I'm not a big fan of assault, Haven't been since I shelved my Chaos Space Marines (due to their lack of competitiveness being compounded by 5th Edition, Codex Creep and the fact that apparently everybody else writes Marines better than Gav Thorpe).
I briefly became interested in winning by punching stuff again with my Cavalry Daemons list. This one to be exact. Unfortunately that list is inherently flawed because Daemons have several almost insurmountable inbuilt problems.
1) Your effectively fighting with half an army for your first turn.
2) There's a 33% chance it will be the wrong fucking half.
3) Any army who can effect your reserves makes this even worse.
4) Your best ranged weapon is only S8.
5) If your opponent has Land Raiders and remembers to move them, your only going to destroy one with a lot of luck, 2 with divine intervention and 3...well...never, if we're being honest.
As anybody who knows me will tell you I have a somewhat rocky relationship with the Dice Gods. They have an uncanny habit of deciding that a 1 to hit is all I'm going to have for 5 turns but that all my opponents vehicle damage rolls should be 5's or 6's, lol. Then occasionally they'll give me all my luck at once and I'll end up utterly destroying someone in the most unimportant game I play that month...but I digress...
So most of my Marine armies win by shooting stuff so I'm as guilty as anybody of what I'm about to whine about. But It's both the games I've lost hideously and won in the same 'only one of us is having fun' fashion that's decided the theme of this post.
Some examples so it looks like I thought about this a bit...
If a well constructed IG army goes first your going to be in the shit quite quickly. They have ranged firepower a plenty that can be easily improved through orders, Valks and Vendettas that can deliver 3 Meltagun troops units into your lap first turn and the ability to both improve their own reserve rolls and fuck up yours. Going first or 2nd they have many ways to annoy.
5th ed. made vehicles a lot tougher, BA rhino variants can move extremely quickly and with the addition of smoke launchers cover save take a lot of firepower to destroy. Combine this with the ease with which you can give 'Feel no Pain' and 'Furious Charge' to anything you damn well please and you have an army that can do the old fashioned 'Rhino Rush' with remarkable efficiency. Also with 'Descent of Angels' they don't even need the Rhinos to be in your face on turn 2 with no way to counter them at all without IG style 'Bubblewrap' units.
Tau can only do gunlines so I might be unfair including them in this list, after all if a Tau player is looking at the assault stats of a non-Kroot unit he''s probably about to lose.
You can easily cram 9 Las/Plas Razorbacks and support units into a SW list which again does a lot of damage from your first turn salvo...
I could go on and on with similar examples but the basic point is this...
90% of competitive lists will pwn you if they go first and are in fact designed to do so.
So how do we counter this trend for boring games where you might as well just shake hands after the first turn 'roll-off' and go and have a beer or 3 instead of playing a game which will just make one of you frustrated and the other one feeling the need to apologise.
Lets look at the potential solutions then.
1) If you can't beat 'em join 'em - Build your own army that works on the same principles and hope you go first instead. At least you'll be the one having fun 50% of the time.
2) Bubble-wrap - Protect your own important units with expendable crap. Sadly this only works against lists that 'Alpha strike' you up close and requires you to actually have bubble-wrap units which unfortunately applies only to Tau (Kroot), Imperial Guard (Infantry Platoons) and possibly Tyranids (Gaunts and the like).
3) Reserves - If your not there he can't hit you, right. Again this plan also has it's problems, If your against guard they can effect your reserve rolls for the cost of a whole 30 points. Blood Angels armies can get to you anyway through sheer speed of movement and turning up piecemeal against an army designed to cripple entire armies is never going to end well.
4) 'Castling', 'Turtling' or whatever you call it in your area - Put your highest armour at the front, hide the rest of your army behind and wait and see what survives. Guard can deal with this by dropping big fuck-off blast templates into your lap as they can't really miss if your in a big clump and Blood Angels have the 'Blood Lance' psychic power.
And of course there's the times when you thought you where going to get to go first and your opponent seizes the initiative...
So the question I'm asking is this,
Is a 40K game between 2 competitive lists fun any-more if either or both are of the 'Alpha Strike' variety *?
* I mean fun for both of you. Obviously if your opponent is the kind of cock who microwaves his dice, brings his fan-club to games and rolls his dice without actually telling you what the roll is for till after he's seen the result then 'fun' probably wasn't going to be happening anyway, lol.
Editors note : It would be nice if anybody who comments could avoid using the phrase 'Leafblower'. BoLS did not invent the 'Alpha Strike' list or IG fucking gunlines despite what they'd like you to believe and if your going to give your army a nickname try and make it a cool one for fucks sake.
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