Corvus Belli have now released the next big thing for Infinity. Alongside major movements in the background, with the alien Combined Army smashing aside the human powers’ blockade and devastating the planet of Concilium, we see a slew of new profiles, all built around a brand new game mechanic, ostensibly an extra rule/alternative game mode, but in fact something CB want to make a mainstream way to play the game: Reinforcements.
We can now bring you not just the quick and dirty version of how Reinforcements works, but a run-through of all the new profiles, especially what was left out of the previews last week, some analysis of how each faction’s Reinforcement group is likely to be composed, and a review of any non-Reinforcement additions or changes to units. We will try and rate each faction a winner or loser from this change.
Just before this new release, Corvus Belli did release an FAQ and rulebook update. It was fairly minor, the only real change was clarifying the Chain of Command (CoC) check to take place in the Tactical Phase of the Active player’s Turn, at the same time as checking for Loss of Lieutenant (LoL). Essentially, that means if a player loses their Lt, and a CoC trooper arrives as a Reinforcement, they successfully assume command and stop the player going into LoL.
The new Reinforcement rules are available here and the official army builder app/web page has also been updated.
New Game Mode
Reinforcements is an alternate game mode – so you would agree on its use before playing a game with a friend, and of course it would be advertised as part of a tournament. The standard size is advised to be 350pts/7SWC. This means each player writes a list of 250pts/5SWC as their ‘Main Section’ and a separate Combat Group of 100pts/2SWC which is the ‘Reinforcements Section’. The latter is drawn from its own roster (a vanilla Faction and all its Sectorials share the same Reinforcements roster) of unique profiles – while many are the same models as the Main Section can take, these are all ‘Reinf.’ units, so for example the Nomads’ Stempler Zond has different profiles to the Reinf. Stempler Zond. Both Sections must keep to the limit of having no more than 15 troopers in total. There’s no limit on the number of Combat Groups, or number of models, in each Section (in practice, there’s no reason to ever spread 100pts of Reinforcements over more than one group, and your Main Section will be 1-2 Combat Groups). Interestingly, the contents of your Reinforcements Section are open information once the game has begun – no ability to surprise your opponent with what you picked.
The Main Section must include 1 trooper with the Commlink rule. These are only ever the plain rifle profile of factions’ basic line troopers (e.g. Fusiliers, Zhanshi, Ghulams) with NA2 armies using Wardrivers. We will go through each Faction’s options below, but it costs 10pts and 0.5SWC over the trooper’s normal cost. Firstly, this is just a sort of tax on playing Reinforcement games. You have to include one of these guys, no getting out of it. Doesn’t matter if the model is removed before Reinforcements arrive, it’s just a list-building requirement. Secondly, many of the options don’t have the plain Commlink rule, they have Commlink+X. For example, Ghulams in Haqqislam have Commlink+2. This number modifies the maximum number of troopers in your list. So by including that Ghulam, the Haqqislam player can take 17 troopers total. The cost doesn’t change and players don’t really have different options within their Faction/Sectorial – there’s no Ghulam with the plain Commlink rule. Whether you get access Commlink, Commlink+1 or Commlink+2 seems to just be a faction perk or balancing mechanic.
- Genghis Cohen: The implementation here is weird to me [It’s much easier to criticise than design new mechanics from scratch, so sorry, I love that CB is trying to shake up the game]. If the Commlink doesn’t interact in any way after list-building, why make you take a given trooper at all? It just means everyone has to spend the points and put a completely uninteresting unit into one of their 15-17 slots. I guess from a background perspective it’s a sort of command and control guy, but it feels unnecessary.
- Musterkrux: Agree. Though, point of order, the Commlink model can change Combat Groups and join the Reinforcements group the turn they arrive, so there is a post-list building mechanical interaction to be had there even if it’s just feeding another order into that team. Otherwise, a lot of the CommLink rules feel unnecessary, at least until CB decide to give us different Commlink bonuses to chose from within the same list/faction (ie. would you pay +5 points for a Commlink +1 model in Haqq or +10 points for +2 if you had the choice?).
At the start of the game, players deploy their Main Sections only, and carry on as normal. During the Tactical Phase of the Active player’s Turn, they can request their Reinforcements. This means the Reinforcement Section can deploy onto the table if the Active player has taken a certain amount of casualties; or they will arrive in Turn 3 at the latest. In the ‘standard’ 350pt game of 250pts Main Section and 100pts Reinforcements, this threshold is for the Active player to have no more than 250 Victory Points (VP) remaining – ie at least 100pts of their Main Section will have become casualties for the Reinforcements to arrive before Turn 3. That’s a big change from the previewed rule of 50pts of casualties! In practice this means that you have to take a real beating for your Reinforcements to show up early in the game. But there’s no rules stipulation against it, if the first player goes on a total rampage into their opponent’s deployment zone in Turn 1 and decimates their force, then the second player can Request Reinforcements in the Tactical Phase of their own Turn 1.
- Genghis Cohen: My first impression is this change won’t make alpha striking any more common/successful than it already is. Requesting Reinforcements is optional as well, and the game won’t ever end in Retreat until Reinforcements come down, because, like troops in Hidden or Airborne deployment, they count towards your VP remaining. That means in missions which score by end-of-game position, like Frontline or Cryogenics, the second player may actually want to keep their Reinforcements back for Turn 3, even if they could have requested them in Turn 2.
- Musterkrux: I’m going to have to play a few rounds to get a feel for it. My tests at the 50 point threshold felt good. Taking it up to 100 points might be too much. However, letting Player Two have a chance to drop them in their Turn 1 if they get mauled is a nice quality of life change.
Once Requested, the Reinforcements simply deploy in the same Tactical Phase, there’s no delay or uncertainty mechanic or anything. The owning player puts a 40mm Drop Pod token anywhere in their own table half. They can then deploy all the models in the Reinforcement Section anywhere in Zone of Control of that token, as long as they are within the owner’s own table half. Models are placed without generating AROs, but they cannot deploy inside buildings, and cannot deploy inside an Exclusion Zone – Missions with that rule will create a very different experience of this mechanic. Remember the basic rules for deployment still apply, so models cannot deploy in Silhouette contact with enemies or with Objectives.
Because this whole process takes place before the Order count in the Tactical Phase, the Reinforcement Section will all generate their own Orders (and Tactical Awareness Orders) on the Active turn in which they arrive. The player is expressly forbidden from using Command Tokens to swap models into or out of the Reinforcement Combat Group during the Tactical Phase in which they arrive. However the Commlink trooper may swap into the Reinforcements’ Group, without spending a Command Token.
Fireteams in Reinforcement Sections
All of the Reinforcement rosters have Core, Haris and Duo Fireteam options. Players can deploy their Reinforcements formed into Fireteams, but must obey their Faction or Sectorial’s normal limit on how many Fireteams are on the table. So if a Sectorial deployed a Core Fireteam in their Main Section, and that Fireteam is still intact when the Reinforcements are Requested, they could not deploy those Reinforcements as a second Core Fireteam. It is allowed to cancel the Main Section team, which the owning player can choose to do at any point, and then deploy a Core team as part of the Reinforcements. Players are explicitly forbidden from forming mixed Fireteams of Reinforcement and Main Section troopers, even by spending Command Tokens later in the game. All vanilla Factions have now been granted the right to have one Haris team, but only in Reinforcement games, and their only options to do so are Reinforcement teams.
