40K Tactics: Take & Hold Missions

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You mission is to take and hold this objective at all costs, capture the hill and plant the flag…
In many of the 40K mission we are often tasked with securing and holding a point on the table or a terrain piece, so just what are some of our tactical options?
The first question to ask is if you can indeed hold such a point?
Sending out a few scoring units to take and hold at the start of the game often meets with disappointing and disastrous results! Can your one or two scoring units hold such a point against the entire shooting might and perhaps assault elements of your opponents army?
Tactica #1- don’t try to take and hold something until the end of the game or for scoring when you need it. Let your opponent expend game and model resources to hold such a point while you shoot at them, and then counter attack with a few units held back to take it at the end of the turn.
Another option for when you have to take and hold it as soon as possible and as long as possible is to begin with a flank attack. You need a diversion to cut down on the shooting, assaulting, and counter-attack that will be coming against your models trying to hold such a point- figure out who is going to take the point and the rest of your army deploys on the flank (side of the table) and attacks pushing forward- everything to create that mass that your opponent has to deal with!
Failing that, as sometimes the best plans don’t work out due to the dice and other factors- pile on everything to that point- turn it into a giant model meat-grinder and bog down your opponent- and then focus on winning the secondary mission goals- linebreaker, first blood, warlord, etc.
Ready for more 40K tactica? Check out TheWarmaster.com 40K forum- army lists, unit tactics, opinions, paint, and hobby support.
In addition to the list building guide and assault guide PDF check out these quick tips to boosting your 40K game, and make sure yourfundamentals are in check.

I Need Help To Defeat Marneus Calgar!

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I need help to defeat Marneus Calgar, a regular opponent I play uses him and his honor guard every game and I get smashed when the get out of the land raider. Could I plz have some advice?

Well yes, getting smashed by Calgar sucks, but so does Abbadon or any other jacked-up-close-to-primarch model, and then you add in the honor guard or chosen terminators. So let’s look at a few ideas to turn the table against him.

Now since I don’t know what units you have in your army, or what you are playing, or what else your opponent has we are going to look at multiple scenarios which in turn might be modified by the mission.

Playing Calgar means your opponent is going to use him to full effect- get him smashing guys, and on top of his points there are honor guard points and land raider points- possible a third of their army points (at 1500) in a vehicle, and infantry  unit, and an HQ choice.

Ultimately you have two choices taken to the extreme- avoid him or stop him.

Seems simple…

Can you just avoid him- destroy or immobilize the land raider and make him walk around on foot on the table? I’m guessing from your email “no”, but if you were playing a bike or Saim-Hann army you could just run away.

Second to this is do you have a unit or models which can land next to the land raider on turn one or two and pop it with melta like weapons- destroy it in the deployment zone and get C out on foot? Melta-dudes in drop pods, terminators with combi melta, infiltrators, bikes or attack bikes with melta/multimelta, speeders with multimelta, melta chosen in a rhino, etc.

Next is stopping him.

You could take your own jacked up unit to match Calgar, but this would be a TON of points based on a dice roll- who wins the assault? Generally I don’t like to go head to head with my jacked up assault unit vs. another jacked up assault unit- even if I win, I find that my unit is so weakened from the assault another round of shooting will finish it off.

Borrowing form this, can you hit Calgar and unit with an assault unit to hurt it and then finish it off in the next turn or two from shooting? You would have to stop the land raider, which I suspect is where you are having a bit of trouble.

Next is just bogging him down in a fearless assault for the entire game- can you play something cheap and fearless like Tyranid gaunts in synapse and just pile them onto the unit and lock them up?

Last choice would be to feed smaller units into the assault with Calgar- let them assault, win, and cut down some cheap units- cultists, IG squads, scouts, etc. as there are only 5-7 turns in a game.

Hope that gives you some starting ideas!

EPIC Reboxed?

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Dreadfleet @ the 40K club, Fritz commanding the tomb king ship, which once again is sunk by the high elves…

It seems that as of recent GW is really doing a good job in supporting and moving ahead with 7th edition- in terms of models, army support, and supplements- the new ‘wolves vs. Orks is great!

I’m hoping with this re-push towards campaign boxes and mini-starter sets they will revisit something like Dreadfleet again.

Hear me out…

One of the reasons I like Dreadfleet and its counterpart Space Hulk is that it allows a high quality snapshot of the fantasy/40K universe to taste and explore with minimal commitment. It allows you to sample some of that fantastic GW IP combined with the strength of their presentation and plastics. Find me a better looking game then Space Hulk and Dreadfleet.

