friday 40k humor

friday 40k humor

Friday, August 30, 2013

So you’re taking a fortification to a Tournament?


Fortifications are suddenly a hot-topic again. We’re about to get an injection of new Fortifications into the game, as several Apocalypse releases will also have 40K profiles and points-costs. Even the usually rational AbusePuppy is working on building his own extravagant fortress.
The first thing a Tournament player needs to know about the Fortification Rules is that nobody plays by the Fortification Rules.
This article has two goals. The first is to make players aware of what Tournament Organiser (TO) rulings they may have to deal with if they decide to take a fortification to a tournament. When we're talking about spending up to 290 pts on non-scoring, non-contesting, immobile terrain pieces that don't even count as part of your army it's extremely important to know what use you're actually going to be able to make of them.
The second is to take a look at rulings made at various events to hopefully filter some ideas through to TOs who are trying to decide how to handle these structures at their own future events.



A Tale of Five Fortifications

1) Fortifications that don’t fit will be destroyed.

Reported by Clever Handle:
“In my area you get these rules:
Terrain is adjusted by the TO's immediately prior to calling round pairings. Fortifications must be placed a minimum of 3″ away from any pre-positioned terrain piece. If your fortification can't be deployed because of the previous rule it counts as destroyed.”

2) No Fortifications are allowed

When the 6th edition rule book came out, this was expected to be the common response, and 40K sites with articles from that period are still littered with comments to that effect. The truth is that a ban on fortifications does happen, but is very rare.

3) Fortifications remove existing terrain

Reported by AbusePuppy:
“TSHFT uses a rule that ‘you have to pull one piece of terrain from your half when deploying a fortification'. Different terrain pieces are given different “values” that are supposed to roughly correspond to the terrain densities from the BRB rules, but not all of them are marked and you have to remove at pieces worth at least as much as the one you're putting on.”

4) No Fortification shall be placed within 3″ of another piece of terrain or fortification, other than an aegis defence line which can be placed in and around terrain.

This is a common ruling locally, so to show one of the most prominent (and influential) versions I have copied the following in full from the Australian Team Championship (ATC) rules pack
“1. No Fortification shall be placed within 3″ of another piece of terrain or fortification, with the exclusion of an aegis defence line which can be placed in and around terrain.
2. If the player can find no location to place the fortification that they desire they may remove 1 piece of terrain that is situated entirely in their table half, and then place the fortification approximately in that location.
3. In the case of a Fortress of Redemption a player can remove up to 2 pieces of neighbouring terrain pieces and place the Fortress of Redemption approximately in that location.”

5) No Fortification shall be placed within 3″ of another piece of terrain or fortification, including the Aegis Defence Line.

Reported by Difsta:
“Most tournaments I have seen have the terrain pre placed by the TO, so the rule is you cannot place a forification within 3″ of a piece of terrain. I know a range of tournaments with different TOs that rule that your placement of the aegis line is not legal. Not because it is in an E shape or any other shape, because you have it going through a piece of terrain.”
This was posted as a comment in response to a battle report here on 3plusplus, so it’s easy to demonstrate. Difsta’s comment was that some Tournament Organisers would rule against placement like Aegis in the bottom centre where it overlaps some trees and is near a central piece of terrain.

That's a list of five quite different ways to handle fortifications, but the eagle-eyed reader will have noticed the one thing they have in common:
None of them are according to the rule book.
The rule book’s method of placing terrain and fortifications is very impractical for Tournaments –it’s rarely even used verbatim for friendly games, since few people actually see much point to rolling off for side of the table while the table has no terrain on it.
That ends the fact-based part of this article, and I'd now like to offer an opinion which is essentially that if every method used for placing fortifications at a tournament is essentially a house-rule, we should attempt to be gentlemen about those rules.

1) Fortifications that don’t fit will be destroyed.

