Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Army Mojo: Heavy Support

And the last installment of the Army Mojo series… kind of. In the coming weeks I will be posting an army list for EVERY playable army using the general ideas that have been posted in this Army Mojo series. It should be fun for me to do but more importantly it should serve as a great example for how you can use these ideas and apply them to a list. Without further adieu, here’s the Heavy Support article…

Heavy Support tends to, obviously, be your support element in an army. Whether they’re tanks, powerful shooting units, ordnance or what have you, they help to put the hurt on an enemy at long range. Without long-range and steady support, your fast-paced army will get rocked by some pill-box tank sitting in a well-protected corner. It is crucial to have some long-range support element in your army to provide a softening “first-punch” before your fast and elite portions of your army get up close and most of the time this element will come from the Heavy Support slot.

Ordnance is incredibly useful on a battlefield (ask any Imperial Guard player) and if you have a viable option, it tends to be very wise to take it. Even if it isn’t all that powerful (Space Marine Whirlwind, for example) it can still dish out the hurt and force your opponent to spread his troops out which could potentially deny cover saves if you position your other troops correctly. Just the knowledge that your opponent has a tank that dishes out a 5” pie-plate is an advantage against most players. Plus, if this tank can dish out Strength 8 and above and AP 3 and below, expect a lot of mayhem to be had! Of course there are also the pill-box type tanks like Space Marine Predators. Not exactly the strongest tank in the bunch, but they can certainly hold their own positioned correctly and can dish out some nice damage. Infantry-wise, it all depends on your list and if you are comfortable playing with them. Heavy Support infantry can be tough to use in some lists since most of the times they’ll be the only infantry unit you have sitting back and shooting and thus they’re vulnerable. However, in the right hands they can be very useful, it’s just necessary to know the weaknesses of the unit even more than the strengths so you can keep them alive.

ADDENDUM: From Silent_P on the Astronomican Forums:
Artillery is designed to do two things. First it is utilized to soften up your opponent. Dishing out templates and blowing holes in the opposition's line will give your army the flexibility and room it requires to maneuver. Second, your artillery has the ability to help control the pace of the battle. By pinning enemy units you are allowing your own army to move that much faster. Converse to that, by shelling your opponent as he comes marching towards you forces him to speed up his movement. He can't pause to shoot at your own line because he knows the next round a pie-plate is going to be landing on his unit. In my opinion half of the battle is already won when you begin taking elements of control out of your enemy's hands. The biggest trick of the matter is keeping your heavy artillery alive while sneaky enemy units attempt to neutralize them.

Choosing Heavy Support units comes down to, you guessed it, what role they’ll play in the army. This MUST, MUST, MUST be determined while making your list, otherwise I can guarantee the tank will be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now if you make the tank versatile, just be sure you play it correctly. You need to know what is more of a threat to you and what you will have a better chance killing. If there’s a Land Raider in front of your Autocannon/Las Cannon sponsons Predator and a Dreadnought next to it, be damned sure you’re shooting that Dreadnought as you have far better chances of killing it than a Land Raider even if that is more of a threat at the moment. With versatile units it is incredibly important to understand the difference between immediate threats and real threats, but that’s a different article for a different time.

The thought process for Heavy Support is very similar to Elites. It all comes down to play style, unit preference, skill and how that unit will be a cohesive element within your army.

Well that's it for the article portion- now to put it to the test! Besides wanting to hear your thoughts on comments on this list, I want to know what army you think I should make a list for first so make sure you vote for your four army choices on the left hand side of the page!


concerned eldar player said...

do you know that eldar is not one of the options for 1st army list?

Dictator said...

That is an UH-OH. Cannot fix it either, since there have been votes already...

Kevin said...

@concerned- I do now! Surprised I missed them. Also forgot to include Armored Company. No worries, I'll get to them though as I can't edit the poll :/