Vassalmunda, part 2: Getting Started

Hey all, I’ve made a Google Group for our Vassal Necromunda campaign.

You do need a google account to join (I think) but it’s free, and gmail is solid.
Anyone who is interested can email me ( or request membership through the group. Once people join up and start posting gangs, we can get started. 🙂

BA “Fast’N’Slow” @ 2k (aka the Blood Rodeo)

Okay from my Armies in 5th article yesterday I concluded BA hybrid wasn’t the best option and that Fast’N’Slow could be good for BA by replacing the bikers w/Jumpers. Problem is, that change makes the list not work. Whether it’s a Fast’N’Slow list with Dreads/Preds/Speeders backing up bikers or Bikers backing up Termies, the points don’t work for BA and the lack of Turbo-boost on the jumpers makes the list a lot more fragile. So a conversation with Curly ensued and the BLOOD RODEO (Curly’s name) was born.

The idea behind the list was trying to utilise Fast’N’Slow mechanics in the BA list but because of the premium BA pay for vehicles and no bikes as troops, it wasn’t working nearly as well as Vanilla can do. What about Bikers & Jumpers though? Eh ya maybe. Okay, what about FC/FNP Bikers & Jumpers? Oooo, shiny. So let’s see if we can make this idea work.

We need our solid core of Bikers and ASM w/FNP & FC bubbles and that will most likely take up our most of our points so let’s see what we can do. Remember, BA don’t have access to Combat Tactics but can still Combat Squad. We’ll start with 2 full bike squads and then some ASM since the bikes can‘t score.

Bikes x8, AB w/MM, 2x meltagun, PFist = 310 and we should take 2 so that’s 620.

ASM x10, 2x meltagun, Pfist = 235 and let’s take…3 for a solid core. That’s 705 for 1325 total.

The bike buggers turbo-boost first turn which the ASM can’t do. Taking out 20 T4(5) Marines isn’t easy when they have a 3+ cover save. The ASM can advance behind these guys or DS in and with combat squads you’re providing a lot of targets that can damage tanks and infantry to your opponent. However, what really makes this tick over Vanilla variants is FNP/FC bubbles so we need some Sang Priests.

Sang Priest w/Infernous Pistol, Bike = 100 and we will need 3 to cover everyone but I think we can fit a HG squad in later, so we’ll stick with 2. That’s 1525 points used so far.

These guys make the whole army laugh in the face of small arms fire and although Bikes still don’t get FNP from S8+, it makes up for the lack of combat tactics. The bikes can survive longer in combat (ala: command squads) and with multi-charges from bikes and/or ASM, this army can move things in assault where normal bikers require command squads for that (hence the PFists on everything inc. bikes).

I said before we should be able to squeeze in a HG squad which means we need an HQ (shocking). Libby’s are great so let’s see take two.

2x Libby w/Blood Lance, Unleash Rage, Bike = 270 for a total of 1695. I’ve taken Rage here to make the Bikes not as vulnerable to cc whilst they wait for ASM to come save them but Shield or Sword is also a very viable option (I’m not a sword fan on base libbies because of W2, I4 and no invul).

I also said we wanted an HG squad so now we’ve got our HQ we’ll take our HG w/Jump Packs which gets us our 3rd FNP bubble which cannot be targeted in combat which is important. We’ll give them some meltaguns to max out our points.

HG x5 w/Jump Packs, 4x meltaguns = 205

This gives us a DS unit with another FNP/FC bubble and a big melta punch, though we do have 2 bike squads. Now I’d like to take the pistols from the Priests and put them in the ASM squads so we don’t have our meltas loaded into one squad type (the bikers). Can’t get the 3rd squad a pistol though without dropping two mguns from the HG which is just inefficient. So, let’s look at what we’ve got.

HQ –
Librarian w/Space Marine Bike, Blood Lance, Unleash Rage (or Shield of Sanguine)

Librarian w/Space Marine Bike, Blood Lance, Unleash Rage (or Shield of Sanguine)

Honor Guard w/Jump Packs, 4x meltaguns

Elites –
2x Sanguinary Priest w/Space Marine Bike

Troops –
10x ASM w/2x meltaguns, infernous pistol, Power Fist

10x ASM w/2x meltaguns, infernous pistol, Power Fist

10x ASM w/2x meltaguns, Power Fist

Fast Attack –
8x Space Marine Bikes w/2x meltaguns, Power Fist
Attack Bike w/MM

8x Space Marine Bikes w/2x meltaguns, Power Fist
Attack Bike w/MM

Totals: 2000 pts
22 bikes
35 jumpers
18 melta weapons across 6-11 squads

That looks pretty solid, the Blood Rodeo is in town!

