Bolt Throwers........
Page 1 of 2

Author:  Darkblade soul12 [ Tue May 10, 2011 5:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Bolt Throwers........

I've started to dig out my Dark Elf army, after I played another Dark elf player in a tournament and had a quick flick through the army list forum and realised that barely anyone takes bolt throwers and I just thought I'd post this to see what peoples views are about taking bolt throwers and whether or not they are worth while for their points and if not, why.

Author:  Blaznak [ Tue May 10, 2011 5:19 pm ]
Post subject: 

Why not Bolt Throwers?

Just so you know, they are truly awesome. However, they are "rare" and the other rare choice, the Hydra, is so much more effecient for the points. That really is the biggest problem.

That said - They are still pretty amazing and should never be discounted. There is nothing wrong with taking them and you can have a very effecient list with them.


Author:  Dalamar [ Tue May 10, 2011 5:42 pm ]
Post subject: 

Bolt Throwers generally suck hard.

If you can field 10 crossbowmen instead (a.k.a. you have the models) do so. You won't regret it.

They sucked before, now they lost a wound and suck even more.

Author:  Dark reaper [ Tue May 10, 2011 5:45 pm ]
Post subject: 

Our Bolt Thrower is the cost of 3 goblin bolt throwers for roughly the same usefulness. Granted, we have the opportunity to multi-shoot, but as Dalamar says, 10 crossbowmen does that better.

Author:  Norngahl [ Tue May 10, 2011 5:55 pm ]
Post subject: 

First, the Hydra is just a godless good choice by every mean.

Second, BT are just way overpriced. They come around with just 2 guys, have only 6 weak shots where 20xbows give me better results or 1 stronger shot that usually fails to wound the monster it is meant for and if it wounds it can´t kill it outright but usually soaks 2 LP, where crossbows still do the same or even better. You can´t even target other warmachines, as they are now almost every time T7+ with 3+ LP. Rank and file is so much these days you can´t shoot them all. Warmachines are also very easy victory points these days and our warmachine will die to any warmachine hunter.

For 100 points other races get a cannon with 3 crewman. Cannon is way better in taking down monsters. It doesn´t need to hit, comes with 2+ to wound against ANYTHING out there, ignores your armor and takes W6 LP from you.

If the BT would be say 65 points and if you could take up to 4 per rare slot I´d consider them a fair alternative to the hydra.

But as it is, they simply suck. Every Xbow unit will get you better results, exept for the "luckshot" where a single bolt hits, wounds and causes 3 wounds on an enemy char who is 25+" away.

Author:  Saintofm [ Tue May 10, 2011 6:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

You also need to take at least three or four of them to do any real damage for the most part. Even back in seventh edition, you needed that to cause panic tests.

Now with most armies taking at least on horde unit, expect that.

Author:  Thenick18 [ Tue May 10, 2011 6:31 pm ]
Post subject: 

They are a cool concept to include with an elven army to give it a warmachine, but like all the comments, they do not compare to any of their counterparts in the DE host.

Author:  Blaznak [ Tue May 10, 2011 6:50 pm ]
Post subject: 

Wow. I don't view Bolt Throwers as bad. They just are outclassed by other things. Huh. I'm surprised there's such a strong opinion against them. I guess I've used them effectively in my army but abandonded them for Hydras as I got those models.


Author:  Dyvim tvar [ Tue May 10, 2011 7:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

Biggest problem with bolt throwers these days is that they are easier to kill than they used to be. Pit of Shades and Purple Sun nuke them since they auto-fail Initiative tests, cannon fire and other multi-would war machines can easily kill both crew members in one shot, Death magic sniping spells can kill both crew members on a multi-wounding cast, etc.

On the flip side, I find that magic (supplemented by some crossbows) is a more efficient way to deal with a lot of the stuff that bolt throwers would normally target.

Author:  Darkblade soul12 [ Tue May 10, 2011 7:44 pm ]
Post subject: 

Wow, that was quick. Thanks for all the advice, now I know what i'll be leaving out when i make my new DE list and putting back on the shelf. Ah well maybe next edition :)

Author:  Thenick18 [ Tue May 10, 2011 8:32 pm ]
Post subject: 

Well either next addition, or they Errata the way they fire, maybe making the volley fire a small template instead making it more usefull and representing a hail of arrows pouring down on a single enemy unit instead of 6 slightly larger than a crossbow bolt arrows.

Author:  Norngahl [ Tue May 10, 2011 8:53 pm ]
Post subject: 

thenick18 wrote:
Well either next addition, or they Errata the way they fire, maybe making the volley fire a small template instead making it more usefull and representing a hail of arrows pouring down on a single enemy unit instead of 6 slightly larger than a crossbow bolt arrows.

You don´t really think GW will do something usefull? They invented the Pendant, Power Scrolls, Dwellers, Hydras and lots of other underprized/over the top stuff. In the same breath they created models that suck. They won´t find the middle of the rules.

Author:  Phierlihy [ Tue May 10, 2011 10:05 pm ]
Post subject: 

I think Seredain on the High Elf forums sums it up pretty well...

