For reasons later discussed and found in the Way of the Water Warrior and its subsequent thread, this is NOT strictly a water style. It does not require ‘perfect’ balance. It does not require or rely on the abilities of a single unit. It is not above a water style or any of the others – It is just a style of play. This is my attempt to bring a reactive style of play to an otherwise solid (earth) and concrete army set. The ideas are not limited to Ultramarines or Earth based forces.
I react for advantage – only for advantage – with advantage comes control. It is important to recognise that there are many types of control - not so much as in a direct sense, but in a sense that it restricts the enemy – This type of control has many forms – but position is the greatest lender of control. The ability to deny the enemy a method or choice will lead them into another choice, preferably one which has less reward and greater risk. Firepower and range or speed and assaulting ability is another lender of control but are not as profound as position. The main idea that you need to understand from the above is that I do not necessarily react in a direct manner to destroy the enemy – I react to control the enemy so that it cannot win. Most of the tactics that I employ are directly related to this.
I would like to comment further as to why I use reaction – reaction as source of advantage/control does not require overbearing dominance or unbeatable units – It relies on the subtleties of Yin and Yang – This is the type of reaction that I employ – Avoiding the strong (full) and attacking the weak (empty)
Most of what I have to say is in an attempt to clarify the above points. I hope that my definitions are clear enough so that they are evident in the rest of my ramblings.
An actual internal detachment is the application of several separate units supporting and providing to the overall balance of such a detachment. E.g, a transported tactical squad with a hidden powerfist + a landspeeder (any type) with maybe a supporting heavy tank or dreadnought – This internal detachment acts as one and is placed in extremely close proximity – almost in standard unit coherency – This detachment has ‘perfect’ balance – It has range and firepower (heavy weapons on the tank and tactical squad with rapid fire, etc) – It has mobility (12’ + if needed) as to gain position and the advantage if available and it has reasonable close combat ability through the tactical squad with the powerfist or further provided with the dreadnought. This is synergy. This is my balance.
This is where composition and knowledge (what) becomes important with this play style – The amount or strength of my internal detachments will vary according to the points limit – the terrain – the enemy and the objective – Some will be stronger than others – some will be out of balance – (more shooty etc) but most important is applying the synergy to the situation – If in order to react effectively or exploit a mistake and to gain the advantage my internal detachments may need to reform, disperse, dissolve or draw from a neighbouring detachment it will do so – These are not set. (This relates to the how and why – discussed later)
(2000 point list – Set Batreps)
My unit choice is governed more by the ‘how’ rather than what it can do – meaning – I pick units that I (ME) can use and see how it can be used – my main qualm with unit selection is directly concerned with the means it provides or requires to arrive at its goal. For me assault terminators, on paper, have excellent ability – particularly twin lightning claws and furious charge BUT what they lack (and probably why they are not in favour) is that they have no means in which to achieve their goal. They are too slow or suffer from an inability to assault without spending time in a vulnerable position (deep strike) without a significant investment of points (Landraider). As well as picking units that enhance your strategy and detachments, try not to select those that drain the abilities of your other units. Overly static units or ‘set’ units (assault terminators). Unless of-course they are a part of your strategy.
Skillful warriors first make themselves invincible, and then watch for vulnerability in their opponents.
This leads my tactica into the realm of knowledge – I am not going to spend too much time on this – you can do this for yourself - All I ask is that you think about army composition in terms of how does it add to your army theme or ability rather than how does this unit perform against the enemy. - Continuing with picking on devastators as an example – a 10 man squad with 4 lascannons provides unparalleled anti tank abilities. It performs well against the enemy – however, with sufficient terrain (situation) line of sight (LOS) can be easily denied or other circumstances that will make the actual application of this ability difficult in the game – you need to consider ‘HOW’ you will deliver this ability so that it cannot be avoided or neutralised easily.
Secondly if you constantly ‘match - up’ units with the enemy you will find it easy vs. some armies but you will get mauled by others – In considering the ‘what’ also think about the ‘how’ – How does this unit apply itself to the conditions needed to obtain victory – A classic example of ‘matching up’ is ‘squad bashing’ – anyone can make a super unit worth 1000+ points. Stay away from this – It will lead you into relying on your army to win games rather than relying on yourself to win games. 40k is not about who has the biggest gun or the toughest unit – inevitably someone will have a bigger gun or stronger unit – its how you use the ‘weak’ ones to overcome the strong ones that will win you games. I have mentioned this point four times already. I cannot stress how important it is.
