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What Lurks In The Shadows - A Shasvastii Tactica (Post-DF)

Discussion in 'Combined Army' started by WarHound, Apr 7, 2019.

  1. WarHound

    WarHound Well-Known Member

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    What Lurks in the Shadows: A Shasvastii Tactica



    So, Shas have been updated, and Oh MY! what a different beast they are. As befits their fluff, the Shasvastii have evolved and adapted to N3 well, and now return to menace the Human Sphere with all manner of new and updated profiles, abilities and equipment.

    I’ll break down the troops by classification and AVA, since in N3 ITSX (and maybe onwards!) it’s important to know.

    Line Troops:
    Seed-Soldiers (4)
    Nox Troops (Total)
    Tensho Experts (1)

    Spec. Trained Troops:
    Airborne Infiltration Group Cadmus (4)
    Light Support Unit Haiduks (3)
    Sabotage and Destruction Unit Caliban (4)
    The Shrouded Pioneer Corps (4)

    Veteran Troops:
    Independent Assault Group Jayth Cutthroats (3)
    Armed Imposition Detachment Gwailos (1)
    Deep Incursion Unit Malignos (3)

    Elite Troops:
    Tactical Monitoring Company Mentors (3)
    Speculo Killers (2)

    Headquarters:
    Tactical Dominance Special Wing Noctifers (3)

    Mechanized Troops:
    Special Armoured Corps Sphinx (2)

    Support Troops:
    Med-Tech Obsidon Medchanoids (1)
    E-Drones (1)
    Ikadron Batroid (2)
    M-Drones (2)
    Q-Drones (2)
    R-Drones (1)
    Slave Drones (2)
    T-Drones (1)
    Taigha Creatures (8)

    Characters:
    Submundo Smuggler Aïda Swanson (1)
    Cadmus-Naish Agent Sheskiin (1)
    Autonomous Agent of Chaos Victor Messer (1)
    Corax Hasht (1)

    So, the Shasvastii now have a good spread of Veteran, Elite, HQ and Character profiles to fulfil those important Classified Objectives, and a pleasant change to their line troops. Notable profiles are missing or have much-reduced AVA (looking at the Aswang and Gwailos in particular), but it’s not all bad and you’ll see why later on.


    LINE TROOPS:

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    Wow, well the much-maligned Seeds have had an overhaul, and what an overhaul it is!

    Moving to be more in line with their fluff as advanced terror soldiers, they now have Forward Deployment L2 to get their seed forms up to half way up the field. The inclusion of Chest Mines and Limited Camouflage of the seed form Helps to create more problems for the enemy (Just remember that chest mines are not ACTUAL mines, so they’re not compulsory or autonomous to trigger).

    This combination of skills and the changes to the Seed-Embryo rule now open up interesting tactics which will be expanded on later in this article.

    Once hatched Seed-Soldiers look like the function similarly to Inferior Infiltrators from other factions (Daylami and Metros spring to mind); an average stat line equipped with a D.E.P to provide credible ARO threat. Specialist options in the form of Forward Observer and Paramedic profile are there to provide some ITS support, but they’re not to be relied upon to use their skills to any effect.


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    Now, here we find the new line troops of the SEF. Standouts include Stealth as standard (for great manoeuvrability around the battlefield) and Bioimmunity (ignoring the special rules of Bio-Munitions like Shock and Viral, and also getting to choose to use ARM or BTS against them). Now, many would say that Bioimmunity when you only have ARM1 and BTS0 is a waste, but it grants a little edge over BTS0, and also allows you to use that all-important Shasvastii rule.

    Staple line troops profiles are available (Hacker, FO and Paramedic) and also the commonplace ‘support weaponry’ profile all line troops seem to be getting nowadays (HMG and a sniper of some sorts). Interesting to note that there is the option for a SMART Multi Sniper Rifle, in case people want to try and play the Targeting game.

    What is worth paying particular attention to is the ‘Zapper’ weapon which comes on many of the profiles. This is a great deterrent and answer to Rambo and strong assault pieces, this small direct template forces two BTS rolls at half value, and can isolate and immobilize troops susceptible to it.

    Overall a standard line infantry of the Combined Army, who stands comparable to the Unidron and Morat offerings due to interesting rule and unique equipment.


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    Akin to the Tohaa Diplomatic Delegate, Tensho Experts come in a Civvie and combat profile.

    The combat profile has a fireteam option (FTO) with a boarding shotgun, specialist operative skill, automedikit and Veteran L1, for a cost of 16pts. Slotting it into a Nox Core fireteam gives the group a simple specialist that will keep the fireteam moving in LoL (thanks to veteran granting you that regular order) and a nice +6 range deterrant against close-action opponents (Who will then have to deal with both the shotgun on great mods, and the zappers from other troops, making it a tough decision between dodging and returning fire).

    Seems legit a good choice, albeit for 2pts more than a Nox.


