Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fundamentals - Part 4 - The Basics of Guns

With ranged attacks there are a few different basics we need to cover. First I'll define the different types of ranged attacks available to us. Then go over combinations of ways to use them to it's full effectiveness.

Art by: Hollowpointhell
Basic -The basic ranged attack that requires your RAT to hit a target.

AoE (Area of Effect) Attack - An AoE requires your RAT to hit, but if you miss can scatter and potentially do damage to targets.

Spray - Spray attacks which place a template based off the range of the attack. SP 6/8/10 typically that you need to use your RAT or magical value to hit models underneath the template.

Template - These are very unique style attacks that you place on the table and roll to hit any model under the template. Siege is the most famous model with this attack.

CRA (Combined Ranged Attack) - This is a basic ranged attack that gives you a +hit/+dmg modifier for every additional model shooting in the attack.

The greatest thing about ranged attacks is you can apply damage to or kill models from afar. When you have superior shooting then your opponent you get to force your opponent to come to you. Shooting also significantly helps you with scenarios like destruction while typically making you weaker at holding objectives since shooting units don't tend to be durable.

There can be three styles of armies in Warmachine/Hordes. Combined arms forces of shooting/melee, gun line which is heavy shooting and a heavy melee force. Overall if you have a combined arms or gun line you can control the flow of battle vs. heavy melee forces, forcing them to come to you. Heavy melee forces usually take heavy losses early which can be demoralizing but once they get into the opponent they can turn the tides of battle. It typically depends if you can do enough damage before they get to you.

One of the more powerful things about ranged attacks is assassination vectors are easier to achieve. You can clear a LoS lane to your target with knock downs or repositioning your self. When you have seasoned opponents this can cause them to brick up models in front of their warcaster or keep their warcaster very far from the battle.

When dealing with lots of infantry its commonly better to have lower power ranged attacks but much more plentiful. While POW 10's by the truckloads might be the trick vs. infantry means very little when going up against beasts/warjacks. This can typically be the biggest issue for gun line armies. They need to bring enough of a mix to deal with both or can have very bad match-ups.

This brings me to my next point. The biggest issues ranged armies have to deal with.

Stealth - This one is pretty self explanatory if you know the rule. Attacks auto miss if too far away.

Stealth has a few counters vs it for a shooting army.
  1. True sight ignores it
  2. Enough AoE attacks will still scatter onto them and if they are low enough army can be killed
  3. Spray attacks ignore stealth
  4. Mage sight - special note for this spell.
  5. Eyeless sight - because legion cheats
High Defense - This one can be a hard issue for some factions.

The best counters vs. high defense that I've used are.
  1. Rangers for Cygnar
  2. Kovnik Joe for Khador
  3. Aiming - Go +2 rat!
  4. Boosting - sometimes this isn't enough to help Khador RAT
  5. CRA's
  6. Thunderhead/Phoenix - not really a ranged attack
High Armor - Most ranged attacks cap around POW 15. This makes armor 20+ targets hard to take down with ranged attacks.

The best shooters to deal with high armor in my opinion.
  1. Defenders - Cygnar
  2. Ravagores - Legion
  3. CRA's
  4. Behemoth - Khador
  5. Reckoners with Choir - Menoth
  6. Woldstalkers - Circle (bleh imo but best option)
  7. Mage hunters vs 'Jacks - Retribution
  8. Poor skorne
  9. Bomber - Trollbloods
Being engaged - Models without gunfighter cannot shoot while engaged.

Best way to deal with this.
  1. Gunfighter
  2. Parry
Shadow Pack - While this is stealth, this spell needs special recognition.

Best ways to deal with this.
  1. Any of the above stealth options.
  2. Kill the warcaster/warlock
  3. Purification
Now that I've gone over the basic attacks, the basic weaknesses and different army styles I'll end this with a few ranged lists. I'll give a few gun line lists I've found effective and a few combined forces lists.

Captain Kara Sloan (*6pts)
* Cyclone (9pts)
* Defender (9pts)
* Triumph (11pts)
Storm Strider (9pts)
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts)
* Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer (2pts)
Stormguard (Leader and 9 Grunts) (9pts)
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator (1pts)
50 pts.

Tiers: 4
Captain Jeremiah Kraye (*6pts)
* Hunter (6pts)
* Hunter (6pts)
* Sentinel (4pts)
* Centurion (9pts)
* Cyclone (9pts)
* Hammersmith (8pts)
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team (4pts)
Rangers (4pts)
Rangers (4pts)
Gun Mage Captain Adept (2pts)
50 pts.

Grim Angus (*6pts)
* Troll Impaler (5pts)
* Dire Troll Bomber (10pts)
War Wagon (9pts)
Kriel Warriors (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
* 3 Kriel Warrior Caber Thrower (3pts)
* Kriel Warrior Standard Bearer & Piper (2pts)
Krielstone Bearer and 3 Stone Scribes (3pts)
Fell Caller Hero (3pts)
35 pts.

P.S. Blog post number 42! Best post ever.

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