- Cannons: Have a rock-paper-scissors nature which offers little counterplay. Also small immersion problem of doing little vs ranked units. At the same time, we didn't want to rip the carpet out from under anyone, so decided to go for a pair of small changes.
I've played a couple games with the new rules, and while I understand the reasoning behind this change, its very convoluted and inelegant.
Cannons ignore cover and are good against Giant, but when they shoot at Giant they don't ignore cover.
A troll and a giant are in a forest, and another troll and a giant are outside next to it.
You hit the troll out in the open on 5+
You hit the troll in the forest on 5+ still...OK, cannons don't care
You hit the giant in the open on 4+. OK, cannons are aimed at killing monsters
You hit the giant in the forest on 5+. Wait, what? My bonus is gone...because of that thing I don't care about normally.
Why is the smaller target unbothered about taking cover, but the big one is?
I do implore you to clean this up before locking the rules in.
Frankly, removing the +1 vs Giant bonus means the exception for cover can be removed as well. Considering that classification gets somewhat arbitrary related to model size (Altars are Large but monsters on smaller bases and usually shorter are Giant?) that seems a good solution.
As for the RPS: there is little point of trying to make the cannon into a generalist piece.
Firstly, all the armies which can take them have access to catapults if they want those instead.
Secondly, that penetrating hit is a joke regardless of whether its S3 or S4. The cannonball losing momentum so much from S10 Ap6 d3+1 to a gentle fart is even more unimmersive than it just flat out stopping and going into the ground (or into its target) and not having penetrating hits at all.
As a third side note, the volley gun firing mode is mathematically incredibly poor (2d6 shots at long range with a gunpowder profile hitting on 5+ vs a high profile cannonball hitting on 4+ - its often enough better to roll cannonballs at the thing that's within 12", nevermind the fact that other targets likely remain on the table). It doesn't hurt being there, but it can go the way of the dodo without really bothering anyone.
What differentiates a cannon from a ballista functionally is mainly ignoring cover (the strength and MW profiles are represented in the cost difference). Currently differentiation (2) is bonus vs giant and (3) difference in penetrating hit quality. Point (2) is being highlighted as RPS and can go. Point (3) can be accenuated, as the pathetic penetrating from the cannons can just be removed.
Basically, a cannon:
S10, d3+1 Clipped Wings wounds
^ that should be it. It does a thing. It does it well.
It doesn't do 2 other nonsense fringe things. It doesn't have an exception that has its own exception.