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RECONstituting the Combined Army Recon (And Low Point Games) *WIP*

Discussion in 'Combined Army' started by 0rph3u5, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. 0rph3u5

    0rph3u5 TAG, you're it! :3

    Dec 26, 2017
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    *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... [​IMG]

    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:
    1. 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!
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    #1 0rph3u5, Dec 26, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
    dudu, Belgrim and Golem2God like this.
  2. 0rph3u5

    0rph3u5 TAG, you're it! :3

    Dec 26, 2017
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    Combined Army As a Faction

    The combined army is a hegemony of different alien races led by the Ur. Each race has various units you can choose from and vanilla gives you access to ALL OF THEM, how nice! The two main factions present in the CA are the Morats (think Planet of the Apes. Close combat and area denial specialists) and the Shasvastii (Ninja frog people. Masters of stealth, subterfuge, and infiltration). They are supplemented by the EI Aspects (our flagship units), Umbra (totally-not-sith ), Sygmaa (Traitor Tohaa), Sepsitorized humans, the Hungries (definitely not Xenomorphs, Tyrannids, or Zerg), and various other support drones/robots. In the Infinity universe, they are at war with the Tohaa and the entirety of the Human Sphere and aim to subjugate the latter in their quest for enlightenment. In terms of gameplay, we are a very elite and high-tech faction. We are closest in terms of gameplay to Aleph, but while Aleph spends their points on stats and defensive equipment such as ODD and V:NWI, we spend our points on utility rules, equipment and offensive weaponry.

