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The NeoTerran Capitaline Army: A Tactica

Discussion in 'PanOceania' started by barakiel, Apr 26, 2018.

  1. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
    Warcor

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    Author's Notes:


    The bulk of this tactica began its life as part of an article for Pride of Rodina, in conjunction with some distinguished NCA players who (like me) have a deep love for this Sectorial. My thanks to @Lazarus0909 , @AdmiralJCJF , @eciu , @Make PanO Great Again :P and @Teslarod for great discussion in recent months.

    Though NCA is not the first Sectorial I started using for ITS, it's by far my favorite to play. In addition to its many strengths, there's an efficient, brutal edge to NCA which is fun to play and rewarding to win with. I hope this discussion will help others enjoy the Sectorial as much as I do.

    Introduction
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    The NeoTerra Capitaline Army is one of the most distinctive Sectorials in Infinity. Very simply, it trades tactical flexibility for overwhelming advantages in combat. If you like your force to be focused, specialized, and highly efficient in piece removal, then NCA is your best choice. While other factions may have a handful of quality gunfighters in a 300 point list, every unit in NCA can be a dominant gunfighting threat whose capability in a firefight easily equals or exceeds the elite units of other factions. Whether you're buying the costliest Heavy Infantry or the lowliest line trooper, each of NCA's entries in these categories is elite and highly capable. In addition, NCA is resplendent with high-tech options: ThermOptic Camouflage and Optical Disruption Devices are commonplace, as well as hugely advantageous equipment such as Auxbots, Killer Hacking Devices, and Multispectral Visors.

    Of course, these considerable advantages come with drawbacks as well. Many of the game's inexpensive and useful utility staples (Camouflage Infiltrators, Minelayers, smoke grenades, close combat warbands) are completely absent from NeoTerra. Problems must be solved with application of firepower or elite technology. Mobile options like Infiltrators and Airborne Deployment are low Availability. So while a more flexible faction like Vanilla Ariadna will achieve objectives quickly, and then focus on killing the enemy after the fact, NeoTerra players can rarely follow this formula. Each NCA player will begin their game with crushing attrition, focusing on aggressive peace removal to neutralize their opponent's capability to achieve the mission, and only when the enemy is reeling and crippled can NCA seize objectives and complete the mission.

    Because of this, NCA is often dismissed as being a less competitive choice in ITS play. I find this to be untrue... It simply means an NCA player must carefully regulate the pacing of their game, balancing their list's ability to kill things with the fulfilling of objectives and completion of the scenario in question.

    This tactica will discuss all NCA units, how they can fulfill roles in both attrition and objective completion, and how they can contribute to their list and your overall strategy for success.

    Auxilia

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    Auxilia are truly unique in Infinity, representing the only inexpensive, high AVA g:sync unit available to any faction. Unlike their heavier brethren, such as the Guarda de Assalto, Rasail Boarding Team, or Scylla/Drakios, the Auxilia's cheap price point and modest stat lines make it more of a support tool than a dedicated assault unit. They represent PanOceania's unique approach to warband units, with the Auxbot providing flexibility and a much-needed direct template weapon for PanOceanian forces, and fulfilling a much-needed utility tool without having to put one of your Order-generating units in harm’s way.


    As cheerleaders, Auxilia provide fantastic support. Their Auxbots can defend the approaches to your deployment zone, helping to protect your backline from attack without exposing their handler to danger. They also make effective late-game sweepers, with the Forward Observer profile able to move up and claim objectives once your heavier troops have cleared a path. Because Auxbots are so versatile in both attack and defense, you can use them to protect your backline early game, and then use them to solve selective problems in mid and late game.


    On the attack, the Auxilia can force your opponent to make difficult decisions. A Combi Rifle or Flash Pulse is certainly capable of making an opponent worry, but this is amplified by the fact that they will take a Flamethrower hit unless they choose to Dodge. This forces an opponent into a difficult decision, either Dodging and reducing their damage output to zero, or going for the Ballistic Skill shot but suffering a guaranteed direct template hit. This dilemma is a hallmark of g:sync units, and allows the Auxilia to punch far above its modest weight as a BS11 Combi Rifle. Use that flamethrower to tackle multiple Wound units, tough-to-hit threats like ThermOptic Camouflage or Optical Disruption Device troops, or to play off an exposed unit to let the template cover Camouflaged units. Working in tandem also means you can throw two Discover attempts against Camouflaged or Impersonating troops, helping you to reveal those difficult hiding opponents. The Auxilia are quite good on the defense as well; while a BS11 Suppressive Fire platform certainly is not outstanding, being able to contest an area with both Suppressive Fire and a heavy flamethrower template is excellent. Just like when attacking offensively, you can force the opponent to choose between contesting the Combi Shots or dealing with the Flamethrower.

    As great as Auxilia are however, remember their drawbacks as well. G:sync units cannot participate in Coordinated Orders, meaning that Auxilia require significant concentrated Orders to advance. Additionally, the Auxbot is highly vulnerable to Hacking attacks. Being Immobilized or Disconnected is a constant threat, so be aware of enemy Repeater zones or Hackers controlling chokepoints and be sure to utilize your own Hackers to help clear a path for them.

    Auxilia fit comfortably in most NeoTerra lists, where they are cheap enough to provide support Orders and tremendous flexibility as Specialists or in attack/defense roles. Their significant limitations do not make them a default choice by any means, unlike in previous editions where the NeoTerra roster was much more limited. However, they remain a hallmark of the NeoTerra's high-tech playstyle, and are a good investment for any NeoTerra player.


    Corporate Security Unit

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    The Corporate Security Unit has appeared in a lot of different Sectorials, but the NeoTerra Sectorial is the original home of this unit. The CSU has gone through a lot of rule changes and incarnations, but now NCA can enjoy the CSU one of our most flexible choices.

    On their face, CSUs are fairly skilled light infantry with a good range of high-tech firepower. The breaker rifle is essentially an Armor Piercing BTS rifle, resolving hits versus halved BTS rather than ARM. This is an advantageous rule, since the overwhelming majority of units in Infinity have inferior BTS values compared to their ARM, and this allows you to keep the CSU as an emergency reaction unit when stopping power is required. The Boarding Shotgun is inexpensive, and is a nice asset for PanOceanian troops who are typically starved for shotgun choices. If you can squeeze this CSU through a gap in your opponent's defenses, you can often score kills against massed opponents.The Nanopulser is perhaps the most useful asset though, allowing the CSU to simply stand guard duty in your Deployment Zone until its services are needed on the attack. Certainly the most solid and versatile profile is the rifle + light shotgun, Specialist loadout. Not only is this a wildly diverse set of weapons, capable of handling many combat situations, but the presence of Specialist makes this unit a respectable Objective Runner. This diverse weaponry also means a useful Metachem result can potentially give you a deep toolbox to reach into for having strong effect on the table.

    Keep in mind the immense defensive value of Sixth Sense Level 1. If you park a CSU in a narrow chokepoint, they have a lot of options for mounting a defense. Because Sixth Sense Level 1 allows you to delay your ARO until after a nearby enemy or marker acts, you can always ensure you’re declaring the strongest ARO available. An enemy trying to sneak a Camo Marker past you? Wait until you see them MOV-MOV, then declare Discover knowing you’re safe. Trying to Smoke Dodge you? Use your Nanopulser. Hoping to make them burn heavy Orders? Use that high-BS shotgun.

    Metachemistry is the wildcard for the CSU. Depending on the outcome of the role, the CSU can evolve from a simple Order provider with decent weapons to a DZ storming assassin or durable line breaker. The vast majority of Metachemistry rolls will not greatly alter the CSU's role, but a few choices are amazing. Enhanced Mobility, Super Jump and Climbing Plus are certainly the most interesting. Each of these options provide the CSU with tremendous Movement variance, allowing for rapid assaults or attacks from unexpected quarters. These choices transform the CSU into a rapid flanker. Dogged and No Wound Incapacitation make the CSU a more tenacious assault or defense piece, allowing for scrappy defense via Suppressive Fire or the ability to press an attack thanks to the added durability.

    New to the most recent update, CSUs not count as Fusiliers for fireteam composition. This is great for a few reasons. First, Fusiliers now have multiple redundant bodies for reforming their link teams. The ability to effectively have 7 possible linkable bodies (8 if you count Bipandra) means that you can take multiple casualties over the course of the game, but still reform to preserve your 5-man link bonuses.

    CSUs also bring a great range of tools and options to a Fusilier link as well. Burst 2 Nanopulsers, Burst 3 Light Shotguns or Breaker Rifles, and the possibility of a good Metachem role fueled by 5-man link bonuses creates an entirely new range of combat options for the Fusilier team. So instead of simply planting your Fusilier team in your DZ and using it for defensive AROs, you can now rush them late-game, use them for shotgun or template attacks, or perform a whole new range of options via the CSU.

    CSU versus Auxilia:

    Both units bring something slightly different and unique. Auxilia can punch above their weight due to the strength of Fire ammunition on their Auxbot, and are much better at piece trading or defense without putting themselves in harm's way. The CSU, by contrast, has no vulnerability to Hacking or infowar, and is a much more versatile combatant with a strong unknown variable in the form of Metachemistry. There's plenty of reason to include both unit types in an NCA army list.


    Fusiliers

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    Linked Fusiliers are possibly the single greatest reason to play NeoTerra. Link bonuses, combined with Fusilier's exceptional Ballistic Skill of 12, provide superior firepower for minimal cost. However, Fusiliers excel in a support role as well.


    With +1 Burst, Sixth Sense Level 2, and +3 BS, a 5-man link of Fusiliers is a potent gunfighting force. While even the simple Combi Rifle benefits greatly from those bonuses, the Heavy Machine Gun becomes a truly fearsome tool when used to support the operations of other NCA troops. Use this loadout to tackle anything foolish enough to expose itself, including defensive Specialists or even hard-to-hit units, like Camo and TO Camo defensive pieces. By contrast, the missile launcher is a fantastic defensive piece. If you can maximize rangebands or kill off your opponent's best gunfighters, one or two linked missile launchers can rule the table as one of the game's most fearsome AROs. The MULTI Sniper Rifle loadout represents a compromise between the two, providing a nastier ARO than the HMG thanks to Double Action ammunition, but able to outburst the missile launcher if you need active turn Firepower. For players who appreciate balance or flexibility, the MULTI Sniper is a great asset. It's also an ideal tool if you expect very long firelanes or more open tables, since it can outrange any other weapon system in the game. The grenade launcher is more of a niche option, but one that provides unique benefits in the form of speculative fire. If you can advance the Fusilier link within 16 inches of any point on the table, the grenade launcher can hammer that point via Speculative Fire on very respectable 12s, allowing you to break up a strong defensive position or punish grouped-up miniatures. The grenade launcher is therefore a good choice for players who want to attack aggressively with their Fusiliers, or for players who expect a concentrated defense in certain areas of the table, such as Objective Rooms or key take-and-hold consoles.


    In their support role, the Fusiliers provide their most critical function. As a group of 5 inexpensive Orders that can hold off light opposition, they're a helpful Order pool to support the rest of your force. With Forward Observers and Paramedics, they can interact with objectives and help provide coverage for Classified Objectives. They also provide a 0 SWC Lieutenant, who can hide safely in the back and lead your force without being exposed unnecessarily to harm's way. Don't let the poor WIP of 12 concern you. The difference between a WIP12 and WIP13 Lieutenant is statistically minor, and the Fusilier does a perfectly adequate job of leading a NeoTerra force if necessary. Perhaps the most useful and unique support role though is the Hacker. Bringing the versatile standard Hacking Device, the Fusilier hacker is an easy way to incorporate Support programs into your force. Use the onboard Repeaters on your Bulleteers or Peacemakers to give them Marksmanship Level 2, and this allows them to cleave through 1-Wound units with Shock Ammunition and elevates them to effective Ballistic Skill 15, thanks to ignoring Partial Cover. They also provide great protection versus enemy Hackers, giving Fairy Dust to your Heavy Infantry and allowing you to concentrate Hacking AROs through your Repeaters. Park one of your Combat Remotes near a key objective, supplement the Fusilier Hacker with a Hexa Killer Hacker and a Swiss Assault Hacker, and watch your opponent try to deal with the nightmare of massed Hacking AROs whenever they wander within range.


    My typical Fusilier link team includes a Heavy Machine Gun, Missile Launcher, Hacker/Forward Observer (depending on how badly I need Supportware) and then two standard Fusiliers to help mask who is my Lieutenant. Turn 1, I will focus on stripping my opponent's overwatch/gunfighting pieces as best as possible, maximizing the offensive capabilities of the heavy machine gun, and then switching them over to a defensive/overwatch role once I am confident that most threats to them are gone. Whenever fielding the missile launcher, watch for shots of opportunity that allow you to catch multiple models in the blast. If an opponent is careless, it is sometimes possible to use Palbots, antipersonnel mines, or other non-threatening units/equipment to splash damage on opponents hiding around corners. The biggest threat to Fusiliers are generally via short-range Specialists, such as shotgun wielders, melee Specialists, or direct template threats that manage to get up close and target multiple Fusiliers in a quick barrage of Orders. Such situations can not only gut your Order pool and kill multiple heavy weapon and support pieces, but can leave you in Loss of Lieutenant as well. As such, always try to stagger your Fusilier deployment so that they are not lined up for templates or shotgun blasts. Deploying them across multiple levels and spacing them out as much as possible while still keeping link coherency are good steps. You should also ideally supplement their defense with Auxilia/Auxbots, or Drop Bears from a Black Friar or Bolt. Initially, deploying a Hexa Sniper or Swiss Missile in position where they can "babysit" your Fusiliers in the opening turn is also a good protective measure.

    Bipandra


    When discussing Fusiliers in NCA, it is also worthwhile to discuss Bipandra. Bipandra is much-maligned, but that does not mean she is useless. In fact, she is quite at home in NeoTerra. Not only does she provide a 6th linkable body, letting you hold onto your 5-man link bonuses for Fusiliers in case they suffer a casualty, but she supports the team well as a Doctor who can pick up link members and keep them fighting.


    Bipandra’s a Trauma Doc with slightly better defensive stats and a slight WIP bump. She brings a Nanopulser for offense and defense, providing a Direct Template Weapon which Fusiliers ordinarily can’t bring to their toolkit.


