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Finding the Free Folk - A Beginners Guide to Nomads

Discussion in 'Nomads' started by qechua, Mar 22, 2018.

  1. qechua

    qechua Active Member

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    0: Disclaimer
    The following is just the thoughts of a guy who likes Nomads, but isn’t necessarily very good with them due to lack of playtime. As such, the feedback of more experienced community members would be appreciated, and will be included as/when I get time (I said I’d do this a couple of months ago, and then 2nd year PhD happened). Better formatting will also follow at a time I'm not juggling deep learning on 2 Titan X's and doing funky angular math on the cpu.

    I’m also not responsible for your stuff getting horribly murdered, although I will absolutely claim credit when it horribly murders your opponents stuff :)

    1: Introduction
    So, the Nomad way has you intrigued enough to check it out. Well, whether you’re intending to take up Nomads, take on Nomads, or you’re just curious, the guide is for you.

    We’ll be looking at the Vanilla Nomad starter, as well as some directions to go after it. Additionally, we’ll be looking specifically at those models included, rather than the unit as a whole. Basically, if you can reasonably proxy it with the model included, it’ll be covered. Beyond that, you’ll need to look elsewhere (say, Vanilla, Bakunin and Corregidor).

    2: Nomads 101
    Well, who are the Nomads then? I’m not going into the fluff of them (awesome as it is), I’m going to concentrate on the playstyle. Nomads have a lot available to them, there aren’t really any glaring holes or problems. Our main ‘weakness’ as it were, is our inability to directly fight. Put a Nomad unit in a straight up fight with it’s alternative from another faction, and we lose. If it’s PanO or Aleph, we’ll lose a lot. Sounds like more than a ‘weakness’, yes? Well, no, we just don’t approach the problem in the same way. The starter box doesn’t really show that off, but that doesn’t mean we’re without options.

    What we excel in, is accidentally doing things. Most sides can make a repeater network, but Nomads do it without any real effort. Everyone’s got specialists, but Nomad specialists come as part of good units, rather than instead of. AD units are a fun trick, but ours are Doctors and Engineers as well. Want a way to stop a Rambo unit before it starts? Oblivion and ADHLs are your friend in the Nomads, and you got them as a bonus. This all makes list building and playing Nomads fun, because often you don’t have to make the same compromises as other forces.

    3: Units (Nomad Starter/Operation Icestorm)
    The first port of call most will make is the Nomad Starter Box or the Nomad half of Operation Icestorm. It’s not a bad box, certainly better than others, although it’s got it’s issues. We’ll get to what they are in a minute. If you and a friend are starting Infinity, Icestorm (or Red Veil, but we aren’t talking about Yu Jing or Haqqislam) is a great start. If you’re moving from another faction, the starter box is more likely to be where you look. It doesn’t matter how good the exclusive miniatures are, they aren’t worth that much!

    3.1: Light Infantry - Alguacil - Combi Rifle
    Description:
    The humble Alguacil, one of the Nomad cheerleaders. Alguaciles present in the Nomad starter come with the much beloved (and reviled) combi rifle, as well as an option for specialisms (Hacker, Paramedic and Forward Observer). As cheerleaders, Alguaciles shouldn’t be on the front line, but rather corner covering in the early game and not getting shot. Later on, a specialist Alguacil can start to pay dividends, not just on the regular order it’s giving you, but also because they move well and can push some buttons for the mission.

