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The way of the water warrior.


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#51
number6

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Terrain can indeed have a large effect on the game. I tend to prefer games where the terrain pieces are relatively large; Cities of Death games are far and away my favorite, and also where I have the greatest success. (I've won all but one or two CoD games out of dozens played.) When you have lots of sightlines blocked by terrain, you stand a good chance of getting up close and personal with extreme Earth armies like you describe, which is typically where you have to beat them. When an Earth army can consistently draw lines of sight to you, the odds are stacked in your opponent's favor. We don't have the numbers to survive games of attrition. Close combat is almost the only safe haven from an Earth army's superior firepower.

It is for reasons like this that I always try and include an assassin and seraphim in my armies. (I take both in games as low as 1000 pts, even, and at 750 pts, I still have a smallish squad of seraphim in tow.) Both of them have the kind of speed and capability to disrupt very static armies, taking some of the heat off my footsloggers.

Also, risky as it is, you pretty much have no choice but to deep strike at least one unit against such an opponent. (Most of the time, I would recommend not devoting more than one unit to deep-striking. Any more than that, and you run the risk of being too weak on the board to survive with sufficient strength to take advantage of the reserves when they arrive.) You need some way to dilute his fire, and dropping in a serious threat -- GKTs and GKs are always serious threats -- right on a flank or even behind enemy lines is a good way to do this. Obviously, you have to be careful, too, as this can just result in the unit getting blown off the board. The turn my reserves show up on usually dictates where I will drop the unit(s) in. If my footsloggers are reasonably close, I'll make the drop a bit riskier, creating a vice-like situation. If it's too early, and my footsloggers are too far away to be a serious threat, then I'm more likely to use them as surprise reinforcements.

Edited by number6, 07 March 2007 - 02:37 PM.

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#52
Wolf's Bane

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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. :P


I have enjoyed a lot reading this series of articles. I'm goin to think about how can I use in my inquisitorial army i'm getting (2000 points of SoB and 2000 points of Daemonhunters).

I'm very interested too in the words of number 6 "if you are inteligent in the deployment you can match to have the seraphim and the assassin togeher" I need to think about this.

I used to play with a Tyranid slow fire army (6 carnifexes, 2 hive tyrans, a big unit of genestelers, big unit of gargolies, a pair of 2 ravenors and a big unit of swarms). He used to move the army as a block, having all the army covered by the creatures monstruous until the turn that all the army can reach you!!

how can we kill 6 carnifex and 2 hive tyrans with stormbolter and psycocannon?
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#53
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I used to play with a Tyranid slow fire army (6 carnifexes, 2 hive tyrans, a big unit of genestelers, big unit of gargolies, a pair of 2 ravenors and a big unit of swarms). He used to move the army as a block, having all the army covered by the creatures monstruous until the turn that all the army can reach you!!

how can we kill 6 carnifex and 2 hive tyrans with stormbolter and psycocannon?


Oh, a mental challenge. I like this.

Maybe you don't - considering that his army is all about monstrous creatures, you probably need to take out at least some of those first. Alternately Purgation squads and mini-Purgation squads could easily take out a large number of the swarm creatures.

If my guess is right, then the Genestealers, Ravenors and Gargoyles come to chase your troops down if they do not move, tying up your attention while the rest of the Tyranid horde advances into shooting range. If those monstrous creatures move slowly alongside the swarms, my guess is that most of them are built for shooting, not for close combat.
Using mobile close combat elements to protect the advance of the main firepower - that is an interesting one.

Again the Water tactics in this thread will probably serve well. The opposing army is divided into the advance group, which acts as a stall, and the main force, which steadily bears down along the field. That means you only really need to focus on one half of the army at a time - the greatest threat of the first half is probably the unit of Genestealers and the greatest threat of the second half is the eight towering beasts. Advice in this case is probably to let them come to you, and then to close the gap into assault on your own once they've made shooting range.
The first half of the army can be taken out if you have enough firepower, backing away as the Genestealers and Ravenors advance so that you have more time to shoot them. Storm bolters should be alright, since they don't have wonderful saves and don't have guns to shoot back with. Gargoyles are more troublesome since they shoot instead, but get the same treatment. Sticking to cover will keep you from being shot at in case the main force somehow gets into range, and might give you the advantage of better initiative in case anything makes it into charging distance, as well as throwing off any Deep Striking Ravenors. Land Raiders are not a good suggestion at this time because these things have Rending attacks.
The second half of the army will need to be blasted apart as quickly as possible and might suffer in close combat because they're mostly not Hormagaunts and are built for shooting. Sticking to cover until they reach charge distance is probably still useful, after which you can take advantage of relatively superior close combat capabilities. The main threat here is probably the great number of high-strength shots, which isn't good because of the small number of bodies you have. I can't remember what Living Ammunition does, though if it nullifies the cover then there's no point in hiding.

Terminators can probably wade through the swarms like water after shooting at them first, but probably won't do as well against so many monstrous creatures. Assassins are a cheap and highly insulting way to tie up monstrous creatures instead, but compete with Terminators for Elites spaces. In terms of tactics it's hard to deal with such large numbers of models and again, Land Raiders are not advised except as a nice escape route. The Land Raider's lascannons are all good for shooting at the monstrous creatures with, but might not cause enough wounds at a time because the monsters might have regeneration. In this case a Dreadnought might be more tempting, with its missile launcher and-or Dreadnought close combat weapons.

I feel like L - puzzling out a way to get through the enemy without resorting to massive list-tweaking.
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#54
Silent Requiem

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I've sorta recently returned to these forums, and I quite enjoyed your tactica article, Silent Requiem. However, having enjoyed it, I would also like to make the point that I'm not in agreement with some of it :blink:

First off, I will never be an adherent to RAW. I find it odd that someone with a law degree would be such an adherent to this philosophy, seeing as how it is the job of litigators to find precedents that support their own interpretation of the law for the benefit of their clients. Supporting RAW is, in effect, supporting your own interpretation as there is a difference in a cover save and an invulnerable save. Where is this written? After all of these editions, rulebooks, and codices, I frankly couldn't tell you. The designers made a mistake and left open this loophole, just as they did in explaining a whole slew of things in 4th Edition 40K. Some of us more goofy folks make it a habit of tying our arms behind our backs for something as esoteric as the spirit of the game. I'm not here to convince you of my virtue, and neither will you convince me of your righteousness. Just thought I'd point this out!

