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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Elysian List Review Part 00111: Heavy Support

This brings us to our final Chapter of the Elysian army list from Imperial Armour 8. Not too bad for 2 days work and no prior thought put into this, eh?
...and now you know why I don't write army reviews. But anyhow, it's time to close this chapter in my life and move on. Plus I've just about run out of Apocalypse Now pictures that I feel are relevant to my uses.

The heavy support choices are a bit of a mixed bag. In my own list, I don't even use any of them. This is partially an issue with me not owning the models, but partly an issue with not finding that they heavy support did anything I needed them to do. There is quite a bit of wasted space and needless repetition here.

Vulture Gunship
Arguably the only of the Heavy Support Choices that is worth considering for most games.

For 5 points more than a Valkyrie you get the same unit, minus transport and scout, but more heavily armed. Here let's see if you can apply the transitive property of equality to the following equations:
Vulture= Valkyrie +5points + more guns - transport - scout
Shit= Valkyrie +5points + more guns - transport - scout

Fresh from the factory it comes with a nose heavy bolter, a twin-linked multi-laser, two hellstrike missiles, a searchlight and extra armor. So all ready we have a decent amount of fire output, but save the hellstrikes, none of it is particularly good against vehicles. Plus, those hellstrikes have got to go.

Want a veritable cornucopia of options to choose from? Well you asked for it...
  • Replace your multilaser with a twin-linked autocannon (price of IG power fist), twin-linked missile launcher (price of a power fist and a melta), twin-linked lascannon (price of 3 meltas), or 2 multiple rocket pods (price of 4 melta guns). Well finally, we can take an autocannon. Plus it's on a platform that can really move. Now if only you had scout, you could get those first turn side armor shots all day long. Not nearly as efficient as Hydras or heavy weapon squads, but it could help you out. Screw the missiles. Ditch the lascannon, vendettas do it better. Do you really need more rocket pods? Shouldn't you already have 3+ sets of those already on your transports?
  • Replace hellstrikes with 6 heavy bombs (price of 4 melta guns), 6 hunter-killer missiles (costed as bombs), or 2 multiple rocket pods (price of 3 meltas). Bombs seem like a great idea, but FW forgot to put the rules in the book. Dipshits. Bombs look very powerful on paper, until you realize that they are random as fuck. They use that stupid hippy flower shaped template to determine hits. No peacenicks in my Guard. I can tell you from experience that that template sucks ass. You'll never hit what you want with them. Hunter-killers wouldn't be a bad bet, but don't forget your BS sucks. More multiple rocket pods. Well I guess if you fucked up your list and don't have any infantry killing stuff elsewhere, the prospect of 4 total rocket pods on a vulture is funny.
  • Replace your multi-laser AND hellstrike missiles with twin-linked punisher cannons. At the price of a Witch Hunters rhino, this is pricey. You can't tell me that you don't want to roll and re-roll all those dice, though. But at the end of the day you've just got more anti-infantry fire. Do you need that?
  • You can also take flare/chaff, armored cockpit, infra-red targeting, illum flare, and a distinctive paint scheme/decals. Flare/chaff lets you re-roll on the damage chart if you're immobilised- whoopee. Cockpit let you ignore shaken and stunned on a 4+- this is very useful. Infrared gives you acute senses... and I should care because? Illum flares are a single use and illuminate a target in night fighting so everybody can see it- so it's a fancy searchlight. You already have a regular one, do you really need to upgrade to the bat signal? Distinctive paint scheme lets one friendly unit within LOS re-roll a failed moral check. You don't take standards do you? This is no different.
Bottom line- this is a cool unit that suffers from the problem of not adding anything new that your transports and fast attack choices don't already do cheaper. Punisher cannons could prove useful in high points games as your efficiency changes.

Sentry Gun Battery
Great another crap unit with a ton of rules to explain.

I'll get to the bottom line first- More FW shoehorning. You don't need these and you can't expect them to hit anything anyway. Continue reading if that wasn't convincing enough.

For the cost of a Sentinel you get a unit with the same Armor values. They have that ultra-amazing automated gun BS2. Good luck with that. They are immobile artillery. They get a pair of twin-linked Heavy Bolters and can deep strike. For the price of a melta gun you can upgrade to a twin-linked lascannon (2/3 chance of hitting, which is ok all things considered, but not really worth the points- You could just about get another melta Sentinel for the same cost). If you like throwing away points, you can also give these camo netting.

Before the game begins, you must choose a firing mode. Here are the choices:
  • point defence mode- set up with a fixed 90 degree firing arc. You can shoot at targets up to 36" away. Not bad, but that arc could really limit your options.
  • Sentry mode- 360 degree arc with an 18" range. The short ass range kills this one for me.
  • Interceptor- this is a new one and only works in Planetstrike. Your gun fires as an interceptor and only as an interceptor, per Planetstrike's rules. This is useful. <=== hey Internet, that was sarcasm.
And as a last little fuck you from the designers, the model has goofy targeting rules. You must fire at a "preferred target" if possible. If no preferred target is available, you must shoot the closest enemy in range. A heavy bolter fires at non-vehicles and a lascannon will fire at vehicles and monstrous creatures. This will cause just about as many rules disputes as rage when determining things like who is the closest target. Well it would if anybody were dumb enough to take these anyway.