    Pros:
    • It’s the joint third cheapest regular order Nomads get (beaten by the Transductor Zond at 8 but needs a Hacker, and the Moderator at 9 which loses a point of BS and WIP)
    • They’re great at covering your deployment zone (coordinated order 3 of them into Suppressive Fire and challenge someone to stick a landing)
    • Speculative Fire light grenade launchers are one of the greatest uses of a spare order, plus can worry people a lot more than they actually hurt people
    • Willpower 13 Flash Pulse make for a great ARO versus BS 11 Combi and PH 10 Dodge, particularly at 16-24 inches
    • Surprise Lieutenant!
    • Mohawk Alguacil has the best hair of the starter set

    Cons:
    • In a game of deadly combat, they die really fast
    • Combi Rifles, for all my love of them, really suffer at ARM 5 and upwards
    • “Send in the Alguaciles” is never plan A, not even in Jurisdictional Command of Corregidor
    • Female Alguacil has the most impractical hair of the starter set

    Uses:
    • ARO Speedbump
    • Cheerleader
    • 3rd Wave Attacker
    • 2nd Wave Specialist

    Alternatives:
    Jaguars, Moderators, Transductor Zonds

    Future Use:
    I’d say good. Most early lists you build will make use of probably Forward Observer Alguaciles (because Flash Pulse is legit one of the best ARO’s ever, especially against BTS 0 opponents). Even once you get Jaguars (the other 10 point regular order), Alguciles have a different role to fulfil, and they do it well, I’d expect at least one to make it into a lot of lists.

    3.2: Medium Infantry - Grenzer - MULTI Sniper Rifle
    Description:
    The Grenzer, the red-headed stepchild of the Nomad starter. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Grenzer profiles, just not this one. The Grenzer is supposed to be your long range fire support, with that sweet-ass MULTI Sniper Rifle, but somehow he just lacks. You can get some work out of him, but it needs a lot more effort than others

    Pros:
    • MSV-1 is a great Camo counter
    • MULTI Snipers have obnoxious range, paired with BS 13 (joint highest BS sniper in Nomads) is nice
    • ARM 3, BTS 6 makes him really hard to dig out, given he’ll probably just sit in cover
    • Choosing the results of his Guts rolls makes for frustrated opponents
    • The cloak looks quite cool

    Cons:
    • MSV-1 is the worst of both worlds (blinded by both Smoke and White Noise)
    • 4-2 move means he’s probably never moving, so you’d best deploy well
    • Despite the armour and visor, expect him to lose sniper duels, which means conservative deployment

    Uses:
    • ARO Order Sink
    • 1st Wave Defender
    • 2nd Wave Discoverer

    Alternatives:
    Intruder, Reverend Moira, Sin Eater, Spektr

    Future Use:
    Not good. A fair number of people clip his barrel to make a Combi Rifle, I’m personally hoping for a bit of a helping hand once Tunguska comes out. To me, MSV-1 isn’t worth the price you pay, particularly on a model that relies on having good sight. Expect him to be the first model ditched once you start expanding.

    3.3: Medium Infantry - Reverend Healer - Combi Rifle
    Description:
    One of those new fangled ‘hybrid’ models I was talking about earlier, the Reverend Healer combines an attacking piece with a specialist. However, unlike a Prius, it doesn’t get a cost rebate, and for the price you pay you can get models better at being an attacker, or models that are cheaper for the job of doctoring. I love the idea of the Healer, no doubt, and I really do want her to work though, but I think compared to other Nomad pieces, she suffers.

    Pros:
    • It’s a specialist who is really hard to dislodge (ARM/BTS 3, Mimitism and Religious)
    • A competent Doctor who will probably be midfield when the shooting starts
    • Can drag a Zondbot with her for added midfield electric pulsing/doctoring
    • Reasonable close combat against anyone who doesn’t have Martial Arts
    • Watching someone’s face when you hit them with a Doctor’s Explosive CCW is amazing

    Cons:
    • It’s a lot of points, and you will be paying for things you don’t use
    • 4-2 move hurts a model that’s playing reactionary in the midfield

    Uses:
    • 2nd Wave Attacker
    • 1st Wave Fixer Upper
    • 1st Wave Specialist

    Alternatives:
    Daktari, Reverend Moiras, Mobile Brigada, Tomcats

    Future Use:
    If the Grenzer is first out the window, the Healer is unfortunately not far behind. I really want her to work, but it’s paying too much for the skillset. Look at the Healer compared to the Moira (a more budget attacker who does the job better) or the Mobile Brigada (a more reliable attacker complete with flamethrower), and the Healer really pales. If you are going with her, I’d probably suggest the Combi rather than the MULTI, and save the points for getting Forward Observer on your Alguaciles.

