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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-14-11, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Default Versus... Cannons/Stone Throwers/Warmachines

Hey everyone

As part of the revamped "Versus..." series we have our first new thread: Warmachines. To make other requests, or find threads on other aspects of WFB look here.

We all know that the 8th edition ruleset makes warmachines very powerful, greatly adding to the empire and dwarf armies in particular. With cannons now able to bring down even the biggest monsters in 1 shot (ok, ok and a GUO in 2) and mortars and stone throwers able to smash infantry units to bits what tactics have you developed to counter them?

Do you just ignore them and and race forwards (the 'Charge of the Light Brigade' Tactic)?
Do you try to beat them at their own game with artillery?
Do you hope your warmachine hunters will stop them before you get mushed?
Do you set up units differently to minimise the damage?
Do you use items/special abilities to shrug off their damage?

Share your views and experiences of differrent counters that you've used (or had used against you) to beat warmachines... heresy needs you

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-14-11, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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I can't say I've had great luck against cannons, but I have a few tricks that I like to use for my different armies... with that in mind here are some of the tricks I use when I come up against them.

600pt dragons used to be a favorite of mine... but no longer. My big expensive monsters are now buried and forgotten. As are my HE RBTs, expensive bolt throwers without the heavy cav to shoot and which lose in a warmachine fight are not something I want in my army...
If I have taken a monster and am facing cannons you can always just hide him while you try to down the cannons- buildings, stone walls, hills.... wherever your monster can stand and not be an easy target is a good place tho leave him. Even if he stays there all game then he hasn't just given away his VP... not really a 'tactic' as such, and a pretty shitty way to play, but sometimes you have nothing else to try

Can anyone say 'Ironcurse Icon'? Its in all my ogre armies. A quick and easy 6++ vs warmachines, even if you never normally see warmachines I would still leave it in your list just for its cost and the knowledge it'll be there when needed... but it isnt a solution. If you are using an expensive unit with multiple characters then this item really should be in there: almost all armies can take it and its pretty easy to fit onto a character (or even some unit champions).

Again a tactic I use with ogres- I normally get accross the table in 2-3 turns, so if I'm going first I will normally only be shot at 1-2 times... then I'm smacking the enemy around in combat. If you can get accross the board fast then you give very little chance for warmachines to hurt you... this is also one of the rare times when I want to go first.

Every army needs a way to kill enemy war machines if you are going to try to win a fight of attrition. For most armies the options are pretty obvious: eg gorgers, war eagles, fast cavalry, war hounds, but there are many more options.
One of the best, which I can no longer do, is counter-battery fire. Use a warmachine to kill enemy warmachines before they can fire. RBTs used to be good at this, but no longer in 8th, which leaves cannons as your go to unit. If you have cannons then try to grab first turn and let rip...
Personally while getting scouts/fast cav into combat with the warmachines is the best way of killing them I find 'Throwing Shit Til It Sticks' to be just as effective. Any army with a large amount of long range shooting, or any magical attack which gives a lot of hits both work very well: 20 longbows firing at a warmachine will normally average about 2W, and if you get a little lucky that cannon is dead... if not then a few more shots here or there will take it out. This works very well for elves in general (once they get in range), but other armies would probably be relying on magic at the sorts of ranges you'ld be wanting.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-14-11, 11:05 AM
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As a Warriors of Chaos player who typically plays a pure army of Khorne (so no sorcerers--everybody's got the Mark, or are Undivided, but mostly just Khorne!), I've found the most efficient way to deal with pesky war machines is to just shrug and hope for the best. Warriors of Chaos, regardless of what mark they're packing, are just plain better than any other infantry they're going to come up against in combat, so if you lose a few on the way in... it's just not that big a deal. War machines misfire (or just plain miss) often enough that even with a couple good hits, units tend not to be made significantly less effective. Making sure you make use of the ironcurse icon and the Blasted Standard are fairly vital, nonetheless, though.

I've even found that when playing my Nurgle army (again, a pure army-- no other marks except Undivided things, and even then they're used sparingly), I've found that just letting the dice do their thing and have war machines break or miss and not worry about the casualties too much is enough. The Lore of Nurgle does offer a few additional solutions beyond just including the ironcurse icon and the blasted standard in the army, though-- casting regeneration on a unit that's clearly going to get shot helps out a lot against everything but the dwarf flamecannon and skaven warpfire thrower. It's also possible to slap war machine units with Cloying Quagmire and get rid of them that way.

Regardless of the mark in a Chaos army, warhounds are available, and in my experience, apart from forcing my opponent to deploy things they actually care about before I have to commit anything important, the warhounds are able to handle war machines. They won't necessarily kill the crew-- they'll hurt them, certainly, but unless they're beating up a goblin war machine crew or something, it's not a sure thing that they'll win-- but they'll stop the war machine for shooting for a turn or two, and that's all you really need to make sure your units of Warriors are rampaging through the enemy battle line. Once you're within about a foot of the enemy with Warriors of Chaos, their war machines just sort of stop mattering.

