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Author Topic: Cannons=Crutch?  (Read 1864 times)

Offline brr-icy

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Cannons=Crutch?
« on: April 19, 2021, 09:58:34 AM »
I have been reading the old posts from 6th in this forum, and it seems like the only answer to fighting anything was "shoot it with a cannon" it makes it seem like they were a crutch for empire, and auto included so they could hobble to victory. Was this always the case? I am really glad that the Ulric list doesn't have them as it changes up the playstyle a bit. I do like seeing some of the other strats like VHS wizard taking down a bloodthirster and such.

Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2021, 12:06:34 PM »
Cannon were/are auto-include against unknown opponents, or opponents that are likely to have HVT, like monsters. If that was not the case, I usually exchanged the cannon for a mortar (in 6th, that is). If you did not want to use any cannon, the Sword of Fate came in handy too. In closed lists, just the threat of the VHS was also useful to play mind-games.
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Offline Zygmund

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2021, 09:04:16 PM »
I remember the recipe for Empire success was combined arms, detachments, knights and greatswords, hammer and anvil. And the steam tank, once it became available in the 6th ed.

The Village Idiot tactics was to have three sizable state troop regiments with detachments, vanilla knights, and some artillery & other troops. The idea was that any unit could be offered, and the whole army was likely larger than most opposing armies. So you could contain the enemy army, choose which units to feed to it, and then use your numbers, detachments, and some heavy hitters to do the job. If need be, avoid or contain the hard targets, or just let them through, and try to win the game elsewhere.

But definitely cannons have always been important for the Empire.

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Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2021, 11:00:47 PM »
When I first got interested in WFB, looked at Brets first, and then as soon as I saw the Empire seemed to be more of a combined arms force, that's what did it for me.

Then I started getting interested in what historically inspired the Empire, and that's become a huge adventure that has led me to wanting to explore northern and central Italy.  But I digress. :icon_lol:
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Offline brr-icy

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2021, 07:01:23 AM »
I just have been finishing my work and being bored, decided to read all the old threads (other than the list questions as they are boring) and I see a common theme of everything being cannon targets instead of finding some other way to deal with them. I haven't played my empire army as much as some of my others. Dwarfs even less since they're all about shooting and standing still if you use the main 6th book, at least the second one gives them some tactical variety.

I do like the Empire army (largely thanks to this site actually) because they can do any type of build. I was just kind of disappointed that a great number of the tactics were centered around cannoning off the actual threats before someone gets to use them lol. I do enjoy the idiot's tactica though. there's some good stuff in there, I would like to learn how to use detachments better (just bought a bunch of free company because of the recommendations in the old threads. I may transfer my Halberdiers to my DoW army for the paymaster's guard permanently though lol.

It's funny that when I first bought my empire army I barely paid attention to the fluff or much at all, it was just another bunch of humans and I already had brets. I painted the main amount of them as Sylvannians for the levy in the back of the vc book, and the story of that area intrigues me as well (same with mousollin) from being a vampire player since the Undead book and 5th Vampire book.

Recently have gotten more into the Empire. Finally tracked down the final 5 elector counts, thyrus, a unit of teutogen guard (that hurt the wallet), and padded out a few core choices that I hadn't gotten around to buying before. Think I might still get more knights, I have 10 white wolf, 15 regular. might add 10 more white wolves and 10 knights panther. I want to run a 3.2k Ulric or Middenheim list as well as the Knightly order list which i can already make with Karl Franz using up a chunk of points. I seen LastSword is making Ulric themed minis recently, might grab some, the dogs look fantastic, nevermind their take on the teutogen guard

Offline Zygmund

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2021, 03:43:56 PM »
The idea of using Empire cannons against everything probably isn't a 6th ed idea. Empire has always been a gunpowder army, and like the Dwarfs, has allowed the gunline build (Elves can do this too, but in another manner). That was an inspiration for gamers and collectors alike. Players probably LIKED to use the cannon against everything.

brr-icy, that sounds like a serious collection!  :smile2:

-Z
Forget the 6'x4' game, focus on the story beyond that. Because fantasy matters.

