Monday, 1 August 2016

Burnt Ends Taste Yummy

The more you know...

Menhit /ˈmɛnˌhɪt/ (also spelt Menchit) was originally a Nubian war goddess in Egyptian mythology. Her name depicts a warrior status, as it means (she who) massacres. (from Wikipedia)

The whipping boy, the punch bag, the gimp.

All examples of the various ways you could describe the Menchit as it currently stands. Even after its points were dropped and the flamer it carried got an extra boost to it's range, the Menchit still did not sit comfortably in a list. Compared to its similarly grouped siblings the Phobos (the clearly favoured child called golden bollocks by the other two behind its back) and the Ares (angry middle child), the Menchit could not sit in a squad and have something to do every turn. It sat, it slouched and it sulked, as its longer ranged siblings did the good stuff.

Part of the reason for this is that it's lopsided. The Minigun Triad (I had to look up what this was called) is simply not used often enough, nor powerful enough to really justify its existence. At first glance it seems great at 9 shots, but then you have to take into account what that really means. Against infantry at the wall (let's say legionnaires) you will hit 1/3 of the time (5+ to hit in cover) and against ARM 2 will need a 4+ to wound; this will reliably kill one (and a bit) legionnaire a turn... Not a huge amount really, and it's even worse against the current crop of uber infantry. This is obviously meant to be balanced by the stonking great flame weapon on the other side; against Legionnaires again, 8 shots hitting on 3+ will hit roughly 5 times and cause 4 damage. So a base of infantry in prime killing range a turn, not bad.

Except consider that it was nearly always looked over for a Phobos. As is often said by a fair few people, “I really like the Menchit, I've had great success with them.” You may have done but that is your Meta, I speak here of the tournament scene where lists are whittled down and are as lean as a fitness model come competition season. And you know what? In the top half of the tables I do not remember seeing any Menchits in any of the tournaments I've attended, because they just don't fit with their siblings. They need to be too close up for pairing with a Phobos in a Neptune, and aren't beefy enough to justify with a single Ares. I'd rather spend the extra points on another Ares to double the tank killing power and still get decent Free Rider / Medusa killing power at distance (the Ares targeting modifier counts toward the chain gun too). So what about two Menchits in a Neptune? No thanks, because killing troops is not mission critical enough. 

Think about it. Think about the amount of ways you can delay or even stop infantry in their tracks; kill their transport, engage in CQB, drop the building on their heads, then wait out their hapless flappings whilst trying to find objectives. Removing them through flame is expensive and removes valuable points away from other more important tasks of AT and AA.

In fact I would argue that this is an issue with flame weapons in general. The army I see using flame weapons most often at the moment is the Shaltari, because they have a card that gives a unit a flame attack which comes with their commander and doesn't cost points!

So after all this we are blessed almost offhandedly with the Menchit A2. The flaming sap has been down to the gym and got himself a personal trainer, to help work on that withered left arm and beef it up a bit. Instead of the mostly redundant minigun the Menchit is now sporting a great big pair of AT Rockets! This is super important, because now the Menchit has two purposes in life; burn infantry and, at the very least, threat in Anti Tank! These rockets are no slouches either, going against the power curve the rocket remains E10 (instead of the oh so fashionable E11 everyone and their mums showing off these days) and instead packs a meaty Devastator 2. While the chances of it actually wounding anything remains the same as a normal E10 shot the effects are doubled, so potentially a squad of Menchits in good range can now ruin an infantry squads day and really bloody the nose of any lightly armoured vehicle squad (hello other Type 1's, hello Shaltari striders, hello Resistance Wagons). This versatility is kind of new for a flame unit (other than the Ghariel which is a command unit, and the samurai which have a CC AT attack), we're in unexplored territory here people!

With this in mind, after beefing up his left arm the Menchit has flipped off his siblings with his pilot light, and has moved house to the super competitive support role. This means he can now be used alongside infantry, and this is realistically almost as important as the upgraded weapon system. The Menchit now sits as a natural tag team with Immortals.

First step deploy and protect your Menchits near, but not too near, your target building. Next, when this activation comes around again (probably pretty early) the Menchits advance and use their flamers on hapless infantry inside the building.
Step one Burny Death

Hopefully they kill off the squad by firing one flame weapon per base, and if not, oh well, they will be sorely depleted. Next move in the same activation, your troops now facing a dead or weakened opponent enter the building to claim their prize.

Step two the killing blow
What your now doing with the Menchit is fulfilling really what the Flamer was meant to do in the first place, which is force multiply an infantry unit. With the threat of a flamer you can push an opponent away from a building you want to take control of. It's important to evaluate which building is likely to be the one you can push an opponent from. This is why I like to activate the infantry with the Menchits last in the first turn. By watching where your opponent is placing their early units (AA-AT infantry etc) you can see if they are heading strong in one direction. In T.O.O./M.C. this is often the building directly opposite his 'home' objective building, as its easiest to hop over there, but often the central building will be the next focus and a small contingent sent to the far away building. Personally I would argue going the other way and hitting your opponents home side building harder than your own, but I don't often see this done.

By watching your enemies movement you can place your Menchits in a good spot to hit your opponents infantry hard. Often the best place to deploy is near the central building, because with your long range flamer weapon you can flame out any cheeky sods in most of the buildings. This isn't the only way to play with Menchits, but I feel its good to place them in order to gain a psychological advantage rather than an immediate advantage. Place your Menchits on the side of the board your opponent is going to be deploying their infantry and you've gained a massive boost. To do this you need to be positioned to strike early game, which means deploying first turn from the Neptune. If you place the Menchits down in turn 1 you can sometimes be close enough in turn 2 to walk the 3” and hit them with the 9” Flame, and they are then going to have to change the way they use their infantry. This could result in their army being stretched in order to remove the Menchits in turn 1, or changing the destination of their infantry and stomping all over any game plan they had.

Basically made of Asbestos
Next point, choose your targets carefully. Weigh up the odds in your head of actually wounding and killing a base of infantry. Pungari? You'll smash a base per flamer a turn, kill two bases and that removes their Horde rule. Sirens? If they are foolish enough to be anywhere near your Menchits the bimbos will combust into clouds of burning peroxide. Immortals, Braves and Firstborns are trickier, as the higher armour will mean they are going to possibly survive pretty well against an attack from one flamer. Destroyers and Evsicerators? Forget it, you will be lucky if you kill two a turn with both flamers from one base, not to be sniffed at but don't expect them to get delayed by your puny burning fuel.
Beautiful but Flammable
Finally, Protect your Menchits with good positioning, good AA, and overlapping fields of fire from other units. By good positioning I mean watch out for quick infantry units that will own them with horrendous firepower. Medusa / Freeriders can, somewhat ironically, be a hard counter to Menchits. Make sure that if they are on the board that you make them reach for hitting you. Do this by staying a bit further back using your extra flamer range and keep an eye on corners, if they can they'll get the jump and kill the Menchits before they have a chance to roast them.

So stay safe out there people, and have faith that Menchit A2's work well, if used carefully.

Happy roasting. 


  1. Well, great. Watching the gif got me all hungry!

    I wonder what rotisserie Vampire would taste like...

  2. Great read, Ed! You should write more frequently. You've got real a flair for phrasing.

    Good tactica on the Menchit A2, too. It's got me thinking about them. I haven't picked any up yet, still waiting for the last wave to hit the Hawk website, but I definitely planned on picking up at least one blister of them. Now mebbe two blisters, for those 2,500 point games somewhere in my future...

    Now I'm off to SCOLDZAP to see what kind of a list I can make up, and what I have to give up to fit the little flame-boys into a 1,500 point list!

    1. Thanks JD, I'd take all the credit but this time around the post needed heavy editing by Dan to get it readable as I wrote it originally in quite a hurry.

      But they are definitely worth a look, definitely push a nice dynamic. Unfortunately last time I looked they weren't on Scoldzap. which hasn't been updated in ages!

    2. I've used the A2's in about 5 games recently. They are great behind a central building as they give the enemy pause across the whole central line. Haven't had much success with the rockets yet.

  3. Ahh.. Thought I smelt a bit o' Zombie there.

    Well, in that case, well done, Dan and Ed. Please collaborate more often.

    When is the next post? I've been interviewing and my intestines are in a knot. Almost literally. I hate this process, it's almost as bad as starting a new job.... Oh, wait... If this part is successful, then I WILL be starting a new job!... Gads, such stress!

