View Full Version : Empire Special choices. 2 cannons a must?

03-05-2007, 02:30
I think all Empire players fall in the same problem of having trouble deciding on what to take for their special choices. As of right now.. I want atleast 1 cannon, 1 squad of great swords, and atleast 1 squad of fast cav.

Personally, I was thinking of doing 1 of each (outrider, pistolier, greatsword, cannon). However, I've noticed that most Empire lists run atleast 2 cannons. They seem like a must. What do you guys think?

On a side note, what do you guys feel is a better warmachine? Hellblaster or rockets?

03-05-2007, 03:03
blaster. i usually dont take cannon i take units of 10 pistoliers.

03-05-2007, 03:20
I run one cannon at best, two would be too much shooting and becomes quite useless when CC begins.
I prefer Volley Gun, Havent really use rockets much before.

03-05-2007, 03:33
I think one cannon is fine. It keeps your opponent honest about its big nasties. 2 can be too much as they are useless once combat starts.

03-05-2007, 03:42
I usually take 2 cannons and place them at opposite ends of the battlefield. To protect flanks and so they can shoot across the battlefield. Enemy has to spend quite a bit of time to get to them if he wants to stop them. Plus, they tend to misfire alot (at least for me) and this increases my odds of at least one firing.
Forget the Helblaster, just not worth it. Tried it about 4 times and have decided to retire it. Good news is, the Helstorm is awesome! Took 2 the other day against Dwarfs just to give them a try. WOW!! These bad boys made a absolute mess out of big blocks of Dwarfs and Dwarf gunlines. My advice, try these guys out!!

03-05-2007, 04:56
What, no one takes mortars these days?

03-05-2007, 05:02
I always take 2 cannons, most reliable of the black powder weapons... and if they hit... chances are they kill.

one each corner, easier to get flanks and split them up so they last longer from attack.

03-05-2007, 05:02
Ok, the list I'm planning will pretty much be like this:
2 blocks of swordsmen
1 large block of greatswords
Each of those will have a detachment of xbows and halberds
then another squad of xbows on their own

Cannon, pistolier, outrider


Yea, I'm trying to minimize the use of black powder for the most part and as some of you may know, the cannon, pistolier, and outriders are all going to be converted to be using more conventional medieval weapons.

03-05-2007, 05:15
THe two cannons is certainly not a must. I've seen several empire armys that were without cannons.

What, no one takes mortars these days?

My arabys will have a mortar, mainly because I've already got two giants to take care of other monsters though :p

03-05-2007, 12:11
I like the mortar, not as effective as the connon against big gribblies, but it is a truly nasty thing against hordes. I once hit 30 Night Goblins center mass with one on turn 1, It was pure ugliness. I think 14 Gobbos survived the hit, but legged it for the table edge, and never came back. (3 fanatics down, +-190 points first blood, not too shabby.) Cannons do their part as well, as does the Hellblaster, not tried a rocket launcher yet, probably won't as I don't think that it belongs in the fantasy setting any more than a tank or a mechanical horse do, but to each his own.

03-05-2007, 13:52
I have to plead guilty to always taking 2 cannons.

It's far from essential, I've played with just one and (rarely) with none. My preference for two is largely habit from years with the empire during which my main opponent was chaos. Chariots, heavy cavalry, monsters are all very difficult types of unit for the empire to get rid of in close combat and are all ideal targets for a great cannon.

Whilst I love the idea of mortars, I find that conversely they are best at killing things which I can deal with using my state infantry. In a sense I think its a waste of a special slot to take something specialised in killing the exact same sort of unit you don't mind reaching your lines.

Frankly, I'd recommend a pair of cannons as they take out what your combat line cannot. Even if such targets don't exist, a cannon raking across ranks is an effective troop killer.
I guess you could also say 'character sniping' if you were that way inclined. :rolleyes:

They are certainly not essential however. You'd be brave to play with none at all, but the empire is a flexible list, take what you like!

03-05-2007, 13:53
Altough I will be playing warhammer this weekend for the first time since 1 year ago, I have always fielded 1 mortar and 1 cannon, as well as a hallblaster, I am currently painting up another canon to see how that works out, but I must say I have only had good experiences with the mortar save for 1 battle againts night goblins. My and his lines were about to clash, and were like 5 inches apart, I shot and estimated perfectly, and this shot would have hit 20 goblins in a 30 gobbo unit, however the shot scattered 8 inches backwards, and kill 17 of my spearmen, leaving the command group to face 30 goblins, needless to say he won that game :p .

