Saturday, June 19, 2010

Can an army win by dominating the movement phase?

We all know that most armies win by dominating one phase of the game. They either dominate the shooting phase, or the assault phase. Yes, there are armies that are well rounded, and armies that are very durable, but for the most part armies win by dominating one of those two phases of the game. 

So my question to you is can an army win by dominating the movement phase? Can you create a small and very fast moving army that can win a game? An army that can out-maneuver other armies, and hit where they want to, and then move on. Something like how a boxer can stick and move instead of throwing hay-makers, and instead of going for the knockout, just throw jabs at the enemy and win through finesse. 

I was thinking about this type of army with my harlequin army. It is small and elite, but it is also very fast. I was thinking about building it around Jetbikes that can move 18" a turn and turbo-boosting 24". Add to this Falcons with Harlequins that can move 24"+12" with Star Engines.

Against shooting armies it will try to get to them in one or two turns, and then try to get in the middle of them and try to wreak havoc. For example a leaf blower-type armies do not like to have models in the middle of it wreaking vehicles, and then using them as cover. It operates by killing at range and taking out anything before it gets close. Especially if you can kill the transports in the shooting phase and assault the contents. 

Against assault armies it will work by moving fast and hitting at the sides of the army so the other units can't support them, and taking out chunks by striking first, and striking hard, and then moving on and repeat the process. 

So my question is can this be done?


  1. Do I think it can be done? Sure.

    Do I think it can be done right at the this moment, with great effectiveness? Unfortunately not.

    I really think this way because of what armies we have updated to 5th edition so far. The fastest armies out there are really eldar and dark eldar. While space marines do have bikes, and a few other armies have calvary and jump packers, they lack a couple of things that the eldar/dark eldar have. Namely the ability to move over other features on the table, and if they do have that ability (jump packers) they are limited to only 12" movement. Eldar jetbikes also have the free assault move as well. So eldar and dark eldar are the two armies that can dominate the movement phase, but are kinda gimped at the moment because of their age.

    Don't get me wrong, both armies have very viable lists, and yes, they both depend upon much more than just their speed. (lances, extreme redundancy, and nightshields for dark eldar, waveserpent energy shields, holofields, fortune, S6 spam for eldar).

    I think the eldar/dark eldar lists that are successful rely much more so on the combination of the above and speed, than really the speed itself.

  2. The problem I see with the 5th edition codexes is that they have all sped up. From things like Land Speeder Storms, Valkyries, Thunderwolves, Gargoyles, Storm Ravens, and the up coming Dark Eldar release I do not know if the Eldar have that great of a speed advantage it would take to win.

  3. I don't think movement by itself can win games, but in combination with threat ranges from shooting or assault its what seperates good generals from netlisters.

  4. I will have to go ahead disagree with Phazael. I think if you ignore silly IG leafblower lists, 40k matches are more often than not decided in the movement phases. deciding to move that heavy weapon or not, aligning yourself to assault a squad, but pulling in another at the same time. positioning yourself for rear armor shots and of course staying out of range of opponent's assaults and shooting.

    to answer the original posted question, I think that unless you dominate the movement phase, you will have a hard uphill battle in the 40kverse.