Houseguard Halberdiers

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Houseguard Halberdiers
Retribution Houseguard Unit
Officer & Standard
Command Attachment

The majority of the houseguard are career soldiers who have spent years at drill and formation. Though they are drawn from dozens of lesser Iosan households, all follow an ancient shared tradition and undergo similar disciplined training and drills. At the orders of their superiors, ranks of halberdiers form a tide of rising and falling steel that can cut down masses of enemies with deliberate ease.

Basic Info

SOM icon.jpg

Special Order Model
This model is no longer available through normal US distributors (as of 2018.04). Instead your local game store needs to order it through PP's Special Order Service. More info is available at PP Retailer Support.

International distributors can still access the entire catalog of models.

See also the Official Press Release and/or Category: Special Order Model.

Houseguard Halberdiers
Missing Info
HouseguardHalberdiers.jpg
COST {{{cacost}}}
UNIT SIZE {{{casize}}}
FA {{{cafa}}}
Warcaster 0
BASE Small
SPD 6
STR
MAT 6
RAT N/A
M.A. N/A
DEF 13
ARM 14
CMD 7
ESSENCE {{{essence}}}
FOCUS N/A
FURY N/A
THRS N/A
HP 1
F. Field N/A
WJP {{{wjp}}}
WBP {{{wbp}}}
IHP {{{ihp}}}
UNIT SIZE 6 / 10 +1CA
COST 8 / 14 +4CA
N/A
N/A
FA
N/A
Warcaster 1
BASE N/A
SPD N/A
STR N/A
MAT N/A
RAT N/A
DEF N/A
ARM N/A
CMD N/A
FOCUS N/A
FURY N/A
THRS N/A
HP N/A
WJP N/A
WBP N/A
UNIT SIZE N/A
COST 1.4 each
FA N/A
N/A
Understanding
the Statblock

Abilities

  • Entire Unit
    • Combined Melee Attack - This unit can combine their melee attacks to get a bonus on accuracy and damage.
    • Practiced Maneuvers - Each model in this unit can ignore other models in this unit when determining LOS and can advance through them if it has enough movement to move completely past them.
    • Set Defense - A model in this model's front arc suffers -2 on charge, slam power attack, and impact attack rolls against this model.
    • Shield Wall (Order) - Until the start of their next activation, each affected model gains +4 ARM while B2B with another affected model in its unit. This bonus does not apply to damage originating in the model's back arc. Models in this unit can begin the game affected by Shield Wall.
  • Officer only
    • The Officer has +1 MAT, CMD, and 5 hitpoints
    • Officer - This model is the unit commander even if the unit has a Leader model.
    • Granted: Reposition [3"] - While this model is in formation, models in its unit gain Reposition [3"]. (Reposition [3"] - At the end of an activation in which it did not run or fail a charge, this model can advance up to 3", then its activation ends.)
    • Team Effort (Minifeat) - Once per game at any time, during their activation the unit gains +2 to attack and damage rolls vs enemy models that are in the melee range of another model in this unit.
  • Standard
    • The Standard does not have CMA or Set Defense
    • Standard Bearer - While this model is within 5" of the unit commander, the unit commander gains +2 CMD.
    • Take Up - If this model is destroyed, you can choose a Grunt in this unit within 1" of it to be destroyed instead. Effects on this model expire, and it gains the effects on the chosen Grunt. Remove the Grunt from the table instead of this model. This model has the same number of unmarked damage boxes as the chosen Grunt.

Weapons

  • Everyone except Standard
    • Halberd - 2" reach, P+S 10 melee weapon
      • Brutal Charge - This model gains +2 damage on charge attacks with this weapon.
  • Standard Bearer
    • Unarmed - This model has no weapons.

Weapon Attachment

As always, the Halberdiers may be joined by up to 3 Soulless Escorts. Theie weapons/abilities have been omitted for brevity.

