It’s probably the wrong time to talk about the Russian Space Mafia faction for Infinity but I guess here we are. Tunguska is what happens when you setup a intergalactic tax haven that is allowed to maintain its own standing paramilitary force.
This? This is what happens when the anarcho-capitalists get their way and it’s your job, Nomad commander, to show the Hyperpowers that Crypto-mining is fun and cool and everyone who ever doubted you is wrong and they’ll all know it when the value of your wallet full of Tulpenmanie Coin rockets to the moon. Read on…
We’ll take a few moments to discuss fireteam options in Tunguska, noting that our advice (terrible as it is on a good day) is predicated on the current Fireteam rules as opposed to the rumours of an updated set of Fireteam rules. So, read and enjoy this article while you can for now, we’re going to toss it into the garbage (where it belongs) once CB updates the fireteam rules.
- Securitate are your first stop when it comes to Tunguskan Fireteam Cores. They’re not your typical cheerleader mook Fireteam option, as they’re borderline elite line infantry (but pay for that privilege). You can cheap it cheap and leverage a Securitate HMG or Feurbach as your shooter or toss in a Grenzer sniper with Marksmanship to make Kamau question their life choices. If you’re feeling really cheeky, an Interventor sitting in a full Fireteam gets Sixth Sense and becomes the bane of Stealth HI trying to sneak past your Repeaters. There’s a few other wildcards you can throw into this team but as your Veteran Cheerleaders, this link needs to keep it cheap and cheerful and stay in the backfield, I think. My standard Securitate Fireteam is 3x Combi Rifles, an Interventor with Hacking Device Plus, and some kind of long range shooter (Grenzer Marksman Sniper, Securitate HMG or Feurbach) depending on your budget.
- Hollowmen (Hollow-women? Hollow-people?) are your other Fireteam Core option. Hollowmen are very well priced for what they bring to the table, good balance of mobility, offensive output, resilience and cost. You can also dilute the cost of the link by throwing in 1-2 Stempler Zond FTOs, who also have Super-Jump. Perseus can join in if you want to address the Hollowmen’s complete lack of CC capabilities but this comes at a price. A Kriza Borac can also party on with Team Hollow but read the rules on Fireteams and Super-Jump carefully before you commit to this. There are a few other Wildcard options but they suffer from the same limitations as the Kriza, being anchors tied around the necks of the Hollowmen. When I run a Hollowman Fireteam: Core I’d look at something like: Spitfire, Missile Launcher, Hacker (with Tinbot) and 2x Stempler Zond FTOs.
Yup. That’s it, two Fireteam: Core options across the entire sectorial. That’s because Tunguska is filled to the brim with Wild Cards and Counts-As options for those two Fireteams. Woof.
Hollowman Haris: A cheeky Super-Jump Haris could be a Hollowman Missiel Launcher or Spitfire (depending on your preference for an Active or ARO piece) escorted by a pair of FTO Stemplers Remotes. Each of the remotes is a Forward Observer, so you’ve got a cheap-ish, highly mobile Haris that has an attack piece and two specialists.
Miranda and the Bounty Hunters: This is a very well priced little Haris. Miranda (I rate the Multi-rifle here but all three profiles are good) is a Specialist who is a decent enough shooter (+1 Burst for the Haris, Mimetism -6 and BS 12 will do work). 48 points for that package is a bargain.
Kriza Borac (Well, kinda): Strictly speaking this is a Hollowman Haris with a Kriza acting as a Guest Host for the duration. Hollowman BSG (Specialist) or Combi (Tinbot) to keep it cheap and then a Stempler Zond FTO and you’ve got multiple range-bands covered, 1-2 specialists and a Burst 6-HMG-weilding God-of-Fudging-War trampling your opponent’s hopes and dreams just like your highschool careers advisor did to you 15-ish years ago (Shut up, I’m not projecting, you’re projecting).
Cheerkillers: You must be truly desperate to come to us for help. No, that isn’t entirely fair. Cheerkillers occupy a slightly different space to Miranda and the Bounty Hunters. My primary use-case for Cheerkillers is leveraging the MSV2 Shock Marksman Rifle, being the only access to MSV2 in the faction. Personally, I just find that everytime I build this Haris I look over at Miranda’s crew and wonder why I’m spending the extra 5 points for middling CC skills and Super-Jump on Move 4-4 models. My baseline Cheerkiller Haris is the MSV2 Rifle, the Light Shotgun budget option, and then the Specialist Operative, which comes out to 53 points (see Miranda’s costing of 48 points above, if the Cheerkillers aren’t doing something unique to what Miranda’s haris would be doing cheaper you need to rethink the proposition.).
