I think the biggest thing that separates players is how to judge the actual threat range or threat bubble of your enemy. What I mean by threat bubble is that in 40k all units have 360 degrees of vision, thus creating a bubble around it that constitutes its maximum threat range. This range can increase and decrease based on movement, a unit’s mission, as well as what you have “threatened” by it. Using this skill and knowledge can help you bring your game from mere dice luck to actual tactics.
When I see an enemy army set up in front of me, I mentally create a map of the threat bubble for each unit. From that map, I can tell when I need to be scared and when I don’t need to worry about the unit until a latter time. I can also see where I need to throw a bluff unit to pull a threat away for a while, and allow my army to work on the “weaker” links in an army. This map allows me to try and control the game as much as I can.
Lucky for us, 40k is a game based on a large amount of dice rolls, so the average is something we can expect most of the time. This allows us to accurately create a map of what we need to do and what we need to try and avoid. You can see this in how I play my ork army. The stigma of the Nob biker unit is still fresh in a lot of player’s minds, and in my new list I still use a small squad of them. Their threat bubble is pretty large, usually creating a massive amount of concentration from my opponents units. I use that threat of the bikers to pull an opponent’s harder units to a side and keep his bubble of threat away and to allow other bits of my army to get rid of things that would most likely stop me from winning the game.
Lets take a look at the normal tactical squad. If it is on foot, its overall threat bubble is at a maximum of 24 inches. This is the full range of its bolter fire if they don’t move. Now of course, 7 to 9 bolter shots is not something that threatens most armies. So this overall threat, is something that is low range at 24” so if you are at that range, you could most likely ignore that bubble. Now when you get to 12 inches you start to have a lot more threat due to the double tap as well as usually being in range of some kind of special weapon. Also, within 12 can mean an assault a lot of the time too. Now take this unit and add a Land Raider to it, you got a much large threat range that can make its 24” threat bubble into something that is much scarier.
These are the things I think about whenever I play a game. I look at the ranges, its overall threat to my unit, as well as what it means map control wise on the board. I know a lot of players will see this as something they already know about, but it is something I see a lot of new players miss on. Just because that unit is closer, does not make it the biggest threat. I usually start to list out each unit in my head with threat value and overall threat range as I play.
Now for something different, the new Space Wolves codex is knocking on our door. I am sure most have seen it in their local GW/FLGS store so I am sure you are wondering my thoughts on it. I feel GW has done something interesting with this book, and has created something that has some fluff mixed with power at the same time. This can create a really cool army as well as generate some fun games. I do think it is competitive, but still feel that marines are a better overall choice due to the options allowed in the book. When it comes out I plan on doing a break down for it, as well as some army thoughts. It also gives me hope that Tyranids will come out with some neat stuff too.
~As usual shoot me an email at [email protected]. I am currently working on a batch of IG, some Space Hulk stuff, as well as a new Ork commission. The worst thing about the ork commission is that it is making me want to redo some orks, but I hope that just doing a ton of the bastards will keep me sated enough.
The image below is a DP that was commissioned by one of the owners of Battle Forge Games. He saw a picture online of another one, and decided he wanted one too. The original builder deserves all the credit for coming up with the idea and if I could find his name I would post it. So bravo for an awesome idea and thanks for letting people see it. If you are out there, please post in the comments so we all can give you kudos.