But to answer the topic, two cannons are certainly not a must, but the few times I havent fielded 1 I have missed it, so Id say 1 cannon is a must for infantry armies, altough in an army with lots of cavalry theyre not neccesary.

Oh and I havent fielded the rocket yet, but it seems to me its a bit to much unreliable, besides Ive always fielded a hellblaster and altough It has blown up 80% of the times it has earned its points and then some in most games Ive played.

Blagrot Squigbreff
03-05-2007, 14:11
The Helstorm has pretty much replaced the mortar for me - it hits alot harder, isn't much less accurate as the scatter is the main problem and my Rare slots are alot less congested than the Special slots.

I'm a big fan of multiple cannons as I rarely find I don't have targets for them but I play mostly competitive games and it's nearly impossible to keep a single cannon alive past turn 2 anyway:cries: . Any army with alot of infantry needs them to target large tough enemies and chariots IMO, whether that means you need 2 is another matter tho.

03-05-2007, 14:41
I stopped using my mortar long ago after years of terrible performance. My guesses were always spot on but the mortar either missed anyway, misfired or the str3 hits are too unreliable to do any appreciable damage. I don't recommend anybody wastes 12, 75 points and a special slot on a mortar. There was one spectacular moment once where a mortar round killed 3/4 of a unit of swordmasters but it was a 1/100 game event sadly. I've more often hit units of 30 clanrats dead-centre and kill five...

Regarding cannons, I don't trust a lone cannon not to misfire at the worst moment and I have a penchant for symmetrical army-list building. They certainly aren't essential, but I don't think you'll replace what was lost in a pair of cannons anywhere else in the empire army book for those 200 points.

03-05-2007, 18:58
This is a side note but I can't help it. I just started playing Empire from a few years of playing chaos, and I've seen people say about their Empire lists, this costs way too much and that costs too much. These people apparently have never put a chaos list together and tried to squeeze as much as possible into a 2000 game when in a 2000 pt game you sit and debate actually using a lord or not to conserve points.

200 points is nothing!


03-05-2007, 19:02
I always go for 2 loads of large gunpowder fun.

be that 2 cannon, a cannon and mortar, a cannon and Helblaster or whatever

1 cannon can be devestating, but it can (and will) misfire.

Likewise, having 1 only gives your opponent 1 target to destroy. Having 1 cannon each end of the battlefield gives im 2 to worry about. If he's only got 1 anti WM unit, then thats an extra turn or 2 to have a shoot at his big scary things...

Count de Monet
03-05-2007, 19:41
What, no one takes mortars these days?

When I fight Empire (O&G or Chaos) I generally worry much more about the mortars than the cannons. Great for wasting blocks.

04-05-2007, 10:53
I played with 3 cannons the other day, I also had 7 H.Rifles, there where misfires every where, but omg, it was carnage at 36 inches ... within 24 inches it just turned stupid with the damage of MWs and H.gunners.

We where both just messing around with our list, but even on an average day for the cannons and H.Rifles, we where both freaked out at the amount of long ranged damage empire could pop out before the opponent even gets a chance to reply.

04-05-2007, 11:20
The first time I used my mortar in a game it misfired and exploded in turn 1 so Im pretty keen on cannons at the moment. In a 2000pt game I would use two cannons but not in anything less where the enemy is likely to only take 1 big monster/unit of knights.

Greatswords are also a good special choice if you stick a character with them they can have some serious killing power when supported by state troops.

Von Wibble
04-05-2007, 18:19
Mortars kill goblins and skaven. But so so swordsmen, flagellants, knights - pretty much anything in the list.

Otoh nasty chariots, monsters and the like are not easy for empire to kill up close. Which is exactly why 1 cannon is imo essential to an empire force.

My own specials tend to be cannon, pistoliers every game. Then (2500pts) I tend to have 3 out of Greatswords, Inner Circle, Cannon, Pistoliers in addition.

05-05-2007, 05:19
I just love my mortars! the big template puts a great look of worry on any opponents face. I'll usually field 2 or 1 and a cannon. as for the other special slots it's usually pistoliers and inner circle knights.

05-05-2007, 09:23
cannons arent a nessessity.. i only use them to take out things like giants.

i usually take mortars. who doesnt like big templates especially on anything T3 -T5

06-05-2007, 16:24
I do like Mortars, but only against certain armies. Skaven, Undead, Horde type armies with low toughness and bad armor. Use them against Dwarfs or Mortal Chaos and pretty much a waste. Problem is, too much competition for my special slots. Inner Circle Knights, Greatswords, Fast Cav and Cannon, your done. Much easier to take Helstorm, pretty much fires the same, and much more deadly!

