Hound probes were developed by the Freeborn to destroy the countless numbers of IMTel probes and buddy drones they encountered. The idea caught on and soon the other, major factions had similar designs but none were as readily available as the Freeborn version. This means the cost of Hound probes varies between lists, with some factions having to spend twice as much as the Freeborn for the same number of Hound probes.
This article covers all such Hound probes.
In general, probes are small hovering unarmed drones surrounded by a cloud of nanospore. They are simple machines with limited and specific intelligence – by Antarean standards, that is. Hound probes operate in shards – independent groups of drones that scour the battlefield and carry out their assigned role. A typical shard consists of four or more probes but only a single shard of each type of probe can be used – though more probes can be bought at higher FLs (check the army list). For most purposes each model (a scout probe) in the shard is treated as a unit in its own right, but the entire shard contributes only one order dice to the dice bag.
Hound probes have a Res of 5 and a move (M) of 10″, able to Run at double that distance, though they may not sprint. Being shards, they cannot receive some order dice due to events as they can only be given a Run order. Probes are nimble, so also bob out of the way of units trying to attack them hand-to-hand, so cannot be engaged in an Assault. Further, models in a sharded unit normally have to be targeted individually unless they are attached to an enemy unit or are within 1″ of each other.
Hound Probes in Use
In use, a Hound Probe flies up to one or more enemy probes or up to an enemy unit and detonates, releasing a cloud of destructive nanophages as it does so that ‘eat’ the enemy probes, using the material they consume to develop more of themselves. All this happens in a matter of a few seconds: to an onlooker, it just sems the probes disappears in a cloud of dust.
Tactically, there is always a cost: whilst Hound probes are impossible to resist, their wielder has to be careful which enemy probes and buddies are targeted. Once a Hound has taken out an enemy probe, the whole shard is weakened and their wielder may find himelf an order dice down quite quickly!