Special rules: As with BC. However, a psychic hood is arguably more at risk on a GM. No longer the case in 5th edition.

Role: The GM does not, prima facie, get forced into one role, until you compare it to the BC. For a whopping 80ish points (more than double the cost of a BC), you get a stack of upgrades, but most are devoted to assault. Therefore, if you are not planning on an assault role, you are probably better off with the humble BC. What the GM does really well is fire support from just behind the front line, and then a counter charge. As noted though, there are still a number of things that a GM doesn’t want to meet in assault (like genestealers). 3 wounds is no more useful in a shooting role as well. Genestealers are still bad news, though.

Cost effective: Debatable. He starts off expensive, and it quickly gets worse. You can spend as much on him as a Daemon Prince but get something arguably less survivable. When he works, he works great. When he doesn’t, you’ve blown 200ish points. It's not really his fault, though. Librarians and force weapons were all over priced in 3rd edition, and so when the combined Inquisition codex comes out in a few years expect to see a price drop.

Personal comment: Love the idea, but it doesn’t translate into game play well. As much as I want him to work, I feel that the BC is a better buy. The GM is really more for pure DH play rather than pure GK. I have found myself leaning slightly more towards the GM in 5th. Still experimenting.


Elites


Grey Knight Terminators (or Retinue)

Movement phase: Standard GK movement, with optional Deepstrike. Terminator armour is good for heavy weapons fire, bad for sweeping advances. Very solid.

Shooting phase: Again, GK standard, but with the option of up to two psycannons, which benefit enormously from the TDA. If you love psycannons, this is the ideal platform. By hanging/falling back to maximise shrouding, and constantly moving to limit LOS, most armies have no effective response to a small squad harrassing their lines.

Assault phase:Utterly fantastic. High strength power weapons, with a free upgrade to thunderhammers. What’s not to love. Their only weakness is against high initiative foes, but the army in general suffers from that. Holocaust adds a little more punch in assault, but I find the risks too high, despite never having suffered them.

Special Rules: Just Holocaust, mentioned above.

Role: Nothing forced on us really. GKTs are some of the best troops in the game. They do everything well.

Cost effective: Absolutely. Just make sure you find them appropriate targets. They don’t have the raw number of attacks to deal with hordes (without Holocaust) so that 20 strong squad of conscripts will get some lucky shots in. They are hurt by not being scoring units in 5th edition, however.

Personal comment: I have yet to play a game where I felt I had too many of these guys. They also rock at Space Hulk. The impact of 5th edition scoring unit rules has hurt terminators badly. However, I do feel that many players focus too much on troop choices now. While redundancy is good, GKT still bring a lot to the table.


Troops/Fast Attack


Power Armoured Grey Knights

Movement phase: Grey Knight standard, which is the same as heavy infantry generally. The fast attack choice can also Deepstrike, though unless they are targeting a teleport homer, the cost seems to high to risk.

Shooting phase: The very excellent Grey Knight standard. The heavy weapons options are not as impressive without the terminator armour, however. I dislike both choices, as incinerators are very situational, and psycannons are a disincentive to move, despite their assault mode, which I dislike. Massaen, however (who I will talk more about later) makes a very excellent case for incinerators, and used them heavily. I like to take psycannon bolts on the justicar though, as he can keep the NFW, and throw out some AP4 goodness at the squads optimal range, even on the move. I would really love this to be an alternative upgrade to the special weapon troopers, as I’d max it out.

Assault phase: Meh. Better than your standard marines, no doubt, but when equal points and a hidden powerfist are involved it will be a close thing. These guys just don’t have enough attacks to really obliterate MEQs in assault unless they have been softened up first.

Special rules: None. WARNING: When taken as a fast attack choice these guys are no longer scoring, thanks to 5th edition rules.

Role: Excellent generalists, but the upgrade options can be used to make them too shooty, which they just won’t do as well as other units of their cost (like devastator marines). A small squad with psycannons could Deepstrike to hit armour I suppose, but that is too risky for my tastes.

Cost effective: Yes, but only if you keep casualties to a minimum. Nearly twice as expensive, but no more survivable than normal marines.

Personal comments: GW did a great job of making TDA-light with these guys, they just didn’t give us sufficient ability to customise them. Great basic troop units.



Heavy Support



Purgation Squad

Movement phase: GK standard.

Shooting phase: GK standard, but with upgrades to more shooty at the expense of movement and assault.

Assault: See PAGK.

Special Rules: None.

Role: Really shooty.

Cost effective: See PAGK.

Personal comments: In case you didn’t guess from my lack of detail, I hate these guys. If you play GK, then you have NINE other force organisation slots that can ONLY be filled with guys just like this. There are better things to spend your precious heavy support slots on. Now that vehicles are tougher, these guys are even more of a waste of a heavy slot. Not just in terms of what you could field instead, but in terms of the kind of firepower you need to bring to the table to deal with the 3 LRCs that BT player brought with him.


Orbital strike

Not a unit exactly, the orbital strike is an interesting idea. It should be retargetable, however (you could make a radio link piece of wargear or some such), as it is too limited right now. For GKs, who are outnumbered all the time anyway, we cannot afford to purchase “units” that don’t put bodies on the table and can’t be controlled. Remember that the ideas of flexibility and control are central to a Water strategy, and the Orbital strike has neither.


Grey Knights Dreadnought

Movement phase: GK standard.

Shooting phase: Outstanding. Upgrades allow for any range and role. Ranged specialisation can be purchased at the expense of assault.

Assault: Outstanding. With the exception of rending, there is not much this behemoth fears.

Special rules: Does NOT have shrouding.

Role: Can be over upgraded into a pure shooting role. It makes me sad when this happens.

Cost effective: Yes, but like all vehicles, it melts under antitank fire.

Personal comments: Although I don’t use these much, it’s not because they aren’t fantastic units. Their ideal role in my mind is with an assault cannon on the flanks, supporting a squad of PAGK. With tougher vehicles, and ammended rending rules, the only proper role for these guys now involves a lascannon.


Land Raider

Movement phase: Vehicle standard.

Shooting phase: Really good. Excellent range, good variety of weapons. The long range on the sponsons allow you to really use terrain to block LOS, as all you need is the sponson peaking out to fire. They also are the strongest anti armour platform that GK can field.

Assault phase: N/A.

Special rules: Transport. Adds to the movement of other units (and in the case of a Land Raider, protects them). Machine spirit. Allows for increased firepower on the move.

Role: A very versatile platform able to engage at any range.

Cost effective: Ah, the age old question, for which GK have a unique answer. A LR costs as much as ten PAGK. If by putting them in a LR they don’t die when they otherwise would have, the Raider just paid for itself. That's before they wipe out those obliterators/terminators/predators/etc. I find these to be very worthwhile.

Personal comment: If you do use Land Raiders, never use less than two. Saturation principles mean that more Land Raiders mean more survivability for each hull. Extra armour and smoke should be considered standard.

When I first wrote this tactica back in 4th edition, GHLR (Godhammer Land Raiders) were very tricky to use, as they were very fragile for their points. I was told that they were underpowered before people played me, and overpowered after people played me. In truth, I simply used a build that people had chosen not to prepare for. All that has changed with 5th edition. GHLR and their variants are now the premier tank in the game. This doesn't mean that you MUST take one, but it does mean that you MUST prepare to face multiples of them on a regular basis. Don't expect dreads to do that.


Land Raider Crusader

Movement phase: Vehicle standard.

Shooting phase: Good. Very focused on anti-infantry, but with a strong anti armour component. The sponson weapons are somewhat wasted in their position, however.

Assault phase: N/A.

Special rules: Transport. Adds to the movement of other units (and in the case of a Land Raider, protects them). Machine spirit. Allows for increased firepower on the move. Machine Spirit has been confirmed by the 5th edition FAQ. About time.

Role: The shorter range of the weapons means that the Crusader will run the full gambit of antitank measures. As such it is less survivable than the regular Raider, and so more devoted to transport, having less success in a harassment role.

Cost effective: See Land Raider.

Personal comment: This is a Fire vehicle, not a Water one. I don’t like them.

Edited by Silent Requiem, 16 February 2009 - 01:48 PM.

QUOTE
About my list; it is weak. But it fits me, and that counts for a lot more than any amount of mathammer.


Since 5th edition: 3 wins, no draws, no losses.

#6
Silent Requiem

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Alright. Lets actually look at an army list now. As a disclaimer I'll say that this is not the only list for playing reactively, it is simply MY list.

1000 point List


Brother Captain
Psycannon
Sacred Incense

Justicar
Melta Bombs
5 Grey Knights
Incinerator

Justicar
Melta Bombs
5 Grey Knights
Incinerator

Land Raider
Extra Armour
Smoke Launchers

Land Raider
Extra Armour
Smoke Launchers

This is my basic 1000pt template. As I refined the list I started switching the incinerators out for psycannon bolts, and I moved the sacred incense to a justicar. I toyed briefly with dropping the GK squad sizes and heavy weapons to upgrade the BC to a GM, but I didn't like it as much.

