Jump to content

Welcome to The Bolter and Chainsword
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

Reaction, Control and Warfare


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
145 replies to this topic

#1
Brother Tual

Brother Tual

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 1,744 posts


T
his tactica is my method of playing 40k – I use the emperor’s finest – The Ultra-marines. I have a reactive play style that grew from Silent Requiem’s Way of the Water Warrior. I strongly recommend reading his tactica, to the point that I consider it a pre-requisite before you continue reading this. Way of The Water Warrior My methods have foundations in reactive play style but its true strength comes from control – without it my Ultra-marines are soundly defeated –

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.

What is Control ?


I
begin with the crux of my style - Control through reaction – I do not play a style that reacts to the enemy directly. I do not attempt to best my enemy directly in its weakest phase (assaulting a shooting army, etc – the three phases of the game – moving – shooting or assault). This is an extremely narrow view of a water style, but for this reason and this reason alone (that I have discovered) is as to why I can achieve in creating a reactive force without balance. I use this narrow view to clear any ambiguities and make evident the difference in philosophy.

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)

In the Beginning



T
he path to control begins long before the battle ground is set – It begins with the general – It begins with you – Control does not rely heavily on unit selection or unit ability – After much deliberation and extensive reading I have come to regard three necessities required of a control general – the ‘what’ – the ‘how’ and the ‘why’– The first two are PARAMOUNT – the third is more or less a guarantor. They are -Knowledge – Experience – Intelligence or ability. (I am unsure as to whether intelligence or ability is the major contributor, so I include both – I am prepared to say that an intelligent person will have ability but I will concede that a person with ability may not be particularly intelligent. – either way skill is important.)


The Three Attributes of Control


Knowledge


K
nowledge provides the ‘what’ – It provides information as to what is best to use – what does better vs. this and that – the ‘math-hammer’. Considering the ‘what’ becomes critical when forming your army – how you apply your army is just as important as its composition - you must KNOW your army – you must know what it is capable of – you must know what its weaknesses are and what its strengths are – with out this knowledge you cannot plan – you cannot assess – you cannot control – You must know your own abilities – Study your codex – read books on tactics – read threads regarding army list building but most of all ask questions. If you have little knowledge you can gain it fairly rapidly and rather easily through this forum alone – Know your codex – know it well.

Experience


E
xperience – This is your best ally – without it you are more likely to make mistakes – even with perfect ‘math-hammer’ you will fail without this teacher – Play as much as you can. Experience will teach you how to apply what you know. How to make the better choices. How to apply your forces in the most effective manner. This can be obtained in a timely manner so don’t stress about it too much if you are new or ‘green’ to 40k gaming – It will come –

Intelligence


I
ntelligence or ability – This is the hardest to obtain and the hardest to explain – This is the underlying reason as to why people win games – and win games – and win games – They know or can see ‘why’ they win. Not just ‘how’ they won – not ‘what’ was needed to win but ‘why’ they won – If you can grasp this you will always win (unless you come across someone that can do this better)– otherwise you will win and loose at roughly the same rate – providing that you are playing people of similar ability or those that have a reliance on set tactics and movements – This relates to identifying and responding to mistakes or poor choices but more importantly recognising why methods work and then being able to reproduce them but being able to adapt them to the subtleties of situation and the enemy. I am convinced that you must have the above two conditions in-order to meet this third condition- There are other factors which further limit ability – situation is the major contender, terrain and mission parameters and the like but also army composition, both in yours and the enemy’s strengths and vulnerabilities which extends back to the generals themselves. Intelligence is the linking of WHAT (knowledge) and HOW (experience) and then understanding WHY it worked.

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.

The Problem of Balance


T
his leads to the problem of balance. Balance is an enabler. Ultra-marines do not provide a balanced base. They are inherently suited to a static ‘earth’ set or mould – This will not do - but I have refused to abandon the boys in blue – I have analysed my codex and found that only two units directly provide such balance – terminators and dreadnoughts – Mobility – Firepower – Close combat – They have it all and can do it all in the one turn – no other unit can – (if you do the math they are similar in points to any other such unit found in any other codex – GK’s etc) But it is not possible to use only these units. I then expanded my parameters to require only two attributes of the three phases – most selections now met the requirements – particularly vehicles, bikes, transported troops and jump infantry. Devastators were the only unit that fell out of ‘my’ codex. As a result I will not use them because they cannot move and retain any kind of real firepower – Yes, a Tactical squad can – rapid fire 9 bolters + a special with a 14’ move (12’ for the rhino and 2’ for the disembarkment) They provide good (short range) fire power and a strong movement in the same turn – I am not saying that Devastators cannot be used – I just prefer not to use them – I will take a tank or two over them every time. It is important to note that resilience is not a contributor to any of the three phases. I comment on resilience as most earth armies value it almost above all else. It must be understood that a unit can be made resilient. It does not exclusively come from high model count or high armour values. Details on this will be presented later. At this stage try not to let stat lines and number affect your unit selection too much.


Internal Detachments



C
lumping (earthy term) or Internal Detachments – If you have read the thread that I have suggested as a pre-requisite you will be familiar with this term – Basically this is how I combat the problem of balance. Perfect balance provides all the tools needed by a general to play a true and precise ‘water’ or reaction style army. Balance provides the tools needed to take the advantage in ANY situation. As noted earlier, I NEED advantage – I cannot let it slip by because I am un-able or ill equipped to seize it.

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)


Ultramarines – Courage and Honour



W
hat do I use? This list is by no means an exhaustive list – any unit can be used effectively and when combined with other units their effect can be multiplied. Only what I actually own limits the following list – I have other minor models (chaplain in terminator armour and a few rhinos) and I use them and interchange them or add them as my mood changes. None the less they do not alter the core workings of my list – only in its subtleties.

(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.


The Why – The Philosophy



QUOTE
Master Sun – An ancient warrior/philosopher wrote: -

Skillful warriors first make themselves invincible, and then watch for vulnerability in their opponents.


H
aving applied your knowledge and considering the ‘how’ (you may or may not have experience – it just makes applying your army easier) you have selected your army list – or even just using what you have you must now consider your enemy and the terrain – You can plan no more until you do this – You have formulated a strategy through your army selection – you know your army and its abilities, you have made it invincible because you know its weaknesses and how to compensate or hide them. Now we apply it -

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 - msn-wink.gif 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.


Deployment for the Control Army



QUOTE
I quote Mei Yachen – (1002 – 1060 AD)

Whether you live or die depends on the configuration of the battle-ground; whether you survive or perish depends on the way of battle.



T
he configuration of the battleground in regards to 40k incorporates the mission objectives, your army, the actual battleground (terrain and position etc.) and the enemy. You win or loose through deployment – You live or die here – Be absolutely focused on deployment and the application of strategy – it is critical beyond any other phase. This is because we are trying to achieve control. The sooner you do this the more profound and convincing your victory will be. I am not yet referring to matching units – I am not yet deploying – this is BEFORE deployment – I must (after table sides have been decided and mission and the like – sometimes before this if I win the roll for table side) begin to control the game. Analyse the terrain – Note positions of advantage, note positions of disadvantage. You have already formulated a strategy with your unit selection (if you have done this properly – you have your invincible list – you are now looking at where the enemy will be vulnerable) you must now see how you will apply it. You must see where you will have advantage and lead the enemy into positions of disadvantage. Do this from the position of the enemy as well and you will have a sound vision on how you will play the game. This is in reference to the second part of the aforementioned quote, which is to be discussed later – reading the flow/way of the battle.


O
nce this has been considered you now deploy - Cunning becomes important – being able to hide the form of your forces in order to deceive and lead the enemy. You do not want to be easily read in your deployment. This is being formless. If you have read the thread you have read about being formless. Being formless implies being hidden, being un-readable. It also implies unit ability or if you use internal detachments, their ability and how obvious it is. (A devastator unit has an obvious form much like a unit of genstealers. A tactical squad in a rhino or a unit of Grey Knights in a Landraider has no real obvious role, they get their role from how they are deployed and used on the battlefield.). It can extend further than the units. Model density and position (refused flank etc) can also hint as to your strategy. In some cases it is unavoidable, but with a sizable force with an almost full force organisation, most of your units deploy after the enemy or the units you use have some ability to ‘re-deploy’ first turn through speed. Try and be aware of this in your own deployment and in your enemy’s deployment.

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.


The Three Positions



Your opponent should be basically in one of three positions.

