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Table Top Tactics Pt. II

Submitted By: Date: August 7, 2005, 12:11:31 AM Views: 2244

<div class="heading">Part II</div><br /><div class="body">Cover is very important as well. Being able to take advantage of cover on the battlefield can make the difference between getting an invulnerable cover save and getting no save at all. Before you make a plan for accomplishing the objective, look carefully at where your troops can take advantage of cover. Similarly look at the areas the enemy is likely to use for cover. In many cases, terrain only provides cover from a single direction (say a wall or a hedge). Knowing where to infiltrate a unit of Scout snipers or deep-strike a unit of Scourges to deprive the enemy of a cover save (or the ability to claim his vehicle is Hull-Down) can be critical, and can be the difference between victory and defeat. Finally, keep in mind that template weapons like flamers ignore cover. If the enemy has a unit of troops in cover (or is likely to place or move one there) that needs to be neutralized to meet your objective, then you already know what role your flamer-equipped squads must fill and can deploy and move them accordingly. Most people intrinsically know and understand these concepts, but it always surprises me how few people seem to think about it before the battle is actually underway. Take a few moments to look at the battlefield and determine which areas of cover will be important in achieving your objective and which can be ignored.</div><br /><div class="body">Line-of-sight is also a major consideration for most units. For instance, the biggest strength of the Imperial Guard lies in their heavy and ordnance weapons. If these weapons cannot be brought to bear because you can't draw line-of-sight to the enemy, your army is going to be less effective. This more than anything else can make or break a scenario for the Guard. Other armies have similar weaknesses. Before deploying your troops, take a few moments and determine what you can see from where. This way, you can ensure that those weapons you paid so many points for will actually be useful. If the battlefield is very cluttered and the lines-of-sight are very short (say in an City Fight setting), you may want to avoid taking long-range weapons altogether, as their points cost is not justified. Concentrate instead on shorter ranged weaponry that packs as much punch (like melta guns, plasma guns, and flamers), but can still be fired on the move. It is at this juncture that I'd like to comment on indirect-fire weapons. These beauties are even more important in battles where line-of-sight is very obscured. They are more than worth the points-cost it takes to field them, and the added possibility of being able to pin an enemy unit should not be overlooked. If you have 'em, by all means use 'em.</div><br /><div class="body">Similar in principle to line-of-sight is the concept of exposure. Put simply, exposure is the amount of time that troops are in the open and within view of a unit that can fire upon them. If the battlefield is very cluttered, it may very well be the case that the enemy will always be able to move his troops such that he is never really exposed to your fire. This is especially true of armies like Eldar and Dark Eldar, whose troops can use the "fleet of foot" rule to help them get into an advantageous position. When you consider that "fleet of foot" ignores difficult terrain, it becomes possible for the enemy to move over multiple turns, all the while closing the distance, but never allowing you a clean shot on their units. This kind of situation is bad for one simple reason: Melee is something that many armies excel in. Having an Ork mob or Hormagaunt brood that is never exposed to your fire means you're going to lose units when the mob gets close. Gods forbid it be Blood Angels Assault Marines or Dark Eldar Wyches. The more cluttered the battlefield, the worse this situation becomes. I've seen battles played where one player never got a shot in on the majority of the enemy units at all. The enemy units moved from cover to cover, from obstacle to nook to cranny until they were within assault range. Needless to say, that poor hapless commander was soundly defeated.</div><br /><div class="body">The way to solve the exposure problem is through careful deployment. Place your units such that they support each other. If a particular unit can't see an enemy force approaching it, then it is the duty of another supporting unit to engage the enemy before they have the ability to make an assault. Make sure that at least somebody has line-of-sight to an area, and that any likely lines of approach are covered. This sounds simpler than it is, and requires careful consideration, especially during deployment. If there's an area that will be too difficult to cover or that you feel the enemy will take advantage of, make it a non-issue by simply not deploying any troops near the area. If this is impossible due to the nature of the scenario objective, go the other route and put so many troops there that the enemy would be foolhardy to want to assault it.</div><br />

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