    I struggle with Bipandra. In former incarnations, she had a light shotgun… A unique and powerful weapon in a link team, that helped her team excel at close range. The Nanopulser is a useful tool, but they tend to be at their best on models that are incredibly cheap or incredibly durable, to help justify the risk that comes when you forfeit a F2F roll and choose to make a template attack instead. With Bipandra’s increased cost over both a Fusilier and a Trauma Doc, I wouldn’t use the Nanopulser unless it were a desperate last resort. With that in mind, I use Bipandra less than I have in the past.


    Devas

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    On loan from the ALEPH faction, Devas are another unique asset that are an available choice for the NCA sectorial. Truly superhuman, Devas boast high quality durability, stats and a broad range of flexible loadouts for a reasonable cost. With their Willpower 15, they're excellent Hackers and Lieutenants, and very proficient with using Sensor.


    The Deva’s primary role is as a more elite, more durable light infantry alternative. With elite stats and a number of high-utility flexible rolls, the Deva is well suited for providing leadership/support/infowar capability, or else a more aggressive direct combat focus with moderate durability and combat utility.


    The Standard Hacker presents a reasonably well-protected, high-WIP Standard Hacking Device that can assist other units with Supportware, as well as grabbing objectives with unparalleled reliability by PanOceania standards. The Hacker is overshadowed a bit by the much cheaper Fusilier Hacker, who is always a go-to when you need Supportware. Similarly, the standard Device lacks the specialized protocols of either the Hexa Killer Hacker or the handful of Assault Devices available in NCA, which means the Deva Hacker is something of an all-rounder when it comes to combat and infowar. Some players love the versatility of an all-rounder, and some don’t, so plan accordingly. The No Wound Incapacitation, BTS and high WIP mean the Deva Hacker can take greater risks than a 1-Wound Fusilier or Hexa, potentially surviving the midfield hostility that would fry most 1-Wounders.

    Note that the Deva also now has access to a very unique alternative Hacker profile: the Assault Hacking Device, upgraded with the excellent Lightning program and also provided with a boarding shotgun. When using an Assault Device, all of the Devas stat bonuses and additional durability are very, very useful. With excellent WIP, some BTS and the durability of No Wound Incapacitation, the Deva at least has modest defense against the threat of enemy Killer Hackers. You still need to exercise extreme caution, but the Lighting program is brilliant for defense. Because Lightning bestows a staggering -6 Penalty on the enemy, it's a brilliant program to use in both Attack and Defense. With the Deva's high starting WIP, she can often take on Surprise Shot Redrum attempts with a decent chance of slapping the enemy right back with a high-Strength hit. In addition to this big surge in anti-Hacking capability, the benefits of an Assault Device are staggeringly effective when combined with all of our Repeater-toting REMs. Get your Fugazi or combat-oriented bots into position, and use the Deva can heavily sabotage the movement and attacks of all nearby Hackable enemies. This unit, combined with the Hexa Killer Hacker, provide a massive boost to the viability of NCA's ability to pose a serious Hacking threat to the enemy. Best of all, she can take on the role of Assault Hacker and free up your Swiss Guard to carry around some heavy-firepower instead.

    As a Lieutenant, the Devas can bring a Devabot to protect itself with a heavy flamethrower, or can provide utility and support via the Sensor role. The Lieutenant profiles tend to stand out quite easily to your opponent, so make sure you maximize use of Auxbots, Drop Bears, linked troops, or Hidden Deployment choices to help protect your highly capable Lieutenant and keep them safe. In such situations, it can often be useful to double up on the same loadout to help mask which unit is your actual Lieutenant. This is a great step to keep your opponent guessing, while still letting you leverage the flexible nature of the Deva. Both Deva LT options can make good use of their profiles, with the Sensor easily (and safely) Discovering through Fugazi or Pathfinder Sniffers, while the Devabot LT can be an effective sweeper once you’re in the last turn of the game and Loss of Lieutenant isn’t a risk.


    Remember that the Sensor sweep can also reveal hostile units in Hidden Deployment. If you think a hostile infiltrator may be lurking near an objective waiting to reveal, it can often be worthwhile to attempt the Sensor Sweep and get the drop on them in your own turn. Similarly, the Sensor profile pairs well with Pathfinder or Fugazi Remotes with Sniffers to help reveal huge swathes of the table and restrict the capabilities of Camouflage troops. Since Sniffer extends the range of Sensor and also prevents units from re-entering the Camo state, it's a great asset if you're operating in dense, high-traffic areas of the table where you expect a lot of confrontation.



    The Deva + Devabot profile functions much like a more elite Auxilia, able to utilize all the distinct advantages that Auxilia can, but on a much more skilled and capable platform. Double Discovers, fire + Combi Rifle salvos or double direct template attacks, minesweeping to let the Deva attack aggressively, or letting the Deva attack multiple-Wound opponents with the inherent danger of Fire ammunition. The Devabot LT profile is quite good in missions where you need to protect your Lieutenant, possessing a good range of survivability tools for much less cost than a Heavy Infantry Lieutenant option.

    In addition to leadership and support, the Deva's a fantastic combatant. The MSV2/Spitfire loadout is an incredible unit for its cost, providing more mobility and durability than the Black Friar, while being cheaper and easier to incorporate into a list than an Aquila. This is often a standard unit for many NeoTerra players, and provides a strong and flexible gunfighter that can help even the odds versus Camo, TO Camo and ODD-heavy opponents.

    The greatest risk to Devas, of course, are weapons that inflict multiple Wounds or include the Shock effect. With the number of Shock weapon on the rise, plus the ever-presedent danger of Marksmanship Level 2 or antipersonnel mines as readily available effects that inflict Shock, Devas have to be used carefully. Always treat your Deva as a precious commodity, especially on tables where antipersonnel mines, Multi Rifles or Viral Ammunition are making an appearance.


    Hexas
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    After linkable Fusiliers, AVA3 Hexas are the other main reason to play NeoTerra.

    Though some players dislike their lack of Infiltration or additional rules, Hexas have relatively little rules bloat, which helps to keep them cheap. Of course, TO Camouflage is their greatest asset. Keep them hidden and safe until they are needed, then reveal them to fulfill whatever role you need. The MULTI Sniper model is a tremendous defensive unit. Keep her lurking in a strong vantage point until an opponent maneuvers into range, ideally when they are beyond Partial Cover and when the opponent has few Orders left with which to retaliate. Take the shot, relying on extreme range bands and TO Camo to protect the Hexa, and kill off your opponent's models in their own turn. Of course, careful judgement should always be applied when revealing your TO Camo units. Beware an opponent with MSV or long-range gunfighters waiting close at hand, and don't tackle an opponent who has an easy chance of beat you in return. The advantage of Hidden Deployment isn't taking AROs at the first thing that walks into range, but rather the ability to pick and choose the best moment for your AROs.

    The Spitfire is a fine choice. Keep this model waiting for the right opportunity, then run him into the midfield to hammer vulnerable targets or even use the Spitfire's great range band to attack threats within the opponent's DZ. TO Camo, Surprise Shot and Burst 4 provide an amazing platform for picking off vulnerable single wound opponents. Use the Marker state for running the Spitfire Hexa between buildings, crossing open fire lanes, or bypassing enemy template wielders in order to create the best odds for yourself. In particular, watch out for antipersonnel mines (the marker state provides no protection versus mines) as well as high Ballistic Skill opposition with link bonuses or using Suppressive Fire. The Hexa can tackle tough opposition, but is always vulnerable to an unlucky crit or a lurking template weapon, so always try to protect your investment. Note the Hexa Spitfire competes directly with the Bulleteer Spitfire, who gives up the advantages of Hidden Deployment and Marker state but is faster, cheaper, and more deadly with support programs. I still like the Hexa Spitfire because she can sneak whereever you need to, crossing open firelanes or sneaking past vigilant enemies, as well as being able to hide in a Marker state and also ignore hostile Hacking. So in exchange for the streamlined extreme point efficiency of the Bulleteer, you gain survival and flexibility in exchange.

    Perhaps the most important and valuable profile the Hexa offers is the Killer Hacker profile. The Killer Hacker, though highly limited in application, is extremely good at what it does: killing enemy Hackers for cheap. NeoTerra, perhaps more than any other force in Infinity, is full of Hackable targets. Auxbots, Bulleteers, Pathfinders, piles of Heavy Infantry... these are all NeoTerra staples that will struggle to maneuver against concentrated enemy Hacking networks. The Hexa Killer Hacker solves this issue by pairing lethal offensive Hacking programs with the flexibility and lethality of the Camo state. Run your Bulleteer around the table killing things. An enemy Assault Hacker reveals? No problem, have your Hexa use the Bulleteer's onboard Repeater to attack from across the table, combining Surprise Shot with Redrum to stack negative Willpower modifiers and nuke your opponent with a lethal Damage 16 attack. Similarly, if your Swiss Guard or Uhlan survives a successful attack run and pulls back to safety, park the Hexa nearby to protect your Hackable VIP and help keep opponents at bay.

    Killer Hacking Devices (KHD) also provide Impersonation. Worried about enemy antipersonnel mines? Concerned that enemy Sensor units will reveal you too quickly? Use Cybermask to become an Impersonator, a de facto enemy miniature, and walk past their own Sensor or antipersonnel minefields without fear of Discovery. This makes the Hexa KHD a wonderfully flexible objective runner, able to bypass virtually any defense and reach an objective without needing to fire a shot. Since NCA cannot rely on Smoke Grenades for mobility and objective-running, the combination of Impersonation and TO Camouflage provides a high-tech alternative.

    The only downside to the KHD is that you are now making your Hexa vulnerable to enemy Hackers. While the Hexa normally wouldn't be affected by standard Hacking programs, carrying around a KHD makes the Hexa fair game for AROs or targeted attacks that normally wouldn't affect a standard Hexa. In short - always bear in mind what you're exposing your Hexa to as you maneuver.

    Machinist

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    The Machinist is a straightforward, no-frills Engineer. However, with BS12 and a Combi Rifle, the Machinist is also capable of light skirmishing or last-ditch efforts to reach a forward objective. D-Charges allows for the the Sabotage Classified objective, but the low CC of the Machinist makes it unlikely that you will ever want to use those D-Charges in Close Combat. The Machinist's primary role, of course, is to keep NCA units patched up and functional. With the huge concentration of REMs and TAGs available to NCA, the Machinist can play a crucial role in repair. Similarly, if your meta regularly encounters Adhesive or E/M ammunition, the Machinist can provide useful support in dealing with that as well. Keep him protected in your backline, with a palbot to increase speed and coverage, and the Machinist can cheerlead in safety until required.


    Most players ridicule PanOceania Willpower, but don’t be fooled; PanO is more reliable at fixing its units than practically anyone else. Because we use a lot of REMs in our lists, as well as having amazing Remote Presence TAGs, it can be well worth it to repair your damaged units and get them running again. Don't forget the use of Command Tokens when fixing up Remote Presence units; those rerolls make a key difference, and you can continue attempting re-rolls as long as you have Command Tokens to spend.


    Trauma Doc

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    Trauma Docs are very comfortable sitting in support Order pools, contributing orders to another unit until they're needed. Like the Machinist, the Trauma Doc is a no-frills support unit. She is much maligned for her WIP12, but don't forget to use those re-rolls via command tokens when the situations calls for it. Deploy her near your defensive Specialists, such as a Fusilier link, and she can patch them up and get them back in the fight. Like with any units attempting to heal, it's critical to balance the Orders spent healing with the benefit of recovering a unit. If you spend half your Order pool getting someone back on your feet, you were probably better off leaving that unit Unconscious.

    Tech Bee
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    So what's up with the Tech Bee? 5 points gets you a Flash Pulse, a Specialist, and a situational rule that helps your Machinist out slightly.

    Why bother with the Tech Bee at all?

    There's a few reasons. The first is that, outside of the Tech Bee, the cheapest Specialist available to NCA are all 12+ points, on limited AVA.

    And since we generally need these cheap Specialists to pull double duty with combat roles (Auxilia and their flamethrowers, Fusiliers filling out a defensive link, CSU alternating between attack/defense) it isn't always easy or helpful to run one of these useful Specialists on a high-risk mission towards an objective. Similarly, missions that involve "camping" a home objective are also difficult, since you may not want to leave one of your valuable units glued to a static objective all game.

    Enter the Tech Bee. She's an ideal choice for grabbing those easy objectives, leaving your better-quality units available for more important tasks. Losing her is no great disaster, so she can attempt "suicide grabs" as necessary.

    Additionally, she's one more cheap Flash Pulse in your backline, and a Command Token can convert her Irregular Order into a Regular Order if you find that one of your Order pools needs a bit more help.

    She won't perform miracles, but she's a nice cheap Specialist in a Sectorial that's not known for being cheap or having many Specialists.


    Warcor

    For 3 points, the Warcor is a fantastic purchase. Use that Flash Pulse as an emergency ARO, or go for Discover Attempts on a lurking Camo or Impersonation token. Warcors are especially useful in the last turn of a hard-fought game, where they can slow an enemy Specialist for a turn and mean the difference between victory and defeat. The Aerocam, functions as a 360 visor in game, and is a useful choice for watching the Warcors back and turning the Warcar into a poor man's defensive turret. 6th Sense Level 1 is good if you anticipate a lot of Camo or Close Combat Specialists who may stack modifiers or seek to outmaneuver you at short range. Either way though, if you find yourself with 3 points to spend and you've already bought Palbots, you can't go wrong with a Warcor. I especially like them as a chance to include a fun miniature in the game that might not otherwise make an appearance.

    Bolts
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    So. Bolts sure have undergone a radical change recently. Formerly a hotly debated and challenging choice to use, Bolts have received a plethora of new profiles and revisions that have made them much easier to use.

    First and foremost, Bolts are NeoTerra's Medium Infantry offering. With their high Ballistic Skill, abundance of deployable weapons, and plethora of weaponry close and mid-range weapons, Bolts have a distinct focus on Close Quarter Battles (CQB). The Bolt profiles themselves also come with two fairly rare rules: Bioimmunity and Veteran Level 1.

    Bioimmunity is a pretty circumstantial rule, but it has its uses: it takes the Biomunitions (Shock, Viral) and downgrades their special effects, making them normal ammunition. However, you can choose to use either your BTS or your ARM value when saving against these ammunition types. The best aspect of this is ARM6 is when facing Shock ammunition. Dealing with antipersonnel mines? Sniper Rifles? No problem, you’ll be effectively ARM6 versus these attacks.

