Monday, 7 September 2015

Hazard Warning: The Medusa(s)

I have now had the privilege misfortune of playing against the Medusa, or should I say Medusas or is it Medusai, actually that sounds like Me-juicy - I digress. 

DON'T look in her eyes..........the EYES!!!!!!!

I had a game against Ed (TechBoy2000) and although he was wasteful of the Triton X's and the Medusa's abilities I can see massive potential for the unit - especially working in tandem..........shudder

We played Surging Strike, 5 Focal Points, the 2 in your opponents half are worth more. I was also testing out the Hazard Suits - 2 squads, Ravens, awesome! 
Normally in a game like this I would leave the infantry off the board until turn 5 then go for a Focal Point as really the infantry are useless if not searching for objectives/intel and you don't want them dying early for nothing. 
How refreshing to have squads that can do something else! 

Anyway back to the Medusa. These girls are pretty f***ing terrifying! 10 E7 focus2 shots with Strafe per Medusa will ruin anyone's day. Had Ed played more aggressively with them I would have been ruined. As I said earlier I took advantage of Ed's poor Triton X placement and removed both by turn 3. Rapiers and Archangels will do this. 
I think Ed was a little wary of my Rapiers with their wide fire, effectively giving them 10 E4 shots each, but really he should have strutted up right in front of them and annihilated them one at a time, or 2 at a time. 
Had they done that, they would have been right in my backfield and scoring my Focal Points. 
Not only are the Medusa rather powerful they are extremely hard to hit too, having E+3 countermeasures means its 5's and 6's to hit. Most low energy guns it will be 6's. This isn't too much of a problem for the UCM. There is an abundance of machine guns in the army, all Ravens, Condors, Legionnaires, Rapiers, Sabres...... you know what, just loads of secondary weapons! But I worry for other armies, namely PHR and Scourge. 

PHR due to their low model count, yes they have loads of secondary weapons, but once you start losing a few it will become really difficult to deal with 1 let alone 2 Medusa. PHR don't have much utility with flame or blast weapons either. All these fears are completely secondary to the Scourge. Poor poor Scourge. The Scourge do not have secondary weapons systems (as such), or a longer range when shooting at units with no active countermeasures. The one thing that they do have is the Raider heavy dropship. This is seriously probably the only thing that can stop a Medusa. A clever PHR player will do everything they can to remove that threat too. 

There are two things that help balance the Medusa out, firstly A1; means that pretty much anything that does hit her will more often than not wound her. Secondly the short range of her attack. Only 9" means she needs to get into position  which can take a couple of turns. This time MUST be used wisely to try and knock a few dp off her. 
The Medusa actually goes against my normal rule of finishing off models. If there are 2 of them I'd rather knock a few dp off each than try to finish one off (obviously this can change based on individual situations). Once the cyber-bitch starts losing dp it becomes a lot harder for her to dish out significant damage, especially with strafe.  


I do have a couple of issues with the Medusa at the moment, hopefully these can get sorted out for the final rules when they are printed in Reconquest phase 2. My main gripe is that the bonus to CQB should be aligned with her remaining dp. Having a Medusa with 1 or 2 dp left still granting 5 bonus for CQB is a bit much in my opinion. If it was 0.5 of the remaining dp (rounding up) working just like reduced weapons (RW) it would be a bit more realistic and not be so harsh on the opponent. My other very minor gripe is she might be a little too cheap at 90 points. I know you can't compare like for like accross factions but 3 bases of Freeriders (9 dp) would be 105 points. The Medusa is far better than 3 bases of Freeriders.

What do you lovely people in reader world think? Have you had any dealings with the Medusa yet? Are you having problems with her, or have you found a way of reliably killing her off? Let me know in the comments 



21 comments:

  1. I think the Medusa should not have DF. Removing that makes the headshots count. Then at least she want's to be a little in the shadow. If that means a slight reduction of points sure but I really like the headshot mechanic in DZC and the Medusa really is something that should be able to be headshot.