(snip)

But, as I said, I found your tactica a good read, and there certainly are some principles in it that can be applied to all aspects of in-game play as well as practical army building. If for no other reasons than those, it's a great addition to the Ordos Inquisition forum. Thanks for taking the time to write it up!


Glad you liked the tactica, but I have some comments to make.

You don't like RAW, and that's fine. Some people do. Even people who do like RAW often have limits on how far they will take it. That's why I advocate narrating as you go along, so that disagreements can be picked up on right away. If after you talk it out there is still no agreement, then a dice can be rolled. I've never needed to do that though, as I've never met a rule yet that was worth spoiling a game over. If my opponent's interpretation really bothered me, I wouldn't play them again (that's never happened either, but it could, I suppose).

I have more of a problem with this:

Secondly, at 1,000 points, the grand majority of the people I play games with would balk at your use of two Land Raiders in a small, friendly game. Most opponents would find it a bit of a challenge to face one LR at this points level, and there are some that would find it nearly insurmountable with two LRs on the table.


To begin with, I don't understand what you mean by "friendly game". The implication is clearly that some games are "unfriendly", but this is simply not the case for me. I keep my games friendly whether I'm in a tournament or playing a first-timer. But I also believe that most of the enjoyment that comes from this playing this game (as opposed to the fantasic painting aspect) is derived from challenging your opponent and being challenged by him. Of course my list is tough. It's meant to be. And I want to play against tough lists. That's what makes the victory worthwhile.

I completely and utterly reject the concept that friendly games and competative play are mutually exclusive.

What I find interesting is that you mentioned that none of your regular gaming opponents made it their habit to tool their lists to conquer yours.



I do in fact say that I faced tooled out lists all the time in my first post. If this was a misunderstanding, ignore the following. I shall proceed on the basis that this is a typo, however.

But, I do question that if people had taken as cutthroat (a poor word choice, since it makes it seem a sinister pre-meditation on your part) a list as you had chosen, I seriously doubt you could be singing the praises of an unblemished, win-loss record. The two batreps you posted were certainly not tooled to defeat your army, so although they do a good job of proving the points of your tactica, they are not what I would consider comparable opponents.


After the first month, beating me was the sole objective of several of the top players in the club. Their lists became heavily tooled. Each Thursday, players would approach me and say "I've done it now! THIS list is unbeatable. There is no way you can win this one!" I faced many such lists.

You refer to the batreps, and granted the nid list was not tooled per say, but was well suited to killing heavy infantry and armour (or anything really). However, the eldar list was highly mobile, filled with bright lances, starcannons, and troops that can jump out of assault. It's not clear (beyond switching the Warp Spiders for Fire Dragons, which happened in several games) how the list could have been more tooled to kill armour and heavy infantry. While you may have opinions on how you would design such a list, such lists must be tailored to the player. The slant of the list is undeniable, however.

(Some) People on these boards have criticised me, my tactica, and my claims (others, like you, have been very reasonable, this is not an attack on anyone specific, or indeed, even an attack). That's fine, I'm putting that information out there for them to accept or reject as they see fit. But please don't say that my opponents weren't trying their damndest. They are not here to defend themselves and it seems unfair to criticise their efforts.

Hey Silent Requiem I was suggesting that maybe you could play and post a few more batreps (against other armies of course) ? I find that I do actually learn alot more by reading batreps (not that I am badmouthing your theory), maybe you can show us more of the application of the 'water' GK armies ?


I'll see what I can do, but I won't post anything unless I'm sure that the key details are accurate. I would like to post a GK v Earth (Guard) batrep if I can.

I've got to say that not only do I love reading Silent Requiem's posts, I also love reading your posts, number6. It's all just excellent writing - a show of talent, flexibility and understanding of language.


Indeed, I suspect that a large part of the sucess of the tactica comes from having such an excellent counter arguement(non-mech, non-pure) available.

Should I move to shoot his troops down, I lose control of the other firing lanes I have covered and something else will move in to take advantage. Should I hold position, he will slowly pick off my Knights with his few heavy weapons and many lucky rolls.


Water armies do not seek to hold ground or control anything. Stop worrying about absolute positioning, and consider relative positioning. The ground itself is meaningless. When the enemy projects force, retreat before it, until that force is spent, and then brush him aside. Incidentally, such useless, cryptic statements are the inevitable result of me trying to summarise too much information into too small a space. :D

-Silent Requiem

Edited by Silent Requiem, 07 March 2007 - 10:28 PM.

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


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#55
number6

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Water armies do not seek to hold ground or control anything. Stop worrying about absolute positioning, and consider relative positioning. The ground itself is meaningless. When the enemy projects force, retreat before it, until that force is spent, and then brush him aside. Incidentally, such useless, cryptic statements are the inevitable result of me trying to summarise too much information into too small a space. :D

Cryptic or not, it is excellent advice that I too often neglect myself. As you noted, I don't play a "pure" water force, and so my tactical experience -- and advice -- is somewhat slanted.
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#56
40kdhs

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depending on armies, GK can be played defensively or offensively.

There are 3 different kind of armies in 40k:

1-Moving everything forward
2- Standing and shooting
3- Everything between 1 and 2.

Based on these, you obviously know what your opponents will do. Therefore, you should have ideas how to defeal it before the game starts and I don't quite understand why people need to be *reactively* when they use *pure GK*. A general without having a plan is a bad one.

Furthermore, Based on some battle reports and water tactic article in this forum, I'm suprised to see the water tactic somehow miraculously work when you use it against bad opponents in a different environment.

What is a different environment.?

Because nobody except you in your club uses any vehicles, anti-tank weapon is not considered in your opponent army list.

Bad opponents

Neither do they know how to use their created army list to the best of their ability nor do they know what to do during the game. What do I mean by saying that.?

1- Do not know how to deploy their units.
2- If your opponent hides his/her units in 2 turns in a given mission, his /her intention at this point is obviously known and you should have a plan to do something about it so that you can AT LEAST tie a game.

