It's time to play Warhammer 40,000 with your masterly created army. I'm here to help any way I can and get you over the threshold to more wins. Today I'm going to talk about the Force Organization Chart, unit use and some deployment.
The Force Organization Chart or FoC, as you know is the guideline for how many units of what type you can bring onto the battlefield. There is the compulsory 1 HQ and 2 Troops and the optional(up to) 2 HQ's, 3 Elites, 6 Troops, 3 Fast & 3 Heavy Supports. There are some codex exceptions to the FoC. Knowing how your codex manipulates the FoC can be one of your army's biggest strengths. For instance, the Space Wolves are allowed up to 4 HQ choices. You can also move some units from one FoC slot to another by taking a certain HQ. Taking Belial in your Dark Angel army allows your Elite Terminators choices to become Troops. Chaos Lesser Demons do not occupy an FoC slot but are considered troops. Commander Dante moves Sanguinary guard from Elite to Troops. Haemonculous' make wracks troops etc..etc...etc...The rules for these unit swaps and FoC exceptions aren't always easy to find. Typically these rules revolve around the troop slot, probably because it is the most important. How these rule affect your game play varies from one codex and play style to another, but they should be learned.
Understanding each(FoC) slot as it relates to the strengths and weaknesses of your army is very important. I could also say: understanding each slot as it relates to the strength and weaknesses of your troops is very important. 2 of the 3 possible victory condition scenarios involve holding one or multiple objectives(uncontested) with a TROOP at the end of the game. Yes annihilation is ALL about killing the other guy, YES if you table your opponent in an objective match up you still win...BUT, you can't realistically expect to do that. So, get used to caudling your precious troops like newborn children.
Using each unit for it's intended purpose is typically a good idea. I would take it a step farther and say that using each unit for supporting your troops is typically a good idea. Take lots of troops and employ tactics and rules to keep those troops alive by the end of the game. Each FoC slot and even each unit will have varying degrees of success doing different things, but ONLY A TROOP CAN HOLD AN OBJECTIVE.
Ironically, I typically charge a portion of my troops headlong into enemy lines. Primarily because Blood Angel Assault marines are my anchor point and they can be toughened up by bringing chaplains for Fearlessness and priests for Feel No Pain. I would not recommend this course of action for a Tau player however(not with any build that I could conceive) but for my particuliar army it works.
Deployment is super vital and maybe not my strong point, but I do have a few tips for you. Just like the FoC rules, each Codex will typically have exceptions to deployment guidelines. Some HQ's will allow themselves and others to deploy differently then their normal profile. Taking a certain DarkEldar HQ allows your troop transports(fast skimmers) to deepstrike. Taking an IG Master of the Fleet increases the required roll for enemy reserves to increase by 1. A certain item on a Tau commander will allow one unit at a time to arrive on a roll of 2+ regarless of turn. Lady Malys(DE) gives you a redeployment after the enemy has set up. Comb through your codex and find out what type of deployment options you have. Deployment strategy will mostly likely change from one scenario and deployment type to another, so keeping your options open is vital.
These are just some general things to keep in mind as you begin to field your army. Winning at Warhammer 40,000 takes some time and may not happen right away(there are few games, if any, that are more complicated), but a well earned win will get you hooked and a well earned tournament win will addict you entirely. TILL THEN....PLAY WELL, ROLL BETTER.