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Ambush Camo and Projecting Threat?

Discussion in 'Ariadna' started by barakiel, Sep 26, 2019.

  1. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    The most common shortcoming I see with ambush camo is that it's easy to ignore. When I play against most TAK players, I'm rarely punished for simply ignoring their Ambush Camo.

    For example:
    A Spetsnaz has Ambush Camo? Alright, the Spetsnaz is either hiding safe in total cover, or it's standing out in the open. Since I'm not really afraid of the Spetsnaz as an ARO piece, I'm not bothered either way. Safe to ignore.

    Even outside the DZ, the story is similar: you have a Strelok, and that Strelok's not very dangerous as long as you stay outside 8 inches of it. If you maintain distance from possible Chain Colt / Shotgun / Mine trigger range, and as long as you don't give a possible Strelok an unopposed shot by blundering into LoF with a 2nd Short Skill, you're probably okay. Maybe Flash Pulse? I haven't seen players risk a Flash Pulse ARO that often.

    So what do players do to actually punish this philosophy? For projecting threats from the DZ, the Tank Hunter seems obvious (either the missile or the autocannon.) I can see Vassili doing that too (that Akrylat Kannon's not bad here) but risking a unit that's almost 40 points for this kind of role seems risky. Even a heavy weapon Tankhunter, at 29+ points, feels like a massive liability. It's especially difficult since it competes with some very strong units that give strength to the active turn (Dogface) or simply a pile of Streloks and Irmandinhos.

    Outside the DZ, I can see the Scout doing okay with this... The Ojotnik is alright, though not brilliant, as an ARO piece. Once again though, it feels dangerous, because the Scout isn't a cheap unit.

    What else do players use? Or do they simply let Ambush Camo play a non-roll? I'm thinking specifically about TAK, but would welcome broader opinions too.
     
    #1 barakiel, Sep 26, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
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  2. Teslarod

    Teslarod Trebuchet Enthusiast

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    TAK does the Camo shell game pretty badly outside of the Tankhunter ML/Autocannon you mentioned. There just aren't any Chasseurs or Caterans to make Camo Markers that extra bit scary.

    For the midfield all you can do is bring so many Streloks/Scouts that your opponent can't walk around them.
    In my book it's one of the reasons TAK feels worse compared to Vanilla Ariadna since all you really gain is the Link.
     
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  3. Andre82

    Andre82 Well-Known Member

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    I tend to play very aggressively first turn, focusing on killing important units if I can. The camo markers might not present a threat on my turn but they do present an annoying target to try and kill so I want to kind of ignore them. I think this is what your getting with ambush camo.
     
  4. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    @Teslarod
    That's interesting. I'm dabbling in TAK (I've had Ariadna for years) but I'm almost... Annoyed... At how much Camo can be deployed by TAK, but surprised that it doesn't feel more threatening. I mean, interweaving Streloks, Ambush and Mines is tactically decent. I may have just set my expectation too high, after a lot of time with/against Vanilla. I just wanted to be sure I wasn't missing something. Tankhunters feel awkward to work into a list, especially since I find their SWC points are conflicting with Frontovik heavy weapons (obviously Frontoviks represent a very different role.)

    @Andre82 I'm thinking specifically about the rule CH: Ambushed Camouflage. TAK populates the table with a lot of empty camo tokens, but I'm trying to figure out how to force an opponent to spend orders on them, versus just ignoring them and playing the mission.
     
  5. Tourniquet

    Tourniquet TJC Tech Support

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    I've always seen it as an obfuscation tool, to make rooting out threats more difficult as there's a chance you just discovered a pile of sticks with a helmet taped to it, it also projects threat in a slightly different way, in the active turn until it starts moving you don't know which is the threat and which line it's going to take, meaning you either need to spread your defences out making punching a hole in them that much easier.

    Camo isn't really mean't to stop anything, it's more of a resource drain/ zoning tool as an opponent will either attempt to brute force their way through it by sinking orders into discovers and sensor, or expend orders trying to circumvent them. Either outcome is good for you.

    Also revealing stuff in the reactive is for the most part a hilariously bad idea, having them be perceived as a potential active turn threat such that you have to waste orders trying to reveal them is far better than than just revealing to take a questionable potshot at something.

    As to the effectiveness of mines, shotguns, etc under markers Is dependant on terrain density and positioning. On dense table staying out side of the trigger range of everything can be incredibly difficult. On less dense tables it comes down to where you put them, so that way they are a threat, for example, behind blind corners that need to be rounded. The threat of potentially being something lethal in close quarters means that they will attempt to discover it (good for you), or ignore it and find another way around(also good for you).
     
