One of the defining traits of the Ikari Company army is their unique fireteam composition, they are simultaneously flexible and fragile. There are many different was to mix troops, and when you’re talking about units as versatile as Brawlers, the combinations really seem to become endless.
Ikari Company has a ton of different possible combinations, which we can see in the wiki entry, but lets really talk about the possibilities. By mixing various troops, sometimes three in a single link, you can really optimize a fireteam to make the most of the bonuses that they receive.
Keisotsu, Core. The cheapest fireteam in the Ikari company, and one of the cheaper in the game, a core link of 5 Keisotsu is inexpensive, but not something to be trifled with. Personally, I prefer taking 2 missile launchers with 3 combi rifles for a bargain price of 55/3, and a brutal ARO presence that your enemy has to deal with, and 3 decoy lieutenants.
3 Keisotsu + 1 Tanko + 1 Brawler, Core. Definitely the go-to core for many Ikari Company players, including myself, this is an amazing combination of cheap link fillers, plus a pair of highly effective troops. Tanko don’t have a ton of weapons to pick from, and it is rare that I would skip the opportunity for a B2 BS16 missile launcher, backed up by a second missile launcher or HMG on the Keisotsu, and you’ve got a ton of firepower. You could further supplement the firepower with either a Brawler MULTI Sniper, or Heavy Rocket Launcher, but I prefer to go with the Assault Hacker. A Sixth Sense L2 assault hacking device is an amazing tool for keeping enemy heavy infantry from sneaking through your repeater net. Clocking in at 81/3.5 for dual missiles and an assault hacker, it’s cheap on points, but not SWC, though it’s a really tough ARO to get through.
4 Druze + 1 Tanko, Core. A full link of Druze is an amazing sight on the table, they’re armed to the teeth, and can engage the enemy at nearly any range, back them up with a BS16 missile launcher on a HI chassis, and you fill in the only ranges the link was otherwise missing. While Druze can be costly, if they’re used well to advance up the board, they can bring their variety of weapons to bare, and put immense pressure on the enemy. A Tanko missile launcher, two Druze with panzerfaust, a Druze HMG, and a Druze killer hacker can kill just about anything it comes across. If you’re really wanting to put the hurt on a TAG, try dropping the link and coordinating the missile with two panzerfaust, instead of firing one of them linked.
Druze, Haris. The haris profile in Druze does not come cheap, with a full SWC tax, and carrying a D.E.P. Taking a trio of Druze with the haris profile, a hacker, and then a third support choice can steadily advance up the field, accomplish objectives, and lay down the pain. For the third member, I prefer the panzerfaust, HMG, or shock marksman rifle. Lately, I’ve been considering the nimbus grenade launcher as the third member, to support my direct template wielding troops.
4 Wu Ming + 1 Clipper, Core. The biggest and toughest core in the army, it will always be backed up by a Clipper with either a smart, or regular missile launcher (I always go regular). This core can easily end up being half your points, and for good reason, Wu Ming are a great mixture of survivability, and a diverse array of weapons. Since the link already has one template-wielding troop, I tend to compliment the missile launcher with an HMG, for high burst firefights. Since the link requires a full 4 Wu Ming, and a Clipper to be present to form, I always am sure to include one of the Haris troops (which has my favorite gear combo anyhow), so that if the link does break, I can at least put three of them back together.
Wu Ming (optional + 1 Clipper or Brawler*, Haris). The Wu Ming haris is pretty versatile, either able to take a trio of Wu Ming, or a pair, plus a Clipper or Brawler. A Brawler MULTI Sniper plus a pair of Wu Ming can be pretty entertaining, the burst bonus on a MSV2 model is really nice when covered with smoke grenades from another unit My personal favorite Haris is the Wu Ming Haris, Wu Ming HMG, and Brawler Doctor, to keep them in the fight.
Tanko (optionally mixed with Brawlers*), Haris. More heavy infantry, and like the Wu Ming, can be mixed in a variety of ways. Running them out of the box with the Haris, flammenspeer, and missile launcher comes in at 79 points, and 2 SWC. The burst bonus will mean you will only fire the blitzen and flammenspeer once (but at B2 each time), but with the missile launcher, you hopefully won’t need a lot more. Alternatively you can take a mixture of 2 Tanko and 1 Brawler, or vise-versa. None of the SWC weapons from either Brawlers or Tanko are high burst, but they are all quite long ranged. Their weapon selections make me lean towards a haris of a Tanko missile launcher, Brawler Haris, and another long-ranged weapon, to create a compact, but effective firebase.
*Note, you cannot take a straight Brawler Haris, but you can use their Haris profile to form their Haris with either Tanko or Wu Ming.
EVO Hacking Devices
It is really important to talk about EVO Hacking Devices when it comes to Ikari Company fireteams. If you look closely at their Special Fireteam composition rules, they are missing the words “up to” before the number of troops required, this means you need that exact number of models to form the fireteam. For example, if you’re running a Fireteam: Core of 4 Druze, and one Tanko, if one of the Druze dies and the link breaks, you will not have the 4 Druze required to form the link, and at best can reform as a standard core, without the Tanko. This is where the EVO comes in…
Thanks to this piece of supportware, your fireteams become much more difficult to break, so in that situation above, your team would likely not have broken to begin with, and so you wouldn’t need to worry about reforming without the Tanko. Remember however, that if you’re running TeamPro, you cannot use other supportware programs like Assisted Fire on another remote.
Fireteams, like anything, are just tools in your arsenal. Despite the Ikari Company having rigid rules when forming teams, don’t be afraid to form a standard fireteam during a game, if you need to. Abandoning a Tanko Missile Launcher so that your Druze can move up the table and accomplish objectives, can be well worth it if it means winning the game.