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#1 Montegue

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 06:08 AM

So, how do you guys deal with the prevalence of the 4+ no penalty shooting stuff? This includes lighting bolt, fireball, breath weapons, and firebolts and the like. Basically, stuff that takes no penalties, hits on 4's, and sometimes has piercing. 

 

I'm really struggling against it. You can't get close to three breath weapons (and most everyone I come across takes three) without losing a unit a turn, even D6 units. Three trombones, for example, have 36 shots, at Piercing 1. The math isn't pretty. A slightly spikey roll and even your best nerve D6 guy hits the floor. 

I've played two games now that this sort of shooting killed my chances. It's incredibly hard to get to, because of the line of sight rules (hills need to be level 2, IMHO). Ranger Captains might take out a single war machine, but then two of them will come kill him in the following turn. Dwarfs don't have a D6 flier with a monster and a lot of Nerve, so we're sort of stuck without any good way of handling the issue. 

Any suggestions? 



#2 jtrowell

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 07:57 AM

It depends greatly on the situation, but remember that those breath weapon and fireball only have a 12" range, so in some case if your opponent rely too much on them, he might be lacking in long range shooting.

 

If you have for exemple some bombards and snipers, he will have to come to you. And note that war engines cannot move at the double, giving you even more time to damage their battle line.

 

Finally, while the breath weapon/fireball mage can move and shot to get an increased effective range, this will still lleave them in 12" of your own units.

 

Sometimes you can simply accept that you will lose one unit, but have your whole army ready to charge after that so he won't be able to stop all of them.

 

Breath weapons are at their best when they can focus on an isolated target, meaning that their best defense is their own offence, but if they face more targets that they can kill, they do a decent first strike, and then fold like a wet towel.

 

If you don't have multiple war engine hunters to overwelm them, then go the other way, and keep the fewt that you have closer to your main detachments, advancing with them. If your opponent try to advance the war engine/casters,he might expose them.

 

of course, it's slightly harder to manage if you opponent has a good mix of lightning bolt with breath weapons (goblin wizs + tromblones or ratkin weapon teams + warlocks), but lightning bolt does much less damage for the same points that a fireball due to having half or less the number of attacks. They are bad for lightly armored troops or small heroes, but once again some long range snipers or artillery can be one solution.

 

And of course another solution is advancing your whole army in several waves, leaving behing your screen units if too heavily damaged bu still alive by moving over them (harder to do however with dwarves due to their lower speed).This might force your opponent to split his damage over several units without killing any ones.



#3 Grim1

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 08:20 AM

i think ETC are using height 2 hills, Mantic height 1. 

Our house rules are 1 at the moment, but I am working towards persuading it to be 2.

 

my problem with that is that a unit on a height 2 hill gets no cover penalty for shooting at characters standing even 1mm behind a cavalry unit. That hiil "buff" needs rethinking, and some hills need to be allowed at height 2 or even height 3 sometimes. (IMHO)



#4 jtrowell

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 10:00 AM

 
Yeah, during the beta for 2nd edition, hills were at first only adding to the effective height of units on top of them, so at best if you were able to see above other units, you usually still got cover, and in the case of very tall hills making you able to ignore cover (height 4 can ignore cover from height 1, so you need 3 size difference), you were also not in cover if someone shoot back at you.
 
The problem is that some of the early beta tester complained that hills didn't feel special enough, and the RC added the "ignore cover from anything not taller than the hill", but this change was simpled added without much fanfare and i think that many beta testers missed it, so it probably didn't get tester as much as it should have (myself I only discovered the change month later after the game release, terrain rules were simple enough that I didn't feel the need to reread them and I missed it)
 
The fact that hills can make ignoring cover by itself is not a problem, but before it took a height 3 hill to allow a height 1 unit to ignore cover from other height 1 units (as it effective height would be 3+1=4), so it was less likely to be so in a deploiement area, and more importantly it worked both ways.
 
A simple houserule if you want hills more common but also less abuseable is to simply remove the additionnal "ignore cover" rule, like it was in the early beta, so this way you will get the cover most of the time, and even when you don't get it it will workds both way so it will be more fair and putting hills in deploiement area will not be too overpowered for shooting armies.
 
Myself I would even go further and reduce slightly the rule that allow you to ignore cover for a height difference from 3 to 3, so a height 4 monster would get no cover from cavalry or large infantry, and a large cavalry (height 3) would get no cover from normal iunfantry.
This will have the effect of slightly buffing chariots that would be able to fire above the heads of infantry without cover, but it's not as if they didn't need a slight buff anyway, and as they would also get no cover when fired upon it would probably be balanced. This would also means that a height 1 unit on a height 2 hill would be able to ignore cover from infantry instead of needing a height 3 hill.
 