    3.4: Heavy Infantry - Mobile Brigade - MULTI Rifle, Light Flamethrower
    Description:
    Despite the dorky antenna, the Mobile Brigada is a reliable power piece, and certainly the most aggressive of the starter box. The Mobile Brigada MULTI Rifle & Light Flamethrower has the firepower to take down a lot of enemies very quickly, while reasonable defensive stats and 2 wounds make him, in turn, hard to take down. He also makes a good Lieutenant choice, given the survivability

    Pros:
    • Great at getting to where he’s needed, then shooting things in the face
    • Templating enemy cheerleaders never gets old
    • He’s not bad at camo hunting, by using his flamethrower and tanking any return fire

    Cons:
    • He’s a bit dull, with none of the cool tricks
    • You forget he’s still a Nomad, then he dies in a sustained firefight

    Uses:
    • 1st/2nd Wave Attacker
    • 2nd Wave Defender

    Alternatives:
    Riot Grrl, SWAST Taskmaster, Tsyklon Zond

    Future Use:
    The Mobile Brigada is, to me, one of those undiscovered gems. Particularly if you get the Beyond Icestorm box, the Mobile Brigade will get shelved in favour of more power pieces, but certainly in my case, I keep yearning back to him. The Mobile Brigada gets underestimated so often, because he’s not a Kriza, an Intruder or a Taskmaster. It’ll be tempting to toss him (except for Corregidor pain train shenanigans) but try him occasionally as a backup attacker and general mobile reserve, and I think you’ll learn to like him.

    3.5: Skirmisher - Spektr - Combi Rifle
    Description:
    You know how I said Nomads like sneaky tricks? The Spektr is one of those pieces. Granted, it doesn’t have a trick unique to Nomads, but TO Camo makes him a nightmare to dislodge without some level of MSV (or a < 8 inch shotgun), and Hidden Deployment will serve to punish opponents who get tricked by your smart plays

    Pros:
    • Hidden deployment
    • TO Camo
    • And mines
    • And WIP 14
    • And a specialist
    • All right next to that button, because Infiltration
    • What’s not to like?
    • Also, suppression and TO Camo in cover is nasty

    Cons:
    • Pretty expensive, particularly alongside Bandits and Zeroes
    • Hidden deployment takes some figuring out
    • His combat skills are pretty lacking

    Uses:
    • ARO Order Sink
    • 1st Wave Defender
    • 1st Wave Specialist

    Alternatives:
    Bandit, Intruder, Moran, Zero

    Future Use:
    Another of those “maybe in the future” pieces. You’ll try the Spektr, and love him, but then you’ll try the Zero, and love him more, because you don’t need to figure out Hidden Deployment with the Zero. Honestly, if you aren’t using HD, you’re better with a Zero, but once you get the hang of HD, the Spektr is the place to go

    4: Future Directions
    4.1: Beyond Icestorm
    The most recommended expansion path is the Beyond Icestorm pack, netting you some tasty units to round out your force, although you’ll probably need to find a friend to take the PanO stuff off of your hands (if you split Icestorm with a friend, that shouldn’t be hard). I’d absolutely recommend this path unless you know what you are doing.

    4.1.1: Medium Infantry - Intruder - MULTI Sniper Rifle
    Description:
    OK, game on. The Intruder is the premier Medium Infantry there is. She’s got it all, Camo, MSV2, great BS, and a sweet sniper rifle. The difference between her and the Grenzer is night and day, and seeing her in action will make you realise just how Corregidor functions compared to Tunguska.

