Author Topic: Thoughts on the Thunderfire cannon  (Read 1293 times)

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Offline Is duck

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Thoughts on the Thunderfire cannon
« on: July 23, 2017, 05:09:53 AM »
I was looking into getting my self a Thunderfire cannon for the ranged support, however, I am concerned with its usability in 8th. 4d3 shots, so a minimum of 4, up to 12 shots, strength 5, and I think that in new codex it is ap - 1. Theoretically it seems good, set it up in center so you can reach everything, an then let it fire away. Although I would like to hear from you guys, are you fielding the cannon, or do you play against one? What do you think of it?

Offline brianstockel

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Re: Thoughts on the Thunderfire cannon
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2017, 09:22:31 AM »
Each time I build a list that includes one, I have a tough time stomaching the points cost to field it. There are tons more anti-infantry options we have which are mobile. The 5S 0AP make it subpar at its job anyway. A Razorback with twin assault cannon and a 5-man squad of sternguard with two heavy flamers and three combi-flamers might be a better choice.

Of course this is all conjecture because there isn't much to go on from your post. What are you looking to do with it? If you have the points and a way to re-roll the hits and wounds and want to hide it behind something, go nuts.

Offline Is duck

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Re: Thoughts on the Thunderfire cannon
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2017, 09:57:32 AM »
Each time I build a list that includes one, I have a tough time stomaching the points cost to field it. There are tons more anti-infantry options we have which are mobile. The 5S 0AP make it subpar at its job anyway. A Razorback with twin assault cannon and a 5-man squad of sternguard with two heavy flamers and three combi-flamers might be a better choice.

Of course this is all conjecture because there isn't much to go on from your post. What are you looking to do with it? If you have the points and a way to re-roll the hits and wounds and want to hide it behind something, go nuts.

Mayhaps I should have specified this earlier. I need something to deal with guard, orks, poxwalkers and skitari rangers, without exposing itself to my opponents countershooting or getting assaulted. I aldready run the hellblasers in the backfield with the 30" plasma along with Guilliman to make them reroll all hits and wounds. Though one thing that has helped me in the task is my new land raider crusader. Allthough I do find that the Landraider usually gets to shoot turn one, it is only able to affect a singe portion of the table at the time. Therefore I figured running a thunderfire will be able to reach almost all corners, if deployed in center (going from dawn of war deployment, the standard in our basement. In any other case, I figure that if hordes are non present in the game, I might be able to use it against vehichels such as razorbaks.

Another point, whilst watching miniwargamings codex review on youtube, they told of a stratagem, costing 1cp, that I think reduses the hit roll by one, but if you hit a unit, not wound, hit, you halve the units move, as well as halve any advance, though I am uncertain if it affects charge distance. This unless it has fly, of course. This second use I belive will be well used against things like bikers, tanks that need to be up close, and I know it will annoy the hell out of my friend when I tell him his poxwalkers now only move 2". 

Offline strawberry fist

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Re: Thoughts on the Thunderfire cannon
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2017, 03:21:55 PM »
I always ran one back in 7th and found the scatter to be annoying but in 8th although there is a random amount of shots being fired I'm still finding it to hit and wound more frequently.

As well I'm currently struggling to fit it in my 1000/1500 point army but I would recommend it as you can pop it in cover and fire at anything on the board :)

Offline hillshire

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Re: Thoughts on the Thunderfire cannon
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2017, 01:39:34 AM »
The Thunderfire Cannon is one of the first units I looked at because I have three of them. My intention was for the Thunderfire Cannons to clear out enemy screening units so that my multi-melta devs (backed by Vulcan but that's a story for another day) could drop into melta range. And I tried it in a few early games only to be sorely disappointed with how little damage they were doing. I had done some math-hammer but was overly optimistic in their application.

Here's the math-hammer: Let's make some assumptions. This is a single TFC hiding out in a corner with no HQs to boost it since they're off doing Important Things. 4d3 yields an average of 8 shots. Your hitting on 3+ so lets round up to probably 6 hits. Rolling to wound on a 3+ (assuming your S5 his hitting T4 or T3 since that's the usual toughness off mob type units) earns you 4 wounds. Lets figure between their armor save + cover - AP1 works out to be a 5+ save (could be 6+ if they're out in the open) or a 5++ Invulnerable save if they're daemons. So, chances are good you killed 3 guys.

3 guys

There's your problem. The TFC isn't the mob masher it used to be. It's been reduced down to being a plinker. A rather expensive plinker.

For a few points more, you could get a rifleman dread with the ever dependable dual auto cannons. Same 8 shots at AP-1 but with higher strength and damage 2. Granted, you lose range and need line of sight. But you're picking up a bike or heavy weapons team with each wound that goes through. For a lot less points, take a dev squad with 4 heavy bolters and reliably gain more shots and the benefits of a Signum and an Armorium Cherub. Or the versatile Missile Launcher devs. Less range and needs line of sight though.

Or for a more direct comparison, you could go to Forge World and get a Rapier Battery with Quad Launchers. They have two firing modes. The first is identical to the Thunderfire Cannon but drops to AP0. The second is really good: Heavy 4 S8 AP-2 Damage 3 Range 24". This would be an auto-take if it weren't for the short range of the second shot variant. Still it's around 35 pts cheaper than a TFC.

So, the real question is: what's a good horde eliminator with range? Really, space marines don't have a long range mob eraser. Their answer to hordes seems to be right in the 24" or less range. Assault cannons, massed bolter fire, storm bolters, and hurricane bolters at 12" can stream out a lot of dakka. Then flamers and their variants for the up-close and personal encounters.

Closest thing out there would be the Relic Whirlwind Scorpius from Forge World. 48" Heavy 3d3 S6 AP-2 Damage 2. Ignores LoS. If it doesn't move, it can shoot twice. Math-hammer! Average 12 shots. 9 hits. 6 wounds. 5 guys die (probably). Which is still not all that impressive. But at least it's multi-functional with its Damage 2. Although Range 48" does allow the enemy to avoid it.

Still searching for that long ranged mob thrasher, might be out there somewhere. If so, let us know!
« Last Edit: July 31, 2017, 01:43:24 AM by hillshire »

Offline ANevskyUSA

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Re: Thoughts on the Thunderfire cannon
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2017, 03:56:56 AM »
Still searching for that long ranged mob thrasher, might be out there somewhere. If so, let us know!

Relic Sicaran Punisher Assault Tank.

As for the Thunderfire Cannon, it seems to me that the benefit is the fact that it does not need line of sight to fire, and has a small footprint compared to the Whirlwind.  Has anyone tried sticking one deep in a building or behind a LoS-blocking piece of terrain and fire away all game?  Also, the Techmarine Gunner has the "Techmarine" keyword so one could get a couple of extra BS 4+ heavy bolters for an additional 52 points (via Servitors).  For 178 points, then you get a battery of 4D3+6 S5 AP-1 shots with a bubble-wrapped techmarine to fix the cannon w/o using an HQ choice.  That doesn't seem too bad.