    While circumstantial, this does make Bolts very tanky in the right matchups and versus the right weapons. This is probably most apparently in matchups with lower tech/alternate tech factions, such as Haqqislam, Ariadna, or Tohaa. Each of these factions and their Sectorials make heavy use of standard Sniper Rifles, Viral, and Anti-personnel mines. Perhaps best of all, your opponents will have to watch out for interactions that apply shock and suddenly turn Bolts into a very tanky unit. Does your opponent like applying Marksmanship Level 2 to a combat REM? That may not be the best idea, if Bolts are suddenly ARM9 in cover.

    BTS-based attacks will find Bolts annoying too. Nanopulsers, Hacking, etc will all have to navigate that BTS6.

    In addition to Bioimmunity, Bolts also have Veteran Level 1.

    In essence, models with this rule continue to contribute a Regular Order to their pool even when their force is in Loss of Lieutenant. This means you can run a Lieutenant aggressively, knowing that your force can continue to function without the crippling loss of an entire turn spent in Loss of Lieutenant. Veteran L1 also means you can’t be Isolated, which can have its perks. While NeoTerra doesn't have that many clear nominees for aggressive Lieutenants, it does have a few offerings.

    Perhaps the best aspect of Veteran L1 is the ability to completely ignore Isolation. The game has featured more and more abilities that create Isolation, and having a midfield team that ignores Isolation (Jammer, E/M, etc.) is very helpful. This can cause tremendous problems for opponents who are relying on Jammers for defense.

    As far as actual combat capability, Bolts several interesting options. First, as Medium Infantry in ITS Season 10, they all benefit from Forward Deployment Level 1. This will help offset their slow 4-2 Movement, and help them get stuck into combat quickly.

    With all of this in mind, what do we actually do with Bolts in a list? When you compare Bolts to the hyper-efficient platforms of other NCA units like Fusiliers, CSUs and Fugazi, what’s the purpose of them?

    The answer, of course, is in the powerful range of tools they bring. The biggest change for the new Bolt profiles is the focus on deployable weapons (e/maulers, drop bears) and the shift away from the notoriously expensive combi rifle + lsg. Both e/maulers and drop bears provide a powerful offensive/defensive tool for NCA. E/Maulers can threaten cheap and powerful units alike, Isolating anyone who doesn’t have the Veteran rule, and Immobilizing Heavy Infantry, TAGs and REMs. This is a staggeringly powerful piece of equipment, able to be used in both attack and defense. Drop E/Maulers around corners to threaten/disrupt powerful solo pieces or entire link teams, following up with a Boarding Shotgun or Spitfire blast to pin the enemy in a no-win situation.

    Drop Bears perform a similar function, but with the added capability of being able to toss them at different ranges. This can be used to extend the threat range of your Bolts, compensating for their slow Movement by tossing Drop Bears upfield, throwing them across dangerous fire lanes, or positioning them where they can hit multiple enemy models at once.

    Note that Bolts don’t have exceptional PH, so you only want to commit to throwing Drop Bears if you’re confident the risk is worth the reward. There are few things more frustrating than wasting Drop Bears on missed attempts, so always be conscious of your rangebands, and weigh the risk/reward of simply deploying a Drop Bear like a mine instead. It may not be as spectacular as hurling explosives at the enemy, but there’s no risk of failure either.

    One amazing advantage of both the aforementioned deployable weapons is that they’re carried by boarding shotgun wielding units. The boarding shotgun is priced very cheaply, meaning you can easily fit Drop Bears or e/maulers into your list without paying a heavy premium for other rules or equipment.

    I really value the deployable weapon profiles for Bolts… I think they’re the most valuable tool that Bolts bring to any NCA list. But what about the other profiles?

    The Spitfire is a classic, and retains a lot of value here. When you’re maneuvering a Bolt team around the midfield, having a high-Burst weapon with some added range really helps the team solve problems and present a lot of threats. It’s fairly costly, but still very good as a primary attacker for a Bolt Haris or Core team.

    The MULTI Sniper Rifle and Missile Launcher are slightly unusual weapons for a Medium Infantry unit that’s focused on close-range combat, but they’re acceptable tools for players that really want to focus their list around Bolts. The MULTI Sniper Rifle is a very versatile weapon… It’s good at medium and long range, and Double Action is one of the best ammunition types in the game. MSV1 also makes it good versus Mimetism or TO ARO pieces, which are a natural threat to Bolt link teams. The missile launcher is a bit harder to use, since the long 0 range band of the missile means that Bolts are usually fighting at much closer ranges. However, it still comes with a light shotgun as backup, and is a good tool if you (for whatever reason) want to use a full Bolt Core. I don’t think it’s a brilliant choice, but a BS13 missile isn’t exactly bad either.

    In addition to weapons and firepower, Bolts bring a lot of support rules and Specialist options.

    Finally, PanOceania now has a relatively inexpensive Chain of Command choice. While this loadout isn’t particularly great for NeoTerra… After all, we don’t have a ton of aggressive Lieutenant options who can make great use of Chain of Command… It’s still a good example of how versatile Bolts have become.

    The Paramedic is a decent, safe Specialist option. Paramedics themselves are risky to use, given that NCA is generally low PH, but a Specialist is still a Specialist. It also brings the Combi + Light Shotgun profile, which is still a versatile backup gunfighter.

    The Killer Hacker is the real toolbox star of the Bolt profiles. The Bolt won’t be winning any major Hacking competitions due to WIP12 and lack of marker state, so the real advantages of this profile are its cheap cost and the number of tools it brings. Since NCA lists almost always include REMs, the Bolt KHD is a cheap way to “authorize” REMs and allow them to be used in your list. Additionally, the KHD also brings e/maulers, giving you a great tool for your Bolt fireteams. I like the KHD as a Specialist in a Haris team, a cheap source of a good E/M weapon, and as a cheaper alternative to the Hexa KHD.

    Bolts also have an Assault Device, which has much the same toolbox advantages of the KHD profile but simply costs a bit more. This is not a terrible profile, if you really want to maximize your infowar capability and add more Hacking presence to your list. It’s certainly quite a bit cheaper than the ORC or Swiss Guard AHDs, though it lacks the great stats and additional capabilities of the Deva Assault Hacker.

    As far as actually building a Bolt team, both the Core and the Haris options have their uses. Personally, I prefer the Haris setup. Bolts can bring some great options to midfield Combat, but Medium Infantry remain the worst unit type for fighting in the midfield. Slow Movement, 1 Wound, low PH, and relatively high cost mean they’re incredibly limited and vulnerable compared to all other units types. The great weapon and tools of the Bolts helps offset this vulnerability, but I do think that fielding a full 5-man team of Bolts is risky. Instead, I like the Haris for letting you field 3 fairly inexpensive and useful profiles, letting them have an impact with their deployable weapons and midfield gunfighting capability, while still leaving you plenty of points for other strong NCA staple units.


    Black Friar

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    The Black Friar is an interesting choice, providing two very different roles depending on the profile you select.

    The Sniper variant is a fairly generic long-range piece, devoid of real advantages or unique appeal. MSV2, the hard-hitting MULTI Sniper Rifle, and solid Ballistic Skill allow it to engage in long-range gunfights versus hard-to-hit targets. When using this profile, do your best with the Sniper to maximize rangebands whenever possible, ideally from outside of 32 inches where many weapon rangebands drop off dramatically in terms of effect. As a defensive tool, always try to remove your opponent's strong gunfighters before committing the Friar Sniper to overwatch, since he isn't likely to last long against anything wielding a HMG. The Friar Sniper is probably happiest in matchups that tend to skew smoke or ODD in extreme fashions, and he can counter rampaging Galwegians or Myrmidons very handily as long as their long-range gunfighters are removed.

    The MULTI Rifle/Albedo/Drop Bear profile is an entirely different loadout, and is possibly one of the most unique profiles in all of Infinity. MSV2 allows him to skirmish in the midfield, hunting down Camo Infiltrators. Pair this Friar with a Pathfinder or other Sensor Wielder to help easily Discover tough threats so the Friar can engage with Drop Bears and MULTI Fire. The Biometric Visor also gives NeoTerra a very useful asset against enemy Impersonators. If you expect a lot of Fidays or Speculo Killers in your meta, the Friar is a very good defensive piece for Discovering and removing them. Keep the Friar as your reserve drop to try and give yourself a clear sense of where those Impersonators will be deployed, then use it to help counter those Impersonating threats. Note that the Friar can't stand up in ARO, but is best used as an active turn piece or to help protect a vulnerable backline Lieutenant from a smoke kill in close combat.

    Beyond combating Impersonators, this Friar is a good defensive model who provides MSV2 at zero SWC cost and roughly half the cost of an Aquila Guard. Include the Friar in a Coordinated Order or two to help get him up the field, then use his Drop Bears to guard crucial corners or mine up an important objective. Whenever possible, try to deploy the Bears in base-to-base rather than risking the throw. Use the toss when appropriate, but few things are more annoying than missing the throw with all three of your Drop Bears.

    This loadout's last option is Albedo. Ordinarily a fantastic rule for maneuvering and gunfighting against Visor-wielding troops, this rule's full efficacy is hampered a bit by the Friar's slow movement speed and short range weaponry. There may be circumstances where it's helpful to rush the Friar up the field and engage a Visor wielder at short range, but in a Sectorial like NeoTerra where superior long-range gunfighters are highly prevalent, you will almost never need the Friar to achieve this role. Instead, use this rule to freely maneuver the Friar across lanes that are covered by long-range Visor threats, or deploy the Friar in an area where he’s immune from long range MSV fire support pieces (Charontid, Intruder, Djanbazan) but can still guard against rushing Smoke-tossing warbands or other close-range threats. Be certain not to engage MSV2 link teams either, since 6th Sense allows them to return fire against Albedo users without suffering any penalty, rather than the usual -6 that would be incurred in these situations.

    Note that with Wildcard, the MULTI Rifle profile can now add powerful link bonuses to his arsenal. While I think the Aquila FTO provides a very similar, much more powerful MSV combat role, the Friar is worth considering if you expect your link team to face a lot of backline pressure. Fighting Impersonators with a fully linked Black Friar is hilarious...

    Locust



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    The Locust provides NCA with a precious commodity: an Infiltrator. Though not a traditional Camo Infiltrator, the Locust is still a skilled gunfighter thanks to her ODD. For NeoTerra, she's the only Infiltrator available, and therefore provides highly valuable flexibility for the otherwise-static NCA force. She also provides a number of very unique weapon and equipment options, each of which is wildly different from the other and gives the Locust a broad range of midfield combat options to choose from.


    The main thing to note about the Locust is that its role and intended prey will vary tremendously based on the loadout you choose. Regardless though, each profile retains some basic similarities. The notable advantages are the Optical Disruption Device, Infiltration and Stealth. This makes the Locust very adept at maneuvering around the midfield, positioning itself for alpha strikes or objective grabbing, and avoiding triggering enemy Hacking/Change Facing AROs until she's ready to act.

    Note though that the Optical Disruption Device, while making the Locust a superior gunfighter, limits its mobility since it cannot maneuver as a Marker. This means that crossing open gaps or closing distance with the enemy is always going to prompt a dangerous ARO, as opposed to Camouflage Tokens that can maneuver with more impunity. It also means you must be extremely cautious when deploying the Locust, because you cannot rely on Marker status or Hidden Deployment as protection. As a result, support the locust with strong overwatch units to help prevent opponents from storming her on Turn 1 before she gets a chance to act. The Swiss Missile or Hexa Sniper are ideal candidates, though the Total Reaction Sierrabot and linked Fusiliers can also serve as a deterrent.

    For the profiles themselves, the first two loadouts are remarkably similar, differing only in the choice of close combat weapon. Note that CC20, while still being a respectable score, doesn't quality the Locust as a dedicated Close Combat Specialist. Without any level or Martial Arts or the ability to use Surprise Attack, I would not commit to the Locust to melee voluntarily. I view the Locust's CC score as more of a defensive option.

    The breaker rifle is a fine weapon. Against most opponents it will act like a harder hitting Combi Rifle, since most miniatures lack BTS. Pair this unit with a Sensor choice like the Deva or Pathfinder to hunt midfield targets, using the Breaker Rifle's relative range to stay away from mines or direct template wielders. Breaker ammunition is also good against ultra-hard targets like Heavy Infantry or TAGs, especially if you can flank them. The D-Charges are also an interesting point. They allow you to achieve the Sabotage Classified objective with ease if you're playing an ITS mission, especially since the Locust can often deploy on or near the terrain piece you wish to Sabotage. Unlike most PanO units though, the Locust is also a reasonable candidate for using D-Charges in close combat. I already mentioned that the Locust is not a great melee combatant, which still holds true, unless the opponent will not get an ARO in response. If an opponent is mobilized, whether it is through Hacking, the Locked State, E/M ammunition, etc., then D-Charges in close combat are a very reliable, potent, hard-hitting way to remove these pieces efficiently. If you can get the jump on a rampaging TAG or Hac TAO, then the Locust can sometimes save you valuable Orders by going for the D-Charge option. Note too that the Locust with D-Charges is one of NCA’s few ways to play the Looting & Sabotage mission. Looting & Sabotage is an ITS mission with extremely specific criteria for winning, and the Locust with D-Charges is the only NCA unit that possesses both high CC and anti-materiel on the same profile.

    The last major appeal of the Breaker loadout is Suppressive Fire. A Locust in Partial Cover with Suppressive Fire up is at a staggering -12 to be hit, giving its a strong edge versus the majority of opposition. Obviously this application will be limited if an opponent has MSV, smoke, templates or a big range advantage, but a Locust that's Suppressing can easily hold most opposition at bay.

    The Boarding Shotgun/Drop Bear profile is especially popular. Drop Bears are one of NeoTerra's unique technological assets, but they're limited to very few platforms. With the Locust, thanks to starting up the field, you can use Drop Bears in a more aggressive and dynamic role. Seal off objectives with a minefield on Turn 1 before opponents have a chance to leave their deployment zone. You can also use powerhouse gunfighters to clear enemy defensive units out of the way, giving the Locust a lane to advance through and wreak havoc in the enemy Deployment Zone. Drop Bears can be placed at corners before the Locust swings around them to gunfight, forcing the enemy to Dodge or be auto-hit by the exploding Mine as they declare their ARO.

