Gary Martin received a pre-release Virai army to use and show off during the 2018 Antares Day. Here are some of his thoughts and his army, interspersed with additional comments from play on the day!
Thanks to Warlord Games I will be lucky enough to run out the new army at Antares Day. I’ve managed to get one game in so far so here are my limited impressions of the list.
If you think this will run the same as a C3 drone list you are mistaken.
The army is structured round the three command drones, the First Instance, Secondary Instance and Tertiary Supervisor. In general the Virai have lower than normal command stats but all three of the command units boost this. They also provide some great additional benfits to units round about them and that is the key to using the army well. The placement of the commanders and the timing of these benefits give the army a different feel. I think they will be more challenging to use but the rewards are great. Don’t worry about a crafty enemy trying to take them out as they are all tough and able to recover from damage quickly.
I was asked on the day about the structure of these units. Basically, the architectors are the only models to have Tough rerolls, but can grant Tough rerolls to other units like medics via their ‘Repair Swarm’ ability. They are also the only models with Command and Follow attributes, and the First and Secondary Virai have Hero.
The basic warrior drones are a great unit. Decent armour great in assaults and deadly short range fire power that works the same way to mass compactors. They can also be upgraded to Assault drones which make them assault monsters. Run a command unit close to them and use some of their command dice shenanigans [Ed: Reprogram]. Just remember these are troops not weapon drones so use your cover. They also have some heavy weapon drones which are tough and have one of the most versatile guns in the game.
Whilst tough, I learnt these combat-only troops cannot be left alone. Pushing them too far ahead of their command architectors leaves them badly isolated and unable to respond. Like all the non-command drones, their weaker command and initiative stats can also leave them vulnerable.
There are also a variety of construction drones. These guys are not as good but they are cheap. I only have a unit of 6 just now but I could see me running a couple of big swarms of these guys.
The Scavanger constructors are your demolitions experts and they bring an Auto Workshop with them. The STAA probes cover the Targeter probe or Tectorist role, though are a bit slower. What makes up for it is that they have a longer range and can ‘paint’ targets for the rest of the swarm to use.
The models are the usual great design from Warlord and fairly easy to put together. Most of the Virai weapons are heat based so I wanted them to look like they are powered by heat and have a furnace in them (all my idea not official background, though they are fusion powered).
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