Counter Intelligence: Hunting Andromeda
Alright, listen up, Bromads! We’ve got reports of an ALEPH agent being spun up for operations, potentially against Nomad assets. We don’t have much information on her mission parameters yet, but initial reports are that’s she’s the focus of some “Warrior Project” initiative being run by that corrupt AI. Here’s what our Interventors and Custodiers have been able to scrape from MayaNet:
We’ve begun to assemble a target profile on this agent, codenamed “Άνδρομέδα,” or “Andromeda” for those of you that don’t read Greek. It’s probably not relevant, but here’s the mythology from the pre-space era of humanity:
Andromeda (in Classical Greek: Άνδρομέδα / Androméda, which means “she who rules men”) was, in Greek mythology, an Aethiopian princess, daughter of king Cepheus. Made a victim by the excessive pride of her mother, the queen Cassiopeia, Andromeda would be chained naked to a rock as a sacrifice to the sea monster Cetus. Rescued by the hero Perseus, she would become his wife and rule by his side.
As she is an intelligence agent, you’ll see her on the battlefield in support of any of ALEPH’s military arms. Don’t let your guard down. Disseminate the following information to your teams in the field.
The Sophists are the Intelligence agents of the Steel Phalanx. Although in the beginning the Phalanx relied on the Operations Sub-section, as time went by it began to gain greater relevance due to the escalating conflict against the EI; circumstances had changed. Once it started gaining a more global presence in the Paradiso theater of operations, it became necessary to create a specific Intelligence group capable of working together with the Assault Sub-section’s operatives and their special characteristics.
Notes from Thamyris the Aoidos to the SSS Information Service: “Andromeda, the spy who loved and almost destroyed me! As member of ALEPH’s and the Steel Phalanx’s secret service, she is always taking risks because she knows she can live and die several times over, meaning she’ll never say no to any mission proposed to her. She loves diamonds because she knows they’re forever, but no matter how many you have you’ll never be able to buy her, because not even the Human Sphere would be enough for her. Loyal to the bone, she would could even commit betrayal if it would help her accomplish her mission, always confidential and highly classified. But none of this will matter once you see her, because Andromeda is a vision of beauty to die for and for whom you can‘t help but fall at her feet in worship.”
Andromeda is the best of the Sophists, or maybe she is just one of the best, because the truth is that we don’t really know them all that well due to their duties as spies and secret agents. Just like the rest of the Homeridae, Andromeda has a splendid body, but the first thing that stands out are her eyes, mysterious and captivating, the eyes of an angel – or of a demon. Because Andromeda can be either one depending on what she considers to be convenient for accomplishing her mission. This woman thinks things through, has a clever and calculating mind, and superior tenacity similar to the most resistant Teseum. She is a spy so you should never trust her. Lying is for Andromeda just as natural as breathing. And if she seems to be fragile and helpless, pay careful attention to that briefcase she carries everywhere with her. That is Cetus, her loyal, portable monster, her ace in the hole, an advantage that will tear your throat out before you are able to ask her what is going on.
Andromeda has an elite stat line with an above average PH and CC score. She also comes with a suite of skills befitting her role and training as an intelligence agent: Mimetism and Stealth. All of her profiles come with a DA CCW, which lets her take part in missions like The Grid, Looting and Sabotaging, and anything requiring anti-material CCWs. Some of her profiles even have D-Charges if the ALEPH commander really wants to get the job done. Also, if your troops have low BTS or multiple wounds, don’t forget that Andromeda carries a Breaker Pistol and a Flash Pulse.
She’s basically got a decent option at every rangeband out to 24″, and depending on her loadout she can get really troublesome within 8″. It’s worth noting that she breaks the rule for non-ALEPH players facing ALEPH: “If it’s a humanoid, it has a Nanopulsar,” as only the SMG profile carries one. The SMG in suppression is definitely hard to dislodge, because she will happily trade with your chain rifle in a myriad of ways and still not die.
Her relative unpopularity with ALEPH commanders should not be mistaken for ineffectiveness. Andromeda, especially when supported by OSS elements to let her Superior Infiltrate, can do some serious damage to our forces in an alpha strike. She has the tools, the survivability, and the right deterrents to operate behind enemy lines and take out our command structure and heavy weapons platforms.
