Targeter probes are common to many factions in the Antares universe, so we have produced a single article to help with them all.
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. Many exude nanospore (nanobots) that feed information back to the unit’s combat shard, as well as using whatever types of communication is possible (given much of what we consider advanced communication methods would be blocked in an Antarean battlefield).
Probes like targeters tend to operate in shards – independent groups of drones that scour the battlefield and carry out their assigned roles. 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.
Probes normally 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.
Tip: It is worth checking a scenario before playing, as some scenarios and environments block the activities of particular probes.
Targeter probes are fast, zooming across the battlefield on their suspensor beds and completely ignoring most terrain. Their aim is to identify target units, attach themselves to the enemy unti, and relay their exact positions back to their combat shard. In effect, they acting as target painting devices, increasing the chances of hitting enemy units by +1 per probe, up to a maximum of +3 (+1 for overhead fire).
By the way: targeter probes dodge out of the way of friendly fire!
Targeter probes offer numerous tactical options, apart from the obvious one of flooding an enemy with probes to gain a signifcant bonus to the chance of hitting them. Some players take as many targeters as possbile, this swarming of targeters makes them very difficult to avoid and typically means that many enemy units are under threat at any one time, making it a strategy that is very difficult to counter.
Another approach is to place targeters along an enemy’s route so that they cannot help but contact the targeter, effectively target-locating themselves. This forces enemy units to slow down or speed up, ensuring they are out of position if they want to be free of highly accurate, incoming fire.
The Concord, Isorian and Algoryn all have their own style targeter probes, whilst the Freeborn typically use Concord style probes but could just as easily use Isorian or Algoryn designs – depending on what they can buy and reproduce!