Happy Monday! I wanted to give you a checklist of things to consider when list-building and playing an assault army. One thing that is very counter-intuitive is that an assault army wants to fight a "castled up" enemy force. The disparity comes from the damage ranged weapons are doing vs what assault damage is being done. The reason assault armies are usually inferior, is because it is MUCH easier to shoot each turn and do damage than it is to be in position to charge and fight each turn. Those turns spent maneuvering (just moving) are turns spent receiving damage while dealing none. That is an uphill battle. The whole idea is to minimize exposure to ranged fire, hopefully to the point you mitigate it.
This is why I said assault armies want to engage a castled army. The enemy force is grouped together and that means each and every turn you should be able to move and charge, dealing burst damage in the fight phase. You should be forcing numerous units to fall back out of combat. This greatly reduces their ability to do damage to you. Fight as many times as you can, via stratagems and abilities. MASTER pile-in and consolidation movements. I will create an article about this within the next 2 days.
I want to be very clear when I say that a pre-charge movement phase, the charge phase, and the fight phase are the MOST COMPLEX phases of the game, by orders of magnitude in difficulty. Positioning during the movement phase will make or break your effectiveness during a successful charge. You need to be thinking of where you want to be post consolidation when moving in the movement phase. During the charge, you need to utilize the nuances of being 1" away to add extra distance and "wrap around" units. Assault armies can double their movement and mobility with charges and pile-in/consolidation movements. Assault armies can outperform ranged armies if you know ALL the little tricks and nuances of movement during their most relevant phases: Movement, charge, and fight. There is so much to learn, know, and implement. No joke, assault is very intricate, has tremendous depth, complexity, and small margins for error. Ranged shooting is just range and line of sight <that is super simplified, I know, there are nuances to split fire, AP considerations, and optimal use of weapons. Just making a point>.
I promise to address every single nuance in an upcoming article in a few days. I ***HIGHLY*** recommend you check out these three videos in the meantime. Not my content but it is VERY well done and explains a lot of what I am saying with demonstrations:
Mastering the charge phase: https://www.youtube....h?v=7yXsZFlk6lY
Assault phase: https://www.youtube....h?v=2hED6iT59K4
Heroic Intervention: https://www.youtube....h?v=E-k377Faxqw
I learned a lot from these videos and they build a great foundation of knowledge to then expand upon. I hope they help!
Now for my checklist of assault army considerations:
- Vehicles. You want them. They protect your units from shooting and enable greater mobility.
- Charge vehicles in first to soak up overwatch.
- Use them to block line-of-sight to disembarked units pre-charge
- Coordinate reserves arriving and units disembarking to concentrate overwhelming amounts of units simultaneously on enemy units. Synchronize assaults.
- This overwhelms enemy overwatch capabilities.
- Trap units in combat by surrounding units, or just a single model from the unit.
- Stay out of line-of-sight pre-charge. No overwatch then.
- Abuse reserves. I mean bring in a ton of units and create severe mismatches/imbalances in engagements
- Cluster those objectives together so you do not waste a single turn moving and NOT fighting.
- Deny overwatch as much as possible (example: Blood Angle Relic that denies overwatch, Reivers shock grenade, etc...).
- Use smaller unit sizes from reserves, larger unit sizes embarked in vehicles. It is better to have 3 units of 10 bloodletters assaulting a single unit then one unit of 30.
- BUT, ALSO have one massive unit (say 30 Bloodletters) that you will give every buff in the world to, like 3D6 charge banner, fight twice stratagem, etc..) This is your "crushing blow" force.
- Get into combat as quick and directly as possible. Do not waste turns dealing zero damage. You are being whittled down every turn. Time is not your friend
- Spread your attacks across units intelligently. Try not to severely overkill a unit and waste damage output
- Split charge and declare everything in reach (12") if there is even a slight chance you could make it to the farthest unit or attack twice with a pile-in/consolidate.
- Use that pile-in and consolidation move to gain at least 6" of movement if a unit charged but the intended target was killed by another unit in the fight phase before activating this unit.
- Spend your command points on dealing damage, fighting more than once, mobility and enhancing assault (extra attacks across the whole unit for example)
- Don't focus on unit saves so much. That just makes you die SLOWER. Focus on offensive output. That makes ranged weapons go away FASTER. Now you die even slower.
I hope these considerations help. There is so much more... Trust me, there is so much to learn and master in the movement, charge, and fight phase. You need to become a "student of warfare" and really study and practice. That is not the case with ranged weapons. If you really want to succeed with an assault army, you NEED to put in the time and effort to do so. You NEED to research, expand your knowledge, and then practice. Your results on the table WILL equal your effort off the table. Sorry, but it is a harsh truth and I have to be very real and honest with you.
Edited by Overwhelming Odds, 13 January 2020 - 05:51 PM.