Finally, you don't impress me when you warn everybody in the article that it does not help if you play the same opponent twice.

Edited by 40kdhs, 11 April 2007 - 04:56 PM.


#57
rube

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I don't quite understand why people need to be *reactively* when they use *pure GK*.


From what I understand, It would be that a pure Grey Knight army functions badly as as 1 or 2. We aren't assaulty enough to move everything close to the enemy and succeed (plus that gives them rapid-firing), and we aren't shooty enough to sit back and shoot and not expect more, and bigger, bullets to come back our way, and sitting around will make it easier for any dedicated assault units of theirs to assault our expensive Grey Knights.
Simple deduction then means that a combination of the two would work best, and deciding when to be shooty and when to be assaulty requires playing reactively. If you can do either fairly well (as Grey Knights can), then you must do one or the other based on the situation, not based on previous planning.

Though Belated- since I first read 'way of the water warrior' about a month ago (or farther back, can't remember now), Thank you, Silent Requiem, for taking so much of your time to write such an excellent tactica. Since it will apply when I begin to play Dark Eldar in the future, I thank you for making my Warhammer and Warhammer 40k experiences just that much better. And thank you, number6, for advising (with expertise and much grace) people like myself on B&C and elsewhere.

Edited by rube, 09 March 2007 - 12:35 PM.


#58
Silent Requiem

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Rube, that's an excellent summary of why certain armies should play reactively. I will confess that I reached this point less logically, though. I simply found I enjoyed playing that way, and then found that GK rewarded that play style.

40kdhs, you say that a general without a plan is a bad one (which is different from a general that makes no decisions, I would hasten to point out), but we have all heard the adage that no plan survives contact with the enemy.

- 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.

#59
RolandTHTG

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I'd like to thank Silent Requiem for this awesome Tactica. I'm developing a bike army, and starting to playtest some of the units. Played 1000 pt battle against an Iron Warriors army today, and won hands down(though I will admit to a couple lucky rolls). I used your tactics of LOS denial and maneuverability to keep my guys alive, to the point that he lost 2/3 of his army points (versus 1/3 of mine)while one of his units only got to fire two shots on the last turn. I started off from the start of the game looking to use the water tactics you stated above, and they proved wonderful.
Good Job on some Great Advice.

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#60
Aidoneus

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Indeed, TJ's army performed marvelously (I was that IW player). Part of it was stupid mistakes on my part, a small part of it was luck, but most of it was the strategies he picked up here. I've played his bike list before (1500pts) and the result was completely different! So now I'm going to have to re-think my own strategies. (why oh why did I direct him to this tactica? B) )

I actually have two questions for you, though I'm not sure if the second one should be posted elsewhere (let me know if that's the case).

First, what exactly is the hallmark of an Air force? TJ and I were trying to figure that out yesterday. From what you said, the Air force was just fast; it wasn't restricted to either assault or shooting, and therefore it wasn't restricted to any particular win condition. I find this definition troubling. A good fire army can be made entirely fast (hormagaun+gargoyle 'Nids, CC all-bike forces, etc...). Also, an Air force can act a lot like a Water force (reacting, LoS denial, etc...).

It seems to me that there are only really 3 types of army: Earth, Fire, and Water. Those army types can be described as Shooting, Assaulting, and Reactionary respectively. Either Fire or Water armies can be fast (not really Earth), but that doesn't strike me as part of what determines their win conditions.

For example, the list TJ played against me had a master on a bike, 6 vets in a razorback, a squad of 3 attack bikes, 2 squads of 4 bikes with an attack bike each, and one land speeder. He played it entirely like a Water force. He'd hide behind area terrain and wait for me to send a couple units forward, and then shoot them down (I was expecting his army to play very differently, so I made some very bad calls).

I think what really separates an Air force as you defined it from a fast Water force boils down to a difference between Control and Beatdown. The way you talked about an Air force made it sound like it had to be the Beatdown, while the way you described the Water force made it seem like it had to be the Control. But in TJ's case, he correctly identified me as the Beatdown, and therefore used his bike force as a very Water-like control army.


My other question is very much related: how can Water tactics apply to bike-heavy lists? I'm making an all-bike list myself (linky), and I definitely plan to play according to Water principles. I know you said you used to play "Air" armies, so I was wondering if you could give me any advice on that.

As I said earlier, I know there are no bikes in the Ordos, so if this would be a more appropriate question elsewhere, just let me know.

Thanks so much for all your wonderful advice,
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#61
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One other little "definition" question. You would class a Drop-Podding Marine list as Air, but I'm not so sure. You class high mobility has a hallmark of Air tactics, yet a DP list can only Deep Strike, then loses almost all mobility, leaving it more Earth or maybe Fire in its style.

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First, what exactly is the hallmark of an Air force? TJ and I were trying to figure that out yesterday. From what you said, the Air force was just fast; it wasn't restricted to either assault or shooting, and therefore it wasn't restricted to any particular win condition. I find this definition troubling. A good fire army can be made entirely fast (hormagaun+gargoyle 'Nids, CC all-bike forces, etc...). Also, an Air force can act a lot like a Water force (reacting, LoS denial, etc...).

It seems to me that there are only really 3 types of army: Earth, Fire, and Water. Those army types can be described as Shooting, Assaulting, and Reactionary respectively. Either Fire or Water armies can be fast (not really Earth), but that doesn't strike me as part of what determines their win conditions.

For example, the list TJ played against me had a master on a bike, 6 vets in a razorback, a squad of 3 attack bikes, 2 squads of 4 bikes with an attack bike each, and one land speeder. He played it entirely like a Water force. He'd hide behind area terrain and wait for me to send a couple units forward, and then shoot them down (I was expecting his army to play very differently, so I made some very bad calls).

I think what really separates an Air force as you defined it from a fast Water force boils down to a difference between Control and Beatdown. The way you talked about an Air force made it sound like it had to be the Beatdown, while the way you described the Water force made it seem like it had to be the Control. But in TJ's case, he correctly identified me as the Beatdown, and therefore used his bike force as a very Water-like control army.

