It’s time for the major Adepticon release for Infinity by Corvus Belli, which if you’ve not been keeping up, is a rework of the Bakunin Jurisdictional Command, one of the Nomads Sectorial armies, with a release box firmly centred on their Observance units. This is, oddly enough, Infinity’s second lot of catholic-themed space warriors, with a more culty vibe than the Military Orders. In terms of lore, the Neo-Catholic church is based in PanOceanian territory and has a vested interest in their political structure. It also accepts the role of the Aleph AI in running the workings of the Human Sphere. This caused a schism with some hard-line religious nutjobs who considered Aleph fairly satanic, so they fled to join the Nomads. All caught up?
On the table, these are just profiles within Nomads/Bakunin. Infinity does not have any restrictions on how you combine Observance units with other Nomads, the only in-game manifestation of theme is these units can typically form Fireteams together, and maybe keep Composition Bonuses while mixing some of their units. Of course the details of how that works within Bakunin will now be tweaked.
This is quite a welcome change because the competitive consensus is that Observance units are a sidenote in Bakunin, rarely included in strong lists. All their units are Medium Infantry, IE expensive 1W models which pay a lot for specialist skills, equipment and ARM3 without having the real security a second Wound brings. They do have some good points, Reverend Moiras are theoretically very strong gunfighters with Mimetism-6 and NCO, the Custodiers offer strong hacking including pitchers, Healers are serviceable doctors and they can all Fireteam together. What’s the problem? Partly, points cost. These capabilities are all good but the cost adds up, there is no cheap Fireteam filler. It’s hard to leverage expensive Fireteams with 1W, because beyond their inherent fragility, you’re very vulnerable to assault with template weapons. The other problem is their competition. Bakunin features Riot Grrls, which are a superb Fireteam unit. They can link with cheap Moderators, or by investing in only Grrls, plus the excellent support characters Fiddler and/or Avicenna, you can create a full Core team with composition bonuses. The latter is a true wrecking ball, with effective 2W and good dodging it is far more versatile and resilient than an Observance team. This problem is mirrored in other Bakunin units. Custodiers are good hackers, but most lists will just take Zoe and Pi-Well, who are excellent. Sin Eaters are pretty much dead weight against savvy opponents, because they’re purely Reactive tools and a good player will be able to deal with them. As you’d expect, the Observance units are an even rarer site in vanilla Nomads, with none considered on-meta picks.
This is our first look at what might change that state of affairs, gladdening the hearts of religious fanatics everywhere, so let’s dive in!
What we know so far
Muesterkrux: We don’t have the full sectorial list yet, so we only know about the new models/profiles being released and what models are allowed in Fireteams. As such, we can’t confirm if Prowlers, Zeroes and Uberfallkommando remain in BJC (but we assume they are), and we’re not sure of the exact AVA of Remotes (but let’s assume there are no marked differences from classic Bakunin here either).
Genghis Cohen: Yeah, I’m fairly confident that these new profiles, which are largely Sectorial-exclusive, will be added but we won’t see anything taken away from the Sectorial by comparison, it would be considered unnecessarily punishing existing players, and the background video released this week does make it clear the Observancy is not the only force within Bakunin. I am faintly hopeful we’d get tweaks to those non-Observancy profiles, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
Musterkrux: I walked into this reveal having already convinced myself that the RiotGrrls were going to be sent off to Starco and the Taskmaster, Morlocks and Moderators put onto Desk Duties until a new home could be found for them but I am pleasantly surprised and ready to accept whatever changes, or lack thereof, are coming to the non-Observancy profiles.
Genghis Cohen: It is a relief, I’ve seen a few people online being very negative about that possibility, but Bakunin does appear to be keeping everything. Further, the developers have confirmed via their forums that profiles for at least Moiras, Custodiers, Sin Eaters will be reworked. Moiras particularly were mentioned as due to drop in cost. These updates should be in the Army builder on 23 Mar 23.
Disclaimer: CB have noted in the release video that all profiles may be subject to change. This has happened before, with details either being errors, or updated before the Army builder updates go live. So while our analysis is accurate to what’s shown in the video, bear in mind that things may change.
Orphans – Bakunin ONLY
Musterkrux: Well, this is certainly a profile that is priced to move. It’s got all of the sweet spots for Line Infantry: CC 18, BS 12, WIP 13, Arm 2 and then just a cheeky bit of Mimetism -3, Stealth and Religious (which I maintain is the weakest excuse for a discount you can put on a decent WIP model). I can’t even pick a favorite profile, you’ve got a budget Specialist, a Specialist with baked-in Repeater, an MSV-2 shooter and a 14 point LI with Mimetism -3, BS 12 and access to AP rounds via their SMG. Good thing they’re only AVA 3 otherwise I’d be taking a lot of them.