As the points move up, I add another Raider and some GKTs. Then I upgrade the HQ.

Some explination for my choices and particular playstyle will follow in this section.

Evolution of the list


I have always like mechanised lists, but like most people, I thought the Raiders were a bit much. Not having other options, I went with a foot slogging army. It didn't take me long to realise that against shooting (Earth) armies, most of my casualties were sustained getting to the foe. A little maths told me that if ten more guys made it to assault than otherwise would have, a Land Raider would have justified it's existance. So I tried one. And I was hooked.

I found though that the added mobility was better spent not rushing my shooty foes, but out manuvering their heavy weapons. I also found (courtesy of the mech Tau) that one lucky shot was enough to deny me my mobility and leave me stranded. So I added another.

Now my entire army was mounted, and my water style tactics began to develop. Th predominant metephor in my mind at that time was of a gun carrier fleet. The Raiders were my gun heavy aircraft carriers, and the PAGK were my defensive fighter screen. I used my Raiders to snipe high value units, and then fall back as the enemy is forced to come to me, wearing them down with firepower, before an eventual assault.

This is the basic idea of a Water army: retreat before them, allowing them to take whatever ground they wish, but wear them down as they do so. When they can no longer hold what they have taken, the tide comes in, washing them away.

Although this sounds simple, it is actually VERY difficult, and intense concentration and careful consideration of every move is required. In about 20% of my games I did not take a single casualty, but I never had a single easy game (except one against a Khorne player with no S8 or higher weapons).

I will write up a detailed sample of this plan in action against each type of player in a later post, but right now I want to say a word about Massaen, who I met on another forum. In fact I joined that forum with the sole aim of speaking to him.

I am not the first person to successfully use a GK list like this. Massaen, who is primarily an Eldar player, used a similar list at 1850 points to win the Australian GT in about 2004. While his tactical philosophies may be different from mine, it was his encouragement that lead me to pursue this list (Raiders are expensive cash-wise, and my play group was very negative about them). It is only fair therefore that I credit the list to him.

I now have Massaen's permission to post some of our relevant emails. I hope this adds some insight into the list, and perhaps a second perspective.

Hi Mate, how are you going?
Thanks for the positive comments on my lists! The army actually started as a joke! I won a box of GK in PA at a club raffle and placed second at the first Western Australian GT (with my eldar) which scored me a box of GK termies plus a discount voucher for more GK. I then wrote a list with lots of psycannons plus 3 dreads but after 2 games with proxy models i decided it was not for me. At the same time a friend of mine wrote a list with raiders and decided he liked the dread list i wrote better and after making some changes to his LR list i had my army. To date in casual or tournment play i have never lost a game with either the 1500 or 2000 point list - about 1/3 are draws but never a loss.
Couple of things about my list...

1) i hate psycannons. The problem with this weapon is it encourages you to stop moving wo get max range. GK are best up close (i have quite a few incinerators) and i would never give a termie a psycannon because you end up with an 80 point model that will average 1 turn of shooting in a game!

2) The list(s) were both written with fluff in mind first. I never actually expected to win events with them!

3) In a situation where your opponent knows the list you will get beaten badly. Fact is 30 models vs 80+ with heavy weapons can be very one sided.

on to your questions...

1) not sure about the european events. Here in OZ we include comp scores and in the GT i actually won this catagory (i won overall, painted, comp, sports and placed second for generalship) The thing is - 3 armour 14 vehicles are hard for just about any enemy to face. Combined with the sheer terror 3 of them create means you often get the enemy to make mistakes trying to take em out. Remember that the favorite weapon among most players is the plasma (or race equivalent) which is totally unable to touch a land raider. Only the necrons, tau & eldar are likley to give your tanks a hammering and since over 2/3 of amries are marines or CSM you should be fine.

2) it fairs very well - as i said ealier - never actually lost a game. i have a regular gaming group and a club i go to regularly and although i know the guys could wirte a list to beat me they don't - more challenging for them to try with their own tournement lists.

3) Most of the "army x would kick your butt" is just talk. The thing is while probability says my raiders versus DE should be toast it comes down to terrain, deployment, first turn and a little luck. I faced a DE list with 8 DL and only lost 1 raider in a 6 turn game. That an the extreme lists people write are just that - extreme. I don't know many people who could field these lists.

4) The teleport unit is a points filler. It was included so i did not have to paint any more models! the unit was a test squad for the final coulour scheme and since i did not change my techniques it got included. This unit is my throw away unit (in GK a rarity). If i changed anything - it would be this unit. on that topic i am not a big wargear fan, i would rather more troops thats why i have almost none. I just could not bring myself to spend more points on wargear and did not want to paint any more termies! I might consider dropping the FA choice and adding more termies including a BC but breaking the unit down to have a small DS unit to back up the cusader unit...

5) With my tactica series, i got more "my army x would kick your butt" crap then i cared to listen to... i am happy to help out with any opponents you come up against or if you have specific questions just email me. I am presently working on a MSN site with pics of my armies plus i might include the tactica i started.
If you think of anything else let me know

Cheers
Massaen (AKA Mike)

Thank you so much for your reply. I think the thing I love about this list (besides the sheer styishness) is that it makes a large part of the opponents army (plasma and other anti personel weapons) completely useless. I have a Vintage level Magic the Gathering deck (if you know what that is) that runs no creatures for a similar reason.

I also identified eldar/dark eldar and necrons as problem races, and I face at least two of them in my gaming group, but as you say, generalship and terrain play a huge part. In the 4 proxy games I have played so far, I've yet to lose a single raider (though they're often missing weapons, etc!).

I'm determined to give this list (or a variant) a shot. I'll start off with 1k points, because a lot of people around here are also in the process of starting lists, and so I'll get the chance to build up somewhat. If you don't mind, I'd like to send you a list or two at 1k points for critique.

After I get up and running I'll let you know how it goes.

Cheers!

Silent Requiem


Hi Mate, no worries - happy to share my experience! The fact that you need S8 weapons (like missiles, las cannons or similar) is part of the psych out effect - imagine facing an enemy that you only have 3 weapons that can inflict damage until he lets you by deploying!!!
I have a large magic collection myself (though i always went the other way with masses of black magic zombies & such)
I find my raiders by the end of most games full of holes!!! with 3 weapons the ammount of hits they take before being destoryed is quite large.

Sure send the lists through. i would include 1 raider in a 1K list and add another every 500 points.
Let me know how it goes.
Cheers
Massaen

Here's a rough 1k list:

Land raider: 250
Grand master w/ master crafted weapon, holocaust, sacred insence and psychic hood: 210? (don't have my codex on me)
Justicar, 4 GK and incinerator: 160
Justicar, 4 GK and incinerator: 160

Now from here I could either go with

Brother Captain, 3 GKT: 199

or I could beef up the two troop choices to 8 and 10 respectively. Basically, I could either have 1 squad of GK and the GM in the raider, or the GKT and the GM. I'm leaning towards the terminators because that gives me more scoring units, and I can always deepstrike the termies for more flexibility.

What do you think?

Extra points will probably go to smoke launchers and extra armor for the raider.

Cheers!

Silent Requiem


Cool - couple of suggestions (bear in mind i never played my list at less than 1500...)
I would drop the master crafting, sacred incence & possibly holocaust to bulk out one of the GK units and get the termies to deep strike (plus like you said another scoring unit)
In games of 1K are you really going to need a re roll on a HQ chioce that hard core??? Sacred incense is no good against anything but chaos and holocaust while good will not kill as many enemy in HtH as another GK. What do you think?
Have you tried this list yet? If so how did it go? if not - let me know how it goes!
Cheers
Massaen


5th Edition


With 5th edition I have dropped sacred incense and melta bombs to get dozer blades on the GHLR. Without our old LOS games, you sometimes have to park in cover and hope you roll well. With random game length, being able to take 'short cuts' through cover is also very valuable.

-Silent Requiem

Edited by Silent Requiem, 16 February 2009 - 02:19 PM.

QUOTE
About my list; it is weak. But it fits me, and that counts for a lot more than any amount of mathammer.


Since 5th edition: 3 wins, no draws, no losses.

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Fighting the Four Elements


Alright. So you have picked your army and are keen to try it out. But what now? Here is an overview of what it is like to fight each of the elemental players you will meet.

The Fire Warrior
(aka the aggressive opponent)

This guy wants to get up close and personal. What shooting units he has will likely remain static, to take advantage long range heavy weapons, and are often deployed centrally, or spread out, trying to get them to cover as much ground as possible. Neutralise them by denying LOS, something your low numbers help with, and maintaining distance, so that you maximise your shrouding. Otherwise ignore them in the early game.