The idea for an Air force (not an Air Force - that involves Flyers) is a force that uses its mobility offensively whereas a Water force uses its mobility defensively.
Air elements serve a Fire force very well because speed allows a Fire force to get into close combat sooner, but a purist Air force shouldn't need strong close combat capabilities at all. A purist Air force needs only moderate close combat or shooting capabilities because mobility allows them to pick their fights where they are most likely to succeed, allows them to attack flanks and weak lines without approaching head-on, allows them to make hit-and-run attacks without being compromised. A purist Air force doesn't even need to have balanced close combat or shooting capabilities - either one will do because the key to the Air force is in choosing the right target at the right time. An Air force can still potentially shoot an Earth force to pieces by using hit-and-run attacks, or tear into a Fire force manually by catching them in a bad tactical position.

A Water force needs to have highly balanced close combat and shooting capabilities because it plays defensively for the most part - as a defensive force, Water forces do not choose which targets to attack but instead choose when and where they will be attacked. The Water force relies on denying the enemy attack until the right moment when it can take advantage of its balanced capabilities. Where an Air force needs to play the attack successfully the first time, the Water force needs to recieve the attack first and then be able to counterattack effectively.
The pruning and sniping tactics and so on described by SilentRequiem are simply the Water method of ensuring that opportunities do no go to waste.

The first thought that comes to mind is a battlesuit-heavy Tau force. The second thought is a Saim-Hann style bike-heavy Eldar force. The third and most certainly Air style is a Dark Eldar force in transports. The fourth thought that is a Speek Freeks Ork force with war buggies and bikes.

The battlesuit-heavy Tau force uses hit and run shooting attacks, so it is an Earth force given wings. They can't play as defensively as the Grey Knights because they suffer in close combat against everything but Necrons and cannot weather heavy fire because of their relatively small numbers. They need to take advantage of their superior weaponry and jump pack special rules to get in, shoot and then get out - mobility is the key.
The Dark Eldar force simply drops the appropriate units in front of the appropriate enemies and lets them take care of the rest. The Dark Eldar need to use highly offensive tactics and strategies because they simply can't take the same level of punishment that they can dish out - their armor saves are relatively poor, their toughness is nothing spectacular and many special rules apply to charging. However, if the Dark Eldar make the wrong moves, they tend to lose their mobility and get torn apart.
The Speed Freeks Orks are potentially very much a Fire force, but can be sufficiently mechanized that they cannot rely on close combat alone and need to be selective, flanking the units they can destroy while avoiding the units they can't. Basically this works on the same principles as the Dark Eldar style of Air force.

All the Knights need to do as a Water force is prevent an Air force from picking fights that they can win - something which is already more difficult for them because they cannot play to close combat or shooting strengths and weaknesses that other armies have. Grey Knights are all well-rounded in close combat as well as at range, so their standard tricks can't be applied very well - it also makes them hesitant, because they lose the ability to prioritize targets for certain units, choose targets to stalk and so on.

My other question is very much related: how can Water tactics apply to bike-heavy lists? I'm making an all-bike list myself (linky), and I definitely plan to play according to Water principles. I know you said you used to play "Air" armies, so I was wondering if you could give me any advice on that.

Over here Aidoneus, SilentRequiem posted this in the Amicus Aedes section. Vanilla Marines and the Water Warrior
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#63
Aidoneus

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Is it just an offense/defense thing? That doesn't seem right.

What about the control/beatdown classifications? An Air army played offensively is a beatdown force, as their win mechanic is to divide and conquer, so the other (control) army would have to bunch up to avoid that (thus "controlling" the game, to the extent that they can). An Air army played defensively is a control force, because it has identified the other army as the one with a definite win condition (shoot/assault everything in sight, usually), and it is using its speed to control the game, to the extent that it can. So an Air army can clearly be played either offensively or defensively.

Similarly, a Water force can be offensive or defensive. In the battle report Silent_Requiem posted against the 'Nids, he was the defensive (control) force, since he was using his mobility and diversion tactics to keep the 'Nids from acheiving their win condition (assaulting him). However, it is possible for a Water force to go on the offensive, as a beatdown force (for example, when it's against a more shooty Water force).

So the difference between Water and Air cannot be a simple matter of offense/defense or control/beatdown. But that's the only suggested difference I've seen.

Another thing: you (Silent) mentioned that only Water armies come to the table with no battle plan. I'll argue that my bike force comes to the table with no battle plan either. If I had a very assaulty bike force, it would clearly be a fire army (albiet a very fast one). However, as it is, I can handle either CC or shooting (though I prefer shooting), and my specific tactics (flank, pincer, spearhead, hold back, etc...) can only be determined once I've seen my opponent's list, and sometimes even only when I've seen how he starts to deploy. That sounds very Water-like to me.

I played a game against myself the other day, to try out some of these tactics in a way that let me take time getting comfortable with them. I used a 1500pt version of the bike army I linked to (2 fewer speeders, 1 less techmarine, 1 less multi-melta squad) against a 1500pt IW list of which I am quite fond. I identified the IW list as the obvious beatown list (Earth-type), and proceded to set up a defensive game with my bikes. The vast majority of my squads never left my deployment zone until the last turn (Take and Hold mission, so they all boosted to the center). I bunched them up behind terrain and sniped anything on the flanks. The "Air" army played precisely how a Water army should have played, forcing the Earth army to get up and move towards me due to LoS restrictions. It worked very well, and I won easily (despite having killed about the same number of points, I had far more scoring untis within 12" of the center at the end of the game).

So explain to me how my obviously "Air" army was able to play defensively, using entirely Water tactics? I just don't understand why we need to, or indeed, how we can, distinguish between the two.
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-Chaos (32/6/7) -Space Marines (3/0/0) -Necrons (4/1/0) -Tyranids (17/2/1) -Inquisition (67/13/13)
Total: (123/22/21) W/L/D


#64
number6

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7eAL, Aidoneus: Thanks for your discussion here. Most illuminating....

So the difference between Water and Air cannot be a simple matter of offense/defense or control/beatdown. But that's the only suggested difference I've seen.

Another thing: you (Silent) mentioned that only Water armies come to the table with no battle plan. I'll argue that my bike force comes to the table with no battle plan either. If I had a very assaulty bike force, it would clearly be a fire army (albiet a very fast one). However, as it is, I can handle either CC or shooting (though I prefer shooting), and my specific tactics (flank, pincer, spearhead, hold back, etc...) can only be determined once I've seen my opponent's list, and sometimes even only when I've seen how he starts to deploy. That sounds very Water-like to me.

