Hammer of Math: Pariah Nexus Deployments

This week’s Hammer of Math takes a step away from probability and heads back to middle school to examine the geometry of the Pariah Nexus deployments.

It’s weird to think that 10th Edition is a year old. In a way it feels like it’s been around for much longer, but two years ago we were still dealing with faction secondary objectives and actions. A year later Games Workshop is setting sail on the Leviathan Mission Pack and kicking us through the Warp into the Pariah Nexus, where things will be different. For example, there will be actions and Gambits are dead.

Tyranid Pyrovore in Hive Fleet Leviathan
Tyranid Pyrovore in Hive Fleet Leviathan. Credit: Pendulin

Part of the mission pack will be a series of new deployment maps. Some of these are familiar, while others feature geometries that are completely new. In this article we’ll take a look at each deployment map and examine some factors such as the closest distance between the Deployment Zones and how things overlap with space to claim Objective Markers as well as the various Secondary Missions.

The dashed lines in the pictures below represent areas of interest for various Secondary Missions. The circle in the center has a radius of 6″, while the straight lines show the true table quarters as well as the area representing 6″ away from the other quarters.

Note: These distances are approximate – they’ll be accurate to the nearest tenth of an inch, but there are going to be rounding errors here and there any time you work with trigonometry.

Crucible of Battle

Deployment Area: 660 sq. in
Distance between Deployment Zones: 27.8″

Crucible of Battle is unchanged from the Leviathan deck, although players will be happy to note that the objectives are positioned relative to the board edges instead of the center. In terms of geometry there’s not much of interest here; Crucible puts the most distance between deployment zones of any map, with 27.8″.

The diagonal deployments make measurements on this particular deployment zone a bit trickier, but we can get some approximate distances in place for the objectives – generally speaking most units will need to advance to reach one of the objectives in No Man’s Land, with the shortest distance being just over 7″ to be in range of the objective marker in the middle of the table if you’re moving diagonally.

Dawn of War

Dawn of War had a slight change; the deployment zones increased from extending 10″ from the edges of the table to 12″. This is more in-line with the “classic” Dawn of War deployment from the days of 6’x4′ tables, but in the modern era of 44″ table width this means that No Man’s Land is now decidedly shorter – the gap between the two zones is exactly 20″, down from 24″ previously. This also makes the distance from deployment to the control area of the objective markers shorter – the edges of those radii are about 5.7″ from the edge of each deployment zone.

Hammer & Anvil

Another deployment unchanged from Leviathan, the closest distance between the Deployment Zones is 24″. Reaching the edge of control for the objective markers in No Man’s Land will require around 7.7″ of movement from the edge of your deployment zone.

Sweeping Engagement

Now things get a little more interesting. The center points of each deployment zone on this map are only 16″ away from each other, making it very easy for certain units to leap that distance and get in the enemy Deployment Zone in a single turn. The distance from that central point to the nearest edge of the objective marker in the enemy DZ is slightly over 23″, meaning that you need at least a movement of 24″ to be able to contest it in a single turn. Of course, it’s unlikely that an opponent will deploy right in that forwardmost corner, but if they deploy on the line anywhere to the right of it within about 6 to 8 inches, you can cross No Man’s Land diagonally from that corner point with around 18″ of movement – another relatively easy first-turn charge for a unit with 12″ of Movement.

Tipping Point

Another new Deployment, the closest distance between those deployment zone corners is 20″ while the distance from the point to the control zone of the objective marker in the enemy Deployment Zone is 24.5″, meaning that the minimum movement required to contest that enemy home objective is 25″. Likewise, if an opponent deploys on the line further from that middle point, you will have to go up to 22″ from your corner to hit them if they’re within 8″ of their corner.

Search and Destroy

Search & Destroy is another classic deployment zone, featuring a circle with a radius of 9″ from the center of the battlefield in which players cannot deploy. While players tend to commonly think about the distance between these zones as being 18″, that’s a bit of a mistake – those corners are much closer – the closest distance between the “points” where that circle and edges intersect is only 12.7″. Trying to jump to the enemy’s home objective marker from the closest point will take 22.6″ of movement.

Reaching the control area for the center objective will require about 5.7″ of movement – and every Death Guard player knows very well the tragic need to advance to reach the center objective on this map.

Imperial Fists Ballistus Dreadnought. Credit: Jack Hunter

Wrapping Up

There’s a real value to knowing these values ahead of time – first, it helps you plan better how you’ll reach objectives and enemy targets. But it also helps you avoid opponents looking to shoot across the table and crash into your lines. For example, you know that on Crucible of Battle, the shortest distance between those two deployment zones is more than 27″. That means anyone looking to Advance and Charge from their lines into yours needs to clear 16″ of movement to be able to even declare a charge against one of your units in your deployment zone, and that’s only if you were both deployed on the line. No amount of creative measuring can overcome this math, and it’s worth pointing that out to opponents when they tell you otherwise, in the same way that you’d correct an opponent trying to make a charge from Deep Strike without rolling a 9+.

Compared to Leviathan, the Deployment Maps in Pariah Nexus offer many more opportunities for units to get in close. While Search and Destroy continues to have the closest distance, four out of the six options have locations where the enemy DZ is 20″ away or less. In contrast, Crucible of Battle has the largest gap by far with 27″ separating the two parallel lines determining the Deployment Zones. Don’t be surprised if things get more deadly this year; they’re certainly going to get more personal.

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