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Maneuver Warfare in 40k

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#1
CrystalSeer

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Hello fellow dusties,

 

I'm writing this as a response to the consistent stream of despair I see on the TSons and Chaos Space Marine Forums. I have personally had a great deal of success using this army in 8th edition and would rather collect my thoughts in one place rather than individually addressing the same issues in multiple threads. I will also begin by saying that the concepts I want to talk about largely come from a military background, so some of them may take more imagination than others to apply to a 40k setting. All said and done, I hope this adds some ideas to peoples playbooks and allows them a framework to take on different types of lists, so that the player base as a whole can have a more enjoyable game.

 

Caveat - ITC is not 40k

 

I say this in the beginning not to discredit it as a playstyle if it brings you enjoyment, but I play 40k as written by GW. I will not be delving in to specific tournament formats or ITC as they are essentially modifications of the base rules of the game. Some may help, but any change will have secondary effects down the line that help or hinder certain unit choices. I leave it up to the reader to decide how they want to apply these concepts to these formats, as they will be out of the scope of my discussion.


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#2
CrystalSeer

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Foundations:

 

Position Before Submission - this is a idea prevalent in brazillian jujitsu and mixed martial arts; the jist is this: once you have a dominant position, you are able to inflict damage and do what you want to an opponent. Until you have a dominant position, you are unable to move without putting yourself at risk. This is extremely important in objective based missions, as using units to chase objectives prior to gaining a dominant position on the battlefield puts your units at risk, and in the case of the Thousand Sons, you will not have the numbers or the durability to come out on top of continual exchanges. It is for this reason that my strategy/tactics always revolve around the idea of destroying enemy capability to gain some type of superiority in the early turns, and then focus on scoring objectives later in the game. The idea is to be able to chase objectives at your leisure once the enemy is no longer able to contest you on large swaths of the table.

 

Enemy Center of Gravity/Critical Vulnerability - every enemy is coming to the table designed to beat you in a certain way. Some armies are designed to castle up and use buffs to outshoot you from long range, some are designed to assault, and some use durability and low cost troops to force you to trade pieces to their advantage. The 'Center of Gravity' is the unit or capability that they intend to use to win the game. The enemy 'Critical Vulnerability' is the unit or support without which their strategy ceases to function. These are frequently, but not always, the same thing. In a triple repulsor list, the repulsors would be both, as they are the enemies' means of doing damage. In some imperial lists, like astra militarum, the units themselves will do the damage, but it is frequently the characters and supporting vehicles that make the infantry a true threat. Identifying and understanding the enemy Center of Gravity and Critical Vulnerabilities is arguably the most important thing you can do as a general, because it will dictate your movement and target priorities throughout the game.

 

Maneuver Warfare - traditional warfare is usually broken down in to attrition warfare, or maneuver warfare. Attrition warfare is defeating an enemy through having more weapons and personnel than your enemy; when you run straight forward screaming you will come out on top because you have more troops, or your troops are more durable. This style works for horde armies like khorne daemons, GSC, Tyranids etc. Elite armies rely on Maneuver Warfare.  In Maneuver Warfare, you gain local superiority (superiority over parts of the table) by using well equipped troops that can be exactly in the right place at the right time. You acknowledge that you can be swarmed or overrun on the table if you do not commit appropriately, but you make up for this by having the right unit in the right place, taking out key targets. This is the form I will focus on.


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#3
Captain_Krash

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8th edition is not a great edition for speaking about...well maneuvering. 8th system does not reward moving all that much compared to older editions other than objective grabbing and CC

 

Krash


Edited by Captain_Krash, 22 November 2019 - 01:25 PM.

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#4
CrystalSeer

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The core idea of a maneuver based force is that it emphasises mobility and target priority over simply being able to outlast an opponent through numbers or armor. A classic example of this was the traditional drop pod or alpha strike forces prevalent in 7th edition. Small groups of relatively elite warriors with high powered weapons would come down in precise locations to devastate an enemy army before they had an opportunity to respond. These units would target the enemies key targets, or critical vulnerability, in an attempt to disable the force quickly. If this was executed properly, the enemy force would then be so heavily damaged that the remaining forces would be at a decisive disadvantage, and the attacking force would be able to mop up throughout the remaining turns. In order to accomplish this, a unit or force must be able to quickly move from a safe position, to a position where it is able to target the enemy, following which the unit must be able to cripple the target sufficiently that the enemy can not destroy it in return. In 40k, this is accomplished in two ways:

 

Weapon Engagement Zone (WEZ) - every weapon system has a max effective range. In 40k its easy to determine, since its part of the weapon profile. The weapon engagement zone is the distance at which the unit employing the weapon system can reasonably damage your unit. Usually this is the range of the weapon plus the movement value of the unit, but this can be offset by negative hit modifiers and other de-buffs. When your unit is outside of the enemies' WEZ, you know that they are not able to damage you effectively. When you can move from outside of their WEZ, in to your weapon ranges without them being able to return fire, you create a situation where you can bring your weapons to bear without the enemy being able to retaliate. If your weapons have a longer range than their WEZ, then you can dominate fire in that area.

 

Phasing - this is specific to a turn based system, but since the enemy can normally only damage you in their turn, there is an opportunity to bring in units and use them decisively, removing enemy units without giving them an opportunity to fire back. In game, this is the deep strike / teleport / dark matter crystal mechanic. You take units that were in a safe position, and place them on the table when and where you want. This can create safe pockets of the table where the enemy is unable to effectively fight back, which you can then develop to maneuver the remainder of your forces.

 

The key to both of these ideas is that you move quickly to a place of advantage, then destroy the enemies ability to fight back in that area. Following that, you expand outwards setting the conditions to either destroy the remainder of the enemy army, or capture strategic locations.


Edited by CrystalSeer, 22 November 2019 - 02:39 PM.

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#5
CrystalSeer

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When evaluating unit value then, based on the metrics of Maneuver War, several criteria pop out: One, A unit has value for its ability to quickly move from outside of a WEZ to inside its effective range. Two, the unit must be able to destroy the enemies' ability to retaliate effectively once it gets there. Three, it must be able to stand up to attrition in the aftermath.

 

Thousand Sons Rubricae, although costly, are uniquely capable among the chaos legions of accomplishing all three of these metrics simultaneously:

 

 

WEZ -  C: TS has three critical means of moving troops quickly to whichever point on the field you wish them to go. The Dark Matter Crystal relic can pick up a unit and allow them to position anywhere on the field outside of 9" of an enemy unit. This can be done on turn one, bypassing the usual restriction of not being able to reinforce before turn two. The Webway Infiltration strategem likewise allows for a further two units to be able to be held in reserve, then brought in at a point of your choosing. Third, Scarab Occult Terminators have a native ability to teleport on to the field. It is important to note, that none of these abilities has a maximum capacity aside from the maximum size of the unit, so you are able to freely teleport full twenty man units to a position of your choosing at will. Between these three capabilities, you can deep strike the vast majority of your army where you want, when you want.

 

Destructive Potential - TS basic weapon has a armor penetration value of two, which is the highest in the game for small arms fire. This becomes critical when engaging space marines in cover, as it reduces their save from a two to a four (reduction in save of 35%). In addition, the strategem 'Veterans of the Long War' increases the wound roll of infantry units by one. When this is utilized, the inferno bolter is able to wound most armor on fours, and heavy to light infantry on threes or twos respectively. Like the deep strike stratagems and relic, this strategem applies to the entire unit, even if that unit is twenty strong. Finally, every rubricae unit is capable of casting spells. This gives us the ability to cast either a number of mortal wounds causing spells, bypassing armor and toughness completely, but also Death Hex. Death Hex removes the only true counter to Inferno weapons, and it can be cast from any unit that has them.

 

Attrition - 'All is Dust' is controversial, as there is an increasing number of weapons that bypass it. However, if you are controlling the movement of your troops in the enemies' WEZ, it opens up a unique possibility. Critically striking and removing weapons that deal multiple damage early in the game, means that your troops will actually get stronger in subsequent turns. Targets like hellblasters, autocannons, and some anti-infantry tanks should be removed as early as possible. If accomplished, All is Dust turns your basic infantry in to a highly resilient unit that will save against most small arms at a rate of 85%.



#6
Dolchiate Remembrancer

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When evaluating unit value then, based on the metrics of Maneuver War, several criteria pop out: One, A unit has value for its ability to quickly move from outside of a WEZ to inside its effective range. Two, the unit must be able to destroy the enemies' ability to retaliate effectively once it gets there. Three, it must be able to stand up to attrition in the aftermath.

