Monday, November 19, 2012

Warhammer 40k Tactics - Strike Packages 1.0

The strike package – what are they and what do they do? In the ‘real world’ strike packages are put together to deal with threats of a certain level, threats of a level you don’t typically want your standard infantry units to deal with. In the world of Warhammer 40,000 these threats take the form of things like 20 Lootaz dug in behind an Aegis Defense Line. See, I really don’t want a squad of Imperial Guard Veterans or a Squad of Tactical Marines trying to move up and take that out. It’s a specific threat that is difficult to deal with and requires more than the typical ‘square peg – round hole’ solution on the table top, enter the strike package.

Less than optimal Strike Package

 First let’s define a ‘strike package’ – it needs to be durable, mobile, lethal and adaptable. In order to be an effective strike package you need to be able to meet 3 of the 4 requirements, if you can meet all 4 that is great, but in my opinion very few units actually meet all 4.
  • Durability in the strike package is a must, they need to be able to take a hit and remain effective – these are not suicide troops we are simply throwing in to pop one tank, we want a thorn in the side of our opponent that diverts resources from the main attack. For every point to put into the strike package you want your enemy to loose or divert 1.5x the cost of the strike package to deal with it. That helps other units and disrupts your opponent’s plan, allowing you to gain the upper hand.
  • Mobility allows us to get the strike package where it needs to be, when it needs to be there. The best examples are Drop Pods and Deep Striking, these two methods of deployment operate independently of normal deployment and allow you to see how the battle is unfolding and where you need the strike package to enter play in order to most effectively disrupt your opponents plan. Other things like assault vehicles can be just as effective at delivering your forces, but require slightly more planning although the end result is the same. Flyers can also be an effective method for delivery of a strike package in many cases. Whatever method you choose the requirement is the same, get the strike package where it needs to be, when it needs to be there – reliably.
  • Lethality in the strike package is one of the most important aspects to consider when building your ‘universal tool’. In fact, lethality is probably the most important aspect in that it doesn’t matter how durable or fast you are in getting to the target – if you can’t kill it. Lethality takes many forms and is difficult to measure. High volume of fire can be just as effective as plasma in bringing down targets, the problem with lethality lies in finding a balance that allows you to be effective against a variety of threats so your strike package is effective in multiple situations.
  • Adaptability is gained in multiple ways and allows us the flexibility to leverage our strike package against multiple threats. If we build a strike package to specifically deal with Thunder Hammer / Storm Shield Terminators and none show up, can it now deal with a mob of 20 Gretchin around a battery of Lobbaz that are sniping out our Sergeants? If a Wraith Star doesn’t show up can it deal with a deep striking Lord of Change with Daemonettes?  For a strike package to be effective we need to be able to use it in multiple places against multiple problems, adaptability allows us to do just that.
In order to truly appreciate the ‘strike package’ and what it can do you must first start thinking of your opponent’s army as a machine. That machine has parts, those parts work together to achieve a goal. A strike package is a tool, that tool allows us to rapidly disassemble portions of that machine in order to hasten its demise. Next time I will continue with my thoughts on what I use as an effective strike package and how I use it.

An optimal Strike Package
You didn't think I would get all philosophical and technical on you and then deny teh boobies did you?

still practicing_


1 comment:

  1. I think the first point you give is a non-starter. Players shouldn't be worried about points return. Killhammer Theory would instead have you focus on target priority which speaks more to what you wrote after your fourth point (which was more important and accurate than your four points above it).

    If you haven't read about Killhammer (Target Priority), then you should and then revise your article.

    Good post and I will come back and read the rest of your Strike Package series.