    SPEC. TRAINED TROOPS:

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    The Cadmus was a very tricky customer in N2, both to use and to deal with. The transition to N3 left their dated rules in a quandary (one I found out well at Interplanetary 2015!), but now they’re back with more tricks, and are more awesome than ever!

    Pulling the same Seed-Embryo tricks as Seed-Soldiers do, Cadmus also come with Decoy which interacts on them in a very special way. In essence allowing you to AD the Model, then after dispersion place two decoys within coherency of each other and the model, allowing up to a 16 inch daisy-chain (subject to eyeballing competency). This allows unparalleled positioning in ITSX, where you are not required to use the circular template to land, and effectively places your Cadmus anywhere within 16 inches of their actual landing spot. Icing on the cake is that the Decoy state grants Surprise Shot L1 and Surprise Attack.

    Morpho-Scan is relatively unchanged, allowing the user to use a short skill to target an enemy with the Wounds attribute and copy their MOV, CC, BS and PH attributes. Note that it now calls out an enemy instead of any model, so no copying Sheskiin!

    Now having an EI KHD, Cadmus are even more useful as a backline disruption and points-scoring pocket-drop!


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    Historically a mothball profile, the Haiduk was considered too expensive and too weak an ARO piece to be a common inclusion. The tables have turned, however, and now the Haiduk offers a strong ARO that makes great use of its Sapper ability with the inclusion of Marksmanship L1 and MSV2 as standard. The Multi Sniper Rifle is much of the same, but the new and cheaper (in SWC and points) AP Marksman Rifle means that this entrenched terror can truly be a threat to anything.

    Abiding by the usual tenets of ARO setup and execution, the Haiduk will serve the EI well in its strengthened defensive niche.


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    And now for something truly terrifying.

    Our favourite space-vampire the Aswang and our much-maligned engineer Caliban have been subsumed into a new composite form, and with it we get all the offense we know and love, but with extra oomph!

    Another FD2 troops (similar to the Seed-Soldiers), the new Caliban Sports Protheion 3, Kinematica 2 AND CH: Camouflage. A respectable PH value and a fantastic CC score make this truly a pinnacle of alien menace. Three different specialist profile (now including the only CoC in the Combined Army!) give the Caliban more of a reason to be midfield than just straight-up murdering people (which it does VERY well thanks to its insane CC ability and loadouts). For a more ‘vanilla’ killing experience using the Spitfire profile is a costly but undeniable option (with the choice of MSV1 or not).

    I cannot imagine a list where I wouldn’t want to take at least one of these bad boys!


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    Very little has changed with the old expeditionary staple, except the addition of a KHD profile, and a Minelayer who makes the most out of its Dazers.

    The ultimate rage-inducing play is to have the Minelayer Dazer succeed on their infiltration roll and set up a 17” wide, infinitely high cylinder of very difficult terrain and saturation.

    This may not seem too bad, but factor in the rules for Very Difficult Terrain (can only use 2nd MOV value and cannot declare 2 short move skills in the same order) and the possibility of two Shrouded passing their infiltration rolls (for a total 34” wide zone) and you can see why these slippery specimens should be much-maligned. At 0SWC and only 24pts I’ll be having two of these in every one of my lists!


    VETERAN TROOPS:
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    [ From @gamma ray ]
    This curious new unit for this brings some unexpected combinations of equipment, skills and weapons to our game.

    Almost entirely short range weaponry such as Chain Rifles, SMG and a Vulkan Shotgun are provided on an ODD toting, MSV1 sporting close combat monster that starts its life in your deployment zone. E/M Grenades are included as standard on each profile, along with a DA CCW for when you want to take 'Hacking' objectives a bit too seriously. The Red Fury option looks incredibly tempting to include in a Harris of these units, but also has quite the price tag attached to it.

    22-35 points for a 1 Wound unit without Infiltration is a little disconcerting at first when thinking about making the usual Shasvastii meme list, but there's more to think about here - BTS 6. Making saves against Biomunitions is very, very important.

    The final profile looks awfully tempting for opportunistic advances and general harassment, however. ‘The SMG profile looks a bit bland... let's slap a Taigha Creature with AP Mines onto it with G:Sync’. This badass pair sport NBW, Berserk, CC21+, DTW, Mines, the list goes on.


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    [ From @gamma ray ]
    The Gwailos as we knew them are dead. Long live the Gwailos!

    Same name, but nearly unrecognisable in its new form. The first true Shasvastii HI is the rambo player's first turn dream. Sadly with its new profile, it is reduced to AVA 1.

    Nanoscreen, Albedo, Stealth. Against non-template weapons this bad boy will be rolling ARM on 6, and BTS on 12, this is your weapon of choice when playing against viral ammunition. Loadouts are 2 SWC across the board meaning you will want to use this to its full potential. Profiles sport a HMG, AP Spitfire, or Heavy Rocket Launcher with MSV2.