Thousand Sons Rubricae, although costly, are uniquely capable among the chaos legions of accomplishing all three of these metrics simultaneously:


WEZ - C: TS has three critical means of moving troops quickly to whichever point on the field you wish them to go. The Dark Matter Crystal relic can pick up a unit and allow them to position anywhere on the field outside of 9" of an enemy unit. This can be done on turn one, bypassing the usual restriction of not being able to reinforce before turn two. The Webway Infiltration strategem likewise allows for a further two units to be able to be held in reserve, then brought in at a point of your choosing. Third, Scarab Occult Terminators have a native ability to teleport on to the field. It is important to note, that none of these abilities has a maximum capacity aside from the maximum size of the unit, so you are able to freely teleport full twenty man units to a position of your choosing at will. Between these three capabilities, you can deep strike the vast majority of your army where you want, when you want.

Destructive Potential - TS basic weapon has a armor penetration value of two, which is the highest in the game for small arms fire. This becomes critical when engaging space marines in cover, as it reduces their save from a two to a four (reduction in save of 35%). In addition, the strategem 'Veterans of the Long War' increases the wound roll of infantry units by one. When this is utilized, the inferno bolter is able to wound most armor on fours, and heavy to light infantry on threes or twos respectively. Like the deep strike stratagems and relic, this strategem applies to the entire unit, even if that unit is twenty strong. Finally, every rubricae unit is capable of casting spells. This gives us the ability to cast either a number of mortal wounds causing spells, bypassing armor and toughness completely, but also Death Hex. Death Hex removes the only true counter to Inferno weapons, and it can be cast from any unit that has them.

Attrition - 'All is Dust' is controversial, as there is an increasing number of weapons that bypass it. However, if you are controlling the movement of your troops in the enemies' WEZ, it opens up a unique possibility. Critically striking and removing weapons that deal multiple damage early in the game, means that your troops will actually get stronger in subsequent turns. Targets like hellblasters, autocannons, and some anti-infantry tanks should be removed as early as possible. If accomplished, All is Dust turns your basic infantry in to a highly resilient unit that will save against most small arms at a rate of 85%.

This post needs to be pinned!
Fantastic stuff!

Going forward however is the following question: what would be the most effective way to deal with said heavy weaponry which does negate AID?

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#7
Skerr

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I think this is great stuff as well, very clearly written and great for someone new or lost with 1k sons. Thank you for this.

Edited by Skerr, 23 November 2019 - 02:27 AM.


#8
Zodd1888

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*Slow claps*

#9
CrystalSeer

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Going forward however is the following question: what would be the most effective way to deal with said heavy weaponry which does negate AID?

 

 

When assessing targets and target priority, we then need to look at three primary criteria: First, what is my force? What does the enemy have that can hurt that force? What is the proper tool to take on that threat?

 

 

What is my force? - The Thousand Sons, as written in their 8th edition codex, have a limited set of options. Their troop choices are Rubricae and Tzaangors, with the option of summoning or allying daemon troops. Mechanized platforms are limited to T7 with no invulnerable saves, with the sole exception of the Land Raider. There are two daemon engines, and the mutilith vortex beast. Aside from this, the entire book is a collection of sorcerers and daemon princes of various flavors.

 

     - Troops are the foundation of any army. They give you mass, board control, and small arms fire. They are also required for command point generation. As they are a requirement,

     care should be taken to optimize troop capabilities so that they can contribute meaningfully to the fight, and not become a waste of points hiding in the rear of the field.

 

     - Brotherhood of Sorcerers turns most spells from an 12-18" range to a 18-24" range. This lines up well with the 24" range of Inferno Bolt Weapons and the Soulreaper cannon, 

     effectively making any rubricae unit effective at up to 24", with the ability to destroy armored targets through volume of high AP low damage weaponry.

 

     - Veterans of the Long War can apply to any infantry unit, taking your basic infantry and giving them the equivalent of Str 5/7 weaponry depending on the target. Because this

     strategem can only effect one unit per phase, you maximize its utility by running larger units.

 

     - Psychic Defense applies on a per unit basis, as do the stratagems / relics allowing for maneuverability. These both have increased utility when you increase the size of the unit.

