I am getting close to releasing the latest update to my list, I’m currently going through practically everything changing little bits here and there and (hopefully) doing all the artwork that was missing. Some of these bits I will put here at some point, the rest are being held back for WoH.
Anyhow, one of the last big problems with my list I’m stuck on is what to do with my core warmachine.
The Smoke Mortar was initially developed to bring an end to the decade long siege of an Orc stronghold in the Mountains of Mourn. Because of the features of the paths leading up to the cave system, it was all but impossible to attack without taking heavy casualties.
Recognising that air movement through the stronghold was restricted to only the entrance hole, the Chaos Dwarfs fired countless smoke shells inside. Within a matter of minutes the Orc horde came pouring out from the caves, coughing and blindly fumbling in the thick haze.
A massacre ensued and yet another powerful war machine was added to the Chaos Dwarf arsenal.
Firing the Smoke Mortar
Range: 12" - 48"
To fire the Smoke Mortar line up the warmachine to the intended target, note that you require Line of Sight. Guess a range and place the large 5" template over this spot.
Roll the Scatter dice, if the result is a HIT the smoke shell lands exactly in the spot aimed for. If the Scatter dice rolls an arrow, the smoke shell will veer off in that direction. Next roll the Artillery dice, if a number is shown move the template that distance in the direction shown by the Scatter dice. If a MISFIRE is rolled consult the Misfire Chart.
Any model directly under the hole of the large template will take a S4 hit. Any model under the remainder of the template will take a Strength 2 hit.
The smoke shells designed by the Arcane Engineers produce a thick acrid cloud upon impact that will blind and confuse those nearby.
The area the large 5" template covers is filled with smoke until the next friendly shooting phase, at which point the smoke will have no further effect. Neither friendly nor enemy models can shoot, charge, or cast spells that require line of sight to targets through or at least half within this target area.
Enemy units that are at least half under the area covered by smoke will have -1 to hit modifiers imposed on them for close combat and shooting. Being used to the acrid smoke of their harsh industrial environment Chaos Dwarfs and Marduk are not affected by this.
SMOKE MORTAR MISFIRE TABLE
1 BOOM! The smoke shells detonates inside the Mortar. The war machine is destroyed and the crew gassed to death.
2-4 Fizz. The Mortar fails to fire, but may fire as normal next turn
5 Stupid slaves. A shell explodes near to where they are being loaded, and the machine will not fire this turn. Centre the large 5" template over the Smoke Mortar and treat as if they had hit that spot.
6 Major misfire! The Smoke Mortar will fire 2D6" in the direction shown by the roll of a scatter dice.
I have it at 70pts, and does not count towards the core minimum required. The profile is the same as for most non daemonic warmachines (same as dwarf cannon etc, 3 DZ crew).
Here is the problem identified by someone:
The rules for this machine are going to be abused. The first way would be to short guess, on purpose, in order to get the smoke on hand-to-hand combats. (which, in reality, is not that bad) The next one poses a real problem: Short guessing and then resolving the smoke shots after the other guess range shots. This allows a player to get shots off, then hide behind a short guessed wall of smoke. With deviance the smoke wall will not be perfect, but the abillity to take smoke mortars as psuedo-core lets enough mortars be taken to do it well enough. I’m not sure how to tackle this problem other than making the Smoke Mortar compete with the other choices in the Special section. There has to be other options, there always are; I just can’t see them for this one.So what best to do??
Is is possible to rework this idea to be balanced somehow?
I basically want to keep something to do with smoke in core that restricts enemy movement. I have considered doing a unit of Smoke Grenadiers? It cannot move to special or rare.
CD Smoke Bombs was another idea, but I’m not sure how balanced that would be over a whole army.