This post has been archived with permission from the Impact X blog.
Slingshotting is the tactic of using coherency placement to throw your unit out ahead of your unit leader to get a shot you otherwise would not be able to take. Slingshotting is a key tactic with certain units or under certain circumstances to catch your opponent unaware. Knowing when and how to slingshot can often get you an unlikely shot in an otherwise impossible situation.
The premise and execution is pretty easy, the trick is identifying when to take the risk and slingshot. The core of slingshotting units is knowing your positioning and what the risk and reward are of throwing your troops forward.
COHESION: Each non-leader miniature in a unit must be in cohesion with its unit leader. • After a unit leader moves, is deployed to the battlefield, or is displaced on the battlefield, each other mini in that unit must be placed in cohesion with that unit leader. • A mini is in cohesion with its unit leader if the distance between a mini and its unit leader is equal to or less than the length of the speed-1 movement tool. If the base of a unit leader is touching one end of the speed-1 movement tool, and the base of a different mini in that unit is touching the other end of the speed-1 movement tool, those minis are at the maximum distance of cohesion.
LINE OF SIGHT: Line of sight is used to determine if one mini can see another mini. A player determines line of sight from the perspective of a mini, using a viewpoint where the center of the mini’s base meets the top of the mini’s sculpt. If a player can see part of an opponent’s mini, which includes that mini’s base, from that viewpoint, that player’s mini has line of sight to that opponent’s mini. • If a mini does not have line of sight to another mini, line of sight is blocked. Pieces of terrain and vehicles can block line of sight. Trooper minis do not block line of sight. When determining line of sight, if a player cannot see a mini because it is concealed by one or more troopers on the battlefield, and that player could otherwise see the mini, that player’s mini has line of sight to the mini that is concealed by one or more troopers. • During an attack, each mini in the attacker can contribute dice to the attack pool if that mini has line of sight to any mini in the defender.
WOUNDS: During an attack, if line of sight to a mini in the defender is blocked from all minis in the attacker, that mini in the defender cannot suffer wounds.
Given the above rules we can see that there are situations where a normal move could not produce a line of sight that allows for a valid attack, however using cohesion placement we can extend these ranges and increase our chances of making an attack. The core of this tactic falls within the cohesion and line of sight rules and is facilitated by the wounds rules.
No Slingshot: This is the foil or the default most players will use. The scenario is this, The opponent has a unit completely out of line of sight and beyond a range 2 move so that the unit leader cannot make a single move to get line of sight on the enemy unit to make an attack. In this situation most players will either make a double more to get a shot next turn, or take a single move and advance some other part of the game plan.
In the above example, the unit would have no shot, and this movement with the squad members behind the unit leader is the default for moves as it limits the liability of enemies shooting you without you able to shoot them because range is measured from your unit leader to the nearest enemy model… therefore it is always best to lead with the unit leader to not give up any unnecessary advantages.
Full Unit Slingshot: The full unit slingshot is by far the most risky version of the slingshot, but it will be the one you will perform the most against a cagey opponent. Unlike the foil example above, in this version of the slingshot your unit leader will move the full speed as far as they can and then use the cohesion placement to place the rest of the unit into position to see the target unit. The unit can then spend their second action to attack the unit – because the unit leader cannot see the target they cannot add their weapon dice to the attack pool and the target unit is automatically granted cover – however you can now make a ranged attack with the rest of the unit which you could not normally have accomplished without the slingshot cohesion. This is a really strong trick for eliminating units the opponent is trying to hide and to catch them unaware.
In the above example you can see that the unit if moved conventionally would not have a shot, but by slingshotting the troopers out beyond the unit leader you can still get a shot on the opponent, albeit with cover and without the unit leader contributing to the attack.
Partial Unit Slingshot: The partial unit slingshot is is usually the ideal version and is the less risky version of the slingshot. However a cagey or intentional opponent will rarely give you the opportunity for this if the situation permits. Unlike the full unit example above, in this version of the slingshot your unit will move so that they can all see one figure in the target unit and then use the cohesion placement to place a single figure into position to see the rest of the target unit. The unit can then spend their second action to attack the unit – because the unit leader can see a figure in the target they can add their weapon dice to the attack pool and the target unit is granted cover as per normal – however you can now make a ranged attack with the unit in which you could eliminate any model in the target unit, which you could not normally have accomplished without the slingshot cohesion. Just like the full unit version this is a really strong trick for eliminating units the opponent is trying to hide and to catch them unaware, but this version tends to be safer from retaliation.
In the above example you can see that no we are getting the best of both worlds, being able to take a shot at the whole unit, while only creating limited extra risk for our unit.
Reverse Slingshot: The reverse slingshot is like the partial slingshot, and is the ideal situation when slingshotting. In this scenario you are able to get your unit leader as the one who is out in the open while the rest of the unit is back in cover and ideally only seeing one figure in the enemy unit. This allows you to take a full shot at the target, deny cover, and only put the unit to limited risk. This is of course the hardest slingshot to set up, as it requires that your unit leader is in place beginning the activation so that they can get their move an attack in the same turn.
In the above example you can see that our two unit members can see one enemy figure while our squad leader out in the open has a clear shot on the full unit allowing us a cover free shot.
With this new tool in your kit, you should have a much stronger understanding of how to position your models to force favorable trades or catch opponents unaware. Keep these tactics in mind when when picking targets and managing expectations as well. As with all new tactics you learn, keep an open mind on how to apply them while playing and use them in ways that make sense to your playstyle – understanding and applying in your own way is always more valuable than copying.
Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor.