Pieces of 8th: Command Points

One of the most interesting new parts of 8th Edition was the integration of command points into the game. Earned via the detachments you take and spent on various once-per-phase abilities, command points represent an entirely new system of resources for players to play around with during the list-building step and over the course of a game. But how should you be using them, and how many is enough? In this next part of our Pieces of 8th series, we’ll be looking at the subject in a bit more depth.

Warhammer 40K, like most types of strategy games, is at its heart a game of resource management. That may not sound particularly exciting when said like that, but most games are based on the idea of giving players a finite set of resources- actions, turns, cards, points, etc- and then presenting them with the different paths towards using those resources in the most efficient way possible. So, at its most fundamental level, the command point system isn’t anything new; indeed, it shares a lot in common with the warp charge allocation systems of 7E and 2E as well as the faith points of 3E Witchhunters in terms of its general structure.

However, for most players command points are something rather unusual, a pool of points that refresh between games and allow them to enhance the effectiveness of their units. So it’s worth examining some of the outfalls of the system and understanding where, when, and why we ought to be spending our command points in order to get the best use out of them. I will be focusing mainly on their uses for the stratagems of the core rulebook, as most armies do not yet have access to unique stratagems of their own. (We will, however, talk about these codex stratagems in brief later.)

If we’re looking at the ways to get the most out of our command points, what we usually are looking at is the Command Re-Roll stratagem, which gives us a once-per-phase reroll of any single die we want (including rerolling one die out of a 2d6 or 3d6 roll, where appropriate.) But the crux of the problem is when do you spend that command point on something? With only one reroll available per phase- and a relatively small pool of points to draw on over the course of a game- how and when we choose to take those rerolls can be critically important. It can be the difference between a model dying or living to fight another turn, between holding an objective and losing it, or between a psychic power failing and it going off.

So, I’m gonna lay out some general rules of thumb here, along with explanations for why they exist. That doesn’t mean you’ll should never break them- they are, after all, only general rules- but if you understand the reasoning behind them then you should also be able to start to figure out when you should violate them to some more-specific purpose in your game. They aren’t precisely in order, but in general the hierarchy of what you’ll want to be considering works its way down from the top.

Rule #1: Reroll on big dice, not on small ones.

This one is pretty simple. You can only reroll one die per phase, but not all dice are equal. With many weapons dealing multiple damage these days, you’re generally going to be better off taking a reroll on a Lascannon or other big gun than you will against a Bolter or the like. This one may seem obvious, but far too often I see players violate it because they feel frustrated failing a 2+ or 3+ save on one of their models. While it’s never fun to take three or four wounds on some Terminators from Boltguns, that single rerolled die is not going to alter the outcome very much, so you’re probably better off not bothering. So where possible, you are going to reroll a die on a something that

Rule #2: Reroll on your best number, not your worst.

Oftentimes, you’ll be shooting multiple guns at the enemy and have several chances to reroll over the course of the attack- but which step is the most effective to use them on? The short answer is, you want to reroll when you have the best chance of the reroll succeeding- an answer which should make sense if you think about it for a bit. If you are firing several Lascannons at someone’s HQ in an attempt to get rid of them, it is better to reroll your 2+ to-wound roll than it is your 3+ to-hit roll. In both cases, you have already failed the roll- but a 2+ has an 83% chance of improving from a failure, whereas the 3+ only has a 66% chance to do so.

In general, you will not want to waste a command point on any roll that is 5+ or worse- your odds of succeeding simply aren’t good enough to expect it to do anything, except in unusual situations.

Rule #3: Rerolling a miss or failed wound is better than doing so for damage. Rerolling number of shots is better than doing so for a miss/wound.

The math on this one is a little bit more complicated, but it comes back around to the same fundamental idea: you want the highest possible improvement to what you’re doing. If you’re shooting several Lascannons at a critical target and one of them misses or fails to wound, you probably are better off taking the reroll on that miss than you are at a later step with damage (unless you’re already hitting it with so much firepower that you’ll likely vaporize it in this single volley.) Rerolling damage is an improvement of margin, since you will always deal at least one wound with the hit- even if you’re rerolling a ‘1’ on a d6 damage weapon, your improvement of damage is essentially d6-1, or in other words a range from zero to five. But a reroll on a hit or wound roll is a potential improvement of d6 damage- a range from one to six, in other words, and thus greater magnitude than our damage reroll. We thus fall back to Rule #1: reroll on big dice. Similarly, rerolling a single shot’s hit or wound roll is, at most, giving you one “bonus shot” from your second chance there- but rerolling the number of shots you get can easily add two or more extra shots beyond what you initially got, provided you aren’t getting greedy and rerolling 3s or 4s.

