July 11, 2017 by crew
July is the second month of “Armoured Assault” releases for Warzone: Resurrection by Prodos Games and just like last month, it comprises of one brand new unit for the game and a new model for an existing unit.
Cybertronic get the Nova, a new unmanned flyer that gives the faction a viable alternative to the reliable Atilla, while Dark Legion forces marching under the banner of Algeroth get a new model for the Wolf Spider, the light vehicle version of the Black Widow.
Officially this new model represents the Wolf Spider, the light vehicle version of the Black Widow which already has a great looking (if structurally flawed) model of its own. Until this release, Legion players will have been using the larger model for both, but with a new design and compact size that offers up a silhouette no larger than the Mule, it won’t be a surprise if players choose to use this new model for both variants!
On the table, the Wolf Spider has three notable features. First, the vehicle has Transport (12), making it the largest capacity transport in the game. Second, it is the best-armed transport in the game, with a reasonable close combat weapon and a pair of mid-range HMGs that will let you throw a lot of dice yet still move 12” in a turn.
Finally, the vehicle is fast, with Speed 6 and Ranger. It isn’t as nippy as Fenris bikes because only bikes can perform a Full Throttle action to squeeze some extra power out of the engines, but this still allows the Wolf Spider to be 24” up the table in turn one if you are willing to give up the opportunity to attack.
The Wolf Spider – Tabletop Tactics
In an army with no way to give a deployment option to a squad that doesn’t have one, these features would seem to make it the ideal way of transporting a large and otherwise slow squad of Undead Legionnaires across the table, but in my opinion this is a mistake; For the same cost, a Nephrite of Algeroth and a basic Neromutant to lead the squad will give you more or less the same speed and AP efficiency and more importantly it will allow those Legionnaires to be firing all the way.
Considering how many Valcheck machine guns that squad can carry, you want those space zombies marching on foot if at all possible so that they can be shooting every turn.
The other reason you don’t want to put all of your undead eggs in this one basket is the weak armour, which can be defeated quite easily by infantry weapons. Disabling the walker’s legs is the easiest option for your opponent but that simply turns the Wolf Spider into a rather nasty turret, so the preferred option will be to destroy it outright. This means an ST 16 auto hit for the passengers which will almost certainly wipe out any zombies hiding inside.
Granted the vehicle has a small chance of shrugging off each hit (20%) thanks to the Repair ability and also a chance to regenerate a lost wound each turn, but the odds are not in your favour; It is likely your Wolf Spider will take three hits to a critical location before succeeding at a single Repair roll and once the vehicle is destroyed, Regenerate doesn’t help it one bit.
So who benefits most from the transport capacity? Conventional wisdom would suggest a squad of Necromutants armed with their grenades and as many flamethrowers as possible, but I think a better combination would be the Illian Nepharite Kerheela with two Razides acting as bodyguards.
Both Kerheela and the Razides are tough enough to survive the destruction of the transport (should that happen) and Kerheela really needs the mobility because she can’t rely on Void Portals to get around when taken in an Algeroth list.
It will make for an expensive combo, but Kerheela with Call of Corruption will really mess with your opponent and it allows this little Death Star squad to deal with two enemy squads at once. Disembark Kerheela with the Razides deployed close enough to take some hits for her, then once their activation comes around, have Kerheela use her power Slowed Time on the nearest enemy squad that has not activated yet, which is likely to be successful thanks to the Willpower debuff aura of the Wolf Spider.
Next, spend a resource to give Kerheela another AP and cast Call of Corruption in the middle of the squad (assuming they failed the WP test) or between the enemy squad and her own (if they passed) so that Kerheela and the Razides can heal some of the damage they may have taken since disembarking.
Now the Razides can open up on a second squad and more or less ignore that first, who will have to be activated at some point that turn. If the squad failed their save against Slowed Time they will activate, be unable to spend actions and then punished with a CON auto-hit because they couldn’t move away from Call of Corruption.
If they passed their save, your opponent will likely want to retreat from the Call of Corruption token leaving them with no AP to actually attack unless they spend resources for an extra AP. Either way, Kerheela will make a mess of that squad in Close Combat on her next activation.
Combat Deck Options
Here are some useful cards from the Advanced Combat Deck which work well with this combo, depending on how far away that first enemy squad is…
Lightweight Weapons & Well of Despair / Field Repairs: Although expensive resource wise, these three cards help to get your Wolf Spider into the relative ‘safety’ of Close Combat and also assist the transported squad if they also want to get into melee range. By taking advantage of the fact that a Charge only costs 1 AP and does not prevent your Wolf Spider from performing the Disembark action, you have a 16″ threat range that should allow you to charge most enemy squads in your half of the table on the first turn.
If the target squad have Fearless, play Well of Despair on the Spider to negate that ability once it scuttles into range and this will help both the Wolf Spider and the squad ready to jump out the back – after all, every Legion model causes Fear. If the enemy squad does not have Fearless, play Field Repairs instead to help keep the transport alive through that first round of combat. Charge, disembark and bite!
