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Drop Pod Element in non-Drop Pod List Tactics

Submitted By: Algavinn of the Many Paths Date: January 26, 2012, 10:53:08 PM Views: 2338
Summary: A discussion concerning the use of Space Marine Drop Pods in Marine lists that are not based ON a mostly drop pod list. Uses, equipment, tactics, etc. 5th edition based.

Drop Pod Tactics In Non-Drop Based Armies


Most Marine players place the use of drop pods solely within the realm of the drop pod army, or often only the repertoire of the aggressive style list, on top of just missing so many of the tactics, capabilities, and uses of the drop pod.  I find this a terrible waste, indeed an omission of one of the Space Marines best tactical options.  Nothing offers us more mobility, precision, and initiative than the drop pod.  The key here is the initiative.  Battles are won and lost over this primary attribute, with mobility being its primary vehicle (pun totally intended).  Here I will address the use of drop pods in strategies, lists, and armies that cater to other than the all-out drop attack.  This isn't as ordered as I usually prefer, but so much of how you use the drop pod, and with what units/load-outs means it's really better for me to speak of some concepts, some examples, and then just in a fashion simply list off a lot of particular ways to use the various deadly permutations.  So in a way this is more of a slightly organized list of tactical observations and suggestions than a standard article.  Just stick with it.  There are some EPIC Microsoft paint illustrations of some of the described examples at the bottom.  Also, while long, this is not exhaustive in the options available for the ideas discussed.

Insert standard disclaimer/article intro paragraph here: The prime rule of 40k is to kill your opponent, and survive.  This is also translated as carrying out your strategic plans through tactical moves, and attempting to stop your opponent from doing the same to you.  On paper there is likely nothing better than drop pod in the Space Marine arsenal to fulfill this.  This is true because we are able to take some tooled up deadly, resilient, and infinitely mobile troops and put them where we need them immediately upon starting the game.  They cannot be killed until they are placed where we want them and given a chance to perform.  This is absolute.  Instead of continuing to blather on in general abstractions let us approach this directly with an example of two applications of drop pods.

Firstly though, let me please weaken the common foolish notion that every unit must ‘win back its points’.  This is erroneous and often stupid.  Many units do not exist to kill, but to offer protection, mobility, or other forms of support to your more lethal units.  Also if you limit yourselves to thinking that every unit must spend every waking combat moment trying to destroy the enemy, you handicap yourself substantially.  Some units must be sacrificed to hold down a flank, some must be used to soak up threatening firepower, and some must sit and do nothing on the off chance you need a quick reactionary force or for last moment objective contesting.   Drop pod units are meant to be very threatening, and kill a lot of enemies.  However they will often not win back their points directly.  They will, however, turn the tides of battle as your opponent on the first turn lost his main ranged firepower unit that may have ripped apart your transports, or raped your scoring units.  Maybe it gave your ranged units two more turns to fire at your advancing close combat opponent.  Take every casualty your ranged elements caused in two turns and attribute it to your drop units.  Are they worth their points now?

We continue.

My primary army is an Ultramarines force based around a heavy fire base which pounds at the enemy until he is dead.  The problem with these armies is facing armies of superior mobility, most often, so on top of directly killing your opponent with ranged fire, you will wish to slow down your opponent and get as much time to fire from range as possible before they close, or do whatever other maneuvering they can to inhibit your firepower.  How do drop pods play into this?  I started using drop pods primarily to stop my opponent from getting to me so quickly, so would either tar pit infantry (150 Orks, ouch!), forcing my opponent to either stop and deal with me (a pain when it’s power armour) or suffer considerable rapid fire and flamer casualties from behind, or I would take down my opponents armoured transports (3 Rhinos, a Razorback, and a Landraider… so troublesome).  Now days I do a more mechanized army with mobile firepower (Landspeeders, Vindicators, Landraider+Terminators, etc.) and the drop pods can keep my enemy from being able to redeploy to the sides, only moving towards my advancing rolling death if he is against the edge of the table, or help manipulate his movement and flow of attack.