(One caveat here: sometimes extraordinarily-bad rolls on damage can mean you fail to kill a target, such as three Lascannons going through on a wounded transport and leaving it alive. If you roll snake eyes on your damage result, it may be worthwhile to reroll one of those dice in an attempt to finish the target off without having to dedicate other guns to it- but this will depend on what other guns you have available and how much better your roll needs to be to finish the job. If you hit a tank with two wounds remaining and get a ‘1’ on damage, you can probably go for it- but if you need to do six damage and do only three, probably not. Always know your math on things so you can refer back to Rule #2 in these cases.)

Rule #4: Reroll on big units, not on small ones.

This one is largely relevant in the defensive sense (e.g. saving throws or similar special rules), and as before it may seem obvious but isn’t always: use your rerolls to affect the most important possible models. Usually this means vehicles, monsters, and characters, all of whom can have critical effects on a battle no matter how damaged, but sometimes it can apply to that single model carrying a heavy weapon, too. In cases where a single roll affects the whole unit (e.g. number of shots with a Burna, charge distance, etc) this rule can also apply- once again, what we care about most is the magnitude of the effect from our reroll. Saving a single squad member from death isn’t going to be a big deal; but saving a single Titanic model most certainly will be.

Rule #5: Reroll where it changes things, not where it doesn’t.

Some of you may be rolling your eyes at this point about the level of advice here, but I wouldn’t be saying these things if I didn’t see players violate them so often. Sometimes, a unit is doomed- they’re standing in the open in front of all the enemy’s guns, or they’re in combat with a powerful melee unit, or otherwise facing such overwhelming firepower coming in that there’s no reasonable way to expect them to survive. So just… don’t. Don’t reroll those saves in hopes of a miracle unless you’ve already passed so many of them that it qualifies as one already. If you have six Lascannons pointed at your HQ, don’t bother trying to reroll that 5++ save of yours unless you’ve already passed four of the saves; it simply won’t change anything otherwise.

The same goes for the other way around- if you have an abundance of guns that can shoot one target and can’t be aimed elsewhere (because they don’t have line of sight, or range, or they won’t be effective on other targets) don’t worry about failing to hurt your target with some of them. It may seem frustrating to miss and fail to wound with five of your six Dark Lances, but if the sixth one kills the target and they had nowhere else to shoot, what does it matter?

Rule #6: Reroll early and often.

The I-go-you-go system of 40K has always heavily favored the early turns of the game; armies that can wipe out their opponent with an alpha (or beta) strike can essentially just coast through the remainder of the match on the virtue of their successes in that single game turn. But even for armies that don’t focus on these sorts of strategies, the early turns are the most important ones because of the linear nature of things- a unit that is destroyed on turn 2 doesn’t get to make rolls on turns 3, 4, or 5. As a result, the best strategy for spending your command points will typically be to bias them towards the early turns of the game, when most of the big punchers are still functioning and the major action is occurring. While there is some value in saving a point or two for the late game, where lots of single rolls predominate due to units suffering attrition, very often the reality is that if you can take the advantage early, the game won’t ever get to that point. Use your command points, both offensively and defensively, to do what you can in the early game and you’ll find it often works out better.

Rule #7: Look forward when considering if you’ll reroll.

This is the flip side of the above, in many ways- even when focusing on an early-game strategy, you still need to be considering the long-term implications of things. If your psyker suffers Perils now, those d3 wounds are unlikely to kill them… but what will it mean later on, when you’re taking firepower from the enemy? Will the damage you take from a failed save be enough to drop you down a tier on your stats, or are other guns going to do the same anyways regardless of the consequences of this roll? Do you have ways to restore wounds to this model, or are losses permanent? Is this model even likely to suffer damage later in the game, or will other protections (character status, blocking terrain, higher-priority units) mean it is not going to be the focus of the enemy’s attentions? This can be particularly relevant for models that provide important buffs (psychic powers, auras) that your army relies on as well as giving up the victory point for Slay the Warlord.