    Pros:
    • You can easily get a -12 modifier on your side
    • You can see through smoke
    • WIP 14 & X-Visor makes you pretty good at discovering, as well as shoring up your bad range bands

    Cons:
    • Only takes one crit to drop her
    • That 4-2 move still hurts, you probably aren’t moving
    • Holy crap you pay a lot of points for her

    Uses:
    • ARO Order Sink
    • 1st Wave Defender
    • 2nd Wave Discoverer
    • Scalpel

    Alternatives:
    Reverend Moira, Spektr

    Future Use:
    The only reason to not use an Intruder MULTI Sniper is because you’re using the Intruder HMG and you don’t want to blow 28% of your points and 50% of your SWC on 2 models. This model will see a lot of table time, and occasionally you will force yourself to not take her, because she’s becoming a crutch. Don’t get cocky with your deployment, and the Intruder will continue to serve you well for a long time to come.

    4.1.2: Medium Infantry - Hellcat - Spitfire
    Description:
    If the Intruder is the scalpel of the pack, the Hellcat is the flail. It comes out of nowhere and messes your face up, and there isn’t much you can do about it. The Spitfire is a fine close/medium range weapon, while the option to either walk on the side of the map or gamble with a combat drop will keep your opponent worried, even if they aren’t in your list

    Pros:
    • When things go right (and it does about 60-75% of the time), you get to Spitfire people where they don’t want Spitfiring
    • Walking on a side can also ruin someone’s day, and is less risky
    • Even if you fail the jump, weapon range and superior jump means you aren’t out the fight for long
    • Jumping into your own lines as reinforcements also works well

    Cons:
    • 4-2 movement can be painful
    • Finding a landing zone can be tricky (even the model failed, what with that rubble on the base)
    • Expect to be surrounded very quickly

    Uses:
    • 2nd Wave Attacker
    • 2nd Wave Defender
    • Scalpel

    Alternatives:
    Tomcat, Spektr

    Future Use:
    Hellcat’s are a high risk, high reward strategy, and none more so than the Spitfire. The HMG version has the range to not care about failing the jump, and the Boarding Shotgun is disposable enough to not care at all. The spitfire really needs to stick the landing, so will often end up running on the side, which has its own issues. Generally, however, the Hellcat will see a fair amount of use, just probably not as much as the Intruder

    4.1.3: Heavy Infantry - Kriza Borac - MK12, SMG
    Description:
    Compared to the Scalpel and Flail above, the Kriza is a bus. It’s big, goes in a straight line and ruins whatever it hits. The MK12 may not have quite the hitting power as the HMG version, but between the armour, Full Auto and the 360 Visor, the MK12 Kriza is certainly no slouch

    Pros:
    • See face. Wreck face. Find new face
    • Suppression, 360 Visor and Full Auto is nasty (-6 to be hit in Reactive without cover from any angle)
    • The weapon combination covers pretty much every range below 24

    Cons:
    • There is no subtlety, no second function
    • It’s a lot of points for a bus that can be isolated through hacking

    Uses:
    • 1st Wave Attacker

    Alternatives:
    Gecko, Iguana, SWAST Taskmaster, Szalamandra

    Future Use:
    Long term? Probably the least used of the three. For now, it’ll make a nice proxy for the HMG Kriza (which, at time of writing, has not been released), and could reasonably be converted to it. However, it’s a lot of points, and in the role of face punching, the HMG version has it beaten, while the Taskmasters make for better multirole attackers.

    4.1.4 Army Beyond Icestorm List - This list uses everything from (Beyond) Icestorm, no proxies, no spares, no new purchases.

