Friday, 21 August 2015

The Final Wave

Hello fellow zoners, we have more new stuff to talk about, plus some updates to existing experimental rules. Exciting times on the horizon.

Yoo hoo big summer blow out?
With wave 2 we had models, but no rules for what seemed like an age, now for wave 3 we have rules but no models (I think I prefer it this way round!).
Not long to go until they are released though, unless you happen to have gone to GenCon, if so, I am jealous!

First up are the PHR Valkyries

We are going to see these in every PHR list. They do something that the PHR desperately need and that is some speed and maneuverability. They are lovely lovely models with really dynamic poses. They remind me of GW's Sisters of Battle Seraphim. Everyone loves nuns with guns!
Let's look over some of the key figures, first off, they are Mv 9", this paired with their "Jump in, Jump out" special rule means that even if their Triton is destroyed, or out of reach they can still hop buildings. This is massive. Especially as there is nothing you (as an opponent) can do about it. They are not aircraft, so you can't reaction fire.
Looking at their points and stats, it seems a very reasonable outlay. They have a CQB value of 2 and a 5+ dodge, they represent a good middle ground between Immortals and Sirens. The problem and probably their only downside is their armour of 2. Falling masonry is going to ruin them (as with most infantry). You will feel it more with these though as they are 45 points per base.
On a final note, they will have a reasonable chance of doing damage to infantry in the open (freeriders, medusa - I'm looking at you) with 15 E3 shots per base.

Scourge Vampires

I'm a bit puzzled by these. There are parts of the 1.0 Experimental rules that I really liked (2x E5 AA shots) and there are parts from the 1.1 Experimental rules that I like (squads of 1-4). Now they have 1 E6 AA shot that hits on a 3+ basically they are not very good minders for 14 points each, plus they can't reaction fire. I'm just not sure about them. I think they are too expensive, 10-11 points seems about right for them, I also think they should go back to 2x E5 shots, it's something different.
They will get used though, as Scourge are notoriously difficult to get to a solid 1500 points, I often find myself a fair few points short. I do wonder if they will be chosen because they are wanted or because you can?
They will be best used as light dropship hunters, with their Mf of 9" they can hide out of sight and strike when they want. They are reasonably survivable when being shot by reaction fire too as they have E+1 meaning most units will be hitting on 6's. I will certainly buy a pack, I like the models, just not sure if they will be a bit hit or not.

Shaltari Samurai

Ooo shiney. A multi-use flame "vehicle". These are versatile (yes, another versatile Shaltari unit) as they can flame (and boy do they flame!) or they can go kung-fu on your ass and slice a tank in two. In fact they can do both at the same time. They have reasonable movement, and low armour and will die in droves even if you look at them funny. For that reason I think they are a little overpriced. 15-16 points seems fair, also I think the weapon profiles should be Alt-1.
I really do see a lot of potential in this unit. Having E5 flame is just awesome. It will help against things like Freeriders/Medusa etc too, if you can get in position. Also worth remembering that they are scouts which will really help the Shaltari SOI.
To add my 2 pence worth, I don't think they need to have the same special rules as the Ronin "just because they have similar warsuits" I definitely don't want to see Alpha Strike or Lightning Reflexes (see forum vote) on this unit.
Overall a good unit, just needs to be a fair bit cheaper

UCM Legionnaire Flak Team

Another great addition to the UCM family. Simple and effective, well costed and clean rules. The UCM now have 3 very different units to choose from in the troops category. The Legionnaires in a Raven are still the cheapest choice at only 80 points, which is why we will continue to see them. The Flak team offer a different way to play. You need to blow the dust off of your Bear APC's for a start, but at only 68 points for the squad they offer a great saving over 3 bases of Legionnaires.
These guys are going to be great for the back building searches. Once found, hand-off to the Bear and go Aircraft hunting. 3 shots of E6 AA is pretty efficient, and with a squad firing (6 shots) they will happily down light dropships and have a real go at medium ones. They can also be used as great protection from Fast Movers with their reaction fire potential.
I only have one gripe. I think they should be CQB 1 rather than 0.5, they are still Legionnaires (same with the Mortar Team).