Stage 1


T
hey are either oblivious to your plan and have not recognised the dire situation that their army is in – you can tell because their army looks ‘pretty’ or has symmetry. It is how you would place your models in a display cabinet. Unless you know that your enemy is competent (this deployment might be a ploy with hidden strengths – be overly cautious if you find this at a tournament.) otherwise you can be fairly comfortable that you can win this game. Retain awareness but don’t be over cautious – go straight for the throat – You can finish this game in 4 turns if you want to be ruthless. They have little threat recognition and little ability to recognise your mistakes let alone take advantage of them. Be warned though – a veteran player has a moral duty to help new players grow. Do not smash them into the dust just because you can – They can be one of the best learning tools available to you. Harbour them and help them. – Example – I now regularly beat my ‘teachers’ (I have been playing 40k for 1 year – exactly to the month - November) and now they come to me for advice. They helped me, never once did they hand my head back to me without helping me or hinting at better choices throughout my growth.

Stage 2


T
he second position is that they are confused. This is where most players of any quality will fall. They are confused. They see that they are out of position. They know this but they cannot see how to counter it. They cannot see what you have planned but more importantly they know that they cannot counter it. They want to wipe the table clean and start again. Be cautious but be confident. They have the ability to read the flow of battle but you have already secured the advantage. You can still loose. Not because they won but because you lost it.

Stage 3


T
he third is the enemy that has a plan. They see through your strategy and retain control or have the ability to react to it by either out manoeuvring you (air) or as with another reactive army the ability to adapt and turn disadvantage into an advantage. This is where I sit when I am playing against someone of the second position who is trying to control me. If you encounter this you are facing a rare and dangerous foe. Unlike like water army vs. water army that is ‘equal’ and the battle is going to be a close affair (probably un-eventful). A control army is behind this foe simply because you do not have the advantage. I require advantage. I require foresight and the means to read exactly what my enemy is doing. I need to anticipate accurately. I might have control through position but without advantage I am behind. You will encounter these opponents mainly through tournaments. Enter tournaments and find them – you will learn more in loosing from them more than in winning against the previous two.
(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)


Tactics and Strategies



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.

T
here is a difference between a tactic and a strategy. A tactic is more or less a set move or ‘trick’. It is essentially the tools of strategy/s. A tactic is visible. It has relies on stat lines and rules. Tactics are common. They can be modified and adapted to the situation. They can be ‘easily’ countered for this very reason. (A skilled opponent can counter them easily – possibly even turning them into disadvantage) A skilled opponent will not loose to tactics alone – no matter how brilliant you are at applying them.

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.


Tactics



T
hese are the basic tactics that I use. There are many more. Some are army specific. (skimmers and fire warriors etc.) These are the ones I commonly use. Knowing more will only help. You should investigate this thoroughly. msn-wink.gif

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.


Pruning


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


Focus Fire


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


Fork/Skewer


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


The Invisible Man


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


Betting/Hedging


B
etting is where you position IC in such a way that in an assault the hidden powerfist is within his kill zone. In other words, you are betting that the IC will clear his kill zone and get the fist before it instant kills him. Hedging your bets is where you position the IC so that the fist is outside his kill zone and so cannot harm him this turn.


Tactical Casualties


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


Kiting


T
his is where you repeatedly fall back from an enemy whilst shooting at him, denying him a counter attack through greater range and manoeuvrability. Works best against slow assault troops, like orcs, where entire games can be won through this tactic.


My own encompass – (some are alterations to those above or combine them)


Internal detachments


A
s explained earlier – This is the combining of units that either share similar attributes or to combine units to provide the shortcomings of other, trying to achieve balance or purpose.


Line of sight denial


I
regard this as a tactic unto its self. Obviously this is denying LOS. LOS denial is more than just ‘putting something in the way’ it also encompasses LOS restriction. Not just to models that you want to have LOS to – such as with pruning – but also in drawing less than optimal fire into a unit that can sustain it. – Example – taking a plasma cannon shot on the front armour of an Annihilator or a lascannon on a tactical squad. If by restricting LOS I achieve this instead of visa-versa I have made my otherwise vulnerable units resilient. I am also begetting my enemy to remain stationary instead of moving to gain LOS, which he would do if I otherwise had denied LOS completely. Consider range as a form of LOS restriction. It serves the same purpose.


Columns


A
ny experienced tank commander will employ this. This is similar to an armoured wedge. Tanks are invariably large. They can block a great deal of LOS. Most players regard Rhinos as a source movable terrain. Most heavy tanks can be used in the same role. They are movable terrain that can shoot! Deploying a ‘hard’ vehicle in front of a ‘soft’ vehicle is nothing new. It remains a valid and is a successful tactic. It can be used however to place more ‘sort after’ targets in front of your ‘killer’ units. – Example – Deploying my vindicator (it usually has a high target priority ranking) in front of my dreadnought. I am deploying the softer in front of the harder but not to increase the chances of my dreadnought surviving, but in order to distract close range AT fire on the Vindicator. The dreadnought can then take out these units with greater ease than the vindicator – assaulting those bikes with meltas or wrecking MM speeders is much, much harder with a demolisher cannon.

Flank March


T
raditionally this may be regarded as a strategy. I see it as being a tactic. I use it to avoid. For me it is a means, not a goal, so it becomes a tactic. A Flank March is deploying or moving most of your forces to one side of the table to either create distance or to overwhelm a proportion of the enemy. Without the enemy having either mobility or greater firepower it can be highly effective and very hard to counter. You can render portions of the enemy useless with this tactic. It is obvious though and can be used against you as its advantages are very, very, very situational and rely on the enemy’s inability more than your ability.


Strategies



T
here are a myriad of strategies. It is impossible to detail them all. They all have a base (Earth, Fire, Air and Water). They are all extensions of your unit selection and synergy. You cannot employ a strategy that your army does not have the means to achieve or use. My strategies are more or less limited to the following as a result. The actual application and choice depends on the enemy composition, the battlefield, and my own personal mood and to those that are most apparent to myself throughout deployment.

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.

Attack the Weakest Link


T
his strategy relies on mobility. It is attacking where the enemy is unprepared and appearing where you are unexpected. You need to be able to read the flow of the battle to use this strategy. It is difficult to employ but is rewarding and exciting. You will use tactics such as Focus Fire, LOS denial and skewering and possibly a flank march. Air armies and drop pod armies excel at this but it is not impossible for me to employ. Mainly it becomes relevant vs. solid earth armies, as they do not move. It is very easy to predict the enemy. A said earlier, mobility is key. Air armies can set up with a refused flank and then move and hit the other side of the table. Moving and appearing on the un-expecting flank, then attacking it. I can do this through moderate movement, deep striking and weapons range with LOS denial. It is as I said difficult but not redundant. So I include it.

Exploiting Enemy Strength


W
hen you do not have the means to attack directly – use the strength of the opponent against them. This is the most difficult to use. I have only ever been able to use this strategy effectively and directly on ‘green’ players and only for a few turns. I lack confidence to use it on experienced players. This strategy will use columns, Skewering/forking and LOS denial. If I lack the ability to move to a position in order to gain a LOS (the enemy has good LOS denial abilities) I may try and tempt him into using his own mobility to come into potential LOS of my own units. I assume with Air vs. Air armies this will be THE strategy to use. I do however use this strategy with a slight alteration heavily. Especially against segmented fire armies. I use the difference in unit speed against them. This melds into the next strategy but has subtle differences. I try and draw the fastest units directly to my ‘hardest’ units. I do NOT fire at them. I FIRE AT THE NEXT FASTEST. I create a division in their assault. The faster units hit my units unsupported where as mine are supported. I have used their ‘strength’ against them.


Await the Exhausted Enemy at Your Ease


T
here is no such thing as fatigue in 40k. I am not referring to exhaustion. To me an exhausted enemy is one that invests in speed. As Silent Requiem noted, the fast army will often be lacking in some other ability (usually numbers – not always – masses of hormagaunts lack quality and etc). I see this enemy as one that is easy to break. (Breaking is not routing – breaking is causing movement away from you OR dividing the enemy). Most solid earth based armies will do this by default. They wait for the enemy and reduce it (exhaust it) and then destroy it with a counter assault – at their ease – If you include mobility and couple it with shifting direction this strategy can be decisive. Achieved more so than just through firepower alone or kiting. Draw the enemy in through kitting and tactical casualties and then hit the centre – NOT the actual centre of the advance – this is their strongest point – I mean the centre of their advancing army. To clarify this precisely – These are the units that have fallen slightly off pace from the faster units. They are the support units. Do not be limited to the ‘up/down’ game – stand on the short table edge (not a deployment zone) and now look at the centre of the enemy. Their army might be in three lines (waves) or maybe only two. Hit the centre line or the rear one if possible. Get the enemy to either advance unsupported of double back to support against your assault. You have broken the enemy. They are divided, without support OR doubling back.


