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Saturday, 21 May 2011

Saturday Strategy- Reverse Slope Defence

Hi all,

I spoke a few weeks ago about Two-point defence. That Strategy looks mainly at list-building with a battle plan. This time, something slightly different- Reverse Slope Defence can only be used once you've seen the battlefield.

Quick note- RVD will be shorthand throughout for Reverse Slope Defence- this is simply because it's a lot to type out!

So, what does RVD require? Simple- you, and opponent, and a big hill in the middle of the table! Fairly limited I know, but with the new terrain rules from Adepticon which are being implemented, it's coming up more and more often. The real beauty of RVD is that it is simple and effective!

Most players, upon seeing a hill, will immediately try to take possession of it. It is ingrained in us that holding the high ground is a tactical advantage- this is only true if a) the rules support this and b) you've built a plan around having the high ground. What many miss is that once on top of the hill, units are silhouetted and easy targets. So is it better to be at the top, or the bottom of the slope?

RVD uses the bottom of the slope to create a kill zone at the top. I'll use Imperial Guard as an example:

Position 1-2 platoons so that the very top edge of the hill is 12" away. Place ordnance units (preferably long range) at the flanks of these infantry.

The Ordnances job is to force the opponent into a box on the other side of the hill. Because of the slope of the terrain, there should be plenty of cover for the enemy to group up in. To encourage this, don't move the ordnance- let them move out of LoS, thinking that they have tricked you.

Now, the enemy has 2 options- advance up the hill, where there is no incoming fire due to your "static gun line", or remain where they are. If they stay still, you've got battlefield control- go ahead and use it to win the game. If they advance up onto the hill, then they won't be able to do anything but throw a few desultory shots your way. Next turn, advance the infantry 6 " forwards and rapid fire them to death. At the same time, move the ordanace further out the flank 6" and pick off the enemy stragglers.

The enemy is now in a small kill box, where you have placed them, getting murdered by IG infantry. All because of RVD and a big hill!

Simple enough, but I've seen it used with success a few times, so I keep in my mental bag-of-tricks just in case.

Finally, how do you beat RVD? Don't go into the shadow of the hill! Go around it, and box your opponent into their own killzone. The Horns of the Bull springs to mind- and if you don't know what I'm referring to, then shame on you- go and watch Zulu!

Comments, as always, are welcome.

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