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Author Topic: Outriders, the new handgunners?  (Read 3182 times)

Offline Athiuen

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Outriders, the new handgunners?
« on: June 18, 2011, 01:48:30 PM »
For those of us who play a gunline set-up for Empire this new edition has severely reduced the efficiency of handgunners.  I've been playing around with the idea of replacing them with a gunline of Outriders. 
Sound crazy?  Perhaps it is, perhaps it isn't.  Read on and give me some criticism:

Handgunners:
Single shot BS3 - They will hit 1/3 of the time at long range, 1/2 of the time at half range. 
Unit of 30 Handgunners deployed 2x15 = 30 shots BS3 = 240 points.
Against a generic unit of empire troops at half range = 15 hits, 10 wounds.
Armour = Nothing
Move = 4


Outriders:
3x Multiple shot BS4 - They will hit 1/3 of the time at long range, 1/2 of the time at half range.  (Same as a handgunner)
Unit of 10 Outriders with Barding deployed 2x5 = 30 shots (effective) BS3 = 230 points.
Against a generic unit of empire troops at half range = 15 hits, 10 wounds.
Armour = 4+
Move = 7

Ok, so we can see that a unit of 10 outriders outputs the same firepower as a unit of 30 handgunners.  Furthermore the outriders have nearly double the movement and a 4+ armour save (rivaling greatswords).

Now lets look at the option for the Hochland Long Rifle (everyone's favourite rifle).

Hangunners:
Marksman = 5 points
Longrifle = 20 points
Total = 25 point longrifle, BS 4.

Outriders:
Champion = 16 points
Longrifle = 5 points
Total = 21 point longrifle BS 5.

With the added versatility of the Outriders (Armour, move, BS, points) you simply must a unit of 10 (or 2 units of 5 both with BS5 longrifles!) in a gunline setup.

The only downside of course is that they are a special choice.
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Offline Johedl

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Re: Outriders, the new handgunners?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2011, 10:31:49 PM »
Quote
Now lets look at the option for the Hochland Long Rifle (everyone's favourite rifle).

Hangunners:
Marksman = 5 points
Longrifle = 20 points
Total = 25 point longrifle, BS 4.

Outriders:
Champion = 16 points
Longrifle = 5 points
Total = 21 point longrifle BS 5.

But for the champion to go from repeating handgun to HLR "costs" two shots per shooting phase compaired to the marksman.

Quote
The only downside of course is that they are a special choice.

Yes. So every point spent on outriders is one less point spent on mortars, cannons and greatswords.
If I would field them I would use them without the barding. Costes more and gives less movement and the comes with the loss of the vanguard move.
Just my thought on the subject.

Offline Athiuen

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Re: Outriders, the new handgunners?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2011, 04:49:54 AM »
Oh I agree completely, you do effectively lose 2 shots upgrading the champion with a longrifle, and there is the possibility of greater mobility, and lower cost, without barding.

It's true that these points could well also be spent on a cannon or mortar which will probably pay for itself much faster.

I'm going to give this idea a try and i'll tell you how it goes.
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The end is Neigh! [sic]
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Offline sebster

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Re: Outriders, the new handgunners?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2011, 01:54:23 AM »
Yeah, the cost of a hochland long rifle for a handgunner is actually 33 points (8 for the original guy, plus 25 for the upgrades you already mentioned).  For an outrider its 44 points (23 points for the original guy, plus 21 points for the upgrades you already mentioned).  So you're comparing a 33 point BS4 long rifle against a 44 point BS5 long rifle... which to me seems like its pretty fair.


The other factor to consider is that handgunners have three times the wounds of outriders.  If the enemy decides to take out the unit, it's a very straight forward matter for them to inflict devestating casualties on a unit of outriders with their own ranged fire, but an equivalent unit of handgunners will have three times as many wounds and be a much tougher prospect.

Offline Athiuen

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Re: Outriders, the new handgunners?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2011, 03:56:24 AM »
Except that the possibility of a 4+ save and still being cheaper per shot does somewhat negate, from low str (which is most) shooting, the amount of wounds you will take.

The real pitfall however, is that they are a special choice and that I have enough trouble justifying handgunners for their price as a core choice when halberds and cannons/mortars works so much better is most given circumstances.
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They fired at a can of Heineken.
The end is Neigh! [sic]
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Offline sebster

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Re: Outriders, the new handgunners?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2011, 06:04:59 AM »
Except that the possibility of a 4+ save and still being cheaper per shot does somewhat negate, from low str (which is most) shooting, the amount of wounds you will take.

At absolute best it's negating 1 wound in 2, which still makes the handgunners 50% hardier, and if there's any save modifier available (which is at least a common as not) that only swings the advantage further to the handgunners.

This really is the biggest problem with the outriders, if they represent any serious threat to the enemy then they can just choose to kill them fairly easily, if they have any ranged weapons at all.  This limits their use to opponents with no ranged attacks, and while not uncommon, they're not all that rare either.

Quote
The real pitfall however, is that they are a special choice and that I have enough trouble justifying handgunners for their price as a core choice when halberds and cannons/mortars works so much better is most given circumstances.

I think a lot of what is going on is people looking for reasons to put points in things other than mortars, cannon, and halberdiers and characters to support these, because straight up they're the best bang for your buck in the Empire book.  But they also produce a pretty dull game, and won't make you all that popular an opponent.