Blunderbuss Blunder?

Moderators: KevinC, mattbird

Blunderbuss Blunder?

Postby Matt » Mon May 18, 2009 11:58 pm

After my game against empire, it got me thinking that the whole approach to the blunderbuss might not be right.
At one point in the game, 7 surviving chaos dwarves (5 wide), turned to their right (1/4 their movement), wheeled for 3/4" of an inch, and then added 5 models to their front rank, making them 7 wide.
The resulting fire down the flank killed over 20 empire models. This giant box of death sprayed through two and a half units, and parts of detachments.

This much firepower from an unit that had taken moderate losses (started at 14 models), just doesn't seem right.

In addition to complex rules problems caused by the shooting box, the blunderbuss seems unfairly effective against larger units of infantry. From some reason, a 15 wide unit of blunderbusses will fire with the same effect against a single target as 5 survivors shooting at the same single target.

I'm wondering if the whole shooting box should be reconsidered.

While I should have been working to day, I bounced around a few ideas.
Idea 1)
Blunderbuss. 16" range, S3*, penetrates ranks, scatter shot.
A blunderbuss has no penalty for range, or skirmishers, but suffers other shooting penalties as normal (cover, moving, ect).
A unit firing blunderbusses fire at +1 strength for every rank of 5 or more behind the 1st. (no upper limit on strength)
For each modeled killed by blunderbuss fire, roll to wound again, at 1 lower strength, following the normal penetrating ranks rule.
Against large targets, or targets on hills, re-roll failed rolls to hit (as the 2nd rank on back has a better view than normal).

-Matt
Matt
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 10:51 am

Re: Blunderbuss Blunder?

Postby DarkbloodSkullpulper » Tue May 19, 2009 12:29 am

Matt wrote:After my game against empire, it got me thinking that the whole approach to the blunderbuss might not be right.
At one point in the game, 7 surviving chaos dwarves (5 wide), turned to their right (1/4 their movement), wheeled for 3/4" of an inch, and then added 5 models to their front rank, making them 7 wide.
The resulting fire down the flank killed over 20 empire models. This giant box of death sprayed through two and a half units, and parts of detachments.

This much firepower from an unit that had taken moderate losses (started at 14 models), just doesn't seem right.

-Matt


The moral of the story, don't walk in front of blunderbusses. Unless the enemy had 80 naked models in the kill box, this result was more luck than the blunderbusses being overpowered.

The fact remains, blunderbusses are nasty against ranked units, but if the enemy has high T or low AS, then it takes a 3-deep blunderbuss unit to do serious damage.
DarkbloodSkullpulper
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun May 17, 2009 8:45 pm

Re: Blunderbuss Blunder?

Postby Alric » Tue May 19, 2009 5:22 am

Matt wrote:After my game against empire, it got me thinking that the whole approach to the blunderbuss might not be right.
At one point in the game, 7 surviving chaos dwarves (5 wide), turned to their right (1/4 their movement), wheeled for 3/4" of an inch, and then added 5 models to their front rank, making them 7 wide.
The resulting fire down the flank killed over 20 empire models. This giant box of death sprayed through two and a half units, and parts of detachments.
This much firepower from an unit that had taken moderate losses (started at 14 models), just doesn't seem right.
In addition to complex rules problems caused by the shooting box, the blunderbuss seems unfairly effective against larger units of infantry. From some reason, a 15 wide unit of blunderbusses will fire with the same effect against a single target as 5 survivors shooting at the same single target.
-Matt

Thats sounds like some very very good BS3 to hit dice rolls as well as good S3 wound rolls (for 1 rank of 7 blunderbusses) , I'd hang onto those dice. How many enemy models were in the firing box to start with ? Also you did only roll once to hit and wound for each enemy model in the firing box ? Enemies in the box can only be hit once regardless of the number of blunderbusses firing from the same unit.
Alric
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 12:32 am

Re: Blunderbuss Blunder?

Postby MantisZero » Tue May 19, 2009 12:59 pm

Alric has a good point... sounds like a turn of insane dice rolling!
MantisZero
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:35 pm

Re: Blunderbuss Blunder?

Postby Matt » Wed May 20, 2009 12:45 am

The fire box caught two units of 25, part of a unit of 18, and part of two 9 man detachments.

I advanced my disposable infantry to within charge range, and march blocked him. I lined up his pursuit to miss my blunderbusses, but be in line with my warmachines deeper in my backfield. After punishing his infantry with warmachine fire, and march blocking him, he jumped at the chance to charge.

He broke me with easy (detachment flank charge, along with flagellants in the front). The frenzied flagellants had to pursue. He had the option to try and hold back the rest, and be marched blocked and fired upon more, or chase with everyone. He chased with everyone, wiping out two out of 3 blocks of dirt cheap infantry.

The down side for him was he was forced to squeeze in to maximize contact in combat, and the overrun left him very bunched up.

