Quick Tip: Tag-Team to Win Combat

Hey all Son of Adam here with a quick tip about tipping the favor of combat.  This technique is a very particular one, but it can be shaped to good effect against most non-fearless armies; it’s called the tag-team.  Please keep in mind that this technique cannot be used in every circumstance, but when it can be used, it can be the shift in power during a game.


            Once in the last round of a tournament, I was facing a horde ork army with a full sized nob biker unit.  There was nothing in my army that could have faced that unit head on and my opponent knew it.  He stretched the squad out across the board so that no matter where I went in my turn he would be close enough to engage me.  I was stuck in a hard place and had to employ the tag-team.


            I happened to get the rule book power terrify (it relieves a unit of the fearless special rule) and I used it on his nob bikers (keep in mind this tactic can only be used on non-fearless units).  I moved up my combat unit and did not shoot in order to keep the formations that he had put out in place.  Then I multi-assaulted his strung out nobs squad (big scary unit) and tag-teamed his boys squad (an easily killable unit).  I used my movement in such a way to make sure that nearly all of the combat squad could only get in on the boys squad and I dumped nearly all of my attacks into it.  During his reaction most of his nob squad was too far away to fight, and most of the boys were dead.

            For combat resolution I had killed enough of the boys that his biker squad was taking its leadership test on a two.  Even with the re-roll they failed, and since the boys were still big enough to be fearless I couldn’t pursue them.  The Nobs with both warbosses rolled their three dice and fled off the table.


            That is the tag-team.  In these pictures you can see how the eldar jetbikes are facing off against a paladin squad.  During their movement they position themselves in a place where they can declare the convenient rhino as their primary target and the paladins as the secondary. 


            After they charge they dump all of their attacks into the rhino and only one of the warlocks hits the paladins.  Since in sixth edition all damages against a tank count towards combat resolution the paladins end up loosing combat by enough to make them test on double ones.


            They fail their leadership and if the bikes roll low enough to catch them, then the paladins will break and run off the table.


            This is very situational, and it’s not a guarantee, but if you find the opportunity, try it.  You can help push favor of combat towards your units if you can find a way to push the combat resolution to 9+ on your side.  Good luck all.

About Son of Adam

I am a 40k player and have been since the time of third edition. My first love, and presently an unfortunate one at that, is the Tau. In 4th edition I began a modest IG army, and then started a small yet growing Grey Knight trophy army in 5th. In the recent past, I have succumbed to the desire to play Eldar; that same alluring desire of precision in play, and artistic gracefulness of modeling that many 40k players always seem to toy with. I am finding this last army to be very challenging and enjoyable. My involvement with the hobby is as an appreciator of much of the fluff, an admirer and novice in the art of modeling, and an enjoyer of the game.

Posted on September 21, 2012, in Game Strategy, Gameplay, Micro and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Yay, glad to see the strategy articles back, this and the battle videos are why I love this blog. Although I admit I don’t quite understand what’s going on in this article, probably because I don’t really understand the way multi-assaults and morale checks work yet (I use a shooty army). Is the same unit charging two seperate units at the same time?

    Also steal away from my last post. I don’t really care about credit, I mainly just did it as an exercise to help myself internalize the concepts, and I’m happy to support a blog that encourages intelligent, purposeful play. The 40k community really needs blogs like this one.

  2. Also, can’t wait for the rest of the BRB missions discussions. I feel like the mission is probably the most important part of the battle the player cannot control ahead of time, and yet it’s the least talked about, as in nobody anywhere is talking about the mission strategies.

  3. Actually, I don’t think the book supports the tactic as you’ve described it. Most of your points are correct, except that the most wounds you could ever score in combat against a Rhino is 6. Glancing hits count as 1 wound, penetrating hits as 2. Both remove a single hull point, and any vehicle that is reduced to zero hull points is immediately wrecked. However, units can never give up more wounds in combat than they have to offer. So even if you scored 25 penetrating hits, only the first three would count before the Rhino turned into a flaming hulk, giving you a total of 6 wounds toward your combat total

    Now, granted, 6 wounds is far more than the zero it was under 5th edition, but you can’t count on pouring all but one attack into a vehicle for an epic combat win.

  4. Well idk if that works for vehicles (as Paul mentioned).

    But against the nobs its actually a nice trick to know 😉

  5. I am missing content from you guys! Dont disappear on us…

  6. Hey SoA. Just a quick comment on your pronunciation of the divination primaris power. It’s actually pre science as before the age of science hence why the lore is called divination (gods, Devine beings) so that power was around before science. (Pre).

