Infinity Faction Reveal: Torchlight Brigade


It’s new Sectorial time! In an annual tradition, Corvus Belli are coming in to Adepticon hot, with a new Sectorial army. In this case it really is brand new; no refreshes or resculpts here. O-12 (essentially the Space United Nations of the future, in Infinity lore) is the most recent tabletop faction to be introduced to the game. They have hitherto squalored their way along with only one Sectorial, Starmada (representing their naval forces). Now a new Sectorial is being added to the faction: The Torchlight Brigade.

Goonhammer is bringing the freshest, spiciest (you can’t prove me wrong) takes on Corvus Belli’s latest release for Infinity. All this information is from the Army update which you can find here and from the recent previews which were trickled out over the preceding week. 

Torchlight Brigade – Background and Narrative

So the basic gist here is Torchlight is the O-12 program for making first contact onto habitable planets, to claim them for humanity. This puts the emphasis on self-sufficient, heavily-armoured spearhead units. Look, a lot of the Infinity background, particularly the blurbs for individual units, is kind of the same: these soldiers are super-tough for interchangeable, and sometimes slightly-implausible, reasons. Forgive our cynicism as fans of the game. There are hundreds of units in Infinity, and it must be a real strain on the writers trying to come up with another very slightly different variety of being a badass. But here the fluff does manifest itself on the tabletop at least a bit: Torchlight are a Sectorial with the emphasis on heavy duty combat units.

What has been added to the game?

While all of this has been entitled the ‘Torchlight update,’ it is really a collection of new units, some of which are Sectorial-exclusive and some of which are also added to vanilla O-12. This is a faction design choice we are really big fans of, helping to differentiate the Sectorial and make it more than just a restricted version of vanilla with Fireteams, although we might question the logic with which some units were chosen to go where. Additionally, some existing O-12 units received profile updates: Nightshades, Vidocq and Jackboots all got adjusted. We will review those changes in a later section, but all those options are available within Torchlight (albeit Jackboots only have some of their profiles available in the Sectorial). Finally, as well as purpose-created new units, there were important decisions made about what existing units would be included and how they could Fireteam, and Torchlight received a couple unique, extremely good profiles for the existing Raveneye Officers unit. Here’s a quick summary of what got added. It may not tell you much now, but look back at it once you’ve see our unit run-down:

Torchlight Exclusive Units O-12 and Torchlight Units
Silverstar Prime Nimrods
Waveriders Sonya Lacroix
Kludgers Silverstar Rovers
Striders Hellblazers
Yellowjackets Wreckers
Jamie Arantes Moonrakers
Raveneye (Lt+1 Order & Chain of Command profiles) Stormbots

Models: Sculpts and Rules

Genghis Cohen: I have seen a lot of flak online about how these models look too much like Space Marines, etc etc; frankly a lot of tribalism and a bit of elitism about how Infinity shouldn’t go that way. Don’t really agree personally. I think the armour design is basically the same design language as most Infinity stuff, with slightly odd helmets (still no more different than Steel Phalanx has) and slightly odd swords (silly, but not intrinsically any sillier than, say, ninjas or Uberfallkommando). I like all the new models a lot, although I may de-crest or otherwise alter some helmets. To those who still experience visceral dislike of the sculpts, well, maybe they aren’t for you, but I would also wait until you see them in a different colour scheme.

Musterkrux: I agree. While yes, on first look you do get a bit of the Space Marine vibe, that wears off pretty quickly. I will, also, be plucking the crests from helmets or straight up head-swapping certain models. Part of the problem was painting them in canon blue and gold. Any other colour scheme and you’re fine. 

Silverstar Rovers

Musterkrux: Imagine deciding that ZuYong were cool and all…but what if they were all Specialists, had BTS 6 and just as much access to Tactical Awareness? Yup. That’s Silverstar Rovers for you. That said, Silverstar Rovers are great in the right amounts. I wouldn’t go ham and put three of them in a list but 1-2 of them are going to do very well.

