Toms Quick Tactic Tip of The Week

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The Last Acton Hero
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Toms Quick Tactic Tip of The Week

Postby The Last Acton Hero » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:11 am

The internet loves to say how tough it is to play a melee army in 8th, but here's a tip to help you rip and tear your enemies. I've seen plenty of folks at the club miss this easy way to get through the bubble wrap and stuck in on the target you want. We'll take a look at a very basic scenario that's at the start of the green player's assault phase.
start.png
I'll show you how that "in the way guardman" is actually the slingshot you need to hug the tank and shut off it's guns.
charge pile in.png
The key is that a unit gets to activate in melee on the turn it charged even if it no longer has an enemy within an inch. If the veteran had already been in melee with the guardman and the captain charged in and wiped the guardsman the veteran would not have been able to activate, and wouldn't be able to move at all.
My favorite part about this is that the tank is never given a chance to fire overwatch, so while you can't attack it that turn, at least it's missing out on some potentially devastating "free" shooting. Hopefully this trick helps some of our newer players when going up against scary gun-lines.
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Re: Toms Quick Tactic Tip of The Week

Postby MrScotty » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:39 am

Another handy version of this uses Consolidate and Pile In rules to your advantage.

Pile In and Consolidate are both worded the same way: You may move up to 3", but you must end that move closer to the closest enemy model.

let's say you just have your captain flying solo here. He charges, and gets to be 1" away from the guardsman. With his pile-in move, he can actually opt to swing AROUND the guardsman, as long as he ends up closer on the other side - say, 3/4" of an inch away, but around the back of the guardsman. Thanks to the captain's base, he's now gotten about 2" closer to the tank with that move.

Then, when he swings and kills him, suddenly the tank is right there, and you can use your Consolidate move to get within 1" of the tank.
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Re: Toms Quick Tactic Tip of The Week

Postby The Last Acton Hero » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:58 am

Excellent point Scott! In a real game we'd probably be dealing with a "wall" of guardsmen so the captain couldn't flank around them as easily, but these are both good things to remember for our newer players. The assault phase is the "trickiest" part of 8th, so a well-studied player can really make it work to their advantage.
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Re: Toms Quick Tactic Tip of The Week

Postby Eisenfresser » Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:28 am

Yeah, and this is why I'm grumpy about how effective assault is against my army. This tactic is almost impossible to stop.

In a standard Dawn of War deployment, I have just 12" deep to play with. A 5" long tank and a 1" guardsman base mean that my best case scenario is 6" between them. Against an attacker with a large base that's not enough.
Against an attacker with FLY or other movement shenanigans that's not enough.
On a board with terrain that may not be possible. Or it massively limits my deployment and makes it hard to use terrain to protect any of my units.
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Re: Toms Quick Tactic Tip of The Week

Postby MrScotty » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:48 pm

Eisenfresser wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:28 am
Yeah, and this is why I'm grumpy about how effective assault is against my army. This tactic is almost impossible to stop.

In a standard Dawn of War deployment, I have just 12" deep to play with. A 5" long tank and a 1" guardsman base mean that my best case scenario is 6" between them. Against an attacker with a large base that's not enough.
Against an attacker with FLY or other movement shenanigans that's not enough.
On a board with terrain that may not be possible. Or it massively limits my deployment and makes it hard to use terrain to protect any of my units.
This is where my limited experience comes in (and where I'm pretty excited to test out the theory with our game in a couple weeks). I've played Guard a few times in 8th, and Thousand Sons as well, but I've rarely played a pure gunline vs a pure melee army - typically my armies skew more towards melee than range and almost always have a mix of both.

It seems like there are two different good outcomes vs assault units as shooting units.

1) Kill them. Obvious. They're gone, they can't charge you.

2) make them fight stuff they either can't kill, or isn't worth their points to kill, while keeping them away from the stuff you want to keep shooting.

Almost all shooting armies would love to just achieve #1 without worrying about #2, but in practice, that's impossible (unless your whole army has Fly and can just keep shooting and killing them after they engage, at which point most shooting armies tend to lose that war of attrition anyway.) So you've got a whole bunch of units you can employ to do your melee-ing for you, which vary in terms of numbers, point cost/quality, and durability.

The most obvious, and most consistently effective, tactic to achieve #2 is just volume. More bodies that can ever possibly be gotten through in short order, spread out in front of your troops. If your anti-melee unit is cheap, low cost, and low durability, you'd better have a lot of them if you want them to block attacks.

However if you don't have volume and you are cheap/light, you can still perform the anti assault role by move-blocking. Many units can be killed by a stiff breeze, but rarely can they be killed in the movement phase. A unit of guard infantry that manages to get up to an Imperial Knight and isn't in combat with him have basically halted all his melee ambitions for the turn. Units that have alternate deployment like Scouts, Rangers and Ratlings and units that move pre-deployment or just very quickly in general are the best for this kind of thing.

So, a single infantry squad sitting in front of a tank, even over 6" away, is gonna be pretty ineffective. But a single infantry squad that pops out of its transport, advances, and receives a Move Move Move order to get it 1" away from encroaching assault units at the top of the enemy player's turn - Very effective for the points that squad cost! Of course, fly and other related rules decrease the effectiveness of move blocking, but your units still project a zone of nope equal to their base, 1" on either side of their base, and the enemy model's base plus 1" on the back of their base. A single model on a 25mm base can limit another model on a 25mm from moving up to 5" even if they have Fly or a Fly-equivalent rule.

The third option is of course, "Where's the beef?" - screw all these tactics that involve my models strategically dying, I'll pay more points if it means I have assault bouncers that live instead of die and maybe even punch back. Bullgryns are a great example of this - you can have all the flipdefloop harlequin shenanigans you want, if it takes the combined melee attacks of 12 harlequins to down a single bullgryn with the save bonus and the -1 to hit psychic power up, they ain't getting near those tanks. You can also use durable units with Fly (the preferred Tau choice) or durable units that don't care about being in melee (Imperial Knights, Baneblades, etc) to achieve the same result.

My hope for the test game is that if I have units in category 2, and units in category 3, and I play them effectively enough, I can stop even an army of super quick Harlequins from getting me into that nasty overwatch/fall back loop o' doom.
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Re: Toms Quick Tactic Tip of The Week

Postby CHAPLAIN T » Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:48 pm

See, its tricks like these that I need to wrap my head around. 8th edition is so....alien...to me in its assault rules. Its so simple that its almost difficult to internalize. Does that make sense?

Is there a wonderful Youtube video out there that breaks down all the subtle nuances of 8th ed assault now? I'd really love to watch some footage of examples with commentary. Hell, GW should be putting this video out!
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Re: Toms Quick Tactic Tip of The Week

Postby Draaen » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:57 pm

Yeah the slingshot assault effect is strong. I've used it to propel fire warriors across the board to kill a lone surviving deep striking guard veteran that "luckily" survived my shooting. Tagging shooting models that can't fall back and shoot is very strong this edition and where fast flying shooty units like piranhas or units that can fall back and assault are really able to shut down week melee units in particular. It's been one of my reservations in using kroot as a melee screen. As deep strike denial they are great but I am always worried I'll let a real fast unit get to my line super quick.

Say that the charge was closer but the tank had a couple flamers. You would want to kill the tank but can't survive the over watch or the fire from next turn. Assault the guardsmen in front and if you get a really high charge in you can overshoot the guardsman and maybe be able to pin the enemy in combat as he can't move through your base. No more flamers and your unit will be able to punch the next turn. Or just chill there essentially trading the operation of that unit for the other until such a time as you wish to deal with the locked in tank. It's the bread and butter for my white scars really and the pre-codex Tau with their homing beacon and very strong vs shooty vehicles.

In my experiences when trying to implement the tag up stratagem the hardest things to deal with are ones hat can fall back and shoot like super heavy tanks or knights who also are good in melee. You pay points for the speed to get up close and then you need more bodies to get the lock in. That makes the units fairly pricey and after you start losing bodies your operational efficiency degrades significantly because you have less bodies then a slower force.
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Re: Toms Quick Tactic Tip of The Week

Postby Memento » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:15 pm

On the flip side, I think that tactical maneuvers like this are a compelling reason not to rely on pure gunline shooting to deal with an opponent's threats. The most effective protection for guns against these maneuvers is likely going to be a combination of screens, tarpits, and zoning - all of which are complementary. The take home message I'm getting from this is that having balanced/TAC lists is probably going to give you more and better options when it comes trying to come up with counter-play.
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Re: Toms Quick Tactic Tip of The Week

Postby MrScotty » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:04 pm

CHAPLAIN T wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:48 pm
See, its tricks like these that I need to wrap my head around. 8th edition is so....alien...to me in its assault rules. Its so simple that its almost difficult to internalize. Does that make sense?

Is there a wonderful Youtube video out there that breaks down all the subtle nuances of 8th ed assault now? I'd really love to watch some footage of examples with commentary. Hell, GW should be putting this video out!
Yeah. It's simpler than it was in previous editions where assault was essentially predetermined on autopilot, which opens a LOT of possible choices that didn't exist previously.

Meanwhile the simplification of shooting with universal split fire and no facngs/AV split has made it a good deal less filled with options. In particular units that can't fall back and shoot can get locked into autopilot.

While I like the split fire change a lot for how it made units with mixed weaponry not feel terrible to field anymore, it does definitely make me feel like I have a lot less impact as a player on shooting units, while assault gives me an obvious impact as a decision maker. Mistakes hurt. Good choices make a positive impact.
Game Preferences:
A model may assault upper levels of terrain if they charge far enough to climb them
All current beta rules in effect unless opponent prefers otherwise
I love setting up custom, fluffy scenarios, PM me!
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Re: Toms Quick Tactic Tip of The Week

Postby Terminator_X » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:11 pm

One trick Rich taught me is to use cheap character models to heroically intervene and lock up assaulting enemies, therefore preventing a more devastating pile-in and consolidate. If you can make it through an enemy fight phase without dying, then you're golden. Guard fortunately have access to a lot of these!