    Faction Strengths:
    • She blinded me with science!: With the exception a few pieces of equipment, the Combined Army has access to every virtually every piece of technology in the game. Hacking device plus, killer hacking devices, autocannons, MSV3, multi-weaponry, K1 ammo, monofilament, Impersonation, and TO Camo are all available SOMEWHERE in the our lineup.
    • Our hacking devices are better: By default, all of our hacking devices are EI version. EI hacking devices are automatically upgraded with the Sucker Punch program for combat potential and defense against killer hackers. Similarly, all EI assault hacking devices come with the Stop! program which is similar to Carbonite, but has breaker to help against high-BTS units. Lastly, our Killer Hacking Devices are upgraded with the Maestro program for added deadliness against multi-wound hackers. We are also the only faction so far whose EVO hacking device bot has a combi rifle which allows it to work as a fast-moving specialist or gunfighter, with some supportware. Combined, haha, with our large selection of repeater bots and huge potential for boosts from supportware, we become one of the premier hacking factions in Infinity.
    • Loads of unique rules and equipment: With rare exception, we are the only faction with access to the Morat, Shasvastii, G:Mnemonica, G:Autotool, Seed Embryo, Protheion, and Impersonation+ special rules. The first 4 give us almost complete immunity to loss of lieutenant and unrelenting board presence. The latter rules give various unique benefits such as boosting our units' wounds, impersonating both humans and other aliens, and other such funsies. In terms of equipment, we have the aforementioned EI hacking devices for additional hacking deadliness, smart MULTI-snipers for all your indirect-fire needs, and sepsitors to mind-control units with cubes. Lastly, and most certainly most exciting, we have...
    • PLASMA WEAPONS: Excuse me, did I hear that right? Yes, you heard correctly. We have PLASMA weapons, specifically plasma rifles, carbines, and sniper rifles. They are comparable in range profile and burst (carbine is only B2) to their conventional counterparts, but force their targets to make 1 ARM and 1 BTS save with each hit. As such, they are effective against any opponent because units with very high armor usually have lower BTS and vice-versa. Against anyone else, they can force so many saves it doesn't even matter. An opponent may scoff at a 30% chance to fail a save and get wounded, but when he has to make 3 or 4 of those, he definitely WON'T be laughing. Plasma weapons can choose between two modes of fire: one mode is lower damage, but has a shotgun-like impact template which allows it to ignore cover and delete entire fireteams while the other mode does more damage (great for opponents out of cover) without any template. Any unit with plasma weapons becomes an incredible offensive force with huge damage potential.
    • Excellent solo centerpiece units: When playing vanilla, we don't have fireteams. That's perfectly fine, though, because of our selection of solo units. The EI Aspects are some of the most powerful troops in the game with incredible offensive capabilities, excellent utility with hacking devices, and superior leadership bonuses. They are the only units with the G:Mnemonica special rule which allows them to transfer their WIP value and lieutenant status to any other unit with a cube or G:Autotool when they die. This keeps us safe from loss of lieutenant and allows us to boost our specialists to astronomical WIP values if our aspects ever eat dirt (Which they probably will, honestly). Alongside this, we have various other point-efficient units such as the ikadron,Q-drone, unidron, and noctifer.
    • TAG, you're it!: Like big, stompy robots? Well we have LOADS of really big and terrifying TAGs. In terms of quantity, we are second only to PanO with their jaw-dropping selection of 7 separate TAGs. We have 5 and they range in firepower and utility from the Xeodron, a 50-something point super jumping mini-tag with bioimmunity and antipersonnel weapons, to the mighty Avatar, the 137 point hulking MONSTROSITY with a multi-hmg, ODD, and the crown of most expensive single unit in the entire game. We also have a TAG with TO Camo, a spitfire, and twin heavy flamethrowers. Yes it is genuinely terrifying.
    • Give in to the dark side: This is subjective and will depend on what you like, but it can be very refreshing playing as the "bad guys". Our faction aesthetic is moving towards the sinister and robotic direction with a lot of our new units sporting black and blood-red color schemes. Overall, we are full of top-notch sculpts, badass evil units, and a fluff position as UNSTOPPABLE JUGGERNAUTS.
    Faction Weaknesses
    • Is there a doctor in the house?: Currently, we only have one doctor option: the ever lovable Dr. Worm. If you're looking for engineers, we have a larger selection with the Shasvastii Caliban (is that a Feuerbach?) and the Morat Kurgat (is that an autocannon?). However, if you want a doctor, he is quite literally the only unit in-faction with the skill. It's a good thing he's darn good at what he does, though, with his respectable WIP value of 14 and 6-4 movement. While he's cheaper than having an individual doctor and engineer, he's big with an S3 silhouette and only provides 1 order. You had best keep him safe since he's only an average gunfighter and is quite pricey . All other "doctors" in the faction only have the paramedic skill which, while cheap and nice to have, isn't as reliable. Luckly, Morats all have amped up PH values and a lot of the Shasvastii have auto-medikits.
    • Awaiting Overhaul: The entire Shasvastii line is getting overhauled in 2018. While the Shasvastii units are definitely far from unusable (they provide our best skirmishers and most of our camo), they can be quite pricey for what they bring and a lot of them still use N2 rules. On the same note, a lot of our races such as the Umbra, Sygmaa, and Urkherits only have a couple troops available right now. They may be fleshed out a bit more in the future, but if you are aiming to build a themed army around them right now, you will lack variety.
    • Oh my god, Becky, look at her price: I've said it a billion times and I will continue to say it again: our units can be expensive. Compared to similar units from other factions, a lot of our troops have various twists in the form of special rules and equipment. Accordingly, we pay a fair bit for all these boosts that may or may not help. An excellent example of this is the Morat rule which gives units veteran level 1. This would ordinarily prevent them from becoming irregular from loss of lieutenant, but with the EI Aspects, we will rarely go into LoL anyways. Similarly, the spawn-embryo trait from the Shasvastii rule is really not very different from just going unconscious. Its biggest benefits only come into play in area-dominance and kill-point missions, but you have to pay for it even if you aren't playing those missions. It is also completely bypassed by shock and viral special ammo which really stings. Lastly, while I hyped up the EI Aspects earlier, they are our most expensive units (starting at >50 points), so losing one is still losing a significant portion of our force. Each death really hurts and we usually can't rely on sacrificial trade like some other factions can.
    • Low List Variety: The Combined Army can be, on a whole, quite restricted in terms of list variety if you're aiming to leverage our strongest benefits such as G:Mnemonica. The Aspects cost a lot of points, so you'll generally only be able to pay for the aspect itself, a couple other offensive pieces, and the rest of the list will be lower point support. It's not a hard constraint, but a lot of lists will fall into this "classical vanilla CA" format. If you want a bunch of chunky HI, we can't perform HI spam, at least not very well. Unlike PanO, Yu Jing, and Ariadna, we do not have access to lower-priced heavy infantry units such as magister knights and none of our core HI can be specialists. This leads to the next downside of our faction-
    • Protect me, squire!: Since we can't field a lot of beefy, multi-wound units we can be quite fragile. Our higher end EI Aspects can be stupidly tanky with they ARM 5 and NWI, but don't expect most of our units to tank a bunch. We have a few units with V:NWI and a lot of Shasvastii units have auto-medikits, but be very wary of shock, viral, and T2 special munitions. Aleph is quite similar, but they have a lot more V:NWI throughout their ranks and much more access to defensive tech such as ODD as well.
    • Very few mercenaries: This is a much smaller downside compared to the other ones, but because of our position in the fluff, we don't have very many mercenary units. We have Krakots, Bit & Kiss, Armand Le Muet, cube jägers.... and that's it. Whenever new mercs are released, it can hurt a bit to see everyone get these shiny new toys while we must sit back contending with what we have. Thankfully, the mercs we have are quite powerful and we don't have many holes to fill in our army roster.
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  3. 0rph3u5