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    So, a TO Lt for 0SWC and a pretty reasonable 34pts!

    In all seriousness though, not much has changed with the Malignos, still pricy but still effective.
    Nice addition is the KHD with SMG, Dazer and AP mines, which at 33pts is a TO midfield specialist with respectable WIP, a BTS score, and TWO different deployables!
    With so much going for it, there’s tough calls for justification on the other specialist profiles (AHD and FO), but that’s more down to SMGs being undercosted than the other profiles being bad.

    Pop one of two of these bad boys into your lists: They’ll do work!


    ELITE TROOPS:

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    Establishing itself as the de-facto Lt option, Mentors bring the new skill “Counterintelligence” to the Shasvastii; and as a factor of (mostly) elite-spec troops you’ll commonly run 12-14 orders at best.

    Ambush Camo is nice, and the addition of an EI HD (quite rare) with a BTS6 is a nice basic hacking platform. Shock marksman rifle is another lovely loadout with Ambush Camo, but I expect to see most Mentors to be the Lt, and be hidden most of the game.

    For the 22pt loadout that’s a steep price over a 14pt Nox, but it’s a lot harder to hunt down, and can hold its own against the average assailant.


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    The Epitomy of the Shasvastii Art of War, Speculo Killers embody the tenets of stealth, aggression, tricky and fragile. The only new profile is a Minelayer option, and I must say I am VERY glad to see a Combirifle instead of a Boarding Shotgun on that (since the BS would be OP as all hell)!

    And additional 0.5SWC is par for the course for the skill, so while it’s a steep price the cost is balanced by the potential.

    No-one likes enemy mines in their DZ.


    HEADQUARTERS:

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    Noctifers remain unchanged, and that’s pretty fine by me.

    Combi, Spitfire or Missile Launcher, each requires a different approach, and if the dice gods will it they can pull off impressive feats of slaughter. Take care with the missile launcher: It’s not really designed as an ARO piece in my opinion, and as a reactive piece loses it’s most valuable asset (surprise shot) if used in that way.

    [edit] That being said, many people find it puts in good work when used to target link teams (shooting the non-leader). The psychological effect on your opponent knowing that a missile launcher could pop up at any time (potentially hitting on 15s) is not to be underestimated!

    Also, with a paltry PH of 10 and ARM1, avoid template weapons!


    MECHANIZED TROOPS:

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    The Sphinx is still.. .well… THE SPHINX

    Able to put the fear of everything into your opponent when used with care and precision, Sphinx are renowned for their flamethrowers and their absurdly high manoeuvrability (for a TAG).
    Multiterrain and Climbing Plus ensure it gets where you want it to go, and attacking from unexpected vectors, though trite and oft-verbalized, is the name of the game with this unit.
    I know a player who uses it like the world’s most expensive homing missile, but even then it’s easy to get good mileage out of it thanks to STR3, S6 and good armour.

    One of the better baskets to put all your eggs into.


    SUPPORT TROOPS:

    [​IMG]

    The infamous Dr. Worm (MD) performs in the SEF the same as everywhere else in the Combined Army: He patches things up, and if you’re feeling frisky tears things down with his D-Charges.

    Commonly found hiding somewhere back field and letting his Slaves do the work for him, never underestimate the power of a 6-4 S3 specialist; one who can complete no less than 50% of the ITS10 classified objectives (with varying degrees of capability, to be sure!).


    [​IMG]

    Operating the same as elsewhere in the Combined Army, Ikadrons are a great backfield defender, and an auto-include in any mission where you need to dominate areas. Flash pulse with an average WIP give a clutch-defensive ARO, but the pistol is also useful for close ranges where you desire to contest rolls (or for extreme range pot-shots). Repeater and a fast 1st MOV value help gets your hacking network spread out.


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    We will keep this quick, as what is available is much the same as normal, with many of the same tactics.

    Standouts are the M-Drone FTO option (which comes with a Nanoscreen but loses the Sniffer) and the T-Drone FTO Which drops the ‘smart’ in ‘smart missile launcher’, but picks up a flash pulse (of all things!).


    [​IMG]

    Nothing new to see here, move along.


    [​IMG]

    Now here is something totally different!

    Acting like miniature Pretas, the Taigha creatures are little bundles of terror. A MOV of 6-6, CC21 and Berserk mean they have a very impressive threat range, and with PH13, Hyperdynamics L1 AND Kinematika L2 woe betide anyone who does not choose to actively deal with them. Granted, their Chain Colt range is smaller than a Pretas Chain Rifle, but a 5pts for an AP+Shock CCW (and 6pts for a DA CCW!) they will be putting a crimp on almost anyone’s day.

    Just remember that at ARM and BTS 0 with no Valor skills, they have the staying power of damp toilet roll.


