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Esque 22 Jul 2008 09:29

The tactical game of WH40k
WHFB has always been more tactical than 40k. Or so I've understood, without being a whfb player myself, during the games I've witnessed. 40k has always largely been a "target selection while you close in/stay back" game while whfb has been a "target selection+tactical maneuvering/charge denial" game, largely due to the different phase structure of charging and moving. 40k has lacked this aspect of leaving your troops in the open, only making it possible to charge in the beginning of your turn, so you gotta position yourself as such. I am not saying 40k is without tactics at all, I'm saying its just more in whfb.


But does the run-feature actually add tactical maneuvering, so that you effectively can deny opponents their charges by removing yourself from them at the same speed, or possibly grab cover that was definitively out of reach of slow troops in 4th? Is there a more fluent tactical element of maneuvering and charging now, or is the game inherently the same, but with bigger movement patterns?

Things that have changed in 5th that might prove to add tactical possibilities:

*only troops score, so you need to use (sacrifice?) your elite squads to allow the scoring troops to survive!

*you can screen yourself from opponents firing squads, using other opponents less dangerous squads as cover.

*you can fire the really heavy guys in your army, and then "run" less dangerous units in front of the to shield them from the enemys retaliation.

*you can distance yourself from incoming chargers, with a little luck.

*more of the board will be used with increased movement options, so positioning AFTER deployment will be possible/important as well as the deployment itself.

*outflanking from both scouts and infiltrators.

*you gotta make sure your tanks are protected from infantry, all the while ordnance shots have increased massively in damage output (no partials is pretty evil). Tanks have higher output, and lower survivability so needs more love from their player, and presents a higher bounty than before to kill.

All this screening and troop choice survival warfare, does this add a tactical element not present before, or is it just a new way of doing the same stuff? Not having tried 5th yet, I'm pretty interested in your responses. State whether youve tried 5th in person too, seen it in action, or if you've just deduced your assumptions from plain reasoning and reading the Big Red Book (BRB).

crazedmongoose2003 22 Jul 2008 09:39

Re: The tactical game of WH40k
If you play Eldar and you've never had to use extensive tactical maneuvering at least rivalling that of WHFB's, then well....I don't know what's happening there. (I used to play WHFB as well, Dark Elves to be precise, and I know that it has a lot of maneuvering set in rules, but 40k's maneuvering finesse is more freeform and creative)

But I agree, 5th ed. will bring more to the game in terms of maneuvering. It's just that before every WHFB had to becareful with manuevering whilst on the 40k side almost nobody other than Eldar, Dark Eldar and Tau gave a toss.

Esque 22 Jul 2008 10:16

Re: The tactical game of WH40k
No but Mongoose, I dont consider it to be that particularly tactical when I am the only one doing it. Eldar are pretty fast, but to be honest, its not particularly tactical to use one set of almost predefined loadouts that function in a specific way, like dragon wagons, clown cars, spider assault slingshots and all the other fun ways to move that eldar players use. Its an easy task to outmaneuver someone when you are faster.

My point is, if you have two equally fast units, can you effectively checkmate an enemy unit with your own, equally fast unit, by means of moving and running, and then decisively strike, as happens in FB? Or some other equivalent in 40K?

What tactical moves and will be commonly used now? I suspect that the screening with friendly troops will be prevalent. Guardians/gretchin running in front of dark reapers/lootas, after these have shot to cover them etc.

Or trying to advance towards the oncoming attackers, then in later turns retreating by running in order to stay just out of reach, trying to tempt and thus steer the enemy into pursuing the assault, giving him bad positions. You know, tactical considerations regarding movement, that everyone, not just Eldar, Dark Eldar and Tau will give a toss...

Will the new rule of not consolidating into combat spawn new tactics to allow the CC-heavy armies to not be blown to bits?

Will elites now be used as ablative wounds for the important troop choices? (a somewhat backward way of thinking in traditional 40K)


Vallessian 22 Jul 2008 13:06

Re: The tactical game of WH40k
The amount of tactical thinking required probably depends on the army you are using, just like in 40K.

