Always Have a Battleplan…

There is an old saying that goes something like “No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy”. Of course this is a fair point but even the most poorly organised of military forces have at least a vague idea of what they’re going to do…..

Many 40K players however seem to have no idea about what their units are going to do once their on the table and that’s if they’ve even bothered to work out where on the table they need to go….


I don’t think so. How many times have you had to wait while an opponent spends twenty minutes deciding where to plonk down his units? Or had to wait another twenty while he/she decides where he or she going to then move them on their turn?

This is my thinking face…..

Quite often, I’d guess…

The above is one of the reasons why I recommend play-testing a new army extensively before taking it to a tournament. Against an unfamiliar army, on a table with a unusual terrain layout or with a mission that was seemingly made up on the spot by some random fuckwit then a bit more consideration may be needed but generally deployment should be done fairly quickly. Most units have a very specific purpose and are designed with a primary ‘job’ in mind. Anyone who doesn’t know what to do with their Khorne Berzerkers, Long Fangs or Beastmasters (or other single role units) shouldn’t really be using them 😉

Perhaps an example is in order…

My current Blood Angels army has the following elements,

1x Librarian with a Defensive Power (Shield of Whatever),
5x Dual Melta units in Assault Cannon Razorbacks,
2x Combat Squads with longer range weapons (Plasma Cannons),
2x Anti-Infantry Predators,
2x Anti-Tank Predators.

Most of my units have a certain measure of flexibility but their primary role is fairly apparent. The Combat Squads with the Plasma Cannons sit on my objective and take pot shots with their weapons at whatever comes into line and this job doesn’t change even in missions without objectives. The anti-infantry tanks sit somewhere with good lines of fire, the anti-tank ones position themselves so they can get side shots into armour. That leaves a bunch of Razorbacks with short-range troops in them and a Librarian with a fairly short range ‘shield’ power who’s obviously going to go in one of the Razorbacks that are in the middle.

So I have a basic plan worked out and an idea of where things are going to be deployed that can be implemented fairly quickly. I’d expect any-one who’s been playing warhammer for even a brief amount of time to be able to give a similar summary of their own army when asked……but unfortunately many people don’t which is a bit irritating.

Even more annoying is the briefly mentioned issue of ‘decision delay’ which is a polite way of saying ‘why the fuck didn’t you decide what you were going to do with your shit during my turn you cunt…..’. Small ‘Elite’ armies can be forgiven for this as they are by design more reactionary due to the limited number (and often the high cost) of the available units so they are often unable to implement a plan till their opponent has completed his but this is countered by the fact that the guy probably hasn’t got that much to move…..however…..

If your army consists of 180 bits of infantry or 25 tanks of various descriptions I’d expect you to have a nominal idea of what your going to do with them. The fact that it’s probably going to take half an hour to move your units isn’t a problem in of itself unless you add another twenty minutes delay to that while I wait for you to start fucking moving anything.

The simple solution to this issue is two-fold…

1) Have a plan.
2) At least consider what your going to be doing while your opponent has his turn.

That’s not a lot to ask for now is it?

Thoughts and Comments are (as usual) most welcome.

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