From overall discussion and forum surfing I have noted that the general consensus of the gun boar is that it outright sucks or is, at the very least, a disappointment. I will concede that it's not the most spectacular model in its faction or in the overall game, however, I feel that this is due to the fact that the farrow are relatively new and that they unfortunately have a smaller selection of beasts compared to the Blindwater Congregation. Personally, I have had decent success with the gun boar and in fact it has claimed the lives of a handful of casters including Kador's Butcher as well as Retribution's Ossyan. My feeling is that this model does have potential that is sometimes overlooked. This thread is an overview of the model and some of the ways I use him. I do want to clarify, however, that I'm not an expert on this model so this thread is intended to help me as well as everyone else. Please give me any input of your own.
Though its gun has a shorter range and lower Rat than the Razorback Crew, I find that its far more accurate and has better mobility and utility than the artillery unit. The casters of the farrow have their ways of speeding up and toughing up this model so that its worth its 5 points. Additionally, though the animus is not wonderful due to a short command, however, it still keeps the opponent on their toes making them be more aware of how far them are advancing their army. Don't forget that the casters can use this animus as a spell on themselves giving them more options when faced with the possibility of an assassination run. Again, this model has some disadvantages but I can't bring myself to totally dislike it.
As already stated, each the farrow casters have their ways of working with this beast, however, with Carver the gun boar gets a decent chance to show its potential. Mobility increases the speed with pathfinder so that it can advance 7' and run 14'. Even if you are not using the fourth tier allowing advance move, this beast can get up there fast and get good positioning on the first turn. Batten Down the Hatches does lower the Def to 10, however, you now have an Arm 20 light beast that cannot be knocked down. This little guy can take a decent pounding and still survive, implying that the gun boar can even be successfully spammed with Carver. If you stand still Rat goes up to 7 and Targ allows for an extra shot. When ever point of damage counts that's not that bad. Finally, even though its melee weapons appear at first glance to be mediocre, Carver's feat makes this little dude a P+S 11 weapon master. It can hold its own at close range.
With the "Good Doctor Ark"
Arkadius plays a whole different game compared to Carver but his unique spell list still makes this beast worth taking. Even without mobility, the gun boar can move another 5' when its damaged while under the affects of Aggravator. Crippling Grasp helps it compensate for low Rat and medium damage. (Two gun boars took out an entire gatorman posse with this.) Forced Evolution adds 2 Def allowing you to throw it out there to take on full units and +2 Str helps its chances in close combat. Even though its Str is 8, Arkadius can still take out pesky high def solos, both incorporeal or not, by arcing Primal Shock through it. Though its just Arm 17 with Arkadius, it can still take some damage considering Psycho Surgery in conjunction with Targ. At the very least, the gun boar is the perfect choice for Arkadius' use of Maltreatment and Counterblast can be interesting when you consider the anesthesia and mind control serum options of the needle.
With Sturm and Drang
Again, Sturm and Drang run a different game than Carver but the gun boar still has potential. With Telekinesis Sturm makes this model a star in the area of attrition. After making the ranged attacks the gun boar can be pulled back 2' to avoid charges or to prevent charges. This method allows for the gun boar to slowly pick at units, solos, and casters while protecting the caster and staying alive itself for a decent amount of time. (The animus is also made more effective.) If the opponent is one who dismisses the presence of the gun boar and uses minimal resources in dealing with it, Vision can increase survivability by negating the few shots that might come its way. Though the gun boar is more useful as a ranged model, Drang makes the final resort more viable. Killing Ground gives pathfinder and makes charges free of cost. Additionally, Pack Hunters raises the Mat from a 5 to a 7 and don't forget about goad.
(The following is credited to Benejeseret)
Overview: They have many potential roles, and although they do not excel at any of them, their versatility is game winning in itself.
Primary uses are:
- AoE infantry killing or ranged damaging to allow Finisher
- Fury/Focus Denial (if this seems odd, keep reading and see)
- Board control and Tarpit
- Flanking and ranged assassination
Special Abilities: Bacon is as much a bane than a boon. Don't be a neck-beard though, when the boar dies don't conveniently forget to tell the opponent he can heal his warbeast.
Ranged Abilities: Can assassinate. It might take a few hits however. They are a great counter to light stealthy units and light units in general. Against heavies use first to damage a heavy (may barely damage) but that is enough to kick in Finisher for the SHs.
Melee Abilities: Trash POW. Even with Carver's extra dice it could struggle to harm anything other than light infantry.
Special Melee Abilities: With their fists doing so little damage it is worth noting that their base Str is only 2 lower and so Power Attack and board control / objective control are their main melee use. Power attacks also stack with Carver's feats (see below).
