The Lady herself
I dislike "pure" strategy games - chess holds no real attraction for me (though I played it obsessively as a child), nor do regional variations on these styles of game.  Having Lady Luck play her hand by involving dice in my games engages me.  Conversely anything that is too focused on chance ruins my enjoyment - if one dice roll can define a whole game, why didn't we just play dice?

This is why I play Warhammer 40,000.  I have my goals, my list, but I must also contend with the actions of my opponent and the knowledge that no action within the game is a certainty.  A perfect plan against a robotic opponent would still fail if the general cannot adapt to the whims of the dice.

What does all this have to do with the post title?  Well, generalship within these types of games comes down to attempting to limit the affect the dice can have on your victory.  Your grand plans mean nothing if they are going to rely on a fifty-fifty chance towards the end of the game.  There are more than a few methods to limit this exposure to risk, and setting them up is the basis of generalship in Warhammer 40,000.  Here's some of the easier ways to keep Lady Luck from interfering in your games.


Defeat In Detail

I don't believe in luck...
This is the simplest concept in 40k generalship: engage as little of the enemy force with as much of your force as possible.  This limits the enemy's ability to retaliate and ensures their destruction.  Continue engaging each portion of the enemy force in turn and each unit's respective strength won't be enough to hold off your whole army.

How do we achieve this?  The easiest method is with speed.  If you're playing a high-mobility army such as (Dark) Eldar against a slower opponent then this is the route for you.  Use your superior speed to bring your units to bear where they can concentrate fire on small portions of the opponent's force.  Remember that you can re-deploy quickly so encouraging a bad deployment from your opponent helps.

If you don't have a speed advantage then the tactics begin to change, beginning with deployment.  You can set yourself up for defeat in detail tactics by starting with a refused flank deployment, where you pick a particular flank and deploy solely on that side of the board.  You want to move as rapidly as you can to get into range and defeat any units on your flank while the rest of your opponent's army has to wheel around to get to you.  Destroy targets quickly and focus on the incoming units across the middle of the board.  If your opponent is using a static gun-line then breach the line on your flank and move laterally across the board, using their own units for cover.

Low-Hanging Fruit
This applies mainly to Kill Point games.  If you're presented with low-threat but low-survivability targets, take them.  Often this becomes the tactic around turn five as you're desperately trying to up your KP total, but it should have been part of your plan from the start.  You need to deal with those high-threat targets, sure, but you should engage any low-survivability targets you can just for the kill points.  Rhinos are beautiful for this - very easy to kill with a competitive list, often available in great numbers and each one is a delicious kill point.  That doesn't even begin to take into account the tactical advantage of de-meching any mechanised army.

A similar concept can be applied to objectives.  Find the easiest objective to hold and keep it.  Make your opponent pay heavily for each of the others.  You don't need to hold more than one to win if you can contest your opponent's objectives.  To that end you should hope to push your opponent into trying to overreach and take more than one objective.  While his forces are split in bad positions, start disassembling his force with defeat in detail tactics.


Random Game Length
...But I do believe in this.
This particular mechanic deserves a special mention.  Do not leave yourself open for a loss on turn five because it'll leave you in a better position for turn six.  Ensure you are in the best position possible and the end of each of the end-game turns (five, six, seven).  Abandoning turn five because it'll make your turn six really good is just asking to lose.  "Oh, but I would have won on turn six." Great, good for you, but you didn't, the game ended on turn five and your Troops were standing around picking their noses rather than scoring.  In Kill Point games don't spend too long getting into firing positions, you need to start racking up those points as soon as you can - you might only get a few turns of optimal shooting, so you need to pick up as many "stray" wounds as you can.

Show the Lady Who's Boss
That's a few of the simple concepts you can use to take Lady Luck out of the equation.  Nothing for you veterans here, but should help some of the newer guys who want to improve their game. Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...