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The Heavy Infantry Problem

Discussion in 'Access Guide to the Human Sphere' started by Weathercock, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. Hachiman Taro

    Hachiman Taro Well-Known Member

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    Isn't it?

    Military Orders
    ──────────────────────────────────────────────────

    [​IMG]1
    KNIGHT OF SANTIAGO Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Combi Rifle, Nanopulser, D-Charges + 1 TinBot A (Deflector L1) / Pistol, DA CCW. (0 | 38)

    0 SWC | 38 Points

    Open in Infinity Army

    Invincible Army
    ──────────────────────────────────────────────────

    [​IMG]1
    HǍIDÀO Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Boarding Shotgun / Breaker Pistol, Knife. (0 | 26)

    0 SWC | 26 Points

    Open in Infinity Army

    Seem to be good examples of the more recent design philosophy I mentioned from the factions 'designed to take an abundance of HI'. Wildcard KHD HI's that go into mixed links with profiles stripped down more towards just what they need.

    Funnily enough I played against @daboarder s core link HI based MO a few times recently, and he did just fine with them, by intelligently playing to many of the strengths his troops possessed.

    So I think "simply not true" is hyperbole at best.
     
    #101 Hachiman Taro, Jun 21, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
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  2. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    You're making so many false equivalents that it's literally headache inducing.

    Of course it's possible to play and play well with a force that's disadvantaged. Take your anecdotes elsewhere.

    Edit: And just to detail how aggressively dumb this argument is, you have managed to take "saving upwards of 6 points per model by extensively making use of bad value stats as dump stats" into "hacker has boarding shotgun, all HI are fine"
     
    #102 Mahtamori, Jun 21, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  3. Nenyx

    Nenyx Well-Known Member

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    You realise that the two units you are comparing have nothing in common except having a KHD ?
     
  4. zapp

    zapp Well-Known Member

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    Thats not his intention. Those units are the answer to the hacking threat in their faction / 5 core HI linkteam. Thats why I'm pointing more to E/M.

    That HaiDao HI on the other hand is a perfect example for E/M vulnerability with his PH11 and BTS0. :pensive:
     
  5. Hachiman Taro

    Hachiman Taro Well-Known Member

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    No, I never said all HI are fine. I said CB are already addressing the problems this thread complains about already, for example by introducing HI profiles that are more efficient than was generally available in the original N3 (or HSN3), partially by allowing them in mixed links, and partially by allowing them to be more well focussed on the job they do. Both those profiles are illustrative examples of that, outside Nomads. Which demonstrates that saying "this is simply not true" outside Nomads is simply untrue itself.

    Well apart from they're both also Wildcards, HI, from 'factions which are designed to take an abundance of HI', optimised profiles with particularly useful skills to fit in a mixed link that can be further optimised with other individual units that bring varied specialised skillsets in a way that wasn't really possible before mixed links became a big thing. But apart from all those other things and more they have in common, yeah they only have that one thing in common.

    Look there are some HI that are not optimally balanced. The idea that that is generalisable to HI in general is fairly easily demonstrated as hyperbole at best IMHO. And I think I've done so above about as well as I can in good faith. YMMV. Good luck with it.
     
    #105 Hachiman Taro, Jun 21, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
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  6. Benkei

    Benkei Well-Known Member

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    The problem with that "CB are already introducing more efficient HIs" is that it is flat false. They introduced ONE hyperefficient HI, and since then they released a full HI Sectorial and reworked another one while addressing exactly ZERO of the HI problems being discussed (well, they did alleviate the hacking problems with KHD defense). I respect your opinions, but you can't honestly say the HaiDao is hyperoptimized for his job; he is good, but nowhere near Riot Grrl/Hollow Men optimization)


    So, no. Hyperefficient HIs are not a trend; HI powerful MIs without HI vulnerabilities seem to be, tho.
     
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  7. Nenyx

    Nenyx Well-Known Member

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    That's just a wall of text that try to show of but don't say much. If they have so much in commun, why not list them ?

