Winning games of 40K

[Guest Article by Martijn]

[Editor: we have some Chaos Space Marine units for sale here]

We all like to win our games, this sometimes is harder than it looks and offers many difficulties. In this article I want to help you with some tactics to win your games in the future. These tactics are a guideline, they are not set, and of course can fail too. What I am saying is that I don’t give credit you will only win when you use these tactics. And always remember, having a fun game is more important than winning a game.

When it comes to playing a tournament there are a few things you have to keep in mind before you go there. You have to know the rules (very) well, you have to know your own codex (and you opponent’s too if possible), you need to be able to play at a certain speed to finish the game in the set time and most important you need to have fun in what you do.

While playing a game of 40K there are always a few things you have to keep in mind:

The objective à it’s easy to get carried away killing while you need to claim objectives, be sure that in turn 4 you are in such a position that you can claim them in turn 5, in turn 1-3 you want to focus the most on killing the opponent’s army to have a better chance to claim objectives.

Redundancy à ALWAYS assume you units are not going to do what they are intended for, statistically 2 meltas make a tank go “BOOM”, but since we are not playing statistics but 40K you use at least 3 meltas to kill a tank. That’s why you throw 2 units into the combat instead of 1, to be sure it works.

Fire priority à What is allowed to live for another turn? And what do you need to kill now? This is different per turn, in the first turn you want to shoot at targets you have a good chance of killing in the first turn unless there is something you HAVE to kill at that moment for whatever reason, while in turn 5 you need to clear objectives, be it of units claiming or contesting them because you need to claim to win. If you’re playing kill points kill the thing in his/her army that does the most damage (so he/she can kill less of your units), and afterwards focus on transports and infantry.

Sacrifice à Sometimes you need to sacrifice something to lure your opponent away, positioning a combat squad in such a way that it’s an easy target and you opponent attacks it with a hard unit while you can strike the rest of army pays of.

If you keep this in mind while you are playing, you already have an advantage, because you battle plan will probably be able to sustain more unsuspected things. If you’re assuming that one unit is not going to destroy the tank you won’t encounter any surprises if you only use one and it doesn’t blow. This also means that your plan is more dynamic and you can adept it to unsuspected things. Such as 10 guardsmen surviving a space marine charge and killing 3 of them.

There is no set strategy for 40K, every army has it’s own, even if you change one unit in your army the strategy for it changes, so I will not be able to tell you any strategies, you have to find them out for your own. There are however a few things that work for almost any army, and things you should (almost) always do.

One thing I can advice anyone to do is go second, always go second, so you can counter your opponents deployment and first take a look at his/her battle plan in the first turn. Another good thing to do is creating dilemmas will your opponent shoot the tank or the squad on the objective, when your opponent needs to make choices he/she starts making mistakes or needs to divert attention, which is positive for your game.

At last I will go over a tournament army list and explain the details of it, what it’s pro’s and con’s are and how it is constructed.

The following list is a 1700points Grand Tournament list used by a friend of mine who plays Word Bearer Chaos Marines. [Editor: you can buy this army on commission for $1450 everything included in up to five payments, OR have it done piecemeal at $300 per segment*]

1 Chaos Lord, Daemon weapon, combi melta, melta bombs 140

3 Chaos Terminator, reaper autocannon 125

3 Chaos Terminator, reaper autocannon 125

9 Chaos Space Marines, 2 meltas, chaos Glory. 230

1 Aspiring Champion, power fist. Combi weapon 1 Rhino, Daemonic Possession 55

8 Chaos Space Marines, 1 melta, chaos glory 205

1 Aspiring Champion, power fist. Combi weapon

1 Rhino, Deamonic possession 55

4 Chaos Space Marines, 1 Melta 110

1 Aspiring Champion, combi melta, melta bombs 1 Rhino, Daemonic Possession 55

4 Chaos Space Marines, 1 Melta 110

1 Aspiring Champion, combi melta, melta bombs 1 Rhino, Daemonic Possession 55

1 Predator, autocannon, Lascannon sponsors, 130

1 Defiler, Reaper Autocannon, battlecannon 150

1 Defiler, Reaper Autocannon, battlecannon 150

The basis for this list is redundancy, why have one gun shoot at something when you can have three guns for the target. One misses, one doesn't wound/penetrate and the third kills something, hopefully.

The fire support is mobile, for the most part. The Terminators and defilers walk forward on the sides of the board. A crossfire attempting to get side armour shots. Autocannons against the vehicles, even with the defilers; a battlecannon has only one shot at hitting, penetrating and damage result, a reaper autocannon has two shots, twin linked, giving it a good chance to hit. And you sill roll two dice for penetration, only now they both have a chance to penetrate, though they are lacking 1 strength. So obviously don't use it against armour value 13 or 14. The predator is there to control a fire lane.

The marines are the meat of the force, two units of 10, with 3 meltaguns/combimeltas. These are the work horses. Killing infantry squads and vehicles with AV 13-14. The smaller squads are suicide squads, killing something and getting killed in return. I find it helps that when you have a suicidal situation, you have already decided which unit will take one for the team.

The rhinos are possessed, an expensive upgrade, one I wouldn't really recommend, were it not for the lovely situation that you can always shoot out of the fire point. Not having to get out to fire your meltas means that squad stands a chance not getting charged that turn.

The Chaos Lord is in there because I needed a HQ and a Dark Apostle is quite iconic for the Word Bearers. Is it a heavy hitter? Kind of. Is it worth its points? Probably not.

I hope you liked it and found it useful.

Martijn BTP Correspondent from the Netherlands

With the help of Ben for the army list


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