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 The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers

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Mushkilla
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PostSubject: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Sun Jan 11 2015, 19:59

The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers

These guides aim to give bitesize advice on the benefits of being pragmatic when playing 40k. They do not intend to delve into mathematical analysis of whether or not the units used in the example are optimal or cost effective, nor do they intend to cover load outs or configurations. Those will be left for other discussions. It is also worth noting that the examples in these guides are simplified for clarity, of course in practice there will be more units involved.

Reavers that are at the right place at the right time, can be great blockers due to their ability to move 36” in the shooting phase, expendable nature and ability to block units without giving them cover in the Dark Eldar shooting phase.

WARNING: with all blocking tactics it is imperative that you watch out for unit types that can circumvent intervening models (Jump Pack Infantry, Jet Pack Infantry, Jetbikes, Flying Monstrous Creatures, Skimmers, and Flyers).

Example 1:



Note: the rules regarding tank shock are convoluted so I have three slightly different examples depending on how you play tank shock.

example 1a pivot does not count as tank shock

The ravager has just engaged a razorback destroying it. At the end of the shooting phase the reavers turboboost to block the second razorback behind the line of sight blocking terrain from engaging the ravager next turn due to the line of sight blocking terrain. The space marine player can only get rid of the reavers in his shooting phase meaning the razorback won't be able to move to engage the ravager.

The razorback cannot tank shock the reavers, as to perform a tank shock the razorback needs to pivot to face them, which it cannot do as that would bring it within 1” of the reavers. The pivot move itself does not count as a tank shock (because pivoting on the spot does not count as moving, this is not enough for a Tank Shock).

example 1b pivot does count as tank shock

The ravager has just engaged a razorback destroying it. At the end of the shooting phase the reavers turboboost to block the vindicator behind the line of sight blocking terrain from engaging the ravager next turn due to the line of sight blocking terrain. The space marine player can only get rid of the reavers in his shooting phase meaning the vindicator won't be able to move to engage the ravager.

The vindicator can tank shock the reavers. However a vehicle cannot change direction once a tank shock has been declared (after the first pivot). Due to the position of the reavers the vindicator would have to expose it's vulnerable AV11 side armour to the ravager and due to the 45 degree arc of its hull mounted demolisher cannon it wouldn't be able to engage the ravager.

example 1c pivot does count as tank shock

The ravager has just engaged a razorback destroying it. At the end of the shooting phase the reavers turboboost to block the predator behind the line of sight blocking terrain from engaging the ravager next turn due to the line of sight blocking terrain. The space marine player can only get rid of the reavers in his shooting phase meaning the predator won't be able to move to engage the ravager.

The predator can tank shock the reavers. However a vehicle cannot change direction once a tank shock has been declared (after the first pivot). Due to the position of the reavers the predator would have to expose it's vulnerable AV11 side armour to the ravager and due to moving it would only be able to fire one weapon at full ballistic skill (the right lascannon sponson would not be able to fire at the ravager either).

Example 2:



The reavers have used their turbo boost movement to surround the Imperial Knight. This will prevent the Imperial Knight from moving in its movement phase, preventing him from engaging the Dark Eldar army. It also forces the Imperial Knight player to allocate resources to to deal with the reavers as the Imperial Knights own shooting is ill suited to dealing with them (the large blast from the thermal cannon can only hit 1 reaver and could potentially scatter back onto the Imperial Knight or the controlling player’s own army).

Example 3:



The revers have turbo boosted, positioning themselves behind the tactical marines preventing them from going into cover next turn. By doing this the Dark Eldar player can keep the marines out of cover so that the incubi in the venom can can strike at initiative when charging the marines in the following dark eldar turn. This manoeuvre can also benefit shooting units. For example if the venom was carrying blasterborn, this move would prevent the marines from getting a cover save in the Dark Eldar players following shooting phase.

Example 4:



The reavers have turbo boosted positioning themselves behind the tactical marines. The incubi charge the nearest tactical squad. They will most likely wipe them out before the Dark Eldar players next assault phase. Because the reavers are blocking the movement of the tactical squad that isn't engaged they won't be able to get out of the reliable charge range of the incubi in the space marine players turn (as the path that would take them furthest away from the incubi is blocked). This means the incubi should have a good chance of being able to charge the second tactical squad in the following Dark Eldar turn.

In conclusion using reavers to block your opponents movement can give you more space on a finite board giving your forces more time to deal with the threat. It can also be used to reduce the effectiveness of blocked units by denying them a turn of effective action, leveraging the fact that the game is played over a finite number of turns. Finally it can be used to shepherd enemy units ensuring they only stray where you want them to.

Hope you enjoyed this guide and found it useful! Have fun blocking! Very Happy

For more guides checkout #ThePragmaticRealspaceRaider

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Last edited by Mushkilla on Sun Jan 11 2015, 22:57; edited 2 times in total
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Sigmaril
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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Sun Jan 11 2015, 20:25

Quote :
The razorback cannot tank shock the reavers, as to perform a tank shock the razorback needs to pivot to face them, which it cannot do as that would bring it within 1” of the reavers. The pivot move itself does not count as a tank shock (because pivoting on the spot does not count as moving, this is not enough for a Tank Shock).
I disagree on this claim. You declare that you're going to Tank Shock instead of moving normally, therefore putting the normal movement restrictions aside in order to follow the directions given in the Tank Shock rules.

