Infinity N2 is coming to a close. Time to look back at some units that dominated the edition…and what the new N3 meta holds for them!
With the impending arrival of N3, the game is due for quite a shake-up. The way smoke, surprise attacks, Loss of Lieutenant, direct templates, hacking and so much more are being reworked, and that’s just the stuff that got leaked so far.
Now, Infinity is a very decently balanced game. Yes, there are builds that are ruinous to play against, and some units perform better than others at a given role despite having the same or lower price. But those fearsome lists tend to be one-trick ponies that will not dominate three games in a row after people tweak their own lists to account for the abuse of camo, smoke, GMLs or whatever. The factions have obviously been built to be unique and interesting without making the metagame competitively lopsided. Almost everyone can do almost anything. It’s impressive, when you think about it.
But yes, some units will shine more and more often than others at their assigned roles. The Neoterra Bolts are a good example: Cool fluff, neat new models, but as link-team material, they end up being somewhat lackluster, with special rules that rarely see relevance on the table. Stuff like Zero-G training, Aquatic Terrain and such may or may not cost points, but they occupy ability ‘slots’ that other, similar models from the same faction or another one put to better use.
So here is a list of those “premium” units who rose above and beyond the call in the current edition. And a bit of speculation of where they will fall on the spectrum in the coming edition, based on what has been revealed up to now.
|Making No Wound Incapacitation and Shasvasti rules pointless since 2011.|
12- Lasiq Sniper. This model brought the first kiss of Viral Ammo to many opponents, who soon learned to dread it. Affordable, a fine shot, and causing double-wounds that ignore normal armor on anything with a pulse? Oh, and Climbing+ to help it reach safe, intimidating positions on the board. Plus Religious to boot, meaning hat even when her army in in retreat she’ll still be a threat plugging away at your guys. The mimetism is just an added bonus to help make fair firefights unfair in her favor. I’ve seen people start fielding more remotes just so they can put something forward that she won’t melt with her future Ebola rounds.
Status in N3: Likely holding steady. She doesn’t rely on gimmicks, just a great weapon and a nice combination of skills.
|Stop. JSA time.|
11- O-Yoroi. Point for point, this may be the best TAG in the game. Others may shoot slightly better with bigger guns, or pack heavier armor, but the Japanese walking ‘bot is an amazing package for a low price that still lets you bring a link team onto the able, making for a lot of threat. It has heavy armor for a ‘light’ TAG, just enough to round up to a 4 instead of 3 when hit by AP ammo (same as happens to the average ARM 8 TAGs), and it is durable enough to just power through enemy lines to deliver a lethal heavy flamethrower surprise to enemy fireteams and warbands. The dual KrazyKoala escort is a lot of fun and adds surprising utility; they can be left in key spots to activate when the enemy comes close, or kept close to offer protection against snaky types with monofilament weapons, heavy flamethrowers and such.
Status in N3: Likely improved. The O-Yoroi’s status as the one TAG that rocks at close combat was usually forgotten, since it was so much safer and more reliable to just hose everything with its HMG or flamer. But now that CC specialists can become crit machines, its EXP weapon and martial arts make a lot of difference. Why watch your bullets bounce from a Jotum’s armor when you can demolish it with a couple of swings from a katana the size of a kayak?
10- Naffatun. Oh, these guys. So cheap, so deadly. They may not be quite the best cheerleaders in the game, but they come close. Cheap as dirt and rocking heavy flamethrowers that can burn camo and ODDs, and every now and then roast an enemy heavy to death in a single hit if it keeps failing saves. Great for scaring link-teams, guarding backfields and chokepoints against drop troops, or advance along a flank for a devastating suicide template assault.
Status in N3: Taken down a peg or two. Templates are not going to be as nightmarish to dodge this time around, so enemies will have better defensive options (as in, more than zero).
9-Achilles. ALEPH’s golden child has it all: a Ballistics skill bumping the ceiling, physical power and speed on par with TAGs, very nice armor and BTS protection, the ever-annoying ODD to tilt 80% of all firefights even more in his favor, a nanopulser to clear packs of rabble, an EXP sword that makes each hit crash into the target like three hits from a sniper rifle on crack. He might as well be wearing a snobby fraternity sweater and telling your guys that he owns this campus, nerds. There are more than few ways around him, but the amount of hurt he can bring is…intimidating. Good things that given his cost, lists that include him are a bit…hollowed out.
Status in N3: His ODD gets a bit worse, as now even a lowly MSV1 can reduce the BS penalty it inflicts. On the other hand, he can no longer be ambushed without reaction by camo models, and will be dodging those flamer templates meant to fry his ODD a lot more often now that he use his full PHYS of 16 instead of a 10. His heavy shotgun version might as well use d10s for the FTF roll and still win firefights from up close, and in CC, he can now swing twice for a total of SIX Strength 16 saves if both attacks connect, or just once for three Strength 17 saves. That’s hard enough to make your birth certificate catch fire, all the way back in your home system.
|“Pffft. These infidels are no challenge.”|
8-Hafza. In a vanilla list, the Hafza is a solid, fun choice. It can impersonate other troops of yours, so you can either disguise him as something harmless, or bluff and make the enemy waste tons of orders trying to get to a 17-point model tucked away that really looks like something a lot more dangerous. In the sectorial, though, this guy shines, being able to hop onto other links to boost them cheaply. It has a very cool cheap 14-WIP Lt option, but where it does his best work is in ITS missions, where the Forward Observer specialist can pretend to be someone else to get close to objectives without attracting as much attention as open FOs, engineers and hackers.
