theonelogician

How to use Terminators and Drop Pods against a gun-line.

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You know the situation. It's your turn two, and you have reserves coming on to the table. The problem? You have two squads of Terminators and your opponent has a nice Necron/Tau/Tzeentch gunline. You deep-strike as close as you can, successfully charge a unit, wipe it out, and die in your opponent's turn. Or, you don't destroy it, and merely delay your fate. How do you prevent such a waste of points?

With a high-risk/high-reward strategy. You deep-strike in BEHIND the gun-line. In order to understand why this works, first you need to understand why a gun-line works so well. Since the 1600's or so, IRL generals have overlapped arcs of fire to facilitate ease of killing targets. 40K is no different. It's rare that a single enemy unit can kill one of yours by itself without turning into a point vacuum. The entire point of a gunline is to concentrate fire on your one or two most forward units without having to worry about move-and-fire penalties, line-of-sight, or any of the disadvantages usually associated with shooting after moving.

Deep-striking in front of such a gun-line, then, is suicide, as it turns your expensive terminators into nice, juicy targets for all the AP2 shots any proper gunline possesses. Good luck on that 5+ invulnerable save. But what if your opponent doesn't have any AP2 shots? Chances are, then they have a ton of other shots heading your way, and you'll die to volume of fire.

But why deep-strike behind your opponent? After all, can't they just turn around and shoot? Yes, and that's what you should want. You see, by deep-striking behind them, you've forced your opponent to choose between turning his units around, leaving a gap in his arcs of fire, or ignoring them, and hoping he does enough damage to your units in front to negate whatever damage your units behind him do. Either way, you are at an advantage.

So, let's go back to the initial scenario. Instead of your terminators arriving in front of the gunline, they try to deep-strike behind. One mishaps off, and rolls a three. The other scatters right behind the Ethereal/Overlord/Lord of Change. At this point, you should be very happy. Heck, if they scatter behind a vehicle, it's even better because power fists can hurt.

All-in-all, it's a lot better to take the chance that your terminators/drop pods may end up useless than almost guarantee that they will.
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  1. Sneggy's Avatar
    But facing has no affect on arc of fire? meaning deep striking behind a gunline doesnt affect anything regarding lines of fire.

    Deep striking nearby to the board edge just increases your mishap chance. Your better off deepstriking away from the longest range firepower reducing your incoming fire and co-ordinating it to coincide with your army arriving in order to create target priority issues.

    If you must deep strike into a dangerous position you are better off doing it into terrain, risking the dangerous terrain rolls but denying shots.
  2. SonsOfStalingrad's Avatar
    I don't believe there is any way to make a unit of deep striking terminators charge the turn they come in. The way you have worded your initial statement suggests charging the turn they deep strike. The bottom also suggests that your plan is to do so, getting close to a priority target.
    In their turn, a priority target will get out of the way, or a unit good at combat on the charge gets the drop on you.
    Dropping in within charge range like that isn't a valid tactic unless your plan is to meatwall them.
  3. theonelogician's Avatar
    Originally Posted by Sneggy
    But facing has no affect on arc of fire? meaning deep striking behind a gunline doesnt affect anything regarding lines of fire.

    Deep striking nearby to the board edge just increases your mishap chance. Your better off deepstriking away from the longest range firepower reducing your incoming fire and co-ordinating it to coincide with your army arriving in order to create target priority issues.

    If you must deep strike into a dangerous position you are better off doing it into terrain, risking the dangerous terrain rolls but denying shots.
    Fairly certain vehicles can't shoot behind themselves

    This tactic is mostly only useful for dealing with vehicle gunlines anyway, because Infantry-heavy ones should have some melee capacity.

    As I said, it is a high-risk high-reward gambit that pays off really well, or shoots you in the foot with a flamer.
  4. theonelogician's Avatar
    Originally Posted by SonsOfStalingrad
    I don't believe there is any way to make a unit of deep striking terminators charge the turn they come in. The way you have worded your initial statement suggests charging the turn they deep strike. The bottom also suggests that your plan is to do so, getting close to a priority target.
    In their turn, a priority target will get out of the way, or a unit good at combat on the charge gets the drop on you.
    Dropping in within charge range like that isn't a valid tactic unless your plan is to meatwall them.
    Not so much meatwall as to hammer-anvil. If you take a couple hull points off something expensive or even kill it, your opponent has to respond, no? As for priority targets, those would be a nice benefit, but not mandatory kills. The whole point of the strategy is to force your opponent to redirect some of his fire away from your units in front.
  5. Sneggy's Avatar
    Originally Posted by theonelogician
    Fairly certain vehicles can't shoot behind themselves

    This tactic is mostly only useful for dealing with vehicle gunlines anyway, because Infantry-heavy ones should have some melee capacity.

    As I said, it is a high-risk high-reward gambit that pays off really well, or shoots you in the foot with a flamer.
    Why would you turn vehicles around to deal with a single deep striking squad exposing their rear armour to the main army?
    You should always have some infantry to support vehicles who can deal with problems like this.

    What your suggesting is a meltacide squad which isnt really a new concept or a terribly good idea.
  6. theonelogician's Avatar
    I'm not saying this is a new idea at all, nor am I trying to change something massive I'm just suggesting this as a way to use terminators and drop-pods against a gunline that is mostly composed of vehicles.

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