Sunday, May 23, 2010

Myth Buster: Deep Strike

Ok all, everywhere I go, people seem to fear Deep Striking unless they do it in a wide open space. I want to dispel the myth that Deep Striking is too dangerous.

Let's start off with the scatter die. You have 33% chance of a direct hit. So that's 33% safe, 66% risk.
Now let's take apart that 66% that scatters. Imagine a pie plate (360 degree) the size of your total scatter (usually 12"). Now divide that into quadrants. So each quadrant is 16.5% of that 66% total risk. Rotate the pie plate to minimize the number affected. Let's say that two of those quadrants have enemy units and/or terrain. That's 50% of that 66% risk. So that's 66% safe, 33% risk.

Now let's look at the final components of Deep Strike: The distance of the scatter dice and your positioning. The average roll on two dice is 7 so as long as you position yourself 8" from an enemy unit/terrain, that's another 50% reduction. Half the rolls should be above, half below. I add 1" because you need to remain 1" away from an enemy unit. You can remove that inch if it's just terrain. That's 50% of the 33% risk. So that's 83.5% safe, 16.5% risk.

We all do a lot more risky things out there with a higher than 16.5% failure rate. So is deep striking really that dangerous? Sure the percent goes up a bit when jumping into 3 or 4 quadrants affected and when trying to get in with less distance. that's where you need to make the call whether you should drop at that point.

One note, with Blood Angels only rolling one die for scatter, change that average roll to 3 and the distance from 8" to 4".


  1. I agree, deep striking is not dangerous.
    It is random. And to take an in game effect that has an impact on almost every single army and just use randomness to implement it seems like a cop out to me.
    I think there is a better way to handle deep striking as a game effect than just making it random.

    And you didn't go into the mishap chart either. Just because you get a bad result on your random placement roll doesn't automatically mean your guys are outright dead, There's only a chance of that happening. I'm sure that reduces the odds even more.

  2. The only thing about deep strike is that it can seperate pieces of your army from each other. For some codexes that is not a problem. I tend to not deep strike my suits because I like being able to hide behind my tanks with them. Also when suits deep strike it always seems like they just can't get to cover fast enough.

    Blood Angels have some pretty awesome advantages with deep striking though.

    I think if I rolled a different type of army i would have deep striking helios suits with outflanking kroot and fast moving piranha squads

  3. @Ron - I agree, it is random like an Ork Shokk cannon, but not nearly as much fun. It's tough to say, with big risks come big rewards. Deep Striking is incredibally powerful if you land it right. I didn't go into the mishap chart because I was mostly focused on actually landing. I would go with two out of three are bad. Your opponent placing you in the far corner effectively takes you out of the game just as much. ;)
    @Krox - Yea, the BA have a huge advantage with the re-roll fails gives them 75% chance to come in on first turn and goes up from there. And the reduced scatter really puts them in striking range. ;) though I'd probably be safer to run a Libby with Shield of Sanguinarius and give the whole army a 5+ cover save to make it across the board with low ap weapons.

  4. I´ve DS´d my forces often and I can say that if they are shooty units (E.G.: regular termies) deep strike is a great and relatively safe way to cause havok, the counterpart are my vanguard vets, that tend to fall heads down when trying to do heroic intervention, so, deep strike works wonderfully for shooty units, but if somehow (e.g.: heroic intervention) you can get an assault after a DS it becomes very hazardous due to the distance from the enemy your minis have to be to assault, and of course, the best way to deep strike and assault is with a big assaulty unit, which means you need more space for them to deploy, since you got to position them around the first mini that DS´d.

    And still... I really love it :D

  5. @Grajo - I DS'ed a Vang Vets unit last Sunday against Kroxitau and wiped out a Kroot squad he had sitting on my objective. Of course, I am playing Blood Angels, mostly these days, so with only 1d6 scatter (and re-roll failed reserve rolls), Vang Vets are really coming in to their own.

  6. The problem is it's an all-or-nothing risk. Even if you accept that the rate is only 15% (which, I think, is being a bit charitable- having enemies or terrain in only 50% of your facings is reasonably unlikely if you're playing with normal terrain coverage), you still have a 15% chance of losing the whole unit. Dangerous Terrain is also a 15% chance of losing a guy, but you roll for each member, not once for the whole squad. Since DSing units are almost always rather pricey, this translates into a potentially huge hit to your battle plan.