View Full Version : Empire Gun units- HELP!

02-03-2015, 05:06
I am new to the game. I am playing the Empire. I am thinking of doing a Gunline strategy, or at least something of the sort. My plan was to focus primarily on hand gunners. Then use cannon and steam tanks to support. Halbrediers to stall, and maybe some archers to advance, skirmish and soften. Biggest question is how to set up my hand gun units. Should I have full command in them? how many should I put in one unit? Should I use detachments? Upgrades? I currently am thinking units of 20 handgunnners (banner+musician+champion) with repeater rifle upgrades for all (if that's possible, as I said new, not sure how upgrades work exactly). Just curious if command is worth it. Would it be better to save the points for more gunners, and I don't think the musician can shoot (since he doesn't have a gun), so would it be better to not have him, or other command, and just have more basic gunners? Secondly, I would like to know if this type of strategy is feasible, not really if it'd be fun or not, i'd enjoy it personally.

Thanks in advance! ^.^

02-03-2015, 06:17
Sorry to drop it on you but handgunners are currently one of worst units of empire. With low range and balistic skill they hit on 5+ most of the time and they are just to expencive.
Better for your strategy use crossbowmen.

If you still want to use them there are 2 best ways:

1) 10 handgunners with just marksman with hochland long rifle to snipe enemy characters
2) 20 with marksman and banner - 2 ranks of 10 - and last turn before charge you reform them so they can hold turn of two in close combat

Personaly I think that first way is better if not the only way of fielding them.

Full command looks nice but is not worth it most of the times. And musician can shoot and besides being musician counts as normal handgunner.

02-03-2015, 07:08
They have ballistic skill 3, that should be hit on 4+ and they have armor piercing. At least I think What would make them hit on 5+? Also crossbows have the same strength, does the range actually outweigh the armor piercing, or is range all together a terrible idea? would i be better with knights and halberds?

02-03-2015, 10:31
There is -1 to hit for long range - so they hit on 5+ most of the time. Better than all shooting is mixed army. Shooting to soften up and something to finish in close combat.

02-03-2015, 10:32
BS 3 = 4+ to hit

Long Range -1 to hit

With 24" range only compared to the xbow of 30") means anything over 12" is long range. Its 41.67% for movement 4 infantry to make a 12" charge against that position (this increases to 58.34% for movement 5 elven armies; substantially more with cavalry and swftstride)

this means chances are high everything you will engage will be between 12-24" range

Add that to Soft Cover (-1), Hard cover (-2) Standing and Shooting Attacks (-1) and against skirmishers (-1)

rolling 5+ and 6+ (and sometimes even 7+) to hit means you are unlikely to score many hits.

Crossbow units are slightly better as they have an extra 6" range so can shoot earlier, and they might actually be in short range before a charge; the armour piercing will not come it it often enough to matter.

forseer of fates
02-03-2015, 10:50
Indeed, hand gunners, pistoliers, outriders, mortar and rocket battery, which form the vast majority of the gunpowder units are too many points. even crossbowmen are not worth 8 points, I treat the empire as a combat army these days with artillery support, works rather well, only lost one game in years and that was to dark elves, say no more.

02-03-2015, 12:43
Handgunners can work as a part of a non-mobile gunline while castling cannons and such, but as others have pointed out, they're generally a poor choice for their points. BS shooting is usually a bad idea to invest in unless you've got some perks to add to the mix, and Handgunners have none, they've only got drawbacks (horrible range, zero mobility, low statline).

That said, they do look cool and sometimes the most unlikely things happen. I've had some crazy moment with my handgunners - once they actually manage to get some hits in, those usually hurt. Leave the command models at home though.

02-03-2015, 17:52
ok, this is extremely helpful. I was thinking of running repeater rifles. so that would triple their shots, for roughly double the cost. i think 19 per handgunner. Would that help my situation? I realize they'd still be short ranged and mostly stationary, but would the addition of shots be worth the points? Or would they still be too point expensive? Perhaps Hochland Rifles then to make the range go up to 30?

02-03-2015, 18:03
I don't think marksman with repeater is worth it - only way for me is hochland long rifle. He gets 3 shoots with -1 to hit for multishoot - so for the same points 3 handgunners are better - 3 wounds are needed to kill them.

02-03-2015, 18:56
Since you can't give the whole unit repeater guns or Hochland rifles (only the Marksman can be upgraded), you're better off using for example two units of 10 Handgunners with a Marksman + sniper rifle in each. If you line them up with a couple of cannons and a hellblaster in the middle, you've got yourself a gunline that could potentially pose a threat.

If you throw in an engineer with a Hochland as well you've got three sniper opportunities each turn plus the cannons (well, two if you use the engineer bonus for a war machine instead but that's also a pretty good boost to have). You could also use detachments to give the Handgunners some Halberdiers/Swordsmen bodyguards that can counter charge or redirect attackers.

Lord Dan
02-03-2015, 19:57
The problem gunlines face is twofold:

1. They're hit and miss. With Empire in particular, your BS-based shooting isn't backed up by heavy armor and T4 like Dwarves (and even Great Weapons, in the case of Quarellers) and so in a majority of your games you'll find yourself struggling against anything that manages to get to you.
2. They're never, ever fun to play against.

So essentially you'd be taking a highly inconsistent army that no one enjoys fighting. At that point, why bother?

forseer of fates
02-03-2015, 20:15
Yup, what Lord Dan said.

billy bad ass
21-03-2015, 20:02
Don't get handgunners fill up your core with icks or halberdiers. The best unit for shooting are out riders. You get more shots at way higher b.s. skill, 5+ armor save, fast cav rules which includes vanguarding. Out riders are move or shoot but vanguarding doesn't count as moving so more often than not you are within range on first turn. I love out riders!!! Also get cannons and a volley gun. No rockets they are terrible. A morter is either hit or miss.

21-03-2015, 20:58
War machines and light wizards provide your shooting support.

Most Empire armies consist of war machines, a light council and 1+ armor save cavalry spam and probably a guy on a Pegasus. The wizards can hide in some skirmishing archers somewhere.

Lord Dan
22-03-2015, 00:48
Most Empire armies consist of war machines, a light council and 1+ armor save cavalry spam and probably a guy on a Pegasus. The wizards can hide in some skirmishing archers somewhere.

Let's not make hasty generalizations.

For example, you also have the Karl Franz + Cavbus variation.


And, yeah, that's pretty much it.

billy bad ass
23-03-2015, 00:55
I run a deathstar with icks my grand master with runefang and bsb in front warrior priest lev 4 wizard lore of life in second row. Its an awesome unit especially with throne of vines because miscasting with him is a bitch!!!