Just wanted to write a quick little tactica now that I’m really starting to understand some of the psychological aspects to the game that might not be immediately apparent if you’re just looking at a unit on the basis of its raw stat-line. This previously missing element is “Board Control”.
If you’ll bear with me, I’ll adopt the following definition:
Board Control: Attributes of your units that deny your opponent from proceeding at full effectiveness.
Pretty general, right? But it’s really very simple. Historically, I believe the strategic concept is called a “Fleet in Being”. Simply having a battleship in port is enough to prevent your enemy’s fleet from going out to sea, for fear of being attacked and trounced by said battleship. In this way, a battleship doesn’t actually need to do anything short of exist in order to be effective.
To get even simpler the above concepts can be summarized thusly:
You wouldn’t want your multi-wound ogryns anywhere near a Toxicrene, for example. You might think twice of Deepstriking your Terminators into a plasma shooting gallery.
Said plasma guns don’t actually have to do ANYTHING in the game, but if it prevents those terminators from dropping down where they can be most effective, they may have paid for their points cost!
Example: Ork Morkanaut
As a Guard Player, 4 S10 AP 1 attacks scare the ever loving crap out of me. At 13/13/12, there really isn’t a soft underbelly to hit him short of Meltaguns, and even Meltaguns aren’t particularly reliable in this sense being single-shot weapons. So my only other options are to institute the Paskian Death-protocols or nuke it from orbit with a Manticore.
As an Ork Player, I would march him right up the centre of the table and shout “COME AT ME BRO”, and watch as just about every Guard unit scatters in an attempt to stay 18″ away from it, especially vehicles. That would be 7 sq. feet of actual physical Board control the Morkanaut would exert. A 36″ diameter “No go” circle, if you want to rest assured knowing that the Morkanaut will have zero chance of wrecking your day.
As an Ork player, you’d be the one asking the questions, and it would be up to the Guard player to find the answers.
Synopsis: Too durable to shoot at, too stompy to get close to.
Another Example: Tau SMS Systems
This one’s pretty much a no brainer, but Tau SMS systems carve out a 30″ radius of NOPE for any standard infantry. Light armour is also an issue, as if you think you’re hull down and pointing anything but frontal armour at the SMS wielder, you might be in trouble. Glancing side-arcs at 5+, and not requiring LOS is really, really tricky.
In order to operate under the missile umbrella you need to be really cautious, creative and accept that casualties will stack up in the event you start losing transports.
Synopsis: If you go near team of Broadsides with 12 Twin-linked S5 AP5 shots that ignore cover and line of sight, you will quite likely die.
Yet Another Example: Astra Militarum Hellhound
This unit is somewhat situational, but I’m really learning how to use it and love it lately. Part of the trick to keeping it alive is to keep it at maximum range and only go full-hog if you need to maximize the pain for a turn. The Hellhound helps NO ONE if it’s immobilized or dead.
Otherwise, it’s perfectly capable as NOPE fuel. Ork Bikers particularly hate this thing. Wounding on 3’s at AP 4, ignores cover? That’s a lot of points to get incinerated under that single template.
Approximately 12″ range with 12″ movement, you’re looking at approximately 24″ threat radius. Not bad.
Synopsis: Situational, but can remove a good portion of the table for anything with a 4+ or worse armour save.
So… putting this into practice. How do you use the Board Control to your biggest advantage?
It’s likely that your opponent knows exactly which of your units he wants to NOPE away from in order to mitigate their effect.
With this in mind, and knowing that your enemy might be shying from direct combat (if they have the speed to control the engagement and deny battle), you put these big, scary units in places where your enemy will not be able to avoid a direct confrontation (objectives), or shepherd them into a place where it will maximize the effectiveness of your remaining forces on the table.
If your opponent does not have the speed to deny battle, then there’s nothing stopping you from taking that unit and kicking their teeth in with it. Do so, while the rest of your forces cap objectives. By the time your opponent recovers, the damage will be too much.
That’s about all I got for now — Are there other good units / synergies that have superlative Board Control that I should be aware of? Hit me up!