Even though you guys haven’t got the models yet, there are obviously people who want to proxy some Enforcers with defender shields. Alternatively, you might be playing in a campaign and have acquired them there. Either way, here are not only the rules for defender shields (which you’ve seen before if you visit often), but an explanation of why they work as they do.
There is more than one type of shield, and each type is designed and used differently. I have a habit of starting with reality and extrapolating from there. So, defender shields are based on how modern security forces use them. How is that? Well, modern militaries tend not to use shields at all unless they’re acting as police, so the nearest analogue we have are the police themselves. Riot squads and SWAT team equivalents across the world use 2 main types of shield: riot shields and ballistic shields.
The first type of shield comes in two broad shapes: round or rectangular. They are generally see-through plastic shields and are used mainly by riot police.
The most common type is the large rectangular variety, with or without rounded corners and in various dimensions. These are mainly designed to be used in walls to contain the disorder, blocking off some areas and advancing in formation to shove the protestors where the police want them to go. They are also good protection against thrown stones, molotovs and the like. They are not bullet proof. In may ways they are like the Roman legionary’s scutum, being are designed to work en masse and in formation.
The small round shields are lighter and more easily portable. They are designed for a number of peripheral uses, sometimes being given to leaders and those not intended to be part of the main “battle line”. They are also sometimes issued to snatch squads and similar groups who deploy on more fluid missions, needing to move quicker and not in formation. They often hide behind the main shield wall until needed. In terms of construction these round shields are the same as the rectangular ones.
“Dynamic entry” is one phrase I’ve come across to describe the situations in which more than the typical riot shield is needed. If the bad guys are holed up somewhere defensible, and they are well-armed, you may need to go in very forcefully to overwhelm them. In these situations you’re likely to take fire, so you need more protection than a riot shield is going to offer you. This is what ballistic shields are for.
These are very heavily built and can withstand direct weapons fire. They are generally used by already armoured troopers, and are an additional, mobile piece of armour to hide behind rather than something to parry melee attacks. The one shown above is a relatively light one. The really serious ones are wheeled. Of course, if you’re wearing a full suit of futuristic armour then you’re likely to be able to carry the serious ones without help.
The defender shield is a ballistic shield, not a riot shield. The rules are the same they’ve been for a while:
When a model with a defender shield is moved to a new position, always align the shield with one of the four sides of the cube on the level you are on (ie, not the top or the bottom). Any attacks that trace a LOS across that side of the cube count the model holding the shield as having +1 Armour.
This reflects the sort of static protective benefit that ballistic shields offer and allows models that are so equipped to withstand a lot more punishment. This is what they need when they’re on point, which is what it’s designed for.
All pictures except the top one from Wikimedia Commons.