    Note that the Locust's Physicality is good enough to toss Drop Bears with great reliability, but it isn't infallible. Always consider whether it's necessary to attempt to toss the Bear, or whether it's acceptable to just deploy it Base-to-Base like an ordinary antipersonnel mine, with no chance of failure. Few things are worse than wasting all of your Drop Bears on failed throwing attempts.

    Be aware of the limitations of the boarding shotgun as well. The "sweet spot" of the shotgun's rangeband (8 inches) puts the Locust in harm's way for a huge multitude of defensive weaponry. Enemy mines, direct template weapons (both large and small templates), hostile shotguns, and even the lowly pistol all give your opponents options for respectable AROs at short range. Do your best to exploit the Locust's Stealth to outmaneuver opponents, preventing them from using Change Facing to hopefully catch them in the back or caught unaware.

    The Assault Hacker profile stands out simply because it's NeoTerra's only Infiltrating Specialist. The uses of the Assault profile are relatively straightforward: it remains a versatile gunfighter, can interact with objectives in ITS play, and can use the Assault Hacking Device to interfere with Hackable targets using the full range of programs available to that device. Once again, the lack of Marker state means this profile must be used very conservatively. Use the Stealth of the Locust to bypass hostile Repeaters and Hacking threats in the active turn, and be aware of Killer Hacking Devices which will be the greatest danger to this profile.

    One of the more useful profiles is the Marksman Rifle. The effective rangebands of his weapon, when combined with Marksmanship Level 1, provide a great mid-range platform for swatting down enemy warbands or eradicating long-range ARO troops who are vulnerable at short and medium ranges. Against opponents with a lot of Impetuous troops, keep this Locust as your reserve drop and then use its positioning to "drag" Impetuous units in an unexpected direction. This can skew their Movement dramatically, either carrying them away from the direction they were intended to go or luring into the Locust's Line of Fire where Shock can eradicate even Dogged troops. Note that Marksmanship Level 1 is a voluntary ability, which means it’s entirely voluntary and can therefore be “turned off” if you don’t want it, making it an improvement over a Marksman Rifle with inbuilt Shock. This means that if you run into troops that gain specialized survivability versus Shock, such as high-BTS models with BioImmunity, you can opt not to fire Shock ammunition and avoid triggering their improved defense.

    The range of the Marksman Rifle also means you can deploy the Locust more conservatively if you need to, closer to your Deployment Zone, while still being able to reach the enemy and affect the game using relatively few Orders. For aggressive attack lists, I’ll deploy a Peacemaker to convince my opponent to overwatch with his ARO troops, then use the Locust as my Reserve drop to attack aggressively and clear the way for the Peacemaker’s shotgun and flamethrower. The Locust also pairs well with a Garuda, able to clear points on the table edge for the Garuda to walk on, then provide a defensive Suppressive Fire zone for the Garuda to retreat to after it’s done some heavy damage. The trio of Locust/Peacemaker/Garuda is fairly inexpensive in terms of points, but has the mobility and versatile firepower for game-ending aggressive maneuvers.

    So while Locusts are a far cry from being "mandatory" in a NeoTerra list, they do provide some unique flexible choices. My personal suggestion is to avoid treating them as typical "disposable" Camo Infiltrators, instead using them as specialized high-cost elite units who come with some increased Order efficiency, working in tandem with other specialized units to apply intense aggressive pressure. If you happen to go first, don't be afraid to push the Locusts hard into the enemy table half and reap a bodycount, but they are worth using conservatively if your opponent will be the one going first. When coupled with a Peacemaker and a Garuda, you can play a far more aggressive game than most opponents are accustomed to seeing from an NCA opponent.

    ORCs

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    ORCs are PanOceania's line heavy infantry, or “Vanilla” heavy infantry.. Despite this generic nomer, they do in fact equal or exceed the stats of most other faction's elite troops. Reviewing their statline, they have the hallmark PanOceanian trade of +1 Ballistic Skill, -1 Willpower. It's also worth noting that their Physicality of 14 and Armor of 4 are also equal or higher than the Physicality and ARM of many other HI, giving them good defensive attributes. This is offset by a weak BTS of 3, making them naturally vulnerable to Hacking Attacks.


    The defining characteristic of ORCs in NeoTerra is their ability form a 3-man Haris Fireteam, as long as you bring the Haris-equipped ORC profile in your list.

    While a 3-man fireteam of ORCs is pricey, it does allow you to move a varied and effective toolbox rapidly up the table. The ORCs are equipped with some varied profiles that let this fireteam handle a multitude of threats at a variety of ranges. A Haris team with boarding shotgun, HMG wielder and assault Hacker can effectively gunfight at any range out to 32 inches, and also brings along a Specialist for ITS-related button pushing. The full 3-man Haris represents a lot of points consolidated into a small area of the table. This can be useful for missions that strongly emphasize high mobility (like Biotechvore) or contesting key zones (Frontline, Supremacy, Safe Area.)

    Note, of course, that such a team requires significant support. While it excels at gunfighting and has good general survivability thanks to high BS, ARM and PH, the lack of direct templates or deployable/perimeter weapons make it vulnerable to Close Combat, Hacking, and TO/ODD threats. Pair this team with a Hexa MULTI Sniper to help watch their back and guard against close-range threats, or use Drop Bears to create a supporting minefield. In the case of hostile Hackers, make use of Repeaters to help extend your Hacking network and help your other Hackers provide support AROs if anyone gets too close. A Hexa Killer Hacking Device lurking with Redrum is a great deterrent. Make use of your Standard or EVO Hacking Devices to set up your ORCs with Firewall, giving them an edge with Hacking or Reset Face-to-Face rolls. For players that are really concerned about Infowar, include the MULTI profile with Tinbot. Not only is the MULTI Rifle a highly versatile weapon, but the Tinbot is a greater additional counter to hostile Hackers.

    Outside of the Haris teams, ORCs are modestly useful as individual profiles. Solo ORCs are often overshadowed in NeoTerra since Swiss Guard and Aquila present highly specialized individual profiles instead. The attitude of many players is “I’ve already bought ⅔ of a Swiss Guard, I might as well pay for the rest and get all the perks of TO Camo.” Of course, ORCs are significantly less expensive than either the Swiss or the Aquila, allowing for a strong Heavy Infantry gunfighter that's slightly more economical than their more elite counterparts. The HMG lieutenant is particularly interesting, since it pairs well with the Veteran status on Bolts. Since Bolts remain Regular even in Loss of Liutenant, they can let you run a more aggressive Lieutenant choice without worrying too much about the crippling effects of Loss of Lieutenant. In addition, the ORC HMG provides punishing firepower at long range, letting the Bolts advance to medium and short ranges where they excel. Note, of course, that a big Bolt link team plus an Orc Lieutenant will represent the bulk of your points, so give careful thought to what role both of these units will fill before building a list around both.

    The ORC boarding shotgun, while not especially interesting or distinctive, does represent one of the rare Shotgun choices available to PanOceania. It’s a useful contributor to a Haris team, where you can use long-range weaponry to clear the lanes and advance the boarding shotgun close, where it will do the most damage.

    The ORC Hacker really has very little going for it, besides being the only Specialist that can be embedded in a Haris team for ITS play. With low BTS and no Marker State, it’s appallingly vulnerable to enemy Killer Hackers, and this isn’t helped by the meager WIP12 that ORCs feature.

    The MULTI Rifle is the consummate all-rounder, quite a decent gunfighter by the standards of non-Camo or non-Visor Heavy Infantry. With amazing MULTI Rifle wielders like the Swiss and Aquila, the ORC is fairly overshadowed, but once again is a very nice tool in the Haris because of the versatility of its ammo types. Burst 2 Double Action at BS14 is a nice ARO, and AP/Shock can be fantastic assets.

    Solo ORCs particularly shine in low-point games, where their elite stats and diverse weaponry can fill a gap in any list without needing to pay full points for a pricier Swiss or Aquila.


    Aquila Guard

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    The Aquila Guard is one of the game's rare BS15 choices, and comes with an equally rare item of wargear: the Multispectral Visor Level 3.

    If your local meta or event is jam packed with Camo, TO Camo, Smoke and ODD, then the Aquila is a specialized tool for fighting these threats on an even footing. Not only will the Aquila ignore all negative penalties, but he also ignores the effects of Surprise Shot and can automatically Discover Camo and TO Camo tokens without needing to make a roll. The result here is that the Aquila is a remarkably stable and consistent gunfighter, always hitting on at least 15s as long as his target is in his preferred range band.

    The HMG is undoubtedly the most popular loadout. This is a choice that can challenge any volume of Camouflage Tokens, and can intimidate Hidden Deployment ambush-type snipers into staying hidden based solely on its presence on the table.

    The MULTI Rifle, by contrast, is an economic choice that is strong for hunting through the midfield and capitalizing on the MULTI's availability of specialty ammunition. Note that the MULTI Rifle profile can also serve as your Lieutenant, pairing well with Bolts for players who want to capitalize on an aggressive Lieutenant choice. The MULTI Rifle is especially good in defense versus warbands and smoke-heavy opponents, since the Shock of the MULTI Rifle can knock down Dogged Troops and the Aquila’s strong PH and ARM give him recourse to Dodge if a template wielder gets too close.

    The MULTI Rifle is also defined by two unique profiles: the Lieutenant, and the Fire Team Option (FTO.)

    The LT option is probably the forerunner for aggressive NCA Lieutenants. If you absolutely want to maximize the Veteran L1 or Chain of Command utility of Bolts, the Aquila LT is probably your best bet. Certainly, having an MSV3, BS15 combatant who can spent an LT Order isn’t a bad thing, though it may also be more trouble than its worth.

    The FTO is the true star of the Aquila MULTI Rifle though. Add him to a Bolt Haris for a scary midfield hunter who benefits from +1 Burst. Add him to a Core of Fusiliers and rush late-game with a BS18 monster. Pair him with a CSU for some point protection, and maybe a close range Nanopulser or Shotgun for added utility. As if wasn’t good enough already, the Aquila also gains Specialist, letting you interact with objectives and score in ITS missions. There’s so much capability here, this is the first profile that genuinely competes with the Aquila HMG in terms of being insanely useful, and even starts to overshadow the Swiss Guard in terms of versatility and utility.

    In terms of actual combat, one of the Aquila's strongest roles is in Suppressive Fire. Because of his high base Ballistic Skill, ability to ignore almost all modifiers as well as Smoke grenades, as well as generally tough survivability as a Heavy Infantry, the Aquila is a great defensive bulwark for scenarios or missions where you absolutely need to defend a critical section of the table.

    If you favor consistency in your target rolls, and frequently fight opponents where ease of Discovering is highly valuable, reach for the Aquila. The Swiss remains the dominant gunfighter of NCA, and the Deva Spitfire shouldn't be ignored if you really need a good MSV2 platform, but the Aquila has become a strong choices thanks to the FTO profile.


    Swiss Guard


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    Possibly the finest gunfighter in the game, the Swiss Guard is a superior ranged combatant. With an apex Ballistic Skill of 15, ThermOptic Camouflage, Armor 5 and BTS6, the Swiss casually out-guns virtually all opponents. The Swiss is also a highly versatile unit, able to fulfill a number of wildly different roles based on the loadout you choose.

    First and possibly foremost is the Swiss Guard Hacker. In a faction that isn't known for high-quality Specialists, the Swiss Hacker stands apart as a frontline Specialist that can muscle its way through almost any defense. WIP13 and BTS 6 are strong by PanOceanian standards, and the Assault Hacking Device provides a broad spectrum of useful abilities. Be cautious however, since the Assault Hacking Device makes the Swiss vulnerable to Killer Hackers. However, the Assault Device also gives you a broad range of tools. When defending a forward bottleneck or supported by multiple Repeaters, the Assault Device can easily Immobilize enemy Hackable targets. Many players consider Assault Hacking Devices a less popular choice now that Killer Hacking Devices have become so pervasive. With the Swiss though, since the Assault Device is your only Specialist option, it’s well worth maximizing how you use that Assault Device for greatest gain. The Assault Device is a highly versatile tool, so read up on the range of tasks it can achieve. From locking down Hackable targets via Carbonite, or simply taking them out of the game via Oblivion, there’s a lot that can be achieved through a strong Repeater Network.

    When combined with a Hexa Killer Hacker and a Fusilier Standard Device, you can overwhelm an opponent with Hacking AROs if they wander too close to one of your repeaters. Remember that ThermOptic Camouflage allows you to Surprise Shoot with your Hacking Attacks, potentially giving the Swiss an edge to overcome enemy Hackers. Perhaps most advantageous is Swiss' ability to use the Marker state (or Stealth) to sneak past enemy Hackers without triggering AROs. As a Hacker or a Specialist, this gives the Swiss extreme mobility when you need to send him/her towards a well guarded objective. High ARM and Physicality even means you can risk Dodging antipersonnel mines if necessary.

    Most units sacrifice firepower when they upgrade to a Hacking Device, but the Swiss gains a very potent tool in the MULTI Rifle. Not only is the MULTI's Shock ammunition mode a strong asset versus opponents who run heavy with Dogged or No Wound Incapacitation troops, but the Armor Piercing is hugely useful if you do run across a TAG or rival Heavy Infantry. The Rifle remains strong at short and mid-range bands, and with the Swiss' huge Ballistic Skill and the TO modifiers, can even gunfight out to HMG ranges with a decent likelihood of success. Remember too that the Double Action ARO can be a life-saving surprise if a strong enemy piece starts to storm into your Deployment Zone. Revealing a Hidden Deployment unit to ARO is always a risk to use, but a well timed Double Action Round on an enemy unit that wasn't expecting it can be a game-saving tactic.

    The Heavy Machine Gun is a popular choice, simply because it’s hard to beat Ballistic Skill 15, Burst 4, and TO Camouflage. This is a true fire superiority piece, offering punishing long-range firepower at high cost. One of the great assets of the HMG, of course, is how versatile it is. While obviously very strong from 16-32 inches, it can be made to work at close range in case of need, and is even capable of long-range AROs or Suppressive Fire if you really need to commit to defense. The sheer versatility and punishing nature of the HMG clearly makes this a popular choice, and this is what most players will reach for when fielding a Swiss Guard.

