Out of all the Battle Engines, the Gun Carriage is probably the most realistic. I am not too sure how effective an armoured tank pulled by horses on the battlefield would be in real life, but a tank is still a tank. Especially, in the world of Warmachine...
THE GUN CARRIAGE
Armoured horses...I am surprised that nobody has mentioned a horse power joke yet?
Compared to the other Battle Engines, the Gun Carriage is probably the closest representation of a mobile tank in the Warmachine world. That's if you exclude such models like the Storm Strider, which is bascially a giant lightning platform and the Wraith Engine, which is well... a huge wraith.
The Gun Carriage is the pure definition of rolling thunder. Out of all the BE's the GC is by far the fastest and actually has access to a Power attack, Trample. When the GC makes it's initial melee attacks( which also causes knockdown on a hit!) or Power attack, it can then also make it's initial ranged attacks as well. This includes the two Heavy Cannons and the one Winter Guard Rifle shot( haha, awesome). Forgetting the rifle, the two cannons can laydown a Pow 14 shot each and create a giant crater of rough terrain. Basically, laying down two Rift templates.
The sight of a giant based model that can surge up the table relatively fast; knocking down it's target, all the while the gun's are blazing. This model is a terror to behold!
ON THE BATTLEFIELD
All the Battle Engines are uniquely placed within each faction. While you probably would only ever want one Vessel of Judgement for Menoth, this does not apply to the Gun Carriage. Khador as a whole, relys a lot on the durability of their warjacks and units to slug it across the table and smash the enemy once they get there. The Gun Carriage is not only able to get across the table faster then most of the Khador army, but is also able to set up a "prey target". Now I am not refering to the ability "prey" more like the unit/warjack you want DEAD! The Gun Carriage stays ahead, but not too far so that it is exposed. Afterwards when you believe the GC can make the charge, with the potential for support, you charge/Trample that beast in and force a knockdown. Target your "Prey" with your cannons(or nearby models) creating a zone of rough terrain, preventing your opponents's backup from coming next turn. If you took a second GC, you can then rinse and repeat. Remember a knocked down model has no melee range anyway, so no need to charge in with your second Carriage.
There are just so many tactical applications that can be applied with proper Gun Carriage use. The major problem you will run into when using the GC however, is that once you have committed them into an engagement. There is a very good chance that if you do not kill your target or at the very least knock it down, you will be in heeps of trouble. Models like: a dedicated warjack, model's with the armour piercing special rule; even warrior models with a direct charge or Weaponmaster, will crash your parade. So once you start to engage, make sure it's worth it!
TIME FOR A THEME?
The overall theme for Khador in the Wrath Expansion is Speed and Explosive Firepower! The Gun Carriage is the symbolic representation of these two extremes and the perfect marriage of the two concepts. While not an overpowered model by any stretch, the Gun Carriage is still a significant force to be reckoned with.
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Till Next Time