Those of you who know Infinity a little may have spotted that the image above is not a Hafza, but an Azra’il powered Heavy Infantry. This is entirely intentional and brings me neatly to the Hafza’s chief weapon –
Hafzas are masters of disguise thanks to a handy piece of equipment called a Holoprojector. This lets them start the game disguised as any unit available to the army. It’s not a very long-lasting effect as the cloaking device breaks down as soon as the model has to roll any dice (shooting, dodging, making armour rolls etc.) but it’s nice while it lasts. In itself this isn’t a very aggressive ability in a game full of big guns, totally hidden deployment models etc, but it leads to all sorts of fun shenanigans.
One reason why this is an important ability is that you’re often trying to hide the presence of hidden models or airborne troops that haven’t arrived yet – with a typical force being about ten models a canny opponent will be able to add up the points value of your list and spot any troublesome shortfalls. Hide one of your 17pt Hafzas as a 41pt Azra’il and suddenly the numbers don’t quite add up…
Next, hiding your Lieutenant, a vital task in Infinity as you effectively lose a turn if the LT gets taken down. As Hafzas are one of the Haqqislam units that can be the LT, being able to hide as a lowly line grunt or as a scarier Heavy Infantry model gives them a big measure of extra protection.
Plus you can get a Hafza with a Spitfire, effectively a Squad Automatic Weapon. Hide yourself as a line grunt without much in the way of ranged weapons, wait for someone to try hunting them down, and let rip with a much bigger gun!
Hafzas have two chief weapons –
surprise disguise and link flexibility.
This next ability needs some background explanation to make sense. The Human Sphere expansion book for Infinity added the concept of Sectorial armies (effectively themed sub-factions) and Link Teams. Link Teams let you spend one Order from your pool of activation Orders and instead of activating a single model you get to activate a whole team of similar models, although only one of them will get to fire. The Link Leader model will get bonuses based on the number of models in the Link.
Typically, each Sectorial list will have a list of ‘Linkable’ unit types, where three to five of that unit can join together – but not models with different unit. So Ghulams (the basic line infantry) can Link and Djanbazan bio-engineered soldiers can Link, but Ghulams can’t Link with Djanbazans. As the different units have different limits (AVA for availability) in how many you can take, this can limit the size the Link and therefore controls how many bonuses the Link gets.
Hafzas take these restrictions and spit on them. They can join any Link Team in a Qapu Khalki force, even though they’re a different unit type.
Want a ‘full’ Link of those nasty Azra’ils but they’re only AVA3? Add two of your AVA4 Hafzas.
Want a ‘full’ Link of five heavy infantry Janissaries but at 45-49pt each can’t really fit five in your 300pt force? Take a couple of Janissaries and add some 17-23pt Hafzas.
Disguise and Link Glue
Now combine these two abilities. In a 300 point game, your opponent appears to be fielding 400 points of models – clearly someone in the Link of five heavy infantry is actually a squishy Hafza, but who? Pick your target carefully, because you might not get a second chance to attack if you pick the wrong one…
As an extra bonus (as if it were needed), Hafzas also come in ‘Badass Hero Pose’:
So, Hafzas – what mind games do you play with yours?
Over and out,
Ian aka IJW aka The Wargaming Trader