Shifting Direction


W
hen the enemy expects you to attack he will reinforce. When he does so, apart of his army is neutralised, defending nothing, attack his remaining forces. Almost identical to Attack the Weakest Link, but this strategy is applied during game. It is a reactionary strategy. The other is set from deployment. This is not. Try this one if they do a refused flank on you. Move into the empty space. They may try and defend against this move. When they have shifted, double back and strike their remaining forces, if they don’t react, strike their rear. A great deal of movement will help with this but it is not critical. Some movement will suffice. Just by ‘feinting’ and using LOS denial you may draw the enemy into action and move them away from their flank march tactic. This strategy is more applicable in Alpha missions as in doubling back you will take more casualties than you may be comfortable with but you will draw them away from the objectives. Make sure though you have the speed and numbers of scoring units to claim the objectives. This may seem to be an unsound tactic. It is worth its weight in gold in alpha, most opponents get too involved with actually killing rather than with scoring objectives. Forking and restricting LOS will be handy, so will the hidden IC.


Create Something from Nothing


T
his is employing weakness. Using divided and otherwise weak forces to create strength. This has more value against a seasoned opponent. This is because vs. a wary opponent feints will prove ineffective. Instead make an actual attack to gain his attention. Once forces are concentrated in defending the obvious attack you attack from a second direction, catching him by surprise. Drop pods and deep striking units provide the ideal platform to employ this strategy. You do not need a sizable reserve. You just need something – enough – to use in the second direction. It must appear that the main bulk of your force is committed. If he retains some reserves this may falter. The second direction may be countered. BUT – the beauty in this strategy is in the ability for the main and secondary attack to be interchangeable depending on the enemy’s expectations. Here a feint (nothing – secondary) becomes the direct attack (something – main), which, due to the enemy’s assumptions, is in-fact the indirect attack. - Clarification – If I use the bulk of my army to attack – (something) as a feint so that my secondary attack (nothing) becomes the killer blow but the enemy anticipates this and reacts accordingly, I now interchange and use the secondary attack as a feint (he has withheld forces to counter this) and make my original feint the main attack (drop pods and deep striking is perfect as I can actually add them to my main attack very, very easily). This is very close to becoming a tactic in itself. I include it as a strategy because it is based in ‘why’ rather than ‘how’. It still employs tactics to be successful.

Seize the Opportunity


T
his strategy is the basic strategy of a water army. It uses balance as its predominate method. It is the ability, whilst carrying out your plans, to be flexible enough to take advantage of any opportunities. This is where having more than a handful of tactics becomes useful. You do not miss the opportunity. This is not strictly a strategy in itself to any army but a pure ‘water’ army. It is one of the few strategies that require ‘set’ unit abilities. I can employ it because I have achieved some kind of balance but I cannot apply it on its own merits. I need to have some other strategy that this strategy will add to. A ‘pure’ reaction army will rely almost solely on this strategy. It will wait for the opportunity or the enemy to show its weakness. (Wait is probably a poor word choice, possibly exploit is better but it is necessary for the enemy to present this weakness/mistake, it cannot be forced, if you force it you are no longer completely only reacting and you have adopted something else into this strategy, I am speaking in ideals here).

Make it Work


T
his is my favourite. It is the hardest to predict. It is employing a tactic or strategy that may be false but when used to win it becomes true. It is reviving something by giving it a new purpose or re-interpreting and altering it to make it effective. This is largely what I have done with my Ultramarines. I have used them as something that they are not. Converting an otherwise earth set into a reactive style of play just by redefining it. This focuses mainly on how you apply tactics and why and altering them to achieve but you can use this overarching strategy to alter any of the other strategies to make them fit your army or situation. I am keeping the details to this one under lock and key. I rely on it heavily and since I intend to share this with my regular opponents I cant give them everything. Nor you for that matter – I wish to provoke further thought into this – not to spoon-feed you J . Just because I am not detailing this is much as the others does not make it better. This is my preferred strategy.

Luring


N
ever directly attack a well-entrenched opponent. Instead lure him away from his source of strength. I rarely use this strategy in its purest form; I believe it to be a fire-based strategy. For me to apply it requires more resilience than I have and more speed than I have. Because I don’t use it all that often only some of it makes real sense. I use the lure part. This is just another way to break the enemy for me. I believe that in its true sense it could use units moving away from the enemy in order to prompt it to move forward. A well-entrenched earth army may be in an unbeatable position, but by giving away some kills and luring him out in order to get more kills you can then attack him on the vulnerable ground. I am not sure about its other uses, but for me it is applied through denying LOS to the point that the enemy becomes frustrated. They move out to gain LOS. I move and then strike, applying more force than they anticipated, focusing on the exposed units.

Distraction


D
o something unusual, strange and unexpected. This will arouse suspicion and disrupt you opponents thinking. A distracted enemy is more vulnerable. Momentarily trap the person’s attention while you carry out another action. Honestly this tactic is gold but be careful with it. I seriously caution against using it beyond your regular opponents. It can be as simple as applying in-action. (See the Blood Angel’s batrep) It can be as complex as creating multiple diversions and moving units in different directions (try not to expose yourself too much) to applying under hand tactics such as conversation, competitive jesting to in character battle cries, all the way to out right taunting and slandering. The furthest I have ever gone was to claim I had lucky (inferring loaded) dice. I did this with a regular opponent; one I play almost every week, so there was no chance of personal offence. He was distracted because of the dice (I managed to roll a few 6’s – not an extraordinary amount, but because of the situation they were remembered more than in normal games). With keeping it on the tabletop, moving units in separate directions (not random), which normally otherwise travel directly to towards the enemy. It may give the perception of lack of direction and the angles may put out judgements of distance and thus a poor application of threat recognition. I have been caught by it. I don’t use it all that often simply because I don’t favour assault. It is worth knowing of it so you can see ‘why’ it works and either use it or at least better defend against it.

T
he last but not least is the strategy of combining strategies. I very rarely employ a single strategy. I try and employ one for each internal detachment and one for the overall direction of my army. It makes it harder to read against if half my army moves forward and half moves back but each detachment is achieving sound results. What I am starting to move into now is the combining of strategies so that any given point I can change and adapt them to the opportunities and the flow of the battle.


Battle Reports



Blood Angels Vs Ultramarines


T
he following Batrep is included to highlight the role of internal detachments and also the effect of strong deployment. To show how deployment is critical I have recorded the order in which units were deployed.

Playing a regular opponent of mine at 2000 points. My list was my standard list (detailed here).He uses Blood Angels - He has

Blood Angels

Mephiston

A Chaplain + Jumpack
7 death company with Jumpacks

2x 5 man assault squads - 1 has 3 plasma pistols - the other is basic

1 x 10 man tactical (combat squads) Flamer + heavy bolter (in this game he had a plasma cannon but only because he cant add up)

Furiouso dreadnought + venerable and extra armour

10 man Devastator squad (2 x lascannon and 2x Missile launcher) Again in combat squads -

2x Baal Predators with Heavy bolter sponsons -

5 Grey Knight terminators (Brother captain with psycannon and another one with one as well)


Ultramarines


Hq

Master with terminator armour, Storm bolter, Power weapon + 4 terminator command squad and 2 assault cannons

Tigurius

Elites

2x dreadnoughts – 1 is venerable. Both have EA - DCCW and assault cannon


Troops

6 troop choices (really 4 but I cant combat squad as effectively as some other marine codex can)

1 x 10 man + heavy bolter and plasma

1 x 10 man + missile launcher and plasma

Squad 3 part 1- 5 man with melta (sergeant with BP and CCW)

Squad 3 part 2 - 5 man with lascannon

Squad 4 part 1 - 5 man with plasmagun

Squad 4 pant 2 - 5 man with lascannon

Fast attack

no squadrons -

2x speeders with H - Flamer and MM

1x speeder with Heavy Bolter -

Heavy support

2 x Predator Annihilators with Heavy Bolter sponsons

1x Vindicator with dozer blade



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.