A second incarnation of drop pod use is in a more (non-drop pod) aggressive army.  Few of you may be familiar with my “Locking,” “Lock and Hammer,” and other related articles in my “Mechanics of the Bahzhakhain” article set from some two or so years ago in the Eldar boards.  This is fairly similar to that.  This army is focused around heavy hitting medium to close range units, such as perhaps a CC terminator squad inside a Land Raider, a few Vindicators, some bikes riding behind them, and other mobile fire support.  In this army the drop pods would be acting more as killing and locking units.  Locking meaning by some means stopping an opposing unit from moving, firing or engaging in a CC of its choice.  Here I would use my drop pods to hold my opponent from the flanks so he cannot move away from my attack, hold him so he cannot use deadly units to move to engage my attack, or perhaps focus on destroying his anti-tank units or powerful CC units that would threaten my main force. 

So with these two examples you can see how one might include a drop pod element into various non-drop pod oriented marine armies.  There is certainly a lot more to this set of tactics however, so let us delve into some details.


Drop Pod Uses:

1: Kill team.  Before all other objectives in 40k, there is killing your opponent.  You can often ignore all objectives and destroy your opponent, if your army is equipped for it.  Drop pod units are ideal for upon your first turn raining intense firepower at an enemy unit of your choice, seeking to eliminate its threat early on in the game.  This is often the most important use of any drop pod, along with heavy uses of the below.

2: Interdiction.  This unit is meant to stop an opponent from moving, or engaging its preferred target.  You may use the drop pod(s) itself to block LoS for heavy weapon teams or vehicles, you may use the pods to actually block the path units may take (I once used a pod and a dread inside it to force a Land Raider to take an extra two turns to get around them and terrain to move to assault my army) and as given in example above the drop pod squad can drop in front of or behind an enemy unit/detachment and force it into CC or suffer considerable casualties.  You can often bog down several units with one tactical squad, allowing time for your ranged units to gain effective superiority or arms, or limit the amount of squads to counter assault while you rush into CC with your main force.  If nothing else you take a considerable portion of your opponents’ army and hold it while your ranged elements pound on a smaller portion of his army.  This may be used towards the goal of achieving something of ranged fire superiority.  Once your opponent is released from the annoyance or threat of your drop element (if it is at all!) you will hopefully have dispatched with much of his unengaged forces, continuing to face a smaller force that you may finish with further ranged contact.

This also extends to my example at the beginning with my current mech Marine list where my drop pods can "Fix" the enemy force, by dropping on either side or in some manner to keep the enemy from being able to redeploy away from my advancing ranged firepower or laden transports.  Heavy firepower from both sides, two Vindicator rounds and several missile launcher shots from head on at only 1000 points, and you can't get away?  This is hard to face down for almost any army.  If they address the drop pods with enough force to fully dispatch them, they are likely to have your other units either pounding on them the whole time, or now in range largely unmolested and able to rip them apart (especially in cases for things like Vindicators).  If they try to move away from the dropped units, they likely aren't destroying them unless they are leaving the engaged element behind to probably be destroyed by you, and unless they are using skimmers may very well just be heading closer to your main force anyway.

3: Objectives.  While I don’t often go for objectives, preferring to annihilate my opponent and any ability he has of claiming objectives, you may choose to drop squads onto an objective early on in the game and hold it securely under support of or while waiting for additional forces.

4. Funneling, denial, and other misc. tactics.  These are less often used forms of drop pod tactics, but good ones to keep in mind.  One can often force an opponent to funnel his units inter tighter formations when you use a combination of drop pods and terrain to give limited space for your opponents to move through, leaving them vulnerable to blast templates.  You can also drop in cover, forcing your opponents to slog it out in open ground, in certain situations, and should they seek to assault you, they must do so into cover, slowing them down further.


