[Archive] Fire! How do you manage your shoot phase?

Alan the evil:

Hi all.

I wonder how CD players make their choices about shot troops.
Since some weeks ago I always played 2 x 15 blunderbusses w/o command, 4 x bt and 1 earthshaker.
But now, founding some problem vs light cavalry i’m testing 20 archers merging BB in one big unit of 20 models.

How do you manage your shooting phase?

Please specify how many pts you usually play and if you have any kind of limitation, like I’m doing below:

POINTS: 2250

LIMITATIONS: no more than 5 war machines, no more than 3 same core units, no more than 2 same special units, no same rare units.

CHOICES: 20 blunderbusses w/o command, 2 x 10 naked hobbos archer, 4 x bolt throwers, 1 x earthshaker.

Thanks to everybody who is going to answer.

Border Reiver:

I do have a priority of targets for my missile troops, and really depends on what my opponent has:

Earthshaker - Priority 1 - fast moving troops that can generate lots of non static CR or can disrupt my formations or shooting(knights, OK Ironguts, flyers, etc)

Priority 2 - missile troops

Priority 3 - block infantry

Priority 4 - Skirmishers

Bolt Throwers - Priority 1 - Large Monsters

Priority 2 - targets with high armour saves such as knights

priority 3 - ranked units of infantry

Death Rocket - Priority 1 - Ranked units of infantry

Priority 2- Other infantry

Archers - Priority 1 - fast cavalry/light fliers

Priority 2 - lightly armoured ranked infantry

priority 3 - skirmishers

Priority 4 - large targets such as giants or other monsters.

Blunderbusses - Priority 1 - ranked infantry units

priority 2 - skirmishers

Priority 3 - cavalry

priority 4 - multi wound models.



I usually play with your limitations and I field:

2 blocks of 15 blunderbusses,

4 bolt throwers

1 shaker.

I’m happy with my 4 bolt throwers as I think 4-5 is the perfect number, more are difficult to field and less are not really effective.

1 shaker is a no brainer, we desperately need it.

I’m not happy with blunderbusses and medium range fire.

I usually field blunders along with my lesser mages to add more fire power to the unit and give sorcerers protection but I’m facing 2 problems:

1) Expert enemies learnt to kill as fast as possibile some dwarfs to reduce my blunders strenght to 4 or 3 and then let them go. This really reduces their effectiveness with a small effort by the enemy.

2) Enemies able to deliver concentrated massive fire con really delete blunderbusses units in a couple of turn leaving my poor sorcerer alone!

So I’m really thinking to power up my units to 20 blunderbusses.

Like most of the people here I’m starting to lack medium range missile fire so I’m wondering if I need to field one or two blocks of 10 hobgoblin archers…

Alan the evil:

Border reiver:

I like your priority lists!!

Maybe I should move in archer list  large target from #4 to #2

A lots of time Archers down my great taurus!!


I’m a bit conforted about your experience with BB: I found same problems with them.

That’s why I want to merge them in one unit.

With saved points I want to field 2 units of hobbos archers.

We reach same ideas, bassman!! (maybe because we play the same metagame??)


i run 2 units of 15 bbs, 2 units of 10 archers, 4 bolt throwers and a earthshaker.

usually does the job.


In my last army under ETC rules I fielded 15 bunderbusses, another unit of 18 blunderbusses, a unit of 10 hobgoblin archers, 4 bolt throwers and the shaker.

The blunderbusses beefed up unit was great to substain enemy counterfire without losing effectiveness and playing against goblins I found funny extending the front up to 10 dwarfs. For two turns I got 40/50 hobbos from two different units under the template. Who cares about strenght 4/5 if you shooting at t3 with AS 5+ ? :slight_smile:

The big problems are fanatics as I could not concetrate fire… I just killed one per turn out of three and the other two created a lot of problems.

My ten hobgobbos were fine, I placed them in the centre of my army, marching into a forest and emerging in front of the enemy. From this position they were able to shoot to light units like spider riders and they managed to panic them!!! And they run :idea

Next turn the remaining three squig hopper charged them (they were reduced by shaker and magic missile fire) one died of stand and shoot, another was killed in combat and hobgobbos won! :o Amazing!

They have earned a place in my army list :cheers

OK, in next battles they will suck… but who cares? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Unleash the earthshaker on Calvary, and put blunder bussers on the front lines, that way you dont hit your people…


I play 2250 without any restrictions other than those in the book.

My usual list includes this for shooting:

15 Blunderbussers

15 Blunderbussers

4 Hobgoblin Bolt Throwers

1 Death Rocket

1 Earthshaker

10 Hobgoblin Wolf Riders with Bows

I have found that the Death Rocket rarely earns its keep, but it�?Ts so cheap that it�?Ts still worth having around. That one game in three it does something relevant, it does something EXTREMELY relevant and basically wins the game for me.

Target priority means something very different depending on the army I�?Tm up against. Trying to generalize as best I can, it goes something like this:

Magic missiles (I run three wizards, two level 2 and a level 4) go towards fast cav and fliers immediately. I fear these most of all, since in a drawn out artillery fight I�?Tll be the favorite and heavy cav is really better solved with bolt throwers than magic. Nothing else is really fast enough to worry me.

Step two is the guess weapons. I aim the death rocket at anything with a respectable armor save (so generally whatever beefy block unit their lord is hiding in, 90% of the time) and the Earthshaker at the center of their battle line. Both pretty obvious choices, as the death rocket is useless without pegging some high cost difficult to murder individuals, whereas the Earthshaker�?Ts damage isn�?Tt as relevant as its other effect.

The bolt throwers, as I mentioned, get aimed at heavy cavalry most of the time. Failing that, they get aimed at anything with multiple wounds to try to get some mileage out of the points. I figure if I manage to kill a giant with my battery of 4 bolt throwers, even if they do nothing else all game they picked up almost double my investment of points. If I can attempt a miracle shot at a hero or a lord running around on their own, that�?Ts usually my next priority. If none of these are available, I probably already won, so I�?Tll start picking off big blocks of core to try to get half credit on things I can�?Tt reach before the round is over.

The blunderbussers don�?Tt have the freedom to choose what they target, so I just kind of leave them in front of my beatstick units. With leadership 10 and a battle standard floating around, I don�?Tt worry about blasting some poor fools�?T eyes out and then fleeing in abject horror when they try to engage me. The beatstick units hiding behind the blunderbussers then usually can pull of a charge, or at least receive one in better shape.

Lastly, the wolf riders. They really don�?Tt do anything with their bows very often, but it makes them seem more annoying to my opponent so they waste time on trying to kill them. Occasionally they get lucky and pick off a warmachine�?Ts crew, a random solo character, or some obnoxious fliers. Most of the time, I roll dice and my opponent spends a turn or two trying to chase down a crappy unit.