Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tactica: Bronzino's Galloper Guns

Bronzino's Galloper Guns are a unique effort to combine the firepower of artillery with the mobility of cavalry. This is an extremely specialized Regiment of Renown and will require careful deployment in order to see effective use. Most mercenary generals will pass on using Bronzino's unit in favor of regular mercenary cannons or will fill their rare choices with units such Asarnil, Truthsayers, Dark Emissaries, and Fenbeasts which are far more straightforward in their use. A regular mercenary cannon has double the range of a Galloper Gun and has a much higher strength. The major selling point of Bronzino's unit lies in their mobility. It should be noted in the beginning, that Bronzino's Galloper Guns are not for novice players or those who are bad at estimating distances.

First, let us take a look at what the requirements for the unit are. Bronzino's Galloper guns can be hired as a rare choice in any army except Bretonnia. The minimum unit that you must hire comes with Bronzino himself and one Galloper Gun team for a total of 165 points. Additional teams may be hired at an additional 100 points per team as well as taking up an additional rare choice. Thus, in a typical 2000 point game, you can have a maximum of two Galloper Guns. Bronzino is a captain level hero, although he is only lightly armed although he does ride a warhorse (more on this below). The Galloper Gun itself is mounted in a carriage which is attended by a crew of three.

Being smaller and lighter than even a mercernary cannon, the Galloper Guns do not pack the punch of their larger cousins, nor they have the especially long range of other, heavier cannons. A Galloper Gun has a range of 24" with a strength of 7, and causes D3 wounds. Each team may move 8 inches and can march. Brozino himself must be deployed with a team, but is otherwise free to act on his own as a separate Hero.

In games smaller than 2000 points, it would probably be better to use a regular mercenary cannon. In games of 2000 points or greater, there is more of a place for the Galloper Guns. In most cases, simply hiring the minimum unit size (Bronzino and one gun team) will be the most efficient use of points and rare choices, leaving one rare choice open for any of the aforementioned units. Bronzino and his gun team have dual purposes. Bronzino is unique among Regiments of Renown units in that he is the only named character who can leave his unit. In this way becomes much more versatile and Brozino can start earning his points back by acting as a lone mage and war machine hunter. He is also capable enough to charge lightly armed flanking units such as fast cavalry. Sending Bronzino off to engage other enemy units can buy critical time for the rest of the army, especially if fast enemy units are bearing down on the Galloper Gun. A word of caution - while Bronzino is a adequate fighter, it is unwise to expect too much from him or to needlessly send him into a combat he has no hope of winning.

The key to using a Galloper Gun effectively starts in the deployment phase. It is best to deploy the Bronzino and his team on a flank. To an extent, the placement of Bronzino will depend on what type of troops the opponent has available and knowing how fast an opponent's army can move. One must also be careful not to setup Bronzino and his team in direct line of sight from enemy war artillery. Every turn that the Galloper Gun team is moving, is a turn they are not shooting, thus you will want to get them into firing position as soon as possible. The first turn will see Bronzino and the Galloper Gun team racing up the flank using available terrain to their advantage in order to setup enfilading fire. If the enemy goes first, the team will have to be moved more cautiously to avoid putting it within an enemy unit's charge range on the second turn.

Targets for the Galloper Gun team should include enemy units such as chariots, all types of cavalary, multi-wound units such as ogres, lone characters, and large monsters. Any opportunity to get a flank shot, especially on a cavalary unit should be taken. Bronzino should be used to hunt down targets of opportunity as well, such as lone characters and small, weak units. He can also be used as an effective march blocker to slow enemy forces down while the other elements of the army get into position or to bait and redirect enemy units to expose the flanks of enemy units to your main combat units. If it is necessary, then Bronzino can sacrifice himself by charging into a tough enemy in order to buy more time. If it becomes necessary (multiple enemy units getting within charge range), than it is advisable to redeploy the Galloper Gun. With their speed, it should be possible to redeploy to a more favorable location to continue shooting in subsequent turns. If an enemy unit does charge the Galloper Gun, it is advisable to flee in almost all circumstances. The gun team is less than Unit Strength 5, thus it will not panic your other troops if it has to flee through them. In some circumstances you may have to make the choice to sacrifice your Galloper Gun in order to buy some time for the rest of the army. This should only be done when absolutely necessary, as the war machine and crew will almost certainly be slaughtered, giving up a big chunk of victory points.

Hopefully the above tactica has been helpful in demonstrating the uses of Bronzino and his Galloper guns.


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