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What Are ARO pieces & Defensive Fireteams? A new player wants to know.

Discussion in 'Access Guide to the Human Sphere' started by Azuset, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. Azuset

    Azuset Well-Known Member

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    The tiles says most of it. I currently have 1 full game of 300 pts under my belt. In that game, no Fireteams where used. I have been getting much of my knowledge through the power of the internet, forums, youtube, blogs ect..

    I do not yet have the experience to know really understand the value of certain things in this game in a practically. One of them being defensive tactical units and battlefield positioning. I know this is probably a wide topic spanning many situations but I think it would be a great topic to learn about.

    I would like to make this thread about the following.

    What makes a weapon defensive
    What makes a weapon an ARO choice?
    How is this weapon used on the battlefield?

    What makes a troop profile better at defending?
    What makes a troop profile an ARO piece?
    How is this troop used on the battlefield?

    What is a defensive fireteam and why is that so?
    How is this fireteam applied on the battlefield?

    How to defend against hackers?

    Some of the common things I read/hear about are snipers and missile launchers. Another think that gets thrown around is "defensive link". I'm not really sure what that is.

    As far as a defensive battlefield setup goes. I learned that is usually, you want to deploy your models in total cover if you are going second. And obviously you want limit the LoF to a troop poking it's head out to cover a lane.

    Thanks for your input.
     
  2. colbrook

    colbrook Black Fryer

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    "ARO pieces are like sex toys, anything can be one if you try hard enough"

    Let me explain that, troopers left out to ARO are there not to kill, but to delay, frustrate, and waste enemy orders.

    Some people will say snipers are for ARO, but that's not really true. Snipers lose fully half their burst and can't leverage their superior range bands as easily in ARO, plus if they're a marker state they lose surprise shot. A sniper can still be an effective ARO tool for the right situation, especially if linked and you've eliminated their natural predator (the HMG) but just because your trooper has a sniper rifle (or missile launcher) doesn't mean it's a good idea to leave him out surveying the battlefield.

    What about totes remotes? Aren't they dedicated ARO troopers? Again the answer is not really as they're also a 6-4 move HMG with the possibility to ignore cover, an excellent aggressive option. They're also eaten for breakfast by most TO troopers so be warned! It comes down to situation.

    An ARO piece can never be something you fear losing, when you put a trooper out to ARO assume they will die, selling their existence to harass and frustrate your enemy.

    So, back to the question, who what and when to use for ARO?

    Don't set up firelines into enemy DZs, that just makes your opponent's life easier, instead identify choke points, objectives, access routes and cover them. Make your opponent redeploy his heavy hitters and spend his orders digging you out.

    Set up defense in depth, don't just leave your Swiss Missile out but back him up with a flash pulse bot, a Fusilier in Suppression, and an Auxilia's little buddy. Make it so the opponent has to engage each in turn to reach their objective, slowing him down or forcing him to risk splitting burst.

    ARO choices evolve throughout the game too, a solo Grunt sniper might not do much turn one, but by turn three when the enemy doesn't have anything longer range than a combi you can bring them out to cover that table quarter you absolutely must keep. Turn 2 can see TO and ODD troopers midfield with SuppFire, DTWs, Mines, or shotguns choking firelanes. Even a humble Alguacile in Suppressive Fire can be a solid roadblock by the end of the game.
     
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  3. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    Roughly speaking;

    An ARO piece is a piece that can set up at a distance that is awkward for your opponent and makes the model trade up in terms of orders. This can be an expensive and highly competent unit like a Kamau Sniper (epitome of ARO goodness) or something very very cheap like the Warcor. Typically an ARO piece wants Mimetism or ODD to make it a bit extra awkward to exchange orders with.
    More awkward to deal with than it's worth is the goal here, but desperation and situation may change things up significantly.

    A defensive Fireteam is a Fireteam that has a range of long-range options that enables some or most of them to function like ARO pieces. This fireteam does not contain your main attack piece(s) nor your main way of pushing buttons. By its nature this means such a team typically consists of cheap basic troops like Fusilier or Alguaciles in order to fit strong attack pieces.
    Long range is preferable, but it can also be short range deployment zone guards, repositioned to cover the backs of the likes of Kriza Borac or Achilles as needs be.
    You'll know you have a defensive fireteam when falls and neither your plan nor your list breaks.
     
  4. Azuset

    Azuset Well-Known Member

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    What makes the Kamau Sniper a good ARO choice?
     
