I have been down in London over the weekend, but before going I quickly painted up some of the support formations for the Siegemasters list. They are three 3-gun formations of howitzers, three 3-gun Thudd Gun batteries and three 3-gun Rapier batteries. I love the Siegemasters howitzer support, it is simply and basic but remarkably cheap! When compared to Basilisks (see the post lower down the blog) they have a shorter range and cannot move – but come in at just over half the price of a 3 gun battery. Three batteries of three make it into all of my lists at 3k and I am thinking about possibly buying another set.
Rapiers are the in-universe, old-fashioned integral anti-tank to the Siegemasters guard formations. Each battery has three Rapiers in it, putting out 3 x 45cm AT4+/AP6+, which is great in an army like the Baran Siegemasters where reliable AT fire is lacking. As infantry, the guns can garrison and use trenchworks / bunkers, but they do limit the infantry movement to 10cm, rather than the usual 15cm. I find putting some of the infantry formations containing Rapiers on Overwatch at the start of the game, garrisoned relatively far forward, a useful strategy against the lightly armoured eldar skimmer tanks I most often play against.
Three Thudd Gun batteries here. When I play my Siegemasters, I tend to go for a layered defence made up of two trench lines. the forward line tends to have Infantry Companies with Rapiers and /or Hellhounds manning it ready to hammer enemy formations at short range. Behind that line and protecting my static artillery and AA guns, my second defensive line is made up of Infantry Companies with the Thudd Gun upgrade. The range of the Thudd Guns ( 90cm with Indirect Fire) mean that these Infantry companies can still influence the game even while remaining static close to my board edge. I have found them particularly useful for laying that final blast marker to cause the enemy to break, or for taking cheeky pot-shots at smaller formations.
The models are from the Exodus Wars range – the Guild Support Centuria – which contains 5 Howitzer proxies, 5 Rapier proxies and 5 Thudd Gun proxies for the low, low price of £5.95.
PS – 48 stands of Guard painted!