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Sources of marker lights - 5th ed
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Old 06 Jul 2008, 16:39   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,069
Default Sources of marker lights - 5th ed

This article is a response to the percieved increase value of marker lights.
Math hammer:

If we count a maker light as the number of points to generate one marker light hit on average, then:

Fire warrior(upgrade): 40-50 points per hit,
Marker drone(upgrade): 70-80 points per hit,
Sniper drone unit: 121 points per hit,
Pathfinder unit: 44+ points per hit(ui+knife+2drones+disrupt+multitrk= 56.5pph),
Sky ray unit: 101.25+ points per hit.

The first thing to notice is that upgrading a shas'la to 'ui, giving him a mklight and a target lock is highly points efficient in the scheme of things here. Of course, the Pathfinders are in the same price range, and brings a skimmer hull to the table among a host of other abilities. However, they have a minimum price tag of 128, is quite inefficient at that point - 64 points per hit. If one discounts the skimmer however, points per hit improves dramatically to 24 points per hit. So for adding a few additional mklights to your forces when you have 25 pts or less to spend, look to your ground pounding Shas'uis. For adding ALOT of marker lights to your forces, pathfinders is still your best choice.

Next we see that the second tier of cost is the marker drones. These guys are marginally more expensive, but brings mobility and alternative angles of attack to the table. Given that we start with a suit capable of attaching drones, we can get attached marker lights for as cheap as 60 points per hit (PPH). Further more they benefit from the mobility category of the suits as well. This would work beautifully if there exists some small fully LOS blocking terrain pieces - some solid building or something. A XV8+TlMsl+2MkLdrones = 97 PPH that can JSJ and be completely protected from return fire. An equivalent upgrade suite will cost 65 PPH for 2 marker drones and a leader upgrade. Alternatively a min team of xv15s with mklight drones ans mklight leader is 127.5pph, but is stealthed, JSJ mobile, infiltrating and can even come on to the board on the side of the board. If XV15s are your things anyways, the upgrade suite is only 53.33 PPH. Quite a bargain. All this comes at the cost of other types of drones of course. If your killer unit of XV doom is trotting around with marker drones, they do not have shield drones and are thus more vulnerable to heavy weapon fire.

These are the sniper drones and the sky ray. Arguably, Sniper drones and Skyrays also bring mobile/stealthed markerlights at ~100 PPH. However, these are not effective mklight contributors because they require mklight support themselves, and are heavy choices. The Sky ray only adds 1 to 1.33 mklight hits per turn on average, but in turn requires 1 mklight hits per turn to completely launch its complement of msls in a 6 turn game. The Sniper drones generate .6 mklight hits per turn on average, but have such good guns that if you do take them, you will likely lend them more than 1 mklight hits per turn to depress enemy cover save, force a more severe pinning check, and/or increase their accuracy. Further more, if one does not take these units to begin with, they will be taking up your precious heavy support choices as well.

In sum, there are three good ways to expand your pool of mklights. First, one can simply add another squad of pathfinders. This is your most efficient way to add mklights, especially if you intend to use the devilfish to transport other models anyways. This has high startup costs however, and require an investment of 176 points to achieve 44 PPH (24 PPH if devilfish discounted). Second, one can get cheapo mklights in firewarrior squads. These require only 10-25 points of investment to start increasing your mklight pool. Finally, one can add marker drone upgrades to XVs to benefit from their mobility and special rules. This is relatively more expensive in most cases, but quite a bargain if added to otherwise un-upgraded xv15 units.

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Old 06 Jul 2008, 16:51   #2 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Philadelphia
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Default Re: Sources of marker lights - 5th ed

Yeah, I'm just gonna take pathfinders for my markerlights... and I'll take the odd marker drone here or there now that they can shoot and scoot when you keep them with crisis suits.
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