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Games Workshop has tips on for Boarding Actions games. These lessons were learned from the school of hard knocks.
Arks of Omen’s first book is coming very soon and with it will be a new style of play with Board Actions. These games use the majority of your standard 40k game rules but with some tweaks to things like Line of Sight and Force Organization. These games are also much smaller in scale with games being played at 500 points. That can have a big impact on how your forces are planned and how you plan out your games.
There’s a few pitfalls you might stumble into. Thankfully, WarCom’s Graeme took the leap for the rest of us and found a lot of those pitfalls already. Here’s some tips (and hard lessons) they learned along the way.
via Warhammer Community
Tip #1 – “Army Selection is Trickier Than You Think”
Again, Boarding Action games are 500 point affairs and have a unique Boarding Patrol Detachment. This presents a problem of how you build out your force and perhaps more importantly what style of Boarding Patrol are you going for? Graeme opted for a compact force from the Leagues of Votann with a unit of Hearthkyn Warriors, Einhyr Hearthguard, and an Einhyr Champion. How did it go? Poorly.
“Even with my Hearthkyn splitting into two boarding squads, I only had four units on the board – too few to capture objectives and meaningfully engage the enemy. In each of my games, the loss of just a single unit – which will happen – was ruinous. “
Now, it could have been the other forces they were facing but with only 4 units this force just got overrun. We only have a summary of the events, but it just seems like taking objectives was tough and losing even a single unit was punishing. Maybe keep in mind that you can take in some cheap ally options to give you some more “boots on the ground” in your games.
The Takeaway: You’ll need to have boots on the ground if you want to score those objectives.
Tip #2 – “Every Turn Matters”
According to Graeme:
“The nature of the Boarding Actions missions and board layout may make it seem like the first couple of battle rounds will simply involve moving forward, opening doors, and capturing the closest objectives – and to an extent, that’s true. But how you do these things will have a huge effect on the rest of the game. “
This is a really good point. With the way movement works and the extra rules for line of sight you’re really going to feel those cramped corridors. You can open doors and hatches — but that can take a precious action. That will also leave that way open as a point of entry for later. Considering how your enemy could take advantage of those openings is going to be very important.
Rounds three and four will really be when the fireworks happen. So it is invaluable to use those first two rounds to really setup and position as the forces come to a head. The mid-board is going to be a deadly spot in most games and scoring those objectives always needs to be in the back of your mind. It’s like a full game of 40k — only you don’t have the freedom of movement to zip a Fast Attack across the map to score your enemies backfield objectives at the last minute.
Take Away: Positioning and planning are paramount.
Tip #3 – “Mortal Wounds Are Brutal”
Psykers might become your best HQ option in these smaller games. There’s a reason Space Hulk featured a Librarian in Terminator Armour. But really, it’s all about those Mortal Wounds.
“At this small game size, a reliable source of mortal wounds – such as psychic powers – can be game-changing”
That makes a ton of sense. Again, 500 points isn’t a whole lot of wounds to chew through in most armies. So getting a Smite off and reliably dropping those wounds from the tabletop will be impactful. It’s a great tool for taking out enemy HQs and their tougher, more elite units. As Graeme mentioned in regards to a smaller force: “In each of my games, the loss of just a single unit – which will happen – was ruinous. “
The Takeaway: Bringing a Psyker or at least some psychic defense is going to be very important.
Battling it out in the tight corridors of Boarding Action games is going to be a good change of pace. How will your army adapt?
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Warhammer 40K: Three Tips From GW For 'Boarding Actions' – BoLS