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cailus
07-02-2007, 00:48
There have been some interesting discussions on the Space Marine Redux threads regarding the usefulness/survivability of landspeeders, the usefulness of Termies and how to cope with certain army builds.

The one impression I get is that people don't use any tactics whatsoever. Basically it would appear that they either stand and shoot or charge forward if they are assault orientated and that generally terrain is not used. Units are rarely co-ordinated and oftwen are viewed as stand alone items and not as part of the whole army. Deployment does not seem to be taken into account as an element of strategy.

Basically the only thought expended on unit selection and usage seems to be how much a unit can kill in a game.

And I have noticed that most real life players I have met are very much like this. Most stand and shoot or charge forward without much consideration of anything. (By the way all my Ork losses listed on my sig are to my brother who is a brilliantly tactical player, the victories and draws are to other people).

So my question is: other than army builds, do people apply tactics and strategy to the way they play?

For example with the landspeeder is it only useful if it is killing x number of models each turn? Here is a fast vehicle capable of moving 24 inches. It can also deep strike, if my memory serves me correctly. The tactical flexibility offered by this is quite large:

1.Obviously, objective taking. This may mean that the Landspeeder is actually held back until the 5th or 6th turn where it can quickly redeploy to capture an objective.

2. Redeployment to bolster areas under threat.

3. Feints - basically the landspeeder is deployed in one area to draw enemy troops away from your core group. Once the enemy has committed troops to stopping the landspeeder, you can redploy it back to your core group to bolster them while a portion of enemy troops are too far away to be useful.

Or you could try to create the illusion of a weak flank and then quickly redeploy landspeeders to bolster it. In essence you're creating a trap.

4. Drawing fire from core units - Use the Landspeeder as a suicide unit to draw enemy fire. For example you're landspeeder could move in rapidly to threaten an enemy tank the next turn. The enemy will have to expend effort to take the speeder down of risk losing the tank the next turn. So while the enemy is busy reacting to your threatening landspeeder, your core units are unmolested.

5. Another obvious one is tank hunters. The use of careful deployment and cover will ensure that the speeders get close enough to use their multi-meltas.

6. Supporting assault units. For example your landspeeders could be used to keep up with assault marines and to pepper units with fire before the Marines charge. Given their manouvrability the landspeeders can be used to get into such a position that the enemy is deprived of cover saves. This is something a slower Predator or Devastators would struggle to do.

7. Flank harrasment. This improves survivability as your landspeeder can be zooming around the flanks picking off flanking units while staying out of range of most weapons. And if the enemy wants to waste long range firepower taking out harrasment units as opposed to core units (e.g. tactical squads) then so be it.

Deployment is another area where a unit can prove it's worth without actually killing anything.

For example in a recent recon game I deployed my Grot kannonz to the centre right of my deployment zone right at the 15 inch deployment limit. The gunz had awful line of sight as for the most part it was obscured by a giant forest. However the deployment allowed me to in essence chose where the enemy would be deploying (in a recon mission opposing units have to be 24 inches apart).

It was also a bit of a feint because my opponent thought since my gunz were in the centre that I'd be deploying my entire army mainly around the centre. Hence they placed a unit closer to the centre of the board. Of course my intentions were totally different as I wanted to deploy in a left flank.

Hence even though the gunz had a very bad line of sight their deployment allowed me to dictate where my opponent would deploy and also effectively took a squad of 8 marines out of the game. Not bad for a unit which cost less than 100 points.

My Vindicator in my Marine army serves a similar purpose.

(Of course I was foiled by my inability to roll over 3+ for the most part!)

Terrain is critical to a good tactical game and in my opinion most tables do not use enough terrain and often deploy it very poorly.

Most tables I have seen that are are set up by other people are more suitable for Warhammer Fantasy than 40K. Even when a lot of terrain is used it is all set up on the board edges with very little set up in the middle. As a result you get cover for shooters and you also give them clear line of sight to any part of the board. Of course they will just stand and shoot. Most Guard players I know do not use the movement phase at all. And I once met an Iron Warrior player who had scored a draw on a table that I set up and then complained to me that I set up too much terrain. His own terrain set ups were very scarce and assault units were doomed from turn 1.

Of course you don't want to make it impossible for the shooty guys to do anything either. Hence terrain set up should create fire lanes some with cover and some with out. Basically you should be able to imagine troops scuttling from cover to cover and sometimes being forced to risk it in the open.

And some firelanes should be set up so that they require actual movement to get to them as opposed to sitting back and firing from turn 1.

Terrain promotes more balanced armies. A stand and shoot IG or Marine army is useless when the terrain is more diverse. Similarly area terrain can significantly stall assault units while fire lanes can be murderous to some asasult units. A lot of diverse terrain makes deep striking more risky as your unit has a greater chance of landing in terrain.

So the IG player might take a unit of Ogryns as an assault unit, while a Marine player might give their Termies a heavy flamer because it's more useful in denser terrain than an assault cannon. You also have to co-ordinate units much better to get the desired results.

Finally I also find it more fun to play on a themed battlefield than an open field. And coming up with a theme is the best way to set up terrain.

So for example in a take and hold you could have a village in the centre of the battlefield where the objective is. The firelanes are created by streets (some rubble helps for cover) and exploitable firelanes exist on higher buildings - however one has to decide whether they want to risk moving their units into it. The deployment zones could be covered in forests (area terrain) which represent forests surrounding the village. These deployment zones obviously now have a degree of cover afforded by the forest but are also difficult terrain.

My own games are usually based on this sort of thinking. I think flexibly - my Tactical marines carry heavy weapons but only fire them when they are needed. The reason is why should is spend 6 turns firing a single missile and plasma gun round when my marines can spend a turn getting into position and then hose down the enemy with copious amounts of bolter fire after which my assault marines jump in and wipe the enemy out. And my assault marines have a greater chance of surviving and getting into contact as I present the enemy with multiple threats including Rhino borne marines, a Vindicator. I try to run my Orks in a similar manner (albeit generally unsuccessfully against a skilled player).

GraveDancer
07-02-2007, 01:01
to go with your first point right up the top there, i agree with you.

everyone moaning about the ability of certain marine units just seem to look at comparing units on their stats alone.

BaronDG
07-02-2007, 01:05
I moan about marines sometimes, but it is not the stats, it's the options. Tactical marines are the most tactical unit in the game. And it should be like that; it's fluffy. And I still moan...

The Dude
07-02-2007, 01:11
Very inspiring piece here calius. I have to say that although I don’t play often, I do try to think about what I will do. I will often try to outflank combat-poor enemies like Tau whilst hugging cover (twice I’ve wiped out 2 10-man Fire Warrior Squads with 3 Bikes like this), or use a defensible position to pick apart an assault-oriented force, mixing it up as the situation dictates.

I have to agree that there seems to be a prevalence of players who think that it’s a point-and-click game. The worst case of this was a game I had against an assault-heavy Blood Angels force, which I sat back and peppered when I could. I think I may have moved once during the first turn to get a better bead on him, and then just let him come to me. It got to turn 3 and my opponent suggested that we start again with different terrain, as he wasn’t used to people sitting still and he should have been in combat by now :WTF:.

As to people thinking of units in terms of killing power only, man you’re right, I’m so sick of it. I had a game against Tau where I had a Venerable Dread that killed nothing, but he got MVP from me. You see, he killed nothing because he spent most of the game stunned. By the end he had no arms and was immobilised, but you know what? That left my Veterans unmolested to take out the Hammerhead and my Bikes to perform the aforementioned flanking move.

Yay! Re-roll damage rolls!!! I even made a 4 into a 1 (that was tense :p)

machine_recovered_meat
07-02-2007, 01:13
You have some very good points, and agree with alot of what you think.

I think there's a tendency amongst pleayers [generally speaking] to look for uber units, and game winning units rather than take the army as a whole entity.

Mr_Smiley
07-02-2007, 02:00
Well I play Necrons but I do use Tactics, charging units just to teleport them out next turn.
Surrounding units with my superior warrior numbers.
etc, etc, etc
The biggest problem with this game is that people don't bother to look for tactics and rely on dice and unit stats to win the day.
However I also play to fluff, and if that affects my tactics somewhat, I don't really mind.

The Dude
07-02-2007, 02:03
The biggest problem with this game is that people don't bother to look for tactics and rely on dice and unit stats to win the day.
However I also play to fluff, and if that affects my tactics somewhat, I don't really mind.

I'd say that this is more a problem with the players than the game...

DV8
07-02-2007, 02:06
I've always used tactics. I play Tyranids, but I don't rely on the sledgehammer theme of "run straight at them with as many combat units as I can cram into my list and hope some makes it in".

Hive Tyrant
Wings, Toxin Sacs, Two Twin-Linked Devourers

Broodlord
Toxin Sacs, Implant Attack, Flesh Hooks

5 Genestealers (Retinue)
Flesh Hooks

7 Genestealers
Scuttlers

8 Termagaunts
Fleshborers

8 Termagaunts
Fleshborers

8 Termagaunts
Fleshborers

8 Termagaunts
Fleshborers

8 Termagaunts
Fleshborers

Carnifex
Enhanced Senses, Barbed Strangler, Venom Cannon

Carnifex
Enhanced Senses, Barbed Strangler, Venom Cannon

1000 points

In parts, that list would never do well. Each individual unit isn't incredibly strong, but as a whole, the list makes each unit a threat. Do you target the Gaunts, and risk being overrun by Genestealers and the Broodlord? Or do you target the Genestealers/Broodlord running at you and let the Gaunts drag you down with weight of fire? And what about the 3 monstrous creatures?

Also, having a limited Synapse net means I need to be very careful about when and where I expose my Hive Tyrant. Wings helps me move around, but my strategy must always revolve around cover, and keeping my Gaunts and Tyrant around them so as not to have my army obliterated.

The army, from pencil and paper to the table, was designed to act and fight as a cohesive whole, and it serves that purpose well. To date, out of 50 odd games (give or take a few), I've massacred all but 2, which I drew.


DV8

cailus
07-02-2007, 02:34
Have to say I like the fact you use the humble Termagaunt - those little gits with their S4 re-roll to wound guns are pretty nasty if used well.

izandral
07-02-2007, 02:38
i agree with pretty much all calius said

i might add that it's very dependant on the army you play , in a marine army every unit is good by itself . i play mainly tyranids , no unit is good by itself there if you only refer to individual stats/points cost

for terrain it would be interresting to see if many people use the terrain set-up guideline in the rulebook . i do like what i saw for CoD up to now though

cailus
07-02-2007, 02:44
i agree with pretty much all calius said

i might add that it's very dependant on the army you play , in a marine army every unit is good by itself.

Yes and no.