Space Marines, Orks, and Tyranids don't need to use tactics, as they can just charge forward mindlessly. Imperial Guard and Tau don't really need tactics either, as they can just sit back and blast everything to hell. Eldar, Inquisition, and Necron armies require alot more maneuvering to exploit your armies full potential.

Esque 22 Jul 2008 13:15

Re: The tactical game of WH40k

Originally Posted by Vall
Space Marines, Orks, and Tyranids don't need to use tactics, as they can just charge forward mindlessly. Imperial Guard and Tau don't really need tactics either, as they can just sit back and blast everything to hell. Eldar, Inquisition, and Necron armies require alot more maneuvering to exploit your armies full potential.

I want to get away from this kind of thinking. Thats an old 40k saying - Its like player indoctrination, this is the way things work(ed?) out but has 5th changed it? Think out of the box! Does IG have a chance of maneuvering in a fight against eldar? >They are not as fast, but they used to be "move from your hole and you die, just shuddup and keep blastin' ". What about now?

Hyena031 22 Jul 2008 13:21

Re: The tactical game of WH40k
Myself I play Orks and I do use tactics. The biggest thing I use is the misconception that Vail stated; "Orks...don;t need to use tactics, as they can just charge forward mindlessly." My Ork list always have a heavy shooting side to them and a grass roots footsloggin side. I start the battle off by moving my troops forward but not a full 6" always as I just want to create an impression that I'm Mindlessly charging forward. My shooting units have a 36" range thus allowing me to even outshoot the majority of my opponents. Soon my opponent will get fustrated that he has no viable target and he begin to walk towards me. This is the point where I pull my footsloggin orks back. Now I don;t have to worry about getting myself to the enemy cause they are coming towards me. Through use of terrian I set up ambushes that allow my shorter ranged units to stay hidden via terrian but give them a nice juicy firing lanes that the enemy will be using.

Wargamer 22 Jul 2008 13:31

Re: The tactical game of WH40k
I still don't consider 40K tactical.

My Ravensquig army is a beautiful example of how lacking in tactical requirements 40K is; I just mindlessly rush forward every game, and 90% of the time I win.

If I were to do this with an equivalent Warhammer army (say, my "Goatrider's Horde" Undead Cavalry army, or a Bretonnian army), I'd be dead. Whereas in Warhammer the emphasis is on lining your army up so you charge the right people, get in on the flanks and set up a "domino" effect in the enemy lines (ie: you break one position, thus leaving the next unit along unable to defend itself. The unit breaks in your next attack, leaving the next undefended, etc), 40K is all about mindless hacking. Consider that, in my first 5th Ed game, I trounced a Marine army so badly they took eleven armour saves due to combat resolution. Who needs tactics when you can inflict this level of overkill!?

The simple truth of the matter is this; 40K units are too good. In Warhammer, there are virtually no units in the game that can attack effectively at both range and combat. Hell, most units have no ranged ability whatsoever! If I charge a 20-man unit of Spearmen, I know they are going to get +3 Combat Res for Ranks, +1 for Banner, and get 10-11 attacks depending on if there's a champion. They'll probably have a 5+ Save as well, maybe 4+. If I charge a 20-man Archer unit, they'll get +1 Rank, if that, maybe have a banner (but probably not), and realistically get 7-8 attacks depending how big my bases are. They will almost always have no armour.

So, as I stated, your average combat unit has +4 Combat Res. Even if neither side kills anyone, I will break most ranged units through ranks alone. Combat units, however, are inherently better in melee, so odds are I will triumph. This is the balancing factor of Warhammer.

40K has no such balance. Dark Reapers can massacre entire squads of Marines in shooting, and still outfight a Guardsman, Tau, Sister of Battle, Stormtrooper, Eldar Guardian, Dark Eldar Warrior, and indeed probably keep pace with anything that isn't a dedicated assault troop! Combat in 40K is less about exchanging firepower for combat as it is your shooting units escorting Hidden Power Fists to win the day for them. How many Warhammer players stick a Hero with a Sword of Might in a unit of Crossbowmen? None of them. How many, figuratively speaking, do it in 40K? Everyone.

