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It's been a case of all-hobby, no-bloggy for the last few months. The new edition of 40k has reinvigorated my motivation to build a...

Monday, 5 June 2017

Analysis: Exploiting 8th Ed, Tactical Reserves and Null Deployment

The new 40k 8th Ed ruleset looks great: streamlined, balanced, faster, it's everything we've asked for. But is it perfectly watertight and un-exploitable? Of course not! Let's start by exploiting Tactical Reserves, or 'How to Deep Strike Everything in 8th Ed'.

Tactical Reserves

In 8th Ed Matched Play, there is a rule called Tactical Reserves that, in short, forces you to deploy at least half your total number of units. At face value, this means that 'null deployment', in which minimal units are deployed and most of the army deep strikes in (ideally on turn one) is no longer possible this edition.

Null deployment was a desirable strategy in previous editions, since it almost guaranteed that you would get the first opportunity to shoot the enemy, and you could deploy with perfect information about the enemy army, while your opponent would have to deploy with minimal information about your army.


First we take a Fortification Network Detachment and a single Imperial Bunker for 100 pts.

Then we take a Vanguard Detachment with Imperium Faction for +1 CP and:
  • Company Commander (Astra Militarum HQ Character)
  • Acolytes (Inquisition Single-model Elites squad, free Boltgun)
  • Five Astropaths (Astra Telepathica Elites Characters, exchange Staff for free Laspistol)
At only 111 pts in total. If you want to invest more points for better return, then you could make the Acolyte squad bigger (up to four models will fit in the Bunker) and give them all Plasma Guns or Combi-Plasma for moar dakka.

For a tax of 211 pts, you now have eight units to deploy pre-game, and you only need to place the T8/W12/Sv3+ Bunker on the table (with the other seven drops embarked inside). You can now take up to eight 'deep strike' units in the rest of your list and null deploy like it's 2016.

As an added bonus, if your opponent is dropping more than eight units pre-game, then you'll also get your pick of going first or second!


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