Sunday, May 26, 2024

Mission 022: Forward, Observer!

With the release of Code One and the upcoming PanO and Yu Jing remote resculpts, it’s time to take a(nother) look at the humble S3 specialist remote. You’ll find all sorts of names for them, from Messenger Drone (M-Drone), Pathfinder, Weibing, Oko, Stempler, etc., but they’re all basically the same thing: a 6-4 MOV specialist.

Some of you probably make regular use of these FO ‘bots (so named because of their access to the Forward Observer skill in N3 and presumably N4), and some of you may have had difficult integrating them into your playstyle. Regardless of your familiarity or opinion regarding them, I think we can all agree that FO bots offer a hugely varied toolkit in N3 and a cheap, fast specialist in Code One, so let’s explore their uses this month!

The Mission

First off, if you can responsibly get a game in with a FO ‘bot, do it, and let us know how it went!

Playing with FO Bots

  • If you’re playing Code One, use the specialist operative ‘bots, and try to make use of their speedyness!
  • If you’re playing N3, try to leverage some of the fancier tools available to FO bots like Sat Lock or Sensor!
  • Write in with your thoughts to [email protected].
  • We don’t need a battle report, but if you choose to submit one, please fill out and share the following Google Docs template with [email protected]. Feel free to insert pictures directly into your Google Docs report before sharing.

Also, we’ll be continuing our Code One painting contest through the end of June. As a refresher, here are the rules:

Painting Contest Rules

  1. Start a new model, please don’t share it on social media till the end of June!
  2. Take a picture of the model before you start (primed or starting to be base coated is fine, just not finished).
  3. Send up to 4 photos (not including the start photo) to [email protected].

These are independent contests and you may enter both. We’ll hold a random drawing for this month’s mission and pick a overall winner for the painting contest. Both winners can pick a blister of their choice or a Bromad Academy patch to be delivered to their door!

Looking Ahead

Let’s take a look at our Forward Observer Bots, shall we? The Code One forward observer bots are pretty downgraded from N3–they’re missing a lot of what makes them unique.

This is a feature, though, not a bug. What it’s doing is teaching newer players that first and foremost, the FO bot is a 6-4 MOV specialist with a combi rifle. Why? Because completing objectives efficiently is the way you win games! So, if you’re playing Code One, enjoy that super fast specialist that only costs one point!

If you’re playing N3, well let’s have a look at the toolbox that the Forward Observer bot brings:

  • Forward Observer – You get a flash pulse, which when paired with the ‘bot’s WIP 13 is a pretty reliable ARO option. You can also forward observe things, which got a massive buff in N4 with the Targeted state sticking around till it’s canceled now. This also lets you push buttons, so hey, do that thing!
  • Sensor/Sniffer – This is probably one of the more used options for the FO ‘bots. It grants a +6 to discover against camo tokens, lets you reveal any Camo or TO Camo (even in Hidden Deployment) in ZoC, and denies them the ability to go back into camo. You can pair this with dropped Sniffers to spread out your Sensor area and get even more coverage!
  • Triangulated Fire – This is a nice hidden skill granted by Sensor. Basically you can shoot just about anything at a net -3 to your BS. Doesn’t matter if it’s TO camo in cover through a low-vis zone, you ignore all modifiers to your BS skill (but not burst!). Very handy for taking care of pesky TO units at band rangebands. You can also shoot into close combat without any penalties either, which is an oft-underlooked use of this skill.
  • Deactivator – Yeah, I didn’t think of this one either till I started writing this article. This skill basically lets you turn off deployables like Mines and Crazy Koalas. The sad thing is that while it’s +6 within 8″, that means the Deployable is going to go off in your face! You’re much better off just shooting it in most cases. However, you can turn off someone’s D-Charges if they’ve planted them but not detonated them. This is an extremely rare edge case to be in, especially given modern missions, but in The Grid it might have been useful.
  • Sat-Lock – This one really appeals to me, as it lets you reveal camo tokens within your sensor area (ZoC of you and your sniffers) and simultaneously put them into the targeted state. It happens at a -6 to your WIP though, unless you have an EVO hacker on the table in which case there’s no penalty. Pretty edge case, but useful for setting up guided missile shots or getting a slight bump in order efficiency by revealing a camo marker while simultaneously targeting it for a follow-up attack. Opportunities for this are pretty rare, and I don’t recommend planning to do this, but hey, it might come in handy someday!
  • Repeater – Yeah, FO bots are also repeaters. There are all kinds of repeater shenanigans you can do, and this lets you buff the ‘bot with all the Gadget programs that require repeaters! I recommend checking out the Bromad Academy “Hack the Planet!” mission on repeaters if you want more info.

What other tricks do you employ/enjoy with your FO ‘bots? Let us know and be entered to win a blister xor a Bromad Academy patch! Stay Safe, Stay Sane. Good Hunting, Bromads!

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