    Santiago: CC apt troop with martial arts (stealth, always useful fur a hacker), good shooter with B3 weapon, has a template weapon, 360° vis (so can be useful for suppressive shooting to guard something), average BTS with tinbot benefiting to the link. Good PH with kinematika too, that can be useful.

    Haidao: no stealth, cant suppressive fire, no direct template, 0 BTS, no tinbot, poor PH.

    The santiago can be useful for many things outside hacking. The haidao, not so much. One is a toolbox, the other is a dedicaced profile.
    By the way, i mentionned the suppressive fire thing because, well, links can be broken, and having a miniature that can still do things by his own is useful.
     
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  8. SpectralOwl

    SpectralOwl White-Faced Invincible

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    Not to mention Vanilla exists. Nomads is possibly the only faction in which every single HI unit has at least one profile that can work in Vanilla, even the Mobile Brigada has the only HI-mounted standard Hacking Device for Lockpicker and self-contained Fairy Dust. ORCs are the poster child for bad solo HI, but Shang Ji, most Haqq HI and a lot of Ariadnan HI have real problems without using links as a crutch. Also probably something in Steel Phalanx, but I'm too lazy to sort out that word salad of characters. It's also pretty telling that it's hard to justify an Invincible Army list without a Hai Dao of some kind, but hard to justify a Vanilla Yu Jing list with one due to competition from other units which do everything they can do without half the vulnerabilities.
     
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  9. daboarder

    daboarder Force One Commander
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    shrug, I think you are all wrong.

    I mean, Ive been running Massed Armour for years at this point, and I find it utterly hilarious that they just get better and better. even in context. Everything I wrote 4 years ago about using large amounts of armour in your games still applies. as much as its true that the game may push you to orders due to the order expenditure mechanic, so do does 2W or 1W NWI open up a huge number of options in a game that just arent available to LI troops.

    But seriously saying HI are in a bad spot is just laughable to me. the changes over the last 3 or so years are huge, mixed Links, massively increased support options to the "HI factions", Changing ITS to be a lot more Kill/survival focused than it was 3 years ago. all these and more are changes that benefit HI much more than LI.
     
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  10. DaRedOne

    DaRedOne Morat Warrior Philosopher
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    I think you're mixing Sogarats with Suryats here. Although Morat HI is in a kinda bad space right now. Sure, they're usable and fairly okay at what they do, but the rest of the sectorial is way more fun than they are, and they just feel boring and lackluster in comparison.

    I agree that HI have been improved considerably from the past, even from before HSN3 to now. However, there are some problems that can spring from which factions you play a lot against. I see a lot of Haqqislam in my tables, so my morats get a lot of mileage out of the Morat rule because Jammers and E/M ammo are everywhere. That doesn't really make the morat rule any less costly than it is.

    And I think the big issue with this griping with HI is still related to optimization. Units like the HaiDao might be good and have a clear function within their army, but they don't feel like heavy infantry at all, especially when compared to say, a Mukhtar, which is just as resistant as a HaiDao, but packs a bigger punch.

    And when you get to compare Hollow Men with any of the other 'standard' HI things get to the same problem: Hollow men are cheaper but slightly sturdier than most Arm4/BTS6 HI models because hollow men are optimized for standing and shooting.

    I understand the reasoning behind this stuff, but I don't like it. I don't want to be in a game where everything is optimized to the nth degree, but at the same time I don't want to feel like I am losing the arms race because my troops aren't optimized. There's got to have a middle ground somewhere.
     
  11. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    ...Are people not viewing the Mowang as hyper-efficient, especially when it's realistically worth three Orders all by itself? Or Tac Awareness Zuyong, generating 2 orders while still remaining relatively cheap compared to other HI?

    Patsy's pretty good too. She does multiple Classifieds, has unparalleled Haris flexibility, and brings multiple ammo types. NCO and Nimbus Plus are both good rules.

