Saturday, February 11, 2012

Embracing the Black Rage part II

"Treat them with honour,  my Brothers.
Not because they will bring us victory this day,
but because their fate will one day be ours."
                         Astorath the Grim, Blood Angels High Chaplain

So in this post I want to go into a bit more detail on the Rage USR, its limitations, and what wiggle room it allows us. So first we should probably begin by looking at the rule itself.

Rage: blah, fluff, blah. IN the Movement phase, unit subject to rage must always move as fast as possible towards the closest visible enemy. In the Shooting phase, they are free to decide whether to run, but if they do they must run towards the closest visible enemy. In the Assault phase they must always consolidate towards the closest visible enemy. Whilst falling back, embarked on a transport, or if no enemy is visible, they ignore this rule.

So lets look at the first part of that, where we have to move as fast as possible towards the nearest visible enemy in the Movement phase. There's not a whole lot of wiggle room here, except when you look at the end of the rule. 'if no enemy is visible...' If they can't see the enemy, they won't rage at them.  There is no rule that says you have to move them first. Because of that you can use other units to screen them from seeing the enemy so they can act as normal. This can be done most effectively through the use of vehicles, but with clever placement you can also always use the terrain to your advantage as well. Furthermore, this does provide us with a bit of an opportunity. If there is more than one enemy that is visible we must determine which is closest. In most cases this is pretty obvious, but sometimes it's just too close to call with the naked eye. In that case we have no choice but to pull out the good ol' tape measure. When forced to do so, we  actually have a chance to basically pre-measure our charge range. Something that is rarely afforded to us. We can use this information to decide if we want to run, shoot or stand pat in our shooting phase, based on whether we will have adequate charge range or not, or if the removal of key models could take us out.

Alternately you can always use other vehicles and even infantry to 'funnel' them where you want them to go. If you limit their options or restrict their movement then you gain a bit of control over them as well. Needless to say the number of different scenarios that could come up are limitless, but with some careful thought and movement we can open up some different options.

Next up is the option to run or shoot in the Shooting phase. Now if we choose to run we are beholden to the same rules as in the Movement phase. If we choose to shoot instead, though, we are free to pick any target we desire. There's no restrictions on this. It's one place where we are afforded some free will. Don't be afraid to exercise it!

Finally, we have the Assault phase, where we must consolidate towards the nearest visible enemy unit. It does not place any restrictions on who we can charge though (unless we shot in the shooting phase, of course.) So if you have multiple enemies in charge range you can take your pick of the litter. Or we can multi-assault if we choose, so long as we follow all the normal restrictions of course.

It is still a pretty limiting rule, but when you break it down there is a bit more wiggle room than there first appears to be. It's this wiggle room that you must keep in mind when fielding a unit (or army) of Death Company. Transports are great because once inside the DC can go anywhere they want. Screening them from LOS is another viable tactic, though harder to pull off. Of course my favorite way to use them is Drop Pod insertion, but I already covered that pretty well in the last post ;)

1 comment:

  1. Well written. I had not thought about the use of vehicles to channel rage.