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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
By the new rules of the Helblaster you have to roll the art dice 3 times (hoping not to misfire) then half the number at long range and then roll to hit on a BS of 3!!! this makes it for the most part useless. Does anyone still use it over Great Cannons or Steam Tanks or even Mortors. I would really like imput as to wheather it is worth the points anymore.
 

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By the new rules of the Helblaster you have to roll the art dice 3 times (hoping not to misfire) then half the number at long range and then roll to hit on a BS of 3!!! this makes it for the most part useless. Does anyone still use it over Great Cannons or Steam Tanks or even Mortors. I would really like imput as to wheather it is worth the points anymore.
In my opinion - no. There are too many other things in rare to get than something that on average is going to get you 1-2 str5 shots or blow up in your face. The Hellblaster is super deadly, esp. against large block/defensive armies (not so good against skirmishers) Not eveyone plays the Archlector on War Alter lists, so if you want flaggellants, you can still take them at rare. Great cannons (though not rare) are immensely more useful.
 

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Ehm, you do no longer reduce the number of shots at long range, that was the previous book.
You just get the regular penalty for long range (-1 to hit)
 

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Well it depends how you look at the hell blaster. Do you want a long-range omgwtf sniping weapons with loads of shots like it was in its previous incarnation? I’m personally glad to see the back end of it but still, I don’t play empire.

Well lets see what it has going for it:

Huge rate of fire
Fear factor
Fair strength

and against it

Unreliable
Uses a rare choice and so competes with the rather flashy hell storm
Requires rolls to hit

3 for 3 are pretty damn good all things considered.

The hell blaster is significantly weaker than in the previous edition yes but now it has entered the same niche as the dwarven flame cannon. Its no longer the know all end all war machine of the empire list and has become significantly more specialised as an infantry clearer and war machine guard.

it puts out a huge weight of moderately strong shots so should be aimed against large, low T, average armour infantry blocks who lack the toughness or defences to survive.

Its not as good as it used to be, so what? Its just a case of looking at what it can do to support the army. Not how it can dominate the table (which is a distinction many players sadly fail to make these days :? )

If you want to know how well it does, just give it a run. Personal experience trumps what it looks like on paper every time. ;Y (amazing what does and doesn’t work when you actually try it on the table :D )
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah

I have played the last 3 editions of Empire, and this helblaster is the worst. I have used it in 3 games in all the games it blew up first turn I used it, the most kills I got with it was 4 choas warriors.
 

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yeah, but for the point cost, you'd be better off buying some crossbows or something. Because of the way that it is fired, you have a very good chance of misfiring every turn and a half. You'll be hitting at best on 4-5 and there are too many specialized groups that can get closer by hiding in woods or what have you. I'd say that if you killed 4 chaos knights - you're really lucky that night. I think it is too unpredictable to be a worthwhile staple of any army. If they had made them unmodified rolls to hit, then maybe it would be worth it, or if you could stand and shoot. But as it is, I don't think it really causes fear in the opponent.

And I disagree with you arklite that it will be useful against infantry or low toughness foes. It seems to me that the only thing it may be useful against is high toughness foes. On average you'll be lucky to get 4 wounds a turn. Against ranked units - who cares if you kill 4 guys? The rolls to hit is what ruins the machine. Average shots per turn (assuming you don't misfire and blow up or spend a turn trying to fix your machine) is 6,6,6 so 18 shots, usually hitting on 5's (so 6 total hits, wounding on 2's against T3) you kill 5, but if the unit has armor, they can still save a few, if there are skirmisher screens or guys in trees or what have you (any smart opponent is going to use one of these tactics) then it's even harder to hit.
And if this is why you pay 125pts, then, I would submit to you that there are 5-6 other units I would prefer to purchase (a unit of knights with a musician is cheaper and more useful imo)

And to purchase a warmachine to defend another warmachine is silly. I'm very opinionated about this so I hope I didn't offend anyone. I just believe that GW wanted a different kind of Empire with different units to buy, and that's why they changed the rules. Yes the Hellblaster was too good last edition, but there had to have been other alternatives than nerfing the entire book. - - Ranttime! - - I can't think of one unit that got better in the book. There are a few good magic items, but even the griffon banner got scorched. Pistoliers got worse, flaggies got worse, swordsmen got cheaper, but that just made the rest of the core units even more worthless (ie. spearmen, halberds, archers, etc). The only thing that got better was the archlector by giving him the war alter. Which is why most tourny lists have to take a war alter.
 

