It’s that time of year again, Goons! ITS 14 has dropped and Goonhammer is bringing you the Poblano of spicy takes on this development. Are ya ready, kids? I can’t hear you…
Genghis Cohen: I am excited to see this new season – while the themed special rules like ITS13’s biker buffs are always interesting, I’ve been playing for a long time now. What I really crave is new missions to put into the tournament rotation. Sometimes it seems like every event has Firefight and/or Supplies included. Let’s shake some things up!
Musterkrux: I’m sorry, Genghis. Only one new scenario this year. That said, at least the new special rules, like Low Gravity and Master Breacher will change how some of the existing scenarios play.
Ilor: I look forward to playing some of these scenarios. I also love that the “free” troops this season are CSUs and Bashi Bazouks. My biggest concern is the proliferation of special rules. While this does spice up the existing missions, I feel like it gets a little crazy to remember what’s what. Is it a “Low Gravity Area” or a “No Gravity Zone?” And which does what again?
New Scenarios…scenario. Singular. New Scenario.
- Activate 2+ Tech Coffins: +2 Objective Points
- End of game, Dominate a Quadrant containing a HVT: +2 Objective Points per Quadrant
- Alternatively, threaten a HVT (1 point per HVT threatened)
- End of game, Threaten a HVT with your Master Breacher: +1 additional point per Threatened HVT (…I assume this is in case you decide to drag multiple HVTs over to your demolitions expert in true villain fashion…)
- At the end of each Game Round, have a Dominant Master Breacher (Basically, having your Breacher in a Quadrant you are also Dominating): +1 Objective Point
- One Classified for 2 points.
Genghis Cohen: In summary, you activate the 4 objectives, one per quadrant, and roll for each. There are 2 HVTs, one for each player, randomly allocated between the 4 objectives. You then need to dominate the HVTs’ quadrants, or failing that, keep a model in their ZoC, at the end of the game. You want your designated special model, the Master Breacher, in a dominated quadrant (which doesn’t need to contain an HVT) at the end of each Round. You also have a juicy 2OP Classified Objective which you should really make Secure the HVT, since it’s virtually the same as the main objective.
Interesting – there’s a lot going on in the scoring here! However it’s not actually too Order-intensive a mission, it’s basically scoring by positioning at the end of the game (and in one bit the Round), with an emphasis on random quadrants. As such it could lead to some saltiness – if both HVTs are revealed to be in your opponent’s table half, you’ll be facing an uphill battle. I really like this mission. It’s the right kind of complex in my book, although time will tell.
Musterkrux: I don’t know about you but I’m excited to play a wargaming scenario where I get to…defrost and then threaten…non-combatants?…and get extra points for doing so with high-explosives?
This is an odd scenario. It’s like Supremacy …but more war-crimey? It appears that you can theoretically score well over 10 Objective Points in this scenario but that doesn’t appear to be a limit of scoring anymore, so I guess that’s fine.
Genghis Cohen: Although Threaten the HVT is only score-able if you aren’t Dominating the quadrant for that HVT, I think you’re right, I’m still seeing scoring over 10. I suppose the real takeaway is we should have an FAQ or errata to clarify the slightly confusing wording. I mean, you can’t score for Threatening the HVT if you also Dominate its quadrant – but can you score for Threatening it with the Master Breacher? This could be clearer.
Musterkrux: Yup, I count 15-16 OP, Tech Coffins for 2 points, Dominate 4x Quadrants at end of game (4 x 2 = 8 points), even assuming you can’t Threaten HVTs ever (not even end of game with your Master Breacher) you can score another 3 points with a Dominant Master Breacher over three rounds and then another 2 points for your Classified (does it become 2+1 with the bonus point for Predator?). Whack.
Ilor: Wait, no. There can only be two HVTs, so two of the quadrants will be empty. You only get the Dominate Quadrants points if there’s an HVT in the Quadrant. Max score is 2 (2+ coffins) + 4 (2x dominated quadrants containing HVTs) + 1 (threaten an HVT with Master Breacher) + 3 (Master Breacher dominant each turn) + 2 (Classified) = 12 points. You only have one Master Breacher, so if the board is small enough you might be able to threaten both of them for 13 points. Still, it’s more than 10, which is a weird departure from the norm.
Musterkrux: I stand corrected. Ilor bringing The Facts. Also, we can all agree that the scoring here is a little confusing, haha.
