Unit Specific Tactics

Tactics have not yet been updated for the currently being re-released 40K rules.

Well I've been drinking from 10am until 5pm during the NFL divisional playoffs so I'm at the peak mental capacity to discuss 40K tactics. Of course I didn't get any painting done during this time either which is deplorable. Maybe I'll find some energy (and sobriety) later tonight. At least I got Bootsy "I got the munchies for your love"!

For those of you playing along at home, you'll recall how much of my Vancouver 2003 Grand Tournament army was chosen because it looked cool or I wanted to try out cool new rules from the Codex, none the less I've also come up with some sort of semi coherent plan too.


Regardless of whether it is considered good army selection I think having three Heavy Support choices is a tactical advantage in deployment. Having many Troop choices provides a similar advantage. The first thing deployed in all normal games will be my landraider. It will be deployed well forward in my deployment zone likely in the center. It will be a high priority target as it is too big to hide.

My dreadnought and defiler will be placed next likely one on each flank. Hopefully I will be able to draw out a juicy enemy target which I will line up in range of the battle cannon. My first troop placed will usually be the Nurglings. They are so much cheaper then all my other units it is only natural to assign some unadvantageous position to them.

Assuming they can not infiltrate, the Plague scouts will be placed next. They will have a hard time paying for themselves in many games. They lack mobility and long range fire making them a not very coherent part of the army. They and the Nurglings will be used to protect the Defiler from unwanted attention.

My largest unit, will be placed centrally, preferably on a hill. The Syphalitic gun line is just small enough to be deployed in the Landraider but usually I will deploy The Chosen there. My final troop placement will likely be the squad in the rhino. They have mobility and the best chance of damaging vehicles (of the Troop choices), this squad is much more useful then the other troop choices and must be placed with care.

The Chosen will usually be deployed in the Landraider. Against certain foes (Tyranids, possibly Orks) they may be placed outside of the tank. This squad is very expensive at almost 50 pts per model. None the less they will not have the luxury of screening troops in most cases and will have to rely on their own and the Landraider's toughness.

In all cases, my lord will be deployed with his retinue. There is one mission that appears to disallow this. My lord has no gun so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that he and his retinue must advance on the enemy. As a unit the retinue possesses a fair amount of fire power so will likely do some damage if they can ever get into ideal range.

Ideal Range

Despite having more heavy weapons then usual thanks to the Landraider and Defiler, the ideal range for a Nurgle army remains 18 inches. This allows for a move of six then the firing of bold pistols, plasma pistols, and mealta guns. Flamers are tough to use effectively but I have three counting combi weapons, four counting heavy flamers. It will be tough to make effective use of them every game. Thus it is important when they do something to rejoice maybe even gloat because often they will never be fired.

Leperous the Obese, Chaos Lord

My Chaos Lord needs to get into hand to hand to attempt to pay for himself, however he doesn't have a power weapon or deamon weapon so he may have trouble killing stuff. His increased strength makes him ideal to take on Imperial Guard and Dark Eldar characters. Since I'm not heavily optimized for H2H I will avoid fighting opposing characters, a Hive Tyrant would eat my lord for lunch for instance.


My lord can't really be contemplated without his retinue. The retinue provides fire power, the combi weapons and the Reaper Autocannon of the Terminators will kill even the most heavily armoured foe. My terminator aspiring champion may actually be more effective in hand to hand then my lord, he however only has a single wound. Hopefully the lightning claw champ and the sorcerer will more then pay for themselves. Although it hasn't been specificly stated, considering true grit and the number of special weapons I have, all my units will be shooting before charging even under the revised H2H rules. I am operating under the assumption that the new rules will be used. This was a false assumption, I've since confirmed the rules in the rule book will be used.

Land Raider

This is my anti tank choice. Hopefully it will be the biggest meanest thing on the board which will draw and survive a lot of opposing fire. Its number one priority and that of the rest of my army is taking out guns that can damage the Landraider. Lascannons are usually my first choice but battle cannons are even worse. Anything with a big gun must die. Once the big guns are silenced I will concentrate on removing choice hand to hand units/characters. The bulk of my army should be better then the average member of my opponent's army. Unlike in Calgary this army actually can benefit and capitolize on getting the first round of shooting, but it isn't a necessity.


I don't really know what to expect from this as it is such a new unit. It still isn't painted but that will change really soon, I will have everything done, even if I have to not watch the NFC and AFC championship games. I expect Boris to draw a lot of fire and for my opponent to attempt to engage him in H2H. He will benefit from the presence of the Landraider and the Nurglings will be used as a H2H screen. When he doesn't move he can fire his battle cannon which can be used against armor but I almost think it is better to use it against expensive squads such as terminators. When it is forced to move it can still fire five shots, ideally the Defiler should eliminate several enemy models a turn.


The Beast Rabaan serves no other purpose then to provide additional heavy weapon support and mobility. He'll likely be used on his own on one flank. With the presence of the Defiler, Retinue, and Landraider, he shouldn't draw too much enemy fire, which will allow him free range of a flank. I think this unit is very cost effective and is a dark horse for MVP of my army due to it's versatility.


Their biggest use is to draw out enemy units in deployment, and maybe just maybe tie up something in H2H. They will hang around Boris to prevent any fast units from rushing him. Should an opponent attempt that the more mobile portions of my army will hopefully respond allowing Boris to continue to fire every turn.


Your basic counter charging assault troops. I don't have the numbers and speed to swarm an opponent but at key junctions I have units that can be thrown into H2H, this is one of them. They can be used to defend my deployment zone or re-enforce one of my units that has advanced up the field. They are cheap and hopefully cost effective unlike some of my units which are a bit too gimmicky for their own good.

Gun Line

This squad is trying to replace three squads from my Calgary army. Basically there are less models but almost as many plasma guns which seems to be what Thor worried about. They will be deployed centrally and as far forward as possible. They will be most effective against armies with a large number of troops. They can damage some vehicles with their Plasma guns.

Plague Scouts

This unit is extremely experimental and was bought on a whim. They may not be armed optimally, many people seem to infiltrate heavy weapons so perhaps bolters and plasma guns would have been a better choice. As it is they have to get really close to the enemy to use their flamers and a low percentage (30%) of the missions allow Infiltrators. There best use maybe to deny choice real estate to opposing infiltrators and to slow down (divert) the advance of horde armies.

Rhino Squad

This squad is effective and I took three similar squads to Calgary. Since I don't want to be just another rhino rush army they can be used to counter charge or shore up a defensive line. There main worth will be shown in covering distances quickly, unlike the Landraider there is no temptation to sit still or drive slow in order to fire the heavy weapons.

Mission Specific Tactics

Words and Images © Andrew "Muskie" McKay.
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