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View Full Version : Repeater Bolt Throwers - WHY??



Von Wibble
23-10-2006, 10:47
I have just read a thread that sums up quite nicely why I never take the things. They are far less efficient than their points worth of mercenary crossbowmen.

1 RBT gets 4 hits per turn (assuming short range).
12 crossbows get 6 hits per turn (assuming long range).

Even with an extra -1 on saves, that is poor. Especially compared to every other war machine in the game (with the possible exception of the mortar).
The only edge is that the bolt thrower uses up less space.

Also, if you work it out, the RBT has pretty much twice the killing power of any other bolt thrower (through +1BS and multiple shots). Yet it costs 3 times the price of a goblin bolt thrower, and nearly double that of a dwarf bolt thrower with 4 crew, T4, Ld 9 and BS4! (with the option of runes). Oh, and its rare rather than special (albeit with only 1 decent competitor - the eagle).

I play Empire and Tomb Kings as well as HE. When I use a war machine with these armies, I pay my points off more often than not. My dwarf opponent only rarely fails to have his grudge throwers, gyrocopters, even bolt throwers pay off their value.

I am starting to wonder if there is a massive points deduction for having to guess range. Can't recall the last time I missed through poor guessing... The simple fact is that the bolt thrower is worth about 70pts.

Despite this, people still use them. Points better invested in magic or troops. Someone please explain...

Slaaneshi Slave
23-10-2006, 11:00
My master wishes to express his disgust at such cowardly tactics. A member of His gaming club uses four such machines in a 2,500 point game of Dark Elves. This cowardly Elf dominates the battlefield with these fiendish machines. My master is not pleased.

Latro
23-10-2006, 11:09
It's concentrated firepower ... and that's incredibly powerful:

- Like you said, it's very easy to position into a small and protected location ... lines of crossbowmen can't do that.

- It effectively has a 3+ ward save against normal shooting and magic missiles due to hits randomising onto the machine ... crossbowmen just die.

- The 2 for 1 deal allows you to get an effective Bolt Thrower battery and still the option to choose another rare if you want to ... crossbowmen would come on a 1 for 1 basis.

- They fit in very well with the tactical abilities of the armies they belong to: disrupt and delay the enemy advance with fast units while the Bolt Throwers rip the enemy apart one unit at a time.

- They don't need units baby-sitting them against the most common warmachine hunters. Unlike crossbowmen they can shoot all around and unlike Stonethrowers or cannons they will rip apart any small unit coming too close.

... they rock, 'nuff said.

ardude
23-10-2006, 12:01
when I put 4 bolt throwers in the center you can hear my enemy scream, WAAH BOLT THRWOERS NOOOW. as from that position they can shoot almost every where, and if he avoids them he has to put his entire army on the flank screwing up his tactic completly.
just try putting 48 crossbow man in the center.....
and you can also plsace them like this:

warmahcine/blockunit/warmachine/blockunit/warmachine/blockunit/warmachine

so they have great protection, far better than x-bow man vs knights, flys and stuff.

+ the -2 armor penetration makes alot of differance.
when shooting against chaos chosen knights it makes bolt throwers twice as dangeres as if it had -1. ( and high armor saves is mostly the enemy of dark elves)

Darkhorse
23-10-2006, 15:57
Actually the -2 armour save puts the RBT almost on par when shooting at heavy cav.
4RBTs vs. T4 with 2+ save = 4.0 kills ave.
50DoW Xbows at the same target = 4.2
Against T3 heavy cav 4 RBTs = 5.9 kills ave.
DoW against the same target = 5.8

Anything with lighter armour and the DoW walk all over the RBT, gratutiously.

greymeister
23-10-2006, 16:27
Man, never thought I'd see someone complain about having RBT's. The day I can have skeletons shooting it I will be so happy!

robertsjf
23-10-2006, 16:58
The day I can have skeletons shooting it I will be so happy!


So you can be happy today with Tomb Kings!

ardude
23-10-2006, 18:10
Actually the -2 armour save puts the RBT almost on par when shooting at heavy cav.
4RBTs vs. T4 with 2+ save = 4.0 kills ave.
50DoW Xbows at the same target = 4.2
Against T3 heavy cav 4 RBTs = 5.9 kills ave.
DoW against the same target = 5.8

Anything with lighter armour and the DoW walk all over the RBT, gratutiously.

chaos chosen kngihts have a 1+ save ;)
think you can do the math ( and you would have 48 dow crossbow man)

greymeister
23-10-2006, 20:03
So you can be happy today with Tomb Kings!

Tomb Kings have repeating bolt throwers?

If that's the case, let me rephrase:

The day I can have skeletons shooting it in an army that I don't think is stupid I will be so happy! :rolleyes:

Neknoh
23-10-2006, 20:28
One thing which intrigues me is the fact that you somehow manage to place 48 crossbowmen so that all of them are within Line of Sight and Range (short range mind) of the one unit of Knights

Latro
23-10-2006, 20:34
One thing which intrigues me is the fact that you somehow manage to place 48 crossbowmen so that all of them are within Line of Sight and Range (short range mind) of the one unit of Knights

... it's quantum ;)

Von Wibble
23-10-2006, 22:30
A hill, actually.

Deployment rules pretty much mean you can ensure getting at least 1 if not 2 in your deployment zone if you try. The hills I have seen tend to allow up to 25 shots each (2 ranks) if not more. Since 4 RBTs is a high risk strategy that allows you no eagles this is complete anathema to me. So I am looking at 25 mercenaries compared to 2 RBTs, not 50 compared to 4.

@Darkhorse

"Actually the -2 armour save puts the RBT almost on par when shooting at heavy cav.
4RBTs vs. T4 with 2+ save = 4.0 kills ave.
50DoW Xbows at the same target = 4.2
Against T3 heavy cav 4 RBTs = 5.9 kills ave.
DoW against the same target = 5.8"

Would you honestly pay 400pts and 2 rare slots to kill a whole 12 models before they charge you? I'd rather buy a unit of Silver Helms, plus a chariot and some eagles. Far more effective and far less risky - also good in all situations. RBTs are not cavalry killers - ironic as in 5th edition they were very useful (and not overpowered imo -a cannon was just as good).

My problem is not only the fact that the mercenaries "gratuitously" walk over the RBTs in all cases except 1 (unless you don't have a hill). Its the fact that every single other war machine in the game also does so - and RBTs are no more space efficient than these.

I don't mind dwarf machines doing this - its their thing. But the background keeps referring to superior firepower of the elves (I noticed the word superior was aptly omitted from the description of one of the runes this time round!), yet I seem to get an average of 1 chaos warrior or 0 Chosen Knights every time I attempted to use them. Then I learned that Eagles are by far superior opponents to chosen...

Thats before we consider the fact that all O+G machines are better, as is the Bretonnian one (that scatter dice never seems to in any games I play and S5 hurts). Only VCs, WE and CW seem to lose out on war machines (assuming no Hellcannon).

Ardude - the war machines on the edges are asking to die to fast cav. And without eagles and with units costing a lot (HEs cost about 300 pts each) you won't have more than a couple of very cheap support units. Also consider with 2 T3 crew, exposing the RBTs at the front means casual shooting results in 100VPs. It also limits manouvrability- as you can move units only at a cost in LOS.

I have to add I am not a De player. So there may be a niche there. But Dark Riders and shades can surely provide about 75% of the shooting and also a number of other roles without worrying about dying quite so easily.

Holy Crap! Manticores!
24-10-2006, 00:48
RBT's are good, but two crew with T3 and light armor= easy VP's for the opposition.

They're not bad, though. They have two fire modes, which makes them a versatile missile unit. Mlost people are sensible enough not to expose their flanks to BT's, so the Volley shot is a good alternative for early-game shooting. Once you get your opponent to expose a flank, use the regular BT single-shot for a rank-buster... if your opponent hasn't taken them out by then.

For 2000 pts I find 2 are just about right. One rare slot, 200 pts. Anything more would just be uncivilized. Set up some RxB Warriors nearby to provide coverage from chargers... and don't be above the "diverted flank" manuever. If the Warriors hold, good for them. If they get broken, you should get a juicy flank shot.

Neknoh
24-10-2006, 04:49
Hrmmm...

0 chosen knights

Now, this is beginning to sound more and more like a "whaaa, my army isteh suxxorz! I want new rules!!!!!!"-post.

Anyhow, get that flank shot with a single bolt in, it is basically guaranteed to kill a Knight, then another, and then you start to winge it, but, you can take out a whole unit with a single bolt, remember, the single bolt allows NO armoursaves

Darkhorse
24-10-2006, 11:21
@Darkhorse

Would you honestly pay 400pts and 2 rare slots to kill a whole 12 models before they charge you? I'd rather buy a unit of Silver Helms, plus a chariot and some eagles. Far more effective and far less risky - also good in all situations. RBTs are not cavalry killers - ironic as in 5th edition they were very useful (and not overpowered imo -a cannon was just as good).

My problem is not only the fact that the mercenaries "gratuitously" walk over the RBTs in all cases except 1 (unless you don't have a hill). Its the fact that every single other war machine in the game also does so - and RBTs are no more space efficient than these.

I don't mind dwarf machines doing this - its their thing. But the background keeps referring to superior firepower of the elves (I noticed the word superior was aptly omitted from the description of one of the runes this time round!), yet I seem to get an average of 1 chaos warrior or 0 Chosen Knights every time I attempted to use them. Then I learned that Eagles are by far superior opponents to chosen...