[...]

So explain to me how my obviously "Air" army was able to play defensively, using entirely Water tactics? I just don't understand why we need to, or indeed, how we can, distinguish between the two.

I would say that you don't have an "Air" army. Your army is clearly a "Water" army. To me, the defining characteristics of a Water army are as follows:

* Your army has few -- if any -- static units. (Nearly) Everything is mobile. This doesn't necessarily mean your units are fast, just that they can move if they have to and not worry about sacrificing capability when they do so.

* Your army doesn't default to being a "Beatdown" or "Control" army. That condition is determined entirely by the opposing force.

* Your army is capable of switching roles from beatdown to control and back again -- or vice versa -- multiple times even, as the game progresses. You may find that early successes on your part turn you into the beatdown force. Conversely, you may begin the game as the beatdown, but successes by your enemy turn you into the control. Being fully capable of identifying and succeeding in either role -- in spite of any successes or failures on your part -- is a key signifier of a "Water" army.

* Your army isn't any of the other elements. :evil: I don't mean this facetiously; all the other elemental styles are clearly evident. A Water army has no clear Elemental advantages nor suffers any clear Elemental disadvantages.

It's a rare Tau army these days that isn't an Air army; it is pure mobility. If it sits still for any length of time, it loses. A Water army can successfully stay put if that is what's required.

It's a rare Imperial Guard army that isn't an Earth army; it stays put so it can maximize its firepower. If it is forced to move too much, especially if it is forced to assault or accept assaults, it often loses. A Water army can always move to wherever it needs to be without compromising firepower or close combat effectiveness.

Most Tyranid armies -- those that aren't 'Nidzilla lists, at least -- are Fire armies; if they can't overwhelm you with their superior numbers and/or close combat power, they lose. A water army is rarely capable of overwhelming an opponent with any aspect of its force: numbers, firepower, or assault. At best, it can take on the beatdown role under the right circumstances. At the same time, however, a Water army isn't deficient in capability with respect to firepower or close combat ability, even if deficient in numbers, so the inability to overwhelm is negated.

You may think of your army as an "Air" army because it is so fast and mobile, but as you proved in your mock game, you didn't have to move in order to win. Rather, your army had excellent mobility capability, but it wasn't the be all and end all of your army's capabilities. Furthermore, you approached the game with a "Water" style mindset, keeping objectives clearly in mind, knowing that the game is not won or lost simply by maximizing your kill rate, moving units to maximize your opportunities while minimizing your opponent's opportunities, as each turn's situation dictated. I believe this is the essence of "Water" tactics.

Edited by number6, 14 March 2007 - 02:38 PM.

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#65
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A water army is rarely capable of overwhelming an opponent with any aspect of its force: numbers, firepower, or assault. At best, it can take on the beatdown role under the right circumstances. At the same time, however, a Water army isn't deficient in capability with respect to firepower or close combat ability, even if deficient in numbers, so the inability to overwhelm is negated.

You may think of your army as an "Air" army because it is so fast and mobile, but as you proved in your mock game, you didn't have to move in order to win. Rather, your army had excellent mobility capability, but it wasn't the be all and end all of your army's capabilities. Furthermore, you approached the game with a "Water" style mindset, keeping objectives clearly in mind, knowing that the game is not won or lost simply by maximizing your kill rate, moving units to maximize your opportunities while minimizing your opponent's opportunities, as each turn's situation dictated. I believe this is the essence of "Water" tactics.


I'll continue along this line.

In contrast then, an Air army absolutely needs to move and suffers huge disadvantages for staying still.
Movement is the be-all and end-all of an Air army's capabilities. Where Water armies and Air armies have similar movement capabilities, an Air army has to move in order to win, whereas a Water army does not. An Air army can be deficient in any capability with respect to firepower or close combat ability or simple numbers, so movement is necessary in order to make use of whatever strength they have: a Tau battlesuit army for example, needs to move in order to shoot the right targets depending on their weapons choices, and stay out of close combat entirely.

We should also differentiate between close combat Air armies and fast Fire armies.
We differentiate these things through the kind of movement that is afforded to them - we look at the difference between mobility and speed. An Air army needs to move in any direction using the terrain to its advantage, using agility on the table. A Fire army only needs to move in one direction: towards the nearest enemy unit. The difference between a close combat oriented Air army and a fast Fire army then, is that a close combat Air army cannot win on close combat alone because its close combat capabilities have specializations and limits, whereas a Fire army can chew through everything so long as it is locked in close combat with something.

A fast Fire army only needs to get into close combat - speed is just the train ticket that the army uses to get there.
Close combat is still the be-all and end-all of the army's capabilities and it should be able to handle anything as long as it is in close combat. Whether the army recieves a charge or makes a charge shouldn't matter because the unit should be able to win in close combat anyway. The only reason that movement is important at all is to get into close combat the first time, after which movement doesn't matter because huge sweeping advances should keep them in close combat all the time: Tyranid Genestealer armies, for example, only need to have Fleet rules for the first two turns before they make physical contact with the enemy

In a close combat Air army, movement is still the key to success, because of limitations in close combat capabilities.
The army may be oriented towards close combat, but one unit type cannot serve all the purposes of the army. Where Fire armies can use one unit type to sweep in and make coleslaw out of everything from infantry to tanks, close combat Air armies have specialized close combat units to deal with infantry, heavy infantry and tanks on separate levels. A close combat Air army has to move the right unit to take out the right target because each unit type can only handle certain things successfully: Eldar are a perfect example because of their individual Aspects that are designed for a distinct purpose - Banshees can't pop tanks and Fire Dragons can't kill Terminators.
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#66
RolandTHTG

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Fire Dragons can't kill terminators.

Just proved you've never met a 8-man squad firing, then charging with exarch with burning fist (makes him a power weapon). that leaves a lot of dead termis. :rolleyes:

But back on topic, just to make sure I have this clarified, the difference between a water and and air army is that water uses speed to react to the opponent/deny line of sight/prevent charges/etc. and air army views speed as a weapon to use in the battle by isolating squads/preventing return fire/eliminate enemy flanks/etc.

