Few models in USAriadna are as iconic as the Foxtrot. They are a no-nonsense unit, equipped to get the job done, with no extra frills. They are a staple in most USAriadna lists, giving them the ability to deploy up the board, and litter the field with mines, in my opinion no USAriadna list is ready without a pair of them, if not a full compliment of four.
Off the bat we can see that the Foxtrot Ranger is a budget camo infiltrator, with fairly standard equipment options. Looking at the unit’s attributes, it all seems fairly standard, except for their higher than normal PH. While not exactly a huge deal, PH13 means that if you do decide to infiltrate past the halfway point of the field, you will actually still have a 50% chance of succeeding, not bad! For scenarios with exclusion zones where getting across the field is of paramount importance, it isn’t a terrible plan to take max AVA and get 4 attempts at it, knowing that you have a fair chance of succeeding with a couple.
While I think that every profile on the Foxtrot is effective (even the light grenade launcher, surprise shot blast template? Gross), there are two profiles that come up again and again in the lists I build, the Forward Observer, and the Boarding Shotgun. The first is a cheap, camouflaged infiltrating specialist, making it a fantastic choice in ITS missions, while the second lets me get up close and really get to know my opponent, with the business end of a shotgun.
Probably the most ubiquitous profile is the Forward Observer, and for good reason, it’s a very inexpensive camo infiltrator, but more importantly for USAriadna, it’s their ONLY camo infiltrator. One of the most important aspects of the Foxtrot Forward Observer profile is that they gain a Flash Pulse. Since the BS of a Foxtrot isn’t that impressive, the Flash Pulse becomes a much more effective tool to use for ARO.
When combined with a Katyusha, the Foxtrot Forward Observer becomes a harbinger of death and destruction for enemy forces. Forward observing an enemy makes it so that the Katyusha is firing guided shots on 16′s, but even deadlier is that you can speculative fire with the Katyusha and hit most anything on 10′s, without having to center the blast on the target, so making it even better to target multiple enemies with. Not that I’d do such a dastardly thing…
My second favorite profile after the Forward Observer, for a mere 19 points the Foxtrot with Boarding Shotgun can’t be beat. Simply walk up the field and start pumping boarding shotgun rounds into someone. They’re fantastic at guarding objectives, able to plant a few mines around it before going back into camo and waiting for some poor sucker to get too close. I tend to run at least one in every list, they’re just too good of a mid-field speed bump for their points to ignore. Just remember that Surprise Shot stacks with other penalties, so if you surprise shot with a boarding shotgun, out of a models LOF, then they’ll be dodging at -6 (-3 for surprise, -3 for being hit by a template out of LOF).
It’s definitely worth noting that the Foxtrot Forward Observer is the tied for the games least expensive infiltrating specialist, and more importantly is the games cheapest Regular infiltrating specialist. All of their profiles are incredibly inexpensive for what you get, and they aren’t burdened with carrying additional equipment, or attributes that they won’t get use from. A mixture of profiles isn’t a bad idea, and when combined with the Hard Case, you can actually end up deploying 8 camo markers on the table. A canny opponent will know that some are nothing at all, but there’s also the chance that it’s a boarding shotgun! Like I’ve mentioned, their low cost makes them very viable to run in multiples, and still have plenty more points to spend on the rest of the army. If you find yourself with a little under 20 extra points and not sure what to spend it on, the correct answer is, get another Foxtrot.