Tuesday, May 3

Tactics: Earth Style 40k

Self Portrait :)
 Hey Internet, welcome to another episode of Elemental Tactics Nonsense.  If you have been following you will know that we covered Fire and Water already in this discussion.  Now I would like to cover Earth style and some of the tactics/ strategies involved with this style of 40k.

Style: As the Element would hint at, Earth is immovable and slow.  Earth is not knowing for moving great distances, simply because it isn't designed to do such.  Earth will generally have a lot of bodies on the table and will feel like it is already 'everywhere,' when the game begins.  In some cases this is very much the case
Wins based on: Outlasting and just overall attrition.  You may kill 10 of them but it doesn't hurt as much as the 5 they killed of yours.
Loses based on: Far away objectives are almost impossible to capture wholly.
Counter: Fire (if the momentum is right), Multicharging deathstars!

Earth armies love to sit back and form the often mentioned "gun lines," it is not unusual to see little to no vehicles in a earth army, simply because they can be taken out with one "lucky shot," Earth doesn't like that idea and feels that taking a cover save with 4 missile launcher dev squads is better than an AV 13 tank.   Also, you won't see many tanks, because in general they take up a lot of points, which means less bodies on the field. That said it is still hard to avoid not taking some tanks.

As with most "gun lines," there will be many, many guns of all different shapes and sizes.  Generally the firepower increases as you approach because there are many distance intervals in the guns (12", 24", 36" and 48"+)  This can be very frustrating to drive into because it only gets harder and harder as you close into earth.

Earth will have a difficult time capturing distant objectives.  They will have more than enough troops to do the job, but after footslogging for 4 turns, there just isn't enough time to wipe out the enemy squad to wholly capture the objective.  This is only harder if the enemy knows you are an earth list and keeps squads back and hidden from your guns (reserves)

Generally speaking the individual squads of Earth are nothing to worry about.  Most Tactical squads laugh at the individual squad earth presents to them.  The difference being Earth has 10 of those squads while marines have only 3 tactical squads... Good luck chopping through all that.

When playing Earth, stagger your units such that one can be a 'speed bump,' for the other.  Also, be very careful to not set yourself up for a 2x or 3x multi-charge... It will get very rough very quickly if that happens.  Also, target priority is still important, though you may FEEL like you have plenty of guns to do the job, sometimes you don't... So don't get lazy.

Typical Earth Unit: IG Blob Squad...50 men, Stubborn, 4+ Power weapons, Priest+ straken.  have fun chewing on that for a few days.

Armies that do Earth Well:
- IG (Foot guard if done well and played by an experienced player can hurt!)
- Tau (Though a outdated codex sometimes is their fall)
- Some Tyranids (Though they are mostly Water)
- Eldar (though there is a debate about Footdar)

Sample Army list:

Catachan Counter-Attack List.2000 pts.

  HQ: 280
   Command Squad -50
    +Colonel Stracken +90
    +4 Grenade LAunchers+20

   Priest 45

   priest 45

  Troops: 1155
   1st Platoon 335
    -junior Officer 30
     +2 melta guns 20
     +2 Grenade Launchers 10
     +power weapon 10
    -Infantry Squads x3 150
     +power weapon x3 30  
     +Commisar 40
      -power weapon 10
      -meltabombs 5

   2nd Platoon 530
    -Junior officer 30
     +Flamer 5
     +2 Melta Guns 20
     +Grenade Launcher 5
    -Infantry Squads x3 150
     +power weapon x3 30
     +commisar 40
      -power weapon 10
      -melta bombs 5
    -Heavy Weapons Squad 60
      +3 Auto Cannons 15
    -Heavy Weapons Squad 60
      +3 Aautocannons 15
    -Heavy weapons squad 60
      +3 Lascannons 45

   1st veteran squad 115
     -10 veterans 70
     -Plasma gun x3 45

   2nd veteran squad 175
     -10 veterans 70
     -Plasma gun x3 45
     -Chimera 55
       +5 point upgrade

  Fast Attack: 130
   Banewolf 130
    -Hull heavy Bolter 0

  Heavy Support: 435
   Leman Russ Demolisher 160
    -Plasma Cannon Sponsons 40
    -Hull Lascannon 15

   Leman Russ Vanquisher 155
    -Hull Lascannon 15
    -Pask 50

Hope you all enjoyed this edition of my Elemental tactics nonsense... Next Ill Move to the last Element: Air.

What do you feel is your elemental style of your current list? Comments, Questions?



  1. Liking these "way of the *element* warrior" posts. Pretty interesting to read.

    However, as far as Earth IG lists go, this one is a little lacking. Not really the point of the article and I don't want to blow up your spot about it, but after all that talk about the "overwhelming gunline firepower" kind of thing I expected something a little more intimidating.

    Still, nice posts and keep em coming. I'm very interested for your "air" post. I'm guessing it will be rather Dark Eldar focused eh?

  2. To be fair you are right... This is a "blob earth list" not a gun line earth list. Just for kicks I'll write up a gunnline and post it tomorrow or Thursday.