    I need distractions, Boys! Please put your fingers to the keyboard and produce works of wit, whimsy and wisdom for us to devour. Come, come, it's still summertime, and I know how high up in the latitudes your little island is, so it's daylight very late, and you can only spend so much time painting and playing with bunny rabbits (Dan) or lifting weights (Ed), so pleasepleaseplease produce more wordsinarow for us to consume. They don't even have to be very good, just SOMETHING, anything to break the tense moments between interviews and searching for the next job listing to apply to!

    Please? For me?...

    (Well, it worked on Egge, although I had to take a different tack with him, so hopefully some good will come from this whine...). 8^D

    And while you're at it please pop down to Hawk Towers and wake Louis up and get him to get Reconquest: Phase 2 up on the website, along with the last wave of minis. Waiting for those is driving me nuts, too. I'd do it myself, but if I had the bucks for a plane ticket to Heathrow I'd be at GenCon right now shmoozing with Dave and Simon and buying all the stuff I need there, but Noooo, somebody had to go and get engaged (my oldest daughter) and now I have a wedding to pay for on top of everything else, and I rather like where I live so the mortgage must get paid, and while I'm definitely eating less I still need to eat Something, AND I HAVEN'T HAD A GODDAMN CIGARETTE IN 64 DAYS, but who's counting, and I don't have a dog to kick and I can't kick my wife because that would lead to all sorts of unpleasant complications, think how awkward it would be at the wedding, and the old FLGS closed back in March and the new FLGS is 40 minutes away if I drive 75 mph (what is that in kph, by the way, and what DO you weigh in pounds, Ed, not fecking kilograms and for hell's sake DON'T tell me how much in stones) so I can't just pop down to the LGS to paint myself into oblivion while I listen to the insanely hilarious conversations that only take place when a bunch of gamer nerds gather round to talk politics and religion, so I'm reduced to wandering around goddamn Facebook (bollocks, but I hate it!) and checking this blog and the Sweeeeedish blog every fracking day for the chance, just a bloody CHANCE, that someone has posted something new, and meanwhile it's bloody monsoon season now so I couldn't paint if I wanted to, and I want to, badly, but I'm waiting for the Dropfleet Kickstarter stuff to be shipped, but we won't go there, no we won't, Precious, and even Egge managed to tap out a nice long post on his phone while vacationing somewhere, and I even had a nice selection of cheese to go along with his whine, but it really wasn't much of a whine, but at least it was SOMETHING!... And I really appreciate this blog post on the Menchit A2, whoever penned it, so I guess there's nothing left to do but go back and re-read it, but this time using Dan's voice in my head instead of Ed's, and will someone PLEASE SHUT HILLARY UP!, but not Trump, gads, no, we're doomed, DOOMED, I tell you, and how's that Brexit thing working out for youguys, anyhow?)

    Please. Write something.... Anything.... *sigh*...

    1. I sometimes have to check the weight of my bunnies.

    2. Yes, but do you do curls with your bunnies? Or do you curl your bunnies? Or do you press your bunnies? Or do you do butterflies with your bunnies? Or do your bunnies give you butterflies?...

      And that's not what I meant by "Please write something"... 8^P

    3. >.<

      You're hopeless...

      But you make me laugh. Even when I can't sleep... LOL.

    4. I have been sending out a kit I call 'Dan's Dream Pack'. It contains a bottle of Night Nurse, a CD with the repeated chorus of popular Gregory Isaac song Night Nurse, and an A2 headshot of my face. It's cheap at only €89.99! interested?

    5. I don't need nightmares, I'm doing fine in that department all by myself!

      And €89.99? Isn't that like £249.99 now? LOL! 8^P

      Thanks anyway, though. I appreciate the thought... 8^D

      Anyway, we had an amazing DzC tournament today. Only 6 players, but still one of the best tournaments we've had. I posted about it all day during the event on the Hawk forum in the event's topic. Round 3 was a real nail biter. I'm going to blog about it tomorrow. You can read about Rounds 1 and 2 on the forum, but for the final results and the exciting finale, you'll have to check out my blog. (Yes, I will be putting up a blog post, after nearly 11 months of inactivity. Stay tuned!!!)