The rules for the newest Infinity Sectorial army are here! Someone call the Men in Black!
The Onyx Contact Force are a brand new Sectorial army from the upcoming Human Sphere book. They represent the elite Vanguard of the Combined Army. We’ve known about this sectorial for awhile now, but up until last fall we could only really guess at what it might include. My assumption had been that it would be more variety among unit types from the starter: more Fraacta, more Umbra, and more Batroids.
Last November we got a hint that Onyx would be a bit more inclusive. Corvus Belli anounced that they would be giving away an Onyx starter that included these Rodoks. Then in late March we got a preview video showing a list of models for the OCF. Now we know that Onyx also has access to Morat Heavy Infantry and may include some of the more interesting Shasvasti units, including their TO equipped Sphinx TAG.
Additionally there are indeed more Umbra, like this cool guy who was just released. There are also more Batroids coming down the pipe: big hulking TAGs that have wounds instead of structure for some inscrutable reason. So with that brief bit of Introduction out of the way lets take a closer look.
Elite: Onyx has Elite models that can perform a lot of roles. They have access to some of the best sneaky models out there with the Malignos. TO Camo and Infiltration along with a Hacker and Forward Observer profile can score you some easy objectives if you’re willing to pay the points. If not, the Noctifer Hacker is almost as good, and a bit cheaper. No FO profile on him though.The Sphinx is also probably the sneakiest TAG. Its not just the TO, but also the Climbing Plus that helps make it so delightfully slippery.
If you’re looking for something more direct, the Suryats are decent heavy infantry with access to a wide variety of weaponry. If you want to take two of them, they can join up in a Fire Team Duo which can get the pair across the board with fewer orders. Of course the real tank is the new Overdron Batroid. While its ARM of 6 doesn’t exactly make it a star in the world of TAGs, it brings along two Tinbots. The first is your usual Deflector, giving it a net 9 BTS to infuriate hackers. The other is the new Albedo tinbot which prevents the Overdron from being targeted by models with MSVs. These are often the models packing the heaviest weaponry so this new tinbot is bound to be a pain. Weirdly the Albedo effect goes away at the end of turn 2, but if the TAG isn’t gone by then it probably did plenty of damage already. Fire also cancels Albedo so watch our for those Flammenspeers.
Fireteams: These are basically the whole point of Sectorials – the reason why you limit yourself to a narrower selection of options. They need to be good if the sacrifice is worth it. Fortunately they are. Rodoks are a great link. They have mimetism and ARM 2 so they’re durable. They also have a good selection of weapons to dominate at any range band. They can start off in the back, firing off Missile Launcher and HMG rounds. Once they’ve caused some mayhem, they can use Super Jump to help them get upfield and have their Medic and Hacker options score objectives. They can be joined by an Umbra Legate or Samaritan giving them the powerful mid-range Spitfire. and a very deadly CC opponent. Or they can be joined by the Nexus Operative (not released yet) who also has some neat toys, as well as the Specialist Operative ability allowing him to accomplish some objectives the Medic and hacker can’t.
The Unidrons are a less flashy link but very interesting in ARO. Since they’re Remotes they can be hacked with Enhanced Reaction which will give your Missile Launcher and Plasma Sniper Burst 3 in ARO. Just don’t forget to spend the orders. You can also cram several Forward Observers into a link, which with Dogged will make it really hard to keep them from scoring Objectives. They too can be joined by Umbra and Nexus Operatives. You can even take one of each in a Unidron link.
Expensive: This is an Elite force with very limited options for cheap orders. They can take only one 8 point R-Drone (yes Onyx’s FA on R-Drones is lower than vanilla Combined) and two 9 point Ikadrons. If you want to risk it you can also take two Imetrons which are super cheap but love dropping off the table or landing right in front of your opponent’s models. None of these cheerleaders will put up a decent fight either. For that your cheapest option are the 14 point Batroids.
Additionally, while Specialists are slightly less important in 2016, there are still lots of missions with multiple Classified Objectives, or Classified Objectives that reward 2 VPs. This means there are lots of times when you will want specialists in your list. Other than FOs which are easy to come by, most Specialists in Onyx are elite and costly. There’s no 16 point Morat Medic, or 22 point Morat Hacker. The Medtech kind of makes up for this by being both a Doctor and an Engineer, but it still only contributes one order and has only one Wound. I guess Onyx isn’t really that much worse off than vanilla Combined army in this regard, but even that small amount of points can keep you from affording the models you really want to take.
Bad Lietenants: First, there’s no Mnemonica Lieutenant available for Onyx players. The other two Sectorials don’t get Mnemonica Lieutenants so I guess there’s no reason to think Onyx should, but it’s a huge sacrifice and must be mentioned. It also highlights the fact that there is no Cheerleader Lieutenant. This might not seem like much but anonymity can be your Lieutenants best shield. It can be harder to assassinate them if there are three other models just like them to have to choose from. If you have a bunch of batroids, one Nexus Operative, one Umbra, and one Suryat, your opponent knows your lieutenant has to be one of the three of them. They’re also all somewhat costly for a model you’ll most likely just leave in the back of the table. Expensive models that never move will stick out like sore thumbs to any opponent willing to ask: “why is that Umbra Legate with the Spitfire just hiding behind that building?” I guess this makes the best choices the Nexus Hacker Lieutenants. Onyx has plenty of Repeaters so these Lieutenants can hide and still justify their presence on the table. Don’t even get me started on the TO Lt options.
Onyx is a Smoke Free Sectorial: The EI clearly cares about your health since there is no smoking in the Onyx Contact Force. I love smoke and its absence drives me crazy whenever I play Neoterra. Fortunately, like Neoterra, Onyx has a good amount of TO to help make up for this shortcoming. They also have sneaky Infiltrating Hackers to put up White Noise right where you need it to further protect those TO models. But there’s nothing like a good Smoke Grenade to help out when your opponent has a ton of AROs set up across the field from you.
TAG Links: Yeah I’m not even joking. Xeodron Batroids can form a Haris with an Umbra Samaritan. Their weapons aren’t too insane and their profile is about the same as a Gecko. They can both take a K1 combi, which with the extra burst can definitely be scary. They also get a Blitzen for some versatility and a little punch against other TAGs that are further away. Super Jump can be useful to get their guns into an optimum rangeband, and for a little extra protection they have Bioimmunity.
Last up: Some relevant shots from Human Sphere, which I picked up at Adepticon.
~Thanks for reading! I didn’t cover everything in the detail I might have liked, so if I left out your favorite part thing about Onyx, please include it in the comment.