Welcome to Librarium Online!
Join our community of 80,000+ members and take part in the number one resource for Warhammer and Warhammer 40K discussion!
Registering gives you full access to take part in discussions, upload pictures, contact other members and search everything!
What I would like to do is start a discussion of the new artillery options available to Guard players in the new Codex. Compared to the previous Codex where we actually lost options with the removal of the Griffon Mortar, the new Codex gives guardsmen a load of options to tailor to their needs. With that out of the way, let's get started.
The granddaddy of all guard artillery is still a solid unit in this version of the Codex. The Basilisk's Earthshaker cannon is a very flexible long range gun. The 36" minimum range on bombardment makes it difficult to bring it to bear on standard guard targets if the Basilisk(s) is hidden. As most armies will be coming to us, there is a chance of units moving too close for the Earthshaker cannon to target with indirect fire.
Proper placement of an artillery battery is key, but especially important with this gun if you plan on firing from behind cover. If a basilisk is placed in a corner you should be able to maintain a fairly solid range of fire due to simple mathematics. Here is an image which should make the fire range very clear:
Where the Basilisk really shines is in Apocalypse. With larger tables, the ability to field as many as you want and special datasheets dedicated to artillery batteries, the Basilisk is still going strong in the big time.
Conclusion: The Basilisk is still a solid choice for the standard 40k game. Certainly it can find it's uses if played properly and many a commander should be able to find quite a few solid rounds of shooting out of it, with the best option being to stick this vehicle in a table corner and pound away. If nothing else, you wont' have to worry about moving a basilisk at all, since it really won't do much good.
The ordnance battery can be move into the open for a direct fire option, but considering the weak armor of all artillery units, this is not a recommended option.
Also, if you want a single less accurate Earthshaker shot, consider taking a Master of Ordnance.
A newcomer to the standard 40k game, the Medusa is currently available via the Forgeworld subcompany of Citadel Miniatures. This gun comes with two options for munitions. Both shots are extremely powerful. The first is shorter range and meant more for killing infantry. The second option, known as Bastion-breacher Shells, has a longer range is designed as an Anti-tank weapon, as it both Ap1, giving it the standard benefits of the Ap1 weaponry against vehicles, and it rolls and extra D6 for penetration. The Bastion-breachers do cost extra points to use, but the cost is minimal. (I personally am unsure of if the purchase of these shells excludes a commander from using the standard shot from the Medusa. This may be something GW FAQs in the future, as right now the rules do not say and it could be open to debate.)
The biggest drawback to the Medusa is it's limited range. The Codex states that it is an unusual gun because it fires its shells directly towards targets instead of lobbing them. As such, the medusa suffers from the exact opposite problem as the Basilisk, where it can only command about as much range on the battlefield as a Heavy Bolter when using its anti-infantry round, and as much command as a missile launcher when using its anti-tank round. Due to this limitation, the Medusa requires it's commander to place it more centrally and therein opens it up to more potential fire.
Conclusion: The Medusa is an excellent gun, simply hindered by limited range. It can kill most any unit of infantry in the game, but should really be aimed at taking out heavy infantry, especially Terminators and other ultra-heavy infantry types.
If switched to use the Bastion-breacher shells, it also becomes one of the single best tank busting weapons in the game, simply based on it's ability to roll an extra d6 of penetration ontop of being AP1.
The Medusa is the only true artillery piece in the guard army that is not a barrage weapon, so it does not benefit from being used with other guns.
Another new addition to the official 40k family from our friends at Forgeworld, the Colossus is to killing hordes what the Medusa is to killing heavy infantry. The Colossus' gun is not nearly as strong as the Medusa or Basilisk, but what it lacks in sheer strength it makes up for in special rules. The Colossus ignores cover for those under its template, which means anyone in its excellent firing range is in potential danger.
The strength of the Colossus is its power to shred horde armies. With no cover save and a decent AP value, all but the heaviest of infantry are in danger of taking serious damage from this gun.
The Colossus suffers from being a true field artillery piece; however it does have a shorter minimum range than the Basilisk (when being fired indirectly), but maintaining the same maximum range. Also, as it is not the strongest of guns, it may find it more difficult than it would like to damage some of the tougher enemies it encounters. The Colossus also cannot fire its shot directly, as it is a true Mortar, which means it does suffer from scattering issues.