- Genghis Cohen: some real opportunity cost to get Reinforcement Fireteams onto the table for Sectorials. I doubt most Sectorial players will want to give up the defensive benefits of a Core Fireteam in the early game, but they could definitely plan on running without a Haris team, or cancelling a Core or Haris team once the Reinforcements arrive. It really depends on the specific faction. It does look like vanilla Factions are relatively boosted here – I think a Haris team is going to be a more common Reinforcement element than a full Core, and getting it without giving anything up in your Main Section composition is a better deal than Sectorials get. The other winners are Sectorials which can field 2 Haris teams, Steel Phalanx, and of course (ugh) Tohaa.
Overall, Reinforcement games are going to be a substantial change to the format we’re used to, with hopefully a bit more back-and-forth between players, rather than one player (often the one with the first Active Turn) establishing control of the game and keeping it throughout.
We’ll look at the actual new units introduced, and those with significant changes, before we all give our thoughts on how this will change the game.
Most of us here at Goonhammer were confidently predicting that the bulk of new profiles previewed last week, and new unit names shown in the Reinforcement rosters, would be available in vanilla Factions and/or Sectorials as well. This is not the case! Almost all the new units are exclusively available as Reinforcement picks. The exceptions are the Squalo Mk2, a new PanO TAG, Maximus, a new TAG joining Aleph & PanO, and a couple new units can join Main Sections of Qapu Khalki (while being Reinforcement-only for vanilla Haqqislam). Probably most importantly, the Caskuda, as well as being a Reinforcement option TAG for Combined Army, is also available in Main Sections as a Combat Jump TAG. With explosions. No deployment zone is safe.
The new rogue Exrah merc, Freelance Operator Samsa, is available to all vanilla Factions except Combined Army in their Main Sections (he’s a Reinforcement choice for NA2 armies). He’s not bad – at 30pts for a 1W model with Infiltration and Mimetism-3, but no marker state, the problem will be his fragility, especially if playing second you may struggle to keep him alive. But if you can, or are playing first and happy to use him as a disposable attack piece, he’s a BS13 plasma rifle that starts in the midfield, is a Spec Op for doing missions, and is highly mobile with 6-2MOV and Super-Jump. Far from an auto-take in most factions, but certainly very usable.
Beyond actual new units, a smattering of units across all factions received tweaks to loadout and/or points cost, in some cases receiving interesting glow-ups or new roles. Furthermore, many of the Reinforcement versions of existing units have alternative, Reinf.-only profiles that give them exciting new capabilities. We will investigate all the major tweaks as we go through the factions. In all Reinforcement rosters, we see that units which regularly have Camouflage, Infiltration and similar skills have lost them, with points costs often adjusted accordingly – those skills don’t work fully with how Reinforcements deploy, or perhaps with how CB want to see them used. There aren’t many Impetuous or Irregular troopers in Reinforcements, and CB seem to have made a conscious choice to restrict very cheap units – Ariadna has a couple 9-11pt options, but most factions’ cheapest Reinforcements are 12-14 points.
- Genghis Cohen: the trooper limit will be 15-17 models now, depending on Faction/Sectorial Commlink options. As stated, these don’t usually give the player a choice, your faction gets the number it gets. There’s no prescription as to how many models you need to have in the Main vs Reinforcement Section. But the amount of points/SWC is fixed. So in practice, given the relatively narrow Reinforcements rosters, most factions will have a practical limit of ~5 Reinforcement models. We’ll go through the Factions below, but it’s interesting to think that many lists will have Main Sections in the 11-13 model range, so splitting Main Section Combat Groups is now something to consider.
Pan Oceanian Reinforcements: Code Capitol
Genghis Cohen: PanO’s Commlink+1 options are Fusiliers and Acontecimento Regulars in vanilla, with the latter also being the choice for their home Sectorial. Military Orders, since they have their own unique line infantry, Crosiers, get a Commlink+1 option there instead. All standard stuff.
PanO’s Main Section options have had some not wholly positive tweaks:
- Peacemakers went up in points. This has generated a funny but understandable amount of salt online, since something similar happened to Bulletteers in the last Army update. Many players have hypothesised that someone in CB HQ must keep getting absolutely rolled by PanO remotes. But it seems egregious is a game with Bearpodes, Steel Phalanx characters and loads of other things more in need of simple price hike than Peacemakers.
- Squalos were initially removed in favour of the new Squalo MK2 unit, then replaced “at least until current product is discontinued”. So the intent seems to be to phase out the ARM8, S7 Squalo in favour of its new ARM6, S6 version This new Mk2 Squalo is very similar except for that change in size and ARM. It gains +1″ Dodge and +1B on its multi pistol. It keeps the NCO/Multi HMG option which we think will be the default, but that’s 71pts, and I think most players would pay the full 77 for the more heavily armoured old Squalo while that remains an option. The Mk2 also introduced a slightly cheaper grenade launcher profile, which loses NCO and only gets a normal HMG – not great – and an interesting multi marksman rifle profile for only 57pts and 1SWC. I think that’s a decent light TAG option but unlikely to be that competitive against heavy TAGs, which ultimately have a more threatening profile – if you’re paying for a big block of wounds and ARM, you might want to go all the way. Nice option to have I suppose.
- Richard Quinn went up a point but gained a +1B breaker pistol. I’m sure this will please anyone who was already using him, but won’t change any minds. He’s still fine.
- Agnes Ferreira gets a Remdriver profile. Frankly I think the ability is overpriced, but at least it makes her more than a cheap filler unit.
- Robin Hook joins Military Orders! Huzzah. This gives them another option to extend Hacking area, which they can actually build into with Santiago killer hackers and De Fersen. It also really highlights the Peacemaker price hike and difference in modern, optimised profiles – the Peacemaker is now 24 to Robin’s 23. While the former’s shotgun and flamer Auxbot definitely have their merits, Robin brings a lot more utility to the table in a similar main role (midfield Repeater), and she’s 2STR with Total Immunity. I know which I’m bringing in my MO.
New Reinforcement Units
The Blade-Ops TacAware SMG engineer is definitely the standout to me here, in a Duo with the best Squalo Mk2 Reinforcement, an AP spitfire. They are 87pts, so you can’t even fit in a third model since Agnes is the cheapest Reinforcement at 14. But this dynamic pairing gives you 2 Regular Orders, 2 TacAware and any NCO, plus you can always swap in your Commlink trooper. I think that’s a fairly punchy way to Reinforce and will definitely try it with a Knight Commander +1 Lt Order in MO.