You’ve got quite a few options with this army in terms of deployment. You can deploy on table, off table or DS the Jumpers in and turbo the bikes depending on opposing army and whether you’re going first or not. Combat squadding is your friend and gives you more melta squads. The ASM w/o pistol can split into melta/melta or double melta/PFist squads whilst the ASM w/pistol should split into 2xmelta/pistol squads. The Libbys can sit with the AB combat squads of Bikes and chuck out an early game Lance + MM behind the boosted screen of 2xmelta/PFist bikes, etc. Options are available and like the Jumper list is putting a lot of bodies into your opponent’s face though this is using the advantages bikes give you over Jumpers whilst being different from Vanilla bikers and still being a workable list with BA flavor.

Kudos to ProfessorCurly for the idea on this list and doing most of the math work but idk about the name you thought of lol.

Thoughts everyone else?

Updated Blood Rodeo list here.

BA Dread Pods @ 2k

This list I worked with GWvsJohn who wanted Seth in it, so if you want Seth in your list you can easily modify this list to put Seth in. So this list is based around good SM podding where you can either Pod infantry or Dreads in first and then support your army with the rest later. Because BA have more options open to them for Dreads and better close in Marines (through ASM, FNP & FC). So let’s see what we can put together.

HQ –
Libby w/Blood Lance, Might of Heroes
Honor Guard w/3x meltagun, TH, Drop Pod

Elites –
Sanguinary Priest

Dreadnought Libby w/Blood Lance, Might of Heroes, Drop Pod w/Locator

Dreadnought Libby w/Blood Lance, Might of Heroes, Drop Pod w/Locator

Troops –
10x ASM w/2x meltagun, PFist, Drop Pod

9x ASM w/meltagun, infernous pistol, PFist, Drop Pod

10x Death Company w/TH, Drop Pod

Death Company Dreadnought w/Drop Pod

Death Company Dreadnought w/Drop Pod

Heavy Support –
Dreadnought w/MM, Heavy Flamer, Drop Pod

Totals: 1997 pts
Infantry: 36
Tanks: 9 Pods and 5 Walkers
So every unit is capable of anti-tank and the Libby Dreads + HG/Libby can really plaster some hurt into tanks w/Blood Lance. Otherwise you’ve got some excellent CC power across the board where your torrent comes in with enough FNP/FC bubbles to cover the 3 units which need it. I’m not a fan of DC but they give access to DC Dreads and since our Furiosos are Libbys we want those blood talons!
To get Seth, drop the Sang Priest, put the 9 man ASM back to full strength w/o pistol and then play around with the HG to make them a bit more combat oriented. I think this list is better than your Tac/Dread Vanilla Pods as you have more anti-tank and combat ability for the lack of midfield staying presence (Tacs compared to ASM) but your Marines are tougher thanks to FNP/FC bubbles.

BA Termies @ 2k

(Picture linked from Space Wolf Blog)

Today I’ll be posting a few lists for BA that I’ve been working on. First one is an attempt at Dual Raider/Termie. I still believe the Vanilla Termies are better and more balanced but this makes a tougher rock unit which are still capable of horde control.

HQ –
Libby w/Unleash & Blood Lance

Elites –
Sang Priest x2

5x Assault Termies (4 TH/SS & 1 LC) w/LRC w/MM

5x Assault Termies (3 TH/SS & 2 LC) w/LRR w/MM

Troops –
5x ASM w/mgun, infernus pistol, Rback w/TL Heavy Flamer

5x ASM w/mgun, infernus pistol, Rback w/TL Heavy Flamer

5x ASM w/mgun, infernus pistol, Rback w/TL Heavy Flamer

Fast Attack –
Land Speeder Typhoon

Land Speeder Typhoon

Heavy Support –
Dreadnought w/2x TL autocannon

Dreadnought w/2x TL autocannon

Totals: 2000 points
9 tanks
28 infantry

So in relation to the SM list you’ve got less scoring ability and no Null Zone but your termies are more durable and killy with FNP/FC with the smattering of LCs allowing for some horde control and doesn’t really drop the survivability too much. The Dreads & Typhoons are there for suppression fire which is pretty much the same as Vanilla but without the extra couple of MMs in midfield from the Tacs your suppression fire is a bit less with this list, which also puts the ASM in more danger as they have to get close to tank pop.

