The shining profiles are both the MSR and the HMG. What keeps the Nisse back a little is the 4-2 MOV profile, which means he is going to need more orders to get across the board. That said, an HMG Nisse can be a great aggression piece at 34 points and 1.5 SWC and able to see through smoke and Camo. A MSR Nisse can also play in the Active turn if necessary, finishing off models out in the open or dueling with enemy snipers. Keep in mind this is usually not the prefered method of using a MSR Nisse which is more often used primarily as an ARO piece, but this is mostly a matter of table layout.
Outside of MSR or HMG, there is not much reason to take any of the other profiles. He is too expensive and slow to be a viable hacker with no innate BTS, and Combi-Light Shotgun demands a certain amount of aggressiveness his speed does not really allow.
Having ARM 3 as a medium infantry means you have some surviablity, but a Nisse still wants to be in cover. Thankfully Mimetism makes a Nisse harder to hit without MSV 1 or higher. However you've got no BTS, leaving you more vulnerable against Viral, breaker, etc. At the ranges Nisses typically fight at Shock and viral ammo are common on sniper rifles, meaning any plans to Doctor a Nisse are unreliable.
And with MSV 2 smoke grenades are useless against a Nisse. It also makes discovering exposed Camo markers on the table a much easier task due to MSV 2.
The MSR loadout for Nisse is very viable, able to dispatch most things that pop out of cover without a way to deal with him.
- In the current ITS season, the future sectorial for Slavarheima, the Blizzard-6 Force includes some lists that feature Nisses. One such list also includes Saito Togan, a mercenary figure who usually only works for Yu Jing, JSA and the Druze. The relevant point is that he has Smoke Grenades.
Though this list is only 8 regular orders and one irregular, it does give PanO access to the smoke+MSV 2 trick they usually do not get.
- To improve his surviablity, start the game with the Nisse Sniper prone behind cover if you feel he is getting killed off too much during your games. Though you may lose your ARO piece for the first turn, he can reposition if need be and get into a better position to dominate later turns.
The MSR profile has extra utility in the mission Hunting Party where you need enemy specialists in a specific state, using Stun ammo.
If you're tackling a Nisse head-on you'll want MSV1 or better to counter the Nisse's mimetism, if possible. Another tactic is to make a White Noise zone to fire from, since MSV troops treat them as other models treat smoke: can't see through, but may return fire at -6 (but you'll definitely be suffering from mimetism in this case, since White Noise effects your own MSV models too).
White Noise zones and eclipse grenades help move up your army, since it shuts down the Nisse's ability to shoot them.
If you can get a short range troop (warband, melee expert, shotgun) close enough to a Nisse then they die like any other one wound model. Keep an eye out for an opening.
Nisses may have a good ARM, but they have no BTS; so when possible weapons which target BTS are preferable. The advantage gained is nice, but not worth spending very many order repositioning for.
With both MSR and HMG options being relatively cheap for a Nisse's abilities and AVA 2, it is reasonable to field two of them. One can be the sniper and the other the HMG, or both can be snipers. Keep in mind though that as mentioned there are generally only two profiles worth taking - those being the HMG and MSR. Not only is the Lieutenant with Combi-Light Shotgun a points sink, but costs an SWC in Vanilla PanO. As well, both Paramedic and Hacker are too slow to be effective specialists in Vanilla; and the hacker is too open for a Killer Hacker attack for what is a mediocre and expensive hacker. It would take a fireteam or an unusual table and mission to make them good.
If you take a list that has an HMG Nisse or a two Nisse list, you are going to want a good amount of orders in their pool. While not taking up a lot of points for what they do, they are relatively slow and eat up a large amount of your order pool to get up to the mid-point. Following this logic, it is good to have a few cheap order generators such as Fusiliers, Auxilias or Fugazis. If you are using the Nisse as simply an ARO piece, then how many orders you need to fuel it becomes less of a concern.
Pathfinders are also good to multiply the Nisse's kill potential against infiltrators and TO camo markers near the objectives if needed, since despite MSV2 a Nisse is reasonably likely to fail a discover attempt, which will stall your attack.
The Nisse (mostly if it is the MSR loadout) should be in your backline and having it in a nice spot to act as a Sniper's nest. If you manage to get priority for deployment, have your opponent set up first and then set up the Nisse to have a fire lane to lock down. If you are deciding for first turn if you have won initiative, it is wise to put your sniper in reserve to react to how and what else your opponent as deployed. In this situation, it is an option to leave him in prone if you are worried about losing him too early, but it does hinder his primary role to an extent.
With the HMG loadout, you want to put him in an attack position if you have the first turn. One from which you can push up along cover shooting exposed targets, and then go into suppressive mode at the end of the active turn. If it happens that you get the bottom of the turn, you want to keep him hidden and let other models cover AROs. This only changes if there are pieces that can run up to your back line with smoke and ruin your day (I.E Yojimbo, Ghazis, Shinobu Kitsune, etc): Then you want your Nisse covering your deployment zone to limit how much damage they can easily do.
Active Turn Role
Mostly reserved for the HMG Nisse, he should be clearing any ambitious enemy AROs then pushing up to try and hold down a fire lane or the objective so your specialists can start moving up in the next Active turn or so. Pairing him to work with Pathfinder is also good, helping to eliminate any infiltrators that are in hidden deployment around the objectives in certain scenarios.
Rarely do you use the MSR in an active turn role unless necessary. This said, there are reasons to in order to secure a stun shot on a specialist in Hunting Party or get two rolls with DA shot on a difficult enemy. This applies to both the sniper and the HMG but with no in-faction smoke grenades, you are limited in what kinds of tricks you are able to do.
And having covered the other profiles' limited use for now, there is no need to discuss the hacker and other profiles in this context.
Being that the MSR loadout Nisse is the premier ARO piece, this is the profile you want for this role. Since it is a Multi weapon, DA is good for taking care of lightly armored troops and Single wound models while AP is good with dealing with ARM 4+ units. Stun is situational but when it comes up can be vital: it stops the target attacking for the remainder of the player turn, instantly shutting down a rampaging enemy's advance; the enemy will usually retreat to relative safety. Use it as an ARO against enemies with multiple wounds when stopping their assault is more important than doing a wound. Being Exotic ammo it even bypasses Total Immunity, making it a great option against Ariadna's various werewolves.
While the HMG Nisse is primarily used for attack, he is good as a suppressive fire piece after moving up across the board. This has been discussed before so there is no point detailing it again.