Theme Forces


Thoughts on Houseguard Halberdiers

Command Attachment

Houseguard Halberdiers in a nutshell

Houseguard Halberdiers can be compared to the other, small-based units, like the IFP, the Obstructors or the Karax. They have combined melee attack, plus the role-defining Shield Wall order, which sacrifices mobility for increased resilience. They lack the hitting power of the IFP, won't survive anti-infantry tech as well as the Karax, and lack the tarpit function the Obstructors can achieve with the enigma Foundry. However, they are surprisingly fast even in Shield Wall. Between Reform from their UA, +2" from the Thane and Advanced Move in theme - they can be up to 24-27" over the board, in Shield Wall and jamming your opponent before they can get hit.

Their offensive power can also be bolstered by Brutal Charge and their minifeat (giving them what is essentially Gang), yielding an effective P+S 14, which is enough to make people hang back. More than that, their natural DEF is the highest among their peers, and grows to absurd levels with Set Defence. This can be especially valuable as enemies usually rely on charges to crack shield walls.

Thoughts on adding the CA

Adding the CA is almost always going to pay dividends. Reposition is essential in their mobility while leaving them in shield wall and the mini-feat gives them one round of decent damage (and they'll probably be dead after that anyway).

Thoughts on adding the WA

The Soulless Escort will rarely defend you against SPD de-buffs - by the time the enemy will be able to drop such spells on you, the Halberdiers already supposed to reach their position. However, against spells which mess with your ARM (like Parasite), or downright forbid you entering into Shield Wall (Rebuke), he can be extremely useful. Like in every case of him, know your enemy before you inflate further this unit's cost.

Combos & Synergies

  • Elara2 - her feat, Closing Darkness, along with a Thanes +2" movement allows you to charge through enemy lines, thanks to Ghostly, and strike their warcaster with a 15" threat range.
    • Add in Lanyssa. She can be brought into the Defenders of Ios theme, and with Hunters' Mark + Boundless charge you have a very nasty assassination potential from Turn 2, hitting a warcaster/warlock that is only 14" from their board edge if you go second.
  • Vyros1 - Inviolable Resolve pushes their ARM up to Khador heavy levels, plus they resist pushes. Their 2" melee range also allows you to trigger the feat's flank bonus from afar.
  • Ossyan - Quicken can further protect them against ranged attacks and almost gets them faster to their destination.
  • Thyron - feat, with its Side Step, coupled with Reposition 3" means that after the Halberdiers have hit (and they will hit with 3d6 effective MAT 8 attack rolls!), they can delve a further 5" into your opponent's face and be a real pain even though you know they're going to die.
  • If you have a single spare point, consider adding the Soulless Escort to these guys. Not only he benefits from the Shield Wall order and the minifeat of the Officer, but his presence makes the delivery of common debuffing spells (Rebuke, Parasite, Crippling Grasp, etc.) all the more difficult/dangerous.

Drawbacks & Downsides

  • They're a special order model.
  • Like all single-wound shield-walled infantry, they are sweet targets for corrosion templates, snipers, and other attacks that cause a single damage upon hitting.
  • Outside themes they compete against Dawnguard units, who - in most scenarios - do the same job better, and are not that much more expensive.
  • A lack of Pathfinder outside of a couple spells and one feat and low native ARM means they can be stymied by wall templates of all varieties.
  • Though their reach is far, they need to charge to be effective and anything that stops them from charging will make them sad.

Tricks & Tips

  • Usual caveat for units in Shield Wall: use the arrow-formation to counter tricks which push unit members out of shield walls.
  • Since Shield Wall can be applied from the start of the game, always take advantage of this, which also applies to the Advanced Move benefit from theme.

Other

Trivia

Released in Forces of Warmachine: Retribution of Scyrah (Novermber 2009)

Other Retribution models

Retribution Logo.jpg       Retribution Index       (Edit)
Battlegroup & Similar
Warcasters Elara2 - Garryth1 - Garryth2 - Goreshade4 - Helynna1 - Issyria1 - Kaelyssa1 - Ossyan1 - Rahn1 - Ravyn1 - Thyron1 - Vyros1 - Vyros2
Warcaster attachments Fane Knight Guardian (Retribution) - Sylys Wyshnalyrr (Retribution) - Madelyn Corbeau (Mercenary)
Other Warjack Controllers Elara1 (BGC) - Sentinel Scyir ('Jack Marshal) - Artificer ('Jack Marshal)
Light Warjacks Aspis - Chimera - Gorgon - Griffon - Harpy - Siren
Moros
Heavy Warjacks Banshee - Daemon - Hydra - Manticore - Phoenix - Sphinx
Discordia - Hypnos - Hemera - Imperatus
Colossal Hyperion - Helios
Units, Solos, & Battle Engines
Units Destors - Invictors - Sentinels - Heavy Rifle Team - Swordsmen - Arcanists - Battle Mages - Electromancers - Halberdiers - Riflemen - Infiltrators - Strike Force - Ryssovass Defenders - Stormfall Archers
Nyss Hunters - Spears of Scyrah
Special: Eiryss3 (CA) - Soulless Escort (WA)
Solos

