Infinity Faction Focus: Neoterran Capitaline Army (NCA)

An article by    Competitive Play Gaming Infinity        0

The venerable Neoterran Capitaline Army is one of the oldest sectorials in Infinity and it feels like it. The design space for NCA is fundamentally basic in a way that no other faction in Infinity is. There are no fancy tricks, no unique capabilities, no warbands, no skirmishers – this is a faction that lives and dies in the standard-issue gunfight. The NCA isn’t even really an army, as such – it’s an over-funded police department, and it fights like one. The sectorial has a big emphasis on sacrificial remotes, terrible specialists and dudes who are just extremely good at winning gunfights.

 

Faction Overview

NeoTerra is the capital world of the PanOceanian hyperpower. It’s the city-world of every cyberpunk dream – sweeping, massive skyscrapers, neon, chrome, encapsulating the full breadth of humanity. It’s the seat of hypercorporations, of PanOceania’s mighty industry, the financial and technological hub of the entire Human Sphere. Its security forces are likewise equipped – the idea being in the heart of shadowy corporate technowar, the government can throw more money at the problem of crime than any of the potential criminals.

The NCA is a shockingly limited sectorial, PanOceania at it’s most PanOceanist. It’s almost a skew faction, there to make your opponent feel like they wasted their time in building an interconnected army designed to take down a wide range of threats. NCA just wants to have gunfights. Ideally it’d like to have so many gunfights that it just wins based on statistics. Accordingly, this is a faction with a high skill floor – there aren’t any complicated rules to keep in mind so it’s very welcoming to a new player looking to pick up the game for the first time. Even better, because your army is so good at gunfighting then your opponent will only be able to get an advantage over you by using weird tricks, letting you learn how to take down hard targets with inferior forces. It does have a commensurately low skill ceiling, though, rendering it a slightly below average faction in overall strength.

Credit: Corvus Belli

The Core Link

NCA has the choice of two: Fusiliers or Bolts.

Neoterran Bolts, long the butt of many jokes, have gained a new threat in the new edition with the acquisition of the Marksmanship rule across all profiles and the addition of the spooky MSV1 sniper who stands as a peer to the other best sniper in the game, the Kamau. The other fireteam is the most agonizingly standard fireteam of any fireteam, five fusiliers with absolutely nothing special going on.

The Bolt link is expensive. Bolts are fantastic gunfighters and have great equipment but good grief do you pay a lot for them – they’re at the same price point as Invincibles with half the durability. For that cost, though, you get a link that cannot be hacked and with a variety of excellent tricks like Drop Bears, E/M mines, a BTS hacker. A full luxury Bolt link, with the hacker, sniper, paramedic, Shona and an Aquiia FTO runs you 161 points which is superheavy link prices and with the very real chance of all evaporating to a single chain rifle shot. It’s basically the swingiest, least resilient glass cannon link you can buy – but it’s mostly immune to hacking, entirely immune to jammers and E/M, and ludicrously good at winning gunfights, sweeping camouflage markers, while being able to defend itself in close combat.

The fusilier link is the most vanilla link possible and it is by no means bad because of that. Even five fusiliers, one paramedic and one sniper, runs you 60 points, gives you five orders, a decent skill-check overwatch for factions that avoid bringing real guns while not over-investing against factions that bring amazing guns. Also it does not pay at all to underestimate linked fusiliers in active. A combi rifle is just a good weapon, and BS12 is what most factions have on their mid-upper tier soldiers, and if you put an Aquiia guard in there the link now has serious punch at a good variety of range bands. It’s low overhead, low commitment, and a solid value add; there’s no reason to ever not take the fusilier link.

 

Unit Breakdown

Fusiliers

As I said in my Varuna article, fusiliers are one of the defining assets of PanOcenia. Lean, efficient, no-wastage profiles, the fusiliers do exactly what it says on the tin. Never underestimate a linked fusilier firing a combi rifle, she’s hitting harder than an ORC.

NCA is a faction that will naturally want to take multiple PanO remotes, which means it’ll naturally come with a strong Repeater network. For this reason it’s a great idea to add a fusilier hacker to leverage that. Even if you’re just targeting random opponents that are trying to sneak by your Peacemaker then that makes you even more likely to win gunfights than you already were. Otherwise I’d suggest keeping the profiles pretty basic, take a paramedic – perhaps even two if you’ve got an Aquiia guard in there and plan to use the link offensively – and a cheap missile launcher if you wind up with a little extra SWC after everything else.