(Not listed here: Rule #0, reroll your attempt to Seize the Initiative if your local tournaments allow that. ITC does not, since it uses a more generous roll-off system for determining who goes first, but if you are playing the “standard” missions then you will usually benefit noticably from going first and thus spending a point to get an additional 16% chance at having top of turn is easily the single best reroll you can go for.)

Enough’s Enough’s Enough

So now we get to the next stage of things- you know how to spend command points, but how many of them should you have? Obviously “as many as possible,” but as always that involves tradeoffs against other factors in a list (firepower, unit count, etc) so we should get some idea of where our numbers lie.

At the very roughest level, most lists will be able to spend two command points per battle round (one on your own turn, one on the enemy turn)- this assumes that your army is focusing mostly on one phase of the game, which is usually true, and that your enemy is likewise doing most of their damage in a single phase and thus only giving you one major opportunity to spend a CP on their turn. But more realistically we could be spending up to four command points in one turn (psychic, shooting, assault, fight), so our “cap” is certainly going to be something above that.

A safe bet for most armies is that they will be able to spend 1-2 command points on one on the enemy turn without getting to the point of just wasting them; however, in a five-to-seven turn game, this can amount to a veritable mountain of CP spent, so very, very few lists will be able to manage anything like this many- even starting with 12CP (from a brigade) is on the upper limit of what you are likely to encounter in actual battles.

I typically aim for 6CP or more with a list- this gives enough to pull off some tricks without sacrificing all other concerns for the sake of having a ton of command points. However, it is worth thinking about what sorts of weapons and abilities you have at your disposal when considering this- if you have high-power weapons with lots of randomness built in (d6 shots or d6 damage) you have more reason to lean onto command points. Similarly, models with a very good save (3++) can also make excellent use of a reroll. But contrawise, if you have a lot of fixed-damage weapons or guns that hit automatically, you will have less reason to be spending CP on them- and if like Orks your innate accuracy is low, a reroll may also be of limited benefit to you.

It’s also important to remember that there are sometimes ways to finagle extra command points out of a list without actually changing any of the units in it- our own Matt-Shadowlord wrote an excellent article on the subject that is well worth reading. 8th Edition gives list-writers lots of puzzle pieces that can fit together different ways, so making best use of what you have is paramount. However, there are two basic rules of thumb that will cover most situations: A, three of any slot will earn you a new detachment; and B, taking a battalion/brigade is better than taking multiples of the other detachments.

So that brings us around to our final consideration, the one I said I’d put off for later: codex stratagems, All three of the codices released so far have some very strong stratagems in them and it can be a big boost to have a couple of extra command points laying around to make best use of these- however, they are also often very expensive compared to the 1CP for a reroll, so if you want to take real advantage of them you are going to need to take lists with a lot more starting resources. For some this isn’t too hard- CSM and SM both can lean on allies and cheap slot options to bring tons of extra punch, but Grey Knights will struggle more with it due to their expensive nature. Presumably future codices will be similar in character, so I think a trend towards having more command points available will be more the norm as the game goes on- powerful options like Strike from the Shadows and Endless Cacophony will definitely incentivize players to try and build a better resource pool (or tear through a smaller pool in one or two turns, hoping to blast the enemy out) in order to use them.

 

Closing Thoughts

Command points are a powerful resource for players that use them right, but they can only be of as much help as you make them. If you spend your command points poorly or recklessly, you can quickly find yourself outclassed as the enemy passes critical rolls while you are simply dragged down. Make sure you know which rolls are important to the matchup your playing and act accordingly- if it’s critical that you keep your warlord alive in order to win on secondary objectives, save a CP or two for them. If it’s important that you break their tanks early in order to expose units inside to firepower, push that Melta wound through. If you need to get into close combat as soon as possible in so as to keep pressure on their list, have a point ready for that charge you’re making. Know what you need to do, and when, and where spending your command points will be most effective and you’ll have one more tool in your toolbox to try and tilt matches in your favor.

