Virai Dronescourge Starter Swarm
Tim Bancroft gives us a quick run-down of how he’d put together the units in the Starter Swarm to make a useful force
This was the pre-order army for the launch of the Virai and The Dronescourge Returns, sometimes referred to as the Virai First Strike army. A breakdown of its contents, and approximate points, are below. As ever, exact contents may differ, but I’ve mentioned where, in case. The points given are those I’d use to make up an army and don’t include upgrades. Further, the warrior squads are minimum sizes to transfer models elsewhere as bodyguards, where they may be more useful.
[Personal tip – the two drones in the Virai First Contact pack are really useful to add as weapon team or bodyguards, 2 packs being one team + a pair of bodyguards for the Secondary Instance. It means the warrior squads can be given an extra drone each.]
|Unit (with comments and Combat Level)||Order
|First Instance or NuFirst plus two bodyguard (taken as NuFirst, Tactical)||2||209/173
|Secondary Instance architector (use two warriors drones as bodyguard, Tactical)||2||148+48||417|
|Tertiary Supervisor architector (1, Tactical, Support or Auxiliary)||2||83||500|
|Hive Defender warrior squad (5 – 1 given to Secondary Instance, Tactical)||1||120||620|
|Assault warrior squad (5 – 1 given to Secondary Instance, Tactical)||1||135||755|
|Weapon Drone with flamer array (1, Support)||2||87||842|
|Constructor squad (6)||1||48||890|
|Scavenger squad (4+1)||1||74||964|
|STAA Probe Shard (6)||1||30||994|
This makes a useful 1000-point, 13-dice army, even as it stands, with a lot of flexibility at the 750 point level. An option for 750 is to drop the First Instance and a bodyguard on the Secondary. I’d always advise keeping a Tertiary Supervisor or two around as they provide a lot of bolstering: none of the non-command units have Leader or any command related attributes. Whilst it seems the force may struggle against heavier support units at 1000 points, the usefulness of the warrior and weapon drones really come into their own: in assault the ripclaws have ‘Compound SV’, meaning even 4 hits gives an attack at SV 8 – very dangerous for a combat drone – and the weapon drones can focus their flamer array at short ranges up to SV 5 or three shots at lower SV.
[Tip: If you do have a couple of crew constructors from the First Conact pcks, then they could be used as constructor bodyguards for the Tertiary or as crew for a suitable support weapon they’ve scavenged from another army.]
A point to note is that, despite the number of MOD2 units, Virai need every dice they can get! The architectors have to use their MOD dice to reprogram the swarm and the weapon drones are brittle – almost certainly because their twin micro-fusion reactors are under significant stress. Away from their architectors, Virai units can quickly become bogged down and destroyed.