General Hondo is a bit deceptive at first, his low defense and armour may give the impression that he is weak, but the Armoured ability can then lead you into a false sense of confidence! Superb against some monsters, but learning how to beat some others is going to take some practise and skill. General Hondo offers a lot of tactical challenges to Empire of the Ape players.
As soon as possible I would get General Hondo into his Ultra form. This is where he really shines, and you really want to be making the most of his great abilities (i.e. Chain Attack and Juggernaut) while in his Ultra form. Brawling a building for power and health, and then triggering a rampage into the enemy monster (with Juggernaut) can be an easy way to do Super damage to an enemy while also loading up on power dice in the process.
Strategies and game play:
General Hondo offers a blue force field which makes for a huge boon to the rest of your army. Flying some airborne apes forward to hold enemy positions can really ruin your opponents power base! Against Blast attacks, the apes will now have a Defense of 5! Mind you, this will not help against Brawl attacks, but it can buy you some time.
A good combo for Ultra General Hondo is to position yourself where you can brawl a building to gain the power dice (using Power Gorge to gain a bonus one while you're at it), and then triggering your power attack to deal some extra damage. If your opponent has low Defense and is doing a unit turn the next turn, you may be able to do a Rampage into them for a low amount of A-dice which will do Super Damage due to the Juggernaut. Then activate again and throw the monster into some hazardous buildings.
Ways to counteract it:
General Hondo has low Defense and health which means he is especially susceptible to attacks that do Super Damage. Careful use of the dice can mean multiple monster turns and spell a quick defeat for the General.
With his limited mobility, throwing General Hondo behind screens of buildings or units can limit his ability to retaliate.
With no Blast attack, keeping screens of units in front of General Hondo can make it hard for him to come to grips with your monster.
General Hondo has the Shockwave reaction. Throw him or use Beat Back to put him anywhere near his units and he will crush anything adjacent. Adding insult to injury!
The Armoured skill makes it very hard to deal more than one damage to the General unless you have some attack that causes Super Damage.
Juggernaut is a great skill, as it allows you to do damage to the enemy monster even after you have rampaged through a whack of buildings and units - an opportunity to do double damage as well as collecting loads of power dice to make a back-to-back monster activation all the more possible.
The Blue Force Field he offers is not to be underestimated!
As a Nature Type monster, General Hondo can heal by brawling a High Occupancy building. Fortunately for him, there are several types of these available. Make sure to take plenty and disperse them around the city!
The Riled reaction is a good one, to ensure that even when the opponent does hit you, then you can at least get something out of it (i.e. a P-dice)
The low armour and health of this model means that he is vulnerable to models that have Annihilate or Weapon Master. His lack of movement based skills (Jump, Fly or even Climb) means that he can find himself getting hemmed in by the buildings on certain maps.
Artwork and aesthetics:
One word - ultrafreakingcool. It's one word when you say it really quickly. And that is what this model is. The dynamic pose of the model, to the battle armour and the gauntleted gloves makes him a menacing figure that really lives up to the "General" in his name. Heck, even the eye patch adds to the overall cool factor of this fig.
A solid 8 out of 10. He looks great and plays well - definitely one of my favourite models and I look forward to using him more in the future!