40K 6th Edition Tactics: Mission Bonus Points

We all know about building our army to capture objectives and complete mission goals, often taking at least six scoring units to accomplish this, just as we build our list with units taken to go out and remove opposing models and scoring units.

But do you build your list to capture the bonus points of slay the warlord, first blood, and line breaker?

These are elements that you have to plan for, rather than victory points that you may or may not pick up along the way. Sure, they can break a tie and pull of a win for you, but more importantly they give you an alternative mission to winning the game.

Let’s take a look at the units I take in my Eldar warhost who are tasked with capturing these bonus points for me- of course every codex is different so view this as a “template” of sorts and see what you can slot in…

Slay the warlord begins with my HQ choices- Eldrad and a generic seer since dual seers are now standard in running Eldar, or should I say trying to run Eldar in a competitive setting. This opens up mindwar access for two models who are going to be hunting those HQ choices. Most of the HQ choices we encounter are aggressive front line types- getting up there and wrecking face like Mepheston, etc. so threat and rage for the mindwar is never an issue since both seers are central on the table to support the rest of my warhost. I will point out that there are many layers to get past with mindwar such as deny the witch with a potential hood boost, cover saves, D6 roll off, etc. but blasting with two is just the first layer of my slay the warlord strategy.

Also mind field is a big group of pathfinders and with some guide seer support are quite deadly with the Eldar sniper rifles- who are also gunning for the warlord if he shown himself.

First blood is next, and is a dual fold strategy- we want to deny our opponent first blood, and take the point ourselves- and this is the most important of the three since it goes to either you or your opponent and not both in most cases. I did have my farseer and a flying hive tyrant both kill each other at the same time for both warlord and blood points but that was once out of easily a few dozen games so far.

In my unit selection, and one of the reasons why I run footdar now, besides the shift to mass infantry in tournaments, is that I don’t want to have any units that can be taken out in a turn of shooting as much as possible. Lone fire prisms and grav tanks are an easy kill, and for the points what they bring to the table are just not cost effective for the codex, but that is a post for another time.

While I might get a lucky long range shot off on an opposing vehicle the main thrust of my first blood unit is a large group of fire dragons with a pike exarch and farseer support (guide/doom). Laugh at the point cost in the codex, fire dragons still kill anything and everything dead.

And then we need a plan for the line breaker point, which is hard to score in some missions since by the end of the game both sides might not have much left in terms of models. For this point I have my swooping hawks, who admittedly do more dropping grenade packs every round then actually staying on the table and fighting, but by turn five and six with less threats on the table, they are then in a perfect position to drop in, run into terrain, and score the point.

So what units do you have in your codex that you can dedicate to earning you these three secondary victory points?

Off topic just a bit, but still related is how I’ve adapted my Eldar play style for 6th edition, especially given the age of the codex, and the fact that the majority of the codexes out there are now 5th and even 6th edition written.

How can the space elves hold their own?

Turn five contesting might be dead and done, but that just means a new strategy against the mon-kei must emerge…

First thing I ask myself after deployment is if I can beat the opposing army on the primary mission. Can I capture enough objectives to win? Most of the time, playing with pure Eldar (no allies) this is a very hard thing to do, especially given the point cost vs. usability of our troop choices. If I can’t take the field and capture the objectives I’ll then play my entire army for a tie on the primary- which is possible if my opponent is not aware of it. I throw everything in my army against their troops and scoring units first, while aggressively pursuing the secondary objectives- tie on the primary and win on the secondary. Next post will cover the strategy and deployment for the primary tie strategy…

Eldar D-Cannon Tactics

6th edition has given me a chance to revisit my support weapons for a variety of reasons- potentially scoring on back field objectives in certain missions, the ability to hit units far away with templates, and relatively cheap for the points- especially considering they are Eldar units. The only down side to them is that the support weapons compete with wraithlords and fire prisms which are other must have units. And, while I play at 2000 points at a minimum, the dual force org chart thing still isn’t catching on here even though it is in the rules, if I was allowed to use that then problems solved- I get the best of both worlds- wraithlords and support weapons!

