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40K Tactics: – Deployment Conundrum – Nids Need Love, Too

6 Minute Read
May 17 2011

Hi all, Jwolf here.

Today we’re talking about deployment using an Adepticon table, courtesy of a photo shamelessly lifted from The Back 40K

The Mission:

WARGamesCon Primer Mission #3

Deployment: Dawn of War

Primary Objective (13 points): Capture and Control. 7 points are scored if neither player wins this objective.

Secondary Objective (10 points): Modified Annihilation. Score one point for each Kill Point you earn, to a maximum of 10.

Tertiary Objective (7 points): Control Table Quarters. To control a table quarter, the player with the most mobile units in the quarter controls the quarter. A unit can only be counted for one quarter; players can decide which quarter their unit is in if it is in more than one. Controlling 1 quarter is worth 2 points, 2 is worth 4 points, and 3 or more is worth 7 points.

The Sample Armies
We have a fairly classic match, with Imperial Guard winning the roll for first turn:


2000 Points Imperial Guard – Boring Netlist

Company Command Squad, 4 Plasmaguns, Officer of the Fleet, Chimera
Company Command Squad, 4 Plasmaguns, Chimera

Psyker Battle Squad, 6 Psykers, Chimera (x2)

Veteran Squad, 3 Meltaguns, Chimera (x4)
Veteran Squad, 3 Meltaguns (x2)

Vendetta (x2)

2 Hydra Flak Tanks

* All Chimeras have Turret Multilasers and Hull Heavy Flamers


Tyranids have drawn the second turn:

2000 Points Tyranids – Bug Planet

Tervigon, Adrenal Glands and Catalyst

The Doom of Malantai, Mycetic Spore
2 Zoanthropes, Mycetic Spore
3 Hive Guard

Tervigon, Adrenal Glands, Onslaught, Catalyst (x2)
10 Termagants (x2)
10 Genestealers, Adrenal Glands (x2)

Trygon Prime x2

What’s a Bug to Do?
The mission here is to earn the most points as the Tyranid player; look at the objective carefully to determine your strategy. The primary means making certain to at least contest both objectives at the end of the game is worth 7 points, and could be worth 13 points if you can get the win. The secondary is a straight earnings question – losing Kill Points doesn’t matter, you just have to kill 10 or more from the enemy. The tertiary means your Spore Pods aren’t useful for holding space, but otherwise you’re looking at how to capitalize on your ability to have lots of units in play.

Here is the initial deployment. The IG Objective is the yellow dot, the Tyranid is in magenta. The IG player deploys an HQ Chimera dead center (blue) and a loaded Troop Chimera on his left (green); both are right on the 24” line to push your initial deployments away.

Now what do you do with your units? Is the primary possible? (If you know me, you know I think it is at least worth trying for and possible). How do you deploy to have the best chances of getting onto the enemy objective, preserving yours, and winning the game?


Tyranid Initial Deployment Thoughts:

The Troop Tervigons are light blue, and the HQ Tervigon is purple. All will have cover from ground based firepower, and the rear Tervigons will have cover from Vendettas as well. The HQ Tervigon does have cover from Vendettas at the board edge, but loses it once they are close. Nothing belongs in Dawn of War reserve except the Hive Guard and Biovore; the Trygons need to Deep Strike to threaten the enemy objective, the Genestealers will outflank, and the troop Termagants aren’t of much use for killing AV 12.

Assuming that the IG player takes the bait and moves his Vendettas (orange ovals) on his right flank to hit at the HQ Tervigon, with the Medusa coming along (lime green) to provide fire support. The Hydras (purple) form in the center, scared of the Outflanking Genestealers but ready to mow down anything else they can see. The Manticore (yellow) moves in on the right of the main crystal grouping, the Psyker (red) Chimeras move in to be of support on the left, and the Troop Chimeras move on, preparing to make a move towards the Tyranid objective, supported by the mounted HQ.

Tyranid Tactics and Goals
First, prioritize targets. The Company Command Squads have got to go – those make a mess of your Trygons in a hurry.

Move on like so:

The Biovore (red) hides completely behind the center rocks, the Hive Guard (yellow) plow straight towards the center of the board and the building there. The Biovore will drop shells on Chimeras and into the general vicinity of the IG objective – we expect nothing, but can hope for more. The Hive Guard will do one of two things – get mowed down by the veterans, HQ, and Vendettas on turn 3 (none can get to them with any real firepower on turn 2) or make it to the safety of the building and pop Chimeras to support the war effort. Your other good option for the Hive Guard is using them to go for a draw, supporting the Troop HQ near your objective. This gets them into cover on Turn 1, which means the Manticore won’t get a free shot at them, but I don’t see the Manticore targeting them when there is a swarm of Termagants headed in that general direction.

The Troop Tervigons hold their positions, the HQ Tervigon will move to give it the best hop for cover if the Vendettas move only 6”; if the Vendettas move 12”, they surrender 2/3rds of their firepower, so we like that. The Gants spawned by the HQ Tervigon might actually be in range to hit the Vendettas; regardless, charge at them like you will be, because anything that shoots at Gants isn’t shooting at something actually useful.


After this point, we’re playing the Reserves game with a –1 to our rolls, which means we’ll have dribs and drabs coming in unpredictably. None of our Deep Strikers can mishap, except by going off the board, so place them 12+” from the board edges and hope for the best. The Termagants are probably best placed in the corner AWAY from our objective if the Tervigons are still making babies, and near our objective if they are not. The Genestealers will, of course, be sacrificed as possible to tear open any Chimeras they can; otherwise just get them into enemy territory and be menacing. The Doom will be a superstar if we’ve managed to somehow get some Guard out of their boxes, but let’s not count on that outcome. Using the Doom to threaten an advance on your objective might be worthwhile; that depends on how late he gets to the party and other unpredictable factors.

So How do Bugs Score Points?
For the primary, we should be able to contest the enemy objective if he comes at our objective with enough to shift two Tervigons and their broods; with a good bit of luck we might actually get some Gants or Stealers to the center of the opposing board edge – if we do, odds are we win everything, so let’s focus more on the chance of getting one of the other units onto the IG objective.

For the secondary, ideally we will open 5 transports and eat their contents; the advancing Chimeras will be vulnerable to Genestealers, and the rear Chimeras will be receiving Trygons and Zoanthropes, as well as whatever Gaunts don’t get blazed out of existence running that direction. Failure to earn 10 Kill Points will likely mean failure of the whole enterprise anyway, so focus on this objective.

The tertiary is an interesting one. If the IG player is really working this objective, he will end up with 2 Vendettas and 2 Troops that can occupy our non-objective board quarter. This looks like a pretty cost effective choice for us – the loss of the Vendettas firepower for a turn while the move flat out into the quarter and the loss of 2 veteran squads for the whole game will help us tremendously. Likely the IG player will simply plan to hold both his quarters with numbers and clear our home quarter with firepower. This means our simple Biovore might claim a quarter all on his own, making it actually useful.

I’m interested in any other angles that you might see in pursuing the mission objectives, so feel free to be verbose. -Jwolf

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