Genghis Cohen: The common trend here is that Objective Point allocation has only changed for a few missions – Frostbyte, Highly Classified, Supremacy. The changes are more often confined to the little extra rules and conditions, which have been shuffled around for most missions.
Reading through and comparing the mission changes has made me realise how finicky it is to remember and correctly apply the special conditions in every scenario. My overwhelming memory of things like special classified objective symbols, or +1” movement for certain troops, is how often we’ve finished a tournament game and then remembered the rule exists. Suffice it to say, I think this aspect of the ITS pack could be downsized, or at the very least made more consistent across missions.
Ilor: It’s exactly this finickiness that concerns me. Also, am I the only one that hates the N4 Difficult Terrain rules? The +1 movement for the appropriate terrain (or Terrain: Total) thing is a pain to remember, and I liked the way it was done in N3 (where you used the 2nd movement value, which really stuck it to all those 6-2 assholes). On the plus side, I find turrets hilarious, so I was glad to see them come back.
Genghis Cohen: in an unusual minor change, Biotechvore loses its Intelcom rule, which said that if you achieved a specific symbol-marked type of Classified Objective, it would nullify an opponent’s Classified Objective with a corresponding symbol. This had to have been one of the most obscure and easily-forgotten rules in the whole ITS construct, so I’m glad to see it go. I don’t think the symbols on the cards are even explained in writing anywhere.
But, another easy-to-forget rule has been added to replace it. If you include an EVO hacking device in Biotechvore, it grants you an additional Regular Order. Cool? It’s an odd trooper to incentivise taking in this Mission. As a passive support troop, which in most scenarios never wants to move from its starting position, and with a 4-4 Move value which means it needs a minimum of 2 Orders just to escape the death zone, your standard EVO Hackers were probably the single worst model in the game to include in a Biotechvore list. This makes them more of a land of contrasts, but probably still not worth it.
Ilor: It’s even worse than that, as Confused Deployment means taking Combat Jump (which is what EVO Hackers are designed to buff) is less useful. So you’re going to include a zone that makes airborne deployment harder, then incentivize the troop that makes airborne deployment easier? Why? This is a change I don’t get.
Unless – and hear me out on this – you are going with a drone-heavy force for the juicy 6-4 movement it offers to allow you to bail out of your deployment zone quickly. A single coordinated order on a bunch of Remotes could clear you a bunch of points in one go, and if you’re buffing them with an EVO Hacker in the process you can have some fun. Like, set up a plasma-armed Q-Drone in the middle of the board and then give it Marksmanship. But this is such a niche application I’m not sure it bears constructing an army list around. I might try it just for chuckles, but it’s probably a terrible idea.
Capture & Protect
Genghis Cohen: While losing the free motorised Bounty Hunter, and not gaining any equivalent free model, this mission does now have Decompression Zones (boo!) and you can nominate a Master Breacher, one non-marker, non-Remote, non-Irregular model which receives Terrain: Zero-G and D-Charges for free! This seems like a nice way to buff up a close combat specialist who has a cheap (e.g. Shock) close combat weapon, or equip one of your attack pieces to complete the Sabotage classified objective.
Musterkrux: Agreed, Decompression Zones (boo!).
Ilor: I guess I don’t hate the zones-placed-by-players thing, but Saturation Zones in general really change the way the game plays. It slants things pretty strongly to ARO and makes some of the better ARO-clearing pieces (like linked missile launchers or heavy rocket launchers) much less effective. This tends to result in games that are a lot more static. The best way around this is probably airborne deployment, but that’s an eggs and baskets sort of a thing.
Genghis Cohen: Loses the blizzard/decompression zones, thankfully, and gains a free CSU for both players, and the ‘EVO hackers give +1 Order’ bonus.
Ilor: Turns out it was the same in Season 13, but I had somehow missed that in Countermeasures only the red (EXTREEEEEEME MOOOOOOODE! – you have to say it like Randy “The Macho Man” Savage would have, it’s a rule) Classifieds are used. That makes this mission a heinous ball-buster. I like it, but you’re going to struggle to gain many points in this mission.
Genghis Cohen: Loses the blizzard/decompression zones and the free turret. Now has the free Master Breacher, whose Zero-G will go nicely with the +1” Movement bonus all Zero-G, Total Terrain and Super-Jump models receive.