Now, he thought he was safely out of arc of vision, so I executed a turn, a wheel (easy to wheel when you are only 2 wide) and then expanded frontage. None of this is a "reform" so I was free to shoot. I think the total count was around ~70 shots, most on very poorly armored humans. If the blunder busses failed, I would have had clear shots with death rockets on the following two turns. I was actually planning on moving the bolt thrower "bait" off the back of the hill and out of line of sight, if his infantry posed a real threat, giving me yet another turn of shooting.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Expanding frontage is quite useful with blunderbusses. I've done it once before, against skaven. I deployed 3 units of 15, each 3 deep. Hobgoblin fast cav would advance and march block, then flee the charge. As the skaven very slowly closed in, I went wide, adding 10 to my frontage. This turned my three units, each 4" wide, into 36" of width. 36" wide and 12" deep is a hideous fire zone against infantry. The zone wasn't quite this big. The outside units where angled in slightly, so some models were in more than one box.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I really don't like the mechanic where a guy point blank is hit on a 4+, and another guy, with 13 friends in front of is just as likely to be hit, at the same strength. That just isn't how human shields work. If you are the 14th back, you shouldn't be as likely to be hit, or hit as hard. This is the reason the dwarven Goblin Hewer was FAQ's to limit the depth of effect. In practice, anything that actually gets BETTER against medium or large sized units is generally bad for the game.


-Matt
Matt
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 10:51 am

Re: Blunderbuss Blunder?

Postby Alric » Wed May 20, 2009 7:17 am

The blunderbuss has a short range and to get a large front you scarifice weapon str, and armor save mods, which greatly reduces overall effectiveness. In the example above your opponent managed to get 80% of the possible targets shot at and used + 80% of the firing box doing so, and his losses were about 29% which was still above avgerage in losses even. My experinece in battles has been opponents avoid giving me an opportunity at such efficient use of the firing box. :shock:
Alric
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 12:32 am

Re: Blunderbuss Blunder?

Postby Alric » Wed May 20, 2009 7:34 am

Matt wrote:I really don't like the mechanic where a guy point blank is hit on a 4+, and another guy, with 13 friends in front of is just as likely to be hit, at the same strength. That just isn't how human shields work. If you are the 14th back, you shouldn't be as likely to be hit, or hit as hard. This is the reason the dwarven Goblin Hewer was FAQ's to limit the depth of effect. In practice, anything that actually gets BETTER against medium or large sized units is generally bad for the game.
Matt


Another way of putting it is ,for a group at close range the guys up front have a 50% chance or more of being missed and the guys in the back have a 50% chance or more of being missed even if all of them are at close range.

"When a blunderbuss regiment fires a volley the whole zone to its front is filled with spinning razor sharp pieces of iron which spread out covering a broad front.As the enemy are hit and slain, more slicing metal ploughs into the ranks behind, causing untold devastation to all foes unfortunate enough to be close. Blunderbusses have only a very short range, as all the energy of the shot is dispersed over a short distance, but within this range they can be deadly."
Alric
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 12:32 am

Re: Blunderbuss Blunder?

Postby Grimstonefire » Wed May 20, 2009 7:46 am

I never really liked the idea that a missile unit would always fire straight ahead, not aiming for anything in particular.

Personally I would drop the fire zone and just have them aiming at an enemy as normal.
Grimstonefire
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:49 am

Re: Blunderbuss Blunder?

Postby mattbird » Wed May 20, 2009 10:10 am

I think the BB rules can be simplified, if nothing else. Rolling all those dice, figuring out fire zones, all a pain in the ass. I seriously spend waay too much time figuring shit out in the movement and shooting phase, and it slows the game down unnecessarily.

proposal:

Blunderbuss
12" range
str 3. Add +1 str per current rank bonus up to +2 maximum.
May move and shoot with no penalties.

The unit may either roll to hit normally (1 shot for each model in front rank) OR may fire a special blunderbuss grapeshot attack.

Blunderbuss Grapeshot
Target an enemy unit or model as per the normal targeting rules. Instead of rolling to hit as normal, roll a D6 for each model in the targeted enemy unit. Models are hit on a roll of 4+.
jer732 wrote:Birdoff makes me want to rage quit life
mattbird
 
Posts: 5595
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:25 pm

Re: Blunderbuss Blunder?

Postby Alric » Wed May 20, 2009 11:13 am

mattbird wrote:I think the BB rules can be simplified, if nothing else. Rolling all those dice, figuring out fire zones, all a pain in the ass. I seriously spend waay too much time figuring shit out in the movement and shooting phase, and it slows the game down unnecessarily.

proposal:

Blunderbuss
12" range
str 3. Add +1 str per current rank bonus up to +2 maximum.
May move and shoot with no penalties.

The unit may either roll to hit normally (1 shot for each model in front rank) OR may fire a special blunderbuss grapeshot attack.

Blunderbuss Grapeshot
Target an enemy unit or model as per the normal targeting rules. Instead of rolling to hit as normal, roll a D6 for each model in the targeted enemy unit. Models are hit on a roll of 4+.


Looks better , add line of site , range for "grapeshot attack" and cover rules for all of the above should do it. ( "grapeshot attack with move and fire may need some play testing)
Alric
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 12:32 am

Next

Return to General discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron