Manticore – 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 Manticore is equally as formidable in melee or at range, thanks to kinetically augmented attacks and its Cyclone Cannon.

Statistics

The Manticore has the same basic stats as all of the heavy myrmidons, including higher SPD than most other faction heaviess. The rest of the numbers are pretty standard, with nothing in the range of exceptional.

Weapons and Attacks

  • Cyclone Cannon – Decent RNG and POW with ROF 3. Treat it like a Hand Cannon with regards to target selection. It can put fair damage on a lot of targets with a boost, but exploiting the full rate of fire is difficult without help like Ravyn's feat.
    • Magical Weapon
    • Covering Fire (★Action) – Keep in mind that this is a Special Action—once you've used it, you can't take any other actions for the turn.
  • Saber Fist (x2) – Moderate to low POW, but it has two open fists for power attacks. With Combo Strike and Force Generator, the Manticore can do a great deal of damage.

Special Abilities

  • Field Dependent – An ability common to all House Shyeel myrmidons. Lose the Field Generator system, and the Manticore loses its ranged attacks and Force Generator.
  • Force Generator – The Manticore can spend a focus to gain +3 STR. This doesn't stack, so don't spend more than one focus.

Thoughts on the Manticore

The Manticore is the most balanced of the three House Shyeel heavies, and yet also the cheapest. While the Phoenix can shoot it would prefer to mix it up, and although the Hydra can punch it would rather shoot. The Manticore will happily do either. The Cyclone Cannon is effectively a rapid fire magical Hand Cannon, meaning you can hunt down Pistol Wraiths, Dartan Vilmon and other annoying targets. Expect to hit DEF 16 on average boosted attacks. However, in most cases your best move is to sacrifice direct shots in favor of Covering Fire. Seem like a waste to devote a heavy 'jack to playing these kind of games? Not so; this is about board control, my friend, and anytime you can dictate (or at least influence) where your opponent moves which models and when, you're doing something right.

Two Manticores gives you the ability to deny large areas of the table to your opponent's infantry and solos. With the two templates positioned just less than a small base's width apart, you can create a roughly 7" line of death that most single wound—and even many multi-wound—models dare not cross. If this line is drawn 2" in front of your own troops, they may well become unchargable. Combine this denial of whole sections of the board with some of the Retribution's high-speed models, and you can force the other guy to play your game.

Remember: Covering Fire will damage your own models, but no models suffer damage from this ability unless entering or ending their activations in the AOE. This means you can safely lay the template over top of your own models after they've finished their activations. So, run a fast-moving model—say, a Mage Hunter Assassin—into melee with a high-DEF enemy solo and lay the template on them. Forcing your opponent to choose between the automatic damage roll from Covering Fire or the free strike it will cost to avoid it, is provoking reactions. That's how you win games.

In addition to all of the shenanigans they can pull at range, Manticores are no slouches in melee. They can outpace the Phoenix against heavy targets and can make the single most powerful melee attack available to the Retribution with a Combo Strike. A Manticore on full focus with Arcanist support can smack an average of 10 damage on a closed Devastator. Properly softened by Eiryss1 and a pair of Ghost Snipers, two Manticores could scrap said Devastator. Two heavy 'jacks, five solos, and six focus is a lot to invest in destroying a single target, but closed Devastators aren't supposed to go down in a single turn either.

Manticores have synergies with Vyros2, Ravyn, and Ossyan. Ravyn can make full use of its cannon on her feat turn, but any buffs and spells that could be applied to them would work as well if not better with any of the other heavies. Vyros2 further enhances the Manticore's melee abilities. Ossyan's feat allows the Manticore to put out a LOT of damage with its ranged weapon—including from Covering Fire.

All in all, the Manticore is a terrific defensive addition to many Retribution forces. Its anti-infantry templates help you dictate the flow and tempo of the battle, and its Combo Strike and double-handed throws can make opposing heavies leery of its very presence. Use it in early rounds to soften up the enemy, then spin up the Force Generator to deliver some killer attacks against priority targets once battle is joined.

The Manticore's covering fire is considered a magical attack. Ref: Infernal post.