Ilor: See above under my disdain for the +1″ Movement bonus.
Genghis Cohen: Loses the blizzard/decompression zones, grants Super-Jump for all Zero-G or Total Terrain models, and gives a free Corsair! Suddenly, you have to cover the back edge of your Deployment Zone, even against factions that can’t normally access Parachutist! (Firefight still allows them to ignore the DZ deployment restriction)
Musterkrux: Hahaha, so now every game of Firefight starts with a Corsair bomb to the DZ. Brilliant.
Ilor: OK, so in general I hate this mission but this change is one I really like. And as parachutists go, Bashi Bazouks are pretty rad. Holoprojector makes them a hell of a lot more survivable when they step onto the table.
Genghis Cohen: Well here the OP scoring did change, and in a meaningful way. Killing more points went down in importance, from 3OP to 2OP. The mission now has 2 Classifieds, down from 3. Instead of earning 1OP for activating at least one heating unit, which led to most players spending the minimum Orders necessary to heat their own DZ, then focussing on other things, there are now 3OP available – as much as controlling the central zone – for having more active heating units than the opponent at the end of the game. Remember that in Frostbyte, there are only 3 consoles and they can’t be flipped. So the player that activates two consoles first, will retain those 3OP unless the opponent goes to the considerable trouble of destroying his activated heaters in close combat.
Frostbyte retains the blizzard/decompression zone mechanic, loses the free motorised Bounty Hunter, and instead of the previous Snow Ops, with its extra Irregular Order, features the Master Breacher. Their Zero-G skills and D-Charges could actually be quite useful for negotiating the zones and attacking the opponent’s heaters, if necessary. I am optimistic for these changes to the mission – it makes turning on, and potentially destroying, heaters a much bigger part of the mission. In ITS13, it was quite common to focus on dominating the zone, achieving classified objectives, and manually killing the enemy, which is much less unique.
Musterkrux: Agree. Master Breacher in Frostbyte feels like a good Quality of Life change.
Ilor: Yeah, the scoring change on this one is subtle but important, as it will change the way people approach the mission.
That said, this is one of my favorite missions in the pack, as it incentivizes bringing along the big boys and big toys (HI and TAGS) and funnels them all to the middle of the field in a way that is less gross than Biotechvore.
Genghis Cohen: The merry-go-round of special conditions continues, Frontline now has decompression zones and a free turret. We also still have Intelcom. How is this still a rule? It isn’t fun for anyone.
Ilor: I like Intelcom here and often use it. Nothing like going “Hahaha, I just added 40 points to this zone containing a single Nasmat, sucker!” The presence of Intelcom means you can’t really rest on your laurels, and it behooves you to clear a zone rather than just dump a bunch of points into it. It’s not enough to maneuver, you need to also be aggressive.
Genghis Cohen: Another change to the OP scoring – here the bonus for scoring more shared objectives than the opponent has been reduced from 4 to 3OP. To compensate, each player’s unique, secret Classified Objective is now worth a whopping 3OP, up from 2. I can’t see this as being hugely impactful. It rewards scoring more of the central objectives slightly less, but scoring your own objective slightly more – hardly a major change, and you are still at the mercy of the cards drawn. If anything, this change makes the mission less interactive, since your ability to see your opponent’s objectives, and potentially forestall them, now matters (slightly) less than their secret objective, which you can do nothing to affect.
This mission lost the free turret, gained the Master Breacher, and now gives the +1” Movement to Zero-G/Total/Super-Jump models instead of Zero-G/Total/Climbing Plus ones.
Ilor: I think the scoring change will make this mission even swingier; it is very common to have a shit draw for your Classifieds, especially as my regular gaming group usually plays with the “Double Deck Extra” in play (meaning both the normal green and EXTREEEEEEME MOOOOOOODE red Classifieds are shuffled together). Having 30% of your available points tied up in something you may or may not be able to accomplish kind of blows.
Looting & Sabotaging
Genghis Cohen: Instead of granting +1” movement for certain skills, this mission now gives Super-Jump to Zero-G/Total/Super-Jump models, and a free Bashi-Bazouk! That should be quite useful for clearing away AROs and deployables defending the enemy AC2, although useless for actually damaging it.