Genghis Cohen: I agree, these guys are good. Engineer options help any Sectorial a lot, since REMs are so efficient in Infinity and they solve a lot of problems hacking or special ammo can inflict on your most valuable models. It doesn’t look as if these can fill out Core teams (see the Fireteam section below), but it can hold a space in a Haris. I also think that the Multi Marksman option is a great budget gunfighter for a Haris team. Burst 4 and the MSV2/Mimetism-3 combo will let it break through most ARO threats if it can get within 24”, and Bakunin should still have great access to Impetuous smoke.
Initiated Observants – Bakunin ONLY
Genghis Cohen: An interesting parallel to existing Nomads drop troops, this brings a new capability to Bakunin. They did have Parachutist before in the form of the Meteor Zond, but as a Hacker this is broadly useful for classified Objectives. I don’t love a Parachutist Boarding Shotgun as a fighting piece, but it’s respectable with ARM2, Mimetism-3 and BS12. The Limited Camo / Infiltration version will probably see more play, particularly the Minelayer. AVA 1 is probably a relief since these could become Moran-level autotakes if supporting a hacking-heavy list. For comparison, Guilangs offer this sort of thing (minelayer with deployable repeaters) to Yu Jing, White Banner and White Company, and I rate them highly. Assuming Bakunin retains Zeroes and Prowlers, this enhances their ability to play the camo spam shell game.
Musterkrux: I’m trying really hard to take a step back and not just immediately focus on the Infiltrating Repeater option. I am trying and I am failing. OK, I can do this: ‘The Parachutist KHD is a very well priced AD specialist and would be an excellent addition to any list.’ The decision to make this unit AVA 1 is killing me because I want the Infiltrating Repeater and the Parachutist KHD but I completely understand why CB made this decision.
Reverend Cenobites – Bakunin ONLY
Musterkrux: So, Teuton Knights with Mimetism -6, huh? Yeah, they’re pretty OK (Narrator: they were very OK). You can plug them into Reverend and Observance Fireteams as cheap filler and laugh your way to the bank. The weapon options are middling, not terrible but you’re not getting premium hardware for 21 points either, friend. These will be solid performers in a Fireteam but probably not your MVP in every game.
Genghis Cohen: Probably the stand-out new reveal for me. Cheap ‘warband HI’ are great models to have in a Sectorial. The comparison to Teutons struck me as well. These guys will be horrendous defensive speed bumps and offensive close assault pieces. AVA is not given, but the Fireteams chart (see below) indicates that you can take at least 2. All of the close-range options are formidable, I probably prefer the chain rifle/flash pulse the most, since it can ARO at most ranges and still has B3 Heavy Pistols for active turn forks. I also think the HRL has huge value as a versatile ARO/attack piece from a pure Core Fireteam. Once again, the Impetuous discount on Core-linkable troops has created a monster. End this madness CB.
Penitent – Bakunin ONLY
Musterkrux: Ahh, everyone loves a good Super Heavy Infantry model.Normally I’m pretty down on models with Red Furys in the current game but toss in a E/M grenade launcher or an E/marat and suddenly you’ve got a weapon for every occasion. Put her into a Haris and let that Burst 3 E/M Grenade launcher fly on direct shots. Why speculate when you can devastate? There’s also absolutely nothing wrong with an AP-Spitfire.
Genghis Cohen: I absolutely love this kind of thing, it’s true! Can’t join the Core Fireteam unfortunately (see Fireteams below) but yeah this is a beast. BS13, ARM5, Mimetism-3 gunfighter with an effectively Burst 5 weapon? Yes please, lead my Haris team. I also wholly agree that while an AP Spitfire is damn good already, that B3 E/M in a link would be devastating in the right circumstances. A real TAG-killer, Burst 3 on E/M is super rare and that’s for good reason. My only moan is that these are Bakunin Only, like the Cenobites, I would see no reason to keep them out of vanilla Nomads since their biggest strength is in Fireteams. But I may be biased.
I’ve seen some people online criticize this profile as not bringing enough for the points, and I think that’s nuts, and possibly a sign of warped expectations for optimized profiles. It’s got ARM, Mimetism, Wounds and the right weaponry and BS. It can’t be much cheaper, unless it had an Impetuous discount, and again, that would be madness.
New Dire Foe ‘Agatha Wabara’ – Nomads and Bakunin
Musterkrux: Normally I hate expensive named characters in Infinity. They always have extreme rules and points bloat and feel really fragile for their cost. Agatha? Agatha is very playable. Also, CB gets big points for bringing out a named female character that doesn’t look like a recently conscripted supermodel. I’ll take the Vulkan Shotgun every day of the week but I am a broken human being.