The Grenzer is an option for a Lieutenant in your Tunguska list. Pro: Grenzer Lts are incredibly good at Discovering Impersonators like Fiday and Speculos. Con: Grenzers are incredibly good at dying when attacked by Fiday and Speculos. A Grenzer isn’t the worst Lt option in the gamer but it is a cost-bloated, single wound piece that is only moderately good in combat.
If you’re looking for a vary naice Lieutenant, you can’t go wrong with the Kriza Borac. In Serbian, Kriza Borac translates into ‘Crisis Soldier’ and they certainly love to cause crises for your opponent. As a Rambo Lieutenant, you’re going to be throwing this angry fellow into the thick of it and that comes with risks (see Securitate below) but danged if you’re not going to have a jolly good crack at ruining your opponent’s day in the mean time. Normally I don’t invest in Rambo-Lt stocks but I’ll make an exception for Mr K. Borac.
Interventors gonna Intervent. It’s always nice to throw that first turn Lt order on Cyber-masking your Interventor, giving them a Friendly-Marker State (no cheeky Speculative Fire for you) but this would give them away…well, if the WIP Lieutenant Roll didn’t already (protip: It does). Worth noting that all those lovely Repeaters you might have in your list become a double-edged sword if you’ve got an Interventor Lt. WIP 15 and BTS 9 is lovely but all it takes is one KHD with an unhealthy disregard for their personal safety and you’re flipping a coin on whether you’re in Loss of Lieutenant the next turn or not. Overall, I love Interventors but not as Lieutenants.
We’ve left the humble Securitate until last as not only are they the least exciting Lieutenant option for Tunguska but their status as Veterans is a consideration for when you want to run a high-risk Lt like an Interventor or Kriza Borac. So, chances are that whatever Lt you pick, your list would benefit from having a few Securitate to back them up.
Hack the planet! If you’re wondering why the Interventor has a young Angelina Jolie’s face ‘shopped onto her then I’m afraid you were born too late, Zoomer.
Tunguska is billed as a ‘Hacking Faction’ and they’re not terribly wrong here. With Interventors (probably the best ‘top-tier’ hacker for the price in the game) as well as Mary Problems (Everyone loves a Two-Fer, she’s a vanilla hacker and a Killer hacker all in one package. Efficient!). Less apparent, you’ve got the Hecklers (marker-state KHDs) as well as the Hollowman Hacker (WIP 14, BTS 6, Tinbot: Firewall -3) as a cheeky sidepiece your opponent might not be expecting.
So, our hackers are amazing. Downside? Our Repeater networks are less impressive. The lack of Moran Massai (infiltrating Repeaters) or other Forward Deploying Repeaters (deployable or not) means that at the game start your defensive hacking network is almost entirely limited to your DZ, which is a bummer as you really want your opponent to waste orders with Resets against your Spotlight, Carbonite, and Oblivion AROs as early as possible.
That said, we’ve got Pitchers to really help reach out and touch people when the time comes, so don’t be afraid to toss a few of those around once it comes to your turn. Also, never forget that a Fast Panda is like a Pitcher limited to a mere 8″ (as the crow flies, though) but you don’t roll any dice to make it happen.
Arguably, some Aleph and Combine builds can bring a tigher Hacking game than Tunguska but they have to lean into it while Tunguska can build a list that punches face as the main dish and throw in a side of excellent hacking without too much effort.
The Mimetism Minus Six Club
Tunguska loves their solo attack pieces with Mimetism -6. Like, really loves their Mimetism -6 models…
There’s a few cute ones, like Spektrs who are relatively well priced Mimetism -6 (I keep wanting to say Thermoptic Camouflage but we all know that’s wrong) infiltrators. I don’t think there is a bad Spektr profile. Want to -12 some poor sucker from your Book Depository? Spektr Sniper has your back, fam. Want a cheeky specialist who can fight? FO, KHD and Hacker Spektr aren’t even worried. Finally, your budget choices can punch on nicely, though if you’re looking at the Combi-rifle option try and find the extra point to give them a Deployable Repeater and E/M Mines.
Raoul Spector (no relation) is my not-so-secret man-crush. Rather than inflict my Raoul-Rant on you again, I’ll just link the StarCo article it featured in here. TLDR: He’s great.
