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Combined arms - Infantry assault
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Old 17 Jul 2006, 19:46   #1 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Combined arms - Infantry assault

I'm currently painting additional Marines for a more infantry oriented army list as I have come to realise that my mechanised force is becoming more and more like an armoured battlegroup and I think it's about time I got 'back to basics'.

I plan to include my Vindicator (perhaps my favourite vehicle) so I had a look in Imperial Armour vol. 2 for examples of it's deployment and use. I've found those examples and, as I have already briefly discussed with greensmurf, I want to actually try them out in a game. Used exactly as they are described I don't expect they'll work at all because Marines and their vehicles aren't really the indestructible super killing-tools the fluff would have us believe.

The manoeuvre involves a Vindicator flanked by a five man tactical squad with a heavy weapon and a five man assault squad. It proceeds as follows:

1) A preparatory artillery strike is used to soften up/pin the enemy defensive line.
2) The Vindicator and tactical squad provide suppressive fire.
3) The assault squad make a rapid advance toward the enemy line.
4) The tactical squad advances, rapid firing to provide cover fire
5) As the assault squad closes with the enemy, the Vindicator withdraws to cover.
6) The assault squad engages the enemy in close combat.
7) The tactical squad follows suit.

In reality, we know a couple five-man Marine squads would be cut to ribbons and/or fall back before being in a position to mount such an attack. Even if they reached the enemy line, they'd be too under-strength to make an impact. Even so, I want to use the fluff and official Space Marine close assault doctrine for the fun of it. However, that said, I do want it to work...because eveyone wants to win, right?

With that in mind, I've reworked the infantry units involved, but I still want to follow a similar proceedure. Here's what I plan to take instead (it's not my whole army, just the section I want to use in this manner):

[hr]
[hr]

In place of five-man tac squad:

HQ
  • Space Marine Captain - Bolt Pistol/Power weapon

Troops 1 - Tactical Squad
  • Space Marine Sergeant - Bolt Pistol/Close combat weapon
  • Space Marine - Flamer
  • 3 X Space Marines - Bolters
  • Unit upgrade - Frag grenades
  • Transport option - Razorback - Twin-linked Heavy Bolters

[hr]

In place of five-man assault squad:

Troops 2 - Tactical Squad
  • Space Marine Sergeant - Bolter
  • Space Marine - Heavy Bolter
  • 4 X Space Marines - Bolters
  • Unit upgrade - Frag grenades
  • Transport option - Razorback - Twin-linked Heavy Bolters

[hr]
[hr]

The principles remain the same, except I'm taking mounted troops rather than expecting them to footslog it across the battlefield.

Turn 1) I'll use a Whirlwind to pound the enemy position as the vehicles advance at full speed, firing smoke launchers.

Turn 2) The vehicles will slow down and open fire with their own weapons. Assuming, at this point, they're within 12" of the enemy position, the troops will dismount and rapid fire.

Turn 3) I plan to unleash as much fire as possible with all three vehicles and the heavy weapon tactical squad while the Captain's squad presses forward to get into close combat.

Turn 4) The tactical squad will join the advance.


I'm not actually looking for advice here. The models are mostly already assembled, painted and badged so I'm not after recommendations pertaining to numbers, unit types or weapon options, I just want to know what you predict what will happen to this group. I figure, assuming I pick an appropriate defensive line to attack (as is the advantage of a mobile force) I will, at worst, lose the Vindicator and a Razorback, leaving the surviving troops entanged while the remaining Razorback unloads its troops. Of course, at best, everything could miraculously go to plan, but we all know no plan survives first contact with reality. So if I was to mount this attack against an Imperial Guard defensive position, exactly in the prescribed manner, how do you think it'd go?
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Old 17 Jul 2006, 20:12   #2 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Combined arms - Infantry assault

Hmmm... a much more powerful move than FW's tactic... certainly.

I like the idea of 2 Razorbacks... those HBs will be great softening up the enemy. Although, surpsingly, it may be overkill. A Whirlwind, 2 Razorbacks, 2 Tactical Squads and a Captain with Power Weapon may be able to be used elsewhere.

While it will be effective, be sure to be ready to load up the Rzrbks. in case you need to apply force elsewhere.

Excellent!
Stankov
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Old 17 Jul 2006, 20:56   #3 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
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Default Re: Combined arms - Infantry assault

I like the sound of that kind of assault. The way you have reworked the force that is assaulting brings it more in line with the tabletop, while fluff is nice to read I think the tactics described in the FW book would only work if you used the "movie" marine rules.

I think assaulting a Imperial Guard position will depend on what kind of fire the marine force will be advancing through, but given the low BS of Guardsmen I think the marines should have a decent chance of getting there to really pour on the bolter fire. I definitely see the Vindicator taking the first hit though (disabled/destroyed), but it should get at least one shot off. As for the Razorbacks, one marine squad might find themselves having to footslog it and could possibly be used to lend some fire support early if their Razorback gets blasted. Considering how close deployment zones are I think the force you've made has a good chance of causing some of damage.
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Old 17 Jul 2006, 21:13   #4 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Combined arms - Infantry assault

Heya Tom,

Well, I realise you're probably leaning on the idea that you are going to only face the Imperial Guard. Perhaps that's the case. I'm not aware of your gaming habits and opponents of course. However, I will say the following:

Three tanks, A13, A11, A11.
Not all players play defensively and may have a lot more firepower than you think.
And the real problem is, A13 & A11 are too easily busted. If you're shooting, it means you're not popping smokes. That means that you're likely to be penetrated.

