So I didn’t get to play Ard boyz this year. I had my own personal wedding stuff to do as well as another wedding to go to. So that meant no rolling lots of dice and making jokes about the name of the tournament for me. I showed everyone the list I was planning on taking, and today I want to go into the things I saw as I stopped by after talking to the musicians for my own shindig.
What did I see that was winning games? Mech. Lots and lots of mech. This means lots and lots of square boxes driving around the board (and some weird alien stuff). The reason for this is threefold (really four, but who’s counting) and I want to go into it, and ways you can mech out your own armies.
MOBILITY: First of all, mech helps you get where you need to go, relatively safely. A lot of armies benefit from the initial 12 inch move you are guaranteed to get as you push forward with your box of doom. This is a great benefit as the game has gone from the 48 inch stand off, to a 24 inch game with the new edition. This ability to move is a huge benefit in games now, as you can easily push around the board to get into better positions. The game of shooting as many turns as you can, has really changed to getting into position to win via controlling real estate.
CONTROLLABLE TERRAIN: Secondly Tanks are the only item in the game that give you large controllable terrain. I know I have talked about this before, but making walls with your vehicles is a tactic that can help turn the tide versus an assault horde army. Basically you create a wall that takes a lot of pain and suffering to get rid of, even if it has a butt of armor 10. Be prepared to have walls of vehicles keep you at bay as you try to get at your opponents objective. With one mission being a two objective game, an assault style army is going to have an uphill battle as it tries to push through steel to get at whatever is shiny on the other side.
RESILIANCE: Third mech APCs let you create extremely difficult to remove objective holders. We have all seen a Rhino full of Plaguemarines on an objective. Its size means you can’t just get near it to contest, you have to engage it someway. Plus the guys inside are extremely difficult to get out, as well as hard to deal with once they disembark and oozing all over the battlefield.
SPEED OF PLAY: The fourth thing about mech forces that is a bit understated is that they allow you to complete a game in a quick amount of time. Changing your 60+ infantry army into 6 units to move around is a big bonus in today’s tournament scene as well as game scene where you only have one day to get your dice rolling addiction on.
Now those are the thoughts on why mech has started to roll over the meta game and take over many local game scenes. Now how can armies change to either fall in line or stop this?
One way is to amp up on your good anti vehicle weapons. Now I know a lot of armies don’t have the options that some do. Melta isn’t as prevalent as I feel it needs to be. I think every army should have access to something melta in it, just to ensure they have a good chance to pop the enemy’s metal piñata. So what do those armies do? Well crack open your codex and go line by line over each unit and see what options you have. Rending is a good way, as it can help you get into the penetration range on some of the tougher vehicles. Anything that lets you reroll your misses is great. As we all know, when hitting a moving vehicle, you are basically hitting like a blind ork (terribly), so we need to find ways to either help get the most chances to win with a 6. Some armies allow for rerolling of misses with special abilities, and I believe that is something you need to look for in any army without the glorious special word on a weapon, melta.
Another way to go is to try and to negate the bad guy’s tank movement. Deepstriking can be a great key in getting near something before it gets a cover save. Now I don’t think a fully deep striking army is going to win it for you. A crafty opponent will just bunch up an wait for you to come down and bring their full army onto your head as come raining down from the sky bringing flowers and cake. I do think it does help to have some parts of your army coming down to try and catch things before they get moving.
So what kind of stuff did you see at your local Ard Boyz? My local store, BattleForge Games had 1st IG, 2nd IG, and 3rd Drop pod mix marines in their top 3. I know the other local store had IG, Marines, and CSM at the top too. All of the lists had mech elements in it, and their superior movement plus survivability versus anti horde weapons really helped them push ahead. Comment or shoot me an email. I would like to see what kind of stuff is winning and what might come out in round 2. Also how many would be interested in another post from me during the week, just giving out a random list I am thinking about? Email me questions at [email protected].