Changes to existing units in Reinforcements
Some minor tweaks, like the Pathfinder bot going up to 17pts and gaining a multi rifle, which is actually pretty nice in ITS14 Tachimoto rules. Orc troops don’t have the Winterfor or Varuna Div. options as Reinforcements, which makes sense from a fluff perspective. Definitely the biggest change to a single unit is the Swiss Guard. As predicted they lose HD and Camo for a substantial price break. I mean the hacker and HMG are still 52-53pts, as you’d expect of a BS15, Mim-6, ARM5 bruiser. But they also get a 46pt SMG profile with buffed melee stats and Firewall-3, which is the only real melee capable close assault profile in the Reinforcement roster except Shona Carano.
Musterkrux: OK, Swiss Guard, I know I said some mean things about you earlier but now that I’ve seen your new points costs and profiles I think I’d like to get a coffee and chat sometime…
My initial thoughts on PanO Reinforcement ‘packages’:
TAG, you’re it
Duo the Squalos with the Engineer and the pair of them will have 5 (6 if your Commlink trooper joins the party) orders to spend on the turn they come down. Nice.
Genghis Cohen: as said above, I like the Squalo in a simple Duo, with the Blade-Ops engineer. Your third model is probably just as good as the AP spitfire I was considering. The other option is a Fireteam either built around HI or Bolts, and just shoot the enemy off the table in true PanO fashion. Of the Swiss Guard profiles (none of which are linkable) I actually think the hacker is the best in the Reinforcement role. They are all Hackable anyway, and being able to hack back is better than having Firewall-3 in my book, while a multi rifle gives a lot more options than an SMG. Really difficult to fit a Swiss or Aquila guard in and still build an effective group though, PanO is not blessed with any truly cheap options here.
Yu Jing Reinforcements: Daebak Force
Genghis Cohen: Yu Jing have Zhanshi and Celestial Guard Commlink+1 options, which stay the same through their respective Sectorials. There were was only one change to an existing unit:
- The Rui Shi got a new profile with Red Fury and an MSV1, for 0.5SWC and 20pts. Now I see the logic, but in a Faction with as good access to smoke as Yu Jing, and so many other MSV1 my units that are better medium range gunfighters, I don’t see this being a common pick.
Now Yu Jing did pick up an exciting 4 new Reinforcements profiles first and 2 weren’t previewed last week, so let’s look at ….
Hack the planet, baby! This is a Remote Presence HI. The combo of NWI and RP actually makes him tougher than a normal 2STR model in some situations. Basically, if he loses 2STR in a single Order, he still goes to NWI, not straight to death as he would of he didn’t have RP. Against chip damage it’s the same as any 1W NWI unit. Although they are only a standard WIP13, they are actually very efficient hackers. They have good programs like a Spotlight bonus on a KHD, they have pitchers (remember they are linkable and can deploy right in the midfield) and have BTS6. Great additions to Yu Jing’s infowar capabilities. The most exciting profile, with Marksmanship and a Mk12, is also the most expensive at 30pts, but I think it would be worthwhile if it doesn’t affect squeezing another trooper into Reinforcements. And yes, you can Fireteam one with a Tinbot Firewall-6 Jujak.
And what absolute units they are. It’s mostly simply a straightforward bruiser HI. BS14 and ARM5, with mean SWC guns, at a reasonable price. With TacAware and fully usable in Fireteams no less! Especially as both profiles combine an >16″ weapon with an assault pistol, creating an active turn unit that is dangerous at a variety of ranges. While you’d try taking one just for those qualities, it’s also got a very interesting Guided ability on the 35pt HRL+1B. Now this won’t be the death-dealing machine a conventional Guided missile bot is. It will probably be best used against lighter armoured units. But Guided is a great capability to have. It turns your hackers into existential threats against non-hackable units, so long as you have a couple of Orders. It’s also really nice that the B3 weapon has a reason (beyond just cost) to take it over the usual HMG option. This is a unit I really look forward to trying out.
Other New Reinforcement Units
Hwarangs are the natural Fireteam builder here, beating out Jujaks. In every instance they appear – Tankos, Teutons, don’t even mention Cenobites – 2W HI that are kept cheap by lacking ‘proper’ ranged weapons are a winning formula. Hwarangs aren’t quite those, but they can start in the midfield and they’re great obstacles to safe enemy advances. 6-2 Mov with Dodge +2″ opens up some real maneuvers to get them into close combat even without smoke.
Sulsa Warriors have intimidating melee skills and Mimetism-6 is great, but I foresee them being relatively hard to push home against templates or shotguns. Maybe I’m just being cautious, they do Dodge on 16s. Sulyong have nice skills but are ultimately expensive because they can decide whether they’re support Specialists or gunfighters. I think the paramedic and FO both have a use.
Changes to existing units in Reinforcements
I mean Bixie doesn’t get any changes, but deploying as a Reinforcement is basically the perfect way to use her enormous strengths, so there’s that. The Jujak spitfire profile gets NCO for a rather cheap +2pts, but I’m still not sure it surpasses the other models available as a Fireteam gunner. The Weibing FO bot gets a new profile that gives up Sensor for +1 damage on the combi rifle and +1B on the flash pulse – for a cost increase to 17pts. That’s terrible in my book, +1 damage on a mediocre shooter is neither here nor there, and frankly the +1B flash pulse is pointless – that’s almost entirely an ARO weapon which won’t see use. More interestingly, the Son-Bae (IE missile bot) gets an FTO profile with a Mk12, not a missile! It also gets a non-fireteamable profile with a Mk12 +1B – both these are usable, but as long as it gets TacAware as in ITS14, most players would probably look to the Fireteam option first.
Yu Jing Summary:
Musterkrux: There comes a point where I have to admit that saying ‘I’ve been wrong before and I’ll be wrong again’ loses its meaning (…around about the time people realise I’m wrong more than 50% of the time) but I guess here we are, apologising to YJ again…
Dokkaebi and Haetae are great, take a look at those profiles. Also, the Fireteam options that YJ can bring in as Reinforcements are great. Imagine this dropping onto the table:
There’s an option there to run a Haris (without or without Bixie) or even a 4-person Fireteam. Meanwhile, Bixie is using her NCO skill to borrow another order (or 2 if you rock and take DaoYing Lts) to further extend the reach of your reinforcements team. Brutal.
Genghis Cohen: totally agree. I won’t list the same units again, but Yu Jing have absolute bruisers in their Reinforcement roster, and great infowar as well. My only caution is that I see a lot of 3-4 model Reinforcement Sections in my future as the good things are relatively chunky. Not a huge problem when your total model count can be filled out with Shaolin Monks, Kuang Shi etc …. Oh, sorry Invincible Army. Didn’t see you there. You’ll manage. Somehow.
Ariadnan Reinforcements: Equipe Argent
Ariadna get Commlink+2 on all the line infantry you’d expect, which given their faction’s plethora of effective cheap units, is a nice buff compared to others. They also have some slightly cheaper Reinforcement options to make the most of that.