    Good post. Thanks. /Egge

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Problem is removing DF almost reduces her survivability by 25%, as most weapons can double damage against A1. For a unit that is already very delicate thats a huge decline. As it is the Medusa is either very strong, or very weak, depending on the game. Decrease her survivability more and the percentage of her 'very weak' games may go through the roof. Tough to say.

      Delete
    2. Yeah I think she needs to keep DF too. If she lost it she'd need an armour increase as pretty much every gun in the game will hurt be able to double her, even praetorians E2 SMGs

      Delete
  2. Had a good few games against them. Using both my UCM and Resistance. Against my UCM she was hardly a worry, I had that many machineguns that I basically plink damaged her to death. And against my Resistance Cyclones became the heroes of the day. In the games she did get close she was death for nearly anything she looked at ((Most notably my earlier games against her)) though when she's down to 1-2 DP left I generally leave her alone after that. Unless the mission calls for it (Or I have an abundance of secondary weapons) I'll just leave her alone at that point.

    Not too sure about the points as she can either be so effective as to be too cheap or so worthless as to be too expensive (She's either done really well or really badly in my games against her)

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Medusa is good (or not, depending on the game), I'm interested to she how tactics and list building evolves to deal with the new influx of infantry. She can definitely be dealt with, as Dave said, the sooner you can shave off a few DP the easier she can be managed.

    I'm more worried about the Screamer/Raider though, I think the Scourge got the dark horse candidate for best unit of the new releases. Sort of snuck up on us there. Turns out the way to make flame weapons really effective is to strap them on a really tough flier with lots of good E shots.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, the screamer/raider is really very very good. It is very killable, but when taken with a Scourge army where there are already a lot of aircraft, choosing targets is tricky.

      Delete
  4. I love the Medusa, and I think it's pretty easy to see that. I loved her before her rules came out and I love her even more now. And you're right, she doesn't have very many drawbacks. However, I think that if you really want to destroy the Medusa as a Scourge player (which I am first and foremost, despite my crush on the Medusa), another good unit to use is the Eviscerators. A4 and CQB 6? Yes, please. That'll screw up a Medusa in CQB, even if she's got support. Fortunately, that 5 CQB bonus will only apply when not embarked in a building. Another potentially useful unit is a Tormentor squad carrying Razorworms. The acid throwers can soften the Medusa up and reduce her shots and effectiveness, while the Razorworms zip in afterwards to finish her off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unless it is absolutely necessary, I wouldn't put the medusa in building. She is a lot more vulnerable there than anywhere else.
      Tormentors would ruin a Medusa, but they are clumsy to fit in a list and very one dimensional, whereas the raider has other purposes, like transporting the screamer! Plus it's a lot harder to remove and has better effective range

      Delete
    2. Yeah, The Screamer could almost be secondary to the Raider in what you buy - a flying flamer is a very useful weapon.

      Delete
    3. It is very useful, and I have certainly enjoyed using it. I do think that when people have seen it a few times they will have an easier time against it. It's like any new unit really. Players need to learn how to play with and against it.

      Delete
    4. Another thing that could potentially ruin a Medusa only available to PHR players: another Medusa. A Medusa could do some serious damage to another Medusa, it all depends on which activates first.

      Delete
  5. I've used a single Medusa with Triton X in four games now (2x Scourge, different opponents, and 2x PHR, also different opponents). She's definitely killable, believe me! You can't get too aggressive with her (I've tried), and she has the same ability to whiff as any other unit. In one game she Straffed 4 Prowlers (she was at full health) and only managed to kill 2 of them, which I think for her RoF is pretty poor. Then she got spooged by a Raider - I failed to realize their threat range!

    She's also taken a beating from two squads of Immortals in a building shooting their assault rifles at her from the walls. And stay the hell away from a Hades!