Ilor: While it amuses me greatly that Impersonators in both of my armies will gain Super Jump (as both Fidays and Speculo Killers have Terrain: Total), this is a mission that’s going to even more heavily favor the Nomads as they are the faction with the most Terrain: Zero-G troopers. The mental picture of a Duo of Geckos super-jumping around the table is going to tickle our local Nomad player to no end.
Genghis Cohen: Picked up the EVO Hacker +1 Order rule, which is slightly less nuts than it is in Biotechvore, but still not an option which will have players flocking to take them, in my opinion.
Ilor: Yeah, especially since you can’t Combat Drop troops directly into the Panic Room itself.
Genghis Cohen: Used to have a free Bounty Hunter, now has a free CSU and turret. In my opinion this is a very minor, but wholly negative change. Power Pack was already quite prone to deadlock, with both sides naturally keeping their own console completely secure throughout the game. Taking away a free aggressive model, and replacing it with two defensive ones, is not going to alter that.
Ilor: I like that they kept the weirdo deployment zones, though. That’s one of the things that makes this mission interesting, especially if like me you use Impersonators.
Genghis Cohen: Loses the +1” movement bonus and free turret, but gains a free CSU and decompression zones.
Genghis Cohen: Models with Zero-G, Total Terrain or Super-Jump get +1” movement. You also get a free Bashi-Bazouk. This is actually a meaningful change to this mission, which previously had no special conditions. It’s traditionally quite low-scoring – to get 10OP is extremely order-intensive, and virtually requires you to have fully seized control of the board as well. Having a free model which is relatively efficient to move into place and grab 1-2 civilians if there is a gap in AROs (it can even spend an Order to safely clear out deployable weapons by using its Holo-Echoes) is a decent way for either player to break a deadlock.
Ilor: I always took Parachutists on this mission anyway, as it was often the fastest way to actually get a model in contact with one of the objectives. The fact that everyone can do it for free now is going to make this mission a little less of an ass-pain, though it’s going to make choosing deployment order even more important – you’re going to want to pick the side that gives you the best approaches, as that 4″ wide gap between the enemy deployment zone and the Exclusion Zone is pretty small.
Genghis Cohen: As well as retaining its previous mission-specific conditions, the doctor/paramedic specialist bonuses and some Classified Objectives nullifying others, you now get a free CSU specialist and all Zero-G/Total Terrain models gain Super-Jump.
Ilor: See above under Nomad supremacy. This is a mission that highly incentivizes going first, and more troops having Super Jump is not going to change that. Null-deployment is a sure way to lose this mission, so expect guns to be out from the get-go when playing this one.
Genghis Cohen: Lost the turret, gained a free specialist CSU, and now grants +1” movement to all Zero-G/Total Terrain/Super-Jump models. More importantly, Supremacy now awards 1OP for dominating the same number of quadrants as the opponent at the end of each round. Previously it had been 2OP for dominating more, or absolutely nothing. That should make tight-fought games a little higher scoring in this mission.
Ilor: This is the mission we usually use to teach the game to new people, and I like that they have changed the scoring to make it a little less lopsided. It’s a small change, but one that I think will give new players a little bit more of a sense of accomplishment during a “hard-fought draw” condition.
Genghis Cohen: Loses the +1” movement bonuses, but gains the free turret and the +1 Order for an EVO Hacker. Again, retains Intelcom (urgh).
Ilor: Again, I feel like the presence of Intelcom here prioritizes aggressiveness. You can only use it if you have a trooper in a non-Null state in the Objective Room, so if you want to keep your opponent from using it, it behooves you to either have 40+ more points or just murder all of his or her troopers. It adds a level of uncertainty to the mission that I find appealing, mostly because it’s less of a “known numbers” game.
New special Rules
Remotes that have both the Forward Observer skill and Repeater equipment will be granted: Marksmanship, Tactical Awareness, and ECM: Hacker (-3).
Musterkrux: Most factions have the generic Pathfinder-equivalent, which is nice. However, let’s quickly cover off on the other Remotes that will benefit from this: Haqqislam’s Rafiq Remote, bringing a Red Fury to the party. We’re talking a fast, gunfighting specialist with Tactical Awareness for barely 20 points. Take two. Nomad’s Meteor Zond as well as…oh yeah…Pi-Well. Yup, that little bastard is now even more of a monster than previously…
Ilor: Meteor Zonds crack me up to begin with, and with this change they are even better.
