A few weeks ago, I posted my ideas how to make the Kingdoms of Men (KoM) shooters perform different roles instead of the same. You can find these here. Shortly after, I promised on the dakadaka forum to think about the KoM warmachines too. As the days passed, Artic Dragon challenged me to do so. So here we are.
First things first
First things first: Schmendrik, my favorite Austrian follower, asked the justified question ” When i first read the title I thought you were thinking about how getting an army with 50% female troops, different skin colors and some visible members of the LGBTQ community… ” As important as this question is, I’ll folow his advice not to feed the trolls and leave this at this.
The Wargaming world allows for a great amout of humour. It’s a pity that some people take offense at something inherrently funny without intent to hurt. I’ll just leave this matter with my favourite Discworld quote from Terry Pratchet:
“Racism was not a problem on the Discworld, because—what with trolls and dwarfs and so on—speciesism was more interesting. Black and white lived in perfect harmony and ganged up on green.”
About war machines in the Kingdoms of Men army.
the Kingdoms of Men army features three war machines; all deviations of the same theme. (sounds familiar, right? ). These are the cannon, balista and siege artillery. All are single shot war machines with Reload!, high piercing and a lot of blast. Stats are as follows:
The problem with these war machines is that they almost never hit the target you want to hit. Instead of being the area-denial-weapon they were historically, they are hit-or-miss devices of large amounts of hurt.
As they are single shot, ranged 5+ weapons, a smart opponent can shield their valueable units behind another unit or terain for that -1 cover penalty for a 6+ to hit. Even if you have the full compliment of 3 guns, they have a more-than-half chance not to hit anything if a 6+ to hit is required. Siege artillery is slightly better due to indirect fire, still their Reload! makes them quite ineffective.
Let’s diversify these units and their battlefield roles a bit, like in the shooter discussion!
First of all: the same disclaimer as last time applies. These are brain dumps and not playtested. If the RC wants to try out these (and especially their point costs) they need to be balanced against other war machines.
The value of Piercing
A first idea that’s on my mind: high piercing weapons (anything over piercing 1) shouldn’t be handheld weapons of mansized models. Let’s asume the following baseline: Archers have no piercing and anything more powerful than a bow has piercing (1).
The high piercing damage should be the war machine department. (and large infantry like ogre shooters) This gives war machines a distinctive role in the army and game as a whole. (yes: this ties into my ideas for gunners)
Another idea: As units can be taken into different unit sizes, why not artillery? The below ideas asume that like units, war machines can be taken into three unit sizes: Single (50*50 mm base,); pair (100*50 base) or battery (150*50)
Siege Cannons (formerly cannon)
The big guns have their uses and who doesn’t like a massive gun to pound enemy siege fortresses to rubble?
New special rule: Impact!: The unit gains +1 to hit versus hordes, buildings and monsters on 75×75 bases. Range 48″.
With more attacks and +1 to hit versus hordes, these guns turn into anti-horde weapons. They are extremely situational due to high piercing and still limited amount of attacks, but the guy who leaves his Tydarion dragonlord parked in front of a battery of these guns is going to be real sorry.
Be it catapults or mortars, these are more or less anti-infantry weapons as they lob their missiles over the enemy lines into the 2nd line. Historically, these war machines can easily switch between solid and explosive shell or (in the case of catapults) between firing boulders or gravel.
New rule: switch amo. Before firing; the owner of the siege artillery may elect to fire explosive shell (or gravel) instead of solid shell (a single boulder). If your do, the gun multiplies its attacks by 3 at the cost of losing the Blast! special rule and reducing it’s piercing value to (1) for that attack. A battery needs to select the same shot for all its guns.
Balista / light cannon
This war machine represents anything that fires a weapon too large to be handheld, be it a light cannon, a balista, or mangronel. They are far more mobile than their larger counterparts, but not as mobile as regular units. (they still can;t march) Compared to other war machines, they pay for it by losing the blast! rule.
Light cannons can be upgraded to horse artillery (or chariot drawn balista or similar unit) for +10 points (single), +15 (pair) or +20 (battery) . If you do, they increase their speed to 8 and gain nimble at the costs of increasing their base size to 50*100 (single) 100*100 (pair) or 150*100mm (battery)
This option would give you a reliable source of high piercing damage, albeit with limited attacks.