Community written article on multi-purpose usage vehicle - Mule
This text was written by Michcie, one of most active memebers of Warzone Community.
CTL-422 Mule Armoured Carrier serves as an infantry transporter in all Mega corporations' armies. Built to withstand several armour-piercing hits is a simple construction that each Mega corporation modifies to suite their goals.
Those modifications is what makes this universal carrier work different for each faction. Ministry of War makes it an armored ambulance for example allowing their rather soft infantry take more hits. Cybertronic and Dark Legion versions self-repair and regenerate. Mishiman mechanics overcharge their engines with high-octane fuel as theirs main goal is to transport their rather slow, elite units into heat of battle as fast as possible.
As a Mishimian general I would like to focus on how to implement this vehicle into an army list in the most honorable way.
Impact of 2.3 Patch
Mule had a limited usage in Mishima before 2.3.1 patch. It was mostly a demon hunters' (with flamers) transport. Solid but limited option. What a waste! Luckily 2.3.1. patch made few small but significant changes to this vehicle. First of all mule got a new Tough ability. A reason why players were not keen on taking a mule was a risk of explosion when destroyed that could kill all models inside a transport (ST16 autohit). Tough does not eliminate that rick completely but limits it to an acceptable level. Second change was to allow mule an open-topper version (for a cost of a HMG). Mule already has a fantastically designed interiors. 2.3.1. took advantage of it and allowed an in-game option AC miniature already had.
Mishima mule was designed to be fast. Boost (1/2) grants additional 6" when Fast Moving. This move is followed by crew activation which allows a surgical strike against 1-3 enemy models at a long range. Remember that embark crew use mule's body to determine theirs CCWR. Open-topped transports are a double-edges swords. They grant a speed but also put transported models at greater risk against certain weapon types (templates and rails in particular). We can go all-in and embark 10 SIZE 0 men strong units but a single GR hit can destroy most of them. That is why I decided to analyze what Mishima commander can embark to keep the balance between efficiency and risk.
Open-topped transports allows their crew to shoot out of a vehicle too but Mishima A type weapons has a very limited offensive potential (ST9 and low RS) and unless we embark something like 5 Tiger Dragons with SMG and even (S) type Ki (5 models get 15 R12" shots) it is not really worth considering as a main tactic. I would say this is the opposite to how i.e. Capitol uses their Mules (enclosed mule to transport Heavy Infantry into shooting position)...
To sum up. Mule allows to transport up to 10 size 0 models or 5 size 1 models. It has a SP of 5 we can boost to 7 for a cost of 1 RES. This allows Mule to move 21" a turn. Embarked models are fragile to templates and their CC and RS in modified by -4 when shooting/fighting from inside.
As I already mentioned I would like to focus on small hit squads that could be transported by an open-topped mule into combat. Units able to get 8-10 attacks due to limited CCWR reach. I will talk cost and pros&cons of each choice of mine:
1. Mule + 2 Demon Hunters (flamer) – this option gives us 8 CC16 (-4), Deadly attacks for 145 points. They also have 2 other weapon options if we want higher ST or greater CCRW. Hunters have high A of 26 and mediocre Heal of (4) unless Hamasaki Taro is also around. If Taro is supporting them their Heal jumps to it's limits of (8). This is a small hit squad able to attack with flamers when mule gets destroyed. Even though DH are not Relentless their low numbers will not ruin our RES when we decide to give them additional AP to hit someone with best flamers in Mishima arsenal. Great choice with one drawback. Demon Hunters will quickly fall to Critical Force attacks (Free Marines, Emancipator etc.). Be careful.
2. Mule + 6 Hatamoto/5 Ebon Guard – this squad cost 147 points for 6 hatamoto or 150 for 5 ebon guards. Ebons are superior infantry but lower in numbers. They get Duelist (helpful against -4CC modifier) but fewer attacks (10 to 12). Both Demon Hunters and Hatamoto has the same ST of 13 and have higher Heal (unless Taro is there). Hatamoto has lover A of 25 but 6 wounds compared to 4 of DH and 5 of Ebon. Hatamoto/ebon are also a Troop which allows +1RES. Sadly a mule is an anti synergy for hatamoto as they are unable to benefit from Ferocity (1) and Frenzy abilities. That is the price we pay for high speed. Biggest advantage Ebon has is their Relentless ability that makes them more likely to act after mule explosion.
Mule + 5 Tiger Dragons – this combination cost 145 points so this is another option for almost the same points! We get 10 ST13 attacks (ST19 vs vehicles!) CCRW 2". We loose Frenzy again. Their CC 15 is 5% lover that ebon/DH and equals hatamoto's. Another high A unit with A of 25 but no Heal. We get IA(10) as a consolation price. Important when Mule explodes and other very high ST attacks. TD also allows best shooting. RoA2 with short ranged burst is not impressive when we take ST of 9 into consideration but more dice gives more chances to roll "1" or to luckily penetrate even toughest A.
As we can see there are several option of almost identical point cost but with different accents. Of course we could also put light infantry into mule but I concentrated on high CC and A choices to increase to hit chances and survivability is case of a template hit.
All above options can be buffed (+2ST or CC) with Ki if we have points to get those powers. I recommend Psychic Mastery if we do. It cost another 10 points but saves us resources. Best option on Demon Hunters and ebon due to relatively high WP (again -4 WP modifier). We can also use several Tactical or Gear cards to increase ST and/or CC. If we really need to. Heal based unit can also benefit from Med Pack to increase their resistance.
For all those who always want more remember. You can get 2 mules instead of one. One in a Transport slot and one as an Light Vehicle. For a cost of Meka/Gigamek/Kunshu but the choice is there!
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