Genghis Cohen: Yeah, ZuYong are an apt comparison. Not the standout stars, but really useful in composition for pure HI Fireteams, which are solid, if not usually a top competitive strategy. Personally I like these slightly more than their Yu Jing equivalents (cries of “power creep!” sound in the distance), particularly the Firewall and HMG variants. Since they’re both Tac Aware and all the Rovers are Specialist Operatives, they bring a lot of utility, if not for that low a price. But building that pure Core team around them will definitely force some other sacrifices in list-building. I would certainly note that Silverstar Core/Haris teams can be based on either them or Hellblazers, which makes those, the cheaper option, perhaps a better basis for a small team that can get its long-range firepower from non-composition-bonus units.

In vanilla O-12 (note there has been no change at all to the list of Duo Fireteams vanilla can form) these probably won’t get taken. There are cheaper and more mobile or useful specialists around. The HMG is the closest to good as a solo piece, but vanilla is more likely to invest in a gunfighter with the key skills to win FtF rolls.  


Musterkrux: What do Hellblazers do? They blaze hell. These are fantastic profiles even if the memes about them being Space Marines is a little too close to the truth for my liking. Honestly, who brings a Sword and Board to a Science-fiction Gunfight? Hellblazers, apparently.

Genghis Cohen: Well well well, more sub-20-point Impetuous HI which will always be in Fireteams. This is a very competitive unit archetype, and here, unlike with Military Orders’ Teutonic Knights, they can compose pure Fireteams with conventional, long-range weapon HI to make a full Core. No, I’m not salty, why do you ask? Honestly this is another highly effective variant of a unit that has been tried and tested. I expect a LOT of future Torchlight lists to use their max AVA of 3 – and if I’m on my soapbox for a moment, I think the designers know that and their AVA is the primary limiting factor on a type of trooper that really bends game balance.

Interesting to see them in vanilla. I don’t think they are terrible there, but equally I can’t see them finding space in competitive lists. While certainly tougher than a Varangian, for more cost they don’t bring smoke or the ability to Berserk key melee combat targets. They’d be usable as assault threats, but not nearly as efficient as they become in a Fireteam.


Musterkux: I literally can’t even. I’m…I’m just going to give someone else the first bite of this low-hanging fruit…

Genghis Cohen: LOL. To my colleague here, “nimrod” is a sort of archaic, non-obscene insult, like nincompoop. To me it is a British surveillance plane, best known for a catastrophic crash which led to an enquiry and a raft of safety regulations. It’s also the name of a piece of classical music by Elgar. Quite a few of Corvus Belli’s naming conventions are out of left field, which to me is part of their charm, but this one takes the cake. Google tells me Nimrod is a biblical name – a mighty hunter (I think this is what CB were going for) and also the king who defied God by ordering the construction of the tower of Babel. Neat.

Musterkrux: Thank you. Nimrods look pretty solid. I’m very fond of the AP-Marksman Rifle. Super-Jump and Move 6-2 will get you the angles you need to set up cheeky F2F rolls that your Nimrod will absolutely blitz.

Genghis Cohen: Yeah, crazy name, crazy guy. I also think that the AP marksman is the natural pick for an MSV2, Mimetism-3 gunfighter. Critically it is the FTO so it can be in a Haris with a Kludger or two – some potential there, especially once Wildcards are considered (see below). The FD+8” variant, with its SMG, I find less convincing. Hidden Deployment is great, but if I’m taking a medium-expensive unit like that I need either a proper gunfighting weapon or a Specialist. The 8″ effective range SMG is not a great weapon to capitalise on the MSV2/Mimetism-3 combination; all too often it will be denied effective fights by enemy template weapons, and you just can’t risk that with an expensive 1W model. 

In vanilla, I think the FD variant is just slightly beaten by more efficient midfield choices, although some players may want to experiment with the 6″ short skill super-jump capabilities. The AP marksman FTO is definitely less punchy when outside of a Haris team, but could still have a role. Specifically, I wouldn’t take one over an Epsilon HMG (35pts), unless I was running out of SWC. Potentially there’s a niche for when you want to include another gunfighter, you want it to have MSV2, and you can’t afford more SWC.


Musterkrux: Striders are pricey but you’re getting a lot of nice kit for the cost. Striders might fall into the Guilang trap of being far too expensive for a skirmisher but I doubt it, as Shock Immune NWI forgives many sins. I’m not sure what my favourite profile here is. The +1B Light Shotgun will be the terror of the mid-field but a Mine Layer dropping a Deployable Repeater while remaining under a Camo Marker represents the sort of defensive utility that Moran Massai wish they had (and that’s saying something).