This rule is by far the worse of the lot. It goes a long way to betraying a TO’s personal views on fortifications existing in the rules. We don’t all have to like them, but the chance a player might start with a deficit of 75, 220 or even 290 pts destroys the level playing field required for a competitive event.

2) No Fortifications are allowed

As mentioned above, this is rare. I am against this because some armies rely on fortifications for their sole meagre chance at skyfire, and banning them improves flyer-based armies at their expense.
In my opinion it’s still better than Rule 1 though, since not having a fortification is a lesser evil than to thinking you have one and losing it before the game!

3) Fortifications remove existing terrain

This is a common and (in my opinion) sensible rule, except when it includes the Aegis wall. Removing a hill to place a bastion out of necessity is one thing, but allowing players to remove large amount of terrain to place a 28” long wall is very different and completely open to gaming.
You can see the effect of this in AbusePuppy's report from TSHFT where he and other players used Aegis walls to remove line-of-sight blockers and difficult terrain from the centre of the board.

If the TO gives players such power you can hardly blame them for using it, but it’s still desperately gamey and changes the balance of the game.
To give another example, in the battle report mentioned above the impassable terrain in the centre meant splitting my army in two to get the Deamons to the Tau. I’d have sacrificed a thousand Ethereals on the altar of Khorne to have a chance to remove it – and if a TO ruled I could remove it just by placing an Aegis in its location I’d be foolish not to take advantage of it. I would be taking advantage though.

4) No Fortification shall be placed within 3″ of another piece of terrain or fortification other than an aegis defence line which can be placed in and around terrain.

Most implementations of this rule do require/allow a piece of terrain to be removed with TO approval when placing a large fortification, but they essentially ignore the Aegis wall.
The Aegis is by far the most common fortification people take for good reason – it’s cheap, effective and it can fit virtually anywhere. If people put it in terrain or run it through a forest or ruin they are usually doubling-up on a cover save the wall already gave them, so opponents have little reason to complain.
Letting players just get on with it and place their walls anywhere in their table half reduces overhead for the TOs, who should then find it more easy to deal with the 1 in 10 who bring something more chunky that actually requires attention.
This is my favourite solution of the lot, and probably the one used most often.

5) No Fortification shall be placed within 3″ of another piece of terrain or fortification including the Aegis Defence Line.

This is very similar to the rule above, and at first sounds like it’s closer to the rule book, which doesn’t distinguish between the Aegis and any other fortification. However in reality by the letter of the law it is impossible for an Aegis in your own half of the table to be placed in an illegal position – it’s always the terrain that should be 3” from it rather than vice-versa.
Since that means this is just another house rule, there is very little to be gained by trying to attempt it and it is a lot less practical than just placing the Aegis. It would require terrain to be just over 6” apart, and the existing terrain would dictate the exact path the wall follows. We’re talking about a lot of hassle and weird placement for not much gain.

In conclusion:

I’ve described five different ways Fortifications are treated at tournaments, and none of them are RAW. If you take a step back from how rigid most 40K players are about the rules, the great surprise is that everyone seems to be fine with this. And so they should be -in many ways, 40K is like a game.
To Tournament Organisers I recommend using a version of “4) No Fortification shall be placed within 3″ of another piece of terrain or fortification other than an aegis defence line which can be placed in and around terrain.” It’s fairly simple, low maintenance, and a lot less vulnerable to people ‘gaming’ the system.
I can’t recommend against the rule ‘Fortifications that don't fit will be destroyed’ enough – better to ban them entirely than to gouge out a piece of someone’s army based on the random chance of which table they are assigned to and how densely populated with terrain it is.
To Players, if you plan to use anything more ambitious than the Aegis wall, I recommend checking what rules the event will be using before sending in an army list. Losing a sky shield to TO rules would be a tragedy, but losing a bastion with a quadgun or a Fortress of Redemption would be a disaster.
PS – I listed the five I am aware of, but if anyone knows of other rules used for Fortifications at tournaments post below and I will add it to the post-script.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Board Control: Mobility vs Durability

by The Grave Mind

You'll hear people say "Play the mission", but what does it mean? It means that 5 of the 6 missions are objective based and while it is fun to just kill everything you can, you need to be able to get to those objectives when the time comes. Generally an army isn't designed to do something like just kill everything, it will use some board control as well. While killing stuff naturally gives some control of the board, actually making the effort to get the upper hand can win the game. Generally this is done by two means, mobility or durability.

