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AoS Dealing with Hellcannons: Are they really that bad?

Discussion in 'Understanding the Underworlds' started by Infernal Skull, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. Infernal Skull

    Infernal Skull Wight King

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    I keep hearing about how devastating and broken Chaos Hellcannons are, but I've faced them a few times now (three different games, same opponent with one cannon in a 1100 point list) and had no problems dealing with them.

    A Tomb Scorpion seems to do the trick– Deploy underground and then pop up 6" away and charge the crew. They're usually taken out within a round of combat, especially with the TS attacks doing 3 or D3 wounds. The cannon itself usually survives the battle, but without a crew, it loses its two D6 mortal wound shots.

    Has the Hellcannon been a problem for any of you? How have you dealt with it? Have I just been lucky or playing someone who simply doesn't know how to protect their cannon properly?
     
  2. Mad 'At

    Mad 'At Dumb enough to work Staff Member True Blood

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    Moving this to Understanding the Underworld.
     
  3. Alabaster427

    Alabaster427 Minister of Thriftiness True Blood

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    I think it hurts other armies more. Undead are pretty versatile and are more likely to weaken or remove it quickly. Sylvaneth should also be pretty effective at removing them with the reserves coming in anywhere there's a forest and being able to teleport. I've only heard sluggish army players complain about it, but haven't faced one yet.
     
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  4. Malisteen

    Malisteen Vampire Count True Blood

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    As with most artillery, they're a lot worse when spammed. And while tomb scorpions are a great trick against any crewed artillery, it generally doesn't take cannon spammers long to realize they need to bubble-wrap their field pieces when playing against you, and as soon as they do, that trick's done.

    Once that happens... yeah. The hell cannon can be a real problem. with 3 on the table, you're talking an average output of 14 mortal wounds a turn, more when firing at units of 20+ models, from 48" away. We don't have much that can take that kind of damage, especially when you consider that their first target will be your commander, which they will happily snipe right out of your battle line, with enough mortal wounds to have a good chance of dropping even our larger monstrous commanders in a single volley.

    Not that we don't have ways to fight them, but yeah. One, isolated Hell Cannon isn't hardly a bother at all, but a bubble-wrapped battery of them is seriously bad news.
     
  5. Unas the slayer

    Unas the slayer Black Knight

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    Malisteen is right, a single Hell Cannon is not a big problem... and shouldn't be for anyone.
    Almost all armies got different ways to deal with warmachines, assassinating the crews.
    Order got Stormcasts' teleport, Seraphons' chameleon skinks or shadowtrike starhost, Dwarfs' rangers of Bugman and so on.
    Destruction got Doom Diver catapult, Sabres with Icebrow hunter...

    The problem is with 2-3 cannons screened by other units, that makes impossible for Scorpions to charge, so we must use shooting.
    There are Tomb Kings' Stalkers (but they're not a so great unit), or you can summon a banshee near the cannons, but results are uncertain, and in any case you are only going to soften the problem. A general with Ruler of the Night may help you survive the first cannonade.
     
  6. Malisteen

    Malisteen Vampire Count True Blood

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    Stalkers don't do even close to enough damage - averaging only a single mortal wound inflicted per stalker for an expensive unit of 3. Our archers aren't so hot, but they are summonable, and buffable, but even then you're likely to end up spending 200 points and considerable attention from your commander and mages to take out a single artillery crew. We can also put out a battery of our own artillery via the skull catapult, which is extra lousy on its own, but 2 to 3 with a necrotect between them can put some hurt out, but then you just end up deciding who wins artillery dominance based on first turn roll, which isn't ideal. Neither are banshees/terrorgheists, since the cannons outrange and happily kill them. Neither is just toughing it out with Ruler of the Night, because the cannons will pick out your commander first.

    Frankly, though, this isn't just a problem with hell cannons, though they are a notable example due to their very high damage output. Rather, this is a problem with artillery spam in general in AoS. It's just too strong in general, even with the matched play cap on total number of artillery pieces.
     
  7. Unas the slayer

    Unas the slayer Black Knight

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    Artillery is strong, but it was also in 8th, maybe even more.

    There are 2 things (IMO) that are scarier / stronger in AoS
    1) you have armies that can enter in melee since turn 1: Sylvaneth, Beastclaw riders, Seraphon, Stormcasts... and when those guys field formations, they can also start first.
    2) shooting in general, with units that can fire in CC, or that can fire to units already in CC. And the "light" shooting (that often involves units capable of dealing mortal wounds) is even less counterable than cannons, which at least have their weak points... but when you face 30 dwarfs thunderers that shoot at 22" with rend -2, you just eat lead.

