PDA

View Full Version : Volcano cannon underrated?



cuda1179
09-01-2011, 05:41
I have a number of titans. A couple of them are made with the "optimal" weapons load out of turbo laser and/laser blaster. I have been trying to stear myself away from the "cheesey" weapons load-outs when it comes to a couple new scratch builds, and with that in mind I was looking at the Volcano cannon.


Sure, it is still stregth D, but with only one shot many people consider it inferior to the Laser blaster. I'm beginning to think that it isn't as bad as people think. In any game where you are likely to encounter multiple Warlords or an Emperor titan range is an issue. The eight-foot range of a laser blaster is okay, but sometimes you find that area totally devoid of a "suitable" target. Heck, in a couple of games I have played even a volcano cannon wouldn't have range.



So, I end this rather odd post with a question. If you had an Emperor titan, how would you arm it so that it was both effective, and non-cheesey?

Jackmojo
09-01-2011, 06:30
The overall superiority of Str D weapons versus all possible targets is hard to beat, but a part of me would love to see an all plasma Emperor titan (6 plasma cannons + 2 plasma annihilators), just for the burning death god image :)

Does your apocalypse group use any house rules that affect titans much (str d template size reduction being a common one, or making the volcano cannon AP 1)?

Jack

The Obdurate Bureaucrat
09-01-2011, 10:20
The Volcano Cannon is set up as a war machine hunter because of the massive positive modifier it gets when it strikes a war machine sized target (I think it's a +3 mod to the damage roll, making SP loss and damage reroll 50% likely). However, 40K is built to a 'quantity over quality' paradigm in many things, so the multi-shot weaponry wins out through sheer weight of fire. Also, an eight-foot range is frequently more than enough to strike whatever you're aiming for.

If I had an Emperor, then personally I'd be playing boarding actions ON it lol :D. But for the sake of argument, I'd have stuff like gatling blasters in the towers and just use it to devastate huge swathes of conventional troops. Leave the titan-hunting duties to smaller and faster units like Reavers or Warhounds. Hell, with an Imperator in play, anything smaller and used more subtly may well slip through the enemy nets, especially if your opponents get 'big game hunter' syndrome at the sight of it ;)

Demonrich
09-01-2011, 15:57
The volcano cannon doesn't recieve any bonuses over any other strength D weapon, unless they changed it in the latest Imperial Armour book. The one on the reaver is especially weedy compared to the lasblaster, which seems odd as the lasblaster on the warlord is the same power as the reaver version.

Drakcore Bloodtear
09-01-2011, 17:51
Always Volcano cannon and Quake cannon for me.
I just love 10'' blasts, and thats why you take the Valcano cannon, because once the enemy titan is destroyed you just blow holes in your opponent army.

MajorWesJanson
09-01-2011, 20:11
The overall superiority of Str D weapons versus all possible targets is hard to beat, but a part of me would love to see an all plasma Emperor titan (6 plasma cannons + 2 plasma annihilators), just for the burning death god image :)

Does your apocalypse group use any house rules that affect titans much (str d template size reduction being a common one, or making the volcano cannon AP 1)?

Jack

I'd like to see an Artillery Regiment on legs. 4 Apoc Missile Launchers, 2 Vortex missiles, and a pair of Doomstrike launchers.

Apoc needs an edition change I think, and Strength D needs fixed, badly. Also Weapon Strength and AV ought to be increased for some superheavy units.

cuda1179
09-01-2011, 21:37
One of the groups I play with does use a blast-size reduction for strength D weapons.

I will agree with the all-plasma Emperor idea and the Artillery Emperor. I was originally going to build mine with two doomstrikes, and six quake cannons, but opted for volcano cannons instead because I couldn't model an up-angled barrel in a convincing manner. Maybe in the future.

I will also agree with fixing strength D. I'm fine with it causing insta-death and ignoring cover, but auto-wound and auto-penetration is a bit much. Maybe make it count as Strength 10 plus 2d6 penetration, plus 1+ on the damage tables. Also, if there is anywhere where armor 15 could be justified, it is Apoc.

