How do Markerlights Function as Force Multipliers?
Markerlights do not score wounds when they hit and are therefore currently unpreventable as a shooting attack. They instead generate tokens that can be expended to improve ballistic skill, remove cover, or launch a missile. It’s critical to note however, that if you do not score a hit, that you are unable to place a token, and of course… unable to gain a benefit. For starters we are going to look at ballistic skill as we have some benchmarks from the previous codex for comparison.
- A squad of 10x Firewarriors could improve their ballistic skill by 1 for a cost 20pts total if taken as an Ethereal Honor guard.
- A piece of wargear could be purchased for a Crisis suit, improving their ballistic skill by 1 for the cost of 10pts
- A piece of wargear could be purchased for a vehicle, improving its ballistic skill by 1 for the cost of 5pts
This gives us a general idea as to how much the game designers felt it should cost to improve each unit’s ballistic skill by 1. In order to generate a single Markerlight token from a BS3 unit, at least 2x models (24pts) from said unit are to be expected. Using the values above as our basis for comparison, we can quickly see how best to use these tokens and how best we can manage them to see a return on investment. Now, this statement is a little deceiving as the armaments of these 3x units are completely different, but it does give you a general idea, as well as an insight into this line of thinking. The conclusion being, 2x Pathfinders + 10x Firewarriors are roughly the equivalent of an Honor Guard.
The expenditure of a markerlight token is therefore a multiplier for your forces by improving the performance of a specific unit a turn. While it is still a force multiplier, devoting 100pts of markerlight generation to a 70pt squad will always show a lesser return than that a player is expecting.
Hopefully this very simple example gives you an idea about how to proceed when it comes to markerlight token generation in your lists. Using this line of thinking we are able extrapolate the optimal uses for markerlights and effectively how many we will need to include in our armies. It should also allow you to conclude how many potential tokens you require for a set of units. I do feel compelled to point out though that it’s important to note that this does not account for the turns in which you could potentially have +2 BS or the tactical flexibility of using the other two abilities.
With that in mind let’s talk about the three different Markerlight Philosophies used when creating a build.