Category Archives: Game Strategy

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.

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List Building: Checklist

Be intentional about the Heavy Support and Fast Attack choices that you pick.

Hey guys, Son of Adam here again with a little list building checklist.  This is not the end all be all of list building, but is simply a quick check to run through your list in order to see if you are missing something.

            If you are building an all-comers list for any mission in the new BRB, then there are some things that you ought to make sure that you consider.  Here is a very basic two part checklist to run through your list.  The first is directly written with the Golden Rules in mind, and the second are with the potential meta in mind.

Mission Specific:

  • How will this list handle scoring/contesting 6 different objectives?
  • Is there any way to reduce my kill point total?  Does this list have too many?
  • Are all of the heavy support choices in this list diverse enough to take advantage of Big Guns Never Tire without creating too much of a victory points liability should they be destroyed and award the opponent victory points?
  • Are all of the Fast Attack choices in this list diverse enough to take advantage of The Scouring without creating too much of a victory points liability should they be destroyed and award the opponent victory points?
  • Can this list get a near guarantee that I claim one particular objective of my choosing?
  • Can this list guarantee that I can deny one particular objective of my opponent?
  • Does this list provide a solution for seizing and holding the relic?
  • Does this list provide a solution for forcing an opponent to drop the relic?
  • Does this list have a hard to kill Warlord?
  • Does this list provide a means to kill the opponents Warlord?
  • Does this list have an easy to kill unit?
  • Does this list provide a means for getting the first kill?
  • What in this list is poised to be in the enemy’s deployment zone at the end of the game?

General Defense:

  • Does this list provide a solution for AV14 vehicles?
  • Does this list provide a solution for Deathstars?
  • Does this list provide a solution for fliers?
  • Does this list provide a solution for hordes?
  • Does this list provide a solution for MSU?
  • Does this list provide a solution for 2+ saves?
  • Does this list provide a solution for Monstrous Creatures
  • Does this list provide a solution for Psykers?

Expect to see more fliers in the 6th Edition.  How will your list defend against them?

            Notice that these are not overly specific.  That is intentional.  There are many tricky ways to deal with the different threats and achieve different objectives.  For example you can deal with a deathstar without killing it (see here for that article).  Or win “The Emperor’s Will” without trying to claim the opponents objective (article here), or any at all (article here).  Keep an eye out for providing an answer to each of these items in non-traditional ways.

            This is a very general checklist, but not a bad one to give your list a quick run-through.  Most of us try to run through this checklist in our heads anyway, but it is good to have a tangible list in front of us, and will benefit those that have not considered it before. 

            Run your list through this checklist and tell us about how it fared.  Feel free to post an overview of your list and its strengths and weaknesses in regards to the checklist in the comments below.  If you want to send me a copy of your list and your review personally send it to SonofAdam@MasterCraftGaming.com.

Road to NOVA: Necron Air Force

The Necron Air Force is a powerhouse in the 6th edition.

Hey guys Son of Adam here with a NOVA prep discussion about the Necron Air Force list.  As you guys know from the teaser below I recently had a chance to play against the dreaded Necron Air Force in a NOVA primer mission. 

            Some quick updates on my progress before we begin: with 7 days left, most of the army is built, most of the basing is done, the army list is getting near finalized, and the display board needs a bunch of work.  Tonight some of the fellas are coming over and we are going to paint all night.  Even though my stuff isn’t done yet, I’m still going to try and produce some content for the site and so here we go.

 

            The Necron Air Force is a very potent list that has most NOVA attendees frightened.  That is one of the reasons I wanted to get a battle report in here about them.  This list is generally based off of having maxed out, or nearly maxed out flyers.  It also tends to add one of the Necron characters (typically the Traveler or the Stormlord) with a large and tough enough squad not to get wiped on the first turn.  Then the question has been what travels in the night scythes.  Some swear to the survivability of the immortals, some the fire power/tricks of crypteks, and other the points effectiveness of the 5 man warrior squad.  In the end you are generally left with 8+ scythes (3 of which are doom scythes), a beefy/deathstar unit, and massed mobile scoring units.

            Some of the guys at my FLGS were talking about how to challenge this list and flyer lists in general.  Each time an idea came up; there would only need to be a slight change to the Air Force list that would knock it down again.  We even ran the IG air force against it, but the Doom Scythe is just too strong for aerial combat.  In the end it kept looking like nothing could shoot down enough of those flying croissants without being wiped off the table.  This may change with new updates and war gear, but for now the biggest threat to flyers is other flyers and even then, cron flyers are the best of the lot at this point.