The Drop Pod; Equipment and Tactics: 

-Firstly realize that your drop pod is almost essentially unstoppable.  There is virtually nothing your opponent can do to stop your dropped squad from piling out and getting one turn of intense firing on your target.  If you drop multiple pods you may even box in a unit against terrain or a corner of the board and force them into combat whether they want it or not.  Dropping behind them means they face you or your unit chases after rapid firing the whole way.  This is initiative.  They cannot stop this tactic from being instituted, so grab onto their snout and take what you can.  Few armies outside of the Chaos Daemons, Eldar and Dark Eldar can use such tactics, so do not underestimate its power and rarity. 

-The drop pod itself is incredibly cheap.  You have practically zero reason to ever not take one, barring some odd wish to use a Rhino ( :p ).  One should typically take an odd number of drop pods so that on the first turn you may immediately drop as many as possible. 

-Use of a locator beacon may be a good idea, so that subsequent drops will be precise.  This is obviously only mandated by the units you use, the units you face, your goals and intentions for your pods and their contents, etc.  There is no fast rule here.  I personally don’t use beacons as by the time the next pod comes in usually the flank I attacked is collapsed, or the force I was attacking has moved/I have reason to attack elsewhere.  This is also dependent on what, if any, other deep striking squads you will be implementing.  Use discretion.  If you have a substantial continued drop of pods coming, or things like Terminators/Vanguard dropping in, having a pod with a beacon may be a completely valid reason FOR the pod to exist. And first time you do that, pulling down a totally geared out vanguard squad into the middle of their army that can assault right away!?  Truly epic.

-Because the drop pods upon landing are cheap empty immobile transports, they are almost always left alone, unless some capable weapon is sitting there with nothing else in sight to shoot at.  Given this the onboard weapons actually tend to perform fairly well for me in weakening a unit or helping finishing off something small.  It can give an opponent no end of frustration when repeated or combined drop pod fire takes down his HQ unit, or some ranged element.  So do not discount the fire this unit can offer.  Given this one may wish to consider the Deathwind Missile Launcher.  I personally do not use this piece of equipment.  For one, despite its apparent appeal, it cannot fire the first turn, combined with its short range this considerably negates the possible casualties this will cause.  Such capacity will also likely draw fire, or will just have your opponent avoiding its range (which can be useful for focusing your opponent’s path, but not something to be counted on).  Also, it is relatively expensive.  In addition, its short range and scatter can endanger your own dropped squad.  I suggest against it, but consider its boons and vices and use discretion. 

-Another beneficial attribute, or at times a drawback, is the status of the drop pod as a vehicle.  In just about any marine list I field, I include at least five vehicles.  This is from the one thousand point level and up, with three medium and two light vehicles.  This is often a lot for any army to deal with, even as we reach the 1750 level.  Add in three drop pods?  Even more armour to deal with, so they are often ignored because of the opportunity cost of letting that vindicator get another round off.  In an army with few or no vehicles, mind the fact that your drop pods may get popped very quickly, denying their utility of blocking line of sight, depending on the degree of its destruction.  Also note that in vehicle heavy lists, dropping infantry or vehicles may mean the drop squad lasting longer or shorter depending, due to there being an abundance of anti-tank or anti-personnel firepower that is rendered useless against the core of your army due to its composition.  Obviously I can’t say anything concretely useful here, so just keep these things in mind when choosing your drop unit, and working out target/use priority.

-There is versatility when using multiple drop pods because you don’t have to choose which pods will go down first until your first turn.  You can then choose which pods are most useful to be placed in immediately, and which can wait until the reserve roll.  Need to keep your army versatile because you don’t know what you will face?  Have three pods, one anti-tank, one anti-personnel, and one versatile unit or one fit for interdiction, etc.

