Monday, March 29, 2010

Null Deployment?

Fritz, a blogger of much renown, has brought up a good point that I have been trying to incorporate into my Tau cadre and I think others can work into their army as well. Fritz calls his new paradigm a "null deployment," but it is simpler than that. The strategy is essentially the same that he has been proposing for his Saim-Hann army for months: using mobility to exert maximum force to one point. Fritz' new concept is a different tactic to accomplish this strategy, but it is still the same strategy. I do appreciate that this tactic is based around using the USRs we can neglect and using units to their best.

The advantage that Saim-Hann and generalized mechanized eldar have is due to their speed. Every vehicle in their armory is a fast skimmer, capable of firing at essentially full effect after moving 12" or moving 24 or 36" for the daring. Very few other fast skimmers exist and of those only a few have any transport capacity. But this is changing.

As Fritz is so fond of saying, the way to fight new codices is not to look at the individual codices, but to look at the trends in them. Fritz is right to say this way of thinking has serious merit; consider the codices written in fifth edition. Space marines, stayed generally the same, but the rhinos got cheaper and with Khan, they gained the ability to outflank. A conditional increase in mobility, but not overwhelming. Imperial guard are able to simply field enough models that mobility does not need to be a problem, but they also got the valkyrie and vendetta, both fast skimmers. This can increase an army's mobility, but is generally only a supplement to the old fashioned chimera. Space wolves didn't get much more than marines and didn't get Khan, so there's a wash there. Tyranids, the army that sparked Fritz' new model, gained an incredible amount of mobility, able to give most everything a drop pod equivalent and the ability to let two units outflank, as well as infiltrators and scouts. Blood Angels will emphasize deep striking and be able to do so with unmatched accuracy.

Fritz' null deployment is based around a wedge force in the deployment zone trying to drive the enemy toward a side where he can outflank and assault them. His deep strikers are intended to corral any strays. His ideas aren't bad at all, but I think they are simply an extension of the trend in 40k that has created the "mechhammer" we see at tournaments.

The same needs lie behind mechhammer and the null deployment: the need for protection (especially in the case of troops) and the need to get in an advantageous position quickly. Assault units will be able to take better advantage of the null deployment than shooting units simply because should an assault unit reach CC they will only have to contend with one unit while a shooting unit is a viable target for all enemy units. As Fritz points out, genestealers will be protected from incoming fire if they outflank and may reach their target unharmed.

Fritz is a good tactician and there aren't many good answers to this deployment, especially when you play a shooty army that thrives on the edges of the board. I think I've got my answer, but give me a few days. What are your thoughts on the viability of the Null Deployment and how would you stop it with your army?


  1. As many of the people who see me play my nids.. I use some variations on the Null deployment rules.. And from what I've learned from it (as well as watching him play it) It is very effective but the advantages of it depends strongly on your opponent being predictable. If instead of allowing themselves to be pushed to a side of the table those genestealers are gonna get into combat.. but what if your opponent is expecting this. If you sit 19" away from the board edges, and/or expect the stealers (or other outflanking unit) your not going to have as much of a problem.

    As a tyranid player my answer to null deployment is to go at him head on. Allowing yourself to play your opponents game means your already losing.

  2. I've got to hand it to you, Nightstalker, that was going to be the gist of my next post. I'll try to expand on it and make it even better to ensure it's not a waste of time. Glad to see we have people thinking as they read.

  3. Well i think it depends on pts level, i think this would do great in higher pts(2k/2500...etc)due to the fact you cant just squeeze EVERYTHING away from the edges and if you did i dont think your better off