Monday, November 04, 2013
Sixth Edition Tactical Analysis • Reactive versus Active
There are several ways to play the game competitively now - two methods that quickly come to mind are shooting versus assault. Mobility is another key factor. The combination of these three attributes has always been a key to playing at the most competitive level. Obviously shooting is considered the top attribute in sixth edition and dominates most of the lists we see. Tau are obviously very strong at shooting while eldar are also very good as well plus they inherently have much better mobility with things like their wave serpents and Battle Focus. Space Marines have seen a huge resurgence in the game with the release of the new codex and can bring the total package to the game if properly designed.
The term reactive is used to represent a fundamentally built shooting army while the term active represents an assault army... Both benefit from being mobile. As I said above the best armies are built around shooting, mobility and assault. Tau and eldar both being currently considered the two top armies adds more fuel to the tenant that shooting is the king in sixth edition. Tau have some built in mobility with their jet packs and can counter fast eldar units such as jetbikes via specialized shooting such as their Smart Missile Systems (SMS).
I have posted many batreps here that demonstrate the strength of assault in the current meta. The key to assault is getting your melee units stuck in close combat... This can be quite a challenge but with the advent of more LoS blocking terrain it's certainly not as hard as it used to be. Obviously mobility greatly favors an active army.
A solid tactic for active armies is to coral in a reactive army preventing them from breaking out from their deployment zone. The reactive army then has nowhere to run and can be assaulted with impunity. Thus superior mobility is the key to winning with an active army versus a reactive army. One reactive army versus another will have a huge advantage if it's more mobile.
Two armies that should be mentioned in this discussion are Daemons and Tyranids. Both armies can be a tough matchup for both Tau and eldar... However both armies depend a lot on their psychic powers to consistently win though and one game with bad dice for their psychic tests can take either out of the game.
I am planning to demonstrate these concepts in more detail soon with some new batreps.