-Just as with any other unit, dedication of itself in isolation is often with acceptance that it will die.  In many situations this is acceptable, but it is always ideal for your unit to survive the battle (aside from obvious situations where dying in CC will leave the victorious unit open to your fire), especially if your drop squad is a scoring unit in a scenario where this matters.  So unless you have specific need for your drop pods to be separated, I suggest, and personally use, drop pods in tandem to fire at or interdict and block the same unit/detachment, with support from ranged firepower as available.  Do be clear, however.  Many of these drop pod units, in most situations, will die.  They will however impart a heavy blow to the enemy, and offer considerable utility to you.  This we will begin to delve into below.  Think of it as sacrificing a unit for almost guaranteeing a 'critical hit' against any enemy you can drop your pod next to, with anything beyond that being a bonus...and some chance existing for a flop.

One such example is against one opponent’s horde Ork army, which because of his numbers (approx 150+ Orks) he was deployed across his entire DZ, while I was able to deploy in one corner.  In order to slow him, I put two drop squads onto the closest mob and with combined ranged fire destroyed it, damaged the next, and placed myself in a position to slow down further advancing mobs.  This was also close enough to gain fire support from my firepower core and two advancing terminator squads.  Had I placed my squads varyingly across the battlefield, they would have been quickly overwhelmed and passed, likely allowing his hordes to reach my core army (a feat he never managed).

-I must also add that there are certainly potential weaknesses in the use of drop pods in general, and drop pod elements.  First and foremost is the issue that the success of the initial attack cannot be guaranteed.  Your pods may scatter, leaving you unable to use flamer templates, or you can get bad rolls, etc.  This is inherent within the tactic, however, and is just like any other unit; it may sack its rolls, this element is just in a more exposed position. 

The real problem here comes with an opponent who knows how to deal with this element of your army or has an army composition which allows him to meet it directly.  This is often constituted by two different things.  One: he has deterrent units, such as quick striking CC (rough riders, shinning spears, genestealers, etc.) which will tear you apart at first chance.  These make it so whatever impact you're going to make, you better make it immediately.  Many commanders will play conservatively and try to avoid these elements, but this isn't always possible.  Ideally you either strike these units with drop power or ranged support, but again, this is not always possible.  Two: disposable units.  Many armies contain hoard like units, or units designed to tar-pit their enemy.  Some armies will even create a shell around more important units so that you cannot engage it in CC or get close enough for melta and rapid fire.  These may envelope and negate the use of your drop unit, so be cautious.  We often see these in the form of conscripts, Guardians, cultists, or really any horde unit.

And lastly, another major risk factor in this type of list is that if your unit does sack out, or you wait too long for any reserve rolls you have just effectively lost a considerable part of your army (depending on units used, points level, and points dedicated.  From 1000-1750 I dedicate about 5-800pts).  This can drastically counter the superiority of arms, creating a vast disparity of power; and depending on your type of army you may have lost your only reactionary units.  Given these inherent risks, however, I still deem this unit type and element highly worthy of consideration and use, otherwise I would not have put forth this article, but do beware of them.


Drop Pod Unit Composition:

Here we can discuss the main squads to use as drop squads, which will be Sternguard, Tactical squads, and Dreadnaughts.  There are other options, such as Command Squads and Devastator Squads, but I won’t bother discussing these last two beyond this notation.  Devastator Squads are likely only worth dropping to gain a specific line of fire with relative ease, I will leave this up to the reader to experiment with as interested.  I personally wouldn’t bother leaving a ranged unit of high threat isolated and away from the core of the army, likely closer to the opponent and taking up one of the first turn drops or having them do nothing while waiting for a successful reserves roll.  A Command Squad is a valid squad to drop, however I believe a Captain or Chapter Master is a waste in this kind of essentially suicide attack, by points and because he won’t return much without considerable shooting power himself.  Also his squad is no more powerful than Sternguard, who are far more versatile and more suited to the role.   