The bulk of his army will probably be assault forces, lead by some CC HQ monster. Again, they will probably be deployed centrally, to reach you quickly. You will need to make sure your forces are close enough to support eachother in the inevitable assault. Otherwise, your priority is maximising your SB love time. This means falling back (to the flank, as well as the rear) as long as you can (incidentally, making his shooting elements more useless), while keeping him in SB range. Some armies, like foot orcs, can be totally destroyed at this stage.

If at all possible, retreat into cover and receive his charge (there is no direct benefit to GK charging). While it can be tempting to deny him the charge, his forces are probably pretty strung out at this point, and so denying the charge to one group may just mean giving it to another, a group that may not have reached you that turn if you had fallen back instead.

If you have managed your forces carefully, you should be engaging no more than half his army with all of yours, and the outcome should be heavily in your favour. Ironically, he will probably have started moving his shooting forces forward to support the assault once he saw how things were going. They should arrive just in time to save you a long walk back to them.

The Earth Warrior
(aka the cautious player)

This is the guy with a wall of tactical marines and a mean assault squad sitting right behind them, led by an ugly CC HQ. The message is clear, assault him and get beaten down by hidden powerfists and assault squads, try to out shoot, and you eat las and plasma till you die.

The trick here is to nibble at his edges until he makes a mistake. Use terrain to block as much line of sight as possible, while taking shots at his exposed flanks. Terminators, Raiders and Dreads allow you to reposition heavy weapons each turn, and SB's prove their worth too. Killing even a marine or two each turn while denying his retun fire will make him FEEL defeated, even though the damage is minimal.

With luck, he'll advance too flush you out, at which point you can treat him like an aggressive opponent (but weaker). If he turtles, keep nibbling, and position yourself for a last minute objective grab. You won't win big, but you should still win.

The Air Warrior

Less common that the last two elements, Air is one of the few armies guarenteed to take the inititive from you. To the Air player, everyone (except another Air player) looks very much like an Earth player, as the disparity in movement makes everyone else look like they are standing still. He will try to treat you like one, and that's fine. Don't read too much into his initial deployment as a turn of manouvering can make it irrelevant.

Air players habitually go for the flanks, as the points they spend on mobility mean that they have less actual fighting power, so they want to take on small chunks of the opponent, rather than all at once. Keep your small army together to remove the benefit of a flanking move.

They key here is to attack the source of his movement. This will mean taking out trantsports if he is assaulty, or stunning his vehicles if he is shooty. Fall back as ever to gain time, but keep in mind that with no defined front line, "falling back" can mean any direction. Remember that turbo boosting changes an armour save INTO an invulnerable save, so your incinerators and psycannons will make short work of bikes that try to outflank you.

Ultimatey, you will want to assault him if he is shooty, and keep him out of assault if that's where he is trying to get. With my list, assaulting Air armies are not to great a threat, as my GK's can hop into a Raider if they get too close, and transports tend to be flimsy enough that even stormbolters can take them out. Vehicle heavy shooting lists are far more dangerous, but with my mobility, each time one lines up a firing solution my entire army can move and counter attack. This tends to make them cautious once you down the first light unit or two (speeders/vipers/etc).

As his units tend to be (almost) as expensive as yours, you should not be outnumbered too badly, and a few casualties will force him to take risks to win the victory point race. Make him pay for those risks.

The Water Warrior

The least common of all the elements in my experience. Do not to expect to have an edge in movement, shooting, or assault. This is a game where the first person to crack loses.

The goal here is to manouver around eachother, inflicting casualties while limiting your own. Do NOT commit too early, as you will just be turning yourself into a weak Earth or Fire army, and we know how those battles end.

Once you gain a clear advantage, fall back, as he will have to chase you and start taking risks to catch up in victory points. Again, make him pay for those risks.

Edited by Silent Requiem, 16 February 2009 - 02:24 PM.

QUOTE
About my list; it is weak. But it fits me, and that counts for a lot more than any amount of mathammer.


Since 5th edition: 3 wins, no draws, no losses.

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Silent Requiem

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7 Habits of Highly Effective Gamers


Despite the title, I dont actually see a lot of people doing the things on the list, but as they have helped me, I shall pass them on. Im leaving out things that you commonly hear about (know your codex, etc.), and focusing on the more obscure.


1) The Pause.

As in chess, a game of 40k starts off with infinite possibility (actually, chess is only near infinite, whereas 40k achieves infinity). However, as with chess, permutations decrease sharply as pieces are removed, and certain possibilities are discarded as obvious poor choices. This is why people become better players as the game progresses; their finite processing power is applied to progressively simpler problems, with greater chance of arriving at a successful conclusion. This accounts for many of the amazing comeback games that we have all seen (freakish dice rolling accounts for the rest).

As Grey Knight players, we are in the unusual position of starting the game with relatively few models on the table, so it behoves us to turn that perceived weakness into an advantage. Spend a while in silence at the beginning of each of your turns, while you figure out what you want each unit to do, and how you want to set about doing it. Move around if you need to; check LOS, gauge distances, that sort of thing, but dont start making moves until you know what all your moves are going to be. And dont chat... it can all to easily distract you.

We are not playing orcs or guard here. We dont have 100 models on the table. I have less than 20. So there is no good reason why I shouldnt know EXACTLY what Im doing before I start doing it.


2) The Monologue.

Once I know what Im going to do, I dont shut up. I narrate EVERYTHING. Here is a sample of one unit at the start of the shooting phase:

All right, thats it for my movement, Ill start my shooting phase now. Im starting with squad Eddard here, and Im going to roll to see if I can target that marine squad instead of the nearest target. I need 9 or less. I rolled a 7, so Im shooting at the marines.

I have 6 men in the squad, with no specials, so I get 12 dice, needing 3s to hit. 8 hit. Now I need 4s to wound. 4 wounds. You save on 3+. OK, thats it for this squad.

The reason I do this is twofold. First off, it helps me know where I am and what Im doing (game-wise). Im not likely to forget much. Second, though, is that it allows my opponent to correct me BEFORE we have a problem (Uh, actually, you need 5s to wound, they have Mark of Nurgle.) This makes my turns run very smoothly, with the added bonus that I get a reputation for being an honest and forthright player. We all know how hard it can be to distinguish between honest mistake and attempted cheating.


3) Agree LOS.

With a Water army, denying the enemy LOS is often critical. I determine LOS by using my tape measure, but with the blank side up, so no distances are being measured. Ill then mark that line with a couple of dice and ask my opponent whether they agree that I have marked the line of sight correctly.

Example: Do you agree that this is the LOS for your marine with the lascannon and that he cannot see anything to the left of this line?

Ill do this with all relevant enemy lines of sight, and then Ill do the same for LOS that I DO want.

Example: Do you agree that this is the LOS to your lead two tactical marines, including the vet sgt and anything to the right of this line can see them?

I can now move my Land Raider out from behind the trees, to the left of the first line, but to the right of the second line, secure in the knowledge that he can kill the lead marines without worrying about return fire from the lascannon. I may even confirm this with my opponent, depending on the quality of the player (poor ones can sometimes really need you to spell it out for them).

The huge benefit of working this way is that it avoids those heated LOS arguments that weve all had at one time or another. This makes the game more enjoyable and helps it run smoothly.


4) The Walk.

Periodically, you should walk a full circle around the table, stopping at various points to get a good look at the table from different vantages. Like Ender Wiggin, we must learn to shed our traditional "up-down" view of the table, and see what our enemy sees. Stand in his spot and ask yourself what you would try to have each of his units do. In this way you anticipate him, while perhaps seeing some LOS's that you would otherwise have missed.

I know some gamers who go so far as to play recon games entirely on what would normally be their opponent's side, with their troops advancing to meet them as the game progresses.


5) Always Measure.

Always measure the distance to your target, even if you know that it is within (or out of) range. Distance measuring is a limited commodity; you get to do it once per firing unit. Don't waste it.

Imagine an assault squad bearing down on your PAGK. You know it is within range, but measure anyway. It is 19" away. Now you know it cannot assault you next turn, allowing your other units to fire on more immediate threats.

Imagine a devestator squad in the far corner. You declare you are firing at it, although it is clearly out of range. You measure anyway, and learn that it is 42" away. Now you know you can safely leave cover, as the plasma cannons cannot reach you.


6) Victory Point Denial

In 2/3 of all standard games (Gamma and Omega), the winner is determined by victory points. While these will be examined in more detail later, there are two ways of getting VPs: you can take objectives, and you can kill the other guy.

If I can make one suggestion, you may want to mention that both Air and Water style combat usually has an emphasis on VP denial tactics while Earth and Fire typically do not. VP denial is a critical aspect of the 4th edition game, and deserves definite mention in just about any strategy article, in my opinion.

