My Rules of Engagement

tacticsThere are a few things I’ve learned over the years about how to win and have fun with our favorite Warhammer 40K and I want to share some of them with you guys and galls. Maybe you can use them to make your generalship better:

Wipe them out. All of them.:

When you start shooting at or assaulting a unit. Make sure you allocate enough forces to wipe that unit out. I’ve won many battles against opponents who left 1-2 models from my units alive and moved to other more ‘tasty’ targets. Most of my army is dead but almost no units are. And Warhammer 40K games are won mainly by capturing objectives and staying in the game.


These are seven one model units that can ruin your victory

Don’t underestimate your opponent:

Let’s say you’ve brought a top-notch Top Tier list to the club. Your opponent has been playing his list for ages but it’s from an old codex and the Internet says most of the units he or she uses are more than sub par. You are not even sure if you should throw all the dice your weapons allow to not table this fluffy bunny turn one… Next thing you know it is almost turn five and your forces are nowhere to be found. An experienced player can show a much stronger list what’s what.
A similar thing can happen against a new player that doesn’t really know what to do with the forces in his list but has a bit of luck. The dice gods can make a new player reign victorious.
Do not underestimate your opponents, even when it seems you’ve won. You haven’t until the game actually ends.

Never give up. Never surrender.:

It is the third game turn and you feel like nothing is going your way. Your awesome units are all but dead and you’ve hardly made a dent in your opponent’s army. It’s high time you surrendered. Well… don’t.
Not only is the hope not all lost, but you could also have a bit of fun even if you lose the game.
The dice gods may start favoring you or (which usually happens) your opponent may start feeling like a winner thus underestimating your forces. Big mistake – see above.
Or you could just have fun by trying to prolong the inevitable and have yourself a Last Stand scenario. You could have lots of fun with a losing game. Your models might become heroes in your eyes when they finally die or even survive after a hard battle where they accomplished something extraordinary.


Dice gods… Worship them

Be patient young grasshopper:

Some times you know that you can shoot at something but it will not be very effective because you’re not close enough. Like Tactical Marines shooting 24″ instead of running for a better position (or cover). Or deciding not to leave a good reserve unit to come in later just because you want the unit to act immediately when the game starts. Take your time. Think about your options. It can feel like if you don’t use them now they will not do a lot later but that is seldom true. Unless you have an Alpha Strike list a little bit of patience can make a difference.

A little bit of Shooting in the Assault list:

Maximizing on what you are good at (shooting or assault) has always been a favorite among 40K players. I tend to go with a more moderate approach and it has rarely hindered me. Quite the opposite actually.
Consider this first list (to the left) below. It looks like it will get into close combat. It has a lot of close combat models and it will be hard for a shooty army to kill off. But that does not mean you will win. Just hurdling your models towards the enemy rarely wins games. You need any edge you can get.
Now consider your opponent has a bunch of Eldar War Walkers. Not that hard to kill but they do A LOT of damage. You will probably not get to them before the end of the game. At that point (5-7 rounds of shooting) the War Walkers will have devastated your army probably killing much more than their points worth.


Now if you replace just a few of your assault units (10-15%) with something good at shooting (like the Hive Guard in the second picture) you could become a real problem for those War Walkers. Turning your disadvantage into an advantage.

A little bit of Assault in the Shooting list:

This is similar to the previous point.
Necrons for example, have a bit of a problem with close combat. It isn’t easy to kill off a lot of Necron Warriors or Immortals. But you can make them fail a morale test and ‘leave’. Much harder if there is an Overlord with a Scythe in the unit (an Overlord with a Staff of Light does close to nothing in the assault phase). And nearly impossible if there are Canoptek Wraiths near by to counter charge.


Bolter AND Chainsword

So fellow wargamers, these are some of my thoughts on how to be better at trying to win games while having fun. Tell me what you think. Do you want more of these? Are my thoughts worth anything or should I just shut up and keep updating the List Builder?

Happy Wargaming,


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