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CuddlyCuteKitten
03-05-2009, 14:03
I'm getting pretty accurate with my range guesses on my pair of greatcannons but I'm wondering what the rules really say about choosing your targets and deliberately under or over guessing.

In my last game I had a hill so the only really questionable thing I did was underguess a shot on a RBT so that if it fell really short it would maul two black guards instead.

The "rules" I have for myself when choosing a target is generally these:

- stated target must be in LOS
- cannon line must deal maximum amount of damage to intended target if it's a ranked unit (if the opponent gets gay with skirmishers it's his own fault IMHO). Only really means that if there is an incomplete rank I try for the maximum amount of models.
- stated target should have about a 50%+ chance of getting hit by the cannon ball compared to the chances of any other enemy units.

This does mean that I routinely under or overguess in order to maximise a hit. Instead of the standard 10" infront of the target I will perhaps guess a 6" if there is a unit behind my primary target as that gives me the best possible chance for a hit on either unit, but still a higher chance to hit the intended target.
And if I can angle the shot to hit all ranks but not having it in the absolute center of the enemy unit will give me the chance of hitting another unit on a very long bounce then I'll do that everytime as well.

Is this cheating or just good artillery work?

Gorbad Ironclaw
03-05-2009, 14:10
and deliberately under or over guessing.


Over- or under-guessing is cheating.

Shooting the cannonball in such a way that it will bounce through other stuff is perfectly fine though. Even if it's stuff you can't see. It's also perfectly fine just shooting at the corner of a unit hoping for a good bounce to hit stuff behind it as long as you are actually guessing to hit that corner of the unit you are targeting.

CuddlyCuteKitten
03-05-2009, 14:22
So essentially what I'm doing is fine (intending to hit target unit but maximising chances of getting a second hit)?

It seems that it's a bit of a slippery slope. I'm a good enough judge of distance that I can usually tell which range the enemy are at within 2" or so. I also *know* that a shot between 8-10 inches straight in front of my target is the statistically best bet to do maximum damage.

Isn't just shooting 5" infront of the target deliberately under guessing in that case?

danny-d-b
03-05-2009, 16:16
why whould you want to underguess anyway?

CuddlyCuteKitten
03-05-2009, 16:20
why whould you want to underguess anyway?

Shoot a unit on a hill with blackguard standing below the hill. It didn't really matter if I shoot the blackguard or the reaper I guess but I wanted to hit the reaper more so I shoot at it and underguessed so that if my bounce was very short it would hit the blackguard.

HellRaid
03-05-2009, 16:50
Shoot a unit on a hill with blackguard standing below the hill. It didn't really matter if I shoot the blackguard or the reaper I guess but I wanted to hit the reaper more so I shoot at it and underguessed so that if my bounce was very short it would hit the blackguard.

That sounds fine to me.

Aratus
03-05-2009, 17:33
With cannons i draw the line at someone purposely aiming short to the point where they are missing the intended target to hit another unit locked into combat

Emeraldw
03-05-2009, 18:26
Shoot a unit on a hill with blackguard standing below the hill. It didn't really matter if I shoot the blackguard or the reaper I guess but I wanted to hit the reaper more so I shoot at it and underguessed so that if my bounce was very short it would hit the blackguard.


Sounds like clever use of cannons to me.

Aratus has a good point, shooting into combat on purpose is mean :(

Loq-Gor
03-05-2009, 22:12
I find the line is drawn at the ridiculousness of the guess.

For example someone claims to want to hit unit A in front of a forest and then guesses some ridiculous distance over that unit so the shot passes the forest and hits unit B behind the forest or sorcerer C in the forest.

You are not under/over guessing IMO so long as the stated target remains reasonably the most probable target to hit. If your goal is ultimately to ensure maximum damage on target unit, that is not cheating, or even under/over guessing IMHO. If your goal is maximize the chances that some unit will be damaged that's a little sketchy, but still OK so long as the declared target remains the most probable unit to wound.

As far as positioning the cannon for max rank penetration, as long as movement rules are obeyed that's just good artillery use.