Basically Aidoneus the difference between water and air is like how you use your shooty bike squad and how you use your raptors. The bikes perform line-of sight denial, harassing squads with fire and generally whittling down the enemy over the length of the game. your raptors, despite being the same (move 12, assault 6) or even slower (turbo boost) will go quickly to whare they can use their equipment, then try to perform a hit-and-run (of some sort) where they leap in, strike the target (tank or squad) then get away before a reaction gets to them. one views the mobility as useful to its mission, while the other sees it as the reason it got the mission.

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#67
Silent Requiem

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I don't have the time to post the kind of response I want to make right now, but there has been some fantastic discussion here! There are people on this thread who have clearly thought a great deal about these theories and are far more eloquent than I. Keep it up!

-Silent Requiem
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#68
Battle-Captain

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Just a quick question do you think it is possible to play with water style tactics with armies such as Nids, berserker heavy khorne armies or orks?
could anybody give me examples of how to play in a more water type style with sisters of battle as i think i'm to guilty of fire tactics and just steaming my girls in there when i should perhaps be taking my time and not being to hasty.

I'd like to congratulate Silent requiem on an awesome tactica it really has made me think about the way i play and i've found the concepts to be a real eye opener, thanks for taking the time to put it together.. :blush:

BC

#69
number6

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Just a quick question do you think it is possible to play with water style tactics with armies such as Nids, berserker heavy khorne armies or orks?
could anybody give me examples of how to play in a more water type style with sisters of battle as i think i'm to guilty of fire tactics and just steaming my girls in there when i should perhaps be taking my time and not being to hasty.

I'd like to congratulate Silent requiem on an awesome tactica it really has made me think about the way i play and i've found the concepts to be a real eye opener, thanks for taking the time to put it together.. :)

BC

I am as big a booster of this tactica and discussion as you will find -- and I tend to believe that I personally follow many of its precepts in my own games -- but I want to say that there is nothing wrong at all with focusing your army to play non-Watery. There's nothing inherently wrong about the other styles, this tactica just makes the case for Water and how one might go about playing that way. Don't think there's anything wrong with playing DH, or any other army, in the style you might prefer. If you likes Fire, by all means play with Fire!

That said, it never hurts to try out different tactical styles. Doing so will help you develop your own personal style and preferred army list -- highly unlikely to be "purely" any one elemental style.

PS: Sorry I didn't actually answer the question. I don't feel qualified.

Edited by number6, 15 March 2007 - 05:15 PM.

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#70
Aidoneus

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I agree completely with what number6 said.

Since I play both World Eaters and 'Nids (not Orks though), I might be able to answer your question. Let's look at WE and 'Nids one at a time.

World Eaters are pretty much forced to play as a Fire army. Their basic troops (men or daemons) are purely CC, with little shooting and absolutely no long-range shooting. Also, you have considerbly less control with them than with normal troops, as 1/3 of the time they charge straight towards the nearest enemy. Thus, any troops a WE army has are 100% Fire units. The Khorne player has a little bit more versatility with his other FO slots, but not much. Termies and HQ can take shooty weapons, FA and HQ can be fast (and some unscrupulous players argue that Khorne bikers can take special weapons too), and, of course, their HS is pretty much the same as anyone else's. However, all infantry are subject to Blood Rage still, reducing your control over your troops. Also, with the exception of termies and (to some extent) Lords, nothing can really be both CC and shooty, which is a hallmark of Water units. Overall, a WE army can't do anything but Fire.

'Nids actually have a fair bit more versatility. Their ranged weapons are actually quite nasty, and since they're all assault you can shoot while on the move. Also, even if you only give shooty upgrades, all 'Nids are inherently good at CC, so you have that in-game versatility that is necessary for a good Water force. In fact, I'd go so far as to say Tyranid Warriors are probably the epitome of a Water unit, with mobility, shooty, resilience, and CC all rolled into one! That being said, you have 3 things to overcome when trying to make 'Nids into a Water army: speed, resilience, and CC ability.

While it is entirely possible to make a footslogging Water army, a decent amount of speed is immensly helpful. Silent Requiem's sample list, for example, is capable of putting everything in those two Land Raiders, or possibly deep-striking the HQ. Also, I don't know if you followed my link to my bike list, but it's fast enough to qualify as an Air army, even though I use Water tactics. Speed helps you maneuver around your opponent, hiding from his strong areas, attacking his weak, and generally bringing your shooting to bear on his CC units and vice versa. Now, 'Nids can have a few fast units (Tyrants and Gargoyles being the obvious examples), but these units will not make up the majority of the 'Nid army. Also, all the "fast" 'Nid units that get their speed from fleet moves will be at a disadvantage, since you cannot fleet and shoot in the same turn.

Most Water armies have very few models, but each model is quite resilient. This small army size lets Water armies use cover effectively, among other things. The fact that a 'Nid army has trouble getting down to the number of models in a typical MEQ army means your enemy will pretty much always have LoS to you, will usually be able to charge something within a turn or two, and generally engage you on his own terms. Also, where a squad of Grey Knights, Termies, or Bikers are all able to shrug off a good number of hits, both from shooting and in assault, the typical 'Nid unit will take casualties like mad.

The third problem is not as obvious as the other two. Simply put, 'Nids are too good at CC to be a good Water force. You can upgrade every unit to have the best shooting abilities possible, and still be able to take down many armies in CC. This might not seem like a problem but consider two things: first, like it or not, you're paying points for those CC abilities, points which you may have prefered to spend on other things (like speed or resilience); second, by not charging headlong into CC, you're not maximizing the potential of your units. I'd be willing to bet a lot of money that a good Fire 'Nids list could beat a good Water 'Nids list close to 100% of the time, not to mention every other army out there!

Bottom line, you could try to make a Water 'Nids list, and it might turn out all right, but I think it'd be really hard to get it to be better than just mediocre. On the other hand, a Fire 'Nids list will really be very good no matter what you do. So if you want a challenge, go ahead and make your Water 'Nids list. But otherwise, I'd stick to Fire 'Nids or just picking a different race with which to make a Water list.

Of course, those are just my opinions. Other people might disagree.