    So if people view "efficent" as just being a min-maxed toolbox, like the Hollowmen, then it's no wonder people feel weird about the latest string of Heavy Infantry releases. But there's a lot of entries that are both combat capable + order efficient, which I definitely think is well-itemized. Patsy also fits the toolbox description nicely, since she unlocks a lot of capabilities that VIRD can't access otherwise.

    For some of the other recent Sectorials, it's kind of hard to tell since most of them aren't really Heavy Infantry focused. Shas is light on HI, but their offering brings some unique uses. TAK's weird too, but the Vet Kazak received even more decent profiles, and obviously has superior mixed link application. Ramah's Hortlak Janissaries are hurt a bit by their limited link options, but the profiles themselves have a great combination of weapons and rules. Even OSS got a very order-efficient Asura, for people that want to go that route.
     
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  12. toadchild

    toadchild EI Aspect
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    Yep, typo - I meant the Vanguard/Suryat fireteam.
     
  13. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    Mowang are alright. They're no Kriza Borac, but on the other hand they are also not a Zuyong core with Shang-Ji just waiting to be bogged down by Repeaters and E/M templates.

    It's a case of spreading your risks, and it depends on the rest of your list. Like I've written many a times, we're talking about advantages and disadvantages in direct relation to costs. Challenges, if you will. There isn't much problem when you have one or two models with a challenge. The problem is when most of your list is challenged. Or if you look at it from the other direction, HI and TAGs affords your opponent opportunities. When you give your opponent opportunities, you should expect to be able to gain opportunities yourself, and in my opinion I can not spy such opportunities since the price of a HI is fairly linear compared to an LI.
    I'm not including REMs here, even if they are equally affected by E/M and Hackers as HI, simply because in REMs I can spy sufficient advantage gained for yielding your opponent opportunities. There is a trade off, not only in a noticeable discount, but also in what supportware does for REMs. I'd like there to be a trade off for HI instead of just a risk. Are REMs unstoppable forces in this game? No, not even fully supported Dakini Cores are.

    Tactical Awareness is more of an elegant design, however. On the one hand, (+) an order is worth roughly 6 points rather than TA's 3, (-) which comes attached to a body that can be shot, (-) but it is flexible on whom it may be spent on throughout the combat group, (+) while TA can burst through a combat group's 10 orders, (-) though TA tends to stack combat value tall without increasing survival.
    There is no doubt that TA is a good skill for increasing the relative value of a troop profile, but it does come with a bit of pros and cons that makes it more of an interesting choice than at first glance. From a design perspective, I'm genuinely enthralled by the trade offs of this skill. As it relates to the actual discussion, however, TA is absolutely a skill which is worth more than the 3 points you pay for them simply for the order cap bursting effect and if all HI profiles had this skill (and the associated points increase) the situation would be insanely reversed. As it is, I don't think a few TA (because they are all on non-specialist SWC models) is sufficient and strongly incentivices those specific profiles for optimisation purposes.

    What I'm saying is; there's a whole lot more profiles out there that needs to work than the few that gets to cheat the system.
     
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  14. Solar

    Solar Well-Known Member

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    Amen
     
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  15. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    Mowang isn't as good as Kriza, no, but it's still pretty good. Full Auto L2 is just flat better than Mimetism, IMO.

    TacWare Zuyong is probably the best cheap HI.

    Patsy is also really good.
     
  16. Teslarod

    Teslarod Trebuchet Enthusiast

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    There seems to be a misunderstanding about what seems to be wrong with HI/TAG mechanics.

    Not all HI and TAGs are inheritly bad, there is just a massive gap in between Achilles and an Anaconda, and their different in pricing is in no way shape or form comparable to their performance gap.
    Frenzy offsetting HI with CC stats below the cost of their basic counterparts is another one. Hospitalers vs Orcs seem nonsensical, the Hospitaler has better Profiles, extra BTS and the CC stuff including Courage and Stealth, yet is cheaper than the Orc.