Valkyrie Sky Talon Transport
Strangely enough this unit is a dedicated transport, but the rules say it is also a heavy support choice that doesn't occupy FOC slots. Weird. This guy costs 5 points less than a Hydra or Griffon. It has the same armor as a Valkyrie and is a fast skimmer. It can deep strike and it has the sky lift rule. Sky lift lets you carry a single Tauros or Tauros Venator. You can alternatively carry 2 Sentinels. Maybe you might want to carry in a heavy flamer Ford Tauros, but other than that skip it. Plus the arguably better Valkyrie can carry a Tauros, too. Why would I carry Sentinels that can deep strike? If I could take heavy flamer Sentinels, this might be useful, but as it is now- not so much.

It comes with a nose-mounted heavy bolter and two hellstrike missiles. You also get a searchlight and extra armor. The only option available is to replace the missiles with multiple rocket pods at codex: IG cost. If you're not already running a bunch of Valkyries this would give you some fire support. If you're not already running a bunch of Valkyries, why are you playing Elysians?

Bottom line- this could be an interesting unit, but unfortunately fails to contribute anything useful to the army. Not having scout kills its usefulness as a transport for fast, scout vehicles and deep striking vehicles. If you were playing Apocalypse, this counts as a flyer. That makes it much more useful as a transport. Hi, I just dropped a bunch of Melta Sentinels into your rear arc with no chance of deep strike mishaps on turn 1.

Imperial Navy Air Support
Ooh shiny flyers outside of Apocalypse. Sounds broken. Well maybe if they weren't shitty, it would be. You can choose either a Thunderbolt or a Lightning. Both have the same armor as a Sentinel and are flyers. As flyers they are fairly difficult to kill. They have the 4+ moving fast save all the time, but Immobilised results kill you. Their mobility will also allow you to easily get side/rear shots on vehicles and can be used to shield you from assaults and block movement very effectively. The model size will, unfortunately add to the battlefield clutter (the Thunderbolt, in particular is god damn huge) and you'll never get cover ever.

The points costs on these are obscene. The Thunderbolt costs as much as 6 codex: IG platoon command squads, while the lightning is only 15 points less. These are as expensive as Leman Russes and are more fragile and have less firepower. Their mobility makes up for this somewhat, but I can't see these being too helpful overall.

Either fighter can take flare/chaff, an armored cockpit, infra-red targeting, illum flares, and a distinctive paint job. As with the Vulture, you need the cockpit and can probably skip the rest. But the flare/chaff does become useful as it could avoid an immobilised result. Too bad it costs 20 points and stands a very slim chance of actually doing you any good.

The Thunderbolt comes with 2 twin-linked autocannons (YES!!! autocannons, I've missed you). It also comes with a twin-linked lascannon. That is actually pretty scary for something that can basically be anywhere on the board it wants to be. You cn also carry 4 hellstrike missiles, hellfury missiles, or bombs at a cost of 4 melta guns. Well the writers forgot to include bomb stats or hellfury missile stats in the book. I already talked about heavy bombs. The same thing goes for regular bombs, but they suck balls against vehicles. Skip these. I don't even know what the fuck hellfury missiles are. I can't find rules for them in anything I own. I'm assuming they are some kind of large blast anti-infantry napalm stuff. If you do know what they do, please leave a comment. As always, hellstrike missiles just don't seem worth the points.

The Lightning gets a long-barrelled autocannon with an AA mount with a twin-linked lascannon. The AA mount isn't important in most games, but the long-barelled autocannon gets you extra range. All said and done, you're losing a lot of shooting versus the Thunderbolt, for a pretty paltry points reduction. You have the same bomb and missile options as the Thunderbolt, but can also take 6 Skystrike missiles for the price of a Witch Hunters rhino (wow, expensive). As you might have predicted, there are no rules for these given, and I don't know what they do. Seriously, they didn't even put the rules in the fucking FAQ. How dumb is that? If I had to guess, though, I'd say they are probably AA mounted hunter-killers. This might not be so bad.

Bottom line- The Lightning isn't worth it. The Thunderbolt gives you a surprisingly good amount of firepower in a very mobile unit. It is quite expensive, though, and the gigantic model takes up a lot of space. Space is likely something you don't have to spare with Elysians as it is. This could be a problem.


Lauby said...

nice binary joke.

For those of you who haven't seen a Thunderbolt in person, take it from one who owns one:

IT IS CRAZY HUGE! Like the same size as one of the plastic imperial super heavy tanks. It's like its in a different scale almost. Its something like 10 inches long and 12 inches across and very chunky.

Super sweet model, but huge.

SandWyrm said...

Tisk tisk... Do you really need 5 bits for the review number when 4 would do? :P

Dethtron said...

If I actually knew anything more about binary than what google told me, I might have an answer for you Sandy....

SandWyrm said...

Tip: Using any number of bits that isn't a power of two wastes memory. :)

The_King_Elessar said...

"Its something like 10 inches long and 12 inches across and very chunky."

Boner City FTW.