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Tutorial Compilation of ways to fight cannons (updated with responses)

Discussion in 'Lizardmen & Saurian Ancients Tactics' started by Pinktaco, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. Pinktaco
    Skar-Veteran

    Pinktaco Vessel of the Old Ones Staff Member

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    A compiled list of methods against cannons from various users:

    **Check out the rest of the thread for more since I've probably missed some. There are also discussions about some of the methods.**

    A Steaming Kroak:
    There is no singular way to deal with cannons. You must approach them with a "layered" strategy that includes multiple forms of protection. Even then, a good player will still position his cannons in such a way that he will be able to get a shot or two off with them. Preventing cannons from ruining your army starts in your list building, and then carries through to the way you position your units during the game.
    You need to include more than one of these methods to reliably deal with cannons, as none of them are a whole solution to the problem.

    - Terradons/Ripperdactyl/Lone Chief on Flying Mount: These guys get a Vanguard which allows them to move into position to charge very early in the game (just not first player's first turn). There is no magic to them. Get them into position quickly and charge the opponents cannon. This will not stop the cannon from shooting first turn, but can take them out before they have the chance to fire twice.

    - Chameleon Skinks: This is again an obvious strategy. A unit of Chameleon skinks can scout and get into position to shoot at the opponents cannon on turn one. 9 Chameleons will do three poison hits on average against a cannon, which is enough to take down a standard Empire cannon. With some luck, and good positioning, these guys can take down a cannon before it can shoot (if you go first).

    - Cold One Riders: These guys give your cowboy a look out sir role. If you want expensive cowboys running around the table-top, then consider protecting them with a unit to start the game in.

    - Terrain: Use terrain to stop cannon balls in their tracks. A wall or building will stop a cannon ball, so position a unit you want to protect behind one of these during the deployment phase. Normally, a game should have some sort of terrain that will stop a cannon ball - if you are playing in a low terrain environment, then consider building suitable terrain to be used in your gaming circle that accomplish this.

    - Iceshard Blizzard/Magic: Spells can be used to neutralize shooting (Iceshard), or take out shooting units (Spirit Leach). Choose to bring a Slann or Priest that gives you some of these spells. A well timed spell can make a big difference to the opponents shooting, especially when you consider that you will be able to engage those cannons by the second round with your flying units.

    - Monsters - More or Less: Bring more monsters to saturate the options that your opponent has to shoot at. He may get one or two if very lucky, but would be very hard pressed to get three. OR, bring no monsters. His cannons are not as effective when shooting at other units in the army; if you give him no monsters to shoot at, then he will not be able to take full advantage of cannon balls.

    n810
    - Walls are a great aly when facing cannons, since toy can see over them,
    but they will also stop a canon ball (also buildings).


    - Any large line of sight blocking terrain shoul also help against shooting of all kinds.

    - I you are using aquatic units, get them in some water terrain if at all possible

    Pinktaco
    o0na.jpg
    - Cameleon skinks shoots twice with poison so 8 units equals to 16 shots. Most war machine crew comes with either no Amour Save or only 6+ so getting a couple of poison wounds in the to hit phase will seriously put some hurt into the crew.


    Scalenex
    - The Iron Curse Icon: This should either be on your Temple Guard bunkered Slann or your Cold One riding Saurus character. For 5 points you only need to save one model every other game to be worth it.

    - Sideways: Deploying your chariot base monsters sideways will make your big dinosaurs SLIGHTLY less easy to shoot if you get first turn and you can use your free wheel to correct it with no harm done.

    - Razordon/Salamanders: One third of the time, a cannonball is wasted on a lowly Skink handler. A cheap Razordon can thus absorb a cannon ball for a more valuable dinosaur.

    - Pha's Protection: Without Lore Master you can't be GUARANTEED this spell but it is very good against cannons. It essentially the bubbled effect will protect a vast swath of your troops from multiple cannons or rock lobbers.

    - Lifebloom: A Life Slann or a High Magic Slann swapping for Life spells can heal a lot of dinosaurs with enough spells. Most dinosaurs can take one cannonball and live. With proper healing they can take two.

    Lizardmatt
    - I've found best solution is the triple threat.
    Chameleons, flying skink(s), and a magical threat (comet or spirit leech).

