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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-11, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Default Versus... Gunlines

... and so we come to that most slated of army: the gunline.

This is part of the all knew (well, mostly recycled) 8th ed "Versus..." series. To read any other Versus thread or to make requests about what should be covered next go to the overview thread here.


So, gunlines... we've all played them, we've probably all had a game where we were shot from the table without doing anything significant, but how do we beat them?
We're talking empire with their endless warmachines and gunners, dwarfs with a comprehensive sweet of supporting warmachines with thunderers covering them and the more esoteric gunlines: skaven, TK and Bretonians. There are cannons to smash through monsters and heavy infantry, mortars and stonethrowers to smash our block units to bits, hellblasters and organ guns to finish you off when you get close and then the units of gunners/archers open up and finish you off... its almost enough to make you sink to your needs and cry, almost.

... and yet gunlines aren't thought of as the most powerful of armies. I guess there must be some tactics for dealing with them. If you are one of the enlightened who has managed to work out how to face gunlines without getting smashed to little pieces please share your knowledge with your brother heretics...

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-11, 11:05 AM
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one of the most effective armys i have used against a gunline has to be BEASTMEN with ambush works a treat.

and theres a magic item that helps beastmen players that when used for a turn all missile troops are at -1 to hit and things like cannons/stonethrowers need a 4+ to fire
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-11, 11:13 AM
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I usually deploy my chameleons/terradons in a way that I can get to the major threats (cannons, organ gun, stone throwers) in my first turn (ideally the top of the first turn). If I can get my scouts into the back field, that is great. If not, I will deploy 12 inches in front of my target. I usually take at least 2 units of chameleons (at least 6 per unit). If I feel like I may see a lot of war machines, I will take 3 or 4 units of chameleons (I have 30 plus the named one).

Beyond that, I try to get into combat as quickly as possible. Also, the spells Pha's protection and Iceshard Blizzard are great for shutting down a shooting army.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-11, 11:30 AM
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For warriors of chaos the answer is Wulfrik the wanderer and a horde of Maruaders. Now the gunline has to do the one thing it hates to counter - Movement! at which point is sacraficing either its accuracy or the entire turn shooting.

As an empire player numbers are our strongpoint and the ability to actually shoot back!

Daemons - speed and survivability. Bloodletters and Daemonettes rush the front although only toughness 3 they will always get their 5+ ward save. Supported by flesh hounds the opponent really then has to think hard on what hes going to shoot and how much fire to pour in to the units.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-11, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Against standard gunlines I normally combine the range of glade guard with the potential of dryads. The dryads run at handgunners/archers and rely on long range, skirmishing, cover and stand and shoot modifiers to minimise hits, and T4 5++ to minimise how many models I lose. Dryads are cheap but quickly look intimidating... so I can afford to lose a unit or 2 of them drawing fire (though they'll often survive). The glade guard have a range of 30", which means I can sit at long range and laugh at handgunners... though I prefer it when I can sit out of handgunner range and pelt warmachines: the change up for 4/5+ to wound to 6+ is pretty minimal, and only needing to inflict 2-3 wounds means war machines die pretty fast to glade guard shooting (and I run 3*10 units as standard).

Of course thats only the core of my army... I'll still have eagles, waywatchers and occasionally glade riders (used to use them a lot.. not so much anymore) hunting warmachines in combat (waywatchers march up shooting, then charge).


I played a nasty empire gunline at 2k yesterday: 2 blocks of 27 handgunners (yeah, I dont know why either), 2 detachments of 10 handgunners, 3 cannons, 3 mortars, 2 hellblasters a general, BSB and 3 units of outriders.
My WE were: Sisters of Twilight on eagle, BSB with sniper weapons, lv2 mage with hail of doom, 3*10 glade guard, 5 waywatchers, 2*5 wardancers, 2*12 dryads, eagle and a treeman.
- I hid my sisters behind a building so she couldn't get cannoned and my treeman advanced behind stonewalls and hills while my drads ran at his handgunners and my glade guard massacred the outriders (after my eagle and wardancers had made them run away from endless charges- had them almost going in circles). My eagle and waywatchers got into his warmachines and started tearing them apart (would have liked glade guard to help but mortars had torn them to shreds- I had 11 left after turn 3).
1 unit of dryads got mushed (I pulled last 4 back to not give away VP) while the other charged and beat one of the big units of gunners (with the general) and after I had already won a Blood and Glory victory we kept playing, my treeman getting into the second unit of hangunners (he had been protected by A Hidden Path spell most of the game: immunity to non-magical shooting), although the 1 turn I failed to get the spell through was the turn before he charged... when he took 5 wounds and almost died (though a close range hail of doom followed by the trrman charge ended the second unit of gunners).
We called it turn 5 with only 1 detachment of gunners and 1 cannon left alive... my army seemed pretty dead too, but that was because I had lost huge chunks of each unit... but almost no complete units (lost an eagle, a unit of glade guard ran off the board and my sisters got killed by a cannon after I had 'won'... thought I would overrun into the last cannon to stop it firing, and failed, but if I was playing seriously they would have stayed in hiding).

