All personal combat skimmers are designed for mobility and scouting and reconnaissance operations, perhaps even raiding. Their build, composite skin, armour fields and internal hyperlight boosters creates a high degree of protection for both rider and machine. Skimmer squads squads can use compactor drones to rush support weapons into advanced positions and crew them or to compact their skimmers when they wish to dismount. The compactors can also be used to carry combat drones or probe shards – tactics most often seen in Concord and Isorian forces.
A skimmer’s main advantage is its speed: the ability to have presence on different parts of the battlefield really keeps your opponent on edge. Sometimes command squads use their ‘Follow’ special rule to bring themselves and a companion squad into threat range. Such speed helps in capturing objectives at the last minute or in gunning down that last unit hidden away.
Skimmers should keep on the move, perhaps even with the first dice out of the bag, as they can retain their Run order across turns. All skimmers need to use line of sight blocking terrain to avoid losses, but their Fast special rules force opponents to reroll ‘to hit’ dice when on a Run order – the strategy is to keep moving! Their ‘Hit and Run’ capability adds to this in that they can speed pass opponents by making an assault, shooting in PBS (and having shots against them rerolled). In general, However, unless objectives are to be taken, most crews maximise the use of their skimmer’s armament and mobility rather than dismount.
The Algoryn Intruder combat skimmer is slower than other, fast-moving, personal skimmers but is more durable. They are armed with twin mag repeaters, one of which is detached when dismounting for the troopers’ use – aspirant command squads may carry personal plasma carbines instead. A favourite, strategic use is to couple them with Avenger attack skimmers who can add a heavy weapon capability to complement the Intruder’s speed (almost!).
The C3’s ST500 Interceptor skimmer is a light vehicle than the Intruder and a key component of the C3’s Drop forces. However, one or two squads are also often seen alongside regular troops in a scouting role. The vehicles themselves are armed with deadly twin plasma carbines and any of the twin carbines can be replaced with a plasma lance for a hard-hitting option, though such a change is best if accompanied by a spotter drone. The troopers themselves all carry standard C3 equipment in the shape of hyperlight armour and plasma carbines.
The Isorian SV21 Takhan Pulse Bike is the Senatex’ equivalent of the Concord ST500 Interceptor, designed to fulfil similar roles and with comparable capability. The bike is a fully-sentient drone forming part of a combat shard, usually comprising three machines together with their riders and associated buddy drones. In keeping with the Senatex’ emphasis on speed and subterfuge for panhuman troops, the skimmers are often seen in larger numbers than in a C3 Strike Force.
The Freeborn make use of adapted personal skimmers, one such being the Skyraider. It is lighter than the other skimmers, but uses suspensor-driven vortex jets to gain a top speed almost as fast as those of the IMTel nations; more usefully, it has a wider flexibility in terms of the weapons with which it is fitted: by default it comes with twwin mag repeaters, but can be upgraded to have a plasma lance or even a mag light support! The riders are typically domari and dismount as such.
Rocky’s War Room – a fan of Antares – has a really useful assembly video for the Algoryn Intruders outside the Nexus.