Saturday, 29 March 2014

Getting Started: PHR Unit Overview

Well hello everyone Joe here and my first ever blog post.
Before I jump straight to the PHR, here is a little on me. I've been here from the beginning of Dropzone from the very first salute show, where if memory serves me right (scratches head) that the Hawk team had a preview of a good range of stunning models for each faction, mainly the dropships. Team Hawk were at this stage still completing the rules set, which to be honest I didn't think was going to be as good as it turned out to be.
So from then I got a call from my local gaming store saying team Hawk have got Dropzone on the shelf and are running demos all day, get down here ASAP! So loaded on excitement I got a demo game of UCM vs Scourge under my belt, and then left the store with a PHR starter set and a rule book signed "to Joe you big loser" by Hawk David.

For UCM, Scourge, Shaltari and Resistance overviews just click



TO THE IMPORTANT STUFF: So you are looking at getting the PHR or you have just purchased the PHR starter set, (because you love walkers obviously) and are wondering what units are a good next purchase or how these units actually play before you part with your cash. I'll be concentrating on the overview of the units and the strengths/weaknesses (if any, we are tough) and some basic tactics. In general we are the slowest moving, hardest hitting faction; with all of our ground units having 2 damage points, the exception being the Janus scouts.


Something to take note of: We have mainly 3 types of walkers. Type 1 are our battle standard walkers which also contain our main AA.  Type 2 are our heavy walkers which all have a passive save of 5+ and are super hard hitting. Type 3 are our support walkers which are the fastest moving but our lowest armoured.


A good way to get more points out of your list, if you are short on points. Is to mix your squads Ares/Phobos/Menchits. Also splitting you Phobos give you better AA coverage acros the battlefield.

Our command cards are some of the best, and can sometimes be game changing. In a 1000 point skirmish game I've found a level 3 commander is best and a level 4/5 in 1500 point clash game.


There is normally 2 types of PHR lists, a back board army and then an army that actually includes dropships that can move(well at least a bit). Before making this decision just play with what models you like and your own play style will come to you.




OVERVIEW OF UNITS

COMMAND
Zeus: Possibly the strongest commander in the game with a 3+ passive save the highest armour available and a gun that can make the heaviest of battle tanks cry. This guy is truly amazing but doesn't come cheap on points. Pair this guy with an Odin and you have a hard hitting heavy walker squad, but don't let him get overwhelmed or your commander will be no more.!!!


Nemesis command walker: This is currently one of my favourite commander choice in the game. It looks cool and has a massive gun, that has infinite range AND DEVASTER 2!!!. Yep it is horrible as F...!!. It can wipe out most units from turn one. It also has 2 smaller guns that is capable of destroying battle tanks. This is based on the original hades with some extra design and detail. because of the range of the gun you would never want this to take a transport. unfortunately another PHR back unit. Does force you take some scouts to increase your sphere of influence (SOI). Run this with a hades and the enemy will struggle to stay out of sight especially as its also great for pounding buildings.


SCOUT
Janus scout walker squadron: I love the Janus walker, these cool little guys run around the battlefield harassing anyone and anything they can with there short ranged shaped charged AA capable missiles. This normally means you need a 3+ followed by a 6+ on battle tanks. These units are also good to increase SOI of your commander. Put them in a Triton dropship and whizz up your enemy's flank.

Mercury scout drones: These pesky fellers are the PHR's answer to finding objectives. They reduce the roll needed to find objectives and make you re-roll if you find a bomb on an Intel mission. They have the option to take a triton transport, if you do so you get a lovely pair of seeker missiles that use the line of site of the drones. Yes that does mean you can launch the rockets from the triton that hiding out of site. great for avoiding AA and getting your shots off. awesome for adding in you last battlegroup if you have a Pegasus group spare. Great things however, do come at a price. I would say they are fairly pointed but cost as much as a squad of sirens. And I would rather take them. That is my personal choice as these drones do kick-ass.




STANDARD

Phobos (anti-air): Up until the latest new releases these were the only AA units that fitted into the standard slot, and oh boy they are good at it. Take four of these and you will have enough AA fire to take a cradle world. Many of my opponents fear these battle walkers. They get 3 shots each with a 2 foot range and can double out the vast majority of the aircraft and dropships in the game, normally meaning you need 4/5+ to do so. Your enemy will hunt these down knowing that once there are gone they rule the skies. 



Ares (anti-armour): These crafty units have a 1 shot high energy gun which is able to damage every ground unit around. They have a sneaky little scanning array that means that penalties to shoot can only be +1 to the dice roll, get a large squad of theses against skimmers and your opponent will be off running home with their tail between their legs. Skimmer bonus is obsolete my friend.



Menchit (anti-infantry): The flame tactics are a good one and against the right unit can be deadly.  Imagining legionaries or free-riders getting burnt to a crisp does sound appealing. Normally I would not mix building demo and flame weapons, as they basicly do the same task,(eliminate infantry). With the latest points decrease and errata, these guys now have the range to be use-full and very good at being the second unit in an Neptune to an Ares or Phobos. Here at TeamOB we like to put flame weapons in with our troops battlegroups. So in one activation you can burn some infantry, then stick our troops in after to mop up anything left.