Fusilier Indigo Bipandra

Still terrible. He is and always has been the worst profile in Infinity.

Fusilier Indigo Richard Quinn

He doesn’t have a role here – he’s competing directly with the vastly superior Aquilia Guard for his slot, or with the Black Friar. If you really need to save five points to make a list work, maybe.

Auxilia

That these are AVA total is one of the real strengths of NCA because these are great. You can flood the table with them as extremely efficient roadblocks, minesweepers, and corner guards. Being able to defend a corner or blunder into midfield baiting out camouflage and mines without risking the model’s order is a great asset – being able to have one of these guys be your lieutenant is exceptional, and having a specialist profile and a deployable repeater for cheap is incredible. A lot of NCA’s woes in contesting the midfield can be solved by your Auxilia so be sure to take a handful of them.

Deva Functionaries

These are difficult to place in relation to NCA. WIP15 means that these can serve as much higher shelf hackers than the fusilier, and NWI is very relevant if they’re just engaging killer hackers who don’t have access to Shock ammunition. They are, however, twice the price of a fusilier hacker and I’d honestly consider just taking two fusilier hackers instead. The Devas can also form a Haris team but I doubt it’s good – the MSV2 spitfire is neat, but again it competes with the Aquilia Guard, and the devabot profiles are just expensive auxilia.

CSU

These are great spice to add to a fusilier link. For an extra point or two you get to go to the casino, and almost all of the outcomes are very appealing for the CSU in this role. A fully linked CSU firing burst 3 nanopulsars can suicide down even extremely tough threats, or a phys-13 one can be decent at dodging through mines, any of the mobility options can add a surprising angle to your fusilier link’s advances.

Aida Swanson

I like Aida a lot in NCA because she represents an entirely unique capability – and the new edition was very kind to her. She’s a reasonable CC fighter, great close range gunfighter and comes with viral mines which are legit scary and somewhat unique as a threat in NCA. Booty is a great rule on her because she can make use of almost anything she gets – she’s got the martial arts to use a better CC weapon, and only short range guns so she appreciates any extended range bands she ends up with. She makes a great independent operative who can present a massive threat for a cheap price.

Hexas

The original thermo-optic sniper, the Hexas is one of the few ways to add any sort of trickery to NCA. There’s no frills here, just a big gun that your opponent doesn’t expect, but that’s still an extremely solid trick to have up your sleeve. The spitfire profile is reasonable as an independent gunfighter and sweeper, but it is a bit too fragile to be moving through midfield by itself. I don’t particularly rate the hacker profiles, they’re anti-synergy with the mimetism-6 and I’d rather have the two fusiliers.

Machinists

A vital support piece for the excellent PanO remotes, one of these with some palbots will see most lists.

Shona Carano

Although she’s only okay herself, she’s the only close combat specialist NCA gets and she can fill a space in a link. If you’re taking an expensive Bolt link then she’s definitely worth adding as a deterrent. Without smoke to assist her getting close she’s almost entirely a defensive pick but she’s a very good one for that role.

Warcors

Take one of these if you’ve got an empty army slot and can’t afford a tech bee.

Tech Bees

Brings a lot to NCA – NCA is remote heavy and light on things to spend command tokens on, so even if she’s just a five point order battery you’ll get your money’s worth.

Trauma Docs

It’s very difficult to make space for one of these when a linked fusilier paramedic can do that job just as effectively.

Indigo Captain Uma Sorensen

A ludicrously terrible profile.

 

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Neoterran Bolts

The Bolts represent consistently excellent gunfighters, with Marksmanship across the board to back up their BS13. The sniper is a very special mention because fully linked she hits almost anything in the game on 19’s and that’s about the best ballistic skill you’re ever going to see. It is, however, a colossal investment to get that up and fully linked; NCA lags far behind PanO’s other sectorials because you can’t put the amazing sniper in a cheap immobile fusilier link.