Simple stats show that say a Tactical unit is pretty good. However in reality even a 10 man kitted out tactical squad can be easily overrun if not supported by the rest of the army.

The Dude
07-02-2007, 02:58
Yes and no.

Simple stats show that say a Tactical unit is pretty good. However in reality even a 10 man kitted out tactical squad can be easily overrun if not supported by the rest of the army.

And it is the misguided belief that this is not the case that has led to the point and click tactic. Although DoW may have had something to do with that too ;).

Lyinar
07-02-2007, 03:21
I've noticed in all kinds of threads in multiple forums that the people complaining the most about "uber" units or "paper weights" never bother to even apply any form of tactical thought to things, or even just looking at what else they have in their army... And ALL of their careful Mathhammer calculations to support their ideas are based on the notion that all battles are fought on Planet Bowling Ball, with ZERO terrain.

Cities of Death makes things a lot more interesting without much effort, simply because one is FORCED to take terrain into account.

I tend to play pretty aggressively, even with shooty armies. Leapfrogging advances, devoted fire-support units, even sacrificial units to hold down the enemy while the rest of the army advances (which is EXACTLY what the Khorne Flakes are in my Black Legion army... They are the 'Forlorn Hope' type unit that hits first, kills first, and dies first). I have never made use of a gunline-type army, and would probably only do so in a game wherein I was the defender.

Angelwing
07-02-2007, 03:40
i think cailus has summed up what i try to say when defending the use of certain frowned upon units. there are very few truly broken units, usually made redundant by the change from 3rd to 4th ed.
its all about tactics and how units are used together, not how much stuff units can kill in one go.
thank you cailus for your posting of sanity!

Reticent
07-02-2007, 03:54
I find that you can only have a truly meaningful discussion of tactics in 40K when you already know the terrain, objectives, and composition of the armies involved. Because you aren't going to know those things in general, but rather only with regards to any one specific game of 40K, you cant really use tactical application as a basis for making general comparisons between units or army lists. Any specific evaluation of tactical application goes out the window when the situation changes; even two players of exactly equal skill who replay a game having swapped armies will evaluate the utility of units differently based on their individual play styles.

That is why I think statistics and accrued experience are the most valid pieces of information when discussing how to evaluate elements of 40K armies for effectiveness and balance. It isn't that tactics aren't a huge and valid part of the game, it is just that they are too specific to the situation to make broad generalizations about.

Lyinar
07-02-2007, 04:11
I can see what you're saying, Reticent, but I would at least like to see people discussing stuff based on their entire army list instead of one specific squad at a time.

As I've said before in a couple of discussions here, Warhammer, be it 40k or Fantasy, is not about whether a model or a unit "earns its points back", it's about how the army as a whole performs.

So what if the Land Raider you brought didn't kill 250+ points worth of enemy models, the deepstriking terminators with the Cyclone Missile Launcher and Assault Cannon that took it out could have spent those two turns firing at it and one assault phase carving on it with their Chainfists horribly raping whatever infantry units in your main battle line that looked squishiest instead.

cailus
07-02-2007, 05:08
Lyniar, this is my point exactly.

In my example my kannons which cost just under 100 points killed 2 marines the whole game (a third of the the price I paid for them).

However they forced my opponent to deploy where I wanted him too and took out a unit of marines out of the main fight as my opponent mis-guessed where my deployment would be.

Hence from a statistical perspective the kannons were totally innefficient but from a game plan perspective they worked brilliantly.

SanguineV
07-02-2007, 05:55
I am very much a tactical player. In sheer killing power my army lists tend to be quite weak, yet I have an excellent win/loss record because I use terrain, missions and the strengths of my ("underpowered") units to expose the weaknesses of my opponent's army.

Luckily most of the people I have been playing are at least aware of tactics and make some use of them. It is rare to come up against an army that just runs forward or stands and shoots.

I would tend to say that the terrain is cruicial to a game, a properly laid out table can make for an awesome game. But playing on planet ping-pong ball (at least a bowling ball has 3 craters) is blatantly lopsided, some armies will do brilliantly, while others will crumble time after time.

Slaaneshi Slave
07-02-2007, 06:02
I play SoB, I wouldn't have any victories if I didn't play tactically.

Reflex
07-02-2007, 06:06
this is why fantasy is better, tactics play a vital roll in fantasy.. example, you loose a flank, your whole line can be taken out by flank charges, where as in 40k, if you loose a flank, its no big deal because your troops are not likly to run away anyway... thats the problem with 40k, psycology dosent play a big enough roll...

Kordos
07-02-2007, 06:21
this is why fantasy is better, tactics play a vital roll in fantasy.. example, you loose a flank, your whole line can be taken out by flank charges, where as in 40k, if you loose a flank, its no big deal because your troops are not likly to run away anyway... thats the problem with 40k, psycology dosent play a big enough roll...

please go back to the fantasy forums...

Tactics do play a vital role in 40k, many of my wins are due to me using my army (eldar) better than my opponents, and it is a big deal if you lose your flank in 40k - YES you can get overrun and have units flee - it doesn't happen all the time but it DOES happen - just like in fantasy where sometimes you DON'T run away (especially with the amount of units immune to psych)

Morgrad
07-02-2007, 06:55
People who win a lot use tactics, people who don't often don't. Where I play, we have a couple people who are solid tacticians, a couple who try to be but are horrid, and a bunch of mid-grade people who are getting better over time.

The implication that tactics do not play a vital role in 40k is complete crap. A good tactician can whip someone's butt, then swap exact armies with them and play a second game and whip thier butt again. In my opinion, that's the best way to learn and the best way to teach 40k.

Of course, army selection is important - but I think that's more strategic than tactical. Tactics occur when you see the mission, terrain, etc.

I do have to take issue with the comment that there are very few broken units in 40k - there are actually a lot of them. That isn't to say that "broken" = "useless" or "unbeatable", just either too good or too poor for the points. Many units that are considered crap become fantastic when used properly (and/or as part of a whole), etc.

There are still plenty of broken units in the game, because GW is a miniatures merchant, not a true game maker. If you want great models, a fun game, and some limited tactical challenges, 40k is a great game - I love it. If you're looking for a detailed tactical challenge, you should probably look somewhere other than most table-top miniatures games.

Gerrok
07-02-2007, 06:59
Honestly the only real tactic in 40k is knowing how to use cover. For many armies even deployment isn't that important, because they are so fast that they can recover from a silly deployment in a single turn (armies like Dark eldar, craftworld eldar, nids, mechanized tau). If you understand the basic concepts of blocking line of sight with cover, using cover to get first strike in assault (which is important because over half the armies are assault based), and using cover so that you get some form of armor save are about the limit of the tactics.

While I feel that I play "tactical" I don't think that there's a lot of tactics in 40k. If both players have just a basic understanding of how to use cover, I think army composition becomes the more important factor. I have yet to see anyone who has really outplayed someone else with what I would consider a inferior list, barring being outrolled (which does happen occasionally).

eldaran
07-02-2007, 07:06
Yes and no.

Simple stats show that say a Tactical unit is pretty good. However in reality even a 10 man kitted out tactical squad can be easily overrun if not supported by the rest of the army.

I agree with you. Statistically, a six man scout squad should be eaten for breakfast by a ten-man tactical squad. However, that thing chewed on three tactical squads before i could kill it (grrr...)

Mr_Smiley
07-02-2007, 07:06
I really don't know why so many SM players don't use tactics, they have the best options.
Eg take 2 squads of 5-6 men, put them both in razorbacks.
Have one squad set up for assault and the other for shooting.
Both squads get out, first one lets rip with its nasty guns, the other squad then assaults the remaining models.
Its a simple but effective tactic that can really hurt any squad.

toxic_wisdom
07-02-2007, 07:08
One of the armies I use regularly is Dark Eldar - and I can say that tactics play a major role en route to victory.

zodgrim
07-02-2007, 07:13
Um, I play Orks. The only tactic that I know is killin', choppin', and dakkin'.:D

Gerrok
07-02-2007, 07:17
I really don't know why so many SM players don't use tactics, they have the best options.
Eg take 2 squads of 5-6 men, put them both in razorbacks.
Have one squad set up for assault and the other for shooting.
Both squads get out, first one lets rip with its nasty guns, the other squad then assaults the remaining models.
Its a simple but effective tactic that can really hurt any squad.

I call theoryhammer on this post. Only in theoryhammer do razorbacks survive long enough to deliver a assault unit supported by a 6 man tactical squad with nasty guns.

Hulkster
07-02-2007, 07:23
I agree with the TC

I was arguing this point in the DA Rumour Thread.

Another forum member was complaining that Terminators had no use as they were a points sink and wouldn't make there points back, and then he complained about the new Company Veterans say ing that although they are good they will cost too much and thus wont earn there points back.

The fact is there are many different games of 40k you can play, Take and Hold, Recon, Search and Destroy and Cleanse are examples.

The problem is a lot of people just play pitched battle, and thus all they think about is VP.

I played a cleanse match against a friend of mine the other day, I made some tactical mistakes, but I also made some good tactical decisions, deciding who to shoot, how to shoot, when to assault.

I still believe the most important phase is deployment phase. Your comment on the grot gun is a perfect example on HOW to use the deployment phase effectively.

Best topic I have seen in a while.

Morgrad
07-02-2007, 07:25
Honestly the only real tactic in 40k is knowing how to use cover. For many armies even deployment isn't that important, because they are so fast that they can recover from a silly deployment in a single turn (armies like Dark eldar, craftworld eldar, nids, mechanized tau). If you understand the basic concepts of blocking line of sight with cover, using cover to get first strike in assault (which is important because over half the armies are assault based), and using cover so that you get some form of armor save are about the limit of the tactics.

While I feel that I play "tactical" I don't think that there's a lot of tactics in 40k. If both players have just a basic understanding of how to use cover, I think army composition becomes the more important factor. I have yet to see anyone who has really outplayed someone else with what I would consider a inferior list, barring being outrolled (which does happen occasionally).

40k is not a highly tactical game by any stretch, but saying that using cover is the only relevant one is a bit disingenuous.......

SanguineV
07-02-2007, 07:52
Honestly the only real tactic in 40k is knowing how to use cover. For many armies even deployment isn't that important, because they are so fast that they can recover from a silly deployment in a single turn (armies like Dark eldar, craftworld eldar, nids, mechanized tau). If you understand the basic concepts of blocking line of sight with cover, using cover to get first strike in assault (which is important because over half the armies are assault based), and using cover so that you get some form of armor save are about the limit of the tactics.

While I feel that I play "tactical" I don't think that there's a lot of tactics in 40k. If both players have just a basic understanding of how to use cover, I think army composition becomes the more important factor. I have yet to see anyone who has really outplayed someone else with what I would consider a inferior list, barring being outrolled (which does happen occasionally).