Thats before we consider the fact that all O+G machines are better, as is the Bretonnian one (that scatter dice never seems to in any games I play and S5 hurts). Only VCs, WE and CW seem to lose out on war machines (assuming no Hellcannon).

A little background, I played DoW in 6th Ed, and have 36 crossbowmen gathering dust. Just started a High Elf army when about a week ago someone here started complaining about High Elf archers. A GW staffer confirmed that;

They are the worst archers in the game.
This prompted me to do a comparison between them and the obvious alternative in the list, the RBT. This gave results that varied for the target toughness, I then wanted to do a comparison from that to a known standard missile troop, I chose my old human crossbowmen for this as humans have a non-descript average profile. Obviously I was somewhat suprised when I came up with a 50% improvement straight off the bat.
I then removed the archers from my list and dropped in a unit of 12 crossbowmen.
On the Armylists forum there's a Scandinavian bloke doing a 2K tournament army that seem to comprise HE Archers, 4 RBTs and very little else.
Hence the 400 pt thing.

WLBjork
24-10-2006, 12:29
The key is, as others have pointed out, the flexibility in being able to fire 48" handgun shots or a single bolt.

When facing a Steam Tank under the current rules, a single bolt is far more effective than a hail of crossbow bolts, for example. Likewise, shooting Large Target Monsters, they are more likely to be seriously injured by the single bolt that the hail of X_Bow bolts.

Slaaneshi Slave
24-10-2006, 13:37
My master wishes to tell you that one of his Keeper of Secrets had five out of six wounds taken off it by a battery of four Dark Elven Repeater Bolt Throwers in a single turn. My master says this was very confusing, since they were a Cult of Slaanesh...

Mephistofeles
24-10-2006, 14:02
Look, dude, they are good. Seriously. Don't get stuck in maths and "what if" situations, just look at a game where they take part, and see what happens. It's bound to be one of the following:

A: The opponent of the Bolt Throwers will make sure to stay out of its firing arc and range. That's a huge psychological advantage.

B: They will make an absolute mockery of all lightly armoured knights, cavalry and warriors.

C: They will seriously cripple monsters, beasts and chariots.

D: They might even kill whole units of knights and the like, since frankly, multiple armour piercing Strenght 4 shots are GOOD. My handgunner always completly diembowel all the knights I face, and oh the joy and rapture if only they had BS 4 and 48 inch range...

Storm Hunters
24-10-2006, 14:46
RBT are not bad, but i do think that 100pts does over cost them considering how easy they are to take out. it only takes 6 Xbow hits to have a good chance of taking out both crew, not good. mabey 80 would be fairer.

English 2000
24-10-2006, 15:54
The RBT is a war machine that does not misfire, hence the 100 points. One of my armies is HE and I don't mind paying 200 pts for two of these machines. I think the price is right. You get:
100% reliability
48" range
single shot or volley for flexibility

You can't go wrong with this war machine.



If you think 4 on the table is bad, go back in time to 4th ed when they cost 50 points. Then I might listen to complaints about 4 being cheesy.

4 now is just a huge points sink.

Von Wibble
24-10-2006, 20:02
The key is, as others have pointed out, the flexibility in being able to fire 48" handgun shots or a single bolt.

When facing a Steam Tank under the current rules, a single bolt is far more effective than a hail of crossbow bolts, for example. Likewise, shooting Large Target Monsters, they are more likely to be seriously injured by the single bolt that the hail of X_Bow bolts.

Fair point. But such flexibility is costing too much at the moment. Also I don't buy missile troops to deal with the extra tough troops - thats what my Eagles are for.

Neknoh - Actually the single bolt changes it to 1 Chosen Chaos Knight instead of 0 (my opponent is smart enough to avoid/ block flank shots). But I only get 2 goes at most before then being charged, and without a hill (which no more than a couple of the RBTs get) cheap units will block any shots at all with ease.

Mephistofeles - I have looked at games where they take part. And what usually happens is E - they panic/are killed in turn 4-5, having killed about 4-5 models each. I tend to do the maths after watching a unit in battle as i appreciate some units are intentionally too expensive in terms of kills, but still useful (eg Ellyrions). But the maths teacher in me means that the arithmetic will be done. And I don't like what I see....

2 of the main points of my argument - other war machines all being better (misfires rarely do any lasting damage so I don't consider them as much a factor as some), and Eagles being far, far better, remain unanswered. It could be that my opinion just differs from others a lot here, but the only way I will use RBTs is if they get a points cut or (preferably) an improvement.

English 2000
25-10-2006, 00:38
Comparing RBT's to Eagles is like comparing golf clubs with oranges.

Meaningless.

A great eagle has a totally different tactical use to a bolt thrower. Eagles are for march blocking and killing (non-dwarf) artillery crews. Used in a pair the can take on light skirmishers (just keep them away from stinks....oops I mean skinks)

And when things get desperate they can force the enemy to charge in a direction that will expose his flank, or just not charge.

Eagles are for disruption.

RBT's are for killings the enemies disruption units.

I know people want RBT's to be the mass killers that stone throwers and hellblasters are, but in my army I use them in the following ways:

Kill fast cav.
Shoot flyers
Shoot war machines, skaven weapon teams etc
Remove a rank before his infantry charges my spearmen
Deny a table quarter
Shoot wizards if he makes a big mistake.
Maybe kill big stuff like giants.

Never do I expect my RBT to decimate a unit in a single turn. But yes, a couple of turns with a pair of RBTs will do a number on a lot of infantry units.

Against cavalry, well if I peel off enough to remove a rank I'm happy.

Neknoh
25-10-2006, 06:02
[QUOTE=Von Wibble;1030323Neknoh - Actually the single bolt changes it to 1 Chosen Chaos Knight instead of 0 (my opponent is smart enough to avoid/ block flank shots). But I only get 2 goes at most before then being charged, and without a hill (which no more than a couple of the RBTs get) cheap units will block any shots at all with ease.
[/QUOTE]

You do realise that if you position one on each flank of your army, your opponent will have to send the knights straight up your center unless he is willing to expose their flank to one of them?

This will give you the tactical advantage of being able to flee with a unit of spearmen and then swing into the flank with a unit of Swordsmasters, 6 (or 7 with champion) attacks to the flank will cripple a unit of Chosen whom wont be able to strike back and will promptly loose the combat.


You can't do that with Crossbows

Avian
25-10-2006, 08:35
Deny a table quarter
Just a note: As the RBT does not have US5+ it cannot deny table quarters

(though maybe you were talking about reducing an enemy unit holding a table quarter below US5)

ardude
25-10-2006, 09:06
Comparing RBT's to Eagles is like comparing golf clubs with oranges.

Meaningless.

A great eagle has a totally different tactical use to a bolt thrower. Eagles are for march blocking and killing (non-dwarf) artillery crews. Used in a pair the can take on light skirmishers (just keep them away from stinks....oops I mean skinks)

And when things get desperate they can force the enemy to charge in a direction that will expose his flank, or just not charge.

Eagles are for disruption.

RBT's are for killings the enemies disruption units.

I know people want RBT's to be the mass killers that stone throwers and hellblasters are, but in my army I use them in the following ways:

Kill fast cav.
Shoot flyers
Shoot war machines, skaven weapon teams etc
Remove a rank before his infantry charges my spearmen
Deny a table quarter
Shoot wizards if he makes a big mistake.
Maybe kill big stuff like giants.

Never do I expect my RBT to decimate a unit in a single turn. But yes, a couple of turns with a pair of RBTs will do a number on a lot of infantry units.

Against cavalry, well if I peel off enough to remove a rank I'm happy.

same here, but I also shoot at iron breakers and stuff, they will only have a 5+ save left:)
and in smaller games they target knights too, as I then don't have a counter vs them

blurred
25-10-2006, 09:48
RBT's are not spectacular, but saying that they're bad is just silly. BS4 bolt throwers are rare in the current FB setting and now that characters out of units are free game for shooting they are even better. I wouldn't shoot extra-heavy cavalry like chaos knights with them (unless their flank is exposed); try fast cavalry instead. With one round of shooting you can decimate a whole unit with a bit of luck. And don't get me started on big things. My giant has been reduced to a wound or two more than once with RBTs.


misfires rarely do any lasting damage so I don't consider them as much a factor as some

:eyebrows: Lasting damage? If a warmachine with misfire dice shoots every turn it probably fails once and that may be lethal to the battle plan. More than once I've rolled a misfire with my cannon when a perfect shot has been at hand.


and Eagles being far, far better, remain unanswered.

Like English 2000 said, eagles and bolt throwers are not comparable. If you don't like RBTs don't use 'em. Maybe your army fares better with eagles. Many people prefer the killing power and reliability of RBTs instead of a flying warmachine hunter. :)

Darkhorse
25-10-2006, 11:27
OK let's put this in plain English;
Vs. 75 - 80% of the units in the game the crossbowmen have a 50% higher kill ratio.
However a single RBT has a full 2% chance of scoring *1* extra kill on a unit of chosen chaos knights, who are flank on and skulking around the back of their own deployment zone...

If you want to make another point try and work it out first, there is a calculator function in the accessories section of your computer...

The original comparison was vs. High Elf Archers, a better comparison for the RBT might be the mercenary cannon; 85 pts, range 48", S10, no armour save.
I don't care if they're the Chosen Knights of Nurgle who say "NNNYYAAARRGGHHH!!!"...

Of course if I really weanted to rub salt in (a pinch of pepper and a dash of paprikka) there's the mercenary hotpot for 50 pts.

