N18 Phyrr Cat tactics

megasaxon

Juve
Sep 24, 2020
32
5
18
Hi all,

Thinking of potentially fielding a phyrr cat in my Escher gang for my next campaign game. Anyone have any experience of using them? I am attracted to that 7" movement and their ability to stray 9" from their owner. The opposing player will be playing Van Saar, so I'm hoping the cat's high movement/reach will scare him a bit, granting me increased board control. I'd be interested to hear any stories of people using them and how they fared on the table.

My Queen already has her movement increased to 6" so will pair well with the kitty.

Thanks!
 

Jayward

Gang Champion
Aug 4, 2020
287
452
63
Yeah, I quite like them. It's worth checking with your arbitrator whether they count towards bottle checks; I tend to say no, but I've not been able to find a concrete rule on it.

Things to remember for their actual use are that they're fragile, have no protection against pinning, and are only S3. But they're also fast and hit surprisingly hard. So you have to either accept that they're a glass cannon or use them like a scalpel.

My preferred use for them is on a close-range champion; Chem Thrower, Melta, Combat Shotgun... stuff with a range of about 12". You get a number of options there:
- If your Champ causes a Flesh Wound then the cat can attack them more effectively
- If the Champ causes an SI the cat can CdG
- If the Champ has been left exposed the cat can block charge lanes and force target priority checks
- If the Champ was charged and survived the cat can help clear things off of them and provide assists.

By contrast longer-range champs don't get close enough to need a cat, and melee stuff tends to just kill everything on its own.

RAW the cat is perfectly capable of doing things such as opening doors and providing assists in Recovery Checks. I've had one defile a relic. You might get some funny looks from opponents.

You can also use the 9" leash to your advantage. When more than 3" away from the champ your opponent can't ping the cat with Rapid Fire, or catch them both in a 3" blast.

There's loads of stuff you can do with them, but as a general rule of thumb I try to think of them as a way of helping the champion rather than a fighter in their own right. And they are pretty expensive for their durability, so if in doubt keep it safe.
 

megasaxon

Juve
Sep 24, 2020
32
5
18
Really useful stuff - thanks :)

I was thinking I would use it to assist my Queen who is currently armed with a plasma pistol and a power knife, so yeah she fits into that close-range category.
 

MakaroniFresser

Ganger
Tribe Council
Jan 20, 2018
86
132
63
Oklahoma City, OK, USA
You may want to ask your Campaign arbitrator how they will interpret the rules regarding pets. For my current campaign, in which I am the Arbiter, I ruled that non-human models cannot perform actions that require true human intelligence. This includes opening or unlocking doors, activating electrical stuff, claiming objectives, the special action in the Propaganda scenario, etc. This largely was to reduce any advantage for me, as I ran 4 animals in my Escher crew, but also affected another player's chaos spawn.

It was fun watching Chaos Spawn and a Khimerix rip doors off their hinges without help.
 
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MusingWarboss

Hive Guilder
Oct 31, 2013
2,873
6,806
193
RAW the cat is perfectly capable of doing things such as opening doors and providing assists in Recovery Checks. I've had one defile a relic. You might get some funny looks from opponents.
Now we need to know exactly how it defiled the relic!!

I’m guessing it either sprayed it, used it as a scratching post or progressively knocked it towards a ledge, then off the ledge.

😂
 

Heart of Storm

Gang Hero
Mar 8, 2019
903
1,363
108
The clear role for a phyrr cat in my mind is a roving CdG threat, by the time you've bought all the things you need in a gang and are considering something like a cat, their statline is no longer anything an opponents going to be scared of, however a 10" CdG bubble that can operate away from its owner will always be a cause for concern
 
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megasaxon

Juve
Sep 24, 2020
32
5
18
The clear role for a phyrr cat in my mind is a roving CdG threat, by the time you've bought all the things you need in a gang and are considering something like a cat, their statline is no longer anything an opponents going to be scared of, however a 10" CdG bubble that can operate away from its owner will always be a cause for concern
So am I right that in your view, you would add this later in a campaign, when you have bought other essential items/recruits? My thought was to go with it early, allowing the cat to do its thing and gain XP (hopefully) as the campaign plays out.
 
