Friday, January 23, 2009

40K and the Assault

"The bayonet has always been the weapon of the brave and the chief tool of victory" - Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte is my absolute favorite historical figure of all time. Of course the biggest reason behind this is his ability to apply his strategies to destroy his enemies over and over again on the field of battle. Most people when they hear Napoleon think of his defeat at Waterloo, but don't think about how he completely out generaled the finest leaders Europe had to offer battle after battle. At Waterloo I think Napoleon rolled way too many 1's, it happens to all of us sometimes.

Napoleon's winning strategy tended to look like this...

1) - Out maneuver your opponent so that the majority of your army is fighting a minority of your enemies army.

2) - Soften up your enemy with long range firepower.

3) - Engage your enemy with just about everything you have to further soften them up.

4) - Assault with your elites and watch your enemy run for the hills.

The point is, shooting with your big guns and your gun line does a lot, but nothing ends a battle quite like some good assaulting.

Here is why assaulting in 40K is the grand daddy of ways to defeat your opponent...

1) - Your enemy is always in range!

2) - When you charge you get an extra attack!

3) - Causing a single wound can destroy a unit with a failed leadership test and a sweeping advance!

4) - You get to attack during both yours and your opponent's turns!

5) - You get to move D6 inches after you destroy your opponent, even if it's not your turn!

When you assault you should be throwing 2-3 times the number of points as the enemy unit costs at them. The point is NOT to sit there turn after turn hacking away at each other. The point is to hit them and hit them hard to force a leadership test they will fail, so that just a few wounds results in that unit no longer existing, in just one round of combat! Having a multiple of your units in the combat ensures you win the combat, and that you also have a good chance sweeping advancing the losers.

That's all for now, don't forget to fix bayonets!


  1. I believe this is a perfect expression of my style of play, brutal monkey stomping assualt. Most of my shooting phase is spent running [shirke and fleet great choice] and the assualt phase is a brutal swirling melee of life and death. Ahhh I love the smell of assualt in the morning.

  2. Great insight. A newbie myself it's nice to have a pro put it in the terms you just did. I started by fielding a 1000 point Space Marine army painted up as Blood Angels. Now I think I'm gonna do the army the way their codex intended them to be. Very insightful... thanks!

  3. The only thing they didn't have back in Napoleon's days were automatic machineguns. THAT's why nobody assaults anymore today. Even after massive preparatory bombardment, a single bloke with an automatic machine gun can take out 10-20 guys before they manage to bayonet him.

    That's also why GW intended soldiers are only allowed to shoot an enemy soldier four times during the time it takes the runner to sprint across a football field to smash the shooter's head open with a rock. Not to mention that said guy with the rock can hit the shooter about 5 times in a split second of combat, but the shooter's automatic rifle was jamming half the time...

    Man, I love realism.