    -Ripperdactyl units are growing on me. The Frenzy makes them immune to panic and even a single model can hold, if not win combat. Holding, is as good as winning; the cannons doesn't shoot.


    Qupakoco

    - Bring Warmachine Hunters

    This is the easiest safeguard against losing a Stegadon. Chameleons can easily zip around enemy lines to get into position to lay down some threatening fire on a cannon. Heck, they may even take a grapeshot if your opponent feels really threatened by them. And if that happens it means your Stegadon gets to go for a turn without being shot at. Good trade in my opinion. Terradons and Rippers can sometimes get to an enemy cannon on Turn 1 with their Vanguard move, but usually it won’t be until Turn 2. Still, often times your opponent may take the Terradons as a more immediate threat and lob a shot at them instead. Rippers are frenzied, so I wouldn't rely on them to accomplish the task.


    - Gungan Bubble Shield

    Bring the Engine of the Gods! A 6+ ward save against a cannon actually turns out to be helpful. You can easily fit another Steg or two within the effective area of the Portent of Warding. It’s not the best but easily better than just taking a shot.

    - Target Saturation

    Kind of a familiar term for Lizardmen Generals I think. Basically bring too many targets for the cannons to deal with. Two Stegs, three Stegs, Stegs and a Carnosaur, Salamanders all over the place. Anything to tempt cannon fire. The crew working the gun will be so excited that they might not pick the right thing to shoot at!


    - Use the Terrain

    Get yourself behind things! Buildings and hills are great. Heck, you can even hide Stegs behind other Stegs. Remember, if a Monster takes a cannonball and doesn’t die then the bounce stops there. Kind of a morbid tactic but it can work. Would you take a Baby Steg to protect your EOTG? Falls back to target saturation at that point I suppose.


    - Take a Life Slan!

    Do I need to explain this one? Heal those wounds and toughen ‘em up. You can make a Steg Toughness 10 if you’re really worried.


    - Turn it Sideways?

    I’m not sure I fully believe in this tactic but I see it pop up from time to time. The basics is easy: put your Stegadon sideways to the cannon during deployment. This effectively shortens your base in the direction of the bounce, giving the cannon a bit less of a target in its line of fire. With less depth to your base the odds of the cannonball rolling too high and flying over your Stegadon are better. Make sense? Kinda rules lawyery I think and probably only effective 10% of the time. Good cannoneers should still be able to hit you so don’t rely on this too much. But it could work! After the first turn simply reform and get a move on it. Gotta sacrifice your march move though, so keep that in mind.


    A Steaming Kroak]
    (about turning monsters sideways)
    - I really don't think this actually makes a difference. As a dwarf player, I can tell you that the standard method for firing a cannon is to measure 10 inches from just inside the back of the base of the monster. This means that even if the cannon rolls a 10 on the first artillery die, the cannon will still strike the target. There isn't really a chance to "overfly" the target if the player uses this method. Turning the base sideways used to work in 6th and 7th edition when the player had to guess the range of the cannon. With the 8th edition cannon rules, this simply shouldn't work unless the opponent doesn't understand how to properly use his cannon and puts the placement of the cannon shot too close.

    RipperDerek (respond to the above)
    - It still makes a theoretical difference, because it's easier for the cannon ball to fall short.

    The real issue is: do you save at least 2" by doing this? Because the cannonball bounces in 2" increments, it will only make a difference if you shorten your length by at least 2".


    Raymond Caleatry
    I think everything that is in this video is in this thread, but MrMalorian did a nice video explaining how he deals with cannons, and why they are an integral part of the game.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6F2IEZ00-uk

    **Check out the rest of the thread for more since I've probably missed some. There are also discussions about some of the methods.**
     
    Qupakoco and Scalenex like this.
  2. rychek
    Troglodon

    rychek Member

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    Re: A compilation of ways to fight cannons/minimize risk?

    As a relatively new Lizardmen player, I think the purpose of this thread is great. I just with I had enough experience to add to it. :)
     
  3. A Steaming Kroak
    Saurus

    A Steaming Kroak Member

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    Re: A compilation of ways to fight cannons/minimize risk?