Whether you live or die depends on the configuration of the battle-ground; whether you survive or perish depends on the way of battle.
This is so the enemy cannot anticipate you. You cannot formulate against an enemy that you do not know what it is doing or where it is going. If your deployment hides where you wish to attack and where you wish to defend then the enemy cannot counter this. They cannot formulate or plan against this. This is the ultimate goal of a control player at this stage – you have created a situation where the enemy is reconsidering their strategy, where they are second-guessing their ability and their means. They have lost already at this stage. They do not know where to attack, where to defend or how to do either of these. They are out of position and unable to fight effectively. It should be easy pickings from here on in unless you are facing another reactive style army.
Your opponent should be basically in one of three positions.
(I don’t mean to be referring to myself as a ‘rare and dangerous foe’ I am saying that if I am facing such an opponent I will regard them as such and carry caution and awareness, I will probably loose this game because I am not experienced in playing this type of foe – something I wish to change)
Before I begin with expanding into the actual mechanics of my army and my list I would like to define some tactical terms and methods I use –
Control has already been mentioned as critical – I will not delve to far into how to use control – It is more a matter that is best left to experience to teach. This is not really a tactic and is not really a strategy. It is more or less the result or goal of what it is that I want to achieve – just like winning cannot be called a tactic or strategy, it is a goal.
A strategy is an idea. It is the ‘why’. A strategy should not be visible. You cannot look at 1 turn of a game and see strategy. (You can see a tactic though). A strategy should be hidden. (Exactly in the same as I can see you thinking but I cannot see your thoughts) The strategy/s I use govern which tactics are best. Everyone employs strategy – even if they are not aware of it. It’s most basic is army composition. This regards ‘earth’, ‘air’ or ‘fire’. Deep strategy/s are the subtleties and abilities that you have enabled through unit selection and your own skill and with regards to the enemy of-course. Your success is directly related to how well you understand them and apply or follow them and/or how well your enemy does this as well.
Before I detail tactics and strategies – Using tactics without thought to a greater strategy will cause certain game turns to become critical. You will win a game on the back of a single turn. You will loose the game on the back of poor dice rolls or an above average performance from you opponents dice. This is why you will win AND loose. A strategy runs throughout the entire game. It transcends game phases and turns. You can win in one turn because you use tactics, but you do not rely on it. You do not really have ‘make or break’ turns. This means that you are highly unlikely to loose a game in one turn. Your strategy is still applicable even if you the dice fail you because it does not rely on them. It relies on the aspects beyond the dice (position etc). That said, rolling a series of 1’s does not help. Even with the best-laid strategy and/or tactic there needs to be a little luck. But this is half the fun.
Some of the tactics come from Silent Requiem’s tactica, I include them for easy reference. Brother Vash113 has also written a comprehensive guide to tactics found in the Librarium Tactics
It is well worth the read. He has detailed the ‘base’ tactics very well and in a manner that is easy to understand.
My own encompass – (some are alterations to those above or combine them)
They are of Chinese reference simply because they have outlined them better than I could do. If you have read the thread recommended you would see that I am unsure as to the ‘why’ myself. I cannot label my style. I do not fully understand it as yet. I reference Asian books on warfare as they provide much insight into the ‘why’ which in since reading, has become more obvious to myself – All have historical events which support and highlight the ideals (I wont detail the events because it is not part of what I want to say, if they interest you read please the books).
I use internal detachments to a varying degree in the application of all of the below strategies. You don’t have to but it is how I find balance. The internal detachments are altered to the battleground more than to the strategies. You must keep in mind that I have multiple detachments. Whilst they can perform by themselves I try to use them in tandem. Keep this at the fore when reading the following.
Playing a regular opponent of mine at 2000 points. My list was my standard list (detailed here).He uses Blood Angels - He has
I helped him build this list, otherwise he takes super units like Dante and honour guard and all the bells and whistles - he is a very strong player - he has earned the nickname of Mr Sinister - he is absolutely ruthless and usually wins by big margins vs but a few select regulars - he is so predictable - I am trying to get him to try other things but he wont leave home without at least one special character just yet. We played a modified mission - Basically it is a cleanse mission but the difference is that in this cleanse mission you deploy on table edges rather than quarters – Alpha level.
