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                         Infantryman’s Guide to Victory

One of the first things to consider when deploying your troops is the role for which you intend to use your infantry: for massed volleys of firepower or for wave upon wave of brutal close-combat fighting.

SHOOTY UNITS If your infantry unit is a shooty one, deploy them in cover with a commanding view over the objectives in no-man's land. If possible, stick them in a building or terrain feature so that only a really determined assault can winkle them out.

ASSAULT UNITS If your infantry unit is better off in an assault, you can break the golden rule of not deploying your infantry in the open. Because of the fact that your troops and those of your enemy are separated by a meagre 12" strip of no-man's land, this can mean that your assault troops are often in a position to launch an assault on the 1st turn of the game. You might think that a canny opponent will deploy as far away as he can from your assault troops, and many players will adopt this tactic -- after all, it works well in normal games of 40K. But Apocalypse is anything but normal. If your opponent hangs back and puts as much distance between himself and your front-liners as possible, he is relinquishing any potential claim upon the objectives in no-man's land and your own Deployment Zone, and that will possibly hand you the game before the dice start rolling. This means that being belligerent with your assault troops is an even sounder strategy in Apocalypse than in a normal game of 40K.

Another reason to set up your assault troops as close to the enemy as possible is that your faster stuff can whiz around the side of your slow troops, whereas the footsloggers will have to trudge forward 6" per turn. Because of this limit, it is usually wise to deploy vehicle-mounted units behind your infantry units on foot, allowing you to coordinate your attack instead of going in piecemeal.

In the section of the Orkipelago pictured above, Alex has set up his slowest troops -- the Ork Boyz and the Gretchin mob -- as far forward as he was allowed. He has placed his Trukk Boyz and his Battlewagon-riding HQ unit centrally and to the rear of the formation, knowing that they have the speed to zoom through the middle of the footsloggers and assault the Eldar in a wave of unstoppable green doom! Note that Alex's Shoota Boyz have taken up a position in the drill pylon scenery piece so that they can take out any troops who close in on the infantry from the relative safety of the building.



        Using Troops As Bait



If you're worried about your troops being chopped to pieces by your opponent's assault specialists, there is another tactic you might wish to use -- the old "bait and counterattack" ploy. Simply set up an expendable unit right at the front of your Deployment Zone with a more-formidable unit right behind it. Should your enemy want to close in on the juicy targets, he will have to go through your expendable unit(s) first. Whilst the enemy assault unit is busily hacking through your skirmish line, you can launch a devastating counterattack from your own assault units, hopefully slaughtering the enemy's troops and hauling your expendable units out of trouble in one fell swoop.

Returning to the example above, the Gretchin mob at the forefront of Alex's formation was charged by Jain Zar and her Howling Banshee bodyguard, but the little greenies did not run due to the presence of their Slaver and his Squighound. This allowed the Ork Boyz unit behind them to counterattack, killing off the Phoenix Lord and her power sword-wielding Aspect Warriors. A perfect example of how footsloggers can punch above their weight if used correctly.

Making No-Man's Land Work for You



In most games of Apocalypse, there will be an area of no-man's land with very little terrain in it. You can use this section to your advantage. When placing your objectives, make sure one of them is right in the middle of an area with very little cover, directly in front of a good firing position in your own Deployment Zone. Then, simply set up your footslogger troops in cover and force the enemy to trudge across the empty wasteland whilst you pour fire into his ranks.

Consider the set-up above. The Eldar player has placed one of his objectives, the Titan Head, in an area with very little cover. The Ork player, naturally wanting to get into close combat as soon as possible, has placed his troops as far forward as he can. The Eldar player has set up his troops a good 18" away: close enough to pour punishing fusillades of shuriken into the Ork ranks, but not close enough for the Orks to get an early charge. When the Orks get too close for comfort, the Eldar can move in and launch their own assault, with any luck taking the Titan's Head objective out of the grubby hands of the much-depleted Ork horde pouring across the bridge.

Strategic Redeployment



The Apocalypse board can be the bane of an infantryman's life. Vast tracks of open ground separate the humble infantryman from his goal, and he's going to have to take a lot of punishment getting over there. Surely there must be some way other than the long walk?

