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40K Tactics: Are You Ard Enough?

9 Minute Read
May 13 2010
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Mr. Black here, and it’s time for ARD BOYZ!

Alright grunts! We all know why we’re here! It’s that special time of year for any 40K player, the annual ARD BOYZ tournament! Here we prove exactly why we play the game, not for fun, not for friends, but to crush our enemies and see them driven before us! (…and possibly hear the lamentation of their women… Well, let’s be honest, we’re gamers, that last one may be a bit hard…)

Ok, maybe I’m giving the game a bad rap, everyone knows we’re not roaming barbarians, we’re here to have fun, it’s just in the spirit of the tournament that we have fun while playing as fierce a list as we can. Remember, you can still be competitive and not be a raging jackass, they don’t necessarily have to be synonymous.

I am Gunnery-Sergeant Mister Black, your senior Ard Boyz Instructor. From now on the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be “sir”. Do you grots understand that?!”

“Play for fun?! We do not play for fun at Ard Boyz!!”

Alright, so by now you have an army list, or at least should, so I’m not going to cover that here, but I will run through the missions, and some tactics which can assist you during them!

Before we begin, for those who don’t know, the 2010 Ard Boyz missions are available here: Ard Boyz Scenarios 2010

Scenario I and II: Dis Land is Our Land Ladz!/Grindin’ Meat

I first have to note here, I’m a bit disappointed in this years scenarios. The first two missions are, essentially, the same deployment, once with objectives, the other with killin’ stuff… And even that is the secondary objective in the first game… As such, what was initially going to be a run-down of each scenario individually will now encompass only two sections: The first two games, and the third round game, as my general deployment and movement strategy pretty much remains the same for the first two…

Now, before we get too far into it, it is important to note as I see this done quite often, that objectives are placed before players decide which table side they are going to be on, and whom goes first. I see a lot of people rolling for sides and all that then placing the objectives to their favoring.

It’s important to give this though, as where you place your points will really determine what kind of game you’re going to play, and you can use that to your armies advantage.

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Playing an assault army:Place objectives close together, near the table center. This forces the opponent to come after them and disallows any Outflanking shenanigans. Yes, if you lose the roll and the opponent gets to place three of the five objectives this can be a bit more difficult, but even then they will only be able to place two objectives in the direct vicinity of their deployment zone, forcing them to at least come out a little, and given the spearhead-esque deployment, allows plenty of opportunity for you to get right up in their face.

Now, given the deployment rules for the scenario, you and the opponent will pretty much come close to the typical Spearhead deployment, IE, boxes. Most would think this favors melee armies, the truth is it hurts them more than anything, as the opponent now have two directions to move in which to outmaneuver you, what this boils down to is it will essentially take you, on average, an additional turn to engage the front of the enemies forces, and even then, part will be able to elude you by shifting to the sides of their deployment zone.

The way to counter this? Keep a unit in reserve.

Should the opponent try to escape your melee by heading towards your deployment zone, greet them with a second/third turn arrival, thus turning their pincer strike into one of your own. A good idea is to place an objective off towards the “non deployable” sector of your deployment zone, thus baiting them over there and also allowing a mid/late game unit to come in off the board edge to suddenly claim/contest it.

Outflanking will also come into effect this game, as given the setup a large portion of the opponents army will be backed into their “box” of deployment, thus allowing an early game arrival to sweep in and cause a major problem for your opponent, hopefully creating a situation in which they are forced to either focus fire/resources on the new threat, or move out of their area to avoid it. Either of these scenarios will favor the assaulting army as you are now either boxing them in or giving the main bulk of your army time to advance upon them.

Wish I had more tactics to give on this one, but of the three scenarios, it’s the most plain… Just play as you would, moving to crush your enemy, and you should do fine as long as you don’t ignore those objectives. Remember, you’re here to seize ground, not kill everything in sight.

“A day without blood is like a day without sunshine!”

Playing a Gunline Army: These scenarios can seem daunting, the opponent may seem like he is closer, and your area of deployment is drastically cut down from what it usually is, but the fact of the matter is that as long as you move strategically, making sure to avoid threats, and keep the idea of “run-and-gun” close, you should do just fine.

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In placing objectives try to keep them close together, preferably focused around the table edges and away from the center. If you’re playing an assault army then don’t think you’re above the idea of letting him chase you around the board, remember, all that matters in the end here is who controls the land. By placing the objectives sparsely around the edges you can force the opponent to either split his main force, allowing for easier target priority, or simply outmaneuver him as he works his way to you, remember, given this deployment you essentially have two avenues of escape should he come barreling at you.

Do keep the above fact in mind, the spearhead-esq deployment creates two full zones you can choose to branch off into should the fighting get to close, spreading out your objectives insures that when (and it will be when when dealing with an assault army) they come close to you and you’re forced to flee you won’t be handing them a pile of objectives in the process. Never let the opponent gain the advantage, if you are forced to leave one point, be sure it’s heading to another. Remember, you should be able to outgun most threats, so as long as you keep him on the offense he will be the one who has to expend resources, slowly being whittled away while you skirt along the points.