            One problem that developed was a mirror match.  In the competitive scene, you have to expect that whatever is being considered one of the most powerful lists is going to be there in numbers.  If that’s the case, everyone who is bringing this list must consider this possibility and prepare accordingly.  This is where the special characters come in.  The stormlord allows for some extra defense, while providing unreliable support at bringing flyers down.  On the other hand the Traveler allows you to potentially get control of 4 Doom Scythes a turn with his mind in the machine. 

Necron’s firepower destroys units.

            As far as a response to flyers goes, some armies have a few options to bring them down, others must rely on allies.  Presently flyers are the best way to fight flyers, but this inherently has the problem of escalation.  If I bring three flyers then my opponent will bring four.  And, in the flyer vs. flyer games, first turn tends to loose as they will alpha strike an empty table and then get alpha’d in return.  On the other hand you can bring AA defense guns on the Aegis or the Bastion.  However, the Aegis gun tends to get dropped rather quickly and the Bastion is expensive and disallows scoring.

            There is only one real weakness that I can find for the flyers in this pre-AA adolescence of 6th edition in regards to NOVA style tournaments.  However, this weakness is not one that is exclusively held by flyers.  Tanks and flyers don’t count for scoring in table quarters missions.  If you start the game with 8+ flyers, or >1000 pts for crons, you will be at an initial disadvantage against armies like nids that are all scoring.

            All in all the air force lists are very strong until 6th gets more AA rules and there isn’t much that can compete with them.  However, with the prevalence of table quarter missions, some inexperienced cron players may be eliminated during these rounds.  I won’t go into what happened in my last match, but you can watch some of the other air force games on different sites and check back here by the end of the week to see how this one went.  I will be a little more thorough in how I tried to defend against the crons in the strategy follow-up that comes out after the report.

 

Thanks for reading.  Check back soon for some of the content that will be coming out.  Make sure to follow our website, like our facebook, and subscribe to the YouTube channel. 

-Peace.

Micro Gameplay Strategy: Defeating Deathstars with Tar Pits

How would you defend against a deathstar?

Hey guys Son of Adam here again with a little article about defeating deathstars with tar pits.

Since the new edition, deathstars have grown in popularity, and with them comes the need to shut them down.  Generally people go about this by trying to find the best deathstar; one deathstart to rule them all.  They will play test to see, deathstar vs. deathstar, which will win out.  Others try to build a list around putting out enough shots to take down anything deathstar related.  These are both valid methods, but I want to offer up a different idea for your considerations; tying them up.

Deathstars are made to crash into enemy lines and destroy all who oppose, but there are some units in the game that are made to do exactly the opposite.  These are called tar pit units.  Tar pit units are generally cheap, large, have an invulnerable save, deny attacks in combat, have fearless, feel-no-pain, or some combination there of.  Some examples are plague demons, massed tyranid guants, or swarms.

The idea here is that you can tie up a large deathstar unit long enough to make them tactically irrelevant, or to lessen their impact on the game.  And, with the cost imbalance for the rest of the game, you should be able to make enough of a difference with the rest of your army to gain the advantage, or apply this tactic again to further tie up the squad.

Consider that, in a perfect world, a Draigowing deathstar assaults 30 guants backed up by feel-no-pain.  The guant squad only costs 120 points and the deathstar costs upwards of 1000 points (assuming normal deathstar overload with Draigo, apoth, and 4 psycannons).  This deathstar will be getting 3 attacks on the charge, hitting on 3’s, wounding on 3’s, and the guants will get a 5+ feel-no-pain on all non-hammer attacks.  That’s 36 attacks, with say 24 hits, 16 wounds, and 11 dead.  So, with 11 dead at 5pts a piece, it cost you 55pts to hold that deathstar still for the top of a turn.

Now for the bottom of that turn.  You know the drill; it’s only 25 attacks this time, with say 17 hits, 11 wounds, and 7/8 dead.  So at the end of the full turn where they were charged it cost you 90/95 pts to make the Draigowing deathstar irrelevant to the game.  Take that number over the course of 5 turns and make it 395 points (95 + 75 each turn thereafter) to keep 1000 points at bay.  In a 2000 point game, it has now become 1000 points vs. 1605 points.  The tyranid player will gain a significant advantage.  (Please be aware that this is a perfect world scenario.  However, when working with perfect world scenarios, we can look for what to try for in our actual games).

These ideas work with several different units against several different deathstars, but consider the fundamental idea, take small cheaper units to tie up larger, more expensive units in order to give yourself the upper hand in achieving the victory conditions.  Now go out and see if you can work this idea into your list in order to deal with the deathstars of the 40k world.  You don’t have to change what you are taking now, but it’s a good exercise none-the-less to see if there are more mild aspects of this strategy that can be helpful to you when considering what to bring to the table and while playing the game.