    4.1.5 Tactics:
    ‘Standard’ Nomad ‘rules’ apply. Get the Alguaciles hidden somewhere (out of template range of each other), preferably suppressing your own deployment zone or just out of it. The Intruder sits overlooking a pair of objectives, and generally wants the opponents to keep their heads down. You can use it for surgical removal, but be aware of attracting too many ARO’s, it only takes one crit to drop her. The Hellcat can drop into (or near) the opponent’s deployment zone turn 1 or 2 and go wild, or reinforce your own position turn 2 or 3 if things are going wrong. The Grenzer covers other objectives, overlapping with the Intruder (ideally, a unit should need to take them both on simultaneously). The Healer and Kriza go hog wild in the mid table, with the Mobile Brigada acting as a mobile reserve and general problem solver. The Spektr infiltrates somewhere obnoxious, acting as an order sink by flanking hard or by laying a mine and suppressing an objective from cover. As with the Mobile Brigada, it can be a general problem solver as well. Ideally, either the Spektr or the Hellcat come out turn 1, you don’t want to be running without their regular orders too long.

    With it’s 5 Lieutenant options (3 Alguaciles, the Mobile Brigada and the Kriza Borac) you can keep your opponent guessing (bonus points they all have the same WIP, so they can’t even guess from that). To start with, I’d probably recommend the Mobile Brigada as Lt, it’s survivable enough that assassinations won’t be too reliable, and allows you to be a bit more reckless with the Kriza. It can also make good use of that Lt. order if you need it.

    4.2: Besides Icestorm
    If Beyond Icestorm doesn’t take your fancy, then there are a few recommendations that can be made. To get a nice, balanced force, I’d recommend Intervetors (Nomad pro hackers, who can also be fun to throw against Nanotech and Viral ammo types, due to their very high BTS value), Jaguars (disposable warbands with Chain Rifles and smoke), Intruders (who we’ve covered, but the HMG version is much more offensive based than the MULTI Sniper version), Zeroes (infiltrating specialists like Spektrs, but at a lower price cost) and Tsyklon or Lunokhod Zonds (more powerful remotes that can break through enemy lines or shore up failing positions, as well as being great toolboxes)

    4.2.1 Army
    Beside Icestorm - This list goes down a different route to the Beyond Icestorm list, trying to showcase a few Nomad specialties. You get introduced to competent remotes (Overclocked Lunokhods basically own a section of the board, while Assisted Fire Tsyklon’s with their Climbing Plus are like fighter jets for their mobility, versatility and power). Intruder + Jaguar smoke is a staple, you’ve got a spare Jaguar as well (for when one screws up), as well as a few choices for Lt and sidegrades for the Alguaciles/Zero

    4.2.2 Tactics
    As ever, setup cheerleaders covering the deployment zone and a couple of lesser-used firelanes, along with the Lunokhod and Tsyklon near your Interventor, probably in total cover. Have the Grenzer cover an objective and/or firelane, but don’t get too cocky with him. Put the Zero near an objective (on your side of the board) in camo, and the Intruder camo-ed and ready to let slip the dogs of war.

    4.3: Jurisdictional Command of Corregidor
    The vanilla starter is actually quite a nice intro to the JCC (or CJC, depending on how you spell it), what with 4 of the 6 (or 7) models being Corregidor, and three being part of the light infantry link team. Combined with the CJC starter or the 300pt box (available at time of writing, but not a long term release), and a box of Jaguars (with Senor Massacre), you have a solid foundation of a Corregidor army.

    Further details can be found in the Corregidor primer

    4.4: Jurisdictional Command of Bakunin
    Unlike it’s Corregidor cousin, Bakunin doesn’t get much out of the vanilla starter. The only model Bakunin can even field from it is the Reverend Healer, and she doesn’t see huge use in JCB. Honestly, you’re better off going with the swanky Bakunin starter than the vanilla starter.

    Further details can be found in the Bakunin primer

    4.5: Jurisdictional Command of Tunguska (guesswork)
    So, at the time of writing, JCT doesn’t exist, and won’t for probably another year. That doesn’t stop the speculation though! From the starter, we have two models that are Tunguska aligned; the Spektr and the Grenzer. Of those, the Spektr is the one to see any use, unless the Grenzer’s get something very nice from JCT. Beyond Icestorm adds the Kriza, but again the weapons loadout isn’t ideal.