    CHARACTERS:

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    Our first Character is what you could consider the ‘budget’ character, being the cheapest available by almost a full Taigha, but Aïda is no pushover.

    Carrying the much-maligned twin SMG loadout, Aïda can gunfight with the (almost) best of them thanks to high burst, credible damage, proficient BS and defensive mods in the form of CH:Mimetism. While a pretty good CC score of 19 and MA2 make it look like she can play fisticuffs, this is only suitable for disposing of mooks (which to be fair can be killed almost as easily at range, with less order expenditure).

    Viral mines give most troops great cause to pause in their advance if only because of the potential to eliminate models that would otherwise waltz through a normal antipersonnel mine, making Ms Swanson a great option for area denial (especially twinned with suppression fire).


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    If you ever want to split a community and induce apoplectic rage, release this profile. Guaranteed to make your opponent ragequit or at least tilt, Sheskiin brings a BS15 weapon to the table, with twice the chance to crit, and the capacity to get up to burst 5 and BS21 (subject to lackeys to tag along with).

    Not content with the savagery of her ranged prowess, Sheskiin also comes with an astronomical CC score, Protheion and Kinematika. The introduction of 2 wounds and the continued use of a Nanoscreen mean she’ll be a tough target, despite her low ARM and BTS scores.
    Many consider her cost of 0/53 or 1/54 to be too cheap, and it certainly is a lot of bang for your buck!


    [​IMG]

    A Beautifully new profile for an important character in the Backd00r Crisis storyline, Mr Messer pays a pretty price for an abundance of gear, but pretty average stats. BS12 and WIP14 are nothing special for the 30pt price area, but having no less than twelve pieces of equipment/rules/weapons makes him a fantastic toolbox. Wildcard fireteam status adds value. Boarding shotgun or multirifle/cybermines is a tactical choice that leans the Autonomous Agent of Chaos into different roles, but one this is for sure: Hackign Device Plus means white noise is now a thing, and with this much Camo in an army the ability to negate MSV troops is invaluable.


    [​IMG]

    Hasht is and always has been a beatstick; equipped with a Spitfire, BS13 and a Nanoscreen he is designed to move forward and assault things, preferably with 4 of his buddies to back him up. With the addition of shock immunity he is now pseudo-HI, and that’ fine for his cost. Just remember that although he is a specialist operative, his WIP is averaging at best and he does not have the ARM or BTS for protracted firefights. He’s another example of the Shasvastii “dish but can’t take it” idiosyncrasy.


    NEW EQUIPMENT AND WEAPONS:

    Zapper
    Zappers use the small direct template, like nanopulsars, LFTs and Mines. Targets affected by a Zapper must make TWO rolls against DAM13, using half their BTS value. Failing even one of these saves means the target suffers the following:
    · Is Isolated.
    · If HI, REM or TAG then also IMM-2.
    · Any equipment with the Comms Equipment trait enters the DIS (disabled) state.
    · Makes a Guts roll (if they don’t have a skill that negates or changes how Guts rolls interact with them).
    This one weapon makes Rambo pieces a lot harder to use, as it doesn’t require a roll to hit and the potential effects are devastating to Rambo tactics (seeing as Rambos need orders, and are often HI or TAGs/REMs).

    Only found on the SEF Line troops, Nox are now the perfect blackline defenders, and even moving up field they can put pressure on the enemy power pieces with this one weapon.

    As anyone who has played against Ghazi can attest, the ISO state sucks.


    Dazer
    Dazers are a deployable with 3 charges, a short skill with the attack label. Placing a Dazer is a short skill, and once the marker is down it emits a field of audio/tactile disruption, inhibiting the performance of troops moving through.

    In game terms, a Dazer marker “generates a Very Difficult Terrain and Saturation Zone of infinite height in it’s Zone of Control”. As mentioned in the Shrouded entry above, reducing movement to 2nd MOV value, and only allowing 1 MOV per order is a fantastic way to hinder your opponent’s capabilities; defensively as well as offensively. Whilst troops with the Multiterrain skill ignore the Very Difficult Terrain rule of the Dazer, nothing avoids its Saturation Zone, and the permanency of the marker means the enemy HAS to deal with (because let’s face it: a 17” wide area of V.D.T and Sat. Zone is really tough on a table only 48” wide).

    Because it’s ZoC and not LoS, deploying a Dazer behind or inside a terrain element give it maximum staying power, and as all the SEF profiles with Dazers also have multiterrain you can then move with impunity. Just be aware that your own troops without Multiterrain will be affected by it, and you cannot voluntarily turn it off!



    NEW/ALTERED SKILLS:

    Seed-Embryo
    The Seed-Embryo rules have had a tidy up, and for the better I feel.

