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View Full Version : Dwarfs: Guns Vs. Crossbows and Bolts Vs. Stones



jpf1982
22-12-2008, 16:49
Thunderers Vs. Crossbowmen

Personally I think if absolutely forced to choose I take thunderers. Yes their more expensive; but the +1TH and AP can make the big difference. Needing 4's to hit at long range instead of 5's is huge and they have the same strength but the thunderers give you an additional -1AS. I just feel that the handguns are better even without the extra range.

Bolt Throwers Vs. Grudge Throwers

This is difficult for me. The runes available to Dwarfs make the Grudge Thrower just as good at hitting as a Bolt thrower if not perhaps better; but drastically more expensive as well. The bolt throwers have a little more threat; I think other people will hide their large targets from these more than a grudge thrower; but it's just very difficult. I've found personally that my Grudge Thrower always kills more than my bolt throwers so I guess I'll have to pick it over them.

bork da basher
22-12-2008, 16:56
i take a unit of thunderers and xbows for variety but i prefer thunderers, the extra -1AS makes them able to pick off heavy stuff alot better and +1 to hit is golden. the only drawback is they're not too cheap, the extra range on the xbows is handy but at extreme range they seldom do much damage anyway.

bolt throwers for me everytime, ive tried both and a pair of BT's do so much better than a GT. far more accurate with no need to buy rune upgrades, can pick up two for the price of a runed up grudge thrower easy so you have two warmachines over one and thus one more option in the shooting phase plus 2 machines only take up 1 special slot. great for bringing down monsters, ranks and armoured targets alike. i never use my dwarfs without a pair of these

Dragon Prince of Caledor
22-12-2008, 17:06
I take both the quarrelers with great weapons are more versatile.

Asurasan
22-12-2008, 18:05
Having put my fair bit of time playing against Dwarf Armies I have a grudging respect for both. My friend usually takes them in pairs to shoot at my elven archers who are usually targeting his thunderers.

Against my at-most heavy Armor Army and elite units the guns hurt something fierce if he gets too many rounds of shooting off against me. But they are difficult to support unless you happen to have a hill to sit them on in a ranked formation.

Also, as for the Bolt Thrower vs Stone Thrower. I see bolt throwers frequently because they tend to be fairly reliable and usually make their points back quickly as long as there is an Engineer with them to boost the BS.

Guy Fawkes
04-01-2009, 09:44
While I feel that taking both Guns and Crossbows if possible to be the best choice, I side with Crossbows if you can only take one.

First, they are cheaper. This means that although Thunderers will have more powerful shots with armor piercing, you will have more Crossbows. Second, they are better in close combat. Admittedly this comes up infrequently, but I do respect that utility. However, I find the 30" range to be the biggest bonus for the Quarrelers. It allows you more freedom during deployment. It allows you to shoot whether you get first or second turn. It allows you an extra turn of shooting sometimes, which can be far more advantageous than the more powerful Thunderers. Finally, you can shoot other Handgunners, Archers, and oftentimes Warmachines that aren't very deep into the deployment zone with impunity. This is is the big one because generally anything will nick a rank off most infantry, which is what you want when shooting at infantry - a future +1 or +2 CR against that block when close combat breaks out. However, it is generally far more lucrative to take out the crew of a cannon, a lone Wizard, or the more expensive (and easier to panic) shooters in the enemy's deployment zone. Thunderers and Quarrelers will both do terribly against heavily armored units, like Knights, and monsters. Those are what warmachines are for. Thunderers will fare a bit better against stock infantry, but almost anything kills these dime-a-dozen meat shields anyways. Quarrelers offer a niche no other unit in the Dwarf army list can fill.

