23 December 2013

Da Bomber: Your Tactical Guide to one of the Best Ranged Units in the Game

Da Bomber
Your Tactical Guide to one of the Best Ranged Models in the Game
by GreenJello

In a faction the specializes in blunt force trauma, Da Bomber does it from range, with a wicked gleam in his eye. He is one of, if not the best, ranged heavies in the game. His range is a bit low, but two shots, the ability to boost, and AOE4, POW16 attacks is sure to put the fear of trolls into your opponent. If that isn't enough, he can also get in there and mix it up in melee a bit. Only really puzzling thing about this guy is where he gets the next set of explosive barrels, he's not really wearing a bandoleer here....

The model it self is one of the stand outs in a standout range, just oozing character.

Battlefield Role
The role of the Bomber is to get out there and bomb! He's an excellent answer to a number of questions.

AOE's effectively ignore stealth, and POW16 means 8s against stealth units that are usually ARM11, meaning 4's to kill. 4" on the AOE means decent odds of catching something, including the original target, which is hit on a roll of 2 or less.

Infantry Spam
AOE's are excellent against spammed crap infantry, which usually have low armor to go with their cheap cost. The bomber can punish these guys at range, opening a path for our alpha troops.

A couple of powder kegs on top of the opposing caster is often lights out. With 4 fury, Boost to-hit, Boost Damage, Second Attack, Boost to-hit, and average rolls you're going to hit with one or both of these attacks.

Soften Up Heavy Targets
If it deals 10 points of damage or so to a heavy, then with a STR buff, it can switch-hit and melee it to death when it gets close, provided you have +1 STR from KSB. 6 attacks at P+S18 on MAT5 (Or MAT7 with Primal) can get the job done sometimes.

Random Alpha Strike
Size the Keg is a AOE, it's possible to chuck in at the end of turn 1, top of turn 2, and potentially make a mess of your opponent plans with a luck deviation. RNG8" + 4" Far Strike + 6" deviation + 10" deployment + 5" move can mean you're chucking a bomb 33" bottom of turn 1. It's about 50/50 whether it comes back to you, or heads towards your opponent, so it usually worth the point of fury to get lucky.

His stats are the usual base Dire Troll stats. He has one less RAT than average, so you're likely going to have to boost to hit high DEF. He has 4 Fury instead of the baseline Dire Troll of 5.

Powder Bomb
This is the money, the ability to hurl two POW16 down field every turn.

2x Claw
Slightly less powerful than the Mauler, with no way to boost this internally. He's about on par with other melee/ranged heavies in the game, and the ability to boost makes this a threat in a pinch. He shouldn't be doing a ton of melee, but when he gets there he can do some damage. Just don't expect him to drop a heavy in a turn.

Big advantage here is two open fists, which is pretty cool for a model with two ranged attacks. On a jack this would generally result in one or no open fists. So double handed throws, locks, etc, are all decent options.

His animus provides protection from blasts. How useful this is depends on your meta, for example Cygnar and PoM can really crank out AOEs if they want, but seldom do people find this useful. All in all probably one of our weaker animus's, but the casting cost is pretty low to make up for that. Put it on your caster, or some critical solos. Lots of fun combined with Borka's Wind Wall.

A number of our warlocks can get good use from the Bomber, a few have better synergy that most. It's never a bad idea to take him. I'm just going to mention the ones that work better than most.

Grim does a lot to help the Bomber overcome RAT5. 

First, he has his Snare Gun, which can knock down targets. 

Second, his feat reduces enemy DEF by 3, and makes it unlikely survivors will be charging the Bomber. Marked for Death can also reduce def, and stacks with the feat. With a DEF -5/knock down even high DEF casters are now in Troll DEF land, making a couple of kegs to the face an easy lob. A couple of boosted damage rolls, and it's good game time.

Third, Grim's Cross-Country can provide Hunter, which allows the Bomber to ignore Forests, Concealment, and cover.

The bomber is also an excellent Return Fire target, since he can live through the original attack, and NOBODY wants those kegs coming back to them.

