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I was wondering if any of you had tips on how to not get all of your artillery crew shot to pieces on the first turn. Against wood elves, dwarfs, and high elves, all that seems to happen is that they focus fire on the artillery in order to render it useless.
Of course, they're not shooting at my state troops, but I'd rather lose a few pincushion guys than 2/3 or all of my crewmen.
Thanks for your tips!
Against wood elves that's not a huge amount you can do other than shoot them with magic, or charge them with fast moving cavalry.
Against high elves with their bolt throwers and dwarves with their cannons, just point your cannons back at them and shoot um. A cannon ball does not randomize between Crew and Machine, so as long as the ball flies true it'll smack the enemy war machine, wound it on 2's and do D6 wounds.
That's how I play it, but then I have an army with an Arch Lector, 3 wizards and 4 cannons
Try make another unit a juicier target than your artillery. You may be surprised at how often some people will just shoot at a unit because it's closer.
But if shooting really gives you that much of a headache, then try out the Howler Wind (any shooting S4 or less can't shoot in hurricane range). Cast on your artillery and there you go.
Otherwise, I'm with Von_Smallhousen. Shoot them before they can shoot you. Know your targets. If you can't kill any skirmishers, it may be a good idea to stop using your cannon to shoot them for example.
I would much rather that my opponents shoots my cannons or mortars. remember he has to randomize his hits so only 1 in 3 will inflict any damage on your crew and loosing one crew member has no effect at all. With strength 3 missiles he needs to hit you on average 12 times to cause the two wounds, at long range and BS 4 that is 24 shots. That is a lot of shots....
Just try and keep the general close enough so that you are not rolling for panic on a leadership of 7!
I would rather that than suffer wounds on my rank and file troops and loose those valuable rank bonuses.
Thanks for your replies.
The actual problem was against high and wood elves. The enemy generals had first turn in both games, so they could use the longbow's 30 inch range and their BS of 4...This meant that my artillery crews were both down to one or two members before I even had a chance to play. I couldn't have provided juicy targets because I had not moved yet...
Also, is a 100 point cannon drawing one or two turn(s) of arrow fire really that worth it instead of losing a couple of rank n' file? I'd rather lose some 5-6 point infantry in a 25+ group than lose a precious 2 out of 3 artillery crew...Especially if the two artillery pieces are far from each other to cover the battlefield and the crewmen can't move from one to another...We must often rely on the cannon's power in order to succeed against armoured targets. Am I playing it wrong there?
firstly, you should tell us the basic makeup of your army so we know what we're working with. Cannons and rocket batteries can be set up well behind in the back of the deployment zone due to their range. They should also be set up to create a crossfire (opposite ends of the board) and if possible away from trees (where waywatchers will jump out) By spreading out your artillary pieces, most terrain should keep all of the enemies shooting at long distance and from focusing fire on all the machines. You can also use tough units to block line of site at deployment (waralter and knights) and then move them during your turn when you want to shoot.
Echo buckero0's comments - generally speaking, most missile troops and war machines with short ranges such as bolt throwers, will have to be set up centrally, in order to profit from a wide field of fire, and maximise their range.
However, the cannon pieces, with much longer ranges, can be set up close to corners, and criss-cross the battlefield with fire arcs. I find that setting up on a hill, whilst nice, sometimes makes for too tempting a target (I use bolt throwers). Remember that a target on a hill can pretty much see any enemies, but conversely, EVERY unit on the battlefield to which it has LOS can also see it. So Monsters can charge it, archers (and entire units of archers, not just the front rank) can shoot it etc etc
And on the plus side - if he is not shooting your artillery, he may focus on your expensive knights or your smaller units of expensive troops like Great Swords. If tehse guys panic, you may well lose significant portions of your gun line. Also remember that if you lose an artillery piece, your surviving crew can go and crew another piece
So it's better to have less LOS to enemy troops but conversely not have the crew shot to pieces? Then that leaves the enemy general the opportunity to use his elven maneuvrability to avoid your cannon fire and you basically waste the artillery points until the troops are in close combat...
Here's what my list looks like, as far as I recall (I forgot which detachments I had!)
AL with speculum, sword of dragon slayer and holy relic (shield + barded warhorse)
WP with hand weapon&shield, on barded warhorse (to get rerolls for cavalry) I prefer to keep him alive rather than give him a great weapon, for he gives a most important dispel dice...
BSB griffon banner
BattleWiz with rod of power
25 swords FC
25 spear FC
5 knights with musician
20 greatswords FC