If the picture does not work - go to http://www.bolterand..._1649_25840.jpg
or look in my gallery


T
he deployment zones were 15’ but you needed to retain 24’ from the enemy. I choose the side to the bottom edge in the picture. I have marked out the table quarters and the deployment zones. You can see how that the large building dominates the table and how open the left side is.

I
deployed first - I normally go for the vindicator first - centrally - make the enemy focus on it - It gives nothing away to my strategy- I know my opponent and he knows me. I picked up an annihilator and put it on my far left - in the open - He looked at me (poker face) and deployed his Baal out of LOS but opposite - Exploiting this I went for the vindicator and put it in the centre behind a building - Seeing that I could push forward he deployed his other Baal behind cover but to my right flank as to attack the side if I pushed forward - I put the other annihilator to my far right and as far back as possible - The reason why I spread like this is because he doesn’t have all that much in AT - I used the terrain to make him to commit to either putting a little force on each tank or concentrating on only one - I am beginning to control the game now - His lascannons went opposite to my left annihilator - also in the open - the other half of the devastator squad made in into the central building but not forward enough to shoot through but only at 45 degrees to the sides - This was a poor choice - I could see this and he knew it too but I can see why he did it - he needed to cover both sides of the board as his lascannons were committed on one side. First mistake - I like to think forced by me - I put my melta squad next to my Vindicator - the meltagun is better suited here due to the closeness of the buildings. - He deployed Assault marines next - near his second predator - behind a building and in a more central position (hidden - most of his army was here - central and hidden) - The rest of the deployment was fairly sound - He went defensive - I only had LOS to his lascannon devastators and his GKT as they were next to the devastators but had a very healthy distance - about 33 ' - I put 5 man lascannon on my left next to the tank (far outside flank) - Next to the tank I put the 10 man with missile launcher on the inside flank - I put my heavy bolter speeder behind this tank - this is clump #1 (Detatchment Emperors Shield). This clump was supposed to clear the flank and move up consistently - I could achieve some really good control points and claim that quarter if I could remove the two units opposite whilst also being in a good position to react if he shifted his strength across the table to my left flank (this is actually what I thought he would do). Clump #2 (The Hammer of Ultimar)(still left of the centre but closer to the centre consisted of a 5 man lascannon squad - the 10 HB squad - vindicator and my venerable dreadnought - this was my 'muscle' clump - I put it here because I expected for him to shift to the left and I wanted to stop that - Indecently this ended up being where he attacked - My centre was weaker than normal - Clump 3 (Command Detatchment Fortis) was the melta squad, the second MM speeder and my terminators - Clump # 4 (Emperors Fury) consisted of my 5 man plasma squad - and dreadnought and Tigurius (we are now on the right hand side of the table) Clump # 5 (Emperors Spear) was the annihilator and the 2nd MM speeder behind it - I made one mistake - My venerable dread was poorly placed - but not so poorly that he was wasted - he came through good -

Bellow you can see the deployment. I have highlighted my internal detachments.




If the picture does not work - go here - http://www.bolterand...12_1649_582.jpg

or look in my gallery


A Quick Break Down of my Detachments


From left to right

Internal Detachment #1 - Emperors Shield


Annihilator -

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')

Internal Detachment #2 - Hammer Of Ultimar


5 man Lascannon

10 man heavy bolter

Venerable dread

Vindicator

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 -

Internal Detachment # 3 Command Detachment Fortis


Terminator command

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 -

Internal Detachment # 4 Emperors Fury


Tigurius

Dreadnought

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 -


Internal Detachment # 5 Emperors Spear


MM landspeeder

Annihilator

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 -






First Turn – Game on!



Blood Angels

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 –


Ultramarines

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).




Turn 2 – Tricked!


Blood Angels

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 –


Ultramarines

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.





Turn 3. The second wave


Blood Angels

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 -


Ultramarines

(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 .






Turn 4+ - only half full -


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.

The things I see as being important as to how and why I won -


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.






2000 Points – Ultramarines Vs. Black Templars


T
his batrep will show the effect of control. Through position. It will show how this control style forces the enemy to make less than optimal choices rather than directly destroying it. I essentially won this game because of the beat-down and control relationship outlined in Silent Requiem’s tactica but I wish to place emphasis on how my control denied him from effectively applying it. I won not because I killed him more than he killed me, but because he could not win through the application of strategy.


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: -

Black Templars

HQ

Marshall
Power Weapon, Storm Shield, Artificer Armour, Frag Grenades.

Reclusiarch
Power Fist, Holy Orb of Antioch.

Emperor's Champion
Accept Any Challenge, No Matter the Odds.


Elites

5 Sword Brethren Terminators
2 Assault Cannons


Venerable Dreadnought
Twin-linked Lascannon, Missile Launcher, Venerable, Tank Hunter

Troops

Squad # 1

7 Initiates
Power Fist

5 Neophytes


Squad # 2

7 Initiates
Plasma Gun, Power Weapon

5 Neophytes

Squad # 3

6 Initiates
Plasma Gun, Power Weapon

6 Neophytes



Fast Attack

5 Bikes
2 Power Weapons, Melta Gun


5 Bikes
2 Power Weapons, Melta Gun


Heavy Support

Land Raider Crusader
Blessed Hull

Ultramarines


Hq

Master with terminator armour, Storm bolter, Power weapon + 4 terminator command squad and 2 assault cannons

Tigurius

Elites

2x dreadnoughts – 1 is venerable. Both have EA - DCCW and assault cannon


Troops

6 troop choices (really 4 but I cant combat squad as effectively as some other marine codex can)

1 x 10 man + heavy bolter and plasma

1 x 10 man + missile launcher and plasma

Squad 3 part 1- 5 man with melta (sergeant with BP and CCW)

Squad 3 part 2 - 5 man with lascannon

Squad 4 part 1 - 5 man with plasmagun

Squad 4 pant 2 - 5 man with lascannon

Fast attack

no squadrons -

2x speeders with H - Flamer and MM

1x speeder with Heavy Bolter -

Heavy support

2 x Predator Annihilators with Heavy Bolter sponsons

1x Vindicator with dozer blade



Terrain


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 –


Side 1



If the picture does not work - go to - http://www.bolterand..._1649_10976.jpg
or look in my gallery

Side 2



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.

Advantages


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.

Disadvantages –


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


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.




If the picture does not work - go to - http://www.bolterand...2_1649_9919.jpg
or look in my gallery

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.

First Turn – We shook hands – The beginning of the end.


Black Templars

– 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.




Ultramarines

– 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.




Turn 2 – Setting the wheels in motion.


Templars

– 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.




Ultramarines

– 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.




Turn 3 – Vengeance.


Black Templars.

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.




Ultramarines.

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.




Turn 4. The fat lady has arrived. Or so I thought


Templars.

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.




Ultramarines.

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.




Turn 5. Desperation


Templars

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.




Ultramarines.

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.




Turn 6. All is revealed – the final act


Black Templars.

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)




Ultramarines.

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.

What 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.

Oderint Dum Metuant - Let them hate, so long as they fear -


My Tactica - Reaction, Control and Warfare


A man's death demonstrates his sincerity, and in considering himself already dead, he is able to complete his daily work with utter peace and tranquility - Miyamoto Musashi

#2
Silent Requiem

Silent Requiem

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 478 posts
I think I speak for everyone when I say "Wow. That's alot to take in all at once." :)

But well done! Good to see this posted. While it will doubtless take me a while to absorb everything, I particularly liked the section that you call "strategies". I think this is one of the key differences between your playstyle and mine. Unless my goal is to reach a point (such as an objective) that I cannot reach in a single turn of movement, I have no goals that carry over from one turn to another.

Your ability to impose these strategies on the enemy, and force him to move in particular ways (whereas I dictate only the movement of my own troops) epitomises your concept of control (to me, at least). It seems, in that sense, more "interactive" than my own playstyle. I play "around" someone, but you play "with" them.

Very interesting.

-Silent Requiem

Edited by Silent Requiem, 28 November 2007 - 12:11 PM.

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


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

#3
Seahawk

Seahawk

    ++ OSSIFRAGUS PRAECURSORIS ++

  • ++ MODERATI ++
  • 8,891 posts
Read it last night. Seems to be very similar to my own playstyle, with some added things I don't think about; I just do them.