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  5. Robock

    Robock Well-Known Member

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    1) because he has mimetism, so it reduce the enemy chance on all its dice (unless the enemy counter with having MSV).
    2) And kamau has MSV2 so it is not penalized by the enemy camo, or to camo, or ODD. It can even ARO against specialists model who would like to move unseen behind smoke thrown by warband.
     
  6. colbrook

    colbrook Black Fryer

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    In a Fireteam he gets the following:

    MSV2 for ignoring visual modifiers like Camo, ODD, smoke, etc

    6th Sense 2 for ignoring surprise shot/attack and the -6 for getting shot through a zero-vis zone.

    Mimetism providing a -3 to anyone trying to shoot him.

    +3 BS and +1 burst from Fireteam bonuses.

    Excellent rangebands and DA ammo making each hit count.

    This means that trying to engage it in a straight up fight a losing proposition, the Kamau will usually have a better BS and almost never suffers negative mods. Even the most tailored opposition (a linked HMG with MSV1+) struggles to get more than 50% chance to cause a wound!

    That's not to say it doesn't have weaknesses though, Kamau aren't great at dodging and are pretty squishy so getting a direct template close can take them out. Using an infiltrator, AD unit, or speculative fire to take out the supporting members and strip those Fireteam bonuses is another option, though this usually means getting past Helots that are also excellent ARO troopers due to their Neurokcinetics.
     
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  7. Brother Smoke

    Brother Smoke Contractor for Bureau Aegis

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    Usually longer-ranged, high-powered weapons with low burst values (I.E. Snipers, MLs, Feuerbachs, etc.)

    Usually the same as above optimally when combined with a set of circumstances that make it stronger in ARO situations (being in a link, being buffed by hacking, being in a high-BS unit with visual mods, etc.)

    You place it somewhere with sight of the enemy's specialists and hopefully out of sight of his or her stronger gunfighters, or covering a fire-lane. When the enemy shows up, you shoot them.

    The ability to stack mods defensively (visual mods, foxholes, high armor) Or the ability to fight effectively in ARO (Overclock, Neurocinetics, Total Reaction) Optimally, a combination of both. Also a special mention for things like minelayers and other perimeter weapon profiles.

    See above, except for the minelayers and such. FOs also count if they're cheap.

    See question 3.

    A defensive fireteam is often composed of either good defensive profiles or cheap troops with good defensive weapons. This kind of team takes advantage of the added burst and BS of a fireteam to make those weapons shine.

    See question 3, though thanks to the added BS some particularily powerful fireteams can even afford to be placed in open rooftops with vision of as much of the battlefield as possible and give active gunfighters a challenge. (See: Ikari's ML Tanko - Sniper Brawler - Keisotsu link, it's super scary)

    Play Ariadna! Mother Dawn needs strong backs to carry the fight!

    All joking aside, usually with hackers of your own, or E/M weapons

    Or just shoot them, that usually does it for me. Their fancy beep-boop tricks don't seem very effective against bullet
     
  8. Sabin76

    Sabin76 Well-Known Member

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    A couple of points not already stated:

    - All other things being equal, the best ARO pieces have burst > 1. This is why defensive fireteams*, Total Reaction bots, and neurocinetics exist. While increased burst won't guarantee that you win the firefight (indeed, you are almost guaranteed to lose your ARO piece regardless), you will bleed orders from the enemy and have a greater chance of throwing a wrench into their plans.

    - A parallel point to the previous is that weapons with native low burst lose less relative effectiveness in ARO. A sniper's native B2 going to B1 hurts a lot less than an HMG's native B4 going to B1. A missile launcher's native B1 is completely unaffected by being an ARO piece. *Putting either of these into a 3+ fireteam means that are at full effectiveness in ARO.

    - Templates are devastating in ARO. This is the other primary reason missile launchers are used in ARO. Templates heavily restrict the movement of enemy troopers as anything not activated (or part of an activated fireteam who isn't the team leader) caught in the blast are eating hits for free. This means, in general, more orders are needed to advance your enemies plan.

    - Long range bands usually means that your opponent needs to either bring their long range weapons to bear (exposing them to danger), or spend several orders moving their shorter-range weapons into optimal range to deal with your ARO piece.

    - Lastly, skills that make it harder to remove the ARO piece like V:Dogged can be very useful in keeping a firelane locked down for twice the orders. This can, however, backfire if the lane is not necessary for your opponent this turn as they can just ignore it and have your trooper die at the end of their turn. Use with caution.

