Greetings all! SeerK here once again to talk Firestorm. We will be continuing to talk about the Relthoza in Firestorm Planetfall. Last time we discussed the Core Helix. In this installment we will be talking about the Heavy Helix and Firepower Leviathan Helix. These heavy hitters help the army out in the offensive firepower department and in the case of the Leviathan an anchor for your drone swarms.
Vardiss Heavy Support Tank
The Vardiss makes up the minimum of the Heavy Helix. This Walker is the same size as your Visith command walkers. It packs a little more firepower though. Unlike the Visith the Vardiss does not have a drone nexus despite having the option of taking Namisc Drones with it as part of the Helix.. This was intentional. This actually really made me think about the role of the Vardiss in an army list. I came to the conclusion it is not a tank killer. It is the “2” in the “1, 2 punch”. Its job is to try and finish off units that have been attacked by your other heavy walkers. It lives up to its name as a “Support Tank”. You can use it to play the activation game. Since you only have to take it by itself to have a Heavy Helix, it can be used quickly to deliver a killing blow after a larger helix has gone. It also gives you the advantage in the number of helix’s you are fielding. The activation game in Planetfall is basically the same as Armada. Being able to switch from Helix to Helix more quickly than your opponent gives you the advantage. You are able to utilize your forces more quickly and before your opponent has a chance to activate his forces. We will go more in depth on Helix size and activation strategy in a later article.
So the Vardiss is a Support Tank. It does not have the long range the Visith or the Tank Hunters have. Its ideal range is 15 inches or less which makes it a close support tank if you want maximum punch. I like to walk the Vardiss up along the sides of the battle field at the flanks of my army or behind other armored class models to shield them from fire. When the time comes to use the Vardiss you simply have to position the models in front of it in such a way as to give you clear line of fire. Movement and proper positioning in Planetfall can win you games. The Vardiss is a solid back up unit and gives you some mid to close range punch.
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Talamis Tank Hunter
Although you can just take the Vardiss in the Heavy Helix, The real reason I use A Heavy Helix is for the Talamis. This lethal pair of Tank Hunters are a great long range addition to your army. Generally speaking the Relthoza are limited to 36" of range for their biger units. The Talamis can reach out over 48" with 18 dice that have the corrosive MAR. This pairs very nicely with the Vardiss. You can reach out and blast a unit to either soften them up for the Vardiss or deliver a killing blow if the Vardiss is forced into a direct attack role rather than a support role. The Heavy Helix seems to be very much a helix that uses synergy. Both within itself and with the rest of the army. I personally like using the Talamis to soften up targets first.
The corrosive token really makes it easier to damage units affected by it. The Vardiss has an easier time destroying units. Not only do units go down easier, but you end up having more damage carry over to the next member of the squadron. The primary target in an attack needs to be the weakest or made the weakest in order to ensure carry over of damage to other members of the squadron. The Corrosive weapon and high ranged dice pool of the Talamis make this possible. I generally will take two Heavy Helixs instead of a Leviathan to get two Talamis Squadrons into my list. Setting up on the flanks with the Vardiss gives you the ability to set up a nice cross fire as long as you have good fire lanes available.
Firepower Leviathan Helix
Varisei-Kei Firepower Leviathan.
The Vareisie-Kei is a very versatile unit. It can be taken alone to form a Leviathan Helix and you have the option of adding up to two units of Namisc Light Walkers. These Namisc are a bit more expensive due to the fact they have to take the “Kill Team” upgrade option. This is not a bad thing. The Drones work well in this helix. A Varisei-Kei is a real anchor point for the Relthoza. With a 16” command range AND a 16 inch Drone nexus range it really bolsters your troops. It also benefits from being Cloaked so it is hard to kill. It can sling 16 dice at 40 inches which count as a terror weapon if fired at the same target. CQB is not the greatest, but decent against smaller units. When I run this big guy I always run him in the center of my army so as many units as possible can benefit from the command and nexus range. I insulate him with the kill team Namisc to prevent units from dropping in and hitting it with CQB. Even Nyx commandos are weary of Kill team Light drones.
The only real disadvantage to the Leviathan is its size. Although a boon for really spreading out the command and nexus bubble it make it hard to keep him hidden. You need big elevated pieces of terrain to get and respite from the torrent of fire that is sure to come down on it. Leviathans are a two edged sword. They bring a lot to the table, but in turn they draw a lot of fire. They can be expensive ablative armor for the rest of your army. Use them wisely and use them when you are not squaring off versus a ranged Leviathan.
Next time I will be talking Recon Helix and Aerial Helix’s. This will probably include the Ba'Kash. I am still on the fence about the Ba'Kash personally. I have not found a good role for them in the army as of yet. Maybe its the way I play or possibly they are not that great. All I know is that further research is in order.
Well thats all for now. I wanted to remind everybody that there are still spots left for the Michigan GT Firestorm Armada events. Last I checked there were hotel rooms left as well. Sign up today and reserve your spots! Heads up East coasters! Telarion and I will be in the Glenn Burnie MD, area this weekend! We will be doing Firestorm Armada and Planetfall at Dropzone games on Sunday the 30th! Come on out and get a game in or just say hi and introduce yourself!
Until then always remember.....
Crush the Alliance and as always...