P.S. (does anyone play, or has anyone seen played, a good 'Nids list with lots of winged Warriors? There might be some Water potential in a list centered around Tyrants, winged Warriors, Raveners, and Gargolyes. It'd be a hell of a fun list, at any rate)
New Year's Resolution 2007: Keep track of my wins and losses. (note: only 1 vs. 1 games counted)

-Chaos (32/6/7) -Space Marines (3/0/0) -Necrons (4/1/0) -Tyranids (17/2/1) -Inquisition (67/13/13)
Total: (123/22/21) W/L/D


#71
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Thanks for your answers guys i have to say i also agree with number6 in that there isn't anything wrong with playing other elamental styles, sometimes i guess it's just a case of if it works for you why change it. I just found reading silent requims tactica very much an eye opener and it has made me take a serious look at the way i play my different armies. I asked myself the questions "is the way i play too one dimentional" and "how can i best alter that to give a bit more depth to my games".
This tactica has shown me that there are ways i can take the same armies and maybe play with a differnt style to help give a new lease of life to forces i'd maybe written off as only playing in a particular fashion, for example when i played my DH army i would always seek to get my grey nights accross the board and into combat as fast as possible and as a result of this i tended to lose allot of the time due to playing very static shootie armies. I never would have thought to use a tactic such as silent requim does using landraiders to such an effective fashion. I think i'll now look at the verious lists for my forces and see how i might play in a different manner i would especially like to try and play in more of a air/water style.

Thanks to Aidoneus for answering my question on the nids and world eaters you've definitely given me plenty of food for thought.

BC

#72
BloodDrinker

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This is a very nice thread. Your four elements of war are interesting and realistic. It reminds me of the art of war a great deal.
I would be undivided in this more than likely. As i love all aspects of war. Eldar being my favorite and most played army of all time but i have seen my play style in all four of your elements. This thread and a few guys here makes me think you would have a good tactical 40 book on your hands.
The only thing i had any disagreement about is water itself. I feel you oversimplified water. They are not all reactive. In fact some water forces will use a straight forward in your face (scalpel like) assault as the best defense. But the most important thing about water is fluid and thats exactly (as you have said) what a water force is about. Fluid = being able to react to all types of attacks from the four elements (including there own style).

As an eldar player i would actually have to seperate the units into your four elemental categories. Thats why i love the eldar. They seem to be the fifth element (Aethyr) and able to fight in any style.
Ok im not just an eldar junky i also (second favorite) dig chaos. And i have an army of sisters, demon hunters, and also darkangels.
Anyways you guys that really like the in depth study of war in addition to 40k should check out the art of war. It does help with tt gameing. But also goes beyond what 40k can do. Like supply lines, communication, assassins (ok there in 4ok) and sooo much more. My studies have gone beyond that with the elements but they still fit what you have written. Occult or esoteric studies will provide an archangel for each of the four elements and a direction (north, south etc..) The element also fit into present da warfare. The former soviet union would be an earth based type of warfare (not soley earth they were smarter than that). And a history study will show that the samurai and even the ninja used the elements and occult abilities learned from the elements of this planet and by WATCHING instead of thinking they new it all. They would even sit and watch a mantis or monkey for hours while in meditation to learn the martial style of the animal.
Anyways hope i did not bore anyone to much. Love the thread.

Edited by BloodDrinker, 17 March 2007 - 12:35 AM.

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#73
Silent Requiem

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Here is a PM I received a while ago:

Since you mentioned you are in the Martial Arts, I thought you might like to modify the Water Overview to reflect a FLOWING style of combat. Water would have no plan save to blend with an opposing force to minimise it's impact.

Earth are stationary, long-range fighters. Water would flow around them under cover to attack them from all sides.
Fire is rash and commits the forces to the offensive. Water would withdraw before the advance while bringing the opposition into a crossfire. (Hard to do in 40K)
Air is mobile but typically light. Water can envelope them in pieces.

Not the best examples as they apply to larger scale combats, but I tend to think that warrior who is reacting has already lost the initiative and thus the combat. A warrior that blends with an attack can redirect it away from himself and use the opponent's energy against him.

Just a suggestion.


It's great to see people putting so much thought into these philosophies, but I'm going to disagree with this on two levels.

First, it is important not to view the elements too narrowly. Earth is NOT fundamentally "stationary, long-range". Earth is fundamentally resilient. Earth wins by wearing down it's opponent, by out-lasting them. Game mechanics mean that this fighting style favours long-ranged warfare (which in turn favours static armies) in 40k, but even this is not ridgid. It is quite possible to make an Earth assault force. I appreciate that this may seem like a very fine (even pedantic) distinction, but so often true understanding lies in the fine distinctions.

Similarly, Fire is not assault, it is an explosive burst of power, which is best expressed by by assault forces, because of the way the game is played.

Keep in mind that every (non-vehicle) unit has the core attributes (strength, toughness, etc) and we can increase those attributes in two ways: We can pay more for them, or we can reduce something else. In other words, Fire armies are simply those that have chosen to increase their killing power at the expense of their resilience or mobility or somesuch, whereas Earth armies have chosen to focus on their durability.

A real world example of an assaulty Earth army would be the Imperial Roman Legions, whereas English Longbowmen would be a shooty Fire unit. The Romans were highly disciplined and fought methodically, with superior equipment, training and formations allowing them to grind through far more numerous enemies over long exhausting battles. The Longbowmen, however, were (comparatively) poorly trained in everything except fireing their weapons, had poor equipment, little discipline, and would be overrun by any professional unit that reached them. On the other hand, they had the very useful ability to instantly kill absolutely anything that was foolish enough to wander into their lines of fire, no matter how well trained or well equiped.

My second point regards surrendering the inititive by being reactive. Consider two warriors confronting eachother, but not moving. Each warrior has an endless number of possible moves before him, and as such, each warrior represents infinite possibility.

When one of those warriors attacks, however, he begins to commit himself, and his possibilities narrow. As the movement progresses, those possibilities continue to dwindle, until, just before the blow lands, the warrior is fully committed, and he has no choices left. At this moment, he is completely predictable. His opponent, who has not moved, still possesses infinite possibility, and provided he has the speed, skill, and resilience to effect his plan in time, I would argue that it is HE who has the inititive.

