Wednesday, 29 July 2015

War Pigs


Another one of my favourite models has been finished for the Resistance, the J-19 Hellhog ready for the tournament this past weekend. A rough-and-ready heavy strike jumpjet, the Hellhog is one of the only Fast Movers available to the Resistance (without requesting aid from UCM), a rugged beast fitted with some awesome firepower and good defences to boot. It is flexible and versatile, able to "Transition" to Hover mode that allows it to act as a normal flyer and stay on the board - with the added bonus of being more accurate with its weaponry! 

The J19 Hellhog is a truly dangerous heavy strike jumpjet, designed primarily for the ground attack role. It is one of the only fighters operated by the Resistance as its VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) capabilities have allowed it to operate from small, concealed bases far from any serviceable runway. Its excellent weather proofing allows it to continue functioning even in the most oppressive environments; from icy caves to fetid swamps. Coupled with its respectable range, the Hellhog can strike almost anywhere, from almost anywhere. Such capabilities make the J19 superb for supporting an insurgency although ironically they made it suffer during the Scourge invasion. It has a low cruise speed due to the heavy VTOL system and its pilots were poorly drilled at the time. As a result, most were destroyed on the ground or picked off by faster Scourge Corsairs. Although it can be equipped with air-to-air missiles, it has always had a lacklustre record in dogfights.
- Hawk Wargames

The Hellhog is a lovely model, with the ability to switch the jet engines between Fast Mover and Hover modes, some brutal chainguns mounted on the wings and, as usual for the Resistance, patches of damaged and hastily-repaired armour plating all over the chassis. It is big - again par for the course for the Resistance flyers - one of the biggest Fast Movers currently available. This is reflected in the game, where it has respectable armour and Damage Points, and could survive significant AA fire before falling out of the sky. 

At time of writing, I have used the Hellhog six times, and though it has not been the most impressive unit in the game, it has always made an impact. In a recent game against Shaltari, it was great at dealing with hidden Gates that the rest of my force could not reach, while against the UCM it played a role in hunting down artillery pieces like the Ferrum Drone Base and Longbow Howitzers. I enjoy having something that get to those hard-to-reach places at the back of the board, and this is why I tend to run it with Extra Ammo so that it can keep firing the chainguns. The AA missiles might be nice every once in awhile, but they're only one-shot and if I've learned anything, it's that more dice = more wins.

For the best results, the Hellhog waits to come on the board when the enemy AA has been dealt with, or is at least neutered. It then immediately Transitions and harries the opposing force for the rest of the game, using the Focus Fire of the chainguns to rip apart vehicles lurking in the back field and generally be a massive pain in the ass. It can swiftly Transition back to being a Fast Mover if it needs to re-position. It is by no means a no-brainer choice (and would suffer against an enemy with lots of AA), but it is a valuable addition that fills a gap in the Resistance list.

Painting the Hellhog reminded me a great deal of the Cyclone Gunships and the Lifthawk, with large expanses of grey armour plating just waiting for battle damage, decals or something interesting to spice them up. Colour was added with the green plating (stolen from the hated UCM?) and orange rust, while the red from the windows, lights and missiles also brings some colour. I particularly like how this model has a lot of riveted armour plating on only one side of the model, as if it had suffered significant battle damage from one angle but left the other side relatively unscathed. 

This particular model is very grey, and I may yet add more detail/colour with some decals on the wings. In the mean time, I need to finish my force for the upcoming tournament, and then expand in different directions. I will paint another Hellhog in the future, something a little more colourful - the personal Hellhog of Karl Foley, Prince of New Troy.

Thanks for reading, 


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