Saturday, April 16, 2011

Drop Pods

The Drop Pod allows a unit that otherwise couldn’t to deep strike. This can be an great way of getting slower units into combat reliably. I won’t discuss specific units, as those that really benefit from a Drop Pod were mentioned in their own entries. Here, I’ll concentrate more on how to use a Drop Pod within an army.

First, while it seems like a good idea to put an assault unit in a Drop Pod, this can often be tricky. Unit cannot assault when they disembark from the pod, so enemies have a turn to shoot them or run away from them. This means that the squads that do best in Drop Pods have excellent shooting or are durable enough to take a round of shooting before reaching assault.

Drop Pods generally work best when you take only one or a lot of them. The “Drop Pod Assault” rule means that half of your Drop Pods, rounding up, automatically land on the first turn. Taking one pod means that you have a squad that you know will arrive on the first turn and can take out a high priority target. However, it will be left far in front of the rest of your forces and will likely be wiped out quickly. The other option is to take as many pods as you can, aiming to land an overwhelming force on the first turn. Always take an odd number of pods, as that gets you an extra pod landing on the first turn. Assault squads are an excellent way to increase the number of pods in an army, as they get a free pod in exchange for their jump packs and can drop in later to hold objectives. Your first turn Drop Pods should carry hard-hitting units, such as Dreadnoughts and Sternguard.

It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to bring a unit on with a Drop Pod if you bought one for it. You can deploy it normally if that would be more advantageous and drop the pod empty, using it to contest an objective or block a sight lane.

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