Wargaming Tactics: When To Take Action


When is the moment that you commit with your forces?

When do you press the attack?

What turn do you plan to break your opponent?

In this post let’s look at a few of the game based mechanics to consider when timing your attack.

The fist big question of wargaming timing is the turn system- is it a you-go-I-go system or something a bit more dynamic with individual unit activation?

An example of the you-go-I-go system is Warhammer 40,000. I move my models, I shoot with my models, I assault with my models. For most of the game you sit there passively till I am done, then you go move, shoot, assault and I sit passive. Game systems like this are mainly older system based on 70’s wargaming ‘tech and are RIPE for abuse for an alpha strike.

Turn one, and going first in that first turn are KEY with a well focused army. We both start the game with an equal point or power level army- say 2000 points. If I go first and REALLY hit into you with shooting, and do some decent damage, that means when you get to start the game on your turn you are not starting with a 2000 point army, but rather a 1800 or so point army- subtracting for the losses which you could not stop.

You want to alpha-strike every time with you-go-I-go.

With an alternating unit activation game- one where you move a unit, I move a unit, and perhaps we shoot based on unit skill or at the same time, the tactics shift a bit.

In alternate activation games we want to force our opponent to move their units with the most damage output first while saving our best damaging units last. This way you know where they are on the table, and can counter.

With Battletech as an example each player moves a unit back and forth- taking some cheap battle value infantry and vehicles means you can move them first and save those harder hitting mechs for later movement once your opponent has moved KEY pieces first.

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