You could put something else in those Raiders like ASM or DC but you’re not going to get the efficiency Termies give you but you can flesh out your balance a bit. Overall, if you want to run BA termies @2k this is prob the most balanced list you’ll get with some tweaks open and whilst it plays a little bit differently from the Vanilla Termie lists, I think the Vanilla lists are better overall as they are more balanced by definition.

Warseer & Lash

A thread was posted on Warseer recently about a BA army having trouble with Lash (o.O!) and I was quite impressed with some of the comments but not so with others. So let’s look at what was said and how the army (without changes because he doesn’t want changes) can do to win.

The list is a hybrid BA which I’m not a fan of but will suffice here. The Chaos player has 3 anti-tank units which are also his best anti-infantry units. His Plague marines are obviously min-maxed so can kill a max of 10 ASM but are more likely to kill around 3-5 and can barely ding AV13. So what’s the problem? The BA player needs to reserve everything and drop his Jumpers around the oblits + whatever Preds come on that turn and he should be able to drop around two oblit squads (remember to combat squad). Too much has been oriented at killing the DPs such as…

LKHero: “You have enough shooting in that list to take down the two DPs on the first turn if he exposes them. Otherwise, just advance with cover on all your units and wait for him to cast. Once he casts, use all your shooting on the DP.

If you can’t shoot the DPs, shoot the Oblits. Plague Marines die to multiple charges (which I suggest you do since 1 squad won’t cut it). Preferred Enemy and Sanguine Sword for your Libby.”

DPs aren’t your top prioirty, only the oblits can reliably scare your tanks and are the Chaos player’s best anti-infantry with the PCs. Who cares what the DPs do? Between them they’ll get one Lash off and be able to move a 5 man squad on average 7″ when you are already clumped (see below). Shoot the oblits first. Target priority fail if you don’t. Who cares if you can get lashed if there is nothing that can damage you? And libby should have Blood Lance + Shield (maybe sword) in a jumper list.

Furthermore, Lash does nothing to Jumpers…

blackjack: “at 18″ he can lash my unit out of cover and bunch them up then plasma them to death with Oblit plates. He easily has enough fire power to completely wipe out 2 of my assault units in a single turn.”

Jumpers already come in a nice little pack, plasma cannons already get to screw around with them. Be more worried about him lashing you into cover where you need to take dangerous to move next turn but since none of your squads stand out as bigger targets because they are all small…well who cares if you lose one squad. He’s got 4×5 Plagues and 3×3 Oblits that really scare you and you should of taken out most of the Oblits on T2.

Then there’s a lot of people saying blackjack shouldn’t complain about wanting to change his list (there’s nothing really wrong with it IMO other than being Hybrid) and then to follow LKHero’s advice (again why shoot what DOESN’T scare you, shoot what can do the most damage and isn’t that survivable. 50% of what is being shot at them will be IDing in Lascannons & melta).

More quotes…

martin4696: “Librarian, Jump Pack
**** im guessing you are taking 5+ cover and st10…?

3x 10 Assault Marines, 2 Melta, Fist, inferno pistol.
3 Sanguinary Priests, Jump Packs, Power Weapons
**** hide these behind the armoured wall as much as you can

2 Baal Preds, Twin Assault Cannon, 2 Heavy Bolters, Dozer Blades
**** focus on this deamon princes with these kill one THEN move onto the other 1 (even if you take the 1st one down to 1 wound with the first baal finish him off)

3 Preds, Auto Cannon, 2 Laz Cannons
**** like already said focus on his oblits, you dont have to kill whole units but just take as many out as possible (if you can kill the oblits off you dont really need to worry about lash)”

Okay odd. There’s some good advice here (i.e. if you can kill the oblits you don’t really need to worry about Lash) and then some crap advice like spreading your firepower across targets… this is bad. Also, DPs can see over tank hulls because they are tall which means Lash can actually damage you as you try to be conventional and hide. Enter PC fun on those Jumpers. I’ve said it before here but why not Blood & Shield (or Sword) for Libby? If you’re tailoring to the Lash list with powers…ya well tailoring is fail.

Anyways goes on for a bit more of the same but I still don’t understand why some people can’t get it through their heads. Lash sucks and against good non-mech armies doesn’t bother them.

