Welcome to Dawn of War I's full guide to infiltrators and dectectors, or "how to learn not to get massacred by invisible units that you don't know how to shoot back at" as it's commonly referred to. Apart from "how to learn not to get massacred by invisible units that you don't know how to shoot back at", you will also learn "how to send invisible units to the enemy that will massacrate his army if he doesn't know how to make them visible or what units from his faction can detect them".
Ever since the 2nd expansion Dark Crusade came out the infiltration mechanics changed.
If in Dawn of War Vanilla and Winter Assault infiltrated units were unable to attack while infiltrated, it's not the case anymore for Dark Crusade and Soulstorm. This made the infiltration and detection element of the game much more important, and sometimes game-changing.
Basically you have 2 types of units:
- Infiltrators, that can infiltrate
- Detecors (or Spotters), that can detect infiltrated units.
Once an infiltrated unit is spotted, all other units can see it and shoot it, but if the infiltrator gets out of the detectors' line of sight (or if the detector dies) the unit is invisible again. If the enemy has an infiltrator and is attacking you with it, having a detector is imperative as an undetected infiltrator can sometimes break a battle.
In the following sections I'm going to present you all infiltrators and detectors for all 9 races, knowledge is power battle-brother, with some notes about the whole race or the specific infiltrator/detector units as well, beware them and use them.
PART 1: INFILTRATORS
Space Marine - Great inflitrator, beware snipers! especially in high numbers.
Infiltrator Units: Scout, Skull Probe (the one you recruit from a listening post).
Worry about infiltration vs them ? HIGH. Skull Probes won't do much, scouts can be infiltrated and equiped with snipers which can be devastating in high numbers, especially if the enemy doesn't have a detector.
Scouts get infiltration with Scout Infiltration Research from HQ. Tier 1.5.
Skull Probe gets infiltration with Skull Probe Infiltration Research from HQ. Tier 2.
Orks - Poor infiltrator, anti-vehicle infantry and builders ?!
Infiltrator Units: Gretchins, Tankbustaz.
Worry about infiltration vs them ? LOW. Gretchin are builder units that can't deal damage. Tankbustaz are anti-tanks, but by the time they come out/are needed chances are you'll already have a powerful detector in your army.
Gretchins get infiltration with Gretchin Infiltration Research from HQ. Tier 1.
Tankbustaz gets infiltration with Tankbustaz Infiltration Research from HQ. Tier 2.
Eldar - Great infiltrator, second only to Tau, beware rangers! And the webway gate can be a pain.
Infiltrator Units: Rangers, Webway Gate.
Worry about infiltration vs them ? HIGH. Eldar is insane! Mostly due to the rangers. They have the "Fleet of Foot" ability to back them up making them powerful foes when used correctly. And the webway gate is extremly tactical.
Rangers get infiltration with Ranger Infiltration from Barracks. Tier 1.
Webway Gate and nearby buildings get infiltration with Shroud Research from the Webway Gates, and activates the infiltration "Shroud", it's not auto but has a turn off/on button. Tier 1.
Chaos - Good infiltrator but only late game.
Infiltrator Units: Cultists, Chaos Space Marines, Chaos Lord's Tainted Auspex Ability.
Worry about infiltration vs them ? MEDIUM. Sure their scouts and their main infantry can infiltrate, but that only happens in tier 2 and tier 3. So by the time it happens, you'll already have the detectors.
Cultists get infiltration with Cultist Infiltration Skill from Armoury. Tier 2.
Chaos Marines get infiltration with Chaos Marine Infiltration Skill from Armoury. Tier 3.
Chaos Lord's Tainted Auspex Ability already has infiltration. Tier 1.
Imperial Guards - Poor infiltrator, only 1 unit, cannot make a significant difference.
Infiltrator Units: Vindicare Assassin.
Worry about infiltration vs them ? LOW. The Imperial Guards have only 1 unit that can infiltrate. And while that assassin can do a lot of damage in your army by assassinating the hero, the assassin unit is available in tier 3 when you already have lots of detectors.
Vindicare Assassin gets infiltration with Infiltration Research from Armoury. Tier 3.
Tau Empire - Amazing infiltrator, 4 units that already have infiltration.
Infiltrator Units: XV15 Stealth Team, Tau Commander's Snare Trap Ability, Devilfish Troop Carrier, Drone Squad's Burrow Ability.
Worry about infiltration vs them ? HIGH. 4 infiltrators and none needs infiltration research. One of them is the only infiltrated vehicle in the game. Do I need to say more ?
XV15 Stealth Team already has infiltration. Tier 1.
Tau Commander's Snare Trap Ability already has infiltration. Tier 1.
Devilfish Troop Carrier already has infiltration. Tier 2.
Drone Squad's Burrow Ability already has infiltration. Tier 2.
Necrons - Average infiltrator, only the Necron's ability, whether is good or insignificant is highly situational.
