With the drop of Hyppolyta, Steel Phalanx is finally seeing something new.
At first glance, she’s another Myrmidon character: ODD, MA4, CC23 and eclipse grenades she has the makings of any of the other characters. Her CC23 and MA4 means that she is among the most elite however. Only Achilles, Hector, and Ajax are more fearsome in close combat. Unlike those three, she carries eclipse grenades to get her into close combat where she can wield her explosive close combat weapon to great effect. Even against those pesky MSV2 snipers.
Unlike most Myrmidon characters, can not join any fireteams. This may seem like a bane, but with her second distinguishing feature, superjump, it is actually fine. When executing a superjump in a fireteam, if the other members do not possess the skill, they simply idle. This means that to utilize her mobility, Hippolyta should be detached from a fireteam anyways.
Mobility is the asset that Hippolyta brings to Steel Phalanx which sets her apart from the other Myrmidons. While superjump is not new to Steel Phalanx, as the Ekdromoi and their sergeant, Diomedes bring the high mobility skill along with airborne deployment.
Hippolyta cannot be deployed directly into the action like Diomedes, but she can obscure the view of anyone trying to spot her as she gets into position.
This is exactly what Steel Phalanx needs to counter the linked MSV2 sniper profiles that are now prevalent in the new sectorials. While the Greeks do bring some very strong gunfighters, without access to full core fireteams and a general shortage of hmgs, the Homeridae can have trouble deal with such potent gunfighters. Eclipse grenades can certainly help enomotarchos teams as they try to gain a superior position, but a close combat monster like Hippolyta can use her mobility and eclipse to erase those targets that Steel Phalanx can otherwise struggle to manage.
She fulfills this role in a way that Eudoros can’t. While Eudoros is able to use his MK12 in an enomotarchos team to be a vicious gunfighter, and his eclipse grenades are excellent for stopping that MSV2 sniper from seeing what murder he is committing, he will have a tough time getting up into that sniper tower.
As an added bonus, Hippolyta brings an impressive physique of 14. While she will not be able to get the burst bonus from being in a fireteam, she will toss her eclipse grenades successfully on a roll of 17 or less.
If that wasn’t enough, she also brings a flash pulse with her. With a standard ALEPH willpower of 14, she can use her flash pulse to effectively slow down incoming attackers that try to catch her outside of gunfighting range. In a pinch, it can also be used when trying to close the distance from 24 to 16 inches.
As a small note, she does bring Kinematica Level 2, usually reserved for heavy infantry within Steel Phalanx, or Penthesilea on her bike. It is worth keeping in mind, as she can dodge or quite aggressively in the reactive turn.
All of this being said, Hippolyta does come with her weaknesses. Unlike some of the other characters, Hippolyta begins the game impetuous instead of ready to fly into a frenzy. While this does mean she has an optional extra order and her profile is a little cheaper than it could be, she will never benefit from cover. Most of the other impetuous characters will be able to keep themselves at bay while they operate in a fireteam. Her armor 3 looks impressive at first, although she will never be able to gain the benefit of cover. Functionally this means that she resists gunfire about as well as a skirmisher with mimetism and armor 0. She can die quickly to sustained combi fire. If an MSV2 wielding gunfighter is able to get eyes on her in the opponent’s active turn, Hippolyta will be hard pressed to win the face to face rolls.
Unlike many of the recent releases which offer the incredible NWI alongside shock immunity (Yadus) of bioimmunity (Dart), Hippolyta is quite vulnerable to shock and viral ammunition. This is nothing new to Steel Phalanx or ALEPH players, all the same, it is definitely worth keeping in mind.
This vulnerability extends, as with many ALEPH profiles, to a susceptibility to mines. While Hippolyta can use her eclipse grenades to stop shooters from achieving line of fire, she will have no such luck with mines. With stealth she can avoid camo tokens and jammers with her eclipse, but it is advisable to be hyper aware of mine laying profiles that the opponent might have access to.
All in all, Hippolyta is an excellent profile that fits the theme of Steel Phalanx quite well, while also bringing a unique set of skills and equipment. She will also be a potent threat in vanilla ALEPH and the new O-12 army.
As a final note, she has the far from useless peacekeeper rule. While it has no in game effect, it is important to remember. Every time someone posts a snarky meme about O-12 using weapons not sanctioned by the Concilium Convention, remember, she’s the mother fucking police. Whatever weapon she brings becomes legal because she is the law.