My reasons for continuing to take Reaper Bolt Throwers lie in the fact that they play a niche role which is particilarly beneficial to Dark Elves, who excel in combat beyond the suggestion of their points-cost but who die easily to shooting. Specifically, my reasons are as follows:

1 - RBTs were never very good at being shot at so, in that sense, their change from 3 wounds to 2 doesn't really affect the way I use them.

2 - They fulfill a role that no other Dark Elf unit is capable of- applying serious force at range. Because of the long range, this force can be used in conjunction with any one of my units on targets of my choice- either prior to a charge, in conjunction with other ranged attacks or in laying down an early wound or two on scary targets. In this way RBT's can tip the scales in my favour on a point of the battlefield chosen by me, providing excellent flexibility.

3 - Added to point 2, RBTs are perfectly adapted to taking down units that I want out of the way but don't want to have to waste a valuable unit on- in particular enemy flyers, scouts, skirmishers and ranked missile troops. As such they are the best thing I can buy for giving me more free movement of the board for my combat units, which I'll favour against the enemy combat troops if they haven't been shot up by crossbows. Eagles can do this, but tend to be sacrificial units: RBTs can do this and survive.

4 - In conjunction with my Repeater Crossbows and Sorceress, I can lay down a serious amount of ranged fire. This will eradicate enough enemy shooting to render attacks by my combat units possible. RBTs are effectively the best shield with which I can protect my elite units from enemy archers. By removing said archers.

5 - Against machine-heavy armies, RBTs provide very tempting targets. If they draw fire away from my combat units while they advance (and who benefit from 8th Ed allowing faster cross-board movement as much as the enemy units do), they've done ok. Before they go they'll focus on enemy missile troops as per usual.

6 - An important one for me: against opponents without all that much long-ranged shooting (Warriors, Lizards), RBTs will curse the enemy with itchy feet. These opponents will tend to feel that they have to advance or be slowly ground down. When they do advance, it allows me to exploit open flanks and gaps that open up, as well as taking advantage of the closer range for spells and missiles. If the enemy feels able to stay put, on the other hand, it is easier for him to choose benefical positions or castle up to the point where attacking him becomes much harder.

I hope that explains it. Basically, with only 200 points I've turned my army from a 'combat only' to a 'shooty army'. The tactical flexibility this provides is exactly what my combat-dedicated elites need to give them the edge.

Author:  Tethlis [ Wed May 11, 2011 12:35 am ]
Post subject: 

Blaznak wrote:
Wow. I don't view Bolt Throwers as bad. They just are outclassed by other things.

Agreed with Blaznak, as well as Seredain's point.

I think repeater bolt throwers are very useful, even for their points. I used them in every game I ever played in 6th and 7th edition and was very comfortable with their role in performance.

However, I don't view them as useful or efficient enough right now to justify taking them over other useful 8th edition choices.

6th and 7th edition focused more on MSU playstyles, and so things like skirmisher units, fast cavalry, small heavy cavalry units and monsters were all present (and bolt throwers were good against all of them.)

In 8th, all enemy units tend to be bigger, and similarly all our units tend to be fielded in larger sizes also. I would rather have more skilled combat troops or versatile combat/shooting choices (like crossbowmen/Shades) then bolt throwers. I like them, but I just don't like them over some of the other great choices we can use.

Author:  Phierlihy [ Wed May 11, 2011 1:27 am ]
Post subject: 

Oddly enough Seredain quoted Tethlis in his RBT article...

"Dark Elves are also an opponent which is making me shift more and more towards heavy archer units, and avoiding spearmen and Lothern Seaguard altogether. Since no one is taking bolt throwers anymore, the 30 inch range on longbows means the difference between advancing through a hail of repeater crossbow fire, and making the Dark Elves come to you. It's a HUGE difference in how the battle unfolds."

You're famous!!

Author:  Dalamar [ Wed May 11, 2011 2:12 am ]
Post subject: 

Seredain is wrong in a couple places:

2. the key word here is "serious" Bolt Throwers apply laughable force at range that any reasonable general will learn can be shrugged off or avoided until bolt throwers are dealt with.

3. That's what we have Shades and now and then Dark Riders for. At lower cost, they have more wounds and (shades) better accuracy. Also more shots than RBT and S3 or S4 makes no difference against light troops.

5. Machines shooting at machines are often a waste of time unless it's a cannon that's doing the shooting. But if someone's given choice between shooting a RBT and a Hydra with his cannon, and choses RBT, they should pack the army and leave right there.

6. If by slowly ground down you mean whole game of shooting not even gaining a single point (you need to kill every single model in a unit now remember?) then sure. Especially armies with little long ranged shooting are usually equipped with high T and/or AS to shrug off RBT toothpicks.

Author:  Ichiyo1821 [ Wed May 11, 2011 4:20 am ]
Post subject: 

I've mentioned this since day one of 8th edition if you can trace back my armylist/batrep then. Bolt Throwers bar the point cost is still good HOWEVER. Given the current environment and point cost, I find it hard to justify their costs. I've talked about psychology and how fielding a Bolt Thrower makes your opponent react to your position and deployment but again with horde being the norms and unit sizes going up, that psychological factor suffers from diminishing returns. It no longer poses the threat that was associated with it as before.

