Sunday, 31 October 2010

Warpfire Throwers and Poisoned Wind Mortars.

My thoughts on the matter. In my opinion these are easily the two best weapon teams, and it's a tough call, so we're going to go through the pros and cons of the two of em.

I feel this sums up my new feelings on wizards.

Now as I'm sure you've noticed (you better have) I have a new army with 9 weapon teams. I'm having a rough time deciding what should be what. At the moment it's 9 warpfires just for raw hitting power. However that may well change. To the pros and cons!

So let's start with:

Huh, this age old classic. Right let's have a look at the pros:

- Very, very damaging. A direct hit against let's say a block of 25-30 infantry will usually leave them with less than 2 ranks. As in less than 10 models. It's a sickeningly powerful weapon. Strength 5 templates. Ouch. But that's not all, this monster also does D3 wounds, which means not even monsters and ogres are safe. This is truly a weapon you can fire at just about anything and expect to worry it. Having my army based around these means there's few threats that wont simply just drop dead as they come close. I mean, a good hit on a unit of ogres and you're still looking at about 8 wounds. That's one shot! Consider this thing only costs 70pts. Man.

- Accurate. Yup, out of the weapon teams this thing is the most accurate. It's very easy to get hits with WFTs. It's rare you over or undershoot if you're making shots at the right range and have positioned correctly. If you fire in the right direction most of the time you're gonna hit. And you're gonna hit a lot.

- Autopanic. Yeah it automatically causes panic too. Cause it really needs ithat upgrade?! How often will these things not cause panic? Whatever. Lol.

- Decent range. Your average amount of distance you can expect to cover with these things is 12" to 14". Which is (ideally) where you want the back of the unit you're firing at to be. However if it means not getting charged next turn you can make do with "just" getting around 13 hits. Lol. However when these things are in amongst your lines chances are you wont be able to get far enough quick enough.

- Stand and shoot. No, fucking really. They can stand and fucking shoot. More bullshit please? What's that unit of 30 empire swordsmen/T3 whatever? I can't hear you over the sound of you all dying a burny fiery death.


- Static. This is the big one. It's a move or fire weapon. This means you'll usually get one or two good shots off with em. Those being the turn you get to fire, and your stand and shoot reaction. Now admittedly (as I said) if either of those hits you're looking at serious damage, but if you compare this to the mobility of the Poisoned Wind Mortar it doesn't quite stand up. I mean, sure you can move it and not fire to set up some good shots later (in particular, having a WFT in every direction around a unit works, as they're going to spend forever catching them all). But this is nothing compared to the constant movement and firing capability of the Poisoned Wind Mortar, like I said. It'll always be firing.

- Volatile. 5/6 of the misfire results kill this thing. 6 is just it doesn't fire. 1-2 is actually the best result, as with proper spacing it'll do absolutely nothing. The 3-5 however, hrm. Not so good. You do not want this thing running into friendly units and taking them with you. At the same time it can do the exact same thing to enemy units. With good movement in turns prior you can actually make it so that even a misfire hurts your enemy. But compared to the reliability of the poisoned wind mortar it's just not the same.

- Doesn't ignore armour. Sure it's -2 which is good enough for infantry, but not heavy cav. However I have WLCs for that kind of thing. It's worth mentioning though cause it's one of the few skaven weapons I field that doesn't ignore armour.

- Expensive. More expensive, but barely. It's only 5pts more.

Righty, so lets take the army from the battle report, with teclis. Now, I outrange that list with Warp Lightning Cannons, and have gutter runners harrying and such. They have no choice but to come running to me. Now while teclis (he's such a wanker) can shoot white hot magic all over my WLCs (see?) within 24", proper deployment should avoid this. Considering how many units I have then I should get to dictate deployment. So on coming toward me, there will invariably be that turn when I just get to absolutely tear the HE a new one, with 9 WFTs and the doomrocket opening up. I mean, even if say 4 of those hit, that's like 3 units decimated. Then in the next HE turn they go into the redirectors, which buys me another turn of shooting. Then the HE turn to face me. This is where I move. And I have to move. It'll take some damn good redirection to make this move worth anything as well. As the HE unit will have to be close enough to me I can either put in another redirector, or get out of it's LoS.

Ok, on to the challenger.


The new kid on the block. Bringing long range and blast templates to the skaven arsenal. Let's have a look.


- Ignores toughness. This is a nice one. A Poisoned Wind Mortar doesn't care about your toughness at all. This is good because (generally, in the scope of the game) high toughness is good, as are spells that increase your toughness.

- Ignores armour. Another nice little perk. This means that this thing can pretty much rain it down on whoever the fuck it wants. White Lions with Flesh to Stone (as in the batrep)? No problem. Chosen with a 2+ save? Can do. Shouldn't need to explain why this is good.

- Can fire without LoS. Usually you want to fire with LoS, just cause you can hit things with scatters of 2" and 4". But admittedly it's a very nice option to have. Especially if you're against heavy fire.

