In the Lore
From shadow and ruin the Death Squad hunt their targets, darting in and out of cover before unleashing barrages of fire from afar. No longer chaotic, frenzied monsters, they relish in out-flanking, out-thinking and out-gunning their helpless victims. As with all in the Asylumist army, Death Squad began life in the maelstrom of battle and death, as a Horde fighting for survival in amongst the sea of others. After countless victories they fought their way beyond the confines of the Asylum machines, out into the corpse laden streets. From within the swirling mass they found themselves ambushed, bound and dragged away to the Blood Engine factories. Inside the confines of these dark prisons they were forcibly altered and upgraded into the fighting ranks of the Death Squads. Once conditioned, having had their cranial spines torn out and replaced with cybernetics to control them, they are reborn as soldiers for their new master.
By the Book
The Death Squad are a powerful unit that can become almost invincible if used correctly. Their stats start to paint this picture as almost every one of them is greater than their counterpart, the Horde. With a resolve of 4, their target lock chance increases along with their survivability. Alongside this increase they also have 2HP each, giving them much needed staying power. However, it is not these increases that prove to be the Death Squads greatest boon but their special rule, Stealth. With this, an attacker muct re-roll all successful target locks that would deliver damage to this unit, if its models are safely in cover.
From the safety of cover the Death Squad can open fire with their Ripper, a modified pike gun, that can punch its way through shielding and armor if the shot lands true. The Ripper has 2 profiles. The first is a 24″ Heavy profile, preventing it from being fired while this unit moves but, with the Pike rule, you can deliver increasing damage to your target for every point your roll exceeds the targets resolve. If you roll a 6 when damaging a resolve 4 unit, your pike will cause a terrifying 3 damage, slaying all but the most hardened of models. When the unit needs to reposition quickly it can use the Rippers secondary fire and shower multiple smaller pikes into their foe before reaching their next stronghold. This Rapid weapon also re-rolls failures when target locking ensuring more shots land. Finally, and perhaps most importantly when it comes to offense, the Death Squad has another special rule that can leave the enemy wide eyed with their head in their hands, Friendly Friendly Fire. This ability allows a unit of Death Squad to open fire into an enemy that is about to be attacked by the Horde in melee. This shoot action is free and doesn’t impose a restriction, so provided you have not already shot, you can rain constant fire into your target as the Horde overwhelms it. Ofcourse, as with most powerful abilities their is a potential downside. Any shots that fail to target lock with this rule are resolved against the Horde in your way, sending them back to hell where they crawled from.
On the Table
Death Squads are a fast unit that work best when placed in cover, guarding objectives or watching open ground. They can snap fire at enemies that try to get close, use grenades and pummel slow units from affar before retreating with their secondary fire if needed. Low resolve units find it increasingly difficult to cause damage to this unit if it remains in cover and, if this unit finds itself in the sights of a high resolve unit that is almost assured successful target lock, a quick defend command can cause havok with incoming fire. A major strength comes with their synergy with the Horde. Position these units within range of your enemy and charge the Horde into melee to utilise your Friendly Freindly Fire. Combined with the Hordes, Horde rule, your opponent will drown in shots, trapped behind a wall of limitless slashing enemies.