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Infantry in Fifth – Truly a backbone
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Old 14 Jul 2008, 20:24   #1 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Infantry in Fifth – Truly a backbone

Infantry is King

As we all know the Fifth Edition of Warhammer 40,000 was just released, and of course being a new edition it has new and changed rules that will effect how the game is played. 4th edition was a very competitive system, and a lot of emphasis got placed on several specialized and peculiar army set ups, such as mechanized armies, especially skimmer mounted ones, bike armies, or even monstrous creature armies! Fifth edition is turning this on its head and it’s done so with a few simple and elegant changes. The end result is that in this edition of the game Infantry will be king.

On the run.

There are several reasons for this and I’ll examine each one on its own. I’ll start with one of the most potentially dynamic and inspired changes. Run. That’s right, infantry models, all infantry models can run now. This seems obvious, but this is a change that has some pretty significant applications. The most obvious is that you can get your models into position quicker, which means you can cover more ground and grab objectives more easily. That’s great especially since games can now end as early as turn five!
However running doesn’t end there, there’s no reason to run always towards an opponent. Using smaller, easily concealed units you can lure an opponent forward, and then pull your unit back to safety quickly and pounce upon the exposed enemy. This will be particularly effective with an infiltrating unit that can move easily through difficult terrain, units like Kroot, elder rangers, or Space marine scouts will excel in this role. Fall back from a forward position into cover and blast your surprised looking foe as he stands gaping in the open.
Screening is a cool new element of the game, allowing units to gain a cover save if they are shot through any squad between them and their target, friend or foe! Set up a powerful shooting unit such as dark reapers, devastators or broadsides with a good fire corridor. Position a pair of smaller shorter ranged units on either side of it. Shoot first with the firepower unit then use run moves to screen the firepower unit with your other units. They could even move forward while doing this to get closer to the foe.

(In)Human Shields!

As I mentioned above, infantry units, any units really, can screen those behind them. This makes taking a nice big mob of cheap troops and sticking them out front a really viable tactic for keeping your troops alive a little longer, though you’ll have to be wary of providing a cover save to the very enemy troops you wish to kill.
Certain armies will be better at doing this than others, but units like Kroot, Orks mobs (and grots!), storm guardians, conscript platoons, and termagants are just a few examples. By spreading the cheap unit out in a line you can screen many units behind one. Fire on heavily armoured units that have a better armour save than the cover save they’re gaining and you get an advantage while conferring none upon your opponent. Give him the choice of firing on your expendable first line or waste half his shots trying to deal with your superior troops in the back.

Working Together.


Tanks die in combat now. A humble guardsman with a frag grenade can gleefully destroy a front line battle tank without a lot of trouble, especially when accompanied by a platoon of his friends. The easiest way to stop enemy troopers from running up and destroying your precious armour with crude charges and well placed blows is quite simple. Stick your own infantry between your mighty armoured behemoths and your opponent’s guys! Tanks will ideally speaking wish you avoid dense terrain, where infantry can more easily sneak up on them, especially near intact buildings. If sending tanks near these areas make sure their accompanied by a squad of troopers, or be prepared to deal with the consequences! Essentially, your troops need to stick together with your armour.

Four walls and a roof.

Buildings and ruins have changed a fair bit and become something that infantry and only infantry can truly master and conquer. Firstly ruins; any troop type other than infantry, cavalry or monstrous creatures that enters difficult terrain must take a dangerous terrain test. That means anything that wants to tear your squishy little troopers apart in combat and dig them out of their shelter will need to risk taking damage just to reach them. Furthermore bike mounted or cavalry units, which are fast and usually deadly can’t actually climb to a higher level anymore! Go up a ladder and you’re safe from a lot of enemy assault troops.
Buildings are even better now, with infantry getting the ability to shelter safely inside, where they cannot be affected by enemy firepower, other than flamers. You become safe from assault, and shooting until your structure is destroyed. Infantry are the only unit with this ability and it should not be overlooked. Hide powerful assault units in buildings and then spring them on your opponent, or just take the more traditional route of cramming a bunch of guns in there and blasting out through loopholes. Speaking of loopholes, a building can be used to “slingshot” a unit forward, by using the last of your movement to enter it at one end, and then in the following movement phase leave from the other end, you can potentially gain a few precious inches of movement, though this will vary based on the building itself.

Scoring

So what does all this mean? Well only troop units count as scoring now, and the majority of troops units are infantry (though not all infantry are troops!). Keeping all this in mind it means that you have an obligation now, a reason to keep your troops alive, and using these tactics and techniques together you have many useful tools for doing so. If you’re running low of troop units use other models to screen them. Run to grab objectives, hide in buildings, protect tanks that can cause whole sale slaughter on a scale your infantry can’t! Be sneaky, be smart, and use your infantry!