Genghis Cohen: Honestly, for most factions this is a significant buff to a very narrow and consistent class of units, Sensor bots, which have for a long time been situationally useful and efficient, but never key pieces or notorious for their inclusion in power builds. So that’s fine. Clear winners are those Sectorials which can build these utility models into Fireteams, like Shasvaasti, Tunguska, or Ramah Task Force, whose Haqqislamite Rafiq is, as Musterkrux says, already higher potential than its equivalents. Tactical Awareness is a significant boost to a normal Sensor bot, but very powerful indeed as a free mobility bonus to a more powerful model that can Fireteam with said bot.
I am keen to try out the other Nomad possibilities as well. I don’t think the Meteor, as a Combat Jump unit, is the main beneficiary (it often won’t generate its Tactical Awareness Order), but Pi-Well is indeed looking very tasty.
Ilor: Yeah, the M-Drone FTO option suddenly got a lot more attractive for a Gwailo fireteam, even if you don’t want to pay the points for two of them to go with a full Haris. Even with just a Duo the Tactical Awareness order gives you some extra order efficiency to move up-field. Of course this means I’ll need to paint more Combined Army Remotes, the thought of which fills me with dread.
Musterkrux: Did you want a free Holoprojector model? Yeah, me too. Also, every version is a Specialist? Sure thing, why not. Use the Holo-echoes as Mine Sweepers, play a cheeky little Shell Game.
I find it interesting that the Bashi Bazouk is explicitly noted as not contributing to the Combat Group occupancy limit. Sure, they can break the 15-trooper cap but unless I’m missing something, here’s your 11th model in a Combat Group. That’s one Command Token away from being an extra order you can spend on a premium attack piece if needed. Yikes.
Genghis Cohen: That ability to exceed the 10-model group limit has already existed in the previous season’s Motorised Bounty Hunters, and you’re right, that was a common use of a Command Token, to eke out that bit more mileage in a first turn offensive.
In some of the 4 missions for which it is included, a free Bashi-Bazouk, while cheap, is a pretty important capability. Not all Sectorials have Parachutists, and whole Factions lack Holo-Projector options. That now changes. For Looting & Sabotaging, as with all these missions, it’s just another attack vector and potential ARO/Deployable clearance. For Acquisition, it really could swing a game by flipping and controlling an Antenna. For Rescue, it could CivEvac a civilian, and in Firefight, where it can deploy via any board edge, it means both sides need to exercise an extra degree of defensive deployment. They picked quite an influential free model!
Ilor: Agreed on all counts. I have always loved Bashi Bazouks and include them in a lot of my Haqq lists. And I sure am glad that I have both of my Bashi Bazouk models painted, as well as a couple of Fat Yuan Yuans I can use as stand-ins for other players in a pinch.
Musterkrux: I mean, sure, that CSU is a free Regular order that can slide into a 10-model Combat Group but can I use it to deploy three Joans of Arc? No? The defence rests, your honour. Case closed.
Genghis Cohen: Yeah, definitely more minor than the Corsair. It does appear more frequently, in 5 missions, and in 3 of those (Power Pack, Supremacy, Supplies) it is potentially more than just a speedbump or back-up option, it’s a specialist that can become unusually mobile with the right MetaChemistry roll, then play a starring role in activating Objectives. I’m praying for that 8-4 Movement!
Last season had Blizzard zones, this year we’ve got boiling holes in reality. Great news, your Paradiso-themed jungle table has four leaks in it. I think my community has a 50-percent strike rate on actually using the Blizzard zones back in ITS-13. I’m not sure what the global compliance rate looks like but I feel like this rule is a little bit too annoying to be taken up en masse. That said, some models have Terrain (Zero-G) and it would be a disservice to your opponent to refuse to use the zones if they had models with those skills. Watch this space.
Ilor: I already talked about Saturation Zones above, and in my mind the terrain effects of these zones are far less important than their Saturation Zone aspects. Depending on your table density, these zones can have a massive effect on how the game plays, almost always strongly slanting thing in favor of the Reactive player. Learning to place these zones in a way that will help you and hurt your opponent is an art in and of itself.
Low and No Gravity Zones
Scenarios with Low Gravity grant troopers with Terrain (Zero-G) or Terrain (Total) the Super-Jump skill. No Gravity grants every model with Terrain (Total or Zero-G) or Super-Jump with +1” of Movement on their first MOV value.
