Hey everyone. The second installment of Target Priority is here! This is focusing on the shooting phase.
Again this is not about the old special rule. This is about getting the most out of your shooting phase and this is done by picking optimal targets for your units to shoot at. Now aside from some special rules for specific weapons (Like Gauss Weaponry for Necrons) not every weapon is effective against everything. And even weapons that can hurt potentially anything have there specific uses in which they are best. This is all obvious but when people are into the game sometimes the best decisions are not made.
So firstly you have to decide what weapon upgrades you will be taking for your squads. Once your have your army list you need to effectively deploy your army. Deployment is key with shooting because not everyone can move and shoot heavy weapons. If you deply your heavy weapons too close they can be shot up or forced to move back denying you a shot with them that turn. if they weapons are too far away you may not have great targets to shoot at. Terrain factors in. You wont your heavy weapons safe but also with a good vantage point. One thing to keep in mind is that your opponent does not want you to shoot him (Duh!) so if you have a lot of heavy fire on a certain flank you can deny it for the most part to your enemy. Flank Denial is something ill go over in the future.
So the game is in progress what do you shoot where? Well your high strength weaponry will usually be best for tank hunting or Monstrous creature hunting. That Lascannon team or Devastator squad etc will primarily be hunting for things of that nature. On the flip side your heavy bolter or scatter lasers will be chewing into infantry squads. Weapons like Plasma are usually used against heavily armored infantry like Terminators or Meganobz. But Plasma is also good against regular infantry and can destroy light vehicles and potentially wound any Monstrous creature. The true all comers weapon is the Missile Launcher with ammunition for either anti infantry or anti tank.
So in general weapons like those mentioned should be used against there best targets. The trend with 5th edition is for more weapons like Heavy bolters and Melta weaponry and a general less use of things like Lascannons. Why? Cover saves are everywhere making weapons with big punch but low shots less favorable. I personally still like them because they can drop vehicles which have a harder time effectively getting cover saves and the enemy will maneuver differently when my Dark Angel Devestators with 2 Lascannons and 2 Plasma Cannons are in a good positions of fire. This is good because your making your opponent either deal with them right away or move in a way they may not want to originally. But anyway because cover saves are everywhere more people are opting for the "torrent of fire" tactic. Essentially they want to flood infantry (and this only really works with infantry) with so many wounds that they cannot pass them all. This is a good tactic and one that has been in play for a while. So you will see more things like Heavy Bolters concentrating fire into that squad in cover.
Speaking of cover template weapons have increased in popularity. Denying the cover save to a squad can mean the difference between getting a save at all or not. Template weapons ignore cover but the drawback is short range. This means you have to think about how your going to move them and support them. Blast weaponry I feel is also a good choice against units in cover. The reason is because while it generally does not ignore cover its one shot can wound multiple models. With units going to cover they will be in general more bunched together where frag missiles, plasma cannons etc can bring the blast templates strength to good use.
Other armies have way of dealing with cover. Tau Markerlights for example can make the cover save worse and potentially remove it all together if you have enough markerlight counters available. The Key to dealing with cover is knowing what your army has up its sleeve.
One things to be mindful of is assaulting. Do you want to risk getting close enough to rapid fire into a hardened squad only to be charged because of it? Or your assaulters are in position to launch an assault this turn. Do you have them shoot there pistols or have another squad of your shoot the squad you want to assault to weaken it only to leave your assaulters high and dry to get shot up next turn? There is no clear answer. There is always risk involved in a war game but in scenarios like these both yes and no are correct. It all depends on what your squads have and are and what your targets are. i wouldn't necessarily risk rapid firing into a nob squad or a terminator squad. Alternatively if my assault unit was really close to the unit i want to assault i may try to soften it up with shooting.
Alright so that's the basics of selecting targets. Obviously there is more to it with shooting. Like how Fire Dragon squads are really good at dealing with small elite squads in shooting and not just armor. The general thing is to maximize your effectiveness with your guns. Assaulting may be brutal in 5th edition but shooting happens more often statistically in the game. Proper shooting can turn the tide easily for more armies then assaulting can.
I am going to try and get at least 1 post up here a week from now on. More tactica via my opinion, tutorials and progress stuff. This post will get a video supplement soon. until next time..
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