I will also note that, of course bowing to the particular situation you find yourself in or that you know to expect, remember that these units are likely to find themselves sucked into close combat in order to silence their impressive firepower, so consider including power weapons or fists on your sergeants, and be mindful of the threat of walkers trapping them in close combat.  While you may expect your units to die, don’t let them go down easily, make them bleed the enemy for everything they’re worth.

Intent:

As is almost always the case, I start each article/section with some theory/goals and purposes!  What is the drop pod squads purpose?  Blocking, harassing/locking/fixing, occupying, or reigning down fiery fiery death! 

-Do you need to block something?  Use a dreadnaught if you need LoS blocked (the pod may scatter and so may not block by itself if you NEED this done!).

-Need to occupy an objective?  Either use a Tactical Squad, or Sternguard with Pedro Kantor.

-If you just want a cover save for advancing infantry your enemy WILL shoot at regardless of drop pod for some crazy reason...any unit will do. 

-Need something to just kinda exist and be a bother, slowing down the enemy, keep him from redeploying, etc?  Any dropped squad will demand attention, and has MEQ or medium vehicle resilience...aside from that see below:

-You just NEED to UTTERLY destroy your opponent?  You will be doing most of it with SHOOTING, so build a shooting unit to SHOOT your opponent.  Bolters rapid firing is the basic main option.  Sternguard ammo is the next badass step up, providing or being fired along with flamers/melta quality weapons.  Characters should be dropped for SHOOTY purposes, aka Librarian flamey death.  If you MUST take some kind of CC character...a combi-weapon is an option for immediate drop...but he may not be alive to shoot after the first round and your squad can't CC straight from drop!  So place the CC character with Vanguard vets dropping onto a beacon if you must...or some similar option, if you decide not to make them the close range shooty monster the Librarian/Master Of The Forge is.

-Absolutely MUST include some other character other than a Librarian, Vulkan, or at least an HQ with a combi-weapon?  Well you're either taking a badass unique character that fits this shooty death role, or you're using an attached IC for a reason I'm not really discussing/risking it being useless.  Use your discretion based on the fundaments listed here and the goals you are trying to reach with any attached characters. 

Unit Options:

The Librarian: An excellent option for any drop unit to include.  Librarians offer excellent direct damage powers against either infantry (including MEQ) or vehicles, and have many utility powers as well.  The Avenger is disgustingly good against any form of infantry, and I always take it.  This is my preferred use of the librarian upon drop.  Against vehicles the Machine Curse can be excellent to slow down opposing transports and tanks, however I tend to take the utility power: The Gate of Infinity, which offers succor to the drop unit should they become overwhelmed, also allowing me to pound the offending units with ranged and local fire as well once free of CC.  One may consider other powers, just mind the librarians use as utility and deadly force.  I will make note about the Vortex of Doom, which is a very powerful weapon against opposing infantry or vehicles, but especially if he is accompanying a full tactical squad or expensive Sternguard, it's a real risk of frying the entire unit. 

Another point worth mentioning is that you don’t have to attach your librarian, or other IC, to a squad until the start of deployment, so you can seize up your opponent and decide which pod squad is the best fit for him.  Going anti-tank and keeping your anti-personnel squad to drop with the reserves? (assuming you have two different types), place your libby with the first squad.  Also, he can be detached to flame at will on his own.  NOTE, however, that depending on your interpretation of the rules, or your stance on going "Literally it means that, but that's ridiculous and is obviously not the intention of the rule(s)." you may be challenged on your ability to even have an IC in a transport from the beginning of the game that isn't dedicated to him, and your ability to not chose which unit he is attached to on some kind of written list.  This option depends greatly on how friendly your play is, and how anal/exact you and your opponents/judges/refs are.

Vulkan:  This is another excellent HQ option, which I have yet to try out, but intend to in my next game.  Himself sporting a heavy flamer, and making all other flamer and melta weapons twin linked, therefore greatly increasing the effectiveness of your first turn attack (as well as subsequent).  He is also a very effective close combat entity.  Albeit expensive, he will serve you well, he only lacks the utility of the Librarian.