    Now these units deploy in the Seed-Embryo state, with the Seed-Embryo profile, and at the start of your 2nd turn (during the order count phase) you can choose to have them cancel the Seed-Embryo state and used their developed form profiles. Whilst you cannot do this before turn 2, you don’t HAVE to do it in turn 2, instead choosing to remain as a Seed-Embryo. This may be useful in situations where you still have Limited Camo, or you want to use the better ARM and BTS of the Seed-Embryo (or you just don’t want to reveal what it actually is).

    ARO options with Seed-Embryos are now clearer too, with your options being to Hatch (ARO), or use the built-in Chest Mines to perform a BS attack (no more hatching AND shooting).

    The Hatch (ARO) skill allows the user to make a PH roll, applying the Dodge rules (but without the movement), and this can be used as a ZoC ARO (allowing you to hatch even if you can’t see the enemy).
    The active skill version, Autohatch (short movement skill) does not require a roll, but it MUST be declared as the 1st short skill of an order.

    Decoy
    The only profile in SEF with this skill is the Cadmus, and on them it works in a very special (and some may say quite OP) way.
    Being able to make the AD drop, fudge it, and STILL land where you intended is very powerful, but adding on the two decoys that land within ZoC (which you can daisy-chain to form a 17” long line!) adds tactical viability that is unparalleled.

    Use the Decoys to provoke change facing AROs.
    Use the Decoys to set off troublesome mines.
    Use the Decoys to ‘fake out’ your opponents with risky but rewarding mind-games. “Am I silly enough to put the REAL Cadmus there? Do you feel lucky punk?!”.

    Taking more than one Cadmus and co-ordinated dropping them will litter the table with Seed-Embryos, and guarantee your opponent will have a fit about them (with AVA 4 drop them all at once, and put down 12 Seed-Embryos, each one with the potential to be a chest mines-wielding nightmare!).

    Protheion
    Like Martial Arts, Protheion is a tiered skill used in close combat, and can even be used in coup de grace (you’ll see why that’s important later).

    The different tiers of Protheion all provide different bonuses, and as with Martial arts one level grants all previous levels (but you cannot stack them; you choose which one to use):

    Protheion L1 = +3 to you, +1 damage.
    Protheion L2 = -3 to enemy, +1 damage.
    Protheion L3 = +3 damage.
    Protheion L4 = +1 burst.
    Protheion L5 = +3 to you, -3 to enemy.

    Protheion attacks use the troops’ CC score to hit and PH score for damage value, but do not use their weapon’s special ammunition types. Each successful roll forces a BTS save, and each failure causes the enemy to lose 1 W/STR.
    Finally, if the enemy troops has W instead of STR, each wound caused will add a wound to the causing troop (granting them up to a maximum of two extra wounds).

    Only two troops in SEF has Protheion: Sheskiin and the Caliban. Both have level 3 and both have a terrifying CC score, meaning that they are the perfect vectors to demoralize your opponent. As a small note: Sheskiin starts with 2 wounds, so can potentially get to FOUR wounds (and be the only unit in the game with that).

    It also bear reiterating that the special ammunition type of any carried weapons is not counted, so Sheskiin’s DA CCW will not force 2 saves per success.

    Often used as a buffer for running into melee, Protheion makes it easy to reach combat, take a hit on the way in from a shooting ARO, and still come out on an equal balance of wounds (thanks to high crit chance in CC); something other troops cannot achieve.


    Morpho-Scan
    A short skill that does not require line of sight (merely that your target be in your Zone of Control), Morpho-Scan does not need a roll, and on success replaces your MOV, CC, BS and PH scores with that of your target.

    Whilst it can be tried as many times as you like (subject to order expenditure), it can only be successful once, and while your do not make a roll the enemy can Reset at -9 to try and disrupt it.

    Final note: It only works against troops with a W score. Not STR and not on markers.


    Counterintelligence
    This automatic skill only works if the troop possessing it is on the table at the start of the game, either as a model or as a marker. This is important because Counterintelligence partially mitigates the Strategic Use of the enemy’s Command Tokens, with the following results:

    · If the enemy reduces your order pool of a combat group by two at the start of the game, it is reduced by one instead.

    · If the enemy inhibits your Command Token use in your first turn to one, it is instead reduced to two.

    As far as I understand, this skill is hidden until used, so you only declare it once the enemy has declared their intention to execute Strategic Use (otherwise they would know it exists and never bother to try).

    Either way, it is either a brilliant mitigation technique, or else a dissuasion element.

    FIRETEAMS:

    The Shasvastii do not have much in the way of mixed links, instead relying on their Wildcard characters to add spice to their compositions. Below is the kind of links that can be made:

    Fireteam: Core
    Nox Troops – Up to 5 Nox troops and/or one T-Drone FTO, and/or one Tensho Expert FTO.

    Fireteam:Haris
    Jayth Cutthroats – One Jayth Haris option and up to two Jayth Cutthroats.
    Gwailos – One Gwailo and two M-Drones FTO.

