Fritz here…For many of us the “game” start at the first turn of action- moving, shooting, and assaulting our way through the mission, but what about
How you position your starting units is KEY to victory- correct deployment means setting up your units in such a way that they not only support each other and make thing a bit easier for the mission goals, but at the same time they also make it harder for your opponent to win the game.
Good deployment ensures that before the game even starts you already have an advantage.
Let’s look at a recent game that I was able to win just based on my opponent deploying incorrectly (love you Bishop!).
Doing it Wrong – Tyranids Vs. Dark Angels- Secure & Hold
Three objective points on the table placed randomly and whoever holds the most at the end of the game with their scoring units win.
With my Tyranids I’m running a pretty standard swarm list – lots of gaunts, tervigons and trygons.
Dark Angels are running terminator groups with storm bolters and an assault cannon, a land raider, and Sammael on his land speeder.
I deploy first, everything out in my deployment zone, packed tight since there are not real templates for me to worry about in the DA units, with the idea of all my units big and small supporting each other.
My plan is to move out to the center of the table with my mass of Space Bugs and then keep the Dark Angels buys with my big bugs (which are expendable for the mission) and take the objectives with the smaller bugs who will add a little shooting here and there and not much else.
Keep the Dark Angels busy butchering my big scary bugs (tervigons & trygons) and I’ll be ok.
Dark Angels then deploy Sammael out along with the land raider and a terminator squad inside, as the remaining Dark Angel squads enter reserves to deepstrike in with the Deathwing assault.
Tyranids start turn one and advance, moving and running pushing me to the center of the table.
The Land Raider and Sammael put out some shots, as the terminator groups deepstrike in all around my Tyranids putting out some wounds and killing some gaunts, followed by the rest of my Tyranids swarming all over the terminators shooting and assaulting them, drowning them in model bodies and buckets of dice taking them out.
Leaving only the Land Raider which pushes forward and consumed, and Sammael zipping around the table to little effect, and game with the Tyranids holding all three objectives.
Now let’s switch sides and analyze what in my opinion the Dark Angels did wrong, as there is no way they should have lost this game- the space bugs should have been the ones slaughtered to the last man (bug).
The game was lost of deepstriking in the terminators- by landing all around me they were only able to get off one turn of shooting, which while was impressive was not enough to really stop anything, and then I was on them shooting and assaulting.
The first step is realizing the advantage the terminators have over my army- not so much with their 2+ armor save since I can bypass that by shooting 60+ guants at them, but rather the range and dice of their storm bolters and assault cannons- they can wound and kill large parts of my army, and any of my units with them- big and small bugs alike.
Dark Angels needed to try and take turn one and deploy everything out as far forward in their deployment zone- form a line of terminators with Sammael and the Land Raider. Get all those guns on the table- remember just because a unit has a “special” rule that allows it to do something different (Deathwing
Assault) it doesn’t mean you HAVE to use the rule- in some missions it could be an advantage but no in this one vs. Tyranids.
Dark Angels needed that first turn to get forward moving and running to the center of the table. Tyranids would be out of range turn one, but I would still have to move forward.
Turn two the Dark Angels measure out the maximum shooting range and as needed move backwards from the center of the table heading back into their deployment zone shooting with everything in the army. Focus on killing the small bugs and the tervigons. Ignore the Trygons since their threat is in the assault, and the terminators could handle that.
By moving to the center and then backpedaling with the units the terminators and land raider can keep moving and shooting forcing the space bugs to eat two or three rounds of shooting to make their numbers more manageable.
BIG difference in having to take three rounds of shooting to make contact with the terminators, over having to take just one with the Deathwing assault rule in effect.
From there, since the Dark Angels do have a smaller model count, plan on holding one or two objectives, and contest the third if needed (or second) with Sammael on the speeder- using his mobility for a last minute grab since the Tyranids could not match or counter it.
Would have been a VERY different once sided game.
Deployment can and does often make or break a game.