Monday, July 30, 2012
The Comeing of Age of the Thunderfire Cannon
This guy got a huge boost but realistically was already a great choice. So we get effectively an infantry artillery unit. It has a Techmarine, with a servo-harness by the way which is quite odd they would give the techmarine a 25 point upgrade for free, so the gunner has a 2+ save you probably will never use as well as can bolster a ruin which you will use every chance you can and the gun is a T7 2 wound 3+. It has three fire modes all of which have a 60" range. The standard shot, Surface Detonation, has a S6 AP5 Heavy 4 blaste is also Airburst which is S5 AP6 Heavy 4 Blast Ignores Cover, and a Subterranean blast which is S4 AP- heavy 4 blast and forces your opponent to be in difficult and, ssometimes, dangerous terrain. All of this we get for a cheap 100 points. A normal techmarine with a servo harness costs 75 points. This effectively makes a thunderfire cannon a 25 point upgrade that shoves it over to the heavy slot. Probably the best deal in an overpriced codex.
The thing that makes thunderfire cannons great is the S6 AP5 shooting has four small blast shots. If you catch an opponent packed tight you could easily get 5 or more models under each blast marker. With a more than likely chance that your shots will wound on 2+ these blasts easily turn into over a dozen wounds on decent sized units you may be shooting at. For instance in this past tournament I caught my opponent round one hiding in a ruin when he got the stealth/MTC ruins warlord trait. Yet he packed his seer council real tight inside of it so they would get a 3+ save yet I could get 5 of them under one small blast. I shot the ignores cover shot so they would have to use their 4++ save instead of the 3+ cover and managed 16 hits and 12 wounds. He promptly failed 6 saves taking out half of his council and putting a wound on each of his HQ characters in the unit. This thunderfire cannon had just won back his points for the whole tournament on his first shot. It then would proceed to kill off, without dieing, 5 rangers, 6 guardian jetbikes, 2 terminators about 10 crusaders, 20 fire warriors, 5 assault marines and a myriad of other models I forgot. During the tournament with all of its volume of hits took out probably over 1000 points worth of models during the entire tournament with barely taking a wound in two of the games. With the 60 inch range in all of the objective missions I was assaniating a scoring unit per turn without much repricussion. Now think if you ran 2 or 3 of these in the fairly dull heavy slot. In an edition here I would expect a lot more infantry these guys have gotten very useful.....so the next time you write a list lets think about using our unique heavy slot, the thunderfire cannon.