Wulfrik the Wanderer and his Marauder crew also provide a good way to deal with war machines for Chaos players. I'm not a fan of using named characters except on rare occasions, but nonetheless, he's a potential solution. Wulfrik and 40 marauders deployed in a very wide, shallow formation coming on from the rear can potentially charge several clustered war machines when they come in. I don't mean putting them in a horde formation-- I mean like having them 12 or 14-wide and seeing how many war machines you can tie up at once. It's not like you can't reform (or not come on the table in that formation, for that matter) if it's not advantageous to do it that way. And if the opponent chooses to turn to face Wulfrik or shoot Wulfrik's unit instead of shooting at something more important like your Warriors, then so much the better.


My homebrew Space Marine Chapter: The Astartes Lions Rampant

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-14-11, 03:18 PM
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As a lizardmen player, I use either chameleons or Terradons to do the dirty work. In a 2k game, I will take at least 2 units of chameleons (prefering 3). Terradons, not as much, but they have their place.

With my chameleons, even if I cannot dploy in my opponenet's back field, I will deploy 12 inches in front of his deployement line directly in front of my target. Hopefully, I will get the first turn, then I will move them up and shoot.

If I cannot get to them for some reason, I have to hope for the best.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-14-11, 03:44 PM
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As a dwarf player I was really happy with the buffs to Warmachines in the 8th, having to guess range was rubbish, I mean it's a game of tactics not about your skill at guessing how many inches something was! I can definitely appreciate that cannons are now insane at killing monsters, but we don't get monsters, so I guess that's our perk. The trouble with war machines is that they have a tendancy to blow up. Perhaps it's just the dice Gods but whether I run a rune'd up warmachine list, or whack in an engineer I still loose at least one if not two warmachines a game, and the organ gun...Always blows up.

So I would say ignore warmachines, they won't win a battle, you're across the line in two turns, yeah with casualties but I wouldn't have thought it would ruin your day too much.

It is said that the guttural sound of Dwarfs bellowing Grungni’s name is enough to make an Elf’s knees knock and a Goblin turn a sickly shade of yellow!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-14-11, 07:46 PM
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Beastmen are, at their core, an infantry army .
We don't have access to ward saves like the blasted banner, shrines, regen etc... but we do have access to fast moving troops and swift hunters.

Here's a list of tactics a smart beastman player can utilize.
(let's assume this is an all comers list)

fear causing giant pigs. T5 and 3 wounds means they can survive a fair amount of gunfire and can make it to most warmachines in Turn 2 failing a bad charge. They are very versatile and dependable. If you need them to take on heavy cav, assassinate a character, take a flank or suicide a unit, they are your GO-TO unit. Even dwarven warmachines, the most resilient of them, can be gored and stomped by these beasts.

Harpies: Dependable, fast, delicate. Vs. Warmachines, they can make it to most in T2, or if you take 'scouting' possibly turn 1. Their high I and 2 attacks means they make mincemeat of most Warmachines (saving dwarves...) and easily overrun with swiftstride into other warmachines. A must in most Beastmen armies. Not as versatile as the Razorgors, but still good for attacking lone units or stalling some one/ march blocking (though March blocking is less effective in this edition)

Raiders: Dirt cheap, potential killers, un-reliable due to their ambush rolls. These cheap CORE units can pop out (or fail miserably) and pepper delicate units then charge the war-machines. Primal fury (bout 45% chance w/o generals ldr) means dead warmachines. Even the charge on most WMs means the warmachine crew should flee in CR. Always run minimum 6 for ambush, as that's the most you can attack WMs with.

Chalice of dark rain:
Cost efficient vs MOST armies, shuts down WMs fairly well. If the enemy doesnt roll well, they can't fire. Even skaven Doom rockets are subject to this! (look it up, it's true). BS of gunlines drop too. Very effective.

Centigors: Expensive, reliable, versatile. These units can charge across the field and eradicate any warmachine. Primal fury, AS (shocking for beastmen) , spears, and 2 attacks means a dead warmachine. Easy to overrun into another and you can use them with thought on a flank/ rear. Not easy to fit into most armies as they share a special place w/ minos & bestigors.

Ironcurse Icon: Sheer numbers of saves. T4 easily, maybe buffs, then any armor saves, then ironcurse? Many bestigors have lived due to this 5 point item. a MUST have.

Target saturation: I present so many deadly targets that the warmachines have a hard time figureing out which to shoot. I try to make each a potential threat and asset to my army. Each big enough to take the shooting (damn mortars!), tough enough to survive most (T4 + wyssans) or disposable. Chariots fit this role. I'd rather you kill a chariot completely than hurt my bestigors, but let the chariot live, and it WILL hurt the combats that will ensue.
Tough choice for the enemy.

With beastmen, I try to ram as many down the enemies throats as fast as possible. I don't want to give him time to chew me up long range, I don't want to let him snipe me. I want to get in his face and beat him with a hammer till the blood congeals and I sell his elven teeth for booze.

You can EASILY fit all the above (sans Centigors) in any list. There is no reason not to be blitzing turn two and shut down 50% of warmachines.

Fury, Gore and Ruin
-Beastmen 72-4-13
- Druchii 15-1-7 (rip)
- Rusted Ruin; WoC 25-3-8
- Chaos Dwarves: TBD
- Ogres: ?

Last edited by blackspine; 04-15-11 at 06:48 PM.
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