    0rph3u5 TAG, you're it! :3

    Dec 26, 2017
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    Alrighty. Last time I wrote a general faction overview for the entire Combined Army. However, that was just an in-a-vacuum overview of our forces mainly aimed at higher point games. Except we are not playing those. We're talking about and playing Recon and other LPGs, so it's time to answer the question:

    "How does the Combined Army adapt to Recon and other LPGs?"

    For now, we will start with Recon and Recon+ since it is the much more limited game format. From there, we can expand our horizons to 200 point ITS. As such, let's go back over the limitations Recon puts on us:

    No Special Snowflakes (Except the cheap ones. They're cool): This is probably one of, if not the biggest impact to our list building. The 35 point limitation crosses Kornak, Sheskiin, Ko Dali, and and Le Muet off of our roster. This leaves us with 2 options for named characters: Treitak Anyat and Corax Hasht. Anyat is a super-powered morat vanguard with loads of other goodies. Stat-wise, she has an amped up CC16 (mostly irrelevant), BS12, and BTS3. Besides this, she also gains climbing plus for extra movement and deployment flexibility and specialist operative which allows her to do objectives which is very useful for Recon. In terms of equipment, she comes loaded with a K1 Combi Rifle (equal to or better than the standard Combi against enemies with ARM >=1), a chain colt for anti-camo and anti-fireteam fun, smoke grenades for safety, and E/M grenades for pissing off HI and remotes? You probably won't use the E/M grenades a lot outside of speculative fire, but Anyat is an excellent all-around troop who brings loads of utility for 25 points. Hasht has less utility since he has no template weapons or other abilities (outside of specialist operative), but he has a BS13 spitfire and 360 degree partial cover through his nanoscreen. With his default ARM3, BTS3, and V:NWI, he is quite hardy and he shines on more sparse tables with less cover. While he's a little slow and I normally go for the noctifer if I need a spitfire, for 34 points and 1.5 SWC, he is a reasonably powerful choice.