Apaches, Equipe d’Intervention Urbaine
Musterkrux: Oh wow. I still love Apaches. They don’t appear to be in Vanilla Ariadna (which is a mild but understandable shame) but they are AVA 2 Wildcards that count as Loup Garou in FRRM. A 6-2, Super Jump, NWI Warband that can either drop Burst 3 templates or make Burst 2 CC attacks for the bargain price of 17 points is very, very good. Probably not enough to save FRRM as a Sectorial but a lovely quality of life improvement to a ‘Playable but out of catalogue’ sectorial.
No changes to their non-Reinforcement profiles, which remain as moderately expensive elite LI pretending to be HI, but they do all get TacAware as Reinforcements.
Musterkrux: I’m still pretty down on Loup Garou (with the notable exception of their mad drip Jacket-styles). Being an existing unit nothing has changed for them in the transition to Reinforcements, so both their profile types are very missable.
Genghis Cohen: hey now, they got a viral sniper rifle in main section as well. So now you can take a great SWC weapon on a BS12 1W model with no gunfighting mods….oh.
Musterkrux: I’m quite fond of what we’ve got going on here. Para-Commandos can pretend they’ve got Combat Drop and are very well priced for what they bring. I love Chasseurs with Minelayer but 15 points for what you get is also very swish. Equipe Mirage 5 are, honestly, better as Reinforcements than as DZ Parachutists if you ask me. There are very few genuinely bad Ariadnan Reinforcement profiles on offer here. My initial test drops will include:
Little Red Riding Hood
Note that Margot gets Tactical Awareness and Mimetism when she Drop Pods onto the table and Duroc maintains his Impetuous state, which is wild. 7 Orders there before you drag your Commlink over. Nice.
Take a Loup Garou BSG, 2x Apaches, an FTO 112 Medic and then slap in Wolfgang Amadeus to end up with a 5-person Fireteam (if you’re playing in a Sectorial, at least) packing a BS 13, Burst 5 Multi-Rifle and 5 orders to push it around the table. I didn’t think we’d see many viable Fireteam Core options in Reinforcements but…Surprise! So close to it being a pure Fireteam, as well…
Genghis Cohen: Wolfgang is a great pick and actually Bruant has a T2 rifle and X Visor profile that makes a decent Fireteam leader (I’m not even sure if he’s changed from before, MRRF are that uncommon). But I do think Equipe Mirage 5 and Apaches are the real aggression in the roster. There are some decent 1W ‘light gunfighter’ types, Moblots, Para-Commandos and Briscards are all usable, and while not super scary on their own, we will probably need them to cover the melee combatants.
Haqqislam Reinforcements: Melek Reaction Force
Genghis Cohen: Haqqislam get Commlink+2, only on Ghulams, which is a bit disappointing when things like Muyibs can be spec ops troopers and are sort of considered line infantry in their Sectorials. But +2, so still actually a faction benefit. The biggest non-Reinforcement change is that Qapu Khalki got their right to field 2 Haris teams back! Hurrah, they needed it. They also receive the two (pretty nice) new units, in Main Section, not just as Reinforcements. Those are Sectorial only, so not available in vanilla Haqqislam.
There were some changes to existing Main Section units across the whole faction:
- Odalisques now get Sixth Sense and 360 Visors, and +1B on their nanopulsers, on all profiles, paying 1pt for the privilege. Bargain really.
- Djanbazan and Sekban got red fury profiles. Whatever.
- Al Hawwa got an actually very useful change: they now have a killer hacker option, the previously sniper minelayer is now a much more useful shock marksman rifle minelayer (still costs 0.5SWC). Most importantly they got another minelayer profile with a SMG and grenade launcher. Not only is the potential for speculative fire nice in the midfield (even if a BS11 unit is only going to make it work 25% of the time) it’s great to have 2 different minelayers so your opponent isn’t entirely certain what weapon he’s facing once the identity of the mine becomes clear. These handy skirmishers got rather better in my books.
Korsan, Corsairs of the Gate
Musterkrux: They’re fine. At 14 points for a Regular order in a Reinforcements module I’m fine with Korsan being ‘Over-priced Warbands’. Not many other factions are getting their Reinforcement orders this cheap…
Genghis Cohen: I quite like them – 6-2 Mov with climbing plus and Dodge+2″ gives a melee unit a lot to work with, and +2B chain rifle is exceptional. Weirdly, that profile, the best IMO, is 1pt cheaper as a normal guy than as a Reinforcement. I think that’s eminently sensible as the Reinf can start on the halfway line…but the other options are the same cost for both types? No idea.
Burtuk, Aeronaval Engineering Regiment
Musterkrux: The platonic ideal of a model in Infinity: Terrain Skill, Shock Immune with No Wound Incap, a visual modifier for F2F rolls, BS 12 with AP-ammo types, costed well with no bloat rules or equipment, and a danged specialist on top of all of that. Burtuks are great. Burtuks are the best single profile released in this rules drop. Fight me.
Genghis Cohen: don’t forget mines! I am not going to fight you, they’re standout great, but they are also fundamentally team players. At 27-31 pts, with limited ability to fight beyond 8″, they are absolutely meant to be used as support in Fireteams.
Musterkrux: There’s a lot to work with here, I’m sure we can come up with a few viable plays but I’ll confess my first submission is just grabbing the best of the new stuff and then filling in the blanks:
The Sekban gives you access to a Haris that also feeds on your Lt order, with both an Engineer and Doctor for all of your force reconstitution needs. The synergy between the Sunduqbut and a Reinforcements Burtuk is wild. Meanwhile, the Azra’il drops down and asks if there any TAGs is willing to piece-trade with Satan.
Genghis Cohen: I am livid that Azra’il can’t Haris and one Sekban is required to make a proper Fireteam. I don’t even play Haqq, I can just see from the outside this is doing them dirty. I’d love to have a Duo of Azra’il with their AP spitfire and +1B shotgun profiles laying down hell together, but I can only get it to 4 Orders, and without any NCO or TacAware. I think the natural shape of this is a small Fireteam, with the Sekban either as a Doctor, backing up a Korsan and a Djanbazan or other gunfighter, or maybe some players would take a SWC Sekban and take advantage of Rouhani or Hakims which are both more efficient doctors.
Another option is for Haqq to lean into their faction fluff and take a couple independent doctors, and use their Reinforcement section as medical relief to any casualties they’ve suffered. I don’t think mass doctoring generally wins games in Infinity, but a judicious Doctor roll – and remember how much control the owning player has over where the Reinforcements deploy – can swing a game. And my last point is that Odalisques, while not particularly flashy, are just damn efficient defensive speed bumps which could also be a valid use of Reinforcements. They’re effectively 2W (especially in Round 3, when 1W+NWI really is the same thing!), you can’t sneak up on them, shoot them from behind or surprise them, and they have direct templates for defence. They have a limited profile list for Reinforcements, but it’s worth looking at.
Genghis Cohen: Vanilla Combined Army get Commlink without bonuses on their line infantry (Morat Vanguards, Nox Troopers, Unidron Batroids) and all those options get Commlink+1 in their home Sectorials. Now CA (and Onyx force) also get what I think is the most impactful unit addition to the game, at least in Main Sections: the Caskuda. As a Reinforcement it’s a pretty decent option, comparable to other TAGs in that role and honestly nothing special in comparison. As a Combat Jump TAG in Main Section (or in normal format games of Infinity) it’s a terrifying alpha strike threat, especially since the way you’d defend against it is so very different to how you’d defend against Speculo killers, Bit & Kiss pitcher volleys, or any other combo of CA’s already very potent offensive tools. I think that alone keeps CA very firmly as the benchmark other factions measure themselves against.
