Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rockhead's Tournament Tactica Part One

As preparation for the tournament on Saturday, I am going to break down my intended tactics for each type of mission in the rulebook. In yesterday’s post, I revealed the army for the tournament. It was a mix of everything with a few subtle elements that are meant to keep my opponents on their toes.

Primaris Psyker 70 pts
Ordo Maellus Inquisitor Lord w/ 2 familiars, 1 sage, PW, bolt pistol, and Emperor's Tarot 98 pts
Ratlings 30 pts
Guardsman Marbo 65 pts
Callidus Assassin 120 pts
Veteran Squad w/ Harker, 3 snipers, vox, and heavy bolter team 155 pts
Veteran Squad w/ heavy flamer and 2 meltaguns 110 pts
5 Grey Knights w/ incinerator 160 pts
Heavy Support
Leman Russ Battle Tank w/ lascannon and heavy bolter sponsons 185 pts

Today’s post is going to look at the annihilation mission. In an annihilation mission, the goal of the game is to earn more kill points then your opponent. Kill points are earned for each enemy unit that is destroyed. If we look at my list, it is worth a maximum of 9 kill points. Since I can only guess at how many kill points each of my opponents’ armies will be worth, I am going to write this tactica based on a mix of opponents with higher and lower kill point totals.

Many of the top tier players have been quoted as saying that 5th edition is about going second. Along these lines, I have come packing a deck of the emperor’s tarot to help with controlling who goes first. I don’t expect this to win me games, but I do believe that it can help me with controlling the flow of the game in the beginning. With that being the logic, I will lean towards wanting to go second in most cases.

When it comes to deployment, the impact of the deployment type will be less important to me than the army being fielded by my opponent. In the cause of a pitched battle, if the opposing army is a stationary type, I will likely deploy a little forward and try to establish my sniper units such that they can capture the army in crossfire. If the army is fast moving, the base plan will be to pull back into one corner and allow for my units to cover each other more against the enemy.

In a spearhead deployment, the goal is still to earn more kill points than my opponent, so I don’t believe that taking more ground at the start of the game will be a solid strategy. In this case, I’ll still want to keep some distance and use the snipers, tank, and assassin combo to earn my points.

Of the three types, dawn of war seems to change my deployment strategy the most. Since each player can only post 1 HQ and 2 Troop choices, I am thinking that I will want to deploy the primaris psyker with the veteran squad packing flamers/melta weapons and the grey knights. When placing them on the board, I want to target the section of my opponent’s army that seems to be the easiest target for the two units. The nice thing in this case is that both units have built in abilities that will help to reduce my opponent’s ability to shoot them, so I am more willing to move them up when starting against a similar size force.

Once the game starts, my tactics are going to be based on the difference in kill points. If facing an opponent that has a low kill point count, I am playing for the wipeout. Kill a unit and move to the next. This is especially true if the player is fielding 5 or less kill points. In this scenario, I expect the callidus and marbo to each earn a kill point before giving up one. This should mean that I have seven kill points focused on three or less.

When faced with an opponent that has an equal or higher count, I am thinking that I will need to play more of a snail game and try and delay stronger units while targeting softer ones. I really don’t expect to face this kind of army, but it is possible, especially with armies like orks and imperial guard.

When it comes to specific armies, like orks and imperial guard, there are some things that I need to consider for each type.

The biggest threats that any of the space marine variants can bring in this kind of mission are land raiders and terminators. A dark angel army could in theory be Belial, 2 terminator squads, a dreadnought and a land raider. A space marine spam army could also be a threat, as I lack the firepower to deal with a lot of 3+ saves. Considering these points, I would expect myself to keep my distance and try to restrict my enemy’s points of attack.

In comparison, against an ork army, the threat is going to be the much maligned nob bikers. These guys combine speed with a powerful save. This means that they can close the gap quickly and should have little problem dealing damage in close combat. In this situation, I am thinking I will likely spread my forces out and make my opponent choose which side of the board they will attack. Hopefully the combination of distance and shooting will protect some of my points.

While the eldar can mirror the speed of the orks, I do believe that my shooting and hth ability is better suited to dealing with them. I believe the challenge with eldar will be army builds that focus on keeping range while shooting down my units. This is the army type that could make marbo and the callidus not as useful when compared to other armies.

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