Recently while playing 40k i began to notice these differences. Its not that one game system is better than the other, instead they both move at different speeds. I hope to highlight these differences, in a series of posts, by looking at each of the phases from a Fantasy and a 40k perspective.
The Deployment phase.
Both systems have a standard 12 inches from board edge setup for the deployment phase but that's where the similarities end. In Fantasy each player takes turns to place individual units. Player A places one unit, then player B places one unit, until both armies have deployed. This allows for counter deployment, where players can place units to face opposing units that they are strong against. This can also lead to strategies like the feinted flank, where you trick your opponent into placing his big scary units (or any units) facing your throw away units and not your actual army.
|In this example the wood elves have tricked the undead into placing the grave guard and black coach on the opposite flank to the glade guard by deploying the one of the treemen and the dryads on the right flank.|
In 40k each player take it in turns to set up their whole army at once. In 40k there is a actual advantage in going second for deployment, it allows you to know where the enemy has placed his big scary units and either avoid them or counter them with units of your own. In games of 40k tactics like feinted flank very rarely work, unless the battle field is exceptionally large or your opponent has a slow moving force.The tactic Refused flank is best used in games 40k where, if you go second, you can deploy your entire force on one flank and ignore half your opponents army. And if you have superior range you can snipe the opposing force as they march towards it.
|In this example the space wolves have been left out of position and at the mercy of the tau guns as they deployed first, allowing the tau to set up as far away as possible|
In a game of Fantasy a bad deployment can ruin your game however in a game of 40k a bad deployment usually delays your game plan for a few turns. This is due to the mobile nature of 40k, which i will discuss more at a later date.
So lets examine the pros and cons of each system's deployment phase.
- One unit at a time allows for counter deployment
- Cunning use of the Feinted Flank tactic can throw enemy units out of position
- A bad deployment can cost you the game
- Deployment phase can take longer
- Deployment phase goes faster meaning more time for the game
- The Refused Flank tactic can give your army valuable time, and gives you opportunities to whittle down your opponent before they reach you.
- There is a notable disadvantage to the player who deployed first. Their opponent is allowed to counter deploy at will and they can do very little about it.
The Fantasy and 40k deployment phases are precursors for how the rest of the systems feel. The Fantasy deployment phase allows for more tactical deployment but if done incorrectly can ruin your game. The 40k deployment phase is quicker and more forgiving of a poorly planned deployment but does give the player who deploys second a chance to see their opponents deployment and plan around it.
Up next, in this series, i will look at the movement phase and how a 40k style of thinking cant be applied to the fantasy movement phase and visa versa.
Until next time