Mission 012: From Thin Air
It’s time to talk about subterfuge and patience! Get ready to get your Spetkr on!
July is all about hidden deployment. Play a game with at least one TO Camo trooper in your list. The goal of this month’s mission is for you to:
- Practice hidden deployment–where is the best place to put a trooper that appears out of nowhere?
- Practice patience in revealing your TO camo trooper–do I want to pop them out of camo on the first turn just to get a single die in ARO? Is it that important?
- Practice using TO camo to remove threats and disrupt the enemy.
Write in to [email protected], and you can share a battle report using this template with the same address: Bromad Academy Batrep Template. Time permitting, I’ll reach out to start a discussion with you, and post a summary of your feedback and our conversation to generate some more discussion.
At the end of the month, I’ll use random.org to, well, randomly choose a participant to win a blister of their choice! As always, all factions are welcome to participate!
Some Thoughts on TO
I’ll start with the idea that there are three types of TO trooper: beatstick, gotcha, and finesse pieces.
Beatsticks are pretty easy to understand–without TO camo, they would still be pretty brutal on the table. With TO camo, they’re absolute monsters. Let’s take the Swiss Guard and Hac Tao as examples. ARM 5, BS 14-15 HMGs are going to wreck face already. Stack a -6 to the opponent’s BS on top of that, and it gets a little silly.
Even the MULTI Rifle-armed specialist options are crazy. You can zero out most rifle-armed troopers just by being outside of 16″. No need to do any fancy tricks, just shoot them unopposed or against a dodge while you’re rolling on 8’s or 9’s. Then there’s the TO TAGs, which are pricey but also lethal. These beatsticks won’t be our focus for this month’s discussion. By all means, take them and talk about them in your report, but the decision making process during use isn’t very subtle aside from the decision of when to reveal.
The “gotcha” troopers are basically missile-armed TO camo units, the most notorious of which is the Shasvastii Noctifier. They lurk on a rooftop, waiting for an unsuspecting link team to walk by and then lay a template on the entire link while it’s in the open. Not the best attack pieces by themselves–they’re great in coordinated orders–they serve mostly to generate psychological, positional, and order pressure.
You’d best believe that I’m thinking about a Noctifier ML when playing against Shasvastii, and once one shows up if I don’t have MSV2 or some other combat trick, I’m avoiding that firelane! These two mental pressures result in actual pressure on my order pool–I’m going to play it safe and not double-move, I’m going to set up combat tricks to remove it, or just try to dice it down, you get the idea.
Again, the subtlety here is mostly in deployment and when to reveal. If the link is in the open and you can catch all 5 under the template thanks to the movement rules, then do it! To a much lesser extent, the TO MULTI Sniper is a gotcha piece, usually only if you can catch a non-link leader while the link leader is out of LoF.
Ah, here we are at the interesting stuff. I’m going to frame this discussion using the Nomad Spektr as an example, because I’m lumping a lot of TO camo troopers into this category–basically your TO infiltrators armed with rifles or shotguns with BS 11-12.
One obvious takeaway is that you can use an infiltrating specialist to push buttons. Nothing particularly exciting about this, but you can fake out your opponent into thinking you don’t have a specialist near a button which may influence them into leaving the objective unguarded.
The related point to this is that TO infiltrators make for great last turn point dumps to secure a quadrant or zone in area control missions. Your opponent did some math to secure a zone, and you can upset that math with 30ish points that appear out of nowhere.
You can also use these models as hacking gotcha pieces, hacking another hacker, heavy infantry, etc. that walks by. A favorite trick of one of my ALEPH opponents is to leave a Daysu KHD within the repeater area of one of my Morans, just waiting for my Interventor to cybermask or for Mary to try and shoot someone. Sure, he’s gotta contend with the Koalas later, but taking out an important specialist or worse, my lieutenant, is worth the risk.
One other gotcha dream that I’ve had but have never successfully pulled off is the shotgunning of an entire link as it walks by. Best I’ve done to date was hitting two triad members during a long skill climb order with unopposed dice.
What I really want to discuss, though, is the TO combi rifle. It’s a real workhorse profile. Using Angus, the linked Fusilier combi rifle as the straw man, we have the following numbers for active-turn Spektr within 16″:
Yeah, duh. TO makes a difference. Tell you something you don’t already know, right? Well, what happens when the first Fusilier dies and you hunt down another combi-toting cheerleader?
That’s fun, the numbers aren’t much better than shooting at full 5-man linked Fusilier from earlier! But what if you back up to just outside of 16″, staying in cover?
Now we’re talking! You’re basically invincible! Of course, a savvy opponent will dodge:
So what’s the point of all this discussion and numbers? Well, to make you think very carefully about positioning. Rangebands are extremely important in Infinity, and I’d argue that you want to leverage them as much as possible to keep your expensive and often fragile TO camo troopers safe.
TO also lets you move through open lines of fire safely, assuming you can cross the gap with a full 8″ move. Going back to our ideal scenario of shooting at a 4-man linked Fusilier outside of 16″, what if you were able to leverage your TO to get to position where you can get the Fusilier out of cover? Even if they dodge, the odds are almost 50% that you’ll drop the Fusilier in one order:
So watch your rangebands, get into an optimal position, and leverage that TO! We’ll talk about more ways to leverage TO, how to deploy, and when to reveal in this month’s upcoming mid-mission update!
Good hunting, Bromads!
One thought on “Mission 012: From Thin Air”
Played a game using my Tunguska this past weekend. My Spektr sniper was able to kill two members of a Janissary link team and basically lock down 3/4 of the board from a really strong rooftop position. Even giving the Janissary team +3 for being a 5-man team, and having suprirse shot negated by Sixth Sense L2, the Spektr was able to have a huge advantage because he was able to pop out while they were in bad range and out of cover. Hidden deployment is such a huge advantage because they can’t even plan around a marker to position against.
The biggest thing to focus on, for me, when it comes to using a piece like that is making sure to use them as a scalpel rather than a buzz saw. They are certainly a finesse piece that requires discipline. It can be very tempting to want to pop out in the reactive turn to try to hit a member of a fireteam that can’t fire back. Unless you’re looking at a very soft target that happens to also be the only specialist in the link or it’s their last order, it is rarely worth it.
My best experiences with the Spektrs is having them around to dig my real heavy-hitter (the Kriza) out of a tough spot. For this, I’ll often use either a KHD Spektr (when it’s a hacker trying to isolate/immobilize Kriza) or the boarding shotgun Spektr (for when a link team is all lined up behind a building while one model is waiting for Kriza to activate. In my active turn, having a Spektr pop out of hidden deployment to punish an opponent who may have over-extended, or left their cheerleaders undefended makes them worth every point. Spektrs in a vacuum are very fragile and may not be that effective, but when they compliment a piece like Kriza, they can really deliver.