Who could forget Perseus? The puppet who wanted to be a real boy. I’m a little down on Perseus despite him being, you know, incredibly cool. He’s expensive, starts in your DZ with Move 4-4 (and Super Jump), and is Arm 2 without Shock Immunity to accompany his No-Wound-Incap. He’s a very fragile piece that needs a lot of order to go places and do things. That said, when he gets there he will John Wick (yes, it’s a verb) everyone dumb enough to get within spitting distance of him. Worth noting he’s one of two sources of smoke for Tunguska and that his Heavy Pistols are +1 Burst, both in shooting and in melee. Yeah, CC 23, Martial Arts L3 and Burst 2. That’s a real thing that you can do to people you don’t like.
Honorable mention goes to the Vostok FTO who has already been covered earlier in the article but still holds membership to this exclusive club, as well as Mary Problems (also see above).
The Szalamandra is a game defining piece anytime it makes an appearance on the table. As a Main Battle Tag (MBT), it’s got the full Arm 8 accompanied by a BS 14 Hyper-Rapid Magnetic Cannon at a perfectly reasonable 72/2 points. Also, the model is as sexy as hell and old people will offer you their seat on the bus if you tell them you have a Szalamandra in your model-case.
This is almost the platonic idea of a TAG. Excellent firepower on a mobile chassis with decent resilience all at a reasonable cost (no kooky special rules to bloat that price-tag). Just sit back and enjoy a TAG that does what it says on the box without any drama.
Don’t forget that BTS of 9, especially when combined with Fairy Dust from a Salyut EVO Remote to make it effective 12 BTS. That’s not unhackable but it’s about as close as you can get in this game.
If you’re ever feeling cheeky, your pilot can slide out of the TAG and then…get her brains fried trying to Trinity some other Hacker to death?
Bunny-Hopping Script Kiddies (Hollowmen)
This is the point in the article where we have to decide if we’re going to have an extended, irreverent segue into the Cartesian discourse on le mauvais génie (evil genius) and how we’re not so different from those poor brains-in-vats that control the Hollowmen Suits, noting that their lived experience is fundamentally not so different from ours (arguably, you are a Brain piloting a Skeleton-Mech protected by Meat-armour)…
Or, we can go with the easy Matrix point of reference?
Matrix it is.
Hollowmen are like people in the Matrix, except instead of waking up intact after taking the Red Pill, they wake up as brains. Just brains. Brains who get to be super-badass, robot soldiers with as many respawns as they need when they’re in the Matrix. Basically, the Master Chief. Sweet deal, right?
I’m quite fond of Hollowmen for a few good reasons: Highly Mobile (6-2 with Super Jump), decent resilience (Arm 4, BTS 6 and Remote Presence) all at a great price, starting at 28 points.
The Hollowman Hacker is a sleeper-hit in the Hacking Faction, look to them when you need a mid-field specialist who can punch face.
The Missile Launcher represents an excellent ARO piece. With decent armour, multiple wounds and Remote Presence, they’ll be hard to dislodge let alone put-down permanently and when the time comes to redeploy from your vantage point, Super Jump will get them where they’re going without any pain.
The Spitfire feels like they’re meant to be your active-turn shooter but the damage value and lack of AP means they might bounce off some of the harder targets you’ll encounter. Alas, c’est la vie.
Between Fiddler’s Jackbots, Puppetbots, and even the Zondnaut‘s buddy the Zondmate Tunguska is quite able to ask their opponents to piece trade their order-generating models with non-Trooper assets. Putting your opponent in a position where they risk losing orders pushing into your defences while you don’t share the same risk is a very powerful psychological advantage. Rattle their cages, Kings.
Lack of Cheap Cheerleaders
Aside from a mere two Transductor Zonds and two Salyuts, Tunguska’s access to regular orders slides in at a rough 12 points (two Bounty Hunters) followed by 13 (Cheerkillers and Securitate). You’re going to struggle to put together a list that has 15 Troopers and the Specialists and Attack Pieces you’ll need to feel comfortable.
We don’t have any cheap irregular troops that can screen our expensive assets. Sure, we’ve got the Puppetactica Company but even their cheapest options clock in at 12 points and don’t generate orders (blessing and a curse, really).
Just to help you start thinking about how to build Tunguska lists, we’ll provide a few simple examples for you to dissect, mock and subsequently discard. These aren’t tuned for any particular scenarios or opponents so you might want to tinker with them before committing to a game.