Bolt Throwers and Grudge Throwers are both useful. However, I feel that Bolt Throwers are more essential to a Dwarf army than any stone thrower is. Bolt Throwers are cheaper and more efficient with special choices, being 2-for-1. They benefit from Engineers and runes just like Grudge Throwers. However, Grudge Throwers are useful for blasting a big hunk out of basic infantry - a role that Thunderers and Quarrelers fill. Bolt Throwers are "can-openers" if you will, able to split heavy troops, and especially expensive Knights. They can skewer characters like a cannon, but cheaper, and offer real power against Hydras, Giants, and the other monstrous denizens of the Warhammer world. These are tasks Dwarfen infantry can't be assigned to take care of. Bolt Throwers nearly always have something worthwhile to shoot at, while Grudge Throwers can be useless when facing Beastmen, Wood Elves, or most small, elite armies. Things can get inside the minimum range and avoid it. Bolt Throwers make an impact from turn one and will almost always make back their points. They are scary because they can assassinate characters and are the cheapest thing that nullifies armor saves completely. Only against a Skaven "Clanrats, slaves, and crappy troops" list will a Grudgethrower be distinctly more useful than a Bolt Thrower, and against such a list you would probably want neither anyways. Bolt Throwers are more accurate and more reliable - both qualities any true Dwarf would respect.

CHOOBER SNIPES
06-01-2009, 01:05
I have to second the crossbow vote, though I don't play dwarves. Firstly, the lower price means that you are paying less for what is a support unit, which is important. In my eyes, unless playing a gunline, shooters are there to sway battles in your favor rather than directly destroy the opponent. Rarely does a single unit of shooters kill a block of infantry or a whole unit of heavy cavalry. They rather pick off choice targets for +1 CR in the upcoming fights, act as a deterrent against enemy close support (fast cav or flyers in the flanks), and can shoot away at stuff you don't want your warriors to fight (monsters, scary lone characters, etc). In this way they make back their points by allowing other units to perform better (and also in protecting those precious warmachines). That's my 2 cents.

Stuffburger
06-01-2009, 03:11
Playing against dwarves I've had both seriously mess up my best laid plans, but I fear thunderers more than crossbows. Firing at black orcs at short range, a unit of 10 thunderers will hit on 3+, wound on 4+ and the orcs will only get a 6+ AS, for an expected 2.8 kills. Crossbowmen will get 4+/4+/5+, for 1.7 kills, and the disparity will only get worse against more heavily armored units. The sheer killing power outweighs the cost and shorter range in my opinion. That and I once charged a unit of thunderers, panicked due to the S&S, rallied, Charged again, panicked again, fled again...

As for bolt throwers v. stone throwers, they both have their uses and and I would personally use both. A runed and engineered up grudge thrower is devastating to most lists (and a naked one is pretty good against hordey armies), while the bolt thrower is cheap and better against smaller, harder units. If i had to choose one as dwarves though, it would be bolt throwers- dwarves stand up well enough to hordes but heavy cavalry in the wrong spot can wreck havoc if not promptly skewered.

Guy Fawkes
07-01-2009, 11:26
Playing against dwarves I've had both seriously mess up my best laid plans, but I fear thunderers more than crossbows. Firing at black orcs at short range, a unit of 10 thunderers will hit on 3+, wound on 4+ and the orcs will only get a 6+ AS, for an expected 2.8 kills. Crossbowmen will get 4+/4+/5+, for 1.7 kills, and the disparity will only get worse against more heavily armored units. The sheer killing power outweighs the cost and shorter range in my opinion. That and I once charged a unit of thunderers, panicked due to the S&S, rallied, Charged again, panicked again, fled again...

Alright, so Thunderers kill about three Black Orcs while Crossbowmen only kill about two. However, how many times have you been wiped out by either Thunderers or Crossbowmen? The goal wasn't to destroy the Black Orcs totally, but rather to nick off a man or two to rob you of a rank. Also, since the Crossbowmen are cheaper points-wise, it's expected that they will kill less than Thunderers. If you got equal points of both Thunderers and Crossbowmen, I expect that the Thunderers would still get more kills, but that the results would be more even. If you account for the fact that the extra range on Crossbows typically means an extra turn of shooting against infantry, the results would probably be equal for both shooters. But, as I said, the reason you take shooters is to panic small, weak support units and tip combats in your favor by shaving off a rank. Both units are well equipped for this, but Crossbows are cheaper and you can get more of them for the same price, allowing you to shoot at three targets while Thunderers could only shoot at two, etc...