This is why 40K has no tactics.

Esque 22 Jul 2008 13:43

Re: The tactical game of WH40k
So youre saying that due to the units, there are no amount of rules to change that fact that the system is based on units that are too powerful?

Knowing little about FB, I had to ask, because I was assuming the same thing. Could an opponent force you to use tactics, even with ravensquigs?

Will ravensquig work as well in 5th, now that you cannot consolidate into combat? Bear in mind I am not trying to change your point of view on tactics or no in 40k, I'm trying to put on some perspective. Has 5th been GW's attempt to add some that was sorely missing in 40k by giving everyone mobility and cover - something that termies and ork bikers will care little about - but that the small guys, gaunts and guardsmen will love?

You see, I'm ready to initiate tactics mode, but I'm lacking the tools. And I have begun searching for those tools in extra mobility and cover usage. Is it enough? Is it ever worth it? Because plainly, in 3rd and 4th anyways, even eldar were easy. "Steep -learning-curve-unforgivable-mistakes-but-if-you-use-them-correctly-they-own-all-and-youve-heard-the-tune-before" - thing is, they have a few tricks, and when you know those, its still just eye-measuring distances, and delivering and bam you win or lose. Eldar werent tactical, just a little harder to grasp for a beginner.

In 5th? Everyone's as fast as you are. Need tactics?

crazedmongoose2003 22 Jul 2008 13:53

Re: The tactical game of WH40k
WG: That's a rather myopic view. In 4th ed. you still had things like keeping your units in formation for a charge and recieving a charge to control the killzones. In fifth ed. we'll see a lot of maniple formations in gun lines to gain coversaves.

As I said, Fantasy maneuvering is set in rules. 40k maneuvering is up to player creativity. It's like classical compared to jazz basically.

Fantasy has a lot of experience and constant mental strain required. 40k is more about flair. You'll pull off maybe 15 or so special maneuvers in a game of Fantasy and it's pretty much expected since it's written into the rules. In 40k you might get off 1 in a game but it totally makes a game when you do something so unexpected.

Meanwhile, in 40k units are capable of so much more, so the players have to account for so much more in their planning (granted most 40k players don't plan beyond the army list). In fantasy no unit is going to move 24" in one turn and gain a 3+ ward save. (at least not when I remebered from playing in 6th) In 40k that happens and you have to remain very tactically flexible to account for units with massive capabilities.

There's other things I can think of that happens in 40k that fantasy players wouldn't need to concern themselves with. Such as terrain, most 40k maps require you to mentally plan your game since the terrain is never suited to the fantasy type of pitched game battles with one hill on one side and some woods somewhere else. Especially for Eldar and Dark Eldar where units can move around 24" a turn if need be you can do a lot with terrain and feinting and playing mindgames with the enemy. Another thing fantasy players need not concern themselves too much with is formation whilst moving. Granted this matters less in 40k now due to the new combat rules in 5th ed.

manic-swede 22 Jul 2008 13:59

Re: The tactical game of WH40k
FB definetly has more tactics.
In 40k you used to have to a) sneak around to avoid getting massacred by a tank, b) Charge the tank in the rear so you can destroy it and c) make sure that everyone was unable to be consolidated into.
Now its just charge forward (no bonus for outmanouvering) or out shoot them with extreme heavy weapons (unless they screen with other troops).
But tactics in 40K is not worth it anymore, when (like wargamer said) someone can just turbo boost into your gunline or annhilate your gunline with their basic troops and then take out your tanks with them.
Consider this - nothing it in the space marine army (other than servitors) is unable to take out anything in a guard army. They don't even need to take upgrades to destroy tanks.
Where has "send your anti-tank units against their tanks" gone?
Replaced with the "send any unit you want straight towards that tank".
FB looks more attractive than ever (especially dark elves).

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