So for this post we are going to focus on the D-cannon which is kind of out of place when it comes to support weapons since you can’t sit in the back and plink away with it- you have to get into 24” range which means you are also in range to get hit back.

This means the D-cannon is going to need support as it is moving up to get into position in the center of the table. We are going to need other units marching alongside it to give our opponent pause at what to shoot at- shoo the wraithlord, d-cannon, or fire dragons, etc. as opposed to just the d-cannon by itself.

We also want to add as many defensive layers as possible to keep it up and alive so a conceal warlock could be worth the investment- this also opens up the chance for Eldrad invisibility on the unit knocking down that 5+ cover save to a 2+ cover save.

Eldar Seer Council Tactics: The Invisi-Council

Even after all these years (literally) I’m still amazed at how well the seer council has stood up for Eldar in terms of two completely new rule sets (5th and 6th edition) and a whole two generations of army codex books. I’m so hoping that GW doesn’t kill the seer council when we get a new codex by making them wolf guard like rather than a unit of elf magic users, fortunately we still don’t have to worry about that for a few years out…

So I’ve often repeated that both a seer council and a second farseer are now and have been since 5th edition “auto” includes for your Eldar warhost at 1500 points or higher. With the new psychic disciplines that you can swap out for additional psychic powers that argument is even stronger than ever.

Enter the invisi-council…

Naturally jetbike based farseers and warlocks work best for this as you gain a 3+ armor save an a nice bump in toughness along with mobility, but the concept works equally well with a council on foot with a few minor tweaks. The only difference is in tactics since one has ultra mobility and the other doesn’t- and you only have a finite number of game turns to get the most out of them.

We start the build with a full number of warlocks- ten strong. They all have destructor, one has embolden, and the other enhance. If you are on foot then one or two have conceal depending on your ability to isolate shots by positioning your miniatures- don’t want that one conceal getting picked off.

Blades and spears as you see fit, as they aren’t really the main focus.

Next we add a generic farseer with fortune and runes of warding and witnessing.

Bolted over him is of course Eldrad, who swaps out his powers for invisibility and then your choice of fun stuff like puppet master.

At the start of the turn the generic farseer throws up fortune and Eldrad throws up invisibility effectively giving the unit a 2+ cover save / 4+ invul save with re-rolls. (Invis +3 cover + destructor 5+ or jink 5+ on bikes. This makes a unit that is almost impossible to kill from shooting.

We have dual runes of warding in there as a bit of important redundancy and I feel it is points well spent. If either Eldrad or the other seer goes down either to good opponent tactics or my own stupidly in the moment (which happens) I want to have that psychic 3d6 up for the entire game- especially with all the Tyranid biomancy-spam armies out there, not to mention chaos and allies.

Embolden is in there as insurance to make sure the unit doesn’t fail LD tests as needed.

So we have a unit that essentially can’t be shot at with the 2+- assault is the key to killing it right? After all the save will be knocked down to a 4+ with a re-roll and the space elves are T3 so more damage will get though.

Assaulting, surprisingly is just as hard thanks to invisibility and precog in Eldrad if you can get it. Enhance means you are striking at I5+ and wounding on a 2+ which will kill a few guys on weight of numbers alone, and then when your opponent’s models strike back they are hitting at WS 1- only Swarmlord has it as good!

Jetbikes vs. Footdar

If you are running jetbikes the unit is more aggressive of course since you have the ultra mobility. I like to use the invisi-council not as a hammer unit to smash other hammers, but rather as a unit that likes to hunt after weak units on the table- gobbling them up in the back field if possible to catch my opponent’s focus and force them to chase the council- allowing my other units a bit more breathability.