Tactica: Legion of the Damned; thoughts, tactics, and strategies for the intrepid explorer of rarely-seen units.  

 

Fluff: Naval Operations of Ultramar. Also includes all known named ships for all chapters, as well as ship sizes and assorted information.

 

Personal: The Renegade Hobbyist. This is where I do things! Also, follow me on Twitter at @Atomic_Hamsters.  emot-purge1.gif

 

"I miss using Sly Marbo. I like to think he is still somewhere in the codex, but no one can find the page."

 


#4
DasPanzerIstUber

DasPanzerIstUber

    ++ COVINNARIUS FIRMUS ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 1,771 posts
Wowow. Thats impressive. You've almost turned the game into a science - kewl. :teehee:

Definitely sparking some ideas in my head for future games.

I think it takes a great deal of mental discipline to remain somewhat indifferent to what is happening and to keep the plan in mind, but I guess thats something that takes practice. Playing Black Templars with the randomness of the soldiers doesnt help. :mellow:

Anyways, very nice article. I give it 4 paddles out of 5.
Marshal Recard of the Black Templars 18th Crusade.
"...This is vital in that when all else fails, it is faith that will carry him through to victory. Warriors of faith never shirk from combat but rush forward with heads down and shields up, allowing their glory to carry them into the thick of battle to deliver the first blow."
Posted ImagePosted Image

#5
Cale

Cale

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 2,078 posts
Very nice. A lot of this, to me, boils down to "play the game properly," but you did a fine job spelling out how that is actually done.
Crusading against people who think they can just ignore the portions of the rules they don't like since before I even read R.O.V's signature!

#6
SpideyScott

SpideyScott

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 767 posts
awesome work, Not much more to say other than i would like to hear UM players response to your tactica.
I only have 2 requests of life
1) not to die young.
2) not to die old.

#7
StratoKhan

StratoKhan

    ++EQUITES ALBATUS++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 3,816 posts
I commend you on taking the time to write such an informative text, unfortunately my current comprehension of strategy means that I don't have much to say regarding the content for now.

But - Can I suggest one way to improve your piece?

Use some formatting to break the sections up and make things easier to read. Large amounts of text like that are nice on a page, but text+screens = fear.

Using the BBcodes could really enhance the content of your article.

(Those that know me already know I'm obsessed with formatting and will be rolling their eyes at this point)

I think this is a great article on tactics and the Librarium could really use it.
We could all just scream and leap...
QUOTE
I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters.

-Frank Lloyd Wright.

#8
Brother Pariah

Brother Pariah

    ++ LIBRARIUS EXTORRIS ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 4,422 posts

awesome work, Not much more to say other than i would like to hear UM players response to your tactica.


I'll certainly be posting soon, but I haven't had a chance to read all of the batreps yet. All I can say as of yet is, thank you for writing this, Brother Tual, as I've been interested in reading such a post from you since you started posting in the Water Warrior thread.

Edited by Brother Pariah, 02 December 2007 - 02:44 AM.

Calgar hates Tyranids.

-Brother Pariah


#9
Brother Tual

Brother Tual

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 1,744 posts
Thanks StratoKhan for your imput. I hope that I have not over done it - You were right, It adds alot to it and holds your attention for longer.

My tactica is basic, yes, It is how I play, and probably how most of us do but it is surely not definitive. I know it is alot to read and it is not yet complete, but some feed back and further thought from you guys in the interim would be most welcome.

Has anyone since read this and played a game? has it prompted you to think about what I have said?


Silent Requiem and SpideyScott - First up I would like to thank you both for your imput through-out this - Silent Requiem - If I may, The strategy of Seize the Opportunity was directed at a water style army that you yourself used and outlined in your tactica. I tried to encompass all of the play styles in my strategies but since I dont play them all, my only understandings of them comes from playing against them. (or reading about them:)) Thus, I am not very detailed on advice outside my own style. I focus on control, but I have tried to include all of the other 'basic' sets. I have mentioned them so that anyone, with any playstyle, can atleast benefit from somethng I have said.

Enjoy reading, I should have the rest by the end of the year..

Edited by Brother Tual, 02 December 2007 - 10:29 AM.

Oderint Dum Metuant - Let them hate, so long as they fear -


My Tactica - Reaction, Control and Warfare


A man's death demonstrates his sincerity, and in considering himself already dead, he is able to complete his daily work with utter peace and tranquility - Miyamoto Musashi

#10
Brother Tual

Brother Tual

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 1,744 posts
I cannot edit my orginal post - Only half of it comes up in the edit window and I fear that I may loose the first half if I do attempt to edit it. -

So I will post what I have here - I am going to post in smaller sections from now on - I think that posting it all in one go was a mistake.

Fist up though, I am kind of disappointed by the lack of feed-back. I was hoping to prompt discussion or at very least some others expressing their experience with playstyles of a similar nature and how they apply their forces on the table top.. I am still searching for this - so I ask that you reply. Even if to just discuss what I have said or what others have said.

Reading the flow of Battle.


Being able to read the flow of battle is essential. It is how you loose games. It is where you survive or perish. Reading the flow of battle is much more than just anticipation. It is controlling the battle, leading the enemy. You need some kind of balance in order to do this. It is difficult to explain it in a manner that is applicable; experience is once again the best teacher of this.

Reading the flow of battle is the method of gaining the advantage and the application of it. Reaction is important but only in order to gain the advantage. It is wrong to let your opponent lead you around and push you into a defensive position; instead, you want to move him around freely - this is control, I am not using a reactionary force, I am using control. It will be difficult to do this if you do not perceive what he is doing. See through the indications of what your opponent is going to do regardless of his actions. Suppress them and prohibit his action. Suppress the actions that your opponent might do, even before they may think of doing it. This is truly leading the enemy. You leave them nothing and give them only poor choice of action.


Knowledge again comes to the fore. You detect his strengths and weaknesses and know how to counter them. Most units have ‘set’ moulds or purpose and can be exploited if you have given yourself the means.


The three Intiatives


There are 3 kinds of initiative. You must be aware of them and have the initiative in order to control.

The intiative of attack - obviously this is when I attack - I force the enemy to respond. I 'set' the enemy into doing something that I want them to do. I make options that are obvious available which will limit them later on or I make hidden the options that I do not want the enemy to take.

The intiative of defense - This is waiting for the enemy to present its weakness. Your opponent may have a balanced force or be of a strong 'fire' base. Let them rush you whilst you redirect and control the flow of the battle - again limiting options and hidding your weakness.

The common intiative. - This is when both you and your opponent attack. This is essentially going head on with your enemy. I learnt the sublties of this intiative through playing LoTR. It is not specifically about using 'uber' units. It is about the application of force and the relative strength of the enemy. LoTR is mainly concerned only with this. Model postion becomes critical. This applies in 40k, not so much on the model to model postion but comes to the fore with unit to unit postion.


If you re-read the blood angels batrep, I make the comment “I picked up an annihilator and put it on my far left - in the open - He looked at me (poker face) and deployed his Baal out of LOS but opposite - Exploiting this I went for the vindicator and put it in the centre behind a building - Seeing that I could push forward he deployed his other Baal behind cover but to my right flank as to attack the side if I pushed forward.

What am I exploiting?

I am exploiting his reaction. I am employing the intiative of attack - I am limiting him directly. I am attacking him already because he is reacting to my army even though it is not yet deployed. He knows what is in my army. He has lost to it many times. I hardly change it at 2000 points. He does not have the army or the ability to react to my army (he is getting better at it – not in playing a reactionary force, but in inflicting his abilities and playing his strengths despite my best efforts to avoid them). He is trying to counter me rather than trying to impose his own plans on me. He has conceded control from the first deployment. It would have been more sound to employ a refused flank type tactic or a concentrated push in order to make his 1 to 1 superiority come into play. I have limited his potential. In him reacting to my deployment I took advantage and I spread. He has now limited his tactics greatly. It is going to be hard to use forking/skewering and LOS denial as I control all the avenues and have the ability (mobility) to redefine the terrain (angles). Not only has he made it hard for him to employ strategy, he has also added to my resilience. He had to choose where to put his limited AT. His Baal Predators are good AT vehicles, but only under 24’ – I can easily hold this distance. I could have ‘flank’ marched him but doing so gives him an obvious position in which to place his limited AT, by spreading I forced a mistake in the first 3 deployments (I have 16 separate units)

more to come....

Jump in and add something - I open it to you all

Edited by Brother Tual, 13 December 2007 - 10:20 AM.

