Helblaster Volley Gun

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Helblaster Volley Gun
Wh main emp helblaster volley gun.png
Field gun.png
CategoryField Gun
Crew size33
Artillery pieces3
Icon treasury.png Cost (MP): 1200 (1150)
Icon hourglass.png Turns: 2
Icon income.png Upkeep: 300
Icon stat health.png Health: 1089
Icon stat morale.png Leadership: 50
Icon stat speed.png Speed: 22
Icon stat attack.png Melee Attack: 10
Icon stat defence.png Melee Defence: 6
Icon stat charge bonus.png Charge Bonus: 5
Icon stat damage.png Weapon Damage: 21
Modifier icon armour piercing.png Armour-Piercing Damage: 3
Icon stat speed.png Melee Interval: 4.3 s
Icon stat ranged damage.png Missile Damage: 15
Modifier icon armour piercing.png Armour-Piercing Missile Damage: 45
Icon stat ranged damage.png Shots per volley: 9
Icon stat ammo.png Reload Time: 9
Icon stat ammo.png Ammunition: 198
Icon stat range.png Range: 290
Icon stat armour.png
  • Cant run.png Cannot Run: This unit cannot run and will only move at walking pace.

Helblaster Volley Gun is a Empire siege engine unit in Total War: Warhammer. Helblaster Guns eviscerate opposition from a distance with a ceaseless shower of black powder fire.

Description[edit | edit source]

The Helblaster Volley Gun is one of the most infamous black-powder weapons ever invented, its devastating firepower able to tear apart an entire regiment in a crackling volley of ear-splitting reports. The Helblaster Volley Gun is the lethal creation of the deranged Engineer, von Meinkopt, and the terrifying reputation of this weapon has spread to all corners of the Old World. Its nine separate barrels are divided into three 'decks' and are turned by the means of a central crank, which means that it can unleash devastating hails of shot that shred its unfortunate target in a firestorm of leaden death. The serious disadvantage of the Helblaster is that it is notoriously prone to jams, misfires and explosive malfunctions. As a result, Helblaster crews are a morbid lot who tend to be paired up with the Priests of Morr.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

  • Armour-Piercing Missiles: The damage of armour-piercing weapons mostly ignores the armour of the target, making them the ideal choice against heavily-armoured enemies. They are often heavier and attack at a slower rate though, making them less efficient against poorly-armoured targets.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Hellblaster Volley Guns are a sister of the excellent Dwarf Organ Guns. They have(slightly) inferior range and their projectiles don't seem to cut through multiple infantry units like those of Organ Guns. They make up for this in other ways. They have very flat shooting projectiles, launching more of them per volley than the Organ gun and just like all line of sight artillery need to be carefully situated in gaps in your own line to ensure that they have clear shots on their targets both at range and when they've closed into melee. If not set up correctly, they will only be able to fire a few volleys before their LoS is blocked by your own troops in melee. They tend to be more effective at killing large monsters that tower over your own infantry and can be shot at even in melee. They are far from the only source of reliable AP line of sight damage however. For those unwilling to deal with the drawbacks stationary artillery gives, Handgunners can be maneuvered much faster and do plenty of damage though at half the range.

They're useful in several regards.

  1. For knocking out single entities they're as effective if not moreso than the great cannon. Instead of having to zig-zag to avoid single shots that you can somewhat time, they provide a constant volume of fire that makes dodging them all quite difficult.
  2. Diving a little deeper: Comparisons with other empire artillery is not unfavorable. The range is lower than great cannons but not at all insignificant, and cannons also struggle to hit beyond about 325, as their calibration distance (range at which they hit what they're aiming at 100% of the time) is 275 which is the exact same as the helblaster. Not only that, the calibration area(natural statistical spread at which their shots will land when hitting the point they're aiming at) is 8.5 for great cannons and 7 for helblasters, making the blasters shots overall more likely to hit.
  3. They do not produce as much overkill when firing into non-single entity units. They do penetrate though so each volley will do damage to several horse-or-smaller sized entities in a row. For example lets say they need to take out something like crypt horrors with 560hp each. Lets say with 66% accuracy it takes the cannon 3 shots at 440 damage each to kill one. 3/22 is over 10% of the ammunition the cannon has. It would take the helblaster at 75dmg with the same accuracy 12 shots to do the same, or 12/198- a good bit less than 10% of the ammunition. Both require the gun to be reloaded, both require more than one hit, but one is much less efficient than the other.
  4. Lower reload time, so generally once in range you will continue to lay out a volley of semi-constant fire(about the same reload time as your handgunners but with a much longer firing animation as it goes through all nine shots)
  5. Area of denial tool: in MP If you want to keep one of your flanks protected and push the enemy to the other side, possibly for an ambush, make it clearly apparent that a helblaster is overlooking that side. Anyone with any experience against them will be very reluctant to take any high value units down the open line of sight of a helblaster. In single player its great for making sure that you thin out the units in one particular area, since the AI will not avoid it. Once your side is cleared out, you move into the next point
  6. Killboxes: Moving a unit forward/backwards in the line to give the helblaster a good line of sight to take shots at the enemy is a wonderful way to rack up some kills very quickly. Tilting a late-game line so that the helblaster looks straight down the enemy line is a good way to do some army losses-creating carnage
  7. They can really, really spread that artillery morale penalty quickly.
    Now lets be fair, they're less useful in a few regards too 1. Artillery duels, because they can be outranged. If you start in range of the other crew you will very likely win because you're putting out so many shots that will kill a crewman immediately when they hit. But its unlikely to happen. 2. if you want to set your artillery on "Fire and forget" at the enemy general like many do with great cannons 3. They're more expensive. In MP this can make them a unit you have to build the army around, instead of unit you throw in to complete the army. Overall I would say they're not as much of a "universal pick" as the great cannon, but are a fantastic unit that people should never, ever write off.