Hey everyone, we’re back with part two of the Lesser Spotted Thunderfire Cannon…

Techmarine Dexis of the Ultramarines defends a reinforced ruin with Tactical Squad Vendis.[2]

I’ll start by introducing the other rounds this mighty but fragile machine can fire…Next on our list, the Airburst round:
#2 Airburst
Range 60″
Strength 5
AP 6
Type: Heavy 4, Blast, Ignores Cover*

*Ignores Cover: Cover saves cannot be taken against wounds caused by an airburst salvo.

How to use it:This mode of firing is the obvious weapon of choice against Imperial Guard units, Ork Boyz, Termagants, Gretchin, Scouts with Camo Cloaks etc. Any of these units in cover will be reduced to using their normal armour save, for Ork Boyz in range of a Kustom Force Field equipped Big Mek they’ll be reduced from having a 5+ cover save to their normal 6+ armour save, which is then negated by the AP 6 value of the Airburst firing mode.

In the case of Space Marine Scouts with Camo Cloaks they’ll be reduced from using their 3+ cover save to their 4+ armour save. Against Imperial Guard units in cover using the “Incoming!” order their 2+ cover save wil be reduced to their normal 5+ armour save.
Take into account that these units will then not bother going to ground and you see that this mode of firing becomes well worth, especiall near the end of the game where you can inflict large numbers of casualties on units that are desperately hugging cover near objectives.

This brings us to our third and final firing mode, my favourite, the Subterranean Blast:

#3 Subterranean Blast
Range 60″
Strength 4
AP –
Type: Heavy 4, Blast, Tremor**

**Tremor: Any unit hit by a Subterranean Blast will move as if in difficult terrain in its following movement phase. If the unit is actually moving through difficult terrain, it rolls one less dice than normal to determine its maximum move. A vehicle hit by a Tremor shell must take a dangerous terrain test if it moves in the following movement phase. This applies to skimmers also.

How to use it:
This one is just pure win. There are few other weapons in the game which can immobilise an enemy vehicle so reliably. Pop a template on top of your opponents vehicle and that’s it, next turn there’s a 1 in 6 chance of it immobilising itself on the spot. Just think of all of those Death Star units, Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield Terminators in a Land Raider, Battlewagons loaded up with diversified Nobz, etc. You have more than a 16% chance of stopping that unit from taking part in the game (obviously there may be another transport nearby they can occupy instead).

Now comes the sneaky part! Place the first template dead centre of the target vehicle, if it hits, even partially then that’s your 16% in the bag (and don’t forget the S4 hit to the rear armour you get taking into account that the weapon is AP – ). Next we move on to the neat little tricks you can try. After the first template has hit (hopefully), place the second so that it’s clipping another vehicle/unit, on the edge of the original target…you can see where I’m going with this. With some lucky shots you can clip two or three units a turn. This dramatically increases the potency of the Thunderfire.

Another thing to remember is vehicle squadrons. The unit will have to take dangerous terrain checks. Now remember that immobilised vehicles that are part of a squadron are destroyed! Another high priority target could be large units of bikes, jetbikes, jump packs, etc.

Well that’s all folks, hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading this brief synopsis on the uses of the Thunderfire Cannon. Please leave some comments on the page if you have any questions or any of your own sneaky Thunderfire Tactics.

My thanks to Shem[1] and Matt[2] for the use of their Thunderfire Cannon pictures!

[1] http://ironlordsspacemarines.blogspot.com/

[2] http://thedragonstears.com/

All the best,