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Artillery wagon

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Artillery wagon.png
Artillery wagon

Artillery wagon entity.png

Recipe

Time icon.png
4
+
Advanced circuit.png
20
+
Engine unit.png
64
+
Iron gear wheel.png
10
+
Pipe.png
16
+
Steel plate.png
40
Artillery wagon.png
1

Total raw

Time icon.png
207
+
Copper plate.png
100
+
Engine unit.png
64
+
Iron plate.png
76
+
Plastic bar.png
40
+
Steel plate.png
40

Recipe

Time icon.png
4
+
Advanced circuit.png
20
+
Engine unit.png
64
+
Iron gear wheel.png
10
+
Pipe.png
16
+
Steel plate.png
40
Artillery wagon.png
1

Total raw

Time icon.png
297
+
Copper plate.png
280
+
Engine unit.png
64
+
Iron plate.png
152
+
Plastic bar.png
80
+
Steel plate.png
40

Health

600

Stack size

5

Range

Minimum: 32
Automatic: 224
Manual: 560

Shooting speed

0.3/s

Ammunition

Artillery shell.png

Dimensions

2x6

Weight

4000

Internal name

artillery-wagon

Prototype type

artillery-wagon

Required technologies

Artillery (research).png

Boosting technologies

Artillery shell range (research).png
Artillery shell shooting speed (research).png

Produced by

Hand icon.png
Assembling machine 3.png

The artillery wagon is an end-game wagon added in game version 0.16 mounting a rail cannon that can be added to a train. It fires artillery shells, relatively slow-moving projectiles that explore chunks of terrain they travel across. The wagon gun has both automatic and manual (even longer-ranged) firing modes. Projectiles have sufficient damage to destroy spawners and any type of worm with a single hit, and have a modest area of effect. Infinitely-stacking research upgrades are available for range and firing speed, but not damage.

The artillery turret is essentially the same weapon, but deployed as a static structure like other turrets.

Mechanics

Artillery wagons have a massive range, outranging fixed fortifications by a factor of 10 or more. In automatic mode, when the train isn't moving, the artillery wagon will automatically scan for enemy structures (spawners and worms) and shoot at them. Automatic mode cannot target mobile units (biters and spitters); shells do, however, damage mobile units in the vicinity of impact normally.

In manual mode, a special item is used to point-and-click anywhere in the world, map, or zoomed-in map; each click corresponds to one shell delivered to that location, so long as any working artillery turrets and / or wagons are in range. Targeting remotes show the number of fire-ready (loaded and, for wagons, stationary) artillery pieces in range of cursor position when held. Manual fire can be ordered on unexplored areas; shells will explore all chunks they travel across (but no surrounding chunks).

Range in automatic mode is 224 tiles (7 chunks); in manual mode, 560 tiles (17.5 chunks). Infinite research is available to increase range, at +30% of base range per level, applied to both automatic and manual range.

Limitations

Aside from the considerable expense of research and assembly for both wagons and shells, there are certain considerations that make these wagons unwise as a full replacement for traditional base defenses, despite their phenomenal range and the advantage of mobility.

Artillery shelling will antagonize enemy mobile units in the vicinity of the impact into rushing the wagon's location at time of firing, regardless of their normal "aggro radius". Artillery wagons are relatively slow-firing, although infinite research is available to improve firing speed, at +100% per level, affecting both wagons and stationary turrets and applying to both automatic and manual mode. They also cannot target mobile units in automatic mode. Importantly, artillery has a minimum range as well, which is 32 tiles.

Together, these limitations mean that an artillery wagon needs to be defended, or else moved around rapidly, in the latter case decreasing its value as base defense. For defense, any conventional approach such as walls, gun, laser, and / or flamethrower turrets, or the personal intervention of the player will do. However, players should keep in mind that extensive shelling of large biter-infested areas will produce massive attack waves centered on the position of the artillery piece at time of firing, and should plan close-range defenses accordingly.

Logistic considerations are also important, as artillery shells have a stack size of 1, meaning any-size container can only hold a modest supply and an inserter will only ever move a single shell at a time. Players may wish to consider assembling near artillery wagon stops if practical. The wagon itself can hold a supply of 100 shells (while artillery turrets only hold 15), providing a portable magazine of some size that can be towed around with the weapon without external storage.

Train properties

The artillery wagon can fire while stopped at a train stop, but not when stopped at a red signal or when moving. When a train with an artillery wagon is stopped at a train stop, aiming and shooting counts as activity for the purposes of "X seconds of inactivity" departure conditions in the train's schedule. This includes the time that the wagon spends scanning the area around it to find enemies, which is done at 1 chunk per tick. Only when it has scanned all chunks and did not find an enemy it will count as inactive.

When part of a manual-mode (player-driven) train, artillery wagons will fire whenever the train is stopped, regardless of where it was stopped.

Artillery wagons weigh as much as 4 regular wagons (or 2 locomotives) for the purposes of train acceleration calculations. Fortunately, nuclear fuel provides a massive 250% boost to acceleration (compared to 180% for rocket fuel, the next best type), making it an attractive fuel for artillery trains.

Logistics

In addition to firing them, artillery wagons can be used to transport shells from place to place. Inserters will both load and unload artillery wagons in the same manner as they would any other wagon, with the obvious difference that artillery wagons can only take artillery shells as cargo. However, each artillery wagon can hold 100 shells, while a regular cargo wagon only holds 40.

Thus, artillery wagons are the most space-efficient method of transporting artillery shells by rail. They are not, however, the most mass-efficient one, as an artillery wagon weighs 4 times as much as a regular wagon, but holds only 2.5 times as many shells. Thus, if train length is not a concern but acceleration and / or fuel efficiency is, regular wagons are superior for transporting shells.

Furthermore, players need to keep in mind that an artillery wagon's auto-fire behavior cannot be turned off in any way, and wagons will auto-fire whenever the usual conditions (see above) are met. In cleared, defended areas, however, they can reliably function as shell transport wagons.

Trivia

Large rail-transported cannon were built in the late 19th and early 20th century, up until and including World War II. The larger models were heavy and very slow firing and took many hours to set up, but had a greater range and power per shot than any other weapon in existence at the time (considerably greater than battleship-size naval guns, for example). The advent of rocketry, as well as large bomber planes capable of deploying multi-ton bombs, eventually made these guns obsolete.

  • Perhaps the best-known examples were the Dicke Bertha (Big Bertha, literally "Fat Bertha") and the Schwerer Gustav (Heavy Gustav), the largest gun ever fired.

History

See also