First off, what exactly is board control? Essentially, it is dictating your enemies actions. While it isn't as good as actually taking control of the unit (puppet master?) it can keep them in or a way from a location long enough to win the game. Generally this will be keeping units out of other units threat ranges, or locked in combat. Placing a lot of melta guns on one side of your deployment will probably keep the land raiders on the other side.

Another option is actually having models blocking way. Your models physically block your opponent from moving his models as he has to obey the 1" rule. Sure this may put them in the way to be assaulted, but it still slows them down, and if you don't die the first turn of combat, then you have slowed them additional turns. So how do you accomplish putting your models where you want them? Well that is mobility. Generally having a fast mode of movement, or a transport. Or just being where you need to be when needed, such as from deepstrike. But sometimes these faster units are more fragile, and can be killed before they get where they are needed.

On the other end of the spectrum is durability. Instead of quickly getting where needed, units that are durable are able to survive attacks and keep heading on toward their objectives. Units like these sometimes have multiple wounds, a high toughness or a good save. Often a combination of them. While early turns they may not get across the board, by late game they will have lived to cross the gap.

It is often a good idea to have some of both in an army, to be able to react and deal with what ever the opponent throws at you. I'm going to use my Tyranids as an example. They are what I am most familiar with, and are prime examples. Using them to maximize board control, I have won many games I feel like I should have had more of a struggle with.

For very mobile units, I have flying hive tyrants. They can surge forward 24" plus 2d6 running if need be. Normally this forward movement is enough of a threat to keep weaker units away, as I can easily shoot them or even land and assault. I can even land and smash a landraider the following turn, so little is safe. Being hard to hit, they are also relatively durable, but that is more dependent on which units are firing at them. Other units that fall into the mobile category are zoanthropes in a pod and ymgarl. They don't move as fast, but will often be where I need them to be at least for one turn.

Tervigons fall into the Durability category. If they roll up Iron arm, and/or endurance, then they can really soak up firepower and keep trudging forward. Six wounds on a trygon/mawloc also help lend them some good survivability. They will keep moving forward, keeping the pressure on my opponent. Adding extra help to the Tervigon are the gaunts that surround them. This helps keep other units away and maintains a wide amount of board control.

So how does all of this help me win games in bad match ups? I recently had a game against a pretty serious Space wolf list, the kind that used to rock back in 5th. Thunderwolves, long fangs, njal with terminators, a good amount of grey hunters, the whole works. Well with 5 objectives, I had two in my back field, he had two in his, and the fifth was a good amount closer to my side. With all of my tervigons and gaunts, I was able to completely engulf all three of the objectives on my side of the table.

I had two Hive Tyrants in his face immediately, along with gargoyles, and a mawloc hitting his line. And Doom of Malanti in a pod, and a second pod with normal Zoanthropes came down and disrupted his lines and helped contest his objectives. I killed the long fangs to protect the tervigon in the back, and then engaged everything I could. I was able to slowly grind down most of the Space wolves in combat. His Thunderwolves with a Lord kept killing everything I threw at them. 15 gargoyles, Both hive tyrants, 20+ gaunts. Even the Doom was thrown in. But as that was his only mobile unit, I didn't need to win that battle (and I didn't). I just kept him locked in combat so he couldn't move forward toward my objectives.

That thunder wolf squad never moved past the first turn, they remained firmly there for the rest of the game, almost breaking free each round before a new wave hit them. And that is how board control can help win games. In games where my Hive Tyrant have died too early, I often lose, as I don't have a push across the map and my opponents start dictating my actions instead of the other way around.

