Infinity Faction Focus: White Company

An article by    Competitive Play Gaming Infinity        0

Over the years, I came to have a certain sense for Corvus Belli’s sectorial design. There were some things that the designers of the game seemed to regard as fundamentally imbalanced and could never be allowed to see the table. No faction could get access to PanOceanian remotes, for example – and no faction could have a core linked MSV2 sniper while also having access to smoke. PanOceania could never have a good hacker, or a good doctor.

And then came White Company.

When I looked at the sectorial for the first time I was stunned. It seemed unreal. It seemed a contravention of every rule Corvus Belli set itself! Here was a sectorial with all of the straight-up firepower of PanOceania with all the tactical flexibility of Yu Jing. If you wrote down a list of all of my personal favourite units in the entire game of Infinity it would look very much like White Company. This is my dream army and is going to be pretty much all I play for the next couple of major tournaments.

 

Faction Overview

The White Company is a band of mercenaries operating on the contested winter planet of Svalheima, recruiting from the active military forces of both PanOceania and Yu Jing in the area. Their commander, the enigmatic Colonel Hawkwood, is implied to be an illegal Aleph recreation, a covert operative running a mercenary company for the benefit of the Operations Subsection when they need to perform entirely deniable operations. They’re dapper and high class as mercenary companies go, too, outfitted with top end gear, Aleph support operations, and stylish white tuxedos.

Much like most of the NA2 factions, White Company is the answer to the question of ‘I purchased Kaldstrom and want to keep both halves’.

But more than just the sheer power of any one of WhiteCo’s moving parts, the sectorial is incredibly versatile and can be altered into dozens of different valid configurations. Not only does it has depth, it has breadth and I find myself extremely happy with every list that I write. It can threaten on every front – firepower, hacking, airborne deployment, warbands, heavy infantry, light infantry, camouflage. It’s the most well rounded sectorial in the game, one that lacks any distinct weakness or limitation.

The Core Link

I have been foreshadowing why this is good over the past several articles.

It starts with the fusiliers. Fusiliers are inherently amazing, zero overhead BS12 guns for ten points. At the spearhead of the link you can then place the Haidao MSV2 Sniper. For the same price point as the excellent Kamau Sniper in VIRD this guy trades mimetism for NWI, shock immunity, and armour 3. A sidegrade that seemed to give the Invincible Army an answer to the Kamau, but Invincible Army had to make do with BS11, 11 point Zhanshi instead of BS12 10 point fusiliers, and like VIRD IA couldn’t leverage the real value of MSV2 by combining it smoke. Not the case here. Now the Haidao has entirely displaced all contenders as Actual Best Sniper In The Game.

You can do alternate arrangements but I think they’re all steps back from just how simple, cheap and eye-wateringly powerful 4 fusiliers+the Haidao is. The Orc Feurbach is playing the same game as the Haidao but without the MSV2, and Kaplans are too expensive and fragile to build a core link out of. You might want to mix a CSU into the link, that’s never a bad idea, but always be careful about ending up with only one bare bones fusilier because that can telegraph your lieutenant really obviously.

 

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Unit Breakdown

CSU

A one point upgrade on a fusilier to give specialist functionality and a chance to go to the casino with metachemistry. If you’re not running a fusilier lieutenant feel free to max these out, there’s not really a better thing to spend one point on.

Fusiliers

Fundamentally excellent line infantry. It’s easy to overlook how great fusiliers are if you haven’t played any other factions, but you really feel the lack of them elsewhere. Combined Army players are used to paying 14 points for BS11 line infantrymen, BS12 10-pointers are an absolute luxury in comparison. Always take one paramedic and then fill out the rest of the team to taste. If you can spare the combat group slot adding a spare fusilier to sub into the link if the Haidao gets killed outright is never a bad idea.