    As a both a Lizardmen and Dwarf player I have had experience dealing with cannons from both sides of the table. There is no singular way to deal with cannons. You must approach them with a "layered" strategy that includes multiple forms of protection. Even then, a good player will still position his cannons in such a way that he will be able to get a shot or two off with them. Preventing cannons from ruining your army starts in your list building, and then carries through to the way you position your units during the game. Below are some ways to prevent cannons from ruining your army in the first couple turns. You need to include more than one of these methods to reliably deal with cannons, as none of them are a whole solution to the problem.


    Terradons/Ripperdactyl/Lone Chief on Flying Mount: These guys get a Vanguard which allows them to move into position to charge very early in the game (just not first player's first turn). There is no magic to them. Get them into position quickly and charge the opponents cannon. This will not stop the cannon from shooting first turn, but can take them out before they have the chance to fire twice.

    Chameleon Skinks: This is again an obvious strategy. A unit of Chameleon skinks can scout and get into position to shoot at the opponents cannon on turn one. 9 Chameleons will do three poison hits on average against a cannon, which is enough to take down a standard Empire cannon. With some luck, and good positioning, these guys can take down a cannon before it can shoot (if you go first).

    Cold One Riders: These guys give your cowboy a look out sir role. If you want expensive cowboys running around the table-top, then consider protecting them with a unit to start the game in.

    Terrain: Use terrain to stop cannon balls in their tracks. A wall or building will stop a cannon ball, so position a unit you want to protect behind one of these during the deployment phase. Normally, a game should have some sort of terrain that will stop a cannon ball - if you are playing in a low terrain environment, then consider building suitable terrain to be used in your gaming circle that accomplish this.

    Iceshard Blizzard/Magic: Spells can be used to neutralize shooting (Iceshard), or take out shooting units (Spirit Leach). Choose to bring a Slann or Priest that gives you some of these spells. A well timed spell can make a big difference to the opponents shooting, especially when you consider that you will be able to engage those cannons by the second round with your flying units.

    Monsters - More or Less: Bring more monsters to saturate the options that your opponent has to shoot at. He may get one or two if very lucky, but would be very hard pressed to get three. OR, bring no monsters. His cannons are not as effective when shooting at other units in the army; if you give him no monsters to shoot at, then he will not be able to take full advantage of cannon balls.


    Use some or all of these strategies to help limit the effectiveness of cannon shooting. You can never get rid of it completely, but steps can be taken to help protect your army.
     
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  4. n810
    Slann

    n810 First Spawning

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    Re: A compilation of ways to fight cannons/minimize risk?

    One way of avaiding cannond and oyther is to effectvely use the terrain on the table,
    mind you this varies from playgroup to playgroup depending on the available terrain
    and the agreed to method of placing terrain.

    Walls are a great aly when facing cannons, since toy can see over them,
    but they will also stop a canon ball (also buildings).

    any large line of sight blocking terrain shoul also help against shooting of all kinds.

    I you are using aquatic units, get them in some water terrain if at all possible,
    this will greatly help them against balistic shooting, not so much against cannons though.
     
  5. Pinktaco
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    Pinktaco Vessel of the Old Ones Staff Member

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    Re: A compilation of ways to fight cannons/minimize risk?

    Maybe a strange question, but I've never played with cameleon skinks before. So how do you guys normally deploy them? They must be 12" away from the enemy which, I assume, is the same when you want to deploy in their deployment zone. Are there enough room for that?

    I'm just curious how you make use of the C skinks in the first turn.
     
  6. A Steaming Kroak
    Saurus

    A Steaming Kroak Member

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    Re: A compilation of ways to fight cannons/minimize risk?

    When you deploy scouts they can either deploy 12 inches from the enemy anywhere on the table, or they can deploy anywhere in your deployment zone. This allows them to deploy within 1 inch of the enemy if they have placed scouts in your deployment zone. This rule is not really that important for chameleons, as you generally want them on your opponents side of the table (thats why you buy them). However, as i'm also a dwarf player, I have used scouting dwarfs with great weapons appearing within 1 inch of an enemy scout unit to great effect.

    Basically, you want to deploy the chameleons in a position where they can march into position to shoot a specific target (cannon) on the first turn. You can deploy 12 inches from the enemy, march 12 inches, then shoot. This should get you into a good position to take down a cannon. Your normal skinks will not be able to get close enough on the first turn to replicate this, and that is why you pay almost twice as many points for chameleons.
     
