Author Topic: Tahnir's Take II 7th edition tactica hammer and anvil  (Read 5221 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Online Tahnir

  • Battle Brother
  • *
  • Posts: 117
    • View Profile
Tahnir's Take II 7th edition tactica hammer and anvil
« on: May 07, 2015, 08:32:59 AM »
Hello again fellow Eldar player!

I'm honoured that you took some time out of your busy schedule to check out my post, let's get started with a disclaimer, shall we? All reviews are based on my humble opinion and don't necessarily have to reflect your own nor should be regarded as divine truth, in fact if your opinion should differ from mine I'd be happy to read your take on it as it is this interaction what makes our hobby truly great. Today I'd like to shine some light on a tactic that is century old, the Hammer and Anvil tactic. Used as early as in the classic greek and roman days (yes they already played Warhammer 40k) and perfected in the 19th century consist (simplified) of two army elements, one stationary and one highly mobile. That doesn't sound very special, because most armies play like that? Thanir what are you trying to sell here? All in good time my friends....

The beginning

Last edition I played a highly mobile army with no stationary elements and it was fun, after all we play eldar and speed is something we do exceedingly well. Then the new codex dropped and since that glorious day I just can't make up my mind how to build my army, I know many of you feel the same way. So I did what I did the very first time I started playing eldar back in early 4th edition, I made a list of the units I really wanted to field and then started to form a rough idea around that. Of course I wanted an aspect host, after all I play biel-tan, but units made it on the list I wasn't quite expecting: dark reapers and vauls wrath support batteries. On top of that I really wanted to try out the new banshees and the seer council formation. The thing is I only own a foot council and don't see myself getting the jet council any time soon as it is expensive both point and pound wise so they had to be played slower as well but I didn't want to shelve my monofiliament spitting spiders and my hawks... A quote from a famed prussian general crossed my mind "a army divided is a army already beaten" so I didn't know what to do next. Then I came across a essay about the famed battle of canae (yes I know what you are thinking right now, what does this guy do?) one of the first mentioned uses of the hammer and anvil tactic and it shattered the roman army (interesting fact: this battle fought in 216 BC remains the battle with the most lives lost on a single day) so this encouraged me.... Then in the 19th century with the introduction of heavy artillery this tactic was refined into the so called "hopping" hammer and anvil tactic. Ok, ok enough with the history talk I fully understand that not everyone is as interested in that as I am but it should prove to you that this tactic is quite potent.

The Anvil

The anvil is the stationary element of this force and the source of heavy support fire. We're looking for the most potent dakka with preferably long range. Why we need that long range you might ask? There are essentially two reasons: 1. we want to lay down that dakka starting at turn 1 without the need to move and 2.  we need that space on the board to have our Hammer to freely move and our enemy to "fall into". Just keep reading and you'll see what I mean by that.

As we are looking for strong, long ranged firepower I'd consider the support battery (monofiliament or warpcannon), Dark Reapers and night spinners. You might also include a fire prism but that may break the 48 " threat bubble and it lacks the barrage rule which could be a problem both for your offensive potential (if the board contains much terrain) and for your defensive potential (having to move out of cover to fire). You can also station a foot council alongside them to hand out guide to all the units and to generally buff them. Synergy is the key word here and it will play an important part all through this tactic. The council would be there to support the Anvil and not to dish out damage, which is (in my opinion) the hallmark of our seers.

Everyone knows you can't just put so many threat generating units on the board and expect the enemy to just ignore it so we need some support for shorter ranges and against deep striking, although if all goes well the opponent won't even have time or resources to lash out as he'll be squished by the two forces but it's always better to be safe then sorry. In my last games I noticed that a 5 man unit of banshees generates enough threat to discourage those futile attempts against your lines. Buffed up with some nice warlock/seer powers they wreak havoc against most foes. Once the enemy player deepstriked a unit of 5 chaos termis and raptors against the anvil just to kill something in return and the combination of the terrify and terrify from the runes of battle powers combined with a banshee charge with warcry destroyed them clean and simple. This is why you might even take warp cannons but I'd still go for the monofiliament as you don't want situational fire power with this price tag. The secondary firemode on the night spinner is also quite handy to tackle those threats.

As for deployment you want to deploy in some cover preferably ruins for that tasty 4+ cover save and/or los blocking terrain. That's where the barrage rule comes in quite handy. For synergy reasons I'd bunch them all up together but please pay attention to your enemies army if you choose to do so!


The Hammer   

The Hammer part of your army are your highly mobile units. You want them to be quick on their feet and this part is the most important one as it has to serve multiple purposes. Firstly it has to pack some serious punch as well but it also has to generate enough threat to let you push your opponent into positions where they can be bombarded by your Anvil, think of a herding dog. They also have to disable any enemy long ranged firepower like tanks or artillery units. For optimal effect try to attack on both flanks and/or the back. To do so we have multiple options I myself use infiltrating scorpions (huge threat potential -> see the cc sandwich idea of a fellow forum member) in combination with outflanking war walkers, deep striking hawks (just great against both infantry and vehicles) and spiders. To achieve a maximum of effectiveness a unit of windriders with a warlock and farseer can lend some support as well. A unit of fire dragons in a serpent would probably work as well but I haven't tried that. All this units can bring some serious firepower while pushing the enemy in a favourable position AND are quick enough to stay out of trouble when playing the terrain to your advantage. When do you know you have pushed the enemy in a perfect position? Easy, when the pieplates are hitting multiple units at once..... lean back and enjoy :) In reality you won't be able to achieve such a result very often but you'll be surprised how effective this tactic can be when executed perfectly. You'll be puting so much pressure on your opponent that he/she won't know what to attack first and that state of confusion is one of your targets as this is the moment he/she will start to be making mistakes.

