Wargaming Tactics: Using Powerful Units

Elite units.

Powerful units.

Deathstar units.

Every wargaming system has its share of elite powerful units- units that if executed correctly on the tabletop can really turn the flow of the game, but at a cost in points and resources.

In this post we are going to explore some tactica to get the most out of these units and cut down on that WIN learning curve.

Many wargaming systems have a point or battle value system which has players building from an army list- all players have X number of points to buy units.

In this way, each player can have a customized army, or an army pulling in different units and the game is still *fair* due to the point limit.

Powerful units are balanced out as they always cost more in points and resources to reflect the elite nature.

But there is more to list building in just filling things out with elite and powerful units- you won’t have enough model mass- other units to make winning the mission possible.

Powerful units can’t be everywhere at once.

The first step in taking powerful units is to be mindful of the battle point spread and the other units you might need for the mission- model mass.

In selecting that powerful unit we next want to get it out there earning every turn. Each game turn or round it needs to be destroying/removing opposing units. Leveraging that power to do so, and offset the cost that you paid to get it in the list.

Movement and the ability to move is KEY.

Is the unit fast enough to move around and be active every turn?

If not can you speed it up?

Depending on the system, buy a delivery system- a transport, flyer, or some other way to move it around on the table? Can it get in a good position to be shooting, assaulting, using psychic powers, etc.

Spending 2-3 turns getting out of the deployment zone and to the mid field is not going to work.

Mobility is KEY.

Earning every turn.

Next on the checklist- power ups and combinations?

Is there a way to buff the unit even more?

An example…

Chain of Command WW II is a historical miniature game that I play with an excellent ruleset. I play late-war Germans so I can get access to those big battle tanks- Tigers, King Tigers, and Panthers.

These tanks cost a *ton* of support points in the game- 10+ points a tank, compared to 5 points or so for an American Sherman.

In Chain of Command your officers issue orders to activate units and have them move, shoot, and remove shock. Shock represent the effects of combat in the moment- keeping your head down, fog of war, taking a hit to the tank, no damage, but rattled the crew.

Shock reduces your movement and chances to hit.

A Tiger comes with a junior officer inside the tank who can issue 2 commands a turn- move, shoot, or remove one shock point.

We can *buff* the tank by buying a senior officer for 3 support points who can issue 3 commands a turn.

That extra command order takes the effectiveness of the tank to the next level.

Other wargaming systems have area buffs, interactions of special rules with selected units, etc. Find out how you can buff or upgrade your unit.

Now we have our powerful units, the elite of the elite- how to use them?

Don’t send them against other powerful and elite units- they will get bogged down, and either get wiped out, or if they win, they will be so reduced in model number or damaged, they won’t be tabletop effective anymore.

Send them against weaker units- gobble up what you can every turn.

Attack the units your opponent is using to win the mission or accomplish mission goals each turn. Your elite units *need* to be reducing your opponent’s model mass every turn.