The Cygnaran Storm series continues with the Long Gunner Infantry and their Officer and Standard Bearer.
The Long Gunners typify Cygnar’s ranged attack mentality with their Repeating Long Guns and combined range attack. Adding in the UA affords the unit a bit of board control as they can lay down an AOE.Repeating Long Gun
To maximize the Long Gunners, you need to utilize the “repeating” part of the Repeating Long Gun. When these models stand still to forfeit their movement to gain an aiming bonus, they also gain an additional ranged attack. Making use of this technique will get you 12 RNG 14, POW 10 shots at RAT 7 from the min unit, with 20 shots from the max unit, plus an additional 2 from the UA (the standard bearer does not carry a rifle). RNG 14 will do well to help the Gunners stand still, but adding Snipe can get them up to RNG 18, getting them settled earlier and increase the size of the field they can access.
It’s important to keep in mind that the Long Gunners are only POW 10. They won’t be putting significant damage on ‘Jacks or high ARM infantry. Rather they are for wiping out large chunks of low ARM infantry, and with CRA and Dual Shot, they can even take out quite a few high-DEF infantry, or scrape together a larger CRA to take out support Solos from long-range.Adding in the UA
The Long Gunner UA has three interesting options. First, he’s RAT 6, 1 better than the grunts, meaning a CRA from him is just a bit more accurate. Second, he gives the Suppressing Fire Order, allowing his unit to place an AOE that puts out POW 10s to entering models, the size of which varies based on number of models. Third he has Tactics Ranked Attacks, allowing friendly faction models to ignore the Long Gunners for LOS.
Suppressing Fire is interesting because even on an early turn where the Long Gunners might not be able to reach a viable target they can at least lay down an AOE to block up part of the board. Combine this with a couple of Covering Fire templates from a Stormwall or a Cyclone and you start to build up a wall of low POW AOE board control. Not something you’ll use often, but an option for early turns.
Ranked Attacks becomes most meaningful with a max unit which, with UA, gives you 11 guns all trying to draw LOS. Ranked Attacks will allow them to form a double line and still shoot, so as to not block up too much of the field. Clumping up your troops, especially low ARM ones is always dangerous due to enemy AOEs and blast damage, but the Long Gunners can be kept pretty far back or even split into smaller clumps to mitigate some of this threat.
I find the UA works best with a max unit as Ranked Attack and Suppressing Fire works better with a large group of models. By this point you’ll have 12 points invested, so seeing this below 50pts is unusual.Weapons Repeating Long Gun - Standstill to increase their RAT 5 and get the second shot. It’s only POW 10, so this is really for low ARM infantry, but a CRA might get a bit of damage on a higher ARM target. Sword - A Long Gunner’s only option in melee, at MAT 4, P+S 7 you’re in trouble when you start using it. Compatible Warcasters
Snipe is the real stand-out spell that will help out the Long Gunners. You may consider Blur early on to help survivability against another ranged army, but that’s only getting them to DEF 16 and most blast damage will eliminate them. Deadeye can help their RAT but keep in mind that it only boosts their first shot, not the second repeating shot. So on turns where they couldn’t stand still to get the second shot or the aiming bonus, Deadeye can help their accuracy.Captain Kara Sloan - Deadeye as discussed above, but also her feat will boost all their ranged attack rolls. Captain Victoria Haley - Deadeye and her feat gives an additional attack, meaning you could get up to three shots out of the Long Gunners on one turn. Major Markus “Siege” Brisbane - Foxhole can increase their survivability plus the feat can help their POW 10s take out infantry with ease. Lieutenant Allister Caine - Blur, Snipe and Deadeye, but Caine himself is so good at eliminating infantry, it’s a tough include. Commander Coleman Stryker - Blur and Snipe plus the +5 ARM feat, pStryker is the kind of toolbox caster that can help most units including the gunners.
The Long Gunners provide a long-range way to deal in lots of low ARM infantry. CRA can threaten even higher DEF models, but their low POW keep them from threatening higher ARM targets. With the max unit and UA they can also lay down a sizable AOE to help control the board, but it’s a significant point investment.