These two games are great when I want to explore something else 40K/fantasy from large miniature battles, and they are great for bringing in your board gaming friends into the hobby with them knowing it- perhaps only RELIC does a better job, but it is a Fantasy Flight game and not a GW game.

GW, I know you got burned on Dreadfleet, but give it another go- how about EPIC re-boxed?


40K Narrative Battle Report: Battle For Pathos Outpost

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How many imperial worlds had fallen to his warband?

Syn had lost count, not that it truly mattered, as there was always the next world to subjugate, the next battle to bring glory to Khorne, the next challenger to be put in their place…
His latest conquest was a small Imperial outpost, a few buildings at most, set among a dead world of obsidian stone and burning lava. Working with Magos Sinekai of the Dark Mechanicus this was the last world to plunder and his side of the pact would be fulfilled.
“Provide the spearhead with your warband, and in return I will gift your ranks with the chimaric creations of my dark forge…” was the promise.
“How long will you make our master wait?” hissed Brother Harkon.
“We will storm the citadel when I give the order, Magos Sinekai wants everything in place so nothing is damaged, do not disobey me Harkon…” replied Syn back to the World Eater. Harkon was one of his best warriors, and he carried the respect of the men under him, and it was that loyalty that kept him useful, and his head still attached during such outbursts.
“They are not going to come out, and if we wait much longer the vanguard of the hive fleet will be upon us…” continued Harkon.
For two days now Syn’s warband and the thralls and spawn-beasts of Magos Sinekai had been waiting for the Space Marines inside the citadel to make their move. A detachment of terminators supported by a land raider had halted the advance as the Magos did not want to risk any damage to the tech-artifacts inside the citadel. Syn was ready to wait them out after executing their battle brothers taken prisoner failed to elicit a response, but the arrival of a Tyranid vanguard group changed all that...
“Tell the Magos we go NOW, or risk losing everything!” barked Syn into the comm as he signaled to Harkon to advance with the maulerfiends on the right flank.
Charging across the field the maulerfiends were quickly stopped by a trio of brain bugs who lanced them with their hive spawned magic, blowing one apart, and immobilizing the other machine as it flailed about in a helpless rage.
Slowly Syn’s warband was being pushed back as the Tyranids advanced, drowning the skill of his warriors by weight of numbers alone.
“There!” commanded Syn, pointing to the citadel, as its adamantine gates opened and the Space Marines inside joined the battle.
That was the moment he had been waiting for, a moment where the Tyranids would now have to deal with two attackers.
“Signal our air support to strike at their center, and then order Harkon and his remaining men to charge!”
“We meet in the middle!” commanded Syn as the Magos and Syn’s air combied support roared overhead blasting into the Tyranid ranks with a barrage of withering hades auto-cannon fire.

Perhaps sensing the shifting battle as Syn charged forward on his juggernaut, a group of Tyranid warrior beasts leapt forward, throwing themselves at him, clawing and gnashing their way through his armor, spilling blood, before being cut down with Syn’s daemonic sword.
“Their synapse structure has collapsed, and the lesser organisms are reverting to their base instincts…” droned Magos Sinekai over the comm channel.
“The day is out brothers! Let the Tyranids flee, and engage the Space Marines, Khorne will not be denied his due!” ordered Syn as his warband regrouped and advanced on the Space Marine terminators.

40K Narrative Battle Report: Battle For Gehenna V

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Lord Jared-Syn waited patiently on his brass juggernaut, the glowing power sword in his hand pulsating with daemonic energy. All about him the lackeys of the Dark Mechanicus Magos Sinekai ransacked the tech houses and logic banks of the nearby buildings that controlled the environmental and weather patterns of Gehenna V.


Soon the Imperium would respond, and if Syn was lucky it would be in the form of his misguided battle brothers the space marines, as they would at least pose a challenge to his martial skill.

“Lord Syn, Leman Russ tanks have been spotted moving into position on our flanks…”

“Squads Harkkon, and Balthus with me, release the dogs on the flank to cover our advance from the tanks!” Replied Syn into the com.

The Imperial Guard would do, not that Khorne cared.

Lining up in a perfect battle formation four Leman Russ tanks opened fire supported by a chimera tank group into the lead group of mechanicus cultists killing a dozen score of them as they scurried for cover.

Releasing the maulerfiends in response they charged forward smashing through the Imperial Guard tank lines crushing a chimera and punisher tank beneath their trample.

“Advance!” bellowed Syn now that the tanks were occupied as his men and packs of tech-spawn provided by Magos Sinekai  spilled across the battlefield. Laser blasts from the advancing chimeras tore into their ranks, blasting and scarring the spawn-beasts who paid little heed to the damage their bloated and augmented bodies were suffering.