The rest of the Bolts aren’t bad to build a link team around but it’s an expensive proposition. It ranges from 120-160 points depending on how luxurious you make the team, which is a very expensive proposition for squishy single wound infantry. They may do a lot better in a Haris, even if it’s one you expect to break. The Bolt sniper up on overwatch linked to a Aquiia Guard and Bolt Paramedic is a neat little unit – if the sniper dies outright then the Aqulia can march out as a perfectly valid team of her+paramedic, and if she is merely wounded then the paramedic stands decent odds of getting her back on her feet. The Drop Bear Bolts are great picks because when linked they can throw two mines with a single order, and the hacker is actually a really good pick because BTS6 matters a lot in hacking duels while being immune to Isolation from enemy hackers. In my opinion they make the perfect backup haris team to defend the Aquiia Guard in the same way a Hsien is great at leading a haris of Imperial Agents in Imperial Service.

Black Friars

What strange profiles! The MSV2 sniper is straight up garbage in comparison to the new Bolt Sniper and the albedo profile is an extremely janky counter to stuff you’ll see maybe 20% of the time, tops. Unless you’re building against a very specific meta I’d give both of these a skip.

ORC troops

It’s really unfortunate the Orcs can’t join fusilier links in NCA as they can in every other PanO sectorial, making the Orcs far less attractive than they would be otherwise. I don’t really rate them at all, there’s just so much stuff out there that can hard counter expensive heavy infantry teams with no tricks.

Swiss Guard

The Swiss Guard is an absolutely magnificent piece. I ran the math on the missile launcher as an overwatch piece and it holds up shockingly well – with armour 8 in cover it can shrug off the odd HMG round that gets through its mimetism, it’ll instantly kill almost anything it hits in return, and the impact of high ballistic skill on a profile like this is huge. Noctifiers in the Combined Army are infamous for their hidden deployment missile launchers, but they’re not nearly as lethal as the Swiss – those extra few points of ballistic skill make a huge difference. Moreover, the Swiss missile launcher makes a similarly devastating active turn piece and comes packing a light shotgun for close-range work. It’s an excellent profile and I rate it extremely highly. The HMG is also great but I think the unique reactive capabilities of the missile launcher edge it out.

Aquiia Guard

The Aquila Guard FTO is the sectorial’s defining asset – a BS15 MSV specialist with a multi marksman rifle. In a full fireteam he’s one of the game’s absolute apex gunfighters – even in his bad rangebands he’s fighting like a fusilier HMG. The MSV3 allows the instant riskless takedown of any camo token that crosses his eye, negating the entire defensive strategy of some factions. He has no other assets, no close combat skills or template weapons, and as a result clocks in at a cool 50 points – which in comparison to one of the other rare MSV3 units, the Charontid, is a 20 point discount while coming in with higher BS. You can and should fit one of these in as the spearhead of whichever link team you’re running and feel confident taking gunfights even in non-ideal rangebands, there isn’t much in the game that can win a gunfight against a core linked Aquila.

Clausewitz Uhlans

This feels like such a goofy unit. It’s a 13 point premium over a Squlaos for camo, mimetism, and a secondary firearm that fills the same role and rangebands as its primary gun. What really kills it for me, though, is the lack of any sort of close range weapon – a huge amount of the Squalo’s value proposition is that it carries a pistol and the lack thereof renders the Uhlan a long range gunfighter in a sectorial comprised entirely of long range gunfighters.

Squalos

As I discussed in my Varuna article, the Squalos is one of PanOceania’s absolute hit models in the new edition. Dirt cheap for a main battle tag, ECM and if necessary a firewall from an EVO to make it extremely resistant to hacking, a sidearm that lets it leverage its great ballistic skill at close range, synergy with a huge range of excellent PanO remotes, and the option to take a damage 15 grenade launcher that you can use to speculative fire at camo tokens or clumped enemy link teams. It’s the price tag of a basic TAG while having just enough ability to resist or overcome the weaknesses of a basic TAG.

The Squalos is not as tempting in NCA as in Varuna, however – the synergy with Varuna’s excellent defensive setup is part of what makes the Squalos so powerful there. It’s still a great piece that won’t blow out your points budget, but the Aquilia and Swiss duo are where the real power of NCA is in my opinion.

Bulleteer

As ever, Bulleteers are great, cheap, disposable attack pieces that can cross the field quickly and savage an unprepared position. They do, however, face some unusual competition in this field from the Garuda. Still, an extremely PanO move that I find meets with general success is putting a Spitfire bulleteer in group two, moving it into cover in the midfield and ending it in Suppressive Fire. It’s really important to keep in mind that as a PanOceania player you are spoiled for amazing gunfighters and can discount how hard it can be for a faction whose biggest gun is a BS13 spitfire to engage something like that.