Conclusion: The Colossus is a specialized anti-infantry weapon. When used in pairs or even threes, the Colossus can break apart even the largest Ork mobs and Conscript squads. And remember, as with all barrage weapons, you do not roll to wound until all the templates have come down, giving you a better chance of removing most or all of the squad in one go.
Griffon Heavy Mortar
The Griffon is not a new weapon in the Guard codex, but instead an old one revived from the 3rd edition Codex. A smaller gun with almost half the cost of other artillery pieces, the Griffon plays a much different role than the bigger weapons in the Guard Armory.
The Griffon is as strong as a Colossus, but does not ignore cover nor does it penetrate armor as well. What the griffon loses in power it makes up for in accuracy. The Griffon has the special ability to reroll its scatter dice if needed, which becomes invaluable in artillery batteries.
The key to using a Griffon is not as a stand alone gun, so much as a battery targeting device. Using the Griffon’s reroll to ensure maximum accuracy from your first shot, the controlling commander can then proceed to base their other artillery pieces off of this initial blast. The remaining Barrage weapons in the Battery can then proceed to feed off of the Griffon’s shot and rain destruction upon the target.
The Griffon, much like the Basilisk and the Colossus, suffers from having a minimum range. Also, the Griffon’s small stature means its maximum range is equally limited. Also, much like the Colossus, the Griffon can not fire directly.
Conclusion: The Griffon is an excellent weapon when looking for a cheap artillery solution. Its low cost allows you to field 2 of them for a little over the cost of a single other artillery weapon. The Griffon also shines as a targeting piece in a larger artillery battery. The biggest thing to keep in mind when fielding a Griffon Mortar is its limited range.
The Ordnance Battery Squadron option in the new codex is an excellent choice for a Guard play who wants to sit back and bombard his opponent with overwhelming firepower. The fire power provided by a battery of artillery certain can damage large sections of your opponents army, however they are vulnerable to close range attacks and as such need to be defended behind your battle line.
Artillery, specially the Colossus and the Basilisk really do become even better in Apocalypse, where there is no limit to their number, nor is their range ever something that should become an issue.
The key thing to remember when it comes to taking artillery pieces in a game of 40k is to make sure focus on the weapon's specialty. Each gun is designed with a different purpose in mind, and it is a mistake to assume that one can do another's job better.
Last edited by Typhos; May 12th, 2009 at 23:42.
RE: The Minimum Fire Arc. Thanks to True Line of Sight, most terrain won't stop an Earthshaker from simply firing directly. The BGB satas that all barrage weapons may fire directly with no Min range unless stated otherwise (like with the Griffon).
So, depending on terrain, she should be just as fine as always. And don't forget you can move up to 6" and fire directly, just try to keep obscured for the cover save.
RecklessFable's Journey to Mediocrity (Painting an IG army)
I've been addicted to World of Tanks lately and neglecting my IG... But it is so... much... fun!
That was not something I remember from the rule book, but thank you for pointing it out. I will update the overview.
Another interesting rule about Barrage Weapons is that LoS for cover saves from them is made from the center of the template and not the firing model. So while units in area terrain would still receive cover saves inside said terrain, a model behind a wall might lose its cover save if the shell were to be centered behind the wall, therefore rendering the wall useless. Always something good to keep in mind!
More importantly than the wall, screening units won't do jack vs a basilisk's indirect shot. Considering how often units are screening one another in this day and age, that's pretty money.
What about an Apoc. Army of Just Artillery all different kinds, and maybe a couple squads of defensive infantry. do you guys think that would be effective as maybe in support of an allied army not in a 1v1 game.
We who have seen war will never stop seeing it....In the silence of the night, we will always hear the screams....
Obviously if not targeted it will do stupid amounts of damage. The problems you will run into are no mobile troops for objective scoring (the #1 objective of the game), and any army with flank marchers or strategic redeployments quickly moving up on you and lighting up your poorly armored vehicles. You would definitely have the most enjoyable shooting phase on the table though...aside from that jerk with the scratchbuilt Warlord titan and his tactical nuke...
If you guys were to rank the artillary peices from least favorite to favorite what order would they be in? Considering role in your army, cost...
