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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys.

I'm very familiar with 40k rules, weapons, and units - and what type of weapons and units are effective against others, but as a new player, I'm seeking some advice on more general, overall tactics and strategies.

For example, I read a lot about setting up "firebases" or "gunlines". How does one go about setting up and coordinating a gunline? How is it arranged? How do you protect it? It seems a bad idea to cluster your units up to create this type of formation as it would create a very large target. I play eldar - so my units are generally very fragile and I'm afraid a firebase of Avengers or war walkers or guardians would just get blasted to pieces.

Flank attacks. How do you execute these? In my (admittedly little) experience, a flank isn't all that vulnerable, as there are usually units close enough to the flank to counter-attack or respond in some fashion.

How can you effectively "harass"? Eldar harassment type units (such as the Vyper) are so fragile that it seems when they try to harass they just get themselves blown up.

These are just some examples of the ideas I'm looking for. If there are other things I should know, please feel free to include those ideas as well.

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: Should've used the spellcheker!
 

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Fire Lanes:

Look for open areas of terrain that go clear across the board. You can se up HS units with good range to keep your opponent from using these areas. In my example below I have two Blood Angel HS choices (I know its a basic drawing, just work with me here :) ). You can see that they each have several fire lanes in which they can shoot. This will hamper your opponent's movement on the field because he will invariably place units into those lanes just to move towards your army.

 

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FLANKING MANEUVERS

A lot of people argue that in 40k, flanks don't matter. They're partially right-- a unit's flank may not matter, but the army's flanks as a whole do. If you're going to try to sweep someone's flank, you need to devote a lot of your army to doing it. It starts in the deployment phase of the game, really-- you need to have a unit on the flank you don't intend to assault to draw enemy units away from your target in their deployment. For Eldar, Harlequins actually come to mind, since they're quite quick and long-range fire will have trouble hitting them.

If they don't fall for it, don't sweat it-- you've got a threatening unit on the off-flank, and your opponent will most likely think they've at least temporarily neutralized the problem by deploying well. However, a suitably fast unit on the off-flank will provide all kinds of problems (albeit of a different sort than what we were going for, but you work with what you've got.) Basically, if they don't fall for the setup ploy, the off-flank unit can go chew on isolated heavy support squads and the like-- things that aren't going to be moving much during the game and are likely to get seperated from the rest of the opponent's army, particularly as it moves to react to your deployment in one corner.

Tricking the enemy into deploying in a more standard battle line means some of his units are going to have to spend a great deal of time moving to somewhere useful if you put the majority of your units in one flank-- same idea as when they don't buy it, but you've got more units at your disposal to mess up their battle line from odd angles, and it's much harder to react to.

Eldar have tremendous speed at their disposal, and to sweep someone's flank, you're going to be making use of it. You'll need some solid shock troops-- Scorpions, Banshees, and Fire Dragons all fit the bill, but Dire Avengers will work nicely too. You'll also need a Wave Serpent, Falcon, or other means of getting some Aspect Warriors into the thick of it. You're basically going to go from one squad to the next, starting from one end of the board to the other once you get there. Squads which would normally have range at 24'' may find themselves out of range to shoot an enemy on the flank, since generally you deploy with the expectation of moving more or less forward, and not laterally. Sweeping a flank should, provided they don't have really bloody fast units of their own to react to it, give you a chance to attack without taking quite so much return fire.

Read and re-read, and check out White Dwarf tactica articles. Eldar are the glass cannon of 40k, and it takes some finesse and a lot of practice to do well with them. Beautiful on the table, and deadly in skilled hands, though.
 

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Other general tactics:

Use one unit to provide support for another. Both of the tanks (In my example above) have access to shoot towards each other so the probability of an enemy charging one is smaller than if the tanks were totally unsupported. If the enemy were to destroy one tank, they'd be open to return fire from the other tank.

Always use a strong unit against an opponent's weaker one.

Use your weaker units to provide interference.

Use fast units to take distant objectives, but do it late in the game so your units aren't exposed.

Always build army lists that have tactical flexibility. Never use an all shooting list or all close combat list. It leaves you weak. All armies have the ability to fulfill the basics of battle; close combat, shooting, tank hunting, etc.

If you use heavy weapon squads (Devastators, Dark Reapers, Scourges, etc.) always take extra models in the unit to soak up hits.

Always have multiple ways to treat a problem or threat. Back up plans are good.

Don't over extend your force. You don't want to be in your opponent's deployment zone right away. Let them spread their forces out a bit so you can get in and have less of his units to face off against.

Spread units (and models within) out to max coherency range when faced with opposing template weapons like Battle Cannons, Flamers, Whirlwinds.

Clump models in a unit together behind terrain to advance against units with lots of small arms fire like Fire Warriors, Dire Avengers, or Dark Eldar Warriors.

Dice will screw you. If you fail to prepare for this fact, you will fail. Expect the fight to go according to plan, but prepare for worst case contingencies.

Relax...it's a game after all. :)
 

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On the note of dice screwing you... the best plans are the ones that don't go bad if your dice don't like you that day. Deployment isn't something that relies heavily on dice rolls, and movement tends not to either-- both are very important to all armies, but especially so to Eldar. You won't be at a terrible disadvantage if your dice aren't working hot as long as you keep moving and pay attention when you set up.


Oh, and when your plans do go bad...

If you're not sure about rules, don't argue about 'em, just keep a rulebook handy for your own reference. It's a game, and if something doesn't play out the way it's intended... there'll always be another game. Getting worked up if your plans don't work right (and rules lawyering, as some players tend to do when they're losing) kind of works contrary to why you're playing the game to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great tips thus far guys, thanks!

I especially like the reminder to have fun. That's an easy one to forget when things are going poorly.

How about harassment? Does anyone use this strategy effectively or is it not a very good idea in 40k?
 

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Well, harassment only works if your opponent is female, and attractive.... err... wrong kind of harassment. :roll: I don't know why I had to make that joke...

Anyway, harassing units are more along the lines of units like Space Wolf Scouts-- they're a distraction that lasts a turn or two and somehow cause a minor riot in the back ranks or a flank of the enemy army. Anything reasonably quick or able to deep strike can fit the bill-- you really just need something expendable that can pop up next to a relatively static target, pop it, and draw some attention away from your main force. With Eldar... your best bet will be Swooping Hawks with Skyleap or Warp Spiders. Either one is able to Deep Strike, and both can get out of harm's way without too much effort.
 

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Torrent - one of the best but often most unknown or ignored rules going. Remeber if you cause more wounds than models in the unit you can nominate a specific model (i.e that lascannon in the 6 man las/plas) to make a save. If he fails he dies :D

This is why you see ppl taking bigger units that can pump out larger volumes of fire as it really does work.
 

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this rule works on a per unit basis. right? so if five tau units fire at a single space marine squad, a single unit has to score enough hits/wounds to force the save, not the entire group of firing units.
 

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Thats right, but if 3 out of those 5 managed it... well you get the idea.
 

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wat about psychological warfare? i play Tau and for some reason, my opponent also poops himself when there is a LOS of my railgun to his army, i suppose you can deny your opponent table quarters by having a really threatening weapons arc
 
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