GrogsnotPowwabomba
25-10-2006, 14:05
The only good thing about the RBT is that it has a nice range. That 48" range means you can park the thing on a table corner and it still has quite an influence on the game, your opponent, etc. Otherwise, it is overcosted for what it does. I have not taken one for quite a long time in my Dark Elf army.

Latro
25-10-2006, 14:33
OK let's put this in plain English;
Vs. 75 - 80% of the units in the game the crossbowmen have a 50% higher kill ratio.


Some more plain English:

Crossbowmen can't shoot while moving and line-of-sight has to be determined for all models in the unit individually ... even on a totally open battle-field a unit of crossbowmen has a very small effective kill zone (not even 5% of the table)

Repeater Bolt Throwers however can shoot everywhere and anytime on the entire table (considering the same open terrain).

... you just stick with your crossbowmen then. I'll be happy to use the Repeater Bolt Throwers.

English 2000
25-10-2006, 15:37
Just a note: As the RBT does not have US5+ it cannot deny table quarters

(though maybe you were talking about reducing an enemy unit holding a table quarter below US5)

You are correct, one of those stealth changes in 7th ed that I missed. Glad to know about it now :)

Thanks!

Cloud Strife
25-10-2006, 15:39
well first thing to say is that someone saying that not misfiring isn't worth the cost then they obviously haven't seen the difference that can make to a game.

last night using Dwarfs and in turn 1 both my Organ Gun and Grudge Thrower misfired (well lesson learned - always stick a Master Engineer with a Grudge Thrower if you want it to be reliable) and meant that the unit of Silverhelms that were too close to my line had to be shot with Quarrellers and Thunderers instead of them shooting Swordmasters (well the Grudge Thrower was going for them) to try and annihalite the Banner of Sorcerery before it helped power up the Unseen Lurkers for cav to destroy my artillery line, so yeah, if a War Machine can't misfire or has something to stop it then in my opinion it is priceless, and lets not forget the fact that you can never reduce the rate of fire of Bolt Throwers, its kill all the crew or nothing.

as for Bolt Throwers not being worthwhile for damage potential you also have to think on what is in the list, as yes you could hire Dogs Crossbows, and my Dogs Crossbows do do well in their own list, but I can never think on justifying them in my Dark Elves' background, and at the end of the day I run out of points, but off-topic again (oops). As at the end of the day Bolt Throwers are essential to both High and Dark Elves. It is fully admitted by most that High Elf archers are probably the worst and most overpointed missile unit in the game for what they do (which isn't much as mate used them for 3 games to hide a mage in and they killed about 3 or 4 models in their time before being put back in storage) and while Dark Elves can deliver a huge amount of shooting from repeater crossbows, it is nowhere near as accurate or as strong as the Bolt Throwers and I always try and fit them into a list unless i've lost it and decided to run Black Guard in under 2k, but that's another story.

now as for what I've seen them do on a regular basis, the only other units in my Dark Elf army that tend to perform to the expected standards are my Chariots, mages and Knights with the Hydra Banner, as the rest is really hit or miss, and even then that can happen with the first two. as for in High Elf armies, when fielding my Dogs of War, I just end up having to take a Budgie Captain to deal with them as they are lethal, as well as the fact that they make my Giant try to pretend he's a Treeman by hiding behind the woods all day as he tends to die to one round of shooting from 2 of them....:( and only yesterday I saw 3 of them kill off a Treeman Ancient in one round of shooting single bolts.

and as has been said already the biggest advantage of them is their field of fire as we checked last night that if you set one up on a hill in the middle of your deployment zone that you are in range of practically the entire board apart from possibly the far corners, so that is yet another thing to consider (oh and people will become scared if you put down 4, or even 6+ if using City Guard)

well all i can really say at the end of all my rambling is that I just feel that no High Elf or Dark Elf army should leave home without at least 2 (although I tend to frown on more than 2) Bolt Throwers for 2k games as they are one of the best performing units in the lists.

GrogsnotPowwabomba
25-10-2006, 16:36
The RBT is decent, but by no means necessary to a Dark Elf army. As I said, the only real benefit they provide is the 48" range. It is debatable whether this is worth 100pts for an average of 4 S4 hits a turn. I personally do not think it is, some do. I think there are good arguments for either viewpoint.

Plenty of Dark Elf armies do not use RBT and peform quite well. Especially combat oriented lists that move and engage the enemy quickly. So I do take issue with the idea that Dark Elves cannot leave home without the RBT.

Avian
25-10-2006, 16:46
It is debatable whether this is worth 100pts
It is worth mentioning here that the playtest version of the 6th edition DE book had Reaper Bolt Throwers at 75 pts and 1 per Rare choice, rather than the 100 pts and 1-2 per Rare choice they turned into in the finished version.

Thus you are essentially paying an increased cost to be able to take more of them, a common trend in FB army books and 40K codices at the time.

Von Wibble
25-10-2006, 17:37
That makes sense to me. At last a reason for the cost- the fact you can have 2. It looks like my opinion of 70ish points is about right then - I don't think its worth 33% extra for an extra 1 per rare. Especially as other bolt throwers are 2 per choice.

Putting them on opposite flanks might get you enfilading fire, if things such as terrain and chaos hounds didn't exist. This plus the points made by english2000 and Latro do make the RBT at least worthwhile in a few cases. But not worth 100pts as magic and archers can do the same and don't die if charged by a cheap unit of fast cav.

I compare RBTs and Eagles as they are competing for rare slots. I would add that if Phoenix Guard or White Lions were better choices then I feel the RBT would be even less useable.

Cloud Strife - my own opinion is that I treat a misfire most of the time as a miss - with guessing as accurate as I tend to see in games the cannon is effectively BS 6 (1 in 6 chance of the misfire). The reason I call it negligable is because I never trust any war machine to do a job on its own, and therefore if I am in a situation where a misfire can cost me, I have already made a mistake. Speaking as an Empire player, misfiring has never cost me - in 2500 pts I always take 2 cannons and 1 helblaster.

Also, your point about reducing rate of fire is invalid as a dwarf machine with engineer can take as many casualties as a RBT and yields half VPS but is unaffected shooting wise. Whilst the RBT is destroyed.

Your games are obviously very different to mine. On no occasion has an RBT ever performed well. Even targetting fast cav, it takes 2 volleys to negate them unless they're unlucky on the panic check - and you get 1 go before they kill you. I don't accept that the RBT is OK because archers are overcosted - I just take neither and use the points on magic.

For 30 pts, Ring of Fury does more damage than 1 bolt thrower (with a little luck, more than 2 - the former assumes it doesn't exhaust early), and combined with banner of sorcery thus gives more damage that works in all roles above (eg fast cav killing), or allows other nasty spells through. OK, not without risk, but a magic item can't be killed to net 100 quick vps (except in the case of Law of Gold, Vaul's Unmaking, or, with more difficulty, killing the bearer).

kyussinchains
25-10-2006, 18:10
I never trust any war machine to do a job on its own

yet your criteria for RBTs is expecting them to do just that



I don't accept that the RBT is OK because archers are overcosted - I just take neither and use the points on magic.

For 30 pts, Ring of Fury does more damage than 1 bolt thrower (with a little luck, more than 2 - the former assumes it doesn't exhaust early), and combined with banner of sorcery thus gives more damage that works in all roles above

RBTs cannot be dispelled, dont get exhausted and never miscast, they also have superior range to pretty much every direct damage spell that I know of.

AUN'SHI
25-10-2006, 18:42
RBT are a must for ALL elf army. (except woods elves cause... well they can't get it)

You get 6 shots for 1 RBT at st 4 -2 armour pen and you can shoot 1 st 6 BIG bad bolt to do d3 damage...

If you don't have RBT's in your army how are you gonna take down a tree man, dragon, and anything with high T? Oh and the big bolt is amazing against Bretonia's knight.... seeing how they have a 2+ save and a 5 or 6+ invulnerable saves.

imagine 4 big bolts going into a unit of Chosen chaose knights or bretinia grail knights... AWSOME DAMAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GrogsnotPowwabomba
25-10-2006, 19:24
RBT are a must for ALL elf army. (except woods elves cause... well they can't get it)

RBT are hardly mandatory, and more and more elf generals are dropping them due to their high cost and high vulnerability. RBT are only mandatory for beginners...


If you don't have RBT's in your army how are you gonna take down a tree man, dragon, and anything with high T?

Combat resolution. Magic. Hard hitting combat units. Diversion units. There are plenty of ways.

Holy Crap! Manticores!
25-10-2006, 19:34
Plenty of Dark Elf armies do not use RBT and peform quite well. Especially combat oriented lists that move and engage the enemy quickly. So I do take issue with the idea that Dark Elves cannot leave home without the RBT.Hmmm... I kind of agre with you considering that my typical DE list is CC-oriented, but I still take 2 RBT's so I have something to do in the first two turns, as most of my opponents tend to hang back in the early game.

Move. Magic. RBT's.
This is my first two turns, unless my opponent was foolish enough to push forward.

For 200 pts, it's a better option than 2 units of RxB warriors (which runs 220pts, no command) and will actually kill stuff. RxB's are a bit of a red herring... sure they double-tap (at-1 to hit), but they're S3 and are relatively short-ranged compared to most missile troops. With double-tapping, they'll statistically get a few more hits, but anything over T3 will create W issues, plus the lack of AS negation. I bring 1 unit of RxB's, 2 if I'm feeling lucky. Mass RxB's would be a waste in most games.

