Saturday, June 4, 2011

Stormy's A.S.S.: Multi-charging

So while not quite a cheesy tactic or trick to pull on people this is something I've been meaning to type up for a while.

Go big or go home. That's all I have to say about multi-assaulting. Like buses, you don’t see one for ages and then two come along at once.  This comes from a game I played against England’s Ork player at the 6 Nations (Hello Harry) and after Mike from my team came over to have a look he told me that I had got it wrong with the way my units had assaulted the various Ork units.

I told him I reckoned I had got it right. I knew I had to get photos and write something up on the blog afterwards to analyse how it went and what I would have done differently. And to give advice as to how it can be done right because if it goes wrong you'll suffer. Badly.

Unit Key

1: 19 Slugga Boys with Nob with Klaw, Heavy Armour
2: Warboss with Mega Armour, Big Shoota
3: 5 Meganobs
4: 5 Meganobs
5: 19 Slugga Boys with Nob with Klaw, Heavy Armour

Space Wolves
A: Wolf Guard Battle Leader on TWC with Hammer, Shield
B: Lord on TWC with Frost Blade, Shield, Rune Armour, Warrior Born
C: Fenris Wolves (2 left in photo before all being destroyed by shooting)
D: Lord on TWC with Wolf Claw, Shield, Rune Armour
E: Lord on TWC with Bear Saga, Hammer, Shield, Rune Armour

The black lines are there to distinguish between each unit. Because even Harry is confused too by the looks of it.
What happened?
The Orks poured fire into the unit and killed off unit C before combat began. 
1 charged A
2 charged B
3 combi-charged B & D
4 charged D

1 destroyed A
2 destroyed B but suffered 2 wounds in return
3 wounded B and forced D to make saves (i.e did nothing useful)
4 inflicted 1 wound on D but took 4 wounds in return

Combat Result: 6 wounds each. Draw.

What would I have done in Harry's shoes?

I'd have gone for broke and thrown the Battlewagons into the unit first and torn through the pet wolves with the first few Deathrolla hits then dumped all of the above units of Boys (1 to 5) in the Battlewagons into combat too. He might have got lucky torrenting away through the Wolves and putting a few S10 hits on Lords that fall over if they fail one save. I'm not going to Death or Glory when I'm hitting AV14 as I'll die over 50% of the time (S10 vs Av14 plus a sucky roll on Glance/Pen table if I do get through it).

You also get to:
  • Cause a Morale test in the Movement phase by killing 25% of the Wolves with Deffrollas
  • Potentially cause another Morale test in the shooting phase if you shoot the Wolves and kill 25%
  • If the Wolves are all killed by tank-shocking you get to shoot at Wolf Lords and potentially do wounds through weight of fire (throw enough mud at a wall...)
Some ground rules: Because Ork boys don't like charging Fenris Wolves in cover (3 Attacks each and striking first? No thanks) you have to ensure that if you can't tie up all the Wolves with your 2+ save Nobs (unlikely) that you get rid of all the ablative wounds first and then pour everything into whatever's standing and try to tear it down in one.

One thing to bear in mind is one of the silly ETC rulings that says that when TWC IC's are joined to a unit of regular TWC and the regular ones are destroyed the Lords all become seperate units and are unable to join each other to form an IC super-unit.

As a result of this you get 4 seperate units to attack afterwards. My question is: when the unit of dogs are destroyed and the Lords become 4 seperate units after shooting are you now allowed to charge any of the 4 units even though you didn't shoot at them (you shot at a unit that no longer exists) or are you allowed to declare one of them as the target of your assault and go from there (including potentially combi-charging)? During my game I allowed him to charge normally, fwiw.

Assuming that I can still multi-charge and being the Ork player I'd be tempted to leave out one of the S10 Lords so that they don't get to contribute 6 more attacks that can potentially be thrown at the Nobs who are worth 2 wounds each to combat res. Instead, I'd focus on pulling down 2 of the Lords and the WGBL so that when you win combat you can bubblewrap the regular boys in front of the Nobs to cockblock the Lord.

All 4 Battlewagons Deffrolla the unit.
1 should have charged A
2 charge B
3 combi-charge B & D (try to put all the Nobs on D as the Warboss will cause ID to a non-Bear Lord)
4 charge D
5 charge D

That should bring down all the Wolves, the WGBL, the FB Lord, the Claw Lord and leave the Bear Lord on his own who is only able to take out 2 of the above units at most (the Warboss & his Nobs) but even then he's running the gauntlet when it comes to getting punched: the Nobs will hit back with between 10 and 15 S8-10 attacks that only allow a 3+ save rather than 2+ while the Boys get to strike first against him. This presupposes that the big unit of Boys rolls poorly and isn't able to bubblewrap the rest of the units.