- Range. This is a big one. While the WFT may not get to open fire until turn 2 or 3, this guy can start on turn one. My problem however is actually with the first. People argue range all the time. It's only that good (I find) against shooty units, that stay in the back field. How often do you see big shooty units you want to be shooting with this thing? Not very often is the reply. Again though, even though this can open up turn one, a WFT goes turn 2 if you get second (odds are I will, lots of units), so it's not that much extra time spent shooting. Although, being able to fire across the field and really concentrate is a nice perk of this. With these things because of the range you really can just bomb stuff out of existance. I'm talking 11 templates landing on one unit. See what's left at the end. My money is on not fucking much.

- Mobility. Hurm. Here's the really big one. This lil' bastard can move 5" and shoot. While that may not seem huge, they move as single models. That means these are very good at literally running in circles around blocks, while firing. They can also kite and suchlike. Honestly I can't say how big this is. But it just means these will be stupidly hard to catch. Stupidly stupidly hard. Unless you have ranged.

- Ol' reliable. Yeah these things aren't nearly as likely to die to misfire. Hell the misfire chart isn't even devastating. It's bloody weird. Still, means unless you actively go out to kill them these won't die very often at all.


-Hits like a wet paper sack full of cotton balls dipped in antiseptic. Yeah, these things don't hit hard. Sure always wounding on a 5+ is nice. But when you're firing at mass T3 infantry it's a bit lacklustre. Sure hit 20 kill 6... mneh. See this ties in directly to the next problem.

- Gets worse the more they kill. "Wait a second! Surely the same applies to warpfire throwers!" Well yeah, but they take out 85% of a unit in one shot. So you know, the stormvermin or gutter runners can mop up after that. With poisoned wind mortars though, when you're down to hitting 12 or so models (if you hit with no scatter) it can become horribly slow going. Getting rid of that last rank can be hell. See I already tried a list with... it was like 6 of these. I know from experience. >_>

- Accurate as a vindicare with a blunderbuss. In fact, knowing vindicares that's prolly still pretty accurate. Anyway, point being these aren't accurate. Sure it's great to say you can prolly down a unit just shooting these at them. But realistically, I doubt you'll be able to. This is the number one problem for these for me, compared to the WFT. When you fire a WFT at a unit, you're damn damn likely to hit and kill a lot guys. When you fire a PWM there's every chance it'll do nothing, or hit maybe 5 guys. It's even worse if you're firing out of line of sight.

So which do I think is better? At this moment of time, the Warpfire Thrower. Why? Well, it's less survivable, it's static, it will die if it misfires. However, if it hits you, even once, chances are your unit will just drop. And I have 9 of them. In addition I don't think the PWM will bring along enough power for it to be worth it. However in my previous army I did enjoy the Poisoned Wind Mortar. If I find myself wanting/needing one I won't hesitate to add it in.

Hope you guys enjoyed the article.


  1. I agree with you on those too. I like WFTs myself, but I'll include a mix while I'm getting the hand of stuff.

    Ratling Guns I find are still handy for killing off that last rank or going after junk like fast cav. Rolling to hit sucks, but you can generate enough shots to make it worthwhile.

  2. Why not do a mix, like Chumby? I wouldn't want all of the guys to be the same... but that's me.

  3. Yeah, a mix, i think is the best option.
    Means if you are facing a static fire army, lets say dwarfs, for example, you don't just have to run the WFTs up the board, with friendly organ guns, anvils, whatever, kicking fuck out them.
    Means you can skulk around the back and lob cowardly mortar fire the enemy's way.
    Also, I tried replying twice on the magic thing. My internet started playing up like a magpie in a shiny things factory. I like the idea, would like to see the army in practice. Wanting to play Fantasy without magic is a reason I like dwarfs. Admittedly, the main reason is probably Gotrek.

  4. So what's a Mortar gonna do to a unit of 10 thunderers? I mean sure if you hit dead on you might kill I dunno. 3. Your chance of missing is greatly increased by the smaller unit.

    Whereas running up 90 stormvermin and 9 warpfire throwers and having 15 gutter runners in their face gives them a shit tonne of targets. All of which pose a serious problem to the gunline. ^^

    Mortars are only good at taking out big groups of infantry.

    That said I'm thinking about putting one in to save points so I can get the Storm Banner. I reckon it'll be worth it against flyers or heavy long range shooting like Dark Elves, to let my WFTs get that extra turn of unimpeded marching. As -1 for long range, -1 multi shot, -2 storm banner, -2 hard cover behind the stormies, then a 6+/4++ which is about 1.1% of a shot bringing a weapon team down, meaning that the Dark Elf list I brought will probably only bring down one or two weapon teams a turn, because shades tilt the equation a bit. Yup definitely worth it I feel. :P

  5. The only problem you'll deal with is the dwarf ranger list luckly I only know of 1 person who uses it.

  6. Dwarf ranger list? You can only take 2 units of rangers to my knowledge.