Genghis Cohen: I’m on the fence. Some definite possibilities here. But I see a tension between being a great Doctor, so you’d want to keep her safe and support other models, and the fact she’s a high priced, Dogged/Shock Immune bruiser, who could be thrown into an attack. She could fit well into a Fireteam as a secondary point model and still be a useful Doctor; or you could commit to her as an individual piece and take 1-2 Servant bots. Vulkan shotguns are nice, but for the former role I’d also strongly consider the breaker, which raises her lethality against a lot of units.
Musterkrux: Vulkan. Shotgun.
Robin. Hook, outlaw AI – Nomads and Bakunin (and more?)
Musterkrux: Tied with Casanova for the most punchable face in the Human Sphere but she’s what you’d get if a Moran had a baby with Bran do Castro. Look at that gorgeous Stealthy, Super-Jumping, Climbing-Plus, Fire-and-Forget Pitcher. She’s going to be great fun to put on the table. Please note that you will be tried as a war criminal if you put her into a Haris with Chaksa Longarms. You monster.
Genghis Cohen: I heard that if you appear at a tournament with Chaksa Longarms models, HellLois arrives in a van and some nice men in white coats take you quietly away.
Joking aside, her use case is definitely as a repeater that can go where you want it, tanking or Cautious Moving past AROs, like a less efficient but more persistent Heckler with Fast Panda. I don’t think it will replace that infamous profile in Nomads, but it’s very interesting that Bakunin will be able to do something similar.
Stigmata – Nomads and Bakunin (with a SWC discount)
Musterkrux: Oh sweet AI-hating BDSM Jesus, did somebody just hand my Nomad army a Remote Presence TAG that is…*checks notes*…also a Hacker? OK, I’m listening. Burst 3 is not what you’d call a typical Main Battle TAG (MBT) loadout but Damage 15, Cover-ignoring Continuous Damage will absolutely do work and even if the Stigmata loses a F2F roll or two due to being only BS 13 and Burst 3 on the HRL, you’ve got a low-risk opportunity to repair it with your Engineer Orphans, Zoe, or even a Clockmaker.
In other factions I love taking the Triphammer as a cheap and dirty corner-fighter and that’s a 2.5 STR TAG for 52 points. BJC getting a similar platform that trades a Heavy Shotgun for a Heavy Flamethrower as well as everything else it’s got going for it is a pretty sweet deal. If the Stigmata was significantly more expensive, say 65-70 points I’d likely be far more critical of it but it sits in the budget TAG price range and that makes it kind of amazing.
Have you ever wanted to just slap that annoying Hacker that is constantly ARO-Total Controlling your TAG as it stomps up the field? Well, fuck that guy: Stigmata will hack them back, with a -3 penalty on them and if you’re really feeling it, why not get one of your EVO hackers to stack a Firewall mod on top of your TAG-Hacker? Genghis will say something mean about my precious Stigmata, your job is to ignore his hateful words and bask in the glory of our beautiful robot child.
Genghis Cohen: You’re right, I am going to say something mean. Fair and balanced reporting, that’s us. This unit is interesting, but can’t decide what it wants to be. I am keen to see it in action. My instinct is that while being a Hacker and having ECM is a nice protection against enemy hackers, introducing such an expensive unit (relative to most hackers) into an infowar battle is counterproductive. If you commit this thing to go and hack something, well there are other units that can do it better and cheaper. If you send it to shoot or flame something, again there are better gunfighters and equally good assault templates in the Sectorial. It can combine these and is quite resilient for its points. But I’m not sure that’s competitive with the other stuff Bakunin can do.
I will say that as a Remote Presence TAG which can Duo with an efficient engineer (the Orphans) its potential is extended. I’d be interested to see if it can Duo in vanilla Nomads – they’re a strong faction but currently their Duo options are dire.
How it fits: Fireteam Chart
Genghis Cohen: While the Riot Grrl team remains unchanged, as does the Taskmaster/Morlock Haris, Moderators can now only be the basis of Duo or Haris teams, and I note that Orphans are the only Observance type which can join them. Clearly, no cheap filler Core teams for Bakunin anymore, although there is still utility in a cheap defensive Haris for the excellent Riot Grrl missile, or to attach 2 cheap Moderators, perhaps with a pitcher as well, to any of the Wildcards, a Grrl spitfire, or maybe FTO Pi-Well.
Musterkrux: Wait wait wait. They let me keep my RiotGrrls and Taskmaster-Morlock Haris? Have I died? Is this heaven?