GWvsJohn’s Adventures in Vassal, Chapter 2: Necromunda

We’ve all seen them. It’s not every day on Vassal, but it happens. Those two old friends, separated due to college, pushing a seemingly random assortment of sprites around a 4’x4′ board, following the arcane 2nd edition rules. We know what’s going on. They’re playing Necromunda, and we’re jealous.

Necromunda on Vassal makes a lot of sense. Many turn to Vassal because they don’t have the time to play tabletop: Necro games are shorter than the usual 40k. The big downside to Vassal is that it’s full of randoms, noobs and assholes: Necro lends itself to a league/campaign with people you already know and trust. Converting that random heavy who has a plasma gun, laspistol and a bionic eye is a huge pain: Vassal sprites are easy to label.
The problem of course is gathering that group that is willing and able to play regularly. I’m willing to put in some time and effort organizing a campaign. I can set up a Google Group (or something similar) to monitor the gangs. I can keep master track of games and gang changes. I can set up more fluff-type events and special games if the campaign is running smoothly.
So it really falls to you. Are any of you interesting in joining a Vassal Necromunda league? I’m starting here for the same reason I asked Kirby to let me post. I think this blog has the tightest and smartest group of readers (assuming the commenters represent the general makeup of the readers) of all the blogs I frequent. If the response here is encouraging, I will expand my search to YTTH and some other blogs, eventually looking to fill out the ranks on the forums.
So, drop a comment here if you have any interest in Necromunda at all, or if you have any ideas on how to make an online/Vassal Necro league work.

Armies in 5th: Blood Angels Part 2: Army Styles?

We all know how good mech is in 5th and we should all have realised by now the effectiveness of certain foot lists or a combination of both (hybrid) but where do BA’s strengths lie? I think we shall find that BA works much like the Puppies book here. It makes good mech and “foot” lists but the hybrid lists are a bit compromised. Whilst hybrid lists can be utilised by the BA book and be effective, I think pure jumper or mech (or a pod army) is far more effective than hybrid, very much like the SW book. Unlike Tau or IG, the BA army style does not condone itself to hybrid. Let’s see why.

So we’ve talked about Hybrid on this blog a bit, in fact I do believe I’ve ranted over it ^^. Hybrid done properly is a very good army, so let’s look at what it means to be done properly. First though I will link you to my previous rant. Whilst it is ranting, it highlights the problems of hybrid when done incorrectly and I’ll be referring to some of those points throughout. So we know that Tau and IG are the best Hybrid armies out there, both of which use Troops as effective bubble-wrap units, although Tau takes it further with JSJ infantry. Both of these armies are essentially mech gunlines which have a bubble-wrap for defense.

So what are the primary features of these Hybrid armies that don’t feature in BA (or SW) hybrid armies? Their infantry aspect is essentially meant to die; it’s protecting the meat of the army and the Tau or IG player isn’t crying when they eventually fold and die. They are a delay unit, pure and simple. Whilst they can put out some firepower for the IG, everything else does so at a greater rate. BA/SW don’t have this luxury. Their infantry based guys are generally part of the army and need to do something and are thus moving into midfield. This opens them to more firepower and importantly, more firepower that is anti-infantry. Because the IG/Tau players don’t care if their bubble-wraps die, the application of anti-infantry firepower on the bubble-wrap doesn’t bother the player. For BA/SW, it does; particularly since those infantry units are often assault based or part of the meat of the army (I.e. TWC or ASM). So let’s look a bit deeper into this with BA.

Whilst BA hybrid allows anti-infantry and anti-tank guns multiple targets from the get-go that aren’t interchangeable (I.e. it doesn’t become a choice for your opponent of whether or not to shoot the infantry or tanks unlike say Tyranid Warriors and a Hive Tyrant, both of which are ideal targets for S8+ weapons), are there any advantages conferred by this army style? The theory would suggest by moving your Predators and/or Razorbacks/Rhinos forward you will be providing your Jumpers behind with at the minimum cover and the much more likely result of being “hidden” from most conventional weapons (but 40k is full of unconventional). Sounds good, yes? I’m sure in real-life most army infantry would love to have a tank as mobile cover but let’s look at in 40k.