    Perhaps the Swiss’ most unique loadout is the missile launcher and light shotgun. This is the Swiss’ mayhem profile: when revealing with Surprise Shots or lethal AROs at extreme range, those missile shots can turn a game on their head and ruin the plans of any opponent. The same is true for the light-shotgun; few opponents can possibly match the lethality of a BS21 light shotgun on an ARM5 TO platform. This loadout is best suited for ambushing an enemy with opening missile AROs, then maneuvering for shots of opportunity where both the missile and shotgun templates can cause maximum damage. Note, of course, that the rangebands for both the missile and the light shotgun make this a profile of extremes, and tend to put the Swiss in harm’s way. When standing off with missile shots, the Swiss is vulnerable to linked missile users or MSV2 Snipers. When engaging at short range, beware mines, templates, Suppressive Fire Crits, Close Combat, Hacking… In fact, regardless of profile, be ultra cautious how you commit the Swiss at close range, because this is always a dangerous area on the table.

    The Swiss is typically known for dominating games, and many players believe the Swiss is too high an investment for a mere 2 Wounds (albeit a very good 2 Wounds.) For me personally, one of the major appeals of NCA is that you can run a Swiss Guard, lose that Swiss Guard, and still have backup options. If your Swiss gets unlucky (or even sacrifices itself doing something very helpful for the mission,) a well built NCA list will still have multiple redundant threats that can take over if the Swiss is removed from play. Part of playing NCA effectively is being able to use a power-piece like a Swiss in conjunction with other units like linked Fusiliers, CSU, Hexas, etc. so that every unit is assigned tasks that are statistically likely and don't put great demands on luck. The Swiss is a very strong piece, but it has its limitations, so make sure you support it effectively.

    Uhlan


    [​IMG]



    The Uhlan is one of the few TAGs in Infinity that can maneuver as a Token. This ability to enter Camouflage is the Uhlan's greatest asset, and is undoubtedly the best reason for taking the Uhlan to begin with. The Uhlan itself is a lighter TAG. With ARM6, it also gives up the popular MULTI HMG in favor of a standard HMG and a Feuerbach.

    The Feuerbach serves two functions: it allows for a high quality Explosive ARO that's comparable to the MULTI HMG's explosive round, but also functions like a high-powered MULTI Sniper Rifle that pairs very well with the Uhlan's high Ballistic Skill and use of Suprise Shot. Note in particular that the Feuerbach has a very long 0 range band, allowing it to engage targets even at extreme range with a high possibility of success. That being said, the Feuerbach is only really effective in the active turn if you find yourself seriously needing the Armor Piercing component of the Feurbach's ammunition. Otherwise, the Heavy Machine gun is almost always going to serve you better thanks to the safety and reliability provided by its Burst 4.

    Regardless of the weapon profiles in use though, the Camouflage token is the real asset. TAGs are always vulnerable to close combat, hacking, direct templates, and modifier stacking. The Camo state helps to offset all of these factors. Best case scenario, an unprepared opponent will simply fail his Discover attempts against the Uhlan and not be able to target it. A canny opponent will make effective use of Sensor or Intuitive Attack to reveal the Uhlan, but this is where you can use other units to help provide support. Both the Hexa Killer Hacker and the Black Friar MULTI Rifle are great defensive assets: the Friar's Drop Bears and MSV2 can keep smoke tossing warbands or Camo units at bay, while the Hexa (especially if paired with a Repeater, to keep the Hexa at a safe distance) can be a strong deterrent to those repeated Possession attempts that an opponent might be inclined to make.

    In addition to the obvious advantages of the Marker state, giving Stealth to a TAG makes a huge difference. The Uhlan can now maneuver through dense terrain and limit the opponent's ARO options without needing to Recamo, saving valuable valuable Orders that can instead be applied to doing extreme damage.

    Note that this last TAGline ITS season has given the Uhlan new flexibility, both enhancing your ability for a Machinist to make repairs thanks to the Tech Bee, and deploying the Crabbot to allow the Uhlan to capture objectives. And on a Camo TAG, the Bot gets even greater functionality. Imagine you want to capture an objective that isn't surrounded by any cover, and is being actively covered by the enemy. Perhaps you don't have the Orders to engage and remove them all. With the Uhlan, you can run close to the objective as a camo token. Run your Camo TAG close to the objective, knowing that the enemy must Discover you before you can be targeted. Since deploying and utilizing the Crabbot does not activate the Uhlan itself, you can spend a fresh Order to deploy the Crabbot, using the Uhlan's silhouette for Total Cover. With proper positioning, you can use the Uhlan and objective as protection (pretty easy to do with a small silhouette Crabbot.) The Crabbot, now protected by the Uhlan's silhouette and out of Line of Fire, can interact with the objective safely before re-embarking.

    A note on defense: While it is always sorely tempting to place the Uhlan in Suppressive Fire where it can rock and roll, I don’t always believe this is the safest choice. The Camouflage State is one of the strongest rules in the game, because it makes its user essentially invulnerable to the vast majority of attacks in Infinity. Use this! Let your other units defend the Uhlan and back it up, and use that Camo State to keep the Uhlan safe from threats. When you reach the point in the game where the survival of the Uhlan is no longer critical, such as the last turn of the game, should you be ready to maximize rules like Suppressive Fire. Additionally, don’t forget the Feuerbach gives the Uhlan a very potent long-range ARO. The Uhlan makes a very strong sniper deterrent early on, especially if the Uhlan is still hidden safely in your Deployment Zone and can duck its way back into Total Cover if its finds itself outgunned.


    Squalo

    [​IMG]


    At first glance, the Squalo appears a highly generic TAG. With ARM8, a MULTI HMG and a secondary weapon, and no other abilities to speak of, it appears a very straightforward piece. The real beauty of the Squalo though are its interaction with another unit in NCA, and the performance capability of one of those secondary weapons.

    If you take the Squalo as your Lieutenant, it's arguably the best way to maximize the Veteran Level 1 of Bolts. If your Squalo gets trashed, your game isn't dead-in-the-water, since the Bolts can fuel you with enough Regular Orders to salvage a turn and keep going.

    More interesting, however, is the heavy grenade launcher. This is an extremely rare piece of equipment, and one that can absolutely decimate an opponent. Using the Squalo's trademark PanOceanian Ballistic Skill, you can lob grenades across the field with a higher chance of Success than a Fusilier Grenade Launcher within 16 inches. You can, quite literally, bombard an opponent's Deployment Zone without having to move forward. If you pair this ability with Forward Observers, you can increase the reliability of your Speculative Shots. Of course, be sure to weigh the number of Orders spent marking a target with the numbers of Orders you're likely to spend simply on attempting shots.

    Note that the Squalo also boasts a heavy pistol as its secondary weapon system. Unlike many TAGs, which have a direct template weapon for close-range combat and point defense, the Squalo will be relying on a face-to-face mechanic to defend itself or assault up close. This is both a positive and a negative; while a heavy flamethrower is undeniably devastating, and would maximize the Squalo's ability to take a hit in return for indiscriminate damage, the heavy pistol is not a bad option either, since potentially hitting on 18s gives the Squalo a potent short-range face-to-face with which to defend itself.

    In addition, the Squalo includes an advanced ECM. While highly circumstantial and unlikely to show in many games, the Advanced ECM is worth remembering. Not only does it negate the +6 advantage when an opponent fires guided munitions, but even confers an additional -3 as well. While extremely corner case, this rule does make the Squalo marginally more survivable if its finds itself being bombarded by guided fire.

    As with all TAGs, include a Machinist with palbot for speedy repair and recovery, as well as a Killer Hacker to potentially troubleshoot any opposing infowar potential, are always safe investments. Linked Fusilier and Bolt Hackers, while very modest with their WIP12, are also good defensive precautions because they can ignore the Stealth of any Hackable targets that are maneuvering near the Squalo. When setting up a defensive bastion for your TAG, in addition to traditional defensive assets like drop bears/mines and templates, being able to drop a Repeater or position a Repeater-equipped Remote nearby can allow your Hackers to all provide mutual support if someone comes after your TAG.

    I personally like to support my use of the Squalo heavy grenade launcher with rapid assault units like Bulleteers or the Garuda. This way, if an opponent spreads out in their deployment zone to avoid multiple units being caught in each template, there's often a gap in overwatch or defense that your fast assault pieces can squeeze through to attack.

    Fugazi


    At first glance, the Fugazi doesn't look like much. After all, it doesn't even have a real gun. That being said though, I take three Fugazi in virtually all of my NeoTerra lists. Why? For 8 points, you get a highly effective force multiplier.

    First and foremost, 8 points is the cheapest Order that NeoTerra can access. For a Sectorial with so many high-cost units, Fugazi are key for high Order pools. Second, Mimetism and Flash Pulse makes for a very solid ARO or even active turn piece if necessary. If a game is hard fought, Fugazi can be a Turn 3 defensive or can help to blind a key enemy overwatch unit. Since units affected by Flash ammunition cannot interact with objectives, blinding an enemy Specialist in the last turn of the game is just as valuable as killing them. This means that the Fugazi is a very real threat to an opponent's game plan.

    If you really want to maximize this defensive potential, pair with an EVO Hacker and use Overclock to give Burst 2 AROs to each of your Fugazi.

    The last valuable role for Fugazi is providing Repeater coverage. With 6-6 MOV and AVA3, you can cover your Deployment Zone with Repeaters and rapidly rush them up the field to control chokepoints or camp near hostile Hackers. While NCA's Hackers may not have the most impressive WIP, the thing that makes for effective Hacking is the ability to impact the enemy using as few Orders as possible. The Repeaters on Fugazi are a key component for this strategy.

    In addition, Fugazi play a valuable role against Camouflage opponents. Fighting a Camo heavy opponent? Spend a few Orders deploying Sniffers in the midfield, and have your Pathfinder or Deva use a Sensor Sweep to reveal all Camouflage and TO Camouflage units. Not only can you expose huge swathes of the table this way, but you can also prevent opponents from Recamoing as long as they're in the Zone of Control of a Sniffer. Besides running an Aquila, this is by far the most reliable method for exposing Camo Troops, and it's arguably more Order efficient as well.

    So while buying multiple boxes of Dronbots may seem like a boring investment, there's no doubt that Fugazi are cash and points well spent since they can find a home in any list.


    Pathfinder

    [​IMG]


    A good litmus test for gauging the experience of an Infinity player is asking about the Pathfinder. Is it good? What does it have to offer?

    In my role, the Pathfinder is indispensable. I've made efforts to maintain a lack of bias in my writing, but Pathfinders are truly worth every point of their cost. The benefits they bring to PanOceania are staggering. To elaborate:

    A 6-4 MOV Specialist. Is the Pathfinder vulnerable? Yes. However, it doesn't matter how vulnerable a unit is when all of the opposition is dead and all you need to do is push the remaining buttons.

    Use your superior PanOceanian firepower to blow your enemy away, clearing lanes and sweeping away opposition, then send in the quick 6-4 Pathfinder to ping-pong between objectives. That quick MOV value and the decent WIP make the Pathfinder a great specialist.

    In addition to that quick objective grabbing prowess, let's look at Sensor. the Order efficiency provided by the Sensor rule is nigh-critical to the Order efficiency of any list, especially against Camouflage-heavy opponents like Ariadna. Conventionally, to Discover a Camo marker hiding around a corner, you need to do several things:

    1) Advance a miniature up to the terrain piece.

    2) March around the terrain piece to establish Line of Fire.

    3) Attempt a Discover role (possibly passing, possibly failing.)

    4) Suffer the penalties of exposing a model to a hostile Camo token you didn't know the identify of (is it a mine? Is it a hacker? Is it a model with a Boarding Shotgun or flamethrower waiting to blow you away at close range?)

    With Sensor, you can offset the Order expenditure and much of the risk of the previous 4 steps. In fact, the only thing you need to do is Step 1. Run your Pathfinder up to the terrain piece, keep it safely between you and the offending Camo Token, and then Sensor Sweep. Bingo, with a simple +6 to WIP roll (and no negative Modifiers) you reveal all Camo Tokens and Hidden Deployment units within 8 inches. This is huge.

    Not only have you saved Orders, but you've limited what your opponent can do to harm you. Is that Camo Token an antipersonnel mine? Fantastic, you've avoided walking into harm's way. A Hacker? Great, the Pathfinder also has a Repeater, so now your Hexa Killer Hacker is set to melt the brain of that hostile target.

    Pathfinders, perhaps with Fugazi support (detailed later) can turn an opponent's mystical hidden army of Camo Tokens completely on its head with a few Sensor Sweeps.

    Now all of this is great if your opponent has Camo Tokens hanging out within easy reach, but what about those shady bastards like Intruders who might be tucked back in an opponent's DZ, surveying the battlefield with their beady eyes?

    Sensor also lets you Discover single targets at range, with a +6 modifier. Note that this form of Discover, unlike the Sensor Sweep, does NOT ignore Modifiers. However, this still means the odds of Discovering are in your favor against most targets. As long as your target is within 32 inches (the 0 band for Discover,) you will be +6 for Discover, -3 for Camo, -3 for Cover... Leaving your Pathfinder back where it started at WIP13. This is a better chance to Discover than with WIP15, MSV2 Deva that costs twice as much as the Pathfinder, and certainly better than anything else in NCA's arsenal besides an Aquila Guard. Use the Pathfinder for those long-range Discovers, then engage with prejudice using a more powerful gunfighter or even the Pathfinder's own Triangulated Fire.

    On the topic of Triangulated Fire: This is a great ability, though not always easy to use. By using a long skill, the Pathfinder can fire at -3. This may not seem that appealing, until you realize the Pathfinder will only EVER be -3. This includes negative modifiers for range, Cover, TO, ODD, Suppressive Fire, or anything else you can think of. This makes the Pathfinder a very good Reserve drop during Deployment if you expect some tricky Camo defensive overwatch ploys by your opponent. The Pathfinder can Discover and Triangulated Fire with a couple of quick orders, with decent chances of taking down whatever long-range roadblock your opponent has put in front of you.

    Worried about your opponent Revealing and scrapping your Pathfinder? No problem. You've now revealed your opponent, achieving the goal you set out to do. Repair the Pathfinder with a nearby Machinist, re-rolling failures as necessary using Command Tokens, and your Pathfinder is back in the game.