Genghis Cohen: I think these are great and picked out the same profiles you did. They compare really well in cost to similar units like Guilangs and Bakunin’s Initiate Observants, given how much more capable of midfield brawling the second wound makes them. What really remains to be seen is how well the Sectorial builds around hacker (and potentially GML) play, but even without that these are nice midfield specialists. It’s quite uncommon to combine specialist and minelayer, let alone NCO on top. It’s a real shame for vanilla O-12 that these didn’t make the cut; I think they could have been very popular indeed.

Yellow Jackets

Genghis Cohen: Looking at my beloved Hellcats and then back at these guys, I think the game may have moved on slightly! Once again, this profile showcases the underpriced nature of SMGs and hackable/1W/NWI/shock immune HI. Look, it’s an effectively 2W model which can get into position to attack quickly, or complete a mission. Shout out to the hacker as well, who can complete most of the classified objectives in the deck. I particularly like that these have Stealth, which makes maneuvering after a hot drop into the DZ much easier.

Musterkrux: Holy crap, this is my dream drop unit: NWI, Stealth, Mimetism and even a Specialist profile with D-Charges at the bargain price of 25 points. It’s a good thing these are only AVA 2 otherwise I would be making some terrible lists with these gorgeous creatures. I was disappointed that Deltas didn’t make the cut in the O-12 ‘Rapid Reaction Force’ sectorial but this is a perfectly acceptable apology. Thank you, CB.

Genghis Cohen: Once again, vanilla O-12 mourns that these were not given unto them. Better than Deltas as attack pieces IMO (clearly not the same as mission/utility specialists).

Silverstar Prime

Genghis Cohen: Now this is a S5 HI that is actually competitive with some TAGs (a question we will revisit as we look at the new Wrecker later). Interesting that it can’t form a pure Core team; perhaps that was a little much for the designers! I don’t think the lack of AP limits its targets too much – at Dam16, its HMG is just as good as an AP spitfire against ARM4-5. No, it probably can’t remove an unhurt TAG in cover, but not much can. The combo of weaponry, sweet gunfighter skills and Tac Aware make this a natural pick for a primary sweeper piece. I think it will be a more common pick than the cheaper Silverstar Rover HMG when Torchlight players are building big beefy Fireteams, and it would be equally good in a Haris.

I would love to have seen if it became popular over the Gamma, or the competitively dominant Zeta, as a choice in vanilla O-12. But realistically that faction has a lot of choice of top-end sweepers already. 

Musterkrux: Third Edition called; the original Kriza Borac wants their BS Attack (-3) back. I’m quite fond of this profile. 53 points is a lot but you’re getting value. In fact, my only regret is that the HMG doesn’t have AP-ammo but that’s starting to get a bit greedy. They look pretty good. The Lieutenant option is even viable with the 15 point CoC Ment Agent profile being available to Torchlight. Yum yum.

Sonya Lacroix

Genghis Cohen: A fairly common, and in my opinion uncompetitive, archetype, this is our middleweight rifle character Dire Foes model. There’s nothing wrong with her loadout – multi rifle and X Visor is a decent combo – but her gunfighting skills are otherwise quite tame, at BS12 with no particular resilience. Stealth, Terrain Total and 6-2 movement are at least a little bit of mobility. The unique selling point is Albedo, which I think pairs well with the Specialist Operative profiles. Being invisible to MSV during Round 1 won’t often help you kill them, since most MSV pieces actually offering early game AROs have Sixth Sense from fireteams. But it could sometimes offer a nice attack vector (e.g. against a Marut) and what it does do is let you sneak objectives in Turn 1 against strong MSV overwatch – Riot Grrls, Suryats, Kamau, Bolts, Grenzers, those sort of obstacles are common. Finally, Sonya offers a +1SWC option which could be worth considering, since Torchlight can access Chain of Command for only 15pts via AVA1 Ments. Ultimately I doubt Sonya will be a top competitive option, but is certainly usable.

Musterkrux: I’m pretty meh on Sonya. Once you start getting close to 30 points in cost you either need to be bringing a second wound/NWI or you need something like Mimetism or MSV to help you win F2F rolls. Sonya isn’t quite there for me yet, though she does bring value in sliding an NCO into a pure Rover fireteam. That’s something. Also worth noting that CB have spent many hours delicately scratching away at her profile art to produce something that is completely dialed into my station. I’m a simple man, I see a short jacket, baseball cap and a braided pony-tail? I’m gonna smash that Like and Subscribe button.(Straight to horny jail – Ed.)