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32 Responses to “Pieces of 8th: Command Points”

  1. Toast says:

    Math theory question: 3+ hit/2+ wound is obvious, but what about the reverse case? 2+ hit is the easier reroll to succeed on, but even a success on that roll has a 1/3 chance of failing to wound, whereas if you're rerolling the wound, it's implicit that you've already hit.

  2. Desc440 says:

    When possible, my advice on the topic of CPs is to have a plan to spend every last one of them ahead of time. This is easier for those armies with a Codex, of course.

  3. David Hughman says:

    Rule 3 is wrong

    Firing a lascannon assuming your using a marine and t of target is 5-8.

    If you rerole a to hit role you deal 0.66*0.66*3.5 dam mean 1.56 dam

    If you rerole a to wound role you deal 0.66*3.5 mean 2.33 dam
    If you rerole damage you will on average role 3.5 mean increase of 2.5 damage.

    So your highest mean increase is rerole in a d6 dam weapon what matters is average dam not range

    In addition the to hit and to wound roles are further reduced by high armour/invul saves making them worse.

    • Magus says:

      I think your analysis oversimplifies the problem a bit. Remember that you have an extremely limited pool of re-rolls and you must make decisions on when to use them based on imperfect information. Say you have a twin lascannon razorback shooting at an important target. Both shots hit but one fails to wound. Should you re-roll the wound roll or save the re-roll in case the damage roll is low? Depends on a number of factors, but in many cases re-rolling the wound roll is the best way to increase your total damage output.

      • Kirby says:

        I agree – mixed bag. I would not re-roll a to hit or wound roll early in the turn more often than not (number of shots I would) but as the turn wears on, that is more likely. The advantages of re-rolling your damage is you have obviously jumped through all the hoops so you know you are getting something while dice could skew and deny you any of your wounds through failed wound rolls / armor saves the earlier you roll. The higher the AP here the better obviously as well.

        • Andy_Fisher says:

          Ya, and this brings a super valuable point, try to fire the things with the highest prioity to re-roll as early on in the turn as possible. You should be firing all multi wound weapons as early as you can, they are high variance high reward opportunities, that demand you expend your resources on them.

          For example, I have a hell-blaster squad, a land-raider, a devastator squad with grav and a tac squad with a melta some unfortunate super heavy thing with a 3+ save and no invul has offended me. I am 100% firing my melta first.

          In this turn, it is my highest reward weapon. I am going to re-roll the wound roll if it hits and fails to wound, it's giving me a 4+ chance to deal 4.47 wounds.

          If my melta uses the re-roll i fire the landraider next, he nearly useless against anything that isn't high wounds, then my grav, finally my hell-blasters, as it allows me to decide if this is a moment where i need to overcharge them all to try kill what they are shooting at (very high damage output from overcharged hell-blasters with an ancient+banner).

          If both my Melta and the Land raider don't need the reroll, and by some miracle it isn't dead at this point, then in go the hell blasters next.

          Change that target to Magnus with a 4++ and the order of fire and re-roll use is drastically different. The landraider is first up, its the most likely to land a d6 on him that I must have a re-roll available for, next comes the tac squad then the grav and finally the hellblasters.

          This is why Salamanders are ungodly good, and Roboute isn't far behind them (would in fact be better if orbital strikes didn't exist). You effectively get rid of all the desicion making about when to reroll it is -always- on the dmg roll of 1, because they ensure a high amount of wounds, and also you can't re-roll twice anyway.

          • Desc440 says:

            Orbital strikes don't really matter. Just space out properly and the chances of it doing anything are pretty remote.

            • Andy_Fisher says:

              It is actually pretty hard to get every model into 6" of Azrael or every unit within 6" of Roboute (easier cos his bigger base, the relic bearers base is tiny) without just melting. Take a look at the photos of Kirby's DA castle, and set up a Dreads+Preds Roboute+libby castle and you'll see what i mean, its actually pretty hard to set up so you don't take 5 hits. Obviously as GK you have way way better stuff to spend your cp on, but one of those is making sure you get a good cast off on "not an orbital strike honest" in the psychic phase.

              It obviously matters what meta you play in, but we found that the marine strike threat is enough to force setting up differently

              • Desc440 says:

                Guilliman's base is actually big enough to make it impossible to get a good hit centered on him. But I would almost be tempted to keep everything within 6 inches of the center of his base to tempt my opponent into wasting 4 CPs (3 for the Strike, 1 for the likely necessary Command Reroll for the Strike's range).