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Bearded Ninja
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the thing with averages of course... is that they are only averages, 18 is generally what you get i admit but the hellblaster can range shots from 6 all the way up to 30, that’s a huge margin and the hellblaster is one of the particular units in the game where averages predict nothing, its far too random. If it doesn't work for you, fair enough. I’ve seen it work rather damn well this edition but only as a support tool.

in regards to empire nerfing. I have to disagree. While some units got weaker you gained some stupidly powerful bits of kit in the process, the outriders with their ridiculous rate of fire (though stand and shoot). The hell storm with its huge S5 template of doom (though even I can admit that its even more unreliable than the hell blaster ^_^ )

flaggies got worse? per model perhaps but they are now seriously affordable tar pits of untrained religiously crazed zealots, as they should be ;) . The closest things I get are slayers who are expensive both on the pocket and on the point’s budget. Just because something has become weaker on paper doesn't mean its not as good.

I mean look at us dwarves our thunderers got an epic nerf in my opinion. We lost the only move and shoot handgun in the game to have it replaced by Bs4 (a poor trade off in my opinion as it makes us even more static). thunderers are now more common than ever but they still got a nerf.

I am however what you can call a romantic when it comes to lesser used units and tactics. I don't play in a competitive environment (and by the gods am I glad of it) and so I like seeing what I can get out of the lasted used bits and bobs in army lists, they often take a lot more attention to use well in my experience and are often very specialist. GW tends to give everyone an OMGWTF super unit then all these poor specialists get left in the shade.

you can either be bitter about what you don't like. or you can work around the rough edges and make your self a diamond ;)
 

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well flaggies used to be S4T4 and only 2 points more. which was really good, I'll admit, but there is a lot of stuff now that makes short work of anything T3 without armor. Send you 15-20 flaggellants up against a unit of HE spearmen and they won't last more than 2 turns (and they cost more)

but point taken. there is always someone who will take it and there are new players who don't remember the good old days. I just can't stand (as well as all the empire players I know) to take it. I think they were trying to get an organ gun like war-machine without giving the empire an organ gun, but didn't quite get the effect they were looking for.

and what I would prefer (and I can't remember who's sentiments I'm butchering) several good units or average units so I could truly feel like I could select any of them and played in the right hands, make a competative army. I think they should balance all the lists/characters, get rid of the super unit or the uberguy and make and make it really hard for us to choose between units. Make them all worth taking so that one of them isn't ridiculously better than the other.
 

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For what Arky said, I agree, but I'd like to add something to that. The first spell from the Lore f Heavens allows you to re-roll 1's, this removing part of the wildness of it (not shamelessly stealing that from an Orkbert post in another thread...0:). That, combined with a Master Engineer should equate to lots and lots of luverly hits.

It's better than the old rules now as well IMO. You get all the Artillery D6 rolled (rather than half the amount at long range last rules) and it's all at S5.

As for rolling to hit, Alessio stated that all those types of weapons would have to roll to hit. It's just that the HB is the first in line. In time, we'll see that happen to Slamanders, the Organ Gun, Warpfire Throwers and other stuff like it. Just thought I'd share.

-AFG
 

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For what Arky said, I agree, but I'd like to add something to that. The first spell from the Lore f Heavens allows you to re-roll 1's, this removing part of the wildness of it (not shamelessly stealing that from an Orkbert post in another thread...0:). That, combined with a Master Engineer should equate to lots and lots of luverly hits.

It's better than the old rules now as well IMO. You get all the Artillery D6 rolled (rather than half the amount at long range last rules) and it's all at S5.

As for rolling to hit, Alessio stated that all those types of weapons would have to roll to hit. It's just that the HB is the first in line. In time, we'll see that happen to Slamanders, the Organ Gun, Warpfire Throwers and other stuff like it. Just thought I'd share.

-AFG
that's a great idea, but then you've spent 500+ points for your warmachine (engineer, a costly hero slot, a wizard who has to choose Heavens, instead of a useful spell and then there's the chance that you'll miscast or be dispelled or that it will still blow up in your face) I guess you could reroll your misfire die as well, but if i'm going to take magic, I'll want something more useful than LofHeavens (decidedly weaker this edition)

as to the second part, I guess my repeater bolt thrower just got better.
 

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Well, for the question directed at me: Yes, I still use it (btw, it is now cheaper than 5 knights with musician, but that's not really important ;) )

While the rolling to hit is a bit of a letdown, it still has potential. A lot of opponents do not fear what it does on average, but what it could do. The idea of 30 Shots raining down on your Dragon Princes/Chosen Chaos Knights/Grail Knights/whoever is a prospect only the more gambling players will risk (of course I'm a gambler myself :happy: )

And for skirmisher screens: that's what your Knights are for. Charge them, they have to rank up and done properly this should open up a line of sight on the more juicier units behind (should the skirmishers choose to flee it's also likely to get your target in view with the possible bonus of spreading panic)
Or pound magic missiles into them (if you like the empire wizardry :C )
If even this fails, remember that the Hellblaster is not a guessing range weapon, so you can shoot with it dead last in the shooting phase, after your handgunners/outriders/etc had the possibility to whittle down whatever obstruction there still might have been.