 

Putting it all together, the advantage of Codex Thousand Sons in respect to the infantry, is large blocks of tough infantry reinforced by psychic buffs and moving around using stratagems and relics. These units fulfill our core objectives of moving from outside of the enemy WEZ by means of the Dark Matter Crystal, Teleportation, or the Webway Infiltration strategem. They destroy the enemy through a combination of psychic powers and high AP weaponry at 18"-24" for rubricae, or by an 8" assault for tzaangors, both of which may be reinforced by use of Veterans of the Long War. Following, survivability is achieved by destroying the enemy weapon capabilities that deny 'All is Dust' in the case of Rubricae, or all small arms in the local area for tzaangors.

 

 

What does the enemy have that can hurt that force? - if you build your army around the concepts described above, then the answer is simple. The enemy will be required to destroy you with high rate of fire multi-damage weaponry, or by similar means in close combat. These units will normally have a range of 24-30" for infantry, with AP values ranging widely. As such, when you choose to commit your forces to a sector of the table, target priority should be assigned based off of your capability to reduce this fire within the WEZ. The less multi-damage fire coming in on your troops in the following phases, the more you will able to enjoy a local superiority that will turn attrition in your favor. You must take care to have realistic expectations of what you can destroy when determining this target priority; even if something is a bigger threat, effectively killing multiple smaller threats around it frequently reduces incoming fires more than degrading the profile on something that you are unable to remove.

 

 

 

The last question is the one that causes Thousand Sons players the most grief: What is the proper tool to take on that threat? The reason for that is that the codex is extremely limited in feasible options. We have Terminators, Rubricae, Tzaangors, Sorcerers, Daemon Princes, Magnus, Predators, Hellbrutes, Spawn, and the daemon engines/mutalith vortex beast. There is a large array of units which can be allied in, but as I’m looking to focus on the codex, and chaos has more options than any other faction in the game, I’m going to restrict the current topic to what’s in the codex only.

Of the units listed above, most do not meet the criteria of maneuver based units. Hellbrutes and Predators are useful for fire support, but they do not benefit from all is dust and do not have a high movement value. This relegates them to forming a fire base and supporting from the back field, which is generally of higher value to an attrition oriented force. Spawn lack an ability to quickly move to where they are needed, and their 5+ save means that large number would be required for survivability. This is likewise a unit designed for attrition.

A mention should be made for horrors of tzeentch, as they have both survivability and the ability to appear anywhere on the table via ‘Denizens of the Warp’, however, they require support to have offensive capability. Discussion of this unit may be found here:  http://www.bolterand...itting-horrors/

 

This leaves four units which fit the criteria: Terminator Sorcerers, Scarab Occult Terminators, Rubricae, and Tzaangor. I will cover the offensive mechanics of these units in depth in my next post.


Edited by CrystalSeer, 24 November 2019 - 10:48 AM.

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#10
Dolchiate Remembrancer

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Thanks CrystalSeer, ultimately I was hoping for a way to use my already bought Maulers to fulfill that roll over having to buy a predator.

But this has been tremendous and helpful none the less.

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#11
RolandTHTG

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Excellent thread.
Reminds me in many ways of the first 40k tactical treatise I remember reading, the classic Way of the Water Warrior, back in 4e. http://www.bolterand...-water-warrior/

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#12
CrystalSeer

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Excellent thread.
Reminds me in many ways of the first 40k tactical treatise I remember reading, the classic Way of the Water Warrior, back in 4e. http://www.bolterand...-water-warrior/

 

I find that thread still useful.



#13
CrystalSeer

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The following units are ideally suited to fight as a maneuver element, through either one or a combination of metrics.

 

Rubricae (Rubric Marines) – the poster boys of the codex, and the reason many of us get in to the army in the first place. Rubricae may be used in small to large blocks, with an organic sorcerer and heavy weapons capability. This unit is well suited for maneuver in several regards: Heavy fire does not degrade when moving, meaning you fire at full effect with your soulreaper cannons. They have a sorcerer built in, which allows for offensive or defensive spells. And finally, All is Dust ensures your basic infantry will have a 2+ armor save when facing d1 weaponry. Rubricae achieve movement in to the WEZ by utilizing the DMC or Webway strategem, allowing you to move a maximum of twenty infantry at a time.