  7. Pinktaco
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    Pinktaco Vessel of the Old Ones Staff Member

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    Re: A compilation of ways to fight cannons/minimize risk?

    I made up a quick paint document to illustrate what I think you mean:

    o0na.jpg

    Is what you had in mind?
     
  8. A Steaming Kroak
    Saurus

    A Steaming Kroak Member

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    Re: A compilation of ways to fight cannons/minimize risk?

    Good diagram. Yes, that is basically what I mean. Obviously, you left those chameleons in a difficult situation to get charged, but yes that is how you could use them. I think that ideally you try and move them around the flank of the enemy, or leave them further back from the intended shooting target. Remember, you only need to be within 12 inches to shoot at the cannon. You are trying to get the poison hits, because against toughness 7 the str3 non-poison hits won't do too much (may get lucky and roll a 6 to wound).

    Another point, you can deploy further back than 12 inches. Say 15 inches. This makes it much more difficult to charge your chameleons, and they can still move forward 12 and get into range of the cannon.
     
  9. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Re: A compilation of ways to fight cannons/minimize risk?

    I'd like to add three things to the mitigation list.

    The Iron Curse Icon: This should either be on your Temple Guard bunkered Slann or your Cold One riding Saurus character. For 5 points you only need to save one model every other game to be worth it.

    Sideways: Deploying your chariot base monsters sideways will make your big dinosaurs SLIGHTLY less easy to shoot if you get first turn and you can use your free wheel to correct it with no harm done.

    Razordon/Salamanders: One third of the time, a cannonball is wasted on a lowly Skink handler. A cheap Razordon can thus absorb a cannon ball for a more valuable dinosaur.

    Pha's Protection: Without Lore Master you can't be GUARANTEED this spell but it is very good against cannons. It essentially the bubbled effect will protect a vast swath of your troops from multiple cannons or rock lobbers.

    Lifebloom: A Life Slann or a High Magic Slann swapping for Life spells can heal a lot of dinosaurs with enough spells. Most dinosaurs can take one cannonball and live. With proper healing they can take two.
     
  10. Pinktaco
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    Pinktaco Vessel of the Old Ones Staff Member

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    Re: A compilation of ways to fight cannons/minimize risk?

    Thanks :)

    And since you've added the thread to you tactica index I'll update the OP with answers.
     
  11. Lizardmatt
    Troglodon

    Lizardmatt New Member

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    Re: A compilation of ways to fight cannons/minimize risk?

    Just want to point out that Razordons/salamanders have a big problem. Being skirmishers, you've got a half inch gap between razordons to fire the cannon through and ignore the screen.

    I've found best solution is the triple threat.
    Chameleons, flying skink(s), and a magical threat (comet or spirit leech).

    Ripperdactyl units are growing on me. The Frenzy makes them immune to panic and even a single model can hold, if not win combat. Holding, is as good as winning; the cannons doesn't shoot.

    -Matt
     
  12. RipperDerek
    Temple Guard

    RipperDerek Member

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    Re: A compilation of ways to fight cannons/minimize risk?

    The fact that the rippers are immune to panic has also been impressing me.
     
  13. RipperDerek
    Temple Guard

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    Re: A compilation of ways to fight cannons/minimize risk?

    Also, I don't think the diagram on the last page is right. To my knowledge, the chameleon skinks cannot shoot if they march. But, they can move 6" and then shoot.
     
  14. Dreyer
    Cold One

    Dreyer New Member

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    Re: A compilation of ways to fight cannons/minimize risk?

    Skirmishers can march and shoot, unless stated otherwise in their unit entries like with the salamander
     
  15. ZaGreekie
    Chameleon Skink

    ZaGreekie Active Member

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    Re: A compilation of ways to fight cannons/minimize risk?

    the depressing thing is that skrmishers with "quick to fire" weapons have no pentaly for moving and shooting.

    what i mean is no -1 for moving when rolling to hit... so you could march and shoot multi shot at long range and still be hitting on 6's

    unfortunately i only figure this out AFTER the new army book when blowpips are no longer "quick to fire"
     
  16. Dreyer
    Cold One

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    Re: A compilation of ways to fight cannons/minimize risk?


    Pretty sure blowpipes never had quick to fire
     
  17. ZaGreekie
    Chameleon Skink

    ZaGreekie Active Member

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    Re: A compilation of ways to fight cannons/minimize risk?