    The last unique asset of Sensor actually combines with the ability to Forward Observer, granting a feature called Sat Lock. Sat Lock is one of the most underused rules in the game, but can be incredibly potent with a little support. Sat Lock lets can be declared on units or Camo Tokens, Revealing them and also conferring the Targeted trait with a WIP -6 roll.


    Bulleteer

    [​IMG]


    Bulleteers are legendary. There's no reason to hide my love for this unit, because they are arguably the best platforms for the Spitfire or Boarding Shotgun in the game in terms of gunfighting lethality, mobility and sheer point efficiency. This is a combat REM choice that is unique to PanOceania, and is the envy of other factions. If you're not fielding them in your list, there should probably be a fantastic reason why not.

    Note that Bulleteers have Repeaters. So not only are you zipping around the table with a 6-4 unit, stacking lopsided gunfights in your favor, but you can even provide your Bulleteers with Supportware without having to physically move your Hacker within range. Wherever your Bulleteer is, your Hackers can reach and buff them. In addition, one of the main weaknesses of Bulleteers (hostile Hackers) can be mitigated. If a Hacker pops their head up to Immobilize or otherwise mess with the Bulleteer, you can have your Hexa Killer Hacker waiting to melt their brain. Similarly, if you're fighting a Hacking-vulnerable opponent and you need to control a bottleneck with your Swiss Assault Hacker, the Bulleteer has the speed and the prowess to fight its way up the table and control that bottleneck.

    That being said of course, Bulleteers are as cheap as they are for a reason. REMs come with a lot of built-in drawbacks. Direct Template Weapons like the humble Chain Rifle are the absolute death of Bulleteers, so be cautious where you leave the Bulleteer if you want it to survive. Antipersonnel Mines, of course, fall into a similar category. Bulleteers also come with short range weapons, so avoid those long firelanes where a canny opponent can outrange your REM and stack modifiers. Visors are another obvious threat. Fortunately though, it's rare that a Bulleteer will be completely killed off in a single hostile order, so consider supporting your Bulleteers with a Machinist if you think the Orders necessary to repair will be worth having your Bulleteer back.

    Note that Bulleteers also make effective defensive units. As long as you can keep them safe from templates or Hackers, they do well in ARO when supported by Support Hacking. The Spitfire with Marksmanship Level 2 in Suppressive Fire is very difficult to beast face-to-face, while the shotgun with Burst 2 parked in a tight corner will make any opponent nervous.

    Peacemaker

    [​IMG]


    A highly iconic unit, the Peacemaker is a valuable staple for helping NCA have some modicum of starting midfield aggression. The Peacemaker is also a valuable Turn 1 defensive staple, especially for those vulnerable visible Locusts.

    While the Peacemaker lacks the Bulleteer’s sheer stat-modifying ability, it specializes at forcing the opponent to make difficult choices. For one, you’re starting a Ballistic Skill 12 Heavy Shotgun or Spitfire up to 24 inches up the table, which is always useful.

    It’s the Auxbot that really defines the Peacemaker. While the enemy is contesting the rapid, aggressive movement of a decent gunfighter, the Auxbot is forcing them to take Damage 14 fire hits. Fire against the Peacemaker, and they’re eating fire unopposed. Fire at the Auxbot, and they heat shotgun or Spitfire rounds unopposed. If the enemy Dodges to defend against both threats, there’s zero danger to your Peacemaker and you can press the attack until you succeed.

    The applications of a Peacemaker in support of the rest of an NCA list are many. For one, the Peacemaker’s a valuable babysitter for both Locusts or other NCA units that “stage” in the midfield for an attack in subsequent turns. Since NCA has few mine options and no Minelayers, the Peacemaker takes on a key role as a midfield template that can deter the opponent from the instant the game begins.. The Peacemaker’s Auxbot can help provide that critical deterrent though, watching a corner or guarding a rooftop to keep the enemy away from your more valuable aggressive units. If you combine the Peacemaker with EVO support (remember, you need an onboard Repeater, which the Peacemaker certainly has) you can start the game with both a Burst 2 Flamethrower and a Burst 2 Heavy Shotgun defending key junctures of the midfield.

    Besides simply defending, the Peacemaker works very well on the attack in tandem with other aggressive units. Once you’ve weathered the enemy attack, switch your Support Programs over to Marksmanship Level 2, then get to work applying Shock Ammo in the enemy’s table half. Use a Magh Mari HMG or Montessa Spitfire to swat aside enemy overwatch units, then go crazy in the enemy Deployment Zone. Need to reach a critical objective that’s strewn with mines and enemies in Suppressive Fire? Send the Auxbot in to trip the mines and flamethrow the defenders.P

    Remember that you can use the Peacemaker’s Repeater for more than turning it into a murder machine. If an enemy Hacker is giving you problems, get the Peacemaker nearby and then apply some Redrum from your Hexa Killer Hacker. With the advantages of the Auxbot as well, you can make this move very aggressively. A smart opponent will try to Blackout your Peacemaker as soon as it moves within range, shutting down its Repeater and stopping you from following up with a Hacking Program. But if you maneuver aggressively with the Auxbot and threaten them with a Flamethrower blast as well, you may bait them into Dodging. Either way, it goes back to the Core of the Peacemaker’s role: forcing your opponent to make difficult decisions.

    A note on the shotgun versus the Spitfire: both have very different roles, with the shotgun being more disposable and (obviously) focused on close-quarter engagements, both offensive and defensive. The Spitfire makes the Peacemaker a bit less useful at close quarters, but allows it to be a more versatile, self-contained threat. If you’re not using the Peacemaker in tandem with other units, especially in low unit count or smaller games where your enemy will have fewer models on the table, then that’s when the Spitfire really starts to shine. Use your first Order to give it Marksmanship, and then you’ll be rampaging through the opponent’s table half with a Burst 4 monster. Suppressive Fire also becomes an option when using the Spitfire, as well as being able to engage effectively from outside the 8 inch “zone of death” where practically every enemy can hit you back at the +3 rangeband. Both loadouts are well worth experimenting with.

    Clipper

    [​IMG]


    NCA doesn’t specialize in the guided missile game, though admittedly this is a pretty uncommon approach.

    If you’re determined to give this a try, there are many ways to approach this. The simplest way is to basically make use of Repeaters and Assault Hackers to attempt to spotlight hostile targets. There's some capability here, particularly through the Deva Assault device, but it's definitely not a NeoTerra Specialty.

    One incidental challenge of including a Clipper is that, whenever one is on the table, you’re telegraphing to your opponent that you intend to use it. This means that your opponent will constantly be on the lookout for your Forward Observing or Spotlight attempts, and seek to avoid them.

    With that in mind, my favorite way to use the Clipper is via Satlock. Granted, the point cost of a Pathfinder, an EVO Hacker and a Clipper is pretty steep, but you can do some amazing things with it. Set up a strong Sniffer net with your AVA3 Fugazi, and suddenly the Pathfinder becomes a Sensor sweeping, Sat Locking badass that will deter any opponent from ending their turn too closely to one of your Sniffers. Enemy Camo units will be afraid to mass up or congregate anywhere close to Sniffers, because they know a Sat Lock and missile bombardment will follow if they attempt it. Use this setup to deny critical areas to your opponent. Is there an obvious rooftop where your opponent is massing for his next attack? An overwatch area defending a key objective? A critical chokepoint leading to an important area of the table? Get a Sniffer there, and let your high-tech PanO options do the work for you.

    Sierra

    [​IMG]


    Everyone’s familiar with Total Reaction units. Worst case scenario, they force your opponent to expend a few Orders to knock them out. Best case scenario, they’re undisputed robotic overlords of the battlefield that gun down all opposition with impunity. They’re flexible on attack and defense, and their point cost is pretty modest.

    The truth remains though that the Sierra is always going to be useful, especially if you’re already including a Machinist and Supportware-capable Hacker in your force.

    As with all ARO Specialists:

    • The longer you keep them in reserve (i.e. not in danger), the more effective they become. Projecting their power on Turn 2 or Turn 3, when your opponent is battered and has fewer units that can threaten them, is when they really excel.

    • Whenever you use an ARO unit, always try to minimize the angles from which an enemy can attack, focusing instead on aggressively controling a very small segment of the table. For example, if you put your Sierra on the game’s highest rooftop, then it can be seen from everywhere and engaged from everywhere. The goal with all AROs is to force your enemy to expend many Orders maneuvering to challenge you, so that even if your ARO fails, you’ve still taxed the opponent multiple Orders for the exchange. Best case is that your opponent spends multiple Orders to manuever, and still loses the face-to-face roll, resulting in many Orders lost for no gain.

    • Keep a palbot handy for quick repairs. Don’t keep the palbot so close that the enemy can wipe them all out with a rocket or missile blast, but certainly stay within 2-3 Orders. One advantage of parking palbots slightly further away from your intended repair target is that the enemy may not feel pressured to finish the Unconscious REM off, if they don’t think it’s likely you’ll immediately repair it. In situations like this, a little misdirection (i.e. deploy your palbot on the ground, keep the Sierra on the roof, and let your opponent forget how easy it is to navigate with 6-4 MOV.)

    Remember with the Sierra that it has no Repeater, so you’ll need to keep your Support Hacker (or a Repeater-equipped REM) close by to let you apply that useful Marksmanship Level 2.
     
    #1 barakiel, Apr 26, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
    volgo, Zen79, mrstream and 24 others like this.
  2. TanakoSkyler22

    TanakoSkyler22 Varunan Diplomat

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    I like this write-up Barakeil! Great work as usual! I tend to agree that they are a competitive sectorial, but they have to work for it a bit harder than most. Thankfully this is made up by their superior firepower as you mentioned before, so taking out their pieces bit by bit is how you want to approach the mission with NCA.

    Main counterpoint to one thing on Locust (yes, I have to argue but it is all in a healthy discussion): I think the lack of marker state makes the Locust AHD less viable due to the prevalence of KHDs in the current metagame (not sure if it is the case for you, but for me it is. Do take this point with a grain of salt if possible). I think he wants to play more of a toolbox role and eliminating easy targets from the opponent's order pool. Hopefully they come out with a new specialist profile for them in the future, but for now, they are a bit risky to take in that role even if played conservatively so I say it is usually one to skip. Granted I think it can be done, but it may not be my play style with them.
     
  3. AdmiralJCJF

    AdmiralJCJF Heart of the Hyperpower
    Warcor

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    I'm just going to reserve this comment as the place where I'll put my detailed responses together.

    It's going to be fun doing the back and forth!

    Regarding Fireteams

    Fusiliers:

    [​IMG] Neoterran Capitaline Army

    ──────────────────────────────────────────────────

    [​IMG] FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)

    [​IMG] FUSILIER HMG / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 18)

    [​IMG] FUSILIER Combi Rifle + Light Grenade Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 14)

    [​IMG] FUSILIER Missile Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 15)

    [​IMG] FUSILIER MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 18)

    [​IMG] FUSILIER Hacker (Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 18)

    [​IMG] FUSILIER (Forward Observer, Deployable Repeater) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)

    [​IMG] FUSILIER Paramedic (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)

    [​IMG] FUSILIER Lieutenant Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)

    [​IMG] BIPANDRA Combi Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 24)

    [​IMG]

    Cheap, with stats suited to long range engagement and all the options to back that up (and little else clogging up your choices) Fusiliers are one of the ideal defensive Fireteams. On top of that they offer little incentive to actively engage as a Specialist unit, making building your link that much more straightforward.

    One of the beauties of the Fusilier Fireteam is their access to a full array of the longer range SWC weapon options. With HMGs for the active turn (and at the low SWC of only 1), Missile Launchers for the reactive and Multi-Snipers as a great compromise between the two, you have every long range option covered. In close things aren’t so great, with only Bipandra offering a Light Shotgun… but at least your basic weapon is a Combi Rifle so enemies with 8” don’t have too much bonus advantage. While the Light Grenade Launcher looks tempting here (it’s cheap and the BS15 of the 5 man link seems tempting for the price) it is something of a trap for most Fusilier Fireteams. Alone amongst the options available this weapon encourages you to move in close, so if you ARE building a mobile specialist group then this can be a great option (and pie pan ARO fire is always a laugh when your opponent doesn’t see it coming) but that doesn’t really work to the true strengths of the team.

    Well, we have the whole crew here. Hacker? Check. Forward Observer? Check. Paramedic? Check. Nothing too fancy, but you can cover all but the Engineering Classified Missions out of your Fusilier pool alone. The big downside to all this is WP 12, which isn’t getting any kind of bonus from the Fireteam either. So while you CAN build a specialist team (all three + HMG and either Bipandra or a LGL makes for a good package) and move out to do mission work, it’s probably not your best plan (and these aren’t your best options). On the other hand they make a GREAT cheap backup, or deployment zone supplement for your otherwise forward deploying specialists who will push up while the Fusiliers take care of whatever was close to your base line. Don’t forget about Sixth Sense, especially with your Hacker, as the ability to delay that ARO is even more important here (as is the ability to ignore Stealth).

    To be honest the biggest selling point of the Fusilier Fireteam is that they are dirt cheap, largely because they don’t have any “special features” bloating out their cost. The drawcard here is BS12, a stat some factions (looking at you Tohaa) would murder for even on their better units, let alone their line infantry. The Deployable Repeater on your Forward Observer is a nice touch and Bipandra lets you put a regular Doctor into your link, but fancy gimmicks is not what you came here for.

    When it comes to getting good mileage out of cheerleaders it’s hard to go past the Fusilier Fireteam. The bonuses feed directly into their existing strengths (firepower and accuracy) creating a dangerous tool which your opponent cannot simply dismiss as a threat at a very low cost. There is good reason for the Fusilier Fireteam to be commonly ranked amongst the best in the game and this unit alone is a good argument in favour of playing NCA as a sectorial.


    NeoTerra Bolts:

    [​IMG] Neoterran Capitaline Army

    ──────────────────────────────────────────────────

    [​IMG] BOLT Combi Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 22)

    [​IMG] BOLT Combi Rifle + Light Shotgun, Drop Bears / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 25)

    [​IMG] BOLT Boarding Shotgun, E/M Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 19)

    [​IMG] BOLT MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 26)

    [​IMG] BOLT Missile Launcher, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 27)

    [​IMG] BOLT Spitfire / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 24)

    [​IMG] BOLT Hacker (Hacking Device) Boarding Shotgun, E/M Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 27)

    [​IMG] BOLT Paramedic (MediKit) Combi Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 24)

    [​IMG] BOLT Lieutenant Combi Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 22)

    [​IMG]

    Boasting a good statline, let down in one key area, and an interesting package of weapons and skills the NeoTerra Bolts sit in an interesting but difficult design space as a Fireteam Core. They have a lot of potential in the right situation, where their advantages are leveraged effectively, but suffer in comparison to far less expensive options or ones better synergised within their capabilities.