A profile I’ve not previously mentioned in discussions about fusiliers is the Deployable Repeater profile, but that has a place here. PanOceania generally labors under the restriction of having terrible hackers to balance against their fantastic repeater network, but WhiteCo actually has some extremely good hackers so suddenly this thing is a real and useful option. If you have the points to spare you can find a place for this in an aggressive core link, either to drop as a defensive ARO or to allow your Danavas to monster an enemy heavy infantry you can’t otherwise engage.

Danavas Hackers

NeoTerran Capitaline Army used to have a very special profile – the Deva Hacker with Upgrade: Lightning. It was unique in PanO, an enormously powerful and skilled hacker and counterhacker who could leverage the incredible PanOceanian repeater network to devastating effect. Behold, the Danavas, spiritual successor to the Lightning Deva. She’s a legitimately spooky active turn hacker – not ‘best hacker in the game’ material or anything, but an actual serious business heavyweight hacker who can get serious work done in a variety of situations. Burst 3 Oblivion can power down extremely high BTS opponents, even through enemy repeater nets. The Pitcher can be an amazing asset and one of the best ways to spend a spare order at the end of a turn you can’t otherwise get anything done with.

Valerya Gromoz

The other superstar hacker in White Co, Valerya trades the incredible B3 Oblivion for B3 Total Control, a zapper, and the ability to wildcard into a fusilier link. The reason to do that is because a fully linked Pitcher is an incredible tool. You can fire two of them across the table into terrible rangebands and have really good chances of landing one, reloading off a baggage bot if necessary, and then start hacking your opponent without needing to cross the table at all, or just set up a layer of repeaters that they’ll struggle to push through to get out of their deployment zone. An absolutely worthy alternative to the Danavas if you can spare the slot in your core link.

Karhu Special Team

These are interesting profiles, but those AP mines are really expensive. They’re the same price point as a Guilang but trading a marker state and infiltration for better BS, climbing+ and NCO. Most of these I’d give a skip because they just don’t quite get there, but the Engineer is a notable exception. Not only does she have an excellent loadout for doing classifieds, and NCO is great on an engineer who can almost always usefully spend that order – and your LT is probably a fusilier who can’t spend it. Also, you might just have the points for her! A lot of WhiteCo stuff is very cheap, especially PanO combat remotes, and you might just find yourself with a handful of points left and no army slots.

With any sort of fighting engineer like this be sure to give them a palbot so that they can move to engage and perform their engineer responsibilities simultaneously.

Mech Engineer

The Basic Engineer, worth taking if you’re going heavy on the remotes, WIP13 may not seem like a luxury but it is.

Zhanshi Yisheng

As usual, doctors compare unfavorably to linked paramedics these days, and army slots are so precious in a faction with as many amazing cheap units as WhiteCo

Nokken

An extremely PanO skirmisher, the Nokken goes in with a shotgun and a mimetism -6 and fights guys in the midfield. Makes a great reserve drop, or a piece to drop in an inaccessible location or as a nasty roadblock. They are competing directly with the Peacemakers for their position as midfield sweeper, though.

I don’t particularly rate any profiles other than the BSG one; everything else Guilangs do better.

Shona Carano

Shona brings a unique capability in WhiteCo – she can duo link with a Varangian. This is huge for a warband offensive – not only is she now carrying smoke with her, sending two bodies on an assault like that gives you so much resiliency. You can lose one of the two to a bad mine hit or and not have suddenly wasted your turn, and that’s a huge asset. She also dodges extremely well – dodging mines on 14’s and resisting their damage on 12’s is about as good as it gets for someone in this role, not to mention the extra 2 inches of movement means it won’t even slow her down. Finally,  she will kill anything she touches in close combat. She can and will one-shot TAGs with AP Damage 18 Explosive ammunition.

Taowu

Well, there had to be one bad unit amidst all of this, right? The only reason to take him is to gotcha someone with counterintelligence.

Warcors

As ever, if you don’t have 15 models then this will bring you up to 15 models. The perfect speedbump who has paid for herself with interest if she takes even two orders to kill.

John Hawkwood

The Colonel himself, Hawkwood is an extremely average kind of guy for an extremely expensive price tag. He’s okay in close combat, okay at gunfighting, has chain of command if you’re eyeing the Guijia lieutenant, but is otherwise just extremely unimpressive compared to what’s else on offer.