Hitting a model when doing the pivot isn't enough for the Tank Shock, though. You have to move at least combat speed for that.
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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Sun Jan 11 2015, 22:26

@Sigmaril wrote:
Quote :
The razorback cannot tank shock the reavers, as to perform a tank shock the razorback needs to pivot to face them, which it cannot do as that would bring it within 1” of the reavers. The pivot move itself does not count as a tank shock (because pivoting on the spot does not count as moving, this is not enough for a Tank Shock).
I disagree on this claim. You declare that you're going to Tank Shock instead of moving normally, therefore putting the normal movement restrictions aside in order to follow the directions given in the Tank Shock rules.

Hitting a model when doing the pivot isn't enough for the Tank Shock, though. You have to move at least combat speed for that.
This is an issue that is contentious and arguable from both sides. Has been for several editions. Check with your group and TO on how they interpret it.

Note that in the US, the Independent Tournament FAQ used by Adepticon, LVO/BAO, et al has ruled in favor of pivot acting as a tank shock, so at least in western and central US it'd be common to play it that way.

That said, still a very useful guide all around and there's still units that example 1 would work on.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Sun Jan 11 2015, 22:50

@winterman wrote:
This is an issue that is contentious and arguable from both sides.  Has been for several editions.  Check with your group and TO on how they interpret it.

I agree that it was an issue in 6th, but I felt the wording in 7th edition cleared it up. pale

However, as it clearly is still a contentious point I have added alternative examples to illustrate the benefits of the manoeuvre in example 1 for those that play that pivot is part of the tank shock. Notably against vehicles with limited fire arcs (vindicator) and or weaker side armour (predator).

Thanks for the feedback! Smile

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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Mon Jan 12 2015, 00:15

In examples 3 and 4, the Tactical marines would just simply shoot then charge the Reavers.
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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Mon Jan 12 2015, 08:00

@PainReaver wrote:
In examples 3 and 4, the Tactical marines would just simply shoot then charge the Reavers.

And? So what if they do? Explore that option further. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Mon Jan 12 2015, 08:30

Your reavers are likely to be dead in close combat when not charging.

Sure they wasted a turn however.
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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Mon Jan 12 2015, 08:55

@PainReaver wrote:
Your reavers are likely to be dead in close combat when not charging.

Sure they wasted a turn however.

Exactly!

In example 3-4, they can charge and kill the reavers, and consolidate. However, this is not guaranteed, the reavers get overwatch, and strike before them (depending on the turn they may also have FNP, and if your lucky might have a decent drug roll).

The marine player cannot guarantee a victory by using his marines alone (and if the reavers stay locked in combat they can just hit and run). So in order to guarantee victory, the reavers need to be soften up drawing more resources away from the marine player (the reavers might fail a leadership test from shooting and leave the marines with nothing to charge).

All this uncertainty in the hope of killing the reavers, and hoping a good consolidate move get's the marines into cover or out of charge range.

By using the reavers to block, you are already exposing them to the entirety of your opponents shooting, in an exchange for a positional advantage. When you make that move you are fully aware that they are potentially being sacrificed, the hard question is: whether that sacrifice is worth controlling your opponent?

Do this manoeuvre when it isn't favourable for your opponent to sacrifice resources to remove your reavers, and not only do you gain a positional advantage, but you force your opponent to do something he wasn't planning on doing. Maybe a thunderfire cannon not on that picture in those examples was going to clear one of your units off an objective, but now might be used to free the marines? And so on.

Remember these are examples use to illustrate manoeuvres worth considering, so in that sense they are somewhat contrived. Try substituting different units with the tactical marines, making the reaver unit bigger or smaller, changing the turn counter (early, mid, late game), adding objectives and other units. You will find some trades worthwhile and other that aren't.

Hope that helps expand on my original post and thanks for the questions and feedback. They generate the sort of discussion that I want these articles to generate! Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Mon Jan 12 2015, 10:10

@Mushkilla wrote:
@winterman wrote:
This is an issue that is contentious and arguable from both sides.  Has been for several editions.  Check with your group and TO on how they interpret it.

I agree that it was an issue in 6th, but I felt the wording in 7th edition cleared it up.  pale

Well, given that it says "Note that, because pivoting on the spot does not count as moving, this is not enough for a Tank Shock." so did I! What exactly is the debate on that?

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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Mon Jan 12 2015, 10:25

@Count Adhemar wrote:
@Mushkilla wrote:
@winterman wrote:
This is an issue that is contentious and arguable from both sides.  Has been for several editions.  Check with your group and TO on how they interpret it.