Genghis Cohen: Doctor/engineers in MI flavour, which isn’t surprising; I thought this HI-themed Sectorial might offer something in that space. There’s always a tension on whether you want your doc/engineers to be cheap as possible and wholly support, or embrace the fact that they can fight well if required. While I might prefer to have another Wound, or just be cheap Haris filler, honestly the combination of BS13 and Mimetism-3 makes these guys quite punchy. I think for that reason the Engineer SMG/panzerfaust is the best profile. The doctor only has an SMG/ADHL, and competes with the Silverstar Rover (or Kappa) paramedic. A Kludger engineer is also a beast in classified objective missions, and whether solo with Servants, or in a Fireteam, I love that these guys are also 6-2 with Super-Jump and Terrain Total. Makes the Doctor, although the worse profile in a vacuum, into a natural Haris pairing with the Nimrod FTO, who has the same movement profile. I think they are a good pick, but they may end up commonly cut for cost reasons.

Musterkrux: I’m always a fan of a cheap-ish Specialist profile that can take a low-stress firefight if needed, particularly if they can be part of a Haris supporting a better shooter. Kludgers perfectly are fine.

Genghis Cohen: Yeah, useful but not especially great. I’d be interested to see if they justify fielding solo with 1-2 servant bots, particularly to support the Wrecker (Remote Presence TAG). But vanilla O-12 probably wouldn’t have taken them much even if they had them.


Genghis Cohen: As soon as I saw that these guys were capable of pure Fireteams, I thought they would be make-or-break for the Sectorial. Having that infowar capability to support your big, hacking-vulnerable HI team is important. Personally I am impressed here. I rate these guys only a little below the mighty Dartoks. They bring Pitchers, which are really the most important hacking tech. Given a choice between Oblivion+1B and Trinity+1Dam as their signature programs, it’s impossible to say which I would prefer. Both are top notch threats to enemy hackers in your active turn. Clearly the normal hacking device offers more flexibility, at the expense of being a little worse against enemy hackers in both active and reactive, and a slightly higher points/SWC cost. I am certain no one is taking the more expensive profile without a pitcher though! As with others, these guys are 6-2, Stealth and Terrain Total. Nice.

Musterkrux: As above, I’m a fan of any specialist who can look after themselves. My favorite profile, though? Tough call; in a vacuum I vastly prefer the KHD for the cost efficiency but in the context of Torchlight’s ability to project hacking areas I almost wonder if you lean into the SMG Hacker with Oblivion +1B. The BSG Waverider is probably a smidge too expensive for my tastes but, if you toss them into a Fireteam that has a Tinbot you’re going to make your opponent very unhappy.

Genghis Cohen: Definitely. I’m similarly torn between the two cheaper profiles, but despite its obvious utility in self-defence, I can’t ever see taking the BSG. There are just too many points piling into the exquisite pure Core teams this Sectorial is begging players to create.


Genghis Cohen: We have Long Yas at home kids. And they’re…maybe even better? Man, the flattering comparisons with existing units keep piling up. Joking aside, these guys are sort of a shorter-ranged but further forward deploying Long Ya. Their only loadout is heavy shotgun, ADHL and shock mines, their only option is to be a minelayer, which we would expect to be very common. This opens up a lot of shell games with Striders, and potentially a big boon to vanilla O-12 as well – something to watch out for in the eventual army update – because these bad bots are S2 & Mimetism-3. It needn’t be immediately obvious what they are. That mimetism and forward positioning also makes them credible trading pieces on the attack, more so than Long Yas. I’d also note how well remote presence in the midfield can be supported by a Kludger engineer. Honestly I predict these to be a standout choice and present in many competitive lists. It’s just a really nice price point: effective defence, but still something you can sacrifice if needed.

Musterkrux: Having played enough White Banner to learn to hate the Long-Ya for what they could have been I quite like Moonrakers. Super nice to have the Minelayer profile also have the Shotgun weapon. There’s a bit of finesse here. They’re a regular order for your list, so tossing them way out there as a roadblock for your opponent isn’t the coup you think it might be and being single-use Camo I’d worry about trying to send them out on attack runs (particularly at Speed 4-4). Don’t get me wrong, they’re good. I’m just expecting the sheen to wear off after a few games with them, and having their community rating drop down from A to B or B+.