This unit is too expensive to be efficient in the back field, where cultists or horrors could hold the position at a fraction of the cost. To make the most of their capabilities they must be employed in mass at their effective range of 12”. As such, I endeavor to run them in as large of a squad as the list allows, to a maximum of two blocks of twenty. Although costly, the average wounds put on MEQ per squad is 10 after saves. If prescience is applied, this is raised to 14. If VotLW is applied, this is raised to 18. This is sufficient to destroy 10 Primaris, two units of three Agressors, or a unit of Centurions a turn.

 

Tzaangor – This unit has become popular with use of DMC or Webway to charge the enemy line from deep strike. With all modifiers applied, the chance of making this charge, including a re-roll from Gaze of Fate or a command point, is roughly 64% (Source: https://imgur.com/vF8Aivx). Once there, the unit may use stratagems to pile in and strike a second time. The math can be found here (https://warhammerint...-bombs-tactics/), but the summary is that this unit can do 120+ attacks that can hit on 2’s and wound on threes if you are willing to invest the CP and support. However, this is a large gamble, as they have a 36% chance of failing the charge, are susceptible to overwatch, screening, auspex, and can only attack the closest unit to their entry point. This unit brings brute strength at the expense of control. It is important to note that with only a 5+ save, you will not be likely to survive the following shooting phase unless your charge is decisive. This makes screening units particularly troublesome.

 

Scarab Occult Terminators – This unit plays largely the same as rubricae, with the following exceptions: They can be teleported in without the use of CP, they have slightly more firepower if fully equipped, and their fire is at full effect up to 24”. This last point is critical, as it allows them to select important targets at 24”  on the turn they deep strike. This unit will have a smaller footprint, and is more susceptible to multi-damage weapons than rubricae.

 

Terminator Sorcerers – Although characters are normally relegated to a support role, the terminator sorcerer is a strange exception. He does not allow surrounding units to re-roll ones, but when combined with Brotherhood of Sorcerers, he gets 4 inferno shots and a roughly 97% chance of casting smite (assuming familiar). Further, you can cast an additional power. On average dice, this guy will do a little over four wounds at 24”. What makes this interesting is that you can take three in a supreme command detachment to form a unit, that can drop in where desired and do enough mortal wounds to take out light to medium tank. This “unit” comes in at 80 points less than a fully kitted SOT unit, and on average does the same amount of wounds. These wounds will also bypass armor, invulnerable saves, and toughness, making them arguably our best anti-tank unit.


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#14
Dolchiate Remembrancer

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A unit of Termy Sorcerors you say...hmm...that's an investment I could get behind!

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#15
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There's some interesting thoughts here, and I think some people will get some good things out of the basic concepts.

 

I do wish when you talk of success that you could qualify this a bit more. 1V1 games? Tournament settings? Opponents?

 

I like that you champion the causes of the Thousand Sons, but I don't want people thinking this is hardcore stuff (especially if it's not the intent). The best players on the planet are not really doing a heck of a lot with Thousand Sons.  I do agree with you that ITC is not 40K. And I too have nothing against that flavour of the game, and I happen to play it frequently myself.  But I most certainly prefer not playing it.

 

That said there are some hard counters to what you present and some exceptionally bad match ups. I think if the goal of this article is to help new players get a headstart on the role of certain units, than I think that's great. I appreciate all that you've written.Thanks for adding that kind of content to the forum.


Edited by Prot, 25 November 2019 - 07:47 PM.

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#16
CrystalSeer

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There's some interesting thoughts here, and I think some people will get some good things out of the basic concepts.

 

I do wish when you talk of success that you could qualify this a bit more. 1V1 games? Tournament settings? Opponents?

 

I like that you champion the causes of the Thousand Sons, but I don't want people thinking this is hardcore stuff (especially if it's not the intent). The best players on the planet are not really doing a heck of a lot with Thousand Sons.  I do agree with you that ITC is not 40K. And I too have nothing against that flavour of the game, and I happen to play it frequently myself.  But I most certainly prefer not playing it.

 

That said there are some hard counters to what you present and some exceptionally bad match ups. I think if the goal of this article is to help new players get a headstart on the role of certain units, than I think that's great. I appreciate all that you've written.Thanks for adding that kind of content to the forum.