Pedro Kantor: On top of being a general movie-Marine like all unique characters in the codex, he can make your drop pod Sternguard scoring.  I personally feel like in most games I want my Sternguard doing something more important than just scoring, but if the objective is on the other side of your enemy...like in his DZ, or the objective is hotly contested it can be game changing; or just nice to have.  Also, the extra attack he offers can make any unit dropping around him a very effective CC force as well (including that Vanguard squad you just pulled in with your beacon!).

Lysander: A very powerful boon to dropping squads, granted it's very expensive to pay for such a benefit!  Most of your dropped weapons will be either bolter or flamer/melta based.  Vulkan helps fire weapons, Lysander helps bolters.  Note that Sternguard use bolters...they just have special ammo.  This means whatever they attack is going to be sustaining nearly as many wounds as you have shots, and even Tactical Squads will be a force to be feared.

Most other unique characters are either less ideal here or are just more expensive versions of other HQ choices

Master Of The Forge:  You knock down an HQ requirement, and pick up a character with the capacity to use a high strength blast template (which may scatter on to his own unit, note, I'd skip taking this), a flamer (score!), a plasma pistol (not quite as impressive, but still nice and useful), and oh...what's that?  A combi-flamer as well and he can use it at the same time as his servo flamer?  Meaning even a Tactical Squad now has the ability to lay down up to four flamer templates and 16 bolter shots?  You have a serious chance of clearing out a kill zone, and even if you wanted to attack a tank with this techno master and a Tactical Squad you could put together three melta weapons and a two shot Plasma Pistol.  And for very cheap.  This is a winning option.  Oh, and did I mention he effectively comes with a 2+ save, and a two attack power fist as well as a couple normal attacks for later if you live?

Sternguard:  While more expensive, yes, these are very versatile and very powerful units.  They each come with a base two attacks so are more worthy in close combat once it happens, and can approach any threat with their special ammunition, and access to special weapons and combi-weapons.  I always take a melta gun and a flamer (sometimes two flamers) and then fill out the rest of the squad with appropriate combi-flamers or meltas.  This creates a very heavy hitting unit that can dump several melta shots into a Land Raider, or other vehicle, on first turn, or several flamer templates and masse bolter variant rounds.  Even at their expensive cost, they will toss LOTS of hurt upon anything they attack, so use them well should you take them.   They are more expensive than standard tactical marines, so will yield you less bodies (I usually use 6-8 of them in a squad, more is often overkill unless it’s a heavy armoured target), but can offer you the most lethal attack, and highest degree of versatility, in addition to their capacity to take down power armour.  I suggest against a heavy weapon here, aside from heavy flamers where fitting, which will lower their combat potential as it will likely never get used.  Stopping to use their heavy weapon would be a waste, as their power comes from medium to close range.  I would also place the librarian with these guys if you take both of these units, in order to keep this unit the most effective and likely to be in combat range, able to escape, survive, complete their killy objective, fight in CC, etc.  Again, note the possible CC demands for Sternguard when it comes down to weapon load.  Even if they die, one or two power weapons may be worth considering depending on opponent and points/tactical situation.  AND lastly, sometimes if I am expecting them to clear their kill zone and possibly live, I may leave 1-3 without combi-bolters for wound allocation/just to spend a bit less points...but then again I may keep them equipped for use in subsequent rounds of fiery death!

Tactical Squads:  Not as high powered as the Sternguard, but cheaper, and quite resilient.  With a flamer and combi-flamer on the sergeant, and masse bolters, you offer a considerable anti-personnel salvo, and once in combat offer MEQ combat potential, with a power weapon or fist on the sergeant, and MEQ resilience.  They bog down opponents well and are not a threat to be ignored.  I take a missile launcher or plasma cannon just in case (almost always just using the pistol), and often place my librarian with one of these squads when I do not take Sternguard.  You can also take an anti-tank version with a melta-gun and combi-melta on the sergeant, possibly a fist or melta grenade, and don’t discount their krak grenades.  If you take multiple tactical squads you can outfit them differently and decide upon the start of your first turn which is best to deploy immediately, and which will reinforce later or act as a reserve force/scoring unit. 