Infiltrator Units: Necron Lord's Veil of Darkness Ability.
Worry about infiltration vs them ? LOW. The "Veil of Darkness" artifact can make the Necron Lord and the Necron units nearby invisible, if you fight against an army with few detectors infiltrated necrons can be a pain, otherwise better take something else.
Necron Lord and nearby friendly units and buildings get infiltration as long as the Necron Lord has at least 50% health with Veil of Darkness Research from Armory. Tier 3.
Dark Eldar - Average infiltrator, the infiltrared melee scouts are a pain early-game, but that's about it.
Infiltrator Units: Mandrake.
Worry about infiltration vs them ? LOW-MEDIUM. With only 1 infiltrator they're pretty low, it's low-medium and not simply low is because these infiltrators are available early in the game, making for a powerful rush or scout decap, simply put they are effective scouts.
Mandrake get infiltration with Mandrake Infiltration Research from Barrack. Tier 1.
Sisters of Battle - Poor infiltrator, much like Imperial Guards, only 1 unit that's Tier 3.
Infiltrator Units: Death-Cult Assassin.
Worry about infiltration vs them ? LOW. They only have 1 infiltrated unit that is tier 3. The Death-Cult Assassin is great against Tier 3 infantry and unattached commanders. They work great with melee units that can keep them unnoticed and provide them meat shields.
Death-Cult Assassin already has infiltration. Tier 3.
TOP 3 INFILTRATOR FACTIONS: Tau Empire, Eldar, Space Marine.
GOOD INFILTRATOR FACTIONS: Dark Eldar, Necrons, Chaos.
BAD INFILTRATOR FACTIONS: Sisters of Battle, Orks.
WORST INFILTRATOR FACTION: Imperial Guard.
PART 2: DETECTORS
All turrets and listening posts are detectors for all races, as well as:
Space Marine - Getting early detectors: MODERATELY DIFFICULT.
Dectector Units: Skull Probe, Librarian (secondary commander).
The earliest detectors they have, besides turrets and listening posts, are Skull Probes. Without them your army is doomed to be unable to fire back at the enemy infiltrated units.
Orks - Getting early detectors: EASY.
Dectector Units: Big Mek (secondary commander), Warboss (primary commander), Mega Armoured Nobz.
Unlike the Space Marine's Skull Probe, you'll get your first detector very early in the game. Usually after you built the barracks, Big Mek is amonst the first queue ups, a fine harasser too.
Eldar - Getting early detectors: AVERAGE.
Dectector Units: Guardian Squad's Warlock Sergeant, Seer Council, Harlequin.
Not as easy as Orks but not as Hard as Space Marine. For Space Marine, the main purpose of the Skull Probe is usually spotting, while the Eldar Seer Council and Guardian Squad's Warlock Sergeant are warriors too.
Chaos - Getting early detectors: MODERATELY EASY.
Dectector Units: Cultist, Sorcerer (secondary commander), Chaos Lord's Tainted Auspex Ability.
Not simply easy due to 1 factor: cultists are not that good. Orks' first spotter Big Mek is a seconary hero unit, cultists beside scouting are mostly useless.
Imperial Guard - Getting early detectors: DIFFICULT.
Dectector Units: Psyker, HQ's Long Range Scanner Ability.
The Imperial Guards, basically the worst faction when it comes to infiltration in the game and have only 1 spotter (if we don't take into account HQ's spotting ability) that requires Tactica Control (tier 1.5).
Tau Empire - Getting early detectors: EASY.
Dectector Units: Vespids, Pathfinder Team, Ethereal (secondary commander).
Vespids can be queued up as soon as the game starts and you have the Tau Barracks constructed. They are also very powerful units for tier 1 and great harassers.
Necrons - Getting early detectors: EASY.
Dectector Units: Builder Scarabs, Wraith, Necron Lords' Solar Pluse Ability.
Necrons have detectors when the game starts. Necron's builders (Scarabs) are also detectors. You need Scarabs for everything and Wraiths come in handy very often.
Dark Eldar - Getting early detectors: EASY.
Dectector Units: Soul Ability Piercing Vision, Wych Squad, Haemonculus (secondary commander).
Dark Eldar's first spotter is actually a soul power ability not a unit. A soul power ability that can be applied to any unit you have and will grant them detection for 30 seconds.
Sisters of Battle - Getting early detectors: EASY.
Dectector Units: Missionary, Death-Cult Assassin, Confessor (secondaty commander), Living Saint (relic unit).
The Missionary can be queued up as soon as a game starts. He is also a good scout and support unit and can be attached to a squad.
TOP 3 DETECTOR FACTIONS: Ork, Tau Empire, Sisters of Battle.
GOOD DETECTOR FACTIONS: Necrons, Dark Eldar, Chaos.
BAD DECTECTOR FACTIONS: Eldar, Space Marine.
WORST DETECTOR FACTION: Imperial Guard.
I hope this guide helped you