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Is your army tactically flexible? Do you know what tactical flexibility is?

Tactical flexibility means having the ability perform multiple combat roles effectively. The key words here are 'multiple' and 'effectively'. Multiple is obvious. It means that a unit or army can deal with close combat, shooting, tanks, troops, etc. Effectively is the linchpin. Any unit or army that has a dual role must be able to be good at both. There's no point in making a squad or army that is great at one thing and half as good at another.

Why do you want tactical flexibility? Simply put, you may not have the time or ability to move the correct unit to the right spopt on the battle field in time for them to be effective.

Too often have I seen a specialized unit get held up and not able to perform its speciality. When banshees get shot to peices or when fire warriors egt stuck in close combat; these are examples of units that are tactically rigid. They lack the flexibility to perform multiple roles. They only have one role on the field and cannot do anything other than that role. Banshees are only good in assaults. Fire warriors are only good at shooting. Take them out of their element and they fail...every time.

That is not to say that you shouldn't take these units, but that you should think about your army's tactical flexibility as a whole when you build it. Each army should be able to take out armor and troops equally. Each army should have enough speed to get where they need to and enough range to account for lack of speed.

If you want to take that unit of banshees, put them in a falcon that can kill tanks with its pulse laser. If you're going to take that unit of fire warriors take some kroot to serve as a close combat shield so the fire warriors do not get assaulted.

Every army has its units that are great at one particular thing. These are fine to take. Just do not take too many of these as it will make your army less flexible. For example an all scout squad army will get shot to peices almost every time. Even if you play a Tau army that centers on shooting you can get a few Kroot squads to absorb close combat. Every army has something it can take that adds flexibility.

In marine units take frag grenades just in case you need to assault someone in cover. Take a missile launcher instead of a lascannon as the missile launcher can take out troops AND vehicles. Take the meltagun because it does nto get hot and you can almost auto penetrate any tank (except the monolith) with it.

The more flexible your army is, the better your chances are of a positive outcome.
 

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This is something I preach about constantly. Designing units that can fill multiple roles while having both ends of the spectrum with elites or heavy support is paramount in my mind. A good example of what you're talking about is slugga boyz with big shootas. With 12 36 inch str 5 shots a round, 3-4 attacks each on the charge and the choppas rule, they can do everything well.
Elites like Skar Boyz are much like banshees. They need a transport to be fully efffective and if that transport is very shooty, suddenly you've negated the weakness of the unit. Complimenting a fireline with counter assault troops negates their weakness in cc.

I agree wholeheartedly with all of your points.
 

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yeah flexibility is great, but the most flexible units perform multiple combat roles all but effectively. that brings us to the problem that a tactically flexible force may have some real trouble against a specialised one, if the specialised one is specialised against the flexible force. like an army specialised on killing space marines against a space marine army with many tactical squads (which are very flexible especially with a power fist sergeant.

my point is that flexible units are not a necessesity but a flexible army list is, so you can have only specialist units, but you have to use them right or you will be slapped around the tabletop. the problem here is that your opponent will try to catch your specialists on the wrong foot.

from my own expirience i can tell that the more flexible your army is the more tactic you need. a common things seems to be the "anti-marines" list which is optimized to kill elite armys with few models but hase big problems with horde armies. since many players have marine or equal armys, it's very likely to have an advantage over most opponents with an anti-marines-army
 

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I agree that tactically flexible units are vulnerable to specialist lists, but only if you allow your opponent to exploit you. JSJing fireknives will eat marine tactical squads alive, but if you position assault squads so that you limit jsjing you can counter their power against your tacticaly flexible troops. This is where army and unit synergy comes into play, which is much harder to achive than playing a specialist list. In other words, I believe specialist lists are better for the moderate to good player but flexible lists are better for the expert. On an expert level, a tactically flexible list with tactically flexible units will be far harder to plan against than say, an army of jsjing firekines with three railheads. Specialist armies tend to do just one thing, and if you know what that one thing is, you can plan against it using a synergistic strategy. In my personal experience, synergistic lists beat specialized lists if the general has a full understanding of the game and the experience to implement the correct strategy.
 

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Porn King!!!
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I agree with you completely Warboss. I have gotten many negative comments about the fact that I have only 1 HH in my Tau list, not to mention Drones in 2 static FW squads. Yet I play them all in balance with each other, one squad complementing the other and this allows me to surprise more than a few opponents who think I have no chance because I am not playing Mech Tau. I utterly crushed an all Jetbike Eldar army once with my list right after my opponent told me I didn't stand a chance with it against him. He had a specialist list and I had a balanced one that required a bit more thought than most specialist armies.

Tactical flexibility combined with the ability to combine the use of these units is the key to winning, not a one trick pony list.
 

