Leadbelcher Tactics (2008)
by Scroth Scullrippa
Leadbelchers are a highly amusing and potentially destructive unit at your disposal. While they may blow themselves to smithereens occasionally, if you limit the unit size to two the chances aren’t to great (30.55%) and if they do it’s only 120 point. Note I say 120 not 110 that is for a bellower; Leadies should be fleeing regularly and a bellowers is essential if you what them to rally (more) consistently. Rallied Leadbelchers also gain in that they can reload there cannons while they are forced to remain still. Personally I would not rate the option of Thunderfist very useful, though some people might say there useful for keeping your tyrant out of challenges. Personally I’d skip and save the points for elsewhere. Finally the only time you should go for more than two belchers is when you want to use them for flank attacks and think there is a high probability of them being shot. Obviously there’s also a chance that misfires will lower the unit below the magical US 5 but increasing the number of models is just going to increase the chance. (I think this is called an inverse function) Also note that one of a Leadbelchers greatest assets are there high maneuverability and (relative) cheapness, going for units of three or more can hamper these attributes, so it’s probably not a great idea (but can work well)
Now is a good time to note that two Leadies cost the same as 3 bulls (close enough). Need I say more, unless you want to preserve that US 5 I wouldn’t bother with more than one unit of naked bulls (usually), personally I’ve struggled to get more than 1 flank charge with these three man units and considering you must have a unit of bulls at a minimum of 3, anyway I would call that fate. Also people are less likely to shoot bulls so they shouldn’t become useless (for flanking) units of 1
So now we have a unit of two Leadbelchers with a bellower coming in at 120 points. Next question is how many units, this of course depends on what you want your Leadies to achieve in game. If they have a big important role it is going to be necessary to get at least tree units, if not four. This should “guarantee” that at least one unit gets the job done. There are some problems with this how ever, the first one relating to that “guarantee”. No matter what ratio of unit sizes you use you now have 6-8 Leadies, this means someone will blow up, maybe more. The other problem is bringing all of these models to bear, say you want them to blow the bagesasu out of a unit of black orcs (something points to kill ratio there pretty good at) how are you going to get them all in range, and keep them safe. You must also consider how cost effective this is considering you are spending 360-480pts on units that blow themselves up regularly. This is a fun and amusing tactic that can be very deadly and a very good thing to have up your sleeve. That said there are better ways to use your Belcher’s.
If you don’t give your Leadies a big roll in your battle plan you can leave home with 1-2 units. Two units is going to give you more options and allow for greater versatility (the key to wining games), it means you can still have a go at the above tactic, but leaves slots and points for other things. I might also mention here that if you go for 3 or four units in the plan to do something like the above, think, can you share a unit for these sorts of tactics, or could you even use all of the units? On the other hand one unit means even more points and slots for other things. Personally I’ve found two units is about right, but it’s worth experimenting. Now uses for your units
First use is stalling in deployment, there maneuverability coupled with there low points cost means that your opponent will not learn much from placing them down, and if they end up being miles from the action they should be able to get there relatively quickly
Next use is as bait, bait and flee is an age old tactic that is surprisingly effective, I’m sure it has been endlessly discussed (by myself included) so enough said. See my naked bull’s tactics for full discussion
Use three is dealing with flankers, this is where Belchers really excel. Deploying them really wide or the next unit from the main battle line, than simply let hem loose at fast cavalry, this is in both the shooting and combat phase, and an area where fear really come in handy. Eg shoot unit of 5 wolfs, 1 dies charge unit 2 die outnumber and auto break.
Once flankers are finished, these guys can have a go at it themselves, there narrower frontage allowing for more wheeling
Or they could go pick on some war machines, drawing there fire until one or the other dies, again fear is really useful here
Finally in the last turns of the game, they could make a dash for table quarters.
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