Monday, August 13, 2012

Prep for... HI PEER EE ON

Michael is an awesome WHFB and WM/H player. He posted this write-up to our forums. I am posting it to the blog for all to see.

After quite a bit of personal reflection, and some good discussion with A-Ron, I'm really excited at the prospect of Hyperion. I compiled the following for the sake of my own note-taking and reflections, but hopefully this will also benefit the group as a whole as they contemplate the role of using/fighting against Colossals. For Retribution, Hyperion brings a lot to the table. Most importantly, Hyperion gives every Warcaster easy access to P+S 22 melee attacks (assuming the Arcanist buff), as well as a represents a threat that can't be easily one-shot (unlike most Myrmidons.) Hyperion directly benefits from the notable Feats and abilities of many Retribution casters. There's a fair amount of Skornergy (the bad kind, not the good kind) for Hyperion, since a ton of Retribution casters bank heavily on Out of Activation Movement to help their Myrms generate threat, but there are still enough toys left over for Hyperion to feel the benefit.

Adeptis Rahn: Rahn's potential with Hyperion is middle-of-the-road. Telekinesis, one of Rahn's best contributions to his jacks, is wasted on a Colossal. However, he easily makes up for this with Polarity Shield, since not being able to charge Hyperion means that almost all infantry will lack the killing power to do serious damage, and most jacks/beasts will be open to a counter-charge themselves as they advance to get close enough. Coupled with some push-pull trickery from Rahn's coterie of Battle Mages (see Unit Synergies for more on this), Rahn should be decent at keeping a Hyperion safe from melee threats while spoon feeding him some nice, easy targets for those big P+S 22 fist blades. Force Blast can prevent Hyperion from being heavily bogged down, and can also help cluster targets for Thresher and Starburst shots. Speaking of the Starburst, a pair of Chain Blasts coupled with good use of the Starburst is a pretty solid anti-stealth option. Mix in Rahn's specialty Force hammer, and Hyperion's average MAT and RAT are no longer a tremendous drawback. Against a knocked down target, not having to worry about boosting to Hit will free up focus for boosting Starburst, Thresher and fist hits. The main drawback for the Hyperion + Rahn pairing is that Rahn loves his Arcnodes, and the conspicuous absence of an Arcnode on Hyperion means you'll still need to grab a Phoenix or two, or else settle for the Chimera, if you want the same Arcnode options of a "standard" dual Phoenix Rahn list. Personally, the lack of Arcnode might be a dealbreaker as far as pairing Hyperion with Rahn, but the advantages are undeniable.

Dawnlord Vyros (pVyros): When the rules for Hyperion broke, pVyros started looking a lot more appealing as a competitive Warcaster. Inviolable Resolve (giving Hyperion +2 ARM) and Mobility (+2 SPD for pVyros' battlegroup) can really help supercharge Hyperion's stats, taking his ARM to Khador-esque levels and restoring that naturally high speed that all Myrmidons are known for. For true armor-stacking fanatics, add in Discordia's imprint to get Hype to a staggering ARM 23 versus ranged attacks and you are looking at a Myrmidon with uncharacteristic survivability. Additionally, Stranglehold to force an enemy model to forfeit Movement or Action can help Hyperion close with his preferred victim without much concern about them escaping or hitting too hard in retaliation. The fun does not stop there though; Vyros' Feat, Perfect Execution (when an enemy model is destroyed, allocate 1 focus to a jack) can let Hyperion fuel himself for a turn of devastation (the potential to recharge focus for fully boosted Starburst/Thresher Cannon shots, or a ton of melee facebeating) further supercharges Hyperion to really impressive levels. Bird's Eye (360 degree LOS for Vyros' battlegroup, ignoring clouds, forest and intervening models) is incredible since it leaves Hyperion free to shoot/charge virtually anything on the table. As with all Retribution Warcasters who like to get up close and dirty, Hyperion also gives pVyros a nice place to hide until he's ready to charge in and put Flank [Faction Warjack] to good use. From a purely fluff perspective, the thought of pVyros and a pack of Sentinels advancing under the overwatch of Hyperion is a beautiful image. The only downside I can see with a pVyros/Hyperion pairing is that Hallowed Avenger is useless, but given that Hallowed Avenger is rarely cast anyway, I would not consider this a significant drawback. I expect to see pVyros lists heavily incorporating our colossal.

