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Multiple Assaults And You
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Old 09 Apr 2010, 07:50   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Multiple Assaults And You

Multiple Assaults And You - A Guide on Effective Assaulting

One thing I've noticed is that a lot of players, even some more experienced ones, tend to make silly decisions when assaulting. Then they become even more muddled when they try to assault multiple units! So, in writing this, I'm hoping to help somewhat in understanding exactly how to perform a multiple assault, the benefits thereof, and even a couple tricks or two for making your assaults much more effective overall. So, let's get started, shall we?

Note: I do apologize if the Vassal images are a little small. There's not much I can do without horribly distorting them, but they should suffice for the purposes of this guide.

The Basics of Assaulting

Go read page 34. Specifically, the bullet points under "Moving Assaulting Models." You need to understand these points before we move on. So, in order...

- Models end their move in coherency to another model that already moved
- Base to base with unengaged enemy if possible
- Base to base with engaged enemy
- Within 2" of own unit's models in base to base

If all of that is impossible, then the model simply must remain in coherency. That first bullet is the killer for multi-assaults and what makes most people get frustrated and give up before they even try. But, with a few nifty tips and tricks, we can work our way around that. Before that, however, let's examine the why.

Why Multi-Assault?

At the most basic level, multi-assaulting allows you to stack combat resolution from one combat to another. Let's say you've got two squads of assault marines against two squads of guants. A decent combat that the assault marines should win by a few kills each. However, if you manage to turn it into one big assault, those 4-5 fearless wounds each guant squad takes now doubles up to 8-10! At its heart, this is the single biggest reason to multi-assault. Whether your opponent is fearless or not is largely irrelevant. Stubborn's the biggest stumbling block towards this goal, as they tend to not care about how high the resolution is (however, any non-stubborn squads that are stuck in with you will care). Multi-assaulting is useful when you want to win combat on the round you charge, an important distinction that I will return to later.

Combat Resolution! Combat Resolution! Combat Resolution!

The Basics of a Good Assault

Before we move onto assaulting with two or three squads, let's focus on one vs one.

Picking Your Battles - Can you win this assault? No? Then why are you assaulting? Sometimes there are plenty of good reasons, not the least of which to tie up the opponent. Whether it's a death star melee unit or a big shooty unit, if you absolutely need to tie up a unit, do it. All you need is one guy left at the end of your phase and, all of a sudden, that unit your opponent owns is locked down. If you can win assault, then let's make sure you do it as efficiently as possible.

After the Bigguns! - Let's say you have a big mob of Orks with a Nob with a powerklaw charging into a TH/SS squad with an attached chaplain. Where do you want your Nob going? The chaplain, of course! Throw every attack your nob has at the guy! Not only does the chaplain make the squad fearless, but he counts as two wounds towards resolution (this is important!) when he fails that invulnerable save. The rest of your boys should go into the termies and hope to bring as many down as possible before I1 crops up. By the same logic, when you assault, do not throw your big, expensive IC up against a powerfist. I don't care how much of a "sure thing" the assault is, it's better for your IC not to swing than to risk getting insta-killed (now, if your IC's T6, that's much different, but the same principles still apply... why risk it?).

The Little Guys Take the Hits - Going along with what my previous point, throw your cheapest guys up against their most expensive and throw as few of them as possible if you can't easily kill the IC. Remember, we're not necessarily trying to kill the IC through actual assault. If you can win the combat by seven or eight wounds, then they're going to be either rolling a very low leadership test or taking no retreat wounds. Remember: if you've got a powerfist or the like, feel free to throw that model against the opponent. If you don't, don't bother with him any more than you have to.

Know Where You're Headed - Before you even start your turn, have a plan for what you're going to do in assault. Where do you want to head afterwards? Plan on the worst possible consolidation roll and set yourself up so that you're not screwed if it does happen. You can think of a consolidation move kinda like a ball bouncing off a wall: it doesn't always go straight back, it can hit at an angle and go all over the place. Be flexible, know where you're headed, and try to get there.

Consolidate Into Cover - I know you can get all happy and worked up after a wonderful assault, but keep your troops safe. Unless you've got TH/SS termies or something, keep your guys protected if your enemy has guns left.