HEAVY
Odin (anti-armour): These type 2 gods are my favourite go to, take every time I can unit. They get 2 x energy 11 guns each and a passive save. These kill anything they shoot at, 90 percent of the time. Oh and must not forget they are also 24" range yep. Not all is good though they move slower than a granny that's lost her zimmer frame. You must deploy these correctly otherwise their killing potential will just be wasted on demolishing buildings.

Enyo (siege): Talking of building demolition that's what these guys were built to do. If you have seen any games of Dropzone with someone playing PHR. You will have noticed that these guys flatten cities not because it's fun... because they can. Never take a dropship with these chaps, walk them on your table edge and hit a building of your choice, they have unlimited range against them. They can fire their energy 10 at ground vehicles, but with a very short range.

Hyperion (tank destroyer): These guys have a 1 shot infinite range laser that if you roll a 6 to hit causes 2 damage points... ouch. Yes, these guys pack a punch! They can also move and shoot which means you can walk them on the table edge and shoot. Leave the dropships at home with these chaps. Your opponent will try to redeploy if you set them in an area where they have a good view of his units, so just find a building to redesign!

Taranis mlrs battery: The Taranis are the PHR's indirect firing unit. They cannot move and fire and don't have the best of range. They do have a 1 shot energy 10 demolisher D3. So can easy rip holes in buildings, I think on average you can do around 8 damage points. These are a good substitute if you cannot afford the points for Enyo siege walkers.

Hades(the scorpion): If you have seen one of these in action then you probably would have seen it kicking some arse somewhere in the game. It has a huge tail gun that does 3 shots of energy 12 at a 3 foot range, this is strong enough to cripple enemy armour with ease. The effective range from turn 2, walking on is 42" which my friend, is basically the whole board. It also has 2 mini-guns on the front chucking out a total of 6 shots, which were designed for ripping light armoured scouts or buildings.
This huge beast has 8 damage points, but does only have armour 9.. I say only that's still amazing, seeing as it has the ability to heal itself. This weapon the black and white nano machines is indirect firing while the white heals any unit within 18" and line of sight on a 1+ and the black nano machines causing a medium strength 10 blast. The only downside to fielding one of these bad boys is that your opponent will hide from it, some won't even bother to harm it. In this case I would just turn a building into rubble because you just can.

SUPPORT

Apollo: The fastest type 3 walker we have available and can transition. They have 1 anti-tank shot and have a 24" range that can walk 6" or jump(transition) 12" and fire. A unit of 1 or 2 really does give the phr some mobility and the ability to outflank/reach backboard units. They do have a lower armour than the rest of our walkers, so you must play them a bit more carefully. I prefer them in a Neptune dropship, which will mean a 21" deployment turn 1. Yeah! that's right their special rule means they don't have the half move rule for deployment from a dropship, they basically use there jump thrusters to land ... so cool!

Erebos: This type 3 walker brings to the tabletop a shield and an energy 10 anti-tank gun. The shield works by increasing what your opponent needs to roll to hit your units to a maximum of 6+. Depending on their distance. At 3"/+3     6"/+2     12"/+1. These are great defensive units to protect your walkers that do not have a passive save, i.e. a Phobos or a back boarded Hades. Great against the UCM scout drones as their weapon is 6" range they will always hit the Erebos on 5+ mwah hahahahaha. Also great for reducing the damage the Scourge Prowlers make as they have to be in contact with your models.
 
Helios: Armed to the teeth with  AA missiles these are awesome not only can a pair take out 4 different targets they also have shaped charge missiles that can rip holes in the highest of armour. There firepower is the equivalent of 12 x Janus scouts. I was always sceptical about the Helios's ability to points to cost, due to there range. but that extra speed and being a skimmer has proven me wrong and more importantly has added a bit of speed that is now crucial to the PHR.

Angelos: Skimmers we have skimmers!!!! yeah skimmer bonus for everyone.... *cough.
Well these guys combine building demo and the ability to carry a squad of infantry, and even better that the infantry do not take up a slot in your army. The demo is not the best but good for adding in something with at least that ability or to finish off the last remaining points on a building! Perfect for adding in that fourth troop choice, keep them near a home objective while shooting buildings. You could use them as the unit taking objectives off the board, frees up the range on the Tritons to do more rapid searching.


AIRWING

Athena
The athena is probably the most universal fast mover in the game. With the options to destroy AA targets and drop 2 x demolishing cruise missiles as well as a shaped charge missile battery like all PHR dropships.
On one model you have the same amount of shots as a pair of Phobos, but with a decrease in accuracy, hitting on a 4+. Unfortunately the fast movers are not reliable enough in a tournament setting for me to use often. They are best at wiping out small dropships containing troops to give you that early edge or gunship hunting. They either perform great or don't even bother to arrive to the battlefield!......Now with the option to take Forward air controllers, you can wave bye-bye to that attack run roll. It wont be until turn 2 that you can get the benefit but the Athena is now more on an option. We still need to roll for reserves so there is still that possibility of it staying at home!!!

