Since Sword Knights are helluva expensive I’ve decided to postpone the Stryker2 Swarm until after the January errata, since buying 200 dollars worth of models that might stop working in 2-6 weeks would be silly. Instead I bought my DOOM CANNON to field with Caine2, and it was spectacular.
I played it against a Skorne beast heavy Zaadesh2 list last night, and while not the most accurate of tests since he had no real way of dealing with it at range, the damage output of the doom cannon was just spectacular. I went second, and on the very first turn I sacrificed a Ranger to allow me to land the shot on a bunch of Bloodrunners hiding in a forest, and the massive crater left four dead Runners.
The second turn I try my luck at the Titan Sentry, and the look on his face when the ARM 21 Sentry took 11 damage was just priceless. The third and final round – after which he conceded due to lack of actual models on the table – the doom cannon landed 8 damage on a Titan Gladiator. The grand total was then four kills and two badly damaged heavies, and some cackling lunatic in the corner raving about doom cannons and getting nuked from orbit.
Captain Allister Caine (Caine2)
Lieutenant Allison Jakes
Rangers (Leader & 5 Grunts)
Field Mechaniks (Leader & 3 Grunts)
Captain Arlan Strangeways
Horgenhold Artillery Corps
– Captain Jonas Murdoch
The list is an attempt at making Caine2 into a standard drop against Circle as well, without sacrificing the core mechanics of it. The first game I tried downgrading one Centurion to an Ironclad, and ended up in a two zone scenario I had real trouble dealing with, so I’m going to try and downgrade one Cyclone to a Charger, reduce the two Gobbers back to Field Mechaniks, and get that second Centurion back in the list. Now more talk about the Doom Cannon!
- Accuracy: RAT 5 with boosted attack rolls, and access to Rangers and Aim.
Potentially boosted RAT 9 shots, and Reinholdt in the list to remove stealth. This will land hits on just about anything in the game, giving me a big fat ‘nope’ zone for quite a few models in the game. Adding to Caines own ‘nope’ zone this makes life difficult for a lot of things in the game. It also has Arcing Fire, so hiding behind models might not work either.
- Single target damage: POW 14, with an additional die and boosted damage.
Ouch! Even ARM buffed heavies need to respect an average damage of 28 points, and spikes on these rolls really bloody hurt. Theoretically the Doom Cannon rolling all sixes could one-shot several light jacks/beasts in the game, with a whopping 38 damage cap, but even rolling average all game will hurt something bad.
- Area of Effect damage: POW 7, with boosted damage on all blast damage rolls.
Though not exactly something Caine2 is lacking, the ability to remove some guys that were otherwise hard to get to is nice enough. It leaves some order of activation sequence more open, and if they’re bunched up it can blow up a lot of dudes.
- Threat Range: Four inch move, three inch assault, and sixteen inch range = 23″
That’s absurd. Even average speed models will need to be careful about their first turn if they run. With a nice drift the Doom Cannon might even kill enemy AD troops on the first turn, and from the second turn it’ll never be without a target.
Even though I don’t like it, the Doom Cannon has issues, and the main one is survivability. Being DEF 10 / ARM 15 means that even a Gobber can kill them without all that much trouble. Being RNG 16 helps a lot, but they’re still within range of most ranged model retaliation. Caine2 solves a lot of those problems, as all the little guys with attacks to spare go *poof*, and heavy weapons fire can be pawned of to the grunts in the doom unit.
The second defense mechanism is Murdochs mini-feat, which turns them up to mighty DEF 14 for a turn. Sadly it doesn’t really stack with anything, but DEF 14 is something at least, especially if Caine already removed the low POW attacks, so the enemy has to dedicate both focus and high POW shots to dealing with them. I’m sure there are other issues – like someone running to engage, which Caine sort of solves – which will reveal themselves in time, but for now I’m off to make some model sandbags and paint the shells with nuclear warning signs.