Tuesday, October 23, 2012

6th Edition - Deploying for the Win

Wanna win more?  Deploy better...How?

Here are my tips for carrying out your victory plan from the start of the game by deploying for the win.  Let me preface the rest of this article by saying the previous sentence is primary to the following contents.  Let me say it another way...

        Competitive generals must formulate a plan to achieve victory

I don't want to insult any one's intelligence but let's consider the statement's ramifications.  It's not enough to understand that you are playing Mission 1;  mysterious objectives with a vanguard deployment vs such and such an army, blah, blah, blah.  A competitive general needs to make an internal visualization of how many objectives he'll hold and how many he'll contest.  He needs to visualize what units will be holding those objectives and what units will be used to contest enemy objectives.  He needs to consider what firepower and assault forces he'll encounter and he needs to anticipate what units of his, said firepower/assault, will be brought to bare on.  He needs to predict deployment tactics of his enemy(especially if you are deploying first).  It's very predictable and easy to say that you need to think a few moves ahead, but it is absolutely vital.  First Blood, Slay the Warlord and Linebreaker all need to be pre-conceived and planned for.  All that visualization needs to take place before you even think about deploying your models. 

When you have stared at the board long enough to formulate a plan it's time for you to deploy.  Deploying for the win requires several considerations.  Aggression needs to balanced by prudence.  The desire to win via attrition needs to be tempered by the actual requirement of enemy unit destruction vs objective holding, the big 3(first blood, slay the warlord and linebreaker) and other victory requirements.  Only put down what really needs to be on the table.  Make sure deployed units are durable enough to last as long as you need them too.  My recent lists include a deployed force large enough to reserve as many units as I want to reserve.  You never know when an opponent will have just the right amount and type of firepower to blow you off your side of the board on turn 1, for those types of match-ups you'll need to know you can reserve your most important units(thereby making them more durable).  Make sure you have options....

When planning for things like First Blood make sure you have a back up option.  In other words don't rely on popping a rhino with one dreadnought, instead, have 2 or even 3 within range and with line of sight.  Don't count on one unit being enough for linebreaker, give yourself 2 or 3 units that will be behind enemy lines by the end of the game.  Redundancy can be key.

Don't expose your warlord too soon or too often.  Torrents of firepower can be brought to bare on even the most insanely tough HQ and it's only matter of how many times you'll need to roll to die, not if....  Make sure he's being escorted by a sufficiently tough unit or being transported by an extremely fast and or tough transport.  Don't give these points away needlessly.

For God's sake use the terrain on the table to your advantage.  Look at what blocks line of sight, examine the firing lanes and place your models appropriately.  Never, ever give them the opportunity to cripple you on turn 1.  Make sure the points you spend on power units get used.  This means reserving more or foregoing shooting sometimes in lieu of going flat out, popping smoke or just hiding behind something.   Play with your toy soldiers like they were your very own flesh and blood, use them as effectively and efficiently as you can.

Be proactive in every move you make.  Be deliberate and aggressive but maintain your plan for victory.  Take a step back after every phase and make sure you are keeping your goals in mind.

Just a few general suggestions for deploying for the win.    



  1. Amen to that, poor deployment will cost you the game almost every time. There have been a few times I have deployed and then said to myself, WHAT THE HELL AM I THINKING!!!! Poor deployment will almost surely cost you the game almost every time, unless your opponent is a total moron. Good read.

  2. Lol, good call. I've said the same thing...

  3. Thanks for the wisdom, good sir. I'll be brushing up on the oadius asartes soon as well.

  4. Really good stuff! I'd add in that's it's wise to be prepared to be seized - assuming you're safe and deploying too aggressively can lose you a game very easily! Obvious I know, but I'm always surprised at how many people forget this!