I hope this has helped bring to mind the roles of certain units when you are considering them in your army. Much like in chess, keeping control of the game, putting your opponent on the back foot, and making them react to your actions gives you the advantage.

"The key to strategy... is not to choose a path to victory, but to choose so that all paths lead to a victory."

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Firebase deployment for Tau

Ok everyone, If you haven't noticed the last few posts have been an article on how to deal with Tau and some battle reports showing people beating Tau. I just wanted to show that while they may be a top tier army now they are not unbeatable. Now just so nobody thinks I'm anti Tau or anything here is an article for the Tau players. Non Tau players should read this also as there is some good stuff in there. Know Your Enemy!

originally posted on: Total Immersion Gaming

Food For Thought: Firebase deployment on Tau of War
Tau of War

Some advice never goes out of date and the articles linked below are good examples of this. There are a number of armies that make use of firebases, so this advice on Tau of War offers some very handy advice on how to deploy and protect your guns to best effect. Bubblewrap and blocking units are key to this, and I especially like point 8 of the last article that states "A good Tau army is like an onion, it has lots of layers and makes people cry". Brilliant!

Rules of Engagement (Points 7 & 8 particularly)

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Tau Problem

The Tau Problem

It's a bitch isn't it? When your old armies get a make over from the one-dimensional shit houses they used to be and become the latest, greatest one dimensional terror weapon in the 40k universe.

Now, this happens a lot for me as I own a lot of armies haha...but I acknowledge it isn't the same for all.

Tau. Well.. they've really made us all rethink a few things haven't they?

When constructing an army - at list building stage, you consider a number of things (in no particular order):
1) Objective grabbing - it's 5/6 missions in the rulebook afterall
2) Mobility - linked to both objective grabbing and 3 below
3) Firepower - its a futuristic war game about dudes with guns. Seriously, you know this is a shooting game, right?
4) Resilience - you're gonna get shot at!
5) Line Break, Warlord and First Blood - these MUST be considered to create a competitive army
6) Psychic Defence and Offence (if applicable)
7) Assault - if you want it, how to get it... if you want to avoid it, how to!
8) Fliers - can you bring them down? But not at the expense of balanced firepower? Ignore them?
9) Infantry
10) Transports
11) Heavy Tanks

I personally then consider the top meta builds and think how the armies would handle them:
- Crons with balanced Air, Wraiths etc
- IG Blobs w Azrael or dual Rune Priest Prescience
- Heldrakes + Allies (often IG or Demons)
- Nids - for this I use the common build (not my own...) - Dual Flyrants, Dual Tervigons, Doom
- Demons - FMC Spam and super casty builds

Now, as a very strong army we must build in Tau. Now, this wouldn't be a big deal except that Tau are not JUST a build to consider when constructing your army, they also have a strong Ripple Effect....

The Tau Ripple Effect:

You don't just need to consider the potential Tau match ups at club or perhaps more importantly (for this article anyway) at tournament level.

You don't just need to have a solid target priority in place - Markerlights, Markerlights, Markerlights!

You don't just need a solid bait and hammer combined with ordnance or large blast barrage weaponry to seperate the Storm of Bollocks from the Ethereal.

You don't just need high strength, low AP weaponry to take down Riptides and Skyrays/Longstrike (maybe) quickly

You don't just need to be able to take out Broadsides FAST!

You MUST also consider the significant shift in the meta that Tau WILL and HAVE create.

AV13 Wall of Steel Necrons will and are emerging - Ghost Arks at range with cover and carrying multiple S8 AP2 weapons - plenty of firepower to remove infantry based Markerlight units - Drones and Pathfinders. Combine this with the usual Necron toys and this army is solid vs Tau and vs many others.

