Games Designer Rick Priestley introduces us to this awesome piece of artillery and how he conceived its use tactically within the game:
The X-Howitzer is a large magnetic artillery piece and as such it is the sort of thing we might expect to see in bigger games, positioned well to the rear from where it can pound enemy positions with impunity. With a maximum range of 250 inches – over 20 feet – you’ll be doing well if you have a table large enough to exploit this machine’s potential! On a more modest tabletop you will find yourself within effective range – 50 inches – in most situations. Be mindful of the minimum range though – 10 inches.
Like all overhead shooters, X-Howitzers are not always the most accurate of weapons, but precision attack is not what these monster-machines are all about. Massively effective with a Blast value of 10, and ignoring Res bonuses for cover, they can be used to force enemy out of positions practically invulnerable to lesser weapons.
As well as shells with an explosive blast, X-Howitzers have the usual choice of special ammo (See pages 87-89 Antares Rule Book), of which Net is often preferred. These are shells that erupt to form a short-lived but powerful suspensor field, knocking men to the ground, disrupting systems, and immobilising both machines and troops. In the Antares game units hit by Net shells acquire pins, and those that suffer enough pins can be taken out permanently, so the X-Howitzer’s D5+1 (roll a 10 sided die, halve the result and add 1 for the total) can be decisive in this respect. This can make them very useful against even heavily armoured targets.
In smaller games X-Howitzer positions can make good and not entirely helpless objectives for an attack/defence scenario, where their distinctive appearance makes for a splendid looking tabletop too!
The X-howitzers are used by many of the Antares factions.
|Heavy Weapon||– Range –|
|X-howitzer||10-50||100||250||2||OH, Blast D10, Minimum 10″, No Cover|
Minimum Range:The X-howitzer has a minimum range of 10” and cannot engage targets that are closer than this measured in the standard way.
OH: Overhead. The X-howitzer shoots overhead as described in the rules on page 36.
Blast D10: The standard ammunition gives a Blast causing D10 hits as described in the rules for Blasts on page 33. Other special munitions are available for most lists, for which see Special Munitions on page 87 of the Antares rulebook.
No Cover: Models hit by overhead ﬁre get no cover bonus to their Res roll. Note this only applies to overhead shots using the standard blast ammunition and not to special munitions.