Reset the clock, kiddos.
Many of you have heard ancient myths and legends about the great beast of the mist known only as "The Revelator."
First "released" in Reckoning in June of 2015, the Revelator is the Protectorate's "second wave" colossal. Unfortunately, at the time of posting this we are at approximately the two year anniversary of the book releasing, with no model in sight. This makes it sit in the same class as the Transinfinite Emergence Projector for models that have taken the longest to actually appear since it was first released in a book. In face, we are no longer even playing the same edition of the game as we were when the Revelator first appeared. All this time has lead to it receiving an almost god-tier status in some players minds... but what is so important about it, really?
The Revelator, in many people's minds, represented the return of the true Protectorate gunline. Rows of Reckoners back in the day were feared for their extreme accuracy and damage output, but more and more threats appeared on tables that made this style of play less effective, forcing more melee attrition/scenario playstyles with casters like Harbinger. In the new edition, some aspects of that gunline returned; Power Up let 'jacks be fueled far more efficiently, Reckoners gained Flare to combo with Rhoven's Eyeless Sight, we lost the +2 to hit from Battle but overall that style of play got a bit of a bump.
However... without the Revelator, it still hasn't been what it could be.
Incredible how much better a colossal gets when it can "hit its target ever." Weird, that.
The Colossal of Great Legends
The Revelator is not a god tier model. It's not the best colossal in the game. Generally speaking we're not going to see picket signs and long angry rants in quite the same way we have about the Stormwall, Galleon, Mk. 2 Earthbreaker, Prime Axiom, etc. What it does, however, has a lot of layers to it as to exactly why it's so important to the Protectorate arsenal.
-A single model gunboat. Protectorate has some great buffs for a single model/unit, such as Hand of Fate, Ignite, Boundless Charge (model, of course), Defenders Ward, and many others. Multiple gun 'jacks, such as a pair of Reckoners, would have to have upkeep buffs in particular cycled across them to gain their offensive benefit, and defensive buffs would go on one, but not the other, creating weak points. Four good, strong guns on a single huge, hard to remove piece gives us the ability to park a buff where it is wanted and leave it there. The Judicator, with Inaccurate, is unable to benefit from a lot of buffs very effectively, but the Revelator can reliably be used to shoot down a single hard target.
-Stealth removal. To play a proper gunline, an out must be there for stealth. Currently, the out for Stealth is for Rhoven to Eyeless Sight a Reckoner, and the Reckoner can then shoot the target and Flare it for other models. Aside from Rhoven's innate utility on his own, he only contributes to that line of shooting with that one mechanic, and his points are sometimes not quite what you'd want to spend when you want to eke out every bit of gunfire you can. The Revelator's ability to remove stealth from targets (and ignore it completely himself) means you can focus your points more into that nasty gun battery you're running; you don't need that 9 points of utility when it's already built into the guns you brought anyway.
-Board control. Protectorate is a denial faction in many respects, but we lack many true "board control" aspects. For the most part, you don't have your movement forced too much against Menoth's forces; Gaze from the Avatar is a great example, and Feora1 has Wall of Fire which is notable... overall, though, the effects are rare. While it does require direct hits, being able to drop two 4" AOE pie plates which can't be entered by most basic infantry is unique to the faction, and extremely useful in a world full of nasty weapon masters. Especially since the AOEs are POW 12s, which means even most "elite" single wound infantry can't move into it and expect to survive. Flying models ignore it but... on models the POW 12 really matters on, that's rare and not typically on things that threaten battlegroup heavy armies quite as much. Mostly.
-Infantry clear + single target damage. Protectorate 'jacks have a tendency to have sort of a singular role, especially among the gun 'jacks. They typically shoot a single target to do damage, or are terrible against single targets and just fling AOEs or whatever around to try and clear infantry. One example of a model that does it differently is the Vanquisher... who is unfortunately overcosted for what he does. The Revelator gives us the power of big 4" AOE guns, while also bringing utility and extreme single target damage to the table. We play in a world of battlegroup heavy lists with infantry coming in to throw people off, having pieces that can handle both gives a ton of flexibility to a list design.
On the Horizon
The Revelator is believed to be prepping for release by the end of 2017... which is a good six month window from the time of posting. If you're reading this from the future, and have been enjoying the Revelator's effect on the faction, I hope it has been super sweet! Otherwise, for anyone waiting around for it like the rest of us have... reset the clock!