Well, luckily, there is. In games of Apocalypse, the Strategic Redeployment stratagem is an infantryman's best friend. It is a fantastic way of ensuring that your opponent does not deploy in such a manner that a large section of your force is left with no-one to kill. Even better than that, it allows you to zoom a unit right across the board to claim an objective deep in enemy territory. You may move as many units as you like with a Strategic Redeployment, in any of your turns, and not just footsloggers -- you can redeploy tanks, super-heavies, whatever you like. The only stipulations are that the units redeploying in this manner cannot fire or assault that turn, and that they may not move within 12" of any enemy troops. A small price to play when this stratagem gives you the chance to bring hundreds or even thousands of points of troops back into the game in one swift move.

If you use a Strategic Deployment to move some of your troops onto an unclaimed objective, you'll need to bear the following points in mind.

1) Make sure there is room for your troops to move, as they will need to keep 12" away from the enemy. You might need to clear a path with carefully placed fire in the previous Shooting Phase, using your biggest guns to destroy a section of the enemy force so that your own troops can sneak by. It takes some doing, but this can be a game-winning tactic, as it often allows you to contest or even claim the two objectives in the enemy's Deployment Zone -- he will often have placed them as far back as possible to prevent your forces from reaching them.

2) Make sure that you move a lot of units at once. A half-hearted Strategic Redeployment is no use to man nor beast, because the enemy can just shoot the bejeezus out of your carefully redeployed troops, robbing them of their ability to claim that far-flung objective. It's worth it for the look on your opponent's face when a battle company of Space Marines suddenly appears behind his battle lines.

In this section of the Kan Factory board, the Eldar player has used his Wild Rider Host's Strategic Redeployment to relocate a large squadron of Falcons from the other side of the board, where they were achieving very little, to this commanding position where they can open fire on the Ork Dreadnoughts in relative safety. The Shoota Boys on the shoreline can do nothing about this, but if they had a Strategic Redeployment of their own, they could quickly move over the bridge and into the thick of the fighting on the other side of the board.

In this section of the Kan Factory board, the Eldar player has used his Wild Rider Host's Strategic Redeployment to relocate a large squadron of Falcons from the other side of the board, where they were achieving very little, to this commanding position where they can open fire on the Ork Dreadnoughts in relative safety. The Shoota Boys on the shoreline can do nothing about this, but if they had a Strategic Redeployment of their own, they could quickly move over the bridge and into the thick of the fighting on the other side of the board.

Decoys and Claimants



This is a pretty unusual tactic in that it uses some of your most expensive troops as decoys on the front line whilst less exciting troops hang back ready to claim victory. Doesn't make sense? Think about it from an objectives point of view.

Before we go any further, have a look at the following Eldar battlehost and see if you can guess which of the units shown proved the most influential at the very end of the game. The Ulthwé warhost shown is guarding the rearmost island of the Orkipelago, with the Crane as one of the game's objectives. We'll tell you the answer at the end of this section.

A decoy is a big, scary unit that goes straight for the enemy's throat, whereas a claimant is a unit that sits quietly at the back of the board taking pot shots from its original position, conveniently near an objective. It's easy to get carried away in a game of Apocalypse, and this tactic makes use of that fact. Get your flashy, deadly troops right into the front of your enemy's forces and he's likely to divert everything he has in an attempt to stop them. Meanwhile, your long-ranged and unassuming troops sit tight on an objective you have purposefully put in the back of your own Deployment Zone, claiming an objective and generally hoping that the enemy doesn't notice them. If the unit has a decent cover save or the ability to use direct fire weaponry, this can be a devastatingly effective tactic. After all, if the enemy wants to winkle out your claimants, he will have to commit a good deal of effort to the task; not easy when your most lethal units are running amuck in the thick of his lines, shouting battlecries and generally drawing attention to themselves. Furthermore, your claimant unit will often be out of range of all but the enemy's biggest guns, and if you play your decoys right, they will have their hands full duelling with other Titans and super-heavy tanks.

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