What’s better than a speedy symbiont soldier? A speedy symbiont soldier with a big battlecat. What’s better than a big alien tiger monster? A big alien tiger monster with guns. And what’s better than that?
This review has been sitting in a draft box for months now, since I wanted to paint my own Kerail team for the post, but as I do own the model and use the Kerail a lot, here’s my feet-dragging thoughts:
A bit like the Kaeltar, the two types of Kerail―that is, the Surda Kerail and the Mutan Kerail―are different enough to warrant separate discussion.
The Surda Kerail is the most flexible of the two Kerails. With his Smoke Grenades, and his pet’s Viral Close Combat, this Kerail will typically open the round by tossing smoke for a nearby Gao-Rael to trick-shot any overwatching antagonist. Then, the Kerail and his kitties blister forward, swallowing whole many enemies along the way. Using the Surda Kerail is therefore quite like a mixture of the PanO’s Auxilia and Kazak’s Antipodes.
If you want to take full advantage of the Surda’s attack abilities, take the 2x Surda loadout. Otherwise, 1x Surda is usually better, since it’s probably the Smoke you want, and if an enemy can dodge 1 Pulzar template, he can dodge 2.
What you get when you toss a Rasail and a Dog-Warrior into a salad shaker, and sift out the grenades, is a Mutan Kerail. Losing Smoke and CC in favor of better Ballistic capacity, this Kerail team banks on the enemy only being able to ARO against one of the two BS11 attacks coming at it. In your raids, the Mutan Kerail functions much like the Surda Kerail, only likely from 12+ inches away. The Light Shotgun profile is okay, but you have to be really aggressive with him, or it’s a waste of 25 points.
If the Mutan Kerail had a Sensor, we’d be talking about something really special. Otherwise, Corvus Belli should grant Smoke Grenades to the Mutan Kerail to keep people from discarding those Contenders.
The Kerail is pretty weird. Here’s some weird things I’ve noticed:
JUMP ≠ MOVE ― It’s an annoying oddity in the G:Sync and Movement rules, but Super-Jump Jump short movement skill is not the same thing as the Move short movement skill. So, you cannot Move+Shoot the Kerail and Jump+Shoot the Symbiobeast in the same order. Don’t think of Super-Jump as a “Synchronized” skill, but an optional order that the Kerail can give to his kitty to pounce on the rooftops.
R.C. COPTER ― Very often, I find myself running my beasts like an RC copter. The Kerail can hide beneath a building and drive the Symbiobeasts above him. 8 inches of zone of control gives you a lot to play with, and there’s no better way to fuck over an overwatching Reverend team by sending in a beast or two to Pulzar them. Just watch out for Impetuous runners or Camo troops who will try to neutralize your beasts by killing your Kerail controller.
SUPPRESSIVE FIRE ― Just don’t do it. Not while your beast is alive. Suppressive Fire forces the beasts to Idle. Unlike the Rasail‘s Peripheral, the Symbiobeast isn’t really a throwaway troop, and you want to make the most of the Symbiobeast while you have it. And the Kerail is a piss-poor gunfighter.
SMOKE TRICKS ― This mightn’t be obvious to new players, but an MSV2 or greater can see through Smoke. So if you’re bringing a Surda Kerail, bring a Gao-Rael, too. Seeing through Smoke at enemies who can’t see back is really good for BS attacks. Only PH11, though, so it may take a few orders while the Kerail fumbles with the pin.
SYMBIOBOMBS ― Use them immediately on your first active turn, or don’t put them on the Kerail at all. I’ve had enough occasions where I have to either decide to let my Symbiobeast get hit, or to not use the Symbiobomb, because I can’t both Bomb with the Kerail and Attack/Dodge with the Symbiobeast.
SYMBIOMATES ― Are good on Kerails. The Kerail, like the Kotail and Sukeul, benefits very highly from its Symbiont. You can use a Symbiomate to make a key rush across an alley to get into enemy territory. If the Symbiobomb survives, you’re in a great position for a murderous raid and a safe retreat.
VS. RASAIL? ― What’s the choice here? They are both very fast, and both do G: Sync pincer attacks. The Rasail is clearly a better gunfighter, and has more wounds on the controller profile. The Kerail on the other hand is much more maneuverable, and approaches the pincer attack from a (literally) different angle. Which is better? Well Which is better? is not the right question, but Which do I want?. You might want both.
(Gun to my head answer: the Rasail is better. But, I’ve never regretted taking a Kerail.)
Alien lizard cats with big guns is awesome, but look too goofy for me. So I left the guns off the Mutan. Being mistakable for one another is fine by me, as I have not yet had a problem with someone erring in how to deal with my “Surda” that was a “Mutan” or vice versa. The opponent knows it’s a hungry super-jumping dogged attack cat, either way, and want it dead.
The kit is complex. Here’s an unboxing gallery for anyone who might need to see them in order to decide for or against a purchase.
At the time of this writing, I have not fully painted my Kerail team, so the pictures stop here. However, if you’d like to join me on our support group as we plow through our piles of shame, eventually, hopefully before August ends, I’ll have some shiny pictures to share here.
I rate the Kerail Preceptors 4 out of 5 artichokes.
TL;DR Kerails are good units, but usually too light to be primary pieces, and too expensive to make it into every list.