Oderint Dum Metuant - Let them hate, so long as they fear -


My Tactica - Reaction, Control and Warfare


A man's death demonstrates his sincerity, and in considering himself already dead, he is able to complete his daily work with utter peace and tranquility - Miyamoto Musashi

#11
Silent Requiem

Silent Requiem

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 478 posts
I found it interesting that you take the off-table game into account.

I picked up an annihilator and put it on my far left - in the open - He looked at me (poker face) and deployed his Baal out of LOS but opposite - Exploiting this I went for the vindicator and put it in the centre behind a building - Seeing that I could push forward he deployed his other Baal behind cover but to my right flank as to attack the side if I pushed forward.


I personally never bluff, and never consider using psychology (in any form) on my opponents. I never expect anyone to fear my units, and I plan each move on the assumption that my opponent will respond perfectly.

I'm quite content with that (for reasons that are not relevant here), but it does add an extra dimension to your game.

-Silent Requiem

PS. I appologise if I'm not commenting much, but I only play Grey Knights, so much of your discussion is pure theory to me, and I don't feel I have sufficient practical experience to draw on when commenting.
QUOTE
About my list; it is weak. But it fits me, and that counts for a lot more than any amount of mathammer.


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

#12
SpideyScott

SpideyScott

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 767 posts
Interesting point about psychology. In one game me oppent by looking at my force, 12 PAGK, ! BC and 2 land raiders thought the game was won before turn 1 yet that proved to be completly false. So yea i say psychology is employed by both players even if not intentionaly.

SR you say you plan each move on the assumption that your opponent will respond perfectly. Isnt that using psychology since your for lack of a better term reading his mind. You dont know how he will react but you plan to use the best reaction on his part. Theres certainly metagame mechanics going on there. Whether thats psychology or not im not sure. Also i painted my army red since people associate it with agression charging etc When in fact thats the opposite of my style.
I only have 2 requests of life
1) not to die young.
2) not to die old.

#13
Cale

Cale

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 2,078 posts
I definitely agree with you, Silent Requiem. Not much turns me off a tactica faster than seeing, "play the man, not the army." Any time you've decided you're going to win by tricking or manipulating your opponent into some course of action which is not conducive to that player winning, you've basically made a mistake. Everything about your army, your opponent's army, and the terrain is common knowledge, and, in such a situation, trickery is basically impossible. Always expect your opponent to do the right thing, or at least something which isn't bad. Relying on trickery or psychology to win you games is poor playing, pure and simple.
Crusading against people who think they can just ignore the portions of the rules they don't like since before I even read R.O.V's signature!

#14
Captain Idaho

Captain Idaho

    ++ ARGENTARIUS IRACUNDUS ++

  • ++ MODERATI ++
  • 13,477 posts

Always expect your opponent to do the right thing, or at least something which isn't bad. Relying on trickery or psychology to win you games is poor playing, pure and simple.


i agree 110% there mate. i have noticed that games where i cover all the worst things that an opponent can do to me i seem to win alot easier.

#15
Brother Tual

Brother Tual

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 1,744 posts

Always expect your opponent to do the right thing, or at least something which isn't bad. Relying on trickery or psychology to win you games is poor playing, pure and simple.


Interesting point - This is your view - I accept it. But what is the right thing? it is not always clear. On the flip side - what is a bad thing? it is also not always clear. Can you see what I am getting at? is it valid?

Yes - Cale is right -

Everything about your army, your opponent's army, and the terrain is common knowledge, and, in such a situation, trickery is basically impossible.

but for me there is one more thing that needs to be considered. Every game you play has an opponent. Unless you play against yourself you do not know everything about your opponent. They are subject to all of the things I have discussed earlier. They are human and make mistakes - I just encourage them..

I can see what you are pointing at cale - that the game is won on the table - I am open to agree with you but you need to convince me. I attack the player - as well as the army on the table - I win about 90% of my games convincingly - I came 9th at GT this year. I play the enemy and I win. I dont have a strong army. I dont dominate any phase yet I still control the enemy.


i agree 110% there mate. i have noticed that games where i cover all the worst things that an opponent can do to me i seem to win alot easier.


runs along with

Suppress them and prohibit his action. Suppress the actions that your opponent might do, even before they may think of doing it. This is truly leading the enemy. You leave them nothing and give them only poor choice of action.


When you cover all the worst things your enemy can do have you not forced them into taking another action? one that is less than perfect? or do they continue with the orginal action but with reduced effect? which one is the mistake on the part of the enemy? This is what I am trying to create. For me, this is attacking your opponent.


Feel free to de-construct what I have said and smash it to bits. If you think that I am wrong, please express it.

Edited by Brother Tual, 14 December 2007 - 09:21 PM.

Oderint Dum Metuant - Let them hate, so long as they fear -


My Tactica - Reaction, Control and Warfare


A man's death demonstrates his sincerity, and in considering himself already dead, he is able to complete his daily work with utter peace and tranquility - Miyamoto Musashi

#16
Cale

Cale

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 2,078 posts
That is pretty impressive.

Even so, I have yet to see a credible suggestion about how such a feat might be accomplished. Your article has a lot of good points, but how, exactly, do you encourage mistakes in others? What specific moves do you make that increase the likelihood of your opponent messing up?

I'm not saying that an opponent will not be affected by your actions, or that they will not make mistakes. What I'm saying is that each person, ultimately, has perfect control over what he or she does. You can't force anyone to make a bad move. You can't really rely on being able to control your opponent's actions.

The best you can do is limit what it is possible for them to do, and that, I thought, was what your article is about. This is not at all the same thing. Moving a unit so that it can't possibly be shot at by a particular unit of the enemy's, forcing that unit to shoot at a unit which wouldn't be as good a target as the one you hid is perfectly legitimate.

Moving two units into a space where the same enemy unit can shoot at them in the hopes that the enemy will shoot the less dangerous unit is foolish--and that's the sort of thing I'm talking about.

Playing carefully and using terrain and range limitations to actually restrict what your opponent is capable of doing is one thing.

Putting down a squad because it 'looks scary' and 'is likely to suck up a lot of shots, leaving the rest of your army unmolested' is a mistake. If that unit is, in fact the most dangerous thing, and you leave if where it can be shot, your opponent will shoot it down. That will be bad for you. He will have correctly identified your most dangerous unit and destroyed it. No good.

If it isn't your most dangerous unit, you shouldn't expect your opponent to mistakenly decide that it is, regardless of how pretty or tooled up it may be.

That is the type of error of which I'm talking, and I didn't really think it was the sort of thing you were promoting. I wasn't really criticising your work, at least not intentionally, and in fact, I'm afraid this discussion of psychology has probably drawn the discussion off-topic.

Also, for the record (and you might have mentioned this) I do think it's an error is the notion that applying 'psychological pressure' is a good tack. I see this suggestion often: "laugh when your opponent is making a good move, and frown when he's making a bad move." The idea is to, through your reactions, try to change their opinion of what is a good move and what is a bad move. The problem is that they have all the information that you have. They don't know what you will do (and, frankly, you shouldn't know what you will do, either, until their entire turn is complete--if you're planning that far ahead, you've almost certainly made another error) but they know exactly as well as you do what you can possibly do. If a player is swayed by your fascetious reactions, it is only an indication that that player is not good at the game--unsure of his or her own ability to analyze the table, and inclined to think that you're better at it than they are.

Against such a player, you shouldn't need that sort of advantage, and, frankly, taking advantage of that type of insecurity in a definingly weaker player is unsportsmanlike.

It's this sort of thing to which I object, nothing in particular from your post. As I said, I was going a bit off topic.
Crusading against people who think they can just ignore the portions of the rules they don't like since before I even read R.O.V's signature!

#17
Captain Idaho

Captain Idaho

    ++ ARGENTARIUS IRACUNDUS ++

  • ++ MODERATI ++
  • 13,477 posts

When you cover all the worst things your enemy can do have you not forced them into taking another action? one that is less than perfect? or do they continue with the orginal action but with reduced effect? which one is the mistake on the part of the enemy? This is what I am trying to create. For me, this is attacking your opponent.


Feel free to de-construct what I have said and smash it to bits. If you think that I am wrong, please express it.


oh dont get me wrong, i like what you have written. sure some points are not relevent to me but i dont think your work is "wrong" as such. i was just expressing that i particularly agree with the point Cale made.

im enjoying this topic, even if i havent posted much in it. theres alot to critque so im not "getting involved" as such, just seeing both sides of the fence.