Genghis Cohen: I know, right? Focussing on the new stuff, Observancy gets the chance to form pure, composition-bonus having Core teams with most of their stuff, but no Orphans (so the minimum cost will remain high) and no Penitents, which would have been a nice active turn gunfighting spearhead. To see if this Core Fireteam option is competitive will depend on changes to the existing profiles, but with up to 2 Cenobites, which I would expect to see in any 5-model Core, the option is looking more viable.
The Observance Haris teams are also interesting. Composition bonuses don’t mean much to a Haris but this is where you can support the formidable Penitent or Kusanagi with cheap, useful Orphans and/or a cost effective close-combat Cenobite.
Finally, Bakunin can now Duo either of its TAGs with an Orphan engineer. I see this as a good choice if you’re taking either option. While the Lizard can certainly benefit from engineer support, the Stigmata can especially combo with the 23-pt Orphan engineer which brings a Repeater, and has Stealth. It would allow the player to set up hacking attacks with a Firewall mod and ECM (Hacker)-3. There’s some real potential here despite my reservations about the Stigmata as a unit.
Info we’re missing
Genghis Cohen: I think the big one is how will existing profiles, particularly Moiras, Custodiers, Healers, change? What about my poor Sin-Eater Observants? We’ve had confirmed that all these will change, explicitly Moiras becoming cheaper, but the details matter. I would predict relatively minor tweaks rather than complete re-imaginings.
Musterkrux: I’m hoping Mother Healer Agatha’s access to Immunity: Shock is extended to Moiras. I love them but dang are they expensive for models that have a coinflip chance of falling over any time a template even looks at them. Anything to help with their survivability would be appreciated, OK, thanks, bye. Honestly, I suspect there will be minimal changes to Moiras, Custodiers and Healers. They’re all roughly in the right spot as elite MI.
If Uberfalkommando remain in BJC at any AVA I will be incredibly happy. Zeroes and Prowlers are quite welcome to stay but I’d understand if CB wanted to sub them out for pieces like Robin Hook and Initiated Observants. But, together? Oh, the Camo Shell Games I would play…
Genghis Cohen: I think all the old profiles will stay in. But I have no source for that, just based on CB’s general trends.
Musterkrux: Now Sin-Eaters? There’s a profile that needs a glow-up badly. If PanO can have Helots for as long as 9 points surely we can chip away at Sin Eaters and get them down to a more reasonable cost? Until CB can do something to make them more attractive to use than Total Reaktion Zonds, which are Burst 4 in both Active and ARO, I’m really going to struggle to pay 29-31 points for a purely reactive piece, as utterly unique as their capability set might be.
Genghis Cohen: Fully agree. Personally I’d pay at least their current cost for Total Reaction Sin-Eaters, Neurocinetics is just a very difficult skill to work with except on disposable units like Helots. Alternatively I’d love to see Shock Immune (or even Total Immune, if I’m being greedy) to give them some synergy with Bakunin’s excellent Doctors. Most of all, if they’re still intended to function as these hard stop AROs, I think they need some combo of Sixth Sense or MSV. Their main problem, besides investing a lot of points and SWC in a purely Reactive unit, is that every good player will have a way to punk them safely.
Genghis Cohen: I suppose my starting question for the new stuff was, does it top the current Riot Grrls team? It’s impossible to tell without knowing the final profiles for Moiras, Healers and Custodiers as well. But we can see from the Fireteams chart that Bakunin will at least be able to leverage the excellent Cenobites into both Core and Haris teams. As much as I’ve missed out as a cometime vanilla Nomads player, I’m also glad to see some Sectorial-exclusive content. I have been banging on for ages about how I think CB should do this kind of stuff more, as vanilla is basically so packed that nothing stands out unless it’s hypertuned, undercosted nonsense. This approach will let them develop more Sectorial identity without overloading the older vanilla Factions.
Musterkrux: I’m not sure if this is a unique observation but in my recent experience BJC was already performing very well as a Sectorial and didn’t need too much of a tune up (well, except the Observance pieces, which were kinda junk). So, if CB are going to glow-up Observance and then just cram them into BJC without taking out the existing high-performing pieces, I think we have a pretty amazing sectorial heading our way.
Also, thank you to CB for producing another Kusanagi model that I will have to buy.
Genghis Cohen: Yeah, in short I think these new profiles, both Fireteam-friendly and supporting specialist pieces, add a lot of variety to Bakunin. They’re no longer just the Riot Grrl, Zoe/Pi-Well, Uberfallkommando show. Because while they have been very strong, their competitive lists were previously very same-y. This blows the doors off. I think there will be mass list-building analysis paralysis between Core teams (Reverends or Riot Grrls) and Haris (Observance or Taskmaster/Morlocks). Bring on the themed lists!
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