Shasvastii Noctifers

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Shasvastii Noctifers.jpg
A deadly assault unit the Shasvastii Noctifers can be found in generic Combined Army forces as well as the Only and Shasvastii sectorial armies. Equipped with Therm-Optic Camouflage, the dogged skill, they are designed to pick asymmetric fights and spend much of the order pool killing the enemy. Their profile allows a wide variety of weapon options including combi rifles, spitfires, or missile launchers and they also have access to a EI hacking device profile. Noctifers excel as both an ARO threat (with their Missile Launcher profile) and a front line assault troop (with the Spitfire option) and can even be found as a Lieutenant somewhat commonly.

Shasvastii Noctifers Profile.png

Offensive Tools

Noctifers bring several weapon options to the table including Missile Launcher and Spitfire profiles (both at a Special Weapon Cost). Therm-Optic Camouflage allows them too apply a -6 modifier to most BS attacks against them and make use of the Surprise Shot rule. On top of this they posses Dogged, allowing them to keep fighting in their unconscious state at the cost of dying at the end of the turn.

Because they start of the board, they can surprise opponents, and their camo state helps them to move into good positions before starting a rampage. Their greatest threat is probably troopers with Multi-Spectral Visors that ignore some of their camouflage or mines and other Shock ammo weapons that ignore their Dogged rule.

Defensive Tools

Noctrifers can use Therm-Optic camo to start the game in Hidden Deployment, having their position recorded before the game and not actually being placed on the table. This can let you protect them until you are ready to put the unit to use. Additionally TO camo applies a -6 penalty to enemy BS attacks meaning helping the Noctifer to win face-to-face rolls. The Hacker Profile also has access to the Sucker-Punch program which is a good choice in ARO against enemy hackers.

Noctifers are also Dogged, which lets them stay in the game even when unconscious which can be critical if they are need to effect the enemy for a few more orders. Keep in mind that Using Dogged means that you will pass straight to dead at the end of the turn and cannot use the Spawn Embryo rule explained next.

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 might consider taking out enemy units with Shock, Viral, or Monofilament as a higher priority to exploit this rule.

Special Tricks

A Noctifer with a Missile Launcher is a terribly effective ARO especially against clumped enemies or enemy link teams. Targeting the non-active members of the team gives the opponent a difficult choice of firing on the Noctifer or dodging to avoid losing members.

Noctifers can also opt to deploy as a TO Camo or regular Camouflage instead of using HD. This lets them add their order to the order pool. Deploying as a regular Camo Marker can also confuse an enemy into thinking they are looking at a different unit. Keep in mind though that you will want to spend an order to "Camouflage again" in a safe place before using the Noctifer for any extended period, as deploying in regular Camouflage means you only apply a -3 modifier to enemy BS attacks, not a -6.

A Noctifer Lieutenant deserves a special note here. While they cost 1 Special Weapons Cost, and must start the game on the board as a token to prevent Loss of Lieutenant, they can go on a turn three run with their combi rifle, at which time most enemy visors will be dead or out of position. The -6 modifier is often enough to let them shoot things out with multiple opponents even more so with the Surprise Shot penalty.

Counterplay

If you are good at counting points it is worth checking for holes of about 30 points and 1.5 SWC in the enemy army. This can give you a clue that a Noctifer is hiding out there somewhere. The same is true of a Combined Army player that chooses a deployment zone with a tower but does not appear to deploy anything in the elevated position. Try to bait the Noctifer out of hiding with a model you don't mind losing, and then remove it with a visor armed model. Smoke is also a good counter play as any version of it will break the Noctifer's LoF.

You can be almost certain to see one or more of these models in a Shasvastii force.

The Noctifer's natural foe is a MSV Multi-Sniper who ignores all of it's special rules. They are also countered by mines since they cannot sneak past them with camo and the Shock ammo negates their dogged rule. Noctifers are an active turn piece. Blunting their damage during your opponent's turn and then killing them on your own is the way to deal with them best.

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. Since the Noctifer has Dogged it is less likely to use this skill than most Shasvastii, but don't forget about it late game. Shasvastii sectorial players may focus extra attention on your sources of shock. Try to use that to your advantage.

List Composition

Noctifers should be an early choice in list composition as they are one of the best ways of attacking the enemy in the Combined Army but still cheap enough to be used with some risk. You should plan for your Noctifer to make a splash then die off. They may not, but being an expendable first strike unit is their lot in life.

A Noctifer Lieutenant can be a good choice as they are very protected with their TO camo skill and can act as a turn three attack piece.

Deployment

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 very tempting to put a Noctifer Missile Launcher on an area with a wide field of fire but this is not always the best play, since many armies have access to troops with MSV and long range weapons that will negate most of your bonuses. A better option is to place them as your reserve model picking an area where you have a long but limited LoF or where you are sure to be able to strike multiple members of a link or a powerful HI or TAG model.

The Noctifer Spitfire will look to deploy near the edge of your DZ with a clear corridor to advance onto the enemy table edge. Remember that if necessary you can perform a Move + Move through enemy LoF and end out of LoF then re-camouflage before proceeding further without being fired upon.

It is also good to consider "trap" deployment, IE putting them in a good firing position with cover on an objective or a mid range place your opponent is likely to move through or end their turn thinking themselves safe.

Active Turn Role

The Noctifer's role is to kill the enemy hunting down specialists, lieutenants or other soft targets. They are designed to create asymmetric fire fights and want to avoid a fair fight at all costs. Acting as an assault piece with a Spitfire profile, they can move up on enemy Deployment zones, get into the back field, and attack the order pool.

Generally, the longer you can wait before revealing the Noctifer the better. If you focus on destroying visors and making a hole in the enemy line turn one, then the Noctifer's path and targets should be clear turn two. This is especially true when hunting enemy specialists on objectives.

ARO Options

As with any Hidden Deployment trooper choosing when to reveal this model is critical. Generally the Spitfire and Combi profiles would prefer to wait for the active turn to make better use of their Burst.

The Noctifer are the Missile Launcher is best used against high point cost enemy models or in cases where you can catch multiple members of a link team or coordinated order at the same time.

The Hacker profile is often unexpected and can hack through the ZoC of any of your repeaters against vulnerable enemy models. It is best to do so when a vulnerable enemy enters the ZoC on it's second movement, or after already facing a BS attack ARO from another model so as to make them chose between defending from the hacker or the bullets.