Friday, March 23, 2012

I Can Haz Deep Strike Defense?


by Ishamael

Why hello there, folks-to-whom-I-haven't-written-anything-to-in-quite-some-time.  A while back, I entered into a conspiracy with Heretic to purchase, convert, and get ready an entire army behind the back of Godfrey.  It took quite a bit of doing and secrecy, but I now have a 2000 point Deathwing army via our clandestine actions. ;)

My purpose in writing this article is because, at a recent gaming tournament over at the FLGS, there happened to be a team that consisted of a Daemons player and a Space Wolf one, both of which I believe hailed from the Indy 40k crowd.  I was lazy and didn't find a partner in time, so I helped Godfrey out with officiating, which basically meant I got to furiously check lists for a good hour, then chillax as he ran the show.  Both teams were allowed 1k points, and had to bring 1 HQ and 1 Troop minimum, after which they could build their lists as they please, within a combined Force Organization Chart.  They ended up taking first place, and as I watched teams set up their deployment against them, I kept asking myself where the deep strike defense was.  Daemons are purely deep strike, and the Wolf list was at least in part in Drop Pods.  Time for some terminology.

Deep Strike Defense is a pretty straightforward concept of pushing out an opponent's possible landing zones via deep striking as possible.  With it, you need some superfluous bodies, which most armies have, and you need to set up some traps.  The following photos are to illustrate this concept:

So, my 2k list has 40 Terminators and Belial, and he just happens to be represented by my Dwarf Thane on an Oathstone with his great hammer and shield on the Terminator base as Bellie with his Thunderhammer and Storm Shield configuration.  The list in its entirety can be found here:

So, if you're wanting to deploy with this tactic in mind against an army with extensive deep striking, it's probably best to do a corner deployment.

So, for this we just did a Pitched Battle deployment, so it doesn't matter much.  Lacking infiltrators in my army, the kroot set up to push my possible venues of teleportation down with the 2 units I generally deep strike with.

Surprisingly, back by the ruin, I found a decent area to attempt a Maverick into his deployment zone.  If we were actually playing a game, I'd probably place them a bit to the down right further, because my dice hate me.  Also, those are Pathfinders, and behind them is a Hammerhead, so they'd be in a great spot to start causing havoc, but if I scatter, I'm in deep crap.  Next slide please:

This is a better example of a trap.  Using my handy Warmachine key thingy, I'm out of being within an inch of all the kroot if I hit, but again, it's a steep slope of risk/reward if I go scattering off into oblivion.  Odds are, I would seriously consider gambling on the first deployment in the ruin, but skip this one by the kroot.  My dice hate me. :<
This one is also a deployment I'd most likely try, since I just have one kroot squad between me and the juicy fish people.  For reference's sake, you can see my other two possible deployments up at the top.  So, lacking a mission, I just went ahead and set up how I think I'd handle that Tau nut.
Pretty much a line of Terminators to advance while firing cyclones to full effect while he would deal with my advanced squads.  The far left is a squad that would go through clear terrain to rain shots on the Hammerhead, the middle two to spread out and frag the Pathfinders, the last one on the right to swing down and shoot at the Hammerhead as well.  For the purposes of the example, I did the first and last deep strike placements as where I would go, which left one team in reserve via Deathwing Assault.
Hi mom!

So, relevance.  This is primarily what one would do against that particular Daemon list, which had Fateweaver, a couple Bloodcrusher squads, and Plague Cuties for Troops.  Since Fateweaver needs to die ASAP, you corner deploy like so, feed squads to the Crushers until Fateweaver is dead or fled, then turn all your firepower onto the Crushers, which are substantially less effective without their BufferBird.  Had the teams done such a deployment, it would have helped even folks' chances against such a hard-hitting combo of Wolves and Daemons.

So, that's the concept in a nutshell.  It's useful, effective, and lets the defending player be able to dictate some possible avenues of attack against the deep striking opponent.

Vroom vroom, I'm back,

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