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As far as I see It there are four 'key' areas that all good 'take all comers' lists need to follow:

1) Mobility: absolutely vital In 4th Ed If you can't maneuver yourself to score your In trouble from the start.
2) AT: generally to get mobility gamers take tanks therefore a good portion of AT Is vital, also handy for MC's, DP's, 2+ etc
3) Anti-Infantry: you never know when that 120 horde Ork list may make an appearance making your Las/Plas squads look next to useless!
4)Counter Charge / Ability to avoid combat: mech lists can generally do without mainly due to their speed, but any list based on the ground will need at least one unit capable of causing damage through combat no matter how many guns they bring to the table.
As far as having units multi-tasking thats all good and all but you'll usually pay a price for It. E.g for my BA's I could always take the following for my troops:

8 x Marines
Lascannon / Plasma Gun
Vet Sgt Power Fist
175pts

Fairly costly but can cover anti-tank, combat (FC/PF) and due to their size they have a good chance to go charging up the board to score.
I usually avoid that set-up mainly due to the fact that multi-tasking takes away the efficiency or 'bang for your buck' (apart from ass-cannons!) so I'll usually run the following:

6 x Marines
Lascannon / Plasma
Vet Sgt
130pts

This squad will solely provide me with a solid unit sat on my back lines for AT/MC/MC while also providing a naked vet for my DC It also provides for my assault elements.
Overall I think the combined arms tactic wins through. Having specific units designed for a certain task while having the tactical knowledge to combine their abilities to form a balanced list gives you the winning formula! :D
Finding the right balance Is the tricky/fun part! :wink:

My typical 'balanced', competitive BA list:

Chaplain: JP, BP, Frags 217pts (Counter charge / Assault / Mobility)

6 x Marines: Las/Plas Vet Sgt 130pts (AT / DC: PF/PW)
6 x Marines: Las/Plas Vet Sgt 130pts (AT / DC: PF/PW)
6 x Marines: Las/Plas Vet Sgt 130pts (AT / DC: PF/PW)
8 x Scouts: Vet Sgt Power Fist 132pts (Anti Infiltrate / Combat / Mobility)

8 x Assault Marines: 2 x Plasma Pistols Vet Sgt Power Fist 216pts (Counter charge / Assault / Mobility)

1 x Tornado Assault Cannon / HB 80pts (Horde Control / Mobility / AT)
1 x Tornado Assault Cannon / HB 80pts (Horde Control / Mobility / AT)

Predator Annihilator: HB's, EA 135pts (Horde Control / Mobility / AT)
Baal Predator: HB's, Extra Armour 125pts (Horde Control / Mobility / AT)
Baal Predator: HB's, Extra Armour 125pts (Horde Control / Mobility / AT)

1500pts
 

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Ah, the god old "morticon pattern" 8 man tac squad ;-) Good for Blood Angels players, that way a rage roll won't nessecarily spoil a turn for the squad.

At the risk of stating the obvious and being called a cheesemonger, I will say that HB/AC Tornados are a very flexable unit. Fast, maneuverable, able to bring down tanks and murder squads...Just don't try to be cute and max them out. Squads of one or two, mo more than two squads, use them effectively and have them support/be supported by assautt troops.

I prefer to do them in twos rather than on their own, provided you have enough other armor on the field to make them less of a target. This way if one goes down they have to bring the other down to get any VP, plus together, there;s few things a pair of tornados can;t take on. I usually field two squads of two

I field a similar list, but with less tacts and more scouts (I also like giving my scouts grenades, brings them to a nice clean 140)

I find that giving my ass squad a flamer is usually handy. You;re giving up an attack and a s7 AP2 shot, but if you want flexable, nothing beat being able to barbicue some nids before charging in. A famer is a damned handy weapon to have, though never ore than one. Not just because plas and flamer is more flexable but becuse two flamers can end up causing too many casualties and denying a charge.
 

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Porn King!!!
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I use 8 man squads in my Chaos lists as it is both a tactically effective number and a fluffy one (eight pointed star being the symbol of Chaos). My current 2000pt Chaos list has all infantry units in squads of 8. 8 Berzerkers, 8 Bloodletters, 3x8 Undivided Marines, etc.
 

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Ah, the god old "morticon pattern" 8 man tac squad :wink: Good for Blood Angels players, that way a rage roll won't nessecarily spoil a turn for the squad.
Aye Morticon knows his stuff :wink: , due to rage the unit really Is a great alrounder for BA's being able to set up agressively without getting badly slapped In combat, although as I've mentioned previously I think there Just a tad bit pricy for 1500pts due to their mulit-tasking purpose. I personally prefer the six man shooty squad with my Libby nearby casting fury counter charging when needed.
Alternatively I think If I was using Trait/Chaos marine due to the double plasma/melta and Infiltrate/Rhino option the squad becomes more appealing having the option to get them Into the thick of the action from the start to utilise their dual role.
 

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I usually run around 2k, so I've usually got room for at least one mort squad.

I like my librarian, but since most of the time I'm up against chaos, he's been pretty useless, so I've dropped him and added more troops.

I must say, I thuroughly love my 140 point smashy scouts (8 man, PF vet, frag), though one will usually end up being 10 points heavier because I'll toss in a ML. Even if I only get one shot, an infi;trating missile launcher is usually worthwhile
 
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