Strategy Follow-up: Eldar vs Salamanders

Hey all. You guys asked for a strategy discussion for our battle reports and here is our first go at it. Leave a comment and let us know if this is what you were looking for. In this video I go through how I approached the game and explain the different micro tactics that I used to help give myself the edge. If there was anything else in particular that you were interested in knowing just ask in a comment below and I will try my best to answer.

We have really appreciated all of the great support you guys have already given to us in our very short start-up so far. We are always improving with your advice, so keep it up.

So far we have on the battle report request queue we have: Dark Eldar vs. Grey Knights, Tyranids, and more Grey Knights.

Be sure to friend, like, subscribe, and follow our respective social networking sites. Thanks for watching.

Quick Tip: Deny the Last Turn Dash

Hey guys, Son of Adam here again with another quick tip.  By the way, we are working on getting some more videos out this week, but some things have slowed us down a little bit, expect at least two.

            As we have looked into some of the methods for last turn contesting in articles here, it is worth mentioning that there are ways to try and slow down and better defend against this kind of move when it is being used against you.  In this quick tip we are going to point out one of those ways.

            In a tournament this weekend (which will have a video review very soon), I played against an army with a Necron night scythe.  These guys are the kings of the last turn deny/claim move, almost as good as last editions Eldar Falcons.  They are able to move very far in one turn and drop guys without chance or danger in a large radius around the base of the flyer.  (Note: there are other models with a similar capability in other armies as well).

            Thus the scenario runs, each side is claiming one objective and then on turn 5 the night scythe (or equivalent) jumps onto the other player’s objective and moves his warriors or immortals in to contest or potentially claim.  Then the game ends, and at the very least, the result is 1 objective to none.

            Aside from shooting down all of the night scythes on the table how can you prevent this kind of tactic?  There is one simple method, though not foolproof and not guaranteed, it will in the least buy you a turn.

            With whatever units you have near that objective move them to surround at least two inches of the objective.  You may have to sacrifice shooting, even with a squad of shooting dedicated models (devastators), but if following the golden rules, this is the more than acceptable. 

Eldar Rangers make a bubble around the objective.

            Once your models look like this your opponent will not be able to drop off his troops within three inches of the objective, and is not able to assault you this turn in order to bring them within this three inch bubble.

            This tactic does not guarantee the win or the objective, but it will slow down the opponent for at least a turn.  This will make the last turn dash a bit harder to pull off as it requires the player to; first have this move in mind earlier, second dedicate their resources for at least two turns, and third, provide you the opportunity to return fire.

The rangers deny a last turn dash from the scythe.

I hope this helps out in one of your future games.  Make sure to follow/like/subscribe to our stuff.  Thanks again for reading fellas and post up some comments down below.  Peace.

Macro-Game Play: Approaching Mission 5

Sometimes you don’t need focus a lot of resources to hold an objective.

Hey all, Son of Adam here with a run-through of how to approach mission number five in the BRB, “The Emperor’s Will.”  Eventually there will be an “Approaching” article for each of the missions, but we are going to start with five.  Why five and not one? Because this one is the most interesting and the one I have seen messed up the most.

             First off, let’s look at what makes up mission five.  All of the rules for mission five are the standard for all missions; warlord traits, night fighting, reserves, secondary objectives, etc.  What distinguishes it is the amount and placement of the objectives.  There are only two objectives; one for each player.  These objectives are subject to the normal rules, but contrary to 5th, these objectives are place in the owning player’s table half.  (Note that they no longer have to be in the owning player’s deployment zone).

            So, how do we follow the golden rules in order to win the game?  The victory conditions are achieved by having more victory points than your opponent.  Let’s break this down in a real blunt and simple way.  We can guarantee this points preponderance by claiming both primary objectives, claiming one primary and secondary objective while the opponent doesn’t claim a primary, or by claiming more secondary objectives while neither player claims a primary.  These are all very obvious, but now that they have been overtly stated we can look at how to achieve each of them. 

            The first, and most difficult to achieve, is claiming both primary objectives.  This mission in 5th edition (capture and control) was not dubbed “mission tie game” for nothing.  It usually goes one of three ways.  First, both players do a full out attack and leave one scoring unit behind.  Second, both players castle and wait, and third, some combination thereof.  And then when the dust settles, if the game isn’t already over, each player tries to dash towards whatever objective isn’t claimed.  Generally this is just a very hard way to win mission five.  Usually it is only possible with a much stronger list, poor play from your opponent, or really lucky dice.