"So what?" I hear you ask - when was the last time you faced off against 11 Av13 vehicles? More realistically 9 Av13, quantum shielded bad boys..with Cron Air support.. I'd suggest 7 plus Fliers at 1850 could be very nasty whilst maintaining its strengths vs other builds.

Can your army kill it? I think about the armies I am running competitively and I know that whilt Tau may get there eventually, Nids definitely will struggle, FMC Demons will get there eventually IF they are grounded and slaughtered by rapid fire Gauss (psychic power dependent here)... It's a tough nut to crack.

Note: I am NOT saying this is the ultimate Tau beater, nor am I saying it is a tournament winner, not consistently at least.

IG can Mech up once more - as more and more Tau armies hit the tournament scene there is less likelihood of all those vehicles being multi assaulted off the board.. shot off sure.. but Av12 vs S7 is an interesting trade off - always has been. They also possess many of the tools stated above for dealing with Tau and for satisfying the usual "can I win a game?" questions up top.

Again, this changes up the army building equation that we run through when building for tournaments - just how many mech IG builds will we see? Can I deal with 15 Av12 vehicles?
What about the concept of Russes on the return?
Demolishers moving forward bubblewrapped by platoons is a horrid image for Tau - crap load of Av14 fronted vehicles lobbing S10 shots at you.. horrid.

What about Mech BA? Random I know.. BUT Flamer Baal Preds, Fast Vindicators, Drop Pod AV13 Furioso's with the triple flamer templates.. thats a tough deal for Tau.
Sure.. it's quite limited against other builds..BUT what if...

Pure Drop Pod armies? There is only so much Interceptor in a Tau list..

Ultimately, Tau counters will emerge and as a top player.. you need to think ahead of the game - predict what's going to be popular in the anti-Tau war and bring something that can beat the snot out of that AS WELL AS Tau and the regular builds.. whatever they are.. cause times they are a changing!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Asymmetrical Advantages and Disadvantages

by Sir Bicuit


The vast majority of 40k matches (matches in all wargames, really, this is just as applicable to Warmachine, Infinity, etc.) take place between asymmetrical forces. That's a simple concept, and in a lot of ways, this will be a simple article. After all, the idea of asymmetry is so essential to the games we play that we hardly even think about it.

It's worth exploring, though, and examining on a basic level, because that asymmetry forms the foundation for all the strategic and tactical thinking that you will do during the match.
Let's start by taking a look at some of the factors we can compare across two armies. There is a difference in these factors between every non-identical list, though they can be slight. This is not a comprehensive listing, but simply something to get you started thinking:

Overall speed
Anti-infantry firepower (long range)
Anti-infantry firepower (close range)
Anti-tank firepower (long range)
Anti-tank firepower (close range)
Amount of armor (tanks, transports)
Airpower (and anti-air, obviously)
Melee power (fast units)
Melee power (strong/durable units)
Terrain use (what can you ignore? What can you make better?)
Amount of scoring.
Number of bodies.
Amount of heavy infantry.
Anti-heavy infantry.
Monstrous creatures.
Ability to precision shot.
Ability to cause pinning and morale checks.
Ability to push units off of objectives.
Ability to hold ground.
And others I have forgotten, I am sure.

You can think of each of those factors as having a cute bar that shows it's power level, like a video game. When you build a list, adding units fills up those bars. But you can't fill them all, in fact, the more you fill of one, the less you are able to fill of the others. (Points spent in one area can't be spent on another, after all.) Obviously, every unit also tends to add to multiple categories- a Leman Russ, for example, would contribute to anti-infantry and anti-tank firepower, and increase the lists amount of armor. (In addition to minor bonuses across many other categories.) At the same time, those points now cannot be spent on units that increase all the other factors in the list.
If we continue our visualization, we realize that at the end of army construction we have a great many bars at very different levels of fullness. Much of this is due purely to the way we may have constructed the list, but much is also due to whatever army we happen to be using. For instance, with Tau, it's hard to build a list that doesn't bring a ton of anti-infantry firepower, but it is also impossible to bring a list that has a large amount of melee power.