Ezzeran


Brother Ezzeran is quite right. In any given game, the Control player (usually us, see post 19) has to go to great lengths to deny their opponent the VPs that their superior raw killing power will give them. This is especially true for Grey Knight players, as our units are so expensive. A GK squad reduced to below half strength will often give the opponent more VPs than the entire value of the unit we are targeting. We must always weigh the VPs we are risking against the VPs we hope to gain, and use our greater mobility and conservatve tactics to minimise what risk we must take.

Thanks to Brother Ezzeran for raising the point.


7) Agree Terrain.

At the beginning of each game, before sides are chosen, point to each piece of terrain and agree the following points with your opponent:

-area terrain or WYSIWYG?
-if area, what hight?
-what is the cover save?
-what defines the limits of the terrain (important where terrain is mounted on a base)?
-is it difficult/dangerous/impassable?
-are any special rules being used (CoD, swamps, etc)?

It may seem tedious to do this before each game, but it avoids conflict later in the game when your Deepstrike scatters into terrain you think is merely dangerous (which is why you were deepstriking near it), but your opponent swears is impassable (thus killing your HQ unit).

Edited by Silent Requiem, 04 February 2007 - 11:01 AM.

QUOTE
About my list; it is weak. But it fits me, and that counts for a lot more than any amount of mathammer.


Since 5th edition: 3 wins, no draws, no losses.

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Solis

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looking good Silent.

i was wondering how you use your sample army, i assume you mount the squads in the LRs or do you have them there for cover, as i had a trial game yesterday using your list (a 4 man game) and started with them next to the tanks and then on my first turn embarked them and then raced one up and moved the others away from a whole lot of fire.

would it be possible for a run down of a common game of yours?

Edited by Venenum, 21 March 2007 - 12:03 AM.
trimmed OT comments

QUOTE(apnu @ Jan 23 2007, 06:00 AM) View Post
(on edit: Oops I posted this before I knew it was stuck. Foolish on my part, sorry to have annoyed anybody with a superfluous bump. I will leave it here as a reminder to look before you post.)


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Silent Requiem

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Hmmm. I think I could manage a run down or two. I'll do some tactics explanations first, to build vocab, and then I'll look at a batrep or two.

Common Tactical Manouvers



Perhaps I'm just not that smart, but I never "got" books like Art of War and The Five Rings. On War never did it for me, and although I loved Guns of August and Red Storm Rising, I never came away feeling I was a better tactician for having read them. I feel I got more out of Ender's Game and The Forever War, and those were just scifi. So here I'm going to put general principles aside for a while, and talk about how, specifically, to set up the other guy to lose.


Pruning

Many units actually consist of one or two dangerous guys and a whole lot of ablative wounds. Pruning is where you set your unit up in such a way that they can fire on a few of the ablative guys, without taking return fire from the actual threats. This is like the common tactic of sniping (not described here), but in reverse. Water armies excell at pruning, as we maintain full firepower on the move, while the other guys don't.


Focus Fire

The gentle art of hitting something with everything you've got. Sometimes you just can't deny LOS to a dangerous unit. Then it has to die.


Fork/Skewer

Chess terms. A fork is where you could attack in one of two directions, and a skewer is where you could attack one of several units in one direction. Normally this is undesireable in 40k, as if you have LOS, they have LOS. However, it can be used to prevent wastage. If you focus fire a unit, it may die before all your units have fired, leaving your last units with nothing to engage. A fork/skewer on your last unit means they have an alternate target if things go well for you.


Land Raider Assault

1) Open the front hatch (yours does open, right?).
2) Place your first man so that the near edge of his base is 2" from the assault ramp/access point.
3) Place others as appropriate.
4) Make assault move.

This allows you to assault a target ~9.25" from the leading edge of the Raider. More if you are using larger than standard bases.


The Invisible Man (included for reference; obsolete in 5th edition)

This is a long range IC, such as a Brother Captain with a psycannon, or a Librarian with Fury of the Ancients, who shadows a resilient unit like a Land Raider. Although completely in the open, he cannot be targeted, because he is an IC, and the resilient unit is closer to the enemy.


Rack 'em

Tank shock with your Raider along one flank of a unit. The unit will then bunch to the side to let the Raider past, probably forming a short, compact line (depending on the angle). When your PAGK disembark, the guy with the incinerator will find that this line fits neatly under the template. Changes to template rules in 5th edition make it worth considering whether to bring a second incinerator, and thereby have a decent shot of wiping out even MEQs.


Bunkering

Two Raiders in a shallow V, about 2.5 inches apart. Your GK in the V. They can fire past the Raiders (and be fired upon) at anything they can draw LOS to. However, as the enemy may not approach closer than 1" except in the assault phase, and the standard base is ~.98", they cannot pass through the gap between the Raiders, and have to try going around. Your Raiders and GK can reposition each turn of course. Don't stand too close to the gap, though, or they will just assault through.


Betting/Hedging

Betting is where you position IC in such a way that in an assault the hidden powerfist is within his kill zone. In other words, you are betting that the IC will clear his kill zone and get the fist before it instant kills him. Hedging your bets is where you position the IC so that the fist is outside his kill zone and so cannot harm him this turn. Far less common with the 5th edition IC rules. The best way to protect IC's now is with by getting them to join a friendly squad.


Tactical Casualties

This is where you remove casualties in such a way that another unit or part of the unit is denied the ability to engage you. This may mean letting their IC kill all the models in base contact with his retinue, preventing his retinue from attacking, or killing off your lead men in the shooting phase so that his other units no longer have LOS.


Kiting

This is where you repeatedly fall back from an enemy whilst shooting at him, denying him a counter attack through greater range and manouverability. Works best against slow assault troops, like orcs, where entire games can be won through this tactic. With the intruduction of the run rule in 5th edition, this tactic can no longer be used for an unlimitied amount of time. Eventually they will reach you.

Edited by Silent Requiem, 23 July 2008 - 11:35 AM.

QUOTE
About my list; it is weak. But it fits me, and that counts for a lot more than any amount of mathammer.


Since 5th edition: 3 wins, no draws, no losses.

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Silent Requiem

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While I have tried to present this tactica in a kind of "paint-by-numbers" way to allow easy duplication or adaptation, there truth is that the theory is a lot easier than the practice, where examples are less clear cut and truth comes in shades of grey rather that a comfortable black and white.

In his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra claims that in every moment there exists one absolutely perfect action. The rest of his book focuses on training the mind and heart to be able to identify that perfect action from moment to moment.

In 40k there may or may not be a "perfect action" or tactic for every situation, but there certainly are a lot of poor ones. We face choices every turn, whether we know it or not. Often we make decisions before we even realise that the choice is there.

Examples:

Falling back on turn 2 to deny a LOS may mean we have "decided" we will not assault on turn 3 (as we will be out of range).
Pruning squad A means we have "decided" not to assault squad B this turn.
Assaulting squad B may mean we have "decided" not to shoot squad A next turn (as we are embroiled in assault).

In each of the above cases, a decision on an immediate problem restricts our choices in the future, effectively making a "decision" on our future actions at the same time, whether we have thought about it or not.

The trickle down effect of our choices can be hard to weigh against each other, even if we see them. Is assaulting next turn better than falling back this turn? Well that depends on alot of circumstances, but luckily the whole range of questions can be lumped quite nicely into one, overarching question:

Who's the Beatdown?


This question derives from the Vintage Magic the Gathering Tournament environment, which, for those who are unfamiliar with it, is a highly technical and exacting metagame. Magic the Gathering is a game which (in a competitive environment) involves 2 players with customised decks drawing and playing cards in an effort to effect a 'victory condition', usually, but not always, reducing the opponent to 0 life. Although these decks can be made varyingly fast, aggressive, controlling, and enduring, in any given match up the relationship between the two decks can be described as Beatdown-Control. Failing to appreciate which you are will cost you the game.

The Beatdown deck is usually the faster, more explosive deck. It has to win before the Control deck can get it's slower, stronger cards into play. Playing the Beatdown means taking risks and playing aggressively.

The Control, on the other hand, has to stop the the Beatdown long enough to gain control of the game, either through a lock, or straight board/card advantage. The longer the game goes on the more likely Control is to win. Playing Control means playing conservatively, minimising losses, prolonging the battle so that the effect of your greater forces can be brought to bear.

Obviously, there are significant differences between the formats of Magic and 40k. Luck in 40k is in the dice, not your draw phase. In 40k you start with all your forces in play (or in reserve), and there are no re-enforcements. The armies are (theoretically) equal, but losses cannot be replaced. Despite this, the Beatdown-Control relationship still has value, and I have seen games lost on this principle (and I will include a batrep on this point later).

So what factors influence the question of roles? The obvious one is army/unit selection, but it is not the only factor. Terrain, objectives, deployment, time remaining and comparative skill all play a part. While perhaps a supercomputer could evaluate all these factors and come up definitive answer for any given situation, those of us who left our supercomputers in our other army case are left simply with our gut feelings.