Jackmojo
10-01-2011, 00:36
Most of my apocalypse rules issues seem centered around either fliers or Titans (the Str d issues for example is primarily a problem with the titans who can bring handfuls of them to the table for very few points).

But I would love to see GW give apocalypse another go round under current rules.

Jack

eyescrossed
10-01-2011, 04:56
As a side-note, how do you guys manage to use really big tables? They can't be a straight up 10'x10' because then you can't access the middle, and donuts get annoying because you have to duck under them.

Jackmojo
10-01-2011, 08:05
Floorhammer is the general solution, but I'm often more in favor of long 7-8 foot wide tables personally. Depends on the space available really.

Jack

eyescrossed
10-01-2011, 08:23
Floorhammer is pretty dangerous, though.

Maybe hiring a school hall or something and connecting the tables (if quadrilateral).

cuda1179
10-01-2011, 09:07
For REALLY big games you almost have to do floorhammer. Taking certain precautions limits any dangers. Doing things on the floor is almost a necessity when you have an area so large Vortex Missiles will not have range.

Jackmojo
10-01-2011, 09:23
Check out some of the pics of siegeworld for what strikes me as a reasonable approach to floorhammer (large taped off sections of a gymnasium or rental hall floor). That sort of managed approach helps keep foot traffic to off the playing area, which is where I think you would other wise run into problems.

Jack

RCgothic
10-01-2011, 10:28
The problem is that strength D does not scale at all well. Against war machines, it doesn't matter how large your template is or what your range is, number of shots is king.

The Laser Blaster has three more shots than a Strength D weapon, so it is three times better at hunting war machines when it is in range. It's no comparison. Also, the Melta Cannon, which is supposed to be really amazing at short range is completely obliterated by the Strength D weaponry.

I think SD rolls too much into one, and becomes too generic as a result. They currently auto wound, auto penetrate, ignore cover, and give a +1 modifier to damage rolls. An updated version should separate some of these things and at least have a variable modifier.

Sureshot05
10-01-2011, 11:32
We played a house rule in our group that volcano cannons do D3 structural damage each time they are meant to reduce one structural point. It just fitted with the Titan Killer nature of the weapon more (and meant that the two Shadowswords were feared Titan killers during the our last game). It is apoc after all and house ruling should be second nature for these sort of games.

cuda1179
10-01-2011, 15:49
Check out some of the pics of siegeworld for what strikes me as a reasonable approach to floorhammer (large taped off sections of a gymnasium or rental hall floor). That sort of managed approach helps keep foot traffic to off the playing area, which is where I think you would other wise run into problems.

Jack

I've been to seigeworld a couple times. Loved it. Where else can I play with 20+ of my titans simultaneously? LOL

Vaktathi
11-01-2011, 00:23
The S: D weapons were fine when you would only have one or two shots on each side, like with Shadowswords. The problem is once Titans start coming into play you start getting double digits of them, and they make all other weapons pointless. They don't need to do anything but hit, making characteristics, armor angle and value, cover, etc all pointless, they kill a Land Raider as easily as a Land Speeder, and a Wraithlord or Carnifex as easily as a Grot. It doesn't help that GW vastly undercosts almost all the big apoc units, a 2500pt Warlord titan is more than capable of taking on 5000-8000pts of Predators/Fire Prisms/Land Raiders/Leman Russ/Hammerheads with all the 5" S: D shots it can put out, a 1250pt Heirophant is probably capable of dealing with 3000pts of just about anything else or more, and the 4000pt Imperator can easily handle 12,000pts of almost anything one wants to throw at it.

Jackmojo
11-01-2011, 18:02
Vaktathi completely summed up my opinion as well.

I've previously recommended only applying Str D template size reduction only to Titan Weapons, so that other armies aren't needlessly downgraded along with the necessary adjustment to Titans.

