Hello all, today I wanted to talk a little about combat patrol in Warhammer 40k and why I think its the best way to play the game.
With Warhammer 40k, there are several ways people can play the game. There are unit power levels, which are based off of something or other, that you can add up for a quick pick up game with your dad or brother in your basement. Most people, however, use point costs to come up with a balanced game. Points more accurately portray the power of a unit and take into account unit upgrades and weapon options which power level playing does not. As I said in my previous article reviewing Warhammer 40,000 9th edition, I am coming back to the game after basically taking off the entirety of 8th edition. That being said I plan on easing myself into the hobby and Combat Patrol is the perfect way to do this! Its a great way to get your friends into the hobby as well, as it has a very small financial impediment and the games are done quickly. Here are my top reasons why you should be playing Combat Patrol!
- Quick Games – Im not sure about you but I no longer am interested in playing 2-3 hour games. These games are not only physically taxing as you are doing a lot of standing and walking around the board but games can also be mentally and emotionally draining. Combat Patrol games should basically be over within an hour, giving you plenty of time to go get some snacks because you have no self control and hey whats another X on that shirt size you fat slob.
- Cheap to Play – When you are first getting into the game, the financial impact of the hobby is felt most. Games Workshop doesn’t make this game for low income shlubs. This is a game for people with a lot of disposable time and income, and the constant release of new books needed to play the game mean less money for the models. Combat Patrol will typically have a single character, a couple of units, and maybe a vehicle.
- Point Costs– In combat patrol, every point matters. No longer can you say, ‘fuck it throw in another power fist’, since you have 2000 points to play with. In Combat Patrol you are given 500 measly points, and its up to you, your brain, and your giant balls to come up with a decent force. Rarely will you see a named character striding the field at 500 points. The problem with playing 1000 and 2000 point games is there is no downside to spamming units and taking the most powerful options. There are no tough choices!
- Command Points – Strategems, love them or hate them, are part of the game. A large part of Warhammer 40,000 has become a series of gotcha moments due to strategems that give powerful abilities and re-rolls to all units in the game. To use strategems you have to have command points, and when you are playing the standard 2,000 point game you have 12 to start the game with. For Combat Patrol you have 3 command points to start the game which makes it more of a game of strategy using the models you brought as opposed to who used their strategems better.
- Detachments – When you play a Combat Patrol game you are limited to a single detachment. This will usually be standard Battalion as that give you the most flexibility and you get the command points refunded because your Warlord is part of the detachment. People that want to get fancy and take no troops will be punished by not starting the game with any Command Points due to not having Command Benefits.
- Side Boards – In competitive play one of the most frustrating things that can happen is when you come up against and opponent with a hard counter. With such small armies in a Combat Patrol tournament players can easily have side board lists (different lists) prepared that they can choose from based off of their opponent. Warmachine has done this for years and it is quite popular.
To start dipping my toes into Warhammer 40k again, I’ve decided to begin with Blood Angels, which was my first Space Marine army way back when. I’ve decided to go with all Vanguard Space Marines despite the fact that they in no way benefit from the Blood Angels chapter tactics. I figure a Space Marine is a Space Marine is a Space Marine. They are basically OP no matter what chapter you take and each one gives you SOME kind of bonus. The Blood Angels Chapter Tactic being you get +1 to wound when making a charge, being charged or Heroically Intervening. You also get a +1 on the charge or advance rolls. Pretty good for basic marines wounding T5-7 models on 4+. They also benefit from all the other general Space Marine special rules such as Bolter Discipline, Shock Assault, and Combat Doctrines.
Here is what my first Combat Patrol list looks like.
2x 5 Infiltrators with Comms Arrays (re-roll hits if Captain is on board)
Invictor Tactical War Suit
So a VERY compact list where the Infiltrators go down onto objectives where needed, keeping enemy infiltrators and deep strikers from jumping on them and a Captain to run up the board with the Invictor War Suit and pump fire into the enemy. All units start the game infiltrating which gives you a TON of flexibility to react to your opponent’s set up. The Infiltrators themselves are no slouch in the combat department, having Marksman Bolt Carbines that causes automatic wounds with an unmodified roll of a 6 to hit.
So that’s it, my review of the best way to play Warhammer 40,000. Let me know in the comments section if you agree, disagree, or could care less!
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