AUN'SHI
25-10-2006, 20:57
as was stated.... (Combat resolution. Magic. Hard hitting combat units. Diversion units. There are plenty of ways.) to take down high T enemies

It's kinda hard to beat a tree man due to combat resolution seeing how they are stubborn...

And I don't believe the DE or HE have to many hard hitting units....

I thinks it's a must (but this is how I play I guess) because the elves really don't have anything hard hitting. Magic is great against units but things with high T not so good.

DE magic is great against units but does almost nothing to things with high T

And RBT are very easy to manouver. Unlike a bulky units


But I guess it really depends on your way of play

enyoss
25-10-2006, 21:16
I think we have lost sight of the origin of this debate. I think the original poster's quesiton was why would a player ever take Repeater Bolt Throwers when they can take Mercenary Crossbowmen, which are more effective, instead.

I think the answer for most High Elf players would be similar to my answer:

Dogs of War Crossbowmen may be many times better for all I care, I will still never consider using them. I believe that most High Elf players want to use what is on the High Elf list as that is why they chose High Elves in the first place. Pikemen may (or may not be) significantly better for their points than Spearmen but I would never, ever, consider replacing my Spearmens' role in my force with cheaper more effective Pikemen.

I believe that, not statistics, answers the question 'WHY??' :)

Cheers,

enyoss

EDIT: Maybe a better question would be: 'I am collecting High Elves - WHY??' :)

English 2000
25-10-2006, 21:37
No, we havn't lost sight of the original post.

A number of points have already been made, but remain unrefuted by the OP or others who think RBT's are worthless.

Advantages of RBT over Crossbowmen:

~360 Line of Sight means better coverage of the battlefield
~Single bolt option
~Armour priercing
~Better BS
~Higher Leadership (8 vs 7 unless I'm mistaken)
~2 per rare choice vs 1 per rare choice means you can have 2 rbts and 2 eagles as opposed to just having 2 units of Crossbowmen and no eagles
~They are elves so fit with the rest of the army

Too many people out there fail to think tactically and honestly believe a unit is only worthwhile if it "gets its points back" or "can kill more per volley compared to another unit".

The fact is, in this case there is more to consider than just points and killing power.

GrogsnotPowwabomba
25-10-2006, 21:46
For 200 pts, it's a better option than 2 units of RxB warriors (which runs 220pts, no command) and will actually kill stuff. RxB's are a bit of a red herring... sure they double-tap (at-1 to hit), but they're S3 and are relatively short-ranged compared to most missile troops. With double-tapping, they'll statistically get a few more hits, but anything over T3 will create W issues, plus the lack of AS negation. I bring 1 unit of RxB's, 2 if I'm feeling lucky. Mass RxB's would be a waste in most games.

I find that RXB kill T4 just fine. Its T5+ and high armor saves that it has issues with. I also think that massing RXB is when they become more effective. So, yeah, I would much prefer 2 units of RXB Warriors over 2 RBT (if I had to choose one or the other). The RXB Warriors are more versatile, more resilient, and more mobile. All things I want in my army.

Again, I see the use of the RBT, but to say it is required is simply wrong. Plenty of people do very well without RBT in the Dark Elf army. I can't speak as much about the High Elf army, although considering its Core Heavy Cavalry, I can't see RBT being a requirement here either...


It's kinda hard to beat a tree man due to combat resolution seeing how they are stubborn...

So use one of the other ways I suggested...


And I don't believe the DE or HE have to many hard hitting units....

I thinks it's a must (but this is how I play I guess) because the elves really don't have anything hard hitting. Magic is great against units but things with high T not so good.

Heavy Cavalry. Chariots. Monsters. Great Weapon troops. Witch Elves (especially with Manbane Hag). Gauntlet of Power. These don't hit hard? Umm...yeah...


DE magic is great against units but does almost nothing to things with high T

Death Magic and Dark Magic both have spells that can hurt anything in the game. Or they have spells that can delay, hamper, or otherwise neutralize enemies. And High Elves have access to ever lore, which gives them plenty of options for high damage spells.


And RBT are very easy to manouver. Unlike a bulky units

This makes absolutely no sense. You are telling me RBT are more mobile than infantry and cavalry? Can I have what you are smoking? Please... :D

The bottom line: Don't tell me (or anyone else here) that RBT are required for Elves to win. They aren't. Case closed...

enyoss
25-10-2006, 21:53
No, we havn't lost sight of the original post.

Ok... fair enough, I'm just a natural patronizer :). I'm just tired of hearing effectiveness of units summed up in statistics. I suppose my point was that for many people the question can be answered quite simply without having to resort to numerical scores for the many differing battlefield situations which involve the two units.

Cheers,

enyoss

Von Wibble
26-10-2006, 12:06
@ kyussinchains

with radiant gem prince, loremaster and 2 level 2s (1 with jewel), plus banner of sorcery I have 10-12 power dice. Throw in the ring - I don't expect it to be dispelled...

Also I play against armies that come to me - I have not been further than 24" away yet because chaos units have this habit of closing the gap to me...

@Aunshi

Stubborn Ld 8. with +5CR against it chances are you will lose each round. Probability of running in the first round is 15/36. Probability of not running after 2 rounds is only 441/1296 (roughly 1/3). Treemen are pricey and need backuop against cheap large units.



No, we havn't lost sight of the original post.

A number of points have already been made, but remain unrefuted by the OP or others who think RBT's are worthless.

Advantages of RBT over Crossbowmen:

~360 Line of Sight means better coverage of the battlefield
~Single bolt option
~Armour priercing
~Better BS
~Higher Leadership (8 vs 7 unless I'm mistaken)
~2 per rare choice vs 1 per rare choice means you can have 2 rbts and 2 eagles as opposed to just having 2 units of Crossbowmen and no eagles
~They are elves so fit with the rest of the army

Too many people out there fail to think tactically and honestly believe a unit is only worthwhile if it "gets its points back" or "can kill more per volley compared to another unit".

The fact is, in this case there is more to consider than just points and killing power.

All good points nicely summarised - apart from the BS, AP and Ld ( the first 2 dealt with by the mathematical comparison, the latter by putting the general in range). But I disagree witht the final paragraph - every unit in an army has a role. a war machines IS to pay its points back, or to kill a critical, albeit cheaper, unit that would otherwise cause problems. But the latter can be done with archers, magic, fast cav, etc...

There is also not a single role listed for the rbt that I can't achieve using something else.

My conclusion - there is a reason for some players to use them some of the time. The sight arc, range, and reliability (compared to war machines). However, in general, I won't, for the numerous reasons listed in my other posts.

PS Also I won't use mercs for the reasons given by enyoss.

AUN'SHI
26-10-2006, 13:48
as stated-(So use one of the other ways I suggested...)

Ill see what happenes... even though I've use many tactics


as stated-(Heavy Cavalry. Chariots. Monsters. Great Weapon troops. Witch Elves (especially with Manbane Hag). Gauntlet of Power. These don't hit hard? Umm...yeah...)

Have you seen what DE or HE calvery does to treemen? I have an they do nothing.... Your going to take a magic item over a RBT???? that gauntlet costs I believe 50pts....

And HE and DE great weapon unit have ST 5 and attack last... That usually does little to T 6 and greater monsters with an armour save, seeing how only 4 people can usually touch....


as stated- (Death Magic and Dark Magic both have spells that can hurt anything in the game. Or they have spells that can delay, hamper, or otherwise neutralize enemies. And High Elves have access to ever lore, which gives them plenty of options for high damage spells.)

Ummmm.... What dark magic spell can cause good damage on monsters Id like to know??? And Shadow magic as well please give me some examples.......


As stated-(This makes absolutely no sense. You are telling me RBT are more mobile than infantry and cavalry? Can I have what you are smoking? Please... )

I believe you misunderstood.... More manuverable in the sence that It can see 360 degrees, and is not too contrained by terrain because it's pretty small. making it very easy to turn and face any side....

As stated-(The bottom line: Don't tell me (or anyone else here) that RBT are required for Elves to win. They aren't. Case closed...)

I guess you missed the part where I said I THINK!!! its a must (but then again that is how I play) case re-opened ;)

FatOlaf
26-10-2006, 15:38
Oh how do I hate the He RBT, My opponent always takes two and keeps his entire line behind them, occasionaly sends in some silver helms.
He usually loses with this tactic but I still hate the things!

kyussinchains
26-10-2006, 15:51
@ kyussinchains
with radiant gem prince, loremaster and 2 level 2s (1 with jewel), plus banner of sorcery I have 10-12 power dice. Throw in the ring - I don't expect it to be dispelled...

with 3 exalted champions of khorne, a caddy with 2 scrolls, 4 khorne chariots and 3 units of khorne knights, I have 13 dispel dice and 2 scrolls, I stand a fairly even chance of stopping almost everything of yours, not to mention the spells that you fail to cast or miscast, with that many dice rolling around, it's quite likely you'll miscast too. (not saying that I play that army, but for every seer council army, there is a magic hole army to be made too)



Also I play against armies that come to me - I have not been further than 24" away yet because chaos units have this habit of closing the gap to me...

