*Edited for newer experiences, profiles, and so it doesn't make my eyes bleed anymore with bad writing* Greetings fellow aliens, This is 0rph3u5, greener aspect of the EI and skrublord of all skrublords. Given how most of my experience is with Recon, Recon+ (small adjustments to Recon), and 200 point games, I thought it would be prudent to start there rather than an complete overview of ALL of the Combined Army. This guide will focus on... well... playing Combined Army in low-point games (LPGs). Since so many of our oh-so-shiny-and-destructive toys are expensive and/or order-hungry, this requires a change in tactics and list-building. My hopes are that after reading this, any glorious commander of our Lady's, the EI's, forces will be able to appreciate the intense and risky nature of the sometimes smallest, yet most important battles that affect our invasion. In this, I will discuss: What is Recon and why you should play it General faction overview and how to adapt to lower points Gameplay strategies (i.e. how NOT to get wrecked with chain rifles and mines) A couple sample lists I use and units I recommend If this takes off, I'll consider writing an in-depth unit analysis for the Combined Army in the context LPGs and maybe some general silliness to have some fun because this is a game... you're supposed to have fun... What is Recon and Why Low Point Games are Fun on a FUNdamental Level Recon is an unofficial supplement to Infinity that rebalances the game for smaller boards (usually 24" x 36" width x length) and 150 points. It is basically the "Kill Team" supplement, so-to-speak, to the full-scale 40k that is Infinity's ITS. Missions are reduced to a grand total selection of 6 (Annihilation, Exfiltrate, Frontline, Seize the Antennas, Smash and Grab, and Sweep and Clear) and adjusted to accommodate the tighter confines of Recon games. They are on a whole still highly reminiscent of their ITS counterparts, but Recon places further restrictions on list building that must be taken into account: No named characters that cost >35 points Only a single impetuous model is allowed in your strike team (Recon+ changes this to 1 per 3 other models) Only 1 model with 2+ wounds/structure for every 3 other models on the team Only a single fireteam of any kind is allowed at any time and it is restricted to a maximum of 3 members Only 1 combat group is allowed These are added in order to prevent some factions such as Ariadna from spamming too many warbands, PanO from bringing enough beefy knights to make us vegetarian, and Aleph from having Achilles breath in our general direction and send us flying. By contrast, 200 point ITS games are exactly what they say on the tin. Completely standard ITS missions and rules, but you play with a max of 200 points. This can be played on the standard 48" x 48" board, but may fit better on smaller ones That sounds boring, 0rph. Why would I play this? Excellent question, my imaginary audience, there are a few reasons: It's cheap as hell. Are you a first timer, prospective player, or are you simply a college student (cries internally)? For a grand total of about $40-50 (sometimes less depending on where you buy it), some superglue, dice, and a bit of your time, you can buy a starter box and (usually) have enough points and models to play a recon game. Throw in a couple more models for variety, some painting sessions, and you can either play larger 200 point games, or experiment with different Recon lists and hone in on a playstyle you like. All this and more without making you eat instant ramen for weeks on end! It's easier to learn. Imagine you are learning to drive for the first time. Your instructor then pulls up in a manual muscle car, gives you an in-depth rundown, hands you the keys, and tells you to start driving. Imagine messing up on your clutch changes and your instructor getting more and more pissed that you're damaging the car until you eventually plow through a small cafe whose name rhymes with "Barstucks" at the speed a toddler trashes a house. Imagine the dust rising from the crumbling drywall to helpless cries of "MY LEG" and the 5 year old asking where his puppy is while you turn to your instructor and say, "I think I'm in loss of lieutenant". Now stop imagining that because it's messed up. You now have an idea of what it's like playing Infinity for the first time with a full-point game. Okay sure, playing Infinity probably doesn't involve demolishing coffee joints... I hope... but it is still a relatively complex ruleset with lots of nuance and strategies available. As such, it's much better to learn to crawl before you drive that Corvette through another building. It's fast, intense, and allows unconventional unit usage. While full-scale 300 point games are already relatively quick compared to other rule systems, Recon games are even faster. If you're short on time or want to squeeze in one last match into the day, LPGs fit the bill perfectly. Similarly, the point limitation and speed of the games lead to intense decision making and deliberation. You don't have an Anathematic to turn that corner and decisively demolish that group of enemies (Or maybe you do. Believe me, it's fun). You don't have those WIP14+ specialists to reliably press the button and you won't ever have more than 10 regular + irregular orders to get your job done. Every humble morat vanguard, every order spent, every coordinated move and decision can lock down a lane and put your opponent in a harsh position. That lone suppressing vanguard, though, can win you the game and if he does, make sure to give him an extra-nice paint job, name him, and enshrine him in your eternal hall of tabletop heroes. Conversely, a relatively standard Suryat or similarly armored unit are absolute TANKS and are forces to be reckoned with. Bringing a TAG like a Xeodron is a surefire way to make people hate you.