Is it better to spam lots of cheap troop choices or is it better to design your army to kill lots of cheap enemy units?
One day maybe I’ll write a hobby article about one of my armies and post some pictures. If you have ever seen my Sanguinary Guard I am planning to use the same type of technique for my Purifiers. They will look like shining blue steel. Oh well we all know I mostly like to write tactical articles… Heh !! I think the game is still in a state of great flux – the very soon to release Chaos Space Marine codex could really shake things up a lot. I hope it is a solid well balanced codex without completely over the top units like Thunderwolves or completely undercosted units like Grey Hunters. Rumor has it maybe Phil Kelly wrote this codex – it should be interesting to say the least.
It also will be interesting to observe the effect of Chaos cultists on the game and I see them playing similarly to the defunct Lost and the Damned which was an extremely powerful army. I hope that cultists have some flavor such as different Marks of Chaos. Chaos Space Marines will be the first truly sixth edition codex and I find that exciting. I hope there are lots of options with very strong troops to build a large variety of powerful armies. The Imperium dominated 5th edition so hopefully a balance will finally be restored. Newer codices written for the current edition tend to rise to the top. Grey Knights and Necrons were both written with 6th edition in mind from what I’m told so they should probably hold up well for quite some time. Imperial Guard and Space Wolves seem to be doing okay so far as well.
Kill Them All
Today I’m going to cover one of my favorite topics – is it better to spam lots of cheap troop choices or is it better to design your army to kill lots of cheap enemy units? I’ve always been in favor of the latter philosophy. Many people are still stuck in the old 5th edition mentality running their mechanized MSU style armies. Holding objectives is very important – it always was but is even more so now. The bonus points (First Blood, Slay the Warlord & Line Breaker) can win games… Which I think is bad for tournaments because it encourages very boring conservative play.
It is more conservative to spam lots of cheap troops as opposed to trying to destroy them all. We saw lots of successful armies in 5th edition that were plentiful in troops and to me that was one of the major hallmarks of the previous edition. It’s still working for some armies in 6th edition now such as Necron flyer spam and it could very well carry over with Chaos Space Marines as well.
Killing all enemy scoring units so the opponent cannot hold any objectives was one of my favorite 5th edition tactics and luckily for me it has carried over directly to 6th edition. There are lots of scoring units that are easy to kill in a large variety of ways. Even the ever ubiquitous Grey Hunter is really not a hard nut to crack if you bring the right tools. I think that currently Grey Knights have the best troop choices if you are willing to pay the points.
If you think about it the developers for whatever reason have broken their own unspoken rule and now allow some very powerful elite units to be fielded as troops. Not that long ago an army like Deathwing was much more of a novelty but with the release of the Grey Knight codex you can field some of the top armies that are based around their troops. Purifiers are one of the most flexible and powerful units in the game now in my opinion – they do just about everything very well and have access to all the right tools at a reasonable cost.
So one of the most obvious methods to achieve the goal to kill all of the enemy scoring units is to field more powerful scoring units. Your list must be designed such that it is very balanced – for example you have to be able to smash both horde and feeble guardsmen hiding behind Aegis defense lines. Remember that cheap scoring units are often not much more than a place holder and sadly this even holds true for Tactical Marines.
You must also be able to penetrate the enemy defense as quickly as possible to crush them into so much paste which is often much easier said than done… You are going to see a lot of armies sitting behind an Aegis defense line shooting as much as possible. Therefore mobility is just as important as ever if not more so these days if you want to overwhelm your opponents. You can overwhelm your opponent via the amazing speed and mobility of flyers.
One technique that has worked well for me is to appear vulnerable during the beginning of the game to lull the opponent into a false sense of security so they will expose themselves. You will take a beating for the first couple of turns but if you play your cards right the counter punch can pack quite a wallop and put you back on top.
I am liking armies that have both a ground force and an air force. The ground force starts the game deployed and must weather the first two turns until the air force arrives from reserve. Your ground force then wins the game by taking back the objectives towards the end of the game. Your air force should have at least one scoring unit riding in a transport as an insurance policy. Again this type of strategy is one of the main reasons why I like to field powerful troops – they will have their work cut out for them and must achieve their goals.
Many people are still playing their old 5th edition style armies and we are sitting on the cusp of the first 6th edition army to finally release. Chaos will most likely have a huge impact on the game and change the existing quasi-meta. It looks like Chaos will have access to both cheap hordes and powerful troops. If you ever played the defunct Lost and the Damned you know what a strong combination that can be.
The game is more so based upon holding objectives now but often the secondary objectives end up being the difference between a win and a loss. Only one player can score First Blood so it’s the most important secondary objective. Denying the opponent the ability to hold any of the primary objectives is the most powerful though assuming you can still hold one. This is the direction I’m headed and I think it’s the best strategy when playing in a competitive tournament environment.
So what’s your take: Smash the swarm – or be the swarm?