So what happens when those screening vehicles die or when the opponent has other tanks/terrain/tactics that allow them to “see“ over your mech wall? The jumpers are suddenly getting shot quite liberally and they will be bunched up to gain advantage of the mech screen (if they aren’t, why are you running hybrid!?). Suddenly all those anti-infantry blasts are pouring into your jumpers and it seems like you’d of been better off either massing jumpers or bum-rushing with Rhinos as one weapon type doesn’t have the type of target it desires. Why one or the other? You get more saturation of one type and you overwhelm your target. Consider 16 armoured chassis’s or 50+ FNP marines. That’s a tall order for anyone to ping through quickly compared to half of each because every gun is going to have a target essentially from T1.

However, what about a biker equivalent of a Fast’N’Slow list? Now we are getting somewhere! This is where you combine a solid block of jumpers w/FNP bubbles and back it up with cheap suppression fire. Since BA have ‘shooty’ dreads in Heavy Support this leaves HQ, Troops and Elites to create your jumper block (which can include winged Dreads, ooo). I think a Vanilla biker list has the advantage over a Jumper list in this vein as they don’t rely on combat for anti-infantry torrent and are able to get 3xdread/pred/typhoon for suppression fire whilst BA have more of a hammer feel to it.

So, BA seem to be best suited for pure infantry (jumper), mech or podding armies rather than hybrid style armies. The one style I think has some merit is a jumper styled Biker list but again it plays differently with decreased suppression fire availability.

Armies in 5th: Blood Angels Part 1: Differences to Marines

So the Blood Angels have finally come out and my first Armies in 5th post about them will highlight a difference I think a lot of people haven’t grasped yet: they are not “better” Vanilla marines. Vanilla marines are very good at dual Raider, Bikers, Mech spam (in the vein of Best Of variants), Dread pods, etc. @ 2k. Whilst BA can do some of these armies (I.e. dual Raider, Mech and Pods) they do them completely differently to SM just like SW do it differently for SM. With that in mind, I think the forums have over-rated BA to a significant degree. Yes they are powerful but they are balanced and certainly aren’t an easy pick over other SM types. What really tickles me pink over this book is the ability to run “fast” MEQ in the vein of Eldar and the fact that it is another book which you can run Mech and foot armies with. The variability of the book is just fantastic and some of the new models are excellent (I’ll be using Sanguinary Guard as my VV) so good job to GW again who seem to have cottoned on to good business lately (though lack of Thunderwolves, Tervigons/T-Fexes, Storm Ravens, plastic Sanguinary Priests, etc. still puzzles me).

So what is this article all about? I’ll be looking at what makes BA different from SW/SM and where their book will excel. It’s in essence a really brief review before I start getting into the meat of things with more specific articles. So what sets BA apart from their counter-parts?

Their vehicles (excluding Land Raiders) are fast. This is great to throw a bunch of 3+/FNP/FC marines into your opponent’s face but also throws you closer into melta range. Unlike Eldar, only the Stormraven doesn’t care about melta range so your Preds, Rhinos, Vindis and Rbacks don’t really want to get too close. You can also throw a bunch of FNP marines into your opponent’s face with Jump Packs/Pods, etc. so that doesn’t seem like a good use of the BA speed, more like taking SW/SM concepts and going “oooo shiny”. The points increase should stop you before you do this. So what does this speed advantage allow you to do with your tanks?

Well Preds can suddenly sit at their optimum range a lot easier being able to move 6” and not care about shooting penalties. You pay for this but the points increase isn’t huge unlike a Vindicator. The ability to take 6 Preds (3 of which can scout) also allows you to make choo-choo trains with AV13 and still move and fire. Thanks Baals. These concepts lead mech BA to generally be better at having their heavier tanks play gunboats (like Eldar) but combines then bum rushing technique with as many Marines and meltas as possible (unlike Eldar). You can maximise such tactics by creating more target problems with Razorback Marines supporting the melta marines all the while those preds provide firepower. Suddenly you’ve got a lot of midfield firepower and a lot of backfield firepower coming at you which is similar to the Best Of approach but plays very differently.

This is also why fast Vindies aren’t that awesome. They get closer to melta and die or get side shots. Who cares if they attract a ton of firepower (this is why a lot of Warseer gives them the thumb up)? As soon as I stop it shooting I move on and when you provide me with easier AV11 options and bring it closer to my melta, that’s more likely to happen. If they don’t die they can land on your Marines (who don’t like it) because BA are designed to have their Troops close. This makes Preds or Dreads in HSupport are much better options.

