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Descent: The Sea of Blood» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Best Cannons for the Revenge rss

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Josiah Leis
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I've been trying to evaluate each of the different cannons the Heroes can buy and I've tried to record my thought here. I'd be curious to get others thoughts on them as well.

Hawkeye Cannon: This cannon is the best cannon in the game for the money, imho. It should ALWAYS be the first cannon your heroes buy for the Revenge, if they only get one before they leave Gafford it should be a Hawkeye (unless they just absolutely cannot afford it in which case a Coldsteel is OK). Why is that do you ask? Three reasons:

1. It has the longest effective range of any cannon. The sea map is huge, the Hawkeye cannon helps make it less so. Not only is its range bonus of +7 the highest (the others "effective" range bonuses are +5, +5, and +4 once you calculate in Breath and Blast), it also has the best dice for range in a Blue and Yellow. Though that does lead to crappy damage (though it does at least give you +1 to that) it is important to remember that for the heroes the damage from a cannon does NOT come from its dice, it comes from their Power dice which they upgrade using Fatigue and\or a Potion.

2. It does not roll an inaccuracy die when targeting figures. Not all of the Encounters in SoB are with other ships, many are just sea monsters or the like and they are ALL dangerous. Having the Hawkeye will not only help protect you against ships, it also helps with the other kinds of encounters as well. Not to mention it makes it way easier to hit a Dodging Siren when she doesn't have an inaccuracy die to re-roll also.

3. It's priced reasonably, at 500 coins it gives you great bang for the buck.


Coldsteel Cannon: Not actually as bad as it looks at first glance. Though it rolls only 1 die and has the shortest range boost of any cannon, its also cheap and doesn't overheat so you can fire it every round without fear of losing it. Since often times your heroes are just standing around on the ship with nothing to do each round, having more cannons at least allows more of the heroes to chug a Power and drop all their Fatigue into an Aimed shot with one. You can achieve very surprising results doing that, even if you aren't trained in Magic. Finally, if you want to you can just drop all your Fatigue into a regular shot and then Rest every single round. Even that is nothing to sneeze at, and the cannon is nice and cheap.

Dragonfire Cannon: Though very expensive, the Dragonfire cannon does offer some nice utility. Don't let its base +2 Range fool you, with the Breath template that actually means "+5". Furthermore, don't forget that this handy weapon can allow you to shoot at the Siren even if she is taking cover behind a rock or other figures. Naturally the fact that it is capable of hitting a large number of figures at once is also nice. I can't say for sure, but I feel it is probably a must for LT fights. However, due to its expense I wouldn't recommend starting with it and I'm pretty sure having more than 1 or 2 is not a good idea.

Runeblast Cannon: Though expensive this cannon offers the widest firing arc of any Cannon, due to the Blast 1 being able to hit things 1 space outside of your arc. Also, remember that +4 Range is really +5, again due to the Blast ability. Ultimately, I think it comes down to a matter of preference as to whether you get Dragonfire Cannons or Runeblast. Ideally for a LT fight you would have both, really ideally one of each for both sides of the ship. The Dragonfire is better if the Siren is trying to hide behind rocks, but the Runeblast gives you the widest firing arc. Personally, I think I prefer the Breath template to Blast 1, and also remember that the blue die is strictly worse than the white on cannons. This is due to Power Enhancements being able to be spent for Range and Damage, the white die offers the higher total "output" in terms of Range+Damage on each side.

*Edit* Needed to correct my false assumption about Dragonfire Cannons giving you the widest firing arc, theirs is no wider than any other cannon.
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Michael Hancock-Parmer
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I have to admit that perhaps my own experience has given me too rosy an opinion of the Runeblast. With the Gunner skill on my ranged attacker and several encounters with multiple baddies on board ships, it was quite effective at clearing out NPC ship crews.
 
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Josiah Leis
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I spent 100 GG and all I got was this stupid overtext.....
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miflhanc wrote:
I have to admit that perhaps my own experience has given me too rosy an opinion of the Runeblast. With the Gunner skill on my ranged attacker and several encounters with multiple baddies on board ships, it was quite effective at clearing out NPC ship crews.

Interesting that you should bring that up, as the ships are tightly packed the blast can clear the decks pretty well. I wonder though, would the Breath Template have been equally as effective for you?

On a side note, I realized that my article is in error. The Dragonfire does NOT actually extend your cannons firing arc. Though the breath template can hit two spaces to the right or left of where you target, it does it 3 spaces forward.....at which point your cannon's arc would allow you to shoot their anyway. This means that Runeblast Cannons actually give the widest arc, which I think is their most significant advantage.
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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Notes to add...

Hawkeye is almost always the first cannon added because its cheaper and also uses Ranged trait. You start with a Coldsteel (magic trait) already, so its logical to add a Ranged Cannon first, with most parties.

Knockback can be a critical component of the overall value of a cannon. Both for knocking a target closer so other cannons or non-cannons can now reach, and especially for the longer ranged Hawkeye, threatening to Knockback a figure of an island glyph, making it a lot more difficult to prevent the heroes from quickly activating the glyph.

Only the Dragonfire cannon does not have Knockback. That is a big strike against it in my book.

Green dice (dragonfire/runeblast) do more damage but have less range. The Hawkeye, with BY +7R has a considerable range advantage over the other cannons. The +1 damage still leaves it slightly below the other two in average damage though (not to mention their AoE bonuses, partly offset by accuracy vs figures).

Lastly, the heroes are often badly under-financed in SoB. Even if the cost of cannons is not doubled by A New Law, it is often simply too expensive to get the AoE cannons most of the time.
 
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Michael Hancock-Parmer
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Absolutely agree re: cannonfire knockback. The most devastating hero turns have involved someone jumping in the water with a knockback weapon (higher level hammer) and punting a high-level mob or LT. into cannon range... which in turn knocked it into another cannon's range, etc. Granted, the knockback of the higher level hammers are really crucial, since the distance they can knock something back approaches ludicrousness.
 
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Josiah Leis
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I spent 100 GG and all I got was this stupid overtext.....
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corbon wrote:
Notes to add...

Hawkeye is almost always the first cannon added because its cheaper and also uses Ranged trait. You start with a Coldsteel (magic trait) already, so its logical to add a Ranged Cannon first, with most parties.

Knockback can be a critical component of the overall value of a cannon. Both for knocking a target closer so other cannons or non-cannons can now reach, and especially for the longer ranged Hawkeye, threatening to Knockback a figure of an island glyph, making it a lot more difficult to prevent the heroes from quickly activating the glyph.

Only the Dragonfire cannon does not have Knockback. That is a big strike against it in my book.

Green dice (dragonfire/runeblast) do more damage but have less range. The Hawkeye, with BY +7R has a considerable range advantage over the other cannons. The +1 damage still leaves it slightly below the other two in average damage though (not to mention their AoE bonuses, partly offset by accuracy vs figures).

Lastly, the heroes are often badly under-financed in SoB. Even if the cost of cannons is not doubled by A New Law, it is often simply too expensive to get the AoE cannons most of the time.

Totally missed that Dragonfire lacks Knockback somehow...... this combined with correcting my original false assumption about Dragonfire having the widest firing arc has led me to reverse my thoughts. I think Runeblast's are the better bet, both for their firing arc and the ability to knockback. Dragonfire's may still be useful for trying to hit things that are hiding behind other things, but I think Runeblast is probably the better cannon overall if you are choosing between the two.
 
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