Monday, 20 September 2010

Battlewagon Tactics: Development

I like to compare deployment to a chess opening. The pieces are placed at vantage points in order to optimize their movement and their ability to attack enemy units later in the game. Development is the next step. Now, using the strengths of your army,  you must overwhelm your opponent and ultimately win the game. These are the most important factors  should be take into account when playing with this list:

Big Mek and Kustom Force Field

This little item is crucial for the survival of your vehicles in the few first turns so you must fully utilise it. Placing the Big Mek inside a Battlewagon enables him to use it's hulls footprint when measuring the 6'' distance for the Kustom Force Field effect. So stick him in there and place two Battlewagons on each side. This way they will all benefit from the 4+ cover save. Always make sure  that they stay within range while you are moving them.

Furthermore I have found that it's necessary to attach him to the Burna Boyz. Being only ten models strong , this unit will suffer from low Leadership after a few casualties. Big Mek with a Boss Pole will give them a re-rollable Ld 8 which can save you from many sticky situations. And it might sound obvious but try to leave him out of close combat (unless you are dealing with a very squishy target).

Ghazghkull Thraka

The Big G is definitely one of your strongest assets. First of all, he is a close combat monster. Seven Strength 10 attacks on the charge will make Monstrous Creatures, vehicles and dedicated assault units alike cry in anguish.

This is the least of his merits though. The most valuable aspect of this special character is  his unique "Waaagh!!!". When activated  your units become fearless. Furthermore it can be used  on an opponents turn or your own and last for an additional player turn. This gives it a lot of tactical flexibility. When a  crucial assault didn't go as planned or you got charged by a powerful unit and risking having an important unit cut down then you can use it and save them.

Lets look at this following scenario. Let's say that it's the fifth turn and your battered boyz mob is sitting on an objective. It's down to the last 8 boyz  due to previous casualties . They get charged by a very killy close combat unit. They lose the combat by 4 and are preparing to run away and leave their objective which might cost you the game if it ends there. Before you roll for Morale you can activate Ghazghkulls "Waaagh!!!" and take 4 saves instead of breaking.

It also benefits him with a nifty 2+ Invulnerable save. This makes him even better at close combat since he can take a lot of punishment back.  Charge him into a Terminator squad and be sure he'll cut them down in a couple of turns. Also useful if you are caught unaware and get shot in the open with something nasty like a railgun.

The most valuable part of his rule is that enables all units that have the "Waaagh!!!" rule to auto roll a 6'' for their run move. This is a lethal combination, considering that these units are also fleeting for that turn. This gives you a tremendous charge range if you are jumping out of a Battlewagon. Let's see how far that is : 12''(cruising? speed) + 1''(red paint) + 2''(disembark) +1'' (base) + 6'' (run) + 6'' (charge) = 28'' . This almost guarantees a second turn charge. You can catch enemy units half way across the board. It can be a nasty surprise for your opponent and you can easily catch him unprepared.

Getting a quick charge is very appealing but this ability can be used in a more defensive manner. Use it to get some distance from harm's way, i.e. rapid firing bolters or a unit you don't want to get in close combat with. Can also be used in the last few turn to make sure you close in with that objective. Timing it right can be tricky if you want to optimize it's usefulness. You have to assess the situation and evaluate how to get the most out of it.


So, you have a fairly mobile army with a small footprint. As I mentioned in my previous article this is an ideal setup for flanking your enemy. This way you can have your whole army versus a part of your opponent army. This is a good thing,obviously, since charging a Space Marine tactical squad with forty orks is better than charging it with twenty.

Try and move close to the short table edge on the side that makes more sense. Prioritise the bigger threat of the opposing army and move towards it. You will also avoid exposing your side armour this way. If you move along the middle of the board then you expose both flanking Battlewagons:
Whereas while moving along the edge only one is exposed:

Wound Allocation

The Meganobz are equipped this way so that they can roll for saves separately. It's a small price to pay for a few points and makes them much more survivable. Always remember that you can also allocate a wound from shooting  to an Independent Character that is attached to a unit. This comes very handy when you have a bunch of Nobz paired up with a Warboss. If somebody shoots at you with a S>7 weapon then you should give the wound to the warboss. It's much better to lose a wound from him than having to remove a whole Nob model.

Let's imagine that a Space Marine Tactical Squad (Lascannon, Melta Gun) is shooting at your 3 Meganobz, with Thraka attached to them, at rapidfire range. They score one wound with the Lascannon, one with the Melta Gun and seven with their bolters. We can now allocate the Lascannon and Melta wound to Thraka (since he won't Insta Die and has an Invulnerable save) and 2,2 and 3 normal saves on the rest of the nobz. Now Thraka has a chance of saving these wounds plus none of your Nobs should die. If they didn't have different equipment and had to roll 7 saves as a bunch, there could be a high chance that one would die if double ones were rolled. It is much more unlikely now since the saves are rolled separately for each model.

Use your armies strengths and assets wisely. Then you will definitely give your opponent a run for his money. Set up correctly and move cautiously and next thing you know you'll be closing in for the kill.

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