Yeeman here to help you through a basic prinicple I have seen be key to 6th Edition: Multi-Layer Attacking. Some people will know what I am talking about as I have explained to them my philosophy. Some people will just say that all I mean is building a balanced list. Some people will say that they've been doing this forever. Some will even say I'm full of crap! Well you can Multi-Layer Attack with imbalanced lists, some may have been doing this forever, and I just might be full of crap! These 5 layers below will make you successful however when you go abotu building your lists. This is moe of a template and guide to consider when you want to build a list that wants to be competitive. So lets dive into it shall we?
1st Layer: Troops
So by now, we all know that 5 out of the 6 missions require some sort of objective. Troops here is key. No more 4th edition 2 troops lists with max everything else. That just aint going to work. You need to flood the field with troops. If your troops are weak (Dark Eldar, Eldar, Tau) you need more than 3 and i would say atleast 4. You can make cheap troops even though they are weak so you can afford to have more troops for less than most armies. I know with my DE I usually have soem Venom squads and a 10 man Warrior squad or two. If your troops are expensive, (Chaos Space Marines, Eldar, Necrons) you cant afford many troops, but you need to make them survivable. Throwing 5 man Marines squads around or Necron Warrior squads is good, but havign 30 scoring bodies is not. It does not mattyer if their in Land Raiders, Flyers, Foot or Rhinos. You need more bodies! Troops is the key to 6th and it is something that some people get, but lots do not.
2nd Layer: Flyers
Not every army has flyers, I get that. But every army has some sort of Flyer defense, and has units that make for a great defense against flyers. These units usually put out high volume of medium-high strength shots thatr even if you only get one 6, you are still. And remember, players need to choose whether to Evade BEFORE you roll to see if you Penetrate or Glance. If they attempt to Evade after the roll has been made, they are cheating. Rule of thumb, I always give a 4-5 second wait period to see if they say anything. Then say, "I'm going to roll for Penetration now..." If nothing comes from them, roll away! Now some get angry when you Pen 3 times and Glance once and they now cannot Evade.
But, back to Fliers. Fliers play an important roll in 6th. Coming from reserve (now on a 3+!) they will get in. Also, most fliers have very potent weaponry or hold key elements of our armies inside of them. They provide support for army and can reach across the battlefield. Plus, all fliers have Skyfire so they can all kill other fliers as well. All army builds need some sort of Flyer or Flyer defense. Flyers are everywhere, prepare!
3rd Layer: Deepstrikers
The third layer is deepstriking units. So with the new DS Mishap chart, you can be more gutsy where you place units. Only having them be destroyed on a 1 is very advantageous. I think it is key to have something that can get behind the opponent and cause havoc. Maybe they carry some AT busting guns or have some nice assault capabilities. With my DE I like DSing some Heat Lance Scourge and blowing up that pesky Manticore or Doomsdy Ark that will be blowing me up all game. They also pack a nice AI punch with 9 Posion shots. With my BAO list, I have some Warp Spiders. They are very multi-purpose in the sense that they can destroy almost any vehicle on side armor, pop flyers, and live to tell about it with their 3+ AS and their assault move.
Another key note is that these units can get you Linebreaker. We all know the loses we've had by 1 point because of First Blood or Line Breaker or Slay the Warlord. This helps with that. Also, most people thier characters in the back of their units. This allows you to shoot these characters and possibly break the squad.
4th Layer: Target Saturation
This means different things to different people. Some think it means flooding the field with units and when one gets destroyed you still have 2-3 of the same unit there to do the same thing. I think this means to have units that are not expendable and multiple but also units you force your opponent to deal with. If you shove two Maulerfiends backed with Spawn down the middle of the field, your opponent has 1 turn to deal with them before they hit your lines. Those units will soak up fire power (the saturate part) and allow your fire support units to remain unscathed. Forcing your opponents hand with things allows you to dictate the game on your terms instead of theirs.
5th Layer: Fire Support
We should know by now that 6th Ed. is a shooty edition. Is assault dead? NO! Did shooting get even better? YES! For any great army you need soem sort of firebase. This can be as much as a coupel Lascannons to 30 Heavy Weapons teams. However you need something. You can't have an entire army just run right at you. Even Nids are buying into Biovores as fire support. Orks have Lootas. Every army needs a fire base to pop armor or snipe chracters from afar. If your army just runs at the opponent, see WWI. It didn't work out for many of them, trust me. having the ability to reach out even with one unit or two can mean the difference between winning and losing.
The best part is, these units can be annoying as hell to destroy now with the new cover rules. REMEMBER Going to Ground in Area Terrain nets you a +2 to your cover save! This can make a normal Devastator squad essentially Terminators if they are sitting in Ruins. a 2+ save is very annoying to get through! Defense Lines also help with this!
So lets recap. I believe a complete list needs to have all five of these layers in it to be a great and complete competitive list. Are there lists that don't have all 5 but are competitive? Yes. Is this the know all of list building? By no means.
You need troops to capture objective, quarters, and to deny objectives. They win you games!
You need some sort of Flyer defense. Flyers are everywhere and to be unprepared or to hope you son't see any is a propostorous claim. You will be eaten for lunch.
Some sort of Deepstrikers will put backfield pressure on your opponent while your fire support units whittle them down. Units like Manticores or Long Fangs will feel the heat from these units. Some opponents may even keep units back "just incase."
Target Saturation is a must have. Having many units is good. Forcing your opponent to deal with said units is better. Forcing your opponents hand or making them change from their plan is key to winning. many players come into games with pre-conceived notions on how to beat said army. Throw a wrench into things and force him into doign something they may not want to do.
Having Fire Support units makes your army stronger. A great firebase will net you kills and cause annoyance for your opponent. They can also be a pain in the ass the uproot.
So try it out. Let mek now your experiences! More importantly, HAVE FUN!