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Author Topic: Using Steam Tanks  (Read 3127 times)

Offline CarolineWellwater

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Using Steam Tanks
« on: December 23, 2014, 02:44:48 AM »
(( Hey All,

Okay... this is going to sound like a dumb question, but... how do you use a Steam Tank?

Now, as a bit of background, I've been playing Empire since 5th Ed, where you had the option of 0-8 Steam Tanks.  Because of the lore of the war machine, I just figured old Karl wouldn't just give out the keys to anybody (as four of them had already been broken / destroyed).  As such, I never picked one up.

Anyway, I've finally decided to get one for my 2400 point army.  That way I can swap out one of my pair of cannons, and free up some points for the demigryph upgrades I want to get.  And... I've realized that while I've seen other people play / use a Steam Tank, I never really paid that much attention to it, and... have about zero idea what is an effective way to use it.  I understand about it's survivability, Terror effects, and using Life to throw band-aids on it.  As a double-aside, I do have a lot of the light-tanks for my Imperial Guard, so I have a bunch of familiarity with those vehicles... but I'm pretty sure those vehicles are a lot different than the Steam Tank.  Anyway, what I don't really get are when is it good to use the Steam Gun over the cannon.  What about Grinding?  What dangerous spells will I need to try to dispell, so they don't scratch up the paint job?

So... instead of trying to learn about the Steam Tank the hard way and giving my opponent 250 victory points, I figured I'd ask all y'all.  Any help would be appreciated. ))

Offline Joerg Müller

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Re: Using Steam Tanks
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2014, 03:33:25 AM »
Point it at something you want to go splat and charge forward.

Seriously, I don't ever go for more than 4 steam points. Means you never risk blowing yourself up. I also rarely use the main gun. Here are a few ideas.

Option one: It's great anti tarpit. That 100 strong unit of goblins, zombies, or slaves. Ram right into the side or front and it will sit there the rest of the game holding them up. Also a great anvil to get you a turn or tow to move into position on a unit.

Options two: kills small elite units and monsters on impact hits. Charge right into them full steam.

Option three: flank anchors. This thing can really control a flank. The stream gun is great for taking out small chaff units. Go for 4 steam points. Use one or two to move into range then the rest on the steam gun.

Also never forget the engineer can stand and shoot with his repeater pistol.  My own personal glory is gunning down a Bret lord with a stand and shoot from my steam tank. 

Offline Lasthobbit

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Re: Using Steam Tanks
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2014, 08:46:31 AM »
Joerg Müller is right.

Also ST could be used to make a "dead zone". No one phoenix, daemon or even dragon or deathstar dares to try to walk within 12" from ST. 3d6 move is something about 10-12" of threat range. Nobody wants to take sooo many impact hits and prolonged fight vs unbreakable, 1+ AS, 6T Metal Warrior of Doom. Hellblaster makes a similar thing.

It is a most surviveable unit in our AB. Unbreakable. It could buy you 1-2 turns to flank-countercharge of enemy.
Or could turn off most dangerous enemy unit for several turns (with Life support - almost forever).

Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: Using Steam Tanks
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2014, 09:31:03 AM »
You should read the rules thoroughly, because a lot has changed with previous editions. For instance:
- You now use the WS of the Engineer in CC. Indeed, in you opponent's turn, the only thing the Steam Tank can do is have the Engineer execute a single CC attack (or two with Birona's).
- The Engineer does not habe a 360 degree arc of fire anymore.
- etc. 

Before you just point it at something you want to go splat and charge, make sure it does not have to take DT tests. Being a chariot, the Steam Tank suffers D6 Wounds for a failed DT test instead of 1 - and no armour saves allowed.

regarding movement:

Random Movement is often misunderstood. The sequence (BRB p. 74) is:

1. Pivot the centre of the Random Mover to face the direction in which you wish it to travel.
2. Roll the dice shown in the model's profile.
3. Measure the distance in a straight line to see whether you come into contact with an enemy (before actually moving!)

3.a If the move is found to take the unit into contact with an enemy this counts as charging, and this is resolved using the normal rules for charges and using the distance rolled as its charge range, i.e. move in a straight line with one free wheel of 90° to get into contact with the enemy, and then either you or the enemy closes the door. During this charge, you can also move to within 1" of other units.

3.b If no charge is made, move the model directly forwards a number of inches equal to the total rolled by the dice. If the random move brings the unit to within 1" of a friendly unit or impassable terrain, it stops immediately and cannot move further during that Movement phase.