Ask yourself, does either of the armies on the table, in all the current circumstances, have a clearly defined victory condition? This victory condition will probably be either "bring all my big guns to bear and blow him away" or "get into one gigantic, all out assault". If only one army has such a clear objective, congratulations, you have just identified the Beatdown.

If both armies have a clear mission, ask yourself if either one of those victory conditions prevents the other? For example, an army that shoots at another army does not prevent an assault, but an assault does preclude further shooting. If one objective overrides the other, congratulations, you have just identified the Beatdown.

If neither victory conditions preclude the other (ie, they both want to shoot, or both want to assault), ask yourself if, in the current circumstances, the two armies were to get what they want, who would most probably come out ahead. This army is the Beatdown.

So now what?

Once you know which you are, you can plan your game accordingly.

If you are the Control, as a Water army will be most (but NOT all) of the time, you must play conservatively, emphasise victory point denial, focus on objectives, and prevent, at all costs, the opponent from setting up his victory condition. Fortunately, Water armies are VERY good at playing the control game.

If you are the Beatdown (and you will be from time to time), you have to switch gears and focus on getting your victory condition into play. The longer it takes, the less time you have to kill the enemy, which means fewer victory points. Unlike most armies, Water armies play well on the Control AND the Beatdown.


A Rough Guide to the Beatdown


While it's all well and good for me to tell you to trust your instincts or listen to your gut, I appreciate that these are actually subconscious banks of accumulated knowledge that cannot be accessed consciously, and so are unavailable to new players. Here then is a rough guide, based on generalisations, and discounting game specifics (like terrain and deployment), of who is the Beatdown.

Fire Armies: As assault based armies, the Fire Warrior will almost always be the Beatdomn, except against slower Fire armies. This is because Fire troops pay for their speed, meaning they field less actual power the faster they get. The trade off is that faster armies will spend less time getting shot at, and so may actually deliver more troops to the battle. Against armies that want to get "up close and personal" as much as the Fire army, this speed is simply a waste of points.

Earth Armies: Usually these armies play the Beatdown against Water and Air armies, as they have enough fire power to blow away anything they can get in their sights. Against Fire armies the Earth player has to just hope he can kill things fast enought to live through the assault. Earth-Earth fights follow the same principles as Fire-Fire fights; the slower force is the Beatdown.

Water Armies: With a mix of skills and no single overwhelming advantage, Water armies are generally Control against everything except Air armies and more shooty Water armies, when they become the Beatdown, as they try to lock down the greater manouverability of these armies.

Air Armies: As mobility armies, Air is always Control, except against more shooty Air armies, when they become the Beatdown, as assault negates the shooting of the opponent.

Edited by Silent Requiem, 23 July 2008 - 11:37 AM.

QUOTE
About my list; it is weak. But it fits me, and that counts for a lot more than any amount of mathammer.


Since 5th edition: 3 wins, no draws, no losses.

#12
Silent Requiem

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I've thought long and hard about objectives, and two things are clear: 1) they are almost a full sized tactica in their own right, and 2) I have nothing to say about them that is specifically to do with Water armies. Thus, I have decided not to include them in this tactica, which has already become so large that I fear many people will be put off reading it due to it's size. I will therefore include some batreps and call it a day.

The batreps eventually posted here will be the last "offical" posts in the thread, so I formally open the thread up to comments and criticisms. I've put alot of work into this, so I'm looking forward to some feedback (though I have received some in the forms of PMs and on other threads - thank you to all who have taken the time to do so). I'd also love to discuss any of the issues raised by the tactica in this or another thread.

Note that these batreps are 4th edition, and may therefore no longer reflect the current rules set.

Battle Reports


First af all I appologise for the age of these bat reps. A work related move has left me without a game for 8 months (not counting when I play myself... I'm that lame), so I'm having to run from memory. I have tried to pick batreps that really underscore the points made in this tactica.


Grey Knights v Eldar (old edition)


My list is the standard list set out in the tactica.

His list was something like:

Farseer on jetbike with witchblade and fortune.
Squad of 6 warpspiders.
3 Vipers with brightlances and CMT.
2 Vipers with starcannon and CMT.
Falcon with brightlance and the usual upgrades.

I suppose this means that he was playing Saim-Hann. Forgive me if the points total is a little off.

My opponent was a great player, and just a fantastic person to play. He was as cunning as he was a good sport, and we had quite the rivalry, as each week he would come into the store announcing that he had finally developed a list that was sure to take me down. Hence the strong focus of his list.

We set up the 6' x4' table with a broken row of trees running north-south about 12" from the west edge. Near the north end, about 12" in from the line of trees was another small clump of trees. A large ~1' square of rubble was centred in the far east. There was no other terrain. After expecting to face off north-south, we of course rolled alpha cleanse. My opponent chose the north west corner, as it had the most cover to start his skimmers behind. That left me deploying in the empty south east.

I deployed both Raiders far back into my corner, with a squad in each Raider. My opponent deployed all behind the cover of the trees, and with his move-shoot-move abilities I didn't think he would be too eager to come out, so I put the BC in reserve to DS.

Turn 1

I gave first turn to my opponent (I like last turn in most cases), and his warpspiders and farseer went due south behind the line of trees, expanding into the south west quarter, and they were followed by 2 starcannon vipers. His brightlance platforms all poped out from behind the trees to take shots at my Raiders, but I was well out of range.

On my turn I rumbled the Raiders up to just beyond his range (I had noted the range in his shooting phase). At this point we had a stand off; I had nothing to shoot at and was beyond his range.

Turn 2

He mostly held his ground, and tried to get better angles for his shots, but his insistence that his skimmers finish their moves behind the tree line meant that they fell short.

No DS. I moved one Raider north (still out of range) into the north east quarter. I was now in the position of being able to hold or contest all for quarters an 1 turn notice by dumping the troops and racing the Raiders due west. My opponent would be stuck contesting 2 quarters.

Turn 3

At this point he could see where inactivity would lead, so he made a big push with his brightlance vipers and the falcon, though all they managed to do was stun my northern Raider. Because he had cleverly chosen to make his shot in the movement phase, he did not move his starcannon vipers out of cover, as he would have done if any GK had been forced to disembark.

Although I came through his turn well, I knew that this could get ugly for me very quickly. Fortunately, I rolled my DS this turn, and targeted the small clump of trees in the north west quadrant. This would give my BC LOS to 2 vipers and the rear of the falcon. I scattered though, and so lost the LOS to the falcon.

My Raiders both moved forward and angled themselves such that my disembarking GK were not potentially exposed to the starcannon vipers next turn, while still having LOS to a few of the brightlance vipers in range.

In the shooting phase, each squad of GK and the BC took out a viper (thus eliminating all his brightlances short of the falcon), and the Raiders managed to stun the falcon.

Turn 4

Things were grim for my opponent, but as long as the falon lived, he still had a chance. The remaining vipers wiped out the poor BC, who was their only viable target, and he crossed his fingers for the falcon.

The falcon did not survive my shooting phase, however, and the game was called by my opponent.

Analysis

I love this kind of game; two mobile forces dueling with high value assets. Much more fun than a lot of the meatgrinders you see out there. My opponents real mistake (and the reason I'm writing this) was not realising that HE was the beatdown. Air armies are so used to being the control army that he failed to see that a first (or even second) turn rush would havse destroyed me. Instead, he attacked with only some of his assets just prior to my BC becoming available.

If he had made his move on turn 2, and we assigned the exact same luck to the units he DID attack with, he would have had the warpspiders and the starcannon to punish my GK for disembarking, he would have had an extra brightlance viper (the BC wouldn't have been available to kill it) and the farseer could have assaulted a Raider next turn. Not a guarenteed win, but he could reasonably have expected to maul me badly enough to get a tie, with fair chance at the win.


Grey Knights v Genestealers


Mine was the standard list from the tactica.

My opponent was using a broodlord with retinue, and 4 squads of stealers with scuttlers. Everything had extended carapace.

Table was a standard 6'*4', with clumps of trees in the pattern of the pips on the "5" side of a D6. Mission was Alpha Seek and Destroy.

I used my standard deployment, which is 1 Raider (with squad) behind cover in the centre of my deployment zone, and the other behind cover on one flank (in this case, the eastern flank). BC was in the centre Raider.

My opponent was a very aggressive and highly skilled tournament player (who incidentally does amazing Nid conversions), and he deployed with his broodlord in the centre, with the other squads forming a line abreast across the board. While this is normally a very "rookie" deployment, it made a lot of sense here, as my manoeuvrability and his dependence on assault meant that my opponent had to cast his net wide.


Turn 1

I can't remember who won first turn, but he ended up going first. He rolled well for difficult terrain and fleet, and of course he had scuttlers, so his first turn movement was quite impressive. His broodlord was slower, and so fell behind somewhat. He kept in the majority of each squad in the trees where he could, to get the majority save, while still allowing the lead elements of each squad full movement. All in all, it was a very well played and aggressive opening.