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  6. DukeofEarl

    DukeofEarl Well-Known Member

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    Ambush feels to me more like deployment pressure than active play pressure. Forcing your opponent to think about where the threats are coming from to inhibit their initial placements allowing you to move more freely or activate what and when you need to. Obviously this works best if deploying/going first though
     
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  7. Andre82

    Andre82 Well-Known Member

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    I see. Your trying to figure out how to get your opponent to stop simply ignoring the camo markers. You have already addressed the overpriced ARO option.
    Normally what I do for question like this is wait for someone like Barakiel to answer in the forums and then argue the fine points with him... oh
    My mostly useless advice is don't use this faction on missions where they can be ignored. Missions that reward you for control of territory will probably force a sensor sweep sooner or later.
     
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  8. Tourniquet

    Tourniquet TJC Tech Support

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    Even going second it is still useful as they have to position keeping in mind the potential counter punch from the marker.
     
  9. DukeofEarl

    DukeofEarl Well-Known Member

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    True. Using them as disguises for active turn options does limit your opponent's end of turn positioning
     
  10. RobertShepherd

    RobertShepherd Brisk antipodean

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    We have a couple of TAK players locally that are starting out, and my advice to them at the moment is to always take a missile tankhunter, at least while they're learning (and other people are learning from them about what TAK is like) - and always use ambush camo to deploy camo markers across an extra one or two viable missile ARO locations. They need to prove they aren't bluffing when they check LOF from rooftop camo markers before the full value from ambush camo begins to materialise.

    Across the midfield I'd mostly just note that if your opponent is respecting the threat of every ambush camo marker as covering a mine or strelok (i.e. safely moving more than 8" from it), you're already forcing them to bear a mental burden and corralling their movements. That can be valuable even if you don't have a way to actively punish them for that play. In a sense you almost want them to act in that predictable way. But limiting expectations here is relevant.

    (To note, I don't especially respect frontoviki heavy weapons personally and am more afraid of SWC spend concentrated in the tankhunter, veteran kazak HMGs and mines. If you're personally a fan of having SWC points invested in models outside these elements, it feels like the tradeoff is your ability to deliver on the promise of threat hiding under camo markers. Swings and roundabouts.)
     
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  11. RobertShepherd

    RobertShepherd Brisk antipodean

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    As a slight addendum to the above, I'm a firm advocate of the missile launcher TH specifically over the autocannon. The potential of the impact template both on link movements and even just incidental activations that might produce an ARO that splashes inactive models is key in forcing your opponent to bear extra mental load when responding to your deployment. That it's also 5pts cheaper is a pleasant side benefit.
     
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  12. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    Thanks all.

    @Tourniquet and @DukeofEarl
    Thanks for the input, particularly, regarding obscuring threats for attack/counterattack, and the impact it has on deployment. That's logical. Table setup and density being major factors makes sense too. I can see the same TAK list being capable of leaning into long-range firepower on an open table, or short-range firepower/denial on a more dense table. Not every army can bring that kind of flexibility to the same list, which is pretty nice.

    Tourniquet, I don't agree about revealing in ARO as being "hilariously bad," but how much we agree/disagree probably depends on what you mean by "for the most part." I suspect we agree that there are pretty good times to reveal a camo unit for ARO... After all, Chasseurs, Zulu Cobra/Heckler Jammers, Hexas and Noctifiers are all great units, providing you're being selective about the conditions. I've also seen shotgun Streloks reveal to risk nailing an entire maneuvering link team with a shotgun blast, or Frontoviks reveal to place to interdict a maneuvering threat. It's all circumstantial, yeah?

    In the case of a Tankhunter with EXP ARO, I think it's fully possible to train a meta to respect that lurking option, or else punish them for ignoring it (I suppose "what have you seen that trains and punishes metas with TAK" is really at the heart of my question here.) Looking to Hexa Snipers and Noctifier missiles, I think TAK has enough Ambush Camo to project a similar kind of threat. I still need practice as far as having the missile launcher be Discoverable, which is typically not something a long-range Hidden Deployment ARO has to work about at all. Trying to fine-tune by judgement and positioning on that is going to be an interesting prospect.

    @RobertShepherd
    Speaking of the missile, both the blast and the decent point discount compared to the autocannon are both nice. The Autocannon doesn't grab me that much. I don't think the Frontovik's brilliant as an ARO piece, but occasionally I'll make Turn 3 sweeps with a Core link that work well for clinching a game. Obviously something like a Spetsnaz and a Vet Kazak are generally auto-includes, but even after buying those, as well as a couple minelayers, that tends to leave points for a heavy weapon. So it's been interesting trying to decide if the Vet Kazak is the one-and-only use of my Core link, or if a secondary Frontovik gunfighter is useful enough to offset the lack of Tankhunter threat. I'm still playing around with that, but I do like the psychological (and practical) impact that the Tankhunter has on my opponent, even if it means (unlike the Frontovik) the Tankhunter never actually gets to shoot anything all game.

