Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Refused Flank Strategy: Judging the Opponent's Forces

Spacecurves just wrote an excellent article on this strategy for BoLS, and I don't want to repeat what has already been stated so well... but I would like to share a story and then elaborate on the strategy some. I'm an Eldar & Blood Angels player, and to be honest, I first picked up similar tactics from Fritz (one example can be found here). I started using it early in my 40K career, and it has rarely failed me, so I keep running it every time it looks like it would be advantageous.

When I first read the article, it made me think of a game I played against Jeremiah, when I really screwed up this strategy. I still ended up winning the game, but it was a very close match when it could have been a near clean sweep. He was playing vanilla marines, with two 10-man tactical squads (ML/flamer), a LR crusader carrying terminators, a captain, and two dreadnoughts. I might be forgetting something in there... it has been a while and I didn't write a battle report on that one. Anyway, he split the tactical squads into combat squads, putting the sergeant and flamer in one squad and the missile launcher in the other. He deployed his land raider in the front center, the two dreadnoughts behind it for cover, the two missile launcher combat squads on the left side of his deployment zone in some elevated terrain, and the two assault oriented combat squads on the right side of his deployment zone (one joined by the captain). It looked something like this:


I can't remember whether I deployed center and then turbo boosted to one side, or if I just deployed on one side, but I do remember this: when I got hit with two missiles the next turn, I realized that I had hit the wrong flank! Focusing on the assault squads first didn't really neutralize his army at all. Had I been thinking clearly, I would have ganged up on the left side of the board, since nothing in those assault oriented squads can shoot past 24" and that's if they don't move. Always always always think things through before you move your models...

With my boneheaded move out in the open for all to see, I want to add a bit to the wisdom that Spacecurves provided. Thus, I present:

Some Refused Flank Guidelines
  • This tactic is best used when you are better in the assault than your opponent.
  • If your opponent is deployed disproportionately, choose the side that will give you the biggest advantage. (refer back to my story above for an example of what not to do)
  • If your opponent is primarily a shooting army, this tactic will be less effective because it will nullify fewer of his units. (Examples: Tau or Imperial Guard)
  • If your opponent is faster than you, this tactic will be much less effective. (Example: Blood Angels trying to refuse a flank vs. wave serpent spam). However, if they turbo boost to counter your strategy, make sure that you hit their skimmers with all that you've got that turn... remember that immobilized results count as wrecked results after a turbo boost.
  • If your opponent is keeping most of his stuff in reserve, you'll be focusing on a small portion of his army anyway so this tactic is either unnecessary or redundant.
  • Beware infiltrators, scout moves, and Eldrad's redeploying ability! They'll mess up your game plan!
Most of this is pretty common sense, but I still think it is worth mentioning. Any additional wisdom my readers would like to add?
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