For those who have never played against this kind of army, consider this:
The table is 48" deep
He deploys 12" in
He scuttles
He moves
He fleets

This leaves him ~30" from his table edge, ~18" from my table edge, and ~6" from my deployment zone. He WILL assault me next turn.

To the east I moved my Raider forward 12" (letting the squad off first), leaving me an inch or two from the 2 stealer squads on the east flank. I blew the smoke.

The disembarked squad moved towards the stealers and opened fire on the east most squad with devastating effect. Extended carapace prevented it's complete annihilation, however.

In the centre, I also disembarked, and moved into cover to get I10 when he assaulted me, and the BC and the Raider both fell back to the south east. Everything opened fire at the nearest of the western squads, but good save/cover saves left them above half strength. Only the BC managed to inflict any serious casualties thanks to his AP4, cover save ignoring sidearm (be aware that as of the 5th edition FAQ, psycannons do not ingore cover saves).

All in all the turn had been very disappointing for me.

Turn 2

Luckily for me, my opponent took the bait on BOTH flanks. In the east he could not resist the temptation of assaulting the Raider, and in the centre he went for the squad in cover. My Raider (thanks to moving 12") escaped without so much as a scratch on the paint work, and in the centre, my GK managed to kill off the damaged unit before being turned into nutritious protean snacks. It wasn?t rending that got me actually, it was my near legendary ability to fail statistically improbable numbers of armour saves. This is a factor in my reliance on Land Raiders... when people try to kill them, I don't need to roll a thing :P

On my turn I boosted the eastern Raider forward another 12", tank shocking the stealers, and racking them nicely for some sweet, sweet, incinerator loving by the nearby GK, who managed to wipe out the intact squad of stealers in the east entirely!

In the centre, the stealers had consolidated into the forest, but this was meaningless to the BC, and availed them little against the Raider. Before firing, my BC moved towards the stealers (yet another movement impairing sacrifice) while the raider continued to fall back to the east. The BC was directly between the stealers and the Raider.

Turn 3

In the east, my opponent unfortunately chose to ignore my Raider, and instead assaulted my GK, who, despite the low number of the attackers, evaporated in a flurry of rending. In the centre, my BC died not to rending, but to 2 failed saves.

On my turn, each raider fell back 6" and proceeded to wipe out the remnants of the respective squads.

Turn 4+

The rest of the game consisted of me out running and out manoeuvring the slower broodlord, while whittling down his squad. At the end of the game all he had left was the broodlord, who had taken a wound from a heavy bolter.

Analysis

This was an incredibly tense game against what I feel is one of the best fire armies out there. I also shows why I hate playing (with, not against) fire armies, as they tend to be very one dimensional in their purest form.

My opponent played brilliantly, forcing me to sacrifice unit after unit to keep him at bay. If he made a mistake, it was assaulting my Raider on turn 2, when it was clearly a decoy to lure him away from the softer GK. Still, I understand the temptation of a 250+ unit, especially as the Raider is fast enough to prevent a second chance (albeit at the expense of shooting) if it really wants to.

If there is a weakness to this list, it is the slow HQ. I wonder if a winged tyrant might not have been a better choice, but of course, in a list like this, it may just become heavy weapon target number one-and-only.

MVP goes to the incinerator knight in the east squad, who really proved his worth, wiping out a stealer squad nearly single handed.


Imperial Guard v Grey Knights


Mine was the standard list from the tactica.

My had about 8 squads of guardsmen, and each squad was armed with either missile launchers or lascannons. The lascannon squads had the sharpshooters docitorine. He also had an HQ unit in a chimera, though I can't remember the weapons load-out.

Table was a standard 6'*4', and the board was divided in two by a broken line of forest running east-west along the length of the board. The north west corner had a ruined building in it. There may have been other terrain, but none of any consequence.. Mission was Alpha Recon.

I used my standard deployment, which is 1 Raider (with squad) behind cover in the centre of my deployment zone, and the other behind cover on one flank (in this case, the eastern flank). BC was in the centre Raider.

My opponent started his deployment in the north west, very sensibly putting his troops into the cover of the ruined building, which was large enough to contain the bulk of his forces. This gave him certain limited views of my deployment zone, but more importantly, an almost unrestricted LOS to his own deployment zone. At least, as far as his range went.

On a 6’x4’ table, however, a lascannon at one end of the table, cannot reach the far end (by about a good 2’, actually), and so when I deployed my second raider in the east (Always, ALWAYS deploy your center raider first if you can help it. You accept that your opponent is going to know what your deployment is before he sets up the bulk of his forces, but don’t give up which flank you choose any earlier than you have to.). My opponent therefore became (understandably) concerned that I might simply roll over into his deployment zone unchallenged. In response, he deployed 3 squads in the east, to resist my advance. This was to decide the flow of the game.

Turn 1

I don’t know who won the roll for first turn, but I got the ever crucial turn two. Since with no LOS he was unlikely to give this to me, I probably won it.

My opponent did not do a whole lot. He had no LOS to my Raiders, and he did not want to leave his positions. While some might call this a wasted turn (and for some armies it would be), a good earth player knows the virtue of patience. My opponent was very good, and very patient.

On my turn, I manouver the central raider east, behind the tree line. My eastern raider pruned one of the lascannon teams in the east. In a stroke of luck, the squad broke, and fled out of position (but not off the table). Both Raiders were in position for a rush next turn, albeit at extreme range (the Raiders would need to move more than 6?.

Turn 2

Once again my opponent had no LOS, thanks to having had his lascannons failing to rally and fleeing the table. He waits again.

I move for the kill, but not quite how he expects it. To have actually assaulted him would have left me open to lethal return fire from the bulk of his forces in the north west, which is undaoubtedly what he planned. Instead, I moved my Raiders such that my eastern Raider was in plain sight of his main force, but out of range, and my central Raider had clear LOS to his flank forces, but no LOS to his main force. I then disembarked, and hosed the area down with stormbolter, heavy bolter, and psycannon rounds, at extreme range. While there may have been one or two survivors, there was nothing of consequence left alive in that area when I had finished (no unbroken squads or heavy weapons).

Turn 3

This is where I feel my opponent made his first real mistake. Once again, he had the same problem that he had identified in the deployment phase, but this time he did not know what to do. So he fell back on his Earth army instincts and held fast, waiting to blast the first thing that showed itself.

Now at this point, I had won the game. I had 4 scoring units that could sit unmolested in his deployment zone, and there was no longer time for him to get any but his chimera unit into my deployment zone, which would not be enough to alter the results of the game. I pointed this out to my opponent, who readily agreed the game was mine. I therefore suggested that we make life more interesting by having me try to win a second time after having to assault his position. I mention this only so that readers will understand that while what follows is still a reflection of the flexability of a Water army, it is an army with a new directive that requires them to engage in an otherwise foolhardy assault.

So I spent my 3rd turn getting troops back into Raiders, and moving at best speed towards the west, but doing so behind the tree line. Because I choose to block LOS, I actually made very little forward progress, as I had to move south, before I could move west.

Turn 4

On his turn he again sat tight, knowing that I was coming for him, and the situation now favoured him.

I blast my Raiders forward into the open, popping smoke. I disembark my troops, knowing that they are too far to charge, but wanting to avoid entanglement. It also forces him to split his fire between my raiders and my Grey Knights. They open fire at lascannon squads, but not those nearest the Raiders, as I want to assault them next turn. None break.

Turn 5

His firepower is stupendous. Despite the smoke launchers, one Raider is immobilised and has its heavy bolter blown off. The other is stripped of its weapons, excepting one lascannon (on the starboard side). The chimera, which has been hiding behind the ruins, makes a break for my deployment zone, with the command squad inside. One of my Grey Knight squads is reduced to the justicar, thought the Brother Captain and the other squad are untouched, mainly due my opponent running out of guns.

On my turn, the immobilised Raider takes out the chimera with a lascannon fired by the machine spirit. The other raider positions itself to be behind the coming assault, and fires a lascannon to no noteworthy effect.

My Grey Knights now assault without firing their weapons. I learned long ago that one of the great frustrations of fighting Guard is that they flee like schoolchildren when confronted with elite toops. If I were to fire on the guard squads and they fled, I would be subjected to another round of shooting, which I could not risk.

Tragically, my BC was killed assaulting into cover, but the lone justicar won his first round of combat, and the full strength squad wiped out a guard squad while losing one member.

Turn 6

This was a meatgrinder which saw all my GK wiped out after infliciting decent casualties on the guard squads. It also saw me win the game with one scoring unit (my virtually naked raider) deep in his deployment zone, with none of his units in my zone.

Analysis

This was always going to be a bad game for my opponent, seeing as his is an Earth army, and mobility is not their strong suit. However, he did have far more scoring units than I, and if he had reached my deployment zone, he would have won easily, even after having suffered massive casualties.