Updated Experimental Rules

Shaltari Ronin: A reduction in speed and a penalty to Alpha Strike (+1 Ac). As touched on in the Samurai section, Alpha Strike is a rule I don't like. I don't think the Ronin are over-powered, even with it. It is the actual rule that breaks the core game. There is a "vote/poll" going on, on the Hawk Forum (set-up by Hawk Simon) to see what the players want to see. Lightning Reflexes is winning by a country mile at the moment, and I think that it will be a much better option for them. We shall see if they are updated again.

UCM Hazard Suits: Yes, yes, yes. These babies get to use Ravens, plus had their wording for which squads they could share with sorted out. None of that sharing business matters. THEY GET RAVENS! 98 points for a squad in a Raven. It's a perfect middle ground between Legionnaire and Praetorian. They are very survivable in a building, so make perfect objective grabbers. Use the railgun as a secondary ability and its a great choice.

UCM Legionnaire Mortar Team: Hawk have addressed the firing backwards out of buildings by adding the Front arc only when shooting from inside. Very sensible. I still think these guys are slightly overpriced. They should be equal or less points than the Flak team in my opinion. Also I'd like to see CQB 1 for them.

Overall Conclusions

Personally, I am very happy with this years releases, from second commanders to infantry expansion. It takes the game to a new level of complexity.
What I think will be more prevalent is building demo. If players are taking more infantry, especially units that shoot from buildings, you need to stop them. Building demolition is still very very good at this. Flame may see a rise in use, I know I have been taking flame weapons with my Scourge in my last few tournaments but there are some armies that can really excel at taking out buildings.

If you have any comments on these or any of the new units I'd love to hear them. On a side note, the Resistance Attack ATV's are inbound very soon. I think they are going to be good......


  1. Nice write up, Mike. Very concise, clear and, I think, spot on!

    My only difference in opinion is I'm not sure that the PHR Valkyries will be an auto-include, but I can't wait to get some and give them a try!

    I like all the Infantry options we're getting now. It's making list building very challenging, which I think is a good thing...

    1. I agree, so many option. What's the best configuration, is there a best configuration?
      It's only 3 weeks until Invasion, and we get all these options!!!

  2. Beaten to it! I'm with JD on the Valks. They're good certainly but by no means auto-include.

    I disagree on Mortars too. Mortars are excellent, priced as they are and with cqb 0.5. Sc templates that can reach out and smash things, as well as force expensive shooting infantry off the walls, what's not to love? They are a Free riders/Medusa/Prowler/Technical/Wagons' nightmare come to life.


    1. I agree that Mortars are good, and yes they will deal with those squads, very well. But I think they are a touch too much.

  3. With regards to the new units, I think some factions have really done better than others. For example, I can see at least 1 Medusa being used in every PHR list, It seems a bit overpowered to me with 10 DP and DF. The scourge, I will really be using the screamer, just for the transport alone. A flying Flamethrower? Yes Please! It's effects on CQB will also be game-changing in many games. But the vampires... I really can't see any reason to take them. I also think the UCM infantry are a bit redundant, they already have longbows instead of the mortars, the flak teams are shadowed by ferrums and Rapiers. The shaltari Ronin... They are going to be useful, no matter what change is made, but something needs to be done with alpha strike. The resistance got ATVs, in my opinion they are just useless. The Chem grenades will only really make a difference if they roll a 6. Free riders and veterans are much better options. And I'm still waiting for a decent fast mover for scourge

    1. I think the fast mover expansion will come, maybe it will be next years wave of releases, who knows.
      I think that the ATV's are great at knocking out Exotics, especially 3dp bases. A squad of ATV's will have 6 shots, that's 5 hits, so 5 chem tokens. 4+ to kill an exotic, you should kill 2-3 which can be a base. They will be very useful. The problem for Resistance players is where to fit them in.