Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Aggressive Objective Placement – Guest Post by Jordan of There Is Only War

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As 5th ed winds down 40k players have hit a “wait and see” mode regarding the game.  I know I have.  The Blogosphere seems to be struggling with what to post.  Well, Jordan of There Is Only War has submitted another excellent guest post for the humble GSI blog!  I can say that what follows is actually a pretty good tactic… I’ve had aggressive objective placement used on me a couple of times by ‘Nids and Blood Angels players with good effect.  Further, I think it will carry over into 6th ed easily.


A fun part of pre-game set up, at least in two out of three missions you play in Warhammer 40,000, is placing objectives. In my experience, I find “aggressive” objective placement to be the most beneficial and most likely to contribute to victory.
Typical placement across player's respective long table edges.  Objective markers are the yellow and blue dots.

What do I mean by “aggressive objective placement?” As you may or may not have noticed during your games of 40k, many players will try to place their objectives as far away from their opponent's as possible, creating a large gulf between them and making each easier to defend on it's own, given that the enemy has to get there first in most instances. Aggressive objective placement is exactly the opposite. Aggressive objective placement is a strategy wherein you will place your objective(s) as close to the enemy's as possible, often just twelve inches away, directly across the table.

But wait. Wouldn't that make it much easier for your enemy, who is probably going to cram his objective(s) as close to his table edge as possible, to capture your objectives? Well, yes, but this is a two-sided dice. The first two benefits of aggressive objective placement come from the meta game. The first benefit is that you are very likely going to throw off your opponent, if only a little. The second is that this style of play greatly aids most army lists that aren't very specifically static gun lines. Mechanized Imperial Guard, Blood Angel assault troops, Dark Eldar glass arrows, etc.

The aggressive placement here allows the bottom-edge player (blue objectives) to move his entire force forward and not worry about defending.  Everyone fights!
This leads us to our third point. All of these types of lists work well with aggressive objective placement because the goal of these lists is to get right in your opponent's face as quickly as possible. By placing your objectives close to your enemy's, you save yourself the need to have troops hang back in your deployment zone sitting on an objective. Now, you have a more strength to bring to bear on your enemy.

One often over-looked part of the game is the available space in which to play. Players will often try to utilize the entire table, which certainly makes for a more evocative game. However, many armies feature options that allow them to succeed when things get close. Take advantage of these options. More units clumped tighter together means a higher likelihood of blast weapons hitting something. This also opens up the possibility for multi-assaults, and makes following up in subsequent turns with assaulting or shooting that much easier.

Placing the majority of markers on the right allows the bottom edge player (blue objectives) to deploy his entire force right and maybe catch the top edge player with half of his forces far out of position on the left.
In much the same vein, by placing your objectives close to your opponent's, you've essentially cut down the size of the table you're playing on. Say you're playing Capture and Control, and say your opponent places his objective in a corner. By placing yours as far forward as possible directly across from your opponent's, you've now effectively made probably two feet of your gaming table useless, which leaves you free to worry about how you're going to get those objectives captured by the end of the game.

Using some kunnin' deployment tactics will definitely help in this regard. As always, this has been an expression of my personal opinion, formed by my experiences playing Warhammer 40,000. This may backfire horribly on you; who knows? If anything, it's worth a try, if only to mix things up a bit.

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