My rankings would go like:
Collossus: Sure it's main gun ignores cover and doesn't allow marines their saves while wounding them on 2+, wait why is this my least favorite? Oh yeah because weather or not the opponent is in cover is measured from where the blast lands. This means that in at least 60% of the times your opponent is in cover their cover save will be ignored anyway. Now that means tht against non power armoured foes it's just about as useful as a griffon -a griffon that is about half as many points.
So basically i'd rather have 2 griffons that 1 collossus unless I knew beforehand my opponent was using a power armoured, (or equivilent) army.
Griffon: Sure it may be the most accurate, have the lowest in range, (bassie direct shot doesn't count) and the least expensive, but it really lacks the AP to take on harder armoured foes such as the ever popular space marines. Although hitting most of the squad and wounding on 2s can still take a good number out.
The improved accuracy can also be helpful allowing this to target small squads of foes that aren't surrounded by more enemies or enemies who are close to your troops. Still be weary of trying this because if you do re-roll you must accept the second result.
Basalisk: This is one of the most useful tanks for 2 main reasons; it can fire directly or indirectly, and it has enough stopping power to knock out power armoured enemies and heavy tanks. The one disadvantage is the extremely long minimum range, but hey that's why it can fire directly.
A word of warning, many opponents will claim that because they can see the top 1/2 inch of the earthhaker cannon barrel they can shoot your bassie. I have 2 rebuttles 1) move the barrel so it is a t a different elevation or 2) claim that you can directly fire back at them without min range and with subtracting your BS from the scatter.
Medusa: This has to not only be my favorite artillary tank, but one of my favorite tanks in the game.
Bastion breakers mean that an unprepared opponent will quite often lose his best tank on turn 1, a 4 foot weapon with the best S and AP outside of apoc. Add in the melta special rule only having it work at full range rather that up to half and a rediculously low point cost and you have many happy IG players.
It's other mode of firing is just as deadly, for years IG armies have been plagued by the extremely low range of the demolisher cannon. Well, problem solved. I wouldn't use it with these shells loaded as it is just better IMO to take a well armoured and better equipped LR demolisher for about 30-50 or so more points depending on the weapons after giving the medusa camo.
This will be the most expensive artillary tank as camo netting is a must have. With the lowest range and direct fire only it will be a huge fire magnet so make sure to grab some other vehicles. Hell 9 of these would do pretty well.
Overall: I advise against mixing artillary types as the maximum and minimum ranges will get screwed up. Remember no matter what your bassie can't indirectly fire under 36 inches and your griffon can't fire over 48 so these would not go well togeather. All of the tanks have different roles and mixing types will just be screwing yourself.
Remember the negatives of firing indirectly, if for example your opponent is in a building your shots will always be hitting the top floor they come in above, so ironically enough, that straw shack the first little piggie built is 100% (well, there is still the heavy bolter i guess) Collossus proof.
IG Best Gen 1st overall of 10 DE 4th overall of 6
Eldar 3rd Overall/Best General of 26--2nd Overall/Best General of 7--1st Overall/Best General of 11
Kevin, what about the units that are in area terrain and thus still count as in cover regardless of where the shell lands, or the ubiquitous Kustom Force Field required for many different Ork lists? Now granted, you would still have to decide whether it's worth the points. I think combined with a griffon for pinpoint shots it has merit, especially to blast away any pesky lootas etc right off the bat turn 1.
My ranking...weak armor and open topped with sccary ordinance while using true LoS for weapons does not bode well for any of these. In most cases I'd rather just run a Russ for the points.
The Colossus has a sorely tempting weapon to use and with indirect you can really fool yourself into thinking it won't get shot at, but in the end that's all your doing.
The Medusa has a great weapon, but without any indirect option even fooling yourself is out of the question. The second your opponent reads the statline or gets hit by it, the thing is doomed. You'd be far better off to just run the demolisher and accept a 12" shorter range with ALOT more armor on all sides.
The Bassie is too similar to a Russ weapon-wise and 25 pts cheaper with FAR weaker armor and open topped.
The Griffon is the only one I'd consider just because it would probably go unnoticed with other threats and is dirt cheap.
Blais's Paint Studio-Getting broken armies good soft scores since 2009