New Units with an Infantry Twist

If you haven’t noticed that Hawk released the stats for their new units, then you probably haven’t found this post yet. Just in case the impossible happened, or you have forgotten the stats on some of these new monstrosities:

http://www.hawkwargames.com/collections/summer-releases

Okay. Now that you have read them, I’m going to tell you what I think. A disclaimer, I play PHR and Shaltari.

Hazard Suit Team

These guys seem to be setting a new bar for infantry. High armor (at least for infantry), bad CQB, and big guns. Putting these bad boys on a window will be very interesting, because most small arms fire will have a hard time taking them out with A4 and body cover. On the other hand, falling masonry only damages them on a 6, so unless you plan on dropping the building they are in, it’s almost not worth it. If you really want to take these out, it looks like those E6-8 weapons found throughout many armies are going to have some more targets. On the other hand, they will drop in CQB just as fast as Braves, which means slowly if you don’t bring enough dice. Between these, technicals and Shaltari Warsuits, I think we’re going to see a reason to take the Manslayer on type-3 walkers, and more of those dropship missiles will see a reason to open fire.

Now, there is a line in the transportation notes for the Hazard Suits that reads:

Transport: 1x Bear APC (2 units only). In addition, may share 1x condor medium dropship with another squad of either: Heavy Hazard Suit Team, Colonial Legionnaire Squad, Mortar Team or Anti-Aircraft Flak Team.

I hope that this is an oversight, although it is not a new one as the Praetorians are still listed as sharing their dropships with Legionnaires. As it reads, Hazards Suits will not be able to share a Condor with Legionnaires, Mortar Teams, or Anti-Aircraft Flak Teams until the battlegroup structure undergoes some radical changes. The other option is to put two teams of Hazard Suits in your Expeditionary group and limit your access to Praetorians. It is an option, but I really want to see Hazards suits pour out of one Bear, and fifteen, yes, fifteen, Praetorians jump out of another.

Anti-Aircraft Flak Team

This unit really mixes things up. An infantry unit that is dedicated to AA. They are terrible at CQB, and not at all resistant to incoming fire. What they do have, is the ability to shoot things out of the sky at a fairly cheap cost. They are a little bit cheaper to bring sans dropship that a squad of Wolverine As. They have more shots, although the Flak Team’s ability to get to locations quickly is much less than the Wolverine’s. They can also be dropped inside a building, or even on top of a building. I don’t know how much these guys will shake things up, but I am definitely interested to see an infantry heavy UCM force on the table. They now have the ability to bring anti-tank and anti-air in their infantry, which is definitely a new twist.

Presumably that little asterisk next to their RW rule is going to be the same as the Mortar team, meaning that it takes two DP to knock out one shot of their AA.

Screamer and Raider

Great! Another Scourge unit with a name beginning with “R”! I’m never going to get any of their units straight.

That said, the Raider looks amazing! A flying unit with ten flame shots that can be split between two different targets. That will mess some infantry up. Pair that with the screamer itself which makes nearby enemy infantry get worse at searching, CQBing, focal pointing, and shooting, and you end up with a nasty combination. Now consider that this monstrosity is a support slot and can be paired up with any Scourge infantry, and you have a true monster. Imagine, your super elite unit clears out a building of those lowly Scourge Warriors, only to be flamed in the face, screamed at until it hurts, and then pounced on by Eviscerators!

Now, the price tag of 110 points for a Screamer plus its speedy plasma hoses is quite high for a unit specialized to work against infantry and is incapable of picking up objectives in buildings. I still think it’s a fair price. The unit has the potential to shake up the way Scourge play in a big way. Fortunately, it only has armor 7 and no active countermeasures, and will go down quickly. Although, you must be sure to take it down because those E11 claws it carries are not to be shrugged at.

Vampires

The name inspires fear, the stats inspire interest. I believe that Vampires are the cheapest AA units in the came. A squad coming at at a whopping 30 or 60 points, depending on how big you want it. Now, that only buys you a few E5 AA shots, but they seem like excellent light dropship hunters. They can attach to any large or Medium dropship already in your army meaning that the Vampires are incredibly flexible. I’m not sure how often we will see these guys, what with Reapers already filling the role of aggressive AA, but if you don’t want to add more scouts to your force a squad of Vampires will give you more options.

Medusa

The PHR and the unequivocal winners of this round of units. Let’s start with the Medusa.

Wow!

