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40K Tactics: Hit and Run, A Guide

5 Minute Read
Apr 26 2011
Hit and Run, a Guide
With the prevalence of Feel No Pain, we have become quite accustomed to Universal Special Rules (USRs).  Furious Charge, Relentless, Fearless, and Stubborn are all very common USRs, but today we are going to look at one of the rarer USRs: Hit and Run.

 In my opinion, the rule is underrated and as a result many people forget their units even have it.  I admit I have been guilty of this very crime.  We are going to look at a few uses of the special rule and then I’ll give an example of its use.
First Use: Choosing When to End Combat
One of the most important elements of the game, and in my opinion one of the shoddiest game mechanics, is the emphasis on when an assault ends.  We all know that it is best to finish assaults in your opponents assault phase.  This has led to multiple list building and in-game methods and tactics to maximize the chances of ending assaults in the opponent’s assault phase.  Hit and Run offers the player a very effective method of ending a combat in the player turn that works best for him/her.  This is the most common use for Hit and Run.  It’s easy to pull off, just Hit and Run at the end of the opponents assault phase, then blast the previously engaged enemy unit.  This has the added advantage of giving your Hit and Run unit an opportunity to charge back into combat gaining additional attacks as well as any other benefits the unit may have on the charge.

Second Use: Baiting
Good 40k players know that baiting is an important tactic.  Hit and Run gives you ultimate baiting units.  Often a bait unit is lost, but its sacrifice allows the destruction of much more important units in enemy army.  Players who are excellent at baiting, known as “Master Baiters”, can get the desired effect without the bait unit even being engaged at all.  I am not one of these players.  Hit and Run can work as baiting training wheels.  Simply place the Hit and Run unit in a spot accessible to the enemy just inside of charge range.  To complete the illusion, make it look like you have attempted to keep the bait unit just barely out of charge range but made a miscalculation.  Players with Armies that have extra movement due to certain effects (Waaagh, Black Templar Zeal, Fleet) are the most prone to falling for this, since they are used to people making mistakes on judging charge range.  Once the Hit and Run unit is charged, fight a round of combat and get out of there!  Resilient units work really well for this.
Third Use: Additional Movement
Getting additional movement from Hit and Run works well because people rarely expect it.  This works exceptionally well in tandem with baiting.  You move a unit up as bait, they get charged then you Hit and Run in the direction of some Long Fangs at the end of the enemy assault phase. Then move again in your turn and cause havoc in the enemy back field.  Also it must be noted that it is one of the few abilities that allows a player to move in his opponents turn.  This can be a game winner in objective missions where the enemy objective is close to a melee and you need to contest to win.  People who go second always expect to have the last word in objective missions, but with Hit and Run you can challenge that.
Use Four: Protection
Generally, your assault units don’t want to get shot at.  Being in assault is often the safest place to be during an opponent’s turn.  Hit and Run offers the ability to avoid enemy shooting by charging during your turn at something that you don’t expect to kill, but won’t take many casualties in response from.  Dreadnoughts are a pretty common target for this sort of thing.  This is often times a judgment call.  Will two rounds of combat with a dreadnought do more damage to my Hit and Run unit than one round of enemy fire?  If you have a good invulnerable like Seraphim or multiple wounds like Fiends of Slannesh, you probably want to take your chances with the dread.

Pretty Examples!
Combining two or more of these uses can make for some game changing maneuvers with Hit and Run units.  Here is an example of ending combat when I want, baiting, and additional movement being used all together:
 Figure One: Ork Turn: The Ork Boyz (left) move toward the Witch Hunter Allied IG squad (right), while the Warboss and Nobz head along the flank.
Figure Two: WH Turn: The Seraphim are moved up just over 12” away from the Nobz.  The Nobz are fired on by the guard, but no casualties are caused due to wound allocation.
 Figure Three: Ork Turn: The Ork Nobz move up, Waaagh, and charge the Seraphim, while the Boyz continue toward the Blob Squad.  During the Ork assault phase, the Seraphim use faith to go invulnerable.  They lose the combat by two, make their LD check, and Hit and Run 8” behind the Nobz.
Figure Four: Ork Turn: This is the end of the Ork assault phase.
Figure Five: WH Turn: The Seraphim move an additional 12” to the back of the Boyz unit.  The guardsman blob gets another turn of shooting off at the Nobz unit.  
 Figure Six: WH Turn: During the assault phase the Seraphim assault and survive the combat pulling the whole Boyz squad back.  They will probably die in the opponent’s assault phase, but they did their job.
How have you used Hit and Run?  Some units have additional uses for the ability, Hellions come to mind.  Why do you think Hit and Run is a rare ability?

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