Field Repairs & Inspiring Leader: If you need to move your transported squad further up the table, you will have to take steps to prevent the Wolf Spider from being destroyed in the first turn in order for it to move again in the second turn.
The bonus from Field Repairs will stack with the Wolf Spider’s own Repair ability, giving the transport a 40% chance of shrugging off each hit for the first turn, while Inspiring Leader will help give the Wolf Spider at least one round of effective ranged combat on the second turn once it has deployed its passengers.
Add Lightweight Weapons if you want to make a mad dash across the battlefield on the first turn, or Fragmentation Slugs if you want to move more cautiously but shoot each turn.
The insect-like Nova is a small, unmanned aircraft that addresses Cybertronic’s lack of a fast ‘bike-like’ vehicle which can race around the table in large numbers. Although it isn’t especially tough, the fighter is agile and hard to hit, with a versatile array of weapon that makes it a good – if not better – alternative to the recent Cartel Emancipator which is also available to Cybertronic.
With speed 8 and available in squads of up to three, the Nova can fulfil effective anti-infantry or anti-vehicle roles where the Emancipator must choose only one. In addition, each Nova you field allows one of your Mirrormen squads to deploy using Stalk, which is a nice buff to one of the faction’s underused infantry squads.
The Nova – Tabletop Tactics
The HMG primary weapon throws out six shots with a reasonable Ranged Skill of 13, but importantly the HMG also has the Pinning trait, giving the Nova a chance to impede an enemy squad by costing then an Action Point when they activate.
The secondary weapon option is a Rocket Launcher with an effective Strength of 20 against enemy vehicles and Critical Force (2); This is overkill against a small vehicle such as a bike and not very cost effective (at 80 points, a Nova is more expensive than a Purple Shark and a lot more than a Fenris Bike) but it is a very reliable way of taking out more expensive vehicles such as enemy walkers.
For 160 points, a pair of Novas will have little difficulty swooping into the range of a Hurricane Walker or Orca and striking first, focussing their fire on their engines to reduce the vehicle to a burning wreck before it can fire back.
Even if a Nova leaves itself exposed after a successful 16” attack run on a prime target, knocking it out of the air is not a sure thing even though the Nova can only take two hits in each location.
Hard to Hit (3) negates the size bonus an opponent would get when shooting at the Nova and the Cybertronic player can effectively choose between two mutually exclusive defensive modes – a passive option in the form of Optical Camouflage which prevents enemy models from benefiting from Battle Focus when shooting at it, negating both the Strength bonus and crucially the RS bonus or the ability to pick the target location…or Shimmering Armour, which must be activated by paying a Resource card per model but has the effect of reducing the range of enemy ranged attacks by 6”.
Certainly a cautious player can skirt the edges of the battlefield with a pair of patrolling Novas, ensuring they are only in range of one enemy at a time and this is ultimately the best way to keep them alive, preferably with a screen of troops ahead of them to protect them from being attacked in close combat.
This way you can hug the ground (and benefit from the cover!) but still move 8″ or 16″, navigating the intervening terrain to get a shot on the intended target without needing to take off and make use of the Flyer rules.
Combat Deck Options
If you are using the Advanced Combat Deck then Lightweight Weapons is an obvious choice for your Nova squad to help their mobility and thus keep them away from all but their intended target, but here are some other cards that will help you get the most out of your flyers…
Enhanced Vision: If you prefer to play defensively or favour hit and run tactics, Enhanced Vision combined with Shimmering Armour will allow you to keep your Novas near your own deployment zone yet still outrange most return fire, giving your weapons a range of 27″ whilst reducing most enemy weapons down to 18″.
Glancing Hit: If your opponent presents your Nova squad with a target you simply cannot pass up, this card can be a lifesaver if you must stray near anti-vehicle models on Sentry in order to attack. Most of these weapons only have RoA 1 and this card will mitigate that threat, even if it means not being able to benefit from Take Aim.
Take Aim: If you are already planning to slow the Novas down for an accurate rocket attack run on an enemy vehicle (e.g: Tactical Move + Battle Focus + Shoot) then it won’t hurt to increase your odds of hitting.
Reload: At first glance, this might not seem as useful as Inspiring Leader but the card does not cost any resources to play and the Nova only has one weapon profile (the twin-linked HMG) that can benefit. A great choice if you have taken a single Nova and plan to use it against infantry squads. Fragmentation Slugs compliments the use of this card but unless you have two or more Novas in the squad, you will often be better off playing Fragmentation Slugs on your ground forces.
Will you be deploying either of these vehicles alongside your army in Warzone: Resurrection?
"Cybertronic get the Nova, a new unmanned flyer that gives the faction a viable alternative to the reliable Atilla..."
"Dark Legion forces marching under the banner of Algeroth get a new model for the Wolf Spider, the light vehicle version of the Black Widow..."