My Road to Redemption: Deployment

DeploymentI started this series the other week to try to put my thoughts into words and in turn get them to stick in my mind more. I’m very much a creature of habit and this includes doing things that don’t work. I began with The List to try to fix some issues I have in list creation. It’s still an ongoing process but I’ve done a lot better with it and don’t feel my lists are now contributing to my losses. Well, any more than an old codex can at least – Chaos.

With that out-of-the-way, relatively speaking, it’s time to move on to my deployment issues. Deployment has always been the weakest part of my game and bad deployment can get you a loss before the game begins. Where I seem to struggle the most with it is taking into account my enemy’s plan. I routinely fail to acknowledge what my enemy’s target priorities are going to be and when I think I’m setting up well I’m in fact feeding him/her the units they want.

The other thing I have a hard time with it setting up across from a heavy shooting army. I will, in a vast majority of games, be outgunned. My lists focus on the mid to short-range area and getting there in one piece has always been my bane. I think I struggle the most with it because it’s a style of play I do not use myself. If I face another short to mid-range army, or an army who focuses on melee, then I can setup well and deal with it as it’s my preferred method of play. By not playing a long-range shooting army I’m not intimately familiar with its shortcomings and tend to see it as a threat that I can’t possible come to grips with, literally. I suppose half of it is psyching myself out before a shot is fired.

Learning what my enemy’s priority targets are going to be, I feel, is the easier element in this to work on. It just takes a moment to sit back and think ‘What would I want to kill if I were him/her?” I simply need to force myself to take a moment and not fall into the routine. The latter, deployment against a shooty army, will take more time. I can read a hundred articles on the ideal deployment with Army A vs Army B and still struggle. I’m generally not one to take someone’s word on something, no matter how qualified they may be to give the advice, until I try it myself and make my own mistakes to learn from and in turn formulate my own plan. So, I need to make a solid effort to try something different when facing that gun line. Through trial and error, as I’ve always found that the best teaching method, learn what I need to do and not psych myself out to early. As long as I’m actively making an effort to improve in this area then those mistakes become teaching methods instead of areas of shear aggravation.

  • TheRhino

    Deployment is a challenge because there are so many factors that change based on your army, your opponent’s army, mission goals, objective placement, terrain placement, deployment method, Night Fight, etc etc etc.
    There’s no one answer, ever.
    One thing I have always tried to do with my bikers (and to a lesser extent my Tac Squads) is look at the board and plan the approach around existing terrain. If I can set up my army in a manner that allows every unit to leapfrog from one piece of terrain to another, I attempt to do so.
    If I can place objectives along those routes, I do so. If I can follow those routes into the heart of the enemy’s lines, I do so!

    • Very true. I’m not deluding myself into thinking there’s just one magical thing I need to do. However, for the sake of article length I figured I’d keep it to the big factors that ‘I know’ I screw up on.

      It’s funny though. Deployment is tough because of variables, as you said, and yet it’s what I do all day long. I deal with conditions and variables as a programmer but when it comes to that same routine in the game I just go brain-dead. Irony!

      • TheRhino

        Timely article as well. I was actually doodling out a deployment diagram for the Wall of Marines list I have over on Command Center’s List Review. With the makeup of the army, I was scribbling out deploymentp lans for various scenarios: against Daemon Flamers, drop pods, gunlines, otflankers, etc etc.
        Even if I never enacted it,it was a nice excercise.

        • JustHippie

          Against Daemon Flamers don’t waste your time deploying them!

  • JustHippie

    Terrain is my biggest killer against gunlines. If I get a table with some decent line of sight blocking pieces I get there and CRUSH them. If I get one with just a bunch of woods I’m shredded before I get there.
    It seems when I try to figure out my opponents target priority I am usually wrong. Some folks like to target troops first(like you and Shiny) and others look at the most nasty model as the biggest threat even if it is the least likely to get there(Khorne prince).
    FMC’s really help and you could benefit from that cheap Aegis line as well. The ADL allows you to place 4+ cover up at board center and if you make a ‘C’ shape you can deploy behind it and then advance to the next sheltered position. It REALLY helps us assault oriented guys out. You can borrow mine anytime just let me know.

    • You using your ADL on Saturday? I do have an ADL myself, just not the quad-gun.

      • JustHippie

        I’m using my Ginormous Skyshield Saturday so it is yours. I have Quad gun but no Icarus or Comms yet(need to buy a bastion after the Helldrake). I’ll bring it so it will be there if you want. With Skyfiring FMC’s the Quad gun isn’t that important(although scouts with cloaks might like it).

        • Still banging around some ideas. Trying to make the past few weeks of getting my head caved in account for something on Saturday. So, fine-tuning stuff and trying to optimize. I may not use the quad-gun but I will definitely use the ADL.

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