Advanced Assault

Still not at multi-assaults quite yet! This section isn't as critical for this guide, but there are still a few tips here that might help you.

Go Lose Combat - There are some situations where losing combat is what you want to do, not win. Examples are against a Tau or IG gunline. If you win combat and do anything less than wipe his infantry off the field, you're getting shot the next turn and it's going to hurt. So, try to lose combat and get stuck in! If you "may" re-roll to hit, don't. If you can avoid having furious charge, avoid it. If you can throw 9/10 of your guys against a vehicle and not the squad, do that and throw all your attacks against the vehicle. When you start looking for these kinds of situations, you may be surprised how often it comes up. It's often much easier getting stuck in against big, tough things like TH/SS termies, so keep that in mind.

Hide Your ICs - There are plenty of ways to hide your ICs if that's what you need to do. One thing you can do is form a + sign with your IC in the centre and four standard models around him. If done properly (it's really very easy, go try it), you can completely block off your enemy's access to your IC. 6 minis will fit around a standard infantry base, but if done properly, enemy's will not be able to get into B2B with your IC with only 4 of your own. Remember the rules for assaulting and try to assault from 5-6" away if you can range it so that you can control your troops better.

ICs Move First - Continuing with the previous point, during pile-in (and defenders react), ICs always move first. If your IC is stuck in amongst 4 of your own guys, remember that he can't phase through your models' bases. He is, in fact, stuck. He "moves" first, remains stuck, and then then rest of your models move, your IC left in place, safe for another round. Your characters are, in fact, using your own men as a screen.

Multi-Assault Basics

All right, so you've decided to go for the gusto and enter a multi-assault. Awesome! The easiest way for me to show this, for those of you who have never had the pleasure of witnessing a multi-assault before, is a quick diagram:



As you can see, there is a 10-man squad of boyz and a 10-man squad of nobz. Because of how close the two are together, it's very easy for our assault marines to assault both (although perhaps not the best idea!). This method of multi-assaulting is generally only acceptable if you're planning on losing combat or if you're facing two very weak squads (think guardsmen). Every AM to the left of the yellow line will assault the boyz, every marine to the right will assault the nobz. Very simple, quick and easy. Now let's look at the better way of doing this.



Ah, much better. As you can see, we now have two squads of assault marines entering combat. Normally, either squad swinging into the orks would give a meh-ish result (either slight win or decent loss). However, if even one marine from the squad on the right assaults the boyz on the left, all the combat resolution from the squishier boyz is going to move over onto the nobz, hopefully making the overall assault that much easier for the marines. As you can see by the yellow line, I've indicated which marine should assault the boyz and exactly how he should do it. Declare your assault against the boyz and, after moving him, declare a multi-assault into the nobz. You'll easily maintain coherency throughout the assault move.

And that's the big difficulty with muti-assaults, maintaining the coherency. While some examples, such as this last one, are very simple, you'll occasionally run into some very tricky situations. I'm going to go over an example very similar to what I've done several times on the tabletop to hopefully explain this better.



As you can see from the picture, we have a group of blood angels assault marines and death company staring down some imperial fist tactical marines and assault termies (just pretend they're TH/SS :P ). While the death company are going to absolutely cream the tacs, the assault marines will only kill one, maybe two TH/SS termies at the most. So, how can we help this? Combat resolution! However, there are no easy multi-assault here right now. I'm going to go over this as slowly as I feel necessary, hopefully it will be clear.

The assault marines will assault first. We don't want forced assault moves from the death company messing up our placement. They declare their charge against the termies and move the closest model forwards. Since this still doesn't give any easy access to the tac squad, we'll move the front two into the termies.



Models with M have been moved. As you can see, so far we're making a pretty standard assault. However, now it's time to get into some shenanigans! I've purposefully placed some of my assault marines very far back. They won't be able to get to b2b as they're outside of 6, but will make it within 2" of one of my models. Because of this restriction, I can place them wherever within these 2" I feel like. The rules do not state you need to move as far as possible, only to within 2" if you cannot make base to base (usually, as far as possible is the best idea, but not for what we're trying to do). So, what you're going to do is move the back two marines up and choo-choo train towards the tactical squad.