The only other change outside of Reinforcements is that Nexus Ops were given NCO, with only two of their profiles increasing in cost, by a modest +2pts. This isn’t as great a deal as in some other factions, because CA has such great active Lt options, but it is a nice little boost to profiles like the Nexus engineer which already had a place, or for Onyx fireteams.
New Reinforcement Profiles
We’d already seen profiles for the Exos, Base Operators and the classic gunfighters that are Vector Operators, and to that we add one more Exrah, the Void Operator.
Void Operators are pretty characteristic Exrah profiles, 6-2MOV and Super-Jump, with their special rules being 360 and X Visors, and NCO. Frankly, they have a killer hacker profile, but they are WIP13 BTS0, and two SWC profiles that are ridiculously outclassed by the Vector. If your opponent takes a 25pt/1SWC Void Operator with Red Fury over a 25pt/1.5SWC Vector Operator with spitfire, take them aside and ask them if everything’s ok at home – that is not the act of a rational mind. However, you need a Void Operator to compose a Fireteam with a Vector in it. So a lot of people will take the 19pt shotgun profile, and NCO may actually come in handy then for moving the team. Definitely a supporting player in the cast.
The Caskuda is an OK TAG for close assault in the Reinforcement role. I think AVA is not shared except for characters, so I think you could run alongside a Combat Jump version for the memes? It will do the job with either face to face shooting or chain rifles, but it needs to get close. Reinforcement deployment helps with that, but frankly I’d have paid more for a 24″ gun option. To me, the main barrier is that if I wanted to use a Caskuda, I’d go Combat Jump to get into the enemy lines quicker. Anyone who does use it will likely Duo with a 19pt Base Ops Engineer, or a 16pt M-Drone for the TacAware Order.
Combined Army Summary
There’s lots here to work with. All of the new Exrah stuff looks priced to move, Umbra Legates are great, Q-drones are horrific attack pieces (you lose Total Reaction but they’re cheaper and when you drop them down you’re going to be going loud with them anyway). The potential you have with solo pieces is so significant I haven’t even given a lot of thought to what you can do building a Duo or Haris here…
Musterkrux: I see two types of people when it comes to Combined Army reinforcements: Those who drop the Caskuda down and those who don’t. I’m not saying either group is better but the Caskuda list almost builds itself, so I’ll submit my Not-Caskuda build to mix things up:
Justice for Ko Dali
Finally, a way to deploy Ko Dali that doesn’t feel like a huge opportunity loss or gamble. You could probably put some specialists in here but honestly I’m happy just to see a tonne of hateful, hateful firepower drop onto the table.
Aleph Reinforcements: Ank Program
Genghis Cohen: Aleph get Commlink, with no bonus, on Thorikatai and Dakinis. Vanilla Aleph and OSS also get Maximus added to their Main Section roster. A couple unit tweaks:
- Arjuna get Tactical Awareness (and AVA2 and a very small cc bump), going up in cost 3 points as a result. I think this makes them much more interesting. Units with peripherals are something of finesse pieces, you really have to practice to get the most out of them in offense or defence, so these still aren’t a competitive auto-take we’ll see everywhere, but they are potentially very useful pieces.
- Dasyus get NCO, so some profiles go up 2pts. At the same time, FO and the normal hacker option swap their combi rifles for SMGs, meaning they go down 2pts in total. This won’t make or break them from where they were before. NCO isn’t always crucial in Aleph/OSS, who often take active Lts or Strategos, and a Dasyu isn’t necessarily a unit that needs to be as cheap as possible by having an SMG – if I’m paying for a Mimetism-6 NWI guy, I want to actually shoot things, and combi rifle can pick more fights and avoid flamethrowers a lot better than an SMG.
Sorry to be negative, but I don’t really like Maximus as a Main Section TAG. He’s 71pts for a B4 multi marksman, while Aleph and Steel Phalanx get Agammemnon, who is 62pts (and more SWC, granted) for an AP Spitfire, so functionally very similar with +1Damage, and a B2 heavy flamethrower. He’s not quite as good in melee combat, but who cares? Is anyone going to throw a 71-76pt TAG into melee? A TAG just wants to be good enough to bully non-melee combatants or those with shock melee weapons, and to ensure that attacking it with enemy melee units isn’t reliable. Yes, Maximus is ARM7 and immune to crits and possession. But he isn’t Remote Presence, which is one of the single best rules a TAG can have. Not a fan. I guess it gives OSS a lower priced option than a Marut. But I’d far rather face an opponent using Maximus, than one who’d picked the Marut.
In Reinforcements he’s a bit better, being the same cost but starting in position to use his loadout. He can be Duo’d with either a cheap bot for TacAware, but even then you’re not fitting in a third model in your Reinforcement section. Might as well Duo him with an Engineer-not-Doctor Sophotect, which costs 28pts and I’d bet was created specifically to allow this pairing under the Reinforcement cap. That’s at least a usable, if not inspiring, Reinforcement Section – it’s tough to assault directly and your Main Section still has a 13-trooper cap to play with.
New Reinforcement Units
There are a couple new things we hadn’t seen at the preview, the Artalis and Satrah Units. But first…
Musterkrux: Every robot was Kung Fu Fighting. I will take no questions.
Let’s be fair, these are cheap and useful models that are the required components for Reinforcement Haris/Core Fireteams. They’re brilliant. However, their absence in Vanilla denies me the option of plugging them into a Rem Racer with CC+9 and I will never forgive CB for this. Never.
Genghis Cohen: LOL, yeah the kung fu bots are the standout Aleph Reinforcement for me. Great disposable attack pieces and they can Fireteam easily with efficient gunfighters. What’s not to love?
Musterkrux: Oh look, another Single-wound infantry model that costs between 20-30 points in Reinforcements. To be fair, at least these are air-droppable Engineers/Doctors, so you can use them for Force Reconstitution. Good enough, I guess.
Genghis Cohen: I can see the utility of a Reinforcement doc/eng type with NCO, it’s a rescuer. But the cost is relatively steep, they pay for some punchy weapons when that’s not their first purpose on arrival. I think they will get overlooked for other options in most games.
Musterkrux: Oh bugger, I peaked too early with the snarky comments about single wound models costing 20-30 points…That said, Albedo and MSV2 is going to be a great toolbox for solving any ‘problems’ your opponent has left on the table for you to deal with.
Genghis Cohen: Great gunfighting kit, if I’m honest I think the lack of an SWC weapon will hold them back compared to the Riksha Tacbots. But I’d certainly give them a try, Albedo opens up terrific late game possibilities in some match-ups.