The table was set up with about 8 (3 were joined to make the big central one) buildings - perfect him as he can hide and force me to come to him -
I picked the table side with three buildings on its edge - he got the side with only 2 - normally I would go for the side with only two as it gives me room to manoeuvre and shoot - this is how I beat an assault army -
The reason why I picked the side with three is that I could spread my internal detachments. I had a good amount of area that had significant zones which had LOS blocked (I will refer to this as hidden areas or hidden units) - The second reason is that just outside the deployment zone (or so I thought it was) was a massive complex - it was made up of three buildings - It commanded the centre of the table but the problem for me with this building is two fold - It blocked so much LOS meaning that I couldn't easily react if he shifts (he is faster than me) or deploys with a refused flank - and secondly - If he gets to the building he gets into me - If he wanted to he could stand in the centre and I cant 'see' him from any angle - again meaning I have to come to him and due to its central location I did not want this - I almost picked this side though as it provided a commanding position - but because I reasoned it too risky and too hard to keep, I gave it to the enemy - It is now his problem.
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Bellow you can see the deployment. I have highlighted my internal detachments.
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From left to right
5 man Lascanon
10 man missile launcher
Landspeeder with HB
This clump needed to be resilient because of its position - I wanted to it to be mobile because I could achieve a position of further advantage -
This clump was on my far left - It was in the open and had open ground in front of it right across to the enemy deployment - It had a building to its right (about 12' away) and one Forward and right (about 20')
5 man Lascannon
10 man heavy bolter
This clump was my 'muscle' squad It was partly in a building (the 10 man) and behind and to the left of it - It was about 20' left from the centre line of the table (12' away from my far left)
I needed this clump to be 'slow' (but mobile) so it could keep close - It needed to be hard and have a good amount of stopping power - It was intended to contest the offensive but in the confines of the dense building arrangement that we had in the centre -
5 man meltagun squad
MM landspeeder -
This was my reaction squad - It was weak for my normal centre clump but because I had a strong clump # 2 I didn’t need it to ultra - tough - It was more or less there to funnel the offensive at clump #2 and support it and respond to threats - mainly armour and DC - they get a feel no pain vs plasma - not vs melta - This unit was meant to be dynamic - no unit was to be stationary at any stage of the game. It was about 6' to the right of clump # 2 (I broke this clump up in the course of the game) - I ended up joining the terminators with the advance of clump # 2 - the meltagun went towards clump # 4 and the speeder went through the enemy advance and got the dread - to big of an opportunity to pass up -
5 man plasma squad -
This was slightly to the right of the centre line - This again was placed to be reactive - assisting the funnelling - but more to respond if he broke right - It was a disruption force - It was mobile - Tigurius has the ability to break off a quick advance with FoTD causing some elements of the enemy advance to fall back whilst others rush forward - I never got one of these off but it didn’t matter - they did the job - They split the enemy and attacked from the side -
Far right flank - I had no real contenders on this flank so I decided not to put my resilient units here - I didn’t need it to be - I needed mobility (I had heaps of space) and good killing power - This clump just harried the enemy whilst moving forward and eventually taking the enemy offence and defence from behind - This clump had it easy and did very well -
He got first turn - He dropped 3 of my marines in total (all from different squads - I don’t remember exact ones) but he managed to immobilised my left annihilator (A Glancing from something) - damn - that was my go forward unit - I wanted to be able to get closer to the GKT -
Most of his units remained all hidden - moving only forward little as to retain blocked LOS - this is not normal for him - he plays super aggressive- Mr Mephiston got his powers nullified - I think this is why he hesitated –
Sensing hesitation I was set on trying to make him pay for it. Detachment Emperors Shield remained relatively stationary. The speeder jumped out in front as to be certain of range. - I needed the opposing lascannons dead - GKT were beyond a 'safe' range to shoot at so I ignored them - I moved the rocket squad up, as I was certain that the supporting firepower I had would prove decisive. I also need the enemy 5-man devastator squad with the missile launchers to stay put so I moved my 10 man squad into LOS of them. Alas I only killed 3 marines - no lascannons - they held - I moved Command detachment Fortis up - all of it - I got a bead on some assault marines – The Hammer of Ultimar stayed put – whilst the Emperors Fury detachment moved up and gained some LOS to the forward assault marines that Command detachment Fortis also had LOS to - I moved the command squad to the left and forward and the Marines right and forward (I split this clump first turn to react to the assault marines) and Emperors Spear on the far right moved up - I took advantage of him having next to no forces here - The MM speeder moved right up in the open and hit but only stunned the opposing Baal Predator (right hand side)- nice - the Annihilator had perfect LOS to both assault marine squads - No kills - The dread and terminators left 0 assault marines alive from his lead (plasma armed) assault marines - Tigurius got his powers nullified (FOTD and veil of time).