I don't agree. While using cover is one of the deciding factors between average players and good players IMHO, there is a lot more to the game than simply choosing to use cover. Some of the major areas of tactics (I consider list building to be strategy):

- Deployment: Order of units, placement, when to hold things in reserve, when not to, formations (creating and countering) and trying to gain an edge over your opponent early.
- Movement: Line of sight, guessing ranges, premeditating your opponent's limitations, setting up charges and lines of fire, reaching objectives and avoiding bogging units down with each other.
- Shooting: target priority, shooting order, when to shoot or hold off for a charge, target selection, special fire rules (Torrent of Fire, pinning, etc.) and fire modes.
- Assault: target selection, when to engage multiple units...
- Within unit: casualty selection, special model/weapon placement, kill zone management, focusing attacks/shots, coherency management, blast weapons (offensive and defensive), unit special rules (e.g. Close Order Drill)...

I am sure I could think of many more, but I hope this is enough to illustrate that every phase of 40K can involve tactics and that if you want to focus on it in great deal you can make it a very tactical game. That said, I won't pretend 40K is the most balanced or tactical game out there, it has it's flaws and imbalances as well.

Gerrok
07-02-2007, 08:30
- Deployment: Order of units, placement, when to hold things in reserve, when not to, formations (creating and countering) and trying to gain an edge over your opponent early.
- Movement: Line of sight, guessing ranges, premeditating your opponent's limitations, setting up charges and lines of fire, reaching objectives and avoiding bogging units down with each other.
- Shooting: target priority, shooting order, when to shoot or hold off for a charge, target selection, special fire rules (Torrent of Fire, pinning, etc.) and fire modes.
- Assault: target selection, when to engage multiple units...
- Within unit: casualty selection, special model/weapon placement, kill zone management, focusing attacks/shots, coherency management, blast weapons (offensive and defensive), unit special rules (e.g. Close Order Drill)...

Ok, I'll give you all that. But in a % breakdown of how important things are in 40k:

48% using cover (block LOS, cover saves, assault purposes)
42% army list composition
10% other stuff (mostly your list)

Most of it is pretty common sense, even to newbies. Don't take out your veteran sergeant with a powerfist when you can take out your bolter armed marine. Use your big guns to kill things that it takes a big gun to kill (reasonably). Don't have a squad walk around base to base if you're facing a leman russ. We're not talk about brain surgery when you're dealing with most of those "tactics".

Out of all things you have listed, the one players mess up the most is knowing when to use deep strike.

Mr_Smiley
07-02-2007, 08:36
I call theoryhammer on this post. Only in theoryhammer do razorbacks survive long enough to deliver a assault unit supported by a 6 man tactical squad with nasty guns.

I've seen it work many times. Although I haven't seen it used for a while.

http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41409
a good tactics guide, I don't agree with everything in their but does show that tactics do exist.

Kahadras
07-02-2007, 09:50
Tactics do exist in 40K but I feel that a lot of players end up ignoring them in preferance for a single 'theme'. I've seen plenty of examples where people let their army list win the game for them (which is why I get so annoyed when people claim that only good 40K gamers can put togther a powerful list).

I played an Eldar player a while back that was a great example of how you really shouldn't play 40K. Nice guy but didn't use much tactical thinking. He brought along an Eldar mechanised list (two Farseers with Guide, 2 small Guardian squads in Wave serpents, 3 Vypers and 2 tricked out Falcon). Against my footslogging SW it was a real mismatch but he made far to many basic mistakes.

He allowed himself to get distracted by my sacrifical units and didn't use his maneuverability very well. A good example was on the fourth turn were he exposed his Wave serpents rear armour to a Grey hunter squad. One move and rapid fire later and the wave serpent was a smoking wreck.

I have plenty of other examples of people forgetting that 40K can be a tactical game. The tactics might not be as clear cut as in Warhammer but they are there.

Kahadras

Venomizer
07-02-2007, 10:15
So my question is: other than army builds, do people apply tactics and strategy to the way they play?


yeap, I generally have a range in mind with both detachments of my Necron army.........some of them well established, some abit more 'interesting' shall we say

sure sometimes they go spectaculaly wrong but when they come off the results can be fantastic

Corax
07-02-2007, 10:20
To a large degree, the recent incarnations of 40k (3rd & 4th) have by and large done away with actual tactics. These days, games are decided by a) Army List, b) Deployment, c) first turn, and d) who can roll the most dice. The simplification of the rules has reduced things to a game where the result can be determined most of the time before a dice is rolled. I guess that in order to appeal to a younger audience, they had to do away with complex things like thinking and strategy.

lord_blackfang
07-02-2007, 10:24
To a large degree, the recent incarnations of 40k (3rd & 4th) have by and large done away with actual tactics. These days, games are decided by a) Army List, b) Deployment, c) first turn, and d) who can roll the most dice. The simplification of the rules has reduced things to a game where the result can be determined most of the time before a dice is rolled. I guess that in order to appeal to a younger audience, they had to do away with complex things like thinking and strategy.

I guess you've never played on a board with terrain and a mission other than "Kill!" then :rolleyes:

Carlos
07-02-2007, 10:49
As a Tau and eldar player I feel that these are the 2 races that most encourage tactical play, particularly Tau.

Anyone can pimp 3 prisms to high heaven and then just shoot the hell out of the enemy but copying such configs from army to army is the reserve of an unimaginitive commander if you ask me.

Thus I make use of units like Vespids, Ionheads, Krootox and other such things across my Tau. On paper they may not see that great but any Dark Eldar player will testify this. Use a bit of thought and all of a sudden they increase in usefulness 10-fold.
Most commanders just see one tactic and copy it. Which gets copied again.

machine_recovered_meat
07-02-2007, 10:57
this is why fantasy is better, tactics play a vital roll in fantasy.. example, you loose a flank, your whole line can be taken out by flank charges, where as in 40k, if you loose a flank, its no big deal because your troops are not likly to run away
Utter nonsense. In 40k, if you lose a flank you can be finished.


The problem is a lot of people just play pitched battle, and thus all they think about is VP.

But that doesn't automatically exclude tactics - whilst it doesn't give the player anything obvious which they must do in order to get a result [& the bonus vp that comes with achieving that] like the missions,
a straight up pitched battle can separate the tactician from the player who aimlessly meanders across the table, shooting at big stuff with heavy weapons and maybe assaulting if the chance arises, because there was no mission objective telling them where to go & what to do.
Maybe there's a lack of creative tacticians :confused:



To a large degree, the recent incarnations of 40k (3rd & 4th) have by and large done away with actual tactics. These days, games are decided by a) Army List, b) Deployment, c) first turn, and d) who can roll the most dice. The simplification of the rules has reduced things to a game where the result can be determined most of the time before a dice is rolled. I guess that in order to appeal to a younger audience, they had to do away with complex things like thinking and strategy.

I disagree. The simplification of rules has if anything placed greater value on timing attacks & concentration of fire. The WS to hit comparison from 3rd & onwards means that noone can waltz into combat and not actually get struck at all- it's evened out alot of things, and put utility back into the troops.

Ultimately, however, it comes down to the players who are playing to make it tactical or not, because nigh on any game can be played with tactics.

If you're a tactical player, you will smite many opponents with flair and style [though not always] and win way more than you'll ever lose. Eventually you'll probably get bored and take a sabbatical.

If you're not, you won't, and i'll wager that you rely on a couple of key units,
and after a few defeats to a certain foe, you'll look at building a new army based on what strikes you as being best able to defeat that foe.

Each to their own. And have fun ;)

Kriegsherr
07-02-2007, 11:16
Yeah, the nitpicker that call units "useless" can really be annoying. There is no such thing as a "useless" unit, they only thing I would call useless would be an immobile, unarmed thingy without weapons, all profile stats on a zero that doesn't counts as scoring unit ;)

There might be units that doesn't seem as powerful as others on the first look, and that doesn't seem to work in TheoryHammer. It is safe to say that these units deserve a second look, a tactical evaluation (as opposed to simple MathHammer) and a try on the Tabletop. Altough many say that Ghost Suits are to expensive and weak compared to crisis suits in the case of Tau, I have found out that often they outperform the crisis suits against horde enemies and vehicles, because a lot of players stop aiming their guns at them as soon as they find out that they have to roll for nightfighting, and pick other, less important (and expensive targets) for their big guns. While the crisis suits might have been shot up by now.

xibo
07-02-2007, 11:22
The only 2 tactics of 40k are:
1. using occluders. Cover is just too unreliable ( I once had my 50 conscripts take 7 turns to get on the other side of a 1" wide barricade )
2. Correct Guessing. No not guessing as in 'my bassilisk shoots 50 inches towards your BSB', but like in ' ohh I guess my 2 plasguns and my plaspistol have just THIS two terminators in rapid fire range. Oh both have asscans? What a fate...

Unlike many people think psychology in 40K does not mean crying 'pinning check' or '25% casualties'... it means real psychology. Even if 5 ST with hellguns wont (usually) deal any mentionable damage to your firebase, they are still a thorn in your eye. Same goes for the Land Raider that moves directly towards your lines ( especially against guard or orks, because those don't really have to care about 2 lascannons and a HB that needs that many fire/chopping-power to be destroyed). If you took only a short look on your opponents army you would see there are 2 dreads here, 5 termies there and 3 preds somewhere else, also is there a rhino/razo for every other squad he has, so it should be obvious to you that there isn't nobody in the LR, but see what happens: You freak out because you think the landraider will drool termies that will charge your lines ( although orks usually outlaugh at termies ;) )

About Unit efficiency I think you should consider
a) how much damage that unit makes ( for obvious reason )
b) how much enemies it distracts ( Target Priority )
c) how much enemies it annoys ( Nope, that LRC is between your 2 ATSs and my ASMs )
d) how much it distracts your opponent ( damnit, its my last turn and in his movement phase he will boost that LS onto my last quarter to deny me its VPs )
e) suicide missions. It it priceless to see half the world eaters army running away from you because you deepstriked something into his deployment zone.

f2k
07-02-2007, 11:30
A big problem, in my opinion, with 40K is that the ranges are so compressed. Why worry about tactics when you can get a first turn charge with a bit of luck and a second turn charge with absolute certainty? What makes Fantasy more tactical, again in my opinion, is that the ranges are not nearly so compressed. Most of your units move slowly and will take at least a couple of turns to get within charge range. So there’s more room for manoeuvring.

I learned this lesson the hard way when I started playing Warmachine. Most of the units are fairly slow and has no appreciable range on their guns. Even worse, you don’t have many of them to begin with. This makes it imperative that you deploy correctly. You cannot, in most cases, relocate major portions of your army once the game is underway. You need to think about deployment and about every move – you can’t just plunge your units on the table and charge in.