Jack

Lord Aaron
11-01-2011, 20:06
if you want to know how super heavy weapons should work, just play epic. the really big guns do D3 hits and the insane ones do D6 , but they are far and few. plus epic is like playing Apoc every game, only it gets done in 2-3 hours!


silly 40k players, 3000+ points is for specialist games :rolleyes:

Jackmojo
12-01-2011, 06:08
Oh I like Epic just fine, but it doesn't let me use my old armorcast titan models :)

Jack

Iracundus
12-01-2011, 06:21
The problem is that strength D does not scale at all well. Against war machines, it doesn't matter how large your template is or what your range is, number of shots is king.

The Laser Blaster has three more shots than a Strength D weapon, so it is three times better at hunting war machines when it is in range. It's no comparison. Also, the Melta Cannon, which is supposed to be really amazing at short range is completely obliterated by the Strength D weaponry.

I think SD rolls too much into one, and becomes too generic as a result. They currently auto wound, auto penetrate, ignore cover, and give a +1 modifier to damage rolls. An updated version should separate some of these things and at least have a variable modifier.

The other obvious point is for Titans there is no individual weapon cost so there is little incentive to take the lesser weapons such as the Melta Cannon. Why bother to take a high strength + Melta rule weapon when a Strength D weapon bypasses armor penetration entirely and gets a damage roll bonus on top?

RCgothic
12-01-2011, 10:51
That is another very good point.

The Obdurate Bureaucrat
12-01-2011, 14:10
Indeed it is. As and when 40K 6ed appears, it would be nice if most or all of the rules currently spread out over many separate publications could be folded into a single unified ruleset so they scaled properly into the game. Things like Titans were almost a sort of outrageous joke when they first appeared - and the FW rules took quite considerable pains to scale them into the game properly, to the extent that the original Warhounds felt rather undergunned.

Then Apocalypse appeared and the pendulum swung back a long way. 10" blast template for the Baneblade? :eek: A pair of Strength D guns for the Scorpion? :eek:

Personally I'd like to see war machines and even flying units as a viable part of regular 40K, so they could be balanced against everything else. Strength D in particular needs a bit of an overhaul in this regard. Perhaps:

- vs targets with a Toughness value: counts as Strength 10 AP 1. If the target is T6 or greater, or otherwise immune to Instant Death, a wounding hit causes not 1 but D3 Wounds.

Strength D Close Combat Weapons ignore Armour Saves, but Invulnerable Saves may be taken against them as normal. The above rules for wounding hits still apply.

- vs targets with an Armour value: counts as Strength 10 AP 1. If the weapon has a Blast of any kind, it always counts its full Strength value when rolling to pierce armour, even if the hole in the template is not over the target. Strength D weapons do not suffer a negative modifier if they score a Glancing Hit.

Strength D close combat weapons roll 2D6+10 for Armour Penetration against targets with an Armour value and add the scores of both together. The above rule about scoring Glancing Hits still applies.

- vs Cover Saves: Strength D weapons impose a -1 modifier on all Cover/Obscured saves claimed by targets (so a 4+ save becomes a 5+ save, for example). Targets CANNOT claim Cover/Obscured saves from non-vehicle friendly or enemy models/units - it's assumed that everyone will know when one of these weapons cycles up to fire and gets the hell down!

AvatarofUlthwe
13-01-2011, 18:02
Indeed it is. As and when 40K 6ed appears, it would be nice if most or all of the rules currently spread out over many separate publications could be folded into a single unified ruleset so they scaled properly into the game. Things like Titans were almost a sort of outrageous joke when they first appeared - and the FW rules took quite considerable pains to scale them into the game properly, to the extent that the original Warhounds felt rather undergunned.

