Mission 009: The Master’s Smile
Alright, Bromads, you’ve been through most of the Training Montage by now, and we’re getting near the end, where our protagonist finally wins the master’s grudging praise with a rare smile. Remember, all you have to do is write in with some pictures and some thoughts about your games in which you used close combat. Send everything to [email protected] and be entered to win a blister of your choice! You don’t have be a Nomad, StarCo, or ForCo player to be eligible, all are welcome.
So, now that we’ve looked at the basics of Close Combat skills, let’s get on to how to use them. I’m actually going to draw a line in the sand to limit the scope of our discussion and look only at profiles with a CC stat of 19 or greater and some form of CC skill. Across all the Nomad factions, including StarCo, and ForCo, this leaves us with the following breakdown:
- Camo Troopers
- Bran do Castro
- Corregidor Bandits
- Midfield CC
- Aida Swanson
- Krakot Renegades
- Senor Massacre
- Special Cases
- Raoul Spector
For brevity, we’re going to look at each of the major archetypes and call out some special cases.
Scene 4 – Supporting Cast
Let’s get into this cast of characters. We’ll talk about each one and their idiosyncrasies one by one. Non-Nomad players, don’t worry, the stuff in here is pretty easy to generalize to your faction of choice. Which should be Nomads. Duh. :3
Camo CC Specialists
First let’s talk about the camo CC specialists available to Nomads, the Bandit and Bran. Having camo and CC skills gives you access to Surprise Attack, which gives you an additional -6 to your opponent’sdodg face to face roll. In general, you can abuse your camo state to walk behind units you intend to close combat, forcing a delay, change face/dodge, or a discover. If you retain camo state, you can then move into base to base on a new order and force them to CC you on a -6 in addition to whatever else you’ve got going on.
For this reason, camo CC troopers are very dangerous–they can leverage their marker state to get into base to base, and can often do it from out of LoF to avoid getting direct templated. Don’t be afraid to use smoke to help your camo trooper not get discovered, and spending the extra order to get behind the model can often be worth it.
Bran is a bit of a special case because he has both Super Jump and Climbing+, which means he can use his superior movement skills to more easily get behind something–just beware you don’t expose him to more AROs by jumping or climbing him around! Also, don’t forget to use the Bandit’s Scavenger skill to get cool toys off of the stuff you gank! If you take the KHD, you can wander by mines after cybermasking to get that sweet ninja backstab too!
Midfield CC troopers are guys that have some sort of deployment skill but no default marker state. It’s much harder to get them into base to base, but you’ll generally get some rewards when you do. Looking at what’s available in Nomads, Aida and the Krakot are good examples.
You generally don’t want to be CCing stuff with these guys as your default plan, but they both have some tricks that can force bad decisions on your opponent. The Krakot, for example, has Berserk, so he can pretty reliably delete something with the +6 bonus and his already decent CC stat. Aida can stab something after dropping a mine out of LoF and then moving into base to base, but you’re almost always better off dumping four SMG shots into them. When you’re faced with some serious visual mods like TO camo, getting into close combat with her viral pistol might be a good idea. Here’s a scenario where Aida is going up against a Nomad Spektr. Scenario A is she MA1 close combats with her pistol while the Spektr shoots with a combi, Scenario B is where she dumps 4 SMG shots into the Spektr while he shoots back, both in cover:
I think that getting into Close Combat with troopers in this category is not something you should try for in a game. Having the tool in your back pocket in a pinch, like when you need to delete a TO or ODD model, will be quite useful though.
Okay, now we’re getting to the meat and potatoes. I’ll start with a caveat–this is not a guide on how to use warbands. It’s about how to leverage their close combat. There are generally two ways to play warbands–offensively or defensively. You will likely switch styles several times in the space of a single game. In this context, we’re going to look at warbands with chain rifles, some form of fury rule, be it frenzy or impetuous, and some serious face punching skills.
The chain rifle is the key defensive component. It gives you some solid area denial or at least discouragement by guarding corners. If you have impetuous warbands, you can leverage their orders that you generally can’t or don’t want to spend on other units slowly advancing them across the board, creating an advancing wall of board control.
The second component is their CC skills. Because most things in Infinity aren’t terribly good in close combat, part of the area denial is that your opponent doesn’t want to be close to the chain rifle or to the angry trooper with a sharp stick. If they leave something close to a Morlock and then pass turn, you can bet that that thing is going to be eating a chain rifle or will be getting shanked in short order. In a pinch, you can even dodge engage in defense to stop an advancing rambo unit.
In offense, the chain rifle is also key. Chain-rifling a link can make or break a game, but we’re here to talk about close combat. Close combat is the great equalizer, especially when you’re talking about E/M or Templar CCWs like those carried by our Nomad CC troopers. What’s the biggest, scariest thing out there? Well, some would say it’s this guy:
Okay, well, it’s scary. Buuuut… let’s look at this exchange between an 137-point Avatar and a 6-point Morlock:
There’s a 41.81% chance that the humble E/M CCW-wielding Morlock will create an S7 statue, and a 8.42% chance that the Morlock will cause a wound. Moreover, the Morlock can force this interaction by throwing smoke to ensure a close combat exchange! Hiliarously, they also don’t have cubes, so no sepsitor for you, Mr. Avatar! It’s worth pointing out that this is a bit of a tricky situation here, maths-wise.
