Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Ildari's Irregulars: The Mercury: Part 2. A Mercurial performance

Greets fellow Commanders!

Well, due to something of a late start and a ticking clock it wasn't conducive to document a full batrep this time (I'm borrowing a decent camera for next time however)

But here are the cliff notes to the battle and the Mercury's contribution in particular.
(please note, this is a cut down, anecdotal account of the game, due to being pushed for time and not having access to my Camera or note taking supplies it has to take this form, in future accounts of games will have dedicated preparations made.)

I have clearly done something to enrage the dice gods, as almost every roll I made went against me.

This happened more than once, I'm not kidding.

Click past the jump for the tasty words.

The Setup

This was a 1500 point clash against Alex's UCM, We were playing targets of opportunity as it is a good benchmark for objective based units.

The entire game I was seemingly blighted with shockingly poor dice rolls, which obviously skews things somewhat when gauging the contribution of the Mercurys.

Deployment saw Alex deploy his Ferrum on his far left and dispatched a swarm of drones, his Kodiak was situated nearby, and the bulk of his AA and AT took a central position, with a pack of four Falcons on his right flank.

I deployed fairly spread out, with my Nemesis opposite the bulk of his AA, in hopes of decreasing the threat to my Tritons in their initial deployment, as well as making things comfier for my Athena.

My list can be found in part 1 of this feature here, Alex's is below.

Clash: 1497/1500 points
Standard Army
    Standard Roster [1497/1500 pts]
        Field Command [537 pts]
            Kodiak: Kodiak(General) [248 pts]
            Ferrum: Ferrum [165 pts]
            Praetorians: 2x Praetorians, Raven A [124 pts]
        Armored Formation [277 pts]
            Katana Squad: 3x Katana [111 pts]
            Rapier Squad: 3x Rapier, Condor [166 pts]
        Legionnaire Corps [240 pts]
            Legionnaires: 2x Legionnaires, Raven A [80 pts]
            Falcon Squad: 4x Falcon [160 pts]
        Legionnaire Corps [160 pts]
            Legionnaires: 2x Legionnaires, Raven A [80 pts]
            Legionnaires: 2x Legionnaires, Raven A [80 pts]
        Special Ordnance [149 pts]
            Gladius Squad: 2x Gladius, Condor [149 pts]
        Air Wing [134 pts]
            Archangel Squad: Archangel [67 pts]
            Archangel Squad: Archangel [67 pts]

The Game Begins

Turn 1: Longreach team and Immortals took up residence in the closest objecting holding structure on the right of my back board. Nemesis pops a Rapier. Mercurys move on and depart their Tritons between the central building and the building holding the immortals. Valkyries move on and enter an empty structure in jump distance of the central building. Medusa comes on and leaves her Triton X, making a beeline for the Ferrum and Kodiak skulking on the opposite table edge. second Medusa takes up a position behind the central building.

Turn 2:  Mercurys assisted my Longreach and immortal teams inside the building closest to my table edge on the right, making the requirement to find the objective 5+, not massively helpful as I rolled bunk. One squad of Valkyries jump to the central large building whilst the other hops to the central left objective holding structure, currently occupied by 4 bases of Alex's Legionnaires. Medusa presses on through hails of gunfire from drones AND wall manning infantry. Alex's orbital laser costs me a Helios and inflicts 2 DP on my Nemesis. Alex's Arcangel successfully completes a run on a Triton X, robbing my advancing Medusa of healing support.

Turn 3. Mercury's have sat daisy chained between the central and immortal occupied building to provide options, Nemesis has removed AA threats. Valks try searching 5+ with mercury assistance, Fail. Mercurys spot for Tritons A2s and throw Skyhammers at two Gladius, One manages to do a single point of damage. Alex succeeds in finding his backline objective and sorties off the board. Immortals and Longreach search unaided requiring 5+ and fail. A pack of Falcons encroach PHR airspace and shrug off the Helios and Phobos reaction fire, my remaining Helios is lost.

Fierce fighting between the Valkyries and the Legionnaires in the left central structure, assisted by a second nearby Medusa cause heavy losses on both sides, and both combatants rout, with the objective remaining unfound.

Turn 4, Alex plays field repairs and patches up his wounded Gladius. Longreach and immortals search unassisted, requiring 4+, and finally I manage to succeed at something other than plinking light tanks with my Nemesis, The immortals hop in their Triton and sortie off the board. Concentrated fire from the Falcons actually kills my Nemesis, All attempts at AA shooting failing spectacularly.

The first Medusa gets close enough to hurt the Kodiak, but is sufficiently weakened to reduce her effective dice pool, she manages a wound. The Longreach team focus fire and land a wound on one of the Gladius.

The Valkyries in the central structure search assisted by the Mercurys, needing a 4+, and sods law, I roll a 6. We need some clarification on how connected structures work, but regardless the Valkyries use a previously connected monorail to move to a building on my back board (whether the valks can then do their jump and get off the board or not is unclear based on our reading of the rules). Valks cannot leave the connected structure after moving via monorail, so they could not leave the table. meaning a held objective for 1VP. (Thanks for Clarifying Mike!)