But even without this second houserule, the first one of simply ignoring the additionnal hills rule is already a big upgrade from my point of view.


#5 Montegue

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 08:46 PM

A flame cannon has an effective range of M+12". I think he range limitation is only useful for us on turns 1-3. After that, they make incredible back arc protectors and then can freely hammer our units. 16-18 inches is a pretty good threat .

H2 hills would help a lot, I think. Upping the to hit for damage spells to 5 would also help. Right now it feels like points spent on anything but this style of shooting are more or less wasted. I also think that you can't always play the game to draw them to you. Most missions require you to go out and get something or go somewhere.

Edited by Montegue, 14 June 2016 - 08:47 PM.


#6 jtrowell

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 07:24 AM

Not only a hill, a simple height 4 building or forest somewhere in the middle of the table will nicely break line of sight and prevent them from shooting at units on the other side.

 

Also remember that war engines cannot move at the double, and in the tournament tweaks by th RC they are worth half points for some scenarios objectives or cannot control an objective, all of this combined mean that an army that abuse them will be handicapped in several scenarios.



#7 Grim1

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 08:07 AM

I don't play dwarfs in KoW, I play twilight kin. The best shooting unit in the game imo is the horde of elf/delf armies.

The high mobility, number of shots, and nerve values along with the magic item upgrade items being allowed and the fact that they open hero/wm/monster slots make them my go-to unit even ahead of the 15 shot twilight dragon breath attack.

 

I think if I were playing dwarfs, I would be using allies to face off against these... I keep going on about gyro being "counts as elohi etc"

and maybe get some irondrakes in as "counts as boomer ogres allies etc" although M6 is a bit much (put the models on skateboards maybe) apart from that I can see no way to "get in" easily. 

 

The other thought I would like your opinion on Montegue would be to deploy most of your army as a refused flank with multiple bombards from cover/ long range, and/or with cannons fired from hills from range down one flank and try to pull them in to you and then come forward in turn 4,5,6,7??

In this scenario, a possible thorn in his side would maybe to deploy surgeable elementals or brock riders/fast heroes down the other flank.

He might not be able to use his shooters before they are removed from the game, and may be in two minds about splitting his forces against troops where you CAN control the match-ups by outpacing him.

 

I may come back to dwarfs soon in KoW, now that I can play my kin list passably well.

 

 



#8 Montegue

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 07:56 PM

Not only a hill, a simple height 4 building or forest somewhere in the middle of the table will nicely break line of sight and prevent them from shooting at units on the other side.

 

Also remember that war engines cannot move at the double, and in the tournament tweaks by th RC they are worth half points for some scenarios objectives or cannot control an objective, all of this combined mean that an army that abuse them will be handicapped in several scenarios.

They don't really need to. If they move at base 5 or 6 (rats, I think), they can just slog up behind a big unit and then do their thing. You can't get to them because they offer protection for each other (and let's face it, only a flying king or berserker lord can kill one in a single turn with any reliability). 

My UB battles (where a lot of tournament folk are playing) are really suffering. Lightning Bolts, big fliers, and units with really good special abilities (stealthy, ensnare, things like that) are really outshining my army. Getting a little down about it, because at this point there's no game where I can play my army and feel like I'm not drowning for half the game. 

edit  - On the bright side, I did discover a unit we could easily use out of the League list - Honour Guard. 

Scibor Bear cav, so you're spending about 150.00 for the unit, but they are pretty amazing - M7 Me3 De5 At24(!) CS1, Ne 16/18 TC2, Iron Resolve. A horde is 275 points, so they're not cheap. If you have a flying guy (say, on a gyro) you can actually take a duke on a winged Alzaes thingy (or, a clockwork dragon, or a dwarf on a griffon or what have you) and have very inspiring and Heal 4 to back them up. Or just a cheap flag bearer on a mount or something. Anyway, I think they'd work nicely in conjunction with some Brock Riders. They hit like brocks (better than brocks, actually, by a lot), are almost as fast, have better Defense and excellent nerve. 


Edited by Montegue, 16 June 2016 - 04:45 AM.