The Death Company cleared the building and landed 3 inches away from my terminators - what have I done!!! I didn’t see them and I didn’t think they could clear the main complex in a single bound - I know they are super human but seriously – a single bound? - The dreadnought and tactical marines with the flamer moved into the building - the heavy weapons tactical squad moved into the second building and his second (left) Baal came forward - this was his turn - he needed to break me this turn, If he didn’t the full strength of the Ultramarines would be felt - This was pre-emptive as most of my forces were well out of range of his assaults and in striking now he exposed his forces to the full power of mine - - - his shooting killed 2 marines or so and I lost the normal dreadnought to Mephiston’s plasma pistol!!!! (If you do the math this is bogus - also this was a super gamble - If I retained my DCCW and mobility then Mr Mephiston would have been toast - 3 attacks hitting on 4's KILLING ON 2+ Mephiston has no invulnerable - no feel no pain vs Str 10 and instant kills him + he cant hurt a dread in HtH) the GKT took down the HB speeder - The DC assault in the centre hit home and dropped all of my terminators - My IC got away because nothing was in base to base with him - He failed his leadership and bolted!!! This was not right. My valiant commander is fleeing!! - I got enough distance to rally automatically. The DC consolidated into my 10 man Heavy Bolter squad –
It was time for me to isolate the offensive - The emperors shield detachment finished off the enemy devastator lascannons through the predator – My 5-man lascannon squad on my left blew the Baal away - I shot at his missile launcher squad with my one just to keep it still (he wont move it if he can see something) To the right the speeder from the Emperors Spear detachment popped the other Baal. (Once a clump is engaged in HtH combat my main tactic is to continue the momentum with the non-engaged units but bring my HtH or balanced units into the fray) So my vindicator moved forward and hit home but rolled 3 1's to wound the assault marines - The annihilator in the Emperors Spear to my right move forward and killed two tactical marines in the plasma cannon squad - they broke - Mephiston was close enough to be considered part of the 5 man flamer armed tactical squad in the building so I didn’t shoot at him (I was generous - I don’t like capitalising on these kind of mistakes - He forgot to declare it - It is not critical [he didn’t plead for me to allow it - he said it wasn’t so because he had forgot - I told him that it had been 'declared' - he must not have remembered]) - My remaining marines moved forward and rapid fired the assault marines - none left - Tigurius moved with his marine body guard - The speeder originally from Command Detachment Fortis got enough distance to get just behind the dread and melted it - stunned - My insurance policy came through in the form of the heavy flamer and destroyed it!! (rear armour 10 - str 5) I had broken his assault - I had isolated his lead units from his defence - I achieved this through exposing and attacking his weak points from a different angles - his movement initially had a lot of cover - if I were static I would have found it difficult to destroy them but because I can move and shoot I changed the angles and reduced the amount of protection enough. I could strike effectively with out over compensating (mass firepower – I didn’t have to blow away the buildings that his marines where hiding behind before I could shoot at them) – That is why so many of his units dropped this turn - not because of poor armour/cover saves but because I didn’t give him any to take - (I now have 4 units near half way and a speeder in his deployment -) I charged the venerable dreadnought into the chaplain and one death company (I had to make base to base contact with a DC because mine was so large - HE GOT TWO penetrating hits via rending striking at initiative 10 (cover) destroying him but on the re-roll he only immobilised - LUCKY - my captain made it in as well and promptly dispatched two DC – My fellow marines killed one - the dreadnought wounded the chap but he made his invulnerable - (I only had one attack - stunned and immobilised - ) I lost 5 marines!! My marines held - my master FLED - AGAIN!!! Not very far either - 5 inches – my enemy was now isolated - Mr Mephiston was avoided - His missile launchers were covering ground that I wanted them to cover - and I was in a good position to take quarters and get into his deployment - I was unable to get my master 6' away from a DC.