    The last three together is what makes the Combined Unidron ML or PSR so devastating as an ARO piece. They are long range template weapons that are on platforms that can go Dogged and also be buffed to ignore cover and given shock if they get the chance. The main thing about ARO pieces, however, is the understanding that you will lose them. They are not there to win you the game, nor are they there to kill the enemy (though it's nice if the dice go your way and either of those things happen). Always expect your opponent to bring the best tool to deal with your ARO piece and that will almost always means a losing proposition for you. The point is to make them use up a bunch of orders doing it, so they have fewer to actually win the game with.

    EDIT: Another tactic that doesn't seem to have been stated it putting an ARO piece like a sniper or ML in a 5-troop fireteam with an extra member hanging out nearby. This allows you to reform your fireteam as a fully effective, more aggressive, piece once your ARO member goes down.
     
  9. Azuset

    Azuset Well-Known Member

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    This is really good stuff. Thanks. :)
     
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  10. Thaddius

    Thaddius Well-Known Member

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    I’ll probably add that some factions have access to trade pieces to blunt enemy attacks/waste orders. These ARO’s sources are low points costs, have weapons like DTWs meaning you cover approaches and you might not win gun fight but you’re making them pay for their ground.

    Haqqi Slam (Mutts, Daylami), cheap warbands can complement your ARO/holding power with DTWs. They may not have the best weaponry but positioned correctly can be an effective guard for your active turn.
     
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  11. MindwormGames

    MindwormGames Well-Known Member

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    Statistically, your odds of success jump by a lot when you go from B1 to B2, so anything that is tasked with ARO duty can usually pull at least B2 in ARO, whether that is because of Fireteam, Total Reaction, Neurocinetics, Suppressive Fire, Enhanced Reaction, or some other special ability.

    That said, as others have already stated, an 'ARO piece' is really anything that you set up specifically to engage the enemy in your Reactive turn. Things with B2+ are typically better at that, but even the humble WarCor has its place. And in a pinch, you can throw out a dude with a combi and hope to get lucky. It still takes Orders to deal with.

    The WarCor has value in being incredibly cheap combined with a weapon that has good range bands and the ability to take a skill (SSL1 or 360 Visor) that makes it easier to engage targets in your Reactive turn. So even if it goes down, it took your opponent Orders to do it, which is the most valuable resource in the game.

    One of my most common plays, for example, is to set up a Feuerbach Tsyklon in cover with a loooooong firelane that it won't take too many Orders for my opponent to engage, backed up by a Remote G:Synched to an Engineer, and maybe a Flash Pulse bot.

    I know that this model is probably going to die when it is engaged. But, with good range bands, ARM 6 in Cover, B2 with a scary weapon in ARO from Overclock, Unconscious 2, and backed up with some cheap support, odds are decent that it will suck up Orders like a sponge, either because my opponent wants to clear it off the table, or because my opponent goes out of his/her way to avoid it.

    It's purpose is to be a 30 point distraction that might get lucky and do some real damage if the dice roll well. It forces annoying choices without me spending a single, solitary Order on it, and that's the goal. In this sense, my Feuerbach Tsyklon is specifically an ARO piece. That is why I spent the points on it. If it does something else in the game, that's just a bonus.

    Obviously, I'm not the best player in the world, and there are better ARO pieces out there and better ways to use them, but this is an example of how you use an 'ARO piece' as part of your strategy.
     
    #11 MindwormGames, Apr 4, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
  12. WiT?

    WiT? Well-Known Member

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    ARO is one of the most difficult to grasp and nuanced elements of Infinity, and honestly probably the main reason I love the system. Don't worry if your confused OP, it takes a while to get your head around. ARO is deep and complex and the best thing you can do is ignore all of that complexity and focus on a few basic uses of ARO and go from there.

    Firstly, don't see ARO as a way to effectively engage your opponent. Yes there are some ways to do this, but we don't care about those at the moment. For a new player, ARO is a way to trade your models for your opponents orders.

    Here is a visual representation of a simple form of ARO which I am calling a speedbump. This means a cheap model whose job is to make it harder for very weak troops to enter certain parts of the board without assistance, or slow down a stronger troop. Its job is not to "kill everything in sight" or really put up much of a fight at all. Mainly it will stop weak specialists, warbands etc from crossing a zone until something good at shooting comes to kill it.

    In this case, I am showcasing a cheap sniper. It should be positioned to watch an important area and hide in a place where a "sweeper" (a long range gunfighting unit, IE anything with an HMG) cannot easily see it. When a Sweeper comes for this unit, the sniper is going to die and die fast. The thing is though, it takes multiple orders for the sweeper to get there.

    I've created a crappy demonstration using google slides, not the best image editing tool!

