Saturday, November 13, 2010

Epic Lylyth: First Impressions

I have to admit, after a few games with pLylyth, I looked at epic Lylyth and wondered just what in the world she had to offer. I mean, come on, I just have to shoot someone to put a spell on them; I've got Parasite for hard-target cracking, I've got Eruption of Spines for clustered light targets, and I've got a feat for making sure I hit you and you die.

As it turns out, both of the Lylyths are kind of like Everblight's break-action shotguns: clean, elegant, easy to operate, and capable of doing some damage when pointed in the right direction.

The Look at eLylyth, the Shadow of Everblight
SPD 7 and Pathfinder makes her pretty bloody swift. STR 4 means you're getting thrown by anyone that can touch you, but is otherwise irrelevant as she has no melee weapons. Similarly, her MAT is irrlevant. Her RAT went up to 8, making her about as accurate as it gets. DEF 16 and ARM 14 make her tough to hit, but easy to damage, and CMD 8 is so-so. Chances are that anything that NEEDS to make a command check (read: striders) probably has a better command value.

You should of course by now be used to her FURY of 5. Not great, but this is the Legion! We've got ways around it.

She kept Eyeless Sight (...I'd be hard-pressed to find a fluff reason for losing it). She picked up Evasive, so she can't be tagged by free strikes and she also gets a free 2" advance if the enemy shoots at her and misses. Range Amplifier is something of a replacement for Witch Mark, and it gives you the good ol' +5" RNG if you don't channel the spell. Snap Fire and Swift Hunter combine with her RNG 12 POW12 ROF 2 bow to let her cut through infantry with light/medium armor.

She's got three spells, all different from her prime incarnation.

Pin Cushion: RNG 10, cost 2, offensive upkeep. Friendly faction models get an extra dice to ranged attack/damage rolls, and drop the lowest. It's Manifest Destiny, but for guns! Between this and her feat, you should seriously be looking into a shooty army.

Pursuit has a couple inches less range than pin cushion, and the same cost. If an enemy model/unit advances, you get to make an advance with one of your battlegroup. Good for keeping someone out of harm's way, or making sure the enemy doesn't run away. Honestly, I see it used more for getting out of harm's way.

Shadow pack is the middle finger for ranged armies. 3 fury and then one to upkeep it afterwards means everyone in your battlegroup gains Stealth while in Lylyth's control area.

Feat: Decimation
The feat is aptly named. Everyone in your control area gains Snipe, and all your beasts get to make an additional free ranged attack. This means you should pretty much consider beasts with ranged attacks, as this feat is either your assassination or (I feel, more likely) your alpha strike to soften up the enemy.

The Utilization of Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight
I'll offer up the 35pt army I ran with her, and an explanation of why each piece made it in there.

-Nephilim Bolt Thrower
Striders + UA
2 Shepherds

The Battlegroup
The Ravagore has a stupid-long threat range with a 6" move and 14" shot. It gives us the ranged attack we want for the feat/pin cushion, and it can provide backup against lower-DEF targets in melee with a pair of PS16 open fists and MAT5. The MAT5 is the weak point, though, as it kind of starts falling through against anything with a DEF better than 11/12. So, don't match it up against heavy infantry and you'll do fine. The other major selling point for the Ravagore is the Animus; Continuous Fire on ranged attacks is stupidly useful. Don't uderestimate the potential value of the Scather templates left behind after the attack, and if you're shooting infantry aim for the front ranks to screw up the movement of the rear guys.

The Carnivean also boasts a nasty ranged attack with the SP10, though the RAT 4 means you'll be boosting it. The ability to double-tap with this on Feat turn sort of mitigates that crap RAT, though you'll want to have Lylyth use Spiny Growth on the Carnivean if anything survives the spray as it will (almost) invariably be in charge range. The MAT6 on top of the three initial melee attacks also makes the Carnivean suitable for point-defense duty.

The Nephilim Bolt Thrower is in there for the Thunderbolt ability, on top of the part where it's got a gun (which is more or less the prerequisite for being in Lylyth's battlegroup). The ability to reach out and push someone d3 inches is big; peg the enemy's heavy hitters from as far away as you can to buy more time to shoot them. The only thing to watch out for is the fact that you might shove them out of everyone else's shooting range. Past that, the Animus is only so-so, as Lylyth has pathfinder and 90% of the time it's as good as Flight.

The Shredder is there because I like Tenacity. Admittedly, it's not as necessary because the carnivean-chassis are a mighty DEF 11 and likely to use something like Spiny Growth instead. I would probably replace the Shredder with a Stinger in the future, though the cost and pathfinder mean it can be an objective-sitter in a pinch.

Striders are in there because they're nasty ranged troops, and because I need to keep Stealth in there, lest all the guns be directed at the troops because no one can see my friggin' battlegroup. They're fast, hard to hit, and have ranged attacks. They get serious mileage out of Pin Cushion, which may let you get past the need to double up for combined ranged attacks.

Shepherds are in there as fury control, obviously. With a mighty Fury of 5, Lylyth kind of NEEDS the help. The ability to heal is also excellent, as it lets me potentially bring up a crippled spiral or two. Lylyth COULD do this, but again five fury and an upkeep or two means her personal fury is at a premium. The only worry is that Shepherds do NOT have stealth, so they're the odd ones out.

Use of Lylyth
Lylyth's first turn is probably something like 'run everyone up', 'cast Shadow Pack' and 'hand out a Spiny Growth' or something. Get field position, try to at least get near objectives, and look for good lanes of fire. Turn 2 is likely to be feat turn; try to rip up as much of their army as you can. Cross your fingers that you either break their back, or stall their advance. From there, decide if you can win on scenario or by asssassination, but make it quick: you're Legion and you don't win by attrition.

As for anyone griping about FURY 5? Pin Cushion has a 15" range, and if you've got Shadow Pack up you can afford to boost the hit; 5+3d6 = usually hits, and you've got a fury left for a transfer. Keep in mind that the range amplifier also works on any animus she casts, since they're spells for her. You don't HAVE to play her forward, but if you do, you can at least use her to pop off infantry and Swift Hunter back.

If you like guns and like stealth, give eLylyth a try. She's not very subtle, but then again the Legion is not the most subtle of factions. In a sense, it's liberating: when someone hands you a mastercrafted long gun with a fine scope, you know exactly what it's meant to do.

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