                • Andy_Fisher says:

                  Ah my bad, I thought strike was pick a point not pick a model.

                  Oh checked, it is point I was doing it right to be within 6" of gulliman, you have to be within 3" of the strike point even if you have spread out in a perfect circle around him which it very rarely easy due to terrain etc. Last battle he was standing in the middle of a sky shield full of dreads I just rolled bad so they got to stay up there a turn. 2nd salvo ripped them to pieces. Is okay in 1k games theres not enough stuff, but in the 2k+ games he is just wandering please kill me sign. We had the same issue with GK too, ppl clumped to get the bonuses, Grey knights all land and bam d6 wnds on 6 diff units. Is why all my armies atm are spread out and hiding in transports, it utterly denies the alpha strike (though that said, a week ago i had my Stormlord alpha'd by commanders, then cos I am an idiot got my Psyker mown down by the drones cos didn't respect the anti infantry firepower), still won cos GK too strong

                  • Desc440 says:

                    I don’t understand what you’re saying. Why would you need to be within 3 inches of the bombardment point to be within 6 inches of Guiliman? His base is more than 2.5 inches wide. You only need 1 guy per squad to be within 6 of him for the whole squad to get his rerolls. Also, bombardment only does D3 MW, noy D6, and it only triggers on a 4+.

                    • Andy_Fisher says:

                      When you fire off the strategy, you pick a place anywhere on the table you can see. if you are standing within 6" of guilleman, a place equidistant to you must be less than 3" of the mid point. therefore striking the ground 3" from guilleman means you need only roll a 3 on its range to hit both him and the unit. In every game i have played i have been able to orbital bombard to hit 4+ targets at 1" from my placement. Yes it only does d3 on a 4+ but so I am spending on average 3cp to do 2d3 mortal wounds. In practice, I am doing considerably more, not only do I average closer to 7 mortal wounds, I am forcing my opponent to give up the aura on his 320 pt aura machine.

                      I do not play vs DA often, certainly not vs Azrael DA, I own a RW detachment that uses jink on the darkshroud to give it 5++ and oblige my opponent to kill it or suffer the -1 and so don't see any point in making a DA bubble when knights have considerably better firepower than assbacks and preds with far more threat in melee. However i do know that Az's bubble states model, not unit. which is why i know a DA bubble is just a perfect target for Orbital strategm, if you hit less than 9 targets you will be unlucky.

                      The D6's are from Grey Knight alpha strike, target a model within 12" (not point) do d3 mw to it and everything in 3" of it, unless you roll high on the cast, which you do because you spend 2cp to roll 3 dice take the highest have +1 for being a GK and cp reroll the dice if needed. I have perilled twice with my GM casting this, but not cared because it ends games before they began. Most chars have 4-6 wounds and are viable one shots. Because I am running a detachment of salamanders and a detachment of Greyknights and a detachment of imperium, I have access to both strategies, so i can turn 1 alpha strike for a metric ton of mortal wound vs anything I can see and land my GM next to. For this i give up the re-roll charges on my grey knights, but i generally don't worry about their charges too much anyway

                      I think you have underestimated how few things you need to have close to each other before you insta pull the trigger on a bombardment, because the cost/benefit of using the cp's on a bombardment is generally 4+ targets. Any opponent that knows what they are doing, simply doesn't set up their castle, or sets up super far back which means i win anyway because now i get to control all the objectives.

                    • Desc440 says:

                      Ok I get where the 3 inches is coming from now.

                      I have to question how you're pulling off 7 MW, though. I mean, how badly packed together are your opponents? You'd need to hit 7 targets to pull off that many (given average rolling).

                      I would gladly set up my castle if my opponent is going to hit only 4 targets. That's 4 wounds total over 2 units. No biggie. Besides, if you're really scare of the bombardment, you can always set up 12 inches from Guilliman. You only need to be with 6 of him in the shooting phase, after all.

                    • Andy_Fisher says:

                      Naw, you can't move, most the stuff you have near him can't move and fire heavy so it's stuck, and then it's all got to be bubble wrapped to stop assault threat. I run Salamanders+GK or Deathwatch+GK and i really miss the orbital on the DW (they are not a proper chapter so i don't get to use Space marine tactics only GK ones).