Aelyth Vyr - Arcanist Mechanik - Destor Thane - Sentinel Scyir - Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios (1) - Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (2) - Eiryss, Fortune Hunter of Ios (4) - Elara, Tyro of the Third Chamber (1) - Fane Knight Guardian - Fane Knight Skeryth Issyen - Ghost Sniper - Hermit of Henge Hold - Artificer - Magister - Houseguard Thane - Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress Lys Healer - Assassin - Narn, Mage Hunter of Ios - Nayl - Priest of Nyssor - Soulless Voidtracer

Battle Engines Arcantrik Force Generator - Dawnguard Trident
Theme Forces
Defenders of Ios - Forges of War - Legions of Dawn - Shadows of the Retribution
Mercenaries
Units Lady Aiyana & Master Holt - Lynus Wesselbaum & Edrea Lloryrr
Solos

Dahlia Hallyr & Skarath - Eilish Garrity - Madelyn Corbeau, Ordic Courtesan - Void Archon

This index was last updated: 2019.05

Rules Clarifications

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Rules Clarification : Brutal Charge      (Edit)

  • If your charge movement was less than 3", your first attack is not considered a 'charge attack' and thus you won't get the Brutal Charge bonus.
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Rules Clarification : Unarmed      (Edit)

  • Since this model has no weapons it does not have a melee range.
    • This means it can't engage other models, declare charges, or make free strikes
    • Also it can't gain abilities that require a melee range (such as Ragman granting this model Dark Shroud).
  • However, other models that do have melee weapons can engage this model. So this model can still gain the "target in melee" shooting bonus.


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Rules Clarification : Combined Melee Attack      (Edit)

  • Each CMA only counts as a single attack, no matter how many participants are involved. This means, for example, that if Satyxis Raiders damage a warjack and trigger their Feedback ability, the enemy warcaster will only take 1 damage total, not 1 for every Raider.
  • Any bonuses (such as back strike) or penalties (such as the target being behind cover) are determined according to the model leading the CMA (the attack leader).
    • If the participants have buffs/debuffs but the attack leader doesn't ... then the CMA doesn't because only the attack leader matters. Simple as that.
  • A single unit can perform multiple CMAs, utilising different groupings of models. eg a unit with 10 models could make one 10-man CMA, two 5-man CMAs, or five 2-man CMAs, or etc.
  • CMA for units that have more than one melee weapon (the short version)
    • Once you have more than one melee weapon, charging becomes a bit complicated. There are two important rules:
      1. A model which charges must use its first attack to make a charge attack. It can't "skip ahead" to contributing its second non-charge attack before it's resolved its first attack.
      2. For a CMA to gain the charging bonus, then all contributors must be contributing a charge attack.
    • These two rules have a few, slightly confusing implications. Click the expand box below for a full breakdown.
CMA for units with more than one weapon (the long version) (Edit)
The following example is about Satyxis Raiders, but is equally applicable to other units with two CMA:
  • Each Raider gets two attacks. Both, one, or neither can be a CMA as you choose.
  • If you are doing two CMA in a row, then you should note that the second CMA doesn’t have to use the same “primary attacker” or the same “participants” as the first CMA.
    • For instance, you could have the first CMA with raider A being the "primary attacker" and raider B being the "participant",
    • then for the second CMA have raider B the "primary attacker" and raider A the "participant".
    • Or leave A alone for a moment and use B plus C. Whatever takes your fancy.
  • Primary attackers and participants don't have to use the same weapon. So, continuing with the above example, you could have primary A use lash and participant B use horns, then primary B use lash and participant A use horns. Effectively granting you two lash attacks with CMA bonuses!
  • Combined Melee Attack and charging
    • Remember the 2 rules above?
    • Rule 1 means you cannot contribute your second, non-charge attack before you have resolved/contributed your first attack.
    • Rule 1 means you cannot "skip ahead" to resolving your second, non-charge attack before you have resolved/contributed your first attack.
    • but wait, there's more!
    • However, thanks to the "Units with Combined Melee Attack ignore the rule that one trooper's combat action cannot begin until the previous model's combat action ends" rule, you can "pause" your second attack if you want to do a CMA with it later. For example:
      • Model A performs its charge attack.
      • Model B performs its charge attack. (Interrupting A)
      • Model C performs its charge attack. (Interrupting B)
      • CMA using A, B & C's remaining attack.