BA also bring a new army to the table. I’ve mentioned it a couple times before, had it flamed on Warseer, proven it’s worth, still have it flamed on Warseer and have decided to order in the Jump Packs for it…that’s right, the Jumper army we have all wanted is actually competitive now. It has obvious weaknesses (mystics and an Executioner will ruin your day) but can deal with the majority of armies out there. It takes advantage of the FNP/FC bubbles BA can produce and drops a lot of MEQs w/meltas and combat weapons in your opponent’s face. Commence operation firesweep. No other army can do this, thank you GW.

Like SM, BA can do decent Drop armies where Dreads/Marines are split to provide what is needed and when. Unlike SM, BA have multiple Dread options and can field a potential of 11 Dreads (which is unlikely) which each have a different role including the new DC Dread which can tear through squads and the Libby Dread which not only combines the might and armor of a Furioso dread but the psychic might of a librarian. This variability allows you to apply what you need where but reduces some redundancy.

Furthermore, they are the 2nd Imperial army to have a ‘heavy’ skimmer which also brings in a new assault vehicle. This opens up a large amount of options for BA and is their answer to the SM dual raider. Again, it plays very differently to the other book, GW is not stupid (currently). Whilst BA can run dual raider w/TH/SS, the Vanilla one is more efficient in points spent. BA can utilise Termies and coupled with FNP/FC bubbles can be better than the Vanilla variants (but they pay a bit more) but again it becomes a completely different army. If you try to take your exact dual raider models or mech models and turn it into a BA list, you’re going to fit less in. This is the price of BA but when you think outside the box and combine ideas, suddenly you can build different armies that take advantage of the BA’s strengths.

Again this is an overview and will start to get into the thick of it ASAP but all depends on my assignments. Could be tomorrow could be a couple days from now but if anyone has anything to add, comment or e-mail away. Remember, BA are NOT Puppies or Vanilla Marines. They play differently and for good reason.

Armies in 5th: Basics Part 4: Movement

Here we are back again. We’ve now covered building your army and target priority in varied detail (whilst nearly skipping over deployment) so let’s look at movement. Movement, beyond deployment and army composition, is the most important part of Warhammer 40,000 because as the player you have the most control over it. Very rarely do you have to roll dice (and thus rely on randomness) for you to be able to move. This is why difficult terrain is…well difficult. It throws a spanner into your works and why being able to generate your own cover (through 5th edition rules or shenanigans) or move through cover more effectively (dozer blades, move through cover, flip-belts, etc.) is so valuable.

Like deployment, going into every trench and forest of movement would take forever, something I don’t have but unlike deployment some more general guidelines are feasible here. Firstly as mentioned in the previous article, make sure you keep your firelanes open. This varies from army to army and what is out on the field at the time. For example it’s easy to keep a turret of a Predator, Wave Serpent or Lemun Russ firing as it can see over most other tanks but sponsons or hull mounted weapons generally can’t. Infantry also generally have their LoS blocked by tanks but skimmers can often allow infantry to shoot under them (but be shot in return), etc. This is where deployment can make or break armies (i.e. having infantry with heavy weapons on the ground and not being able to see anything compared to in the ruins) and why you need to predict what you are going to need and where. Whilst it is obviously impossible to predict everything, after practice you should have a better understanding of how the game will unfold. The better you are at this, the better you will be as a player (i.e. T4, multiple wound models deploying on the other side of the board of a Vindicator; if the Vindicator player predicted this and based his next moves on it, he now has an advantage, if the other player put his MW models in-range of the Vindicator he also has an advantage, etc.).

So again it comes down to knowing your army and your opponents. What guns do I want firing next turn? Am I likely to blow up tank A and therefore be in a position to damage whatever was in the tank? Is what is left in the tank a threat and do I therefore need to deal with it? Are some of the questions you need to ask. Being able to destroy a transport and its occupants is the coup de grace so to speak and the best way to destroy clumped infantry is with blasts or templates. Templates are often short-ranged and thus you need to understand this during your movement phase and be able to move those templates up (an Immo spam army takes advantage of this principle to the hilt). At the same time this might overextend your army on a unit that doesn’t need destroying or can be delayed, keeping your army together (for the most part) is more valuable than destroying a single unit though some armies are much more capable of spreading out (such as Eldar) whilst losing little in board control or tactical flexibility.