Then Apocalypse appeared and the pendulum swung back a long way. 10" blast template for the Baneblade? :eek: A pair of Strength D guns for the Scorpion? :eek:

Personally I'd like to see war machines and even flying units as a viable part of regular 40K, so they could be balanced against everything else. Strength D in particular needs a bit of an overhaul in this regard. Perhaps:

- vs targets with a Toughness value: counts as Strength 10 AP 1. If the target is T6 or greater, or otherwise immune to Instant Death, a wounding hit causes not 1 but D3 Wounds.

Strength D Close Combat Weapons ignore Armour Saves, but Invulnerable Saves may be taken against them as normal. The above rules for wounding hits still apply.

- vs targets with an Armour value: counts as Strength 10 AP 1. If the weapon has a Blast of any kind, it always counts its full Strength value when rolling to pierce armour, even if the hole in the template is not over the target. Strength D weapons do not suffer a negative modifier if they score a Glancing Hit.

Strength D close combat weapons roll 2D6+10 for Armour Penetration against targets with an Armour value and add the scores of both together. The above rule about scoring Glancing Hits still applies.

- vs Cover Saves: Strength D weapons impose a -1 modifier on all Cover/Obscured saves claimed by targets (so a 4+ save becomes a 5+ save, for example). Targets CANNOT claim Cover/Obscured saves from non-vehicle friendly or enemy models/units - it's assumed that everyone will know when one of these weapons cycles up to fire and gets the hell down!

I agree with this post.

Jackmojo
13-01-2011, 21:35
- vs targets with an Armour value: counts as Strength 10 AP 1. If the weapon has a Blast of any kind, it always counts its full Strength value when rolling to pierce armour, even if the hole in the template is not over the target. Strength D weapons do not suffer a negative modifier if they score a Glancing Hit.


Probably should let them roll 2d6 for armour penetration as well, wouldn't want them to be inferior to Melta.

Jack

The Obdurate Bureaucrat
14-01-2011, 01:55
Probably should let them roll 2d6 for armour penetration as well, wouldn't want them to be inferior to Melta

Fair enough idea. Probably good to limit that to strikes where the hole in the template is over the target to represent an optimal hit (and not keep the Melta-Cannon a poor relation ;))

Sgt John Keel
14-01-2011, 03:16
I think we can solve a lot by a) using appropriate pricing, b) just extend the Strength statistic past 10, counts as S10 for to-wound rolls, actual strength for Instant Death and armour penetration purposes*, c) only disallow cover saves granted by terrain features**, d) re-instate the Titan Killer rule for some weapons (the Shadowsword is in dire need).

*With the current system, everything Strength D is effectively Strength 28 which seems like a rather large jump from S10 and makes for poor differentiation.
**As many rules that allowed saves against Strength D in 4th edition are now cover saves that can't be taken.

Jackmojo
14-01-2011, 03:49
Fair enough idea. Probably good to limit that to strikes where the hole in the template is over the target to represent an optimal hit (and not keep the Melta-Cannon a poor relation ;))

Eh, give Destroyer 2d6+10 across the whole template and it still gets 3d6 under the center hole so wins out in its own way.


I think we can solve a lot by a) using appropriate pricing, b) just extend the Strength statistic past 10, counts as S10 for to-wound rolls, actual strength for Instant Death and armour penetration purposes*, c) only disallow cover saves granted by terrain features**, d) re-instate the Titan Killer rule for some weapons (the Shadowsword is in dire need).


Couple that with armor values above 14 and I'd be happy (I have issues with the land raider being better armored then the superheavies and especially the Titans).

Jack

neko
14-01-2011, 04:19
I was going to make a post myself suggesting that S and AV be allowed to run higher than 10 and 14 respectively. The one problem I can see though is that AV very quickly escalates to the point where normal weapons can't touch it (even at S10), so this would be a problem than needs addressing.

Jackmojo
14-01-2011, 09:29
I was going to make a post myself suggesting that S and AV be allowed to run higher than 10 and 14 respectively. The one problem I can see though is that AV very quickly escalates to the point where normal weapons can't touch it (even at S10), so this would be a problem than needs addressing.

