As a new player to the awesome Warhammer 40,000 universe I want to give you your first set of tactics to try out for you next game…
…but first we are going to talk about the learning process in 40K to help you get to that point, just in case you are a new new player.
First step is to learn the rules – no need to have them memorized, its ok to look up the hits and wounds chart, but rather have a base understanding of the flow of the game, how it moves from movement, to psychic, shooting, and the assault phase. Understanding how you and your opponent activate their models allows you to start seeing the flow of the game and building tactics. With the scope of such a game as 40K it’s ok to look up rules or clarify actions.
Next step is to start playing some games, and this is a bigger step then one may thing- it’s easy for veteran players to forget what those first few games of 40K are like. What will my opponent think? That if I’m not a good player? What if I lose or don’t know what I’m doing. All normal to some extent.
The best piece of advice I can give here is to allow the first ten or so games that you play count for nothing. What I mean by that is don’t worry about winning or losing, and just move stuff around, roll some dice, and allow yourself to soak in the game. Thoughts of winning are normal as we all want to make sure we are making progress in the game, and that things are coming together- “winning” confirms this, BUT if you only worry about wining early on it will actually add to your learning curve.
Building on this, if you have the resources in your club or group, play a few doubles games, where you are on the same side with another player, perhaps even different armies. This is a great way to see the action on the table and interact with the thought process of another player on your side.
Moving Onto Tactics
So now you have a good command of the flow of the rules, have played some games, and understand some of the base tactics of the game- so what’s next?
Many players focus on units, lists, and the hard points of the game based on the stats of the models and exploits of the rules. This week Games Workshop has made X model god mode so just play three of them and win…which works on a level, but I want you to become a truly great 40K player and prophet of the hobby.
I want us to focus on higher game level tactics and how they find their way into the rules…
For one of these tactics, creating opportunity on the table is KEY, and the first we are going to look at.
While one does use tactics to force an opponent to do something, or react to one of your units on the table, we never really know what our opponent is or is not going to do. Add to this the layer of dice modifying the game for good and bad, and we create some interesting opportunities.
Throughout the game “stuff” is going to happen that you want to take advantage of- unguarded positions are going to open up, potential last minute objective grabs, and all that stuff, but seeing it is only half- acting on it is the other half.
Wading Into Deplyment
Which brings us to the standard deployment of the game- line up in deployment zones and take turns using the older game model of you-go-I-go for a set number of turns.
For many armies, and many games, there is only one entry point on the table- you move out from your deployment zone into the center of the table and then into your opponent’s deployment zone. Opportunities on the other side of the table that might open up from opponent movement and your shooting are going to be hard to exploit.
Taking a look back through the USR in the main 40K rulebook we see units that have the ability to deepstrike, outflank, infiltrate, or operate with modified reserves. These let you deploy and move on from different entry points on the table outside your deployment zone- they give you options to potentially use if you see something you can exploit.
Keep in mind that just because a unit has a USR like this doesn’t mean you always have to use it. Terminators can deep strike, but they can also start on the table. Many competitive players don’t like these USR deployment options because they can’t control them- they may scatter, come in on different times, etc. but again, consider them a toolkit to potentially use if the mission or opposing army will be hampered by it.
THAT is your next starting tactic as you start your 40K journey to glory – look at ways your army can take advantage of the mistakes that your opponent can and will make during the game, and put yourself in a position to take that moment and make it harder for them to win the mission!