    Fireteam: Duo
    Jayth Cutthroats – Two Jayth Cutthroats.
    Gwailos – One Gwailo and one M-Drones FTO.

    Remember that the Wildcards can replace any member in a fireteam as long as the relevant skill is still present (so you can’t replace the Jayth Haris member, but you replace the other two, and you cannot replace the Gwailo, but you can replace the M-Drones).


    TACTICS:

    Tactics and strategic use of a force is really a personal choice, but choosing to play Shasvastii inherently means you favour a ‘stealth and dirty tricks’ playstyle. With that in mind, let’s try to look at how the new Shas can perform, and also a couple of the non-conformist options.

    Getting Around..
    First of all, with 16 out of the 27 available troop types having it, the overabundance of Stealth in the faction means moving around the table without triggering ZoC AROs will be easy; even a Core link can do it (and with their Zappers that’s a dangerous prospect!).

    By combining Infiltration, AD, Forward Deployment and Multiterrain and god ol’ MOV 6, we have a fantastic array of troops with enhanced mobility (18 of 27 profiles). Granted, some want to be more active than others, but the capacity to outmanoeuvre your opponent should not be underestimated. This also means it’s more likely you’ll be using MOV+SHOOT orders instead of having to MOV+IDLE and then another order to MOV+SHOOT (Yay, order efficiency!).


    The Hidden Hand..
    Shasvastii are well-known to be the ‘blank courtesy list’ faction (although this accolade is now contested by TAK).

    Camo troops account for nearly half of the Shasvastii forces, and it’s very easy to build viable lists that have nothing shown on their courtesy lists simply with the combination of our abundant Camo, TO, AD and Impersonation troops.

    Similarly, it’s also very easy to build a force that has nothing starting in the deployment zone (at least not YOURS anyway!) through a combination of FD, Infiltration, Impersonation and AD.

    Special note goes to the Noctifers, Malignos and Sphinx; their ability to remain totally undetected until the opportune moment plays a big part in the mind-games that Shas employ so well. Your opponent must always keep in mind that there will be more on the field than they can see, and that attacks can come from anywhere.


    No..
    The new SEF has access to a lot of disruptive technology in the form of Dazers, Zappers, Decoys, Ambush Camo, Mines, E/M weaponry, MSV (oh my god I’m SO happy about this!) and (finally) White Noise.

    All of these combine in different ways to hamper your opponent’s movement and offensive potential, allowing a tactically-acute Shasvastii player to control the field of battle in a way no other faction can.

    It also gives great ways to take the teeth out of your opponent’s plans.

    Enemy TAG or HI link/Rambo piece storming towards you? Throw Nox, Jayth, Malignos or Shrouded at them to isolate, immobilize and inhibit their movement.

    Enemy AD or TO infiltrators coming in to get at your backline? Force them to waste orders dodging because of Zappers, Pulzars, Chain Rifles and Chain Colts, or make them have trouble winning firefights with Boarding Shotguns, or sacrifice themselves to Taigha.

    Enemy Infiltrators ruining your mid-field with their presence and minefields? Drop in Decoys or rush Taigha to pop mines, lay mines of your own, or use various movement skills to simply avoid them.


    The Lazarus Faction..
    Harkening back to the previous Tactica, Shasvastii carry a lot of potential for getting back up again or otherwise nullifying the detrimental effects of being unconscious.

    The Shasvastii (and thusly the Spawn-Embryo state) means that an unconscious Shasvastii still contributes its points for missions where Sectors are important, ensuring that the opponent must waste yet more orders ‘bug hunting’ to clear out areas they wish to control.

    Bio and Shock Immunity is more prevalent in the faction, and while somewhat situational (mostly on 1W troops) they ensure that the Spawn-Embryo state is something that has use even against enemies with a dearth of Shock and/or Viral ammunition.

    Final point to note is the good availability of AutoMedikit-equipped troops, and the use of Protheion to mitigate damage intake. While some may feel that AutoMedikit use is a waste of orders, the ability to pick a Malignos or Shrouded specialist or Speculo Killer back up in the end game with a 60% success rate is worth the order if you have one or two spare.


    You’re not very subtle, are you?.
    This section is for the new outliers: Gwailos and Taigha. One is a very durable and very expensive powerhouse and the other is.... Not.

    The new Gwailos ONLY have SWC-intensive options available, but with effective ARM6 and BTS12 (thanks to Nanoscreen granting constant partial cover) and a BS13 platform they’re designed to brute-force their way through things. All profiles come with Albedo too to take the fight to likely MSV-equipped ARO pieces, and the added plus point is the option to have MSV2 on the HRL loadout.

    The Gwailo’s loadouts secure it a very niche position as an ‘anti-threat’ troop; be that enemy armour (by using the AP Spitfire) anti-camo (by using the MSV2 profile), or anti-link team (with HMG or HRL profiles). Be aware that getting a Gwailo into a link for burst bonus is a very costly process, and the justification for a 23pt specialist of averaging ability is questionable when you’re dropping nearly 100pts on just three models.