However, to say that there’re no tactics in 40K is wrong. There’re tactics, they are just very limited – usually concentrating on 1) forcing your opponent into a bad deployment by deploying sacrificial units as far forward as possible, and 2) either force the enemy to advance into your firing-lanes (if you play gunline) or use terrain to shield your troops (if you play assault).

eleveninches
07-02-2007, 11:44
WHFB definately uses tactics a lot more than 40k. In 40k, it is almost as if the winner can be determined after the first turn, whereas in WHFB, the entire game can be turned around in a single good move

xibo
07-02-2007, 11:51
WHFB definately uses tactics a lot more than 40k. In 40k, it is almost as if the winner can be determined after the first turn, whereas in WHFB, the entire game can be turned around in a single good move

A single good phase can also turn a 40k battle. The thing is, that a poor turn in FB is very likely to cost you at least trouble, while in 40K 80% are marines, who are the most forgiving army of every game i know...

izandral
07-02-2007, 11:58
i believe there's strategy in w40k but not as much as it could be , terrains are to small , ranges to long and games to short , once you've set yourself on one strategy at the beginning your pretty much set for the game

Cirenivel
07-02-2007, 12:55
i'll have to agree with izandral. However, i think that there's usually to small boards to play on in most cases. See, everytime i have played on a big board, there's allways more manuvering, and you doesn't have to be scared to death by the table edges. Couple a big board with a good amount of terrain, and some theme, then you'll have a great tactical experience.

Cirenivel

Chaos and Evil
07-02-2007, 13:04
other than army builds, do people apply tactics and strategy to the way they play?

Sure they do, but they don't do it in 40k, they do it in Epic: Armageddon. :)

Really, 40k is a fun game, but it's about as tactically deep as a pancake (Your armylist decides your tactics, and that's it), it's 'Beer & Pretzels' rather than comtemplation and strategy.

lord_blackfang
07-02-2007, 13:06
I'd just like to point out that anyone who thinks getting first turn matters at all isn't using nearly enough terrain. And if you think first turn automatically determines the winner, you must be playing two gunlines on an empty board :eyebrows:

IJW
07-02-2007, 13:10
I'd just like to point out that anyone who thinks getting first turn matters at all isn't using nearly enough terrain. And if you think first turn automatically determines the winner, you must be playing two gunlines on an empty board :eyebrows:
Quoted for truth. As a general rule, 40k becomes more tactical the more scenery there is.

machine_recovered_meat
07-02-2007, 13:50
Additionally, putting a number on tactics is being shortsighted - the amount of tactics available are limited to the number of tactics you can think of.

Skyth
07-02-2007, 14:09
One problem with using Tactics in a tournament is it can cost you on all your soft scores.

Using tactics requires playing by the rules, so you're a 'rules lawyer' or exploiting the rules. Plus if you do anything that is different from what is expected, especially if you win convincingly, you must be using a 'cheesy' list.

This is especially true with assault units and holding back fast units to grab objectives.

Assault units are the worst...Since anything good in assault is cheesy. But you can do the sacrifice assault to block line of sight. Arrange the charge to only have a couple of your/thier units in the first round assuring few casaulties and a continuing combat where you can't be shot and/or taking out the power fist that way.

toxic_wisdom
07-02-2007, 14:51
"...Yeah, the nitpicker that call units "useless" can really be annoying. There is no such thing as a "useless" unit..."

-- You've obviously never seen ten DE Scourges on the battlefield, four of them armed with Dark Lances and one upgraded to Sybarite. Oh, perhaps they just arrived via Deep Strike and...

Cirenivel
07-02-2007, 16:42
...And if you think first turn automatically determines the winner, you must be playing two gunlines on an empty board :eyebrows:

Agreed, sometimes it isn't even best to get the first turn, i'll happily give away the first turn almost as often as i'll take it for myself when i win the roll-of

Cirenivel

Maxis Lithium
07-02-2007, 16:56
I play IG, and I find that if I DON'T use co-ordinated tactics, I get myself slaughtered.

Deployment is what makes or breaks my army, as I tend to use light infantry (a doctorin which gives me infultrate and move though cover.) I use my depolyment to my advantage, because 90% of the time, I can get my pick of cover and set up co-ordinated kill zones AFTER my opponent is on the table. Infultrate is not just about getting closer to the enemy (though it can be used for that,) it is about selecting the best possible location and having the best possible sight lines and blind spots.

terrain is key in my world view for 3 reasons:

1) Cover save. Bar none, most important thing to IG is to get that cover save. You don't have much Armour, and 90% of your enemies penetrate it. Guard don't hold up to bolter fire, so it'll be a quick game without cover.
2) Sight Lines: I can control how much of my army is exposed to enemy shooting at any one time. I can prevent vulnerable units from taking fire from dangerous foes. I can creep into position without taking many losses before I hit my objective.
3) Movement: The enemy usually is sowed down by terrain. Only 20-30% of your opponents will have move though cover, or be able to ignore it, in the case of jet bikes and skimmers. Most enemies will either avoid the terrain entirely, or get bogged down as the move an average 3-4 inches per turn. This is especially true of armies like speed freaks, or rhino heavy SM because they won't want to risk getting immobilized in the terrain. Some will risk it, but most won't.

Edit: I agree. 1st turn is overrated. There have been many games where I have found myself ceding 1st turn to an opponent so I can force him to break up his formation in order to come get me. It's great when he tries to shoot you but has NOTHING to shoot at. heh.

IJW
07-02-2007, 17:03
3) Movement: The enemy usually is sowed down by terrain. Only 20-30% of your opponents will have move though cover, or be able to ignore it, in the case of jet bikes and skimmers. Most enemies will either avoid the terrain entirely, or get bogged down as the move an average 3-4 inches per turn. This is especially true of armies like speed freaks, or rhino heavy SM because they won't want to risk getting immobilized in the terrain. Some will risk it, but most won't.
On a related note - a recent 1k game on a fairly terrain-heavy board (lots of hills, several woods). My opponent was advancing most of his Marines up behind a Predator through a gap between a hill and a big wood. By pouring everything that could shoot it into the Predator and immobilising it, he was forced to either take a slow detour through the woodland or advance over the hill without the benefit of cover.

That little tactic won me the game. :)

The Song of Spears
07-02-2007, 17:51
The one impression I get is that people don't use any tactics whatsoever. Basically it would appear that they either stand and shoot or charge forward if they are assault orientated and that generally terrain is not used. Units are rarely co-ordinated and oftwen are viewed as stand alone items and not as part of the whole army. Deployment does not seem to be taken into account as an element of strategy.

This is 100% correct, and IMO somewhat ends the discussion :p

After years of playing they ONLY people i have seen complain about army lists/units are the ones who either stand and shoot or charge forward and assault with little heed to deployment and terrain/cover. In fact most games they start out by stating the stat capabilities of each unit, or some ridiculous 'fluff reason' they determined to be the only true army list option. :rolleyes:

I could go on for days describing these games, but the fact of the matter is that Cailus said it all in that one paragraph.

Sekhmet
07-02-2007, 17:52
Lol, sometimes I don't care who gets first turn so I'd rather my opponent choses.

If I get 2nd turn, I can use my jetbike squads to claim objectives, and since my army is highly mobile, I usually deploy everything out of LoS, so his first turn is wasted. If I get 1st turn, I can take down most, if not all, of the enemy's vehicles before they move.

Cirenivel
07-02-2007, 17:56
i'll agree with The Song of Spears for the most part, altough it isn't really a general term, i have seen many players that use tacticts to a high degree(myself included) and i usually tries to get a game against those.

Cirenivel

The pestilent 1
07-02-2007, 18:04
Generally speaking, the theme of my army takes precedence, with tactics following up.
Ofcourse, the theme may mean that tactics are rather... Pointless.
(180 Plague zombies, and a champion of Nurgle, Tactics seem a little pointless here, for example)

White Templar
07-02-2007, 18:08
I get is that people don't use any tactics whatsoever. Basically it would appear that they either stand and shoot or charge forward if they are assault orientated and that generally terrain is not used.

This is tthe case in games workshop stores. Not at good gameing clubs or good tournaments.

If anyone thinks it dosent require tactis I invite them to make any army and face me. I will win.

Gerrok
07-02-2007, 18:09
To a large degree, the recent incarnations of 40k (3rd & 4th) have by and large done away with actual tactics. These days, games are decided by a) Army List, b) Deployment, c) first turn, and d) who can roll the most dice. The simplification of the rules has reduced things to a game where the result can be determined most of the time before a dice is rolled. I guess that in order to appeal to a younger audience, they had to do away with complex things like thinking and strategy.

I call shenanigans on this post. I played back in 2nd edition, and that was in no way tacticshammer. Appropirate names could be psychic-phase-hammer, hero-hammer, multiple-saving-throws-hammer, heavy-weapons-with-targeters-hammer, close-combat-monster-hammer, or special-rules-hammer.

You didn't win a 2nd edition game because you played a tactically sound game, you won because your one trick pony out one trick ponied someone else. I feel that 3rd edition was hands down more tactical then 2nd.

machine_recovered_meat
07-02-2007, 18:20
I call shenanigans on this post. I played back in 2nd edition, and that was in no way tacticshammer. Appropirate names could be psychic-phase-hammer, hero-hammer, multiple-saving-throws-hammer, heavy-weapons-with-targeters-hammer, close-combat-monster-hammer, or special-rules-hammer.

You didn't win a 2nd edition game because you played a tactically sound game, you won because your one trick pony out one trick ponied someone else. I feel that 3rd edition was hands down more tactical then 2nd.

How about 'Cartoonypantshammer'? ;)

rev
07-02-2007, 18:31
Great thread.

I've noticed a trend, which you may or may not agree with.

Veterans tend to use tactics, through a combination of maturity, wisdom and wanting to relive the good old days of 40k.

Kids tend not to, and prefer the latest shiney toy en masse.

There are the crossover exceptions, some of our local kids have really learnt the tactical game and are a force to be reckoned with.

That said, I tend to use refused flank 90% of the time, unless mission perameters deem it rubbish. Works like a charm.

rev

The Song of Spears
07-02-2007, 18:43
I've noticed a trend, which you may or may not agree with.

Veterans tend to use tactics, through a combination of maturity, wisdom and wanting to relive the good old days of 40k.
...
...
etc

I somewhat disagree. I know a few old codgers that will whine about army lists and unit stats all night long, but i know some kids who will too.

It seems to me to be mostly up to the player, as i have seen some kids really struggle to understand advanced tactics, and some adults that seem to be tacti-handicapped :p

Maybe one thing i do notice is that there are people who enjoy the challenge of the game, they seem to recognize the opportunity for tactics and take advantage of that as they learn more about the game. Then there are others who simply play the rule likes its a game of monopoly and don't seem to ever try to grasp the concept of tactics, they are happy with what results the stats on their army provides by default, and are miffed when they face an army that has stats the easily counter theirs (and since they don't take strategy into consideration, they see a wall impossible to overcome in that other army)

IMO warhammer has always been like this, even since 2nd ed. Sure there were grossly overpowered units, but they were avaiable to everyone, and unlike the current set of rules, the first few pages of the old 2nd ed rule book said to augment the rules as needed to make the game fun, so there was a entirely different mind set about playing then too.

Now WH has been made sleeker and more playable by default, with tactics still being there to take the game further then the lists and stats can, but it provides a safety net for those who don't wish to go that far.

beefHeart
07-02-2007, 19:05
It's not really a very tactical game in general. It's mostly tricks and gimmicks. Sun Tsu's "The Art of War" is not going to help you. There is no real element of surprise or deception on a 40k table.
Also,there is not enough room in a 40k army list for it to be all that tactically flexible. Perhaps you can train your 4thEd army to do one or two tricks but in general the lists with a single focus seem to do better...

Son of Makuta
07-02-2007, 19:20
Great thread.
Veterans tend to use tactics, through a combination of maturity, wisdom and wanting to relive the good old days of 40k.
Kids tend not to, and prefer the latest shiney toy en masse.


This is, unfortunately, generally true. A lot of younger players rely on army listing. I'm a Nid player who enjoys taking highly effective units (kind of instinctively beardy), while my Eldar army is an all rounder and my future Chaos-Ork army is almost entirely fluff/aesthetic-based. Every (or almost every) time I play someone fairly inexperienced, I utterly destroy them. Many of my opponents are firing line players - Guard or Tau who just go "oh s***, there's a close combat army on the table" and sit in their deployment zone all day shooting. I get in combat on turn two anyway and massacre them.

On the other hand, when I play someone with a little more experience - i.e. someone tactical - I have a far more challenging, enjoyable game. And I lose, most of the time... ;) I'm trying to learn better tactics myself, not that Nids are the game's most tactical army but my Eldar and elitist Alpha Legion-style ones should steer me more in this direction (when I get around to playing with them, or in Chaos' case, buying them).

I find most of 40k's tacticking comes from cover, too. When I play against a firing line army, it's just staying in the shadow of whatever terrain we can scrounge and waiting for my fleet rolls to take me into claw-reach of their fragile heavy-weaponning units. Dull. I can't wait to find an Ork opponent who'll actually rush me back - at last a new playing style! Even when I played a Dark Eldar gamer he mostly firing-lined, half his units being shooty Warriors. Grr.

Hadhfang
07-02-2007, 19:25
I personally think that the tactics in 40K re jut different to fantasy, but they are there.

Missions in 40k for example, you need to be able to take and hold objectives and support your units in order to do so, kill units that need killing,protect units worth lage lumps of VP's ad complete the mission objectives.

In warhammeryou need to kill the enemy and protect your units. I have seldom seen a game of fantsy based around objective taking, yetthere re tactics in fantasy as you need to think how to move your units to get the greater bonus in combat, since they are not as flexible as in 40K.

Warhammer may seem to have more tactics tan 40K but in truth both require tactical thinking, 40k is just more subtle about it (In fantasy you know you need to flank your opponents or position unit X in oredr to counter charge Y but in 40K you need to keep scoring units safe so that in the final turns your fastest units are able to still take objectives whilst reducing the enemies scoring units to below scoring strenght so that objective taking is easier.

If you think that 40K is just "kill each other" missions and has no tactical use in it whatsoever then you need to either start thinking about using the missions in your games or go play warhammer.

rev
07-02-2007, 19:34
I always find it more enjoyable to LOOSE a game which was tactically testing, than to WIN a game 'cos the other player has no concept of tactics.

Hena
07-02-2007, 19:35
40k isn't very tactical game. There is just too much damage inflicted by some brain dead rules in the system. Saying that "if one think thats 1st turn winner wins game doesn't use cover much" if questionable as there isn't usually enough cover to cover the army. But against some the 1st turn isn't that important (necrons mainly, but army comp matter a lot as well), I have my army for 40k, but have played much as the game just isn't that tactical. There is limited amount of things that bolter marine is just able to do.

Mainly I now play Epic: Armageddon. And the difference in tactics is completely on a different scale. Using cover is important and stategic ... no where as important as doing the actions in correct order. So if you want 40k setting and proper strategy start looking beyond 40k, it will really open your eyes.

:)

Voodoo Boyz
07-02-2007, 20:01
40k Requires Tactics only if you design your army list to require tactics.

I'm sorry but when Mech Tau or Eldar come across a Non-Feral Ork army they don't need tactics other than "Stay Inside the Skimmer So They Can't Assault Me" and the lovely "Always move the Skimmer over 12" tactic.

As long as those "tactics" are used then the only thing they have to worry about is getting their "target priorities" right.

The Song of Spears
07-02-2007, 20:21
Describe to me the rules of the game of chess, and it will sounds simple and unintuitive. And it will seem like once you know the pattern, there is no strategy involved.

However, this is not so. Chess is a highly strategic game despite being majorly more simply than 40k.

So you can look at it the same way. is it tactical when compared to real war? No. Is it tactical when compared to chess? yes.

so where do these tactics lie? What are these tactics, and how are they more than 'target priority' and 'stats hammer' ?

it take a while to see it, and it takes some effort, but in the end the strategy is there, you can use advanced tactics beyond what the book requires. Most people who play necron know this as there are precious few option in the army list and the ones that you can take, are in now way a 'no brainer' to use units.

Pootleflump
07-02-2007, 20:38
I think 40K clearly has elements of both Strategy and tactics
And the tactics begin during army selection when you begin selecting the units to carry out your strategy right through to the end of a game
Powergaming is effectiveley a strategy, that of taking the most powerful and forgiving units available. Taking landspeeders could be a tactic in doing that. & you could say this is a strategy to offset the need for battlefield tactics.
On the battlefield the gunline or headlong charge are both strategies
And tactics are what makes or breaks them.

With one player a gunline might crumble and collapse to you
Yet in the hands of another that same force might seem simply impregnable
and prove to be a death trap for those same assault units

This would point to tactics playing a clear role within this game
Maybe other games require more, or different tactics,
but that does not concern me within this thread
There is tactical potential in 40K,
The question is how deep can we go? :p

Freakiq
07-02-2007, 20:47
There is no such thing as a "useless" unit, they only thing I would call useless would be an immobile, unarmed thingy without weapons, all profile stats on a zero that doesn't counts as scoring unit

If you have enough of them you could use them to shield other units or act as speed bumps. :p

Derling
07-02-2007, 20:54
So my question is: other than army builds, do people apply tactics and strategy to the way they play?


do you mean....like what kinds of models do I buy at the store? I buy models with assault cannons because they are good.

kidding:p

great topic. I am often amazed how often army design is confused with the notion of tactics.

Shadowfax
07-02-2007, 20:55
Whining about kids failing to use smart tactics seems tantamount to indicting newborn infants for their inability to solve math equations.

Pootleflump
07-02-2007, 21:08
Whining about kids failing to use smart tactics seems tantamount to indicting newborn infants for their inability to solve math equations.

LOL :D
Dont even get me started on that Shadowfax!
Idile infants :mad: Thats a whole thread unto itself
I dont know, kids these days!! ;)

GraveDancer
07-02-2007, 21:19
If you have enough of them you could use them to shield other units or act as speed bumps. :p
yeah, don't people like to use rhinos as mobile terrain to block LoS? hardly useless :P

DesolationAngel
07-02-2007, 21:36
A lot of it is tactics, even with speeders, examples ...

Using them to take objectives
Positioning them well to avoid taking too much fire
Considering what to do if 1/3 units turns up in escalation on a turn
Where they set up
who they target and how many shots need to be commited

And yes the game isn't all about kills, the amount of attention my tau hammerhead gets is just silly, move up crisis suits nearby if the hammerhead hasn't moved and people target the sheild drone protected suits

More examples of tactics ...

using cover well
avoiding heavy concentrations of firepower
realising when it is a good idea to commit a force
getting units in a good position
sometimes using units to purely take objectives

Ive been to a series of tournaments that are more or less mission based with harder random objectives (ie elites/troops need to hold objective on other side of table and so on) and have got 1st twice with my balanced tau as most people don't think tactically and I did.

40k is tactical, from set up to movement to shooting, assualt and objective taking, especailly in tournaments. Some lists are nasty to start with but won't do as well as they could if not used well.

My friend when most games due to using good tactics and knowing what he is doing, lists help but just going for kills sometimes doesn't work. Having said that with 40k most things can shoot or assualt things more effectivily than in warhammer so I can see why some people see it as point and clicking.

Consider though that moving towards the enemy in a certain way, choosing who to assualt, standing back, shooting and even focusing firepower on a particular unit is all tactics, which goes along with a list.

The way I see it every decision you make over a game is tactical in some way and its often possible to look back at one or two tactical mistakes and try not to make them again.

izandral
07-02-2007, 22:10
like i said there's plenty of tactical and strategic possibilities in WH40K , what is a bit sad is that once you've set your choice the game isn't ''large'' enough to allow to change it much in mid game or even develop complex one to begin with

but that's ok , playing within the limits of the system is part of the challenge

Kriegsherr
08-02-2007, 00:11
yeah, don't people like to use rhinos as mobile terrain to block LoS? hardly useless :P

but they are not immobile and unarmed :p

GraveDancer
08-02-2007, 01:37
until they get shot, capiche? then they've effectively become another piece of terrain people have to negotiate around. until it blows up, but meh

Brother Lysander
08-02-2007, 01:41
It sickens me that people use rhinos in such a way. Some people...

BL

Lyinar
08-02-2007, 01:44
You mean instead of sticking troops in the horribly fragile APC that's apparently got some STC data from the Ford Pinto?

Azuremen
08-02-2007, 02:17
You mean instead of sticking troops in the horribly fragile APC that's apparently got some STC data from the Ford Pinto?

LOL!

I notice this as well... lots of MEQ players think tables with minimal cover is fine... like a small bit of woods and maybe some hills and a ruined building. 3 or 4 pieces of small cover I've found. Then they just run across the map and do whatever. Cover I think is the biggest thing in 40k.. and people rarely use much of it. Without cover, its just who has the better guns/armor.

