Micro Gameplay Strategy: Defeating Deathstars with Tar Pits
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.