Note that charge reactions cannot be declared against enemies with the Random Movement special rule.

As JM said, there is no need to use more than 4 steam points - unless you aim for a SVBIED.

Note also that, as it currently stands, armour saves are allowed against Steam Boiler Mishaps.
It is not enough to have no ideas of your own; you must also be incapable of expressing them.
Sex, lies and manuscripts: The History of the Empire as Depicted in the Art of the Time (10/07/16)

Offline CarolineWellwater

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Re: Using Steam Tanks
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2014, 01:19:41 AM »
(( All,

This is exactly what I was looking for, and will be a big help.  Thank you.

As follow-up questions,

1) What sorts of spells threaten the Steam tank?

2) If I use the Steam Gun while the tank is in melee, I'm assuming it does 2d6 hits since it's treated like a breath weapon.  Is this correct? ))

Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: Using Steam Tanks
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2014, 07:02:55 AM »
1} Anything that does not allow armour saves.
2} Yes.
It is not enough to have no ideas of your own; you must also be incapable of expressing them.
Sex, lies and manuscripts: The History of the Empire as Depicted in the Art of the Time (10/07/16)

Offline Krokz

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Re: Using Steam Tanks
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2014, 08:31:55 PM »
1) Metal spells usually go for other 1+ armor saves our army has. 10 wounds is a deterrent. However watch out for Initiative tests (Pit of shades, Purple sun) and Spirit Leech since Engineer only has Ld7 and you can easily be outside Inspiring presence with him.

Steam tank's most important thing is deployment.  You can maximize his Random movement rule with deploying him in the middle as you can go in any direction. I love to use him as a my army flank guard: deploy STank in the middle and your army on flank so the STank protects your army's flank. He can hold anything for at least two rounds which should be enough for your army to deal with whatever opponent deployed on that flank.

Offline CarolineWellwater

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Re: Using Steam Tanks
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2015, 03:40:15 AM »
((Hey all,

Okay, so bumping this back up to the top again, I have a follow-up question.

Assuming that you're doing the 4-Steam-Point effect, when in melee with the Steam Tank, is it better to 3-Steam-Point the Grind (id est, conduct a multi-Grind), or 3-Steam Point the Steam Gun?

I ask, as the Grind can, at max, cause 9 hits (ave 6), while the Steam Gun can cause 12 hits (ave 7).  But... the Steam Gun hits with a Max Strength of 4 while the Grind hits at Strength 6.  So, while the Grind might hit a fewer number of times, it is almost guaranteed to wound.  However, with the Steam Gun occurring during the Shooting Phase, it can be affected with something like "Enchanted Blades" or "Flaming Sword of Ruin".

I'm thinking, overall, it depends on the situation.  I was figuring that, against low-armor / moderate-low Toughness troops, the Steam Gun is worth powering up, as you can cause more wounds via the higher max-hit-potential.  Against high armor or high Toughness troops, the multi-Grind would be better, as you'd be more likely to penalize armor save to useless.

Is this the right track?  ))
   

Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: Using Steam Tanks
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2015, 07:30:38 AM »
Small correction: when the Steam tank is in CC, the Steam Gun is used in the CC phase, not the Shooting phase.
I am afraid, Enchanted Blades will do little for the Steam Gun (other than making its attacks magical), as the hits of the Steam Gun are automatic; the Flaming Sword will at least add +1 to wound (and make the attacks magical). Special rules like AP or Flaming Attacks do not apply. 

BRB Official Update Version 1.9, p. 8:
Q: Do Breath Weapon hits benefit from any other special rules, equipment or magic items of the model that inflicts the hits? (p67)
A: No.


That said, your basic idea is still correct. An added bonus of the Steam Gun over Grinding is that the wounds caused count towards combat resolution.
It is not enough to have no ideas of your own; you must also be incapable of expressing them.
Sex, lies and manuscripts: The History of the Empire as Depicted in the Art of the Time (10/07/16)

Offline CarolineWellwater

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Re: Using Steam Tanks
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2015, 03:41:56 AM »
(( Fidelis von Sigmaringen,

Well... as an aside, Flaming Sword of Ruin will still fully help the Engineer though, right?  Just... not fully help the Steam Gun. ))

 

Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: Using Steam Tanks
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2015, 07:36:00 AM »
Yes. Note that, contrary to the Steam Gun, Grinding would benefit from special rules like Flaming Attacks.
It is not enough to have no ideas of your own; you must also be incapable of expressing them.
Sex, lies and manuscripts: The History of the Empire as Depicted in the Art of the Time (10/07/16)