    Only a single impetuous model is allowed in your strike team (Recon+ changes this to 1 per 3 other models): This means we can't spam daturazi, krakots, oznats, gakis, or pretas. These are our some of our cheapest units for the amount of firepower they bring, but thankfully this limit prevents Ariadna from spamming highlanders and other scary WB. The daturazi start at 14 points, but are regular, CC21 with Martial Arts L4, PH14, have normal grenades for speculative fire, and MIMETISM. They are are top-of-the-shelf choice for warbands and can deal a stupendous amount of damage or pressure your opponent a lot. In comparison, Krakots lose the mimetism and smoke for metachemistry, forward deployment, SMGs, chestmines, and berserk. If they get a good metachemistry roll and have a clear line to the enemy deployment zone, they can be just as dangerous as daturazi with a lot more flexibility. Oznats are quite pricey and don't have as much CC prowess, but are fast at 6-4 and can bring vulkan shotguns. I normally prefer datz, but they're not an unreasonable choice. Lastly, our tyrannids... errrr, *cough* hungries, the Gakis and Pretas, deserve special mention for their speed (6-6. Gotta go fast), lethality (CC19, PH14, and AP CCW standard with options for Explode and chain rifles), and being stupendously price efficient (4 points for a gaki and 7 points for pretas). Pretas are especially evil costing only 7 points for a dogged chain rifle. We can't bring too many of them, but the warbands we do bring are top of the line and can royally piss off our opponents. I usually try to bring at least one in every list.

    "Excuse me, sir, but this is a strictly vegan establishment": Not being able to bring many multi-wound models doesn't impact us much. All of our HI are too expensive to begin with, but it does lead to a funky limit: the Fraacta. Since the Fraacta has a transformation state, it is counted under troops with multiple wounds so you can't bring a bunch of them (I wanted to after a buddy demolished me with a list including 4 Akalis). We have alternatives, though, if you want drop troops.

    There's no "I" in "team", but there's "I" in "WIN": Lack of fireteams is irrelevant to us since this is supposed to be based in vanilla, but keep this is mind if you ever play our sectorials. Choose your fireteams wisely and try to build some unit redundancy to keep fireteam bonuses alive.

    Only 1 Combat Group: Due to our elite and high-cost build-style, this doesn't really affect us. Thankfully, this keeps opponent factions from from recreating Helms Deep against us, so we shouldn't expect to be too outnumbered.

    Like most other factions when playing Recon and other LPGs, we must refocus the spotlight and rely on our cheaper, more economical units. This goes doubly so for us since some of the higher power troops we can field are quite pricey. Orders are the currency with which we get EVERYTHING done in our game so we must make compromises to build a healthy order pool. The key is to focus on the units that can do the job we need them to do at the lowest point cost possible. This seems obvious, but it is one of the key tenets of LPGs. Learn it, live it, love it, BREATH IT. As an example, let's say we need a good midfield skirmisher unit. Preferably, it would be have camouflage and would have options for mines for defense or specialists in order to get objectives done early. A malignos would definitely fit the bill, but for about 2/3 the price, a shrouded has the same BS12, combi rifle, automedikit, infiltration, and multiterrain at the cost of degrading down to normal camo. Another alternative would be the Morat Zerat who, while unable to camo, still has mimetism, can infiltrate, brings template weapons, and is even cheaper than the shrouded. It's a change that may bother some, but it is usually necessary given how a malignos FO would cost over a fifth of our points. Need a rasyat or someone to replace Ko-Dali? Look into the Fraacta, Cadmus, or even the new cube jager. Want an Umbra Legate spitfire or some other mid-ranged fire-superiority piece? Look into the noctifer or aswang spitfires on the high end or maybe consider the nexus operative spitfire with its nanoscreen or even the humble unidron spitfire (can be buffed with supportware). Fortunately, a decent number of our cheaper units are really powerful and can bring loads of support for the rest of our forces. A simple example of this is the ikadron batroid. For a grand total of 9 points, the humble ikadron brings two light flamethrowers, a WIP13 flash pulse, repeater, G:Autotool, and baggage utility. I always bring 2 for order generation, defense, anti-camo and anti-fireteam power, and to build a repeater network. In general, these cost-saving measures may trend us to heavily favor our remotes such as the Q-drone (TR HMG + Mimetism), M-drone (FO combi rifle), Ikadron, and unidrons... for me at least. Keep this in mind for later as it can limit our tactical flexibility (REMs can't go prone or cautious move) and makes us incredibly vulnerable to template weapons and speculative grenades.*