DROPSHIPS

We have three dropships at our disposal. The Triton light, The Neptune medium and the Poseidon heavy
The Neptune can Carry 2 walker units and the Poseidon 6 walkers.
the Neptune moves 16" where the Poseidon moves 12"
These both come with a 1 shot shaped charge missile, which loves to hunt the low armoured units after dropping their cargo.
The Triton light dropship comes in 2 types the a1 and the a2. One to carry the scout units of the PHR the other to rapidly deploy our infantry into buildings. The Triton has a 20" range so reaching the opponents table half wont be hard. You have the options to give these chaps weapons, 15pts you get 2x shaped charged missiles and 3pts for mini-guns. If you decide to give the Janus walkers an a2 Triton dropship it would be a good idea to upgrade to the missiles so they can pester the opposing players ground units. I wouldn't upgrade the a1 infantry Triton because you never want to put them in harms way carrying your troops.

INFANTRY

Immortals: Our basic infantry, which are solid all round. We get 2 x bases to the UCM/Scouge 3, we are just that tough! The benefit we get by having a squad size of 2, is when your opponent has to use light dropships they need to reduce their size to 2 bases of infantry leaving them normally 5 dice out. The shalatri have the toughest infantry so try to double up on them. In a 1500 point game 4x squads works best, as objective hunting wins the game.

Immortal Longreach Team: 10 x energy 7 shots with shaped charge. They will fit right into any PHR list, being troops means that these guys were designed to line walls and be your spotters for the fast movers. My love for shaped charge weapons just keeps growing. Unfortunately they will die to failing masonry as good as anyone else and flamers will ignore there evasive +1 for shooting. Great for setting on that home objective. Very affective against resistance models without countermeasures as they will have infinite range.  


Sirens: Exotic in every way these girls where born to fight CQB with a special 3+ save against falling masonry and a 2+ dodge, basic infantry will struggle to even scratch them. Your opponent will try and avoid these unless they have to. They are low armoured needing 3+ to hurt in CQB but the 2+ dodge will soon negate those hits. I like to send the Sirens in to back up a lonely immortals squad who is about to get attacked.

Juno ifv a1/a2: These are the PHR APCs. They can carry 2 bases of infantry and a great addition to anybody that wants a little more armour around our troops. The a1 comes equipped with an energy 7 shaped charge huntsman cannon, while the a2 is equiped with the heavy mini-gun. The shaped charged cannon is nice to have but is 6 points more and when you need those last extra points in a list, go here first. Mounting the Junos in a Neptune does give you a nice deployment range and options. All depends on the player really.



If trying to upgrade from the starter set, I would go for a Zeus command unit followed by something hard hitting like some Odins or a Hades. Then I would think about some Triton light dropships and a second AA unit. or falling that get whatever you like the look of! Hopefully soon we will get rules for the medusa and triton x and I will let you know my thought asap. I hope that you have enjoyed reading this and you might get something useful out of it. Hope to see you on the battlefield soon. Happy Drop-zoning!!!


























































































8 comments:

  1. Great first post! It seems you guys are getting some great regular updates here. I really like the Menchit and think they are really great as deterrent of infantry. Just place them behind a building you know the enemy want to get in to and laugh. They are pretty cheap so that is a valid tactic, I think. Otherwise I think you are pretty reasoning the same as I - so I like it :-)

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  2. Great article. I bought a large PHR army recently and I'm about to play my first DZC games in a small competition coming up in two weeks. I was going to take an Athena but then decided against it due to that randomness.

    Cheers,
    Sword

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  3. great article!! we are waiting for our DzC box to come, and my friend is going to be playing phr... so nice intel for my UCM to use against him!

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  4. Thanks for the article. I'm just starting to get into DZC and I'm leaning toward PHR because I love the models. Before I dive in though I have some questions I hope you might address in future articles.
    1: how do you adjust for the lack of speed that is inherent in the PHR force?
    2: is the relative lack of air power an issue?
    3: is structure demolition a requirement for PHR armies to work well?

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  5. I'm glad you like it, thanks for the feedback much appreciated. I won't go into much detail but a backboard army one that just stand and shoots will benefit from building demo to clear a path for them to shoot. Air power not an issue. And with the speed you need to deploy correct and give your units possible multi targets incase the opponent out manoeuvres you which they will try to do and will in some cases. Let them come to you. 1 deploy most of my units turn 1 and I have all the range I need. I will have sample lists available on part 2 which should help you out. For now I would play some games and get to grips with the deployment. Happy drop zoning
    Ps. Sword are. You a shining force fan?

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  6. This article is ace. Me and my friends played a few games of DZC with the starter set at our local games club an really enjoyed it.

    I myself am leaning towards the PHR as I love the models so this article was a huge help.

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  7. Cant decide between PHR or Shaltari, love PHR back ground. But I think they are to slow and blunt for what I would excpect a hyper Advanced race.

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