In between my recent painting jobs, I've been finishing up models that I've sent out to be assembled so they're ready for paint. After assembly, I add basing paste and a zenithal spray to give a lot of extra shade and highlight to the contrast coats.
I recently finished this batch of Combined Army, who are mostly Shasvastii with a couple of exceptions. Lets have a look at who we've got.
First up, we have some Jayth Cuthroats. These are a weird profile that I haven't yet worked out how best to use. They're high close combat models who also shoot well, with no armour and a high BTS. They've got a Multispectral Visor L1 and Mimetism -6, and primarily short range weapons with one medium range special weapon with a high burst. They can either form a Fireteam, or have a profile who brings along a Synced Taigha. What they don't have is any way of taking more than one hit, deploying further up the field, or entering a marker state.
So, what you're left with is an absolutely brutal short ranged attack piece and deadly in close combat, but very vulnerable to direct template weapons. Most close combat pieces have a direct template weapon, and you're going to need to advance them into places where they're open to being counter-attacked in order to get their weapons into range.
So I . . . don't know? I feel like I need to spend a bunch of time getting some practice games in with them to work out where they shine. A Caliban is similar points, and gets to deploy up the field in a Camouflage state, even if it doesn't get quite as much Mimetism. I'm not convinced by the opportunity cost for Jayth, but I do need to test that assumption.
Next up, the "might as well"s. I've already painted the Haiduk in its Sapper state, but the model changes base size when not in it's Foxhole, so I got a second assembled for when he's running around. Its just to make sure I don't need to fish around for a proxy when I'm running a Haiduk and need to redeploy him.
Second up is the new Noctifer Spitfire model. I've recently painted the old one and am having similar "why would I take this" thoughts to the Jayth. He came in a box with some other models, and it wasn't worth fishing him out of the box to not assemble him. This model is much prettier than the original, though!
We then have a couple of named characters, of varying utility. On the left is Dukash, who I've used a couple of times on Tabletop Simulator. I found him pretty good but I have a number of other players singing his praises as excellent. He's pretty deadly all around, has a genuinely good anti armour gun, and can join any fireteam. He's high on my list for trying out more.
He's joined by Sargosh, the Jayth Cutthroat special character who retains all the flaws of the Jayth. While Dukash's MULTI Rifle is a +2 Damage beast that will wreck a TAG, Sargosh is just getting a pricier 16" gun that doesn't solve the issue of the best gun the Jayth have being a Red Fury. Nothing extra he gets is more than "nice to have", but he is the only Specialist Operative that Jayth can take without losing their coherency bonus. I'm going to try him, but I'm pretty suspicious of his utility.
Next up, we have the prospector from the Void Tango mission, who will be the last of the four HVTs I need for my Combined Army. I picked her out of the ones I had available because her jump suit can easily be a nice hazard orange to match one of the army spot colours, and the minimal flesh means I can hint at her being a Shasvastii infiltrator with the paint scheme.
She's joined by the Tensho Expert. This is another profile that's puzzling me, but I'm fair more interested in trying. He's a Veteran regenerating specialist who can link into Nox Fireteams without losing the composition bonuses. He's got a Journalist profile that I suspect is waiting for the campaign rules, but otherwise he's a useful button pusher to add into a Nox fireteam who's a bit tougher than normal. Of course, this involves me taking a Nox fireteam, and taking a Nox fireteam that's intending to move up the field, which is not their usual MO. So with the Tensho, it's a case of a weirdly nice profile, but he kind of requires you to make so many unusual build choices that you're kind of building a list around him in order to take him.
And finally, this is not a Shasvastii. I picked up an out of production Rasyat with Combi Rifle because as mentioned previously, I am planning on starting the move into Vanilla Combined Army over the next year. The Rasyats got a big glow up in the edition change, so he'll probably see some use when I get to that point. In the meantime, he's going away into a box until I have more Shasvastii painted and I'm starting on my wider Combined Army force...