Following on from the Scyrah musings on Warcasters we now have Warjacks (aka Myrmidons). Remember, this is based upon the spoilers we currently have and without the full Mk3 rules. We are all impatient so must talk about this n
Hyperion – The silly rules around colossals and their secondary weapons have streamlined a bit but the main gun of the Hyperion is unchanged. It’s still a short ranged, large AOE, high POW, critical consume gun of death. Ravyn and Issyria still love this guy in being able to extend range or get a second shot and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in Helynna lists where she can really help out all Warjacks (and particularly Shyeel with her Feat) and try for some Crit Fishing, Ossyan with his Crit Fishing / gunline of death or Garryth with Sentry giving another shot opportunity. Pairs well with AFG for a +2″ RNG in a pinch as well. I’m honestly more excited to see what Helios brings but Hyperion will probably see a little bit more play just from an increased number of warcasters who could benefit his weapon directly.
AFG – I know it’s not a Warjack, but good place to include it. I love the new and improved AFG. It’s RNG increase for the battlegroup now has a 2″ RNG rather than B2B so you can have a much more flexible grouping around him. His shot types have changed a little with the advent of Dual Shot so he now has an AOE shot, +2POW shot and momentum shot. I’ll definitely take this over the higher POW of the previous incarnation as putting out two 4″ AOE of rough terrain or momentum shots is pretty ballsy, particularly at RNG14. Dual Shot / Range Booster (for itself) do forfeit movement but if you can set it in a good position you will have a good firing base for the majority of the game (just don’t keep your Warjacks there forever for the Range Booster when it might be better for them to be off smashing face or getting a different angle).
Imperatus – It went down in points but is still the machine of death he always was. Side Step no longer ignores Free Strikes which limits his non-linear threat a little bit but if he goes in undamaged, his shields will protect his systems nicely. An additional Bond to Vyros gets him free runs / charges which is splendid and he’s otherwise the exact same bad ass he was before. Phoenix Protocol has gone down in use with things that restrict removal of damage circumventing its use so Grevious Wounds how has a pretty significant impact here. Something to keep in mind with what your opponent has across the table.
Discordia – As I list dojo, I reach for Discordia so often. Her (I always refer to Discordia as a she…) bond to Rahn is great but not something that makes her any less useful with other casters. She was already good before and adding Brain Damage to her gun and 1″ melee range just makes her better. Let’s shave off a point as well. Her Imprint along with some of the increased ARM abilities of the Dawnguard units (i.e. Defensive Line, Iron Zeal, etc.) and Deceleration on a couple of casters (eVyros and Helynna) can lead to some impressive ARM numbers on some 1 wound infantry models and Warjacks. Ret can…brick?? I guess. She is otherwise a solid melee piece with her increased ranged, has an excellent gun and brings a very serviceable Imprint.
Hypnos – Ah Hypnos. Always the Warjack that was never seen without Hypnos and while he has certainly improved, I’m not sure this will change. His Bond to Ossyan gives his ranged weapon shadow bind which along with Ossyan’s weapon and Deadeye, gives his shooting army a huge amount of debuffs / buffs to murder things from range. Combine with Ossyan’s Field Marshal and that Hypnos has Ghost Shot to ignore LOS / concealment / cover and you are very likely to land his gun shot (remember Shadow Bind is only on the direct hit so although there is a 4″ AOE to still poke low ARM support pieces). Add in a STR bonus and increased melee RNG and Hypnos is far less useless in combat (also has Shadow Bind!) but still I feel really pairs best with Ossyan – Shadow Bind at range is that good.
Phoenix – No changes other than a points reduction but except to see this guy a lot less. He’s still as fantastic as always with a great toolbox, Reach with high P+S, open fist, arc node, AOE gun and combustion, decent SPD, etc. however, with changes to Vyre chassis getting +1 STR, more significant price drops elsewhere (i.e. Chimera / Sphinx) and the base melee range increasing to 1″, the jack of all trades is now losing out to some of the better specialists (and has perhaps been superseded as the best all-round heavy by the Banshee who still brings a lot of utility). It’s still a great jack and if you want a heavy node and aren’t running Ossyan, he’s probably your best bet. Otherwise, the Banshee hits harder, Sphinx as hard, Chimera is a faster / cheaper node, Manticore better anti-infantry with covering fire and cheaper, etc.
Banshee – All the Vyre chassis went up in STR which puts the Banshee as the highest P+S outside of the colossals in faction with her (another she…) main weapon. Combine this with her points reducing and everything else staying the same (i.e. Wailing and Momentum weapon) and boom – you’ve got a good warjack who got even better. The Banshee was already the primary option being reached for and I see no change if you want a heavy beatstick with a great gun and utility option. One thing of note for all Vyre chassis now though is the gun is linked to the right arm so losing the right arm has a double whammy.
Hydra – I’m still not a huge fan of the Hydra. It’s slightly cheaper thankfully nut not as much as other Warjacks, is still pretty weak in combat but still has its very decent gun. I foresee this being used with Kaelyssa a lot with Phantom Hunter (and potentially an AFG) to pop out high POW shots at 15-17″ away (plus whatever movement you can gain). Great for solo hunting, putting damage onto higher ARM targets, etc. but without Phantom Hunter, is a pretty expensive piece for just a single shot. Arcanist and Power Up really help the Hydra out though in terms of it doesn’t need much (if any) input from a Warcaster to get the RNG/POW 15 shot off.
Daemon – The ugly step child. Hits softer than a Sphinx, costs 3 points more and has a lower threat range… It has an AOE grouping gun but that’s about it. Honestly, get any other Warjack. It’s not a cheap beatstick. It doesn’t have an awesome ranged game. Move on!
Manticore – Lot of little improvements for the Manticore and some losses. It lost its Chain Attack and when from ROF3 to ROFD3. It’s still pretty low P+S wise but has a much better covering fire action (and doesn’t need extra Focus to shoot its D3 shots). In a pinch with Force Generator / Concentrated Power its P+S20 and has an improved melee range but you are really taking the Manticore for the covering fire wall template. If you need a beatstick, look elsewhere. If you need straight shooting anti-infantry, look elsewhere. If you are looking for some control against infantry, solid option.
Sphinx – The Vyre STR improvement had no bigger impact than for the Sphinx along with a points reduction (essentially 6.5 MK2 points). P+S17 (and P+S15 off hand) is nothing to sneeze at for so cheap. The Sphinx’s weapon has also changed to not provide boosts to magic rolls but rather an increased RNG on magic attacks. For all of those 8″ and 10″ spells used by Warcasters / Battle Mages / Artificers / Magisters / etc., +3″ of RNG is the difference between being in someone’s threat range and out. What you eventually get is a cheap beatstick with some great utility on anyone who wants to be slinging spells (keep in mind there is no restriction on using this RNG boost for magic spells when channeled through an Arc Node…).
Moros – DEF14 is nothing to be sneezed at. It’s still pretty expensive for a light but much cheaper than before. Its weapon still reduces defense and that’s the main reason you’re taking Moros and it still suffers from a short range. Snipe from Ravyn could help this out and get her shooting things hitting more reliably but there are often much better Snipe targets.
Gorgon – Increase the POW of the weapon and give it a meaningful ability. And drop its points. Make it useful they said, and make it useful they did. That being said, it’s not a piece I see that is going to be reached for option except in a few scenarios (i.e. Helynna lists where Rhythm of War / Feat do so much for them).
Chimera – It’s the same but significantly cheaper which makes it a loser easier to take as a cheap arc node. I expect to see the Chimera paired with another heavy much more often now than the Phoenix or doubled up themselves (two Chimeras are cheaper than a Phoenix for example). Its fast, can disengage itself, can still poke in combat with its Combo Strike (for a light) and is an Arc Node. You are taking it for it being an Arc Node, don’t try and dissuade yourself to anything else. But it does that job cheaply now. Power Up also essentially gives it +1DEF if you don’t run with it which can really help against RAT5.
Griffon – No changes. Same essential points cost and for that reason I feel the Griffon has gone down in value as everything else around it improved. It’s still a great spammable tool though with a decent P+S, access to Pathfinder, a Shield for improved ARM and when provided with some bonuses (i.e. Synergy), can hit pretty hard / help build up a chain. The Griffon is still serviceable but outside of specific uses like in a Synergy list, the Griffon will remain where it always has – wondering why heavier warjacks get picked instead of it (particularly with the Sphinx being so cheap with much better hitting power, staying power and utility).
Aspis – No longer has crazy high hitboxes with the change to its powerfield but its dirt cheap at 3 MK2 points (3!!!!). Otherwise it still does its job – its cheap, it has shield guard and can regenerate shields and can poke away with Beat Back. Throw this model under an Artificer and with Force Wall and a regenerating Aspis, you have a pretty safe Warcaster for 11 PC.
Scyrah always had some pretty good Warjacks but lacked extra tools to really run them efficiently outside of particular lists (i.e. eVyros). The changes to Power Up and Arcanists (which allow Focus to be applied regardless of current Focus count, still remove Disruption and auto-repair) in general will see more Warjacks. Add in that a lot of them have become cheaper and just plain better, and expect to see these guys a lot more (though the infantry of Scyrah still kicks ass). Scyrah still has some of the best combined arms heavy options with each Warjack outside of a couple of the Lights (Aspis, Griffon, etc.) packing two initials and and a ranged weapon opens up a lot of options. I think the Banshee / Sphinx along with the character jacks (other than Hypnos who I think will stay as a buddy for Ossyan but we’re going to see him a lot so…) are going to be your most common options along with notable mentions to the Chimera / Aspis for Arc Nodes and defensive tech. That being said, nearly every other Warjack I think will see a lot of use other than perhaps the Daemon and Hydra. Even then though, the Hydra with Power Up and options like AFG Range Booster, Kaelyssa’s Phantom Hunter, Ossyan’s Future Sight, etc. give it some scary options to poke at with POW/RNG15.