    It's important to note, though, to not cheap out too much. Imetrons, our 4 point AI beacons, help us with order generation, but provide absolutely NOTHING to our list in terms of support, objective completion (except for occupying domination zones), or combat capability. Even worse, they can fail their AD roll and scatter off the table which, due to the smaller board, is much more likely. If you have 2 imetrons, consider replacing one with a gaki, replacing both with any combination of hungries or an R-drone, or even redirecting the points of one of those imetrons to improving your other units.

    These ideas are generalize-able to standard 200 point ITS games, but are generally not as restrictive. Feel free to upgrade your units to stronger versions and to bring loads of Fraacta and other previously restricted units. With more points, you will be able to cover more of your bases and have more answers to whatever your opponents will bring. Keep in mind, though, that other players will bring lists such as warband or HI spam so tool accordingly. Lastly, 200 point ITS games are, by default, played on standard 48"x48" game boards, so be sure to bring HMGs, sniper rifles, and other long ranged weapons that may have had limited utility in Recon.

    *Keep in mind that these are all recommendations based on my experience with Recon games. You are, of course, completely free to experiment with your list building, list composition, and playstyle as much as you want. I am definitely not the most experienced Infinity player and if you've had success with other units, I'd love to hear about it. Please experiment with other lists, units, and strategies.
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  4. 0rph3u5

    0rph3u5 TAG, you're it! :3

    Dec 26, 2017
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    Gameplay Strategies (How not to get blasted away with mines and other templates)

    Because of CA's general playstyle, recon requires a slight change in tactics. Listbuilding will be covered later, for now we will be focusing on what you do when your soldiers' boots hit the ground.
    These strategies are built entirely off of my experiences and my experiences alone. In my opinion, I really dislike players telling other players what they can and can't do and calling certain units/strategies as useless. As a result, I will be primarily be talking about the various options available and what you can do with them. Whether they are completely valid or the best option for you at any given moment is your job to determine on the battlefield. Please feel free to experiment and mess around with whatever strategies or unit choices you want to use!

