Jump to content

am I supposed to use the tanks to defend the guys, or the


Recommended Posts

This is confusing to me. Am I supposed to use the troops to protect the tanks? Or the tanks to protect the troops? I have space wolves.


Last edition, I used the rhinos and razorbacks to try to prevent the space marines from getting wiped out for a turn or two.


Now, it seems like the tanks (e.g. razorbacks and even the land raider) are quite good, but if they get into close combat they can't shoot anymore...so maybe I should wrap them in troops so the enemy can't get that close?

But my infantry are awful expensive, to just stick them out in front as a buffer. (Plus, that doesn't seem very nice -- like, if they were real guys.)


Maybe I should ally in some guard and have cheap troops (guard) in front of cheap tanks (rhinos?) protecting expensive infantry (space marines) who protect expensive tanks?


This is all very complicated. What am I supposed to be doing here?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Normally troops are supposed to protect tanks, otherwise they tend not to last that long. That's how it works in real life too - the trick is to have some variety in your force. For example you want to spread your points around and not put bells and whistles on everything, some units have the unfortunate role of being more expendable. With some escorting infantry your tanks are less likely to get assaulted and therefore more likely to keep shooting their valuable guns. Dreadnoughts can also perform this role to a degree, as they can bundle into combat to keep the enemy off your armour too.


That's the basics at least, it depends on your army make up too for example you can have some Rhinos as escort. While you don't want to sacrifice them of course they're cheaper than other armour with less shooting to lose if they need to fall back from combat. Perhaps a mix could work along with good placement and use of cover? Is it first turn reserves that's causing problem or generally fast opponents?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The answer is "yes." It's not an "or." It's an "and." Your tanks and infantry are mutually supportive, and will serve alternately as sword and shield for each other depending on circumstances. Transports will keep the infantry safe at range and move them in close. Infantry will then disembark and defend the tanks. Edited by tdemayo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Combined arms wins the day :) For the record I like to have my cake and eat it, working infantry, tank and Dreadnoughts together to cover each other. Works very well as there's sure to be something your opponent's unit(s) would rather not tussle with. Though I do play as Iron Hands, so Dreadnoughts are a given :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

So, while Warrior Fish is absolutely right when it comes to real life military theory at a strategic level, we need to remember that 40k follows different rules than real life :D


There are 2 things to remember when it comes to army design in 40k :

- Combined Arms work when you can bring the right tool to the right place, the entire philosophy is bringing multiple threat/defense profile that work in concert so the opponent can defend against one but not the other

- Army effectiveness follows a law of averages : the average performance and average survivability must be high. More on that later.


1) Combined Arms is super efficient in real life because the different corps have different engagement selection capabilities and different defense mechanisms. Also, in real life, the bigger force of the weapon requires dedicated purpose built carrying devices, and most of the higher punch weapons in real life require to be transported by vehicles.

The best example of effective Combined Arms is the Imperial Guard, which more closely ressembles our modern military. Leman Russ Tanks, Basilisks, etc are carrying weapons that are not man portable, and show a much greater destructive power than infantry ported weapons.


When it comes to Space Marines, aside from the Demolisher Cannon (which performance is similar to other infantry weapons in this edition) and the Stormstriker Missiles (which are really Krak Missiles), they are carrying the exact same heavy weapons than their vehicles. A Lascannon Deva Combat Squad has exactly the same punch as a Lascannon Predator for example for a similar cost and slightly lower firepower than a Landraider due to not having the 2 Heavy Bolters.

Because the vehicles and Troops are highly interchangeable and so we can not really follow the Combined Arms doctrines just because these Arms do not offer different threat profiles in what wargear they have available.


Which leads to point 2.


2) Law of averages of firepower and survivability.


We can pretty much map models and units on an graph with the following axis :

- Survivability : Low/High (# of models, toughness, saves, wounds) + Spam of the same unit (an infantry unit is more survivable when you have 6 of the same unit, because we're removing target priority as well as needing more anti infantry shots to deal with it)

- Damage : Low/High (# of shots, strength, ap, damage) + Speed


Each of the parenthesized categories needs to be measured independently.


Because 8th edition is designed around a statistical system with very little variation and everything being able to easily be converted in MEQ equivalent in damage or survivability, you want to make sure that the average values for these are as high as possible. Of course, this is not going to ensure a win, but you will at least have a workable system.


Now, in statistics, there is another measure that helps with averages, and it is deviation. 5 values of 3 has an average of 3, much like a series of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 has an average of 3 as well. But also 1, 1, 1, 1, 11 have an average of 3 as well.


What that means is that you must always keep the balance of your army's average high on all aspects to ensure that you are not overexposing weaknesses. The more you imbalance your army on any aspect, the more vulnerable to hard counters you will be.

The typical example is high Elite armies being vulnerable to volume of fire due to the very low model count.




After the headache, how does this synergizes with tanks?


Well, it means that you neither want the tanks to protect the infantry or the infantry to protect tanks. Since you can't avoid being shot at thorughout the game (aka non commiting is not an option), you will want to maximize your army's survivability, regardless of what you field.

If you field a lot of infantry with a few tanks, you are going to reduce the average count of models without increasing the firepower, therefore making your army more vulnerable without gaining in efficiency. Even worse, the fact that you don't have tank spam is going to further reduce the tanks' survivability due to not having target saturation.

If you field a lot of tanks/fliers with very few infantry, you are going to reduce the average count of models, making you extremely vulnerable.


Take a look at the following list, which is possible at 2000 points with a Batallion :

- 2 HQs of whatever flavour

- 6 x 10 tactical marines with varied loadouts

- 3 x 10 bikers


Picture this on the tabletop. See the resilience with low average damage. The infantry synergizes with the bikers, because they take relatively the same type of weapon to deal with. Meaning that you have a high survivability against multi wounds damage due to being infantry, and you have enough bodies/saves to withstand AI firepower without much trouble.


Now picture the following :

- 2 HQs of whatever flavour

- 6 x 10 tactical marineswith varied loadout

- 6 Rhinos

- 3 Predators with Quad Lascannons


Now, you can also see the survivability. It follows the same principle, but reverse : high survivability versus single wound low strength weapons due to the metal boxes, high number of wounds to tank multi wound weapons (we're talking about 96 T7 wounds with a 3+, which is not insiginificant). You still have the 60 Marines to chew through should all your armor be destroyed, which is not an easy feat either!


Due to everything following the same damage/survivability system in 8th, there is much less variety of threats and thinking of your army as a statistical system is the way to go. In 7th, combined arms was totally the way to go. In 8th, things are different.


By the way, the cool thing is that the statistical system is a layer on top of your army. Because it's so flexible, it also allows for a wide variety of builds that you like based on fluff! Many more opportunities to model and fight the way you like, and much, MUCH less auto includes than in the previous edition!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks again.


I think I know what you mean. With the bikes list, all of the opponent's lascannons are inefficient. With the predators/rhinos list, all of his bolters are inefficient (until he cracks open a rhino). So through choice of list, you can make half of his weapons ineffective.


I was more trying to ask about: given that the list is whatever it is, how to position or move the little men around on the table.


Like, say you have your predators list.

Do you put the rhinos in front to protect the predators?

Say there's a blob of guardsmen or boyz or something who are closing on you. One squad of them can multi-charge all of the predators and prevent them from shooting, maybe. At that point, should you pop the guys out of the rhinos and interpose them? Or do you just try to put the rhinos in the way? Or do you just try to drive the tanks away? (Eventually you'll run out of space.)

I have discovered that leaving them there to get charged is not a good idea, even if the guys charging can't hurt them. ha!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.