Warhammer 40K Tactics: Understanding Wounds

Hi Fritz! Do you still stand with warriors being the cornerstone of an army? I see a lof lists now that focus on the best units in the codex (mostly Wraiths and Destroyers) and keep the infantry to a minimum of 3 squads o 5l tesla immortals.

The anti-warrior sentiment is based on that many army’s can easily wipe 20 warriors of the table in one turn of shooting, so the RP is not something to rely on.

While I’m working on some Necron tactica to respond to this, there are some bigger points that I feel apply to 8th edition Warhammer 40K at this point.

Now that we all have had  a chance to play 8th and it is well established, what do you feel is the biggest change in the game?

For me, I feel like Games Workshop has made the game “faster”- compared to other editions of 40K things move faster, shoot more, and do more damage. As a result miniatures get removed much fast and in bigger numbers.

While this makes for a much quicker game, and maybe more dynamic, it causes some problems with scale vs. dice.

These are my DBA Roman dudes, with each stand or group of guys representing an element. How many “wounds” does an element have- it changes and is more of an abstract number. In the rules when two units make base contact and attack three things can happen based on the dice and modifiers- nothing, you get pushed back, or the element is removed. As long as the element is up and on the table its attack value is consistent.

Compare that with 40K- a unit generates a volume of dice which relate to its ability to inflict damage, and at different levels depending on the strength of the weapon, and as that unit takes losses its dice pool becomes less and less.

Add in the trend of Games Workshop wanting (pushing/hoping) you will take bigger units for more dice, the game partially becomes who can jump who first- my big dice pool units hits your first and causes so much model loss there is no no way you can effectively generate dice back.

So what do you do?


Could run moar models- playing horde armies can be fun, but eventually are self-terminating- look at what happened to Warhammer Fantasy.

Second option is to go vehicles to both throw up a layer of wounds before being able to attack the stuff inside, have a higher toughness to wounds ratio making it harder to torrent down a vehicle, and most important using the vehicle to get the jump on your opponent- hitting them with your dice pool before they can hit you.

And then there are some interesting elements of 4th edition 40K that seem to be resurfacing that some player think are now- they aren’t, they are just a reaction to the lack of rules balance on GW’s part.

In 4th edition 40K the force org chart was very restrictive. Regardless of the mission and points, you had to take two troop choices and one HQ- from there you could buy fast attack, elite, heavy etc. Naturally, “troops” where rather bog standard and not dice killy- so you took the smallest amount of troops, for the least points to fulfill the force org requirements, and then spent the rest of your bling on super killy stuff.

So what are your options if you want to play the “game”?

BIGGER units?

Vehicles as buffers?

Min/max on killy?

…or something else?


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One Reply to “Warhammer 40K Tactics: Understanding Wounds”

  1. The whole game is out of whack. Ironically I think they were on the right track in 7th edition, but then just went off the rails with crazy detachments.
    RP should be similar to FNP. We can see how effective FNP still is with Nurgle. Just keep in the “roll at the beginning of your turn part” as well to keep it unique, although keeping track of slain vs. fled is a pain.
    Anyway, I think min/max is probably the only option for Necrons now. Vehicles cost too much, still. Even though 3 doomsday arks are a must. The problem is game designers just overvalue wounds and armor.

    The game designers added wounds to make things durable but then overcompensated by adding large amounts of easy to access multi damage weapons. Thereby making single wound, cheap pointed models a premium value.
    Also messing with the wounding mechanic also made things haywire. Now your wounding less against weak massed opponents but strangely wounding more against tough single targets.

    Take a cultist blob vs bolter Centurion devs. Before, the centurion T5 2+ meant something. The CenDevs were going to be wounded a lot less and save most of those. Conversely their HB could engage before the cultists could get in range earlier and wound with most hits.
    Another example, again heavy bolters but vs SM tacs or Drukari racks. Same roll to hit, same roll to wound and with upgraded inv on racks, same roll to save. Almost 50% more for tacs. And if better than -1AP the racks come out ahead.

    The only solid tactic left for most troops that I can see is getting first turn charges off. That way you won’t be focused down. But they’ve made that very difficult.

    Right now without cheap useful spamable options, keeping troops to 5-10% of your force total is probably best. You can’t do that with warriors.

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