    @Andre82
    When a player is actually interested in discussion, the forums are a pretty good place to reflect ideas and compare notes. We don't see that very much these days, but there are some smart people here, and I like hearing their ideas.
     
  13. RobertShepherd

    RobertShepherd Brisk antipodean

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    The last TAK list I wrote eschewed variety but ran two veteran kazak APHMGs, one as a primary shooter and then a second as the lieutenant and backup link leader (and also for the SWC discount to fit a second and third minelayer).

    But it was a purely hypothetical exercise to help a new player out; I can't speak to it's effectiveness other than that I've always seen the Kazaks do more work than Spetznaz. For a more experienced player I expect there's value in the Spetz being able to be in a different place on the table to the core link, and as a general philosophy two different tools in a similar role is better in Infinity than two of the same tools. So YMMV.
     
  14. Tourniquet

    Tourniquet TJC Tech Support

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    Chasseurs, don't need to reveal to have significant impact on an opponent thanks to sixth sense as they can delay. Then if your opponent's only real option is dodge at which point you do nothing and watch them agonise over it.

    "Hilairously bad" is a tad hyperbolic but is indicative of my own experiences of using camo pieces in aro and my philosophy behind them, and reactive pieces in general. which is for the most part the threat of a lethal ARO is more impactful than the aro itself, as once it's revealed it is dead. Also the core purpose of ARO isn't really to kill things (though it can and is an added bonus), it's to waste your opponents orders, and making them reveal your stuff is going to tax your opponent more than revealing and shooting them. It's these reasons why outside of certain pieces and sectorials I find hard ARO to be a waste of points and resources.

    That's not to say you shouldn't do it if a particularly juicy target presents itself (like getting a whole team team under a template), but for the most part these are few and far between and the pieces are probably more effective in the active where they can stack surprise shot and burst to pick things off.

    Side note, I'm really not a fan of TO ARO pieces, I'd rather not spend 30-40 points on something that isn't going to give me orders, die and take up a combat group slot, especially when a mine that doesn't cost me anything can do the same thing.

    Though with all things in Infinity, it all comes down to preference of playstyle.
     
  15. Tongfa

    Tongfa proudly selling out since 1991

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    I think B-God Barakiel has been spoiled a little by the Kamau MSV2 - "what do you mean I can't kill/stun my opponent's best gunfighters in ARO"

    My dream for this thread is two weeks later Barakiel comes back and is like - the kamua sniper is bullshit, how do you play against this - outgunned every fight - f0ck varuna

    *jokes

    My take on Ambush camo is that it requires a different spin the usual approach to camo shell games which is spam the midfield with tokens/mines until your opponent dies of cancer. As my learned colleagues have stated above - TAK has a much more limited camo game than vanilla - you give up midfield dominators like the SAS CRAP and Chasseurs for the dual Assault Packs and the Vet Kazak/Kazak Core.

    Putting my own spin on your and others' words - I think that the Tankhunter ML has a similar ability to be as nebulous as a noctifor ML, if only because you can have so many freaking ambush camo tokens in multiple strong ARO spots. Even just putting two ambush camo tokens next to each other in the same ARO spot can be decent - the least fun game of guess who.

    Ambush camo underperforms as a midfield defensive tool, but excels in the TAK-specific list as the fake-out TH MLs.
     
  16. Bellyflop

    Bellyflop Well-Known Member

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    The more of it you have, the better it becomes. I ran these two lists and came in second in a local 20 person tournament (2 majors, 1 minor). A fun thing to do is to place some of the ambush from the Streloks on rooftops in your deployment zone to give more potential spots for Tankhunters.

    Max strelok
    ──────────────────────────────────────────────────

    GROUP 1[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]5 [​IMG]5 [​IMG]4
    VASSILY (Chain of Command) T2 Marksman Rifle, Akrylat-Kanone, D-Charges / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (0 | 39)
    STRELOK K-9 Submachine Gun, Chain-colt, Antipersonnel Mines + 1 K-9 Antipode / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 24)
    [​IMG] K-9 ANTIPODE Trench-hammer, AP CC Weapon. (8)
    STRELOK (Minelayer) Boarding Shotgun, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 21)
    STRELOK (Forward Observer) Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 20)
    STRELOK Submachine Gun, Chain-colt, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 16)
    IRMANDINHO Chain Rifle, D-Charges, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 8)
    IRMANDINHO Chain Rifle, D-Charges, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 8)
    IRMANDINHO Chain Rifle, D-Charges, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 8)
    IRMANDINHO Chain Rifle, D-Charges, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 8)
    WARCOR (360º Visor) Flash Pulse / Stun Pistol, Knife. (0 | 3)