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Stompzilla

Ganger
Jan 11, 2013
198
279
63
So am I right that in your view, you would add this later in a campaign, when you have bought other essential items/recruits? My thought was to go with it early, allowing the cat to do its thing and gain XP (hopefully) as the campaign plays out.
Go for it. Everything is a trade off. You'll just have to adjust your tactics accordingly.

What would you really lose if you started out with the cat? My starting Delaque gang has a psychoteric worm, so I can xp up the Psygheist ASAP. It comes at the cost of armour, of which I have none. A 5+ save is less of a priority for me than Psychic fuckery, so I'll just have to make sure I don't get shot at too much by being sneaky, and armour can be added, piece-meal, quite easily at 15 creds a time, rather than trying to save 70 creds in a oner for the worm.

Likewise your gang. Maybe start a fighter or two down. A couple of Juves or a ganger with a lasgun are much easier to add as you earn creds than a 120 cred pet.
 
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Heart of Storm

Gang Hero
Mar 8, 2019
903
1,363
108
So am I right that in your view, you would add this later in a campaign, when you have bought other essential items/recruits? My thought was to go with it early, allowing the cat to do its thing and gain XP (hopefully) as the campaign plays ouout.
In my view, yes. My starting 1000 creds is spent buying models and the gear they need to be effective game 1. Necromunda is a game of snowballing, and coming back from early losses can be tough.

First purchases are things like armour, and upgrades to basic weapons (such as hotshot packs to lasguns) to give them viability in the mid campaign. Its around here id consider a phyrr cat, but it depends how the campaigns going, if opponents are pushing into T4 and above, and decent armour, I prioritise guns, if the campaign is developing slower than that then pets and other "fun to have" purchases become viable.
 
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megasaxon

Juve
Sep 24, 2020
32
5
18
This gang is actually two games down in a campaign with 8 gangers already, to give you context.

If I don't buy the cat i will definitely get hotshot Las packs all round.

One crazy idea I had this morning was to use the Hyper stimm on the cat - Champ and cat start turn in base-to-base, Champ uses stimm on cat then moves forward, cat pulls off minimum 10" charge 😀
 

Ironside83

Ganger
Feb 8, 2018
90
145
58
Australia
You may want to ask your Campaign arbitrator how they will interpret the rules regarding pets. For my current campaign, in which I am the Arbiter, I ruled that non-human models cannot perform actions that require true human intelligence. This includes opening or unlocking doors, activating electrical stuff, claiming objectives, the special action in the Propaganda scenario, etc. This largely was to reduce any advantage for me, as I ran 4 animals in my Escher crew, but also affected another player's chaos spawn.

It was fun watching Chaos Spawn and a Khimerix rip doors off their hinges without help.
Human Intelligence??? My Border Collie would like a word with you... she is far more capable than my idiot brother.
 
Jul 30, 2021
26
71
33
London, UK
Human Intelligence??? My Border Collie would like a word with you... she is far more capable than my idiot brother.
Likewise, my two cats are dumber than rocks; except when it comes to food. We've put child-locks on the cupboards where we keep their food because they've worked out how to open them...If they thought there was treats on the other side, I reckon they'd figure out how to open an electronically-sealed bulkhead!
 
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Jayward

Gang Champion
Aug 4, 2020
287
452
63
I remember reading a quote from a Yosemite National Park ranger when asked why they couldn't design a bear-proof garbage can: "There is considerable overlap between the intelligence of the smartest bears and the dumbest tourists"

This also holds for Necromunda, where a Phyrr cat's INT 8+ is as smart (or smarter) than any factions' juves (except Van Saar)