As many of you know, I have a great many Warhammer 40k armies in my collection, but my beloved two are on totally opposing sides of the tactical scale: Death Guard and Eldar. Here’s what they have taught me:
Mobility is KING
This is 5th edition, and with the clock ticking and a very limited number of turns with which to get the objectives and the bad guys taken care of, I’ll take mobility over brute durability any day. Land Raiders are fantastic vehicles… for everyone and their brothers to wreck with all the heavy weapons out there on the tabletop these days. I’ll take the overcosted star-engined transports of the Eldar to get the job done. I can also take many more of them.
Don’t bring a Knife to a Gunfight
Getting there only sets the stage for victory. To claim it, you still have to weather the best the enemy will fling at you for at least 1 full turn. the DeathGuard have taught me to use all the 3+ armor I can stuff into my Eldar army, and the Avatar never hurts either.
Control the Center to Control All
My Death Guard usually head off toward midfield, have their Rhino’s blasted out from under them, and hunker down as a tough as nails firebase, or just huff it that last 6-12″ to where they need to be. I’ve learned the hard way to claim the middle of table to maximize my fire corridors and help control the flow of battle. This works for non mechanized Eldar units as well. What the Craftworlders lack in toughness they make up in larger numbers, and longer ranged higher strength weapons.
Flanks are Tricksy, but Rarely Win Games
I’ve spent an awful lot of games doing refused flanks and end runs with Death Guard Rhinos, trying to keep the opponent guessing. sometimes it pays off and the battle is won, but often times I end up with troops stranded in the middle of nowhere. In general, I now eschew the extreme flanks with valuable objective takers for the sheer sake of reliability. HOWEVER, support units that can reach out and touch someone like Defilers and Fire Prisms are a totally different story for skulking about those distant corners of the tabletop…
Overt Threats Safeguard Troops Better than More Troops Do
Death Guard are among the toughest infantry out there, but if the bad guy brings out the smack hammer, they are going down just like grots. What keeps the troops safe is that crazy insane Warptime Daemon-prince barreling into enemy lines like a bat out of hell. For my beloved Craftworlders, even minimum sized squads of naked Fire Dragons in Serpents and Holoed Fire Prisms work like a charm in the distraction department.
I strongly suggest you spend even one game playing the army that you think has the most opposite playstyle to your own list. You would be amazed what you learn. Find a friend and try a swap-battle one of these days. So what have you all learned from diametrically opposing armies?