Musterkrux: My sample Aleph Reinforcements isn’t terribly inspiring but maybe there’s something to this…
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
Take a Dawon Haris where your Burst +1 Daleth is throwing 5 dice around and then an Arjuna with 2x trading-bots to really muck up someone’s day. Tactical Awareness on the Arjuna means you’ve got 5 orders to play with. It’s something?
O-12 Reinforcements: Gladius Team
Kappas get Commlink+1, and there were no other non-Reinforcement Changes at all – probably because O-12 and Starmada got a bit of a rework in the last year.
New Reinforcement Units
It’s sort of telling that Jackboots don’t appear in vanilla O-12 or Starmada, because at 23+ points a pop you’d hope for more if you’re competing with Kappas for the ‘generic infantry slot’ in a list. The trend seems to be that CB doesn’t want to give factions easy access to sub-20 point models in Reinforcements (I assume they don’t want to see more than 4-5 models dropping down), so they’ve got to buff up Jackboots above that threshold but in doing so I think they’re just not going to be competitive in any list that can take LI in the 12-15 point weight-class. Still, for Reinforcements…they’re fine, I guess.
Genghis Cohen: Can you take it alongside the Psi-Cop anywhere? I’ve never seen those two in the same room…
Musterkrux: Negative. This is proof that both Psi-Cops and VIDOCQs are Bruce Wayne and Batman.
VIDOCQ are good. There’s not much more to say on the matter. They’ve got skills that matter, relatively little bloat and the sort of weapon loadouts you might hope to see in the mid-field.
Musterkrux: It was around about the time that I read the Nightshades profile that I decided that maybe, just maybe CB was pushing hard on Mimetism-6 single wound models and, in turn, that having mines and models with DTWs in the mid-field is an excellent way of convincing people to not take Mimetism-6 single wound models in their Reinforcements rosters. Nightshades hate Claymore Mines: Front Toward Enemy.
Genghis Cohen: yeah, no Camouflage, no weapons good over 8″ and no non-hackable Specialists make this one a pass for me.
We don’t see Ment Agents in Vanilla or Starmada but then again both of those lists have access to Cho, who is a Holomask Chain of Command for 20 points so I feel like their inclusion in a non-reinforcements context would actually be a net loss to O-12 list variety. As it is, they provide you with another means of preventing LoL in O-12 and, for the price, they’re a very welcome addition to the roster.
Aside, everytime someone says Ment Agent, I assume they’re contracting ‘Government Agent’ down to ‘Ment Agent and I’m very OK with that. I assume they jump out of their dropship, flash some badges and yell (over the whine of drophip engines): “I’m an Agent, I work for the ‘ment.” about three seconds before getting domed by one of the many, many weapons banned by the Concilium.
Musterkrux: Remember my earlier comments about the Mobility Kill Meta, taking your 15 point Ment Agent around a corner and asking your opponent if they’re willing for their premiere attack piece to take 3x RiotStopper shots (4 in a Haris) is a wild proposition. If they choose to dodge? Remind them that you’ve got an SMG with AP-rounds…glorious…
Musterkrux: If you squint and pretend you don’t see Bronzes or Jackboots I think this is a very good Reinforcements selection. The downside to my method is then you don’t get to use the essential ingredients of the Fireteams, haha.
If I was asked to make a horrid O-12 Reinforcements list it’d probably look like this:
Hate is a 4-letter word
I was tempted to run 3x Dakini because 15 points for fast-mover specialists with Mimetism -3 is just wild but who can resist the lure of a Wild Parrot in the mid-field? Bring Cuervo for all of your Ultra-Violence needs and then round it out with a VIDOCQ NCO. Would love to bring the Multi-Marksman Rifle profile but the points aren’t quite there.
Tohaa Reinforcements: Deras Kaar
Genghis Cohen: Look, I don’t really want to talk about this. Kamaels get Commlink+1. They didn’t get any new stuff, I mean Chaksa Longarms got a BS Attack (AP) option with Red Fury and pulzar, which would be a great loadout if they weren’t a byword for a useless unit. No amount of weapons make a model with no mobility, resilience or gunfighting ability into a good pick.
Their Reinforcement Section is actually quite good – it’s got plenty of effective units, thankfully not including Makauls, Taquels, or any Symbimates/Bombs, because that would be incredibly irritating. So realistically it’s fine but nothing new to get excited about, and it tones down some of Tohaa’s best strengths.
Nomad Reinforcements: Vipera Pursuit Force
Genghis Cohen: Nomads did not receive any new profiles for their Main Sections, aside from Samsa. Their Commlink+1 options are the three line infantry you’d expect – Moderators, Alguaciles, Securitate. They do have some tweaks to existing units:
- Tsyklon Sputniks got chain rifles. Always a nice tool for self-defence, a direct template, especially on a model you may be supporting with an Engineer, and so are more willing to use for trades in the Reactive Turn.
- Jelena Kovac, the Securitate special character, basically an affordable Sensor & X-Visor dudette, gained Tactical Awareness, bumping from 20 to 23 points in consequence. An alternative multi-rifle profile was added, at the same cost as her normal breaker combi. This does makes her more attractive, particularly in Tunguska, while being unlikely to upend the competitive scene. We wouldn’t dismiss her though, Sensor is a great capability to have. She will become more competitive if the normal, 16pt Sensor bots lose their ITS14 bonus of free TacAware and Marksmanship, which currently make them more efficient.
- Spektrs changed loadouts. There is now an alternative hacker profile with a boarding shotgun, for the same price as the combi rifle (35pts), while the FO profile is now boarding shotgun only, again for no change in cost. More interestingly, the deployable repeater version (which has E/M rather than shock mines, which is not listed as a change, but I hadn’t noticed and is pretty great!) drops significantly in cost, from 32 to 28 points, for trading in its combi rifle for an SMG. The cost saving for an SMG is nice, and a Hidden Deployment, Camouflage, Infiltration model is a great way to place either a Repeater or E/M mines. I’m more on the fence about the shotguns. A Mimetism-6 model can really bully vulnerable models, and I think a combi rifle, effective to 16″, is a much better way to find those targets, especially since so many of them have direct templates! There are plenty of models you can happily pick off from 16″ away, that will happily trade with your Spektr if you try it within effective shotgun or SMG range. But overall a positive change, and I will try that SMG profile out, even if it’s unlikely to overtake the infamous 23pt Fast Panda Heckler as the perfidious Nomads’ repeater-layer of choice.
- Probably the biggest glow-up is the Lizard. Much maligned as inferior competition to the Szalamandra or Gator, it now has an alternative role as a mid-range assault TAG. It gained two alternative profiles, in which it swaps its multi-HMG for BS Attack (Shock) and an AP Spitfire, as well as gaining E/M mines. This seems like a pretty nice piece to bully forward with, especially since it dropped to 68pts. BS Attack (Shock) is also pretty damn great for a grenade launcher model. A lot of bomb-able targets like enemy Core teams have 1W models, but also doctor/paramedic support, it can be a lot more unpleasant for your opponent to receive Speculative Fire attacks if he knows that every hit can put a target down for good.