Once again Grim does a lot to help the Bomber. His feat grants Snipe, and +2 to ranged attack rolls. Krump has the Snare Gun for knock down, with is a bit tricky with his RAT6. Grim himself has Mage Sight, allowing the Bomber to ignore Stealth. Mirage and Pursuit can allow the Bomber out of activation movement, allowing him to reposition without losing the Aiming bonus. (Mirage is often better on a unit) Mortality can be a death sentence for anything hit with it, taking the Bomber's kegs to POW18, RAT7/9.

Calamity boosts his chances to hit and damage, and Rift and Cacophony can prevent counter charges. Further, Hoof It can allow the Bomber to move to safety.

Her feat boosts his armor, but only if he's in melee, where he really doesn't want to go. Inhospitable Ground can prevent him getting charged. Her knockdown gun can be very nice for setting up an assassination run, followed up by dual kegs to the face. Crescendo provides a nice covering fire to prevent engagement. And her spray at RAT6 POW10 spray can disengage the bomber.

Not much. Fortune can allow you to re-roll, making RAT5 less of a problem, but it's often better on a unit.

Refuge can be fun, allowing the bomber to take shots and then hide behind a wall of infantry. His feat grants +3 SPD, which can be used to move up 8", chuck kegs, and then move back 8", always fun.

Guided fire is nice if you've got multiple beasts, but just the bomber isn't going to be enough. Further Guided Fire allows both shots to be boosted to hit, via guided fire, and boosted damage, via forcing the Bomber. Snipe is also good, but usually you'll be taking the Impaler for that, and Sniper is better used on a unit.

Not a lot of synergy here, but the Bomber can gain an additional Ranged attack from the feat. In addition Warpath can allow him to duck behind the infantry wall after making his ranged attacks. It can also be used to setup shots, without giving up the aiming bonus.

She can help the Bomber hit via her feat, Fate Blessed, and Befuddle. Befuddle allows you to turn enemy models around for a back strike bonus. Fate Blessed also potentially boosts damage rolls. Force Blow is also nice for a bomber, since it can knock down targets. Finally, her armor is low enough that Bomb Shelter becomes a useful defensive animus.

Not a lot of ranged support, but some interesting tricks, if often better used on units. Magic Bullet is decent, but RAT5 prevents this from being a good idea. Quicken can be nice since the Bomber is often at range, making the +2 DEF good, but often better used on a unit. Tactical Supremacy can allow the Bomber to hide, but is often better on a slow unit like Warders. Weald Secrets is the best bet, allowing the Bomber to hide in a forest, and chuck kegs until it's time to come out and eat face.

Bork's Mosh Pit allows the Bomber to get a number of shots off against knocked down models. His feat allows the Bomber to charge into melee for "free", while increasing his threat range, helping the Bomber's usually mediocre melee.


Probably the biggest synergy available to the Bomber is the Impaler's Far Strike, which can extend the keg throws to a decent range. Players are strongly encouraged to take the Impaler when taking the Bomber.

+2/+3 Damage via these beast's animus can turn the Bomber from so-so into a real melee threat. Between the damage boost and his 4 fury, and two initial attacks the Bomber can often drop opposing heavies, catching your opponents off guard, since he appears to be a range focused beast. He's still going to struggle with his MAT 5, so he's unlikely to assassinate warnouns without boosted to hits.

Their animus's provide a way to move engaging infantry away from the Bomber, allowing him to continue making ranged attacks. The Blitzer can often be found in beast gun lines, so it's a nice trick to pull off once in a while, but not something to build around.

You can stand a Bomber side by side to the War Wagon, shoot the Bomber with your 5" AOE gun, deviate 0", do POW8 to everyone in the AOE. This frees the Bomber and lets him shoot.

Kriel Warriors/Fennblades/Burrowers/Long Riders/Scouts
Infantry units can be very useful for ducking behind, or running in front of the Bomber to prevent a retaliatory strike once he's loosed his Bombs. It's a bit of a balancing act, since these models also can get into combat with the Bomber's targets, making it difficult to hit. You also need to be careful about having the AOE's drift back onto your own troops.

Against Stealth/high DEF, you can run a cheap infantry model close to these units, and then shoot it in back, making the DEF10, instead of the sky high DEF these units usually have.

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