Code Name: Street Viper
Manufacturer: Mandeers Heavy Industry / Dynamic Systems
Height: 4.4 meters
Weight: 5,100 kg
Baconradar’s Summary: Low cost light trooper/interceptor gear with a vicious aggressive streak
- At 5 TV it’s one of the cheapest gears
- With 6/8 movement it’s also one of the fastest
- AR 5, Agile, and PI:4+ actually make it as hard to kill as ‘tougher’ gears like the Jager
- Its armament and role mean its poor gunnery stat isn’t much of an issue
- Has access to one of the best and most specialised variants in the game
- Has brawler 1 and PI 4+ making it a fine melee unit capable of hurting much more expensive gears
- Due to LPZ is a cost efficient way to tackle heavy armour, especially vehicles
- Lacks any AOE weapon so can’t take advantage of clustered units, negate ECM at range, or take advantage of the minimum 1d6 on attacks rule
- Unlike many light gears, has no EW, sensor or comms advantage
- Lacks a burst weapon and doesn’t want to brace or get elevated, so is unlikely to hit much at range
- Has a somewhat restrictive UA modifier
- Intercepting and killing recon units. This is particularly true if they are TD using forward observers, which will range ahead of enemy formations to get a good angle on your most expensive units and rain down ATMs, AVMs, and GMs. The Viper is fast enough to go catch them, packs a LRF which ignores agile and crucially has brawler 1 and a LVB. The objective here is to get to melee where many recon units have brawler -1, are defenceless, or rely on ECM which won’t work in melee. Having that point of brawler means you can often top speed right into them and still have a good chance of landing a hit. Remember, you are cheaper than they are, and specialised to win in melee.
- Overwhelming expensive heavy armour. It can be surprisingly difficult to find a cost effective way of beating tanks. Very high AR means you need AP weapons, very heavy weapons (which are always very expensive), or an overwhelming MOS which usually requires crippling the tank. Anything slow is unlikely to be able to get a flank bonus and anything expensive is a real risk of points against a very hard hitting enemy. Vipers are cheap, fast, agile, pack the AP2 LPZ, and have a massive advantage in melee (usually 3 dice at 4+ against 1 die). They can get flank due to their speed, you can afford to lose them due to their cost, and they can simply overwhelm tanks like locusts. It’s true that against a heavy tank you’re almost never going to do more than that 1AP damage, but you can certainly be a thorn in its side and at a low cost.
Anti Air: For +1TV you lose your LPZ and swap your LRF for a MAC with AA. This doesn’t particularly play to the strengths of the model and losing the LPZ virtually neuters the anti-armour strength of the model.
Riotmaster: For +1TV you swap your LRF for a MFC and your LPZ for a MPZ. Now we’re talking! This is one of the most exciting variants in the Southern arsenal. The MFC will absolutely mulch infantry and because the Viper is so fast it can easily reposition to take them out. But the real value here is as a dedicated anti-tank gear. With its speed the Viper should have little trouble flanking them for that crucial +2 d6, with agile it’s more likely to survive than other options, with its low cost you can afford to field them in depth, and with its combination of MFC, MPZ, and LVB with brawler 1 it is an AP threat at several ranges. If I knew I’d be up against an Aller or Visigoth, this is a gear I’d definitely want.