Infinity Unit Review: Desperadoes
Ariadna is one of the few armies in the game with multiple bike profile to pick from, between the Maverick and the Desperado you can choose between a fast moving weapons platform, and a rapid assault shock troop. Despite lacking more traditional warband units, the Desperado is a worthy substitute, combining extreme speed and surprisingly effective firepower.
Attribute wise, the stand-out stat is the Desperadoes speed, boasting a blinding 8-4 movement, as you would expect on a bike. This speed means you cover twice the ground as a normal Warband when moving and throwing smoke. The Desperadoes solid PH12 makes throwing smoke fairly reliable, though you can also fire it with the bike's smoke light grenade launcher if you need a bit more range. Sixth Sense L2 is an interesting skill on this unit, helping to keep you alive when attacked by camo, making you more difficult to engage through smoke, letting you delay your ARO against units in your Zone of Control, and also not allowing Stealth units to sneak by. Finally, the other attribute the Desperado isn't short on is it's CC attribute, with 18 you can often engage non-melee effective units, though I'd steer clear of anything dedicated to the task.
The weapon profiles on the Desperado may seem standard at first, choosing between the chain rifle, boarding shotgun, or an SMG, but what really catches my eye is the profile with dual assault pistols. Despite having a mediocre BS11, and that you'll never get cover due to Extreme Impetuous, having access to a B5 weapon is incredible. Since you know you won't get cover yourself, you can simply walk far enough around a corner to catch your intended victim out of cover and you'll be hitting on 14's.
The second profile that I find interesting is the submachine gun. Normally I'd only consider the Chain Rifle, or the B5 assault pistols on such a low BS unit, but the SMG allows you to do something that you can't do with the other profile, enter Suppressive Fire. Spending the model's impetuous move to advance 8" up the table and throwing smoke, then using it's irregular order to enter suppressive fire is an incredibly efficient way to create a speed bump that your opponent can't sneak past (thanks to SSL2).
The remaining two profiles aren't bad, but more situational. I generally only take the cheapest, 11 point Desperado, when I can't find lose two points elsewhere to upgrade to the dual assault pistols or SMG. The boarding shotgun hits hard and all, with the +6 for short range helping to compensate for it's BS11, but more often than not, I'd rather use a Chain Rifle if I'm that close to my opponent, it's 18 point price tag also isn't doing it any favors.
USAriadna has an interesting combination of heavily armored, slow moving units, like Grunts and Marauders, but also some incredibly hard hitting fast units like Desperadoes, Mavericks, and Devil Dogs. Utilizing their speed, you can use Desperadoes to clear a path for specialists to advance and take objectives. Desperadoes are also amazing at punishing your opponent for poor deployment choices, just by spending their Irregular and Impetuous order, you can be 20" up the field and firing a chain rifle into poorly positioned order generators. As your cheapest source of smoke in USAriadna, they can even be handy when played conservatively to provide cover for your other units to advance safely through.
Overall, they bring the advantages of a standard Warband unit, though their speed makes them much more order efficient, and while they can deliver chain rifles up the board, they also have some effective BS weapons to pick from. They can get shot and killed their first impetuous order of the game, and that does happen, but for their cost, I love it when I can fit one or two in.