Offline Warlord

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2021, 08:37:17 AM »
The thing is, we donít have big monsters like a lot of other armies. So cannons and HBVG are the response. It was a balance thing - blame the armybook for only giving us a few answers to those type of threats.
Its not a crutch, any more than other armies had a predisposition to certain monsters or character combos because it was most effective in competitive lists.
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Offline brr-icy

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2021, 10:20:11 AM »
The idea of using Empire cannons against everything probably isn't a 6th ed idea. Empire has always been a gunpowder army, and like the Dwarfs, has allowed the gunline build (Elves can do this too, but in another manner). That was an inspiration for gamers and collectors alike. Players probably LIKED to use the cannon against everything.

brr-icy, that sounds like a serious collection!  :smile2:

-Z

I think I posted the photos here a while ago, if not, I'll post them sometime, everything is painted as well except the latest acquisitions, Unfortunately I am away from most of them so I can't update the armies that need it (especially the lizards, I've added something like 300 models to that army, empire a close second with an additional 100)


Offline brr-icy

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2021, 10:21:57 AM »
The thing is, we donít have big monsters like a lot of other armies. So cannons and HBVG are the response. It was a balance thing - blame the armybook for only giving us a few answers to those type of threats.
Its not a crutch, any more than other armies had a predisposition to certain monsters or character combos because it was most effective in competitive lists.

There's the griffon, he's fairly large, especially the 8th model, and the steam tank, that thing is the answer to a lot of things haha,

Offline Zygmund

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2021, 10:44:18 AM »
At least in the 4th ed, Empire could take monsters, p. 66.  I don't know if many Empire players actually used that option (up to 25 % of your points in independent Monsters). Was it the same in the 5th ed? At least the Empire book remained the same.

OT, I know. :-)

-Z
Forget the 6'x4' game, focus on the story beyond that. Because fantasy matters.

Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2021, 12:10:39 PM »
There's the griffon, he's fairly large, especially the 8th model, and the steam tank, that thing is the answer to a lot of things haha,

Well, ruleswise the Steam tank was not a monster, but I guess you are speaking metaphorically. The Griffon could only be taken as a mount for the Elector Count, for a massive 200 points. However, if you took the EC as a Lord, it was to have a relatively cheap General with Ld 9, but, far more importantly, who could provide a specific magic banner to one unit of state troops: the Griffon Banner!
It is not enough to have no ideas of your own; you must also be incapable of expressing them.
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Offline Warlord

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2021, 03:00:50 PM »
True. But often he would be left mountless and standed on the other side of the battlefield because the Griffon was so easy to kill.
Quote from: Gneisenau
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Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2021, 03:26:04 PM »
I apparently was not clear enough: you took the EC without the Griffon (or any other mount)  for the Griffon Banner, and put him in a unit of State Troops - otherwise he would not be a relatively cheap General with Ld 9. Equipped with Dawn Armour, Enchanted Shield & Holy Relic, he would have a 2+ re-rollable AS and a 4++ ward save, be a very tough nut to crack, and would still cost only 175 points.
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 commandant

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2021, 05:38:55 PM »
The other thing worth considering is that a cannon is a bit of a paper tiger. Normally you'd only get 2-3 shots and then you needed to guess range well and 1/3 - 1/2 of the time you didn't do enough wounds to kill a monster.

Often the space control threat of the cannon or hel blaster was as effective a tool against large monsters as the cannon' s killing power.

Offline Padre

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2021, 08:42:20 PM »
Cannons are de best ...

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Offline The Black Knight

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2021, 09:36:48 PM »
I think people only really started hating cannons when 8th edition emerged. As long as you had to guess the range, their effectivness was variable. When you started to just point and click people really got upset. I stopped using them at some point, feeling that demigryphs, mortars, hellblasters and magic were enough to deal with the big baddies. People were more willing to bring the cool, big models when they knew that I wasn't taking cannons and I didn't feel like I missed them (I'm no tournament pro though).
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Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2021, 10:07:49 PM »
Ha!  Imagine that, cannons giving other armies issues, oh my, Empire is so broke in their view, eh?  Besides, if I recall, mortars suddenly became the rage in 8th, and some folks were bring them in multiples.
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Offline Padre

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2021, 10:38:05 PM »
I use cannons simply because I always have in my empire armies, back through to when empire armies first appeared. I don't like too much 'higher' fantasy stuff, like the demigryphs, for aesthetic reasons. Decisions regarding what to include, for me, are not that often about what gives the best competitive edge, as other factors affect my thinking, usually story or theme, or the urge to aim for a 'lower' fantasy.

