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I am going to try a new character build: a Captain, with the Dragon Bow, Light Armor and a Shield. Clocking in at 79 pts, this guy joins the cannon crew and sits back with his 5 BS shooting Str6 shots at cav and other hard targets. Hitting on 2s or 3s, and usually wounding on 2s, with a -3 to armor saves, he should easily make his points back. Also importantly, he will help the weak cannon crew defend themselves from those pesky eagles, bats, furies, and other lame fliers. He makes it very difficult for the enemy to capture the otherwise easy 100 pt cannon, and adds some good ranged attacks. This will be especially good with my fast, aggressive list that leaves my cannon defenseless back by the table edge. My 2250 list also only ran 3 characeters before, so this captain isn't replacing anyone. I'm wondering what others think of this guy. I like the idea of him, I have yet to try out his effectiveness.
I have had some great experiences with the Dragon Bow, namely last game I used it. I got one shot in Turn 6, panicking some Terradons, fleeing them off the board.
Problem is that a Captain would only deter units like Warhounds of Chaos. Units like Warhawks (especially if they're big enough), Terradons, Alter Nobles etc could easily kill them off, and that's almost 200 pts snapped up like that. A favourite Alter of mine costs 156pts to run.
It could work though. Especially if you give your Captain something powerful one time. Players can get these kinds of phobias real easy.
couple of problems with this. 1: he has to shoot at whatever the cannon crew shoots at I believe. The cannon has better range and lots of times will obliterate whatever it hits (chariots, large monsters and the like) 2: why leave the guy unprotected? Every captain should have full plate, no matter what. He should also have a magical sword with shield if there are points left (even biting blade would work) or a great weapon to make sure he kills the enemy. Make sure you stand and shoot.
Hey buckeroo. Thanks for your comments. I checked the rules, and the character in a war machine crew CAN fire at a different target. Also he is not hurt when it misfires. I agree, he should have full plate armor, but in my list I don't have the points, and I am trying to keep him cheap while still effective (4+ armor save with light armor shield). I really don't think he should have a magic weapon, other than maybe the biting blade. But taking a magic hand weapon reduces his save (no parry bonus). Also, I think a great weapon is a bad idea--on the second round of combat with an eagle or bat or whatever, you don't want him striking last, because you can bet that eagle is gunning for the crew, not the character, and you need to kill that eagle before it attacks the crew again. I am not so much worried about leaving a 80 pt captain unprotected as I am leaving a 100 pt cannon (and my only cannon in my list) unprotected. My list is fast and advances quickly, leaving behind the cannon as an easy 100 pts for an eagle or bat. This 80 pt captain seems to fit the bill. I do agree he needs more armor, but I just don't have the points at the moment. Also, he is a unique use of the captain and adds a little originalkity to my list, which is often lacking in many competitive empire lists.
is there a reason you don't have 2 cannons in your list? 6pts more for full plate, or another 20 pts for another cannon is not a lot to quibble with. I m just worried that this captain of yours, though cheap, is still not worth the points. As a human, he's going to be going last a lot of the time anyway, and he's going to get charged most of the time, so having a great weapon at least gives him a chance of killing something. He'll break more often than not anyway. All I see you doing here is giving the enemy 180pts instead of just 100pts. But whatever floats your boat.
Yeah, I definitely see your point. I just seem to have a lot of problems with stupid eagles n bats hitting my cannon, not really legit units. I figured this guy would prevent those shenanigans and fire some decent shots at hard units in the meantime. I can see why in most cases another cannon would make a lot more sense. I'll try him out a couplke more times and see what happens. I am entering a 2000 pt tourney in a couple weeks, I'll post results.