#9 jtrowell

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 07:13 AM

Remember that you triple your attacks on war engines (except for the indivudual ones, but that's only the abyssal dwarves weapon team), and that even if you don't kill it, one point of damage will disorder it and prevent its shooting for one turn



#10 Montegue

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 10:12 PM

Right, but you can only get to one of them. The other two + 7-10 dice of Lightning Bolt then turns around and blows you out of the sky. At least, that's been my experience. A handful of 4+ shooting (fireball, lightning bolt, breath weapons) can pop any unit at a rate of one unit per turn. It's problematic. I don't know if the problem is cover, or the fact that there's no dispel mechanic in place for magic, or any anti magic stuff in the game, but the shooting that doesn't take penalties is the only shooting worth spending points on. I think that might be a problem for the game. 



#11 jtrowell

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 07:58 AM

Lightningt bolt are rather hard to mass in large quantity, and fireball and breath attacks have a larger number of attacks, but no piercing most of the time, and only 12" range.

 

This mean that when they are in range to shoot at you, you are probably also in range for chagring the following turn.

 

They kill on unit per turn ? No problem, accept this one unit killed but make sure that it was not alone and charge the rest of your army into their lines.

 

Well, to be fair, it really depends a lot of both army composition and deployment. If you take a very elite army with only a few very expensive units, and no redundancy for some roles, then of course having your opponent able to kill any one unit will hurt much more.

 

 

 



#12 Montegue

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 06:57 PM

I hate to drag it out, but I think you're being a little more dismissive than is warranted. 12" is out of our charge range with the exception of Brock Riders. However, 12" is not the range. The range is 12" plus a regular Move - for lots of enemies that's 5, and for some it's greater than that (very few are slower). Lightning bolt is incredibly easy for some armies to spam. Ratkin come to mind immediately, but you don't need many Lightning dice to make it effective. I regularly come across a Abyssal list that rocks about 10 or more Lightning dice per turn from flying sources that also destroy things in close combat (Greater Abyssal Daemon, Lord of Lies, etc). There are at least two commonly fielded breath weapons with Piercing inherent to them - Goblins (who can easily be allies to any evil or Neutral army, and can be cheap) and Rats (who can spam very effective Breath Weapons alongside very cheap regiments of chaff). Fireballs are probably the only spell that don't normally see as much use as lightning bolt and piercing breath weapons. In any case, none of the things preventing artillery and regular shooting from being overwhelming to face apply to these spells, which of course just encourages their use en masse. 
 



#13 jtrowell

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 09:09 AM

About the 12" range, my point was that when the unit is in range to fire at you, you are often in range to charge it the following turn.
Of course, I will concede that it's harder for a dwarf army due to the generally slower units.
 
More important, while I agree that it can be hard to play against such an army, I also think that, like with fliers, it's not as problematic as you might think (and note that I say that while being the one who reported the ratkin weapon teams as too effective during the beta, before that they used to get the individual rule like the abyssal dwarf version)
 
You describe things that can be dangerous indeed to face, but you never face them all at the same time in an empty plain, there are always way to react to optimise your chances, or at worst force them to kill units of your choice rather than theirs so that you get to keep the best ones for when melee happens.
 
The abyssal archfiend is very dangerous, but it's nothing we haven't already seen with a lord of dragon, and with it's mobility lightning bolt is probably less dangerous that the dragon firebreath (as the range is slightly wasted for such a fast unit). Go check discussions by abyssal players, and you will often see them discussing not taking the lightning bolt upgrade to save points, because they want the archfiend in melee.
 
About allies, you might have missed that with the current tournament tweaks, allies will be limited to one of each war engine/hero/monster, so your gob allies would at best be one wiz and one tromblone, nice but not really game changing.
 
Please note that I am not saying that facing something like a abyssal army with 3 efreet and a chroneas is not hard to do, I will acknowledge that I am sort of playing the devil advocate here, but it's because I also think you might be overestimating the potential of those armies but going purely by theory and not seeing the limits of those armies in real situations.
 
I have played both sides (well, not to the extremes discussed here, but still with a decent amount of shooting), and I must say that one problem with such armies is that whatever happen you usually get a very impressive early game, while late game you find yourself very vulnerable to any ennemy unit left, the more you tried to cram more shooting, and the worse you will be once melee happens.
 
This usually means very bloody games for both players, but with the "shooty" player getting to be the one doing the most damage early, and receiving it later (if he didn't win already by then), the classic gunline problem.
 
This means that even if the shooty player lost more than 50% of his games, he would still get the somewhat false impression that he was leading most of the time (technically true by pure points per turn, but with needing this early advantage because of a melee handicap later), to say nothing of his opponent own feelings.
 
So if only because it's not fun for both players regardless of effective game results, this style of army should be discouraged, and the changes made by the tournament tweaks (including some scoring changes for war engine in several scenarios in addition to spamming limits) are there to do exactly that.
 