                      Btw not sure many people know of this one yet, but this is my new method of stopping deepstrikes that has been working insanely well.

                      Inquisitor Coteaz + Inquisitor Land Raider Prometheus

                      This thing managed to kill 3 strike squad as they deployed but more importantly it gunned down the ancient. It is 500pts for the two of them but if you want to protect your castle from deep strike I think this beats out anything else available to the imperium, as a bonus you get 3 lil acolyte dudes to stop deepstrike coming anywhere near you. Better than that, you can load up a 55pt Inquistor Warlord into it and get a ton of bonus CP's (not open topped sadly so can't use them for orbitals like you can with the Castellum).

                      Had great success using this as the backbone of my own deep strike armies instead of the Stormlord, can't shoot out, but can still load it with 9 units+inquisitor, only issue I found then is same as castellum no warlord trait for re-roll charge on the GK's.

                    • Desc440 says:

                      >Naw, you can't move, most the stuff you have near him can't move and fire heavy so it's stuck, and then it's all got to be bubble wrapped to stop assault threat.

                      Can you elaborate?

    • Odras says:

      That maths doesn't quite work, in second calculation you are assuming both shots have hit, and in the third you are assuming both have hit and wounded. Of course you are going to cause more damage with the third option when you are assuming that it succeeds to hit and wound.

      What you should be comparing is if you miss one are you better to reroll that miss, or save your reroll for the potential damage roll that might happen on the one shot that has hit. In this case I think you will find that you are always better to reroll the hit as more dice to roll for the later rolls improves their results more than rerolling a single dice.

      Would you rather 2 dice to roll to wound, or one dice with a reroll. They have the same chance at both missing, and the same chance at causing 1 wound, but the reroll 1 option does not have that 25% chance to cause 2 wounds.

      The same applies for the damage roll, would you rather roll 2D6 and add them for damage or 1D6 with a reroll.

      Rerolling earlier in the chain is almost always better, as it gives you additional dice for rolls later in the chain.

      • David says:

        That is how it works reroll a damage you have hit and wounded and they have failed to save you don’t need to roll these again.

        Reroll a to hit and and you still have to reroll a to wound they get a save roll then you make a damage roll.

        Now yes if you have a brigade it might be worth rerolling a to wound roll if you have run out of lascannons but it doesn’t change that the further on in sequence the greater the average gain.

  4. Prometheus says:

    Generally speaking, if you only have one re-roll, you want to reroll further down the "chain", because you've already passed through a gate to success. Rolls to wound are more rare than rolls to hit, because only successful rolls to hit become rolls to wound.

    Think of it like a river, or a tree, or any other branching hierarchical. If your're going to alter one "branch", pick a thicker branch.

    • Neil_Phillips says:

      Yep, this is right.

      Consider shooting a Lascannon at a Land Raider, with a 3+ to hit and 3+ to wound, and D6 damage. The Land Raider will get a 5+ save.

      So we have a chain, 2/3*2/3*2/3 before getting to Damage.

      If you reroll to hit, there's a 29% chance it will result in a damage roll. So expected damage of the reroll is 1.04 wounds.

      If you reroll to wound, there's a 44% chance it will result in a damage roll, expected damage of the reroll is 1.55 wounds.

      If you reroll the 1 on Damage, that's an expected damage increase of 2.5 wounds.

      Rerolling 1's on damage is the most useful thing you can do in most cases.

      • Maynard says:

        Hey Neil, good to see you around. When are you going to write another mathhammer article?

      • Andy_Fisher says:

        Maths is slightly off here as you don't know the damage roll at the point you make the decision to re-roll wounds.

        44% chance to give a damage roll = 44%*3.5 = 1.55 wounds on average.

        Reroll a 1 is 2.5dmg 16.6%
        Reroll a 2 is 1.5dmg 16.6%
        Reroll a 3 is 0.5dmg (basically do not ever reroll 3's unless you are taking a 1:3 or 1:2 you blow it up, vs 3++ svs reroll 3's all day if it means significant effect (ie dead or degraded)

        33% chance to increase damage by 2 = 0.66 dmg

        The re-roll to wound actually contributes far more damage than the re-roll on damage unless you have volume of fire, consider Sgt Chronus in his Land raider. Hitting on 2's rerrolling 1's and firing 4 lascannons and a melta at something that has taken his fancy.