    GROUP 2[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]7
    SPETSNAZ (CH: Ambush Camouflage) HMG / Pistol, CCW, Knife. (1.5 | 38)
    VETERAN KAZAK AP HMG / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (2 | 47)
    LINE KAZAK Lieutenant Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 9)
    LINE KAZAK Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 9)
    LINE KAZAK Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 16)
    LINE KAZAK Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 16)
    LINE KAZAK (Forward Observer) Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)

    5 SWC | 300 Points

    Open in Infinity Army


    Max strelok antipode
    ──────────────────────────────────────────────────

    GROUP 1[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]5 [​IMG]5 [​IMG]4
    VASSILY (Chain of Command) T2 Marksman Rifle, Akrylat-Kanone, D-Charges / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (0 | 39)
    STRELOK K-9 Submachine Gun, Chain-colt, Antipersonnel Mines + 1 K-9 Antipode / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 24)
    [​IMG] K-9 ANTIPODE Trench-hammer, AP CC Weapon. (8)
    STRELOK (Minelayer) Boarding Shotgun, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 21)
    STRELOK Submachine Gun, Chain-colt, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 16)
    IRMANDINHO Chain Rifle, D-Charges, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 8)
    IRMANDINHO Chain Rifle, D-Charges, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 8)
    IRMANDINHO Chain Rifle, D-Charges, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 8)
    IRMANDINHO Chain Rifle, D-Charges, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 8)
    ASSAULT PACK . (0 | 25)
    [​IMG] HANDLER Rifle, Smoke Light Grenade Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (- | 10)
    [​IMG] x3 ANTIPODE AP CC Weapon. (- | 15)

    GROUP 2[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]7 [​IMG]1
    SPETSNAZ (CH: Ambush Camouflage) HMG / Pistol, CCW, Knife. (1.5 | 38)
    VETERAN KAZAK AP HMG / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (2 | 47)
    LINE KAZAK Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 9)
    LINE KAZAK Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 16)
    LINE KAZAK Paramedic (MediKit) Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 11)
    LINE KAZAK (Forward Observer) Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    LINE KAZAK Lieutenant Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 9)
    WARCOR (360º Visor) Flash Pulse / Stun Pistol, Knife. (0 | 3)

    4.5 SWC | 300 Points

    Open in Infinity Army
     
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  17. Zachilles

    Zachilles Well-Known Member

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    I think that the tankhunter ML can operate very similar to a Noctifier ML but instead of being in hidden deployment you just have so many Camo markers standing in ARO positions that your opponent either A ignores them because they are ambush camo or B Spends orders trying to reveal the ML.

    I'm coming from a vanilla perspective but I enjoy both the tankhunter ML and the Cateran T2 combined with Ambush camo just standing in ARO positions.
     
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  18. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    I don't worry about the Kamau MSV2 that much. I've been playing 6 years, and Varuna's been around less than one. It's just one more new release. When you've fought a Cutter in 2nd Edition, or the first version of Achilles' rules, you get a lot of perspective. If you ever want to have a Kamau therapy session, just let me know.

    Regarding the Hexa Sniper and Noctifier missile launcher... I've used the Hexa Sniper a lot, and have a pretty good idea what to expect from it's performance. I see the Tank Hunter performing a similar capability, along the lines of what you and @Zachilles are expecting.
     
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  19. DukeofEarl

    DukeofEarl Well-Known Member

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    It almost has an advantage against the HD MLs. By being able to project that threat visually you can direct the flow of the match (theoretically, I have yet to actually put my TAK to the table and test it out) While the HD options make your opponent nervous and restrict movements in a general sense (spreading links out more, less move/moves in the open, etc.) you can give them paths of less resistance to follow and set traps around that.
     
  20. Bellyflop

    Bellyflop Well-Known Member

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    For a little more discussion other than 'spam it', here is how I use it. In those Max Strelok lists when going second I deploy my visible pieces very close to my board edge and hide them. I deploy some ambush camo on rooftops or good missile spots, and try to cluster the forward deploying markers to confuse how many models are out there. Some players might catch on that with that much camo there isn't a Tankhunter, but you can make it look like a few Strelok minelayers in the midfield. With no 'ARO' pieces out there most people will move up and start trying to discover models or push buttons. This is fine, because now they are closer to you and you can counterattack even easier.

    When there are 11 or so camo markers outside your deployment zone, most players don't want to start running through there. Some will die but that is fine, TAK is very good at trading up. Having four Irmandinho's is order free button pushing, freeing you up to murder more.