Specialists, Generalists, and Scoring

An important note about army construction is the distinction between specialists and generalists. It's important to realize that specialists contribute much, much more to their area of expertise than generalists do, however, they contribute to virtually nothing else. (There is of course some cross-pollination, Fire Dragons, for instance, are very handy against not only tanks, but also MCs and heavy infantry.) Generalists contribute to many categories, but add less to each.
It is good to have a mix between these units. However, it is an very good general rule to build the foundation of your list of generalists units that are supported by specialist units. To build and focus on specialist units is an invite to be hard-countered and crushed by many, many armies.
Finally, scoring units are extremely powerful. Always, always keep your scoring ability in mind. Scoring wins games. Period. It doesn't matter how many Riptides you have if all the enemy has to do to stop you scoring is kill two 6-man squads of Fire Warriors.


So, let's take a look again at the asymmetry between two armies. Whenever you face an opponent, you're going to be outclassed in some of these categories, and in some, you will outclass them. It's your job to maximize your own advantages, while minimizing the enemy's, in order to win the game.
That may sound obvious, but it is the basis for all good strategy and tactical thinking. Eliminate the enemy's advantages, while maximizing your own.
This is trickier than it sounds, because in general, people tend to be very, very bad at identifying their own strengths and their enemies weaknesses. I blame this on an overfocus on the self- it's easy to spend time only thinking about your own army, what you like, what you don't like, and what really seems to be working on the field. But it's just as important to be looking at your opponent.
Remember: a unit is only “strong” until it runs into something stronger. You're only the best at shooting until you hit someone who brought more guns. There is no reliance on your own list, no “general strategy” that you can adopt to run over every opponent. There is only the interaction BETWEEN lists.

So, this comparison of strengths and weaknesses is a critical though process that you should be doing constantly. Before the game, do it when you compare lists. Do it after each deployment. Do it at the start of every. Single. Turn. Because, and this is the important part: your comparative strengths and weaknesses are going to shift throughout the game, as you and your opponent lose pieces.
For instance, imagine you are running a list with a Land Raider full of Assault Terminators. That's a pretty heavy points investment and a large part of your list regardless of what else you took. It also gives you a pretty heavy investment in melee and armor potential, among other things. So, at the start of the game, you will think about how to best leverage this unit, while your opponent does their best to counter it. (With meltaguns, railguns, followup plasmagun traps, etc.)
That's a fairly straightforward example that I would imagine we're all familiar with. That's the lowest level of tactical thinking. We need to do better than this. We need to also be able to place this conflict in the strategic level of thinking; that is, that we need to start thinking about how our overall advantage in melee and armor (or lack thereof) will affect the outcome of the game. We need to think not just about how to avoid counters, but also the best way to use the unit to achieve what really matters: victory in the game.

That often means we need the unit to make counterintuitive moves. Sometimes, it may be better to have the unit advance into lightly-defended territory, or to not advance at all. Sometimes, it's better to abandon any pretense of protecting the unit and sacrifice it in order to slow down the enemy. Sometimes, the right decision is to reserve the Land Raider and deep-strike the Terminators. It all depends on the field. The important thing, however, is not that we are figuring out the best way to deal damage to the enemy with the unit, but that we are examining its overall role in the conflict and coming up with a way to use it in conjunction with our other forces. Whether or not the unit survives the conflict or takes down the biggest enemy unit is largely irrelevant. (Unless you're just trying to “forge the narrative” as it were, which is fine, but then why do you care about strategic articles?)

