We’ve already looked at basic shooting and close combat changers, now we look at some of the hacking changes that will impact all players in Infinity 3rd edition.
On the last episode of the dirt we took a look at close combat, this time we take a look at hacking. Hacking had always seemed like one of those rule sets that were overly complicated in second edition. By stripping it down to act exactly like shooting (and cc in 3rd edition), Corvus Belli is looking to make it a more integral part of the game. This is likely to hurt Ariadna and Tohaa most of all (unless new units are introduced for these factions), as offensive hacking is likely to become a must have.
Again, please note that these are only rules we currently know, this article should not be identified as definitive since I’ve not seen the published 3rd edition rules.
The News – Hacking, Shooting, it’s all the Same
In 2nd edition, the rule book at a handful of densely written rules regarding hacking. The net result meant that if you were hacked there were only 2 negative outcomes that could come out of it. You were either immobilized or possessed. The rules that governed how hacking worked were made even more difficult by BTS being the only negative stat, repeaters that could be both gear and models, and that an opponent fielding all Light Infantry could ignore the hacker all together, meant that often players did not even bother taking hackers. And there were exceptions to the rule for the alien factions as well from a possession standpoint, but not really for Tohaa…. you get the picture.
In 3rd edition, Corvus Belli is introducing hacking charts. Now, hacking and defending from being hacked will follow the same rules metaphor as shooting. We’ve already been told by Carlos (see Beasts of War’s most recent Infinity week) that the chart I’m about to show you is not the entire range of what a hacker will be able to do. This chart is also clearly not the polished images we saw for shooting and close combat:
While a Hacker has just become truly versatile, this chart means that it’ll be easier to teach new players. Also, players will feel better about bringing hackers, because there will be a greater chance that they will be useful in more situation (more on that later in the article).
A side effect of this Hacking change:
While I still would probably avoid putting a hacker on a demo table (because a demo should focus more on orders, movement, etc), I think we’ll see hacking become incredibly main stream even in slow grow leagues. The fact that hackers can perform a wide variety of attacks will dramatically impact lists. With hacking protocols like Oblivion (which can force a model into it’s own combat group), an opponent bringing a list consisting of a TAG and a plethora of order generating cheerleaders may no longer be viable. Again leveling the playing field.
The Skinny – Hacking For Any Occassion
Above we talked about the fact that Hacking can do more now than just immobilize and possess. But the chart of hacking fun has even more information to reveal. The various hacking protocols have varying Damage and Burst ratings. Hacking a TAG with high BTS rating (or hacking in your reactive turn) you might choose something with a high damage rating and a burst of 1. Otherwise you might choose something with a little less damage, but increase the burst and hope for more critical hits.
And like I said before, the few hacking protocols that we know about today are a real subset of what will be coming in 3rd edition. While not official, it appears that we could expect more than double the number of hacking protocols that we know of thus far.
A side effect of this Hacking change:
Hackers are going to be the swiss army knife of new strategies that could simply not be performed before. Got a pesky 5 man link team? Send the link team leader into another combat group and watch the link disolve, then attack them with guns while they don’t have their +3 BS modifier for having 5 people in the link team. And burst 2 hacking…… doesn’t even matter to me if the protocol is “Pat your opponent on the back”, it makes the hacker more survivable in their active turn.
The DiRT – Hacking Changes Galore…. But….
Don’t throw away all your other models just yet.
The focus for hacking in 3rd edition is still primarily as a weapon against units that in previous editions were hackable. Ariadna, for example is getting some sort of “Not Hackable” attribute/skill. I don’t know the exact wording, and it won’t necessarily mean that they will be immune from all hacking protocols. But I’m guessing that Ariadna HI will be able to slip past hackers in 3rd edition.
Genre jumping Ethan Pearson brings us his take on Warsenal meets Sonic the hedgehog (or at least the villain from Sonic). Always enjoy seeing stuff added to terrain like this. Also, he created a template for anyone to use, which just adds to the level of awesome.