    The Bolts have a weapon system for every possible engagement range. What some read as a schizophrenic array of options, others will see as a tool for every combat situation. Missile Launcher and Multi-Sniper give good long range punch, with the Spitfire covering the mid ground and giving good advancing fire, but Light Shotguns and Boarding Shotgun options also supply punch in close, allowing a fully spread Fireteam to be dangerous in every rangeband. This can allow the team to be adapted to nearly any combat role, from long range fire support through to close engagements where their access to E/M Grenades (one of the best anti-rambo ARO tools in the game) and Drop Bears (a fantastic area denial and offensive multiplier) make them particularly deadly. Given that there will always be a lot of close range firepower coming along for the ride (given that the basic and cheapest options sport shotguns) it can be tempting to build purely for such a role (and a Fireteam with the Spitfire as the longest range weapon can be a great option) but they can also play the role of all-comer base defence, with the long range reach to hold down a fire lane but also the close in punch to deter enemy infiltrators, impersonators and air deployed units.

    With a regular Hacking Device and a Paramedic as the only Specialist options and the same WP 12 issue as Fusiliers the Bolts might seem at first glance to be a weak choice as an objective grabbing unit. To dismiss this potential would be a mistake however, as what they might lack in one-push potential they can more than make up in close-quarter-battle potential and area denial capability. This is a Fireteam which can fight their way onto an objective and then hold it with strength, something many similar units cannot promise. The added edge of a regular Hacking Device (rather than the AHD which is more common on similar units) and BTS 6 further encourages this option (and the fact that it’s built off the cheaper Boarding Shotgun option with E/M Grenades helps here too).

    Unfortunately it is when we consider their unique features that the Bolts Fireteam run into issues. Their movement disadvantage has no multiterrain capacity to help mitigate it and particularly hurts on a unit which is so well equipped for CQB. These are troops who you want moving up the table, and while there will often be potential for them to shoot, drop mines or otherwise make use of the second short skill of an order it does hurt that they can’t just keep moving up at a good pace when they need to. This is further compounded by the highly situational Bioimmunity and Veteran Lvl 1 abilities. Bioimmunity is a great skill, but one which is totally dependent on what your opponent is running for its utility. The issue with Veteran is similar, it is a skill which kicks in most often in situations which you will be striving to avoid, so will produce a waste in any game where you do your job well. Both abilities further escalate the already borderline affordability of the Bolts, especially across an entire Fireteam.

    When their special abilities are leveraged to their maximum (Bioimmunity against Tohaa, Haqqislam or French Ariadna and Veteran in lists with aggressive Lts like Devas, Aquila or Squalos) they can be fantastic. And they certainly have a lot of potential as a CQB unit which pushes up aggressively into the mid-field. Both of these roles are somewhat mission and opponent sensitive however, and it is hard to recommend them as an all-comers Fireteam. They are, however, a great option to have up your sleeve for the right circumstances (when you run the right Lt against the right opponent in the right mission) because then they can be amazing.

    And, goddamn, but they look pretty on the table!

    Regarding CSUs

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Neoterran Capitaline Army
    ──────────────────────────────────────────────────

    [​IMG] CSU Boarding Shotgun, Nanopulser / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 11)
    [​IMG] CSU Breaker Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
    [​IMG] CSU Combi Rifle, Nanopulser / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
    [​IMG] CSU (Specialist Operative) Rifle + Light Shotgun, Nanopulser / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
    [​IMG] CSU (Specialist Operative) Breaker Combi Rifle, Nanopulser / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 15)

    Open in Infinity Army

    [​IMG]
    There are a LOT of cool new things to get excited about (and more coming out of Adepticon this weekend I'm sure) but one little thing which may have been overlooked by many is the expansion of the CSU profiles.

    Nothing lost, and on top of it Specialist Operative profiles with Rifle+Shotgun AND a Breaker Combi for a great price AND they both have Nanopulsers too. I mean, I know everybody gets excited about Metachemistry, but they’re missing the important thing here…

    Sixth Sense!

    Delaying your ARO is an AMAZING tool for a defensive unit, because it means people can’t deny you AROs by using Smoke or corner Turn-to-Face shenanigans. This makes bypassing the CSU nearly impossible and turns them into one of the best defensive pieces NCA can access.

    This potential makes the Boarding Shotgun w Nanopulser golden, and the Combi Rifle w Nanopulser even better (once you get it into Suppression Fire). But the REAL go-to here for many will be that Rifle+Light Shotgun because this brings the best of ALL the choices together into ONE option with the +6 with Impact Template of the Shotgun, the Direct Template Weapon of the Nanopulser AND the opportunity for Suppression Fire from the Rifle! Add on top of that Specialist Operative and this choice is nearly unmissable. But for just three points more you can get a Breaker Combi Rifle... and this may just have become by go-to "I'm three points short and already have a CSU" (because, seriously, who doesn't just add PalBots at the same time as TraumaDocs and Machinists and consider them part of the cost?).

    On the other hand, a CSU with No Wound Incapacitation, or 8-4 movement, can make an excellent additional attack piece. Depending on the circumstances they may actually make a very good Data Tracker choice too (remembering that your Metachemistry roll is done on deployment and your Data Tracker choice is after) especially now that they can also be pushing buttons along the way.

    Long story short, the CSU is an excellent choice in NCA (and everywhere else it appears, despite the opinions of ISS players to the contrary) and something you will want to look into if you haven’t already. Now more than ever![/QUOTE]
     
    #3 AdmiralJCJF, Apr 26, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
  4. daboarder

    daboarder Force One Commander
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    Nice man.

    Question though. What are your thoughts in getting us slme in game tactics and examples of game play strategies like ive done with my primers.

    Id really like to see what you do as i have been looking at NCA as my next hill to climb.
     
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  5. Commoner1

    Commoner1 Well-Known Member

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    I can honestly say that this is much better than anything I could have ever come up with.

    My only nitpick is, that you should mention the Auxilia Lt. He's a very nice way to hide your Lt. in non-specialist missions.

    If there's anything where my opinion differs from your assessment it's the Locust. He's far too expensive for an infiltrator who lacks a marker state. And without strong ARO backup he's fodder for most warbands. I only consider him a solid pick in zone control missions, where having any kind of infiltration is better than having no infiltration at all.
     
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  6. TanakoSkyler22

    TanakoSkyler22 Varunan Diplomat

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    @AdmiralJCJF

    Well-written piece! Granted I did say I'd do a write-up on Bolts but...you pretty hit the nail on the head for me. They can be good if supported by a deep order pool, which can be easy to do if you shave off a few points on the link team to make them have three BSG, a paramedic to have a specialist and the Spitfire for your main offensive element for the link team.

    Though I did find solo bolts with drop bears to be good flank protectors. In which I found to be much better than taking drop bear bolts solo than trying to jam them in a link team.
     
  7. eciu

    eciu Easter worshiper

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    @barakiel I love how you don't even care to mention Hexa HD xD
     
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  8. AdmiralJCJF

    AdmiralJCJF Heart of the Hyperpower
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    As it should be.

    There is no Hexa Hacking Device, there is only Hexa KHD.

    I'm becoming quite partial to:

    [​IMG] BOLT Spitfire / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 24)
    [​IMG] BOLT MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 26)
    [​IMG] BOLT Hacker (Hacking Device) Boarding Shotgun, E/M Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 27)
    [​IMG] BOLT Boarding Shotgun, E/M Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 19)
    [​IMG] BOLT Boarding Shotgun, E/M Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 19)

    3.5 SWC | 115 Points

    As a combat Bolts team with inbuilt specialist.

    I like the Fireteam Core supported Hacker, and I LOVE that specific profile too. Adding a Hacking Device onto the Boarding Shotgun profile is just excellent. The Multi-Sniper is a good long range tool, ARO option and also better piece to advance with than the Missile Launcher.
     
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  9. MrNailbrain

    MrNailbrain Relentless Optimist

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    Great write up as always. Although I’ve been a Vanilla player as of late I have dabbled in NCA. One of the things I’ve always found the hardest about NCA is the “all the eggs in one basket” problem with TO and ODD. Between Hexas, Swiss, Uhlans, Bulleteers and Locusts there’s a lot of visual mods being stacked, and a canny opponent with an MSV piece or two can leverage that to make you play fair again.

    One of the challenges I always set for myself in any list is to make sure that one enemy model won’t ruin all my plans. One Intruder Sniper won’t prevent me from moving up the table, one Barid AHD won’t bottleneck my HI and REMs, one Grunt HFT sticking his Infiltration roll right outside my DZ won’t give me fits, etc.

    I’m a great fan of diversifying my offensive options, even if it means not being quite as dominant in the non-corner-case scenarios. Obviously it’s much easier to do in Vanilla as opposed to NCA simply because of variety of choices, but I think that NCA has a great amount of quality attack pieces that play by different rules.
     
  10. MrNailbrain

    MrNailbrain Relentless Optimist

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    Doh, double post. Thanks crappy work internet.
     
  11. psychoticstorm

    psychoticstorm Aleph's rogue child
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    This is the bolts I use a lot
    [​IMG] BOLT Combi Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 22)
    [​IMG] BOLT Hacker (Hacking Device) Boarding Shotgun, E/M Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 27)
    [​IMG] BOLT Paramedic (MediKit) Combi Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 24)
    [​IMG] BOLT Spitfire / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 24)
    [​IMG] BOLT Boarding Shotgun, E/M Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 19)

    2 SWC | 116 Points

    The are surprisingly mobile because they are fuelled by a lot of orders

    I want to try "defence bolts" or "heavy fusilier" team

    [​IMG] BOLT Combi Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 22)
    [​IMG] BOLT MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 26)
    [​IMG] BOLT Missile Launcher, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 27)
    [​IMG] BOLT Paramedic (MediKit) Combi Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 24)
    [​IMG] BOLT Boarding Shotgun, E/M Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 19)

    3 SWC | 118 Points

    What I want to try more is a variant of what is posted above
    [​IMG] BOLT Spitfire / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 24)
    [​IMG] BOLT MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 26)
    [​IMG] BOLT Hacker (Hacking Device) Boarding Shotgun, E/M Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 27)
    [​IMG] BOLT Paramedic (MediKit) Combi Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 24)
    [​IMG] BOLT Boarding Shotgun, E/M Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 19)

    3.5 SWC | 120 Points
     
  12. eciu

    eciu Easter worshiper

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    @barakiel

    Few notes:
    - Clipper description does have some ASA stuff in it (I'm almost certain NCA has no Scylla, nor Regulars ;P)
    - CSU are no longer NCA exclusive ;(
    - Same goes for Drop Bears.


    @Rem and NCA:

    This is a list which made me love NCA (after I've suffered through MO list building):


    [​IMG] Neoterran Capitaline Army
    ──────────────────────────────────────────────────

    GROUP 1[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]10
    [​IMG] FUSILIER Missile Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 15)
    [​IMG] FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    [​IMG] FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    [​IMG] FUSILIER Hacker (Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 18)
    [​IMG] FUSILIER Lieutenant Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    [​IMG] AUXILIA (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle + AUXBOT_1 / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 15)
    [​IMG] [​IMG] AUXBOT_1 Heavy Flamethrower / Electric Pulse. (- | 4)
    [​IMG] CSU (Specialist Operative) Rifle + Light Shotgun, Nanopulser / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
    [​IMG] HEXA Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0 | 27)
    [​IMG] SWISS GUARD HMG / Pistol, AP CCW. (2 | 68)
    [​IMG] TRAUMA-DOC Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
    [​IMG] PALBOT Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)

    GROUP 2[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]7
    [​IMG] FUGAZI DRONBOT Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    [​IMG] FUGAZI DRONBOT Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    [​IMG] FUGAZI DRONBOT Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    [​IMG] PATHFINDER DRONBOT Combi Rifle, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 16)
    [​IMG] HEXA MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (1.5 | 32)
    [​IMG] AUXILIA (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle + AUXBOT_1 / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 15)
    [​IMG] [​IMG] AUXBOT_1 Heavy Flamethrower / Electric Pulse. (- | 4)
    [​IMG] CSU Boarding Shotgun, Nanopulser / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 11)

    5.5 SWC | 300 Points

    Open in Infinity Army

    It's just lovely, it has:
    - 5 strong ARO pieces (Fusi ML, 3 Fugazi, MSR Hexa)
    - KHD for defense/offence, and HD for occasional Carbonite/U-Turn/Hack Transport if needed
    - Anti camo options of DTW, 3 Sniffer and Sensor bot.
    - Surplus of specialists (2 Auxilia, CSU, Doctor, Pathfinder, KHD Hexa)
    - 1st wave of soft attack pieces (double CSU, double Auxilia) who can clear enemy chaff (mines/infiltrators like Kanren, Crazy Koalas etc.)
    - Surgical scalpel for effective killing TR drones, enemies in SF, in form of MSR Hexa.
    - Strong as hell active turn beatstick in form of old good Swiss HMG, who storm the breach in enemies defenses made by CSU/Auxilia/Hexa MSR.
    - Doctor in case of something bad happens to Hexa MSR, Fusilier ML (actually that he somehow only drops unconcious), or if somehow Swiss drops "only" unconcious.

    The trick with the list is to cross-deploy both Auxilias and CSUs to be able to use both command groups if I really want to push both of them through particular flank ;) This trick is golden if it allows to move Swiss to (now) undefended flank and just shoot everything in sight :)
     
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  13. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    @AdmiralJCJF
    Love it. Great content. It really highlights how few linkable options NCA actually has, though clearly this isn't a problem since NCA also benefits quite a bit from other Sectorial perks... ALEPH access, increased AVA, etc. but it's still funny to see.

    @daboarder
    You get, we'll keep building this out with content on list building, tactics on the table, etc.

    Any specific requests?