Final Thoughts   

This tactic is a bit different then the most but with the new codex out I fell we can try something new now and in my past games it did very well. You can adapt this tactic to most list (having the entire hammer consist of jetbikes for example). I'd strongly suggest you to take the aspect host formation to get your reapers and hammer units to bs 5. I always run the dark reaper exarch with the barrage launcher as this unit is my premier source of ap 3 firepower, if you have enough points you might even give them the strength 8 missiles so they can blow up tanks and there like. This tactic is best used against mid ranged enemy  armies such as sm or csm but also works against imperial guard (I refuse to call them any other way) as they are often bunched up from the start and their often backfield tanks are easy prey for war walkers and hawks. I have no experience against tau so I can't comment on that.

I hope you enjoyed this tactica article and I'd be delighted to discuss it with all of you :)

May Isha smile upon you 

           

Offline radlE

  • Initiate
  • *
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
Re: Tahnir's Take II 7th edition tactica hammer and anvil
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2015, 10:23:44 AM »
  Well written sir, I think I will try this tactic myself.  I will be using an Eldar primary with allied harlequins to do the job though.  I'm thinking to replace your backfield banshees with a troop and shadowseer for that veil of tears that I think will greatly benefit the anvil.  The death jesters and their ability to choose the opponents fallback move direction will also benefit the hammer nicely.

Online Tahnir

  • Battle Brother
  • *
  • Posts: 117
    • View Profile
Re: Tahnir's Take II 7th edition tactica hammer and anvil
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2015, 11:44:29 AM »
  Well written sir, I think I will try this tactic myself.  I will be using an Eldar primary with allied harlequins to do the job though.  I'm thinking to replace your backfield banshees with a troop and shadowseer for that veil of tears that I think will greatly benefit the anvil.  The death jesters and their ability to choose the opponents fallback move direction will also benefit the hammer nicely.

Why thank you good sir. You sure can do that, it will provide some nice defence for the anvil. Yes including harlequins to the hammer will generate even more threat and the ability to choose the fallback direction will put them right where you want them to be..... For your bombardment. :)

Offline Oneeye

  • Initiate
  • *
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
Re: Tahnir's Take II 7th edition tactica hammer and anvil
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2015, 12:16:31 PM »
What do you suggest is the percentage that you would in the hammer and the anvil?

Online Tahnir

  • Battle Brother
  • *
  • Posts: 117
    • View Profile
Re: Tahnir's Take II 7th edition tactica hammer and anvil
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2015, 12:43:44 PM »
What do you suggest is the percentage that you would in the hammer and the anvil?

It's hard to say exactly but I usually approach it with a 1/3 to 2/3 approach. We have access to amazingly cheap firepower in the night spinner and the support platforms. If you'd like to include a seer council then we are looking more at a fifty fifty points cost.

Hope that helped.

Offline Pdogg

  • Chapter Master
  • *
  • Posts: 804
    • View Profile
Re: Tahnir's Take II 7th edition tactica hammer and anvil
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2015, 04:21:01 PM »
We have some great barrage units in tha dex. 2 different support weapons spinner is great range and d-cannon is great power. I prefer the d cannon as it would protect the anvil better. Night spinner squads I think will be great all poupose vehicles as they can threaten vehicles or any infantry with huge range, if I run em in squadron I would go for holofields as the only upgrade due to not wanting to junk all 3. Then the tempest launcher that's a great bit of marine hitting power, I like barrages as I find cover too easy to claim so you can get around it literally if you target the right units. I do think farseers would be key for this tho to guide the anvils barrages(prob not needed on the dark reaper exarch being bs6).

For a hammer the Hawks dropping grenade packs would also help, the opponent will be so scared of bunching up that it will mess with everything he does lol. I would prob throw something like a sword wraithknight into the anvil to draw fire and basically hold off any cc units, not many cc monsters want to go toe to toe with him when he's got his d sword(that sounds wrong lol)

Offline amras_falassion

  • Brother Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 360
    • View Profile
    • Eskaywoo: Brand Strategy and Design
Re: Tahnir's Take II 7th edition tactica hammer and anvil
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2015, 09:06:01 PM »
I'm liking the Night Spinner more and more.. It took me 1 year to finally 'see' it's beauty.  :P

With the points cost coming down, it finally will see a place in my list.

Offline mcphro

  • Primarch
  • *
  • Posts: 1445
    • View Profile

Online Tahnir

  • Battle Brother
  • *
  • Posts: 117
    • View Profile
Re: Tahnir's Take II 7th edition tactica hammer and anvil
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2015, 10:42:10 AM »
Added to Insights Menu

http://thewarmaster.com/index.php?topic=1743.msg18332#msg18332

I am greatly honoured by this, when I first stumbled upon this forum it was because of the 6th edition tactics, I never thought that some day I myself would write something that has been deemed equal to them.