Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Planetstrike Solution: Tank Spam

Meals on wheels. Savoury & delicious!

It’s Wednesday, that means Wednesday Night Gaming! But first, a special pre-game pre-batrep!

Readers may recall in my last 2000 point battle, my ‘Dirty Basterds’ list got their @sses handed to them with a combination of 2nd turn, Dawn of War setup, Shrike Bikes sneakery, bad rolling, getting bunched up in the corner, and poor elite choices in list-building.

Tonight however, we will be playing a 2000 point Planetstrike game with me as the defender, and Laur (Marines) as the attacker. He’s already hinted on using Landspeeders with Scouts as a main part of his force, but what I’d like to concentrate on here in this pre-article article is tanks. Lots of tanks.

Oh, and objective placement.

Tanks For The Memories

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of an Armoured Company (*cough*tank spam* cough*), but strangely have no desire to play Apocalypse games or suchlike. However, with Planetstrike, or rather specifically the Planetfall mission FOC setup, now is my chance to try out a fun, ‘fluffy’ (dubious rather), tank spam armoured company, which I call the Cadian 515th! Check these babies out!

Vroom vroom!

Now, far be it for me to open up a discussion on semantics re: ‘spam’ (mucho apologies to Hornel foods company though I know how much they love the free advertising), but I just couldn’t resist with the 6no. Heavy Support slots to cram in as many tanks as possible. The idea here is to have my basic men to hold their nerve and not crap their pants in their 4no. bastions, while the Armoured Might of the Emperor trundles and lumbers along to the battlefield, pulverising opponents with the long reach of battle-cannon, incinerating them at closer range with the Demolishers, mopping up with the Devil Dog and running interference with the Sentinels (yes I ran out of points, and yes, I had to scale back Straken and my Primaris Psyker to, you guessed it, fit in more tanks/units in the fast attack slot).

Backs Against The Wall

But wait, I hear you say!

What about the Planetfall mission? What if my men don’t hold their nerve?

Aha! Tanks and other vehicles count as being able to claim, or deny an objective so no problems there. If my men die, I just park my sentinels/vehicles in base-to-base contact, so no problems there. Also, I realise in a game of Planetstrike, there seems to be (according to the book) 2 ways to achieve a defensive setup, the ‘Castle’ where all my bastions/objectives are holed up in the middle-ish as such:

Fortress Indomitable & extra bastion. Chimera added for scale reference

In which we make use of the cardboard fortress we made a while ago.

This has the advantage of being able to concentrate my fire at targets and lend support to one another, and if I had Straken, beef up the c-c capabilities.

Downside if I tank spam is it provides a big wall I can’t see through to shoot my enemy, and increases the likelihood of forced castling by fast, mobile or deepstriking assault units that will chew their way through my tanks like tissue paper. After all, I want to keep them at arm’s length so I can take potshots at them willy nilly, so for me, for a successful Planetstrike defense, castling is out the window.

So consider the Cross-fire position, in which certain objectives are ‘given away’ in the hopes they delay the opponent long enough, so that my reinforcements can arrive on board and provide a counter-attack. Also, position the objectives so they are roughly 1.5” away from the board edges to deny certain board edges to the enemy, and put them close to the corners to increase deep strike mishaps.

Also, great for maximum firing line capabilities.

4no. Bastions at corners + middle, with aegis lines.

That’s where the tanks come in!

Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner

Hey you! Spaghetti arms! Listen to Inquisitor Swayze.

Based on the lessons learnt from bunching up in my last big battle of the wheels of steel, and the fact that this is an objective based game, AND the fact that I have this insane desire to exploit the 6no. Heavy slots (Oh I wish I had more points to cram more tanks in!), I’m opting for the Cross-fire setup, hoping that the AV14 of the bastions will prove reliable enough to delay my opponent, who will dripfeed his units in (thank you Officer of the Fleet) and allow my tanks to roll in position and blast the crap out of him with their long reach.

Even if he re-took the Shrike Bikes list, I think I will stand a decent chance due to the emphasis in objective grabbing. Also by putting these ‘decoy’ bastions to close to the edges, this allows me to take advantage of my superior range capabilities and hopefully break a squad or two of his off the board. Also I’ll try to take a better spread and keep mobile to avoid a forced castling manoeuvre, bunched up like grapes to be cherry-picked by his mobile assault units. THIS MUST BE AVOIDED.

Thinking about it, he will probably NOT go for a Shrike bikes list, but perhaps something similar to the list he had during the Scouring scenario (termie heavy), mixed in with drop pods, some bike elements, and melta-bombed armed outflanking Marine scouts. We shall see.

In any case the Cadian 515th are ready for a jolly good scrap. Now I just have to pray to the Emperor for some good dice rolling. Batrep tomorrow, wish me luck!

- Menzies


  1. Good stuff and good luck - hope it went well.

    Please enlighten me though: what's with the "6no" and "4no"?

  2. Wait 'til you see the batrep, it was quite a game!

    No. being the abbreviation for number, 'numero' in latin. 6no. H.Bolters = 6 x number heavy bolters. (refer to

  3. While I love Leman Russes, where we play there are three Eldar players - not counting me when I play the pointy ears. Armor 14 doesn't last long against them, so I go for more of a AC12 approach.
    In addition, I really like Basilisks and Hydras.