It’s that time of day again: time for WarmaZone! We’re going back to the Imperial Ministry of War again, with a look at the Barracudas. These guys are part of the Rams Air Cavalry and are essentially an upgraded version of the Stormtrenchers, powering up their jetpacks and swapping their shotguns for a pair of Southpaw rocket launchers. The Barracudas are expert assault troopers and masters of shock and awe, but all that power comes at a price, and I’m not just referring to their point value.
- Unit Composition: 1 Leader, 2-5 Grunts
- Cost: 11/18 points
- Force Allocation: 2
- Stats: SPD-8, STR-6, MAT-4, RAT-8, DEF-10, ARM-16, CMD-8, HP-5
-Southpaw Rocket Launcher X2: RNG-9, ROF-1
-Explosive: AOE-3, POW-10
-Bear Claw: POW-13
-Combat Knife: RNG-0.5, POW-1, P+S-7
- Special Rules:
-Difficult to Control: When this model takes damage from a ranged attack, it scatters D3” using the AOE template. If this model scatters into rough terrain, it suffers an unboostable POW-10 damage roll.
-Massive Fuel Tanks: Before removing this model from play, center a 3” AOE over it and roll for direction and distance. Any model within the AOE after deviating receives an unboostable POW-8 damage roll.
The two things you’ll notice right away are that the Barracudas are fast and good at shooting. Unlike the other Special Forces units, Barracudas are pretty pitiful in melee, and as such are best kept as rear-line ranged troopers, unless you feel like sending them flying at the enemy. Their best role is as anti-infantry or anti-armor support. The Southpaw, when combined with their spectacular RAT, can clear tightly-packed infantry with its explosive rounds or punch holes in armor with its Bear Claw rounds. Offensively the Barracudas are monsters (outside of melee), but defensively they start to come apart, both literally and figuratively. Their DEF stat is ridiculously poor, meaning they’re very easy to shoot off the board or squash in melee, though their strong ARM helps negate the worst of the damage. Unfortunately, along with this comes a special rule called Difficult to Control. When a Barracuda is shot, he loses control of his jetpack and goes flying, meaning he could end up completely on the other side of the board or crashing into the middle of a forest. This is reflected in the rule that states a Barracuda takes a POW-10 damage roll if he crashes into rough terrain, meaning that if your enemy is good at shooting a la Cygnar, your troops can die simply from losing control of their rocket packs and flying into a tree. Then again, what do you expect from strapping a rocket and a pair of GL-100 tanks to your back? Just like the Stormtrenchers they possess Alchemical Mask, Jump for getting up close and personal with the enemy or out of melee, and Massive Fuel Tanks, which turns them into flying bombs upon death. This all may seem a bit unfair considering their points cost, but they still make up for it with their offensive capabilities and ability to ding up heavily-armored units. Just ensure you have some sort of dedicated melee or tank unit to keep them safe from incoming fire, just so they don’t die to cheap shots or their jetpacks randomly going critical on them. Unlike the other Special Forces, Barracudas are primarily a one-trick pony, specializing in shooting and dying rather spectacularly. If you’re facing an armor-heavy force, these guys are a must, but against dedicated ranged they’re not a good idea, as they’re not going to last very long. In a scenario like that, the Stormtrenchers are a cheaper and more effective option, but it’s your army, so you play however you want.
That’s it for WarmaZone right now, but we’ll be back again soon with even more Imperial units. Next time, we’ll take a look at the Wolfbanes’ own heavy infantry, the Warhounds. See you all soon!
-The Raging Goblin