Garryth, Blade of Retribution: I think Garryth is surprisingly decent with Hyperion. The Out of Activation movement from Mirage doesn't do much for Hyperion, but obviously does a lot for the infantry that will inevitably be supporting Hype. Death Sentence and Gallows are the real winner for Garryth; allowing Hyperion to re-roll against a designated target, coupled with a D6 inch pull, both help Hyperion kill with greater effectiveness. Overall, for the Hyperion/Garryth tag team, I think Hyperion benefits Garryth more than Garryth benefits Hyperion. Giving Garryth a big safe base to hide behind as he closes in, coupled with being able to blast open a charge lane for Garryth and his accompanying infantry, is tremendous. Similarly, any opponent who focuses too much on removing Hyperion runs the risk of leaving his Warnoun or crucial units vulnerable to a quick Assassination.

Kaelyssa, Night's Whisper: The internet buzz is loving the idea of a Kaelyssa/Hyperion combination, and it's easy to see why. The Vanishing, Kaelyssa's Feat, doesn't fully benefit Hyperion (obviously, no stealth for Colossals) but preventing a charge is just as good. Similarly, Witch Hound (allows a model to make a free advance and attack if anyone in K's control area is hit by an enemy magic attack) also gives Hyperion free Starburst shots against magic-heavy opponents. Hyperion contributes well to a Backlash assassination, since it can field up to 7 shots that are fully capable of putting some kind of damage on a jack/beast, and Banishing Ward is phenomenal for keeping a Colossal safe from pesky debuffs. Conversely, Hyperion benefits Kaelyssa by giving her a safe place to hide, letting her plant some Phantom Hunter Runebolt shots on vulnerable enemy models without having to worry too much about retaliation, and Pathfinder on both models means they can easily keep pace with one another while taking advantage of forests and other protective terrain. Phantom Hunter can be swapped convenient to Hyperion too, helping to get more accuracy out of Hyperion's relatively low MAT/RAT. The only significant downsides are that Hyperion does not benefit fully from The Vanishing or Witch Hound, but given the many advantages, I think these can be easily overlooked.

Lord Arcanist Ossyan: Despite the fact that Ossyan and Hyperion do not mix due to fluff reasons, the two of them get along very well. Quicken gives great mobility to Hyperion and might even help him dodge a shot or two from opponents who roll poorly, and Shatter Storm can help Hyperion get unbogged in melee and even give his Thresher Cannons more anti-infantry capability (though be careful you do not Shatter Storm successive targets you were planning to strafe with the cannons.) Chronomancer might even see a bit of use when applied to Hyperion: With the capability to churn out so many shots, being able to retroactively boost any misses or poor damage rolls can help Hyperion get the most out of his focus. Ossyan's Feat and Gun are amazing for Hyperion as well: Offensively, an extra dice on damage would be catastrophic alongside a boosted Starburst shot. POW18 + 4D6 is an average 32 points of damage, enough to kill many enemy Warcasters in one hit. The extra dice also help Hyperion take down an enemy jack or beast in one round of shooting; the POW 12 Thresher shots become much more lethal when rolling three dice for damage. Ossyan's feat has outstanding defensive value as well; obviously, rolling one less dice for damage will make Hyperion much tougher to crack at range, and also keeps Ossyan alive versus sprays and blast (the most legitimate ranged threats he is likely to encounter if he is hiding behind Hyperion and maximizing the coverage of his feat.) Let us not forget the Chronophage Cannon as well: Hyperion's MAT and RAT leave much to be desired, and he does not like being charged either, and thus the Chronophage Cannon's ability to debuff DEF and prevent enemies from running or charging is a solid offensive and defensive tool for our Colossal. Similarly, Ossyan likes having a nice big base to hide behind as he is popping his many short-range tricks. Hyperion's large point cost can be a downside, since Ossyan certainly likes his Myrmidons (Hypnos and the Banshee spring readily to mind) and the more points spent on jacks, the fewer points spend on ranged infantry to really make the most of Ossyan's feat. Finding the right balance here will be important, since Hyperion's advantages do not necessarily outweigh (for example) the shutdown/control elements of Hypnos, or the ranged knockdown of the Banshee to make Ossyan's Feat more devastating on a warcaster.