So unless you're playing someone who you can expect to play sub-par and only fire at you with weak weapons and a very low count at that, I personally wouldn't want to throw 270+ points to someone that all goes down to three shots.

Anyhow,

Quote:
I just want to know what you predict what will happen to this group. I figure, assuming I pick an appropriate defensive line to attack (as is the advantage of a mobile force) I will, at worst, lose the Vindicator and a Razorback, leaving the surviving troops entangled while the remaining Razorback unloads its troops.
Here's what I predict:

A - 2 or 3 (6 total fired) Lascannons put your Vindicator to rest, permanently (ie: immobilized, no more cannon, or destroyed).
B - 3 or 4 Autocannons or Missiles drop both of your Razor Backs (ie: immobilized or destroyed, likely).
B2 - If a Razor Back was hidden from sight behind the other two vehicles, it will be viable and safe for the following turn.
C - Any models transported are entangled, likely behind the Razor Backs to avoid further casualty and are there for the next turn.
D - Any assault marines hiding behind the vehicles must now sit behind the vehicles for a turn, or they're completely alone out front.
D2 - If a Razor Back survived and is mobile still, the Assault Mairnes can gain another 12 inches of movement with protection.

Now, I say this assuming that at the point level of game you're playing, that your opponent who is used to you playing with several vehicles (especially knowing you've use Land Raiders, Vindicators, etc) will no doubt have several lascannons (6 minimum), well enough to drop a penetrable A13 vehicles, let alone plenty of any lighter weapon (3 or 4 autocannons, missiles, maybe more) which easily takes care of A11 vehicles.

This doesn't mean that it won't work.
I merely predict that, without the knowledge of your opponents nor your gaming environment (terrain use, placement, etc).

Cheers!
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Old 18 Jul 2006, 01:21   #5 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Combined arms - Infantry assault

Hmm...overall, not as bad an assessment as I had expected. I hope you're right. Well, once I get another dozen or so Marines painted up I'll try it out. Gotta wait for my brother to get back from Spain though and I'm not sure when that will be (nor is he for that matter).

Generally, desite the number of vehicles I am known for fielding, he brings suprisingly few heavy weapons and instead relies heavily on a single Demolisher tooled up to the hilt with AT shootiness. My Termies typically take care of it on my second or third turn so they'll be too late to help...I'll have to avoid it. The Demolisher is normally there to engage the most heavily armoured targets while the softer transports, Land Speeders and Dreadnoughts are taken apart by Autocannon-toting sentinels and a similarly armed heavy weapons squad. I'm hoping I can pin the heavy weapons team with the Whirlwind if I am unable to stay clear of it, but the Sentinels may be my biggest problem. There's typically only 18" of ground between the two deployment zones so if we add 6" for manoeuvring and a further 6" to take into account the depth of his defensive line within his deployment zone (assuming he digs in and doesn't come to me). That means I've only got to move 18" total in order to get within that critical 12" range. I can do that in two turns, popping smoke on the first and firing on the second. I suppose if push comes to shove, I can shift it 24" in two turns and forgo firing on the second. Well, I dare say it'll be interesting just seeing if I can make this work!

Thanks!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel_Sanders
When all was finished, the battlefield was a smoking crater. UDC, Valoran, US Army, Tau, the Nazis, a random pirate ship, and a bunch of ninjas, all were enemies to the Vulture. All were turned into scrap metal. Or plastic. Depends which game system you play.
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Old 18 Jul 2006, 03:24   #6 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Combined arms - Infantry assault

Well, as a Guard player, I personally don't take Sentinels because they're weak.

Instructions on killing a Sentinel For your average Super-human warrior!

Materials: Bolt Pistol, Bolt Pistol ammunition

Method: Approach the sentinel. Load your ammunition. Point the gun towards the general area of the walker. Pull trigger several times. Repeat as need until Sentinel crashes to ground.

Conclusion: Victory!

I was never keen on taking tanks that can be 'Exploded!' by a bolt pistol, front armour. Maybe its just me, but I hate sentinels because they're weak. So, heres some serious ways of tackling them.

1. Devestator Squads: 1 Heavy bolter can take out 3 Sentinels a turn... unlikely, but possible. 4 Heavy Bolters can take out 12 Sentinels a turn... more likely 3 or 4, but potentially 12. They can destroy a sentinel from long range, while, after thier given task, can mow down infantry. Cheap, efficient, and effective.

2. Razorbacks: As you said, 2 Rzrbcks. with TL HB... That can down 6 Sentinels a turn... Porbably obly one or two, but all you need to do is close a 12" no-fire zone... easy, use terrain.

