View Full Version : I don't get rocket battery popularity...

08-02-2008, 01:04
hey warseer
I admit that I am new to empire and I see many players using rocket batteries but I am confused as to why. I understand that the weapon is strong but it seems so unpredictable to be reliable. I get that hellblasters will inevitably have fewer shots than desired, but with the amount of scatters involved in rocket batteries I fail to see a major upside with them.

08-02-2008, 01:25
Because they have the potential for a direct hit, that i've once killed 14 orcs with (one barrage). Their longer range and scatter force the opponent into moving and spreading out, after all, a scatter can move onto a nearby enemey unit, so its not so bad against packed units.

Guy Fawkes
08-02-2008, 01:35
I find it is a great area-denail tactic. As previously mentioned, few enemies (except those that can't avoid it, like Skaven) will willing cluster up and give you a hit on something when one of those things is on the field. They cost about as much as a Cannon, and unless your opponent takes lots of Monsters or you get those lucky sniper shots, I think a Helstorm will more likely make more points. Nothing can really shrug off its hits and its got a long threat range too.

I've lined up against them a few times (and I have a smallish Empire force also) and can tell you I dread facing those things. They can destroy full squads of Calvary, decimate entire regiments, and just **** you off time and time again. The greatest advantage though, isn't its destructive power - Mortars and Hellblasters do a better job in terms of points, hell, even Handgunners can kill quite a few grunts in their turns of shooting - It's that you stop enemies from taking advantage of a BSB, the General's Leadership, "aura" type abilities, friendly spell ranges, LOS, etc... It's sooooo much easier to take on an opponent's army when your whole army can shoot at something. Opponents who use the "Refused Flank" tactic, which is very effective against many Gunlines (you send all your force up one flank while staying out of range of shooters on the other flank and then overrun/pursue into combat with the whole army or avoid being to the front of the enemy during their turn) will really suffer under a Helstorm.

Sometimes I think it is helpful (because developers, however flawed, rarely put entirely useless choices into an army book), if something looks as though it won't always make its points back under regular game conditions, and it doesn't serve a "support" purpose (like Cannons, Archer detachements, sacrifices, etc...), to think about how it will affect the game in a strategic sense.

08-02-2008, 01:42
Not many war machines have the ability to make practically any ranked unit it hits a non-entity in combat terms. Yes I fear it, and make it a priority to kill it.

08-02-2008, 04:33
I lost 14 elves to a single hit once. Even one hit per game will pay it's price off vs elves and it's even strong enough to trouble my heavy cav.

Then again, even the stupid pigeon bomb is a serious threat to my DE infantry...

08-02-2008, 06:07
It has a high strength when it hits with the template that things like a Mortar can't do. Hit a unit of Orcs, or anything else with T4, dead on with a Mortar and kill 2-3 sucks, with a rocket that will be 12+

08-02-2008, 06:28
The rocket launcher is a risky proposal, but not nearly as random as the hellblaster. As others have said, a solid hit can be devastating to your opponent's army. Generally speaking, if you can manage one hit per game, you've made back your points on it. Against Dwarves its truly a wonder-weapon, as the dwarves tend to cluster up, so a scatter has a good chance of hitting something. Against Skaven and greenskins, you also have a good chance of doing some severe damage. However, against MSU and or elite armies, good luck, and I hope your guesses and dice rolls are perfect.

Jack of Blades
08-02-2008, 07:59
But against MSU and Elite armies, it is much more rewarding. MSU have lots of units so there's more panic tests to take, and Elite armies (like with fear, you don't really care if a unit of Goblins run away but when that's Swordmasters...) will be devastated by a hit, and you will get a few of them in from time to time. For example, you might more reliably hit Goblins, but do you really care when you could hit Swordmasters less often but still hit?

08-02-2008, 08:47
In a nutshell, the Hellstrom Rocket Battery in 7th Edition is the revised Hellblaster of the 6th edition.. How else can you potentially kill 30 models in one shot... 5" template on 20mm models bunched up..

Like it has been said before, one golden shot that's spot on and that unit is toast..
Better than any spell or other war machine in the game..

08-02-2008, 08:53
I've seen one kill an entire unit of HE swordmasters (except the standard bearer) in one shot.
OK they're a little random, but when they work, they're brutal.

08-02-2008, 18:34
If Chuck Norris were ever to get bored with kicking people to death, this is what he would use if he wanted to shoot someone.

08-02-2008, 21:03
I have only played against them once(on lorenz) but the only reason it didn't kill a bunch of my beastmen is because it scattered off.

Against ranked up units it can be horrendous.

09-02-2008, 09:37
I lost a total of 40 Zombies and 16 skeletons in 3 rounds of shooting.

A capricious warmachine (most are) but when it hits the centre of a unit ...

Causa Mortis
09-02-2008, 09:42
It's a bit random for sure. But the large area and power of it makes up for that.

But I think what draws most people to it is it's sheer coolness factor! :)

09-02-2008, 19:06
I'm new (well, returning) to Empire and am trying a list that runs two Rocket Batteries. Played a game against Vampire Counts the other day...

Turn One - First shot missed completely, second shot exploded in mid-air.
Turn Two - First shot landed about 50" from the rocket battery, nowhere near anything at all. It was at this point that my opponent asked me how many points they cost... I told him. He commented that they didn't seem to be very good. The next shot landed bang in the middle of two of his units, killing 17 skeletons and 4 Grave Guard.
Turn Three - One miss, one direct hit on the Grave Guard, killing 9.

Conclusion: They only need to hit once. And they cause fear in Undead :evilgrin:

09-02-2008, 19:09
Fear in the Undead???

Isn't undead immune to Psychology???

Or do you refer just to the face of your mate? :p

09-02-2008, 19:30
I agree with what others have said. Often, value in an item, unit, warmachine (or whatever) isn't as much the statistical damage it will do over the course of a battle, but the potential of what it might do in a worst-case scenario.

I'll throw in a little Dungeons & Dragons parallel for added nerdyness. A greatsword in D&D does 2d6 damage, and has a chance of a critical hit on 10% of the attacks, in which case it will do twice the damage. A great axe on the other hand, does a 1d12 points damage, only scores a potential critical hit on 5% of its attacks, but triples damage when it does.

Now, statistically, a great sword does more damage on average, with its higher base damage and higher rate of crits. Most people go swords for this very reason. However, the axe, with its linear damage range and higher crit multiplier, has a much, much greater chance of scoring really, really huge damage once the odds are with you. And such a crit is very likely to finish off a monster saving yourself a lot of trouble from the get-go.

Same with Warhammer: Often, killing 11 models every second turn is a lot better than killing 6 models every turn. You might force more panic tests, eradicate the entire front rank, get an unbeatable CR in your favour, and so on and so forth.

And that is why the Rocket Battery is so appealing. It might not hit as often as the Helblaster, but when it does, the enemy sure feels it a lot more.