You also have to remember that I moved first so Harry got to react to any of my counters.

My Reaction
I got to stage a fightback against Harry's charge and it needed to be game-changing.

I had two units of Grey Hunters (5 with Melta, Wolf Banner and WG with Fist, CMelta) in Rhinos that were able to counter-assault which they did. I threw both squads (F and G) into the Ork boys (unit 1) as they were easier to kill especially with the Wolf Banner popped.

Wolf lord E (with Bear & s10 Hammer) charged into unit 3 so he could instant-kill up to 5 of the Nobs and potentially cause 10 wounds instead of 1 on the Warboss (unit 2) as he'd already taken damage or 6 wounds to unit 4 that had only 3 models left. When he dived in Dave piled as many of squad 4's Nobs onto him as he could in order to put as many 2+ to wound attacks on him as possible. Wolf Lord D was already going to get hammered by the S10 Warboss if he didn't kill him first.

You'll also notice the Star - that denotes a Wolf Guard with a Fist from a Grey Hunter unit. I had wondered about risking placing him into base with the Nobs mob as they'd be able to mangle the Grey Hunters but I figured that:

1. I was almost guaranteed to wipe out all 5 of them thanks to the Banner's re-rolls for the Fist and the Lord's attacks.
2. I'd make it one big combat so every instant-death would count as two wounds against the regular Boys forcing them to take more armour saves (Fearless) or impose greater Ld penalties (if < 11 models) while the boys dying in droves would contribute the same against the Nobs.
3. By presenting a multitude of threats I hoped to force Harry to split his attacks rather than direct everything at one target thus reducing his chance to wiping anything out (which would also deny him KP).  As it was he ended up being the lynchpin in the entire combat as he ensure the various units were fighting in one big combat that would crack open the Ork army or cause mine to collapse.

F charged 1
G combi-charged 1 & 3
E charged 3

What happened?
D took out 2 (by inflicting a single wound thanks to the Wolf Claw)
3 wounded D and killed 1 Grey Hunter in G (they rolled *really* badly)
4 did 1 wound to E
F and G killed 7 Orks from unit 1
1 killed 3 from unit F and 1 from G
E and G's Wolf Guard wiped out unit 3

Combat result: 18 wounds v 7 wounds.

The end result was that both remaining Ork units needed snake eyes to pass, which neither did and both were run down netting me a tonne of KP and VPs.

What would I have done differently?
I tried to wipe stuff out because I was so far behind in both KPs and VPs and was trying to make my scoreline somewhat more respectable than it was the previous turn but it was moreso the fact that I didn't get to initiate the assault on my terms. Had I thought about it more I would have set it up so that despite destroying most of the Ork units my men would have remained in combat (with the Boys mob) which meant minimising the number of Grey Hunters attacking Orks and concentrating more attacks on the Nobs.

This would have served to keep more of the grunts alive making them Fearless forcing lots of armour saves, but not enough to wipe them out, and allowing me to move my units into combat with them as part of their consolidate move. This would have prevented them from being shot up or deathrolla'd and would have tempted Harry into charging into a combat that I was confident of winning. C'est la vie.

To be honest, I'm quite glad that the charge worked as well as it did because it took out almost half of Harry's army, forced him onto the back foot and got me right back into the game. I don't think I could have asked for much more.

What more can I say?
Pulling off multi-assaults takes thought. You've got to consider whether you want to decimate everything you hit or if you'd rather stay trapped in combat, what targets to hit (units or vehicles) and whether you're better placed to survive an enemy's shooting or combat response. It will depend upon whether your opponent relies on shooting; if its potentially the end of the game so the enemy can't respond to your charge and you can clear objectives (if using objectives); if he gets to have a turn to respond to you; or if the enemy has weaker combat units that stand little chance of beating your own.

Hopefully this article will makes things easier.


  1. Ah I don't know about this now, you'd have to bring it up before a comma-tee and then hold a vote to see if it's allowed take effect in the coming season... Moo!

  2. What a dumb-ass ruling, it directly contravenes the BRB again. :(

  3. I take it you refer to the TWC characters not being a unit when all the Wolves are killed?

    Apparently that's how it's supposed to be played.


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