Friday, 19 August 2011
Tank shocks to break up infantry formations
If playing a strongly close combat orientated army, minimising your opponents counter-attack is key. You are giving your opponent the chance to decide the momentum and way the game will play out, by playing an army that has a much shorter threat range. Minimising your opponent's choices and making the conditions as favourable to you as possible, is key. I talked about the problems with CC armies, and the fact that mech is making CC armies very prone to being counterattacked off the board, in an earlier post.
Tank shocks are a very good way to ensure that your troops can assault without the risk of being overwhelmed by a counter-attack. Some armies are better at this tactic (such as dark eldar and orks) and some have to use infantry bubblewraps, that are much harder to perfect (I'm looking at you tyranids). This is also why moving 12''+disembarking and running should be considered when running trukk or raider spam. It allows your tanks to move flatout in the following movement phase (giving you more reach).
Say for example, that your opponent is playing Grey Knights and has disembarked all his forces to shoot at your disembarked wyches and beastpacks (or in the case of orks: boyz, kanz etc.). Once in range to charge with your infantry, you can zoom your raiders to essentially cut in half your opponents forces (thus making any counter CC elements left in the backfield or on the other flank out of charge range for the turn). This ensures that you don't get mass charged by e.g. those purifiers, death cult assassins or paladins.
In many ways, the latest list I wrote yesterday seeks to use this tactic. It is one that I learned when playing my Orks MSU list. The list has a lot of dark light weapons to bring the initial punch, trying to pop open transports and make holes in the opponent's battleline. You can then use these holes to charge the infantry spilling out, or to cut off the rest of the army with your raiders. I still think that the shockprows are good antitank, and if your first turn's shooting doesn't produce enough results, you may well need to try and pop a couple of more tanks in the movement phase before deciding other movement, but against effective counter-attack armies, breaking up infantry formations is really key.
Ofcourse, Orks and DE aren't the only armies capable of utilising these tactics, Any CC army with access to vehicles should be seeking to utilise this tactic. Those transports are not only a faster way to transport men and protect them from small arms fire. Those transports might just be the safety net you need to cut off those TWC or other nasty counter-attack units that can punish you for committing yourself to the battle.