    In this situation, a 16 point 0.5 SWC Ghulam Sniper can stop a specialist from easily just walking up to an objective and scoring points. The enermy sweeper model will easily kill the sniper, but it must spend tons of orders crossing the board to do so. Your 16 point dude soaked up half of your opponents turn!

    The other simple form of ARO is Chain chaff, cheap models with direct template weapons that hide near corners and instantly blast anything that comes around. That limits the ability of certain units to pass. Mostly this is a defensive technique designed to prevent the enermy from entering an area containing valuable targets or objectives.
    [​IMG]

    Theres way more to it than that, but this is IMO the two types of ARO you should be focusing on. Chain chaff is the most useful and easiest to learn of the two types, so focus on anything under 10pts with a chain rifle and how it can be used to guard your flanks. The warcor is your immediate go-to unit for sniper chaff, though there are various effective profiles for this role and you can even use some more capable models such as a total reaction REM. But the warcor is how you do it for 3 points and don't lose too much if you get it killed.
     
  13. andre61

    andre61 Well-Known Member

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    something like this would be a Defensive fire team
    Military Orders
    ──────────────────────────────────────────────────

    [​IMG]5
    FATHER-KNIGHT Lieutenant Spitfire / Breaker Pistol, DA CCW. (2 | 50)
    FATHER-KNIGHT Missile Launcher / Breaker Pistol, DA CCW. (1.5 | 49)
    ORDER SERGEANT Heavy Rocket Launcher / Assault Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 15)
    ORDER SERGEANT Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 13)
    BLACK FRIAR (Albedo, Biometric Visor L1) MULTI Rifle, Nanopulser, Drop Bears / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 28)

    5 SWC | 155 Points

    Open in Infinity Army
     
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  14. MindwormGames

    MindwormGames Well-Known Member

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    To expand on @WiT?,

    The sniper example is a great illustration. Another thing to consider with AROs is depth and redundancy, as has been mentioned already.

    In WiT?'s example, imagine if the area the Sweeper unit would need to move through contained a mine, or a CrazyKoala, or a Hidden Deployment model. Now you've given your opponent a more difficult problem to solve, or baited your opponent into making a mistake, like having an expensive gunfighter engaged by a close combat specialist.

    Also, imagine that you had another cheap unit, like a WarCor, near the corner of the other large square on the left. The Sweeper would now have to engage two units without Partial Cover before it could clear the firelane to the objective. First, the WarCor, and second, the Sniper. The Sweeper's goal is to clear the Sniper, and you've put an additional obstacle in the way, which takes more Orders or greater risk to deal with.

    The Sweeper can 'slice the pie' and engage the WarCor, then the Sniper, but that's at least one extra Order. Alternatively, the Sweeper can either ignore the WarCor and risk getting Stunned on a Normal Roll, or it can split burst and engage both enemy units with the same Order, thus improving your Sniper's odds.

    Put the Sniper, the WarCor, and the Mine all together and you've created a reasonably complex problem for your opponent to solve.

    That's Infinity. The table should be full of these little problems for both you and your opponents to solve, and your main resource to solve them is your Order pool.
     
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  15. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    If you don't have Chain Rifles (or not many of them, or they're XImp so don't want to stay put), you can also use cheap shotguns as 'Chain Chaff'.
     
  16. Azuset

    Azuset Well-Known Member

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    This is an very helpful thread. @WiT? Thanks for taking the time to make an scenario with graphics. It is great.
     
  17. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that's a really good illustration of what you're talking about, @WiT? !!!
     
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  18. WiT?

    WiT? Well-Known Member

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    If you tell us what faction(s) you play or are looking at, we can point you to some of the ARO options. As a new player its probably better to have the profiles pointed out and explained why to start with. Though most factions have access to the warcor and the minelayer libertos mercenary as two very efficient low cost options to start with.
     
  19. Azuset

    Azuset Well-Known Member

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    I am playing stariting with Yu Jing and ISS.
     
  20. Furiat

    Furiat Mandarin

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    ISS is not particularly strong in terms of long range aro. Sure. It can take 3 total reaction bots but high ava doesn't mean it should be your main focus. Apart from obvious warcor and flash pulse bot, we do have our only camo trooper. I'm still not sure about her quality. But for now, lunah has done some important aro duty from time to time. I think that ISS excels at short rage aro. Madtraps and a lot of dtw make your dz and surroundings a nightmare for your opponents overextended troops. When I play ISS, I try to hide the best I can and let tje opponent gain control of the midfield. Then hard counterattack with our short/mid range killers (rui shi, su jian, crane, dakini hmg, hsien, sforza and even kuang shi).
     
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