To begin my Combined unit guide, I’ve decided to start with one of my favorite units in the army, the Fraacta Drop Troop. With ITSX upon us, Airborne Deployment has seen a bit of an upgrade, which only serves to make the Fraacta an even more enticing addition to a Combined army.
Stats and Special Rules
The first thing you’ll notice is that Fraacta have a dual profile, thanks to the Transmutation ability, after they suffer their first wound, the Fraacta enters Survival Form. In Survival Form, the Fraacta becomes a bit slower, at MOV 4-2, and not as good at dodging, only PH 10, but it’s ARM and BTS doubles to 2 and 6, respectively. Courage is often a rule which people take for granted, but when you’re talking about a multi-wound model, it can be a lot more relevant. This all makes for an incredibly resilient, two-wound Airborne Deployment troop, tack on a solid BS12 and it’s no wonder she’s considered the best AD in the game by many players.
Combi Rifle, Nanopulser. One of the two standard weapon load outs, the combi rifle is a handy tool, letting the Fraacta enter suppressive fire. When combined with the two wounds, and courage, you can put down a solid roadblock anywhere on the table. The Nanopulser serves as a fantastic secondary weapon, you’ll be close enough to use it, and resilient enough to take an enemy ARO uncontested while hitting them with the template.
Boarding Shotgun, Nanopulser. If one template weapon wasn’t enough, the boarding shotgun doubles down on hitting multiple opponents. The combination of these two weapons relegates this profile to short ranged engagements, but you can really force people into bad positions. If someone is facing B2 shotgun blasts on 18’s, or a direct template weapon hit, from a model with two wounds, their options will feel incredibly limited. Compared to the combi, you’re trading longer range and suppressive fire, to be a short ranged power house.
Spitfire, Nanopulser. If the combi rifle sounded interesting, then the spitfire will be right up your alley. Obviously a significant upgrade over the combi, the spitfire still allows you to enter suppressive fire, but gives you some real active-turn panache. You’re paying a full 1.5 SWC for a spitfire which is standard in Combined, and with AD, you’re almost guaranteed to be in a good effective range. Sometimes with spitfires, entering the 0-8” range can be annoying, losing your +3 bonus, but you’ll have that nanopulser as backup, which takes the sting off a bit.
EI Assault Hacking Device. The only specialist option, the EI Assault Hacking Device comes backed up by a combi rifle and nanopulser, giving it all the advantages I mentioned above. AHD can be a very meta-dependent piece of equipment, if your opponents aren’t using HI, Hackers or TAGs, then you may feel like it’s a bit over priced. For me though, I see plenty of HI and a few TAGs, so it becomes well worth it. When engaging a heavier target, you can walk around the corner and let the opponent decide. If they reset, you can plug them with 3 combi shots or a nanopulser, but if they shoot, you can take the hit and hack them for free. Especially against less expensive (and less armored) TAGs, this can be an impossible position to be in, and the Stop! upgrade program doesn’t make it any easier.
On The Table
While Yu Jing players are getting ready for their airborne HI, the Combined has had something very similar all along. E-Drones are very popular among Combined players already, so why not take advantage of that +3 PH for Airborne Deployment? The Fraacta is a very solid assault troop, able to comfortably use a bunch of orders rampaging through enemy lines, or even just landing to create a suppressive fire roadblock. Either way, you really can’t go wrong adding one to your list.