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This is the start of a new series, that will hopefully bring new ideas and tactics to the forums. Each week, a new topic will be posted up about a different unit in the army book. This gives you your chance to discuss the unit to its fullest. So, please leave your comment!
This week's topic is - Master Engineer
How useful is he? Why would you take him, and not another thane or runesmith? How do you arm him? Runes? Which war machine is he best attached to? Are his bonuses to them that useful?
First they have great models. The one with the great weapon on his hand and shoulder is my favorite.
When put on a warmachine:
Cannon: makes it D6 wounds it rocks.
Boltthrower: makes it Bs 5
Grudge thrower: Reroll artilery dice.
As far as i know most dwarf generals use it with Canon to make it D6 wounds so it becomes easier to kill high toughnes, multiple wounds units as, gerater demons, warmachines etc.
I do not take it if there is no canon in the army.
In addition he can entrench a warmachine, which makes it -2 to shoot at, and lose charge bonuses. (Vanilla knights charges at entrenched warmachine, hey you don't have lance bonus we are entrenched/hard cover) So put it on organ eg. elf repeater bolt throwers have harder time to hit it.
I try to tandem the cannon with a bolt thrower, if i have an engineer, because master engineer can move. If his job with Cannon finishes, i make us of his ballistic skill with bolt thrower.
In addition, if i have a normal engineer in the bolt thrower and if i move Master engineer to BT, it will be unit strength 5 so it can hold/challenge a quarter in some situations.
In my opinion, putting him to grudge thrower is useless.
A master engineer helps me protect my warmachines from pesky warmachine hunters. I give him a brace of pistol, at worst it will hit 4+ in stand shoot reaction and will have 3 str4 AP attacks in
first round of combat. Don't forget, he can use his speciality in his combat round, then give stand shoot reaction in your opponent phase and get his extra and AP attacks in the next CC round.
Brace of pistols can allways stand&shoot AFAIK, no move or range penalties.
In addition sometimes giving master rune of challenge will trick your your opponent.
Don't be afraid to move him to protect your warmachines.
Unfortunately your are giving 70 more points to your cannon to make it d6 so it is expensive, also if you are taking a hero slot. However usually pointwise you will be on plus side, because we tend to give runic items to our thanes. Use extra points to buy runic banners, for your units.
I like him on Grudge Throwers, they don't misfire as much
And a D6 wounds cannon... ah...! I hope we get that in the next edition of dwarfs in Grungni-knows-how-many-years. Or D3+1 Hero-auto kills.
A BS5 bolt thrower is fun, but it doesn't add a lot more than a regular BS4 engineer does.. and that extra BS is rather expensive for 70 pts.
I enjoy mine with a 1+ rerollable armour save and a great weapon, on a cannon with RoBurning, RoForging and the Valiant Rune. In the small point games i'm playing that makes the cannon a very large threat to any monsters on the board, that's very very difficult to remove. The only way to reliably get rid of the ME is with something insanely high strength (6-7) or something that ignores armour. And you don't get charge bonuses. He's single handedly destroyed a unit of furies, a unit of harpies, and 2 units of ungor raiders! (After he beat them he shot the cannon at a cygor and sent the bugger tumbling to the ground, 6 wounds!).Yeah, I like my ME. The only thing I'm torn on is BSB or Runesmith for my third hero choice after my Slayer o' Doom.... But not to derail the topic....I love my Master Engineer, he makes his Empire variant look like a tit. >.<