On foot, the invisi-council is a bit more defensive. I like to take up position in the middle of the table and deny parts of the table focing my opponent to either go through the council or around, again allowing my other units more room to act or knowing where I’m going to force my opponent to move so key units like fire dragons can engage and slag them.

Updating My Grey Knights For 6th Edition 40K

Turning my attention to Grey Knights for a bit…

So here is something I have been playing around with and noticing in my games as the emphasis to allies and infantry continues…

A lot of the successful (defined by a crushing win) armies I have been noticing as of late usually involve a mixture of numerous cheap troops that push to the center, and of course die, followed by power armored models holding back objectives and mopping up in the center. Allies in terms of Imperial Guard have been a big help to Space Marines giving them the cheap troops to push as needed. 40K really is turning into ally-hammer!

My Grey Knights have faced this, the PAGK are good troops with storm bolters, halberds, and maybe psybolt ammo with again the focus on infantry- terminators even more so, but throw enough dice at them and they do take losses, and if that is all I have in terms of troops then I have to push forward with them to center taking the brunt of my opponent’s army.

My first through of course was IG allies, but I think if I actually stay codex pure I can get so much more…

So I have my PAGK and terminators in the back supporting the advance with psycannons and using their numbers and 3+ save + ATSKNF to hold on objectives.

Pushing to the center, lead by Inquisitor Fritz is 70+ warrior acolyte henchmen. Now ‘Guard can get bodies for cheaper and throw in some heavy weapon teams also, but what they can’t get is for the price (vets come close) is multiple plasma gun option in each group AND more importantly hotshot las-guns.

I think this could be a big changer with the rapid fire at 18” and the AP 3. True I only hit on a 4+ and it is S3, but combined with the plasma and sheer force of dice I’ll be rolling more than a few AP3’s will sneak past. I can’t get them in as troops since I’ll be over the six slots, but do I really need them as troops- being advanced forces pushing ahead I’m not planning on them tactically lasting past turn four.

WIP , more to come…

End Of An Era: The Demise Of The Land Raider In 40K 6th Edition

You guys know that I am a total sucker for Land Raiders- if I’m playing any flavor of Space Marine my list has to include an Land Raider, Terminators, and Assault Marines since they are so iconic to the Space Marine model line and history of the game. For so many generations of the game the Land Raider has been around tactically in one way or another, but now I’m wondering if that has perhaps changed in 6th edition.

Is this the end of an era?

Here is the how and why of that statement…

With the shift to hull points and the ease at which vehicles can be destroyed, often quicker than the deathtraps they were in 4th edition I’ve been seeing many players abandon them completely for more infantry on the table- pumping the hundreds of points from vehicles into more bodies. More bodies on the table, especially power armored bodies and the new reach of weapons has also seen a return to plasma…which has made vehicles even weaker since plasma can glance most of them and strip those hull points in one turn.

So with that you would think that AV 14 vehicles with multiple hull points would be really strong- and they are. Tactically Land Raiders are harder to destroy and with a shift from melta (what they feared) to plasma that survivability gets even higher…

…but due to the shift to mass infantry and cheap ally spam the land raider is like a ponderous dinosaur that can’t really do much on the table.

Let’s look at the Land Raider crusader as it moves and shoot- what is it really going to kill with those shots, a few infantry models, ok, good, but armies have expanded X 3 in body size so those losses really aren’t that game changing at all. Godhammer Land Raiders are even at more of a loss.

What about delivering their payload of terminators inside?

Again the shift to infantry means that payload gets out, kills something and then dies to mass plasma and vector strike spam. In 5th edition when more points were spent on vehicles, those terminators could wipe out a significant number of bodies before going down to make a dent in your opponent.

So what is the new role of the Land Raider if there is no demise?

I’m still figuring that out and working on my lists, definitely more defensive in nature, and more of an end game unit now to hide a scoring unit and camp on an objective perhaps.

Is it worth the 250+ points?

Where they ever worth the points?