New Cryx Model Warmachine Review: Hellslinger Phantom aka Happy Feet
Okay we got a few new releases this past month and I'll be going over all of them in due time. I'm going to talk about the one I was most excited about, and coincidentally the most pleased with on the table. The Hellslinger Phantom.
It's a phantom that possessed Caine for a little while and became a total bad ass with pistols. He's got the normal Pistol Wraith stat line, but a bump to RAT 8, DEF 15, and ARM13. He kept the 5 boxes. He's Gunfighter, Incorporeal, and Undead ((side note does anyone else remember when Undead was the best ability in the game?)). Right away we see he doesn't want to be hit, by anything magical. Magical AOE's or magic weapon deviations can hurt him, and possible kill him (Wraith Engine is in CID who knows if it'll help). He has two Range 10 ROF1 POW 12 Magical Pistols, that have RELOAD (1). Thats on each gun, so if he gets the SOUL TRAIN going he can snap 4 shots in a round. This comes with a heavy price tag though at 7 points... Thats over half of my beloved Mc'Thrall Boat. Is he worth it?
Well he does have some other abilities to round out the back of that card. First he has
Soul Taker Body Count. Whenever he destroys a living enemy model with an attack he gains the soul, he can have up to 3. This is how the Reload Soul Train starts, he can use these souls to boost on either attack or damage rolls. We can also use it for the afore mentioned RELOAD (1).
He also has Swift Hunter. This allows him to advance up to 2 inches every time he destroys a living model with a basic ranged attack. With RELOAD (1) this means a potential of 4 shots, which could mean 4 dead bodies, which could mean 8 inches of Swift Hunter movement...Hence the loving nickname, Happy Feet.
To round him out each pistol his 3 "abilities" he can choose on any shot. He did lose the ability to stationary models, but he picked up:
Critical Grievous Wounds: When triggered this prevents damage from being removed and they lose tough. While Alten Ashely has made a living with this on a shot, it being critical makes it a lot less appealing. There are still times when it's the best shot, but we shouldn't bank on it.
Ghost Shot: The Money Shot if you will. This model ignores LOS, concealment, and cover when making attacks with this weapon. Holy Flying Monkeys Batman. Ignoring concealment and cover at rat 8 is pretty nuts. But LOS is what makes this incredible, and a bit of a home rum ability. With the right board this ability will be bonkers, but it is board dependent. One thing I've seen from Meta to Meta is terrain varies greatly depending on where you are. So not every game will he be able to sit out of LOS killing fools left and right. But the games when he can you'll always remember.
Incendiary: It causes fire damage, and the models hit suffer the Fire continuous effect. This one is interesting, and coupled with Crit Grievous makes for some in game decisions. When shooting tough models am I better hoping for the crit to ignore tough 14% of the time. If I do this I get the soul and can keep shooting. Or lighting him on fire, hoping the effect holds, 66% of the time, and the fire kills the knocked down model. There isn't an easy way to put that down on a chart, but when shooting trolls I wanted dead I often relied on the fire to do it, rather than the crit home run chance.
So thats our Happy Feet. Who does he work well with? Everyone on the internet immediately wen to Skarre 2, and i under stand why. I CAN BLACK SPOT A UNIT, THEN THE HELLSLINGER GOES AND SHOOTS 8 MODELS!!! HE GETS TO SWIFT HUNGER 16 INCHES (Which actually is incredibly awesome and I did it once just to say I did it) OMG CRYX IS AMAZING! PUT ME ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN AGAIN, I DON'T EVEN REMEMBER WHY I WAS SALTY ABOUT BANES! However, we're using an arc node, a 7 point solo and 3 or 4 focus to do this. For that cost I'd hope we'd kill a few models. The place where he should be calling home in my opinion is, in the GHOST FLEET.
Why you ask? Well for one in that theme he can be taken for free. Which is my largest issue with him, and the pistol wraith in general. At the 7 point threshold he's as much if not more than some min units. And while he has potential to be amazing, there will be games where he simple doesn't have souls to eat, targets to kill, or maybe the terrain just doesn't favor him. However when coupled with Denny 1 assassination game he always is a huge threat. The -5 armor that Denny 1 brings, following Cryx Commandment #1 coupled with an incorporeal speed 6 pair of ghost shot pow 12's is scary. We add in the rifles for 9 more ghost shot pow 10's that can be CRA'd in groups of 3 to optimize your odds.
He can also be taken in INFERNAL MACHINE, but there he isn't free. I've taken him a few times in non theme lists and the price is always what bothers me the most. So to recap TT, you're saying for free he's a bargain, but for 7 points he's...okay? Unfortunately at the 7 point cost thats correct. I can only give him a meh. He's godly some games, and thats what a lot of players will remember. But I remember the games where there were no souls, and he was a really expensive machine wraith sitting in a zone contesting or scoring on some far off flag. When he's free and you take a caster who can increase what he threats though, he's truly an incredible piece. So if you're just starting out or building your collection I'd pass on him. Once you start building ghost fleet however I hope your feet are as happy as mine. What do you guys think of him? Leave a comment below and let me know!