Geometric Disadvantage
The culmination of all this strategy and thinking is all in the effort to place the opponent on what we like to call the “geometric disadvantage”- which is, in affect, creating an advantage so powerful that it eliminates the enemy's capability to deal with it faster than they can counter it.
This is pretty easy to see on the small scale, because it's happened to each and every one of us pretty much every game. If, for instance, the only anti-flyer unit in your army is a Quad-Gun, a flyer-heavy army will do its best to eliminate it before it can cause too much damage, and thus attain absolute air superiority. While this doesn't eliminate the enemy's ability to deal with flyers, it does significantly cripple it. You could then potentially start wiping out units that have decent snap-shot ability, in a bid for total superiority. When you're eliminating these kinds of options, and increasing your superiority faster than the enemy's now-diminishing supplies can counteract it, you create a geometric advantage that becomes more and more difficult for your opponent to overcome.

Another example of starting a game with a geometric disadvantage: imagine an army that is built to include as many Lascannons as possible. It wasn't built with any sort of melee presence in mind, just to fit as many Lascannons as possible. If that army were to fight an Ork Green Tide list, it would be in a great deal of trouble. While our Las list has a great deal of anti-tank firepower, it seriously lacks anti-infantry weaponry, and really can't possibly deal with 180+ Ork bodies. In this scenario, the Ork advantage of number of bodies has become an enormous advantage, the Lascannon army will not be able to kill enough Orks fast enough, and will be overrun. As they lose units, they fall even further behind (and thus have a larger and larger disadvantage) to an opponent whose advantage just keeps on growing. We would even call the number of Ork bodies in such a fight a “decisive advantage”, as there's really no way for the Lascannon list to overcome it.
There are two things about the geometric (dis)advantage, however, that are important to realize:
  1. Not all advantages are equally valuable.
  2. While there is a potential game-wide geometric disadvantage, there are also many smaller ones that play out during the game.
In order:
Not all advantages have equal importance or value. Having superiority in armor is only valuable if that advantage can be leveraged and used to place an enemy into a difficult situation. Having brought a single Leman Russ while your opponent has elected to bring no vehicles does constitute an armor advantage, but it's likely so slight that it really doesn't even matter. An advantage only matters insofar as it can be leveraged into a game-winning strategy.
Second, it is possible and in fact very likely that you will be struggling against advantages of your opponent, while they fight against yours. Assuming you're fighting against an equally powered list, you should in fact be behind on about 50% of your areas of advantage, and ahead on the other 50%. (This is really just theoretical, rarely are competing lists so balanced that the advantages of each are split like this.)
These two factors mean that it's important to not only identify where your advantages and disadvantages lie, but also to determine which advantages are not worth pursuing. Each game of 40k has a limited number of actions and move available, and it's simply not possible in most games to utilize every advantage.

In an early example, I talked about a Land Raider and how its use may be counterintuitive to the standard “go straight down the middle and dump”. If you were playing a Land Raider against Tau, for example, who had brought several Hammerheads and Fusion Gun suits, it may not be worth attempting to use the raider in it's usual matter, if at all. While you can look at the field and think that if you could just destroy the Hammerheads and Crisis Suits you will be safe, it is probably not worth your time to do so. Yes, destroying them would effectively create an unassailable armor advantage, but so what? Will that one Raider win you the game? How many resources and movements must be sacrificed to ensure its survival until it is safe to advance and resume the “normal strategy”?
The point of this example is that while the Land Raider could potentially be leveraged into a large advantage against a Tau list, it's likely not worth the effort. That effort, instead, could be used in an attempt to gain the upper hand in other areas. For instance, you could sacrifice your tanks and instead of trying to protect them focus on eliminating Tau's weak troop choices to gain an advantage in scoring. You could use your armor as an attractive target that will no doubt die, but open up an opportunity for a flank or feint. You have options, just do not despair and do not be so rigid in your strategy that your disadvantages become overwhelming, and you find yourself deep within what seems to be a geometric disadvantage. Whenever you find yourself behind in an area, sometimes the best option is not “how do I get ahead here?” but “how do I get ahead somewhere else?
All strategy comes from the leveraging of asymmetrical advantage and disadvantage. Remember that, play to your strengths, and play to the mission, and you'll find yourself a winner.