Fellah named Frank emailed me a few days back for some list advice and mentioned he’d been making some creative use of escape hatches. I don’t spend a hell of a lot of time on the forums so this may be old news, but he was the first person I ever heard of using the idea.
First the ultra-basics I usually don’t deal with here because you’re all big boys and can look up the rules yourself. Lawd knows I’ve shown you where to go get them. An escape hatch is a 25 point upgrade in the Stronghold Assault supplement that can be purchased for buildings like a Bastion. It allows you to place a marker anywhere within 12” of the fortification. How big the marker can be is not specified, but I’d imagine you could get away with anything large enough for a model with a 60mm base to fit inside. This marker is an access point, so you can get out of it up to 6”.
Frank was using this to disembark Abaddon upfield and join him to Nurgle Spawn, then slingshotting him into assault. Most clever. Then when you think about what you could do with Grav Centurions, you start to consider the possibilities. Place the hatch 12” downfield. You figure the hatch is about 2” wide itself, with a 6” disembarkation, that’s a 20” move in the first turn for infantry. What does George Takei think?
You can’t assault, but you can get 20 sonic blasters to midfield, have Obliterators in their sweet spot on the first turn, send Pink Horrors to midfield to summon, get 20 Daemonettes in position to charge with the rest of the army on turn 2 (oooohh, think of the run move…). Use your imagination. Keep in mind you would need a medium building to get a 20 model capacity, but both a Bastion, and the much cheaper Wall of Martyr’s Bunker qualify.
Couple this with Huron, Ahriman or Cypher for infiltration shenanigans, scouting Hounds, speedy Screamers, and you’ve got another tool in that toolbox for getting there fast.
The game is becoming much more about getting in the other guy’s face quickly. Drop pods have become stronger. Grey Knights are getting a detachment that deep strikes turn 1. Imperial Knights will charge on turn 2 unless destroyed. Things are faster than ever. The daemon bomb concept where you drop everything turn 2 is nearly obsolete because it’s too slow. There’s no reason you can’t be there turn 1 anymore.