Sunday, April 3, 2011

Protip: Don't Kill Your Own Units

Obvious, right? Some games I've played recently make me wonder, though. Here are a few ways we 40k players kill our own units:

1. Designate a unit as an "objective holder." If a 300 point squad sits in the back of the field the whole game just holding an objective, if they dont have good shooting to hit the opponent with while they're sitting there, or if they're an assault unit that never assaults, then they're basically dead from turn 1. Great for the opponent, because a 2000 vs 2000 point match just turned into a 1700 vs 2000 point match. We wouldnt normally agree to play with a handicap like that, so why would we do it to ourselves? That's killing your own unit. "But we have to hold objectives" someone will say. Yes you do. On turn 5 6 or 7, not on turn 1 2 3 or 4. Get everyone involved. On turn 4, take a damaged unit and double back for the objectives.

2. Keep something in reserve. Reserves aren't gaurunteed to show until turn 5, and when they do they can mishap unless you invest points in making sure they land on target. Until they show, they're effectively dead. Once they do, if they mishap, they're again effectively dead, at least for a turn, possibly for the whole game. I don't deny that there are times to keep your stuff in reserve, but realize that however awesome these guys are once they show up, they have to fight an uphill battle once they do, because they're starting at a defecit. If they show up on turn 3 from reserves, for instance, then they're already 1/3 dead for the purpose of the game, since they did nothing on turn 1 and 2. So they have alot to make up for from the get go. So think carefully before putting something in reserve. The default position on reserves should always be: "not without a damn good reason."

3. Split the army. If an army fights in two or three seperate detachments, where they aren't close enough to support each other, then the opponent can turn one large battle into 2 or 3 smaller ones. Then instead of 2000 vs 2000 its a 2000 vs 1000, then a 2000 vs 500, then another 2000 vs 500. Obviously the divided force is at a heavy disadvantage in all three smaller battles, and hence in the larger one as well. So keep units close enough to support each other. That way if the opponent picks a fight with 1 unit, he picks a fight with all of them.

4. Send 10 guys to do a job that 5 guys can handle. In the real military, generals don't send a division when a brigade will get the job done. That's because every guy who gets sent on mission A is a guy whose not available for mission B, so sending 10 guys when 5 will get the job done is effectively killing 5 of your own guys.

Ok so those are some thoughts borne out of recent games. Hope you saw something useful there!

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