SD Hazard squads fight as part of the elite and heavily-equipped Hazard formations under the direct command of the ultra-secretive Special Division (SD – sometimes Special Development), the Algoryn corps responsible for experimental weapon development and testing. Although few in number compared to the vast array of Vector formations and garrison troops that serve the Algoryn Prosperate, Hazard units are disproportionately effective.
Algoryn SD Hazard squads are equipped with heavily armoured, powered, enviro-suits, generally known as Hazard armour. They carry a powerful combination of ranged and close-fighting, integrated weapon systems: distort-spinners and a plasma carbine that draws power from the suit’s own energy pack. A Hazard Command squad can take a medi-buddy and a spotter buddy.
Hazard formations were intended to be deployed in many kinds of hostile and dangerous environments, including the depths of space, and as advance strike troops. At present, the tensions within the Algoryn High Council mean they are restricted to SD Hazard formations, but within such formations the Hazard troopers form the initial wave in a massed attack of Vector formations. Their main drawback is that their armour and weaponry needs regular maintenance, so is not well suited to lengthy deployments. In an SD Hazard formation, however, they are often fielded as the only type of infantry when facing tougher enemy such as Ghar.
Hazard armour consists of multiple layers of reflex armour that offer extraordinary protection against high-power weaponry, although at some considerable loss to both speed and manoeuvrability compared to the lighter armour worn by Vector troops. In game terms this means Res is increased by 3 but Init and Ag is reduced by 1; if the unit is struck by a high-powered (SV 4+) weapon, the multiple reflex shells generate too much sink mass, so the unit acquires another pin.
Whilst tough, and able to take on almost any other squad, the 4-strong Hazard troops still need to ensure tough opponents (lavamites, Ghar suits) are pinned before going in for an Assault. In general, the Hazard squads can rely on their +2 boost to Res (raising it to 11) from their distort spinners, only using the 2×SV2 attacks from the spinners when they are comfortable their armour is sufficient to weather their opponent’s hand-to-hand attacks.