Okay we all know the game is three phases per player turn. Move, shoot and assault. A good friend of mine once said that if you can dominate any two phases you should win. I think this is true. 5th edition has made the game much more dynamic. Sure you can build an IG army full of mech that sits and shoots but the codex gives you some great new rules such as lumbering that makes it easy to move and still shoot a lot. IG is one of those armies that still doesn't have an auto win net list like lash spam, nob bikers and fateweaver crusher spam but we have all seen that IG is winning their share now. The codex is complex and you have a lot of options now. The new orders seem okay but much like doctrines it's not part of the winning core. To me it's funny that GW scaled back CSM but then later came out with the IG codex.
So back on topic this thread is about the phases of the game and how to maximize what they can do for you. I've covered shooting in good detail already and provided some thoughts on assaults. If you read on of my entries on Blood Angels tactics I wrote about linking assaults. Linking your assaults is very powerful for close combat oriented armies and I had a lot of success with this tactic versus horde style armies such as Nidz and Orks. Linking assaults helps small powerful elite armies to beat hordes. If you stop to think about it horde armies typically have the following characteristics:
*Many cheap units (gaunts, slugga boyz etc.)
*A few uber units - Nidz have their monsterous creatures and orks have their warbosses and Nobz
*Ability to make the many cheap units fearless
Those large swarms look intimidating and they make for effective screens to protect the uber units. However with the new assault rules it's easy to make horde armies inherent advantages work against themselves. The trick is to multi charge and link your assaults. Horde armies are not going to sit back, they are going to come right at you. Both orks and Nidz have some problems dealing with mech lists, lootaz being a notable exception to lightly armored transports. Linking assaults means that you will let the hordes approach, charge your mech wall and then you counter assault. You hit them with everything and make sure that all combats are linked together by charging each of your units into multiple enemy units. Stuff like power fists should preferably target the big stuff. You have the upper hand since you charged the horde, you score a lot more wounds then each and every enemy unit must take all those additional armor saves since you won combat. Being fearless coupled with terrible armor saves is not a good thing. The cheap units die in droves and even the uber units get torn up. When it's all over and done with your small but powerful elite army suddenly has numerical superiority. This tactic can work against any foot slogging army if your opponent keeps his units close together. I've used this tactic to table many armies.
So to me that is what close combat is all about. One super turn of assault that cripples the enemy. It can be done and works best versus hordes.