To Syn’s right there was a large explosion as the demonic powered reactors of the maulerfiends exploded, among the tank ruins- their rampage had been put down, but they did their job…

…as the lead rhino carrying the berserker squad Harkkon exploded, scored by a trio of las-cannon blasts, as more blasts arched overhead.

“Incoming gunships!” squawked the com as three Vendetta gunships swooped over the battlefield blasting into the combined ranks of Syn’s warband and the Dark Mechanicus warbeasts.

No matter, it was too late, the spawn-packs and his chaos space marines had now made contact with the Imperial Guard ranks- exploding and smashing open tanks, charging into combat with the survivors.

The battle was won, so now it was time for glory!

“Where is your pathetic commander!” bellowed Syn as his juggernaut trampled through the burning tank wreckage.

Answering his challenge one of the surviving Imperial Guard sergeants raised his chain sword in defiance while capping off a few ineffective shots with his las-pistol.

Saluting the man, Syn charged in for the challenge…

“The rest of the strike force has been routed, and the prisoners secured.” Replied brother Harkkon as his berserkers pushed forward about a dozen or so Imperial Guard survivors.

“You disapprove Harkkon?” asked Syn.

“Khorne does not care for prisoners.” Spit back the berserker.

“No, but  Magos Sinekai does, and after seeing his demonic-engines in battle, I want more of them, and these prisoners are the currency to buy them.

“In their cowardness in battle, but not dying honorably, they will now suffer a worse fate in the forges of Sinekai…”

40K Tactics: Setting Up The Flank Attack

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Never underestimate the power of a good outflank- attacking and striking your opponent where they are weak, using that flank attack to grab the pulse of the game, take control, and secure victory for Khorne…or whoever you are fighting for…

In this tactics talk let’s take a look at the idea of setting up a flank attack, along with what you will need to make it happen, and then what to do with the momentum should you gain it.

Not every game of 40K will warrant it, nor will it work against every codex/army build- but you should be aware of what it can do and file it away in your 40K toolkit for future use should the tabletop conditions arise.

So what is a flank attack?

Simply put, it is a tactic where you put a large portion of your army either on the far right or left side of the game table/deployment zone and have them swing around on that side and attack the rear portion of your opponent’s army.

In doing this you hope to move fast and attack a lighter guarded part of the table so you can not only overwhelm weaker units, but also force your opponent to commit more models to defending against your attack which provides more tactical room for your other models and mission goals.

For the sake of an example I’m going to talk about the units in my Berserkers of Skallathrax Chaos Space Marine army as an illustration- see what you have in your own codex and 40K collection that could also work in the same way.

In order to attack your opponent’s flank you need both fast and resilient units, combined with enough mass to really make it a threat- a wave serpent with some fire dragons hitting the flank is an annoyance, six of them is a serious problem.

In my army list it is my Chaos Lord on a juggernaurt, spawn, maulerfiends, and a heldrake that work as a group to attack the flank- this is like 70% of my army, leaving only some ‘zerks and Chaos Space Marines in rhinos to win the mission.

All of those flanking units are FAST moving, can ignore or navigate terrain and don’t really have any shooting attacks (other than the drake) so they can run in the shooting phase without losing anything. Despite not being bikes, skimmers, or FAST vehicles, the group moves quite fast and has some hard hitting assault power.

When I deploy, I put the rhinos and Chaos Space Marine scoring units in the center of the table, then if I am deploying first or second, either I also deploy in the center (going first since I don’t know where my opponent is going to deploy) or on the right/left side of the gaming table if I am going second- depending on where my opponent is stronger.

Notice I said STRONGER- which means I want to attack the side they are stronger with in terms of models and units, NOT weaker. I want to tie up the most models, the most units, and the biggest aprt of my opponent’s army- getting them to shoot, feed additional units, and eventually grind me down in the assault forcing them to waste game turns dealing with my flank attack, so my mission scoring units can focus on well, the mission.

Of course the KEY is being able to lose those models and units in your flank attack without getting upset, or faltering in the attack- even if you get blasted on turn one you NEED to keep pushing- every shot going into your flank attack, every glance or tactical decision by your opponent is focused on them and not your mission scoring units- this is how you use a flank attack, but more importantly how you control the flow of a 40K battle.

Here are some pictures below from a big 40K battle with some very impressive units on both sides- check out my models in the series and see if you can spot the flank attack in action. 

Master Painted Ravenwing Army For Sale!

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Interested in a master-painted Ravenwing army all set and ready to go?

Interest in a master-painted Ravenwing army that was the #1 army in the Czech Republic, and placed in the ETC?

