It always amazes me when
I run into people who don't know the capabilities or even
some of the basic rules of their own army. There's always
a period of adjustment when switching from one army to another,
but after you've played a few games you should know the
basics of how your army handles on the tabletop.
You have an army book. Read it. Cover
to cover. Then read it again. It is crucial to know your
army inside and out. Have a look at each unit entry in your
army book, and think to yourself: What's this unit good
at? What's it's job, and more importantly, how does it do
There are several things you want to
consider when measuring a unit’s effectiveness.
Deadliness is the
unit's ability to dish out damage. By using probability,
you can calculate how much damage your units are likely
to inflict in a given situation. You can also calculate
your opponent’s ability to inflict damage in any given
situation. When calculating damage potential, range is also
an important consideration. Some units deal damage at range,
others only up close. Each type handles very differently
on the tabletop.
Resilience is the ability
of your unit to take damage, either by resisting it or absorbing
it. This can be represented by a good toughness or armor
save, like Space Marine Terminators, or by having expendable
bodies in the unit, like Orks. Whether or not you plan on
the deploying the unit in cover can also be a factor of
the ability of a unit to move around the board. In 5th Edition
40k, due to the importance of objectives in most missions,
maneuverability is just as important as the ability of a
unit to dish out damage. A unit that hasn't killed anything
the entire game can still be worth it's weight in gold just
by being able to move in and capture an objective at the
end of the game.
Having a good balance of these factors,
like a unit of Tactical Marines with a Rhino transport,
makes for a well rounded unit. Units that sacrifice one
ability in favor of another will usually be specialized
units. Tau Battlesuits would fall into this category, highly
maneuverable and deadly, but pretty fragile. A unit that
excels in all areas will be prized units, but you'll pay
through the nose for them.
Cost is the price of
the unit in points. While not really an aspect of a unit's
effectiveness, it is vital in determining a unit's efficiency.
There are some units out there that have a good statline
and a dizzying array of weapons and options. Units like
this can be a real nightmare for your opponent to deal with,
but represent a substantial chunk of the armies point total.
The big problem with these types of 'super units' is they
are generally overpriced for what they do. You can often
get several cheaper units for the same price as one expensive
unit, and they will often perform just as well, or even
better, on the battlefield.
Determining what units to take for any
given battelfield role is only one part of the equation.
The units in your army need to support one another for maximum
effectiveness. I'll cover this in more detail later, but for now let's look
at the other aspect of Sun Tzu's philosphy ...