New Reinforcement Units
Genghis Cohen: The Marspiders remain the standout for me here. They can support a Reinforcement Lizard admirably with close assault force and Engineering. They add a hell of a lot of punch inside 8″ either in the Active Turn, or as deadly speedbumps in close terrain. Kulaks are decent light-gunfighters but Rounders are better, indeed damn good, and a likely inclusion in any Reinforcement Fireteam I would form – NCO is a nice ability to add reach to your Reinforcement group. I rate the 22pt hacker, with bonus Trinity, very highly as well. Much has been made online of the fact Nomads get Chain of Command now, in the form of a 29pt Kulak profile, but personally I wouldn’t take it. 29pts is a lot for insurance under any circumstances, and unlike Main Section CoC, it can simply not function, if your Lt is killed before your Turn 2 (or Turn 1!) but you still have too many Victory Points to request Reinforcements.
Reinforcement Versions of Existing Units
Genghis Cohen: Prowlers, at least as Reinforcements, are now as cool as they deserve to be – they gained Tactical Awareness, and even so are cheaper than their Camo/HD cousins in Main Section. I really like them as the point men for Reinforcement Fireteams. They can compose pure Vipera Fireteams, but I think chasing full Core composition bonuses in Reinforcements is unachievable (see below). But you can make a usable 5-model Reinforcement group with additional 3 TacAware Orders (at least while ITS14 Tachimoto bonuses to Stempler Zonds endure):
I think that’s some real utility and mid-range gunfighting/close assault there. Speaking of Stempler Zonds, they have 3 Reinforcement profiles, able to get down to 13pts by giving up Sensor, or up to 19pts by trading it for BS Attack (+1B) and shock mines! Especially given the ITS14 Tachimoto rules, the 13pt version is the best value as well as the cheapest model in Vipera force. It’s a steal and will probably be the single most common Nomad Reinforcement unit. The other Remotes are little changed, Tsyklons and Vostoks both having some utility, but maybe difficult to fit into a Reinforcement group of sufficient size to provide its own Orders. Lunokhods just can’t catch a break – never taken in Main Sections, here their Minelayer skill and Crazy Koalas would have been gleaming. So they swapped them in for shock mines (no Minelayer). I can completely see why CB didn’t want to give certain skills out to Reinforcements, but at least give the poor things a points drop! They remain the same unacceptably high cost, and can’t even join Fireteams.
Spektrs can’t join Fireteams either, but I think they have real potential in Reinforcements. Losing Camouflage and Hidden Deployment dropped them to 20-22 points. That includes both kinds of hackers and a neat (albeit 1SWC) multi marksman rifle profile – all Reinf. Spektrs get BS Attack (+1 Dam) now! This makes them affordable ways to perform objectives, drop E/M mines or Repeaters, or pick off non-MSV models in the midfield.
Jelena Kovac and Raoul Spector are here, and both their special skills and their rifles will be much better value arriving in the midfield as reinforcements, than in the Main Section. They’re Fireteam Wildcards, and Raoul is a competitive choice to spearhead a team, given his Mimetism-6 and effective 2W (keep him away from Shock weapons) while Jelena is decent support utility with her TacAware and Sensor.
Finally, the Lizard, while not as excitingly armed as its new-version Main Section profile, with a non-AP Spitfire and no E/M mines, is still an ARM8 TAG with 3STR and all the usual special rules like TacAware, +1 Dam, etc. That makes it pretty formidable as a Reinforcement, although we’ll have to experiment with how to play it. If you take it, you are essentially limited to 3 models in the Reinforcement group – but 3 Orders plus 1 TacAware Order could be workable, and it means the Main Section can take 13 troopers, which should be fine for Nomads at 250 points. If taking a Lizard, there’s a strong chance one of those other Reinforcements would be a Marspider, since they can Duo with it, and that would mean the other would be another Marspider or a Stempler, although there are one or two other combinations.
Genghis Cohen: I can be a bit Fireteam-dazzled when list-building, and that often bites me because elaborate structures look good on paper, but fall apart quickly once the casualties mount up. So I’m not going to get lured in by the idea of a ‘pure’ Vipera team of sweet sweet +3BS bonuses. I’ve crunched the numbers and it doesn’t work, and anyway the best gunfighters there are Rounders, which don’t count for composition bonuses. For any Nomad Sectorial though, you can consider a full-size Core team like the Prowler-led variant above, it’s just a big question whether you’d have to give up an existing Core team when they arrive. It could be a moot point, even assuming you have a Core team in your Main Section it could have been reduced to a Lt and a couple of support specialists cowering behind a building in your DZ by the time the Reinforcements arrive. All very situational and deserving of further testing. But my cautious impulse is it’s better to plan on a Reinforcement Section that doesn’t need to be a Core team to operate at full capacity. Apart from anything else, remember we will have to deploy this group in ZoC of a central token, and not inside any buildings – numbers could work against us.
I think I’d lean towards a Reinforcement group of 4 models, provided I can get TacAware or NCO Orders in there. I think that’s enough to operate, and I can always send the Commlink trooper into the Reinforcements group if needed. Squeezing 5 models into the Reinforcements seems restrictive; even with 4 it’s hard to get away from Marspiders and Stempler Zonds. There are some standout combos with Marspiders Engineers supporting Vostoks (or indeed any of the STR models), and the Remotes providing midfield Repeaters for any of your Hackers, whether that be a Rounder, Spektr, Prowler or someone in your Main Section. Here’s an example with a pair of Remotes and pair of Marspiders, capable of forming a Core team or a Haris (leave the non-Specialist Marspider out):
Musterkrux: Again, I’m sorry I was mean to you, Jelena Kovac. Tactical Awareness suits you. There’s a lot of nice pieces to tinker with here. Stempler Zonds at 13 points are excellent filler alongside Marspiders, there are some great Tactical Awareness profiles, Raoul Spector is here to confuse your opponent if you also take Spektrs (which are aggressively priced), and there are enough repeaters (deployable or remote-mounted) that you can easily support the Perfidious Nomad Hacking Game of your main force.
My default Vipera drop is going to look like:
Spector and Friends
Marspider leads a 5-model Fireteam with 6 orders to play with, a couple of decent guns, everyone is a specialist, the ability to spread out some repeater coverage and Raoul can toss out some Drop Bears to help gum up the midfield that your opponent is also likely looking to have their reinforcements move through.
Non-Aligned Armies Reinforcements
So a lot of the NA2 Armies are stuck with a really crap Wardriver profile with Commlink (no additional troopers). It isn’t even a hacker with any offensive programs, it’s just Hacker(Zero Pain), ie a Specialist who can’t do anything except mission-objective rolls, and is hackable, but can try to defend itself. Absolute waste, especially as it can’t fit into a Fireteam like most Sectorials’ Commlink troopers. The exceptions, and winners, here, are StarCo and Foreign Company, which can take Algauacil and Securitate Commlinks+1, even keeping the Nomads’ 0SWC price tag (Note: This has now been errata’ed, pay your SWC tax, Nomads!). Nomad superiority! Dahshat Company, also, gets Ghulam with Commlink+2, which is great, and sorely needed for a Sectorial with such masses of cheap, often Irregular troops.