Note: remember that your models can't move through friendly models, only around, so keep that in mind when setting your assaults up



A little messy on Vassal, but hopefully you get what's going on. Now, you can declare the multi-assault onto the tactical marines and move the closest model from your assault squad into base to base with the tacs.



Ta-da! It's as easy as that. From here, move the rest of your assault marines into base to base with the termies (might as well drop as many as you can). After that assault move, move your death company into the tactical squad. If all goes well, the tactical squad will dissapear and you'll take out a couple TH/SS. While you'll probably lose two or three marines, the odds are good you'll end up winning combat overall by 8 or 9, much better than if you had charged all the squads individually.

Summing Up

And, really, that's the basis for effective multi-assaulting. You win via combat resolution, rather than by simply beating your opponent into the ground. Play the game sideways, not forwards, and you'll do some amazing things.

As an example of how silly it can get, I was playing a game against a 'Nids player yesterday. He lined up his models and I lined up mine. Because of my faster movement, I got to dictate assault. I threw my entire army up against almost all of his; it essentially became one assault to determine the game. What I did was throw roughly 3/4 of my army up against his guants. I absolutely massacred them, as expected. It threw my powerfists up against his warriors, instant deathing those. I threw as few marines as possible against his carnifexes and hive tyrant. When it was all said and done, I had won combat by a whopping 37 wounds. If you've never seen someone try to make 37 saves over a carnifex, a hive tyrant, and what few guants were left, let me tell you that it was something. Granted, these types of situations won't come up all that often, especially against a smart opponent. However, situations like the one I depicted above in Vassal, do come up quite often. Master multi-assault on the small scale and you'll quickly be able to apply it army-wide.

Happy hunting and bloody victories to you all!
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Old 09 Apr 2010, 07:58   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Multiple Assaults And You

Beautiful!

Great advice, you sir are flagged for some of the good stuff.
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Old 09 Apr 2010, 12:35   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Multiple Assaults And You

Great job on this. The pictures are fine and do well to explain what's a complicated process. That being said, I have some problems with your examples, the last one is the easier to pick apart. You've covered the bullet points and have stuck to those but you've omitted this part right above those bullet points:

Quote:
Assaulting units must attempt to engage as many opposing models as possible with as many of their models as possible no holding back!
While you're right about not having to move the full 6" for the charge, in your last example you're not following the bullet points you mentioned or the above quote. After you moved the first two Assault Marines the other models behind them would have to follow those first two in. I can't tell how far 6" is in the picture but I know for sure that other Assault Marines could have been moved to be within 2" of your first two models to engage the enemy. Seeing as you have to engage as many as possible then doing otherwise is against the rules, as with your example.

Multiple combats are far harder to get off than most people realize. I've seen people do some pretty shady things to try and pull it off and call them on it, like moving their assaulting unit into a conga line in order to charge the unit behind them as well as in front. The big thing people miss is what I quoted, you have to engage as many of the unit you're charging as possible. Usually the only times a legitimate multiple combat arises is when two units are really close together.
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Old 09 Apr 2010, 15:46   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Multiple Assaults And You

Thor, go check page 35. Models are said to be engaged when they are either in base to base with an enemy or within 2" of a friendly model that is in base to base. It's that second point that the choo choo train utilizes.

The idea here is that the choo choo train models should be at least 6.1" away from the nearest enemy, preventing them from reaching base to base. They still remain engaged so long as they're within 2" of a friendly model in base to base. You're still engaging with them, but it's impossible for them to reach base to base, so that's impossible. At this point, you gain a lot more control over their movement and are able to choo choo train towards an enemy unit (all models still engaging).

Being able to range effectively is very important when making this kind of assault, so if you have trouble doing that, you'll have trouble pulling these off properly.

The rules specifically say that:
Quote:
After moving the first model in the unit, you can move the others in any sequence you desire.
(pg 34, right above the bullet points)

And that's what allows this to work.
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Old 09 Apr 2010, 16:07   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Multiple Assaults And You

The thing is though that you are not attempting to engage as many enemy models as possible with that move. You are engaging them yes, but with less models than you could. That's the point I'm making, more models could be engaged with the intended unit then are and that's where the fault lies.