Fair enough, but your mages might be at the wrong end of the battle line, just because the armies are less than 24 inches apart, doesnt mean your mages are in range of the other end of the line



But I disagree witht the final paragraph - every unit in an army has a role. a war machines IS to pay its points back, or to kill a critical, albeit cheaper, unit that would otherwise cause problems. But the latter can be done with archers, magic, fast cav, etc...


well the RBT is perfectly capable of doing 100 points worth of damage, so in that case it's done it's job, and it works better than archers at taking down tougher troops, it's more reliable than magic, and it will make a mess of most fast cavalry, which is a useful psycological advantage when your enemy is moving them around



There is also not a single role listed for the rbt that I can't achieve using something else.


that's the beauty of warhammer! you can often make up for a disadvantage in the army with something else, you dont NEED to take cannons as an empire player, you dont NEED chaos knights as a chaos player, and even the commoner horde is a viable option for bretonnian players.



My conclusion - there is a reason for some players to use them some of the time. The sight arc, range, and reliability (compared to war machines). However, in general, I won't, for the numerous reasons listed in my other posts.

PS Also I won't use mercs for the reasons given by enyoss.

that's your choice, and I agree, mercs ruin the whole theme of an army, like back in the days of 4th edition when you'd have a dwarf army with 25% of its points spent on high elf mages and empire knights!

Darkhorse
26-10-2006, 15:52
Dogs of War Crossbowmen may be many times better for all I care, I will still never consider using them. I believe that most High Elf players want to use what is on the High Elf list as that is why they chose High Elves in the first place. Pikemen may (or may not be) significantly better for their points than Spearmen but I would never, ever, consider replacing my Spearmens' role in my force with cheaper more effective Pikemen.
High Elf Spearmen and DoW pikemen in heavy armour cost exactly the same, 11 pts a model, and I find little difference in their performance on the tabletop.
Personally I'm not keen on the RBT for aesthetic reasons (It just isn't as impressive visually as a line of troops). Other people may have other reasons, though I concur that it's worth about 70 pts, so the thing is costing a magic ring.
As for the archers, maybe 9 pts per model.

Slaaneshi Slave
26-10-2006, 15:57
Oh how do I hate the He RBT, My opponent always takes two and keeps his entire line behind them, occasionaly sends in some silver helms.
He usually loses with this tactic but I still hate the things!

My masters opponent takes four. He was not happy when my Master frenzied the crew of two and made the crew of the other run half way across the table in search of a naked illusion. :p

Von Wibble
26-10-2006, 19:57
My masters opponent takes four. He was not happy when my Master frenzied the crew of two and made the crew of the other run half way across the table in search of a naked illusion. :p

Slaaneshi slave - Nice!

Heavy cav does fine against monsters btw - they don't tend to have WS6 so with the exception of dragons only hit half the time, and then armour will save 1 model So outnumber, ranks and banner means you win by 2, before applying any wounds you do get (with monsters lack of saves you can reasonably expect 1). Even without heavy cav diversion tactics or good old +5 CR tend to do the trick. (favourite tactic - helm of fortune on a dragon prince champion).

Kyussinchains, the only armies I cannot magically dominate are khornate like yours, for which the rbt substitute, the eagle, is even more indispensable, or dwarfs. Also your army has 12 dice not 13. Less once I have baited and killed some of the units;) Given the choice of 2 rbts or 2 eagles and 100pts of other troops/items I would always take the latter. That especially applies against khorne. RBTs won't hurt knights and chariots that much anyway, even with single shots.

To be fair, the 1 time I beat dwarfs I did use bolt throwers. I have conceded some of the points made in the rbts favour.

It isn't "perfectly capable of taking down 100pts of troops". Thats my problem, and reason for the original post. Mine rarely manage more than 40.

original quote - that's the beauty of warhammer! you can often make up for a disadvantage in the army with something else, you dont NEED to take cannons as an empire player, you dont NEED chaos knights as a chaos player, and even the commoner horde is a viable option for bretonnian players.

completely agree. Thats why imo the empire, wood elf, tomb kings and lizardman lists are all particularly strong - they allow you to do that without weakening your chances of victory. But where this needs to balance is that unless you pick your army with an attitude of wanting a force that feels right, all troop types need to be at the right level of strength. GW imo is getting better at this all the time - in general rewrites seem to be beefing up unpopular choices and weakening teh better ones. case in point - choppas and 3pt gobbos. I just hope their view of the rbt coincides with mine, not yours:D

Darkhorse - we play house rule that archers cost 10pts each but come with light armour (because it doesn't feel right that an elf should cost less than 10 - our house rules also have de infantry all at 10pts minimum but improved). House rules suggested by the opponent of HE rather than the player I have to add...

GrogsnotPowwabomba
27-10-2006, 06:43
Before I reply, I suggest you learn to use the quote function this forum provides. It will make life easier for anyone who reads your posts, as they are difficult to follow in their current form when you reply to people's statements...


as stated-(Heavy Cavalry. Chariots. Monsters. Great Weapon troops. Witch Elves (especially with Manbane Hag). Gauntlet of Power. These don't hit hard? Umm...yeah...)

Have you seen what DE or HE calvery does to treemen? I have an they do nothing.... Your going to take a magic item over a RBT???? that gauntlet costs I believe 50pts....

Heavy calvarly can beat on a Treeman just fine. And the Gauntlet wins combats, which is worth much more to me than 6/1 overpriced S4/S6 shots per turn. The 50pt Gauntlet can easily wreck a Treeman, for example, in 1-2 turns, whereas this is much less likely to happen with an RBT. I personally don't even use the Gauntlet, but I was just giving you examples since you were painting a picture of helpless Elves who couldn't possibly kill monsters without RBT...


And HE and DE great weapon unit have ST 5 and attack last... That usually does little to T 6 and greater monsters with an armour save, seeing how only 4 people can usually touch....

5+ to would is just fine. My S3 troops seem to be able to wound T4 troops. Why is this any different? And if I can keep the unit locked in combat for 2-3 turns through combat resolution, I have already dealt with the unit by neutralizing it...


as stated- (Death Magic and Dark Magic both have spells that can hurt anything in the game. Or they have spells that can delay, hamper, or otherwise neutralize enemies. And High Elves have access to ever lore, which gives them plenty of options for high damage spells.)

Ummmm.... What dark magic spell can cause good damage on monsters Id like to know??? And Shadow magic as well please give me some examples.......

Doombolt and the 2D6 MM spell in Death Lore wound monsters regularly. I never mentioned Shaodw magic having spells that could damage monsters. Lastly, you completely failed to address the fact that High Elves have access to many damage causing spells in other lores and that both races have access to plenty of spells that can neutralize monsters or marginalize them for periods of the game. Word of Pain on a Treeman, for example, will make it worthless and easily defeated in combat by any infantry unit with ranks and standard.


As stated-(This makes absolutely no sense. You are telling me RBT are more mobile than infantry and cavalry? Can I have what you are smoking? Please... )

I believe you misunderstood.... More manuverable in the sence that It can see 360 degrees, and is not too contrained by terrain because it's pretty small. making it very easy to turn and face any side....

This is pushing it. You are playing to semantics here to cover your error...


As stated-(The bottom line: Don't tell me (or anyone else here) that RBT are required for Elves to win. They aren't. Case closed...)

I guess you missed the part where I said I THINK!!! its a must (but then again that is how I play) case re-opened ;)


RBT are a must for ALL elf army.

I don't see the word "think" anywhere in here...

I suggest you check out Asur.org and Druchii.net and you will find plenty of players who eschew RBT and plenty of ways of dealing with the big, nasty threats you are describing that don't involve RBT...

AUN'SHI
27-10-2006, 15:09
Heavy calvarly can beat on a Treeman just fine. And the Gauntlet wins combats, which is worth much more to me than 6/1 overpriced S4/S6 shots per turn. The 50pt Gauntlet can easily wreck a Treeman, for example, in 1-2 turns, whereas this is much less likely to happen with an RBT. I personally don't even use the Gauntlet, but I was just giving you examples since you were painting a picture of helpless Elves who couldn't possibly kill monsters without RBT...

Almost anything can beat something just fine.... It comes down to which is better at it.... archers can take down heavy caverly "just fine" but and RBT can take them down better.....

I agree that their are many ways for an elf army to take down High toughness opponents.... But I feel that RBT's are the easiest ways.
Still don't agree with the gauntlet... a great weapon can do almost the same thing for way cheaper...


5+ to would is just fine. My S3 troops seem to be able to wound T4 troops. Why is this any different? And if I can keep the unit locked in combat for 2-3 turns through combat resolution, I have already dealt with the unit by neutralizing it...

Again I understand ST 5 can take down a treeeman "just fine" But I believe a ST 6 bolt doing d3 wounds would be better....


Doombolt and the 2D6 MM spell in Death Lore wound monsters regularly. I never mentioned Shaodw magic having spells that could damage monsters. Lastly, you completely failed to address the fact that High Elves have access to many damage causing spells in other lores and that both races have access to plenty of spells that can neutralize monsters or marginalize them for periods of the game. Word of Pain on a Treeman, for example, will make it worthless and easily defeated in combat by any infantry unit with ranks and standard.

Doom bolt is 1d6 st 5 not 2 d6, I didn't make reference to HE magic cause I don't know to much about it... I quickly read it over and I didn't find anything to overly powerful...


This is pushing it. You are playing to semantics here to cover your error...

Ummmmm.... no there was no error I just assumed people would understand That I didn't actually mean an RBT would be moving faster than calverly.... I think that was the only error I made. My fault :eyebrows: But Ill make it clear right now... RBT are able to pivit or turn 360 degrees and see every where... and easier to turn then bulky units.....



I don't see the word "think" anywhere in here...