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-11, 02:41 PM
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As skaven I use gutter runners to take care of war machines and night runners with a warp grinder to take care of ranged blocks. If there is something particularly nasty I will run either a giant rat block or my doom wheel back to engage whatever it is.

I have found with Gun lines I have to be alot more proactive. I usually don't advance my rats right into combat I like to see what my opponent plans to target and set up favorable combats. Which I can still do in part I always take storm banner which so far has always lasted atleast until my opponents 2 turn so it buys me some time. Plus I will make sure some one has howling warp gale and try to get my opponent to use his dispel dice on something else. Combined that is a -3 on bs shooting and all war machines need to roll a 4+ before firing.

In any case you need to get any war machines in combat fast. Use fliers scouts ambushers or fast cavalry. Also most ranged troops are horrible at CC so you can just march your infantry right into them.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-11, 05:20 PM
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Generally, one can do quite good if you prepare beforehand, by taking a generalist list that has flankers/warmachine hunters. However, I do play Dark Elves, who are very vulnerable to gunlines.

Dark magic is usually a good way to deal with gunlines. Preventing units from shooting, making them be BS1, the best Warmachine killing spell in the game. We have some potent tools.

With my Lizardmen, I just kind of rush them, throwing as many skinks as I can at the warmachines, and letting my big units take the brunt, as they're tough enough to handle it.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-17-11, 07:37 AM
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Gunlines can be divided into two distinct types and with 8th edition one has become deadly while the other is a bit of a bogey man imo.

1). Warmachines in 8th are now deadly to those who ignore them.

A). Most players are now used to having attacks on their war machines as they have come a long way since 7th. Empire Mortars are the bane of block troops and most skaven players cry when 2 or 3 are placed down. Do not ignore them, but work out 1 or 2 units that are war machine hunters. Things like Harpies for Dark Elves are awesome for this.

B). Know your rules and who can fight and who cannot. Don't send 50 Halberds to fight the crew... you can fight in a limited capacity so that hunters of war machines can and should be tooled to taking them out.

C). Some players still keep their warmachines grouped... if they do look at roll up ops, in essence a unit kills a war machine and moves to the next. So ensure they are tough enough to take on 2 or 3 at a time if your opponent has created a firing pit or line.


The second type is the bogey man......

8th edition has changed movement so dramatically and placement that getting to grips with your opponent is now the easiest way to deal with handgunners and other ranged units. You cannot outshoot Dark Elf Repeater crossbows so do not try.... get to them and get into them so they stop shooting.

Having units even small ones that charge forward to engage units that are shooting like mad at you will tie them up so the main force can move forward. In the Empire case Milita units 10 or 15 strong moving relentlessly forward in front of an arch lector will do the trick or Dark Elf Shades, Dark Elf Witches 6 strong... etc can tie up those pesky handgunners, repeater cross bow, dwarves etc.

Lastly always remember your shooting rules and terrain sometimes that -1 or so makes a huge difference and also consider the troops before you. HE are the best shooters I have faced. But they cannot do the numbers consistently so getting big blocks in their face stop them shooting and then its the battle of attrition that you will eventually win.

Lexi.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-22-11, 09:25 AM
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My army list has been adapted to include this tactic with wulfrick for his sea fang special rule to stop their big blocks of archers or annihilate their war machines then a hell cannon to help crush other war machines.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-22-11, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosDefilerofUlthuan View Post
My army list has been adapted to include this tactic with wulfrick for his sea fang special rule to stop their big blocks of archers or annihilate their war machines then a hell cannon to help crush other war machines.
1. Wulfrik is probably a big investment to kill warmachines. I recall him being quite expensive.

2. How the hell does a Hell-cannon kill warmachines? It should be killing infantry.

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