I've mocked up your example. First notice the back Termie is now based because there was a model in range who could base him and as noted in the bullets this must be done. The front right Termie is now based for the same reason. A model could also base that same front right Termie and does so, again as noted in the bullets. The left front Termie is based by a second model because they are able to. Once those moves were done the rest dive in to engage the enemy. Those that are engaged and not locked could have been moved differently than I chose to move them but they would not be able to reach the second unit however.
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Old 09 Apr 2010, 16:16   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Multiple Assaults And You

Thor, you seem to keep ignoring the fact that you can move the assaulting models in any order you wish. At the end of the assault, every single marine is engaged (I didn't complete the assault moves and I noted this, as I had already showed everything I needed to). I simply chose to move the rear models first so that I could multi-assault into the tacs. All my marines will be engaged at the end. Anything less and I would have done something wrong.

After moving the first model in the unit, you can move the others in any sequence you desire.

That's half of what makes this type of assault possible, Thor. You seem to be ignoring this, so please take another look at the rulebook and try and understand what I'm saying.
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Old 09 Apr 2010, 16:38   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Multiple Assaults And You

*makes mental note to remember this stuff for an upcoming tourney*

+1 cookie? Hell yes!

*tosses one over to crazyguy* :cookie:

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Old 09 Apr 2010, 16:39   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Multiple Assaults And You

I'm not disagreeing there but you're also ignoring the bullets you posted. That back left Termie could be based, the front left could be based by a second and the front right could be based by two. You could move those models any way you want to but I guarantee you could still perform the moves I just mentioned, if not all then definitely some of them. Your example could have had a model base that front right Termie for example yet you did not. None of your moving sequences prevented that movement at all, which I know is your driving point. Instead of basing that Termie you shuffled forward a bit to engage the front left when you could have based the front right. The only way you could disregard basing that front right Termie is if your prior moves prevented it and they did not. The same holds true for that entire left side of Termies. Maybe you could have moved to prevent basing that back left one but you could have put a second model on the front left for sure, none of your moves would have prevented that. Remember, assault moves aren't done in a straight line. I know you're trying to block off your second row and back of Assault Marines but you aren't in your example. Those rows could move around the previously moved models to abide by the bullet points but you're choosing not to.

As I previously quoted about needing to engage as many as possible, you're disregarding that with attempted intentional movement to block your own paths in. You can move in any order you want but by choosing to move models in a way to block your own path in you are not following the rule of engaging as many as possible. You know you could have more guy in that combat than you do and that's all it comes down to in the end.

As an Ork player I'm all about multiple combats. I'm not busting on you. Your concepts and rationale for doing it are sound and I agree with it. The point I'm making is it's not as easy to set up as you've posted. If you follow all the bullets and phrasing before the bullets to a T then it's not a simple thing to do.
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Old 09 Apr 2010, 16:48   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Multiple Assaults And You

Thanks, Fish Ead. ;D

Thor, I'm not blocking my own movement lanes. All I'm doing is moving my rear models first so that I can maintain coherency when multi-assaulting. It just happens that the model that multi-assaults was the one that could have hit the rear termie (but, if you note, he assaults 1 model instead of 1 model).

I don't know how I can make this any more clear. Perhaps my example wasn't shown 100% perfectly on Vassal, I do apologize. If I had a video camera or, hell, a camera, I'd try and show it using actual models. It's really hard for me to show distances absolutely perfect on Vassal, as I've never used it for that, only for generalizations to show something.
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Old 20 Apr 2010, 18:05   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Multiple Assaults And You

Quote:
Assaulting units must attempt to engage as many opposing models as possible with as many of their models as possible no holding back!
I think Thor is reading this line as:

Quote:
Assaulting units must attempt to engage as many opposing models [from the unit you're assaulting] as possible with as many of their models as possible no holding back!
I'm not sure that I agree with him. He keeps saying that you need to base more termis, without understanding that the first quote he gave only states that you need to get all of your marines into combat with an opponent. Not necessarily with the exact unit that they originally assaulted, though. In the example you gave, I agree that all marines wound up in combat. Since they did, I also see no problem with what you outlined.
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