He made the mistake of bring up his guns to support the assault. He moved his GKT forward - I told him to move them sideways and try and block some LOS - he ignored me and moved them forward - 27' away my lascannon squad lost two marines from the psycannons but held - my missile squad took a hit from his missiles - 8 left - his plasma cannon took out three marines from Tigurus squad!! The bolters got the other two!! I was generous with the blast template but he rolled all his partials - Mephistons wings worked and he shot and stabbed at my vindicator - shaking it - the tactical squad shot and flamed my speeder and stunned it - Combat - My dread missed - only 3 marines dropped - some how I killed 2 DC - I held -
(Command Detatchment Fortis - now Command Detatchment run away)- My master rolled a massive 11 and ran off the table - what a punce!! - I charged my 5 marines holding the lascannon in to the fray (I didnt need it any more) I moved the shaken vindicator forward 12' with a big bite me here sign hanging out the back for Mephiston to chase - I killed two members of the flamer tactical squad with the right annihilator (now at around half way) they held - I rolled a 9 for my immobilised annihilator to spot the GKT - They were exactly 26.5 inches away - I told him not to move forward! - My lascannon squad got well over the required distance - I dropped one with the squad - The annihilator opened up - 6 wounds – I nominated the brother captain to take the first wound. A 1 came up and another died to the lascannon - Tigurius moved back - and right - trying to bait mephiston away from the fray - My mobile speeder flamed and melted the last of the plasma cannon squad - I moved my melta gun squad away and to the right - I could have tried to rapid fire mephiston but it would be unlikely I would kill him - so I moved beyond range - Tigurius was attacked by daemons from the warp and suffered a wound (trying to scare the last three marines) The dreadnought hit and wounded the chaplain - He was pulverised - I lost 1 marine – Combat was a draw .
Not really much point in continuing - The GKT all died - The DC all died - The flamer tactical squad all died - The only thing he had left was the 5 devastators as I hadn’t touched them all game and Mr Mephiston about 17 inches from Tigurius - For 225 points he shook my largely ineffective vindicator once- I had squads in every quadrant and one in his deployment zone on turn 5 - my two mobile tanks where just over half way - my 5 melta (now 3) tactical marines where about half way – I had my able speeders behind him - - I didn’t want to play any more and neither did he ( I hate mopping up, it is humiliating) - After the game he said he could see it was all over after turn one - He didn’t see what I had planned during the deployment phase but he saw my plan after turn one - He told me he seriously considered conceding after turn one - he knew he couldn’t beat me from that early on in the game.
I confused him with my first deployment - He couldn’t read my deployment and he committed without being ready -
His hesitation worked - I should have waited but I was to eager to get to grips with him - I was actually looking forward to those intense street gunfights and running combats - He drew me out -
His offence failed because he attacked my strong point - Although he was superior his attack penetrated too deep and became isolated - I ended up loosing VP wise here but it was alpha and I killed his game winning unit - I cut his support by attacking it from the side - I hit him in his vulnerable sections - I picture it like when you throw a rock into a pond - at impact the water makes way for the rock but quickly it sinks and in 'swallowed' He just hit me quicker than I thought he would - caught me off guard a little – This is the essence of reaction. ‘Swallowing’ the strong and overwhelming it with the ‘weak’
I was able to avoid his star player - I made him useless without even firing a shot at him - He got to my deployment zone only to find it empty - If I really, really wanted to I probably could have tried to kill him but it probably would have meant that I would have to use units that were controlling the game to do so - Id rather control - I did have another turn if we decided to play it - We only got to the end of turn 5
In the end only two of my units didn’t move - one because it was assaulted and the other because it didn’t have to - I felt that the from turn one onwards I was reacting to his shift - he moved to my left so I went right - I avoided his thrust (almost) and most of his army advanced into open ground (I did get caught) but most of his strength was moving in between clump 2 and 3 - with no real options and no real enemy- He moved into the ground that I had considered a disadvantage and attacked my strongest elements. I moved into the ground that I had considered advantageous and struck at his vulnerable components.
This Black Templars player is a member of GW staff. He is experienced and at the last tournament we went to he had the highest win ratio. He is experienced and knows his army well. The dreadnought is a new addition (games are normally at 1500 points) as well as the bulking out on his bikes and the Marines – otherwise it is fairly standard. Keep in mind that he is experienced. Whilst his choices may appear to be poor he had calculated most manoeuvres well and in the end gave himself the best chance of victory. My analysis will explain this in more detail.
I used my standard 2000 point list detailed previously:-
The Black Templars consisted of: -
The table was 6’ x 4’ . The terrain used included the standard battle for Macragge wreckage and 5 fairly standard size COD (cities of death) buildings that you can build from the box sets. Another player set the table. Neither of us had any part in setting it up. The board was set with the two buildings at the edge of each deployment zone (accessible) but not opposite from the other buildings in the other deployment zone. One building was placed centrally, Slightly to the side of the centre and slightly closer to one tableside. The ruins were placed scattered from the centre all the way to table edge roughly evenly spaced and roughly following the centre line. Something like detailed below. The Star is the objective – Take and Hold – Gamma Level –
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He chose the top table edge (side 1) so I got side 2. (I would have picked this side anyway) Looking at this without any units and it is clear as to where the advantages lie and where the disadvantages will be found. A defensive army would be best suited to side 1. An aggressive army is best suited to side 2. I can play either so denying him the aggressive side was best. I assumed he thought that I would be defensive so choose this side in an effort to limit me.
