Virai STAA Probes
Combat Level: Auxiliary
Where: The Dronescourge Returns
Given the pragmatic nature of Virai thought, it is not surprising that their STAA probes are the only type of probe they are known to use. Much smaller than even crew constructors, it seems that they are still built around the constructor core, but with no manipulator appendages and much less protection. This brings them down to the same size as the sharded probes in other nations, though the STAA probes have a unique function: boosting input to the swarms shared targeting acquisition algorithms (STAA).
The role of a STAA probe is to hunt down enemy units and effectively ‘paint’ them with whatever sensors are available. This is achieved through a mechanism similar to the Concord sensor turrets: the probe locates a target, fires, and if it achieves a hit transmits the data to the hive. This is modelled on the tabletop by placing a target marker on the unit.
Shooting Virai gain an Acc bonus for each marker (a ‘paint’) on the target unit. The amount of bonus is limited to three as there is only so many times a STAA probe can shout ‘They’re here!’ and help the swarm’s targeting programs. If the target moves, the location information transmitted to the swarm is, of course, useless so in game terms all the STAA target markers on that unit are removed when it physically vacates the location.
STAA probes are Sharded Probes like other probes. When necessary, their Res is 5 like other probes, and when they attempt to achieve a target lock with their STAA sensors, they ‘shoot’ with an Acc of 6 as if using an Advance order, with terrain or similar penalties, at a maximum range of 15″. Of course, there is no potential for damage from a STAA probes shooting, so opponents never take pins.