 

Successes - I've played Thousand Sons almost exclusively for the last year when I sold my old Harlequins army to start them up. In that time, I've played around twice a week whenever I was not on assignment elsewhere. I do not attend tournaments anymore, as it is almost impossible to do at my location, and because I found them less enjoyable than standard gaming due to the gaming culture. During this time, I have had better than a 90% win rate. My gaming group is eclectic, as it is made up almost entirely of military personnel assigned to the area. We have players from almost all of the 40k factions, with the current exceptions being GSC, Sisters, and our Tyranid guy doesn't show up much. I have played narrative, matched, and old style apocalypse, 1v1 and multiplayer. Though I consider multiplayer a different beast entirely.

 

I don't claim to be one of the 'best players on the planet'. I do think that the 'meta' is a set of expectations that is created by tournament culture, and if you show up not being defined by those standards, you can achieve a vastly different outcome. This is important because the chaos forum is currently overwhelmed with negative comments that have become toxic to new players and large swaths of the community as a whole. We have to break away from the idea that the only way to play successfully is to spam the units with the highest damage/cost ratio. That is especially true for Thousand Sons. We are not cheap. We are not spammable. If you try to play in that way you will always lose to armies that are designed for that type of attrition.

 

I agree that the four unit types described so far have bad matchups. It is my intent to write my next post on:

 

- Using what has been discussed to make a core force functioning by maneuver

- Combined arms fundamentals (How to make different unit types work together to achieve better results)

- Supporting elements/detachments that will aid a maneuver force


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#17
CrystalSeer

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Putting the above concepts together, I will attempt to write a framework from which a lists utilizing these strategies may be built. This is not meant to be exhaustive, but a practice of putting theory in to action so that players can come up with their own ideas.

 

When list building, I begin with the ‘core’ and move outwards. The core of the list is the central function of your force. It defines how the majority of your list will fight, which will then define which supporting units need to be added to enable them. For the purposes of this post, I will focus on units we have already discussed:

 

Battalion Detachment: +5 CP

Points: 1253

 

Sorcerer in Terminator Armor

Sorcerer in Terminator Armor

Sorcerer in Terminator Armor

Rubric Marines (20) 2 Soulreaper Cannons

Rubric Marines (20) 2 Soulreaper Cannons

Tzaangors (20) Tzaangor Blades and Brayhorn

 

 

In this force, we have two large blocks of rubricae, one of Tzaangor, and three sorcerers that can be deployed separately or together to form a unit. It gives us 5 CP, which is sufficient to utilize the (3) required for Webway Infiltration and (1) required for an additional relic (DMC), meaning that the entire force can deploy asymmetrically if desired. This means that the majority of our force will be able to either start in the back of the field, using DMC to displace forward, or deploy directly from reserve. Once there, you can reasonably expect to destroy 1-2 units per block using the standard damage models discussed previously. On standard dice, this is 4-7 MEQ units starting from turn 2.

 

If we establish this as the ‘Core’ of the list, then what do we do with the remaining 747 points? The starting point of that answer is the concept of ‘Combined Arms’. Combined Arms is the idea of utilizing multiple weapons in order to cover the weaknesses inherent to each system. The classic example is a machine gun and a mortar; if you stay stationary in cover, the mortar will hit you. If you get up to move, the machine gun will hit you. By combining these effects on an enemy, they have no good options, only choosing which is less bad.

 

As terrain is greatly simplified in 40k, and the vast majority permits line of sight to be drawn across a table, hiding from fire is much more difficult. Combined Arms becomes an exercise in countering all available counter-strategies our enemy can throw at us, leaving them to choose amongst a list of bad choices. Our forces strive to achieve victory from Phasing or moving from outside of our enemy’s WEZ in order to accomplish an alpha strike, but what will the enemy attempt in order to counter us? 40k armies tend to cluster around two extremes, with armies scattered amongst the spectrum between them.

 

 

Castle – the enemy will place a ‘firebase’, units with high range values and a large volume of fire, in the middle of a ‘castle’ of defensive troops. These troops are selected to either shield the firebase from damage, deter the enemy from advancing by adding short range fires (aggressors), or pushing back the available deployment area of the enemy. This strategy allows for overlapping command benefits from commanders, making it popular in imperial and Tau armies where these are prevalent.

