Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Congreave’s Galloping Artillery, Patents #3 & #9

"Battle is about getting there firstest with the mostest."
Nathan Bedford Forrest
(Confederate cavalry commander, massive racist and namesake of Tom Hanks movies about protagonists with socially-acceptable learning difficulties.)

Bronzino's Galloper Guns
Mobile artillery is like a box of chocolates ... you want to avoid the hard centres.

Bronzino's Galloper Guns were the only war machines available to Dogs of War armies, unless you want to include Malakai Makaisson's Goblin-Hewer or the Halfling Hot-Pot Catapult...

Like I said, Bronzino's Galloper Guns were the only war machines available to Dogs of War armies. Fair play to Alessio Cavatore for trying something new (and historically-accurate) with cannon, and even more kudos to the Perry Brothers for the fantastic sculpt on these models (compare and contrast the Empire's plastic cannon).

It's really a shame that, in terms of game play, they're pretty bloody useless.

Bronzino's Galloper Guns
"Your cannon is pointing at my horse again, Bob."
"What do you me to do about it?"
"You could at least take the cannonball out."

To earn its corn, a cannon really has to be able to fire for every one of the six turns (misfires notwithstanding), so the move-or-fire rule was a hindrance (not least because they're supposed to be galloping - the historical inspiration for these, horse artillery, could unlimber and shoot so fast they fought alongside cavalry).

They're also of smaller calibre (i.e. less strength) than regular cannons, and being able to move or reposition rapidly didn't really compensate. With a 60" or 48" range, a regular cannon should be able to target whatever it needs to (unless you've really messed up the deployment phase).

Ironically, the advent of the 10-wide horde unit in 8th edition might actually make the repositioning effective - raking a cannon shot down the length of a regiment could do some serious damage (assuming you were able to roll a high enough 'bounce'). But you'd still have to position the guns in the preceding turn and hope the enemy were still there when it was your go to fire.

Bronzino's Galloper Guns
Mother always hoped I'd grow up to be a Steam Tank.

Back to the models, for they are superb. A neat little field gun on an iron-reinforced limber, attached by lunette (hoop) on pintle hook to a two-wheeled cassion, which also carries the ammunition chest. Pulling all of that is a dray horse, with a thick collar that allows a metal sculpted head (and conveniently does away with the enormous plastic head - get the impression the designers didn't like them?)

There's nothing about these models that isn't top quality, and having a pair of them gives a great impression of an army on the move. I added the chariot base myself, which makes it harder for the cannon to point independently (the instructions seem to favour leaving everything loose), but I thought the model deserved showing off on a single base.

Bronzino's Galloper Guns
The tail goes swish and the wheels go round.
The cannon also goes boom, but that didn't make it into the nursery rhyme.

The crew are equally well done. Six unique models, all in the same uniform, albeit with varied levels of tidiness and different types of equipment. As with the Volley Gun crew, I went with British Foot Artillery colours: Regal Blue jerkins and cap, Skull White (thinly washed with Shadow Grey) shirts, Shadow Grey trousers and Snakebite Leather boots and belts.

For the loops of rope, I did a straight Brown Ink wash on white undercoat, which seemed to nicely pick out the details of the unlucky chap who got the job of carrying the bucket.

Bronzino's Galloper Guns
"A bucket? You have a sword, they get ramrods, and what do I carry into battle: a bucket."

The gallopers themselves were Burnished Gold, washed with Chestnut Ink and drybrushed gold again. The carriages were Desert Yellow, washed with Brown Ink, with Chaos Black and Mithril Silver highlights for the metal parts. The horses were Space Wolves Grey, given a light wash of Black Ink (heavier on the manes and tail), then highlighted. Scorched Earth for the harnesses.

And off they gallop! Expensive to field, and ineffective in battle... aw shucks, maybe I can find a place for them somewhere.

Bronzino's Galloper Guns
It's going to be mayhem at Becher's Brook.


  1. Very nice! There's an alarming amount of missile weapons in your army. If only the old 'Curse of Arrow Attraction' was still a spell...

  2. You do realise there's no galloper gun in the Empire list, right? So presumably you'll be fielding these as cannon and therefore not having to worry about the move or fire decision?

  3. I know - I was just kvetching for historical context (although that last sentence does imply that I think the rules still apply), I'll be proxying them as cannon (hence my actual cannon proxies as a volley gun).

  4. Good heavens, I hope we won't see two cannon and a volley gun in your 1000pt army...

  5. I need something against that Ogre Kingdoms Thundertusk ... what am I supposed to use, harsh language?