I agree that it was an issue in 6th, but I felt the wording in 7th edition cleared it up.  pale

Well, given that it says "Note that, because pivoting on the spot does not count as moving, this is not enough for a Tank Shock." so did I! What exactly is the debate on that?
That sentance is exactly what is indicating, that when you Tank Shock, it IS indeed possible to pivot and hit enemy models that way (it just doesn't quite qualify for A Tank Shock). If it wasn't possible, this sentance wouldn't be necessary.
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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Mon Jan 12 2015, 10:36

@Sigmaril wrote:
@Count Adhemar wrote:
@Mushkilla wrote:
@winterman wrote:
This is an issue that is contentious and arguable from both sides.  Has been for several editions.  Check with your group and TO on how they interpret it.

I agree that it was an issue in 6th, but I felt the wording in 7th edition cleared it up.  pale

Well, given that it says "Note that, because pivoting on the spot does not count as moving, this is not enough for a Tank Shock." so did I! What exactly is the debate on that?
That sentance is exactly what is indicating, that when you Tank Shock, it IS indeed possible to pivot and hit enemy models that way (it just doesn't quite qualify for A Tank Shock). If it wasn't possible, this sentance wouldn't be necessary.

Okay, I see the issue, although I disagree with the conclusion that some have reached. Seems to me that the pivot is not part of the tank shock move and shouldn't benefit from the exception to the rule of not being within 1" of an enemy model but I can at least see the issue now. GW poor writing yet again.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Mon Jan 12 2015, 10:44

I'm just getting into sacrificial tactics: After running a 30 point beast pack(B&2Ks), because I just couldn't decide what to do with the points, and seeing it be a real spanner in the works for my opponent, I can see a lot of potential in fast, minimised bait units.

I'm presuming that you run naked 48 point Reaver squads for this sort of work?
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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Mon Jan 12 2015, 11:36

@commandersasha wrote:

I'm presuming that you run naked 48 point Reaver squads for this sort of work?

I'd never build my list around the possibility that I might use one of these tactics (or Eldar trickery as it's known in my local meta) and sacrifice the unit.
However, consider the possibility that the Reavers have already served their main purpose in a game, or find no more optimal targets (as in you have better tools for the job), and this may be a way to have them be useful and help out the rest of your army indirectly.

Yes, shooting or assaulting the unit you are now blocking may serve the same goal, but it's never 100%. Blocking is, because it's not relying on a single dice roll.
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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Mon Jan 12 2015, 13:57

@commandersasha wrote:
I'm presuming that you run naked 48 point Reaver squads for this sort of work?

I always take caltrops so 53pt, as they are cheap and make the unit more versatile (and I don't wont units who's only purpose is blocking). I currently run six squads of three reavers. But I'll cover that more in my reaver MSU article that I'm writing up.

@DingK wrote:
Yes, shooting or assaulting the unit you are now blocking may serve the same goal, but it's never 100%. Blocking is, because it's not relying on a single dice roll.

This is a very important point to take away.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Mon Jan 12 2015, 14:33

Do you run larger squads at all now?
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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Mon Jan 12 2015, 14:36

No larger than 6.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Mon Jan 12 2015, 20:32

Thanks for another great guide!
I kind of feel sorry for the Imperial Knight xD
Will read again, when i'm experienced enough to really capitalize on advanced stuff like this.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Mon Jan 12 2015, 22:21

Thanks for the support!

@helvexis to expand on my previous point. I used to run large squads because it was more efficient with the old pain token mechanic, three heatlabces was a reliable number to have, jink didn't make you BS1 and the old bladevane mechanic made squads of nine lethal when coming in from reserve.

With the new codex there are very few incentives to run large squads as the power from pain mechanic no longer benefits from it and maelstrom missions encourage MSU.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Mon Jan 12 2015, 22:39

3 caltrops and another 6ish blokes hitting squads is still pretty lethal but I see your point
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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Tue Jan 13 2015, 08:42

Excelent stuff again Mush!

Those 9 reavaers are difficult to get BtB with intial charge move to trigger HoW. 6 is the number I have found best. Those 2 Caltrops are protected with 4 extra bodies and they have ability to wreck 3HP vehicles in one charge.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Tue Jan 13 2015, 13:34

Everything mentioned above is also applicable to Windrider jetbikes, who are always considered as disposable in comparison with nice and deadly Reavers.

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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Tue Jan 13 2015, 23:54

These tactics will help me out a LOT vs my local Space Wolf, Chaos Space a Marines SND Imperial Knights players.

Wonderful diagrams Mush, thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Fri Jan 16 2015, 09:18

Thanks for the feedback! And yes all these tactics can be done with eldar windrider bikes too. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Wed Feb 04 2015, 15:52

I am absoltely loving that Imperial Knight blocking tactic. Gallus!

That is going to get used on a frequent basis. Screw you AdLance spammers Smile

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PostSubject: Re: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider: Blocking with Reavers   Wed Feb 04 2015, 15:58

The best thing about it against ademantine lance is it forces the whole formation to a standstill if they want to keep their re-roll invulnerable saves.

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