Warhammer 40K Gaming Board Tactics

June 17, 2009 ·

While Warhammer 40K may be about army tactics, it is also about Gaming Board Tactics. Knowing the measurements and the size of the board plays a big part in a game of Warhammer 40K, especially when it comes to maximising your movement, ensuring a 2nd Turn charge and even staying out of weapons range.

So it's important to remember that the proper 6' X 4' Warhammer 40K gaming board is in fact 72" X 48".

Know The Distance
Remember that the board is 72" wide and 48" across. So, if your Eldar Vyper with its range 36" starcannon moves on 12" from the board edge, it will have full range to the back of your opponent's deployment zone, fully covering the 48" distance.

Similarly, a Space Marine Landspeeder coming on from reserve can move 12" on and fire it's assault cannon 24" for a combined range of 36". So anything more than 12" on from your opponent's table edge will be in range.

It's small things like this which can make all the different in a game of Warhammer 40K.

No Man's Land
Although, due to the new deployment types, No Man's Land is very rarely the 24" gap between battle lines, it's important to note that if you deploy a unit 12" on, at the very edge of your deployment zone and your opponent does the same (leaving a 24" gap in the middle) that there are 24" inches to cross.

Now this is where the rules become slightly hazy.

Imagine that on your table edge is a squad of Space Marines deployed 12" forward.
Meanwhile your opponent has a brood of Tyranid Hormagaunts, also deployed 12" forward.

He wins the first turn, moving his Hormagaunts 6" forward. He rolls a 6" for his Fleet of Foot and then uses his Leaping ability for a 12" charge move, gaining a total movement of 24" for the turn.

Do the Hormagaunts charge the Space Marines?
Good question.
Beginners would say yes, while tournament players would say no.
Why is this? Because the tournament player would have set up their Space Marine squad 1 molecule, 1 atom or 1 milimetre back from the full 12".
Irritating for the Tyranid player, but it happens.

But the important lesson to be learned from this is to protect yourself from people who over measure.

Over Measuring
Over Measuring: The habit by which a player becomes overexcited and increases the movement of their unit by small amounts during the Movement phase, Shooting phase (from Fleet of Foot) and Assault phase.

One guy I know does it by accident, so I won't be too critical. But when his Daemon Prince ends up moving 22" in a turn you know something is downright wrong.

The problem with Over Measuring is that it is quite hard to convince an opponent that they have just done it as their movement is spread over 3 phases. This is why it's best to note where they have moved from during the turn (usually by a peice of nearby terrain) or by taking not of the size of the gaming board.

For example, his Space Marine Assault Squad equipped with Jump Packs assaulted a unit of Tau Stealth Suits on Turn 3. He had set them up 12" on to the board, while my Stalth Suits had been deployed opposite.

Turn 1, he moved them 12".
Turn 2, he moved them another 12" and attempted to charge 6".
His total movement for Turns 1 and 2 combined was 30"
However, he made it into base contact with my Stealth Suits which were just 5" from the board edge.

This meant that he had Over Measured by 1 inch during his 2 Turns of movement.

Over Measuring is a common occurence, especially amongst players who use fast moving units, usually assault units.

While I'm convinced that it's not an intentional mistake that people make, especially not tournament players who are required to be incredibly precise in their measurements, it often occurs. So you must be prepared for it and of course, make sure that you don't do it yourself.

So make sure you always play on a 6' X 4' table, note where the centre of the board is, how far on your deployment zones are, where you've placed your troops within them (and where your opponent has placed their troops). With a little practice you should always know if your weapons are in range.

The Games Workshop plastic battlefield makes this easy as it's divided into 2' X 2' squares. But if you're like me and used three bits of 2' X 4' board it's just as easy. Playing on a smooth 6' X 4' board if when you need to learn what the distances look like.

It's also important (especially when playing Tau) to easily identify the range of your guns as well as the charge range of fast enemy close combat units.


oni said...
June 17, 2009 at 6:08 AM  

Good read. All very good points too. I pay close attention to movement and will call my opponent on anything I feel is to much of an 'over measurement'. What I dislike the most is when players start their measurement from the front of the base and then end it at the rear. The rulebook even explicitly says NOT to do this.

Depending on how 'honest' and fun of an opponent I have I can take a relaxed view on distances. If I notice my opponent is being 'honest' with their movement and they go to shoot or assault and they come up just a fraction of a hair short... I'll give it to them. Alternatively if my opponent is a power gaming, WAAC asshat I'm going to make sure he adheres to every single rule, and measures everything precisely, no exceptions.

Alex said...
June 17, 2009 at 9:10 AM  

Back when I played minis games more competitively (most often Mechwarrior), we just vocalized all the key distances, since table bumps and other vagaries of physical reality can cause errors. It would be something like:

"My Space Marines are moving 4" to here, where they are just outside of 16" away from your Imperial Guards."

...and similar. Helped prevent lots of bickering and related issues.

Itkovian said...
June 18, 2009 at 7:37 AM  

Some very good points. My regular opponent is really bad for overmeasuring - but they're friendly games so it doesn't matter too much, and I wouldn't want to sour the mood of the game by being retentive about it (it just niggles me).

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