The only new unit in Main Sections for most NA2 is the aforementioned Commlink Wardriver. Spiral Corps only get Freelance Operator Samsa, as mentioned at the start, he’s a decent midfield fighter and mission specialist. The other NA2s get him just as a Reinforcement.
Genghis Cohen: Beyond Samsa, there are a few changes to the Reinforcement profiles for existing units. Miranda Ashcroft get Tactical Awareness; Sforza swaps his Holoprojector/Holomask for NCO and Albedo. The latter is bloody interesting, it works for a full Round from when the model deploys, so Sforza cleaning up any MSV models that aren’t in Core teams in Round 2 or 3 seems like a nice prospect. Reinforcement Brawlers swap their MSV2 sniper profile for one with a multi marksman rifle, at 0.5SWC, which is cool too. Overall a fairly short change list for a fairly narrow Reinforcement roster.
Musterkrux: I’ve spent some time in the Dojo with respect to NA2 and I maintain my position that I’m not a huge fan of what NA2 gets to drop onto the table. I don’t hate the reinforcement options but I think the real killer is the tax of having to take a Wardriver (who takes up a Combat slot, SWC and has limited integration with Fireteams) who only brings Commlink +0, unlike most factions who get +1 at least.
My default NA2 drop is probably something like this…
Unless you’ve got buns, Hun
Five orders, two decent-ish attack pieces and some specialists trailing behind. I don’t love the Anaconda but delivering an AP-spitfire to the Mid-field is about as good as NA2 gets, I think. You can swap out the Red Fury for a Sniper Rifle if you think you can secure a decent overwatch position while also dropping the Anaconda into a good starting position.
The downside to this is that having taken up 4 slots the main portion of your list is now limited to 11 models and trying to write a decent NA2 list with 11 models…kinda sucks. I’ve even tinkered with a Triple-TAG list, taking Scarface and a cheap Triphammer just to skew into armour but the Wardriver Tax just makes it all hurt.
Genghis Cohen: I like that idea with the Anaconda and cheap models for maximum power at a point. It’s criminal that some NA2 don’t get Commlink+1 or +2, aside from being stuck with that dud Wardriver profile. (I play White Co, shouldn’t complain as they’re one of the best NA2 factions otherwise) I was thinking more of leveraging both Diggers, and the middleweight rifle gunfighter models that often don’t get a look-in. Both these unit types have been significantly improved by deploying far forward and in a Fireteam. I mean Diggers are just good, and being Impetuous as a Reinforcement means you could get deep into the enemy lines without even spending an Order. Below is an example featuring Sforza, cause I just bought the Defiance model for him, but it could as easily be Miranda. The Section can deploy as a big Core team, or as a Haris, in which case I’d either leave both Diggers to run solo, or would keep one in the team and leave the Doctor out, as insurance or to complete an objective or revive a model somewhere else.
The Reinforcements Meta
Musterkrux: I’ve had this rant before but I’ve done a good-think and it warrants repeating (Ed: Don’t encourage him, he’s just being lazy…).
So, I think we’re going to see several strata of playstyles emerge as people come to grips with this new ‘pacing’. Some schools of thought will double-down on the Alpha-strike, feeling threatened by the limited resources that both they and their opponent has access to at the start of the game, seeking to try and hit their opponent hard and rip their throat out before their reinforcements arrive. Potentially even looking to do so with as close to 100 points worth of assets as possible to force their opponent into triggering their reinforcements for Round 2 at the lowest possible cost as they clean up the mess that Player One left behind (The Su Jian comes to mind as a perfect attack vector in this regard).
Conversely, you’ll get defensive players who want to deny their opponent as much meat as possible. Again, to trigger timely reinforcements at the smallest possible cost.
On reflection, I think we’ll see the emergence of a Mobility Kill or Mission Kill meta. The most effective pieces at rushing over the table to cause a huge amount of damage before getting popped themselves will be HI, Remotes and TAGs. These are all pieces that can Hacked, E/M weapon’ed or even Glue-Gooped by Riotstoppers and other such non-lethal weapons. A Mobility-Kill will stop the attacking piece from decimating your lines but also deny your opponent progress towards triggering their own Reinforcements. So, I wonder if we’ll see a continued emphasis on Peacemakers, Moran Massai and other mid-field defence pieces that enable hacking AROs outside of your DZ (which is where the delicious creamy centre of your army lies). This includes Mines and DTWs to sweep up any of those delicious and expensive single-wound Mimetism -6 models that CB keeps slamming into Reinforcement rosters…
Genghis Cohen: I see a lot of people online discussing how to either bring their Reinforcements on early, or prevent their opponent doing so. Some were discussing things like only using half the Reinforcements points allowance, in order to make them enter play far earlier than the opponent expects. To me, that’s madness. My prediction is that ultimately, since both players will get their Reinforcements by the end of the game, it will actually be fairly equal in most Missions, regardless of whose arrive first, and in certain zone-control Missions the second player will actually want to bring their Reinforcements on second. After all, while it’s important to get multiple turns’ action from your Reinforcement section, if they operate in the midfield they will be very exposed to enemy Reinforcements which can be placed with great freedom very close to them.
I expect games to at least appear more swingy, back and forth affairs. The way Reinforcements deploy, outside of Exclusion Zone Missions, gives a player so much power to set them up perfectly for attacks. In many cases I’d expect control of the midfield to swing back from player to player as their Reinforcements arrive.
Musterkrux: I’m very happy to see Commlink +1 be the default setting for most factions, even if we have to pay a combat group slot, points and SWC tax to make it happen. I need to play more games to test whether the 100 point threshold feels right or not but at least they’ve given Player 2 the option to drop if they get their face smashed by an overwhelming Alpha strike. Chain of Command triggering during Reinforcements is the change we all wanted and I’m here for it. Overall, this is a great shake-up for the game and I’m looking forward to ITS 15 giving us even more to chew on.
Genghis Cohen: The Commlink implementation really irks me. There is no player choice to make, either in list building or on the table top. You simply have one trooper every list must include (some vanilla Factions get a choice of very similar line troopers). It doesn’t do anything interesting, and it restricts list building by being one slot and points/SWC taken up, so why is it a thing? They could have just given an expanded trooper limit to certain Factions/Sectorials, and put a proviso that one trooper could be moved into (not out of) the Reinforcement group in the turn it arrived. That would make the rules identical, except we wouldn’t all have to bring a commlink trooper model to every game.
Musterkrux: Just jumping in here to agree with you: If everyone has to pay a 10 points and 0.5 SWC tax to play Reinforcements then, honestly, no-one should (insert Syndrome meme here).
Genghis Cohen: I am definitely going to enjoy playing with the Reinforcements’ tactics as well as lists. I will hold judgement, though, on whether I think it should overtake regular games as the best system for competitive play. I was genuinely surprised not to see most new units enter regular play, but possibly they will at a later date (once CB have sold enough Reinforcement boxes, if I’m being cynical). Glad to see the game implementing new ideas.
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