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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-07-12, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Default Fixing Cannons

I'm a pretty big fan of 8th edition, but there's one aspect of it that I can't stop thinking is completely broken. CANNONS! My problems with cannons are many, but these are the most glaring:

1. They are far too accurate. Since you know that the most you can roll on an artillery die is a 10, its just a simple matter of placing the marker 10" away from the back base edge of your target. They find their mark way more often than stone throwers.

2. They are far too powerful. I'm actually okay with them being S10, but their ability to do 6 Wounds in one shot makes them heinously good at killing monsters and other multi-wound entities.

3. They are way too cheap. They can often be purchased for under 100 points, which is ususally 2 or 3 times less than the targets they take out.

These three points combined to create the perfect storm of death that really hinders a lot of creativity in army lists. I have seen many a gamer begrudgingly pass up a cool centerpiece model because it will get shot to death by cannons. I, too, have often left my FW Verminlord at home because he'll just end up being a huge number of VP for my opponent when he hits it with a cannon.

So, I have a few solutions. Were any one of those 3 points to change, cannons would be in the perfect butter zone of dangerous, but not game-alteringly broken.

1. Here is my solution to make cannons less accurate, while still keeping the overall process of firing the cannon the same. After initially placing the marker, roll the Artillery die and a D6. If the D6 result is a 4+, move the cannon ball marker toward the target a number of inches shown on the Artillery die. If the D6 result is a 1-3, move the cannonball marker toward the cannon a number of inches shown on the D6.

This won't make the cannon horribly inaccurate, but will prevent firing a cannon becoming an exercise in using a tape measure for an (almost) guaranteed hit.

2. Instead of the cannon doing Multiple Wounds (D6), it instead does Multiple Wounds (D3+1). A wound range of 2-4 is still more powerful than other war machines, yet not so powerful that your much more expensive monster will be splattered by it in a single hit.

3. Simply increase the points of the cannon. I'd say anywhere from 150 - 200 would be a good range, since most targets that cost more than that will generally have some form of Ward save to protect them.

Now, mind you, i'm not suggesting all three of these changes be made. That would significantly underpower cannons. I think only one of these changes needs to be made, and I like option 1 the best out of all of them.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-07-12, 08:00 PM
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I completely agree with everything, baring the Multiple Wounds and price increase. They should have a set multiple wounds IMO, of 2-3. The main reason theyre so cheap is because the struggle to deal with hordes because they will take away as as many models as ranks, but that will be around 10-20 points. So againts elite armies that are great but hordes really diminish ability.
I am also not a fan of S10. Maybe use the stone thrower rules: Model hit but it after it lands for the first time it should down to S6 or somethng, or maybe even have an I test with a modifier to avoid it, because it is, after all, rolling along the ground.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-08-12, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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I am also not a fan of S10. Maybe use the stone thrower rules: Model hit but it after it lands for the first time it should down to S6 or somethng, or maybe even have an I test with a modifier to avoid it, because it is, after all, rolling along the ground.
I had thought about that too. It could work like the warp lightning cannon for skaven, where the Strength of the cannnon ball after the bounce is determined by the Artillery die roll. So if it bounces 2", its S2, if it bounces 10", its S10. I feel like this adds some realism as well. Obviously if it is only bouncing 2" after sailing 30+", it got a bad bounce and lost a lot of momentum, while a 10" bounce means it skipped off the ground and is still moving quite fast.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-08-12, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Archaon18 View Post
The main reason theyre so cheap is because the struggle to deal with hordes because they will take away as as many models as ranks, but that will be around 10-20 points. So againts elite armies that are great but hordes really diminish ability.
That's all well and good, but I don't know a single player who takes a cannon to kill rank-and-file hordes. So justifying its low points by comparing it to something it's not meant to do doesn't really make much sense to me.