Kaplan Tactical Services

Like Hawkwood, these are also terminally average profiles that I’d never take willingly. There are some interesting fireteam options, though – the HRL Kaplan plus two CSU is a dirt cheap little package that presents a reasonable gunfighting and overwatch team that can move two specialists around quickly. I wouldn’t really give any of the others a second look. Also has an Engineer profile because WhiteCo needs options for engineers.

Nisses

A Nisse HMG is actually a really good asset here – in a sectorial with smoke access they can function very similarly to a budget Intruder HMG. As such, they’ll hard counter things like total reaction bots and present a real threat on a flank you’re otherwise leaving empty.

Tiger Soldiers

And of course, White Company gets access to the best drop troopers in the game. Tiger Soldiers are amazing in all their variations – the Spitfire presents a great mid-range gunfighter who can parachute in to shoot up an enemy model in midfield from it’s rear arc, and the combi rifle/flamethrower option makes a great assassin who can pick off a vulnerable lieutenant or savage a fragile backfield.

Haidao

So obviously the Haidao MSV2 sniper is the star of the show, but there’s reason to take more than one Haidao because all the profiles on offer are great. The 21 point combi guy is the absolute cheapest way to fill out an Orc haris team, the killer hacker pairs marvellously with the Jujack’s Firewall-6 tinbot in a haris team, the engineer (the fourth engineer profile in faction!) is a way to back up your excellent PanOceania remotes while saving a precious army slot, and the Red Fury is a solid, cheap gun. There are no misses here, the Haidao is one of this sectorial’s core strengths.

Jujak

Bringing up White Company’s fifth engineer profile, the Jujack is so cheap it almost seems worth it to fill out a core link with three of these guys around a couple of Haidao or Orcs. More likely they’ll be the filler space in a Haris team, in which role the Tinbot-6 profile is by far the most appealing. Baking in a powerful anti-hacking defense into an aggressive combat Haris team of the Haidao KHD, and Orc HMG creates a deadly self-contained and very resilient combat team.

Orc Troops

The BS14 pointman to a Jujak Haris, fantastic in both HMG and Feurbach editions. The Feurbach is better in ARO, the HMG is better in active – take your pick for preference, though I generally favour the Feurbach. The logic there being that if I can pair the Orc with the Haidao sniper I can create a dominating table position against a faction that lacks for powerful long range gunpower.

Guijia Squadron

Finally, It Is Good.

The only change my actual dream sectorial would have from White Company is that the Guijia would be a Seraph instead, but you can’t quite have them all. Still, it’s a worthy TAG with a unique capability – the ability to just walk into close combat and kill your opponent with swords, brushing past enemy mines and flamethrowers as though they aren’t there. In addition, just being able to defend itself in close combat is a big deal – earlier I talked about Shona making a great TAG assassin, but against a Guijia it’s kind of a coinflip for her. This is relevant because the anti-TAG plan for many factions will be a model like Shona – McMurrough is a popular choice for this job – and the Guijia can meaningfully oppose those close-combat assassination runs. Sadly it can’t be reliably repaired otherwise this really would be the perfect faction.

Also do not underestimate super jump on a HMG TAG – it’s way more effective here than it is on silhouette 2 profiles because it’s so tall to begin with. You can break the entire logic of the game by springing off weird walls and finding strange vertical angles around approaches your opponent thought were safe.

The PanOceanian Remote Package

PanOceania has always had some of the best remotes in the game. Bulleteers and Peacemakers are extremely cheap, come packed with repeaters, are repairable and are quick. They’re so good that you’ll naturally be inclined to take several of these, which in turn will naturally give you a great repeater network. The one limitation on their effectiveness has always been that PanO doesn’t have a hacker who can take advantage of that great repeater network. Enter the Danavas.