Also, I just want to nod at CB’s commitment to the bit. Look at the Moonraker profile logo very carefully. Well played, CB. Well played.

Genghis Cohen: I’m definitely feeling that sheen you mention. Kind of want to compare them to Morans as well – an absolute strength, but list building does get constrained if you always spend 1SWC immediately on a pair. That said, could be an opportunity to mislead your opponent if they always expect 2 Camo tokens to be mines, and in fact there are only 0-1.


Genghis Cohen: Now these are more like a generic ‘combat remote’. This is an archetype all the advanced human factions have but O-12 has hitherto lacked – think Rui Shi, Bulleteers, Tsyklon Zones etc. S4, onboard repeater Remotes with middleweight firepower and skills. Units in that archetype vary in competitiveness but broadly aren’t quite as good as newer, optimised profiles, e.g. much of this new Torchlight stuff. Is the Stormbot doomed to be marginalised? Well, it has one big difference in that it’s STR2. Together with Remote Presence & ARM3 that makes for an unusually resilient piece. Its firepower is good but not extremely heavy; despite BS Attack +1Dam, it’s only got a B4 combi rifle or a HRL on the FTO options. The non-FTO has a B3 HRL for a few more points, effectively giving it the effect of a Haris. But all versions have a Pulzar, which is great defensively on a model that’s so hard to fully remove from play, and the FTO HRL has E/M mines. Personally I see a lot of utility in the HRL FTO version. A long range gun, an onboard repeater, and close in defence on a tough, fast platform is a bit of a steal for 29pts. Let’s move on before I start whining about comparisons to other factions’ Remotes.

I can even see a role (probably for the non-FTO version) in vanilla O-12, but my gut says it won’t be that commonly taken.

Musterkrux: 2Ws and Remote Presence? Be still my heart. It’s not a Vostok, but it’s also two thirds the price. It’s not a Tsyklon either, it’s got 2 goddamned wounds. Stormbot is their own ‘bot and shame on you for trying to make them feel bad about themselves. Part of me loves the idea of putting the Combi-Rifle FTO into a Haris and throwing 5 dice at things like the little HRMC that could but even at Dam 14 combirifles are just scratching the paint on anything you’d want to be shooting at. So…don’t do that.


Musterkrux: I’m…sure…the other profiles are good but, man am I struggling to tear my eyes away from that Burst 3 AP-HRL for 51 points. There are HI more expensive than this TAG, people. AP on the template, which ignores Cover for Armour saves, is a terrifying prospect. Toss in a cheeky bit of Continuous Damage and you’ve got yourself a walking safe-cracker (note, you still have to win the F2F roll first, though). Arm 6 is a concession to the bargain price of the chassis but with Remote Presence you’ve got yourself an eminently repairable attack piece.

I feel like the play here is that you pay 51 points and 1.5 SWC for your opponent to never present a hard ARO to your army and then the other 249 points worth of models you bring to the table go and push buttons and attack the enemy in their DZ.

Genghis Cohen: Yeah, agreed that’s the best profile and it’s not too close. I could also see using the HMG, but not when the HRL is on the table. However I do know some players who don’t like similar BS13, B3 platforms (the Stigmaton) since they don’t trust it to beat AROs. I mean 51-57 points is just so cheap for what’s basically the full TAG package. Yes it’s ARM6 and doesn’t have EXP AROs, so it’s not a main battle TAG, but for that price…wow. I think this will probably best the Silverstar Prime for title of ‘primary Sectorial firepower piece’ but at least there’s some differentiation. Honestly you could afford to take both if you really value long range power in your lists. I do wonder how popular it will be in vanilla. It’s so cheap, but it’s not particularly an assault piece, so in some ways it’s just a Zeta with less armour, no climbing plus, and a harder time winning shootouts. Points cost is the lord and master of all, but it might be a false economy here. One to experiment with.