    Taigha creatures are the complete opposite of Gwailos: Fast, fragile, very VERY cheap, and with very short ranged weaponry.
    Anyone who has played with or against The Hungries in Combined Army will be aware of the uses and limitations of Taigha, but there are a few key differences worth noting:

    · Lower PHY score means reduced melee damage (but not reduced dodge chance, as you will see next).
    · Hyper-Dynamics L1 pushing PH score to 16 for dodging.
    · Short range Chain Colt instead of Chain Rifle.
    · AP+Shock or DA CCWs instead of just AP.
    · Sixth Sense L1 for more menacing midfield positioning.
    · Berserk to really push up that threat in melee, to either grant a 12” MOVE and attack or to give a CC27 normal roll.

    Extremely Impetuous and Irregular means that Taigha will be likely-as-not throwing themselves at the closest enemy unit, and a canny opponent can take advantage of that to have them run circles. But if even one gets through, they’re very likely to take down their target.


    CLOSING THOUGHTS:
     
    #1 WarHound, Apr 7, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
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  2. WarHound

    WarHound Well-Known Member

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    CHANGELOG:
    [2019-04-08]
    Added entries for Malignos, Mentors, Bob from Accounting, Noctifers and the Sphinx.
    Added entry on Seed-Embryo state.

    [2019-04-09]
    Added entries for Dazers, Zappers, Decoys, Protheion, Morpho-Scan and Counterintelligence.

    [2019-04-10]
    Added entries for Fireteams and Tictocs. Updated Noctifer entry to provide info on ARO duty.
     
    #2 WarHound, Apr 8, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
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  3. Sabin76

    Sabin76 Well-Known Member

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    Might want to post something about the Q-drone in particular since we get an extra AVA in Shas.

    Edit: would also disagree slightly about the ML Noc. He was already an ARO beast simply due to the template. Stack him with one of your other ARO pieces and watch the opponent sweat as they have to split burst against a TO marker (hopefully) in cover that they didn't know was there when they first moved to engage. He just got even better with dazers in the midfield doing nothing at all to his potential as either an ARO or and attack piece. IMO, if you can tag at least one other model with the template, forgoing SS is totally worth it, and this is doubly true if it's on that second move of a fireteam!
     
    #3 Sabin76, Apr 9, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
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  4. smog

    smog Well-Known Member
    Warcor

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    Agree. Why spend an order on a single burst shot when I can let my opponent kill himself with his own orders?
     
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  5. coleslaw

    coleslaw Veteran
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    I love this, @WarHound! Good advice and thoughts.

    -------------- Ignore, I'm wrong --------------
    Thanks, @Dr.Lycosid!
    A detail though, dazers are not infinite height, they are ZOC from silhouette 0 marker, so more or less a sphere with 17" diameter.
    (They are also not blocked by total cover as smoke are.)
    I really wish they where infinite height though, as it would make gameplay so much easier...
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Thanks for your engagement and effort <3
     
    #5 coleslaw, Apr 9, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
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  6. Dr.Lycosid

    Dr.Lycosid Member

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    Actually it is of infinite height. This is stated in rules text:

    This weapon generates a Very Difficult Terrain and Saturation Zone of infinite height in its Zone of Control.
     
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  7. Dr.Lycosid

    Dr.Lycosid Member

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    And of course, thank you @WarHound and colleagues for the great guide!
     
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  8. WiT?

    WiT? Well-Known Member

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    Seconding the opposition to the Noctifier as a poor ARO piece. He's not all that strong as a pure gun turret (though -6 and BS 12 isn't terrible), but the fact that the first shot can potentially annihilate a link team gives him an incredible threat potential and using him every now and then will put the fear of god into your opponents in other games, causing them to move carefully when in reality your unaccounted for points are a Cadmus or something.

    Speaking of which, surely that Cadmus chain deployment isn't right. If it is, thats a huge margin of error for landing correctly - it has to fail PH *and* pretty much land off of the table to miss, and even then it could theoretically chain to multiple somewhat useful positions from the corners of the DZ. And if it is on or somewhat on target, the decoy skill can let it land in front of ARO without automatically dying (and potentially do other tricky things like set off mines or put decoys in LoS blocking spots?). It even has the SMG of SWC weapons for a discounted heavy option, or could theoretically land several decoys near a link team or some such to be an overpriced mine on demand. What a beast
     
    #8 WiT?, Apr 9, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
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  9. coleslaw

    coleslaw Veteran
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    If the (1st ;-) ) Cadmus scatters of the table or into the opponents deployment zone then all 3 decoys must be put on the table edge of your deployment zone. They can be chained there, but must all touch the deployment zone edge. So that stops some shenanigans. But you can be sure that your Cadmus will NEVER scatter into an ARO if you don't choose so (except for hidden deployment, this is infinity after all).
    Also, if you fail the PH roll you can not chain link into the opponents DZ.
    (I have not checked the consequences of hacking transport aircraft, might be some fun consequences there too...)
     