Now your Heavy Shotgun Bulleteer can skitter across the table and pause while the Danavas Isolates a critical target before engaging. Now that Peacemaker represents an 8′ bubble where nothing can enter without getting shotgunned, flamethrowered and isolated. Even the Clipper, finally amidst these articles, has a serious place in WhiteCo because as part of that great repeater net you can also Target enemy models and then hit them with guided missiles. Finally, WhiteCo has five (5) engineers to choose from so you’ll easily be able to spend the orders repairing these great models when they take a hit. The synergy between these models is really the core strength of the faction.

Guilang Skirmishers

While we’re talking about fantastic repeater networks, the Minelayer Guilangs can start with your choice of antipersonnel mines or deployable repeaters on the table. That’s a fantastic in-the-moment versatility that comes on otherwise extremely solid midfield superiority pieces. These are just great all around, able to have meaningful gunfights that counter most other midfield skirmishers and can template weapon enemy link teams who disrespect the threat they pose.

Kunai Ninjas

These aren’t great on their own – the combination of long range gun and close combat expertise means either way you’ll be wasting half of the model’s potential. What they do give is the threat of a hidden deployment sniper. That’s not nothing – your opponents have to play differently if that threat is in play, and the hole in your list presented by a Kunai Ninja is almost the same as a Tiger Soldier Spitfire. Take one in 20% of the games you play just to condition your opponents to move cautiously.

Liang Kai

An absolutely perfect warband model – and a perfect model for a reserve drop. If your opponent has deployed without any guns on overwatch deploy him out in the open as far forward as he goes and then immediately use his impetuous movement and he’ll be on the halfway line before you’ve spent a single regular order. From that point he can make a nasty suicide attack run on any formation he sees, using super jump and excellent dodging to avoid midfield roadblocks and cross terrain rapidly.

Varangian Guard

The only thing that’s not great about these is they’re AVA2, which makes it actually a pretty big question where you spend them. You can leave one up on overwatch alongside the Haidao Sniper to do a suicide smoke throw, but then you’ve only got one spare to lay down smoke for it to shoot through. If you throw one across the table in a duo with Shona, or have her up as a generic corner guard, then it can be tricky to make sure you’ve got smoke where you absolutely need it. Keep in mind their heavy pistol can be fired in CC and deals Shock damage, making it a sidegrade to the AP CCW.

 

Example Lists

Robogrid

  • Fusilier Lieutenant
  • Fusilier paramedic
  • Fusilier
  • Fusilier Hacker
  • Haidao Sniper
  • Jujak BSG Tinbot-6
  • Orc Feurbach
  • Haidao KHD
  • Peacemaker BSG
  • Danvas Hacker

Group 2:

  • Peacemaker BSG
  • Spitfire Bulleteer
  • Mech-Engineer with Palbot
  • Mulebot Hacker
  • Varangian SMG

This list leverages the fantastic repeater network available to WhiteCo to shut down enemy motion entirely. The two link teams can independently suppress enemy overwatch pieces, allowing the relevant Peacemaker to move in to deliver an Auxbot flamethrower followed by attempting to isolate premium heavy infantry pieces with the Danvas. The fusilier hacker isn’t going to accomplish much on her own but her role is to force an enemy killer hacker going after your Danvas to have two fights at once.

Gojia!

  • Fugazi
  • Fusilier LT
  • Fusilier ML
  • Fusilier Combi
  • Fusilier Paramedic
  • Haidao MSV2 Sniper
  • Danvas Hacker
  • Fugazi
  • Varangian
  • Shona Carano

Group 2:

  • Guilang Minelayer
  • Guijia
  • Warcor
  • Peacemaker
  • Varangian

This list brings two serious melee threats – the Guijia and the Shona/Varangian duo. The combat group 2 TAG is an interesting experiment that’s been making the rounds in the local meta, the idea being that the TAG will likely just engage long range targets with it’s tactical awareness order and HMG on turn one to clear the way for a concerted attack by Shona, and then switch across to combat group one to serve as the primary attack piece from turn 2 onwards.

 

That wraps up our look at White Company. As always, 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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