    In my experience, Recon usually follows a certain key tenet: Shenanigans are your friend. In essence, if you do not bring some form of way to give yourself an advantage in LPGs, you will be facing a severely uphill battle. Usually even more so than in full sized games because you don't have the unit or order redundancy to give room to mistakes. Fighting an even-sided battle is wasteful and we should not be tolerating waste, so when building a list or playing your game, leverage and focus on shenanigans and supporting them. Here are some basic ones that will usually work. This may feel like reviewing the basics-of-the-basics, but it is important to reconsider everything from the scope of LPGs:
    1. Camouflage: MSV troops are usually expensive, so camouflage, mimetism, ODD, and other visual modifiers are extremely powerful in LPGs. They are also usually passive, so they are also order efficient because they usually do not require orders to set up. The exceptions are smoke and white noise shenanigans. Access to camouflage states and smoke allow us to pass through enemy line of sight relatively unimpeded to reach objectives or advantageous fire positions while the visual modifiers tip combat in our favor. Even a relatively average BS11 Zerat becomes very deadly with mimetism. As a downside, if the enemy DOES bring an MSV troop (With MSV2 or higher), the visual modifiers are completely negated. Warbands are also fairly strong against camouflage because they usually come loaded with template weapons which auto-hit and strong close combat skills which visual modifiers have no effect on. Camouflage is also invalidated by mines which will still detonate if a camo'd unit moves in template range. If you bring a bunch of troops relying on camouflage, avoid warbands and mines like the plague or eliminate them as soon as possible to allow your camo to dominate. The general strategy is to use either skirmisher infiltration or coordinated orders to get camouflage/mimetism units midfield and into suppression fire. Camo can also be used to assassinate key targets by passing through line of sight to single-out enemy targets for elimination. Other uses include using camouflage states to hide specialists or key units like your lieutenant, reach objectives without trouble, or forcing the opponent to waste orders discovering or guessing at what units you brought.
    2. Template Weapons: Because of how small recon boards are, template weapons such as nanopulsars and chain rifles become incredibly powerful weapons. They are cheap as chips, auto-hit opponents who aren't dodging, and allow for intuitive attacks against camouflaged enemies or other enemies hidden in zero-visibility zones. In the same vein, shotguns can easily dominate closer combat areas and mines can shut off entire areas of the board from your opponents. Most of all, they can be used to force your opponent to make bad choices and unfavorable rolls. Let's say you put a. ikadron behind a corner at the end of a passageway. Not at the edge of the corner, a few inches along the wall away from the corner but ideally still able to cover the entire passageway in a flame template. To pass through this area, an enemy must cross the ikadron's line of sight and make a decision. If he chooses to shoot and eliminate the ikadron, feel free to set him on fire and get the free hit in. If you think he's going to dodge, use your pistol to force a face-to-face roll. If he's a HI or remote, get some free hacking attacks in or fry his brain if he's a hacker. If you're using a daturazi instead of an ikadron, consider dodging to engage him in close combat where you can most likely demolish him unless he's a CC specialist too. Did you bring a shotgun unit? If yes, your opponent is now has to consider the possibility of facing a +6 modifier against him in the face-to-face roll. With proper usage, you will be forcing your opponent to choose between a bad and worse choice while getting free potshots in. The primary problems with templates are the orders necessary to get up-close and that while you will be auto-hitting your opponents, said opponents will be getting uncontested rolls back to hit your troops. This usually leads to sacrificial trades where both sides perish, but most troops with templates are cheap and any kill will either eliminate a specialist, rambo-piece, deprive orders, or multiple of those combined.
    3. "I've got you in my sights" or outranging. My personal favorite, but much more difficult in Recon. A lot of times, the simplest way to tip a firefight in your favor besides camouflage is to exploit rangebands to out-range your opponent's weapons. This usually involves using spitfires, HMGs, sniper rifles, and other support weaponry. Because of usage of longer ranges, it also doesn't take many orders to the required firing positions. A well placed HMG or sniper can single-handedly rule and shut down a lane or other section of the table allowing you free-reign to dictate what happens on the board where. Unfortunately, because of the smaller board size and heavy usage of terrain, Recon boards usually don't have as many long-ranged avenues to exploit. If the opponent has people suppressing from mid-field, it may be impossible to pull these maneuvers off. It is also much easier to get within the minimum ranges of an HMG or sniper rifle using camouflage or simply taking other paths around the board. I prefer spitfires for my long range tasks due to their good range band being from 8"-24" which covers most of the recon board, but HMGs and sniper rifles definitely have their places. The low point limits also limit our SWC. In a 300 point game, a 1.5SWC HMG or spitfire is only a quarter of your total SWC available, but half of what you can bring in a 150 point recon game. If you can, bring units with SWC discounts to their support weapons such as nexus operatives, Aswangs, Unidrons, and Q-drones.