Try playing yourself with some flame canons if you want, if only to see what works and don't works with them, this should give you some perspective on their flaws and maybe help you to think of better ways to counter them.


#14 Montegue

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 02:35 PM

It's not the armies, it's the elements themselves. Maybe that's where we're getting our wires crossed. The issue, I think, is the simple conclusion that the 4+ shooting is so far and away better than any other shooting that it's the only sensible choice if you're trying to build a hard list. The reasons for this are many - it doesn't take shooting penalties against anything (including individuals). Even a few wounds on vulnerable targets like war engines and individuals can route them in a single turn fairly easily. It often has piercing, and often can move and fire in a large number of directions. All other shooting in the game is much more limited. 

From a dwarf perspective, or options in our list are limited in how to address these problems. Smart players can hide these elements behind simple infantry, and we cannot get to them without breaking our opponent's large units first, which of course takes time. We have only one opportunity for a flying model, and the best we can do is a King with Wings in terms of endurance and combat. Defense 6 is really the only way to survive the counter shot from several casters and flame weapons, and even then the King's low Nerve is very much something many armies can overcome in a single turn of this style of shooting. 

By contrast, our own shooting is limited in the majority by Reload. Our rangers are probably our best ranged unit - they can move and fire and still retain combat ability. 

So, I suppose that's my question for you, since you seem to be playing devil's advocate. Why take any shooting that isn't of the 4+ variety when all other shooting is so limited by fragility, Reload, expense, and modifiers from cover? Sure, your cannon or Bombard might take a chunk out of something when it lands, but it's a 5+ in the best of circumstances and only threatens a very specific arc. Moving it just means you've wasted a turn, and if they're already outside your arc they will be forever outside it until they kill the machine. Given forests block line of sight and are H4, artillery shooting becomes even less useful. It only takes a single turn to get in range of artillery to charge it with a fast element, and then it's gone. 

 

I dunno. I think they may have failed to really balance artillery and infantry shooting against magical shooting and breath weapons, and I think it's providing an incentive to ignore one for the other (with the exception of the ubiquitous Keen Eyed shooting horde). 



#15 jtrowell

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 08:50 AM

It's not the armies, it's the elements themselves. Maybe that's where we're getting our wires crossed. The issue, I think, is the simple conclusion that the 4+ shooting is so far and away better than any other shooting that it's the only sensible choice if you're trying to build a hard list. The reasons for this are many - it doesn't take shooting penalties against anything (including individuals). Even a few wounds on vulnerable targets like war engines and individuals can route them in a single turn fairly easily. It often has piercing, and often can move and fire in a large number of directions. All other shooting in the game is much more limited.
 
It's true that those are usually much more precise and they are supposed to be a counter to things like individuals and cover.
 
But in echange you usually get one or more of the following : 
- expensive in points (lightning bolt usually come on wizards that aren't that cheap, goblin wizs being maybe slightly too cheap, but now capped to 3 per army)
- limited in range (breath attack and fireball get lots of dice, but only 12" range so can be targetted in theory by longer range shooting)
- limited in speed (war engines cannot move at the double)
- limited in scoring potential (with the new tournament tweaks, both individual and war engines are a handicap in most scenario, even more so if you replace the two kill! scenarios par the new Push! and Control! scenarios as suggerred)
 
Of course, what can be manageable by itself can become sronger with the appropriate support.
 
Against a player with a lots of breath attack but no long range shooting, like for exemple an abyssal player with several Efreets and a Chroneas, you can try to keep some distance while trying to snipe his efreet/chroneas, or you can regroup your units for a synchronised assault where you will accept intial losses but will only be in range of shooting for one turn before melee. What you must not do is throwing your units in small groups at a time, as this will let the shooting kill or cripple them without leaving enough strength left to do any decent damage.
 
More difficult can be facing someone who use both short range massed breath attacks with a decent number of longer range shooting, the usual exemple being the gobelin army with 3 tromblones and 3 wizs, plus maybe ratkin allies for one warlock and one weapon team, plus maybe some army standard with the boomstick.
 
However the error against such army is to think that you will always be in range of all his shooting. 20+ lightnint bolt are a terrible counter against individual or light support troop, but they are also only 24" range, and in total rather expensive for the number of attack.
 
In this situation, I would probably simply ide my vulnerable unit (individual heroes, light troops) so they are complety out of line of sight at the start, so that the lightning bolt are used against def5+ large units that will be able to soak this damage.
 
