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  1. #1
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    Playing pistoliers

    Hey guys!

    So yesterday I played a game against some Demons. He had a themed Slaneesh army that struck first, but luckily his daemonettes were no match for my 23-strong regiment of greatswords.

    Ok the main goal of this post is to ask how to use pistoliers. Before playing Empire, I used to play orcs and my "fast cav shooters" were wolf riders with shortbows. Now I end up with a fast cav that has a range of....8 inches!

    I only noticed it IN-GAME when it was too late. I move my guys 8 inches (so they can still shoot) and notice that they are definately out of range...Next turn my adversary sends his movement 10 mounted daemonettes into my pistoliers. I flee and hope to rally with my general's 9 leadership +1 musician, however he got his herald-of-LD-lowering in range and I failed and my pistoliers fled off the map.

    Ok so I'd like to know how to properly play them. Not specifically against a slaneesh list, mind you, most of my opponents are Skaven, Dark Elfs and Warriors of Chaos these days.

    When I used wolf riders I'd flee through my orc boys just to pull people around. Since this fast cav' doesn't have the "pecking order" that goblins have versus orcs, I would risk a panic test for that strategy. Also pistoliers don't even shoot at the (puny) range of 18 inches (wolf rider's shortbows) so I'm really at a loss on how to use them.

    Thanks for any input you might have!


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  3. #2
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    Fast cavalry can shoot even if they marched (rulebook pg 70 ), so that gives you some more flexibility right there. I've mostly seen them used as march blockers and charge redirectors, with any shooting seen as a bonus. However, it shouldn't be too hard to get to the flank or rear of a unit, so you can shoot them without fear of combat.
    Last edited by DrMike105; December 1st, 2008 at 22:06.
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    If I actually want their shooting to be useful, should I look at outriders instead? My problem is only that they are move or fire.

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    Pistolier shooting can be very useful, given your 16 inch movement and 360 degree firing arc. Its not hard to get them to where you need them. Your best bet, if you're going for damage rather than misdirection, is to go after smaller units, war machines, and annoying march blockers like eagles or carrion.

    Outriders are more like handgunners than pistoliers. They serve the same function, but take up less space, have 360 firing arcs, and are easier to position. The downsides are that they're easier to panic, as they require fewer deaths, and they take up an all-important special slot.

    I personally prefer pistoliers, but I've also seen outriders used to great effect. It all depends on whether you value mobility over attack power or not.
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    5 pistolliers with outrider and repeater pistol is a lot of shots that can really hurt small units or remove ranks from larger ones. They also get a lot of attacks in combat.
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    The other great thing about fast cavalry is that they have their free reform during a move. They really never have to wheel, and can just turn on the spot if need be. Going from one rank of 7, to seven ranks of 1, is a 90degree turn. I usually ride full tilt towards the enemy, careful not to get charged/killed. Fire a nice volley of pistol shots, pass through his lines, turn to get behind a group of units, and start pumping pistol shots into him as he moves around. Just make sure that you don't plan to shoot with a cannon, as it can bounce through your own gents as easily as it bounces through his.
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    Dethskullz Warboss Morden's Avatar
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    I used to use them all the time before the current edtion of the armybook ever since they lost the fusilade rule there just not as good as they used to be. So i uselly just stick to outriders, There pretty unforgiving when it comes to shooting to.

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    Move and fire S4 AP fast cavalry is a great asset to have, Pistoliers are a great harrassing unit, and can easily decimate heavily armoured troops. Even 1+ save cavalry could be hurt by the number of shots and the fact these troops can run rings around the enemy...

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    the lots of shots thing i have found to be leading a false sense of killing power, 4's to hit -1 for movement and -1 for multishot. 6s too hit on 10 shot = 1 hit on average. lets be fair id prefere 10 handgunners on a hill on 5's to hit, but the thing they good for as said is redirecting charges.

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    Except handgunners will generally be shooting at big, ranked units which are closing on your lines where they are going to do damage. And against such targets, 5s to hit are not going to be much more effective.

    Pistoliers can go after any targets of opportunity, plus you can be close to the enemy on the flanks and fire away. The numbers come out as 6s to hit, agreed, but on 10 shots thats actually closer to two hits. And they also march block whilst causing damage and also damage potential, unlike handgunners which sit there. Once an enemy is in range the hand gunners may get 1-2 turns of shooting. Pistoliers are a force multiplier, they give your handgunners and artillery at least one additional turn of shooting.

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