#18
Brother Tual

Brother Tual

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 1,744 posts
dont be shy - jump in - I am very interested in what people have to say...

Cale - I agree, it is off topic, but at the same time it is relevant - psychology - Relying on it is a mistake - any type of skilled opponent will not respond to it. I dont suggest using it as a means to win - not on the level of facial expressions and taunting anyway. I included it simply because it can have some effect. I am more interested in attacking the logic of my opponent, not his emotions.

Let me divert a little off topic - I want to exemplify this point. Take chess for example - each person has equal sides. You cannot rely on the ability of pieces. In 40k, I say do not rely on unit ability - it is the same thing. So victory must come from something beyond what is on the table. It comes from the controller - you. Chess is a little different in the mechanics of the game but none-the-less deception and cunning is what provides victory. You must attack the logic of your opponent but still hide your own logic. This is what I call control. I am trying to find and force the flaws in my opponents logic, whilst protecting my own. Does this make sense? For me, this starts at deployment. (potentially before with unit selection - you cant trade 3 pawns for a bishop, but you can trade 3 marines for a terminator and this is why people have come to rely on their army rather than themselves) I hope that this is clear because it is the crux of my tactica.


I dont have any 'concrete' moves that I use to induce control. It is highly variable to the situation. I am sorry. I cant provide what you are after.

A few things that help though is the spreading of points - no unit is overly expensive and most units are of the same value (barring termies) and so I rely on no one unit to win me the game but at the same time I rely on all my units. I think that it makes it hard to completely render in-effective. I think that this makes it hard for the enemy to capitalise on my mistakes. This is important - for me anyway. I do loose games - I make mistakes aswell, both batreps have examples of simple mistakes made by myself. I have not yet had a flawless performance but my force is forgiving enough to still perform without some of its parts.

With forcing a mistake - I agree 100% with you on the enemy having complete control of his own forces. I cant make him make a mistake. I have to be able to capitalise on them when they are made though. I suppose that the closest it comes when forcing a mistake is forcing the situations inwhich mistakes are made and then encouraging it with a juicy target or such. This is similar to what Cale has already said.

I dont really have juicy targets. I assume you are commenting on my tactic of columns? I was not as clear as I could have been. The vindicator blocks complete LOS from my dread from the front. I prompt the preemptive strike from a tank hunting speeder from say 24' away to manouver and shoot. He cant target the dread (worth the same points) because he cannot draw LOS to it. I then destroy the speeder (or whatever - Bikes are best because I can effectively assault them and they tend to be a bucket load of points) If he manouvered to get closer whilst denying return fire inorder to move to the side to have LOS to both the dread and the Vindicator then I have a problem - I have to make the choice. Most players though will jump at the chance to melt my vindicator. I dont care if it is because they think it is a juicy target or because they have a tank hunting thing and a tank to kill. Once this 'certain' threat is destroyed I have more freedom in moving my heavy vehicles. If my vindicator is alive at the end of the game I am suprised - If both my predators or dreads are dead I am disappointed.


I have to comment on -

The problem is that they have all the information that you have. They don't know what you will do (and, frankly, you shouldn't know what you will do, either, until their entire turn is complete--if you're planning that far ahead, you've almost certainly made another error) but they know exactly as well as you do what you can possibly do.


I think that it is vital to have atleast some idea of your next few turns. Why else are you 'saving' a unit if not to use it later on? same for 'sacrificing' - it is because I dont need it later on. Same with chess - 4 move checkmate is a classic example. There are many other more intricate 'set' moves. I can 'set' a trap with several pieces and sacrifice a knight inorder to take the enemy queen. It does not have to be direct. I could come to fruition in 4 turns (making it harder to initially see). Why can I not employ the same ideas to my 40k gaming? Why can I not plan my fourth turn in my second turn? I think that it happens all the time - I start moving my tacticals up to claim the centre objective in turn 4 so that by turn 6 they are where I want them to be. Why cant I extent this to every aspect of my gaming, to every unit in every phase? I should know what I am doing and make the enemy guess at it. This is where and why they will make mistakes. The same goes against me though. It is hard to anticipate accurately sometimes. I dont react or control to directly destroy the enemy in that turn or the next. I do it so I can do it later on. Turn 4 is the most common turn inwhich this happens for me.


does any of this help? or have I confused everyone further?

Edited by Brother Tual, 15 December 2007 - 07:08 AM.

Oderint Dum Metuant - Let them hate, so long as they fear -


My Tactica - Reaction, Control and Warfare


A man's death demonstrates his sincerity, and in considering himself already dead, he is able to complete his daily work with utter peace and tranquility - Miyamoto Musashi

#19
Cale

Cale

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 2,078 posts
Actually, Tual, I really wasn't commenting about any of your tactics at all. I was really commenting in response to entirely different tactica which I have read and disagree with--as I said, it was pretty much entirely off-topic.

This, though, is worth talking about:

I think that it is vital to have atleast some idea of your next few turns. Why else are you 'saving' a unit if not to use it later on? same for 'sacrificing' - it is because I dont need it later on. Same with chess - 4 move checkmate is a classic example. There are many other more intricate 'set' moves. I can 'set' a trap with several pieces and sacrifice a knight inorder to take the enemy queen. It does not have to be direct. I could come to fruition in 4 turns (making it harder to initially see). Why can I not employ the same ideas to my 40k gaming? Why can I not plan my fourth turn in my second turn? I think that it happens all the time - I start moving my tacticals up to claim the centre objective in turn 4 so that by turn 6 they are where I want them to be. Why cant I extent this to every aspect of my gaming, to every unit in every phase? I should know what I am doing and make the enemy guess at it. This is where and why they will make mistakes. The same goes against me though. It is hard to anticipate accurately sometimes. I dont react or control to directly destroy the enemy in that turn or the next. I do it so I can do it later on. Turn 4 is the most common turn inwhich this happens for me.


I think I mis-wrote, earlier. I stated that a player shouldn't know what his next turn is going to be until his opponent's turn is complete. I stand by this. You should always take into account the exact state of the board at the beginning of each individual turn.

I also said something about not planning in advance, and that was an error. You should plan in advance--you should have some idea, as you said, of what your units are going to do in the future. You just shouldn't have an exact set of moves worked out to the point where you are unwilling to change it in response to changes in the state of the board.
Crusading against people who think they can just ignore the portions of the rules they don't like since before I even read R.O.V's signature!

#20
Brother Tual

Brother Tual

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 1,744 posts

I stated that a player shouldn't know what his next turn is going to be until his opponent's turn is complete. I stand by this. You should always take into account the exact state of the board at the beginning of each individual turn.

....You should plan in advance--you should have some idea, as you said, of what your units are going to do in the future. You just shouldn't have an exact set of moves worked out to the point where you are unwilling to change it in response to changes in the state of the board.



Very well said. I agree. I do plan alittle more in detail than I should and sometimes it gets me in hot water, but I do like to consider my enemy. I do react. I find that the more detailed a plan is (I want this unit to be here in turn 3 .. etc) keeps me on track with the overall objective. Otherwise I loose direction and tend to 'chase' kills more than I should. (In the Black Templars Batrep I did this.. The 5 man squad was supposed to hold the objective, not charge the enemy.)


Captain Idaho - and anyone else - What have I written that doesnt apply to you or does not make sense? Maybe I can re-write them or add to them to help with this. My gaming has errors so naturally my tactica about my gaming will have errors. If you can point them out and let me know about what you feel is incorrect or un-clear it would be much appreciated. Similarily if something really stands out or you have something positive or in-addition to share you are more than welcome to do so.
Oderint Dum Metuant - Let them hate, so long as they fear -


My Tactica - Reaction, Control and Warfare


A man's death demonstrates his sincerity, and in considering himself already dead, he is able to complete his daily work with utter peace and tranquility - Miyamoto Musashi

#21
Brother Pariah

Brother Pariah

    ++ LIBRARIUS EXTORRIS ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 4,422 posts

Captain Idaho - and anyone else - What have I written that doesnt apply to you or does not make sense? ... If you can point them out and let me know about what you feel is incorrect or un-clear it would be much appreciated.


