Tuesday, February 17, 2015
40k Advanced Tactical Analysis - Parallel vs. Series Attack
A parallel attack is composed of multiple units fighting side by side while a series attack is composed of multiple units hitting the enemy in one wave after another. Obviously this discussion is centered around assaulting the enemy.
A good example of a parallel attack is White Scars bikers due to their excellent mobility. Versus the Green Tide for example you can shoot then charge the mob with multiple units then use Hit and Run during their turn to break from combat then shoot and assault them again your next turn. This is a very powerful tactic versus horde armies such as the Green Tide and Astra Militarum blobs. One unit alone cannot inflict enough damage to overcome the enemy mass but multiple units can and do.
A good example of series attack is a classic Tyranid horde army. Large units of gaunts and raveners quickly advance in the front line forcing the opponent to deal with them first while the heavy hitting slower units such as carnifexen move in from behind to form a second wave. An army designed for this style of play should have at least three waves, four or more is better. The third wave is there to take out whatever is left over from the first two waves. The third wave should be the strongest and most durable since it will have to tackle the opponent's most durable units they hold back for a counter punch.
There is also the hybrid combining both parallel and series attack elements. A good example is the combination of White Scars bikers and Space Wolves deployed in drop pods. The drop podding units form the series attack formation and if you have two or more drops arriving on turn 1 then they can fight in parallel as well. The White Scars biker units form the second parallel wave. So you can actually interleave your parallel and series attack formations within each other.
A hybrid army is a network of intertwined units fighting together versus the opponent with well coordinated attacks. This is the most powerful of the three styles and requires both a well designed army list and the ability to pull off complex tactics required to bring the overall strategy to fruitition. Tactics such as these demonstrate that the assault phase is still very viable and can win games versus top tier armies such as serpent spam and daemons.