Episode 32: Playing Defense in 40k – Shooting Phase

In this Episode, we talk about playing defense in the shooting phase. We discuss what you can do to ensure your units survive shooting during a game of 40k, including reserves, line of sight, cover, and psychic defense. We also talk about what to look for in the list building stage to beef up the defense of your army. The Battlehosts Podcast

Show Notes

You need to have a plan for how to keep unit alive long enough so that they do what you need them to do during the game.

When looking over an opponent’s list, you also need to know what the major threats are to each of your units, especially your key units.  Target prioritizing those things that are threats is one of the best ways to keep units alive.


Units off the table in reserves have the best defense in that they can’t be touched by enemy fire.  But of course if they are not on the table, they are not doing anything for you.


Units out of range are also untouchable, but you have to be very aware of the threat ranges of units on the board and those arriving from reserves.

Line of Sight

Units behind LOS cannot be targeted, but of course your opponent can maneuver to get around terrain.

Toughness and Saves

When units are under fire, they have to rely on cover saves, armor saves, and their own unit defenses.

Know the range, plus movement, plus any movement modifiers, of the units that are a threat to you.

Psychic Defense

Many times you need to rely on psychic powers to boost up your defenses.

List Building

At the list building stage, you consider the defense of a unit: toughness, saves, and movement. If the threat range is short, you need a way to get a unit across the board.  You have to have an idea for how to keep things alive. Also consider wargear options and fortifications.

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