Today I will share with you a general tactica not bound to any specific army. It is about sacrificial units, probability and how to ignore everything that is math. I want to talk about when it is a good idea to rush a wall of tanks with a Land Speeder, of when it is a good idea to charge a squad of terminators with the remnants of a squad of Guardsmen and similar situations. In essence, the tactically "bad moves" you can make – that can turn out really good anyway.
Also, this may not be very useful for serious tournament play at all times – the article is meant to be a bit of fun as well.
Probability = bad?
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that you should just go nuts and do whatever you like, regardless of probability, chances and so on. In fact, the method I'm going to explain involves some math and some probability as well.
That being said, this guide or tactica or whatever you want to call it (let's call it an article to keep it simple) will teach you when to look probability in the eye and say "I don't care about you any more."
The typical chance challenging unit
As with all other purposes in this game, there are units that are better suited for this than others. But the difference here is that nobody makes a list with such a unit in it. The unit will become a sacrificial/chance challenger while on the board.
The best example I can think of is a unit of Guardsmen. Just 10 men, nothing really fancy as a gear, maybe a Grenade Launcher or similar. Under the course of the game, this unit loses six men, and are thus no longer scoring.
Another typical unit good for these missions are any light and cheap vehicle you can think of – and also some transports that have already unloaded their "cargo". My all-time-favourite Space Marine Land Speeder is one of the units that comes to mind first, but also some Ork vehicles, Dark Eldar Raiders and similar.
"So what am I supposed to do with this unit?"
Well, it helps if you have some idea about the current score. Are you lagging behind your opponent in Victory Points for example, and it's late in the game – this may be a viable answer to the situation.
So, via crossing your fingers and laughing at everything that would "normally happen", you can for example send the unit of Guardsmen up against a unit of Terminators that is a kill away from losing their scoring status. The Guardsmen are unlikely to do any damage at all – but if they do, it's all the better since that single Terminator will be worth more points than that unit of non-scoring guardsmen. The same goes for a Land Speeder Tornado for example. Late in the game – if you're in a tight spot, you might as well send it up and unload the Assault Cannon right into the front of a Leman Russ. The Leman Russ is unlikely to take any damage at all, but if you manage to immobilize or even destroy it, the Land Speeder has made back its points.
So in short, it's all about taking small risks that has a big pay-off in the unlikely event that you roll good rolls – or your opponent rolls bad armour saves. Fortune favours the bold after all.
If you play a standard mission that doesn't include the rule "Random Game Length" and you go last, you can always go nuts with this method too. Then it doesn't matter if they didn't make it, since your opponent won't have the time to retaliate, since the game will be over at the end of your turn. Just stay out of close combat. I realize that this is an obvious tactic to use for some people, especially those who have been in the game a longer time, but to others it might not be as clear.
Also, when you look at it from a completely non-competitive perspective, it is always better (in my opinion) to lose with style than to make a draw. This method lays the foundation for many memorable gaming moments.
So what are the draw backs?
We're going to look at the math here, and I'm going to use the Guardsman squad above as an example. In a standard 1500 point list, that squad will first of all have given away half its points already – so the rest of it is about 2% of your total points. That's what you have to lose. The squad will not be able to grab any objectives – and it is unlikely to do any more good in the game. So why not take the chance?
As I stated earlier – this is not a good way to approach serious tournament play, as it is built on luck. You can have sacrificial units in a list, but this article is really about units who turn sacrificial – and not those designed to do that.
You are also more likely to be disappointed than happy when using this method or tactic, but in the cases when it works, when those Guardians downs two Chaos Terminators, when that Meltagun actually blows up a Monolith and when four Hormagaunts sends the remnants of a full Tactical Squad running for their lives – you'll walk away from the game happy, whether you won or lost.