    Personally, I’d wait until JCT gets released, almost certainly with it’s own starter and/or army box. Until then, build vanilla Nomads, there’s enough cool things (Interventors, Spektrs, Zonds) that appear in both Vanilla and will almost certainly make their way into Tunguska as well.

    Rampant speculation can be found in the Tunguska thread

    5: Glossary:
    So, a few terms you may have seen scattered around, here are the definitions I was using

    5.1: Attacker
    A piece designed to attack or push into the enemy. They either expect to be shot at, or have some trick to avoid it. Expect high mobility/armour, and powerful weapons with potentially limited range bands (because, as attacker, you are picking what range band to use)

    5.2: ARO (Automatic Reaction Order) Annoyance
    A piece providing an ARO, but will probably fall in the first F2F roll, effectively making the opponent waste an order at max. Generally, an ARO Annoyance is a waste of your own resources, unless you have a better plan. An example would be a unit with a missile launcher, it’ll probably die, but threatens massive damage if it wins it’s F2F, or can stop the advance of a link team/coordinated order

    5.3: ARO (Automatic Reaction Order) Order Sink
    A piece providing an ARO, as well as some kind of trick which means the opponent spends several orders removing it. An example would be a Moran with CrazyKoalas, since between the CrazyKoalas (mines with legs), a repeater (meaning your hackers can get in on the action) and mimitism, the Moran expects the enemy to invest at least 3 orders from a non-HI/TAG/REM unit (1 for each Koala, and one to kill him), with clever deployment/terrain increasing that number further

    5.4: ARO (Automatic Reaction Order) Speedbump
    A piece providing an ARO, and expects the enemy to put a couple of orders into removing it, or forcing the opponent to change their plans (potentially having a specialist avoiding a certain area of the board). Most pieces double as an ARO Speedbump

    5.5: Cheerleader
    A piece to provide a Regular Order, but not use it itself. Cheerleaders are generally weak combatants, but are also cheap, and as such quickly bulk out a combat group

    5.6: Defender
    A piece to hold ground against enemy advances. Unlike ARO models, Defenders expect to survive, or to not be engaged in the first place since they have so discouraged the attacker from even approaching

    5.7: Discoverer
    A piece that excels at seeing through camo/TO markers, revealing them for what they actually are and allowing you to shoot them

    5.8. Fixer Upper
    A piece to repair/heal other pieces. Generally, healing isn’t worth it, the orders used to move/heal are never recouped, but for certain pieces (Intruder, Kriza, Specialists) the extra boni (such as hitting power or ability to complete an objective) makeup for it. Bonus points that Fixer Uppers are often also Specialists

    5.9: Scalpel
    A piece to remove a key piece from the enemy with brutal efficiency. Think assassins (not necessarily Hassassins though).

    5.10: Specialist
    A piece with a special skill to help complete objectives in ITS missions. Generally, Hacker, Forward Observer, Doctor, Engineer and Specialist Operative are the specialist skills, and help with button pressing, allowing you to win games.
     
    #1 qechua, Mar 22, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
    Alfy, camsbell, RAF and 11 others like this.
  2. GHoooSTS

    GHoooSTS Well-Known Member

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    This is a high-quality guide.
     
  3. csjarrat

    csjarrat Well-Known Member
    Warcor

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    Good work, I've asked for it to be stickied
     
  4. CalmEyE

    CalmEyE Member

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    The current links do not work, you should probably fix those. Otherwise, a very well written guide!
     
  5. qechua

    qechua Active Member

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    Fixed the links, I'm not quite sure how they got mangled, but they're now unmangled :)

    Also, thanks for the feedback guys, was worried when I posted it that it was going to get absolutely trashed :D
     
    loricus likes this.
  6. LunarSol

    LunarSol Well-Known Member

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    Just wanted to chime in that this is a fantastic guide. Excellent work!
     
    loricus likes this.
  7. ThomD

    ThomD New Member

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    Just wanted to say thanks for this as a very newbie Nomad in love with this faction <3
     
    inane.imp and loricus like this.