This brings us to blocking. Blocking is a skill underutilised by many and in fact is often ignored, until their single LR gets blocked for 90% of the game and doesn’t go anywhere. Whilst this is most easily done with fast and small speeders early-game against ‘super units’, it can be used at any point. At any point you can clog up clear terrain with a tank or spread out a unit in front of your other units to create a “bubble”. You can throw units or tanks into the face of your enemy to sacrifice them and slow your opponent. This boils down to loss and gain. Not often is losing a Rhino game-breaking but slowing a Nob Biker squad for a turn is. This gives you another turn to mobilise or shoot and as Tau well know, this wins you games.

Another important concept of movement has been called ‘cho-cho training.’ I’ve given an example previously but essentially it is gaining cover as much as possible for the majority of your armor with the lead tank artificially producing cover (either through terrain or items). To give as much cover as possible to the majority of your units (both mech and non-mech) requires thinking. Cover increases the survivability of your units by 50%. That’s huge. If you can play the whole game with cover, your opponent’s shooting needs to be twice as effective to do “normal” damage. You can do this for free; sounds good to me. This relates back to my first point as well, if you can do this and let your units behind the original unit still shoot, you’re increasing your defense for very little drop off in offense. With infantry units make sure to hide your regular guys and leave heavy weapons in the open. This makes them more likely to have clear LoS (and thus not provide cover) but still have cover from the majority of the unit being in cover. Whilst such options as these sound great, your opponent will (hopefully) be attempting to deny you cover whilst gaining as much cover as possible themselves. By taking such weapons as Manticores or Blood Lance you can reduce vehicle walling and force your opponent to adapt.

This is a quick point as it relates to assault (obviously a different topic) but you need to set up your assaults in the movement phase. Are you assaulting something behind a screening unit, inside a transport or dead in front of you? Are you planning for multi-assaults and are there ICs involved? All of these factors are important to you in the MOVEMENT phase because there are very specific rules you must follow during the assault process (i.e. closest model to closest model). This can involve blocking assault lanes (but keeping fire lanes open) with vehicles, placing hidden PFists in the middle of the squad so they can target ICs if needed, etc. I’ll go over this more in the assault section but remember assaults are setup in the movement and if you screw it up…your assaults can fail.

So now that we’ve covered a few basic concepts (LoS, cover, blocking, etc.) what does movement allow us to do? Obviously it gets us closer for short-ranged weapons and assaults but it also allows you to move into midfield and take advantage of terrain. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, 5th edition often revolves around midfield. This is due to objectives, the importance placed on short-range weapons (not much beats a meltagun in tank popping), the ease of cover (angles get taken away, look at a soccer goalie) and the increased movement speed across armies (i.e. mech + Run!). You’ve got to venture into midfield or wipe your opponent out in most games, so you have to account for midfield. This is your “ultimate” goal. Whilst getting into your opponent’s backfield can often disrupt their own plans, it will also leave you overstretched unless your whole army can do so (i.e. jumper armies, pods, eldar ,etc.). So whilst you are keeping fire lanes clear, maintaining trains for cover and thinking ahead for blocking and assaults, remember your ultimate goal of maintaining midfield. More often than not if you control midfield, you win the game.

Some things of note…

Sorry kids I’ve been quiet of late, got a couple of assignments due shortly and as some of you may have noticed Mrs. Kirby’s and my own birthday are quite close together. The bottles of wine are pilling up! Others may have noticed (in fact, some of you may have noticed both of these!) we have a new author on 3++ in GWvsJohn. I’m not planning on handing out authorships but if anyone has ideas of merit and presents them to myself you never know. I’ll add GWvsJohn’s e-mail to the opening paragraph of the blog.

So, BA has finally been released. I will be doing my Armies in 5th articles for them but would like some opinions on what to do after them but I might wait on that next section to see what the rumors confirm as the next codex (wouldn’t want to look at Eldar and then get a new codex to do now, would I?). Anyways, I’ll more than likely be making the jumper BA army I posted before with some changes so another army on the table for me…at least with this one all I need to do is buy about oh..30ish jump packs and magnetise my marines + paint up some Vanguard (i.e. Sang guard models).

I’ll try and post two Armies in 5th articles today but all depends on my ability to work on my assignments as well. As always any questions just send them over.

Oh P.S., waiting on ethics but we should get permission soon to start handing out surveys for my research thesis so if anyone is interested I will most likely place a link to our site and would appreciate any number of participants :). It will all be explained on the site.