    The trick, I think, is to be judicious with her, don't get too aggressive with a solo Medusa, and leave her where she can repair a stricken unit nearby, especially if you're not also bringing a Hades. Then she becomes an area denial unit, something the enemy doesn't want to get too close to, but might have to by mid game, and then WHAM! She smacks 'em!

    But running two Medusae at 1,500 points means you're probably not taking a squad of Sirens, which isn't a great idea in an all-comers list, IMHO. It's a "That Guy" thing to do, in my opinion, but that means you're going to face it at some point, too. It's just that she is vulnerable to weight of fire, and then once she's down even a few DP she becomes so much less effective offensively.

    One trick is to keep her Triton X alive and nearby to heal her. A few turns of healing after an early smackdown will make a late game threat, and then you can get suicidal with her. The Triton X's E10 black nanomachines shot is just OK, especially at Ac 3+, but healing the Lady ("cyber-bitch". LOL!) is a much more valuable use of the X.

    And definitely keep her out of buildings where she is likely to get drawn into a CQB. However, sometimes taking shelter in a building (where CQB is either unlikely or avoidable) so she can't be shot at out in the open isn't such a bad idea (this was done against me, while my Medusa got shot to pieces by Immortals at the walls)...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with most of what you are saying, but I think as long as you know what's in your opponents army and what it does, you can be super-aggressive with a Medusa. Keeping the Triton close and out of sight is necessary too.
      I don't think taking 2 is a "that-guy" thing to do, it is very powerful but is definitely killable. You certainly have to adjust the way you are playing though, which is good, as I don't believe that the PHR had anything like that before. The Hades tried to be that model, but it is too predictable.

      Delete
    2. IDK. Maybe it's not a "That Guy" thing any more than two Ferrums is, but its a lot of points and a lot of Exotic slots for two units that can be very squishy if the right weapons are turned on them. It doesn't take too many DPs to really reduce the effectiveness of a Medusa (I know!), and for 130 points, well, I like to bring a Siren squad with me, so it's the old 1,500 point issue. Dunno. I picked up two blisters at GenCon but have only built up one of them so far, will get to the second one soon. I saw Major Awesome using two against James W (and James himself brought one) and, yeah, very powerful. Just want to get the gist of running one of them (and keeping her alive!) before I bust out the second one. Maybe the trick is to not bring the X with the second one and have her stay back to heal the Nemesis and be a counter punch unit while taking the one in the X forward and getting more aggressive with her... Hmmmm...
      8^D

      One final comment:

      Podcast! Podcast! Podcast! Podcast! Podcast!

      I'm jonesing here, guys! 8^P

      Delete
    3. I actually think running them together would be best. They are devastating. Valkyries and 2 Medusa in 1 battlegroup. That's a grim thought!
      Valkyries are also the answer for defeating the Medusa. Just have a look at their weapon profile!!
      Pod is coming, we recorded on Tuesday. Should be up by Monday. We must pray to the TechBoy gods

      Delete
    4. Yay!!!

      Hope it's a long one! (Yeah, yeah, I know, that's what she said... ). :-P

      Delete
    5. We were talking for a long time, we'll have to see how much TechBoy edits out.....there are certainly a lot of edits needed!!!

      Delete
    6. TechBoy! TechBoy! TechBoy! TechBoy! TechBoy!

      Make it as long as you like... (I know, I know, that's what he said... ). 8^ P

      Delete
  6. Good read, now the PHR just became a massive threat and can come back and play with the big boys. I could see these replacing Odins, in some lists. Time will tell!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great picture of a Medusa, BTW! I'm gonna make that the wallpaper on my laptop! Really nice!...

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think the Medusa adds a great new capacity to the PHR. Can't wait to try mine out. The Screamer and Raider is a killer unit that totally counters the Medusa, I reckon, so Scourge should be fine. Every faction has some counter against it actually, so I believe it's a well balanced unit.

    ReplyDelete