    Your right just got out my old book. i have no idea why i thought they where quick to fire. never mind then xD
     
  18. Qupakoco
    Skink Chief

    Qupakoco Keeper of the Dice Staff Member

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    Re: A compilation of ways to fight cannons/minimize risk?

    ^^ Remember Chameleons are BS4. They usually still get 6's.

    I wrote this in my Stegadon Tactica. I've edited it a little. Most of the points have been brought up, but these are a little more detailed :smug:

    -------


    Cannon-proofing your Stegs

    There are a few things we can do as Lizardmen Generals to avoid losing our Stegadons to the dreaded cannon. Fortunately our beasties have 5 wounds, so on average you won’t lose a Stegadon to a single cannonball shot. But it can happen. It’s happened to me, and it will happen to you. So heads up. Dwarf and Empire players go nuts when they kill one with a single shot.

    Bring Warmachine Hunters

    This is the easiest safeguard against losing a Stegadon. Chameleons can easily zip around enemy lines to get into position to lay down some threatening fire on a cannon. Heck, they may even take a grapeshot if your opponent feels really threatened by them. And if that happens it means your Stegadon gets to go for a turn without being shot at. Good trade in my opinion. Terradons and Rippers can sometimes get to an enemy cannon on Turn 1 with their Vanguard move, but usually it won’t be until Turn 2. Still, often times your opponent may take the Terradons as a more immediate threat and lob a shot at them instead. Rippers are frenzied, so I wouldn't rely on them to accomplish the task.

    Gungan Bubble Shield

    Bring the Engine of the Gods! A 6+ ward save against a cannon actually turns out to be helpful. You can easily fit another Steg or two within the effective area of the Portent of Warding. It’s not the best but easily better than just taking a shot.

    Target Saturation

    Kind of a familiar term for Lizardmen Generals I think. Basically bring too many targets for the cannons to deal with. Two Stegs, three Stegs, Stegs and a Carnosaur, Salamanders all over the place. Anything to tempt cannon fire. The crew working the gun will be so excited that they might not pick the right thing to shoot at!

    Use the Terrain

    Get yourself behind things! Buildings and hills are great. Heck, you can even hide Stegs behind other Stegs. Remember, if a Monster takes a cannonball and doesn’t die then the bounce stops there. Kind of a morbid tactic but it can work. Would you take a Baby Steg to protect your EOTG? Falls back to target saturation at that point I suppose.

    Take a Life Slan!

    Do I need to explain this one? Heal those wounds and toughen ‘em up. You can make a Steg Toughness 10 if you’re really worried.

    Turn it Sideways?

    I’m not sure I fully believe in this tactic but I see it pop up from time to time. The basics is easy: put your Stegadon sideways to the cannon during deployment. This effectively shortens your base in the direction of the bounce, giving the cannon a bit less of a target in its line of fire. With less depth to your base the odds of the cannonball rolling too high and flying over your Stegadon are better. Make sense? Kinda rules lawyery I think and probably only effective 10% of the time. Good cannoneers should still be able to hit you so don’t rely on this too much. But it could work! After the first turn simply reform and get a move on it. Gotta sacrifice your march move though, so keep that in mind.
     
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  19. A Steaming Kroak
    Saurus

    A Steaming Kroak Member

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    Re: A compilation of ways to fight cannons/minimize risk?



    I really don't think this actually makes a difference. As a dwarf player, I can tell you that the standard method for firing a cannon is to measure 10 inches from just inside the back of the base of the monster. This means that even if the cannon rolls a 10 on the first artillery die, the cannon will still strike the target. There isn't really a chance to "overfly" the target if the player uses this method. Turning the base sideways used to work in 6th and 7th edition when the player had to guess the range of the cannon. With the 8th edition cannon rules, this simply shouldn't work unless the opponent doesn't understand how to properly use his cannon and puts the placement of the cannon shot too close.
     
  20. RipperDerek
    Temple Guard

    RipperDerek Member

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    Re: A compilation of ways to fight cannons/minimize risk?

    It still makes a theoretical difference, because it's easier for the cannon ball to fall short.

    The real issue is: do you save at least 2" by doing this? Because the cannonball bounces in 2" increments, it will only make a difference if you shorten your length by at least 2".
     

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