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The New Players' guide to Competent Gaming.
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Old 03 Oct 2007, 09:08   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default The New Players' guide to Competent Gaming.

"Tactics?" I hear you mutter. "Who cares about tactics when I have 3 Hammerheads!"

Sigh. When you first start Warhammer, especially if you're a youth, your battleplan has probably consisted of shoot the big ones, then the little ones, while moving forward.

This would probably do you good when you first started out, for a couple of friendly tutorial games, but there comes a point when you make another jump to actual proper opponents and proper battles. So, Here's a little set of things that can help ya out.

I'm making the assumption you have a grasp on the rules already, so, here we go!

Understanding your army

Wow, those boxes were very pretty, huh? all those little pieces, glued together into your new army. Well, what does it do?

First off, have a good long read through your Codex. read every little page, follow every reference, and get a good idea of your armies' strengths and weaknesses. Look at the main rulebook, read up on the other army sections, and compare them to your own. What units seem good? What units are expensive? What units have a really good effect?

Okay, we've got an idea of our strengths and weaknesses now, let's look at the army itself. You're most likely bought a leader-dude, 2 troops, and some sort of shiny, special-looking unit. So, check what it says in the Codex. Then, here's the hard part(at first!):

According to its' rules, what can that unit actually do on the battlefield? How can you get it somewhere where it can do this? What else do you think it can do? How will it get destroyed? How will it perform under fire? Is it strong? Weak? Is it useful only for guarding Mortars?

This is called Applied knowledge, taking information and putting it to use in the world. If you can nail this for your army, then the sky's the limit. Playtest your army a few times, and see if you can get a good feel for this.

Finally, an Army is just that, an Army, not 15 Rambos walking in loose formation. If you have a tough long range tank, then pair it off with some sort of melee toughie or defensive unit. Think proactively, think about your weaknesses, and take steps in setting up to avoid them.


Battlefield Tactics, Or: How not to be blown up or caught in a Pincer, or...etc.

So, you've set up for your first competent game. Chances are, you're either playing one of two opponents. A fellow beginner, or Space Marine kid, or the other half: Everything else.
Anyway, now that your cards are on the table, so to speak, take a good look at your opponents' army. What's it look like? What is visually noticable? What isn't? If you've read through information on his army, try to match weapons, stats, and abilities to models. What's going to move first? Where's it heading? What's going to fire first?

Now, on to movement. First thing: Unless your opponent is basically going to assault you to death, spread out. Pie plates hurt your units, and the more space between them, the less danger there is.
Next, check out all the terrain. What can you get cover from? What can you cower behind? What looks like a total no-go zone? Move your units into cover when you can, and when you can't, try to move them out of range of your opponent.

Now, check out all your weapons ranges. Where do they overlap? If you have some tough units with plenty of firepower, try to get them to overlap on an opponent. This simple tactic I'll call The Money Lane. Money Laning incoming assault troops can be useful, especially if they've got good armour and toughness, or are approaching with speed. a Squad of Khorne Bezerkers are a good example. However, relying on Money Lanes can be hazardous, as an enemy might be sending in a large group of assault troops, where you'll expend all your firepower and not be able to get at them all. In this case, you'll want to just go on a one-to-one ratio, firing as much as you can at them all.
But again, simply pointing and shooting won't win the day, unless your opponent is incompetent.

Now, an important tactic to remember when fighting an enemy who likes to shoot, is to move with purpose. Now, if he's trying to pick you off before you reach him, it really depends on how fast you are. Taking transports here is a godsend, as you can quickly get into attack range. Using fast attack units, such as bikes or pirahnas to tie up the gunners while you move in is also useful. Finally, using weapons that invoke pinning tests can hold down a foe for a good phase, which means a whole phase worth of your little men who don't die.

Thirdly, Remember that just one approach won't win the day. Shooters and Assaulter units are going to be happening at the same time, overlapping, or misfiring. War is random and violent, expect things to explode. If you're losing somewhere, don't continue stubbornly, change plans and set up a new, improvised strategy. Think on your feet, don't just charge and shoot. If you get a dash of inspiration, try it. It might work.