Because Karhu with Feurbachs needed another Super-Jump. YuJing’s Blue Wolf TAG has suddenly worked out the Guija’s trick. Also, Move 8-2 Su-Jian with Super-Jump will be amazing (but only in Robo-Kitty mode, haha). Or, you know, all those Bouncing Bobs from Accounting (At least, the Speculo Killers and the Fidays). PS: I’m going to make ‘Bouncing Bobs’ happen like Fetch never did.
Ilor: My Speculo Killer is not a Bob but rather a Karen and you can’t convince me otherwise.
Rejoice, those of us who either converted, 3D-printed or purchased a Sentry Gun for last season. Not super exciting but at least it’s a known quantity.
Changes to existing models/profiles
Genghis Cohen: Bikers which already had Mimetism seem to have had small points drops. For example, the motorised knights of Montesa have had all their profiles drop by 2pts, while simultaneously going up to MOV8-6 (from 8-4) and gaining Dodge+1”. However, players who are used to ITS13 should note that Motorcycles have gone back to being unable to claim the benefits of partial cover. There was a rumour that the core rules would change, with the ITS13 ability for motorcycles to elect to be non-Impetuous, and be able to gain partial cover, at deployment, but so far that hasn’t materialised – watch this space.
Musterkrux: One of the Nazarova twins (The Nazarova formerly known as The Bad One) got Berserk, because a 14” move followed by an uncontested automatic hit with an E/M CCW is incredibly fine and OK and you shouldn’t question it.
Ilor: As a Haqq player I don’t see an issue here. What are you implying?
Genghis Cohen: That has got to be one of the best uses for Berserk we’ve seen so far in the game. Yes it needs LoF to go off, but on many tables it’s easy enough to drive up to a corner 9-14” from your target, Dodge into LoF with your second skill, thus avoiding ARO, and be in Berserking position for the next Order. This maneuver can take a couple Orders to set up if you keep failing your (PH13) Dodge roll, but it’s an unusually reliable way to trade up with an 11pt model. Hey, I guess she was tired of being the crappier sister.
Musterkrux: Taighas are a smidge more expensive and went from move 6-6 to 6-4, which hurts. They also went to WIP 12 (but that’s fine, I guess) but they get Courage. I like these sorts of minor course-corrections. As pinballs that dodge 4” every time they roll a 16 or less Taighas are absolutely still fit for purpose, they’re just not as efficient anymore. Which is fine.
Genghis Cohen: I’ve heard a few podcasters etc complaining that the recent changes to the Avatar, Netrods etc were a knee-jerk reaction to online discontent. I don’t really agree, I think Combined Army is a very strong faction and this is one of a series of quite minor changes, which leave them still very strong, while subtly reining in some of their most-taken options. As you say, the expense is the main thing here. Taighas did like moving 6-6 on their Impetuous Order, but moving 6-4 isn’t exactly a kick in the teeth, a lot of their Orders will be Move-Dodge or Move-Chain Colt anyway.
Ilor: Whatever, I’m just going to go cry in a corner with my poor, over-priced, movement-neutered Taighas now. For real though, they’re still pretty rad, and I can’t really argue that they were overpowered/undercosted previously. If only I could ever roll anything less than a 17 for their Dodge rolls I might be less unjustifiably salty about these changes.
Genghis Cohen: Behold BiXie, the new season exclusive winner’s model, Aristeia transplant, who is available to Yu Jing and all its Sectorials. Pretty tasty active turn piece, especially as she appears to have a lot of Fireteam options. The same profile, identical stats and costs except for MVS2, was initially previewed, leading to an outpouring of salt online about just how good it was. Unknown whether that was a typo, was still being playtested, or has simply been changed on further consideration, but BS13 MSV1 is still pretty good on a 2W, highly mobile model. I’m not sure that this will be a dominant piece – 16” range models that start in your DZ need a lot of power and efficiency to become competitive auto-takes – but it certainly has a lot of potential to shake up list building for Yu Jing.
Ilor: Bixie is fully sick. Dodge +6 and Dodge +2″ on a PH 12 model is insane. You’d best be shooting at her with Boarding Shotguns in hit-mode (and you’d better not miss, otherwise she’ll be on your ass), or using high-burst weapons in your good range band and hoping she rolls like crap. At 41 points she’s pricy, but she brings a lot to the table.
