In this article we take a brief look at some of the different types of artillery available in the core Legion list.
During the Great Crusade, the range of vehicles available to the Legiones Astartes was vast. In the core legion, players have access to five different artillery vehicles. The Whirlwind, the Whirlwind Scorpius, the Basilisk, the Medusa and the Typhon Siege Tank. Each vehicle offers differences in flexibility and lethality. When selecting artillery, it is important, as always, to consider your opponent, the terrain you will be fighting on and how you envisage your units working together during the battle.
When thinking about how you want your artillery to influence your opponent’s deployment and movement across the board, the Basilisk’s Earthshaker Cannon range, at 120cm direct and 240cm in indirect, is far greater than the Whirlwind, at 45cm direct and 90cm in indirect fire mode, a standard tournament match is fought on a board 120 cm deep. If you take into account the 15cm deployment zones, a Whirlwind Battery, set up centrally can target units on the majority of the battlefield. However, the Basilisk can be set up on a flank deep in your own deployment zone and still target units indirectly on the opposite flank of the battlefield, providing you flexibility and giving your opponent something to consider when placing their units during the deployment phase
When considering targets, the standard Artillery Battery of four Basilisks or four Whirlwinds generates the same number of Barrage Points (4) when firing. However, the Whirlwind’s Vengeance and Castellan missiles Ignore Cover. If your opponent favours using vehicles or terrain to provide their units with cover, the Whirlwind is more successful at generating hits against those infantry in cover than the Basilisk is. As a rule, Barrage Weapons are not as effective at destroying vehicles (AV), as they are at destroying Infantry (INF) or Light Vehicles (LV). It is also common to see infantry units in base contact with vehicles to gain the -1 to hit from being in cover as they cross open ground. When you combine the common practice of moving infantry in cover with vehicles, with the Whirlwind’s benefit of ignoring the -1 to hit units in cover, you can start to have an effect on how your opponent moves their infantry. Your opponent will have to choose whether to dismount troops at the end of a move and leave them in contact with the vehicle, exposing them to your Whirlwind’s barrage or alternatively, moving them inside the vehicle, and leaving them vulnerable to an assault which could trap them inside the vehicle, preventing them from fighting.
Well, that’s just a quick look at two of the artillery vehicles available to you in the Heresy Supplement, in our next spot light article, we will take a look at the short range artillery monsters, the Medusa and the Typhon as well as some points on the current method of employing the Scorpius. Stay tuned..