        Re-rolling to hit he has covered. Re-rolling to wound suddenly isn't that good, he is going to hit with everything, he is going to wound with enough stuff that he is forcing a lot of saves, and they either have an invul in which case he for sure wants his reroll on dmg. If you get 3 wounds, I would for sure just take a re-roll on dmg over a re-roll to wound.

        Understanding where your high variance roll is in a given phase is the most important part, and then compare the re-roll cost to the ability to orbital strike. 4+ for D3 mortal wounds on 3-4 targets is nearly always superior than re-rolling to wound, and suddenly only re-rolling 1's or 2's on a d6 for Damage actually comes out as a reasonable option.

        Finally, one important thing is burn all your CP as early as possible in your alpha strike for the best effect you can, killing or saving a dude on turn 1, is massively more impactful than saving a dude on turn 3.

        Also, always always buy an aux detahcment or supreme command detachmnt with a space marine, CSM or GK in. No matter how good your army is, if you can sneak off with the ability to use the strategies from the released books, do so, there is -always- stuff better than the reroll, and it opens up far better alpha strikes.

        In conclusion, being xenos sucks, but it is ok, cos Ynarri.

        • Neil Phillips says:

          Chances are you have more than one D6 damage weapon though, and you can only spend one CP on a reroll per phase.

          So as soon as one rolls a 1 for damage, you can safely go ahead and reroll it knowing it’s your best shot at maximising damage.

          • Andy_Fisher says:

            Yup, totally agree the second you roll a 1 with a re-roll available that round, re-roll it, it's a very complex issue, a 2 on dmg for example the re-roll isn't automatic, for a 1 it is.

            If you get a 6 vs a dumb ass stupid necron vehicle, re-roll that too, better yet don't shoot lascannons at it. Lost a game this evening cos all my heavy stuff is D6 damage and i could not bloody roll under 4 for dmg.

  5. MindwarpAU says:

    Another thing to consider with CPs is if you have any pre-battle stratagems you want to use, like Chapter Masters, Relics etc and especially the RG unique stratagem. How many units do you want to deploy after the deployment phase, but before the game starts? Enough to give you first turn, since your opponent will finish deploying first? Just one or two?

    • abusepuppy says:

      Yeah, the codex strategies can definitely inflate the number of CP you want to have available, but for the vast majority of armies that's not a concern yet, so I didn't spend a lot of time talking about it. RG and Slaanesh armies in particular have an abundance of excellent places to spend their CP at and thus really want to be bringing as many to the table as possible.

      • Andy_Fisher says:

        Alpha Legion I think has the best pre battle strategy, using it atm to drop 'zerkers onto the other side of the map for a T1 charge with a lord and sorcerer jetpacking in for support kept it a nice small 500 pt detachment that brins its own CP for the stategy, and I needed 1 CSM detachment to open up the stategies for the rest of my army, the lord is especially nice thanks to his relic chainsword. I think though i might try it out with noise marines instead at the moment it is more than a little risky to use the 'zerkers cos if you don't get T1 they have to hunker down in cover, and I have to use Warptime on them instead of on Magnus. Dunno, they been doing work especially the game i gave them +2S +1A (magnus had taken invuln save dropped to go smoosh draigo).

  6. No One says:

    To expand on 6: I don't think I've had a game where my opponent used all of their CP, or even close. While saving CP for late game rerolls is good, consistently not using them is just wasted resources, and that's likely to happen if you save them for situations that aren't likely to eventuate.

  7. Andy_Fisher says:

    I would add in, always reroll your psychic powers and charges, if you don't need to re-roll your power, you shouldn't have brought the psyker.

    • Desc440 says:

      Charges I (mostly) agree, Pyshic Powers I wouldn't usually.

      • No One says:

        Depends on the psychics really. I'd want to reroll basically all of my powers if they had a good chance of success (FNP, hit negs, advance+charge are all really good). Eldar are huge as well (though they'd often get rerolls on the power anyway).

        But, say, guard and (usually) marines? Meh. Take them for the denies – CP for a good chance of deny on an important power, sure. But otherwise? The powers can be nice, but outside of potential clutch situations (say, null zone) they're just nice and not of huge benefit.