Chipacabra
03-05-2009, 22:41
The cannon is a little strange as far as guess range weapons go, because the ideal guess is 8" or 10" short of the target. I'm inclined to be somewhat lenient, I wouldn't object if my opponent guessed 3" or 4" or even 1" or 2" short of the primary target to increase the chances of the cannonball reaching the next unit behind them. Any guess further than that though is pretty clearly overshooting.

TheDarkDaff
03-05-2009, 22:59
The only rule is you have to actually try to hit your declared target, even if only clipping them. If some lands harpies 1 inch away from your cannon to block LoS then you declare them your "target" then guessing 12 inches to hit that heavy cav unit behind them is outright cheating. What you did is perfectly fine (i was a little confused until you explained that you where just trying to hit both).

knightime98
03-05-2009, 23:34
Grapeshot for harpies then it is...

I have a tendency to try to hit a main unit that is also in line with something behind it. I'll aim roughly 4 to 6 inches in front of the main target and hope for that average of 4 to 8 on overshoot then a 10 for the kill zone. This is maximizing the use of the cannon. You can hit a unit of TK chariots in the flank and that's golden. A bit off base - but if you get the flank shot on the chariots AND have enough distance to hit the Bone Giant in line - Well that's being an expert Empire Player and I tip my hat to you then Sir!

theunwantedbeing
04-05-2009, 00:28
If your not trying to hit as many models as possible in the unit you declared as your target, your cheating as far as I'm concerned.

I can just distances plenty accurately enough to know whether a shot is even remotely near the target they aimed at, well before they measure it. You need to be aiming roughly 5" short(give or take an inch or 2) of the target unit with a cannon otherwise your going to be open to being called a cheater.

In a tournament this of course goes out the window.
But unless its a tournament, it's not really all that "sporting".

W0lf
04-05-2009, 00:37
Everyone over-guesses.

It is technically cheating but happens all the time.


Ive had 3 stone throwers land rocks directly on my vampire lords head (bunker unit) before. Co-incidence? :)

Da GoBBo
04-05-2009, 01:10
It depends, I can't see why it would be wrong to aim for two units, given that the cannon crew can see both units. It's wrong because you aim for one model, but abviously your aim is to kill as many buggers as possible so lets be lenient on this one.

Aiming for a target they can't see is indeed not allowed (and rightly so, those balls are expensive), and therefore purposeful over or underguesing is not allowed either.

WusteGeist
04-05-2009, 06:43
So long as you don't try to be cheeky and target something you could not normally see its fine. I know too many empire and dwarf players who say oh I am aiming at that screen unit, then over guess by about 10 inches to hit the unit behind it. That irks me almost as much as stanks.

Gorbad Ironclaw
04-05-2009, 07:02
Really? I can't remember someone ever cheating so blatantly with guess range weapons.
In fact I can't remember the last time I thought a guess was dodgy. It might have been aimed at bouncing the cannon ball through a unit to hit something behind it but it have always been guessed so that it could/should hit the initial target.

If someone really does that call them on it, it's clearly cheating. Unless of course they display similar poor judgement in charge ranges and such too, but somehow I imagine they won't.

The Red Scourge
04-05-2009, 09:46
Thats why GW made the red "whippin'" sticks. Should an opponent find your guess just a little too sneaky, you should leave the game with red stripes all over ;)

Seriously, when you find, you're about to do something, you find borderline kosher, then check with your opponent :)

rtunian
04-05-2009, 14:35
Thats why GW made the red "whippin'" sticks. Should an opponent find your guess just a little too sneaky, you should leave the game with red stripes all over ;)

is that where your name comes from? :p

Gazak Blacktoof
04-05-2009, 15:49
It's also perfectly fine just shooting at the corner of a unit hoping for a good bounce to hit stuff behind it as long as you are actually guessing to hit that corner of the unit you are targeting.

I don't think that's fine at all, as theunwantedbeing said, you should be aiming for the centre of a unit so that you can hit the greatest number of models in the unit you declared as the target.

If you're not doing that you're cheating as far as I'm concerned, as you said though, I've never played anybody that's done something like this. My friends don't even "cannon snipe".