            The next way is to claim a primary objective and deny your opponent from claiming one, while remembering to score one of the secondary objectives.  This method is much easier to win with and is often the overlooked play.  You pick which primary objective is more of a guarantee to claim and work to claim that one by the end of the game.  Then you stay alive.  You can try to find ways to remove your opponent from the other primary objective by baiting him or confusing him with deployment, but essentially you want to be alive and in a position to contest their primary objective for the end of the game.  If you can manage not to get yourself killed, you can claim your own objective while defending it and contesting the opponent at the same time.  It takes a bit of finesse and there are many different ways to do it, but the focus is on claiming on primary while contesting the other.

            And lastly, you can tie for the win.  If you think that it will too hard to claim both or contest one primary objective and will end up being “mission tie game,” you can play for the tie and play for the secondary objectives.  I won’t go into this too much, there is already an article up about it, but suffice to say, make sure your list can handle the secondary objectives and play for them without revealing that you are.

            In the end I usually play for method two, while banking on method three.  This way I play very conservatively while acquiring the secondary objectives and make the push for the last turn contest.

 

            Let me know your thoughts.  Basic article, but you know I like to look at the overlooked basics for the win.  Do you have any stories about “mission tie game?”  Post up your comments/criticism and make sure to like/follow/sub to our stuff.  Thanks for reading.

Grey Knight List Building: Multiplying Effect (Prescience)

Hey guys, Son of Adam here from MasterCraft Gaming with a quick discussion about a potential list element for the Grey Knights.  Some people have been requesting more Grey Knights tactica, and Vanguard thought that I should post up a discussion that we had about them, and so, here you go. 

            Let’s take a quick step back and explain something simple, but useful (and often overlooked).  Some effects in 40k multiply their effectiveness.  They offer a buff at a flat cost that a varying number of models can take advantage of, depending on the list created.  A squad purchasing psybolt amo is a good example, or Black Templar’s creeds.  The buff that is given becomes less and less expensive (per model) as it is spread across more models that are taking advantage of it, and therefore increases its efficiency.

4 to 5 twin-linked psycannons is no small thing.

            And now the next step: Grey Knights now have access to the divination psychic discipline and with it, the incredibly helpful primaris power prescience.  Prescience, unlike most powers, is guaranteed.  It is also one of the multiplying effects that we just talked about.  When applied in bulk the relative cost drops.  –As a side note, please be aware that lowering cost is only a tool, it is not the aim, and the aim, if you haven’t read it yet, can be found here.– 

            One of the prime examples to look at is a squad of 10 Paladins/purifiers with 4 psycannons.  (Which can be combat squaded to leave the cannons together and make the other half combat related or serve some other function.)  How much would you expect to pay in order to twin-link all of your psycannons and bring a chaplain with you whose power is in effect every turn, and not just on the turn you charged?  Some may say just make the cannons mastercrafted and ignore the bonus to combat, after all they generally only miss about once per shooting phase anyway.  Normally I would validate that opinion, however, with the advent of fliers and flying MCs, the ability for paladins as characters to make precision shots, and the bump to the amount of infantry we expect, I would have to make the argument again.  What is the value of a squad being able to re-roll all missed to hits in both shooting and in combat?  Quite high I expect.

            Before we get too far let’s look at who can get prescience and evaluate their usefulness in furthering our ability to achieve the golden rules.  As per Grey Knight FAQ, only the inquisitors and librarians get rulebook powers.  Here are two quick (and not exclusive) things to note about their differences.

  • Librarians- can add to the multiplying effect with more powers/mastery levels.
  • Inquisitors- (Malleus) can add an additional Psycannon making the squad have 5 twin-linked Psycannons (flier or not that’s painful).

            Always remember killing is not the goal, but a squad like this is something that a list can be built around.  You can tactically achieve a 24″ threat range that people will not want to be in.  When you have something like that, you can then build a list around it that can use that bubble to manipulate your opponent’s movement, and put them in places that are more advantageous to the rest of your list.

            That’s just a quick little thought for all of you MasterCraft fans who play Grey Knights (this is also useful for other armies).  Find ways that you can build lists with something that has this kind of influence, and then comment with how that went.

            As always fellas, thanks for reading.  Please follow/like/sub our stuff and leave some comments if there is anything else you want to see or see changed.  Thanks.

Deployment: Refuse Flank

Hey all, its Son of Adam again with a littletactic for deployment; the second sphere of Game Strategy.  In this write up we are going to talk about how faster armies can really take advantage of the refuse flank deployment.