Haris: Miranda Ashcroft with Combi Rifle and E/Mitter (Burst 3 in Haris)
-Bounty Hunter with SMG x2
Fireteam Core: Securitate with Feurbach
-Securitate with Combi Rifle x3 (including Lieutenant)
-Interventor with Boarding Shotgun and Hacking Device Plus
Transductor Zond (Flashy Boi Remote) x2
Puppet Master – Minelayer
-Puppetbot FO with Boarding Shotgun x2
Salyut EVO Hacker
War Cor (360 Visor)
This is a pretty simple list that’s geared towards letting the Szally do some heavy lifting with fire support from the Haris and Fireteam, as well as a cheeky Fairy Dust buff from the EVO Hacker. We put the Szally in Combat Group 2, away from the other offensive assets, for two reasons:
- If you go first and your opponent removes two orders from your pools, at worst the Szally will still have 5 orders to play with and then you’ve got a full 9 orders to pour into Miranda and the Bounty Hunters to advance up the field and make trouble.
- The Szally only really needs 5-6 orders a turn to do the job it needs to do. To whit, engaging in long-range firefights with an overwhelming dice advantage before either Move-Move’ing into an inaccessible position or ending the turn in Suppression.
You’ve got a decent number of Specialists, a few different attack vectors, and a decent order pool. As is typical for Tunguska, the list feels like it needs one more solid piece added before it’s a comfortable drive but that’s a common theme for Tunguska lists.
Haris: Hollowman Missile Launcher
–Stempler Zond FTO x2
Fireteam Core: Securitate Combi Rifle x3
–Grenzer Sniper with Marksmanship
Kriza Borac Lt with HMG
Transductor Zond (Flashy Boi Remote) x2
Backup Haris: Cheerkiller Shock Markswoman Rifle with MSV2
–Cheerkiller Light Shotgun and Pulzar
This list gives you the balls to the wall crazy high risk gameplay of rocket-jumping Hollowmen Missile Launchers, Rambo Kriza Lts and a sprinkling of sensible plays, like Grenzer snipers and a Daktari to get people back on their feet.
If your Hollowman does himself a mischief too early in the game you can change gears and form up a Cheerkiller Haris and send them in. Until then, they can act as corner guards with their DTWs and moderately threatening CC scores.
I’d love to slide an Interventor into the Fireteam but points are tight but you can still leverage the Stemplers and Transductors to cook up a Repeater Network that your opponent might accidentally stumble into.
Fireteam Core: Hollowman Missile Launcher
–Hollowman with Multi-Rifle and Pitcher
–Hollowman with Hacking Device and Tinbot (-3)
–Stempler Zond FTO x2
Haris: Kriza Borac Lt with HMG
–Vostok FTO with Mimetism -6 and Mk 12
Playing Limited Insertion in N4 is…a choice you can make. I’m not going to say it’s a good one but if you really want to meme with Tunguska, here’s a list for you. Almost everyone can do work, there’s a little bit of resilence in there and despite being 10 models, you’ve got 6 Specialists for scenario. Don’t let that fool you, though. This is not a good list but maybe it’s a fun one? No. It’s just weird. Weirdguska.
Most of your work will be done by the Hollowmen team, who have an Engineer to fix them up, as well as solid hacking support between their baked-in Hacker (Tin Bot giving the entire Team Firewall mods) and Mary Problems.
You’ve also got a cheeky Haris with the Kriza escorting the Vostok up the table. The Vostok will do most of the work, having better visual mods as well as being repairable by the Clockmaker but the Kriza can step up as needed. Jelena is there as a specialist for the team (but also Fireteam Glue, she’s the cheapest wildcard specialist I can cram into that Haris. Sorry, Jelena. That is your function, you’re glue.).
Tunguska is a really interesting sectorial that asks you, as the player, to explore a different style of gameplay that other Nomad lists might encourage. The limitations this sectorial places on you, the average Nomad enjoyer, will be a compelling problem to solve and when you come out the other side of the Tunguska-tunnel you’ll be a better player for it.
I love their style and themes (even if growing baby-brains in vats to serve as unflinchingly loyal bodyguards for your pan-galactic money laundering scheme is kinda nasty), I love having access to best-in-breed pieces like the Interventor, Szalamandra and Kriza Borac and I love their characters, such as Raoul Spector, Mary Problems and yes, even Perseus.
I call it Funguska and when you’re done, you will too.
Next fortnight we’re going to start a series of articles exploring the scenarios of ITS Season 13. You are not prepared…
If you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.