20 July, 2012

Sixth Edition Unit Types: Artillery

Thunderfire Cannon Image courtesy of GW

Day five of the unit overview: Artillery. I'll be up front here and admit I'm not a huge fan of Artillery. Too many things can go wrong with the unit. This is why despite loving the Thunderfire Cannon, I'd rather go with a Land Raider Achilles to get one despite the cost being 3 times as much. Besides, the Land Raider Achilles simply looks amazing. But I can't just go without covering the unit type if I've done the rest, so here goes.


The basic rules are almost entirely the same: Artillery are large weapons that receive their own model that can be targeted independently from its crew who are also part of the unit. For the Thunderfire Cannon, the crew is the attached Techmarine (who looks awesome). If the crew is destroyed, so is the gun. Independent Characters who join the unit cannot fire the weapon in either edition.

Here's a big change: In 5th Edition the weapon itself was treated as a vehicle with armour 10 and effectively 1 Hull Point (as even a glance would remove the model). In 6th Edition, this has been changed to no longer treat Artillery as hybrid Infantry/Vehicle units. Artillery have a Toughness 7, 2 Wounds, and a 3+ Armour save! So while S4 Bolter fire still can harm them on a 6+ and lesser weapons cannot, they're slightly more resilient to stronger weapons (especially since they'll always be at best 2+ to Wound), and AP4 and worse weapons allow them an Armour save as well. And they get 2 Wounds! To top it off, the unit always uses the weapon's T7 against shooting attacks if the weapon remains. Wound allocation still affects closest models first; no longer do you roll a d6 to see if the gun or crew are hit.

Look Out, Sir cannot be used to move a Wound onto an Artillery model. The crew are, of course, fair game.

Movement Phase

Needless to say, the Artillery piece still has to move with the crew. Unlike in 5th Edition, the Artillery model no longer needs to take Dangerous terrain tests in Difficult terrain.

Shooting Phase

The Shooting Phase has changed a little bit for Artillery. But first what hasn't changed: the Artillery model must not have moved to be fired (no Snap Shots allowed), the crew member firing it must be within 2", if Line of Sight is required both the weapon and the firing crew member must have Line of Sight, and distances are measured from the barrel of the weapon. The difference is this: in 5th Edition the unit could split fire. All of the Artillery had to fire at the same unit, but any other models in the unit were free to fire on a separate unit! This splitting of fire has been removed in 6th Edition, so all models in the unit have to fire upon the same target. There is also no more restriction on the unit Running in 6th Edition.

Assault Phase

The Assault Phase has not changed. Heck, the wording has barely been changed. The unit cannot Charge while an Artillery model is still with them, and assaults upon them effectively ignore the Artillery model. If the unit is forced to flee Assault and the enemy unit can perform a Sweeping Advance, they are simply destroyed - no test allowed.

Final Thoughts

Artillery are better now than they were. I'm almost tempted to take back my declaration of Thunderfire Cannons being best served via Land Raider Achilles . . . but the Achilles looks too awesome. That said, I do feel that Artillery are now a viable option where I did not feel this to be so in 5th Edition. Tomorrow: Monstrous Creatures. I figured I'd save the big ones for the weekend.

1 comment:

  1. I'm inclined to agree. The thunderfire cannon is really effective and, like the Vindicator, suffered most from it's vulnerability to incoming fire. In sixth you know you're going to get a couple of shots off in most games which makes it worth taking. Especially since you can fortify some terrain while you're at it.