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Here's a question from a non-empire player. Why don't more people bring the mortar instead of the cannon? Here's my reasoning, a mortar uses the big blast, and can hit entire units. However, at str 3 its probably going to need 4's at best, most likely 5's. For similar points a Cannon hits in a line and can squish probably 4 figures in a ranked up unit.... but a mortar can cause so much more devestation. So against ranked up units of 1 wound models why not bring the mortar? At the store i play there are 4 empire players, and none of them ever use one. Is there something i'm missing because it looks like one of the best pieces in the game to me.
40K-Beakies(9-14-4),Guard(4-7-2),Orks(34-12-11). FANTASY-Dwarves(15-6-7),Beasts (14-14-1), Skaven (17-17-10) DoC (6-1-2). CYGNAR (28-15-1)
Although I personally do prefer the mortar (and especially because I field it often), I know its weaknesses: enemy Armour save and the combo guess&scatter.
Whilst it ist great against T3 enemies with little to no armour anything else will usually shrug off enough damage. Heavy cavalry has a high enough armour save and you won't get too much models under it anyways (unless your opponent fields units, like 3x5 goblin wolfriders). And infantry that is worth being a target (i.e. units of 15 and up) has usually at least light armour&shield which already yields a save vs the mortar (granted not much, but better than nothing), not to mention better equipped units.
And you have to hit something first and have the scatter going in a preferrable direction (or hope for the 33% chance of not scattering if you're a good guesser) not to mention that in some situations, the mortar can hit your own troops (remember, it can scatter up to 10 inches, that's pretty damn far)
Wheresa a cannonball will always be on the line you decided to shoot along. Granted, it's bounce will also sometimes be a bit unpredictable, but overall it's far more accurate.
Oh, and maybe as a third point, 25mm-based enemyes will also be a bit safer (due to not getting as much models of them under the template)
I think the reason why the cannon is more popular is because you can snipe with it. Using the cannon, you can take out (relatively easily) characters mounted on monsters or chariots, or those that are simply hiding behind the lines.
Personally, I dislike the rules for cannons intensely because of their sniping ability. IMHO, the cannon balls tragectory should be randomized (slightly) left or right as well as short or long.
Of course, their points costs would need to be lowered significantly to allow for this.
But the idea of "sniping" with an artillery piece while "normal" rank-and-file shooters cannot target individual models in units ("look out sir" nonwithstanding) is silly.
It's really a matter of mathmatics. For example, fighting knights, use the cannon (actually, screw artillery and use rifles:w00t: ).
Cannon vs. Knights A cannon will hit 2 knights, wound on 2's, and negate saves. 2 knights dead (if you hit them) 1/6 chance of survival...
Cannon vs low toughness hoard ( I'll use 20gobbos for my example) equals 4 hit, all dead 1/6 chance survival, no ld needed however as you didn't kill 1/4 of number.
Mortar vs. knights 6 hit, will need 5's to wound, then they have a 2+ sv. 1/4 chance of kills = 1or2 dead. possible ld check
Mortat vs. hoard (gobbos again) 16 hit (approx. + partials) wound on 4+, no save. chance of kill= 1/2, killed 8, ld needed
see why we normally use the mortar, or at least bring one along? What army to do play, that might explain it.
Unless the knights have two ranks (or you fire from a flank position) a cannon will only hit 1 model per rank, regardless of how you place the cannonball's trajectory, just FYI
That is taking the mortar hits. You have to sharply guess, and have only 1/3 chance of landing on target. I am not a particarly lucky fellow, so I go for the cannon. The cannon also deals an amazing D6 wounds, and can knock off a character or monster off their feet, and crimple a unit of ogre size models.
A cannon can also force your opponent to place a unit of expensive cavalry out of flank shot arc. This can influence your opponent's deployment, and create opportunities before the game even started.
but don't many Empire players take a Cannon AND a Mortar? I play Empire and nearly always take a Cannon and a Mortar, which means you can hedge your bets with both. Then again, alot of people don't take mortars because of the terrible chances of hitting, so many players see them as a waste of 75pts, which could be used to buy to buy a whole unit of huntsmen, for 80pts. And the huntsmen would be alot more effective at thinning units down.
I love mortars, i just think they're so cool! Plus with a large template they can do some damage as well.
Great cannons are cool, and i prefer them when playing against ogres and the like, but i usually prefer the mortar.
From my empire experience it is advantagous to bring one of each type of Empire war machine, Hellblaster, Mortar, and Cannon. This allows you to handle almost anything, whether is be Infantry, War machines, or Monsters.
It is difficult to say which is better, between the mortar and cannon. They both are extremely useful against the right enemy and useless against the wrong kind (the mortar more so). They both completement each other very well. I keep an engineer with mine to ensure its accuracy.
The Mortar is similar to the Hellblaster in that, it only takes one well placed/timed shot to decimate a single unit. Even against T4 enemies w/ high armor, the mortar is still causing damage. When you get 12-16 models under a large blast template your going to at least knock out a rank.
Its the low strength of the mortar that makes it unappleing to people, but a well placed shot with the mortar will always score more hits then a cannon ever could. Also the mortar is 25% cheaper then the cannnon.
There is also a psychological effect with the mortar in that it uses a large blast template, people hate large templates espcially in fantasy.
Who brings a Hammerhead to a 500 point fight?!
-Local 'Nid Player
A disgustingly nice tale:
Back when i was an inexperianced empire player, i played a game against a v. count army (1000pts each) he had his knights in one rank (there where 5) they where hammering my units, but at one stage he presented his flank to my cannon
result: 5 ded knights
I managed to draw the game because of this, if i had a mortar id hav lost the game