That was in my 2nd post.. I did not really mean that everyone has no choice but to use it.... Anyone can do what they want... If It came out that I was saying that everyone should use it my apologies... any can obviously do what ever they want with their armies


I suggest you check out Asur.org and Druchii.net and you will find plenty of players who eschew RBT and plenty of ways of dealing with the big, nasty threats you are describing that don't involve RBT...


Sorry Ill try to make this clear this time around.... I feel that the RBT is a must for me or my style of play.... I have fought some pretty big monsters and other things with high T and the RBT has never failed me.... This is what I feel with the elves....

But again people make their armies different and any way you enjoy playing with your army is the way you should play...

And to stick with the original argument... Why RBT.... The reasons provided are MY thought on this.... easier to Turn and see... not bulky... 6 st 4 -2 save shots, or 1 big bolt st 6 go through units no save, d3 wounds.... I think it's great..

GrogsnotPowwabomba
27-10-2006, 16:19
Doom bolt is 1d6 st 5 not 2 d6, I didn't make reference to HE magic cause I don't know to much about it... I quickly read it over and I didn't find anything to overly powerful...

If you read carefully, I am distinguishing between Doombolt and the 2d6 S4 MM spell from the Death Lore (I forget its name). Both will, on average, cause a wound to a Treeman assuming they are not dispelled. To be honest, if you want spells to deal with big scary monsters, Death Lore is better. The spell that reduces leadership by -3 will make that Treeman much easier to break, as well as the multiple magic missle spells the lore provides.

Beyond this, I'll just agree to disagree with you. I think the RBT is very overpriced for what it does, and I can accomplish the same thing much more cheaply and with units that can provide multiple roles on the battlefield. When I was a beginner, I loved the RBT. But after playing Dark Elves for about 5 years now, I've come to think it is more of a points sink and a liability.

mfran00
27-10-2006, 16:28
what if its armour penalty was simply minus 3? or strength 5 armour piercing?

Then maybe I would do it. I've heard others talk about style with RBT. I think my style is about versatility. And that machine is not that versatile. IMO. :(

Von Wibble
27-10-2006, 17:23
what if its armour penalty was simply minus 3? or strength 5 armour piercing?

Then maybe I would do it. I've heard others talk about style with RBT. I think my style is about versatility. And that machine is not that versatile. IMO. :(



Beyond this, I'll just agree to disagree with you. I think the RBT is very overpriced for what it does, and I can accomplish the same thing much more cheaply and with units that can provide multiple roles on the battlefield. When I was a beginner, I loved the RBT. But after playing Dark Elves for about 5 years now, I've come to think it is more of a points sink and a liability.

Both of these points completely sum up my opinion.

Imo 5th edition rules for it were fair - it ot 4 multiple shots that were S4, ignored armour and pierced ranks. At 100 pts thats still expensive. A return to those rules but 1 per rare would suit me much more. I don't think it was unbalanced then, and at 1 per rare it wouldn't be now. Hypothetical thinking of course.

kyussinchains
27-10-2006, 17:49
Kyussinchains, the only armies I cannot magically dominate are khornate like yours, for which the rbt substitute, the eagle, is even more indispensable, or dwarfs. Also your army has 12 dice not 13. Less once I have baited and killed some of the units;)

not wanting to argue about the minutiae here, but my army has 13 dispel dice, 3 for the 3 exalteds, 1 for the caddy, 4 for the chariots and 3 for the knights (plus the two in the pool)



RBTs won't hurt knights and chariots that much anyway, even with single shots.


they hurt knights just fine, the only knights in the game with a 1+ save are chosen chaos, or empire, so those cold one knights, silverhelms, dragon princes, white wolves, bretonnian knights, non chosen chaos knights, only get a 4+ save against RBT fire, all you need to do is kill a few of those targets to make your points back!



To be fair, the 1 time I beat dwarfs I did use bolt throwers. I have conceded some of the points made in the rbts favour.


then we can more easily agree to disagree ;)



It isn't "perfectly capable of taking down 100pts of troops". Thats my problem, and reason for the original post. Mine rarely manage more than 40.


depends on what you shoot it at! if you're firing into a unit of skaven clanrats or goblins, of course you're not going to make your points back, but most moderately expensive troops (as well as fast cavalry which are rarely less than 15 points a pop) die easily enough to RBT fire, a couple of turns will usually make me 100 points back.



I just hope their view of the rbt coincides with mine, not yours:D


of course you do ;)

Von Wibble
27-10-2006, 21:45
[QUOTE=kyussinchains;1036958]not wanting to argue about the minutiae here, but my army has 13 dispel dice, 3 for the 3 exalteds, 1 for the caddy, 4 for the chariots and 3 for the knights (plus the two in the pool)
[QUOTE=kyussinchains;1036958]they hurt knights just fine, the only knights in the game with a 1+ save are chosen chaos, or empire, so those cold one knights, silverhelms, dragon princes, white wolves, bretonnian knights, non chosen chaos knights, only get a 4+ save against RBT fire, all you need to do is kill a few of those targets to make your points back!

Yes, I forgot the caddy. But my previous points about eagles being a better choice still stand.

A few - you mean 4 to make points back for most of these. In 2 turns of shooting. Not going to happen - average damage already calculated is about 1 per round. Yes you can combine fire, but 3 rbts cost about the same as a unit of these knights and in 2 rounds of fire still don't kill them completely so they can still fill some kind of role. And the rest of the army is unscathed by shooting.

[QUOTE=kyussinchains;1036958]depends on what you shoot it at! if you're firing into a unit of skaven clanrats or goblins, of course you're not going to make your points back, but most moderately expensive troops (as well as fast cavalry which are rarely less than 15 points a pop) die easily enough to RBT fire, a couple of turns will usually make me 100 points back.

With the exception of elves, such troops tend to take 4 hits, 2 wounds, for 20 pts (ish) of damage. In 6 turns that is points back, but the rbt doesn't last 6 turns, as it is so easily killed. Even in games where I slaughter my opponent my war machines don't survive in general. Fast cav is definately the best target, but this is true for archers and magic as well.

kyussinchains
31-10-2006, 18:04
But my previous points about eagles being a better choice still stand.


how do eagles fare against chosen knights? I'm pretty sure they just give away combat resolution...



A few - you mean 4 to make points back for most of these. In 2 turns of shooting. Not going to happen - average damage already calculated is about 1 per round. Yes you can combine fire, but 3 rbts cost about the same as a unit of these knights and in 2 rounds of fire still don't kill them completely so they can still fill some kind of role. And the rest of the army is unscathed by shooting.


I dont remember stipulating a turn limit for the RBTs to have done their damage, assuming that all RBTs will be destroyed by the 3rd turn is a little optimistic, especially since they excel at destroying the units able to reach them that quickly



With the exception of elves, such troops tend to take 4 hits, 2 wounds, for 20 pts (ish) of damage. In 6 turns that is points back, but the rbt doesn't last 6 turns, as it is so easily killed. Even in games where I slaughter my opponent my war machines don't survive in general. Fast cav is definately the best target, but this is true for archers and magic as well.

Not to mention the repeated panic tests you force on the units you fire at, which is worth a huge amount in game terms.

a unit of 10 high elf archers costs more than a RBT (I think, although not being a high elf player myself, I'm not certain) has a shorter range, lower strength and no armour penetration, why would you use them instead?

Lieutenant Frederic Henry
31-10-2006, 22:03
Repeater bolt throwers also serve as a distraction unit in their own right. Not to mention their psychological factors. However, I agree they were far more useful in 5th edition. That combined with archers provided a firebase and gave a High Elf force an anchor point. They still do this to some degree in 6th-7th edition.

English 2000
01-11-2006, 00:57
RBT are only mandatory for beginners...

Ok, well now the gauntlett is off since I'm a beginner to using HE (yes I've got about 10k, but it was all given to me last year) so I'm going to rework my list, drop the RBTs and see how I can do.

Then we'll see if a beginner (to using High Elves) can make do without them

:)

I'll let you know how it goes....

Von Wibble
01-11-2006, 17:05
Ok, well now the gauntlett is off since I'm a beginner to using HE (yes I've got about 10k, but it was all given to me last year) so I'm going to rework my list, drop the RBTs and see how I can do.

Then we'll see if a beginner (to using High Elves) can make do without them

:)

I'll let you know how it goes....

Contradiciton - if a beginner can't do without them then it is mandatory for beginners. If you can't do without them then your point is fair.

However, I have a lot less HE models (about 3500pts) and looking at your sig, probably a lot less experience than you. And I have never missed the rbts when I haven't taken them. I have lost with HE three times - on all occasions I had rbt in the army. I have never lost a game without the things. Correlation btw, not causation. But not coincidence either.

I have to add that I feel a good army is one in which you can experiment with your selection and not automatically consider a choice mandatory. Surely you have played (and competed) without rbts before??

Kyussinchains - Eagles don't engage knights in combat!! They stand right in front of them, blocking movement. When the knights charge you flee. The knights have to realign in your direction so are sent completely the wrong way (potentially exposing a flank to a cavalry and chariot charge or even, lol, a single shot from a rbt!). If you get the distance right it is also possible the eagle may survive but at 1-2 per rare it doesn't matter too much if they don't. Remember the chosen chaos knights you mentioned were Khornate so frenzy makes the job even easier - as they don't need to get as close. Standing in front of a wood in the khornate units charge arc and then letting your army gang up on the portion of his force that doesn't chase you...
Also note marchblocking is possible if you hold as a reaction (the overrun plus realignment can easily set up a destructive countercharge).