    These strategies are key to any kind of Infinity gameplay whether in a LPG or full-sized game. They become much more deadly in LPGs given the aforementioned lack of unit redundancy, however. Besides these basic tactics, you can also rely on other more specific or advanced strategies, here are some examples:
    1. "You don't need to aim better, you just need to shoot more bullets" A.K.A. Suppressive Fire. Suppressing allows you to amp your reactive turn burst to 3 at the cost of changing your range profiles. Keep the new ranges in mind when you set units up. Any opponent being suppressed also faces a -3 modifier to any face-to-face roll they commit to. While it may not put you in an advantageous position, it will at least equalize the face-to-face roll and waste your opponents orders. Best of all, with a single command token and order, you can put 4 regular troops into suppression with the same order. It is a widely used and popular tactic for shutting down lanes and improving unit survivability. Combined with camouflage, however, your opponent may be facing a -9 or even -12 modifier before their own range modifiers. It is not fool-proof, however, as you should still be wary of being outranged (suppressive fire has a max range of 24") and being hit by template weapons.
    2. "What's the sound?" *KABOOM*: Indirect fire using smart weaponry is usually a no-go due to how order intensive it is, but sometimes it may be the best option. CA has access to plenty of FO units and the completely unique (so far) Smart MULTI-Sniper rifle. Our EVO drone also has a combi-rifle, so it can be brought along with any sensor + sniffer units for un-modified Sat-Lock insanity. Another option is bringing daturazi, Treitak Anyat, or Krakots for speculative grenades. They don't have the best odds of eliminating opponents, but it is surprisingly effective, especially against remotes, and risk-free since enemies can only dodge in reply.
    3. Cyberspace Superiority: Most of our remotes have repeaters. Combined with Bit and Kiss's deployable repeaters and pitchers and with a couple orders, you can build a very widespread repeater-net. Our access to almost all forms of hacking devices then lets us have almost complete reign over hacking-space. Zapping enemy hackers, boosting our numerous bots with supportware, shutting enemy HI and TAGs down, isolating lieutenants, the list goes on and on in terms of the stuff that can be done with hacking. Just keep in mind this tactic will be almost completely useless against Ariadna and that your own hackers are vulnerable too. Sucker punch is a powerful program, but don't expect it to completely save you against enemy killer hackers. If you expect your opponent to bring a bunch of hackers and/or HI/REMs, feel free to have a field day.
    4. "Hello, fellow humans.": This is focused on one particular unit we have: the speculo killer. It's a skirmisher with a boarding shotgun, smoke grenades, a monofilament CCW, and, most importantly, Impersonation Plus. Not only can it impersonate opponents and start on the opponent's side of the table (their deployment zone, too, with a WIP14 roll), it can impersonate ANY race. A fiday can only assume impersonation level 2 with us, but our speculos can go impersonation level 1 with any opponent. Use the speculo to target and delete a particular enemy unit or squad. Recommended targets include TR bots, suspected lieutenants, TAGs, superheavy infantry like aquila or father knights, or any other unit you deem cornerstone to the enemy strategy. With turn initiative, place the speculo down and proceed to raise some mayhem. It will require finesse and the unit probably won't live to see turn 2, but if done correctly, you can end an entire match right at the beginning or at least throw a serious wrench in your opponent's plans.
    5. Do a Flip: CA has access to a myriad of AD troops with which to dominate the opponent's side of the table. Unfortunately, you can't bring anymore than 2 Fraacta due to the limit on multi-wound units, but you can bring any combination of Fraacta, Cube Jaeger, Cadmus, or Rasyat. The Cadmus may use old rules, but is perfectly capable of blasting enemy units from behind and all of the other options are capable of doing a similar job. Rasyats bring eclipse grenades, Cube Jaegers are cheap and bring monofilament weaponry with the paramedic skill, and Fraactas are basically airborne HI with their multiple wounds. I've been demolished by AD lists before in Recon and bringing an AD troop or two is great for that extra sucker punch when your opponent least expects it.
    These are a bunch of general strategies and shenanigans that have worked for me, but it's up to you to use them as you see fit and to experiment and develop more. I'd love to hear success stories and other strategic input from everyone! I will continue to update this post with extra strategies and experiences we of the CA can use in LPGs.
    #4 0rph3u5, Dec 27, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
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  5. Golem2God

    Golem2God Just a Kooky Kumotail serving others.

    Nov 25, 2017
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    @0rph3u5 Thank you for writing and creating this thread. Very informative, educational and enjoyable read in my humble opinion.
    I wish more people who have experience with mission or like to play a certain few would make threads like this. Wether it goes into the overview/explanation & strategies to successfully play a mission or just focus on how a certain faction can achieve better results, alot of people out there would be grateful for those type of guides.
    Belgrim likes this.