Thursday, February 19, 2009

getting shot up and pulling models

by: farmpunk

so last night we played a team game. SandWyrm (IG) and I (DH) vs. Ross (ork hordes), and a player coming back from 4years of not playing. I think 3rd ed was when he played last. We had to go over a lot of rules. And Argue over wether the Deciever can be included in a lit of 1000pts, and if the Callidus assassin's Word in your ear can affect the C'tan.

but I digress. I thought of a more interesting topic. Or at least one I think Might Help Ross with his Orks. I feel bad seeing them loose fairly often. I think going over the arts of model pulling might help.

for instance, in our team game last night, SandWyrm and I shot up the front 30 boys to 2, leaving the 10 nobs and warboss nougat exposed in the ork sandwich. 30boys, Nobs w/warboss, 30 boys

The Nobs and warboss were the unit I was worried about. The nobs were sort of in a mass in the center, with the warboss in the middle of the nobs. They were tightly packed. Shelia the callidus came in from reserves to do her flamer nastiness.

It's a bit of a difficult call when you've got to choose between being shot up by Heavy Bolters because your unit's not 50% behind cover, and grouping up to get cover from Hbolters, and getting flamed in return.

So Shelia set up for the kills. she flamed 10 orks, but rolled horribly on the wounding roll. applying 3 wounds. I didn't want her charging that many nobs, so SandWyrm and I shot the nobs up.

this is where pulling models can help. If Models are pulled right, I would not have been able to charge with Shelia, and kill the Warboss. (if the Big guy happens to be over 6" away)

There are a few approaches to pulling models from large squads. Random pulling, which is useful if you're trying to avoid more templates dropping from the sky. Front pulling, pulling from the side where you will probably get charged after your opponent is done 'softeneing' your unit with fire. Last, is Back pulling, getting rid of the guys in the back who can't really have an effect next turn.

I'll try out vassal if I have time tonight to try to get some diagrams of my examples. Maybe someday I'll try a Vassal game.

Random Pulling:
When mortars and other round templates are falling on your head, sometimes it's best to try to pull the man in the dead center of the unit, rather than the men on the edges, or the rear. This might not exactly be random, but it's a type of thinning the clump. The objective here is to remove models to leave poorer and poorer shots for blasts to hit. This will leave your squad a bit spread out, and you might not be able to get 50% of them behind cover. Some would argue that spreading your force out increases the likelihood of being hit, which is true, but your risk of a catastrophic hit which wipes out your squad goes down.

Front pulling:
(or when you don't want something mean rammed down your throat) I recommend Front pulling When you don't want to recieve the charge. There are times you don't want charged, and making your opponent decide if shooting more is important to thin the hoard, or assaulting is more important.

We'll use the example of the Callidus and Ross's 10 Nobs, with Warboss. This is one time I actually wanted to recommend how to pull models. Shelia flamed over the nobs, hitting 10, causing 3 wounds (real poor rolls) leaving 9 nobs and warboss. I know Shelia (as mean as she is with 2 wounds, and a 4++ save) can't handle that many attacks from Nobs. She's gonna need help. Other units have to shoot into the squad. If nobs are pulled from the front (near Shelia), I have a choice to make. If I shoot too many, Shelia might not be in charge range. If I shoot too few, Shelia's going to get beaten up my the sheer number of hits she's going to take.

To prevent taking a charge, and to be able to shoot and charge in his turn, I might have recommended front pulling to Ross.

Back Pulling:
another option for the same scenario might have been if Ross WANTS his orks to bog someone down, so ANOTHER ork mob can join in the fun. This works well vs. units that don't have special Close Combat avoiding skills like Shelia, or Seraphim (with Hit and Run).
With the Ork mob behind the Nob squad, I was a little worried about them getting a charge on Shelia. If as the Nobs got shot up, Ross pulled from the side Away from Shelia, He would be likely to receive a charge from her, and possibly tie her up until another unit could come during his turn to Assault her, bogged down in the combat. OR if they were from 6-12" away, get additional movement out of charging her.


  1. Some great advice on random / front / and back pulling there. Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts!

  2. I'm not sure how many people think about that when they start pulling models.

    I think about it mainly because I've had Chambers pull things very effectively when we used to play regularly.

  3. First thing who in the hell takes a GOD at 1000 points?

    However if this is going to be a reoccurring thing and you are playing a hoard army, say thank you and let him field the golden boy.

    At 1000 points the most "necrons" that can be fielded with the golden boy is 38. This leaves you a phase out of 9. Killing 29 models should not be hard. The deceiver has only four base attacks and no shooting powers that will harm a fearless squad be in in the form of synapse, mob size, of books of saint stupid. So while the Golden Boy is munching away slowly on one unit the rest of your army only has to put down at most 29 necrons w/o the support of a res-orb.

    If opponent also chooses to be TFG and also takes the 'lith you are now required to do a happy dance. 'Cause your kill count just dropped to 19 "necrons" at most.

    Secondly Farm Punk if you get onto vassel let me know and we can set up a play date :)

    To add to the thread, how were the Ork squads arranged on the table? It should have been possible for the boys to all get 4+ cover saves from intervening models, at worse only one squad would have been w/o the save.

    I am not suggesting the checker board strategy which is dickish but I don't see why the boys wouldn't be intermixed into one large mass.

    As for a general strategy on pulling this is a good bit of advise. I personally like to keep my units daisy chained out at the maxim coherency, 2inches for infantry and 4inches for squadrons. I find that with the new counter charge rules my melee units are no longer penalized for spreading out. Also by spreading out the melee units are better able to threaten multiple units and pull off more combat tricks such as leaving Sgt.s/ heroes out of the first round of combat.


  4. He had the deciever use some kind of shooty attack that made us take LD checks. He was arguing that Fearless units would take wounds if they failed.
    I think that's why he had Pariahs, to lower Ld, and make people run.
    I asked if he REALLY wanted to take the god at 1000pts. I guess he did.

    Next time I see that thing come out, I think I'll switch to WH, and kill it quick. It doesn't irritate me as much as the 4kp Nob Biker lists though. "Wow. you've got 16 models on the table. Even my GK's look like a Hoard to you."

    The Orks were in a sandwich, with Mob Nob Mob. There was decent cover for the mobs from a lot of our shooting. It's still a LOT of shooting.
    I'll suggest to Ross painting bases different colors to differentiate squads, and maybe intermingling squads together, for supportive cover saves.

    Gore and I both do something like that with IG. put the forward squad where it gets cover from terrain, and fan it out from terrain, and put another squad behind it to benefit from the first squad.

    Ah. another topic for another week

  5. Right rather than pick apart this guy who I have not met, I would strongly suggest that you read the Necron codex before the next time you play him. Maybe before the game you could barrow his copy while you are waiting for a table to clear up?

    In all fairness to him their are a lot of special rules for the models that he is taking. I often find people who have been playing the army for years get some of the extra rules mixed up or blended with other rules. Oh an don't forget that there are two entries that you need to read, one for all C'Tan and on for the Deceiver.

    As a side note the I would also suggest that anyone who is interested in the fluff of the 40k universe pick up the Necron codex. It is a vetritable mine of infromation.

  6. I've seen selective strategic model pulling mean the difference between a loss and a win. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


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