Infinity Unit Review: USAriadna Devil Dog
One of the defining aspects of Ariadna is the Antipode and their bastard children, the Dog Face. Antipodes are fierce wolf-like alien beasts prowl the badlands of Ariadna, preying on humans that venture past The Wall, should they bite a pregnant human, their progeny will be an alien hybrid called a Dog Face. Less intelligent and more brutal than their human parents, the Dog Face will transform into a fierce combat monster should they be injured or otherwise put through extreme stress. The USAriadna variety of these alien fighters comes in the form of a Devil Dog with his K-9 Antipode, having cast aside his human form, the Devil Dog goes into battle already transformed, and ready to kill.
Just looking at the characteristics, it should be clear what this beast is good for, getting up close and wreaking havoc. The Devil Dog and his pet K-9 Antipode, can move swiftly across the table, and over terrain with Super-jump. They're incredibly resilient with ARM 4, W 2, and Total Immunity, meaning they can often withstand a couple direct hits with a missile before going down. A solid melee fighter, striking at CC21, while the G:Synchronized Antipode will attack with the same order, but they may struggle against more specialized combat units with Martial Arts. If you can get into combat against Heavy Infantry and TAGs, hitting with PH 16 and AP ammo, you'll make short work of even the toughest opponents. The Devil Dog's incredible PH 16 also makes throwing smoke trivial, hitting on 19's in your good band, or even speculative firing it on 13's. Overall, for the cost, they have an incredible profile, and despite having a poor BS trait, their weaponry is designed to compensate.
The less expensive of the two profile, the Chain Rifle comes paired with an AP Heavy Pistol in case you need to provide some face to face rolls. The combination of Super-jump with a Chain Rifle though is incredible for getting different angles to drop the template and maximize its effectiveness. The WIP of the Devil Dog is nothing to be amazed by, making intuitive attacks a risky venture, but since they can put smoke all over the board, it's still something worth considering if you have the orders and opportunity.
At a hefty 30% points increase over the Chain Rifle, the heavy shotgun may seem fairly cost prohibitive at first, but it packs a serious punch. Using Super-jump with a shotgun is one of my favorite things about playing with Rodoks in my Onyx army, except now, I get to do it with a multi-wound, ultra fast, incredibly resilient murder machine wrapped in a fur coat. Against single targets you can hit them with Damage 15 AP, or cut down swathes of infantry with it's Damage 15 impact template. Despite the Devil Dog only being BS10, with smoke grenades, 6-4 movement and Super-jump you can often close the gap safely, and in only a few orders, before blasting the opponent to pieces.
Sit, Stay, Roll Over...
Being paired with a 6-6 G:Synchronized Antipode adds a bit of utility to the Devil Dog, the Antipode is more difficult to hit thanks to Mimetism, and can be use sacrificially to draw out ARO's, while it's master can move safely into view with his second order. I've had great results using the Antipode to run into a pocket of mines and krazy koalas, sacrificing itself to clear a path for the Devil Dog himself to advance through, with PH15, you're dodging all of those deployed weapons on a 12, making it quite likely to survive if you choose to Dodge with your second skill. This Antipode is the only Sensor available to the USAriadna forces, and lets you reveal camo markers with relative ease, letting your Devil Dog then blast them with shotgun shells or a chain rifle.
Something fun I did recently with the pair involved charging into a heavily guarded position where 4 different models could see and ARO, one of them even equipped with a MSV2. At first I thought the assault was hopeless, but then I came up with a solution. I threw smoke to cover my advance and walked into it with my next order. Brother Konstantinos then shot at me, letting me fire back through the Zero-visibility zone at -6, which was negated by my +6 range band for the Heavy Shotgun, hitting him and a Hexa! Had this been a Chain Rifle equipped Devil Dog, I'd have hit automatically.
The Devil Dog is very reminiscent of the Xeodron for me, while not quite as resilient or effective at long range, it's tough enough, and when Super-jumping around the table, it can quickly exploit the weakest spots in the enemy army. I wasn't using them that often before, but lately, I've really appreciated their speed and resilience, the occasional sensor sweep, and mine-clearing kamikaze runs to blast my enemies to pieces. I've surprisingly seldom used them in melee, though that is more from a lack of targets than desire. Not necessarily an auto-include, but a great choice of a unit if you're looking for something hard-hitting to pump orders into on the first turn.