Fluff aside, what does the scout squad give us as a chapter? First off, we still have access to all of the Chapter Traits so they still gain all of the bonuses in that respect. While seemingly not important, having access to them is a boon, no matter what type of list you use them in (always assume CT:BT, unless otherwise noted). Additionally, they have access to the special rule Combat Squad. That means if they are numbered at 10, they can separate into two squads of 5. This is incredibly useful, especially if you purchase a Land Speeder Storm transport (which I'll discuss in a moment) for one of those 5-man squads. Also standard for the neophytes are Scout, Infiltrate, and Move Through Cover USRs. All of which provide nice movement and disruption abilities.
Stat-wise, neophytes are relatively unimpressive. They have WS/BS of 3 and armor saves of 4+. Not only that, they have a relatively limited selection of wargear to choose from (will get to in a sec). What they do have, however, is their relatively low cost. For a base of 55 points, you can buy yourselves a 5-man troops unit on the cheap. For minimal investment in wargear, you can increase their durability and firepower potential. You increase the neophyte's survivability via camo cloaks, which increase the cover save of the model by +1. Against a good chunk of opponents, this will cause your neophytes to be devastatingly hard to kill. Especially when you're sitting behind 3+ cover (i.e. defense walls/barricades). However, please note that Tau markerlights will cut straight through these defenses and you'll be forced to use your normal armor saves, which aren't going to cut it verses most of their weaponry.
The neophyte squad has access to standard fare bolt pistols and close combat weapons, shotguns, and now: boltguns. Boltguns allow your neophytes to do some legitimate damage against low armor save models for a very minimal price. In addition, you can upgrade your neophytes to have a sniper rifle for 1 point each. These are the standard sniper weapons you see everywhere. So that means the potential for Precision Shots, Rending wounds, and Pinning. They have some use in that you can occasionally pin a dangerous unit and throw a lot of wounds on high toughness models, but otherwise, I find the bolters to be better overall. You can also take one heavy weapon with the squad; either a heavy bolter or a missile launcher. These two weapons can be upgraded further with hellfire shells (HB) or Flakk missiles (ML). To be honest with you, neither are worth their points. Hellfire shells gives you an one-shot blast weapon with the 2+ poison rule. Lame. And the flakk missile is being fired by a BS3 neophyte. Scary use of 25 points if you ask me.
On the other hand, the neophyte sergeant can be upgraded to a veteran if you so desire to give him an additional attack and a higher leadership. These can be given melta bombs and teleport homers for a reasonable price. They can also be given melee and/or ranged weapons for the associated points cost, giving your unit some nice duality. Be careful though, these guys are still stuck with 4+ armor saves.
Lastly, the Land Speeder Storm. This is a AV10, 2 hull point vehicle that is also a fast skimmer for the price of 45 points. It also has the Scout and Deep Strike USR. As far as wargear, it has some interesting things going for it. First is the Jamming Beacon. This essentially makes a scatter result for any deep striking enemy units within 12" double that distance. That can have a huge effect on the game, for very little cost. It also has a Heavy bolter and a Cerberus Launcher. The Cerberus Launcher is a Str 2, large blast weapon that also causes Blind. While "meh" at first glance, that weapon has some very nice applications against armies like Tau when combined with its Scout USR. You can also upgrade the heavy bolter to three other weapons (heavy flamer, multi-melta, or assault cannon) for minimal points. However, due to its...fragility (even with jink)...you might want to avoid putting extra points into the vehicle.
As noted, there is a nice application of the Neophyte squad and the Land Speeder Storm. Because I see a lot of comments about Tau and their firepower, I went about finding a possible solution to that problem. At least for a turn, for a very small points expense (~200 points), we have a counter for their withering firepower potential. If game doesn't have Nightfighting, Scout move forward two Neophyte squads in a LS Storm. Behind cover (if possible) if you don't have the first turn. When its your turn to go, shoot whatever unit you're afraid of with your Cerberus Launcher and force a blind test on them. Remember, the Cerberus Launcher fires Large Blasts. Considering they are mostly initiative 2 all the way around, chances are extremely good you're going to make them blind for the turn. Likewise, you could also simply Outflank them if you are under Nightfighting rules to minimize the shooting potential as long as possible. The ideal target for this would be the Tau Pathfinders, as their marker-lights are the primary source of cover-ignoring firepower. But if they can't hit you, then you're good to go. ;)
Also worth noting is if you DON'T have the first turn, you can disembark out of the LS storm and assault your opponent with the Neophytes as well if they have an open path and/or no bubblewrap. I'm talking things like Riptides, Crisis Suit teams, Broadsides, and Pathfinders. That will negate a lot of shooting while they try and kill your really cheap dudes in CC. Meanwhile, your LS Storms are still out there, potentially blinding more units per turn. I would arm the Sergeant with a Combi-Flamer and meltabombs for duality purposes. But remember, this is best used by cheap neophyte squads for disruption purposes. It'll work against any army, realistically, but expect them to die for their efforts. Those ~200 points, however, could potentially win you the game.
In summary, I think the Neophyte squad is a nice cheap throwaway squad to use for disruption purposes. That in itself is worth their points if done correctly. However, they also have value in providing yourself with cheap troops units for scoring purposes. They aren't the most "durable" squad ever, but for their price, they are decent at holding objectives, especially the ones in your deployment zone. They have the potential for duality and can definitely cause headaches for your opponent. ;)
By the way, Implausible Nature's 4th birthday was on the 18th and I totally forgot. So...once again, thank you all for reading and making IN the success it is!