Friday, 8 September 2017

Lesson Learned - a new feature!

Greetings all!

Today is the beginning of a new feature here on the blog, hopefully one that will be of interest to you all. I'm calling it (drumroll please) 'The Lesson Learned'. Each article (hopefully weekly) will take a single point of note from one of my games (mostly 40k, but will occasionally be something else that I play) and will look at that thing in detail. Could be a rule, a tactic or something more esoteric. Today's discussion point is going to look at an element of deployment, in particular whether to deploy key units out of sight or in a transport.

So, in my game last night against Tyranids, we played a scenario used at SN Battle Reports 'no retreat' tournaments in Gibraltar. My opponent is attending the next one and wanted to get some practice in first. These tournaments use the forthcoming method of determining first turn of giving a +1 modifier to a roll off if you finish deploying first, rather than granting automatic first turn to that player. It was my first game using this method, so I'll allow myself a little unfamiliarity, however this one point upon reflection would have significantly altered my deployment, had I considered it more carefully.

This was the scene in the corner of my deployment zone following my deployment, fairly common in my games of 8th edition so far, with my devastators taking advantage of the high building for a good field of fire and a cover save, with the second squad nearby, both within aura range of Pedro Kantor to get re-rolls to hit on all my missed shots. Just to the right of this picture is a thunderfire cannon, my one concession to tailoring the list to who I was fighting.

I had less units than my opponent, so finished deploying first, getting the +1. I rolled a 2, Martin rolled a 5. Nids got first turn, and I failed to seize the initiative. This part of the board looked a little different by the start of my turn 1.

After the Tyrranofex and the two Exocrines had finished firing, the Thunderfire Cannon was gone (and with it any hope I had of slowing down the genestealers) as were both my devastator units. Nearly 400pts of key units in my army dead and (not) buried before I even got to move.

So, what's the lesson to be learned here? Once Chapter Approved hits and this method of choosing first turn becomes more common, we are all going to have to be much more careful with our deployment and what units can be seen and what units we leave in transports. In hindsight I would have done a few things differently.

Thunderfire Cannon: I placed this to prevent any tyranid units popping up in that corner of the table, but it left the thunderfire in the open. The thunderfire doesn't need line of sight to shoot, so should never be in this position unless there is no choice. It should have been deployed behind the bastion out of sight.

Devastator units: In hindsight, one of these units would have been placed in the Razorback to give it a measure of protection (not a guarantee, but better than nothing) and the second would have taken cover either behind the razorback (which could have moved in my turn to open up sight lines), or behind the bastion. I may very well have been forced to suffer less effective shooting as a result, but less effective shooting is still better than no shooting at all.

There you have it. Lesson learned.