Angela is the Axis’s top sniper and perhaps the world’s best shooter. It is rumored that she was the one that pulled the tripper that assassinated the Furor. She is a very dangerous assassin and no sane member of the Wehrmacht wants to work too closely with her.
This article will be about the Axis hero sniper Angela covering her stats, some tactical ideas, and my own opinions on how good of a unit she is in Dust Battlefield.
Stats, Skills, and Weapons
Angela is a Soldier 1 (S1) hero with little Damage Capacity (though fairly typical for S1 heroes) and has the same point cost as a regular sniper team. She has all of the skills and special abilities that any sniper has in Dust Battlefield. These are Camouflage. Scout, and of course, Sniper. In addition, she is an Expert with her sniper rifle and has killing spree allowing her get multiple hits. She also has Loner preventing her from joining other units.
Her main weapon is more powerful than the standard sniper rifles of Axis and the other blocs and is fully capable of removing most heroes in a single shot. It also has a little more anti-armor power and is capable of damaging Vehicle 3 units. If an enemy gets too close, Angela can also attack with her Mauser Pistol which is decent against Soldier 1/2 units and benefits from her Killing Spree skill.
Role and Tactics
Obviously, if you are fielding Angela she is best used to target your opponent’s heroes and Officers. She can also be used to take out key members of infantry squads and with Killing Spree has the chance (however slight it is) to take a couple of models out of a squad at long range.
Like all snipers, I like to have Angela have her first activation be a March Move to a good sniping position and use Scout action to Camouflage herself. I like to make this one of my earliest activations since your opponent has to either get a unit within 12″ or fire a template weapon (which is only 1/2 dice) to affect her. Because Angela doesn’t have a Spotter and she is a decent shot with Expert: Rifle, I also like to activate her with an Attack Action followed by a Camouflaging herself again. You either deny a portion of the table to your opponent, your opponent risks his infantry and/or your opponent has to divert a unit to deal with her. Since Angela is one of the lowest cost heroes not to mention units in Dust Battlefield, whatever you opponent does deploy to deal with her will likely be pricier. That waylaying alone might very well be worth Angela’s modest point cost.
If I was playing the Axis and wanting to field snipers, I would start with Angela as she is head and shoulders better than a regular sniper team regardless of the bloc (Steel Guard not withstanding). She offers more Damage Capacity, better damage, and the possibility of removing multiple models all for the same point price.
That being said, I don’t think Angela is all that great of a unit. Snipers are very under performing in Dust Battlefield. While they may be able to hit their target (especially with the Spotter skill) quite often, they don’t affect the target’s Infantry or Cover save. Angela does have the ability to damage up to Vehicle 3 which might not have a save at all but even her damage output is so low as not worth it. She has to stay in Camouflage or risk any kind of machine gun wiping her out.
I said this about typical sniper teams, and I will say it about Angela; Sniper (or perhaps Spotter) needs to affect Infantry and/or Cover saves. The rules for snipers are overshadowed by machine gunners every time. Machine guns have nearly the same range (the same if you count Move and Attack with several units) and roll more dice which have a better chance of getting through a save. Plus, if Aircraft were also on the low ability side, machine guns can target helicopters and jets. I would almost take the Beobachter (observer) team even over Angela as they roll more dice to hit even if it at shorter range. The thing that holds me back with them is their lack of Scout.
Angela is the best sniper in Dust Battlefield, and even with that, she is only a marginal unit for me. It is a shame that snipers are so under performing in Dust Battlefield. I really like fielding them and I have a friend that I can coax into playing war games every now and again that won’t play Dust Battlefield because snipers don’t hold a candle in the other ones I have (Dust Warfare, Deadzone, and Bolt Action). If snipers ignore saves, I would gladly pay double the point cost of what they are now.