Hydra – Retribution Heavy Myrmidon

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House Shyeel has brought the power of its formidable myrmidons to the Retribution, fighting machines enhanced by sophisticated arcanika systems. The Hydra stores energy in its arcane batteries to unleash a torrent of crushing blows or a singularly powerful blast.

Statistics

The Hydra has the same basic stats as all Shyeel heavy myrmidons, with only two notable standouts. Its SPD is high for a non–Cryx heavy, but its RAT is unfortunately low. Expect to boost to hit DEF 13 reliably. The Hydra is also reasonably costed.

Weapons and Attacks

  • Force Cannon – Decent RNG and average POW ranged attack.
    • Magical Weapon – Helps when dealing with those pesky ghosts.
    • Focus Powered – The Force Cannon gets a small RNG and POW bonus for each point of focus on the Hydra when the attack is declared.
  • Force Fist (x2) – These Open Fists have a pretty low POW for heavy weapons, but they do allow for the fantastic Chain Attack.
    • Open Fist
    • Chain Attack: Grab & Smash – Allows the myrmidon to perform a number of power attacks for free. The Hydra's decent STR generally makes double-handed throws the best choice.

Special Abilities

  • Field Dependent – The Hydra loses the Force Cannon and Kinetic Capacitor, but not Focus Battery (meaning any unspent focus remains if the field goes).
  • Focus Battery – The myrmidon doesn't lose unspent focus points during the Maintenance Phase. Coupled with the Kinetic Capacitor, this allows the Hydra to function for much of the game with only the initial focus investment from the warcaster.
  • Kinetic Capacitor – The Hydra gains a point of focus after each successful enemy hit against it. There is no limit to the number of focus that can pile up as a result. This means pairing the Hydra with an Arcanist for repairs creates a potentially powerful ranged assassination weapon (remember Focus Powered?) on your front lines.

Thoughts on the Hydra

Some Retribution players love the Hydra, others argue it's not worth the points. However good Grab & Smash may be, this 'jack's primary strength lies in its Force Cannon—with a focus investment, this is the Retribution's strongest ranged weapon not mounted on a huge base. However, the Hydra's low RAT makes employing the Force Cannon more difficult than some people like, and the 'jack requires more support than you might think. Its average MAT means it'll connect with most other heavy warjacks on average rolls, but if the chain attack needs to go off you'll want to boost all the attack rolls (which will drain your Focus Battery right quick). The low P+S on the fists also means you're unlikely to kill anything too beefy. Both of these problems can be mitigated by other models—Adeptis Rahn's Telekinesis can turn the target around to give the Hydra a back strike bonus, Ravyn can put up Vortex of Destruction and engage the target, House Shyeel Battle Mages could knock the target down, the Arcanist's Concentrated Power helps with the weak fists—but it's all a lot of work compared to what other heavies require.

The Force Cannon needs three focus to attain its full potential, and you'll often need to aim or boost to hit. The cannon has an average output of 25 damage on boosted rolls, and Focus Battery lets you fill this thing up as you have time and focus to spare. The Arcanist can start off the Hydra's stockpile, leaving only two focus remaining for a full load. It really needs one or two focus regularly to function properly, which makes marshaling the Hydra less than ideal.

Retribution 'jacks, even heavies, aren't going to survive a concerted assault by another heavy warjack or warbeast. The Kinetic Capacitor is nice, but it's nothing to build a strategy around. Since you're going to be protecting the Hydra anyway, whatever damage it takes from scattered shooting or melee attacks lets it top off its focus for a counterattack or assassination shot. Just don't count on it surviving a serious attack to come back from behind.

Synergies

Garryth
Mirage – The extra 2" of movement gives the Hydra an 11.5" charge range and (with three focus) a 23" threat range with the Force Cannon. Not too shabby.
Death Sentence – This vastly increases the chances of getting off the chain attack.

Kaelyssa
Feat – Gives you a round to position this 'jack by basically shutting down most ranged attacks (Stealth) and preventing charges.
Arcantrik Bolt – Suddenly, DEF 13 and DEF 14 warjacks become DEF 5 against your Force Cannon.
Phantom Hunter – Stand the Hydra behind some trees and blast away while ignoring LOS, concealment, and cover.

Adeptis Rahn
Telekinesis – More than just turning your opponents around, you can move the Hydra closer and still get the aiming bonus.
Polarity Shield – More survivability with this 'jack is always good.
Force Hammer – Knock down targets before using the Force Cannon.

Ravyn
Feat – The Hydra is a ranged 'jack, and Fire Storm makes all ranged attacks better. Also, the Hydra can advance, kill something and retreat out of danger with this feat.
Snipe – Do the math: Advance (6") + cannon with three focus (15" RNG) + Snipe (+4 RNG) = a 25" shot.

Vyros1
Feat – This, if properly executed, can give the Hydra full focus without any allocation.
Bird's Eye – Just look—and shoot—through clouds, forests, and other models.
Inviolable Resolve – If you need the Hydra further forward, this will help keep it alive that much longer.
Mobility – Need to reposition for a better shot? How does running 16" and ignoring rough terrain sound?

Ossyan
Feat – Boosts damage output all the way to Awesome. POW 15 + 4d6 will punch a hole in even the Behemoth.
Quicken – More threat range and survivability are always good.
Shatter Storm – Blow holes in clusters of lower-ARM infantry, or at least force your opponent to consider the possibility.
Chronomancer – Wait, this spell lets the Hydra make more efficient use of focus? Yes please!
Admonition – Keep this 'jack alive.