Dreadnaughts:  These are among my favorites.  For me it adds to vehicle saturation, and is a huge pain for many armies to deal with an armour value in the middle of their army (especially when it gets into close combat!).  My preference is a standard dreadnaught with an added heavy flamer.  This makes the dread a threatening opponent to any type of target, on top of one of the dreadnaughts best roles: locking.  Because of its armour value, and his size as a vehicle, it can trap units in close combat or block firing lanes with its bulk, which is very effective used in tandem with its pod.  Two vehicles side by side will block most firing lanes for a single ranged unit.  It is, however, a single vehicle of only medium armour, so its target should be selected carefully so that power fists don’t down it easily as it slowly chips away at six point horde models, even though it may slow down your opponent, you can’t guarantee how much in such a situation.  Used with other drop units or support fire, however, it can add some dependable added firepower that your opponent is not able to easily take down or will be unable to dedicate the resources to, and it can tear apart enemy vehicles like tin foil.  We also cannot go without mentioning the mighty monstrosity that is the Ironclad Dreadnaught.  Capable of hosting two heavy flamers, truly fearsome close combat power, and a higher resilience, these do not have the first turn killing power of a standard dread against vehicles, but they are perhaps far more deadly afterwards, and are harder to kill.  I will let the reader consider the virtues and trade-offs of the various dreadnaught forms, including the venerable upgrade.


Example Illustrations:


Here is a simple example of a dropped Dread blocking the line of sight of a ranged firepower squad.


Here we see an advancing mechanized force as listed above fixing the enemy and boxing them in, leaving them unable to escape the oncoming onslaught.  Example has a drop pod and squad/dread on each side to hit hard and stop redeployment or backpedaling.  The advancing force here is a Landraider, two Vindicators, two Land Speeders. 


This is an illustration of the game mentioned above with my mostly static Marine army facing an advancing horde of around 150 Orks.  Two drop pods land on the closest mob to stop it from advancing, two 5 man Terminator squads move to block the second, firing on the way.  Ranged elements fire at closest available targets.  All Ork squads are either blocked, or must execute something of a half circle to get to me.  (He also often used the Mekboy mixed with stretching his hoards out to give 5+ cover saves to the body of his whole army!  Optimal target for kill-drop)


An example of using terrain, a Dread, and a Drop Pod to force an enemy column of Rhinos and a Land Raider to detour, buying time to redeploy forces, maneuver to counter attack, or fire from range.


So here I will conclude this article.  There are many variables judging which unit types to take, what equipment to take, where to allocate a possible HQ choice, and the order and placement of the drop.  This is all based on your opponent, your army composition and strategy, the scenario, and the resulting tactical roles and goals you set for this aggressive element of your army.  Because of this I am unable to give much concrete advice beyond pointing out many of the possible roles this element of your force can fulfill and the relevant variables and attributes.  More examples of specific uses can be found in my Ultramarine Water Warriors article put up here previously (I can find a link if someone somehow desires it), or can speak more in length with it.  Usually I include the link to the original thread I post in, but I don't know if I ever posted this one up...if I did it is lost to antiquity.  For now I hope this has opened up some ideas to make your force more effective when approaching questions of “How do I stop that aggressive army from getting to me so damn fast” or “How can I over power that damned IGSAFH”, which has lead me to such tactical solutions.

Always seek to attain the initiative and gain local and total superiority of numbers and firepower.  Always see combat for what it is: a problem with variables to be figured out, understood, and solved (preferably with S+2D6!).


Cheers and good gaming battle brothers.

Rating: ***** by 7 members.

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