Ravyn: While I hate to tip my hand as far as unbiased commentary is concerned, I love the possibilities between Ravyn and Hyperion. For a Colossal whose primary feature is a big freakin' gun that tagteams with a number of smaller guns, Ravyn's ability to increase the range and accuracy of those guns with Snipe and her Feat is simply thrilling. Giving the Starburst an effective 19 inch threat range (factoring in movement), and the Threshers a 21 inch threat range, while boosting all of their accuracy in Ravyn's Feat turn, really lends itself well to Ravyn's ranged assassination or attrition game. The large Line-of-Sight blocking goodness of Hyperion also lets Ravyn play a stronger frontline role, with potential good looks for Ravyn's Swift Hunter/Gunfighter/Virtuoso/Quick Work synergies and also letting her bring Vortex of Destruction into play against any opponents who get too close. Many of Ravyn's standard companions (Aiyanna and Holt, Discordia, Stormfall Archers, Mage Hunter Strike Force) are all going to love the presence of Hyperion on the table. Aiyanna and Holt, who already contribute a lot to the ranged game of Ravyn lists, are going to make the Starburst an effective POW11 while also giving them both a good place to hide. Discordia, as mentioned in the pVyros Dialogue, can help keep Hyperion survivable and also protect Ravyn and the tagalong solos who will inevitably shadow Hype from any blast damage that bounces their way. Stormfalls and the Starburst cannon represent a ton of direct damage for dropping jacks, beasts or careless Warnouns, and can also carpet bomb very effectively with so many blast templates. Stormfalls also love an enemy that can draw enemy fire and help keep the Stormfalls safe from return fire. Between the Stormfalls, Hyperion and the Mage Hunter Strike Force, with Ravyn's Feat and Snipe applied where necessarily, I really think Ravyn lists will retain all their reptuation for nasty shooting but also gain significant staying power and melee potency through the presence of Hyperion. The ability of Hyperion to deal with jamming enemies and fast aggressive jacks/beasts, while also being able to fall back immense combat potency, will really enhance the ability of Ravyn lists to deal with "bad matchups". The downsides with the Ravyn + Hyperion pairing is that she cannot directly boost the survivability or mobility of her colossal, and leaves him vulnerable to being killed in melee (though the increased range granted by Snipe helps offset this.) Additionally, the big point cost of Hyperion comes into conflict with Discordia, who (like Rahn with his arcnodes) is a highly popular and effective choice for Ravyn lists. I can certainly see Retribution players fielding both Hyperion and Discordia in the same list, but obviously this will cut down on the valuable infantry and solo choices that are also popular in a Ravyn list.

Vyros, Incissar of the Dawnguard (eVyros): Hyperion and eVyros are an interesting pairing. At first glance, it would seem that eVyros does very little for Hyperion, and Vice Versa: Hyperion cannot benefit from the Out of Activation movement of eVyros' Feat, while Easy Rider and Deflection do nothing for Hyperion. Similarly, Hyperion seems to work against eVyros' Synergy spell; why pay for one jack, to give the +1 benefit to Synergy, when you could buy four Griffons instead? I think the potency of Hyperion in an eVyros list does not directly come from Hyperion's synergies with eVyros, but rather Hyperion's effectiveness in the matchups that eVyros is likely to face. eLylyth, for example, is probably the best reason to take an eVyros list to begin with. Though Hyperion does not gain much from eVyros' feat, he definitely benefits from the face-beating goodness of Synergy, and the sheer number of damage boxes and survivability, couple with those high P+S blades, can makes Hyperion a good candidate for marching straight into the teeth of a shooting-heavy opponent while screening valuable solos and eVyros from retaliation. In addition, few models can clear a charge lane for a Synergized eVyros like Hyperion can. Overall, Hype fits well into the general theme of an eVyros list: great durability, stellar combat punch, and the ability to exploit or clear gaps in the enemy lines for a melee assassination. Whether Hyperion makes sense, compared to the equivalent point cost of light or heavy jacks for Synergy, is unclear to me. However, I would encourage players to not dismiss Hyperion + eVyros out of hand simply because of eVyros' spell list.

Solo and unit Synergy
Arcanist: This is an obvious pairing; so obvious that I continually reference P+S 22 hits from Hyperion, because Arcanists should always be using Concentrated Power to make Hyperion hit as hard as possible while also repairing whenever necessary. The ability of an Arcanist to toss out a free Focus is big as well: Hyperion won't always want or need multiple focus from his Warcaster, and given the potency of Critical Consume against some opponents, simply using one Focus to increase the chance of scoring that Crit Consume is powerful. When used in a melee role, running upfield with that single Focus is valuable also.

Aspis: Thanks to A-Ron for pointing out this concept. The Aspis is already useful for protecting our frontline Warcasters, but it can also be useful for protecting Hyperion as well. By taking Hyperion's already impressive number of damage boxes, and using the Aspis to soak up a critical shot a turn, Hyperion can be made even more survivable. Since Hyperion's huge base also encourages some casters to play a more frontline role with greater confidence, a nearby Aspis can help that approach as well. In situations where Hyperion is jammed or blocked, Beat Back on the Aspis can help free up Hyperion and free him up to move, charge, or aim with Hype's ranged weapons.