Aeolthir
12-01-2009, 16:29
We need both of them!
If I have to choose, I choose Thunderers. -1 AS and +1 to hit is worth the point.
I did the math a few time and with 10 Thunderer at long range you can expect to kill one (maybe two if you're luncky) heavily armoured cavalery with 1+ AS and with T4 (chaos knight for example). One do not seem a lot but if kill one out of 5 its quite good. Before they charge you could kill 2 or 3 of them and really diminish their impact on the charge, witch can be crucial for CR.
Or better, you could force them to a panic test one or 2 times before they charge.

Storak
12-01-2009, 18:42
While I feel that taking both Guns and Crossbows if possible to be the best choice, I side with Crossbows if you can only take one.

First, they are cheaper. This means that although Thunderers will have more powerful shots with armor piercing, you will have more Crossbows. Second, they are better in close combat. Admittedly this comes up infrequently, but I do respect that utility. However, I find the 30" range to be the biggest bonus for the Quarrelers. It allows you more freedom during deployment. It allows you to shoot whether you get first or second turn. It allows you an extra turn of shooting sometimes, which can be far more advantageous than the more powerful Thunderers. Finally, you can shoot other Handgunners, Archers, and oftentimes Warmachines that aren't very deep into the deployment zone with impunity. This is is the big one because generally anything will nick a rank off most infantry, which is what you want when shooting at infantry - a future +1 or +2 CR against that block when close combat breaks out. However, it is generally far more lucrative to take out the crew of a cannon, a lone Wizard, or the more expensive (and easier to panic) shooters in the enemy's deployment zone. Thunderers and Quarrelers will both do terribly against heavily armored units, like Knights, and monsters. Those are what warmachines are for. Thunderers will fare a bit better against stock infantry, but almost anything kills these dime-a-dozen meat shields anyways. Quarrelers offer a niche no other unit in the Dwarf army list can fill.

Bolt Throwers and Grudge Throwers are both useful. However, I feel that Bolt Throwers are more essential to a Dwarf army than any stone thrower is. Bolt Throwers are cheaper and more efficient with special choices, being 2-for-1. They benefit from Engineers and runes just like Grudge Throwers. However, Grudge Throwers are useful for blasting a big hunk out of basic infantry - a role that Thunderers and Quarrelers fill. Bolt Throwers are "can-openers" if you will, able to split heavy troops, and especially expensive Knights. They can skewer characters like a cannon, but cheaper, and offer real power against Hydras, Giants, and the other monstrous denizens of the Warhammer world. These are tasks Dwarfen infantry can't be assigned to take care of. Bolt Throwers nearly always have something worthwhile to shoot at, while Grudge Throwers can be useless when facing Beastmen, Wood Elves, or most small, elite armies. Things can get inside the minimum range and avoid it. Bolt Throwers make an impact from turn one and will almost always make back their points. They are scary because they can assassinate characters and are the cheapest thing that nullifies armor saves completely. Only against a Skaven "Clanrats, slaves, and crappy troops" list will a Grudgethrower be distinctly more useful than a Bolt Thrower, and against such a list you would probably want neither anyways. Bolt Throwers are more accurate and more reliable - both qualities any true Dwarf would respect.

i agree 100%. at least one of the bolts should be S7. bye bye chariots.

Latro
12-01-2009, 20:10
A quick (very hypothetical) example about the range advantage of Crossbows:

- A unit of 10 Quarrellers can fire 60 shots at ranges 24+ inch during a battle, 20 of these will hit.

- A unit of 10 Thunderers needs to spend one turn moving so can only fire 50 shots at that range during a battle, 25 of these shots will hit.

Both are good choices IMHO, but the Thunderers ability to deal some serious punnishment in a very short time to enemy units is something for which I gladly pay a few extra points.

Two volleys by Thunderers is usually enough to cripple any cavalry unit ... crossbows simply can't match that.


:cool:

Atzcapotzalco
12-01-2009, 20:29
Mix of all four.

fishound7
13-01-2009, 00:51
I have to state i'd take both of them. But if I'd have to choose i'd take crossbows for the soul fact that you can put GW on them. Then they can become a CC support unit when things get close.

Bac5665
13-01-2009, 01:43
Thunderers and BTs.

Thunderers are just better. The only drawback is shorter range, but 24" isn't short by any means, and the AP makes up for it.

BTs (with an engineer) are much better. They are more reliable and do more damage to everything except infantry, and no one needs more help against infantry.