Oh, I don't think that your tactica is unclear, personally. I only really play a "semi-reactive" force, though. The bulk of my force is composed of relatively static tactical and devastator squads (earth), while the rest of my force, composed of terminators, lands speeders, and assault marines (water), is generally used to either bolster my gun line (against a fire enemy) or create a pincer attack (against other types of armies).

Ultimately, I prefer having a large number of Really Big Guns to have maximum flexibility.

Calgar hates Tyranids.

-Brother Pariah


#22
Silent Requiem

Silent Requiem

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 478 posts
Sorry to beat the "psychology" horse, but I suppose that the ability to anticipate your opponent is very useful in your kind of game. Anticipation, I imagine, is easier when you understand your opponent. In order to gain understanding of a new opponent, it may even be wise/necessary to introduce stimuli with the goal of observing a reaction.

Here's an (probably flawed) example:

It's the top of your movement phase. Your devastators need to remain stationary to fire at an exposed predator. 12" away are a squad of tactical marines with plasma guns. On your opponent's turn, he can (and will) either assault or rapid fire your devestators.

There are benefits and disadvantages to each course of action. An assault will probably not kill the devestators, but will tie them up for some time. Rapid fire will almost certainly reduce the squad to non scoring, but will allow the lascannons to fire again next turn. Your opponent has a tough choice, and it will be a matter of personal preference.

How does this affect you? Assume now that you have a second squad of assault marines nearby. If you think that your opponent will assault the devestators, they can, if you move them this turn, counter assault, and free up the devestators to start shooting again. If, however, your opponent rapid fires, the assault marines will be too far from the enemy to assault anyone, and will have "wasted" a turn that could have been spent assaulting something else.

Here, I can see that understanding an opponent's psychology could provide some insight into an otherwise balanced situation. You might also consider if your opponent will be less likely to assault if you have a counter charge squad nearby.

I suppose that this is the crux of detachment strategy. "What can unit A do to ensure that unit B is able to do X, seeing that my opponent has C, D and E?" Sometimes your understanding of your opponent's psychology might be a deciding factor in answering that question.

-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.

#23
Brother Pariah

Brother Pariah

    ++ LIBRARIUS EXTORRIS ++

  • ++ MODERATI CEDO ++
  • 4,422 posts
The other thing to consider is that there isn't always an obvious "best action" that you can anticipate. A good opponent will fork, the same as you do. Also, some players have a consistent style about them that defies orthodox tactics. These players are commonly known as "losers." However, if you fail to take their psychology into account, you have failed to anticipate what they'll do.

As far as deliberately psyching out your opponent, I prefer not to do it. It's hard to keep the game laid-back and enjoyable when you're lying to you opponent and trying to confuse him.

One option which hasn't been mentioned but which I've seen occasionally is camouflage. A unit which is hidden in a building or which blends in with the terrain, doesn't move, and doesn't shoot may be forgotten about. I've had an Eversor assassin pop out of a building when I least expected it! Scouts painted to match the terrain could probably do the same thing. The trick is not to mention the unit, shoot with it, or move it. Of course, the unit must be difficult to see, as well. It's a weird piece of misdirection that is by no means guaranteed to work, but against certain types of opponents it can be effective, and probably falls under the category of psychological warfare (at least for the purposes of 40K).

Calgar hates Tyranids.

-Brother Pariah


#24
Cale

Cale

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 2,078 posts
Silent Requiem's predicament is certainly an interesting one, and presents what actually could be a very difficult decision.

It depends, largely, on what else the Assault Marines might be doing on the turn they'd be moving into position and how much damage the Devastators are likely to take from the rapid-firing--not to mention how much damage the Devs are likely to take in assault. If the assault marines have a good or important assault on something now, it's unlikely to be a good decision to give that assault up for a potential assault next turn.

Furthermore, and this ties into my next bit of discussion, it's important to remember that your assault marine's actions will change the board state and influence your opponent's decisions. So, if your assault marines fail to move towards the unit threatening the devastators, your opponent might have a choice. If your assault marines do move towards that unit, your opponent's choice becomes fairly clear--you've largely removed his personal tendancies from the equation. If your assault marines are positioned where they will charge the enemy unit if it charges the devs, they almost certainly won't charge the devs (unless we're talking about a really hard h2h unit which is likely to charge them and wipe them out, which we aren't). Moving your assault marines towards your devs will actually significantly affect your opponent's decisions and prevent them from assaulting.

Also, it's important to consider what targets the Devs will have the next turn. Your opponent might sacrifice a unit to spare a land raider full of assault terminators for the one turn it needs to deliver that payload.

Anyway, my point is that there is rarely a true fork. Deciding what the 'best' move is might be difficult, but it's almost never the case that there isn't one. Limiting the discussion to three units, say, the enemy unit, the devs, and the assault marines, while presuming that there are other units on the table, while interesting, is only really interesting because it causes us to think about what other factors we should be looking for.

The same is true for any fork. After consideration of the board state as a whole, it is almost never the case that one option isn't superiour to the other. Furthermore, that decision should almost never be predicated on what you think the opponent is going to do. It should be predicated on what he can do, and how much damage each of those potential actions could inflict on your army or plan.

For example, if the only units on the board were the devs, the enemy squad, and the assault marines, the answer would be clear. The assault marines would move to protect the devs--there's nothing else for them to do.

The important thing to remember is that the state in which you leave the board will affect your opponent's actions as much as the board state at the beginning of your turn affected yours--which is to say, it will dictate his actions almost entirely (as it should have dictated yours). Trying to guess at what he will do is still not a good plan. The goal is to leave the board in such a state that either he does what you guess he will do, or he does something which is notably worse (and that's even better for you).

So, the response to the situation suggested by Silent Requiem should not be, "I wonder whether he's going to assault me or not," it should be, "do I allow him to do whatever he wants to do to my Devs, or do I use my assault squad to encourage him to not assault them (and punish him if he does)?"

It's a mistake to move your assault marines in anticipation of your enemy charging.

It (might be) a good play to move your assault marines into a position where they are set up to punish your enemy should he charge. The question is whether being in a position to punish the enemy for a certain decision is more worthwhile than whatever else the assault squad will be doing. The question is not whether the enemy will do something which allows your assault marines to punish him for it.

That was pretty redundant, and I'm sorry, but I've been trying (without a lot of success) to express this sort of advice for a long time, and I'd rather get the point across multiple times than not at all.

Edited by Cale, 17 December 2007 - 07:17 PM.

Crusading against people who think they can just ignore the portions of the rules they don't like since before I even read R.O.V's signature!

#25
Silent Requiem

Silent Requiem

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 478 posts
I think you made your point very sussinctly, Cale, and I have to agree that I don't spend much time trying to anticipate my opponent.

The flaw is probably in my example. I couldn't think up a 40k version of what I have seen in real life.

When I was younger, I remember watching a game of football on the television. I don't know who was playing, but the Queen was there. Anyway, it was a close game, but the defining moment came when one member of one team managed to get past the defence and charged the net with the ball.

It was just him, and the goalkeeper. Perhaps 20 feet separated them. In another second, the defence was going to be all over the attacker; he had to take the shot NOW.

For the goalkeeper, he had to decide whether to dive right, or left. Because of the short range, he had to start his movement before the kick actually happened. Waiting to see which way it was going would just mean that he was to late to stop it.

The goalkeeper guessed correctly, and dove to his right, intercepting the ball. After the match, the Queen awarded him most valueable player of the match or some such. I still remember that moment, but I now wonder if it was as much luck as everyone said at the time. Did the goalkeeper realise that the attacker was right foot dominant? Did he realise that kicking to the (attacker's) left would be that little bit easier, that little bit more natural?

In most games there comes a point where following the statistical route, the safe route, will result in a loss. That moment (for me) where you have to stop dancing and commit. An opponent that is able to anticipate me, to prepare effectively for that moment, is most likely to beat me.

Of course, Cale makes an excellent point. Nothing in this game is truely simultaneous. Obvious preparation for my action will simply deter me. But then, if you can keep detering me all game, I will still lose.

I do think that there is value in trying to understand an opponent and thereby anticipate him. On a very basic level I do this all the time when I fall back from Tyranids; I know that they are advancing to assault, and I react accordingly. And while I don't "rely" on this, you can see from my batreps that Earth, Fire and Air players often get "stuck" in their paradigm, and fail to respond optimally to changing situations.

For me, however, I prefer to spend my time understanding myself, and understanding the game. These are the two constants of my 40k. The opponents change with alarming regularity, and so I don't have the time to devote to understanding them. ;)

-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.