That Guy
06-05-2007, 21:40
The key is redundancy. Do you have anything besides a cannon to take out Giants and Chariots etc? If you can think of something else, then variety is always good. If you really have nothing else to deal with those, then two cannons is a necessity so that your army won't get crushed by one aspect of your opponant's force.

08-05-2007, 03:25
I like Volleyguns, they are still worth their points in my opinion.

08-05-2007, 07:18
Well, the other stuff in my army include:
1 squad of handgunners
1 squad of pistoliers
1 unit of Ironguts
1 unit of greatswords
Core pretty much consists of swordsmen

If I were to get rid of cannons, I'd definitely get even more pistoliers. I'm even considering taking some leadbelchers, but yea.. none of them seem like they can take out a giant efficiently.

08-05-2007, 20:41
i have an empire army and not one cannon just 40 cross bowmen, 10 archers and a mortar. works well against skaven. very well if i can stand on a hill

09-05-2007, 02:38
omg, played against VC today, my 2 cannons just fired 1 shot the entire game out of fear of blowing up since all i had to shoot at were zombies or etheral or wolves....worst 200 points ever spent (i still won :P)

09-05-2007, 03:29
omg, played against VC today, my 2 cannons just fired 1 shot the entire game out of fear of blowing up since all i had to shoot at were zombies or etheral or wolves....worst 200 points ever spent (i still won :P)

I guess the price you pay for playing an army list that is designed for all-comers.. which I think is a more fun way to play anyways. I'm sure if you faced the same army with black coaches running around (Sylvania list).. you'd totally praise those cannons (ofcourse unless they blow up).

nooobie 69
09-05-2007, 19:29
canons have an equal chance of hitting as mortars and mortars do alot more damage so i woud say to take mortars instead
@sicbadi- yea that was funny when it miss fired but you still beat me:mad:

09-05-2007, 19:33
Cannons are(or I should say, can often be) great, and I typically always take one in my army. I've considered taking two of them before, but decided not to. For me, one is quite enough, and if it mifires and is destroyed leaving me cannonless, so be it. My Special slots are almost always used up in a 2000 point game, and there isn't really anything I'd usually like giving up in favour of a second Cannon.

09-05-2007, 22:47
canons have an equal chance of hitting as mortars and mortars do alot more damage so i woud say to take mortars instead

What brought you to this conclusion? In my extensive experience, cannons are far more accurate than mortars. An experienced empire player should be hitting 75% of the time in my view. And since they are strength 10 much less likely to suffer from poor dice rolls to wound unlike the str3 mortar.

10-05-2007, 05:16
canons have an equal chance of hitting as mortars and mortars do alot more damage so i woud say to take mortars instead

But cannons seem to hit a lot more often. They don't "scatter" sideways, just straight ahead. If you use your cannons smart, you'll aim it against a deep unit and "guess" a little to short (5 inch or so). I'd say that cannons have a greater chanse of hitting anything, and try firing with a mortar at a giant or dragon...

10-05-2007, 11:26
I'm absolutely aweful at guessing ranges for some reason, and because of this tend to miss quite frequently with guess range weapons. I find the Cannon to be a lot more forgiving in this regard, and I'm infinitely thankful for it!

I'm just about useless with a Mortar, unless luck has anything to do with it. For whatever reason, ranges baffle and fool me, which is obviously something I've got to work on.

10-05-2007, 11:47
Cannons are incredibly accurate in comparison to mortars. Experienced empire generals will pretty much always hit with their cannon unless they roll a 2 and then a misfire on the bounce. Basically, you can predict the error a lot more successfully as it is in a straight trajectory. With mortars you have direction added onto the uncertainty of distance making it significantly less accurate.

Caligula: if your instinctive guessing isn't quite top notch, use some simple maths to give you a ballpark. You will know how many inches from your table edge your cannon is and how far your opponent has deployed/moved from his, subtract this from 48" (or however wide your table is). Add a couple of inches if at an angle and you should be hitting something pretty much every time.

10-05-2007, 11:52
Hey great, thanks Hywel! I'll give that a few practice tries earlier today, and try it out in a game I'm having this evening against some, to be honest, tough, nasty Orcs. I'll need all the help I can get against these beasts, and having my Cannon hit them more than a quarter of the time would be amazing:)

Thanks again, Hywel!