Atrahasis
04-05-2009, 15:59
You're applying more restrictions to the cannon shot than the rules require.

Gazak Blacktoof
04-05-2009, 16:15
Aiming at the skinny part of a unit, instead of trying to maximise the models hit so you can shoot a target behind, isn't any different ethically from guessing so that you'll hit a different unit entirely.

People can (and do) play however they want but its not really in the spirit of a friendly game to be disingenuous.

Myst
04-05-2009, 17:34
Call me crazy but I always found placing a unit in front of another unit to stop a CANNONBALL as something in the realms of downright laughable anyway but that's just me...

Malorian
04-05-2009, 17:38
In friendly games I think you should stay away from it, but in competitive games it's a unescapable tactic and something you just have to learn how to use and defend against.

Chipacabra
04-05-2009, 18:25
The rules only state that you have to try to hit the target unit. Forcing extra restrictions that don't exist on your opponent is bad sportsmanship. The cannon is SUPPOSED to barrel through units into whatever is behind them. That's why it's not a bolt thrower.

A guess is only bad if it is clearly unlikely to hit the target unit.

Da GoBBo
04-05-2009, 18:51
You don't even target a unit, but a single model.

PeG
04-05-2009, 20:12
We have a house rule that fixes overguessing in a way that we think works well. what we do is that we allow the targeted player to decide that the cannon shot is a perfect hit. This decision has to be made after rolling for distance but before rolling for the bounce. A perfect hit would normally be defined as the cannonball landing in the head of a model in the first rank of the targeted unit.

The player with the cannon cant really complain that he gets a perfect hit and the targeted player gets to decide. Depending on the bounce it may or may not be a good choice to allow a perfect hit but it opens a possibility to deal with overguessing in a way that seem to make everybody happy (at least in out group)

Gazak Blacktoof
04-05-2009, 22:03
You don't even target a unit, but a single model.

Yep, which if you're being honest and not trying to skim a unit and hit a target you can't see, should be somewhere you can hit the full depth of the unit conataining the target model.

Atrahasis
04-05-2009, 22:07
Why? If I'm targeting a Vampire Lord on the corner of a unit, then in many situations I won't be able to do that and hit every rank.

You're making up rules.

dariakus
04-05-2009, 22:13
Cannons target a model, not a unit. You don't have to maximize models or anything like that. BRB p.87.

"Declare which enemy model is going to be the target (remember, the target has to be visible from the machine itself) and then declare how far the cannon is going to shoot, up to its maximum range."

Malorian
04-05-2009, 22:20
We have a house rule that fixes overguessing in a way that we think works well. what we do is that we allow the targeted player to decide that the cannon shot is a perfect hit. This decision has to be made after rolling for distance but before rolling for the bounce. A perfect hit would normally be defined as the cannonball landing in the head of a model in the first rank of the targeted unit.

The player with the cannon cant really complain that he gets a perfect hit and the targeted player gets to decide. Depending on the bounce it may or may not be a good choice to allow a perfect hit but it opens a possibility to deal with overguessing in a way that seem to make everybody happy (at least in out group)

I've heard this one before. It certainly is a good idea but I think it might bring about more cannon sniping as people will either snipe what they want or be given a free perfect hit.

Da GoBBo
04-05-2009, 22:31
Yep, which if you're being honest and not trying to skim a unit and hit a target you can't see, should be somewhere you can hit the full depth of the unit conataining the target model.

Oh yes, I'v supported that before as well. I just pointed it because people were still talking about targeting units. I don't like charactersniping and I don't think you should aim for targets you can't see, but I do think trying to hit two units you cān see with one shot is no problem. That's what the thing is designed for.

Gazak Blacktoof
05-05-2009, 12:59
You're making up rules.

Not making up rules, discussing ethics.

Da Gobbo, I wouldn't have a problem with that either, I think there are so many exceptions that's why they just leave it up to the players to decide what's right and what isn't.

To me the idea that over-guessing or sniping are realistic or legitimate tactics are frankly nonsense. Its difficult enough to hit a target the size of a regiment that you can actually see, shooting a hero in a unit you can't is beyond incredulous.