That and how much the game focuses on assault. So many weapons limit the true effectiveness to 12 inches, and then the enemy assaults you. So this makes players either very eager to get into assault, or run from it. The result is people either wait so they can shoot, or they run full bore. No middle ground cause they always want to shoot at maximum effectiveness, and the assault guys want to be there quick as possible. Cover slows this down, so they just go around it, and MEQ doesn't need to rely on cover as much as say... my guardians :p

So there is that... and how much people start with MEQ. They are almost everyone's first army... cause they are easy to play. Then they try to play Eldar or something, get blown to bits using the same tactics they did with MEQ, and conclude they (Eldar or etc) suck, and proceed to play more MEQ. The result is the over abundance of MEQ, and the lack of tactically interesting games. And the development of how well a unit functions on its own, cause they all do the same thing normally.

And now I want to go make some more cover for my table :P


<side rant>

I try to play a fun, interesting game. Units supporting other units and such. One of my fav units to play in decent sized games is a Shadow weaver support battery. Yes, it has no AP, and yes, they scatter. However, at 90 pts for 3 S6 blast templates with indirect fire hurts anyone. More so if they are a mob army that runs up to me. Guardians normally sit in front of this group, with an EML, and provide a screen if anyone tries to run up to the shadow weavers.

My HQ is played very aggresively, with a Farseer and 5 Warlocks going into assaults. 4 heavy flamers and then wounding on 2+ at WA5 and I5 hurts most armies solidly. This unit can stand on its own with Fortune, but lasts alot longer when the enemy feels the need to run up to my gaurdians or is avoiding my Pathfinders.

I have no elites right now. None. Hawks and Spiders with Shining spears for lots of mobility, but no banshees, scrops, dragons or what not. My only assault squad is my HQ. So my heavy support and rangers force low AP enemies around a bit more, and MEQ still fall to S6 weapons. Meantime my Prism and Hawks hunt vehicles and support crews. Spiders soften enemies up for the spears, and sometimes wipe out smaller squads in CC, as the exarch has powerblades (which do work wonders at times)

My army relies on speed. I have almost now AP3 weapons, and I like having a balanced feeling, not a "lets kill MEQ" attitude. In general, I do good with cover, and terrible with out it. Guy i played recently ran 60 necron warriors... 2 Lords, and some destroyers. It was just a "lets use our armor save and WBB rule, ignore everything else, and come at you" army. And we had little terrain, so my Pathfinders had no good place to hang out and etc etc. I was an bad bad game for me.

GraveDancer
08-02-2007, 02:29
It sickens me that people use rhinos in such a way. Some people...

BL

well you obviously use it to get your troops up to the enemy's line, but once its there it'll get taken out fairly quickly. you might as well use that to your advantage.

or are you talking about people who deliberately use rhinos as mobile terraiin, and don't even risk putting marines into them? nah, that ain't how i roll

Warlord Kyle
08-02-2007, 04:07
Im sorry to say but all ive seen in my short time playing 40k is the sitback and shoot and the tank charge from hell:(
has tactics gone out the window?

lord_blackfang
08-02-2007, 10:40
has tactics gone out the window?

Only if you don't use them.

Hadhfang
08-02-2007, 11:00
Im sorry to say but all ive seen in my short time playing 40k is the sitback and shoot and the tank charge from hell

Try playing some alpha level missions then.

Sitting back and shooting will do squat to help you win in an alpha level game, you have to move troops around and take objectives to win. Without victory points a major factor tactics play a much more obvious role in 40K

Huw_Dawson
08-02-2007, 11:29
I've said it before and I'll say it again. If people stopped playing Seek and Destroy all day, every day, then we'd see more tactics. And actually play Alpha level occasionally. Or find a better group of players that arn't powergaming ******.

- Huw

Zubb
08-02-2007, 11:48
We are playing S&D as often as 1/6 games in Russia)

My expierence shows ppl not using tactics do this not bcs they use power-armies, but cause they can't. Their gaming skill is to low to do complex operations like makinf feints, traps etc.

The thing I love Eldar for is that they can win a tourn, but they demand ecxeptioanal skill and amaounts of brain work to do this. They're no loosers, but you use brains, not the Force to win. Playing Eldar is a hard challenge. I love it.

xibo
08-02-2007, 12:11
playing any army other then meq vs meq is a challenge

Hadhfang
08-02-2007, 14:24
I've said it before and I'll say it again. If people stopped playing Seek and Destroy all day, every day, then we'd see more tactics. And actually play Alpha level occasionally. Or find a better group of players that arn't powergaming ******.

- Huw



Hurrah! Someone else who shares my veiw!

Brother Lysander
08-02-2007, 15:37
well you obviously use it to get your troops up to the enemy's line, but once its there it'll get taken out fairly quickly. you might as well use that to your advantage.

or are you talking about people who deliberately use rhinos as mobile terraiin, and don't even risk putting marines into them? nah, that ain't how i roll

The latter one mate. Each to their own and all that, but I'd never even considered the idea of using a rhino to just drive in front of a devastator squad and get blown up for example, but internet discussion opens your eyes. Granted the 40K rules make it hard to use rhinos as they 'should be', transporting troops, but I'd just opt not to use them rather than deliberately take them to use in such dubious ways. There is meant to be a marine driving these vehicles, which in turn are meant to be revered vehicles with history of service in the name of the Emperor...seems a bit harsh that they get turned into moving walls/bullet catchers, lol. I'm not cut out for competitve thinking I'd say...

BL

Ianos
08-02-2007, 15:38
Terrain is the most important factor in the battle along with objectives. I have many times seen people not following the 25% cover indicated by the rulebook and not realising that this leads to sever game imbalance. I have also noticed that most people tailor their lists for alpha/anihilate missions and would be very intersted to see what they would do when in quarters and omega... Add on that the marine/MEQ predomincance and suddenly we have forums filled with cries of cheese and imbalance.

So the next time one thinks that 40k has no tactics i would sugest he/she does the following:
1) Check terrain->25% means that after the board is divided by a cross the 1 out of 4 parts of the board must be fully filled with terrain of all types and then spread out all over. People are always surprized when i tell them: "hey this isn't even 15%" and they answer something along the lines of "come one man thats like half the board covered with buildings". I then proceed to concentrating all terrain on to one corner of the table showing them the undeniable fact that just a little over than half a quarter is merely covered!
2)Play gama/omega and mission/special missions. You will be surprised how much the game changes with objectives. Suddenly the IW defiler list cannot gain points/quarters/loot, the AC armies of Doom are assaulted by the adjacent quarter nids turn 2 and loose, the Mech armies come in play broken into pieces loosing coherency and speed, add all that together and notice the true chaos of battle the game tries to bring forth... that only a well constructed-tool based-balanced list used by a person with skill, can control and bring to order.
3)Stop playing MEQs all the time: Honestly when i started out in 40k i thought that people would prefer nids/orks like in computer strategy games where numbers bear significant advantages (see zerg...). Then i found out that everyone plays MEQs because of their toughnes, as if there is no other thing in the game and in war in general. People disregard mobility, numbers, specialization, speed, stealth, cunning all to the "Marine killing 100000 enemies with his bolter" wet dream. Try something else... there must be some other race you like, even borrow another army for a day...

Hena
08-02-2007, 16:02
I always play at least Gamma. I'm pretty sure that none of my games (outside of tournaments) with the 3rd and 4th edition has been alpha. Most of them have been gamma though.

But I would put out similar call for Epic. If you think that 40k is a strategic game, then try out few games of Epic: Armageddon. That is the only way to see the difference. There was a comparison to chess. So I'd put another one. Try playing chess so that one side moves all the pieces once and then the other does the same.

In E:A there is almost no "AC armies of doom". Some experimental lists are more powerful but basic ones (marine, IG orks) are quite balanced. With marines being actually hardest of the three to play. Also the units feel more fluff-like in E:A. So I would suggest find one player of E:A and ask them to demo it. You'll never look at 40k same again (most likely anyway :)).

Hadhfang
08-02-2007, 17:23
I always play at least Gamma. I'm pretty sure that none of my games (outside of tournaments) with the 3rd and 4th edition has been alpha. Most of them have been gamma though.

Which is why 40K seems to be lacking tactics-you can win by just killig the enemy alone.



But I would put out similar call for Epic. If you think that 40k is a strategic game, then try out few games of Epic: Armageddon. That is the only way to see the difference.


I've never played epic befo but i'm pretty sure it is based around winning large battles yes? No objectives to fight for, you win by killing you opponent, but the game has been designed so that tactics are needed to kill your opponent since objectives are not fought for (I've never played epic before though so if there is mor ot just killing each other then please tell me)


Most 40K games I've played (especially aginst younger gamers) have revolved around me saying "right, shall we roll for missions then?" to recieve the response "let's just kill each other." Which in real war seldom happens, you fight for objectives, and win by being tactically superior and claiming those objectives, not killing the most enemy units. (though in the long run that does help)

Hena
08-02-2007, 17:58
I've never played epic befo but i'm pretty sure it is based around winning large battles yes? No objectives to fight for, you win by killing you opponent, but the game has been designed so that tactics are needed to kill your opponent since objectives are not fought for (I've never played epic before though so if there is mor ot just killing each other then please tell me)
You've only got it completely wrong. In the standard game there are 5 victory conditions of which one has to get 2 or more to win (and of course one more than opponent) by turn 3. There is 6 objectives on field of which two are called 'blitz' and they are situated in the deployment edge on both sides.

Victory conditions are:
- control blitz objective on opponents end
- control any 2 objectives on opponents side
- control all 3 objectives on your own side
- prevent any unbroken formation from having units on your side of the table (any unbroken unit prevents this)
- destroy the most expensive formation of opponent (so all units killed in that formation)

Controlling objective means having an unbroken unit within 15cm of it and opponent not having unbroken unit within 15cm of it. Which means that killing opponent is a secondary matter. If the game ends (usually after turn 4 or 5) the points are counted only if neither side is able to get two conditions and one more than opponent.

In practise most games (90%+) are won by objectives, only few games go to counting points.

Then add that players take turns on activating one formation, means that one does not only need to do the right things, but one must also do them in correct order.

Hadhfang
08-02-2007, 18:42
Then I stand corrected.

no doubt the specialist games have more tactics in them, but they are generally considerd a step up from the core games and the original argument was does 40k have tactics not does it have ore than the specialist games.

Hena
08-02-2007, 18:51
The point is that what 40k has in tactics is so small that I have problems in thinking it as such. And I can't but to try to explain why it feels to me that there is little or no tactics when I play 40k *shrug*.

Lyinar
08-02-2007, 21:44
I believe that one analogy put forward was that one turn in Epic was the same time frame as a whole game of 40k, and of course, the scale is much larger.

