Monday, June 29, 2009

Target Priority: Assault

Hey everyone. Its been a bit since Ive posted here but I'm still around. So this post is part of a two part series that will be covering what I call Target priority. I'm not refering to the 4th ed. rule. What I'm talking about is effectively picking targets to maximize your units effect on the battlefield.

This first part is about Assaulting. The assault phase is a very brutal phase in 40k. Games Workshop describes the assault phase as a swirling melee with weapons flying blood and gore everywhere as the units fight a desperate battle against each other and the 5th ed. assault phase does a good job of that. So what does target priority have to do with this? Well not every unit is an assaulting specialist and those that are do not all work the same way.

Firstly not all units are created equal.. especially for the assault phase. We all know the basics of this. Tau firewarriors are weak in the assault,Tyranid Genestealers are strong in assault, etc etc. But there are units that can assault that are not specifically geared for it. A good example are Tactical Marines for Space Marines. They are not geared for assault but they can do it and often do. However they have to be used effectively or they will be withered down. Firstly with assaulting with tactical marines is that they should shoot first and often. With Tactical Marines there shooting is a strength they have and even though they have a great stat line for general assaulting they should utilize there bolters and special weapons widdle down the enemy and then finish them off in melee if necessary. Now this is just a general guideline.. against Tau you may want to rush into assault with there fire warriors and against tyranids you may want to maximize your shooting. It all depends on what you face but a general guide line is they should shoot first and utilize assault as the last measure to finish off a unit if necessary.

Now with dedicated assault units like Assault Marines, Striking Scorpions, Genestealers etc. the thought process is different. With units like these you want to get them into assault quickly and as unmolested as potentially possible. These either means fast moving, outflanking or infiltrating to get into a nice position or utilizing transports. However you get your assaulters across the board you have to do it effectively. To demonstrate what I mean I will talk about Striking Scorpions and Howling Banshees.

Those two units are assault specialists but they work differently and are meant to be utilized for different roles. Howling Banshee squads are full of power weapons and go at a high initiative on the charge. Down side? average strength and toughness a weaker save and not many more attacks then standard assault oriented units. So what are they good for then? Well they can assault imperial guardsmen, Ork boyz, tactical marines and stuff like that and do well against them but that is not utilizing them to full effect. Because they deny armour saves they are good to throw against terminators to force them using a lesser save. Even against the new stormshield it will force that lesser save. Now on the other hand Striking Scorpions have a better save then banshees a higher modified strength and more attacks. Down side? Well like with most assaulters they don't have power weapons except for the upgrade weapon for the exarch which strikes at initiative 1. So how does his unit differ? Well It can dish out a lot of attacks which could overwhelm a squad of 5 terminators but that is not the way to maximize there effectiveness. Chances are some terminators will live and proceed to cripple your scorpions. This unit is good at dealing with hordes. With the amount of attacks at a strength of 4 the scorpions can deal with units over double its size. They have a decent initiative and the armor save to live through the attack backs in general.

The two examples above basically are anti elite assaulters and anti horde assaulting. In general if you assault smart you will have a higher success rate in your assaulting. This is a basic concept but in the heat of the game Ive seen assault units just chomping into the nearest thing they can which is not always the greatest thing.

Well that was long enough I'm guessing. heh. Take care everyone and thanks for sticking with me. I will try to add more here quicker then this. Also this Target Priority series will have a video supplement at some point on the Fortress Monastery youtube channel which has a link in the astronomicon section of this site.

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