I can suppose I can see the point that if it costs a lot more, and the opponent doesn't have a cannon, then its a more significant loss. However, that's no different than the current problem whereby anyone who brings a monster (or some other big expensive model) can pretty much chalk it up as a loss if the opponent has a cannon. And right now, the 200+ points lost from the monster is way more than the 90 lost from a less effective cannon.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-08-12, 05:57 PM
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I agree that cannons are too powerful but that is a combination of people still not playing 8th edition the way the book intended with terrain. We still need a rock-paper scissors type of environment to deal with terrorgheists, hydras, and arach spiders. Thus, I do not agree with nerfing cannons. In the new empire book, the issue is now partially addressed by increasing the points costs and requiring that the engineer declare in advance which war machine he is attending to, reducing the potential re-rolls of misfires. I suspect we will see a similar approach with dwarf runes and cannons when that book is revised. The Ogre ironblaster is still an issue with the ability to roll twice on the bounce but it does not get to re-roll misfires and can miss.

I play a Keeper of Secrets in my Daemon army and I constantly complain when tournaments use 7th edition terrain and players want to play on a pool table essentially. I run a unit of 3 fiends as a screen and it sometimes helps but not entirely. However, when I play in our campaign group the Ogre, dwarf or empire players, I usually have no complaints because we created a random terrain chart and have the ability to place terrain. When I run or local 3 round-one day tourneys, I always put 7 to 8 items of terrain on the table with a mix of the terrain types (river,pond or marsh; obstacle in fence or wall, buidling, impassible terrain feature, forest, and hills). Nothing should be overdone (no terrain feature longer than 12" to 14" and wider than 4" to 6") and the terrain needs to be spaced out (I put one terrain item is each and items not placed in the backs of the deployment zones. One building (buidlings are impassible terrain when not being assaulted or entered and thus stop cannonballs), one impassible terrain feature, and one obstacle (fence or wall), and decent sized hill that actually can block line of sight (make it like a tall butte with a flat top or a series of steps with foam supports to stablize units on it) and the cannnon balls are no longer rediculously effective. The tourney I just played made hills block line of sight to all but large targets because its 7th edition hills were too low (only a half inch high due to 7th edition virtual LOS rules and desire to avoid models tipping over when partially on the hill). I played empire, dwarf and Ogres all with two cannons each and only lost the Keeper of Secrets once and that was on a table with no obstacles or buildings on it.

Last edited by olderplayer; 08-08-12 at 06:06 PM.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-09-12, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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That's great that you have a gaming group that actually uses terrain effectively, but as you said, most tournaments leave the battlefield completely bare. Additionally, the rules for deploying terrain leaves a huge margin for open battlefields as well.

I played a pickup game against a Dwarf gunline once where we actually used the terrain deployment rules. Whenever it was his turn to deploy a piece of scenery, he just took the biggest LoS blocking piece and placed it in the extreme corner of the map, leaving our battlefield very exposed, even though we had generated 8 pieces of terrain. It was all legit by the book, but I still ended up with no cover from cannons.

I too agree that a rock(cannon), paper(infantry), scissors(monsters) environment is good for the game, but there is a problem when paper and scissors both cost significantly more points than rock.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-09-12, 09:25 PM
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While I must agree on the necessity of terrain, I want to point out that there is a flip side on the other extreme. Armies that need their cannons to kill, say, a Keeper of Secrets, will find too much terrain to be just as unfair as they cannot target greater demons that have cover up to charge range and further cannot be target them while they are munching through regiments of humans one after the other using the combat, break, pursue combo to stay in combat or behind terrain/enemy units for cover.

Although the cannons may be too cheap, they cannot move or stand-and-shoot so they can be neutralized altogether by terrain placement. HiveMinder, I sympathize with the legal cheese you faced and I wasn't there, but it seems that if you were alternating terrain placement certainly you could have grabbed one of those big pieces and placed them in the middle, no? Or somewhere equally as irritating to the stunties or beneficial to you? If you couldn't block LOS with 8 pieces of terrain than it seems to me that the problem is with the terrain or the terrain placement rules, not the cannons.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-25-13, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiveMinder View Post
1. Here is my solution to make cannons less accurate, while still keeping the overall process of firing the cannon the same. After initially placing the marker, roll the Artillery die and a D6. If the D6 result is a 4+, move the cannon ball marker toward the target a number of inches shown on the Artillery die. If the D6 result is a 1-3, move the cannonball marker toward the cannon a number of inches shown on the D6.

This won't make the cannon horribly inaccurate, but will prevent firing a cannon becoming an exercise in using a tape measure for an (almost) guaranteed hit.
I like this.. It doesn't totally fix the cannon, but I can get behind this one no issues.
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