A good day to you, my fellow Mage Hunters,
Today’s installment concerns the Manticore, one of our heavy myrmidons. It is probably our most hard-hitting, but also most versatile ‘jack. The Manticore is an exponent of the Retribution’s attitude toward warfare: be ready for anything! Let me now what you think; feedback and discussion is welcomed and encouraged as always.
Here we go!
”Calling this myrmidon after an ancient word for ‘maneater’ seemed to be dead on, don’t you say, Praxys?”
The three heavy myrmidons available to the Retribution to date, including the Manticore, all share the same chassis. They are fast for heavy ’jacks at SPD6, granting them a basic threat range of 9.5” on the charge. The STR of a heavy myrmidon is not great at 10, so for decent slam damage you’ll want to boost damage. Both these stats equal that of a standard Cryxian or Circle heavy. On a Manticore though, the STR stat is a little misleading (see Skills & Abilities)…
A heavy myrmidon has a MAT of 6, equaling that of a basic Khadoran or Protectorate heavy. You’ll hit DEF13 on average with 2d6, which means you are able to hit every non-Legion/non-Circle heavy out there without a boost to hit. Their RAT of 5 is on the low side relatively, like that of their standard Cryxian or Protectorate counterparts. You’ll need a boost to hit more often with a ranged attack, but luckily the Manticore also has a firing mode that doesn’t require a to hit roll at all.
The DEF12 and ARM18 of a heavy myrmidon are similar to that of a basic Cygnaran heavy. The Manticore won’t be missed by an attack often, but it’ll happen on more occasions then with a Khadoran heavy. When it gets hit, a heavy myrmidon’s armor will hold up to some beatings, but that’s not where its resilience comes from.
For a myrmidon’s defining aspect is its Field Generator. The Manticore’s damage grid might look like that of a Cryxian Slayer at first glance, but you should imagine another 10 boxes in it: this is the Arcantrik Field, which sucks up damage until it’s depleted. Luckily it can be regenerated d3 boxes by the ‘jack, with a focus point.
A Manticore will cost you 8 points, which means this is our cheapest heavy.
Weapons & Attacks
Looking at the model, you’ll immediately notice the huge arm blades of the Manticore. These Saber Fists are its defining weapons. They hit at a standard P+S15, which beats up low-ARM enemies just fine.
When you need a little more ‘oomph’ though, a Manticore can perform a Combo Strike *Attack. This means you can plant a P+S20 wherever you need it, which comes in handy when you’re in a situation where you probably won’t get more than one strike in (like against a Revenger with its Repulsor Shield), or when you need to kill the target in one hit.
Keeping in line with heavy myrmidon design philosophy, the Manticore also has a ranged weapon: the Cyclone Cannon. Being able to fulfill multiple rolls by being proficient in more than one attack discipline (in this case melee and ranged), is what defines the flexibility of a Retribution heavy. The Manticore’s unmatched in this approach, as the Cyclone Cannon has two firing modes. Both benefit from the Magical property, so wraiths and Menite ‘jacks beware!
The Cyclone Cannon’s normal ranged attack is a RNG12, POW12 shot. This is equal to a Handcannon shot, which is nothing to scoff at. Better still, the gun is ROF3! As the Manticore’s RAT isn’t spectacular, it will either need to get the aiming bonus, boost the to hit roll or pick a low-DEF target (or any combination of the three of course). A POW12 with boosted damage can put some serious dents in whatever it hits, so you should be going for medium/heavy infantry or light ‘jacks/’beasts. Warcasters and warlocks are fair game as well, obviously: as I said with the Stormfall Archers, “boosted POW12’s kill ‘casters (I believe it was Haight who coined this iconic phrase, though I’m not sure).
In normal circumstances, a Manticore with full focus allocation (3 points) can fire:
- One boosted (either to hit or to damage) shot and two unboosted shots;
- One fully boosted (both to hit and to damage) shot and one unboosted shot.
Apart from simply blasting holes in people and other random stuff, the Manticore can also focus its fire on a select part of the battlefield. This mode, the Covering Fire *Action, allows you to place a 3”AOE anywhere completely within the Cyclone Cannon’s current RNG (yes, Snipe affects this), whereby its center point has to be within LOS of the Manticore (ignoring intervening models). Every model entering or ending its activation in the AOE suffers a POW12 damage roll. This superb firing mode thus allows the Manticore to deny the enemy part of the battlefield: most infantry will simply die when they walk into this zone of death, while higher-ARM models (barring maybe heavy ‘jacks and ‘casters with overboosted power fields) will feel the hurt. The AOE stays put for a round or until the Manticore that generated it is destroyed, whichever happens first.
Covering Fire allows you to shield certain approaches to your battle line. Of course, this tool of denial increases in effectiveness with each Manticore using it: you can shield entire units or sections of the battlefield when placing multiple AOEs next to each other. Inversely, you can force your opponents to move his models away as you cover them with the AOE (like on, say, a unit of Long Gunners).
Moreover, the definition of entering also covers involuntary movement like pushes or slams: if a target model is pushed or slammed into the AOE, it will suffer the POW12 (see the Infernal ruling on this here).
Also, as worded, you can stack multiple AOEs on top of each other (see the Infernal ruling on this here), forcing enemies to take multiple POW12 damage rolls. In the event you will have several Manticore’s all shooting the same piece of land to hell, anyone dumb enough to go and/or stay there will receive as many POW12 damage rolls as there are Manticores firing.
Take note! The AOE does not discriminate, so don’t lay it there where your own models need to go (read: enter and end their activations) if their ARM can’t take the hit. You can still lay the AOE on top of friendly models, as long as they’ve ended their activations already. Remember, enemy models without Reach cannot attack a model that has the AOE directly on top of it without taking that POW12! This makes for quite an effective deterrent for non-Reach enemies: solos, unit leaders, and of course warcasters gain significant protection from a zone of POW12 damage rolls, allowing them to overextend themselves and mitigate the possible retaliation (thanks to thecsharian for reminding me to put this here).
Skills & Abilities
If you want even more power out of a standard attack or a Combo Strike, the Manticore has a beautiful ability called Force Generator. By spending 1 focus point, the Manticore can gain +3 STR. This brings the myrmidon to STR13, which is at the top of the spectrum for any ‘jack or ‘beast. With the Force Generator active, the Manticore’s Saber Fists become P+S18 each, and the Combo Strike even reaches a whopping P+S23!
The Force Generator doesn’t only benefit the Manticore’s punches though: this myrmidon is our best power attacker. Slam damage increases, Tramples can kill harder targets and (two-handed) Throws not only become far harder to resist but can also toss an enemy 1.5” farther.
All this flexibility and power comes at a price, of course. Just like every other myrmidon, the Manticore is Field Dependent. This means that when the ‘jack’s Field Generator is crippled, it loses access to systems that derive their power from the arcantrik field. In the case of the Manticore, a crippled generator denies it the use of the Force Generator and the Cyclone Cannon. So no +3 STR, no normal ranged attacks and no Covering Fire!