“I don’t know what what I’ve been told, but Leafblower lists are gettin’ old!”

Scenario III: Kill Da Fast Ones!

*Now, just to note for this scenario, there has been some debate across various forums as to Drop Pods and other such items counting towards the three Kill Point rule… In my run-down of Scenario III tactics I am not even entertaining this idea. Getting that out of the way now.

Ah, the dreaded Ard Boys Scenario III… This scenario has gotten more discussion than any other aspect of the tournament thus far, and how interesting it is.

Basically, the things we took for granted this edition, our Rhinos, Chimeras, Wave Serpents, and whatever you call the giant shoe Tau drive around in, are now suddenly coming back to bite us.
The standard Marine list usually, by my count, contains six or so vehicles, and in this scenario, that equates to some 18+ Kill Points, probably more than the rest of the army combined. I’d imagine this will not only be limited to our lovely poster-boys either (who’s laughing at the Tyranids now?! Huh?! Huh!!).

So, we’re faced with the dilemma of how to deal with this mission, after all, vehicles are almost ingrained in players blood now… Few recall the days of the Mobile Coffin and Flying Death Trap, and how the old timers walked across the field firing their guns, the incoming shells and bullets only proving to piss them off

But I digress, how should we best go about this one?

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“Brought your fancy Imperial Guard and Blood Angels, did you Grot? I’ll give you one hint at who’s laughing now. It’s the same guy kicking your soon to be tabled “oh-look-at-me-I’ve-got-a-shiny-new-codex” rectum!”

There are a few ways one could go about this game, and I’ll go over the first one to come to mind. Play it as normal and simply kill more of their little men than they kill of yours. This can work if you believe yourself superior to your opponent and believe you have the better suited list for this occasion. The only area of difficulty you may run into is if he things the same. If that case arises, simply be more sure about your idea than he is about his! Your playing Tyranids and he’s Imperial Guard? Field day! Play without recluse and go up there and punch his face in!

But now, what about us who actually like to think about things every once in a while? As a once great superhero once said “It’s not enough to bash in faces, you’ve got to bash in minds.”

The first idea that comes to me is to revert back to a fourth edition mindset. Vehicles are bad, avoid them. That being said, deploy everything as you normally would, except your vehicles. Keep them in reserve. That’s right, foot slog it. I know most will think this is suicide, but keep in mind for every one Kill Point your ground troop gives up, the vehicle they (should) kill is worth three. It doesn’t take many before they begin to add up. Now, of course this won’t work with every army, but I can see the benefits of a Lascannon Tactical Squad, or an IG Heavy Weapons Team sans Chimera coming to bear here. The general idea is to remember that even the standard Bolter has a range of Twenty-Four inches, and it may pay to simply hang back and let some shots volley out there. Hopefully by employing this tactic your lesser armored vehicles will come out late game, thus reducing your opponent’s chances to actually destroy them.

Now, the issue above is that, in giving up your transports, you now limit your squads ability to get around… Suddenly those Meltaguns become a lot less useful, and in today’s meta those are the weapons of choice in dealing with threats.

But what about the units that aren’t vehicles: the Jump Troops, the Bikes, all that? Well my above mentioned reserves idea still stands, but it’s also worth noting said troops are easier to protect, be it cover or physically removing them from LoS. Most armies will only have a few units that are capable of moving that fast (aside from Blood Angels), so really I can’t be as concerned over them as I can the big vehicle issue here.

In the end, this last scenario will showcase people’s abilities to build a proper list in recompense for the missions given. Some may call this unfair and catering your army to the event but… Well so what? That’s tactics my friend! The ones with the ability to deal with vehicles at a distance, while properly keeping their own out of harms way, will walk home the victor in this one.

The most important aspect of this mission, to me, will be player decisions. One must keep an ever constant vigil on their units, and one must be able to judge whether giving up the three Kill Points, whatever they may be in exchange for, is really worth it in the end. The player that can hold back, that can judge accurately if the given situation is really one that demands the dangers of assaulting, will hold a serious advantage this round.

So, in closing, the best advice I can offer you for this match is to watch your moves carefully. Don’t throw your vehicle/fast moving units around, remember that at three Kill Points a piece they will add up quickly. Don’t be afraid to hoof it either, better the footslogger units take an additional turn reaching their destination than you losing a unit worth three times their worth.

~So there you have it Grots, my own personal tactics opinions on the upcoming Ard Boyz games. Did the release of the scenarios change your game plan at all? Or are you still moving forward, full throttle, scenarios and consequences be damned? Just over 24 hours for most of you! Let’s hear some last minute strategies and tactics! -Gunnery Sergeant Mr. Black

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