Virai Starter Swarm

Virai Dronescourge Starter Swarm

Virai first instance and warrior bodyguards
Virai First Instance and Warrior Bodyguards

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
Points Running
First Instance or NuFirst plus two bodyguard (taken as NuFirst, Tactical) 2 209/173
+ 48
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.

In Store

We’ve given links to both the Starter Swarm and the sample pack, Virai First Contact.

Link to Virai Starter Swarm
A secondary architector linked to the Virai Starter Swarm in the store

Virai First Contact Drones
Warrior and Crew Constructor First Contact pack