Fortunately, my opponent was forced to make some tough choices from the very beginning, which I took advantage of.

What I would have done in his place, would have been to set up entirely in the ruins, with the lascannon squads, and to have advanced (from the very beginning) with his chimera and his missile launcher squads.

This would have forced me to start taking on his advancing units under the cover of his guns in the ruins. Careful positioning would be required to ensure the ensuing melee did not unduely block LOS from the ruins. This could perhaps have been done by running them directly down the western edge of the table.

Even though he chose another tactic, my opponent had a second chance on turn 3. Once his flanking force had been dispatched, my opponent could once again have tried to advance on my zone. Granted he had less troops at his disposal, but I was well out of position. Even if I had been able to stop his troops, I doubt I could also have gotten myself into his deployment zone.

The real trouble is that my opponent got stuck in his Earth army paradigm. Earth and Fire (and to some extent Air) are notorious for trying to deal with all situations the same way. To be fair, those armies tend to be very good at their “way? of dealing with things, but in this case it simply led to my opponent’s defeat.

Edited by Silent Requiem, 23 July 2008 - 11:43 AM.

QUOTE
About my list; it is weak. But it fits me, and that counts for a lot more than any amount of mathammer.


Since 5th edition: 3 wins, no draws, no losses.

#13
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Now you have me wondering about playing the Daemonhunters codex as a whole using Water strategies ... And the effects of including inducted Guard or allied Marines on those strategies. Will you consider putting these together as well, or will you leave that to the rest of us?
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"And what are the achievements of your fragile Imperium? ... It was built with the toil of heroes and giants, and now it is inhabited by frightened weaklings to whom the glories of those times are half-forgotten legends. I have forgotten nothing, and my wisdom has expanded far beyond mere mortal frailties." - Ahzek Ahriman

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Silent Requiem

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While I am planning to diversify my list to include DH and WH units, I have no experience with that yet, and so don't feel qualified to say anything about it. I'd be very interested in seeing someone else post along those lines though!

- Silent Requiem
QUOTE
About my list; it is weak. But it fits me, and that counts for a lot more than any amount of mathammer.


Since 5th edition: 3 wins, no draws, no losses.

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I play nearly pure DH, allowing for the single squad of seraphim I just about always take with my army. I also usually an eversor assassin, sometimes a callidus instead. Neither of these could properly be called "water" units, though. :) And I certainly don't use them that way, either. However, I do consider myself a "water warrior" -- if not a "purist" -- at least insofar as I appear to hew to virtually all of the tactical principles and even specific tactics that you outline. I just don't use any land raiders. ;)

However, I allow my non-water impurities to play spoiler, and throw them at whatever unit -- be it armoured, monstrous creature, or infantry -- that I consider to be the strongest threat on the table. I find that if you're clever with deployment and movement, you can usually coordinate the activities of the assassin and seraphim to such an extent that both of these units can survive multiple turns and continue to play havoc with the enemy's plans. Sometimes all the way to the end of the game, even (especially gratifying when it all comes together that beautifully). This makes it all the easier for me to use my Grey Knights and dreadnoughts -- which form the solid core of my army -- to be ... well, wherever I need them to be, reacting to whatever my opponent does. I don't ever come to the table with a plan for them.

Again, Silent_Requiem, thank you very much for your tactica. I found it very instructional. You still have a few scattered "to comes" there, though. :wink: Any chance for more updates? (I look forward especially to any additional battle reports you can cull from memory.)
RIP Warhammer 40,000: 21 Sep 1998 - 24 May 2014

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Silent Requiem

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I'm glad that you (and others) have enjoyed the tactica, even if it has not generated as much discussion as I had expected. The Nid batrep is up, and I suspect that is the last one I shall post. I've really enjoyed writing this, but I think it's time to move on. ^_^
QUOTE
About my list; it is weak. But it fits me, and that counts for a lot more than any amount of mathammer.


Since 5th edition: 3 wins, no draws, no losses.

#17
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Land Raider Crusader

Movement phase: Vehicle standard.

Shooting phase: Good. Very focused on anti-infantry, but with a strong anti armour component. The sponson weapons are somewhat wasted in their position, however.

Assault phase: N/A.

Special rules: Transport. Adds to the movement of other units (and in the case of a Land Raider, protects them). Machine spirit. Allows for increased firepower on the move.

Role: The shorter range of the weapons means that the Crusader will run the full gambit of antitank measures. As such it is less survivable than the regular Raider, and so more devoted to transport, having less success in a harassment role.

Cost effective: See Land Raider.

Personal comment: This is a Fire vehicle, not a Water one. I dont like them.


I'm a little curious about this (since I have a standard Raider and a Crusader but not two of the same type) could you explain this more because from what I can gather you don't like the Crusader because it is a Fire vehicle (with the 24" range I can see where you are coming from) but that seems to be the only reason. Is it still not plausible to use the Crusader as a kind of Grey Knight squad, gives you 6 bolters but with bonuses to hit in addition to the assault cannon and multi-melta. And if things get too close you can always pick up a nearby GK squad and head off elsewhere (or blast them with rapid fire)?

In other words, what I'm asking is that because I'm unwilling to fork out 35 for a land raider I want to make use of my existing Crusader but this tactica doesn't even include them, which is fine, but the reasons aren't so clear cut for me.

^_^
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I'm a little curious about this (since I have a standard Raider and a Crusader but not two of the same type) could you explain this more because from what I can gather you don't like the Crusader because it is a Fire vehicle (with the 24" range I can see where you are coming from) but that seems to be the only reason.

No problem. I'll see if I can't expand on this a little more.

Sponsons

There are two reasons that I say the Crusader sponsons are wasted. Firstly, sponsons all have a blind spot directly in front (and behind) of the vehicle where they cannot engage the enemy. The size of these blind spots depends on whether you have mounted your sponsons fore or aft, but it's always going to be there to some degree. You can ignore the blind spot when shooting at things far away, but it is a real factor when engaging nearby targets. Thus, the standard Raider, with it's God Hammer pattern Lascannons, is likely to be shooting at something far enough away that the blind spot can be disregarded, but the Crusader, with it's Hurricane Bolters (and a 12" optimum range), has to be very careful not to let the enemy "hide" in plain view.

Secondly, sponsons are useful for "peeking around corners" while the body of the Raider is behind cover. In this fashion, a Raider can fire on a Hammerhead, but still count as obscured, and at the same time deny LOS to the nearby railgun crisis suits. Again, the God Hammers are ideally suited to take advantage of this, whereas Hurricane Bolters lack the range to exploit this tactic to the fullest. Moreover, if it can be killed by the Hurricane Bolter, there is a strong likelyhood that the Crusader either does not need to hide at all, or (like against stealers) would be better off bringing all it's guns to bear while falling back 6".

Less Surviveable

Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of weapons that CAN hit you at 24" (max range of a Crusader), that CAN'T hit you at 48" (max range of standard Raider):

bright lance
dark lance
assault cannon
multi melta
any gauss weapon
pulse laser
vindicator

Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of additional weapons that can hit you at 12" (optimum range for a Crusader):

melta gun
multimelta (at optimal range)
powerfists
chainfists
thunderhammers
melta bombs
rending claws

Fire Vehicle

What I mean by this is that the Crusader's survival depends on filling the air with so much dakka, and unloading so many guys, that there is nobody left alive to harm it. This attempt to overwhelm the enemy in a short space of time is very much in keeping with the Fire philosophy.

The standard Raider, however, makes long distace, surgical strikes, and relies on the player limiting LOS to keep it alive. Furthermore, to be used effectively, the player must be able to identify which single enemy model needs to die that turn, and get the Raider into position ahead of time. This all ties in nicely with the Water philosopy. Actually, the Raider ties in nicely with Earth and Air philosopies too, but suffers from competition with other vehicles that match these philosopies more closely. This is true to some degreeof all Water units.

Is it still not plausible to use the Crusader as a kind of Grey Knight squad, gives you 6 bolters but with bonuses to hit in addition to the assault cannon and multi-melta.


PAGK will do the anti-troop thing better and cheaper. What this army lacks is ranged anti-armour. If I was going to use Crusaders though, I would probably use multiples (ie, no standard Raiders, as my Crusaders would block their LOS) to really overwhelm a single point, and then pick up an assassin to make up for my lack of reach. I'm not sure how well it would work, and it seems too Fire based for my playstyle, but with the right player it might work (Fire armies need a player with a sense of flair and a taste for the dramatic. My wargaming minimises both :P ).

In other words, what I'm asking is that because I'm unwilling to fork out 35 for a land raider I want to make use of my existing Crusader but this tactica doesn't even include them, which is fine, but the reasons aren't so clear cut for me.


I only buy Crusaders. They come with all the parts necessary to make standard Raiders, and the extra 5 is worth it for the ability to switch back and forth and/or do conversions.