Either interpretation, the game ends with Alex on 2 VP and me on 3 VP.


So despite a game where the dice fought me all the way through, I scraped a win (albeit one called short for time) due to some sporadically lucky dice on objective searches turn 4. It's hard to gauge the Mercurys contribution, I feel they definitely assist the odds on paper, that much is obvious, and if the dice hadn't hated me it could've been a cleaner, faster extraction overall, They got to have their Tritons lob a missile or two as well, which despite dire rolling managed a hit on a fairly heavy AT tank.

The Mercurys are just that; Mercurial. Their performance in flux between a valuable boon to PHR's objective game speed, and a dead weight not worth its points; you'll have a great game with them, OR they'll be wasted points; there is no inbetween.

One thing that should be noted however is the shortfalls of my list, I lacked AA in a big way, and the 4 Falcons and 2 Arcangels in Alex's list didn't let me forget it. For the cost of the Mercurys, I could've had another walk on Phobos, or messed with my CV for some more creative problem solving in that regard (though granted, three more dice in a game where the dice spat on me constantly would've likely offered very little respite from the aerial onslaught :P ).


Apologies for the word salad this week, better documentation tools will be available to me next time we play, I may revisit the Mercury in another list in the future, as the unit intrigues me, but my big problem currently with PHR is getting the AA coverage I require, and until I can solve that issue the Mercury will have to wait its turn.


  1. I think you should of destroyed a few buildings with objectives and reign in your opponent. Sending your Medusa out turn 1 seemed like a bad idea. You could of thrown it into the building and got 3 rolls.

    If you kept the Mercury's with the Longreach Team and doubled up your advantage.

  2. It was a consideration :o the reason I didn't is the Gladius squad + the Ferrum drones encroaching into range fairly quickly. She's good for a roll on objectives, however she's extremely vulnerable when inside a structure to falling masonry.

    Building demo might've helped things, it didn't seem pertinent however, with demo being a shortfall of this particular list.

    Thanks for your comment!

    1. It is one reason I throw my Valkyries in Angelos.

      Falling masonry does hurt the Medusa but if you have 3 squads in there it is less likely to hit her. She also gets a save right.

  3. Medusa gets no save against falling masonry. Sirens do because of their special rule called Agility and only they get that. Dodge only works in CQB.

    Once the Medusa gets into a building, she's out of the fight for two turns at least: no firing the turn she gets in, and also the turn she exits the building. It's quite a price to pay for an extra objective roll with such a powerful anti-tank unit. I now always try to use her to attack enemy ground assets and draw enemy fire. Adding five dice to a nearby CQB is also nice. Two Medusae operating together are a powerful threat. The tricky part is delivering them to their target through the enemy AA screen.

    By the way, there is no way that an Archangel can hurt a Nemesis, let alone do two DP to it. Did you mean a Seraphim bomber?

    The UCM are the most powerful faction in the game now, IMHO. The Ferrum drones have a massive threat range and can attack ground and air. Falcons became good. UCM can generate so much building demolition for a cheap points cost while maintaining an AT capability.

    Having faced a killer double Ferrum list, I routinely take three AA squads now, including one or even two walk on Phobos for Fast Mover defense.

    Having so many points tied up in AA then means your PHR list needs to rely on something powerful for anti-tank. I reckon a Hades or double Medusae are both 'go to' options for that.

    I've used Mercury drones many times and find them to be great. I always take them with their Tritons for that extra two shots of E11 Skyhammer missiles. They are great to spot with for the Hades indirect fire template plus they extend SOI and can hold Focal Points.

    1. Thanks for such an in depth response! I reasoned the same on the Medusa entering the structure, glad I did things the way I did. I was wrong on the Arcangel, Alex set me straight, the first nemesis damage was from the orbital laser.

      UCM's air game is incredibly powerful, and I'm really hurting to fit AA in a list. I'm not as big a Helios fan as many are, due to their short range. they are an amazing unit and I know that well, but I dunno, a soft spot for the phobos I guess? I think you hit the heart of the issue, after the AA coverage is done, it's about pulling a balance with AT.

      I want to try the Mercury's again, but I think I've still a lot to learn about PHR. I definitely enjoyed the game a lot despite my despicable dice rolls xD

      One thing to note, we actually checked, and the Medusa advancing on the Ferrum managed to get to the back board without dying, despite taking on average 35 shots per turn. They really are incredible units.

  4. just for clarification, if a squad enters a building, it ends its activation. So if valkyries leave one building and enter another, either by monorail, linked structure, or however, that's it. They can't then leave that new building, or line the windows or anything.
    It is in the rulebook p.32 1) Entering a Structure (3rd paragraph)
    Sounds like you had a good game. One of the reasons I like DzC so much, you can have poor dice rolls in a game and still win with good play.
    Oh and I agree with getting extra searches as soon as possible. The mission is about finding and extracting objectives, not killing enemy units.

    Next time it would be good to know opponents list too

    1. Thanks for clarifying Mike, I'll edit with the correct final score. And I totally agree, I've never played a game of DZC that I could call predictable.

      I'll ask Alex if he's cool with me grabbing his list off him, if so I'll edit it in.

      Thanks again for your comment!