Aiyanna and Holt: The usefulness here should be obvious: the Starburst is already a fearsome infantry killer,but making the Starburst into an effective POW11 means most infantry will be easily boxed without having to rely on Crit Consume. Similarly, granting Magical Attacks to Hyperion can be key since only the Starburst Cannon is magical. Similarly, Aiyanna and Holt can be screened and protected by Hyperion in turns that their Stealth is not active.

eEiryss: Hyperion's low MAT/RAT means any stats overboosting DEF can be a significant problem for Hyperion. Being able to remove those buffs can mean the difference between an Assassination or a missed opportunity. Similarly, the Thresher Cannons can add a lot of damage if they can both hit and damage reliably, and removing spells that boost DEF/ARM can certainly make that possible. eEiryss' Technological Interference can be a good defensive mechanism for an aggressive Hyperion too. If eEiryss tails Hyperion once he charges into combat, shutting down focus allocation to nearby hostile jacks can help Hyperion preserve his systems and keep on fighting with ease.

Battle Mages: This effectiveness of the boys from House Shyeel was touched upon when discussing Rahn, but these guys do a lot for Hyperion. Their ranged potential can supplement Hype's anti-infantry firepower, but it is their movement utility that really comes into play. Being able to pull targets into range of Hyperion is an obvious benefit, and being able to score a Critical Knockdown means Hyperion can beat face to his heart's content without having to worry about rolling To Hit. Similarly, pushing back a target with Force Bolt, or using beat back, can keep melee assailants off Hyperion and clear charge/movement lanes if our Colossal should need it.

Invictors: The versatility if Invictors is nicely enhanced by Hyperion, and they support one another well. The scaling power of an Invictor Combined Ranged Attack is really useful here; the Invictors can fire separately, to clear any infantry that the Starburst/Threshers miss, or they can toss out some massed up CRAs for multiple POW 18+ hits on a hard target at range. If Hyperion is engaged in melee, Flank [Faction Warjack] is easily achieved due to Hyperion's huge base size.

Houseguard Halberdiers: Halberdiers are already prized for their versatility, but they are a terrific escort unit for Hyperion. In Shieldwall, they can surround Hyperion and create a huge well-protected tarpit, and Ranked Attacks lets units behind them fire to full effect from a safe position. Such a formation, with ARM 18 (or better) and set defense, works well with the durability of Hyperion to create a durable front to restrict enemy movement or screen off objectives and giving other Retribution units more freedom to operate. With Reach, Combined Melee Attacks, Brutal Charge and Movement 6 (higher than their Dawnguard counterparts) Halberdiers can easily charge in around Hyperion's large base to contribute their attacks to a target of choice.

Stormfall Archers: Everyone likes blast templates, and Stormfall Archers can combine with Hyperion to crank out a lot of them. Similarly, Stormfall Archers love having a huge, durable centerpiece model with a big base and reach to occupy the attention of the enemy and let the vulnerable Stormfalls operate with more safety and flexibility. The high armor and durability of Hyperion also means that the Stormfalls can run close and fire directly into melee with enemy infantry fighting Hyperion, helping to clear away infantry with their blast templates without posing much threat to Hyperion if they miss.

Mage Hunter Assassins: Hyperion gives solos a great place to hide, and Assassins can be very grateful for this against opponents who can negate Stealth. The Assassins form a great backup for Hyperion though; their huge Movement and 4 inch reach means they can get charges off against targets that Hyperion is also fighting, creating a downright scary amount of melee damage against tough targets using relatively few models. Anyone who has crowded a pack of Sentinels or Halberdiers into Reach range against an enemy target, only to watch their entire unit blown to Inferno de Dante by AoE next turn, knows how valuable it is to use as few models as possible to kill off a single enemy model in melee. Also, Hyperion's ability to Power Strike an enemy model and knock it down means that followup with Mage Hunter Assassins can be accurate, reliable and lethal.

Discordia: Discordia's principle contribution is her ability to boost Hyperion's Armor, as well as protect the bevy of Warcasters and Solos that will hide in Hyperion's Shadow. However, Discordia's Spray and potent melee potential are great for supporting Hyperion, clearing away models engaging our colossal, and potentially making the most of Hyperion as a distraction to slip through enemy lines for an assassination run. Obviously, running a colossal and a focus-intensive heavy is a tall order for many of our Warcasters, and Discordia is in high demand as a Character jack, but I believe is a brilliant partner for getting the most out of Hyperion.

Banshee: The Banshee is an amazing Myrmidon in its own right, but is an incredible asset for the Hyperion. The obvious benefit here is Momentum; being able to knock down an enemy model at range for the sake of Hyperion's guns is a tremendous advantage, not only letting Hyperion hit the target with ease but also letting its use all its focus to boost damage. The Banshee's Wailing is a valuable asset as well; among its many uses, denying an enemy the ability to charge can keep enemy Jacks/Beasts at arm's length and stop infantry from doing heavy damage to Hyperion. Lastly, the hitting power of the Banshee is an asset for freeing up Hyperion if he is engaged by an enemy Jack/Beast and needs to save his activation for a more important role.

No comments:

Post a Comment