Other than these two minor points, I feel that the above quote makes a number of excellent observations. I especially like the description of Fire as "rash". It suggests that there are certain personality traits (as opposed to simply unit traits) which go with each element. If true, would it then be possible to design a personality test that would match a person up with the type of army he is likely to be most effective with? I think this is an area which deserves much more consideration.

. Occult or esoteric studies will provide an archangel for each of the four elements and a direction (north, south etc..)


I'm quite familiar with a number of occult schools, and I recognise your reference to the Golden Dawn system of elements at the compass points (though this practice was then brought into Wicca by Gardner in the 1940's, where it became more widely recognised when feminists embraced Wicca as a political as well (or instead of) as religious doctorine). However, I have deliberately avoided the use of this metaphor (which has been used in a tactica on the Black Templar forum), as I feel it is misleading. A more helpful image might be an equalateral triangle, with the corners labeled Earth, Fire and Air. Water, the sythesis of all three of these other elements, would appear at the point in the center of the triangle, rather than as a separate, independant entity/quality.

I would also like to add my voice to the growing list of people who are of the opinion that there is nothing wrong with playing any of the other elements. None of the elements is fundamentally "better" than any others, they simply represent different approaches to the problem of defeating the enemy. Depending on the situation, some elemental approaches will have an easier time than others, but that's about it.

I will go even further, though, and say that playing an element that does not truely suit you will result in loss of games and loss of pleasure. Surveys of the richest self-made men on the planet indicate that they all love what they do. While correlation does not equal causation, I would suggest that this is a significant finding. You have to go with the style you enjoy the most. It is, after all, a game.

-Silent Requiem

Edit: I'm an idiot. A far better analogy is that of a 3 dimensional graph, with Earth, Air and Fire as the 3 axi, with Water occupying the origin, (0,0,0). This model allows for a better integration of two or more elements than the more ridgid, 2 dimensional, triangular model.

Edit: Would it be better to say that Water exists along the line Air=Fire=Earth? Perhaps a better question is, "Does anyone even care at this point?" :evil:

Edited by Silent Requiem, 17 March 2007 - 04:54 PM.

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


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#74
BloodDrinker

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All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.
- Sun Tzu, the Art of War


If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temp eramental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.
- Sun Tzu, the Art of War

Some things just fit 40k well. :) And DOW for that matter

By the way i agree with you grey knights look like a joke by themselves. I was expecting an elite useable force like a herlequin army that can stand alone.

Edited by BloodDrinker, 19 March 2007 - 03:37 PM.

Though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.
-Sun Tzu, the Art of War

The only easy day was yesterday.
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#75
Aidoneus

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Your berzerker army is much more forgiving. In fact berzerkers are a good example of fire and i would also say earthly overtones.
I believe useing all aspects of combat are important. Not just the style that fits you. Of course your favored armies should gear toward the style you like. But a well rounded knowledge of all aspects is important.

I agree that combining several different kinds of squads is a good idea. There should be some mobility, some resilience, some CC, some firepower, etc... However, that doesn't mean combining more than one element. That, in my opinion, is what sets Silent_Requiem's breakdown apart from the standard Shoot/Assault/Mixed breakdown.

A Fire army is not simply one that focuses on CC; it is one that looks to apply overwhelming force, usually using specialst units to do so. World Eaters are one of the best examples of this type of army from a CC perspective, but that's not the only way to play it. I played against a "Lysander Wing" army the other day (Lysander and several other units of termies deep-strike all at once), and I was stuck by how very Fire-like that was. There was a sudden application of overwhelming force from a low number of specialist units.

An Earth army is not simply one that focuses on shooting; it is one that looks to outlast its opponent in a war of attrition. This usually involves a large number of models. IG are the typical example of this, as they have a huge number of models, and they usually deploy in cover for more resilience. However, that's not the only way to play Earth. I once played a 3-way game at 1500pts, where I had over 150 Tyranids! Both my enemies (spacies and LatD with DG allies) were far more powerful per model, but I simply had too many warm bodies for them to kill me. Yes, I charged foward (pretty much took up the entire table with my army :wink: ), but it was still very much an Earth force, because I was interested less in killing him quickly than I was in merely killing him more quickly than he could kill me.

A Water army is not one that has no focus; it is one that focuses on controlling games by forcing the enemy to fight on unfavorable terms. If you just take a hodge-podge of different units, then try to use each unit for its "intended" purpose (i.e. shoot with dev squads while assaulting with assault squads while moving forward with mounted tac squads while...) you're army won't have any focus. Such an army has no control over a game, and will end up getting overpowered by the enemy in whatever aspect of the war the enemy prefers (two assault squads cannot overpower a WE army, and a dev squad along with a couple tac squads cannot outshoot Tau). A good Water force chooses units that support one another. You need to take units that can cover all aspects of war, if not in the same unit than in closely adjacent units. The Water force should identify what the enemy wants to do (charge, shoot, maneuver, divide and conquer, etc...) and then should focus on forcing the enemy to do something else instead.

I guess was just a long way of saying this: while your army should have the ability to charge, shoot, and maneuver, that doesn't mean you should combine different elements (as Silent Requiem defined them). A Fire force needs to concentrate all its resources on that one powerful thrust. If it doesn't, the thrust will not be strong enough to sufficiently cripple the enemy, and the Fire army will begin to fall behind. The Earth force needs to concentrate all its resourcers on outliving its opponent. If it doesn't, it might dissipate just a bit too quickly. The Water force needs to concentrate all its resources on the ability to determine the course of the game, and to support each other. If it doesn't, the enemy will almost certainly find a way to impose its style of warfare, and the Water army will not be able to withstand it.


(P.S. I left Air out because I'm still not convinced it deserves its own category. People keep talking about beating the enemy in the movements phase, which seems absurd to me. Silent, could you try to explain this to me, since the other people here haven't yet convinced me?)
New Year's Resolution 2007: Keep track of my wins and losses. (note: only 1 vs. 1 games counted)

-Chaos (32/6/7) -Space Marines (3/0/0) -Necrons (4/1/0) -Tyranids (17/2/1) -Inquisition (67/13/13)
Total: (123/22/21) W/L/D