Catching Snowflakes: Foreign Company

An article by    Competitive Play Infinity        0

Welcome back to Catching Snowflakes, our series of tactics articles covering the less popular or prolific factions of Infinity. In this week’s article we’re talking about Foreign Company.

Ok, story time:

Long-Stride worked furiously with his favorite stick, carving troughs into the gravel, as Round-Yellow-Warm shone down upon him. Tak-Tak-Tak. With his other hand he scratched his simian chin and pondered why he had been tasked with the solemn duty of searching through the ash and ruins of the Before-Happen. The Matriarchs had conferred and agreed that he was no longer an infant and, as an adult male, was now excluded from the community until he had proven his worth. The quest allocated to him was one commonly given to young males upon coming of age: Sift through the ruins of the Before-Happen and come back with some useful knowledge gleaned from the sprawling city-graves the Hairless-Apes had all migrated to before they all mysteriously died. If there was some sort of danger that took them all away in the Before-Happen, the matriarchs were determined to know more about it in case it fell upon the people of Bonobo again in the Will-Happen. They would be ready.

Don’t pretend you don’t love it (terrible photoshop credit: Musterkrux)

The stick contingued to gouge deep trenches as Long-Stride focused his efforts on an area that seemed to have softer gravel than others. Tak-tak-tak. Perhaps it was a breed of particularly venomous Long-Scale-Bites? They were ever a danger to the community.

Long-Stride’s stick jarred as it struck something hard underneath the gravel. He brushed away some detritus and saw something he knew was special. Something that the matriarchs would rejoice in and welcome him back into the community, recognising him as a fully fledged adult male! Quiet-Wall-Speech. Though few understood the language and none could speak it, all of Clan Bonobo understood that any words the Hairless-Apes saw fit to engrave upon a flat surface was surely a matter of great importance. You could not hear it with your ears but you could hear it with your eyes if you were trained in the weirding ways by the Matriarchs.

Long-Stride furiously scrabbled at the dirt, ash and gravel as he sought to uncover the full mystery of the Quiet-Wall-Speech. His mind raced as he considered the possibilities. Was this a warning from the Hairless Apes? “Beware Warm-Green-Hard”? Clan Bonobo already knew about the cursed, glowing metal and sickness it inevitably brought with it but perhaps this was a another warning? Perhaps a clue regarding the location of the Safe-Jungle-SanDiego, where the first of Clan Bonobo had emerged during the Before-Happen to discover that the world was empty. The stories were that this place was lost but any apes that found the Safe-Jungle-SanDiego would be blessed for all of the Will-Happen to come.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Long-Stride finally uncovered the full Quiet-Wall-Speech and marveled in its complexity. He did not understand it but he knew how to transcribe it. He used his favorite stick to copy the angular shapes and lines, tracing lines through the dirt as he memorised every symbol one by one. It took him hours and hundreds of repetitions before he could replicate the Quiet-Wall-Speech from memory. Round-Yellow-Warm had sunk down and day was becoming night, but Long-Stride was satisfied now. The secret of the Quiet-Wall-Speech was his and he would be welcomed back into the Clan for this. He took one last look at the original message, as well as its many, many imperfect copies traced in the dirt around it before bounding away back to his family:

Hannibal Sucks. Hannibal Sucks. HANNIBAL SUCKS. Hannibal Sucks. Hannibal Sucks.

 

You say Securitate, I say Securitato (Photo credit: Musterkrux)

Welcome to another article in the Chasing Snowflakes series. In case the short story above didn’t give it away, this week’s article is about how Hannibal Sucks…Foreign Company (ForCo for short, seeing as nobody ever liked my forced-meme of 4Co…ungrateful wretches…), the sectorial that blends PanO’s no-nonsense, efficient market, straight-shooters with Nomad’s Sarte-esque radical freedom party animals and then adds a little bit of pop-culture flavor with a nod to the A-team.

What do you need to know about ForCo? Well, it’s got the A-team in it. For example, Hannibal is like Hannibal from the A-team; Valkyrie is like Mr-T from the A-team…if Mr T was a female science-fiction viking; Senor Massacre is like Deadpool from the A-team …if Deadpool was in the A-team; and Laxmee is like…well, OK, I guess this was a terrible metaphor that fell over somewhere between Space-Viking and Deadpool.

Unique Value Propositions (UVP) of Foreign Company

“I love it when a good pop culture reference comes to together” (Photo credit: Musterkrux)

Why take Foreign Company? What does it do that Tunguska or Neo-Terra doesn’t? Understanding what ForCo brings to the party that no-one else does is an important part of deciding whether you want to snowflake in this direction or not.

Foreign Company cherry picks a few delicious units from PanO and Nomads, as well as scattering in some cheap assets like CSU and War Cors to give you a list with some great capabilities without skewing it into an Elites-only faction. Getting access to the Kriza Borac, Uberfallkommando, Zeroes, Bolt MSV 1 Snipers, as well as Orcs as efficient shooter profiles all in one sectorial is like getting the best pieces of Bakunin, Tunguska and PanO with minimal downsides.

