Scraplauncher Tactica (2008)
The scraplauncher is an interesting if somewhat schizophrenic weapon in the ogre arsenal. One must ask, is it an artillery piece, or a chariot? In my mind, it's neither. Like the slavegiant, its small frontage makes it a mobile unit in an army with an unnerving habit of getting hopelessly stuck in long grass. If it were just a big rhinox chariot, it would fill the same boxes in my mind as the slavegiant: mobile flanker.
However, the fact that it has a (damn good) artillery piece of its back changes things. It seems to me that the purpose of the scraplauncher is to be an artillery piece and a counterassault unit. It's a term you don't see often in WFB, where if the enemy has managed to jump through your defenses there's very little ability to react quickly and drive them back. But the scrappy can. Hang him around behind your main units and flee if you think there's little chance of victory, then pounce the scrappy into the flank. I recommended that slavegiants hit the flank supported by a unit in the front, but I believe that scrappies can flank alone with a reasonable degree of success.
So what you do with a scraplauncher is move it 6" a turn so that it can countercharge any enemy unit that gets too close to the big boys, but keep flinging away with the catapult the whole time. Against many units, it's a waste of time. I once spent four turns firing at a unit of chosen chaos warriors and killed two of them. Thick armour, high toughness and a larger base size make them a terrible target for the scrappy. Your primary targets should be big infantry blocks, and if there's an option, big, 20mm base, T3 infantry blocks. Some people say killing blow makes it a cavalry killer, but in my experience that's a waste. Ogres have plenty that can kill cavalry already, but the scrappy is the only unit that can severely damage enemy ranked units at range. Remember that ogres fail horribly when it comes to static CR, so every rank you can knock off the enemy is a victory. And remember that counterassault units can afford to hang back a bit. Your front line units flee, bringing the enemy forward, then the scrappy charges in. If there's no chance of it getting a flank arc, then I'd recommend holding with the originally charged unit, and then slamming the scrappy into the remaining enemy frontage in your next turn. Never let him get charged, as his main strength is his S5 impact hits. I find that a charging scrappy combined with a unit of ironguts in the front arc can break most ranked infantry, especially if they've lost a rank or two under a hail of flying spoons. Always remember that it is a chariot, and cannonballs are not your friend. If a majority of players in your area use cannons, I'd leave the scrappy at home.
Overall, it should serve primarily as an artillery piece, but it's always a nice bit of security to have it on guard. It's not a favourite unit of mine tactically, and the model was horrible to construct (I still have nightmares...), but it does have its uses. Its main combat strengths lie in its small frontage and its impact hits, and it has an artillery piece that can seriously mess up enemy infantry. So let's sum that up...
-Hang him back and shoot, but not too far back that he can't use his devastating charge to help the rest of the boys out.
-As with any ogre unit, flanks are your friend. However, his artillery piece gives the scrappy an ability to neutralise enemy ranks without actually needing to get into combat.
-Combine frontal charges with other ogre units using his small frontage.
So if you want a unit that can knock off ranks at range and still pack a good punch, the scrappy is the unit for you. Use him well.
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