Thursday, September 30, 2010

First Thoughts: The Nephilim Warrior

I finally caved in and picked up a Nephilim Warrior. Now, I intend to try to get some use out of this, but I'm pretty sure this isn't the top-tier beasty. On the other hand, I do believe it's got a use, but it's more of a support beastie. I mean, it's a 5 point light; it's not that bad but not for everyone.

Base Stats
The Nephilim is reasonably spry, and can keep up with most Everblight stuff. It's good SPD 6 and Flight, so it laughs off terrain and the like. With the standard-issue Eyeless Sight, it's capable of going over forests and the like. Just remember the issue of eating Free Strikes when you fly over folks.

Offensively, the Neph Soldier is reasonable. It's got the typical MAT 6 for Legion, and a PS 14 Reach attack. There's not much special offensively past that.

Defensively, it's also about Legion standard. DEF 13 is on the higher end of average, and ARM 16 is...well, it's a Legion beast, and ARM 16 is pretty decent for Legion. That and 22 circles on the health spiral won't keep you alive forever, but you've got the speed and special rules to use terrain to your advantage and you're probably not the scariest thing across the field.

The Neph can throw down 3 Fury, and has a very solid Threshold of 10. It doesn't mean you should run the thing hot (since a 7's still about a 50/50 on 2d6) but if you've got to gamble with a hot beast, the Neph is statistically sound in that regard.

Animus: Massacre
Now, the Animus is...interesting. It's two Fury, and it lets a target friendly model charge without being forced. When that model kills an enemy model, it can advance an inch and make another attack.

On the one hand, your Neph Soldier is paying 2 fury to charge and hope it kills the charge target, then make another attack. Alternatively, you can force to charge, and then if you kill the target you can force to make another attack. With MAT 6, you might want to boost to make sure you get the kill in, as well, and that's your three fury.

So, you either gamble on the Massacre, or you can charge, boost to hit, and buy another attack. Close to the same result, but the difference is A) you can stop at any time, and B) you lose the 1" move.

But wait...the Animus has a range of 6. I think this is where you can start to get mileage out of it. Basically, it's 2 fury to let another beast charge for free. So, your heavy with 4 Fury now has all four of that fury to keep on boosting and buying attacks with. Most Everblight heavies just get a little nastier with more attacks/spare fury, though you ARE paying extra for it.

What Does the Neph Like To Work With?
The Neph can benefit from help in a few areas:

1) Defense
DEF 13 is on the high end of average. Tenacity can put it into DEF 14 territory; it's a Fury to make MAT/RAT 6 troops think long and hard about being able to hit you, since it's that magical 8 territory. Also, hiding in terrain against folks that don't ignore concealment/cover is fun, because DEF 15+ starts getting into 'stupid high' territory.

2) Accuracy
Frankly, MAT 6 is average. Anything you can do to help this can only improve its damage output. pLylyth's feat for the extra dice to hit, eThagrosh's Manifest Destiny, and so on and so forth help it out. Make those few attacks count.

3) Damage Output
PS 14 will almost always kill single-wound infantry and most 5-wound solos you can hit. It's so-so for beating up or finsihing off medium-armor stuff, but it's just not going to hit above its weight. Manifest Destiny from eThags can help to an extent, especially with a boost. Parasite from pLylyth makes you an effective PS 17 (...though in fairness, it helps EVERYONE). Absylonia's Forced Evolution puts you up to PS 16 with DEF 15, but that makes most of our beasts nasty and probably has a better target...

Actually, that's kind of the support thing in general. The problem with being a middleweight is that you're going to be stuck with the more middleweight buffs, so something like Tenacity or a side-benefit from attacking a target suffering from Parasite is probably as good as it gets, since most of the other buffs have BETTER targets.

I think as long as I'm asking the Warrior to KO lighter targets or using its animus for fury efficiency, it'll be fine. I think anything else is probably demanding a bit much from the lil' fella.

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