I’m a rocket man

With this latest Wu Ming, I’m finally hopping on the bandwagon.

Not as heavily as I had hoped mind you, but I’ll make do with what I can.

If you’re confused, I’m talking about Rocket Launchers, more specifically the unbelievable destruction Heavy Rocket Launchers (HRL) are causing on gaming tables in my local area and presumably the world. Hopefully this Light Rocket Launcher can match them for menace.

So, why are HRLs so damn good?

The impact template is a big part of it. It is generally accepted that as the rules are written, impact templates ignore the partial cover bonus to ARM rolls. This means that against anything less than ARM 6 in cover, the impact template is going to be a better choice than even AP for reducing saves, even without other enemies to share the pain. The requirement for models to physically be touching a scenery element to claim partial cover from it tends to ensure that targets remain nice and bunched up for the HRL harvest.

Then there’s the fire damage, the gift that keeps on giving. This is especially handy, as I found out to my distress, against ARM 0 remotes whose two levels of unconsciousness usually make them a time and order intensive chore to remove.

Then there’s the Burst of 2, which is quite generous for a circular template weapon, especially with it’s range bands (more on that later). Add to that an abundance of good link options, like Phoenix, Gweilos, Sekban Haris and Hassassin Muyibs, meaning that burst is normally 3, with a two shot ARO that has, to date, written off more units of mine than any other weapon, in any other phase.

Range bands, as I alluded to earlier, are generous, with a 16 inch sweet spot from 16-32 inches. Negative range bands of -3 extend 16 inches beyond that, and also for the first 8 inches. It gets scary when you factor in the fact that a HRL is bundled with an X-visor quite often, at least for Muyibs, Raidens and Gweilos off the top of my head. This means 32 inches of no modifiers, and 16 inches of +3.

Finally there is the cost;

  • Phoenix is 35 points, ODD linkable HRL.
  • Gweilo is 23 points, for a nanoscreened, linkable  HRL with X-visor.
  • Muyib is 23 points, for a dogged, linkable  HRL with X-visor.

These things are cheap, cheaper than a MULTI Sniper Rifle. Using the Raiden as a guide, we can see that the points cost of a HRL + X-visor is equal to the points cost of an MSR. As stated above, against most units in cover, the impact template is more effective than AP, ARM by a flat 3. Fire damage is comparable to double action ammo, and actually exceeds it in terms of damage potential in that it is possible, although not probable, to inflict the 5 wounds necessary to completely wipe out a remote presence TAG with one hit. Furthermore it has (or had, I guess) extra utility against Tohaa. The only edge the MSR has is extreme range shooting, which I will confess, has significantly impacted games in the past.

Well, you know what they say: If you can’t beat them, join them!

Does anyone else have any experience with these weapons of mass destruction?

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