Let’s break this down into two modes of thought: active and passive operations. In the active turn, we’d ideally like to engage her with an HMG from outside 24″ or with shock/multi-wound-capable ammo of some type. This isn’t always possible, especially since Andromeda will often be very close to our lines. Be prepared to sell lives to buy her death. In the reactive turn, we have to rely on board control and shock ammunition and deployables to blunt her assault.
Brute force is always an option–if it bleeds, we can kill it. Due to Cetus, her ALEPH guard dog construct, engaging her with our melee specialists is no longer a low-risk prospect. Instead, try to find the right rangeband, especially if she is in suppression, and engage with a high-burst weapon. Her mimetism is troublesome, but not insurmountable. Keep shooting. If you have access to Lunokhods, a shock heavy flamer template with Assisted Fire from our hackers is a good option, as is hunting her from out of her LoF or with visual mods like ODD.
Cetus, while an excellent deterrent for our Morlocks and Jaguars, does mean that Andromeda takes up more space on the battlefield that most other troopers. Take advantage of this and get behind her S4 silhouette with infiltrators, cautious movement, or movement skills like super jump and climbing plus, which we have plenty of access to. Due to Cetus’s size, it’s often hard for the two of them to find adequate cover. Finding an angle to either a) shoot her out of cover or b) shoot her back arc while denying her LoF to you due to blocking terrain is easier than with standard S2 troopers.
In your active turn, if she’s near your forces, the intent is to slow you down and drain orders. Think carefully about what the most efficient way is to kill her–it may not be the linked HMG that you rely on, it could be your Daktari who could easily walk behind Andromeda and kill her. If you can avoid a face to face engagement entirely, so much the better. Every Nomad has a fighting spirit–show Andromeda that we’re not to be trifled with!
Our usual tactic of guarding corners with chain rifles is less effective due to Andromeda’s advanced LHOST granting No Wound Incapacitation. Even with significant organic damage she will remain operational and deadly after surviving the first cloud of shrapnel. Instead, we have to lean on our technological advancements in addition to our brave warbands.
We have the most access to Crazy Koalas of any faction–you can find them on our Taskmasters, Lunokhods, and Morans, meaning every Nomad faction, including our StarCo brothers and sisters, have access to this technology. Lunokhods and Taskmasters are excellent deployment zone defenders and can discourage her from operating in an entire table quarter.When deploying Morans, many of our commanders will deploy Koalas forward, towards the enemy. Consider deploying one of the pair of Koalas back towards your deployment zone. This not only creates an inhospitable environment for Andromeda, it also creates denial zones for Proxy Mk2’s and airborne troops. 8″ is quite far, so you can cover a lot of ground this way. Our Koalas’ shock characteristic demands respect from our ALEPH foes as well.
Minelaying troops are also useful to defend against Andromeda and other forward deployed ALEPH elements. Minelayers that start in our deployment zone are useful deterrents, but Zeros can also provide some additional support by placing their mines behind them.
Camo infiltrators are also quite helpful here, due to their effective 360-degree field of view while in camo state. Think about putting your infiltrators in a place to claim total cover from the enemy to your front, but also watching key approaches to our more vulnerable troops in our deployment zones. Again, prioritize ammunition types that are effective against multi-wound models like DA, EXP, Stun, Flash, E/M, Shock, ADHL, and Viral. Sadly, Andromeda isn’t hackable, but don’t forget about White Noise as she triggers AROs. This may be valuable to protect your other troops from Asuras and other MSV-equipped ALEPH troopers.
All of these techniques can be applied in general versus ALEPH or our other foes on the battlefield, like the dreaded Uxia, Fidays, and Speculo Killers. Stay sharp out there.
Elimination of Andromeda is a priority, especially if she is the only troop on the battlefield capable of damaging things like the AC2 in Looting and Sabotaging missions. Any team leader that can provide photographic evidence to confirm a kill along with a brief after action report with mission details will be entered into a raffle for immediate reinforcement by a single “blister” unit of their choice.
If you can achieve the Nanoespionage or In Extremis Recovery (good luck with this one!) classified objectives with Andromeda as your target, you’ll receive two entries into the raffle. The mission will be active until the end of Andromeda’s operational window, which ends February 7th, 2019.
Good hunting, Bromads.