I’m not entirely sure how the dice calculator implements everything, but the takeaway is clear–a 6-point Morlock is a real threat to the Avatar, all because of close combat and E/M CCWs. It’s worth noting that much of the imbalance in the interaction is due to the E/M CCW, but it’s particularly illustrative of the close combat’s ability to sidestep some otherwise tough to deal with problems like ODD.
In attack, your chain rifle is a powerful tool, just don’t forget that sometimes you want to force a face to face roll. Oftentimes, as we saw above, close combat gives you pretty attractive odds to do some pretty serious damage!
Perseus and Senor Massacre are a little different, because they come with different kit–i.e. no chain rifles, real guns, and some visual mods. They’re also much more expensive and specialized, and are relegated more to the attack role.
Perseus in particular can destroy a flank on his own with his ODD. Massacre can too, but he’s more likely to do that leading a team of Jaguars in Corregidor or hanging out with the A-Team in Foreign Company.
Since Vanilla is my first love, I’d be more likely to take Perseus solo, but he’s deadly in a fireteam as their primary gunfighter–smoke if your odds are bad, but that +3 from the fireteam can help even out your numbers, especially since you’ve got ODD. I don’t recommend that you do this, but if you throw a linked Perseus at a linked Fusilier ML within 32″, you have decent odds of winning the fight:
Once you get close, all the options afforded to you by the Securitate link and Perseus’s CC skills turn that link into a blender that will clear out a deployment zone. Massacre can do the same thing, just don’t expect him to take out that Fusilier, you’ll want to smoke your way up the board!
McMurrough can be thought of as a super Morlock, if you like. He’s way more deadly, and can force a face to face with grenades on 19s if you’re within 8″. Also, because of Total Immunity and Berserk, he can afford to walk into a fight and smash something in the face with a normal roll. Just don’t do it against anything with MA4–there’s a chance you might get double-crit off the table in that case. He also got upgraded to regular impetuous from frenzy, which means you can be more cagey with him when advancing up the board.
Okay, now we’re getting to the fun stuff. We could easily do an article on each of these units, and maybe we will at some point in the future. For right now though, we’re going to a quick overview.
The Taskmaster isn’t a CC hero. CC for the Taskmaster, in my view anyway, is primarily a “oh shit” button in case someone actually competent gets into to close combat with him, somehow avoiding his Pulzar and Koalas. If this happens, he actually stands a reasonable chance of fighting something off.
Raoul, on the other hand, is the thing that goes after the Taskmaster! Or TAGs, or anything really. He’s definitely an active turn hunter, and close combat is just one more deadly tool in his very scary toolkit. He can do defense, but it’s a bit of a waste of his skillset.
The Uberfall are a very very strange beast. They can easily demolish a single target, or get a Pupnik into base to base with individual troopers to take out a whole swath of orders in one go. They can also screen your lieutenant against impersonators as a temporary defense, but the Chimera, even with Total Immunity, is very vulnerable. They are an excellent example of a glass cannon.
Finally, we get to Valkyrie, a relative newcomer to the Infinity scene. She has the unique combination of Berserk, Total Immunity, Natural Born Warrior, and No Wound Incapacitation. This means she can stand toe to toe with close combat monsters like Achilles and Kitsune and expect to not just survive, but defeat them.
If she uses Berserk, she turns the roll into a Normal Roll, NBW cancels all other CC skills, and she ignores all special ammo types, meaning the best you can do is put her into NWI while she beats your face in with an EXP CCW that will likely crit, thanks to her effective CC 27. Against things without CC skills, she is a monstrous CC 30 if you choose Mode B of NBW.
She has a 10.24% to straight up one-shot Hoplite Achilles from full-health to KO’ed, and almost a 50% chance of doing two wounds. Let’s let that sink in for a moment. A one in 10 chance of straight up knocking out Brad Pitt. If you don’t do it the first time, you get to try again!
Kitsune fares even worse–97% chance to take Valkyrie’s axe to the face and fail at least one save or get crit. Keep in mind that Valkyrie is guaranteed be able to swing again, thanks to Total Immunity and NWI. Don’t let Valkyrie near you!
Alright, Bromads, we’re almost at the end of the montage. We’ve talked about some general strategies for using various CC specialists in Nomads, and gone over some special cases for some very special characters!
We’re almost ready for the boss fight! Good hunting, Bromads!
One thought on “Mission 009: The Master’s Smile”
“Aida can stab something after dropping a mine out of LoF and then moving into base to base,”
This doesn’t actually work. Moving into B2B with a model hit by a template will cancel that template because all troopers in the CC will count as being hit by the template.