Personally, I think Alpha-level is LESS tactical, because you don't get to make use of quite a few of the abilities that various units get, everything's plunked down on the table at once so you don't have to deal with reserves, etc.

The only advantage it has is that you don't actually deal with Victory Points.

I'd love to see a special mission level that lets you make use of the abilities that you pay lots of points for on you units, but you deal with the actual mission objectives rather than how many points of whatever you killed... I think that might get people to think less about stuff 'earning its points back'.

Lord Malek The Red Knight
08-02-2007, 21:59
I'd love to see a special mission level that lets you make use of the abilities that you pay lots of points for on you units, but you deal with the actual mission objectives rather than how many points of whatever you killed... I think that might get people to think less about stuff 'earning its points back'.
seconded. :)

although to be honest, i dont like Escalation... so i would probably just say "play Gamma, but drop Victory Points".

heck, i might even try just that....

cheers :)

~ Tim

smokingmonkee
08-02-2007, 22:19
I'd love to see a special mission level that lets you make use of the abilities that you pay lots of points for on you units, but you deal with the actual mission objectives rather than how many points of whatever you killed... I think that might get people to think less about stuff 'earning its points back'.


I really like that idea. I may just try that out, just play a Gamma or Omega game without VP's.

edit: Tim beat me to it!!

GraveDancer
08-02-2007, 22:27
The point is that what 40k has in tactics is so small that I have problems in thinking it as such. And I can't but to try to explain why it feels to me that there is little or no tactics when I play 40k *shrug*.

i find the opposite - often looking at how armies are characterised and tailored in their list lends itself to certain ways of playing them. once you've established that you work within these tactical restrictions.

for example, eldar and tau both utilise skimmer transports so ideally operate by redeploying wehre they're needed, even mid game. and then again you look into the way units operate and eldar and tau again differ in how they employ such a tactic.

marines on the other hand have plenty of options to get them where they're needed, but once they're there they have to hold their position as they rarely have the options to move elsewhere again - so precise strikes and then moving in to resupport them seems to be the obvious general tactic to use with them. and you'd have to be quite careful where you do this, as you don't want to spread your army out. marines have always benfitted from deploying in dense formations, but spread across a board they get picked off far too easily.

i could go on, but i just wanted to produce how the character of the races lend themselves to quite defined tactical biases, and as such should give you an of what tactics to employ

Lord_Magellan
09-02-2007, 00:01
Tactics are all I think about. I tend to compose my army lists on 50% tactics, 50% fluff.

Case in point, my current Dark Angels. I have two standard troops at 10 men each with plasma guns. One devastator squad with two missile launchers, two heavy bolters. Two whirlwinds under severe cover, two razorbacks with lascannons (each with a six man loadout featuring meltaguns), and two five man assault squads. Add Dreadnaught with twin linked LC and missile launcher, and stir.

The razorbacks advance with the assault squads leading point, cleaning out incoming enemy lines and seizing objectives. The troops circle the flanks and provide supporting fire and provide a limited rear guard defense to the rush. The devastator squad, like the whirlwinds, stays put in one place and drops hell on anyone that enters their firing lane. The dreadnaught is a jack of all trades, usually drawing enemy fire from a high vantage point where it can also provide fire support.

In my game yesterday, we were preparing for the champions of chaos tournie, using 1850 point lists. I fielded the above with some perks that brought me to 1847. The enemy player is one of the best players in the store (and we have a thick population of gamers), a 13 year veteran of the game who paints like a Golden Demon god and plays just as well. I went in intimidated already - his Eldar have only been defeated twice in the story (though I was part of both defeats).

We played a cityfight but with no strategems, dense cover, heavy terrain. He had four hovertanks (forgive me if I forget the exact names of those Xeno filthslingers), Maugan-Ra and his void cannon toting wraithguard, fire dragons and guardians...an impressive list. I was thankful not to see his swooping hawks or shining spears. Few people eviscerate their prey with those the way he does.

It was a tense, tense game. I consolidated control over the entire half of the board I was on. my flanks held and my troops carried forth commendably. Losses were heavy on both sides and we eventually came to a draw.

The tactical part came early in; my whirlwinds immediately incapacitated his pathfinder snipers, pinning them for two turns until my assault troops closed in and ate them. They never got a shot off. I had my dreadnaught and devastators set up to overlap fire lanes, securing most of my section of the board with high firepower. I used this to great effect, in one turn getting three of his four tanks down with no shoot/no more or shoot results. The dreadnaught played hide and seek and peppered the snipers and tanks with high firepower, while the assault marines held the center of the field.

Surprisingly I was able to keep both of my razorbacks alive and well. They were fire upon but never hurt, and their lascannons even destroyed an enemy tank. Praise the razorback. May its weapon mounts be forever pure.

Against a competent Eldar player, you have to play extra tactical or you get hosed down hard. I was happy for the draw. It mean I'm holding my own against the store's best. I'm ready for the tournie now, mister De Mille...

dreamsofmishra
09-02-2007, 06:15
if anyone doesnt think 40k doesnt need tactics, get them to play orks. they need all the tactics to win.

is waiting for the ork codex arghhhh =D

Eirich
09-02-2007, 07:37
As a Tau player I must apply tactics to win. If I cant secure a fireline in the beginnig of the game then I'll have a great amount of trouble couse I often face a heavy squad of chaos terminators, supported by a predator and a defiler and some marines. I try to place a squad of firewarriors to protect a fireline and use battlesuits to keep the enemy out of dense terrain. My hammerhead mainly targets tanks and 2+ armoursaves with its railgun and the burstcannons shoot at whatever comes in sight. As my army (for the monent) is short of anti-tank weapons I have to defend my hammerhead as well as i can until all enemy armour is blown away.

So tactics is needed, even if your tactic doesn't seem much to rely on for the moment. Sooner or later the times will change and even the most simpel of tactics can be deadly.
It's just a matter of time and how you use your time.
I appologise for all wrong spelling.

Hadhfang
09-02-2007, 10:52
I really like that idea. I may just try that out, just play a Gamma or Omega game without VP's.




I'd like to trythat as well-alternitavley play CoD. That way you can use the special abilities of units, but without worrying about VP's as that's how it's written.

Hena
09-02-2007, 11:38
I would still challenge people to try Epic: A. And after playing that few games come to comment on how much strategy there is in 40k. Having a reference can help a lot in this kind of pondering.

Edit: But I also have a "hidden" agenda to get more people play Epic :D.

lanrak
09-02-2007, 12:22
Hi all.
Oh one of my favorite subjects.The (lack) of tactics in the actual games of 40k.

First off I will try to define 'in game' tactics.

'The manouvering of units to bring thier weapons to bear on opposing units ,in the most advantageous way.'

Obviously army composition and deployment have an effect on what 'in game tactics' are used from game to game.

But as the forces used in 40k are usually within 'weapon range' at the end of the first turn,and as all of a forces actions are garenteed to be performed.
EG any unit will move ,shoot or launch an assault with automatic sussess of the action to be carried out.(The action may fail in its effect,eg not cause casualties,but it is still automatic in its ability to be performed.)

This severly limits the tactics in gameplay.So deployment and army selection become THE most important deciding factors in a game of 40k.

So what units 'face off ' against opposing units mainly decide the game outcome.(Fickle lady luck aside.)

So this is probably influencing gamers army composition some what.
In WH tactical manouvering is paramount, as the majority of units are only armed with close combat weapons so they HAVE to manouver into contact with enemy units.
(The restrictive way in which unit movment is controlled in WH adds to the tactics in the game.)

I agree increasing the amount of terrain on the table increases the tactics involved in the current game of 40k.

It is an easy fix for 40k.

However,gamers who want to fight it out in 'wide open spaces' are not being supported that well are they?

In short ,using a game mechanic and rules set developed for regiments of mainly close combat armed units.Is not the best system to base the rules for a game that uses 'free roaming' units armed mainly with ranged weapons.

So GW is still trying to force a square peg into a round hole.
And the resulting mess is nearly impossible to to resolve adiquatley for most gamers.

So please GW actualy let the games developers actually develop a new rule set for 40k.Rather than just develop new minature ranges and tweek the rules and fluff to make the new armies credible?

And while we are sort of on the subject.Each army should have a well defined playing style ,so the way an army is used is richly detailed in the fluff
and the codex rules.

Rather than the 'wishy washy any army can be played in any style ,so all armies appeal to all gamers.

This just means that gamers often fixate on the most cost effective (finacialy) army that can be fielded ,and reflects thier prefered playing style.

This may be a contributing factor in why SM armies are so prevalent in the games actually played.

GWs current methods are 'killing the spirit' of the 40k gaming hobby ,IMO.

TTFN
Lanrak.

dreamsofmishra
09-02-2007, 12:36
my only gripe with warhammer40k is that there is no suppression fire as in real warfare. but that can be abused also, so nevermind.

its hard to lay down rules that are fair. shooty armies will abuse that.

Lyinar
09-02-2007, 14:34
There is suppression fire... It's just limited to Tau Pulse Carbines, Sniper Rifles of all kinds, and artillery. And of course the wacky leadership-smashing wargear of the Dark Eldar.

Basically, anything that causes pinning.

swindy
09-02-2007, 15:13
Ihavent read the entire thread (dont want to spend ages reading the same thing) so if I am about to say what someone else has, im sorry.

40k is just the biggest guns, and getting first turn, if you can do this you can win.

I know thats a pretty arguable sentence I just typed, but I am thinking of going to a GT at some point, and the list has 3 vindicators, 3 dreads with assault cannons, 3 land speeders with assault cannons, and 3 infiltrating tac units with a melta gun and flamer in each and a captain with a jump pack and a pair of lightning claws and some other wargear.

Basically, move forward, infiltrate, and obliterate things with big guns and tear thing up in assault, and if I get first turn, it hurts the on the first turn when i can get the majority of all my guns rip through the opponents army,and when someone else goes first, they hurt my list just as easily.

I try to use cover, but with so many type three things its slightly hard to get it done.

IJW
09-02-2007, 15:21
I try to use cover, but with so many type three things its slightly hard to get it done.
Your problem won't be your use of cover, it'll be your opponent's use of cover.

A good opponent on a board with a sensible amount of cover will rip your tactics to pieces (as would any Escalation game) because you won't get LoS with most of your big guns.

EDIT - apologies if that came across as being aggressive to a new member, but the first turn only makes that much difference if the table is pretty much empty of cover. In missions that depend heavily on objectives, going second can actually be a big advantage as you can nip onto an objective in the last turn without your opponent getting a chance to react.
A belated welcome to Warseer!