Swarm/non elite armies have an advantage and disadvantage in their numbers.  They can overwhelm an elite force or outlast it in a battle of attrition.  However, its disadvantage is in the deployment sphere.  You can only physically fit so many models on any given portion of the table, and so these armies are forced to spread out or play some squads in reserve.  Either way, this deployment style has a weakness against the refuse flank deployment.  (Something else I must note here is that swarm armies are forced to do this, but many elite armiesdo this as well, from tactical necessity, or poor play.  Either way it will open up the opportunity to take advantage of the refuse flank style of deployment).

The Tau Piranha is a good example of a unit that can take advantage of the refuse flank tactic.

In the refuse flank tactic, you can counter deploy against an enemy that has spread out by focusing all of your forces on one flank of the table.  The advantage here, which is best utilized by ranged or fast moving units, is to be able to bring the full force of your army against a smaller portion of your opponent’s army, in order to overwhelm it with less losses.

For example let’s imagine that a Vulkan player takes 4 rhinos full o’ tacs and evenly spreads them across his dawn of war deployment zone.  You take your speedy Dark Eldar list and counter deploy them all on his right flank.  Now when the game starts all he has to do is prepare the two rhinos in range for your force, and hurriedly try to move the other two to that side of the table, forfeiting all of their support until they get there.  Then you can bring all of your mobility and firepower to bear in order to overwhelm his two tactical squads just in time to now take the same force against the other two that have essentially just made it to the fight.

This is a fantastic way for making up for being outmatched

with your list.  If your opponents army is better than yours and makes this mistake (or is forced to), then you can even the odds by making a portion of his army irrelevant for the purposes of the game.

Thanks for reading.  Leave a comment or write us an email with any feedback.  Check out our other stuff and sub/like/follow our sites.  Thanks for the support all.

Cheers

Quick Tip: Trapped in a Transport

Simply moving to surround an immobilized transport can sometimes be more effective than charging it.

Hey guys, Son of Adam here with a Quick Tip.  These tips are all going to be under the Micro-Gameplay heading.  Quick Tips are going to be short, very particular, ways to fight on the battlefield.  Today’s Quick Tip is called Trapped in a Transport.

            If you are holding, or trying to deny the enemy from holding, an objective and a unit that has the strength to take it from you just got immobilized in a transport right on top of that objective, what should you do?  The first and most obvious thing people want to do is charge it, but I want to suggest to you a different approach.

            For our example let’s take the mission I just recently play against Steve.  Near the end of the game his Rhino full of Grey Hunters came running down on top of my home objective.  Then in response I tried to come and take it back with my own, combat squad, of purifiers in a rhino (4 halberds, 1 hammer).

            I was able to take out his rhino but his troops took the objective from me.  I believe it was at the top of turn four that his grey hunters then made a counter assault to stop my purifiers.  He charged my rhino and destroyed it.  This however ended up giving me the advantage.  At the bottom of five I was then able to move the purifiers into position to contest the objective, and then get a full volley off before charging.

            Being outmatched, Steve could have employed this tactic to trap me in my transport.  (To be fair, in our particular game my rhino was not immobilized or stunned, but we will continue to talk about it as if it were for the sake of the example).  If his unit had simply moved into position to surround the rhino, my purifiers would have been stuck inside the transport and only been able to shoot out of it.  Even if I killed most of the squad I would still have been trapped in my transport.

            This is far more relevant in 6th edition when we consider a change to the rules.  Look in your rule book with me at page 123.  It shows you that units that remain fully in a transport can neither score nor deny objectives.  Furthermore, neither can any tanks (with the exception of “Big Guns Never Tire” and “The Scouring” missions where they can become scoring –but still cannot deny, take a look at that part closely).  With this in mind we can see the tactic come to life. 

            If the Grey Hunters were to have trapped the Purifiers in the rhino I would have only been able to shoot him, but not score/deny his objective.  In this instance we can see the very heart of the Golden Rules of the Art of War(hammer).  It would be more wise, and potentially game winning, to simply sit in front of the rhino’s doors and not attack anything than to charge the rhino and kill it.

            Remember this little tactic whenever you are facing an immobilized transport with some very nasty units inside.  Trap them in their transport and win the game.

Cheers

Again let us know your feedback.  Has this ever worked for you?  Have you seen this done against you?  Were their games you could have won if you had trapped that deadly unit in their transport instead of freeing them?  Let us know.  And while you are at it check out our other stuff and like/follow/subscribe to our sites.  Thanks guys, we are always looking to improve.