Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Deployment in Action: Part 4

Continuing this overly large (not yet epic) attempt at investigating deployment in 40K….last time we looked at the ‘correct’ deployment vs a Hammer-style Mech BA army. They went first so our warfare was reactive and defensive…knowing that we would survive the first volley across our bows and be able to strike back hard.

Read up to date in the Deployment in Action series here.
Most importantly, if nothing else, have a read of the first half of this article here.

Lets remind ourselves of the board set up and objective placement.
Remember, for the sake of simplicity, the only terrain that really matters is the piece in the middle. Our assumptions are based on tournament style 25% board coverage.

So first decision for the IG player (us)…where to deploy. Easy. If this is a tournament style board, the quarters are all more or less the same. In this IG force, we don’t need to worry about good, high ruins for Long Fang placement, we just need to be able to manoeuvre.

Let’s start placement of units with discussion then.
The obvious units first. In the backfield we have the Colossus and the Manticore. Both have extreme range, do not necessarily require line of sight and don’t want the enemy close.

On the other hand, the Demolisher wants to be up front and blasting this is the first real choice in the game…the LRD does not actually need to be this close. It has a perfectly adequate 30” effective range and gains nothing from being so close. Given that most other armies have melta as their most reliable anti-AV14, this move seems silly. But, not only does the LRD need to be in range first turn to cause extreme disruption, it further advances the advantage of the army as a whole unit by pushing into enemy territory. The unit provides TLOS blocking, cover provision for Av12 hulls (which are oh so fragile…lol) and forces target priority decisions for the opposing player, whilst using the psychological warfare tools only a mobile, S10 Ordnance weapon on an AV14 hull can.

So confident in these placements, we move on.
Looks a lot more developed now, doesn’t it? Lets work our way up from the back corner. We encounter the 2 Veteran Chimeras kitted out for transport suppression – Autocannon, 3 Grenade Launchers and the Multilaser. 6 S6 and 2 S7 shots each. These are placed to ensure range for the Autocannons principally in this match up. They can shred Av11 and still punish Av13, but the latter is not at all to be relied upon.
By placing these units on the flanks, the 2 units can create overlapping fields of fire, catching side armour relatively easily – with our bottom left unit (in pic above) cutting diagonally to top right and vice versa for the other unit.
In addition, they are only blocked from targets in a very limited area of the board, as indicated right:

With reference to winning the game, both scoring units are within a single 12” move of two separate objectives. In this manner, both units are ‘objective campers’. The reliance on their chimera is minimised as well, a disembark move, walk and with the size of their bases, they can claim both objectives in this manner.

Vendetta’s next. This split deployment pushes both vendetta’s out to either flank, taking easy side shots on the Av13-fronted Preds. Visually, it also creates a threat in completely separate quarters of the board. Only one Vendetta is loaded with troops (Melta Vets), the reason for this being to attempt to force a scout move reaction from the first, empty Vendetta. For a mech army without bubblewrap, it is hard to defend against the IG alpha strike (see this article here from Danny Internets at Bald and Screaming on how to alpha strike…if you don’t already know!). We looked at how to force poor choices and to defend using distances last article, so learning from that, can we do the same here with the BA? Probably, so the IG player needs to try and coax his scout units (Baals) out of formation and then sneak the second Vendetta (loaded with Melta) into strike range.

Now, all of this advance, chess-esque thinking may not be required if the typical ‘car-park’/’parking lot’ mech set up is not presented to us. We’ll see.

Lastly, we look at the placement of the front 3 Chimera’s. One with the other Melta Vets unit, supporting the Demolisher in holding the advance of the AV13/Av14.
The other Vets ride is empty (contents in Vendie) and exists to provide suppression fire and cover to the plasma CCS Chimera. This is in a reactive role, awaiting the vector of approach from the Land Raider. Of course, they can not hurt the Raider, but are prime candidates to solving some of the Terminator problem – no armour nor FnP, creating regular marine equivalents in the Storm Shield Termies, and if enough shots are accurate, will force wounds onto the Libbie, Priest and LClaw Termies.

OK. We have dealth with the IG side of things. Lets see if we can force some changes/improvements through looking at the likely BA deployment in reaction to this. We’ll then cover Scout moves.

 For me, the LRR must deploy aggressively. In this manner, the IG only have ONE turn to immobilise or destroy the Raider. If this is not done, the Terminators will be able to assault one turn 1 if the IG move closer, or 2 turns if the IG retreat/redeploy slightly. Which they would, so not a perfect solution, but it’s the way this bad boy rolls. A final note, the AssCannon and MM on the Raider can get some fantastic shots off Turn 2 if this beast survives.
Baals are placed to counter the Alpha Strike. We’ll look how in a moment.

The regular Preds are placed and faced to take advantage of their excellent range and Av13. The Las/Plas Backs are to claim and provide long range fire support whilst also receiving less return fire than if they took a more aggressive role. It is always important to note in this kind of minimal troops force that they should be protected and take a different role to a more maximal troop spend.

Comfy with that? I think so.

Scout time.
Lets say the IG get to scout first. Alpha or Empty first?

Alpha. Fo’ shizzle. Why? The Baals could stop it happening if they wanted…who needs bubble wrap… let’s explore.
Currently, the Alpha can get to just out (millimetres) of 12”, landing it in prime strike territory. If the BA were to Scout first, they could of course, stop this by shifting the Baal forward just a foot and popping smoke.

At this point it should be noted that the Alpha strike would principally aimed at the Land Raider..this is the COG of the BA list and would allow all other fire power to be aimed at other, supporting Angel units.

(COG refers to the Centre of Gravity, a Clausewitz term for targeting the key factor to accomplish victory. I actually will be doing an article on this at a later date.)

It should also be noted that the Alpha must go first from the IG side as if Empty moves first the BA have the opportunity to move up with the Baal currently being discussed and cut off the Alpha Strike.

As a second benefit, the Alpha V moving in this manner hems in the Baal Pred from making any real scout move at all as it must also maintain the 12” gap.
As you can see in this picture, the Baal cannot squeeze through past the Alpha V, completely forcing the Baal to change its focus if it moves at all. The other option for the Baal would be to just readjust its facing and pop smoke.

Meanwhile, Empty V moves across to the top right of the board, ready to smash in the side armour of whatever tank it chooses…

At this time the second Baal also finds itself restricted in movement.. as we can see:

So now this Baal also can merely re-face and pop smoke, giving itself and the LasPlasBack cover.

A highly effective deployment and excellent scout move pressure I think…time to move on to the next deployment…

Remember guys, you can follow Sons of Sanguinius over on the right of the site, simply by clicking ‘Follow’…it’s the easiest way to keep up to date with the Deployment in Action series…


  1. A quick question: why did the BA scout the baals in the order it did? Instead of smoking the one that couldn't move and then letting the one that could get hemmed in in the same way, couldn't the top one go first and block the vendetta?

    Oh, and you missed the link on "how to alpha strike" after picture 4.

  2. Hi Rob, scouting the Baal in the other order would indeed allow the top Baal to escape the net as it were...good catch mate.. as I said at the start of this series...I want to learn from it too!!

    If it had done so and moved up into the top region where 'Empty' Vendetta is now, it would have certainly pinned back that Vendetta, protecting the side armour of the BA lines.

    Good shout dude, was just getting too into the flow of writing and didn't pause to catch it...

    The link to Bald and Screaming wasn't missed...the site came up as 'account suspended' when I tested it, so I removed is my hope this is a mistake and Danny Internets will get the site back up shortly...

    Hope that answers your question Rob.

  3. If the Raider has a Dozer, it goes dead centre of edge of DZ. Otherwise, it goes up, as you say.

    The 'first' Baal will Scout 2nd. The second blocks Vendetta 2, as Rob says - then the other drives across the space between the Melta and the Raider to blockade.

    Between it and the Razor there, shouldn't be enough room to disembark and be in 6".

    Leaves the Razor and Baal to die, but saves the Raider.

  4. TKE - Nicely pointed out...It is easy enough to dissuade the alpha strike..

    Whilst it would still be possible to alpha strike against those isn't really worthwhile as the BA guy has slowed down his own advance for the sake of protecting his assets...

    So in that way, has the threat of the IG Alpha Strike succesfully acheived its goal of slowing the advance of the merciless killing machine?

  5. Yes and no. The Baal will be between the Vendetta and the Raider, but the Raider WANTS to go for the Demolisher anyway.

    Neither wins, it cancels out, largely. However, if the Vendetta survives, then the IG are practically a shoe-in. That is why I don't rate that BA list. :P

  6. I don't rate it personally, but it is a popular in store, interwebz and tournament BA for completeness sake...

    I am moving on to a new BA army next article to give me a little variety in writing, spread the love around a bit... AV13 spam which is also popular and quite effective...

    Cheers for reading