And I once did the Mathhammer thingie, and well, just the general results here: on long range against regular units the Hellblaster actually didn't get worse: the 5+ to hit at strength 5 with full shots balances out the autohits at strength 4 with the artillery dice halved of previous edition. Of course it's worse against skirmishers, but it's also better against large targets (should someone ever be as crazy to get into range 8X )
Combined with the reduced points cost it's a nice war machine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Interesting idea

"combined with a Master Engineer should equate to lots and lots of luverly hits."

except the master engineer cannot be put on the Helblaster at all, but the mage idea isn't bad.
 

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well, I'm the guy that has 5 str 7 attacks coming from his general and rolls 2x 2's and 3x 1's to hit. I'm the guy who takes leadbelchers and 3/4 of them misfire, the other guy rolls a 4 on the artillary die. The odds are always stacked against me, it's a wonder I win any games at all. Guys like you always make me want to try it (just to see if I can get lucky) and if I ever get my 2nd empire army off the ground, maybe I'll try it one time just to prove myself right(the Kislev idea didn't go over well and they canceled the rules shortly thereafter)
 

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"combined with a Master Engineer should equate to lots and lots of luverly hits."

except the master engineer cannot be put on the Helblaster at all, but the mage idea isn't bad.
Don't have my Empire book here, but aren't the rules that the Master Engineer only grants rerolls for the cannon and mortar, but the Helblaster can still use his Ballistic Skill? (And the Helstorm gains nothing from him).
 

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Agreed. Not sure of the page, but it definitely says that the ME can join a HB, and he grants his BS to the machine. Instead of purchasing a Wizard, you could give your Engineer the Ring of Volans. A lot cheaper and you can have the same thing (but only once).

-AFG
 

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The trouble is that when the HB blows up, and it will, won't it also take out the engineer?
Page 85 of the core book states he can join the warmachine but isn't one of the crew (unless said so)... (blah blah blah)... are never hurt should the machine misfire.

Im not 100% sure, but i THINK the ME becomes a member of the crew and is thus removed as a casualty, just check on the wording in the ME section.

And the Hellbaster isn't as powerfull as it was, who cares? It is a GREAT area denial tool. Put it on the flank and watch the enemy um and are about going down there. Ive had my Hellblaster sit there for an entire game, not shooting once, but it forced the enemy away from it and into the bulk of my force (Albiet, it DID kill about 800 points in the previous game so it was a little feared).

If you simply look at the destructive power of something then you miss half of the use. Its like looking at flag's and seeing them simply as an offensive CC unit simply because they have flails, and not bothering to use them as a tar pit or the like.

If you have a SOLID tactic and you can inspire a little fear (mention 30 shots a few times and your opponent will look again) you can keep them away from that little wooded patch with a hellblaster in it...
 

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Page 85 of the core book states he can join the warmachine but isn't one of the crew (unless said so)... (blah blah blah)... are never hurt should the machine misfire.

Im not 100% sure, but i THINK the ME becomes a member of the crew and is thus removed as a casualty, just check on the wording in the ME section.

And the Hellbaster isn't as powerfull as it was, who cares? It is a GREAT area denial tool. Put it on the flank and watch the enemy um and are about going down there. Ive had my Hellblaster sit there for an entire game, not shooting once, but it forced the enemy away from it and into the bulk of my force (Albiet, it DID kill about 800 points in the previous game so it was a little feared).

If you simply look at the destructive power of something then you miss half of the use. Its like looking at flag's and seeing them simply as an offensive CC unit simply because they have flails, and not bothering to use them as a tar pit or the like.

If you have a SOLID tactic and you can inspire a little fear (mention 30 shots a few times and your opponent will look again) you can keep them away from that little wooded patch with a hellblaster in it...
Look inthe ME rules and yes he will be killed by an HB explosion. Plus,who wants to take an expensive character slot with worse stats and hard to protect status and deny yourself a useful character.

your fear tactic only works if the opponent doesn't know anything. If the Hellblaster is defending your flank, then either you get lucky and shoot my fast cav into oblivion or I get lucky and kill your now cheaper Hellblaster, and then overrun your flank with the heavy cavalry. Yeah, you can itimidate newbies, but not a grizzled warchief
 
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