I'm not sure how much higher then 16 you'd want to allow armor to get...it would really depend on how high you let strength and total armour penetration go, melta guns already hit a possible 20, and Lance weapons knock a lot off higher armour values. Really Apocalypse would benefit from more then three or four pages of dedicated vehicle rules for flyers and superheavies, which would then allow for more granularity to depict the differences between a Baneblade and a Warlord titan.

Jack

RCgothic
14-01-2011, 11:38
I would introduce armour 15 for the heavier titans and leave it at that.

Void shields need more depth. AV12 is a joke.

The Obdurate Bureaucrat
14-01-2011, 14:07
Do Titans still have the Leg Armour rule against close combat attacks (all-round Armour 14)?

Void shields are damn useful, but there are a lot of accurate multi-shot weapons that can strip them with a single volley. In truth, AV12 isn't bad for them, but it would make sense to shift the roll to raise them again to a 4+ rather than a 5+. If you changed the armour value they provided, you'd probably have to have them regenerate only on a 6.

Another alternative is that a each burst of fire from a single weapon can only knock down one shield at a time, regardless of the number of hits it scores (representing the shield absorbing the fire of an entire volley rather than a single shot before it collapses). So, you'd potentially need four separate bursts from, say, autocannons to totally de-shield a Reaver.

I really think war machines especially need to be scaled into 40K properly. When they were only being made by FW as a niche product, the game could afford to mostly ignore their existence. But with the advent of the comparatively affordable plastic Baneblade, Shadowsword and Stompa in the main GW ranges, people will potentially want to use them more often (and it potentially opens up a who new revenue stream - I think the Baneblade alone proved that).

Jackmojo
14-01-2011, 14:30
Do Titans still have the Leg Armour rule against close combat attacks (all-round Armour 14)?

No, but since they're walkers its all front armor till they're immobilized. The leg armour rule was basically a patch to the older versions of the vehicle melee combat rules that is no longer needed.

On the close combat front it might be nice to give them some variation of the old titan defensive systems rules from epic to help protect them in combat (i.e. every model attacking them takes an automatic wound on a 4+ at initiative 10).


Void shields are damn useful, but there are a lot of accurate multi-shot weapons that can strip them with a single volley. In truth, AV12 isn't bad for them, but it would make sense to shift the roll to raise them again to a 4+ rather than a 5+. If you changed the armour value they provided, you'd probably have to have them regenerate only on a 6.

I'm all for void shields scaling with the unit carrying them personally, just have their AV, either be the same as the vehicles (and vary by facing) or pick a value (say side armour) and say they always use that.

Giving more modifiers to raising them, or allowing them and invulnerable save would be an idea too.


Another alternative is that a each burst of fire from a single weapon can only knock down one shield at a time, regardless of the number of hits it scores (representing the shield absorbing the fire of an entire volley rather than a single shot before it collapses). So, you'd potentially need four separate bursts from, say, autocannons to totally de-shield a Reaver.

I think I get what you're saying here. Not the solution I would use, but it would certainly improve them.


I really think war machines especially need to be scaled into 40K properly. When they were only being made by FW as a niche product, the game could afford to mostly ignore their existence. But with the advent of the comparatively affordable plastic Baneblade, Shadowsword and Stompa in the main GW ranges, people will potentially want to use them more often (and it potentially opens up a who new revenue stream - I think the Baneblade alone proved that).

Completely agree.

Jack

RCgothic
14-01-2011, 14:51
Titans can Stomp, which attacks against every engaged model. Combined with AV14, they're well enough protected against CC.

In one game turn, my warhound all-but obliterated three 30-man mobs of boyz. Plasma Blastcannon on one, Turbolaser against another, assault and stomp followed by no-retreat and you were looking at 75 casualties in one turn alone.