The rbt may hurt a unit or 2. The Eagle can win you a game. Which one shall I use my rare slots on? :rolleyes:

3rd turn destroyed is possible but not expected. But the turn limit applies more to the fact that the units in the enemy army that I want dead will usually be in combat by my 3rd turn. Other warmachines will still pay their point off in this time (the cannon does it in 1 shot on a chariot for example) - but not the RBT.

To your final point, Archers are core, rbts are rare. No other reason, and I usually don't have archers either. I use reavers and magic to take out fast cav.

Latro
01-11-2006, 17:36
Eagles don't engage knights in combat!! They stand right in front of them, blocking movement. When the knights charge you flee. The knights have to realign in your direction so are sent completely the wrong way.

Not really ... the way you describe it the Knights will charge into the direction they were facing and the Eagle will be fleeing in that direction as well, no matter what way it was facing before.

... chargers only allign themselves to the defenders after a succesful charge.

If that is what you mean, the Knights will either kill the Eagle and can refuse to overrun, or break the bird and get a chance to restrain. They will be facing the wrong way, but unless they're frenzied you have no guarantee they will be overrunning/pursueing as well.

On a sidenote: if you're not having succes with RBT's, it might also mean you just haven't discovered the correct use for them.

kyussinchains
01-11-2006, 17:48
Kyussinchains - Eagles don't engage knights in combat!! They stand right in front of them, blocking movement. When the knights charge you flee. The knights have to realign in your direction so are sent completely the wrong way (potentially exposing a flank to a cavalry and chariot charge or even, lol, a single shot from a rbt!). If you get the distance right it is also possible the eagle may survive but at 1-2 per rare it doesn't matter too much if they don't. Remember the chosen chaos knights you mentioned were Khornate so frenzy makes the job even easier - as they don't need to get as close. Standing in front of a wood in the khornate units charge arc and then letting your army gang up on the portion of his force that doesn't chase you...
Also note marchblocking is possible if you hold as a reaction (the overrun plus realignment can easily set up a destructive countercharge).

The rbt may hurt a unit or 2. The Eagle can win you a game. Which one shall I use my rare slots on? :rolleyes:

3rd turn destroyed is possible but not expected. But the turn limit applies more to the fact that the units in the enemy army that I want dead will usually be in combat by my 3rd turn. Other warmachines will still pay their point off in this time (the cannon does it in 1 shot on a chariot for example) - but not the RBT.

To your final point, Archers are core, rbts are rare. No other reason, and I usually don't have archers either. I use reavers and magic to take out fast cav.

no chaos general worth his salt goes into battle without a screen of hounds in front of his knights, especially when you're using lots of fast moving frenzied troops! in either case, the hounds can charge the eagle, either breaking it or tying it up, while the knights are still prevented from charging it by the hounds in the way.

anyway, this will have to be my final word on the matter, I'm moving from the USA back to england in a few days and I unfortunately wont be online for a while.

enyoss
01-11-2006, 18:28
kyussinchains... I've never known you to use hounds :p. Good luck with the move and see you at Christmas.

Cheers,

enyoss

p.s. Change your avatar... I hate that one :). I've got some dashing Connery ones if you need them ;)

kyussinchains
01-11-2006, 18:59
kyussinchains... I've never known you to use hounds :p. Good luck with the move and see you at Christmas.

Cheers,

enyoss

p.s. Change your avatar... I hate that one :). I've got some dashing Connery ones if you need them ;)

I dont use hounds because they cost 3 quid a pop and the models are awful, as you know I dont like to get ripped off, and anyway I've used my crappy fleshound models as chaos hounds a few times.

and no I cant be bothered to convert hounds from goblin wolves!

the avatar stays, there's no better avatar than a guy getting rocked so hard by the ultimate assault in metal that is 'Dethklok' that his eyes start to bleed!

/thread hijacking

Von Wibble
01-11-2006, 19:59
If you want to charge the chaos knights in you have to move the screen away at some point. And the eagle can still go to the side and marchblock until this happens. I regularly face chaos and hound screens haven't worked against me yet...

Latro - point taken. The example is however chosen khornate chaos knights...and I can happily sacrifice 1 eagle per turn.

showmydog
02-11-2006, 00:17
RBT's are 'The Sheet'
Easy to defend, dont take up much room etc.
They are a very good choice.

A word of warning though, it is almost always better to use the repeating function(or 'pepper' as my friend says).

It turns out that it is only worth using the single bolt when shoot at:

3+ ranks, T4, 2+ sv
4+ ranks, T3, 2+ sv
3+ ranks of anything with 1+ sv


"What about big mosters?" i hear you ask.
Th repeater function again is the best bet.
Against multiple wound creatures it is worth using the single bolt when they are:

T4 or T5, 2+ save or better
T6, 4+ save or better

In other words not very often.

If in doubt, "Volley', "Pepper", "Spit", "Repeat" etc...


Enjoy,

Matt

GrogsnotPowwabomba
02-11-2006, 12:48
This was posted a long time ago on Druchii.net. I know the poster personally, and he has very strong academic credentials and performs a job that requires quite a bit of quantitative analysis, so I trust his numbers and methods.

The numbers are averages, but I still feel they are telling. I think there is a strong, quantitative argument against the RBT...


Because I can, because I want to, and because I don't want to repeat myself when someone contends that RBTs are the best way to kill troop type X (specifically Brets). [To Mods - would this summary be "worthy" of a sticky, for reference purposes if nothing else?]

The thing is done in Excel (takes about 10 minutes to set up if you know how) - clearly I can't post up the file, but I can provide backup calculations as is needed (I already did somewhat below). Note that I didn't run the numbers for single characters (mounted or otherwise), Large Targets, and Skirmishers/Artillery Crews. [I can do that later if anyone _really_ wamts to...]

Single Fire - Summary
Single Fire__________Range_____Weighted Average Kills
T3 Infantry___________Long_______0.49
T3 Infantry___________Short______0.66
T3 Cavalry (1 rank)____Long______0.42
T3 Cavalry (1 rank)____Short_____0.56
T3 Cavalry (3 ranks)___Long______0.60
T3 Cavalry (3 ranks)___Short_____0.80
Bret Cavalry (3 ranks)_Long______0.28
Bret Cavalry (3 ranks)_Short______0.37
T4 Infantry ___________Long______0.32
T4 Infantry___________Short______0.43
T4 Cavalry (1 rank)____Long_______0.42
T4 Cavalry (1 rank)____Short_____0.56
T4 Cavalry (3 ranks)___Long______0.46
T4 Cavalry (3 ranks)___Short_____0.62

Note - all infantry assumed in ranks of 5.

Multi-fire - Summary
Multi-fire_______________________________Range______Aver age Kills
HE Spears_________________________________Long_______ 2.00
HE Spears_________________________________Short______ _2.67
Empire Swordsmen (4+Sv)__________________Long_______1.67
Empire Swordsmen (4+Sv)__________________Short_______2.22
Empire Knights (1+Sv)______________________Long______0.67
Empire Knights (1+Sv)______________________Short______0.89
HE Knights (2+Sv)__________________________Long______1.00
HE Knights (2+Sv)__________________________Short______1.33
Bret Knights (2+Sv + Ward)_________________Long_______0.83
Bret Knights (2+Sv + Ward)_________________Short______1.11
Orc Boyz___________________________________Long______1 .50
Orc Boyz___________________________________Short______ 2.00
Grave Guard (4+Sv)_________________________Long______1.25
Grave Guard (4+Sv)________________________Short______1.67
Ironbreakers (3+Sv)________________________Long______1.00
Boarboyz (3+Sv)____________________________Short_____1.33
Chaos Knights (2+Sv)_______________________Long______0.75
Chaos Knights (2+Sv)_______________________Short______1.00
Chosen Knights (1+Sv)______________________Long______0.50
Chosen Knights (1+Sv)______________________Short_____0.67

Note - All troops up to Brets are T3; all troops starting with and below Orc Boyz are T4.

Note 2 - the above figures represent the average number of kills per volley . That is, I assume 6 shots, with 3 to 4 hits depending on range, and plug in Toughness and Armour as appropriate.

Single-fire - Backup Calcs
Important - first (smaller) entry for each troop type is at Long Range, the second is at Short Range. Basically just like the Single Fire Summary table above.

__________________%%1______%%2_____%%3______%%4___ ___%%5
T3 Infantry___________0.42_______0.35______0.23______ 0.12_______0.04
T3 Infantry___________0.56_______0.46______0.31______ 0.15_______0.05
T3 Cavalry (1 rank)____0.42
T3 Cavalry (1 rank)____0.56
T3 Cavalry (3 ranks)___0.42_____0.35_______0.23
T3 Cavalry (3 ranks)___0.56_____0.46_______ 0.31
Bret Cavalry (3 ranks)__0.28_____0.15_______0.09
Bret Cavalry (3 ranks)__0.37_____0.21_______0.11
T4 Infantry____________0.42_____0.28_______0.14______ 0.05_______0.01
T4 Infantry____________0.56_____0.37_______0.19______ 0.06_______0.01
T4 Cavalry (1 rank)____0.42
T4 Cavalry (1 rank)____0.56
T4 Cavalry (3 ranks)___0.42_____0.28_______ 0.14
T4 Cavalry (3 ranks)___0.56_____0.37_______ 0.19

Note - all infantry is assumed to come in ranked units of 5. No armour save component, but Brets get a Ward save as per their rules.