- 2-handed thrown: even if you cannot damage, the chance to KD 2 choice models should never be underestimated.
- Slam: Lights can slam heavies, just at a -2 to hit and 1/2 distance. But that is still a KD or 2
- Locks: the ignored step-child of WH/H. Boars can lock down a warnoun and still buy 2 extra punches (que the "why you hitting yourself"). Completely shuts down bonechickens, lesser legion and a variety of warjacks that only have 1 melee weapon barring focus/fury. With the coming of Colossals/Gargants the Lock may start to make a comeback.
- Headbutt: Why bother when you can 2-h throw?
* Every Focus/Fury that warnouns spend to stand back up is a Focus/Fury not spend killing farrow.
As a Spell: Rarely worth it compared to having 2 transfers. Yes, Arcadius and Drang could turn a caster assassination on its head (stationary/toss), but do you really want to rely on that?? Carver is always needing Fury for Mobility/Quagmire/Batten and rarely would even have enough. With Rorsh, he may have a use for it as his ranged options are a bit better.
+ Pro: Yet another free shot or punch.
+ Pro: Has more of a psychological effect on opponent than a real in-game effect due to Cons
- Con: Has a very short range. Short enough that things are never going to intentionally stop so close unless engaging
- Con: Expensive when it takes up most of the fury it is sometimes hard to justify
Pro-tip #1: ALWAYS target a unit leader given the chance (or WA/UA I suppose). If you can get the leader the Field Promotion rules kick in and the newly promoted Leader also looses ability to attack. Thus you take out 2 for the price of one as far as blunting the charge.
>Pro-tip #2: Having Gunboars close behind a line of Dug-In Brigands helps to ensure you get to make a Big Gun attack. Dig-In ignores LOS and yes, it will miss, but if you are close behind it is going to scatter into the clump of charging enemies (infantry ideally) and your own boys are immune.
>Pro-tip #3: You can charge after activating Counterblast. Rarely is this effective, but sometimes it can allow to get up in their face and get a second attack off if you do not have overtake/goad active. Arkadius can make good use of this since he can negate the Cost issues through Frenzy clearing.
>Pro-tip #4: What out for Reach. It is a waste of Fury to use Counterblast if a Reach unit is likely to charge/engage. Wasted actions when you cannot shoot in melee (engaged) but cannot reach with the 0.5" fist.
With Dr. Arkadius:
- An interesting combo is to Counterblast (2) and then Slam (1) a target. In the interim have Targ come up and Ancillary to allow Gunboar to Big Gun (giving it up to a 18" threat on the gun) or simply shoot the KD'd target. Then Feat and the boar should be able to then charge the KD target for a boosted auto-hit. With Counterblast active it somewhat forces opponents activation order as he has a potential grenade primed deep in his ranks.
-Forced Evolution is often better on a Warhog, but, unless up against Khador the hog likely can destroy thing on its own anyway and those extra points may be wasted. Getting a gun boar from its normally meh POW up a few more points could mean it actually contributes to face-smashing. Especially on feat turn.
- Do not discount a 14" Run up a flank. The boar can be pillow fisted and so sometimes dropping an high ARM hefty light right where he doesn't want it can long term be better then a few low POW swings. Throw in Quagmire and you have a long-range lock down with the ARM and HP to hold out.
- Power attacks are Melee attacks and thus get the extra damage dice. Slamming or throwing something into an obstacle/model can net you up to a 5d6+9 hit that they will not be expecting. It only averages 27, but with the movement denial as well that can start to hurt.
- Not the best choice for Watcher attack, but getting the move up the flank more means the gun boar might get in position for clearing out support the next turn.
- With Vision, Watcher, and TK enemy warcasters need to worry about ranged assassination walking around their front line.
- TK and WEAPON LOCK is worth a special mention for sure. Turning something around with TK and Locking it with a gun boar means it cannot do anything the next turn other than break free (barring 360 vision). This means that other than Colossal/Gargants and a few special exceptions (ie. incorporeal, enemy TK) S&D have a hard counter against melee heavies so long as they have a gun boar or two around.
- Their Feat exacerbates all the shenanigans a Gun Boar can do with Power Attacks. Locked warnouns can only buy a single attack (if not TK around backward), KD from throws or slams use their only Fury/Focus to stand up.
- Get quite cheap in Carver's Theme
- As stated, Counterblast on Rorsh is one of the few with ranged options worth considering. Unfortunately, it puts far more pressure on keeping Rorsh alive.
- They almost always need a boost or help to hit.
- Targ makes everything better.
- They should (often) go first or they should go last. Either use them to clear lanes, damage for Finisher, and cause KD, or have LOS cleared for them to attempt fully boosted ranged assassinations.