Something I initially missed – Bulleteers can wildcard into links. I think a Haris team of the NCA Machinist, a Bulleteer and a Bolt of your choice can be a deadly little independent package for a very small investment. I personally favour a Spitfire Bulleteer+Shotgun Bolt as the Bolt can then toss two Drop Bears with a single order.

Peacemakers

NCA has no midfield presence other than the Peacemakers, so if you don’t bring one or two you’re completely ceding midfield. That can be fine – you’ve got powerful hidden deployment guns and auxilia to blunt offensives, so simply being in a position where you’re not vulnerable to the opponent’s attempts to clear the midfield can render part of their gameplan useless.

Garuda Tacbots

These are excellent, some of the best drop troopers in the game for their price. The Boarding Shotgun makes an amazing disposable suicide piece, the forward observer is a late game objective grabber, and the Spitfire is just generally great. The spitfire can either make a high-risk, high-reward combat jump roll and if it fails it’s still a 6/4 decent rangebands gun in your deployment zone so it can recover gracefully and/or be buffed by an EVO hacker, or it can parachute in from an angle and fire at the back arc of enemy pieces lined up in midfield.

Pathfinders

Previously I was bullish on Pathfinders in NCA especially. That’s cooled off now in the new edition. You’ll wind up with a large number of specialists almost by accident – the fusilier paramedic, the Aquila FTO, a fusilier hacker or two, the tech bee, a machinist, etc – and sensor isn’t a great value proposition when the MSV3 is already on your team.

Sierras

Always great, and you’re likely already taking a machinist for your bulleteers and/or TAG. Works best when paired with a surprise Swiss Guard ARO.

Clipper

NCA is sadly not the sectorial where they shine.

Fugazi

Really tough adds – the there’s a lot that competes for this role at or around this price point.

Mulebot

PanOceania remotes are generally so excellent that it’ll never be a bad decision to take one of these.

Locust

These are extremely mediocre infiltrators, way too expensive for what they bring. The 25 point submachine gun option does warrant a look, though, because it can perform a couple of missions that NCA otherwise finds itself hard pressed to accomplish and can start the game in suppressive fire for the cost of a command token. I honestly can’t imagine a situation where I’d want to take any of the other variants.

 

Lists

The Wall

  • Aquila Guard FTO
  • Fusilier Paramedic
  • Fusilier Hacker
  • Fusilier Combi
  • CSU Boarding Shotgun
  • Swiss Guard Missile Launcher
  • Sierra Dronebot
  • Spitfire Bulleteer
  • Auxilia Lieutenant
  • Auxilia Forward Observer

Group 2:

  • Machinist with Palbot
  • Sierra Dronebot
  • Mulebot EVO Hacker
  • Warcor

This is what I’d recommend as a basic, defensive learning list for someone who wants to learn the ropes of the game without getting immediately murdered. It’s got two total reaction bots, one of which will be paired with the Swiss Guard to surprise and murder a big enemy gunfighting piece, and either of which can be buffed with Supportware from the EVO. The Core Link can sweep about in the midfield before ending turn defensively entrenched in the shadow of the total reaction remotes. There’s a couple of things to throw off experienced players – the empty slot in combat group 2 will often be misidentified as concealing a Garuda, and the Auxilia lieutenant can bait enemies into making an assassination run on your ‘obvious fusilier lieutenant’. It’s a list with two great pieces and things to support those two great pieces.

The Gunfighter

  • Aquila Guard FTO
  • Bolt Hacker
  • Bolt Multisniper
  • Bolt Paramedic
  • Shona Carano
  • Auxilia LT
  • Auxilia
  • Aida Swanson
  • Locust SMG
  • Swiss Guard

This is the premium Bolt list, designed for combat missions like Decapitation or Looting and Sabotage. The main play here is baiting a gunfight where your Swiss Guard and Bolt Sniper can engage at the same time, while the Locust and Aida threaten as complete independent operators who can get work done away from the cover of your primary firebase. It’s brittle and tricky to play, but very hard to beat in any kind of direct fight.

Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

 

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