Friday, 23 July 2010

Tactica: Khador Man-O-War Shocktroopers

Probably the most iconic Khador unit next to the Juggernaut, the Man-O-War is a combination of man and Warjack. Man-O-War Shocktroopers can lock Shields together to form a near impenetrable line that can advance into the heaviest of gunfire and come out unscathed.

Basics
All Man-O-Wars share multiple wounds and fairly high base armour above, they come equipped with Shields cannons for short but hard hitting firepower, and Annihilator blades which allow extended melee range. To balance the heavy armour, Shocktroopers have a low defence, average RAT and are just as slow as Khador heavy jacks.



Armour
Shocktroopers excel in this department, the addition of Shields by default gives them one point of armour above other Man-O-War units but the addition of the order 'Sheild Wall' that really sets them apart. By declaring the Shield Wall order, the Man-O-Wars sacrifice speed to increase their armour to above that of a Khador 'jack, coupled with the multi wounds this makes for a very impressive and durable unit. However one thing needs to be noted about the Shield wall rules; it only functions when in base to base with another model with the same rule, so any unit that can disrupt the formation will remove the bonus' given. A canny opponent will attempt to focus fire weak points in the line to deny the armour bonus to as many Man-O-Wars as possible, further more the bonus only extends to the front arcs and cannot be used on a march/charge move.

Weapons
Shield Cannon
A very short range weapon with  high POW, the Shield cannon is a very situational weapon due to the low RAT value and range. If it hits, your enemy will feel it as it is certainly powerful enough to do damage to even heavy 'jacks, and enmasse will devastate heavy infantry and light/medium 'jacks (if you hit). To get the most out of shooting, you will need to have position (as not to lose Shield wall), range and ideally have a debuffer unit or RAT enhancing spell in place to maximise your hit chances.

Annihilator Blade
Overall a useful melee weapon. Just as hard hitting as the Shield Cannon, but has the advantage of 'Reach' and 'Combined arms' which gives you a extended melee range, and a little more accuracy/damage. Due to the Man-O-War's above average melee stats, you can expect to land some hits and do consistent damage to everything bar heavy 'jacks.

Utility
The Shocktrooper is a soldier of the line, the sole purpose being very simple in design: Absorbing damage. By locking Shields they become a mobile wall for support units to follow behind. Any unit that can bypass unit los or has arching fire will benefit greatly from the mobile wall that is the Man-O-War Shocktrooper and your opponents will have a hard time cracking this unit to get to the fragile units behind it. In my mind this unit is the core choice for defensive strategies.

Tactics & Synergies
The Shocktroopers are a (slow) mobile wall, use them to shield arcing fire units; the Man-O-War Bombardiers come to mind, or to protect fragile unit buffers such as Grey Lords, who can bring up the DEF value of the unit itself. The best caster for this unit will be one that can either improve the speed without compromising shield wall or is able to provide additional bonus' to the DEF or Armour. Protecting the flanks is the number one priority as rear attacks will negate the armour bonus, I usually anchor one flank on the board edge and keep the exposed flank guarded by fast moving flankers or a 'jack. I have in the past used this unit to protect a Koldun Lord 'jack Marshaling a Destroyer, the combination was worked well as it removed focus strain on my caster and allowed me to control a portion of board that I could not extend focus control too. In the current take and hold missions, the Shocktrooper will probably see a lot more use as it is a unit that is very hard to shift once dug in.

Like all Man-O-War units, the Shocktroopers are a specialised unit. A lot of players seem to over look them these days in favour of the harder hitting Demolition Corps, simply because of Shocktroopers static nature. As take and hold units though, except no substitute, these are the most defensive, durable unit we have and best of all it is not a 'jack, so does not need focus. The Shocktrooper unit plants a little bit of Khador into the very heart of the enemies army and is there to stay, if your enemy is wasting time trying to shift your Shocktroopers, then chances are he has not noticed the wall of Juggernauts following right behind.

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Thanks for reading,
DiStudios
The 14th Legion

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