Monday, June 9, 2014
Militarum Tempestus Tactics: Using Orders
Continuing on with the scions tactics, this will be covering the most import part of the Tempestus codex: Orders. With the way the codex is built you are limited on the order givers you have, with multiple CADs this can be mitigated, or bringing one of the awesome formations. In either case, it is the orders that make this army work so well, but you have to use them at the right time and know what they work against.
The basic overview of the orders is as follows: The first is Directed Firestorm Sanctioned, which gives the ordered squads shooting attack twin linked. No real need for prescience here, and it works well with plasma guns or high volume fire weapons that you want to hit. Autonomous fire sanctioned gives the ordered unit's shooting attack preferred enemy, another good order for plasma guns. Close assault sanction provides the unit with crusader, good for moving fast but really sub par to the next one. Advance on target gives the unit fleet. Fleet is simply better because it works in more phases that you can make use of it. Suppression doctrine sanctioned, this gives the ordered unit sniper and pinning to hot shot weapons (pistols & rifles) but can only fire a single shot, the unit cannot assault. This is one of your bread and butter orders. Elimination protocol sanctioned is the last and it gives rending but you must target a MC or vehicle. This is another great order and well used.
With directed firestorm, twin linking is great and very useful, but it is going to depend on the squad firing and what the target is. Also take into account that most games you may only have two orders a turn to issue, so make sure you really need that twin link. Everybody is BS4 so their shooting is good off the bat. This order should be used when your scion squads are in rapid fire range and you need every shot to count. It is also good for a melta squad, either regular or command, where you really need every hit, but wounding or penning is less of an issue. If you have a hot shot volley squad this also is a good order for them, to get all of those hits on target.
Autonomous fire is another really good order and is especially good for plasma weapons. A plasma command squad loves this order, get in rapid fire range and fire 8 shots, rerolling those get hot and then rerolling those ones as most times your wounding on 2 or 3s. This can be useful on a rifle squad, but only when shooting at T3 units and below, those that have higher T have better orders. This can be good with meltas if shooting at an MC where you want to ensure every wound counting, but twin linking will often be more useful. This is a good general order though as every weapon can benefit from it.
Close assault is ok, it gives crusader which is not bad, but in my opinion advance on target is better for the intended purpose of assaulting. It helps your sweeping advance but other wise it does not really help you get into assault, you get two run dice and pick highest but then if you run you can't assault, really the names of these two orders are flipped, as this order is only useful if you want a reliable run move to get away from combat, not towards it.
Advance on target is a good order as it gives fleet, so you can reroll your run move and assault. Coupled with move through cover, this order is there for when you really need to assault something and that reliability is crucial. Yes even a kitted out scion squad is not going to stomp in combat, but where this works best is for getting in close to finish off a vehicle. Occasionally you may use this to assault a squad, but most cases this is for getting in and throwing krak grenades to finish a vehicle off.
Suppression fire is one of my favorites, it makes the little hot shots a threat to everything with a toughness stat. You only get one shot per guy, but with a 9" rapid fire range, you will only sometimes find this a hindrance. The units to really use this on are high T units that have 3+ armor or worse. A wraith knight is a great example, us this instead of rending, the weapons are already AP3 and needing 4s to wound and two squads under this order will have little problem dealing the death blow to these MCs. It still can be ap2 with any 6 to wound roll, so even against 2+ saves it stands a chance. Really anytime you are out of rapid fire range you should be using this order, plus being pinning and also precision shots you can do damage to advancing units and knock them to the ground. The only times where this order starts to have issues is once your hot shots are in rapid fire range and against targets that you already have an average chance of wounding.
With the last order, elimination protocol, you get rending. Against 2+ save MCs in rapid fire range this is a good order. It also works very well against weaker vehicles as it allows every weapon to be a threat to them, including hot shots. Volley guns also love this, against weaker vehicles you can get quite a few 6s with 16 shots that four of them can fire. This order is more limited because you must target MCs and vehicles but is really useful when you do and even is good with melta guns and plasma guns. If you are out of half range with a melta gun, you can still pen AV 14, getting a 6 turns a glance into a pen. Not something to use often but when you need it, it will pull you over the edge. The same goes for plasma guns, they can threaten even AV14. Not something to base your shooting off of but if your meltas have met an unfortunate end, you can turn plasma guns into a last ditch weapon. When you use this on your normal scion squads you need to make sure that the hot shots have sight to weak armor, preferably 10, but 11 will still be ok, you also want to be within rapid fire range to maximize chances of getting pens.
The art form here really comes to when to use these orders. Suppression is a very useful order and even against 2+ MCs it will often get wounds onto it more often than rending, though they will get a save it is still a chance they will fail one or two. Against marine bikes this is also a good order, really any bike as they will have a hard time wounding with hot shots normally and with ap3 you are more worried about getting wounds than the saves being made. Tyranids will hate this order as you gun down their MCs and their lack of 2+ saves will seriously hurt them. Against certain units you will use rending and this will mainly be against vehicles. Preferred will be your go to for plasma command squads, and twin linked is a good general order when firing lots of shots at basic troops.
What will make or break you is using the right order at the right time and right unit. If a wraith knight is heading your way, using your two orders on two rifle squads to make them sniper will see and end to its charge. If a vehicle needs to die, you can rend it to death. You have to clearly see which threats need to be eliminated first and use the correct order to do so. Generally you can pass on the twin link order to get mileage out of the others but it can still be a great order when you need all your shots to hit. A lot of this is going to be learned through games and facing different armies. There is no formula to follow but if you use the above guidlines you will have a good grasp of when to use these orders. They may no seem broken, but when your standard rifle is gunning down a wraith knight and blowing up tanks, its certainly not weak.