In the end, no matter how he uses them, he'll be troubled by the fact that even a normal old Tactical squad can down a squadron or two of his expensive walkers a turn...

Don't let infiltration fool you... they're easy to kill.

Good luck!
Stankov
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Old 18 Jul 2006, 05:49   #7 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Combined arms - Infantry assault

I have been messing around with a similar tactic.
Rhinos with 8 man squadx3
2 squads are tooled up for rapid fire support with 2x plaz and 6x bolters.
The third squad has 2 flamers or 2 melt guns and a power fist.
Redundancy in the fire support squads will help to make sure one squad is in rapid fire range to support the assault.
Thanks for the idea Tom. I'm playing my bother, and cousin this weekend,
Necrons and Marines. I'll let you know how it goes. I wish I had a vindicator to test. Maybe I'll proxy one for a game to test it out.
I could tape an obscenely oversized cardboard tube to the front of a rhino.
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Old 18 Jul 2006, 09:56   #8 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Combined arms - Infantry assault

Hehe. Perhaps just use a Predator instead? It'd probably be more effective anyway. I just wanted to test out a variation of the documented close assault doctrine. Well good luck with it!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel_Sanders
When all was finished, the battlefield was a smoking crater. UDC, Valoran, US Army, Tau, the Nazis, a random pirate ship, and a bunch of ninjas, all were enemies to the Vulture. All were turned into scrap metal. Or plastic. Depends which game system you play.
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Old 18 Jul 2006, 13:58   #9 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Combined arms - Infantry assault

Tom,

If there's 18 inches between the two deployment zones, then you should be ok. I expected 24 inches (which would require two turns of full movement to cover). However, at 18 inches, two turns of movement gets you 6 inches into his deployment. This is useful, unless he rides the back of his deployment zone. Also, knowing he doesn't take lascannons to drop you, you will probably be able to get some good use out of your Vinidcator.

Just to note: If sentinels are a problem, as they can bust a land speeder--well, a land speeder can bust them right back, even harder (they're opened topped and penetrable). Assault Cannons & Heavy Bolters rip through sentinels. Just deploy your Speeders behind Vindy & Razors and just zoom out, and hose them. 12 inches movement and the range of 24&36" should be more than enough to get them. And if it's a squadron, it's all the easier.

Anyhow, knowing more, here's a new prediction:

A - Vindicator and Razorback move forward.
B - Marines disembark from Razorback and hide in the rear (will they have an anti-tank gun? next turn could be anti-sentinel action).
C - Other Razorback hides behind the two tanks, but nearly bumper to bumper; Marines stay on board.
D - Assault Marines park behind the Vindy.
E - Shooting phase allows no shooting for you (and you should have popped smokes on the Vindy & front Razorback).
F - In your opponent's shooting phase, he may glance your front Razorback, but will do nothing that can stop it (Extra Armor!).
F2 - See note about enemy Demolisher.
G - There's a low chance that he will glance your Vindy. It will probably be intact though (though maybe cannot shoot).
H - Your following turn, everything should be able to advance, even if damaged (Extra Armor!).
I - The intact Razorback still hides and your Assault marines still hide.

The thing to notice is, unless your opponent just sits there, it will take you 3 turns to get into assault probably. Even with him being so close. That's only assuming that he either will deploy away from you, or will move around during these turns. Your assault marines could get assault, but it will probably be turn three unless you expose yourself.

It will be critical to keep his Demolisher quiet, so I hope you have lascannons ready (a veteran team with a tankhunting lascannon costs 123 points and has a Str10 lascannon chance to drop his A14 Demolisher, ie: fast). If not, this vehicle will be a problem (Scatter off your vindy into your razors, or hidden razor, or even assault marines? Imagine the disappointment of a lucky missed scatter. Or hitting more than one target. Str10 and Ap2 are no joke when you can't predict where it will land).

Cheers!
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Old 18 Jul 2006, 17:52   #10 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Combined arms - Infantry assault

Well cheers, Mal...but your approach is perhaps a little too far removed from the documented assault in Imperial Armour vol. 2. That's really what I want to emulate and I just wanted to know what you thought would happen to it. There's plenty of better ways to attack a fortified position and yours is certainly one of them, but that's not really what this was about. Besides, bunching up three vehicles, a dismounted tactical squad and an assault squad like that is just asking for trouble. It'd be too dangerous with a demolisher lurking about and even more so if he decides to take a Basilisk too! At least if I stay in the vehicles I'll only lose a handful of troops when/if he destroys the Razorbacks...and they're not such an easy target as a dismounted squad. I can spread out into an extended line that way too and I won't be putting all my eggs in one basket. I'll see how it goes and let you know. Cheers then, buddy.
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Originally Posted by Colonel_Sanders
When all was finished, the battlefield was a smoking crater. UDC, Valoran, US Army, Tau, the Nazis, a random pirate ship, and a bunch of ninjas, all were enemies to the Vulture. All were turned into scrap metal. Or plastic. Depends which game system you play.
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