Musterkrux: I keep comparing her to a Shang Ji FO with Multi-Rifle and Tactical Awareness, which is a solo piece I love and she looks quite favorable in that comparison. She trades Tactical Awareness for everything else.
I’ve only had Bixie for a day and a half and if anything ever happened to her I’d kill everyone in the room and then myself.
What will you be playing first?
Genghis Cohen: I have been playing a lot of vanilla Nomads recently (I have Yu Jing, inc Sectorials, and Military Orders) and the chance to use some Terrain Zero-G/Total bonuses do nothing to change my mind there. I may also give Zoe, and more importantly, Pi-Well, a try for the first time. I think the Season rules shouldn’t be too distinct between Factions though. A big boost to a few units, but probably less sweeping than the Motorcycle changes of last year, and while we did see more bikers, it didn’t turn the whole game into an episode of Sons of Anarchy or anything.
Musterkrux: Probably something incredibly snowflake. Either Hassassin Bahram but with literally none of the models in the new starter (Bouncing Bobs, yo) or Dashat, who get AVA 2 Rafiqs, access to Traktors-with-guns, Kum Bikers (alas, no Berserker Biker Babes from Bourak though) . If I can engineer it, my first game of ITS 14 will be Cryogenics because I seek novelty in all things.
Ilor: I’m going to keep playing Shasvastii, but I’m looking forward to trying out some Hassassin Bahram lists. I’ve only dabbled in the sectorial a couple of times (if I go sectorial with Haqq-based models I usually do either Ramah or Druze), and I look forward to giving them more attention.
Conclusion: What do we think of the new Season?
Genghis Cohen: If I was being cynical and negative, I’d say having 1 new scenario is worse than having none, because now TOs will put it into every event for at least 6 months. But in all seriousness I am also keen to play it – a new season of the Infinity Global League (IGL), the biggest online Tabletop Simulator-hosted tournament, is just about to begin, and includes Cryogenics. I’m enthusiastic to try what’s new, but I also wanted a more dramatic change to the actual missions. What we get, instead, is a grab bag of mixed special conditions which are scattered onto the missions we have been playing for years.
Ilor: Hahaha, I cannot disagree. But for me I think it goes even a little deeper; While I really appreciate the overall faction and sectorial balance in Infinity (and we can quibble about whether Nomads are overpowered or Avatars are undercosted the game balance is light years ahead of games like 40K), I am starting to get tired of mirror missions where both sides are trying to accomplish the same thing at the same time. It’s why I like missions that have multiple Classified Objectives, as it brings some asymmetry to the game.
Similarly, I would love to see more missions with funky deployment zones. Power Pack breaks the mold, and while the mission objectives themselves are hard to accomplish and often result in deadlocks, the different deployment scheme forces you to make some interesting decisions. I’d like to see more of that. And I get it, for tournament play you want to make sure you’re not putting in scenarios where winner or loser is determined during the Lieutenant roll, but I think that Infinity could handle some more interesting or asymmetric missions very well. This is something we’ve talked about a fair amount in our group, as we’ve all played these missions for a long time now. Maybe I should get off my ass and design/playtest some missions and submit them for possible inclusion into a future season of ITS.
Genghis Cohen: Yeah, it’s interesting that some of the best (IMO), newer missions are in fact submitted by experienced players – Panic Room springs to mind. Bear in mind that we definitely represent the very experienced, almost jaded tournament players. I think for those coming fresh to the game, the complex but symmetrical Objectives are a big draw, and it is still one of the best games on the market. Lose the damn Decompression zones though – depression zones, as I heard one witty person dub them on the Infinity Discord.
Musterkrux: I’m excited that we got to keep Mimetism on bikes as well as getting those buffs to FO-Remotes. I’m quite fond of CB using these (nominally) transient buffs/tweaks to model categories to chake up army compositions. It gets me building lists, which is Round Zero in a game of Infinity (unles you count Deployment as Round Zero, in which case Army Building is Round Zeroer). I would have liked to see a few of the older, clunkier scenarios get swapped out rather than just one new one but I don’t think it’s a deal breaker. Overall, I’d say that while this isn’t a 5/7 Perfect season, it’s definitely going to be a good one.
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