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Thursday, 5 May 2011

Strategy- Two Point Defence

Hi all,

this post will hopefully explain one of my basic play styles. First of all, some quick definitions:

"...the terms and conditions that it is fought on and whether it should be fought at all is a matter of strategy, which is part of the four levels of warfare: political goals or grand strategy, strategy,operations, and tactics..." (Wikipedia)
 "...the art of organizing an army, are the techniques for using weapons or military units in combination for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle..."
Tactics are used when you build an army list, and when you launch attacks/defences. Strategy is, essentially, your overall gameplan. This post is focused on how you are going to use everything to achieve your aims.

OK, now that's out of the way :) Two point defence is a fairly simple method of thinking about your army, and it is usually my "default setting" when getting used to a new game, or a new force. It relies on 2 key elements:

  1. Two "Bunkers"- these are survivable units, with a large threat bubble OR units which must be killed to the last man.
  2. Two to three "Army Groups", which can react to any threat coming into the bunkers, as well as support each other.
Bunkers need to do 2 things; survive the game, and threaten the enemy. They don't need to be mobile, and they don't need any dirty tricks. in most instances, they will probably staying still and threatening enemy units with ranged firepower, or just by existing.

The Army Groups, on the other hand, need to be mobile, hard hitting and have a degree of close quarters and ranged capability. Close quarters because they are going to be the units close to the enemy, and ranged so that they can support each other. If your army is incredibly mobile (Light Cavalry, Fast tanks etc) then they may not need ranged- if your bunkers are capable of keeping your lanes of movement open.

The Plan

Your two bunkers go in your deployment zone, usually 18" to 24" apart. this gives you a broad sphere of influence, and in most cases the range of one will slightly overlap the units of the other. Anyone wants to get close to either, they should have to face both.

The Army groups then have individual spheres of influence, and again you want these to overlap slightly. Usually this will be one in the centre, one on the left flank and one on the right flank.

Vassal maps- time consuming but useful!
In the above example, the bunkers are the Leman Russ' and the Griffons, and the Army Groups are the Guardsmen (centre) and 2 Chimera/1 Vendetta on each wing. The ordnance is threatening enough that opponents will want to kill it, and the 2 wings are mobile enough that they can react to any threat to the ordnance. Importantly, each wing is also strong enough to handle itself for a turn if it has to. I've used 30 Guardsmen in the centre to demonstrate one principle- as long as 3 elements are supporting each other, you're good. in this case, it's Guardsmen-Wing-Bunkers.

Simple isn't it :) Here's why it's useful!

Your opponent now has 5 elements to concentrate on. You have 2. Why? Because each Army Group is focused entirely upon removing the threats aimed at your bunkers. If an opponent concentrates on 1 Army Group to wipe it out, pull them back and sweep the other two groups into his flank. If they split their forces to take on multiple threats, pull back and let the bunkers do the work for you. See why mobility is important now?

So it's good because it helps keep you focused on your game plan, and allows for fluid gameplay. Your target priorities are simple- what threatens the bunkers? Kill that. Your whole force will revolve around those two points, and so should stay unified- if you put an Army Group too far outside the threat range of the bunker, then they can't support the bunker, so aren't doing their job.

That's it! I'm putting some lists up here as examples, and will hopefully provide deployment and turn maps as examples- Beastmen for Fantasy and Eldar for 40K are up now.

Comments, as always, are welcome

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