 

Disaggregated – these forces seek to use aggressive posturing and multiple attack vectors in order to control space, overwhelm the enemy, and deny a simple target, as no single point on the table or set of pieces will cripple the entire force. These are your swarm armies, such as Orks, Daemons, Tyranids, and GSC. This is also the foundation of the Eldar flyer lists or Dark Eldar boat swarms.

 

The common themes for both of these list types is that the key to employing our forces effectively will revolve around clearing a landing zone for our troops, employing them in the right place at the right time, and reducing countering fires to the greatest extent possible. Our center of gravity is our massive troop assault, which will achieve the damage, but we still need to support them by allowing adequate PL/points on the field to allow the critical units to asymmetrically deploy as intended, and the ranged fires to create a landing zone for them to move in to position.


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#18
Prot

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Sometimes there's a good reason for a toxic culture. It's not just toxicity for the sake of it.

 

Tournament culture is one thing, but the reason I was asking you to define your success a little more is to see if it's relatable to my own experiences. 

 

So in my area I can't tailor a list. Pairings are random. I have to build a list that on Monday might face  triple riptide with 50 drones. Tueday I might play against GSC with almost no units on the table using muscle beach squads and drive by satchel bombers. Two exceptionally different rock solid armies out there right now.

 

Yet there's another group I play in once in a while that I don't dare take that kind of list building mentality with or it would be too unpleasant for them. 

 

I am curious though if I could find any additional success with this though. It certainly would be welcome. I've personally started using Chaos Knights to play linebacker in my own lists and that's been far better (for me) than Tzaangors or similar. 

 

I'm looking forward to see it.


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#19
CrystalSeer

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The last point I will bring is the allied detachments to complement our 'core' force. I have saved this for the end because it is incredibly subjective. It can be from the same army to maintain a traditional 'codex' feel, or it can be an allied detachment in order to bring new capabilities to the field. I have multiple that I routinely cycle through depending on the requirements of a mission, skill level of players I am facing, or simply what models I feel like goofing around with.

 

As the army function is carried out by the core detachment, our supporting detachments have a separate set of requirements. Stated before, our aim is to apply combined arms concepts to support the mechanics of our large troop assault. In order to accomplish this, our troops will require:

 

- A Landing Zone (LZ) in which to teleport / DMC / Webway Infiltrate on to the table. This includes clearing units designed to screen or push back our deployment.

- Ranged ability to clear out targets deployed too far back to shoot effectively with inferno bolters

- Sufficient Power Level and Points on the table to allow for the 'half deployed' restriction.

 

 

Keeping within Codex: Thousand Sons, there are two main detachments that I like to fill these criteria:

 

1) Fire Support Detachment - One/Two Hellbrutes and a Predator equipped with lascannons. Coming in at 446 points, it is able to engage key targets early in the game and is maintains durability by range/staying out of Line of Sight. By using the hellbrute 'Fire Frenzy' strategem, you are able to put out 8 lascannon shots in a single shooting phase. This may be combined with prescience and a supporting exalted sorcerer if desired, allowing some of these shots to hit on twos, re-rolling ones.

 

2) Daemon Princes - with wings, these are one of the stand out units of our codex. They are able to cast well, support surrounding units with re-rolls, put out high damage with non variable-damage weapons in close combat, and can be buffed to having two with 3++ saves. As they have a high movement value, you can start them on the field to meet the 'half deployed' requirement, and still use warp time to eliminate forward deployed deep strike denial.

 

 

Following these lines of thought, we can create a highly capable list entirely from the codex, looking something like this:

 

 

Battalion Detachment: +5 CP

Points: 1590

 

Daemon Prince (1) Wings

Daemon Prince (1) Wings

Rubric Marines (20) 2 Soulreaper Cannons

Rubric Marines (20) 2 Soulreaper Cannons

Tzaangors (20) Tzaangor Blades and Brayhorn

Hellbrute (1) Twin Lascannon 

Predator (1) Lascannons

 

Supreme Command Detachment: +1 CP

Points: 366

 

Sorcerer in Terminator Armor

Sorcerer in Terminator Armor

Sorcerer in Terminator Armor


Edited by CrystalSeer, 28 November 2019 - 05:25 PM.

