Certainly one of the most anticipated releases for Retribution players after the Wrath book release, the Banshee is a powerful model that brings many useful abilities to the table without being as focus starved as the Shyeel series myrmidons.
BANSHEE: RETRIBUTION HEAVY MYRMIDON
"Silence grants wisdom. Deny your enemies that advantage." -Garryth, Blade of Retribution
Vyre vs. Shyeel
First off, Vyre myrmidons lack the Force Field Generators of their Shyeel cousins, but they have one more armor and more damage boxes. Vyre myrmidons are also a bit slower. There are pros and cons to these changes that list makers should be aware of:
+ More armor means less damage per attack. Good against multiple attacks from units and solos.
+ No Generator (G system) means you don't have to worry about losing your ranged attack. In fact, the guns on Vyre myrms never go offline until the warjack is destroyed!
+ No worrying about spending your warcaster's precious Focus to regenerate d3 boxes on Force Fields.
- Attacks with large damage rolls may cripple systems quicker without the Force Field.
- No self-repairing Force Field for the cost of a Focus.
- Slower approach, less threat range than Shyeel myrmidons.
As mentioned above, lower SPD than a Shyeel, but better ARM. STR, MAT, RAT, and DEF are standard for Retribution myrms.
At SPD 5 and having one weapon with reach, the Banshee has a melee threat range of 10" and a run-to-engage range of 12". With RNG 12 on the gun, the move-and-shoot RNG is 17".
STR 10 is okay. The power attacks you'll likely be using won't be affected too much by the stat, but there may be trouble if another model attempts to throw, push, or lock up your Banshee. Not awful, but not amazing.
RAT 5 means you'll want to start boosting to hit pretty early on the DEF ladder.
MAT 6 is decent, but will still need to boost to reliably hit anything higher than DEF 12-13.
PC 10 is pretty normal these days for our best heavies, and this one is definitely up there. Definitely worth every point.
Lacks the Force Field of Shyeel heavies, but has more damage boxes in its grid.
Compare it to the Phoenix, the most resilient Shyeel myrmidon:
• Phoenix: 24 boxes + 10 Force Field (Field auto-regens d6 every turn, can regen additional d3 for Focus cost)
• Banshee: 30 boxes, but higher ARM
So, not as resilient as the Phoenix, but still rugged. It's a debated topic, and each chassis has their strengths.
Alone, these stats are okay. However, just like all Retribution myrmidons, the power isn't in the stats but in the special traits and abilities!
Weapons and Attacks
Ranged: Force Cannon
This is your bread and butter. Dry, the 12" RNG and POW 14 are pretty good, Magical Weapon is useful, but the real money is Momentum. Slams small-medium based models d3" directly away and knocks down large based models, suffering the POW of the weapon for damage. This. Is. AMAZING. It'd be nice if it just knocked models down, but to slam them is very generous.
This brings many possibilities to the faction that was generally only available via Rahn and the AFG before. Slamming models at range is very powerful; you can play the Banshee near the middle lines and knock things down for other models to shoot or auto-hit in melee. Being far back can also assist its survival; no better way to survive than to be out of threat range! You can line up your opponents models to try and knock down priority targets; you can even run one of your own models up and try to slam it into an opposing model.
Also, keep in mind that when a slammed target makes contact with another model with an obstruction or equal-to-larger based model you add an additional die for damage. Boost for damage and that model is suffering a POW 14 on four dice. If that model is a warnoun with no Focus or Fury, that's a potential one-shot.
It's ROF 1, but any higher and it'd be broken. Also, this is good on early turns as you won't really need more than 1-2 precious Focus on the Banshee when shooting. Very efficient compared to most of the Shyeel models.
In a faction where there are very few to-hit buffs, the ability to knock down models is invaluable. True, the Arcantrik Force Generator brought this ability to Retribution sooner, but the Banshee has a smaller base so will be less likely to step on the rest of your army's toes, cannot be targeted as easily, has better melee options, and has access to the Focus mechanic. Also, a Banshee is more easily transported than the AFG.
Luckily, the wording on Momentum doesn't prevent it from doing damage to huge bases, so if you need another shot to finish off a Colossal, Gargantuan, or Battle Engine, the Banshee can deliver.
Melee: Heavy Void Blade and Light Void Blade
Respective P+S 17 and 14 is very decent.
Reach on the left hand, not on the right. Magical Weapon is still nice, and Critical Grievous Wounds is awesome if it happens, but don't count on it too much.
No open fists, so you won't be throwing or locking up any models, but you could just keep them at bay and shoot them with your cannon.
I rave about the ranged weapon on Banshee, but the melee capabilities are also among the best of our myrmidons. From this analysis of melee damage, you can see that overall the Banshee meets or beats every other myrmidon in damage output except for the Manticore at lower DEF, the character myrms at higher DEF, and, of course, the Hyperion.
Incredible gun, excellent potential in melee, and there's still something more.
Skills and Abilities
Wailing is a very nice feature on an already impressive model thus far. Models within 5" cannot give or receive orders or cast spells. If the big swords weren't scary enough, this potentially nerfing ability will make your opponent think twice about running to engage this model. Shutting down your opponent is always great, and unit orders are one of the few things Arcane Assassin doesn't ignore, making those models even deadlier in tandem with Banshees. A fantastic addition to an already great model.
Now that we know why this model's expensive in points, on to the synergies...