This thing is a beast and helps the PHR get the volume of shots that they had been missing in a big way before this. Unlike the Immortal Sniper Team, which has its strong points, the Medusa gets Focus-2 and Strafe for her 10 E7 shots. This means she can go for those high DP targets with a handful of heavy hits, or sweep through those pesky squads of numerous low armor targets. Not to mention, she can also heal, much like the Hades.

She really shines on defense despite having only armor 1. She carries that massive avoiding fire skill that is only found on the Freeriders, of Evasion +3. I fundamentally disagree with this level of Evasion on anything, but she were to lose it, her 90 point cost would need to go down a little. Also, she can fly over buildings.

I was hoping to find that the Medusa would spend time in buildings hurling bodies through the walls with her massive swarm. Alas, QCB is not what she is meant for. Although, she does contribute 5 dice to a single nearby squad without any risk to her vulnerable swarm.

Imagine, if you will, a Medusa, Valkyries, and Mercuries in one squad. That would be one of the most effective groups in the game at supporting infantry. The Valkyries are fast enough to get into the fray much quicker than other PHR units, the Mercuries make search roles better, and the Medusa can add her extra dice, possibly tipping the scales of a fight.

The Triton X is an interesting unit as well. A triton with 2DP, which might be awesome. More importantly, it has its own non template version of the black nanomachines, and it can also regenerate the Medusa. One point a turn is not breathtaking for a 10DP unit, but considering the Medusa relies on her DP to be effective, the Triton is probably worth the 40 point investment.

Valkyrie

Queue https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YOYlgvI1uE and enjoy. An infantry scout unit that can fly. Not to mention that these ladies might have the edge over Immortals in CQB, which are pretty solid at close quarters death dealing. It’s going to be a tough sell to take Mercuries, which make their objective roll better, over Valkyries which make an objective roll and also have the potential to put some serious hurt on other infantry units, like Freeriders, or Medusae with their submachine guns.

It is worth noting that they don’t need to land to disembark, which means they can ignore the LZ is hot rule. This may become very important when trying to contest focal points of when sneaking into a building on the enemy’s side of the table.

Pungari

I have to admit, I was really excited for these. Now, I’m not sure how they will be useful. One squad has a lot of DP and a large volume of shots, and nothing else going for it. They aren’t actually cheaper than Braves (unless their cost goes up again). I’m not sure that they would consistently win a CQB against a similarly priced 15 Legionnaires. My first thought with the Pungari was that they could draw some dice away from Braves or Firstborns, but I think another squad of Braves would fulfill that purpose more effectively.

Against something like Freeriders or the Medusa, 40 shots from the Pungari will actually not be much less likely to hit, because they were already going to miss on fours.

If Pungari could be taken in squads of two bases, they would be worth it in my mind. They could draw CQB dice away from Braves or Firstborns for less than the cost of a squad of Braves. Alternatively, if their CQB and not just their Fortitude value increased in the presence of Shaltari, they would be a very interesting and sometimes useful unit.

I really want to like the Pungari, and I think their fluff is awesome, especially the part about dying in droves to impress the Shaltari, but I’m not sure I can justify using them.

Samurai

Now this is a unit I’m all for. I like Yaris, I think that they’re awesome, but I always wished that the Microwave gun could hit infantry hiding in a building. Well now, the Shaltari have a way to flame that doesn’t include putting the commander in the line of fire.

Each Samurai has only two shots, but those shots are E5, just like the Gharial. It seems like E5 is going to be the purview of Shaltari flame weapons. A standard squad of scouts with three or four Samurai will be able to put six to eight shots into a building before any firstborn jump in to clean up. If those Samurai are exposed to enemy fire, they will drop like flies with their paltry armor of 5 and no skimmer bonus. A passive save of 6+ might save them on a super lucky day, but relying on that save will spell the doom of the Samurai. On top of the flaming atomizers, the Samurai can hit the building with their swords, possibly adding a falling masonry point or two to the damage dealt.

I don’t think Samurai will replace Yaris, but they definitely add another viable option. It is also worth noting, that now Ramses the famous commander can now take a scout battlegroup in his army.

Final Thoughts

I have to admit, I’m impressed overall. The Medusa seems a little extreme for the thus far hardish sci fi feel of the game, but the PHR did start with mechs, so it’s not entirely out of left field. It’s good to see that Dave is still thoughtfully filling in gaps in armies trying to balance things out while still keeping each faction unique and interesting.

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