Jamie “Samus” Arantes

Musterkrux: We’ve already made one low-hanging fruit joke this article and that’s all we’re rationed for these days, the “editors” (finger quotes there [Wow. -Ed.]) don’t let me have any fun. So, Samus (no relation, don’t ask) is a bit of a Toolbox Premium HI or an Andromeda clone, depending on which eye you’re squinting with. They’ve got a little bit of everything but are paying nearly 50 points for the privilege. The absence of Stealth and a Specialist skill is noticeable here but I suppose that’s fine. You’ll be walking a bit of a tightrope, leveraging the FD+8” and trying to find angles with that Plasma Rifle while also avoiding getting hacked or pinned down in CC with a bigger fish. Jamie will likely prove to be a finesse piece, unstoppable in the right hands but an absolute liability if you mess up their placement. 

Genghis Cohen: Yeah, my instinct is this profile will end up a bit like Mendoza: Potentially terrifying and a bugbear to weaker players, but not considered competitive by the more serious types. Silhouette 4 is a real pain. This is a very difficult piece to preserve if you are going second; S4 is damn hard to hide, or even shelter enough that you can always use Guard in ARO. Decoy is not that great a protection on most tables, although it is fun. But it is a fast, tough, midfield-deploying gunfighter with a plasma rifle, so we can hardly say it’s bad. Another to experiment with. Both profiles do benefit a LOT from Torchlight’s robust Lt and CoC options. 

New Raveneye Profiles

Genghis Cohen: For me, this is an extremely competitive addition to what was originally teased about the Sectorial. There are several other appealing Lt options given the presence of Ments (Chain of Command for 15pts). Silverstar Primes have a strong function, they’re not just a passive trooper hanging around at the back using up a slot, and they get a SWC discount for being a Lt. Jamie gets +1 Order, which really leans into her role as a push piece. Sonya is usable specialist and also gives +1SWC. Against all of those options, I would have still considered the tried and tested method of 1 Raveneye Lt and 1 Raveneye decoy. The stock profile with E/M minelayer is already much more than a cheerleader, it’s a specialist and defends your DZ. Taking two, and also having a secure Lt, is no hardship at all. So I was gutted to read in the Army changelog that the 12pt Lt option was removed from Torchlight. But…what? They introduced an identical option except for Holomask and +1 Order…for just +4 pts? They also introduced a CoC option for 19 pts? Dear god.

Lot to unpack here. really. First, let me just say I consider this Torchlight Raveneye Lt a serious challenger to the Daoying for the title ‘best Lt in the game.’ Torchlight has three good NCOs (Strider, Jamie, and Vidocq) as well as two less good (Jackboot Spitfire and Sonya if she’s not a specialist). In any list where I take one or more of that first category, I think the Raveneye is head and shoulders above the other options. You can stack it into safety with a normal 12pt Raveneye decoy – they appear identical to your opponent – and/or with a 15pt Ment. Because of that safety I don’t see so much obvious value in the Holomask function. It’s hard to disguise yourself convincingly when you’re within 8″ of a DZ camouflage marker. If you don’t have 1-2 Raveneyes in your list, your opponent may well assume there are some under Holomask. But ultimately the sky is the limit just in terms of mind games and making your opponent doubt themselves, so Holomask certainly doesn’t hurt your Lt’s safety. My current big brain idea: deploy the Lt as a Ment, which is only taken for CoC. That way they won’t even consider trying to attack it until they’ve taken out something else which they thought was your Lt. I can’t even wrap my head around all the tricks that can be played with a second, Holomasked CoC Raveneye, but my instinct is a plausible Lt decoy and a separate, cheaper CoC option make it obsolete.


Silverstars Fireteam (Core, Haris, Duo)

Musterkrux: Looks like you can run a cheeky Tanko/Teuton Knight-style Fireteam here. Take a Rover, toss in two Hellblazers and you’ve got six wounds worth of HI, including a HMG and Specialist for just over 70 points. That’s wild, freakin’ wild. It’s also not impossible to get that Fireteam to a pure 5-trooper Core without breaking the bank. I’m not sure that I would do it but the option exists and that’s enough for me.

Additionally, a pure 5-person fireteam with Hippolyta on point is the sort of Galaxy Brain Plan that is precisely insane enough to work.

Genghis Cohen: I personally think Hippolyta in a 5-model Core is a trap. She wants to get into a close assault and the Rovers and Waveriders don’t. I can definitely see using her with 2 Hellblazers, or 1 and some sort of firepower piece, though. Stormbot HRL? Psi-Cop MMR?

