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None, great cannons or mortars
Theyre both good, but get a master engineer
I was wondering which is better and more reliable, helstrom or helblaster?
Voted neither, but if I had to chose between them I would choose the hellstorm as its a little less likely to blow up, though I can see why people like the hellblaster.
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First artillery pieces are always a cannon and mortar. After those are in either of these things is nice. But the cannon and mortar will always have the first points allotted to them.
The Helblaster is actually something I rarely leave home without. In my experience, people tend to look at it, think of the potential for 30 S5 shots and give it a bit of breathing space. Against expensive units of knights silly enough to get too close (Blood Knights, Chaos Knights etc) it really excels, as they tend to be small, expensive and lose a lot of their armour.
Comparing them is a bit moot, since both of them have different purposes.
The Hellblaster is an area denial gun. Most opponents will think twice before entering it's weapon range with any expensive troops, and if he tries to bait with some cheap sacrifical unit, blow that away with other means (Handgunners, Magic Missiles, charge the bait with something inexpensive of your own)
The Hellfire Rocket Gun is more for anti-infantry uses (heavy infantry, for others the Mortar is just as effective if not more), since you most likely gonna need big infantry blocks on your opponents side to have some real chance to get some decent hits (well, I wouldn't mind it scattering right on a heavy cavalry unit either, but those chances are rather low)
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Helstorm all the way. If used correctly (and doesn't scatter too much) it will devour entire units. If it scatters, it just devours partial units.
Hellblaster is easily neutralized. I'm actually more worried about the 2 cannons or handgunners, more than the Hellblaster. In fact, if someone plays a hellblaster, I'm relieved. That's gimme points. Sure it may get lucky and kill a skirmisher or two but it has much more of a chance of shutting itself down or blowing itself up - giving me VP.
The Helblaster all the way. The problem with the Helstorm is its potential. My helblaster has won games. The army's that can move fast don't fear either one because you have a round of shooting and then they are all over your lines like white on rice. Enginers are an unplayable character as they stand but a level 2 wizard casting potent of far or the one that give d3 rerolls is invaluable to your war machines.
Voted Helblaster: i got extremely good results out of this piece.
I still wanna try the helstorm out for size on of these days though.
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I don't play Empire myself, but for me, the prospect of a Helblaster is far worse than the highly inaccurate Helstorm. I don't worry about the uber-random mortar, but nothing really in the Orcs and Goblins list can survive even one hit from the Helstorm, and the number of shot it spews can wipe out a unnit in one volley.
Armies: (Chaos) Space Marines [1250pts], O&G [2250 pts], OK [1000pts]
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I don't take helblasters any more, its a statistical certainty that you'll misfire at some point by the end of T2 (of course that doesn't mean it'll happen) and even when the thing goes off most of your shots will miss.
The helblaster had some value when the book first came out because many people remembered their destructive power from 6th Edition so there was a bit of fear factor attached to them. Now people are aware how lame they are even that has gone.
As a rule I take great cannons as my artillery, but if your short of special slots, as Empire armies often are, then a helstorm is a fun piece to bring along, its not ever so accurate, but it does make a collosal mess when it hits.
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