And finally, whatever happens, DO NOT rely on one Super-unit! Be it Monolith, Land Raider, Wraithlord, Carnifex, Tyrant, Talos, or Battlewagon, it's going to go down in flames sooner or later. Don't rely on just one special thing, like a squad or tricked-out Terminators, or a fully upgraded Autarch. Have a plan for every piece of hardware or Wetware you have, and plan for eventualities. If this goes down, move this to replace it. If that gets pinned, cover it with this.

The battle comes down entirely to you, no matter what you may think about Rigged armies, or Cheese, or Nerfs. Every army can be played to the best of their ability, every army can be played to the worst. Simply try your best.

After The Bombs...

The battle is over. Did you win? Did you lose? Well, forget about that for now.

How did your army perform? Did your tank pop a record number of rhinos? Did your Biovores retreat off the table? What went wrong and failed spectacularly? What was a point-sink? What needs target-practice?

Look at your units performance, and try to see what you did wrong. Was it in the wrong position? Who was it aiming at? Should you swap it out for a different kind of unit?

If you made mistakes, correct them. LEARN. This is the most important part of our little game. LEARNING. If something kicks your but, LEARN to counter it. If something looks dodgy, LEARN to exploit it!

Closing word-things...

Above all, Warhammer is a pretty mental game. If you enjoy thinking, then this is the game for you. If you can construct complex and interesting armies, inventive tactics, and learn from your mistakes, then you can really have some fun.

Much more fun then Land Raidering everything into dust!

-----------------------------------------------------------


So, yeah, if anyone wants to add to it, go ahead.



Nice, +1 Karma =) - .mace
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Old 03 Oct 2007, 09:38   #2 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: The New Players' guide to Competent Gaming.

Very well written; I'm impressed. It was well thought out, and delivers a lot of very useful information. Consider yourself flagged.
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Old 03 Oct 2007, 11:46   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: The New Players' guide to Competent Gaming.

I agree, very nicely done and some great information in there that every beginner should read.
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Old 03 Oct 2007, 14:12   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: The New Players' guide to Competent Gaming.

Wow, I woke up and 4 people had recommended your post for karma, but when I logged in someone had beaten me to it. Way to post!

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Old 03 Oct 2007, 18:15   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: The New Players' guide to Competent Gaming.

Great read- well worth the karma. I really enjoyed it.

I especially like the parts about building contingency plans for when things go wrong, and double-triple-quadruple cover units and roles.

Because you never know how the dice feel about you that day.

- Yriel
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Old 03 Oct 2007, 21:40   #6 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: The New Players' guide to Competent Gaming.

I have one bone to pick.

Quote:
"Tactics?" I hear you mutter. "Who cares about tactics when I have 3 Hammerheads!"
it does take tactics to use 3 hammerheads, especially against the opponents i face. they're not "deploy and win" units.

good article though. summed up gaming very well. kudos.
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"What warriors of men can stand beside the Space Wolves! The Sons of Fenris they are, hardened in the forge of their harsh world, eager for battle and honour. They are the grey warriors, ashen like the wolf, whose greatest joy is to hear the clamour of steel amidst the din of war. None can step before them, they are the first, proud in their strength and jealous of their renown. Through the storms of the warp they come, upon the very tides of terror, but of such dangers they are uncaring. They are the Space Wolves, the Undefeated, the bane of the Emperor's foes."
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Old 04 Oct 2007, 00:14   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: The New Players' guide to Competent Gaming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadnight
I have one bone to pick.

Quote:
"Tactics?" I hear you mutter. "Who cares about tactics when I have 3 Hammerheads!"
it does take tactics to use 3 hammerheads, especially against the opponents i face. they're not "deploy and win" units.

good article though. summed up gaming very well. kudos.
Sorry, personal experience with a 12 year old, who actually said that.

Anyway, Thanks people, It just kinda built up out of kids at the local club, and a few people here who seemed like they needed some help, so I just wrote it in 20 minutes.

Just glad to be useful.
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