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  10. WarHound

    WarHound Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all for the feedback!

    While i'm sure my opinion is not a common one regarding Noctifers, I don't disagree that their potential as a threat in ARO is credible.
    My opinion comes from the low burst, and the unlikeliness of getting an unopposed ARO with it (subject to opponent's movement savvy and experience in dealing with Camo).

    The ability to push a -9 mod on your opponent while they have reduced burst it what sells the Noctifer to me as an active piece; having to content with full burst and favourable mod for your opponent is what makes me (personally) hesitant to use him for ARO duty. That being said, if the opportunity arises, i'd leap at it! With regarding to 'stacking AROs' i'm guessing you mean having multiple credible threats simultaneously in an ARO, and not literally putting the Noctifer next to another ARO piece. This is because direct templates are a thing, and i'd not like the potential of losing multiple pieces to one hit.

    The Cadmus, as i've understood it from the rules on the wiki and from discussion on these forums and in other groups is legit and very strong (in my opinion). You're right @coleslaw in that it means a Cadmus will almost always drop where you want it, and in a game over the weekend I used it exactly as you described to eliminate mines using the Decoys.

    I'll add more info about the TR bots this week @Sabin76 : There's a lot of tricks that Shas can (and should) pull off, so i'm going to work my way through them.

    If anyone would like me to add some user comments from themselves, i'd love to get feedback to put into the Tactica from multiple viewpoints. Send me a PM with the unit and comments and i'll look to include them.
     
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  11. Sabin76

    Sabin76 Well-Known Member

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    @WarHound I actually don't disagree at all that the Noc can be a wonderful active turn piece... I'd simply reserve that duty to the Spit version.
     
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  12. Aemaru

    Aemaru Well-Known Member
    Warcor Aristeia

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    Well for having been using noctifer ml a lot .... it’s an heresy to think « this aro is credible »

    Everybody facing SEF fears this profil particulary when using a 5-men fireteam. Just have to shoot a non team leader in aro and if the player make a mistake you can catch 3-4 members in an unopposed aro (or you make everyone make an esquive roll and make your opponent loose many orders). Not in cover= bs12+3
     
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  13. Leviathan

    Leviathan Hungry Caliban

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    I wanna take a moment to sing the praises of the Jayth with Red Fury. He's a pretty kick-ass gunfighter, generally always hitting on 12s with the average opponent shooting back on -6 or -9, and with a really solid CC threat for any enemy troops that try to be clever and get in under his range. I've run him in a Haris team, which is indeed pretty expensive, but also a little unweildy, and I've run him solo as well. The Frenzy is an obvious downside, but can be mitigated by Duoing him with another Jayth (eg. the 22pt Chain Rifle dude) or with a specialist like Messer.
     
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  14. joedj

    joedj New Member

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    No Feuerbach on the Caliban anymore? Need to mod my existing with different weapon...
    Currently owned Aswang will get a make-over into a Caliban, until new model becomes available.

    Imagining 1 of 2 upfield deployed camo markers waiting to 4" engage an enemy peeking/shooting around a predictable corner, and vampiring 'em. Hmm, what should be my 'lure'?:smiley:
     
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  15. coleslaw

    coleslaw Veteran
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    I use the Caliban feuerbach as a Cadmus red fury and the Aswang spitfire as a Caliban spitfire :-)
     
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  16. Space Ranger

    Space Ranger Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the write up @WarHound !

    I finally find out what the stupid Sapper thing is like. Now it makes sense.

    For the Haiduk it's almost like a heavy Nanoshield. You can either move and get cover or not move and get cover and mimetisim!

    I’m looking forward to trying out 2 Haiduk with AP Marksman Rifle. These guys are going to be hell to deal with, especially if in suppressive fire. But a Burst 3, AP+Shock with MSV2 should be awesome!

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. csjarrat

    csjarrat Well-Known Member
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    Hello white noise!
     
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  18. BLOODGOD

    BLOODGOD Vampire Hunter

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    I'm pretty sure the Cadmus decoys have to obey the deployment rules put on the real thing, so if you fail your roll and scatter off the table they're all on the edge of the deployment zone. As long as you don't scatter off the table, though, you're pretty set.
     
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  19. WarHound

    WarHound Well-Known Member

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    You're absolutely right with this one, but then it means that you're acting very similarly to a Bashi Bazouk (with it's Holo2) coming on from a table edge: The enemy still has to target the right one =)
     
  20. Sabin76

    Sabin76 Well-Known Member

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    Not quite as good, however, because as soon as you activate the Cadmus, they will know which are the decoys. Also, idle + shoot...
     
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