Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Something To Think About: Deployment

Hello everyone, and welcome to another fun filled, and factual, document! This week I have discovered my new found love of Paint software and, as you can see, have started making little logos for my posts.
This week I want to talk about deployment. For many of you this will not be the first deployment article you have seen and its safe to say it won't be the last. Now I will start off by saying, I am not the best at deployment; in fact it is probably the one part of the gaming side of 40k that I utterly stink at.
Still, there are 1000 lessons in defeat so I'll give this whole "advice" thing a try.
Now 40k is a game of chance. You rely on dice for almost everything you do in the game. You want to move through cover? Dice required. You want to shoot that grot 2 feet away? Dice required. You want to hit someone with a stick? Yeah you can kind of see where I'm going.
These are all examples of 'random strategy'; points in the game were you can, at best, predict what will happen but in the end, have no control over the result.
Now deployment, that's a different story. In the deployment phase, you can decide exactly where you want your units to be! They can be put in cover, or in reserve, or in a transport. Whatever you want to do with you units, you can make them do it (within reason mind). This is an example of 'definite strategy' were you have full control over what happens; no dice. This can be made more random if you are deploying first and have to guess what you opponent is going to do but apart from this, and a few other examples, it is a nice definite point in the game.

Now to tackle the elephant hiding in the corner, the way to deploy. Well, I'm not going to give a general idea of how to deploy but am instead going to go over some points of consideration when deploying, with any army (except daemons, they're a WHOLE different kettle of mutated fish).

Fragility: Discussed this one a little with Bryss after our last game. The first thing to consider when deploying is how much damage your army can take. For the more fragile armies (DE, Eldar, Orkz etc.) you really don't want them to be shot up in the first turn of the game. To counter this you'll want to try things like cover to screen your units, transports to hide in and charge forward quickly or reserves. When using more durable armies (MEQ) you can afford to be a little bolder and deploy some units out of cover and with clearer LOS to the enemy, maybe to try and lure out the enemy?

First or Second: Now depending, on whether you go first or second, deployment tactics can change. If you're going first, you can act boldly and try getting as close to the enemy as you need to be. This means that, if you're feeling bold, you may deploy some units out of cover or without any screens. If you're going second, you may want to be a little more on the defensive side of things. To try and keep your opponent from getting at your units from the get-go, you'll want to castle up your units in cover and out of LOS from the enemy. You may even want to leave some of your bigger hitting units in reserve to come on, later in the game, and counter attack.

Size: By this I mean the size of the units deploying. It doesn't take a tactical genius to work out that smaller units will die quicker than larger units of the same type. So by this logic you'll want to try your best to keep small units out of the opponents way for as long as possible whereas you'll be able to afford to send larger squads into the front line.

Shooty or Assaulty: This is probably the most obvious one. If you're a shooty army, and have a long range, you can afford to deploy further away. In contrast, you'll want to deploy as far forward as possible with an assaulty based army.

Now these are only a few things to consider. There is much more to think about than what I've put above, I just don't know them unfortunately. So my final verdict? When deploying your units, consider the points made in this article, and any others you can think of. Remember, the deployment phase is meant to be a problem solving challenge; there is no one all-powerful answer when it comes to deploying your units; it's up to you now. Good luck!