One of the more interesting ways for units to enter the battlefield in Epic: Armageddon is via the Teleport rule – whether it’s Terminators actually teleporting or Swooping Hawks dropping onto the field from low orbit, they all use the same rule. It’s one that I’ve used quite a bit with both my Thousand Sons and my Craftworld Eldar, so today I’ll be looking at how it works.
Teleport, despite its name, pretty much covers any way for a unit to enter the battlefield from a distance including summoning and dropping in from high altitude. It tends to be a rule found on more elite units, such as Space Marine Terminators, Eldar Swooping Hawks and Obliterators. It’s great for dropping units into prime position, especially since they can’t scatter and appear on the turn of your choice. The main risk is that, since you place the unit before the strategy roll, you have to hope that you win the roll to avoid your opponent going first and destroying or breaking the unit before they can activate. As such, I’ve always found that it’s often best to use Teleport units as early as possible in the turn.
My main concern with my own units has always been how to use them once they arrive on the table. It’s tempting to drop units deep behind enemy lines to try and wreak havoc on artillery or grab an unguarded objective, but after appearing the Teleporting unit tends to be fatally unsupported. Epic, in general, is a game about tactics and support, and leaving a unit alone is often the fastest way to lose it. I suppose it boils down to if you’re willing to sacrifice the formation, and whether they can cause sufficient carnage or not before it’s taken out!
The other option is to drop them in the thick of the fighting on the front line, where they can provide sudden support to vital sections of the battlefield. This can be particularly potent during a push – for example, Teleporting a unit of Terminators alongside a formation of Tactical Marines led by a Captain for a lethal combined assault. In general, I tend to use my Teleport units to either support the front line as previously mentioned, or to try and cover the weaknesses of my army. For example, Thousand Sons Terminators are very hardy shock troops, and since the army in general isn’t particularly mobile they’re especially good at targeting artillery and the like. Of course, they’re also equally ideal for assisting a Rubric-Flamer-combo assault, so while it can be a blow at first to be down an activation (due to the unit not being on the board) it’s hard not to find an efficient use for them!
Teleporting isn’t quite as potentially lethal for the unit in question as it is in 40K, but it still comes with its own risks. Each stand in the formation has a one-in-six chance of receiving a blast marker when they enter the battlefield, which can be a serious hindrance both in activation rolls and combat, since they’ll be starting off with a negative to their overall score! As such, I tend to try and keep my teleporting units as small as possible, such as taking the minimum four stands of Thousand Sons Terminators to minimise the risk. Swooping Hawks are a bit trickier, since their unit size is set at eight stands, and as a result on the occasions that I do run a pure Swooping Hawk formation I tend to start them on the board. They’re fast enough at 35cm to be able to get where they want easily, and being infantry can take advantage of cover. I’ll only really run a full formation of Swooping Hawks in larger games (around 5000pts upwards), so there tends to be enough other units that the Swooping Hawks don’t have to take much firepower during their advance.
Of course, this is all just my own opinion and experiences, so I’d love to hear from you :) Leave a comment with your own tactics and thoughts on Teleport units – how you use them or counter them.