I’ve been fortunate to work with my friend Vlada over at Wing Smooth Painting on a few projects, including my Berserkers of Skallathrax Chaos Space Marine army, and now they are ready to bring this army to YOU, if you can handle it… First some eye candy for you to check out:

The army contains the following models and comes with a custom fitted carry/storage case.

1x Sammael 5x Attack Bike (multi-melta) 
3x Speeder (Missiles, Multi-melta) 
6x Black Knight 
26x Biker (9x melta gun) 

Here is a little more information from Vlada on it… 

If you are craving for a hardcore tournament army, please check out our Ravenwing studio army. It was THE best army in Czech Republic in last season (won 2x 1st place and 1x 2nd place from 3 biggest tournament in CZ). On ETC (European Team Championship)during singles tournament was placed 17th from 150 contestants. And since everyone says that SM bike armies were boosted in 7th ed.(thanks to higher value of large number of fast scoring units, Boost and possible higher chance of meeting armored armies, debuf of flyers, jinx for bikes and etc.) It should be the right  stuff for you! The army was painted to our highest standards, every space marine (apart from Sammael) was free painted both shoulders (right with number of his squad, left with our own custom designed Dark Angels iconography. Plus many more free paints. To add more interest to the army we added spatial 3D scratches to every armor surface, weathering, true glass effects and real life effects. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Thanks, Vlada 

Wing Smooth is asking $2500 for the army, and it is packed and ready to ship- consider the wait time it would take to commission an army opportunity  like this if it was not already to go.

More information, questions, and comments can be emailed to Vlada HERE: info@wingsmoothpainting.com 

Chaos Space Marine Narrative Battle Report

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“Glory will be ours this day!” bellowed Lord Syn as the Chaos Space Marines around him praised Khorne and spit curses against the false emperor.

“Our actions against the Imperium on this day…in this place…will be echoed to the brass throne itself, and there Khorne will turn his martial gaze for but a moment…and in that moment those of you still standing will be rewarded…”

Standing shoulder to shoulder with the Ork Warboss Madsock, Lord Syn listened to the ork’s “taktiks” which amounted to little more than a loud wagh followed by a charge.

No matter, Syn and his warband where here simply because the Imperium was here, nothing more. The ork invasion of the system would require a response, and Syn would be there to face that response.

Gathering the best of his warband, the most fearsome of his dark mechanicus warmachines, and a select choice of pit-spawn abominations he waited as wave after wave of orks charged the Imperial lines.

In response to the growing escalation a bellowing brass horn blasted out from the distance, issuing a defiant challenge as an Imperial Knight waded onto the battle field.

“Squad Balthus and Squad Harkkon, take and hold that hill no matter the cost!”

“Immortality is ours….take it!” cried Syn as he released his warband into the battle…

Churning up mud and battle debris the rhinos of Squad Balthus and Harkkon ground to a halt at the top of the hill, releasing their full payload of havoc missiles as the Berserkers and Chaos Space Marines inside charged out and up the hill…

There from the top, they watched the battle from below as Lord Syn out-flanked the Imperials and crashed into their lines cutting down the Imperial Guardsman supporting a group of Leman Russ battle tanks, which were then set apron by the warbands maulerfiends and spawn-beasts.

From the center of the battle the Imperial Knight turned to face Squad Balthus which defiantly began emptying their bolters and support weapons into the titan. Striding forward the titan gorged the hill and the Chaos Space Marines on it with its titan-chain sword and inferno-melta cannon.

“For Khorne!” Bellowed Squad Harkkon as the berserkers charged the warmachine…

Pausing for a moment, Lord Syn cast his gaze over to the hill as his men were crushed under the weight of the titan as it lumbered forward, stumbling for a moment, before glowing red-hot and exploding in a nova like fury of plasma, smoke, and fire- it’s internal reactor going critical and exploding.

Causing even Syn to look away for a moment all that remained next to the smoking crater of the titan and battle recharge was a lone berserker from Squad Harkkon…

Tallying the lost and the dead Taldor was hesitated for a moment before interrupting his Lord.

He enjoyed great favor from his Lord as he handled the logistics of the Warband and acted as Lord Syn’s personal scribe and commemorator so others would see and hear his deeds thousands of years from now.
“My Lord…” faltered Taldor as he searched for the words.

“Our losses this day…”


“Where what?” slowly asked Syn.

“Great?” he replied.

“This day was about glory, and about seeing who will follow me to the end.” Continued the Chaos Lord.

“Those that survived the impossible are now…different…Khorne has blessed them, and the dead are no use to me.

“The glory earned from this loss will echo through space and time, bringing us even more followers, this day was the turning point in our war…”
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