Monday, October 15, 2012

6th Edition - The Death of the Ground Transport?

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Brother C is back after a long hiatus. I was changing jobs and completely rearranging my life. Now I am back and better than ever.

We (5 of us from the Lancashire Club) participated in the Battle For Salvation GT. Some reviews and battle summaries are going to follow but for now, I wanted to post something that I noticed at the tournament and was wondering about previously. If 6th edition would be the death of the ground transport.

There has been much hate on the interwebz leading up to BFS about the use of ground transports. And after the win by Tony Kopach at the Nova, it seemed a no brainer, why would anyone take ground transports again? Here are some thoughts I have had on the subjects as well as some tactics as to how these still may be a viable option for your army.

1.       25% obscured target. No longer do you need 50+% to get that cover save. It is very very easy to get a cover save on say a truck or rhino that have very small frontages. Heck, I could put one terminator in front and it would have the save. Don't forget ruins give you a 4+ save, same as it was.  Does this make them more survivable? No, not really, but it means you don't need to rely on smoke launchers as heavily either. Take dual storm bolter rhinos and its like 4 extra tacts at 24".

2.       Flat Out - Moving an additional 6" in the shooting phase. This is HUGE. First, it means you can get across the board faster and to the heart of where the action needs to happen. Having 10 tacticals or those plasma guns from vets where you need them or meganobz getting into that area terrain for the cover, is huge. It can also move to block your troops inside from opponent's fire in the next turn. I have used this to great effect. Move 6" get all 10 tacticals out of the rhino, rapid fire, and then move the rhino to shield them during the next phase. Yeah, you may lose that transport in your opponents phase, but then you are free to rapid fire again, or assault in your next phase. Blocking los to your juicy targets this way is very advantageous, I can see tau, GKs, etc. using this to great effect. I also use this sometimes if my thunder fire is on the ground. Move during the movement so it can see its target, fire, than move that rhino or land raider back to block from return fire. Creating bottle necks is the third reason that I love the 6" move in the shooting phase. Don’t want that warboss in base to base with your IC? Create a bottleneck for them to run through. Try to trick them into a multi assault, make them lose their bonus attack for charging. In many circumstances, the rhino is a welcome trade off for that route. 

3.       Combat squadding when disembarking is also huge. Want to hold off an enemy assault from your objective late game? Keep one combat squad in the rhino and one gets out and assaults the opponent, or lures them away from the goal. There are many reasons why your would want this ability to adapt to the situation. Do you want 10 guys, or just 5? 

4.       The vehicle damage chart is very friendly now. Glances won't slow you down marching across that field to get where you need to go. If you lose the transport when you get there, who cares. If can't score anyways, and once your men are in the position and location you want, its done its job. 

5.       Only 1 difficult terrain test per movement phase. So if you want, take that dozer blade and throw your transport across as many terrain tests as you want. Got a battle wagon? That thing is gonna go cross country all over you. Those boyz or nobs inside are gonna get to where they want. 

6.       The top of the vehicle does not count as a facing. So it is VERY easy to get cover from flyers. 

7.       Passenger inside the vehicle can overwatch as long as it has firepoints. Very nice. Can you say…. Burnawagon?

8.       Your transport can move up to 12" in the movement phase and still fire all of its weapons as snapfires. Not bad. Not great. But hey, better than nothing.

Some cautions to be aware of as well with these ground transports.

1.       You cannot assault out of a transport unless it is an assault vehicle if you move and disembark. If your ride gets blown up in your opponents turn, that unit cannot assault in the subsequent turn if it is not an assault vehicle. 

2.       LOS is not from the haul, meaning.. if you do not have firing points that grant LOS access, you will not be firing off psychics powers from those transports. I have had people attempting to cast invis or something similar from their librarian in a land raider, which has no firing points. Be careful of this. 

3.       Vehicles in assault go down very very fast now. Be careful you don't waste these transports. They have a duty, make sure they perform it, then their life is forfeit.
4.       Unit embarked in transports do not count as scoring for controlling or denying objectives. Be very aware of this.

That is all for now. Anyways, from my experience at Battle for Salvation, people seemed to be scared of transports, but from those few of us that had them, they did seem to last. People seemed to lean towards the anti-infantry shooting more than anti-vehicle. Plus, from all the flamers from the Chaos Demons codex floating around now, the ground transports makes a nice viable option to protect yourself from that devastating first round drop of shooting.

How are you using your ground transports? Or have you throw in the towel as well and are simply foot sloggin your way across the board?