I spent several years fighting in defense of Ios with my Autumnfall Retribution, before they became a victim of my need to be an adult and pay bills and stuff. I also spend almost 15 years working for a company known primarily for their agricultural and lawn equipment. Accordingly, while I may not be as invested in the Retribution CID that dropped earlier this week as I would have been were I still fighting for the glory of House Shyeel, when I saw the nickname “Dawnmover” drop for the new battle engine – The Dawnguard Trident – I may have gigglesnorted, tipped my imaginary hat, and decided to take a closer look.
The Dawnmower – sorry, the Trident – is a trio of Thresher Cannons on a hovering platform, supported by an independently hovering Dawnguard arcanist who at first made me think of Megamind’s entrance during his final fight with Tighten. Presentation!
I will note that I’m going over its stats in a vacuum, regardless of potential additional shenaniganry depending on warcaster pairing.
One of the first things I noted – aside from there being three cannons, each spitting out d3 POW13 shots – was how fast it is. Flying gets over all sorts of terrain and intervening model issues that might otherwise plague a model on a 120mm base, but it’s supported with SPD7 and the potential for Reposition after it moves. With Coordinated Movement, other friendly models can both run through the Trident and shoot through the space it occupies, so its ARM19 and 30 boxes can help act as a shield for your gunline or mobile delivery barrier for your glass cannon melee units.
The fact that the Trident games power tokens when moving means that it isn’t intended to be a static gun platform like the Arcantric Force Generator (well, that’s how I usually played my pair of Arcantric Force Barriers), but the entire point is to ram this bad boy toward the enemy, utilizing that Ram Prow to slam things away and then opening up with the Thresher Cannons thanks to Dual Attack. Those same power tokens can then be used to boost an attack or damage roll, put a force shield over the Dawnmower, making it DEF14 and immune to blast damage, or to unleash a Telekinetic Wave.
Telekinetic Wave – When this model ends its Normal Movement, it can spend a power token to use Telekinetic Wave.When it does so, choose one non-huge-based friendly Faction model it moved within 2˝ of. You can place the chosen n model completely within 2˝ of its current location. A model can be placed as a result of Telekinetic Wave only once per turn.
So you can load up on 3 power tokens and then slipstream up to three models along with it. So… moving any other non-huge-based models up to 7″ into a new position where they’ve still got their full activation waiting. Drag some key gunline models in your wake and let them aim and shoot once they’ve been places. Slip your assassination tools into new charge lanes. As much as the idea of three Thresher Cannons opening up makes me smirk, the Telekinetic Wave has the potential to ridiculous, in the best ways.
This is only the initial incarnation of the Dawnguard Trident, and the CID comes with a disclaimer that it’s going to be some time before we see the model hit the shelves to allow for more internal testing and balancing as well, but suffice to say the Dawnmower is going to make a heck of an impact. (Hah! Ramming pun!)