Not lying, you will get damaged, the point is accepting the losses, make sure that you don't let them focus on easy points or kill your melee glass canons before they reach melee.
Even if you lose half your army before contact, the remaining half might still be strong enough to win the game for you. An army like the one above will usually have cheap rabble infantry or similar, not something that dwarves warrriors should fear, and any exposed war engine or wiz that you charge will be easy point, and might transform into an additionnal charge with the overrun if your opponent is not prudent.
Usually this kind of game starts one sided in favor of the shooty army, but can often change brutally in the second half.
 
 

Defense 6 is really the only way to survive the counter shot from several casters and flame weapons
 
Ok this point is where I think you might be thinking in the wrong terms. Against an extreme shooting army, you don't play expeting to "survive", you know that you will take losses, the way to win is to accept that you will lose unit, but make sure that *you* and not your opponent chose which units it will be.
 
If you send one hero, as strong and tough as he is, against a whole army shooting by itself, you will lose, period.
If howewer the hero is coming with his whole army with him, there will be a limit on what he will be able to kill before your get in melee.
i would love to see my opponent use his shooting on a def6+ king, even if the king doesn't survive, I would rather see him dead that twice or thrice the damage if it had targetted lower defence units.
 

So, I suppose that's my question for you, since you seem to be playing devil's advocate. Why take any shooting that isn't of the 4+ variety when all other shooting is so limited by fragility, Reload, expense, and modifiers from cover? Sure, your cannon or Bombard might take a chunk out of something when it lands, but it's a 5+ in the best of circumstances and only threatens a very specific arc. Moving it just means you've wasted a turn, and if they're already outside your arc they will be forever outside it until they kill the machine. Given forests block line of sight and are H4, artillery shooting becomes even less useful. It only takes a single turn to get in range of artillery to charge it with a fast element, and then it's gone. 
 
Forest block completly line of sight to units on the other side, true, and you know what ? This means that they will also protect you against lightning bolt for the very same reason. Spells might ignore modifiers, but they still need line of sight.
 
An unit inside a forest however will be in line of sight (but in cover), but as you remember, your bombard can ignore cover, so they are good to target an unit hiding in a forest.
 
Also, the bombard is the longest range artillery in the whole game, depending on the terrain, you migth put one in an angle and get a line of sight to most of the table, or near the middle and still have a arc of fire to at least healf the table. If you find yourself with an ennemy in the blind arc of your artillery so easily then you clearly did something really wrong during deployement.
 
You says that it's easy for your opponent to get in range of your artillery with a fast element to charge it ? Where does this fast element comes exactly ? If you are playing against an extreme gunline, there won't be many points used on thoses, and surely you should realise that it's not that hard to keep some unit in reserve to defend your war engine ?
 
You wonder what use there is for normal shooting units ? How about killing those fast light units ? Or unlocking slots for your own heroes/war engines/monsters ? Or how about having more nerve or defense that fragile wizards or war engines so you can win the attrition war ?
Or how about get medium and long range shooting for cheaper per shot that what lightning bolt cost so you can counter fire with better long range shooting and force him to comes to you ?
 
You think that you will have to fight something like a dragon with def6+ ? Not if you are playing against a gunline, and then the problem is completly different. If you play an abyssal player with short range breath attacks,  then you will be glad to see an archfiend comes to you alone outside of the support of his army, let him eat your 100- points units, and keep some other units clse ready to charge him (remember that disordered fliers lose fly now, so you will be able to pin in and use the rest of your army to kill it before getting in range of his shooting if he expose himself like that)
 
You seems to be lost in a pure theory situation where you give your opponent the perfect situation where he is alwayws in range with line of sight while your own units have interrupted lines of sight, are easy to catch alone by fast units, and always have cover or other modifier. In reality a game does not plays like that, or at least not unless you let yourself completly be outdeployed and outmanoeuvred.
 
Of course, my own exemples of way to counter are also pure theory outside of a clear real exemple, and depending on the situation you might still lose, but that's the point of the game, outplaying your opponent so your plans works and his own fails, and in both case for the less cost possible for you and the more cost for him.
 
As I said, you should really try some real games using something like a flame canon yourself, if only to see by yourelf how it can be strong in the right situation, but also to see its limit and how it might need support.


#16 Montegue

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 01:18 AM

Big wall of text. I've been unable to post for some reason on the board, getting an error message about memory and the board has been running slow. At any rate, you're not really addressing my point. Tactics and terrain is already calculated into my position. Even with those things, those choices, those tactical options, it's still not balanced against regular shooting. 

I've played a lot of real games. I've used the flame cannon several times. I've used them on Universal Battle as well quite a bit. It's not terribly difficult to make it work for you. It's also hands-down better than just about any other shooting I have when it comes to playing a real role in the battle. 






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