Did you ever want to take two War Cors? In N3, everyone would jump at the chance. These days? Less so. However, there’s still merit in having these ultra-cheap pieces occupying space (and orders). ForCo gets to double the whistle-blowing on your opponent’s war crimes. How could you possibly say no to that?

ForCo also brings a lot of powerful and unique character pieces that plug into fireteams as needed. Pardon the pun, it’s a really characterful sectorial that really sells Infinity’s leitmotif of ‘small squads of RPG characters involved in corporate espionage’. Play ForCo if you want to be the local player that has named every model in their list and written up a backstory for each of them. I leave it to your discretion as to whether you share your ‘Bolt/Securitate forbidden love slash-fic-ship with your local meta, though. They don’t understand you like I do.

Strengths of Foreign Company

“I’m only going to Axe you this once…” (Photo credit: Musterkrux)

We’ve already touched on the ability of ForCo to pull a few key pieces out of other factions and blend them nicely together but I get paid by word count [Ed: Hush. Nobody tell him otherwise] so let’s go back and discuss every unit in painstaking detail

Kriza Borac: Quite fond of this fellow for many reasons. It’s noteworthy that he comes to ForCo with his Securitate friends, as well as catch up with PanO Bolts, giving you a wide selection of Veterans to season your list with and let you leverage the Lieutenant option with callus disregard for their safety.

Decent mid-field pieces and AD troops, taking Zeroes from Nomads, Crocmen from PanO as well as the Akalis (which is a severely underrated budget BS 13 shooter), you’ve got a fair bit of flexibility in controlling the mid-field or pushing specialists onto objectives without having to footslog across the table to get there.

Valkyrie and Avicenna are the team that are here to chew gum and overthrow the patriarchy and they’re all outta gum. Having Valk walk into combat with someone and then Berserk them with her PH 16 EXP-CCW (that crits on 15+) while leveraging her Total Immunity to take a single hit back that can’t possibly KO her and then have Avicenna top her back up is some Grade-A shenanigans.

Hacking. Starting with Laxmee, who is a HD+ that comes with Fairy Dust (and a Pitcher…aaannnnddd WIP 14, BTS 6, all at an amazing price) and moving through access to 6th Sense Hackers (Securitate in Fireteams), Marker-state/Hidden Deployment hackers (Zeroes and Crocmen, both HD and KHD options), as well as your Peacemakers extending your Hacking Zones way out there from Turn 1, ForCo can actually play a pretty cute Hacking game if it really wants to. It’s not advertised on the box, so you might be able to surprise your opponent with a few key hacking pieces tucked away in your list.

Uberfallkommando warrants a mention here. If you’ve got the chops to deliver that Chimera to a target with a few Pupniks in tow you will utterly wreck whatever she looks at. Your opponent might make a few furry jokes during the deployment phase but be the better person and help them pick their jaw up off the floor after your ‘furry’ demolishes their favorite TAG or elite Fireteam at the top of Round 1. However, please note that Uberfallkommandos, like jokes, are all about the delivery. Use those Eclipse grenades and Climbing Plus to circumvent any conventional AROs or defence setups that you can’t be bothered dealing with in an honest fashion.

Weaknesses of Foreign Company

Krizxa Borac and two PanO remotes

“Hurr Hurr, bullet printer goes Brrrrrtttt” (photo credit: Musterkrux)

In a game where taking a TAG in a list has been greatly incentivised, giving ForCo access to the Iguana (and only the Iguana) is the sort of thumb-biting bullshit disrespect that started the feud between the Montague and the Capulets. Fight me, Hellois.

Additionally, ForCo feels like it’s about 1-2 dirt cheap cheerleaders (we’re talking Flashy Bois or other sub-10 point Regular orders) short of being able to run solid 15-order lists. I often feel like I’m compromising on my last 1-2 models to make everything fit into the list. Though, this may be a feature and not a bug when it comes to ForCo’s design.

Hannibal. Hannibal is a weakness of ForCo. You might think he’s a selling point being, you know, the poster boy for the entire goddamned sectorial but he’s junk (I mean, he probably isn’t trash but I find it much easier to shit on something for shock value and easy lulz than to engage in good faith discussion about the pros and cons of units that aren’t first order optimal). He’s really expensive for a 1.5 Wound (even if he is Shock Immune) model with only moderately good weapons and no Mimetism or other shooting-tech. Fundamentally, my issue with Hannibal is that in comparison to a Kriza Borac he brings so little to the table with his niche toys. Sure, you can slip him into a Fireteam but when you compare the extra points-spend you have to make to get him to even compete with the Kriza you’re losing out. Oh, you might say, but Musterkrux…he’s got WIP 14, a Biomeric Visor and Discover (+3), think about how useful that is. The only thing Hannibal will discover is the Upper-Decker I left in his ensuite…

The full A-Team fireteam. You might be tempted to throw Hannibal, Valkyrie, Laxmee and Senor Massacre into a fireteam with either an Orc or a Bolt but this is a trap, friend. At absolute, rock bottom cheapest it’s still 138 points and pointless. If you upgraded your non-character Fireteam-glue model into an ORC HMG just to give you a decent shooter, suddenly you’re paying full Pain Train prices for a jumble of capabilities being carted around on relatively fragile profiles. It’s Snowflake As Hell, so do it just to spite me but don’t tell anyone I said it was a good idea.