I'm glad my group thinks the way I do.

Sirroelivan
05-05-2009, 13:05
shooting a hero in a unit you can't is beyond incredulous.


Well, that's why you get a "look out, sir" roll.

theunwantedbeing
05-05-2009, 13:12
Well, that's why you get a "look out, sir" roll.

Are you seriously sugguesting that the "look out, sir" roll is only in existence to allow people to overguess at character's they would not otherwise be allowed to target?

Da GoBBo
05-05-2009, 13:25
No, he is sugesting that the rule represents the fact that ye can't really snipe one model out of a unit with a cannon. This makes sense because otherwise the rule would represent soldiers pulling their commander out of a cannonballs trajectory (?), which doesn't really make sense.

chivalrous
05-05-2009, 14:23
Since the consensus is that it's bad and the rules state it is cheating, but there is no way to prove that someone is over-guessing vs. just being very bad at guess ranges, a possible, completely unsupported solution:-

It got to a point, way back in 5th edition, where an empire friend of mine did this all the time, so the group implemented a house rule, basically saying that if the cannonball completely missed the unit he was aiming for (i.e. the unit that the target model was a part of) then it would automatically stick in the ground (misfire on the second artillery roll). It meant that a few times when a shot did go completely stray a single model in a non-target unit was crunched but it beat loosing a whole rank or file.

I can't remember how we justified it in the fluff (trajectory was too steep?) but he got the message.

Never did manage to figure out how to stop him doing it with Mortars though.

TheDarkDaff
05-05-2009, 15:00
Never did manage to figure out how to stop him doing it with Mortars though.
Double the distance scattered (or make them roll 2 artillery die and use both) and in the case of a hit halve the scatter distance (use the little arrow above "hit" for direction) if the guess would land out of sight. Works well for all guess range weapons.

You can also do a similar thing with the Cannon and make them roll 2 artillery die for the first roll (apply both) and halve the bounce distance on the bounce roll.

You also make the Overguessed Artillery piece in question a much greater chance of misfiring which should be ample motivation to "improve" the range guessing in question.

Storak
05-05-2009, 15:02
best house rule ever:

targeted player is allowed to guess as well. the guess closer to the targeted spot is used.

if he does overguess by 4 inch, because he wants to get that hidden chariot behind the unit, you can underguess by 3 inch and make him miss all of it most likely..

Atrahasis
05-05-2009, 15:32
best house rule ever:

targeted player is allowed to guess as well. the guess closer to the targeted spot is used.

if he does overguess by 4 inch, because he wants to get that hidden chariot behind the unit, you can underguess by 3 inch and make him miss all of it most likely..

The problem with that is that the optimum guess is 6-10" in front of the target model depending on the type of target.

Your "best house rule ever" means that the opponent can guess a 0-inch guess on the target model and almost guarantee the shot will miss.

Storak
05-05-2009, 16:15
The problem with that is that the optimum guess is 6-10" in front of the target model depending on the type of target.

Your "best house rule ever" means that the opponent can guess a 0-inch guess on the target model and almost guarantee the shot will miss.

with the cannon, just agree to aim 6 inch before. (if you think you need a range of distances, feel free to make it 7 inch for a chariot..)

TheDarkDaff
05-05-2009, 16:31
The problem with that is that the optimum guess is 6-10" in front of the target model depending on the type of target.

Your "best house rule ever" means that the opponent can guess a 0-inch guess on the target model and almost guarantee the shot will miss.

Depends on when you take the measurement to see which is a better guess, before or after adding the extra distance from the artillery dice.

kais_fateweaver
06-05-2009, 11:22
In a friendly game House rule "Terrain stops cannon balls" stops most shots at targets
that can't be seen. (discuss which terrain is affected before game begins)

In a competitive game treat it as an army loophole (goodness knows the empire need them) and offer him a shot of scotch for such a blindin good shot.

Skyth
07-05-2009, 00:58
Around here, we routinely over-guess *shrugs* We're of the opinion that you need to plan your moves better to avoid being targetted.

Da GoBBo
08-05-2009, 00:07
Hehe, true enough.