A nice lil primer on the importance of infantry in the new edition. Have a cookie! - Fish Ead

Two cookies even!
-FKE
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Old 14 Jul 2008, 20:31   #2 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Infantry in Fifth – Truly a backbone

Very good advice, but with one flaw,

you tell people to use infantry as human shields and then say keep them alive

but yeah, otherwise solid advice
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Old 14 Jul 2008, 20:57   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Infantry in Fifth – Truly a backbone

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Originally Posted by Mr X
you tell people to use infantry as human shields and then say keep them alive
I think he means use the cheaper infantry (Eldar Guardians for example) to shield your more expensive and specialised elite troops (Aspect Warriors for example). As a general of an army, you quickly learn which units you can stand to lose and still maintain a fighting chance to bring your opponent to kneel
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Old 14 Jul 2008, 21:09   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Infantry in Fifth – Truly a backbone

Some good points made Falstead, however what I would like to mention is that whilst Troops are a vital structure of 5th edition, they are not the entire structure. I've already seen games where people who overload on Troops lose, and then cannot seem to fathom why they have lost. Without any other choices your army will lack any kind of specialist unit or hard hitters, thus your reduced to a game of "who can remove the most models quickest."

Over indulging in the Troops section simply doesn't work, the only advantage you would have would be that you would have more scoring units, but without any other choices how are you going to take down that squad of rampaging Terminators? How are you going to remove those pesky Eldar assault units? Without any specialist units in your army, you'll struggle to combat enemy specialists quick enough, your games will be incredibly boring, you'll have to spend more money and hours filling your ranks to bursting point and you will rarely win a game with true strategic merit, instead you'll churn out the odd win because you simply have more models than your opponent.

Taking more Troops is a must with 5th edition, but don't forget what matters, remember that spending all your points on troops will not assure you a victory, only that you hold a slight advantage over your opponent, an advantage which can be easily removed by unhindered enemy specialists.
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Old 14 Jul 2008, 21:17   #5 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: Infantry in Fifth – Truly a backbone

I guess this means I won't be playing Imperial Armour anymore?
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Old 14 Jul 2008, 21:41   #6 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Infantry in Fifth – Truly a backbone

Anton - I'm not advising taking purely troops at all. The only time I do that is when I'm playing ravenwing :P

What am I saying is that infantry has become a vital and dynamic part of the game and they have some new applications that cannot be overlooked.

Yes, elite death dealers, heavy tanks, and fast moving killers are all still required, but infantry are the backbone of the army, as the title suggests. Furthermore most troops are infantry.
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Old 14 Jul 2008, 21:52   #7 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Infantry in Fifth – Truly a backbone

Quote:
I've already seen games where people who overload on Troops lose, and then cannot seem to fathom why they have lost. Without any other choices your army will lack any kind of specialist unit or hard hitters, thus your reduced to a game of "who can remove the most models quickest."
And I have seen the opposite out come in my area of play.

We really have to assume on what is the dominant style of play and work with that.

As I have stated in the past. Infantry has become incredibly important in fifth ed. Nice article by the way.
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Old 14 Jul 2008, 22:16   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Infantry in Fifth – Truly a backbone

I'd like to note that Templar are becoming the Kings of "Go to ground"


My Turn - I walk, and then Run towards your lines with my mobile units. You then shoot me With An AP 3, 2, or 1 weapon......

I go to ground, I'll probably loose a model from shooting, but it might not be as bad...

I take a Zeal test, and I break go to ground, freeing me up for my Turn.
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Old 15 Jul 2008, 02:57   #9 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Infantry in Fifth – Truly a backbone

I beg to differ. Vehicles have become much harder to crack in fifth ed...tough vehicles in particular.

I follow the mantra of, mission be damned, if everything on their side of the board is dead, I win. After all, while you must be a troops choice to score...anything can prevent scoring. Therefore, anything that troops struggle to kill, but kills them efficiently, is going to be a rather decent choice in quantity.
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Old 15 Jul 2008, 03:09   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Infantry in Fifth – Truly a backbone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyndmyr
I beg to differ. Vehicles have become much harder to crack in fifth ed...tough vehicles in particular.

I follow the mantra of, mission be damned, if everything on their side of the board is dead, I win. After all, while you must be a troops choice to score...anything can prevent scoring. Therefore, anything that troops struggle to kill, but kills them efficiently, is going to be a rather decent choice in quantity.
Its a hard choice for me....

Keep my mech list or build up an Infantry list!?
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