Malorian
13-01-2009, 17:03
Thunderers are nice but their range can be a real problem. Any dwayf player that has played against wood elves will start putting more crossbows in their army ;) Personally I take two units of crossbows and one unit of thunderers at 2k. If I was to make a gunline I'd still stick to the 2-1 ratio.

I'm already cursed with getting misfires so bolts easily win over stones for me :) Tactically though I find there are more uses for the bolt thrower and the str 7 and 2+ to his runes are amazing. With these also being the cheaper option as well it's just the icing on the cake for me.

Latro
13-01-2009, 19:24
Thunderers are nice but their range can be a real problem. Any dwayf player that has played against wood elves will start putting more crossbows in their army ;)

... you actually have Wood Elf players in your area that use archers instead of just more and more tree spirits?

Weird, never thought I'd see that happen.


;)

Malorian
13-01-2009, 19:44
In my first tournament my woodelves (shooty run around type) was up against a dwarf army. Something like two blocks, 2 units of thunderers, couple cannons and bolt throwers, and characters.

I felt really sorry for him as he just didn't stand a chance...


You also have to keep in mind that woodelves aren't their only threat. There are many armies out there with long bows or missile that are 24 inch range and can move AND fire, so they can wipe out (are at least cripple) your shooting before you even have a chance to fight back.

Guy Fawkes
14-01-2009, 02:27
There's certainly nice things about Thunderers - I did mention I would prefer both if this wasn't a this-or-that thread. I think the main argument for Thunderers is that they are harder hitting (partly because of -1 AS and partly because of the accuracy bonus). This is of particular value when you are trying to force panic tests, because concentrated firepower from a Dwarf army can really take out a big chunk of unit.

However, I still feel that Quarrelers are more useful overall. The extra range is utility, not brute force, and finesse often wins over sledgehammers in Warhammer. Obviously the ultimate purpose of all ranged troops is to inflict kills, but Quarrelers have the extra range and can still kill "enough" troops to achieve your purpose. Against unarmored/light armor troops, like Zombies, Gnoblars, or Goblins, both units have the same strength and chance of killing, but Crossbows are cheaper and have more rounds of shooting. Against heavily armored units, like Knights, you would prefer a Bolt Thrower anyways.


A quick (very hypothetical) example about the range advantage of Crossbows:

- A unit of 10 Quarrellers can fire 60 shots at ranges 24+ inch during a battle, 20 of these will hit.

- A unit of 10 Thunderers needs to spend one turn moving so can only fire 50 shots at that range during a battle, 25 of these shots will hit.

Both are good choices IMHO, but the Thunderers ability to deal some serious punnishment in a very short time to enemy units is something for which I gladly pay a few extra points.

Two volleys by Thunderers is usually enough to cripple any cavalry unit ... crossbows simply can't match that.

Why do people insist on matching up equal numbers of Quarrelers and Thunderers rather than equal points? Quarrelers are cheaper, so are expected to do worse. The extra accuracy of the Thunderers is accounted for, but what about the extra time enemies spend under half range? And who would rather use infantry than warmachines to take down Knights anyways. Plenty of cavalry still keep a 3+ save against Thunderers, and even then, vulnerable expensive cavalry are typically screened. If you do have a hill in your deployment zone, but it is a little out of the way, Crossbows can set up on the hill, but Thunderers would be out of range there.

Obviously both are useful, but if you are limited, I say go with Crossbows.

Condottiere
14-01-2009, 07:09
As a DoW player, I appreciate quarrelers in heavy armour and with great weapons, when it becomes personal. Versatile, though not very mobile.

However, one unit of thunderers would not go amiss.

A bolt thrower is cheap, but needs at least S7 to be effective; if faced with a choice of S6 bolt thrower or a stone thrower, I'd go with the stone thrower, if only for psychological reasons.

Hospitaler
14-01-2009, 12:46
As a new convert to dwarfs - my brother, a keen dwarfer's fault- i have to say i use a unit each of quarrelers and thunderers simply bcause i can't decide yet, while he just uses qarrellers, except in high points cost games.
As to warmachines i have never looked past one cannon, one organ gun and one bolt thrower, this counters most things, and everyone is scared of that organ gun! Having said that i should probably test the grudge thrower, it always hurts when i face one :(