From my side of the table I can get close to the objective whilst being able to deny a good amount of LOS. I have cover advancing towards it. The central building lends a position that can be easily ‘fortified’ with perfect LOS. The table is fairly open across the centre so this ground is hard to take and hold. I regard the vulture ruins as safer than the other side simply because to initiate an assault here it must be obvious in order to do so – (movement restrictions will reduce the chances of long range assaults so a unit must move just to commit to an assault in this area.) It does however reduce long-range fire support as it provides cover saves.
I only have one building that I can use to block LOS completely. Some of my forces will be in the open. The central building limits crossfire. It is going to be difficult for the flanks to support each other. (This goes for both sides) but more so from this side for a defensive army simply because it is closer to this side. The objective is open. There are two very strong positions that have good LOS to it from the enemy tableside.
Deployment went as follows (there is a picture)
From Left to Right on the Templars side: -
5 Man Bike squad behind the building with the tank hunting dread close by, both with blocked LOS. The Landraider Crusader was placed behind the building broadside (so it could fit there) The entire Hq section and Squad # 1 went inside the Crusader. The Plasma/Power weapon squad # 2 went into the building in front of the crusader. The Black Templar squad # 3 went behind the ruins on the far right and the other 5-man squad along the table edge, also behind the ruins.
My deployment: - Left to right again -
The two MM landspeeders deployed to the left, behind the building. The five man tactical squad with the melta-gun was next in line supported from behind by the first Annihilator but was also in the open. A 5 man squad with a lascannon went next to this (this is detachment – Daedfall) In the centre I placed the Vindicator with the Ven. Dread right behind it. Next to the Vindicator was the 10 man tactical squad with the rocket launcher (not a missile launcher because missile has ‘miss’ in it.) Supported by the Heavy bolter speeder. This is detachment – Destroyer -. I placed the 5-man plasma gun squad in the open infront of the building containing the 10-man squad with the heavy bolter. My other dreadnought went behind this building, as did Tigurius. On the far right I placed my last Annihilator, also in the open and my last 5-man tactical squad with the lascannon. This section did not operate in detachments, I deployed them as such but I did not employ this tactic here, as I did not require balance. I had already gained the advantage.
Deployment looked something like this –
Keep in mind that both of us had deep striking terminators.
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As you can see his deployment lends a great deal to his intentions. He is obviously trying to apply a pincer type tactic. He strategy is hard to see. In fact with hindsight I am not sure that he actually had considered one, I think that it was a reaction to my dominance more than as a conscious decision, but I cannot be sure. I could see this and though out my deployment I was thinking of my first strategy – Attacking the weakest link. By shifting my baulk to the left – striking his weaker forces – the far right of his force would be momentarily rendered in effective. I did however deploy to draw him out (Luring) on this flank (left). The over all strategy was to employ Await the exhausted enemy at your ease. He had invested a lot in a fast moving attack. As noted earlier, I had control on the right flank and the left flank was about to fall. I won the dice roll and gave him first turn. I needed to see if my predictions were true.
– He didn’t want first turn. The player that set the table asked why I didn’t take first turn. Before I could answer my opponent said that his forces are out of place but as they are they are hard to target, but if he tries to re-deploy he will expose himself. He new this and his opening turn reflected this. He largely employed in-action. He had a ‘chance’ on the left flank so he mobilised. His bikes turbo boosted to the other side (his side) of the building near my deployment zone (the building in front of my speeders). His tank hunting monster dreadnought moved out to take a shot at the annihilator (I wanted this) His centre squad # 2 moved forth into the open. The others were largely inactive, moving slightly to achieve maximum LOS denial. His captain did pop out of the Landraider though so his leadership would be conferred to his entire force. His shooting was dismal. His only shots came from the dread. Both hit but the armour of the annihilator held strong. His tactic had failed. He needed to destroy my flank this turn before I supported it.
– I moved my speeders forward 24’ but hidden from the crusader. (I wanted to provoke the crusader to move into the open to target them) My centre (detachment Destroyer) shifted left. Detachment Daedfall moved forward (not the 5 man lascannon squad) the rest of my army acted individually. My far right annihilator moved forward slowly. The rest stayed put. He didn’t move and in-action suited me (control vs. beatdown) My 5 man plasma squad did move forward though and Tigurius and the dreadnought traded places. My shooting started with the Vindicator (I always do) – nothing hit with a massive amount of scatter away from the dread. The annihilator had vengeance for some blistered paintwork and popped the opposing Dreadnought in spectacular fashion. I fired my Ven. dread and one member of the 5 man tactical squad with the melta-gun at the bikes but I either missed (I rolled 4 ones to hit with the assault cannon – but as this was apart of my strategy and not a tactic it did not matter) or he made his saves. His centre squad took some casualties but he made a tremendous amount of saves. I think I killed three – he only surged 1 inch. I fired at only Squad # 2 with my entire right flank. If the dread had not died I would have been disappointed but I was nowhere near being defeated.
– His terminators arrived. They went deep into my left flank. He chose to attack directly at my momentum. This cost him. He deep stuck where my speeders stared the game. He moved his bikes to the side armour of my Annihilator. The centre squad moved forward again but just fell short of rapid-fire range to my lead 5-man squad (his were now in some ruins). Everything else stayed put. This may seem strange but it almost paid off later on. I think that his foresight was his best ally in this game. He did something that was against the norm. He rendered my annihilator and penetrated it for a destroyed result and then melted and assaulted my 5-man melta-gun squad with his bikes. I assumed it to go the other way but he had calculated this move. The 5-man squad died without inflicting loss and he then made a massive sweeping advance into my 5-man lascannon squad. Rascal! He took a massive gamble but it paid off. To add insult to injury my wrecked annihilator blocked LOS to his terminators, which were nicely clumped to take a vindicator round.
– Seeing that my opponent had luck on his side and undue supremacy on the left flank my terminators came on to react here. They scattered wide but moved closer to the centre – about 4 inches from his bikes assaulting my marines. The Ven. dreadnought moved in to also support. Seeing that I could not get a clear LOS with the vindicator on his terminators (and my propensity to hit my own troops with scatter weapons if it is possible) I chose to move it backwards and towards the right, just in case something went horribly wrong on the left flank. My speeders moved up on the crusader and both missed. Yes. Lovely. I moved forward and rapid fired the centre Black Templars squad # 2. I killed 4 in total this turn with the combined fire from the flank. 3 left. They passed and again surged a small distance. I did this to try and draw the massive squad in the Crusader out or some of the other units hiding away on the right. My right Annihilator moved forward and I again swapped Tigurius and the dreadnought around behind the building. My shooting from my terminators dropped one enemy terminator. My dreadnought joined the fray and smashed a Templar. ALL 5 of my marines DIED. I killed one more with them but lost combat. Dreadnought obviously held.
He again stayed largely inactive across the table. The Crusader turned around and took out one speeder. In the centre he moved forward and rapid fired my squad (this may seem strange but if I shoot him and he doesn’t die he surges forward and being so close he will make combat in my turn) I lost one marine. His terminators feared my Vindicator. They shot at it with no effect and hit it with no effect. Delicious!! He was now in a very, very vulnerable position. My dreadnought drilled two bikers. They could not hurt him in return. On the back of poor dice rolls he had become vulnerable. I still retained in-vulnerability even though I had lost here for the third consecutive phase.
I needed to stop the crumbling of my left flank. I had allocated a superior amount of forces here and had the momentum but I was still loosing it. Since I was still attacking the weakest link and as my enemy had not acted yet with the offence on my right I still had time. The vindicator moved backwards 6’ (towards the right flank). My terminators moved right and my centre squad (10 man with rocket launcher) moved into rapid fire of the terminators. On the right, my annihilator stayed put (I was getting close to becoming into melta-gun range from the hidden bikes) and my 5-man Lascannon squad moved forward just for the sake of it (it was really so I would have a nicer field of fire for when he did move forward). My dreadnought that was near Tigurius moved forward (I needed to start moving him towards the objective) Tigurius himself moved into charge range of the terminators and cast Veil of Time. With surprise my vindicator hit (I laughed as I fired it – Tigurius was about 5’ away from my target and I thought I would hit him instead.) I killed three Terminators. (My partials were kind) and the tactical marines accounted for the final one. Tigurius was unhappy. As the enemy terminators were removed I joined the fray with my own. The bikes did not live past the initiative 5 phase. My MM speeder again missed. Boo Hoo. In the centre I assaulted his marines. Not to kill them but to make him ‘feel’ patriotic and try to rescue them. I sustain no casualties (no frag grenades) and somehow dragged down three marines. Not really what I wanted but ok. I moved forward towards his Squad # 3.