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#20
CrystalSeer

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Sometimes there's a good reason for a toxic culture. It's not just toxicity for the sake of it.

 

Tournament culture is one thing, but the reason I was asking you to define your success a little more is to see if it's relatable to my own experiences. 

 

So in my area I can't tailor a list. Pairings are random. I have to build a list that on Monday might face  triple riptide with 50 drones. Tueday I might play against GSC with almost no units on the table using muscle beach squads and drive by satchel bombers. Two exceptionally different rock solid armies out there right now.

 

Yet there's another group I play in once in a while that I don't dare take that kind of list building mentality with or it would be too unpleasant for them. 

 

I am curious though if I could find any additional success with this though. It certainly would be welcome. I've personally started using Chaos Knights to play linebacker in my own lists and that's been far better (for me) than Tzaangors or similar. 

 

I'm looking forward to see it.

 

I understand. Its hard to play all comers with an army that has effectively 1-3 tricks. If that's your main issue, it might be a better fit to ally in splitting pinks and some daemons. They are incredibly good at taking a punch, but don't immediately crank the power up to 11. I've found they make the games more enjoyable by allowing options to stay on the table without having to table the opponent in two turns. Bonus, they're great at tanking Tau.


Edited by CrystalSeer, 28 November 2019 - 05:57 PM.


#21
MustertheCustards

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The hellbrutes and predators are in a rough spot for the cost. Against space marines you're eating an additional ap from their heavy weapons turn one. There's quite a bit of ap -4 in their arsenal, and turn two there's ap -4 plasma, most armies have better ranged AT than the sons. Hellbrutes are definitely outclassed as a ranged AT option, your buffs and CP are probably better spent somewhere else, and you're paying points for close combat prowess that it probably won't get to use. Especially when the 3 expensive T7 models in the list have no invulnerable saves, and are the only real targets for enemy AT weapons. You're probably better off using your points elsewhere and finding a way to ignore their firepower. Unless you want them as a sacrificial lamb, against a lot of lists they probably won't survive past turn two though. Awesome lists and army concept either way though.

Edited by MustertheCustards, 02 December 2019 - 03:12 AM.


#22
MustertheCustards

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I also think that 180 points for a lascannon predator is only worth it over the normal predator autocannon at 130 points, if it's to take hits and attention away from more important units.

Edited by MustertheCustards, 02 December 2019 - 03:15 AM.


#23
CrystalSeer

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The hellbrutes and predators are in a rough spot for the cost. Against space marines you're eating an additional ap from their heavy weapons turn one. There's quite a bit of ap -4 in their arsenal, and turn two there's ap -4 plasma, most armies have better ranged AT than the sons. Hellbrutes are definitely outclassed as a ranged AT option, your buffs and CP are probably better spent somewhere else, and you're paying points for close combat prowess that it probably won't get to use. Especially when the 3 expensive T7 models in the list have no invulnerable saves, and are the only real targets for enemy AT weapons. You're probably better off using your points elsewhere and finding a way to ignore their firepower. Unless you want them as a sacrificial lamb, against a lot of lists they probably won't survive past turn two though. Awesome lists and army concept either way though.

 

 

I also think that 180 points for a lascannon predator is only worth it over the normal predator autocannon at 130 points, if it's to take hits and attention away from more important units.

 

I largely agree. The attempt was to make a list entirely out of the codex. I have been toying around with allied detachments with Havocs the past couple of weeks, using first Alpha Legion then Iron Warriors tactics. Of the two, Alpha Legion plays better to maneuver concepts, while Iron Warriors are better at pure anti-tank.

 

I'm still considering running a dark apostle to give the allied detachment a 5+ invulnerable save as well.


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#24
MustertheCustards

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If you're at a 90% win-rate though, they're probably doing fine if you like the units though ;)

#25
CrystalSeer

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If you're at a 90% win-rate though, they're probably doing fine if you like the units though msn-wink.gif

 

This is a key point. Making comparisons between points values for different armies doesn't really work. Points are a relative value, based on the availability of different aspects of your list. 180 points is far different for thousand sons than it is for imperial guard.

 

A las pred is the most efficient thousand sons anti-tank vehicle. The fact that other armies have cheaper ones doesn't change that unless you are going to include allied detachments.


Edited by CrystalSeer, 02 December 2019 - 09:53 AM.

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