Wednesday, 2 March 2011

E-mail reply #1

In response to an E-mail from Dan regarding tactics to use against a Space Wolf infantry list. (Which could be applied to most infantry lists)

The following is the main bulk of Dan's e-mail. (I edited it to add in points costs)

Autarch: Jetbike, mandiblasters, fusion gun, laser lance (140)

Farseer: Jetbike, runes of warding, runes of witnessing, fortune, mind war, spirit stones, singing spear (183)

8 Warlocks: Jetbikes, 2 embolden, 2 enhance, 3 destructor, 1 singing spear (433)

5 Dire avengers (60)
Wave serpent: Eldar missile launcher, spirit stones (130)

5 Dire avengers (60)

Heavy Support:
Fire Prism: Spirit stones, holofield (160)

Fire Prism: Spirit stones, holofield (160)

Falcon: Spirit stones, holofield, scatter laser (175)


His list is basically 6 10man GH units with either melta of flamers. He doesn't mess around much with lots of upgrades. Then i think he runs 3 units of ML long fangs and that's the list.

He's often spread across the whole backfield then marches up and bends on whatever he runs up against. It's hard to kill any single unit without getting rocked on the next turn.

I havn't played him yet with the list i posted. I played his Daemons and nearly tabled them so I'm expecting to get a pretty ugly thrashing the next time we play. Let's pretend that he doesn't hold a grudge against my council and then bring 4 rune priests. He doesn't usually run those so let's assume my council can fortune for this.

Since I'm mostly curious about how to split his force I gave it some thought last night and came up with objective placement that is as far as possible from the other objective (s) but close enough to his troops to be enticing. Then i can use my own force as a third string with which to pull on his forces.

In KP games, the only idea I came up with is refused flank but I don't think he'll fall for that more than once or twice.

(After writing this entire post, i'd like to add, apparently i don't like short posts, this was a bit longer than i expected, and i had a long day at work... so i may have rambled in parts)
Starting from the beginning, a few list alterations. I do not want to change the make-up of your list too much, but i think i can make a few small improvements and gear it a little more towards the task at hand.

Autarch: Jetbike, mandiblasters, reaper launcher, laser lance (155)

Farseer: Jetbike, runes of warding, fortune, doom, spirit stones (175)

6 Warlocks: Jetbikes, 1 embolden, 1 enhance, 3 destructor, 1 singing spear (323)

5 Dire avengers (60)
Wave serpent: TL-scatter laser, spirit stones, shurican cannon (130)

5 Dire avengers (60)
Wave serpent: TL-scatter laser, spirit stones, shurican cannon (130)

Heavy Support:
Fire Prism: Spirit stones, holofield (160)

Fire Prism: Spirit stones, holofield (160)

3 Dark Reapers: Exarch, tempest missile launcher, crackshot (147)


All in all not much has changed, you have lost 2 warlocks and a few ugrades have changed, but you have gained dark reapers.

Going through the changes
The first one was to switch the Autarchs fusion gun for a reaper launcher. With the fusion gun you have a high chance to hit and kill a marine (not in cover). The reaper launcher however has two shots, longer range, and still wounds on 3's at AP3. Over the course of the game you can harass the SW at long range and net more kills than the fusion gun will. Other than that the laser lance/mandiblaster combo works nicely.

Second changes were to the Farseer, I took off runes of witnessing, as your embolden Warlock lets you re-roll all leadership tests, including psychic tests. I also dropped his spear in favour of the extra attack in close combat and switched mind war for doom. Doom will prove very useful when you unleash those destructors and in my experiance when you need a 2+ to wound with witchblades you roll a surprising amount of 1's.

The Warlocks i cut down to 6 men, i find 8 to be too much of a points sink and removing those frees up points for other things. I took out on embolden and one enhance as you only need 2 of those if you intend to loose Warlocks, its a good insurance policy but pricey when you consider the additional cost of the warlocks themselves.

I left the DA units minimal size but gave them both serpents. I added a shurican cannon and switched the missile launcher for a scatter laser, which i find to much more reliable at most things. 1 shot weapons always seem to miss, and killing one marine a turn isn't going to help in the long run. The scatter lasers should be able to put out enough shots to bring down something each turn if your lucky, if your very lucky possibly more.

The prisms i kept the same, but i added in the reapers. I love reapers, they get alot of hate and are expensive. Added to that they don't move much either so can get caught and taken out in combat easily.
But the main redeeming feature is the tempest missile launcher with crackshot.

Barrage fire? Check
AP3 templates? Check
Re-rolls to wound? Check
Ignores all cover? Check

With that much SW infantry around, it'd be hard to miss. Given a good shot you can kill handfulls of marines a turn, easily earning their points back. They are also a very big deterrent to deploy anywhere on their side of the board where the reapers can fire, i say reapers, i mean the Exarch.


Onto his list, that is alot of marines... luckily they are all on foot so you don't need to worry about out-running them. It shouldn't be too much of a problem tho, so moving onto tactics.

Regarding his deployment, if he deploys spread out enough then I'd play a refused flank 99% of the time. Even if the objectives are all over the place you can use your speed to move onto them later in the game so theres no reason not to pitch your entire force against a portion oh his. If his LF units are interlaced evenly I'd expect you to be able to stay out of range or LOS to at least one unit, cutting his ranged firepower by a third. Straight off the bat you should be thinking how to kill off the LF units. 