Mobility Fireteam (Haris, Duo)

Genghis Cohen: Now you need a Kludger for this, and I’m not sure those profiles wouldn’t be better as a late-game support model with Servant bots. I see some mileage in a Nimrod FTO, Kludger, and something cheap like a Ment. Vidocq and Psi-Cops both offer specialist options (and gunfighters, although I think the Nimrod FTO blows those otherwise fine profiles out of the water). None of these guys are that cheap though, and unlike the very impressive Silverstar teams, this is mostly a collection of 1W units. Kludger engineer, Stormbot FTO, and either a Nimrod or a cheap Ment? My instinct is that the real prize here is the Nimrod as a budget, highly effective gunfighter which benefits a lot from the Haris bonus and frees your points to be spent elsewhere.

Musterkrux: I agree with Genghis; I don’t hate a Doc-Kludger, a shooter, and a cheap wildcard. However, and I’m going to potentially spicy here: Don’t take a Mobility Haris…just take two Silverstar Fireteams (one Core, one Haris). Boom.

Genghis Cohen: yeah, that’s where I’m going as well to a certain degree. It’s worth noting that a 25pt Psi-Cop MMR can do a lot of what a 31pt Nimrod can. Less mobility, only MSV1, can’t be AP+Shock, has to pick one. But can get into a team with your Hellblazers, who I think are a real gem as fireteam filler. I think the real point of Mobility teams – and it’s not necessarily competitive, but it does sound fun – is in the name. Kludger, Nimrod, Hippolyta, that’s a trio of 6-2 super-jumpers bounding about the place.

Wreckers (Duo)

Genghis Cohen: I mean, it’s a remote presence TAG with the option to Duo an engineer (Kludger; the Jackboot doesn’t get an engineer profile in Torchlight and it wasn’t that good anyway). This seems like an obvious solution. There are also plenty of specialists, including hackers, an onboard repeater, and complimentary shorter ranged gunfighters which can be added. 

How the Army Might Play

Genghis Cohen: I am very optimistic about this, and honestly a bit tempted to buy in. Previous HI themed Sectorials (I have Military Orders and have owned, but rarely played, Invincible Army) often struggled to bring flexibility. It looks like with incredibly cheap ‘line’ HI in Rovers and Hellblazers, Torchlight might actually be able to fit in a proper heavy list, and still support itself with airborne deployment, forward deployment and effective defensive tools (particularly the lovely Moonrakers). The fact they get good hackers, in pure Core teams, is very important. I’m certainly making no decisions until the army update – reminder that no teased profiles are final, significant corrections and even outright changes have been made before – but I think they will be pretty damn good. 

My main concern is just the overall cost. Rovers and most other new units are great value for their price, but competitive Infinity means 15 models or very close to it. That means 20 pts average per model. Torchlight has a a decent number of picks from south of the line, but they are all 12+, except for one flash pulse bot and one Beasthunter FTO. One Kappa hacker, one Ment, two Moonrakers, three Hellblazers, a Digger, the two Raveneyes. Potentially a missile bot, sensor bot or even the basic Lambda doctor/engineers. But picking 7 of those cheap options still leaves you just enough resources for a full Core and Haris. You can’t stress the Fireteams and have any solo operators outside of budget stuff. My point is that 15 models is difficult without genuinely cheap irregular warbands, or without building Fireteams around cheaper line infantry. Most of the cheaper stuff Torchlight has access too is actually a collection of really good efficient profiles, but even so they can’t have everything. Torchlight also doesn’t have regular smoke or White Noise.

How has Vanilla O-12 changed?

Genghis Cohen: Nightshades gained Hidden Deployment (and Surprise Attack, which I didn’t realise they lacked before). This makes them a proper hidden ambush utility, and they’re not a bad option, but there are already other similar tools available. They had a minelayer profile added, which has some shell game potential with disguising Moonrakers.

Vidocq were mostly relabelled as FTO (this is just admin to make it clearer how they work in Torchlight) and the MSV sniper option gained a breaker pistol (pretty minor). But they also gained a proper camouflage sniper option, which is at least a new capability for O-12 (and Torchlight).