The new rules made Bolt Throwers vulnerable/sub-par because of the following

A. It is reduced to 2 wounds with laughable armor save on top of the t3 crew.
B. Auto fail initiative tests and abundance of spells that do that.
C. 6 models get to hit it regardless of how many are in contact.
D. Wounding on 6's regardless of toughness makes it vulnerable to modest shooting.
E. Scouts and their 12" away rule
F. Scouts, fire on march and wounding on 6's rule
G. March blocking no longer as commonplace as before.
H. Takes up rare slot points and the buff to hydra puts it miles away from the BT.
I. With other armies having better template warmachines, would you really trade artillery fire against them? 2 Mortars net more results actually than 4 BT point per point at half the price and twice as many wounds.
J. So many ways to negate armor in this edition that the no AS BT hit can seem abysmal.
K. 100 points better spent elsewhere like more RXBmen. More hits, more bodies, more adaptable, more tactical.

And so on and so forth. You get the idea. In short Bolt Throwers can still work and will still do damage but against decent all comers 8th edition lists and against seasoned players, BT really aren't nearly as useful as they were in the past editions. In 7th I fielded 2 as compared to 6th where I fielded 4. Now I never even consider taking them unless I feel like fielding a tutorial list where I want to teach someone what warmachines do or how people use them.

Oh btw, yeah seriously if an Empire player opts to take out the RBT first before taking a shot at the Hydra, he should sell his army on E-bay and start playing Vampire Counts. Seriously serious... :evil:

Author:  Phierlihy [ Wed May 11, 2011 1:22 pm ]
Post subject: 

Simply put if you don't like Reaper Bolt Throwers or think you aren't getting value for the cost, don't field them is probably a good rule of thumb. I find them useful and the suit my battle plans well. Others obviously do not. I do recommend trying them to see if they work or don't work though. I think they're far from a dead unit.

Author:  Thenick18 [ Wed May 11, 2011 1:55 pm ]
Post subject: 

Its not that I do not believe they are a dead unit, I just find for the points, there are other units that I would rather field, in larger games, I do take the RBTs to dictate where my battles will occur, RBTs on one flank can force the opponent elsewhere.

Author:  Brennan [ Wed May 11, 2011 11:12 pm ]
Post subject: 

I think they are great and almost always take 2 with me.
Brilliant for taking out chariots and skirmishers before they reach your lines.

Yes they do fail to do much every now an then but when the dice are working they kick ass!

Author:  Sulla [ Fri May 13, 2011 4:32 am ]
Post subject: 

Dalamar wrote:
Bolt Throwers generally suck hard.

If you can field 10 crossbowmen instead (a.k.a. you have the models) do so. You won't regret it.

They sucked before, now they lost a wound and suck even more.
I agree with Dalamar here. (Not as common as you might think :D )

As a multishot, they are outclassed by the crossbowmen, especially with soulblight or the shadow toughness hex taken into account. Single shot is just poor. Innaccurate, low strength and only d3 wounds make it a dreadful 'big thing' killer. Add in that now, attackser get even more attacks against it and it's at least as easy to kill with shooting as before, and there's really no reason to take them now other than the nice look of the models.

Author:  Rkhatzar [ Sat May 14, 2011 12:54 pm ]
Post subject: 

Use duble Shadow - with 3 RBT single bolts -> fire from flanks on dwarf or chaos infantry.

Author:  Rook [ Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:33 am ]
Post subject: 

I may be completely off base, but I've read a number of posts saying the RBT has only two wounds. The profile clearly states it has three. The rulebook clearly states, on page 11 "On rare occasions, a conflict will arise between a rule in this rulebook, and one printed in a Warhammer Armies book. Where this occurs, the rule printed in the Warhammer Armies book always takes precedence."

Though I haven't looked recently, and could be quite wrong, I seem to remember reading somewher (could have been a disreputable source) that the models on a warmachine are simply counters, visual markers. In other words, the profile is what matters, not actually the number of models. Also, there are no FAQ or errata entries regarding the RBT which leads me to believe its original profile stands, and it has three wounds.

Author:  Dalamar [ Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:18 pm ]
Post subject: 

It's an 8th edition rule change. A war machine has wounds equal to remaining living crew. Bolt Throwers have 2 crew members, and as such have 2 wounds (T3 in close combat T7 against ranged attacks).

While say dwarf bolt thrower with an engineer has 4 crew and thus 4 wounds (T4 in close combat, T7 against ranged attacks) for about 5 points more.

Author:  Demetrius [ Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:18 pm ]
Post subject: 

Lately I decided to try Bolt Throwers in my list, im taking 2 in a 2250 list. They have actually been pretty devastating, and Im impressed with the damage output they bring when firing on the same unit.

Only two wounds is a problem, but Ive found that as long as you keep the pressure on your opponent, he wont have time to get to the BTs. Im also using 2 units of 5 shades and a unit of 6 dark riders, who kill any enemy fast units/ warmachine hunters early, so the Bolt Throwers arent in danger.

Try them, you may be surprised.

Page 1 of 2 All times are UTC
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group