The main problem with void shields is that if you keep your titan at range, you can shrug off the mightiest of your opponents weapons, because they're the only ones that can reach and there's nothing else to bring your shields down. Meanwhile, if you're at close range, you effectively have no protection because a couple of autocannons will strip you of your defences.

Simply modifying the armour value or number of shields won't solve this problem - we need a new system. Void shields need to be more vulnerable to strong weapons (such as all being downed at once), and less vulnerable to medium-strength weapons, whilst possibly also becoming slightly vulnerable to small-arms.

The Obdurate Bureaucrat
14-01-2011, 16:46
This is why I proposed...


Another alternative is that a each burst of fire from a single weapon can only knock down one shield at a time, regardless of the number of hits it scores (representing the shield absorbing the fire of an entire volley rather than a single shot before it collapses). So, you'd potentially need four separate bursts from, say, autocannons to totally de-shield a Reaver.

Just in case I wasn't clear about what I mean: currently, you fire an autocannon at a warhound. If you score two hits, and then rill two 5's for armour pen, you've knocked down both of its shields.

Under my alterations, if you fired a single autocannon at that warhound and scored the same on the dice, you'd knock down only a single shield. The extra hit is wasted, as it is assumed that the shield absorbed the entire volley and then overloaded.

Don't void shields currently have an area of effect? I thought that if you were within 6" of the titan, it's shields didn't work against shooting attacks, as the firer is already inside its shields.


On the close combat front it might be nice to give them some variation of the old titan defensive systems rules from epic to help protect them in combat (i.e. every model attacking them takes an automatic wound on a 4+ at initiative 10)

As Gothic states, Titans can already wade into combats very well. This rule would best be given to Super-Heavy tanks and the like, which have no other defence, and called 'Grind' or some such name.

RCgothic
14-01-2011, 17:28
This is why I proposed...

Under my alterations, if you fired a single autocannon at that warhound and scored the same on the dice, you'd knock down only a single shield. The extra hit is wasted, as it is assumed that the shield absorbed the entire volley and then overloaded.


It's not really the individual weapon scoring multiple hits that's the problem (IG Autocannons would normally score two downing hits less than 3% of the time), It's the sheer number of weapons capable of downing the sheilds that's the problem, combined with the inability of powerful weapons to smash through the shields and do damage regardless when they're the only weapon in range.

An example of a system that might work:


Void Shields are AV10, and have a capacity equal to that stated on the war machine's profile.
As long as the shield capacity has not been reduced to 0, shots are resolved against the sheild and do no damage to the war machine.
For each shot that makes an armour penetration roll, the capacity is reduced by the amount the armour is beaten by (eg armour penetration roll of 12 reduces the shields by 2.)
Shield capacity regenerates by D3 per remaining structure point at the end of the turn.
If, after resolving a Primary Weapon's shots, the shield is under half strength, roll a D6 for each shot. On a 4+, the shot may be resolved against the war machine itself, though it gets a 4+ cover save.

Example: Unhurt Warhound, Void Shields 8.

The shield is struck by 12 heavy bolter shots, of which 2 roll AP11 and cause -2 to the shield strength total.
Void Shields 6
The shield is then struck by a battle cannon shell, which rolls AP13, causing -3
Void Shields 3
Two autocannons have AP rolls of 11 and 12, causing -3
Void Shield 0
The Warhound may now be hurt by subsequent shots.

Or alternatively, the healthy warhoud is struck by a Plasma Destructor, which fires two shots that roll AP 16 and AP14. This is -10 to the shields. Because the shields are now under half strength (downed even, though this is not required!) and the shots came from a primary weapon, a D6 is rolled for each shot, scoring 6 and 3. One shot therefore smashes straight through the shields and is resolved against the warhound, though it gets a 4+ cover save.

For S8 Void Shields under the new system, Warhounds become additionally vulnerable to S5 weaponry, but the shields are more resilient agaisnt this sort of fire than previously. S9/10 ordnance remains about as likely to down the shields as it used to be, whilst primary weapons gain the ability to smash right through.