Malignos have Combi Rifles and Mines on all but two profiles allowing them to play as classic midfield skirmishers, dropping mines to control ground and exploiting their TO modifiers in the active turn to kill weaker troops.
They have access to a MULTI Sniper, Boarding Shotgun, and EI Assault Hacker profile all of which can surprise enemy models with deadly AROs. Doing so comes at the cost of the Surprise Shot modifier and lower burst so careful consideration should be made before using them in ARO.
The Monofiliment Mine profile brings this deadly weapon at a cost of 1 Special Weapon Cost and can easily kill large valuable models. Enemies will tend to treat this model as an extreme threat making it good for baiting advances or sealing off parts of the board. Even if the enemy removes your mines before advancing, doing so is usually order intensive.
The Boarding Shotgun Malignos is particularly worth mention. It can start at 24" and then quickly enter the enemy Deployment zone to punish clustered troops or win one on one fire fights with massive modifier stacking. At 34 points it is also very cheap for its abilities.
With CH: TO Camo this model applies a -6 to enemy models targeting it with BS attacks. This makes the Malignos surprisingly slippery and difficult to kill despite it's lack of armor.
This unit has the Hidden Deployment special skill allowing them to be placed off table. The unit's position is noted on a piece of paper or with a cell phone picture along with any facing and whether it is Prone or not. It is almost always worth doing this, even though you will not have access to their order. An unseen model is one the enemy cannot kill and may not predict.
This profile has the Spawn Embryo rule. When the unit is unconscious, it still counts as a scoring unit for scenarios like Quadrant Control or Supremacy. Armies with large numbers of Shasvastii sectorial players might consider taking out enemy units with Shock, Viral, or Monofilament as a higher priority to exploit this rule.
Your TO camo means that this model can win firefights with much better enemy models.
Because Malignos have mines you can approach a corner without revealing yourself, and place a mine near the edge (not in contact with the wall) while never entering enemy LoF. On a subsequent order, you can cling close to the wall, gain LoF to the enemy, then move back. This allows you to fire on the enemy, and if they take an ARO they will also trigger the mine.
They have access to AutoMediKit on all profiles however meaning that players should take care to think of where the trooper will end their movement. Moving into then out of line-of-fire is best, or assuring that the model is behind a barrier so they will drop out of line-of-fire if knocked unconscious are best. This will allow you to use the AutoMediKit without provoking an enemy ARO. Also remember that multiple models can use a Coordinated order to all AutoMediKit at once forcing less ARO or allowing you to efficiently recover multiple troopers.
Remember that "Camouflage Again" can be done in a coordinated order by multiple troopers with Camouflage (CH: Camo or CH: Thermoptic). The same is true for Antipersonnel Mines (though not Mono filament Mines)
It is always hard to account for TO models, but generally the Malignos represents a significant expense on the part of the opponent. Taking out this versatile model will harm their tactical options. This is easiest to do with a visor or a direct template weapon which will ignore their usual defensive modifiers.
This profile has the Spawn Embryo rule so when unconscious, it still counts as a scoring unit for scenarios like Quadrant Control or Supremacy. You can bypass this by killing them out right with Shock, Viral, or Mono-filament, or by killing the unconscious models. Shasvastii sectorial players may focus extra attention on your sources of shock. Try to use that to your advantage.
Due to their expense, Malignos are a key decision in list building. No other model in Combined Army has their exact collection of skills meaning they will be a linchpin to most lists. Consider bringing other midfield models to support them, or if you are bringing a force that will look to dominate part of the board, bringing a single Malignos FO to grab objectives on a weak flank.
If you want an assault piece or a surprise ARO then a Noctifer is probably the better option, bringing better weapons for the job and dogged at a lower over all price (exception for the Monofilament mines)
Malignos should be deployed with a specific mission in mind, and ideal somewhere that the enemy will have to spend several orders to get LoF on. They are too expensive to send on a suicide mission unless the rewards are overwhelming. Though you have Infiltration don't forget that you can deploy on your own table as well, if it is the best place for their mission. Table lay-outs can also encourage choosing to infiltrate over the mid-line. For example, if there is a building at the edge of your deployment zone that blocks all enemy line of fire along the table edge, you can try to infiltrate over the mid-line knowing that if you fail at least you can be placed close to the edge of the deployment zone and without being in enemy LoF.
Because this model has hidden deployment you can also put them out in the open trusting that your enemy will not be able to target them until you chose to use them. This works best if there is total cover within a single Move + Move order of your starting position as even if you are discovered you will end your turn out of harms way.
If you really need their order but also don't want to give up the benefits of TO Camouflage, you can place them as a TO Marker on the board and they will add their order to the order pool. This model can also be deployed in a Camouflage token state as well to confuse your enemy. This will add their order to the order pool, but it mean that in the same order in which they are revealed they will only receive the -3 modifier for Camouflage instead of the -6 for TO.
Active Turn Role
The Malignos is a mission oriented piece and should try do exactly what it was bought to do. Be laser focused on scoring objectives, or hunting enemy models with the boarding shotgun or sniper.
That said, they also have access to a very useful tool set of abilities. They can lay mines, accomplish classified objectives, and win fire fights against troops without visors. Even the specialists penetrate into the enemy lines in their camouflage state to hunt enemy lieutenants, grunts, or valuable specialists. They offer a lot of creative space in the active turn and can do almost anything but crack armor.
Malignos have all the usual options of an ARO trooper but due to high cost and limited AVA are probably better served avoiding ARO when possible. Being in hidden deployment may mean there is a chance to kill a weak enemy model or pick off a non-active member of a link team. You will have to weigh the cost/bennifet of this on a case by case basis.
It can be worth sacrificing one to lay a mine if an enemy Link Team is passing over their position. This is especially true of the Mono-filament mine profile, as that weapon can kill anything.
Also worthy of note is that since they start in the Mid-field, they are much more likely to get into a good position for Suppressing Fire and win face to face rolls because of their TO bonuses, but again, are usually better served camouflaging up and waiting for the next active turn.