    AoS is often a sort of rock/paper/scissors.
     
  8. Malisteen

    Malisteen Vampire Count True Blood

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    Strong artillery is a subset of the even larger strong shooting problem, yes.
     
  9. Infernal Skull

    Infernal Skull Wight King

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    Wow. Glad nobody at the store plays Dwarfs. O.O

    Our games have been around 1000 points, so 2 Hellcannons would be more than half the army. I'm looking at the AGK's ability to summon 10 ghouls on the board edge (without a spell roll). They could pop in and go after the cannon(s).

    I think a straight TK army would have a better chance against multiple Hellcannons due to the TK's ability to counter-shoot with archers, skull catapults, and all the tunneling/ flying high units they can field.
     
  10. Malisteen

    Malisteen Vampire Count True Blood

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    outflanked ghouls suffer the same sort of screening issues as scorpions.

    Honestly, the fact that you can effectively screen against melee threats, but not ranged threats, is basically the reason that ranged attacks are a problem in this game. There's basically nothing you can do about them, other than field your own.
     
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  11. Infernal Skull

    Infernal Skull Wight King

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    [QUOTE="Malisteen, post: 444748, member: 1881"Honestly, the fact that you can effectively screen against melee threats, but not ranged threats, is basically the reason that ranged attacks are a problem in this game. There's basically nothing you can do about them, other than field your own.[/QUOTE]

    Yeah, you can't hide characters in units, or keep a unit safe from shooting by getting it into combat. Honestly I think the Beastclaw Raiders are worse. just faced a 1000 point list consisting of:

    Frostlord on Stonehorn
    Thundertusk Beastrider
    and a unit of 2 Mournfangs

    18" shot from the Thundertusk that inflicts a flat SIX mortal wounds. And the Frostlord can dish out upwards of 50 wounds on the charge but has a decent save and halves all incoming wounds. FUCK that.
     
  12. Unas the slayer

    Unas the slayer Black Knight

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    Curiously, I was discussing this exact topic in this thread. ;)
     
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  13. Malisteen

    Malisteen Vampire Count True Blood

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    I posted in the other thread, but if your not averse to obvious cheese lists or the use of special characters, you might try combatting them with some settra-empowered necropolis knights. Something like:

    Settra
    2x tomb heralds on steed, one with cursed book
    2x 10 zombies
    6 necropolis knights

    Settra gives the necroknights +1 to hit (big with necrovenom), +1 to wound, x2 movement, and flying. The heralds, combined with the necroknights' own banner, give them up to 3 models recursion in each of your hero phases, on models with 5 wounds, 5+ save (4+ in close combat), and the 6++ faction save if you keep them in range of your heroes. They'll reliably drop the thundertusk in a single round, and barring unlucky double turns can win out against the rest through recursion, and maybe some melee support from settra once everything's tied down and the frostlord won't be able to pick him out.

    I'd like to get a necromancer in there as well, since the knights are a legal target for vanhels, but the points just doesn't work out, not without dropping both heralds, which I think would be a mistake.

    Super cheesy and aesthetically displeasing list, though.
     
  14. Oppenheimer

    Oppenheimer Crypt Horror

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    It sucks to have 7ish mortal wounds on a big unit or 4ish mortal wounds on a small unit. But, with death we can regenerate that. It's 300 points and has the ability to move out of range of its handlers and not be able to fire. I think it's okay. It's just kind of scary before you see it in action.
     
  15. Infernal Skull

    Infernal Skull Wight King

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    I was playing around with some positioning, and it's very easy to mitigate the "Uncaged" Fury. If the crew is in front of it, the hellcannon will have to move 4" to the side and then, even if it rolled a 12 will move 8 inches forward, and the back end will still be close enough for the crew to walk forward and be within 1" Then they can cycle back to in front of it next turn, and maybe have the machine back up a bit if you don't need that +1 to hit. It can still shoot if it moves.
     
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  16. Oppenheimer

    Oppenheimer Crypt Horror

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    The crew in front is a good idea. But, I assumed that failing the roll and moving was its move for the movement phase so it can't move back in that phase.

    Edit: nevermind. I misread. You meant move back on the next turn. I guess that's fair. Better to loose the +1 then not to be able to fire.
     

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