Darloc
09-02-2007, 16:13
I agree with you IJW, I'm not the best tactical player but from the games I played you can see quickly the difference between people use to cover and the one who aren't. As 40K is a game of shooting you should have a lot of cover to make the game interesting and fun for both of you. Using almost no terrain will push people to make shooty army which is not fun, I like balanced army were you have bite of both.
Tactics include obviously good deployement but that shouldn't win you the game, unless your oponent do something really stupid. Same goes with first turn, having first turn is good when you can shoot from turn 1, if there is enough LOS breakers on the field, then you would have to move to get to your firing position, meaning that you will be potentially exposed to ennemy fire during his first turn. So choosing to play first is not always the best thing to do.

Master Jeridian
09-02-2007, 16:37
40k is just the biggest guns, and getting first turn, if you can do this you can win.

I know thats a pretty arguable sentence I just typed, but I am thinking of going to a GT at some point, and the list has 3 vindicators, 3 dreads with assault cannons, 3 land speeders with assault cannons, and 3 infiltrating tac units with a melta gun and flamer in each and a captain with a jump pack and a pair of lightning claws and some other wargear.

That's a tough list, I won't deny that. But I've been to GT's and there are many armies that will rip that apart, and not simply by having bigger guns and going first.

There is nothing there with a range over 24", that is going to hurt. A Skimmer Eldar army for example despite popular believe will not have more powerful guns than your 3 Demolishers and 6 Assault cannons, but it will dance around at it's 36" range peppering you with multiple Str 6 shots. Land Speeders will be priority one, then Demolishers, then Dreads- decreasing order of mobility to try to pin you down.
This is without mentioning usage of terrain.

Mech Tau will do the same but faster.

IW's of course will have bigger guns and want to go first...

Trust me, a GT will be a harsh wake-up call. Or 'big fish, little pond' syndrome.


As for the original thread: Tactics in 40k.

"Try Epic, there is plenty of Strategy that is lacking in 40k"

Notice the slip, Strategy /= Tactics. Yes, Epic is a brilliant game and represents a Strategic war front very well.

There are Tactics in 40k of course- "Do I shoot this lascannon at that squad of Orks or that Killa Kan?"
"Do I move into charge range of that combat unit or not?"

And a dozen more such choices, when we first start 40k these are all intriguing learning experiences- but after several years they are all second nature.

So there are Tactics but not many Advanced Tactics.

For example, I could attempt a refused flank, and zip all my Rhino mounted squads to the left then up a flank to overwhelm a portion of the enemy.
But in a game where most of the enemy has range on you for most of the game, and can move pretty fast on foot- why bother going to all that hassle? When you get there you have took a lot of damage for no return and have a much smaller force to that one facing you since you've spent pts on transports?

You need to play on a board at least double the standard 4'x6' and with double the turns (and time) to truly see Tactics- to see why being mounted in Rhino's would give you advantages over an opponent walking.

The other problem of course is that you have god-like knowledge of your opponent's unit positions and movements. There is no Fog of War- a lot of tactics rely on decieving the enemy about your troop strength and location.
With the opponent always knowing where and what your doing- a lot of Tactics are redundant.

As said though, an ample amount of terrain especially Level 3 Area will go a long way to compensating.

Darloc
09-02-2007, 16:45
That's a tough list, I won't deny that. But
For example, I could attempt a refused flank, and zip all my Rhino mounted squads to the left then up a flank to overwhelm a portion of the enemy.
But in a game where most of the enemy has range on you for most of the game, and can move pretty fast on foot- why bother going to all that hassle? When you get there you have took a lot of damage for no return and have a much smaller force to that one facing you since you've spent pts on transports?



If you play with a descent number of terrain this would work, I think.
Sure if you can't use any cover you will get hammered to dust but if there is enough cover you could be on him really fast and that would give you a massive tactical advantage, he will have to deal with you Rhino mounted troops while you main army advance, add a deep strike squad with this and you could get him even more divided. You might loose one rhino (or use it to protect the other) but still I think it's a valid tactic.

Gaebriel
10-02-2007, 11:14
Terrain. Objectives. No Victory Points.

If you see more green (or whatever basing you play on) on your table than terrain pieces, you didn't place enough terrain.

If you play with less than two different objectives, you are at least one objective short.

If you get points for killing enemy units, there's something basically wrong.

Follow this and tactics become an essential.


... I'd love to see a special mission level that lets you make use of the abilities that you pay lots of points for on you units, but you deal with the actual mission objectives rather than how many points of whatever you killed... I think that might get people to think less about stuff 'earning its points back'.
We don't use the standard missions, but use a set of created mission cards (nicked from a thread around here some year ago). It let's you draw deployment zone, objective, and special rules randomly. You never know what'll happen, especially as we usually use different (and hidden) objectives per side.


...
40k is just the biggest guns, and getting first turn, if you can do this you can win.
...
You don't use enough terrain, but for tournament play that's true.

Chaos and Evil
10-02-2007, 11:34
"Try Epic, there is plenty of Strategy that is lacking in 40k"

Notice the slip, Strategy /= Tactics. Yes, Epic is a brilliant game and represents a Strategic war front very well.

Actually Epic depicts both strategy and tactics at the same time.

Warhammer 40k also depicts both, but to a far, far lesser extent (In general, each army will only have one or two available battle strategies, which if deviated from will result in a loss).


I'm fine with that, because really 40k is just about rolling dice and watching the little guys die... but trying to compare 40k's dearth of tactical options to Epic (A game that is 80% about complex battle tactics and only 20% about what army list you have) is a loser's game.




From Wikipedia:

Strategy == "A strategy is a long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal most often "winning"."

Tactics == "...tactics are the collective name for methods for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle."




40k == Has plenty of strategy (Picking your armylist), but once your strategy is set, your tactical options are practically nil.

Epic == Has more strategy (There are few 'dead cert' army lists in Epic, as opposed to 40k where most Codexes have one or two winning combinations, so your strategic options are broader), but also has far, far more tactics because of the (quite simply) more complex rule system.






Frankly, 40k is a game designed to be played by kids, and has a consequential shallow level of tactical choice. Epic is a game designed to be played by adults and has far more tactical choices available, far too many to get into here*.

Unless you've played Epic, you won't be able to grasp how much more tactical freedom there is at 6mm... 40k cannot begin to compare in this regard.


* It also helps that Epic's turn sequence is far more tactical than 40k's due to its back-and-forth nature.

swindy
10-02-2007, 13:02
Nah, we use plenty of terrain. Just the vindicators can fire over it mwahaha.
And the landspeeders are fast, so can get into positions quickly, and my marines infiltrate, granting me quick range, just the dreads that take time to get the right angles.

TCUTTER
10-02-2007, 13:52
in my opinion, tactics are totally worthless until the game starts, then you can see how you enemy is thinking and begin to plan an assault or where to direct fire, i always use tactics but the whole thing they used to do in white dwarf is total bs

Grand Master Raziel
10-02-2007, 14:13
I think one of the big reasons why people play in such a simplistic fashion is that very few people bother to crack the BGB to roll up a mission. They just want to set-em-up and knock-em-down. If the only condition for winning is killing the other guy, that will not encourage tactical thinking as much as if there are other conditions which may effect the game's outcome. Your only real consideration is to kill more of your opponent's stuff than he can of your stuff.

On the other hand, if you play missions, there are actions you can take besides killing the other guy's stuff which can net you the win. I always roll up one of the standard missions (BGB, p80) for a game. The only exceptions to that are when I'm playing in excess of 2000 points, in which case I'll select one of the Battle missions (BGB, p192). I also occasionally go for one of the Special missions (BGB, p190) - the Rescue Mission is huge fun, BTW!

Some of these missions require a few additional gubbins beyond your normal 40K army to play. For instance, the standard mission: Secure And Control requires 3-5 Loot markers. I suppose you could use pennies or dice for Loot markers, but it's more fun to have some...well, loot. You can do what I did and make them out of spare bitz you happen to have lying around - a couple bolters on a 23mm base, for instance. Also, check this out:

http://store.us.games-workshop.com/storefront/store.us?do=Individual&code=99140112030&orignav=300919&ParentID=213969&GameNav=10&ItemNav=302062

Scroll down. Asdrubael Vect's captive girls are seperate pewter bitz that fit pretty well on a 25mm base. It's funny how a mini of a chesty, scantily clad captive makes most gamers more interested in playing Secure And Control! :D Must be that Princess Leia thing they've got going. :evilgrin: One of the girls also makes a good Macguffin for the Rescue mission, once you determine which marker the Macguffin is.

Speaking of the Rescue mission, there's something you need for that, too - markers. The mission involves putting down six tokens, one of which will wind up being the objective, but you don't know which one that is when you put them down. I use spare 25mm bases, painted orange, with the numbers 1-6 painted on the bottom. You mix'em up, put'em down, and then roll a die to see which one is the objective. Then, you have to move infantry units into base contact with them to turn them over. Once you find the right marker, you replace it with something rescueable and basically run away with it. Whoever is in possession of the objective at the end of the game wins.


yeah, don't people like to use rhinos as mobile terrain to block LOS? hardly useless :P

Gravedancer, I've recently found out that I've become notorious at the GW store where I play for doing exactly that with my Rhinos. Two people mentioned hating the way I use Rhinos in the same night. :evilgrin:

Chaos and Evil
10-02-2007, 16:02
23mm bases

Not to get anal, but they're 25mm.

Sekhmet
10-02-2007, 19:44
For example, I could attempt a refused flank, and zip all my Rhino mounted squads to the left then up a flank to overwhelm a portion of the enemy.
But in a game where most of the enemy has range on you for most of the game, and can move pretty fast on foot- why bother going to all that hassle? When you get there you have took a lot of damage for no return and have a much smaller force to that one facing you since you've spent pts on transports?

Certain Necron lists can setup a refused flank from a normal deployment before the game starts, without many, if any, points "wasted" on mobility you don't need.



The other problem of course is that you have god-like knowledge of your opponent's unit positions and movements. There is no Fog of War- a lot of tactics rely on decieving the enemy about your troop strength and location.
With the opponent always knowing where and what your doing- a lot of Tactics are redundant.

Necron lists can also deceive the opponent very well, I might add. :D

Ok, it's just one unit.. the Deceiver.

Misanthrope
10-02-2007, 20:13
I've only ever played World Eaters. Thusly, I've never used tactics in my entire life.

Sekhmet
10-02-2007, 20:24
Wait, doesn't playing World Eaters roughly equate to autopilot? You get them going in the general direction you want and they take over, moving and charging and fighting for you?

Misanthrope
10-02-2007, 20:27
No, there are still a COUPLE of decisions to make.

...

Like army composition.

Hadhfang
10-02-2007, 21:26
No, there are still a COUPLE of decisions to make.

...

Like army composition.

And where you plonk them in the deployment phase.