In my Tilean campaign, for example, I see the 'standard' NPC state army, the little army they keep around as a core to which stuff, like mercenaries, can be added to bulk them up in a time if emergency, as some foot (melee and missile), some horse (light or heavy) and a cannon. Characters kept on the army pay roll would be a fighting captain and an artillerist (engineer) to tend the 'arsenal'. Which is why the above 'in game' photo came about - five allied armies, 2 players and 3 NPCs, all brought a canon or two and an engineer. That was some battery. The opposition player lost all his monsters in turn one, and quit the hobby for good! His action might seem understandable, but what he had failed to take into account was that while he had already had success after success in his battles, picking off foes one by one, or ill-prepared alliance armies, a certain player had struggled politically for several game seasons (and the best part of two years in the real world) to create that alliance army and get it operating against the enemy. The crazy number of cannons and engineers had happened as an unexpected consequence of my thinking concerning what the standard practice would be for little, standing armies.

To be honest, it boils down to the different sort of thinking that goes into campaign, story-focused armies, rather than tournament style game-competitive armies. I have some players who think that way, and they are welcome to do so, to make for challenging realms in the campaign. But I myself just got caught up in the world(s) and hadn't given any thought to the 'Cannons = Crutch' issue until the incident with the allied armies and the player taking his bat home!
Photobucket has now re-destroyed my pictures, so the first half of my collected works thread is no longer working again. To see my website version of the campaign thread, with fully functioning pictures, please go to https://bigsmallworlds.com/

Offline brr-icy

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2021, 10:12:51 AM »
It was a dwarf general that drove me away for over a decade, whiny little cantankerous person that he was, he took the joy out of packing up my army to go the local game store. I played a few local tournaments before that as well, just all around unpleasant people to game with (winning has never been my main goal, i'm there to have fun)

I was mainly commenting on the old posts here, since necroposting on them would be pretty lame, and also wreck the historical archive with bumping them to the front. My empire army has two cannons and a helblaster as well, and most of the time, they are on the army list.

I don't play 8th as there isn't one change in that edition that i like. 6th brought the army into the spotlight more so than the heroes from when i played 4th and 5th. I still have a soft spot for special characters, but it's nice that they don't just walk all over the battlefield solo (unless you deathstar them, nephew hates my ludwig, valten, and kurt knight unit lol) But the cannons not having to be guessed was one of the biggest mistakes that edition made imo. you make it worthless to do anything other than oversized units of troops. big monsters and chariots etc are worthless

Offline Padre

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2021, 10:35:46 AM »
... make it worthless to do anything other than oversized units of troops. big monsters and chariots etc are worthless

I wonder how the economics of that decision played out for GW? Which generates more profit - buying LOADS of foot and horse miniatures, or buying a few expensive monsters.

I actually like the idea that the big monsters don't dominate the warhammer world as much as the smaller races have their war engines, and that humans are on the rise due to powder. It pushes the world towards lower fantasy (my favoruite balance) away from dragon riders etc, and a it's a fantasy reflection of the real world effect of powder.
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Offline commandant

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2021, 01:59:54 PM »
It can't have worked too well given that they blew up warhammer shortly after

Offline commandant

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2021, 02:54:24 PM »
The removal of guess range changed the balance a lot

Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2021, 03:52:54 PM »
I wonder about that. Experienced players became good at guessing, in nay case. The main mistake IMO was that you do not randomise hits any longer between rider and mount. Mind you, cannon did become more 20% more expensive. More importantly: in spite of all the wailing and gnashing of teeth about cannon, the Empire is and has always been a second or even third tier army. The only time we were first tier was in the overlap period of 8th edition BRB/7th edition AB.
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 Padre

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2021, 06:14:04 PM »
Fidelis is right.

I myself was so good at guessing ranges, just by imagining 12" rulers on the table, I could get them right to within 2", and was spot on more often than not. When 8th got rid of guessed ranges, they just got rid of my chance to show off!
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Offline commandant

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Re: Cannons=Crutch?
« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2021, 09:28:40 AM »
Randomising between Mount and rider mattered, more so when one had a ward save but guess range mattered as well. Even when experienced players got good, really good at it, the fact your cannon had a random amount added to its firing meant that you had a small enough area, 2-4 inches, that you had to guess in.