He again stayed put with his Crusader. He downed the last MM speeder. His squad # 3 moved forward slightly – enough to have LOS to my 5-man plasma squad (now only 4-man). His bikes moved into action. They moved 12’ on the right flank and then snapped my 10-man squad in cover with bolter fire. I lost 5 or 6 of them and then failed their leadership test. They fell back behind the building. A serious blow.
He used a lure on me and I fell for it. I had grown over confident with my 5-man plasma squad. I move forward and attempted rapid fired his squad # 3. Just short of range. My centre moved into the building as well did my terminators. My final speeder went far left as to be sure that it would be alive no matter what he did next. I blasted away with everything at the bike squad. One left. Guess which one. The melta-gun. He passed his leadership test. No assaults. Nothing in range.
I felt that he had now turned me into the beat down somehow. His remaining bike blew apart my Vindicator. A personal goal for him, but by no means not a tactical one. (At the time I did not think that it was, I thought he was just going for the scalp of my Vindicator but I can see in hindsight that the big template was a serious threat to his next move) His Squad # 3 moved forward and rapid fired my 5(4)-man plasma squad. Killed one. I passed my leadership. I had set the game from the beginning and he conformed to it. He could not have acted in a matter more suiting to my desires (in-action) but I had become overly confident and frustrated that he was still alive and with a sizable amount of points on the table. He did the extra-ordinary and did nothing. He frustrated me even though I was dominating and playing my natural game. He could see where action would lead so he did nothing. My control did not kill him. It limited him to the point where he had no choice and then he followed logic and actually made no choice.
I made a mistake, which almost cost me the game. Moved all my units towards the objective. I believed that my 5(3)-man squad would hold him up for one turn. I fired every unit that could into the enemy squad # 3 and rapid fired with the Plasma squad. I killed 4 marines. He surged and made combat. (He rolled a 6) He wiped out my squad and sweeping advanced 6’ towards the objective. They had moved 18’ this turn!! I was thinking – I am an idiot.
His crusader moved through the building. 12’. He made both dangerous terrain rolls. Yes a MASSIVE gamble. He moved almost onto the objective and spewed out its precious cargo. His tactical squad # 3 moved toward the objective and contested it. He had three scoring units valuing around 1000+ points in the scoring zone. His shooting was pathetic and did nothing (as you would imagine)
Well – I am an idiot. I had controlled the whole game. I dominated every single position and now I was loosing. I had not enough concentration of points to out contest him. I did however have the advantage. I had a sizable amount of units, which could move and fire within striking position of the objective and I had last turn. I ignored the crusader. It could not hurt me. It was a nice big 550 points (considering it is worth double) but his other unit was over 600 points on its own – I focus fired on it and killed 4 marines! I killed 4 in the other squad. I then assaulted the main unit – being careful in not engaging IC’s with my terminators and the dread. I killed 4 for no return casualties. I had dropped both his units below scoring whilst being able to bring 5 units (H bolter speeder, terminators, 10-man tactical squad with rocket launcher and both dreads) into a scoring position.
In the end I won because of my balanced units but because I denied him the ability to play his game his way so he could not win, only I could loose, which almost happened.
He inadvertently used a distraction with what is basically a fire army but applied it despite the obvious ‘set’ mould of his force. I am not too sure that he intended to do this. None the less I almost lost because I failed to remain objective. I began to over extend myself and almost fell to the very strategy I was employing. I almost over exhausted myself instead of taking advantage of his exhaustion. It was a fun game. I honestly never felt threatened until the last turn. Even with my failing dice rolls I still had the upper hand. My positioning gave me this. He relied on his dice rolls with the few tactics that he used. His strategy (apart from the dangerous terrain rolls) did not rely on dice rolls and almost came through. I hope that this Batrep shows how critical deployment is and how the method of control works and how strategies transcend the game phases whereas tactics do not and so become reliant on dice rolls. I did not use control or strategy to kill him. What I did do was to take victory beyond his means (almost anyway). Before the battle was joined I had already obtained victory. He had to try and wrest it from me, which he almost did. The victory margin not including the objective was only slightly in my advantage. In considering the objective the margin blows out dramatically. This is due to position alone, something I could not have achieved without balance. (I had to move AND fire AND assault on the last turn)
There is more to come. I have not finished - reading the flow of battle - and a reference list. Any feed back is more than welcome. If somethng is difficult to read, please ask me to clarify it.
I am adding in some of the BB codes - I dont have much time so it will be done in stages.. sorry..
Edited by Brother Tual, 02 December 2007 - 09:55 AM.