    @Commoner1
    Good input on the Auxilia LT, I'll mention that and cite you. I agree that the Locust is a pretty flawed unit, but he does have his uses. I keep seeing Looting & Sabotage popping up in tournament lineups, and the Locust is basically the only game in town for NCA participating in that mission.

    If you see anything else with the unit writeups that you want to add/comment on, keep it ocming.

    @TanakoSkyler22
    I'll be talking a bit about small list modules, and that includes Bolt 3-man teams as an alternative to taking 5+ for Core linkability.

    @eciu
    I should include the Hexa HD for completion's sake, but really I've never seen or heard of anyone using it. I'll clean up that part about the Clipper too.

    I love your NCA list btw. It's almost identical to the list I used at Las Vegas Open this year. If I could only play one NCA list ever, it would be very similar to yours. I think a list built along those lines really leverages the considerable strengths/best units of the faction.

    I think my only difference is to swap the Trauma Doc and the 2nd CSU so that both CSU can Duo if necessary, and to trade the Fusilier Hacking Device for an HMG (love that backup Burst 5 HMG, very useful and powerfu if the Swiss Guard gets into trouble.)

    @MrNailbrain
    The nice thing about bringing TO vs Visor units is that marker state remains very useful and powerful, and so does Surprise Shot. Visors help vs TO, but they don't negate or level it completely, and being able to continually leverage the tricks of TO even vs a Visor-heavy opponent is really important to NCA.

    I agree that diversifying offensive threats is valuable, and that NCA is good at that. Being able to add the CSU Duo to the list of tricks really helps.

    @psychoticstorm
    Bolts without Drop Bears!? I'd be curious to hear more about Bolts in your games, and how they worked for you.



    Thanks for the comments, contribution and feedback all. More to come.

    Does using the "Spoiler" feature to divide the list up by unit category help make things more readable? It seemed like an obvious choice for making things more organized.
     
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  14. eciu

    eciu Easter worshiper

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    It's not complain about Hexa HD in any way :) It's just bit funny that it is so underused/overshadowed profile (also vastly inferior) to/by KHD that there is no even a point of discussing it :)
    :) I was astonished how many tools and powerfull units I was able to fit into 300, it felt really like an "easy mode" after coming to NCA from MO..... :(
    Definetaly helps! Gonna steal that in few moments for my MO primer (as I had produced a wall of text ;/ ).
     
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  15. TanakoSkyler22

    TanakoSkyler22 Varunan Diplomat

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    That would be a good point as well. Ran those before and they have done well for me. Which is kind of a sin Bolts are somehow not Fireteam: Haris or have the option for Haris.
     
  16. xammy

    xammy Keeper of Random Facts and Strong Opinions

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    [​IMG]6
    [​IMG] PATHFINDER DRONBOT Combi Rifle, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 16)
    [​IMG] FUGAZI DRONBOT Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    [​IMG] FUGAZI DRONBOT Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    [​IMG] FUGAZI DRONBOT Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    [​IMG] MULEBOT Hacker (EVO Hacking Device) Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 25)
    [​IMG] SQUALO (Armored Cav.) MULTI HMG, Heavy Grenade Launcher / AP Heavy Pistol. (2.5 | 95)
    [​IMG] [​IMG] CRABBOT Flash Pulse / Knife. ()

    I would just like to mention that this synergy shouldn't be understated. EVO allows you to turn your Fugazi into ARO powerhouses and allows your Pathfinder to to capitalize on Sat-Lock to reliably target units from total cover. If you are already laying down a sniffer network in the midfield, nowhere is safe from the HGL.
     
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  17. Teslarod

    Teslarod Trebuchet Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the write-up as usual. To back up what @daboarder has asked for I'd love to see more insights into NCA's tactical and strategic options on the table. Your thoughts on how to set up a (TO-)trap, when to pull an ARO out of TO and when to leave it hidden, something akin to a playbook for dealing with CC, Smoke, "Achilles"-Rambos and various other common occurences.

    Some minor stuff I'd like to ask about.
    The Garuda seems to be MIA, which is a shame because that was the part I was really looking forward to. Next to all my NCA lists include one these days instead of a Bulleteer.

    As far as I am aware the whole Order you spend on deploying the Crabbot will be spend using his Profile. So Firing your HMG and deploying the Crabbot is not possible.
    • By declaring Move, a trooper may Mount or Dismount a Motorcycle, TAG, Vehicle, etc. at the start of his Movement at no cost, the new troop profile will be applied during the whole sequence of the Order.
    On the plus side that means you can simply park your TAG so he blocks LOF towards an Objective. On the next Order activate the Crabbot declare a Move, dismount during that Move, walk over to touch the Objective and then end the move back into BTB with the TAG as your first Short Skill & push a button within Total Cover as the second one. The TAG will be in Locked State, not be activated and triggers no AROs.

    On the next Order with your Crabbot already in BTB with the TAG you can declare a Move with your TAG, while mounting the Crabbot again plus whatever second Short Skill comes to mind.

    Someone please correct me if I got that wrong.
     
  18. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    Thanks all. Will respond more in-depth soon.

    @xammy nice one. Will include strong list modules and will cite you for that one.

    @Teslarod yeah you're correct. I think I was developing a couple different thoughts, then didn't mark that segment as being in need of editing and glossed over it. I'll update. Garuda info coming as well, I have it's write-up but forgot to add a placeholder for it in the article.
     
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  19. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    Well, the good news is that I had some time this morning and did some work on the Garuda article and clarification of the Crabbot.

    The downside is that I hit the character count allowed by a single post, so the forum wouldn't accept the edit.

    That's going to make it tough to expand on the article, and means I'll have to edit down the existing content to fit in the Garuda segment. I'll tackle that later this weekend, but here it is for now:


    Garuda

    [​IMG]

    As NCA's single AD choice, the Garuda deserves a lot of consideration. It's one of the few forward-deploying, flexible units in NCA's arsenal, and it's an amazing one.

    One of the beauties of the Garuda is that it can scale up or scale down as an investment. As an easy purchase, you can regard the Garuda as similar to most other Airborne Deployment units: it can walk on a table edge, or you can gamble with a backfield drop, and then it can skirmish with its Combi Rifle or slam cheerleaders with a boarding shotgun. Its cost is cheap, and since most NCA lists are likely to have a Hacker or TAG in them to authorize REMs, it's an easy investment to fit into a list. Pretty standard.

    As a centerpiece investment though, the Garuda sets itself apart from most other Airborne Deployment choices. While your typical AD unit can walk on or drop in, plod around with their 4-2 Movement and typically gunfight to a mediocre degree with BS12. A familiar story.

    The Garuda, however, is incredibly optimized for being one of the most lethal and dangerous Airborne Deployment units in the game, if given the correct forethought and support.

    For one, the Garuda's 6-4 MOV is staggeringly quick. First, it means that the Garuda can maximize each Order of killing that it has on the table. It doesn't need to plod around slowly, wasting Orders just to be able to see the next target, but instead can zip quickly to gain angles and maximize the Orders spent killing things. Second, that big first MOV value means it can climb or jump very well. While a 4-inch moving unit is less likely to attempt bold jumps for a better angle, the Garuda is happy repositioning up rooftops. Third, the fast Movement actually lets you take risks dropping straight into combat. With most AD units, if you attempt to drop them into combat and fail the PH roll, there's a very decent chance they're no longer going to be relevant to the game. They may end up walking on a useless table endge, and won't have any meaningful part to play. However, with 6-4, the Garuda can attempt drops, and still reposition himself efficiently in case that drop fails. Lastly, 6-4 MOV lets the Garuda retreat safely and efficiently once your turn starts to wind down. A Garuda going out in a blaze of glory is dangerous, but a Garuda that retreats to a safe distance and covers the area with lethal Suppressive Fire is even more useful.

    The second defining feature of the Garuda is its status as a REM. Being a REM is a double-edged sword; useful utilities like going prone aren't available to you, and you have to be ultra-cautious of enemy Hackers or Repeaters that are hanging out in the area where you plan to operate. Nothing is worse than bringing the Garuda on at a critical moment, only to realize you walked into Hacking range and now have to spend the rest of your turn trying to Reset out of being Immobilized. It's critical to identify the Hacking threats in your opponent's force, and do whatever you can to either avoid them or neutralize them with a Hexa KHD so that your Garuda can operate safely.

    Additionally, the null ARM value and disadvantage at Dodging mean the Garuda's particularly vulnerable to many of the classic defenses versus AD troopers; watch out for those antipersonnel mines and chain rifle rushes. While those weapons are always dangerous to an AD trooper, the Garuda's particularly bad at surviving them, so once again do your best to prep and pick an ideal drop zone where the Garuda won't have to deal with these threats.

    In exchange for the downsides of being a REM however, the Garuda gets a nice point discount relative to its excellent stats, and also gains the benefits of supportware. Nothing makes your opponent afraid like a BS15, Mimetism, Shock Spitfire showing up on their table edge and shooting down their best units. This is a best-case application for the Garuda, and something your opponents will learn to fear. Note of course that the Garuda has no Repeater, so if you want to apply that critical Marksmanship, you need to run a standard Hacking Device or Repeater in range. This is a great application for Fugazi... With their 6-6 Move, they can often run within range of a Garuda in a single Order.

    Note of course that this isn't always critical. If you anticipate your Garuda will primarily be flanking the enemy, denying them Partial Cover from shooting them in the sides or back, the need for Marksmanship Level 2 is lessened. However, it is a very strong advantage if you plan to end the Garuda in suppressive fire. This is a great example of how the Garuda can scale up or scale down as an investment, so weigh the pros and cons carefully.

    The Garuda's last major identifying advantage is, of course, Mimetism. Mimetism Airborne Deployment troopers are few and far between, but tend to represent the gold standard of backfield threats. Mimetism is obviously great with Partial Cover, but also gives the Garuda some room to take risks, running across open spaces or aggressively denying tough opponents their cover while still providing some protection for itself. When you're trying to maximize the offensive potential of every Order you spend, sometimes you do need to increase your own risk (leaving Partial Cover) in order to deny your opponent their own protection. 6-4 MOV and Mimetism combine very well to fulfill this role.

    With regard to the diffrent profiles of the Garuda, each has something to offer:

    The Boarding Shotgun is standard and easy. It's cheap, it's amazing for murdering clustered backfield opponents, and can even crack armor or hurt targets out to middling distances as long as you're shooting them in the back. This is by far the most limited and inflexible choice though, which is why it's the cheapest. It involves walking the Garuda into Hacking range, template range, pistol range, antipersonnel mines, etc, i.e. the "Zone of Death", so also involves the most inherent risk.

    The Combi Rifle is also cheap, trading away the punch and impact template of the boarding shotgun, but gaining useful advantages. Burst 3 gives it a bit more reliability and concentrated punch, as well as the ability to split Burst between multiple targets more effectively (very nice if you happen to see several targets with their backs to you, and you want to try and score an unopposed hit on them all before they turn around.) The Combi also gives access to Suppressive Fire, which is always a useful asset, and the added reach of the Combi means you can potentially hit very distant targets and pick them off with fair reliability.

    The Spitfire is, in my mind, the cadillac profile of the Garuda. 1.5 SWC is slightly cheaper than the 2 SWC that many AD choices pay for a Burst 4 weapon, and the Spitfire is a pure murder machine across a multitude of rangebands. Walking on the Spitfire represents the best balance of short, mid and long-range punch, and can win games single-handedly. If you find yourself focusing on a list without a Swiss, Aquila, TAg or other solo gunfighter, you'll find yourself with an excess of SWC and points. This Spitfire Garuda is a great choice here, adding some much needed punch and mobility to those kinds of high-Order lists.

    THe HMG. The great thing about the HMG is that it's a threat across a variety of roles. Walk it onto a table edge, and it can reach out and touch virtually any zone of the table where an enemy is likely to be. It can hammer TAgs and Heavy Infantry to death in an instant by walking on behind them, and still possesses the Burst to muscle through close-range face-to-face rolls. One of the best applications for the HMG is to walk it on safely close to your own table edge, and suddenly you have a fire superiority piece along a lane that an opponent previously thought was safe. This is particularly strong if you already have your Swiss or Aquila active in another part of the table, tempting your opponent to concentrate its big guns in that quadrant, leaving them open to being hammered by a different threat that's almost as potent as any of the big heavy infantry. This role for the Garuda is also the easiest to buff with Hacking Support or repair back to functionality, since it's likely to be near your Deployment zone.

    When supporting an Garuda, give some thought to your other midfield choices. While the list of midfield units for NCA is short, there are a few helpful choices that can let you maximize your Garuda's efficiency. The Peacemaker is the easiest one, able to fit easily into most lists at a modest 21 points/0 SWC, but able to defend the Garuda with a flamethrower Auxbot, trip mines or trigger Koalas with that Auxbot to clear a path for the Garuda, as well as supporting the Garuda with its onboard Repeater for either Supportware or protective KHD ARos if anyone tries to interfere with your REMs. The Garuda, in turn, can use its superior long-range firepower to knock out overwatch enemies and clear a path for the Peacemaker, helping it fulfill its own aggressive short-range combat role.

    The Locust is also a good unit for the Garuda to work with. The Marksman rifle can sweep away enemies covering the Garuda's entry point, and can also help the shotgun Garuda reach those critical short ranges. Both of these working together in Suppressive Fire is also a formidable road block for an enemy to fight past. The shotgun and Drop Bear Locust is also good, with the Garuda clearing a path, while the Locust deploys some defensive mines to protect the Garuda from counter attack.

    You can also use the Garuda as bait to lure enemies into the kill zones of your hiddden Deployment units. Noone wants to leave a Garuda alive within easy reach of their Deployment Zone, so you can count on a Garuda hiding in Total Cover to be a big target priority for your opponent's turn. Watch them run those warbands or Heavy Infantry into your kill zone, spending Orders to maneuver to see the Garuda, then swat them down with a lurking Swiss Missile or Hexa sniper.

    As with all 1-Wound units, the Garuda can die easily, and won't win games merely be showing up on the table. It's a dedicated finesse piece, and requires forethought and preparation in order for it to do the most damage. Once on the table though, it's an AD scalpel that's very adept at ending games.
     
    Commoner1 and xammy like this.
  20. eciu

    eciu Easter worshiper

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    Well it might not work directly as you have said IF Uhlan is still in CAMO marker state as it doesn't block LoF. So first you have to shoot someone/drop camo and only then start acting like a mobile smoke ;)