Hey there, Xethik with part two of three of the wound allocation series. In this part I'm going to hopefully show you how to use wound allocation to your own advantage, given different scenarios and keeping different things in mind. To start, we'll take the same scenario I used last time.
You have a squad of five marines, with a Sergeant and a Missile Launcher. That gives you three distinct groups: Sergeant, Missile Launcher, and Tactical Marines with Boltguns - also known as the normal guys. You have taken eleven wounds. Three are AP 2 while the other eight are AP 5, so you can make armor saves against those.
AP 2 are red, AP 5 are white.
Last time, I allocated the wounds like this:
Now, let's think how we can allocate. We have 11 wounds, so everyone needs two, with one guy getting three. Those three wounds can be put onto the Missile Launcher, and those can be your three AP 2 wounds. Two on the Sergeant and six on the normal guys. You have something like this.
So, what's a good strategy when dealing with a situation like this with single wound models? You want to find the smallest model groups and put the most threatening wounds on them. Perhaps you have Plague Marines and takes two hits from a S10 AP 4 weapon followed by a lot of S4 AP - weaponry. You'll want to put as many of the wounds that deny Feel No Pain on one model, perhaps a guy with special weaponry.
Now we'll move onto a different type of unit. The "multi-wound" units. These could be Nobz, Grey Knight Paladins, Thunderwolf Cavarly, or Tyranid Warriors (doesn't work so well here as you can't mix-up wargear and biomorphs easily). Anything with more than one wound which can be found in units. There are some rule contradictions which allow you (and probably intentionally) to add a lot of survivability to your unit. Multi-wound units must "remove whole models as casualties where possible. Wounds may not be 'spread around' to avoid removing models." This is done after identifying wound groups, and this is where wound allocation comes in handy.
Diagrams aren't really necessary for this one, to be honest, but there are a couple different things to keep in mind when wound allocating into multi-wound units. First thing is first, and that is getting a completely unique unit. This means no model is in a wound group with another model, which you want to achieve without sacrificing points or weapon possibilities. This means even the small things like assault grenades and master-crafted weapons should be used here and there in order to achieve a nice group without losing a lot of your weapon of choice. I won't go into any specifics, but you can feel free to ask for any unit and I'll do my best to create an example.
Alright, so let's say you have a group of 5 Paladins each with different wargear so they are in their own groups. Let's run down the things you want to keep in mind.
You still have to put at least one wound on every model before moving onto the next. This means you cannot stack two wounds on the same model if they are the only wounds you received. You have to spread the wounds out in that aspect.
Just because a model is missing a wound, doesn't mean you have to allocate a wound to it next time you suffer wounds. This means every model can have one wound missing at the same time even if you never passed a save. This is often ideal, especially if you are only ever taking a few, armour save ignoring wounds. By doing this, you effectively keep your firepower the same while your squad takes damage.
Next, if possible, you want to stack instant-death wounds on one model. If you take 11 wounds, 3 of which cause instant-death, you would probably want to put those three wounds on your least cared about model, and let him take the hits for the rest of your squad. You can also put instant-death wounds onto models that already have wounds on them, assuming you are in individual groups. This way, you avoid taking as many wounds as possible.
The problem with these very unique units is that keeping track of wounds can be a large pain. It's really nice if you have something magnetized onto the model or that is removable to keep track of wounds. I've seen people use skulls on the front of a base and upon suffering a wound, a skull is removed. That way, your opponent can look and see the number of wounds on the model without having a bunch of confusing dice floating around. You could also use rings, as Fritz has posted about (I believe) or even those transparent green skulls Games Workshop sells on the Counter Set.
I hope you enjoyed the article. I apologize for there being a lack of images, but I feel that they would possibly confuse things in the second half of the article. It is my goal to help inform and explain, so I'm glad if at least a handful of people gained something from this article.
Next article will be shorter and will be about how you can do your best to attempt to avoid dealing with obnoxious use of the wound allocation game while still having fun yourself.