Jackboots got minor points revisions, the engineer dropped 2pts while the FO, and NCO spitfire, both went up 1pt. This means nothing, Jackboots aren’t very good and never seen competitively. Ultimately they pay for good MI stats, without having any skills or unique capability for long range gunfighting, which is already a losing prospect in the current meta. They have Total Immunity, which is a big, important skill, but it mostly shines on multi-wound models, because it drastically reduces the enemy’s options to remove them in one Order. The 1W Jackboots, on the other hand, are risking it all every time they face a chain rifle or shotgun template, so while they may be less likely to go unconscious or dead from a DA/EXP hit, they still aren’t much good at brawling.

Overall I think the biggest change to vanilla O-12 by a country mile is the addition of Moonrakers. Several other units added could see play, but the Moonrakers I expect to see included or at least bluffed in a lot of lists, especially in the immediate future as people try them out.

Caveats and Closing Thoughts: AKA Watch this space.

Musterkrux: These are early days; until we see what the full sectorial looks like in the Army Builder app it’s going to be a struggle to make any serious calls on how this Sectorial plays.

That said, I’m seeing a lot of parallels with Invincible Army, albeit with some well thought out Quality of Life adjustments. IA with linkable Tankos is already an incredible idea. Toss in some solid cheerleaders (Diggers, Kappa, ABHs and even Ment Agents) and you’ve got enough gas in the tank to push your Elite HI into your opponent like a knife in the guts (remember kids: Stab, Twist, Retract).

I wrote this list up before I even saw the full profiles and costs for Torchlight and it still feels like a banger.

Fireteam Core: Rover with HMG, 2x Hellblazers
Haris: Kludger Doc, Psi-Cop Multi-Marksman Rifle, Ment Agent (CoC)
Authorised Bounty Hunter
Kytta (AKA Flashy Boi)
Kappa Hacker
Raveneye Officer Lt
Raveneye Officer
Yellow Jacket SMG Specialist
Strider with Deployable Repeater
Nimrod with AP-Marksman Rifle

That’s 15 Troopers, with 5+ Specialists and 5+ Attack Pieces including: A variety of attack vectors, a Lt supported by NCOs and Chain of Command, a cheeky bit of Tactical Awareness and a little bit of defensive tech. Bring on the rest of Torchlight Brigade, CB. I dare you to give us more toys to play with.

Genghis CohenI think I am considering something including a pure Core team and a beefy Haris, just because I’m a basic sucker like that: 

Well that’s 300 on the nose and only 4 SWC, 15 models, with only 1 active turn long range gun (although 2 more which work at 24″) So okay, maybe even this Sectorial can’t make a pure HI Core and a decent Haris in a 15 order list work. Or maybe my shopping spree instincts are just trash. One final tweak I considered were changing the Ment into a Raveneye decoy Lt, which is slightly less safety against LoL, but would let me upgrade the Beasthunter into a Kappa Hacker. 

Perhaps the future competitive builds for the Sectorial will try to keep the pure Core team and run with either a budget Haris or simply a Wrecker, ideally in a Duo with an engineer. There’s definitely some engineering synergy with the Moonrakers and Stormbot FTO. 

It would be interesting to see a build without Fireteams, just relying on the powerful solo shooting models, backed up by the midfield utility of Moonrakers, Striders and perhaps a Yellowjacket. That then raises the question of whether the unique profiles are worth the loss of flexibility from vanilla O-12 (probably not). 

Is this flagrant power creep?

Should we light our torches, seize our pitchforks, and march on CB headquarters?

Genghis Cohen: Although I hear Spain is nice this time of year, I am not really on the warpath. I like new stuff, frankly, and I don’t care if that makes me a patsy. That said, within that basic optimism, every time new profiles are released, beneath my keen interest is a lurking unease.

There are just so many units in the game. So many profiles. So many are obsolete. All the main factions have shortlists of what the really competitive units are, known to all experienced players. I don’t think that all these new units are in the competitive auto-take pile by any means. But I do think the best of them are on a different level to the majority of profiles which descended from pre-N3 units.

I’ve banged this drum before, but please, CB, in between adding cool new stuff, which I accept you need to make pretty good, because no one will like it otherwise…just do some balance passes on everything you have already. Cut some of the cruft and unused profiles altogether, raise points just slightly on those competitive auto-takes, cut points slightly on the most derided units.

Don’t make me get the pitchfork.

Musterkrux: I could be convinced to join an angry mob… 

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