Sample Foreign Company Lists

Senor Massacre and the Kaplans (terrible band name, photo credit: Musterkrux)

The B-Team

Sure, the sales pitch on ForCo revolves around picking your favorite Soldiers of Fortune and going ham with them but…what if we didn’t? If you squint hard enough, ForCo is a Nomad sectorial that gives you Zeroes, Kriza Borac and Uberfalkommando all under one banner, while also throwing in some PanO to taste. As Gordan Ramsey might be inclined to say: “Finally, some good fucking food.

Let’s explore what it might look like if we pretend that Valkyrie never did get on that plane (foo’):

Army Code: g4sPZm9yZWlnbi1jb21wYW55ASCBLAIBCQB6AQQAAHoBBAAAegEEAACBsgECAACBsgEHAACDugEFAAAEAQoAAAQBCQAABAEDAAIGAIGRAQgAABMBAQAAgZEBBgAAgaYBBAAAJgEBAAAkAQEA

Fireteam Core: Securitate HMG, Securitate Hacker, CSU Specialist x3

Fireteam Haris: Bolt MSV 1 Sniper, Bolt Paramedic, Bolt BSG and Drop Bears

Kriza Borac Lt with HMG


Zero (FO)

Zero (KHD)

Fugazi Remote (Flashy Boi)

Chimera with 3x Pupniks

Mulebot

Peacemaker with Heavy Shotgun and Auxbot

What we’re doing here is leaning into the idea that a Lt Kriza Borac will solve all of your problems and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Except kill them, good thing you have multiple Securitate and Bolts in play to give you enough orders to punish someone who over extends trying to Kap your Kriza. You’ve got the Securitate Hacker working through the Peacemaker’s Repeater to provide some 6th-Sense area denial and if someone tries to cheekily Killer-Hack your Securitate then your Zero KHD can force them to make some unpleasant decisions about burst allocation. You’ve got a varied toolbox of attack pieces, so if the HMGs can’t solve a problem, you’ve got other options.

 

Double Haris

This is the list you play when you want some nice things but can’t afford to have all the nice things.

Army Code: g4sPZm9yZWlnbi1jb21wYW55ASCBLAIBCgAEAQMAAAUBAwAAEwEBAACBzgECAACB6wEBAACFPwECAACFQAEBAACBsgEBAACBsgEBAACDugEFAAIFADIBAQAAMgEBAAB6AQQAAHoBBAAAegEEAA%3D%3D

Fireteam Core: Valkyrie with Multi-Rifle, Avicenna, and Bolt BSG and Dropbears

Fireteam Haris: ORC HMG, Laxmee, Senor Massacre with BSG

Kriza Borac Lt with HMG

Fugazi Dronbot

Securitate with Combirifle x2


War Cor (360 Visor) x2

CSU (specialist) x2

CSU (BSG) x1

The gist of this list is that you’ve got three really heavy hitters in your primary group while your second combat group represents more of a disposable bubblewrap/ARO group. Those CSU will be excellent corner guards for stopping people coming in to bully your Kriza or ORC HMG at close range. Valkyrie gets the Multi-rifle so that she can push hard in the mid-ranges at Burst 4 (normally, she gets the Shotgun), while Avicenna keeps her in the game and the Bolt can chuck some cheeky Drop Bears around. The ORC HMG does #JustBS14Things while supported by Laxmee and Senor Massacre (who can slingshot out of the Haris and just punch people to death if needed). It’s a cute list, not convinced it’s a good one though. However, it doesn’t have Hannibal in it, so it can’t be terrible, amiright?

 

Conclusion

Foreign Company is an incredibly characterful and unique sectorial that doesn’t get as much coverage in the wider discussion of infinity, which is quite unfortunate. I suggest we blame all of those ruthless optimisers who refuse to play any sectorial that doesn’t have an Apex Predator TAG or other broken shit. We hates them, we does. If you spent too much of your childhood watching re-runs of 80’s action shows and pitying fools then I suggest that you give ForCo a chance. Just remember to be like Long-Stride, learn from the mistakes of the Hairless Apes of the Before-Happen: Hannibal sucks.

Next time on Catching Snowflakes we’ll look at one of N3’s darlings. A faction that people assumed was terrible until it proved that the only thing worse for your health than one Libertos…is two.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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