EDIT 3 - ADDITIONAL TABLES DEALING WITH MONSTERS AND MONSTROUS MOUNTS

Note 1 - both single fire and multi-fire tables consider the same classes of targets. Only the final outcomes of the calculations are presented.

Note 2 - the "Hits" column considers the total expected number of hits vs. a given target class, treating both the rider and his mount (where appropriate) as a single target. The expected Wounds values are then calculated based on the premise that 1/3 of the hits will go against the rider, while 2/3 of the hits will go against the mount.

Note 3 - all T5 and T6 monsters are considered to be Large Targets (+1 to hit) for the purpose of these calculations. All T4 monsters are not. Riders are considered to be a part of their mounts (see Note 2 above) for purposes of Hit percentages. Note that units of monsters (e.g. 2-ranked regiment of Minotaurs or of Khornate Bloodcrushers) are not considered for simplicity's sake.

Note 4 - to reiterate, all these figures are averages , i.e. the values likely to be approached over many trials. On a single game, or single Shooting Phase, basis the actual percentages may vary widely.

Single Fire
Single Fire_____________________Range_____Hits (total)____# of Wounds (excluding Ward Saves)
T4 Monster (Minotaur)__________Long______0.50___________0.83
T4 Monster (Minotaur)__________Short______0.67___________1.11
T4 Mount (Pegasus Mount)______Long______0.50___________0.56
T4 Mount (Pegasus Mount)______Short______0.67___________0.74
T5 Monster (Giant)______________Long______0.67___________0.89
T5 Monster (Giant)______________Short______0.83___________1.1 1
T5 Mount (Manticore)____________Long______0.67___________0. 59
T5 Mount (Manticore)____________Short_____0.83____________0 .74
T6 Monster (Bloodthirster)________Long______0.67___________0. 67
T6 Monster (Bloodthirster)________Short______0.83___________0 .83
T6 Mount (Dragon)_______________Long______0.67___________0. 44
T6 Mount (Dragon)_______________Short______0.83___________0 .56
T3 Rider_________________________Long______0.50______ _____0.28
T3 Rider_________________________Short_____0.67______ ______0.37
T4 Rider_________________________Long______0.50______ _____0.28
T4 Rider_________________________Short______0.67_____ ______0.37
T5 Rider_________________________Long______0.50______ _____0.22
T5 Rider_________________________Short______0.67_____ ______0.30
T3 Rider (Large Target)___________Long______0.67___________0.37
T3 Rider (Large Target)___________Short______0.83___________0.46
T4 Rider (Large Target)___________Long______0.67___________0.37
T4 Rider (Large Target)___________Short_____0.83____________0.46
T5 Rider (Large Target)___________Long______0.67___________0.30
T5 Rider (Large Target)___________Short______0.83___________0.37

Notes:
1. Expected Wounds value calculated assuming an average roll of 3-4 on a D3 (i.e. each hit averages 2 wounds).

2. Expected Wounds value is before any Ward Saves imparted to the monster and/or its rider. To find the maximum (D3 roll = 5-6) and minimum (D3 roll = 1-2) expected Wounds before Ward Saves, multiply the results above by 3/2 (maximum) and 1/2 (minimum) respectively.

Multi-fire
Multi Fire________________________Range_____Hits (total)____Wounds Before Saves
T4 Monster (Minotaur)____________Long______3.00__________1.50
T4 Monster (Minotaur)____________Short______4.00__________2.0 0
T4 Mount (Pegasus Mount)________Long______3.00__________1.00
T4 Mount (Pegasus Mount)________Short______4.00__________1.33
T5 Monster (Giant)________________Long______4.00__________1.3 3
T5 Monster (Giant)________________Short______5.00_________1.6 7
T5 Mount (Manticore)______________Long______4.00_________0. 89
T5 Mount (Manticore)_____________Short_______5.00_________1 .11
T6 Monster (Bloodthirster)_________Long_______4.00_________0. 67
T6 Monster (Bloodthirster)_________Short_______5.00_________0 .83
T6 Mount (Dragon)_______________Long________4.00_________0. 44
T6 Mount (Dragon)________________Short_______5.00_________0 .56
T3 Rider_________________________Long________3.00____ _____0.67
T3 Rider__________________________Short_______4.00___ ______0.89
T4 Rider__________________________Long_______3.00____ _____0.50
T4 Rider__________________________Short_______4.00___ _____0.67
T5 Rider_________________________Long________3.00____ ____0.33
T5 Rider_________________________Short_______4.00____ ______0.44
T3 Rider (Large Target)___________Long_______4.00_________0.89
T3 Rider (Large Target)___________Short_______5.00________1.11
T4 Rider (Large Target)____________Long_______4.00_______0.67
T4 Rider (Large Target)___________Short_______5.00_______0.83
T5 Rider (Large Target)__________Long________4.00_______0.44
T5 Rider (Large Target)__________Short_______5.00________0.56

Notes:
1. Expected Wounds calculated before armour saves . This was done mainly to save space (as each target class can conceivably have any type of armour/ward save). When comparing single-fire to multi-fire against Monsters and Monstrous Mounts, bear in mind that the seemingly better multi-fire results will likely be reduced after saves. Thus, one multi-fire volley at a Dragon (3+ Sv) will actually cause 0.30 and 0.37 wounds at Long and Short range after saves, not 0.44 and 0.56 as shown above.

Wolflord Havoc
02-11-2006, 13:06
Apologies if it has been mentioned already but when comparing RBT with Crossbows are people also not considering the range of the weapons?

I have only played a few games of warhammer (but while new to warhammer I am not new to gaming) recently and as the only 2 armies available to me and my mates is ork/gobbos vs High Elf - I have identified the RBT(s) as one of the first things that must die when I was using the orks.

Also the first game I had was HE vs Another players killer Ork list. I maanged a draw and found that the 2 RBTs were very useful for reducing the ranks of a big unit of Black orks (making the eventual combat more to my favor) and mincing some Wolf riders (who were annoyingly stopping my cavalry from marching) and Forest Goblin spider riders. The archers in most games I have played were next to useless.

However while Its range and number of shots made it far more dangerous than a unit of 10 longbows (who were more expensive), I find that it is easier to kill (or have killed) than a unit.

In the end I have to say that the RBTs range and number of shots makes it very handy to have and I would take 1 over 10 HE Archers.

Von Wibble
02-11-2006, 18:21
Showmydog, your maths is misleading on big monsters. You get the same damage vs t6 with no save.

Thanks, Grogsnot - I had already worked out a lot of that before even starting the thread but it sums it up nicely.

The data seems to show the multiple shots are about 2.5 times better than single. Throw in BS4 and thats even more improvement. On shooting, assuming you are only using scenarios where multiple shots are used, thats a 333% increase in price justified. I would consider 2 elf crew to be worth 3 goblins so that makes the rbt worth 3.3333 x 35. Roughly 117pts.

But then a reduction should apply because rbts are rare not special (thats got to be worth at least 30pts imo - and the argument that HE rares aren't as good as specials doesn't apply as the books weaknesses do not directly relate to teh incorrect price of rbt), and because there are times where single bolts are better - the above calculations assume fairly optimal conditions. In which case I feel 70pts is valid.

However, what is apparent is that against high/dark elf elite infantry armies the rbt suddenly comes into its own. Quadrupling effectiveness of firepower is useful. I must admit I didn't take that on into account as I usually face Grave Guard heavy Blood Dragons and Choas - both notedfor T4 and good armour. I therefore tend to reserve shooting for dealing with support troops.

At the start of the thread I asked WHY?? Some answers have at last been provided. I still can't say I would take the rbt automatically as many advocate, but against some armies I will consider it.

kyussinchains
02-11-2006, 18:31
However, what is apparent is that against high/dark elf elite infantry armies the rbt suddenly comes into its own. Quadrupling effectiveness of firepower is useful. I must admit I didn't take that on into account as I usually face Grave Guard heavy Blood Dragons and Choas - both notedfor T4 and good armour. I therefore tend to reserve shooting for dealing with support troops.

At the start of the thread I asked WHY?? Some answers have at last been provided. I still can't say I would take the rbt automatically as many advocate, but against some armies I will consider it.

I think because my main opponents play tomb kings, high elves, and empire, I've probably had more success with RBTs than you, hence the difference of opinion

I still dont take them automatically, but I think they're damn useful and I will try to include at least 2 in an army

and this really is my last word on the matter, I'm moving out in 2 days, I have to get off the net!!

ardude
02-11-2006, 18:32
@ von wibble if you did read it correctly than you would see that armor saves aren't included there cous big T6 monsters have alot of differant saves ;)

- Human
02-11-2006, 18:49
At the start of the thread I asked WHY?? Some answers have at last been provided. I still can't say I would take the rbt automatically as many advocate, but against some armies I will consider it.

A very sensible decision. The RBT isn't a be-all or end-all warmachine, and it's overcosted. But it fills somewhat of a niche in the 2 elf armies that have it. Regardless, going without RBTs will not hinder your ability to be successful overall. When you DO bring them to the battlefield, shoot the right stuff! Expensive, low save support units are my favourite. :evilgrin:

Von Wibble
02-11-2006, 18:56
@ von wibble if you did read it correctly than you would see that armor saves aren't included there cous big T6 monsters have alot of differant saves ;)

I think you have misunderstood which post I replied to. showmydog stated that single shots are only better against T6 monsters with 4+ or better save. I replied that this is misleading as they are equally effective (albeit with a different variance) against T6 monsters with worse saves. That's showmydog not grogsnot.