Hope that explains things a bit better. :unsure:

-Silent Requiem

Edited by Silent Requiem, 11 February 2007 - 02:34 PM.

QUOTE
About my list; it is weak. But it fits me, and that counts for a lot more than any amount of mathammer.


Since 5th edition: 3 wins, no draws, no losses.

#19
number6

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Only the BC managed to inflict any serious casualties thanks to his AP4, cover save ignoring sidearm (and I suggest that anyone who wants to correct me on that point read the psycannon entry in the wargear section).

This is a rather extreme interpretation of the text, Silent Requiem! Let's quote the relevent section for the psycannon:

(psycannon) Only armour saves may be taken against a psycannon, Invulnerable saves may not be taken.

And let's compare that to the text for the incinerator:

(incinerator) Only armour saves may be taken against an incinerator; Invulnerable saves or cover saves may not be taken.

Also, pay special attention to the weapon stats on the DH rules summary at the back of the codex. This is especially important, because it is only in this section of an army codex that GW lists the entire statline of any weapon. Not in the armoury, not in a unit entry, only here. And here, it says for the psycannon -- in either mode -- "ignores Invulnerable saves". Again, contrast that with the incinerator: "no Invulnerable or cover saves".

This is a case where I see you trying to do something because, in one specific location (but, pointedly, not in the other), it is not specifically prohibited. Whereas, in the normal course of reading and understanding the rules, and playing any game, you are only allowed to do things that are specifically allowed.

At no point does the codex say that you are allowed to ignore cover saves with psycannon fire. From just this point of view, it should be obvious that psycannons don't ignore cover saves.

But for more evidence, we have the both the wording of the rules in the wargear section and the very exact descriptions in the rule summary. In neither location is the psycannon said to have any special interaction with cover saves. Again, it should be obvious, therefore, that you cannot invent an interaction where none exists.

And thirdly, we have the common practice in the game of 40K where only template weapons are given the ability to ignore cover saves. The psycannon would prove to be an extremely unique weapon, being the only non-template weapon ever created that would ignore cover saves. (It isn't the only weapon that is capable of ignoring invulnerable saves; such weapons exist in a couple other codices, even.) I would think that, logically speaking, this would at least give you pause before confidently declaring that psycannons ignore cover saves.

This is an awful lot of text for what is, in the end, only a very minor quibble. The batrep is excellent and instructive, and I particularly appreciated the actual use of one of your specialized tactics for this list ("racking up"). Although I still don't much like land raiders, you have really made me rethink my position. I believe they can serve a useful purpose in a DH list. I may, one day, have to try one out myself.

I guess that's about the limit of my "discussion" of your tactica. :rolleyes: I don't know that I can add anything truly constructive to it. It's distilled wisdom, how does one argue with it? It obviously works for you, and you've presented in such a way that I believe I (and others) can apply your principles in real games. The batreps in particular are helpful in this regard. You are to be commended for the time and effort you've put in. Thanks! I'll be watching this thread constantly for any further discussion. One of the best 40K postings I've seen....

Edited by number6, 11 February 2007 - 05:58 PM.

RIP Warhammer 40,000: 21 Sep 1998 - 24 May 2014

#20
StratoKhan

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I'm glad that you (and others) have enjoyed the tactica, even if it has not generated as much discussion as I had expected.


I think the main factors preventing a large amount of discussion is the wealth of information you provide and the difficulties certain concepts pose to the average gamer. This is not to say that you wrote a poor article. In fact I believe that this article is extremely good, but requires a lot of thinking to understand. I've been reading and rereading this for the past week, and thinking about it on my time off.

Discussion might come later?

Edited by Venenum, 21 March 2007 - 12:05 AM.
trimmed OT Comments

We could all just scream and leap...
QUOTE
I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters.

-Frank Lloyd Wright.

#21
Silent Requiem

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This post is no longer relevant to the thread, or current with 5th edition rules. Mods, please feel free to delete.

-Silent Requiem

Edited by Silent Requiem, 10 October 2008 - 01:05 PM.

QUOTE
About my list; it is weak. But it fits me, and that counts for a lot more than any amount of mathammer.


Since 5th edition: 3 wins, no draws, no losses.

#22
Diddlysquat

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What's that thing about 'if you could invite 6 people to a dinner party, who would you ask'.....
well if the subject was 40k and DH in particular, then you Silent Requium, and Number6 would be Guests of Honour.

To Silent requium - a most informative, intuitive, well written thread. Kudos to you Sir!

I play DH with few GK, and my GKT outnumber even them. Currently I have but 1 LR and that is as a dedicated transport for my Inq/lord and retinue. I do this to enable me to field 3 dreadnoughts in the HS slots. I do find the Dreads die quite quickly, and my dice rolling is usually laughable at best. 3 LR's on the other hand I can see working for me.

My playstyle is very much that of the Water Warrior, I just didn't have a name for it. Your Tactica is firmly entrenched in my Favourites list, and if it were not of the electronic media style it would be very 'dog-earred'.

Thank you for your considerable efforts - much appreciated.

Golly...1st post.
DIDDLYSQUAT: Nada, Zip, Zero, Zilch.

#23
number6

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Now that you’ve put up with what I’m sure is a poor analogy (all my analogies seem to be poor ones :lol: ), I’ll say again that I agree with your interpretation of what GW intended. But the RAW support my interpretation, and this is my one little rebellion, my one irritating trade mark which I hope enrages enough people that they collectively raise their voices to the heavens and demand that GW draft comprehensive and consistent rules supported by a regularly updated FAQ! B)

Ha! If we could make that happen, Mr Requiem.... Oh, to dream so high!
Sigh. I don't understand why the DH has been so abandoned, so thoroughly forgotten by their creators. These kinds of rules discussions are never-ending, and all because GW is negligent. It's really inexcusable.

I'll say just one thing more on this specific contentious topic, and let it go at that.

If we were to remove the word "Only" from the text in the wargear section, this particular discussion wouldn't even be happening.

I find that very telling. That, and also the fact that in no tournament I have ever attended -- from locals to Games Days -- has a psycannon ever been allowed to ignore cover saves.

You have to understand: I'm a heretic. I don't believe in RAW. ;) The game is too complicated to allow for rules lawyers to ruin it. (And if we're all 100% honest with ourselves, I would bet that we've all relied on our common sense over RAW at least once in our 40K gaming careers. Example: Perhaps, as a DH player, you let your assault cannons have four shots and the rending special rule.) The technicality you support is, for me, a non-starter. Even you had to admit that it's against the spirit of the game and against the spirit of the rules themselves. That should be all that's required.

That said, I’m glad that I’ve given you something to think about with my Raiders :)

How could it not? You are nothing if not cogent, compelling, and obviously a very experienced general. It would be foolish not to seriously consider everything you've presented. I think you've done everybody -- myself included -- a great service. (I've been directing a few of my friends to the tactica, and they don't even play power-armoured armies!)

Cheers!

Edited by number6, 13 February 2007 - 06:06 PM.

RIP Warhammer 40,000: 21 Sep 1998 - 24 May 2014

#24
Silent Requiem

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Purge and Diddlysquat: Welcome to the B&C! Glad you've liked what you've seen so far.

Diddlysquat: I'm glad you're eager to try using Land Raiders, but take number6's advice and proxy first. Those things are a hefty investment, and they are very much a personal taste.

number6: Of course, on the other hand, I'm now very eager to try out some Seraphim (I'm in the meeo for experimenting with new lists), but I have to repaint all my Grey Knights first.

Ganuus: Glad you liked it!

Just a thought, while I'm not posting any more batreps, I also know that there is a lack of quality GK batreps out there. I would therefore encourage anyone who feels they have a good Water type GK batrep to post it here, as I'm sure we would all benefit from seeing these ideas applied to other lists.

-Silent Requiem
QUOTE
About my list; it is weak. But it fits me, and that counts for a lot more than any amount of mathammer.


Since 5th edition: 3 wins, no draws, no losses.

#25
number6

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Just a thought, while I'm not posting any more batreps, I also know that there is a lack of quality GK batreps out there. I would therefore encourage anyone who feels they have a good Water type GK batrep to post it here, as I'm sure we would all benefit from seeing these ideas applied to other lists.

Ask and ye shall receive! I don't want to take up lots of space in this particular thread with battle report text -- and there isn't a dedicated batrep thread here, either -- so I've posted a batrep for my most recent game on Librarium-Online. (If you want to comment on it, just post them here; there's no need to join LO just to comment. :blink:) I'll be interested to know how "water-like" I played, in the opinion of those of you reading this thread.

EDIT: Fixed the linky.

EDIT 2: Linky to the same batrep, now available here in B&C.
A batrep where I play Necrons.
(They're both in the same thread. Just scroll down a little.)

Edited by number6, 19 February 2007 - 12:17 AM.

RIP Warhammer 40,000: 21 Sep 1998 - 24 May 2014