Tactics: Bubble Wrap

SpongeBob bubblegum
Image is courtesy of Cartoons Snap!

I have been posting quite a number of battle reports recently but I have not mention anything about how I play my games. As a way to summarize the battle reports, I would like to touch on a tactic that I use regularly in my games – bubble wrapping. You may have heard about the term bubble wrap. What is bubble wrap?

Bubble wrapping in 40K terms is using a unit to surround another friendly unit.

Why do we want to bubble wrap?
2 reasons that I know of (may have more practical use but I am unaware atm):

  1. To protect your important unit from assault.
  2. To protect your important unit from 6″ melta gun sweet range.

Since 5th edition was release, a small little changes to the assault rule made this possible. You declare all and moved all assaulting units first, than defending player move defending unit in respond. Thus now you can use a cheap and sacrificial unit to screen your expensive and important unit from assault.

In my recent battle report against Raven Guards, I have used this simple tactic to protect my units from 1st turn assaults of my important units (Tyrants and Carnifex). I even deployed units along my short table edge to prevent outflanking unit. It worked brilliantly. Raven Guards were only able to assault my Ripper swarms and a screening Gaunt unit. Allowing me to use my heavy hitters to counter assault next. Even if they try to take away my screen, Rippers will go to ground for 2+ cover and Gaunts doing the same for 3+ cover. I have use this simple and effective deployment tactic for my Tyranids, Tau and Necrons. It’s there if you look at my deployment photo in those reports.

In another application, some armies have taken deep striking units or drop podding with melta guns to take out our heavier hitting armor. We have seen or play or even used these units to do it. How do we counter this? By keeping said deep striking/drop podding units out of their 6″ sweet range (2D6 for armor pen rolls). We fill up the gap with expendable units again. 🙂

As seen in this battle report. Look at turn 2, it shows how my terminators tries to wrap around my Predators. Although there is not enough models to properly wrap all, still it successfully pushed my opponent deep striking Chaos Terminators with combi-melta more than 6″ away.

Bubble wrapping is a simple and very effective tactic to use. I am sure every army can benefit from this.