    Face to face comparison of Profiles aside, the fact that a lucky E/M Grenade just oneshots the Avatar is a problem.
    This is not the same problem as the one time you saw a Combirifle Burst oneshot a Jotum in Cover with triple crits.
    No, I'm talking about dedicated weaponry/equipment and ammunition types designed to oneshot.
    Why do Nox Troopers need Zappers as a default sidearm instead of as an extra Profile? E/M and Mono got more common since about the same time as SMGs have seen a massive increase in appearance.

    It's not like most armies have trouble shooting an Orc or Lizard in the face until he dies. But why would you, when you can just drop a Wildparrot and make it sweat or yolo a Nox in for a B2 Zapper.

    In addition the argument for multiwound troops being so good at setting up SF is a massive trap that really only works at the end of the game or vs less creative players. When facing SF I'm almost never attempting to contest the troop. Especially against armies with lower bodycounts. They can't defend all possible paths to get to them without dropping SF. Camo can walk straight past them or in btb, you can outrange them or just put them at -12 from 16-24 (one of the less optimal options but still waaay in your Favour), you can drop Spec Fire on them or simply start hacking. Of course there is always the possibility to shoot them in the back as well, Cautious Movement, Camo Move-Move in the back arc or plain old Smoke to make SF a non issue.
    Assuming you have 1.5+ combat groups you'll most likely have stuff in position to take on that HI in SF. It should be fairly dug in and easy to reach (otherwise we're back to simply outranging it).
    Lastly there are your own TAGs and HIs. A Mobile Brigada in SF isn't much of a roadblock for an opposing HRMC or Core Linked HMG/Spitfire/BSG. And that's only if you don't want to break the SF by other means first.

    Don't get me wrong, whenever I can I pefer Multiwound attack pieces, which for all of my PanO and Aleph include HI/TAGs.
    The amount of times I've lost two or three wounds to Chainrifles, Pistol crits or lucky Rifle hits outweighs the occasions where a Jammer, Hacker or E/M Grenade stopped me in my tracks about 5:1 or even 10:1.
    The first just has a couple layers allowing you to rethink your plan or try again. The latter doesn't.
    Even if you get very unlucky with something like a Cutter you should have achieved a good amount of what you wanted to do by the time you happen to lose your 3rd wound to random bullshit. With dedicated TAG countermeasures you're just done. One cointoss and it's over.

    It's not like you can't work around it. But it seems so much easier to just not bother. I could just play Tohaa to get Sukeuls who are essentially immune to all the shit that really annoys me about HI while retaining the upsides. It's in the game already.
    But I'm not asking for Total Immunity for all HI and TAGs, that's beyond the point. I just want a way to get out of IMM-2 and Isolation without an Engineer, even if it takes loads of Orders.
     
    #116 Teslarod, Jun 23, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
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  17. eciu

    eciu Easter worshiper

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    Yay, great analysis on skewed HI units.

    Swiss/Hac have both HD which is an excellent power multiplier and solves a lot of HI problems (stealth, camo state against hacking/jammer/E/M).

    Kriza is just one of the cheapest and most efficeint shooters who will probably hang back behind a wall of perimeter/WB/SK/hackers, and Achilles is just thought guy with ODD modifiers (though funny enough most vulnurable among listed).

    Not to mention the full link of "I doge on 16s everything and have Deflector L2" or "I'm underpriced crazy unit because noone uses terrain rules xD".
     
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  18. eciu

    eciu Easter worshiper

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    Galwegain pistols, bane of my MO at a time....

    Also excluding last Squalo which I've lost to mono Shinobu (I knew I should have taken Swiss HMG instead ^^) I recall all my TAGs dying mostly to small arms fire (lost ARO, lucky active turn enemy combi rifle attacks etc.)

    .. but the presence of E/M, hacking was what was heavily dictating the movement and "no-go" zones for a TAG.
     
  19. Zewrath

    Zewrath Nordic Master

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    Well to be fair, Riot Grrls are, luckily, stuck in a largely inferior Sectorial.
     
  20. eciu

    eciu Easter worshiper

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    Well mayby Jotum should have ARM8 (or in general lower than 10) and have Totall Immunity ?
     
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