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Thursday, February 26, 2015

40k Tutorial • Deployment 101

Hi everybody - it's your friendly neighborhood Black Blow Fly here with a basic bare bones tutorial for newer players to the game that want to play competitively in tournaments. No dirty tricks or underhanded tactics... Just some basic techniques that might help you improve your game. I was at the LVO this past weekend and watched several games at the top tables during the final day. There were some armies that made it based on skill rather than spamming or dropping the most broken stuff on the table which was refreshing to see.

Drop Pods and Null Deployment
Null deployment is a style in which you deploy nothing on the table. This means you must have some units that automatically arrive from reserve the first turn... Typically the more the better too. Drop pods can do this as well as can the Grey Knight Nemesis Strike Force (NSF).

One of the major advantages of this deployment is avoiding the alpha strike while being able to hit your opponent with the alpha strike. This style can do very well versus certain armies such as flying circus if you go first since you can shoot them while their flying monstrous creatures (FMCs) are still on the ground. It may also force your opponent to start some of their key units in reserve since they don't want to risk losing them the first turn.

A major drawback to null deployment is these types of armies have limited movement once they arrive. Serpent spam for example can jink then turbo boost away and run circles around you.

Space Marine biker armies have never been better than now. Of course the best chapter tactic for this style of army is White Scars:

- S5 Hammer of Wrath for bike squads
- Outflank and Scout if you take the Khan as your Warlord
- 3++ jink save
- Hit and Run

These are all huge advantages with no real drawbacks. Deploy all your units to overload the opponent... Bikes are hard to kill with T5 and the 3++ jink. If you don't take Khan you can turbo boost all your bikes the first turn... Often it's just as good if not better than the scout move.

This is a highly mobile army that can quickly decimate the enemy. I have found it's better to go with all biker units to play to the strength of the central theme. It can do well versus flying circus and flyer heavy armies since you'll always dominate the ground. Keep moving ! Versus flyers grav guns cause immobilization which automatically removes them from play if they roll a 1 or 2 on a d6... It sounds like a long shot but it's actually very efficient if you have enough grav guns and that's why I eschew mixing your special weapons with melta and plasma. Twin linked bolters can be brutal versus any unit they can wound. I run the attack bikes with multi-meltas to increase the odds versus heavily armored tanks and fortifications.

Defensive Deployment
As has been noted this is a very shooty game now. Never before can an army lay down so much fire power... Even more than the old leaf blower Imperial Guard... Whoops I meant to say Astra Militarum. Strangely enough assault armies can still win but they must be able to weather one to two turns of enemy shooting prior to locking horns and breaking off a piece. Heavy shooting has been augmented by ridiculous levels of cover saves often up to a 2++ if certain conditions are met such as night fighting or stealth in ruins.

The best cover is complete line of sight blocking then your only worry is barrage which is not all that prevalent except mainly for Thunderfire Cannons and Wvyerns which both can ignore cover. You can refuse flank versus barrage to keep out of their maximum range if necessary or even better deploy your units using the fire drill - every single model is at least two inches apart.

Defensive deployment is a must for dark eldar with their paper airplanes. Holding some of your units in reserve is another way to help avoid the alpha strike too... This is great for units that can outflank or are flyers (obviously). Your army must be properly designed from top to bottom for this style of play.

Deployment can make or break you. It is still one of the most important aspects to the game. A lot depends on who goes first or second but it's not as critical now since you don't have to move first to jink and casting psychic powers is a separate phase.

Deployment is often overlooked by players and they inevitably pay the hard price if they make mistakes and are sloppy. I didn't touch on things like fortifications since I never use them but they are tools to help you.

Remember that practice makes perfect. In time you'll get it down. Be focused.

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