The primary offensive variant of the Nexus is the Spitfire option. Run solo, or as part of a fireteam, this is a very points efficient heavy weapon option at only 1 SWC, when most other Spitfires in the Combined Army cost 1.5. This is particularly useful in Onyx as part of a Rodok or Unidron fireteam, as the bonuses to BS and Burst make this unit a very potent offensive option.
The two other Nexus profiles are armed with Combi Rifles, and are primarily taken for the purposes of scoring objectives as Specialist Troops in ITS.
The hacker profile carries an EI Hacking Device, which is upgraded with the Sucker Punch program for attacking enemy Hackers. It also carries a Nullifier, a rare piece of deployable equipment that has potential to be used both offensively and defensively. It is also one of the cheapest hackers available to the Combined Army, and has higher WIP and BTS than the other low cost hacking options (such as the Morat Vanguard).
The specialist profile is the low cost alternative at only 16 points.
All Nexus profiles come with a Pistol and Knife for CQC combat, but realistically this is something to avoid.
This trooper carries a great deal of built in survival potential for its low cost, with the Nexus Operative having a standard BS of 12 (high for a basic Light Infantry option), a baseline PH of 11 and the skill Hyper-Dynamics L1, meaning the Nexus is able to perform Dodge actions with a higher than average rate of success. This is especially true versus direct template weapons, where a face-to-face roll does not take place.
In addition, the spitfire profile is also equipped with a Nanoscreen, ensuring that the Nexus will gain the benefits of a cover bonus even when standing in the open - however, template weapons or units with Marksmanship L2 remain significant threats and should not be taken lightly.
All three Nexus options can enter Suppressive Fire, giving them extra potential for board control.
One benefit of using a Nexus hacker alongside Unidrons or other remotes is access to Supportware hacking programs such as Enhanced Reaction or Assisted Fire. It is fairly common for a Nexus to be taken as a Lieutenant, and for the Lieutenant order to be used for placing Supportware tokens on friendly troopers.
The Nexus hacker also carries a Nullifier, a rarely seen piece of deployable equipment typically used to prevent Hacking within a large area of effect. By placing a Nullifier (similar to deploying a Repeater or Sniffer), the Nexus creates a large 17-inch-diameter zone where Hacking, Technical Weapons, Sepsitors and Comms Attacks cannot take place. This has obvious defensive benefits when advancing up the field with a team of Unidrons, as they would not be able to be hacked, but it also has a lot of potential for disrupting enemy action around mission objectives. For example, REMs and TAGs in board control positions and with suppressive fire can be protected from enemy hacking, forward observing or flash pulse attacks.
A Nullifier can be placed in an area where you expect to take fire from flash pulse attacks from the ubiquitous repeater bots such as the Fugazi. This can allow models to move through without taking fire from them or attack the drones and force them to dodge rather than shoot in response.
Nullifiers need to be used with caution however, as they do prevent your own hacking and technical attacks in the same zone - it is worth noting however that this does not cancel supportware programs that are already being run.
The Nexus is not invincible. As a 1W Light Infantry model, it has little in the way of armour, a single wound, and is vulnerable to shock damage. A Nexus hacker is vulnerable to enemy KHDs, particularly as Nullifiers require LoF to place in ARO, and do not become active until the end of the order - a Nexus hacker is more likely to ARO with the Brain Blast program.
While a Nexus with Spitfire and Nanoscreen is a formidable ARO piece, it is highly vulnerable to template weapons that ignore the cover bonus from the Nanoscreen - in particular, Fire weapons are very effective, as they destroy the nanoscreen the moment the Nexus is forced to make an ARM roll. As a consequence, a Nexus is more likely to ARO against fire weapons with Dodge than by shooting.
All three Nexus Operative profiles can be taken as a Lieutenant. In the Onyx Contact Force, the baseline Specialist Lieutenant also costs 0 SWC.
In the Onyx Contact Force, the Nexus Operative comes with several options for being a member of a Fireteam. It may form a special Core fireteam, with 1 Nexus and up to 4 Unidron Batroids, or 1 Nexus and 1 Umbra Legate, and up to 3 Unidron Batroids. Alternatively, it may form a special Core fireteam with 1 Nexus and up to 4 Rodoks.
Both fireteams offer a wide degree of flexibility in construction, and the Nexus benefits a great deal from all of these options, boosting both its offensive potential or enhancing its survivability by acting as an escort.
With access to supportware and Nullifiers, Nexus Hackers are extremely strong support specialists, particularly alongside REMs, TAGs, and Heavy Infantry.
It should be noted however that, especially in Onyx lists, Nexus Operatives make very obvious Lieutenants and will often be targeted - protect them appropriately, or use this fact to your advantage and use them as decoys.
Nexus Operatives have no special deployment rules. Their position should be entirely dictated by the sort of role you intend for them to play - positioned with easy access to objectives, or in proximity to the units they are intended to support or protect.
Active Turn Role
A Nexus is a very role focused trooper. As a Lieutenant option they will be looking to hide out in the back field in the safest place possible. The hacker is good in this regard because they can make use of their Lieutenant order to put up support ware or, should they be in danger of attack from an enemy hacker, drop a nullifier. The Spitfire makes a good cheap model for moving up field and destroying light enemy models.
In a link team the Nexus will likely be brought along for specialist role and will be there to score objectives. The Spitfire variant will be able to shoot it out with the best enemies with Nano-screen and link boosted spitfire.
Nexus have Hyperdynamics allowing them to dodge at a higher value than shoot in most cases. A special note should be made for the hacker who has access to a Nulifier which can be dropped as an ARO. This will prevent enemy hacking, FO, and flash pulse attacks on subsequent orders.