Rules Clarification : Practiced Maneuvers - None yet. (Edit)
Rules Clarification : Set Defense - None yet. (Edit)

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Rules Clarification : Shield Wall      (Edit)

  • You don't need to have the entire unit in B2B to get the bonus. Even just two models in B2B will give it to each other. Which way they're facing doesn't matter, either.
  • You can still get Shield Wall while knocked down.
  • Shield Wall works against all damage except damage originating in your back arc.
    • If a damage roll doesn't have an origin point (such as Scather, Old Witch1's feat, continuous fire, etc) then by definition it can't originate in your back arc, and you'll get your bonus vs it.
    • It won't work vs stuff that "leaps" off models in your back arc, such as Electro Leap. (Locked thread)
  • If you start the game in Shield Wall, it will expire when you activate the unit. It doesn't let you run and be in Shield Wall on turn 1.
  • Since models move in straight lines, it impossible to keep two models B2B while advancing. Thus you cannot benefit from Shield Wall while moving through acid clouds etc.
    • Unless you have something that lets you move through models, like Tactician.
  • Orders affect unit attachments, even if that attachment doesn't have the order on their card (such as a Soulless Escort benefiting from the Shield Wall order). (Infernal Ruling)
  • You get your Shield Wall bonus vs continuous fire in the Maintenance Phase. Shield Wall doesn't expire until the unit activates. (Locked thread)


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Rules Clarification : Officer      (Edit)

  • Even if they're not on the Officer's card, an Officer can give (and benefit from) any non-standard orders that are on the unit's card (such as Shield Wall). Refer main rulebook.
  • When the Officer dies, the Leader model becomes the new Unit Commander (you don't get to choose).
  • But if your unit doesn't include a Leader model, then you do get to choose any of the remaining models to be the new Unit Commander. You don't swap the model, but it may be worth putting a token down so you can tell that grunt apart.
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Rules Clarification : Tactics vs Granted     (Edit)

  • Granted = The unit loses the ability as soon as the model that grants it is taken off the table.
  • Tactics = The unit keeps the ability for the entire game, regardless of who dies.
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Rules Clarification : Reposition      (Edit)

  • Models out of formation cannot move via Reposition. Refer to the "Out of Formation" rules in the core rulebook.
  • You cannot trigger abilities that occur "at the end of activation" (such as Sprint) after resolving Reposition, because your activation has ended. (Infernal Ruling) See also this article for a detailed explanation.
  • You cannot trigger abilities that occur "at any time" (such as Go To Ground) during a Reposition. Because you can't trigger it while moving, and after moving your activation has ended. (Infernal Ruling)
    • This holds true even if it's a unit with multiple Reposition moves. (Infernal Ruling)
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Rules Clarification : Gang and/or Gang Fighter and/or Tag Team and/or Team Effort     (Edit)

  • You can gain the Gang bonus on free strikes, but generally only the first "Ganger" will get it.
For example, if a target is engaged by two models with Gang, when it leaves the melee range of the first Ganger it suffers a free strike with the Gang bonus. Then it leaves the melee range of the second and suffers a normal free strike.
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Rules Clarification : Standard Bearer      (Edit)

  • If the Officer dies, the Standard Bearer can give the CMD bonus to the Leader model.
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Rules Clarification : Take Up      (Edit)

  • The model taken off the table is effectively killed by Take Up, not the original attack, so it will stop abilities like Berserk and Killing Spree. (Locked thread)


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Note to Editors
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