    You say it pressence. 😛

  7. Hi, maybe I’m understanding the rules wrong as I am quite new to the game. I thought in an assault, even if the unpleasant squad that you assault is only in base contact with one model, the maximum wounds still spread through your squad?
    So taking the example given with the nobs and the boys, you charge the boys with your 10 jetbikes, but your are multi-assaulting so you lose your charge bonus.
    But we are running 10 warlocks so we still have 20 attacks to throw out. 9 bikes are in contact with the boys, 1 with the nobs (i think thats how you described it right?). You have the initiative on the orks and on average maybe 10 wounding hits from that?
    Lets be generous and say they save 2 wounds on the 6+ save they have. 8 deaths on the boys. Maybe 1 wound on a nob from your other guy, totalling 9 wounds by you.
    The nobs will attack back 1st, consolidating 3″ around your guy in base contact. 5 nobs should do about 6 wounds, 4 up saves takes that down to 4 deaths.
    Then the left over boys will attack you, 7 of them left at least, thats another 5 wounds, generously you might save 2. 7 deaths to the warlocks.
    7 boys left, and their leadership is the number of boys left right to roll less than 7 on 2 dice, which is the most common number on 2 dice :S
    The nobs slightly more likely to break on a LD 5, but you wont be able to run them down if you are still in combat with the boys? Seems to be a lot of close calls and maybes here? Am I missing something important?
    If you have 5 nobs on bikes, and 10 warlocks on jetbikes, you could stick back at 12″ range and shoot them with your twin-linked shuriken catapults, 20 shots, BS4 rerolling would give you 17 hits? ish? That would lead to 6 wounds, after saves 2 dead nobs. They would then take the same LD check and you have lost no models, you could also then charge them if you wanted to still and have a much better chance of wiping them out. Although I would be running away at that point.
    I’d love to hear your thoughts!

    • Thanks for your comment Kevin and welcome to 40k and to Eldar.
      You are right to wonder at this tactic. It can only be used successfully in very particular circumstances. Something else to note is that this tactic can be used by any squad that is both potent and resilient in combat, so long as the conditions present themselves.
      However, I will explain the particular difference in the above description. If the table were as you had described, then yes, this would had a poor chance of working, however placement is key in this sort of scenario. The boyz squad was spread out with the intent to avoid destructor templates, and the nob bikers were spread out at max range (2 inches in between bases) in order to threaten my advance anywhere near his lines. This was an ideal scenario, as it allowed me to be more resilient due to the lack of potential counter attack from a spread out unit.
      I was able to fortune my bikes and doom his boyz at the start of the turn. I then moved my squad into a position so that I could take advantage of this limited range tactic. I decided not to fire in order to maintain my opponent’s formation. When charging I was able to get 4/5 (I don’t recall exactly at this point) bikes in base with his boyz and 1 with the nobz, which net me 4/5 and 1 hammer of wrath hits and 2 or so dead boyz. After that I struck with 11 jetbikes on the boyz and 1 on the nobz (10 warlocks and 2 farseers), while losing the +1 bonus I was able to get 22 attacks (14.6 hits, 14 wounds) for 11 or so dead boyz with ws 5 and doom. The boyz after losing 13 were out of position to get many in place to attack as they were already spread out in an effort to avoid flamer templates. They may have gotten 2/3 boyz in to fight (4.5 hits, 1.5 wounds) which, with re-rolls wouldn’t have killed anyone. Similarly the nobz were only able to get 2 in range to hit as they were spread out to control the table. (3 hits, 2.5 wounds) With re-rolls on the invulnerable saves I might have lost one. So we can see in this instance, assuming 13 wounds caused to the boyz and none to the bikers while only taking 1 in return, both squads had been reduced to LD 2 and the Nobz broke and went 3d6 off the table edge.
      In the end, my ability to kill and not be killed was largely due to my opponents positioning rather than the power of my squad. I hope this helps.
      Thanks again for the post. I’d be happy to hear your thoughts on anything on this site.

      • Hi, Thanks for the further information. So the fact that made this work for you was that the opposing units were too strung out to make the most of the 3″ consolidation on your squad. That makes a lot more sense now. Its not about seeing a squishy unit and abusing damage on that to scare off the other unit, its about both units being out of position and being able to take advantage of it.
        Thanks for clearing that up for me!

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