What is a siphoning unit in Warhammer 40K and how are we going to use this tactica to help win your next game?

Imagine this setup…

Both our armies are on the table and rushing forward to engage- a proper and deadly game of 40K.

Just before we engage, I have a unit suddenly appear (insert codex unit) on your far table side- just one unit, nothing super deadly, but not something you can fully ignore either.

You need to pull off a few of your incoming units to deal with it…

This unit of mine has just “siphoned” off a few of your units, breaking them away from the main attack, and now as our armies clash there is more of my army putting force and less of yours.

A good siphon unit has the ability or mobility to suddenly “appear” on the table, and is a balance of points and effectiveness.

It’s not a deathstar, or there to destroy large parts of your opponent’s army, it is there to get them to commit more points vs. your unit and keep them busy for a few turns so the entirety of your army can do what is has to do…


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Mark Ong · December 7, 2017 at 6:15 AM

Hi Fritz, have been following your vlogs for a while. love them totally. I totally i agree with you on this idea. I’m an ork player and occasionally my ‘great waaagh’ of boyz might get distracted with a ‘siphoning’ unit.

I guess the issue is, what is a good siphoning unit? Siphons need to be broadly 1.) threatening and/or 2.)a good bait.

A threat means that i have to be persuaded to detour my boyz away to stop that siphon from shooting or charging first into me.

A good bait, means something that is probably a glass cannon, fragile but threatening, something i can kill and then consolidate forward.
I dont want my boyz spending 2-3 turns tied up munching through Deathguard style layer upon layer of saves.

on the other hand, good siphons, should be cheap points wise (maybe?), good mobility or have a deepstrike type mechanic, should be reasonably threatening or threaten an objective, should be resilient, take some shooting or even able to hold my orks down in combat for a turn? Make them pile into the wrong direction?

What have been good siphons in other people’s codexes? What works for your berzerkers of skalathax?

    Wargamer Fritz · December 7, 2017 at 9:50 AM

    The tactica of a siphon unit is easy, finding the unit in your codex and current game can be a bit hard- like you commented we want something a bit killy/glass cannon, but not a lot of point b/c it is going to die unsupported.

    In my Berzerkers of Skallatrax list my siphon unit is a helbrute- it runs of the side of the table, and if it is still around the back end of my opponent’s deployment zone.

    In my tyranid list over the years it has been a lictor, y-stealers when they worked, or infiltrating units.

    In my Space Marine list it is a group of shooty terminators with an assault cannon- land in opponent’s deployment zone and shoot away, hang out there and see who comes to engage.

    Units that just “appear” are best.

    But could also be static units- my older Space Marine list when whirlwinds worked with a template. Park one on the far right of my deployment zone, but the rest of my army on the far left. Whatever unit(s) my opponent sends to take out the whirlwind are stuck after that. Eldar support weapons same thing.

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Jonny · December 12, 2017 at 12:51 AM

Ive been running 2 mawlocs like this and its been effective. Something about 2 big bugs in their lines causes people to panic and mess up.

    Wargamer Fritz · December 12, 2017 at 9:52 AM

    M-locs I have to say are one of the stars of the Tyranid codex so far in 8th. I run two of them also, and they are always the MVP of the game.

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