As you can see from the picture, with the LF spread out to cover all angles you can easily stay out of range of one unit. With decent terrain you can also stay out of LOS of the the other.

I would target the LF units with your vehicles. Bringing them down is the key to killing off his firepower. The best bet i would suggest is picking one of the units and firing a combined+dispersed shot. The large template should cover most of the LF unit while still wounding on a 2+ with no armour save. Cover is a problem but the serpents can each pump out 7 S6 shots so you can bring any remaining LF's down, add to the that the Autarchs reaper launcher and your golden. One turn and you should be able to take out a LF unit in cover.
The Reapers however should begin targetting the largest concentration of wolves possible causing as much damage as they can, if all of his units are at the back of the board then you should get alot of hits with those templates even if you scatter a little. Remember tho the tempest is only 36" range so you may have to deploy forwards. It is imperitive you remain out of LOS with the reapers however, as with only 3 T3 men, your going to go down to bolter fire quite easily. 

If, however, your opponent deploys in a refused flank of his own then you can do the following.
The reapers have a good field of fire, still out of LOS as its incredibly easy with such a small unit. If you aim roughly for the middle of the pack you shouldn't miss either. The Prisms can do the same but use their long range to stay safe from missiles. The serpents can pop out of cover at such an angle as to gain a cover save, you can fortune one if you like. The bikes will intercept any units that begin advancing while popping in and out of cover to use their catapults and the launcher. Same again, target the LF units first. This isn't exactly where you would deploy... but after a turn or two of movement.

In either scenario once the LF units are gone or almost gone its almost safe for you, the meltaguns could be a problem but theres always meltaguns.

Now theres 2 main possible scenarios, the infantry advance on you, or the infantry stands their ground on objectives.

If the rank and file advance on you early you can move around them, keep backing up and bring down the LF unit/s that threaten you, depending on how well you can hide or stay out of range of the other LF unit/s. The two main possible scenarios are the same, you should have moved up a little to take down the LF's so you have room to back-up if the infantry advances.

First picture (after LF death)
In the first picture, you will want to begin to target the central infantry blocks, effectivly dividing the army in two, at least for a little anyway. Once this process has begun you can use your council as a lure. Fortune them up, doom a unit, and move to about 9" away. Fire off your catapults and jump back 6" in the assault phase. Keep doing this until one of two things happen.

Things that happen 1:
The rest of your force has destroyed (or almost) the central infantry units, now you can move your council up and engage without fear of being counter charged by multiple marine units. I'd personally go for a multiple combat against two units, at least one will be weakened a little from shurican fire while the other will, of course, get destructored. Your council should finish 2 weakened marine units off quickly, especially with the laser lance autarch and all those witchblade attacks. Once this is done, move onto the far side of the board with the rest of the wolves and cause mayhem while your serpents move to secure objectives. If playing KP, simply hide if your ahead.

Things that happen 2:
The space wolves take the council bait. You were within 12", he knows this, and you moved 6" away. So if he moves 6" forwards he can double-tap you with bolters. If this happens he is simply widening the gap between his units, and you can concentrate your destructors and scatter lasers into taking out the advancing unit/s coupled with a charge. You may have to lure the unit 2 turns in a row to bring them far enough away.

Second picture (after LF death)
In the second picture, once the LF units are eliminated the same tactics apply but slightly differently. Instead of dividing, which would be very hard with such grouped up marines, "encourage" them to spread out by firing the reapers and the prism cannons into the center of their lines. You should hit something, and you should kill whatever you hit. Use the scatter lasers and the Autarchs launcher to pick off any stragglers to net you a KP or simply finish off a scoring unit.

Once turn 5 rolls up you should have your council in a position to charge in, your templates should have caused havoc by now, charge in the council and take as many of the wolves with you as you can before the game ends. Concentrate on diminished units for the KP or units that are claiming an objective. Your council has staying power so if an objective is involved try to charge onto it to contest.


I tried to work out what I'd do given 2 extremes of  the enemies deployment. The terrain won't be so LOS-blocking all the time, and there are many factors that can throw a spanner in the works. Hopefully this will give you a general overveiw on the subject. Whenever your deploying this about what you can do from that position, where you need certain units to be by turn 3, 4, etc and more importanly, what the enemy units can do from thier positions. Pick off the units that threaten you most as a priority. When you play this SW player, let me know it turned out!

In response to the what Dan mentioned about stringing out objectives, go for it... or not. Preferably place at least two of them 12" apart, as a wave serpent is long enough to capture two, but depending on how the board is you may want to spread them out to spread him out, or group them to group him. I didn't really include anything on the placements of objectives as with the speed of the Eldar its not really an issue in this match up. Tank shocking to contest and moving-fast to claim are all viable options in an objective game. Given enough time i'll go into detail about objective placement and the way i prefer to go about them. Thanks for the E-mail  Dan and good luck in your games!

Well i hope this was helpful to Dan and perhaps a little helpful to anyone else reading this. Hopefully its simple enough to understand. If anyone has any questions they'd like answered please feel free to contact me! If you'd like to comment if you agree or disagree with any parts of this post please also feel free!


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