Infinity Unit Review: Druze Shock Teams
To get started with the conversation on Druze, I figured that analyzing the Druze Shock Teams themselves would be best. The core link in your Druze Bayram Security army will invariably be a Druze Shock Team, fortunately for DBS though, this team is MASSIVELY flexible. At a later point I'll be going into all the different ways that you could use this link, after I've covered the units which can go into it (which will take a while, as it is possible to have 5 totally different units as a single link in DBS). Today though, I'm going to talk just about the Druze themselves.
Stats and Special Rules
At their core, Druze have a solid, if typical, Medium Infantry stat-line. They have a respectable BS12, and standard WIP13, plus a bit of survivability with ARM/BTS 3. In cover they can be difficult to shift, passing saves against combi rifles 70% of the time. It's their special rules though that makes them shine. Fatality L1 turns makes all their weaponry just that much more deadly, pushing combi rifles up to the same damage as a spitfire. This extra bit of strength translates to any of their weapons that go off of BS, so Damage 13 Viral Pistols, Damage 16 HMGs, and damage 14 E/M grenades are all beautiful things to consider.
All Druze also have Veteran L1, which is a situational ability, but one I've come to love in my Morats. Not being isolated means your AHD/KHD profiles are immune to Oblivion, but also means you don't have to worry as much about enemy E/M ammunition in general. One of the drawbacks of DBS is that their Lieutenants are often painfully obvious, which is another time having Veteran shines, since it will keep your link intact, and also provide you with regular orders while you recover from Loss of Lieutenant.
Druze have a lot of different profiles, 11 of them if you bother counting, and I think that nearly all of them are worth considering. The only two that I don't regularly look at are the Paramedic and the Assault Hacker, mostly because the Brawlers provide significantly cheaper alternatives. With that said, lets take a look at the options available.
X-Visor with Combi Rifle (plus Panzerfaust, Paramedic or Lieutenant). This is our go-to Druze profile, for 23 points you get a model that is a threat at nearly any range band. The X-Visor makes the Combi Rifle extremely relevant, hitting up to 32" away on 12's. If they close the gap and get in your face, Viral Pistols are downright deadly, or you can go for the guaranteed hit with your Chain Colt. If you have a couple points to spare, you can upgrade them to be toting a Panzerfaust, or upgrade to a Paramedic (I always go for the Panzerfaust) Now you're potentially a menace with weapons that are at +3 all the way from 0 to 32", and up to 48" away with no modifiers. If you're ever running a bog-standard Combi Druze, I would do everything in my power to upgrade them with the Panzerfaust. As far as lieutenants go, you could do worse, and it is better WIP than the Brawler, but usually I would rather take a different lieutenant so I can upgrade to the Panzerfaust.
X-Visor with Combi Rifle (DEP, Haris). The only way to Haris your Druze teams is through this profile, which is kind of disappointing, since it comes with a steep 1 SWC tax, and only carries a DEP instead of Panzerfaust (which kind of defeats the main bonus of being in a Haris). If you can get past that though, a Druze Haris can be a lot of fun. Tack on a HMG, MULTI Sniper, Marksman Rifle, or Panzerfaust to give yourself some brutal, long-range firepower and you won't be disappointed.
HMG. Who doesn't love an HMG? When you add on Fatality L1, this is firing at a devastating Damage 16. This unit is ubiquitous to my Druze links, and often the main consideration for toying with the idea of a Haris. Like most of the link, the HMG has some great options when the enemy gets close, with it's viral pistol and chain colt, to prevent people from taking advantage of your HMGs -3 range band. While there is nothing particularly amazing about the Druze with HMG, it is still a linked HMG, which speaks volumes on it's own, and I would have a hard time justifying not taking one in a Core link.
X-Visor with Combi Rifle + Light Grenade Launcher (E/M and Nimbus Grenades). Now we're talking! If you want to know what makes Druze utterly terrifying on the table, look no further. The combination of an X-Visor on a LGL means you can speculative fire from 16-24" and still be hitting on 9's, or nearly anywhere on the board on 6's (while fully-linked). They're no slouch at direct-firing either, since in that fully link they'll be B2 hitting on 15's at 24"! One of the strengths of Druze is their wide repeater network, which can make Spotlight a real possibility, or you can surprise shot forward observe with a Hunzakut, and now you've created a monster, speculative firing up to 48" away on 15's, or on 21's... gross. Outside of a link they can still prove to be problematic for your opponents, since it is a unit that can cause so much disruption that they're almost impossible to ignore.
CH: Mimetism with MULTI Sniper. A perfect use for Jethro from Outrage, or even Knauf, this is a very odd-duck in the Druze link, lacking both an X-Visor and a Chain Colt. Otherwise though, this a very interesting choice. Mimetism pushes face-to-face rolls further in the advantage of the Druze, and when combined with the extra Burst and BS bonus from a link, the sniper can be a nightmare to deal with. As an ARO piece, mimetism helps quite a bit, making it harder for the enemy to engage at a distance. In the SWC-starved DBS army though, this profile doesn't make it into many of my personal lists, but it is still worth considering.
X-Visor with Shock Marksman Rifle. One of my favorite Druze profiles, upgrading the Combi Rifle for a Shock Marksman rifle improves this guy a ton. For 0 SWC, you essentially get a Spitfire with 1 less burst, but gain shock. Sounds good to me! To make things better, the -3 range (0 mod with the X-Visor) on the Marksman Rifles goes all the way out to 40", letting you out-range enemy HMG, Panzerfaust, or similar 32" ideal-range weapons. If you're running any Druze Duo's or a Haris, I would really recommend looking this profile. This profile is a little expensive, but saving points on SWC is always welcome (especially after paying that damn SWC tax on the Haris).
Killer Hacking Device or Assault Hacking Device. The Killer Hacker is a great 0 SWC hacking device, as well one of only two specialist options available (the second being a Paramedic, for the same price). The Assault Hacker however is more expensive, and carries the typical 0.5 SWC tax, to make things worse, there is a 17/0.5 assault hacker in the Brawlers that makes this profile almost totally redundant, so I'm just going to focus on the Killer Hacker. Equipment-wise, either profile brings the same Combi Rifle + Pitcher, and D-Charges, notably lacking the x-visor and chain colt carried by other profiles. This combination of gear though is utterly fantastic. The Killer Hacker can use Cybermask to safely advance up the board and plant a D-Charges for classifieds (or just for fun). The pitcher helps to extend your hacking area as well, if you can put one near an enemy hacker, you can then fry them with a killer hacking attack, or use Spotlight on some poor sap before calling in a Speculative Shot from the E/M LGL mentioned above. As a solo-unit, the killer hacker is a great choice, in a link they're an even better choice.
As you can now see, the Druze Shock Teams have an incredibly diverse array of equipment to pick from. All of their gear is well suited towards their main craft, murdering the crap out of things. If you're just looking to add a single model, or duo to an army, I'd keep the Killer Hacker, Shock Marksman Rifle, and Light Grenade Launcher in mind, but really it's hard to pick a bad one.