Status in N3: Hard to gauge, as we have heard precious little about link teams and/or discovering holoprojector models. The FO version gains added utility now that he can toss a neat +3 BS to his buddies against a marked target.
|“Old units don’t die. We just get better models.”|
7-Intruder. This guy has it all, except for a pair of healthy knees to make him move faster than the average snail. Camouflage AND MSV2 to help him ventilate enemy sneaky units? And the godly HMG to dominate at pretty much every range on the board, combined with a very high Ballistic stat. His armor is good enough to soak a few hits if he’s in cover, adding to his durability. The Intruder makes Ninjas and Myrmidons feel like Keisotsu Butai and Netrods, respectively. This guy wins games with a little bit of clever placing and overwhelming force.
Status in N3: Dropping fast! The HMG is not the auto-pick it once was, and his combat-camo ambush has been nerfed. We’ll have to see if he gets anything in return.
6- Order Sergeants. They may not be as flashy as the other knights in the MO, but they make this ride move. I have three words for you: Invisible. Infiltrating. Specialist. For a pittance. These linkable jacks of all trades can bring FO, offer a TO MULTI-sniper lieutenant for no extra SWC charge, an auxbot to roast enemies, pack an MSV and a Spitfire for midrange camo hunting and piercing smoke and ODDs. What can’t they do? Well, they are rather mediocre hackers, but as far as PanO goes, they are actually ahead of the curve. The Religious rule gives you a strong core or orders that will not suddenly vanish should you lose your leader or enter Retreat.
Status in N3: Likely around the same. Their camo options get weaker losing ambush and being countered more easily, their hacking and FO grows stronger.
|One of my favorite Infinity images. I love the Zerat up there going “I can shoot them from here! You don’t have to ju…oh, well, FINE.”|
5-Myrmidons. The greek murdering ant-men just offer such a great combo of cool stuff. Like most ALEPH troops, they get a complimentary ODD and a nanopulser right after they sign their virtual souls away on the dotted line. But their main ace in the hole is smoke. Beautiful, infinite smoke grenades to let him or his pals scoot up to claim objectives or avoid AROs from missile launchers and such. And, if you were that kind of jerk during 2nd edition, a wonderfully cheap way to toss a pillar of smoke around your Asura or Marut so they can aerate enemies without visors with utter impunity. All of this for a measly 13 points, or more if you actually want to capitalize on his good BS with longer-range weapons.
Status in N3: Brought back to earth somewhat. The smoke trick is getting nerfed fairly hard, and the ODD is easier to mitigate. On the other hand, their CC abilities are getting a nice boost. Once they go Impetuous, partial cover is no longer an option for them, too.
4- Chasseurs. Many Ariadna players max these bastards out as soon as their army builder finishes loading, and for good reason. Infiltrating camo minelayers with flamethrowers, a a discount. They burn away enemy camo, claim objectives for you, turn the midfield into an exploding deathzone, splatter TAGs with glue from ambush, blow stuff up with D-charges and have a FO choice as well. 20 points for a minelayer, 22 for a specialist. Good thing main Ariadna can only take 2 of them, or they’d own half the Human Sphere by now.
Status in N3: Again, camo ambushes are not as murderous as before. And their flamers are easier to dodge. But with so much to offer at such a low price, it’s hard to see them going away.
|They just look so happy and eager.|
3-Pretas. Who costed these things? They are (semi)guided organic missiles, plain and simple. Faster than anything that’s not a motorcycle, with good PHYS for dodging on the way and stabbing stragglers if they cross the table. Their chainrifles mean that their BS stat is immaterial. But the main joy they bring? Mines. If a Preta manages to drop even one mine, hes already paid for his point cost in full, and they have three of these babies. Each. There’s no reason not to make a combat group of 3-4 of these; the havoc they will cause on the enemy, and the effort required to counter/avoid them, is worth it in spades.
Status in N3: Improved Suppressive Fire makes their approach a bit harder, but their mines and speed are still great. On the other hand, Impetuous models no longer benefit from partial cover, which will require a bit more finesse in placing and moving them.
|This pose needs a John-Woo style flight of doves in the background.|
2- Aquila Guard. When people say “Infinity is a shooting game, you know”, they mean this guy. Basically, they mean he is going to shoot you, a lot, never missing, popping your best guys like bubblewrap, and making a mockery out of camouflage. His murderlust is so great that he once sniped a Vindicare assassin from a 40K game going on in another table at our club, just because. In cover, it has armor worthy of a heavy TAG out in the open, and it’s great BTS means that even if e enemy lands any hackers/repeaters nearby to try to immobilize it, it’s going to be a tall order.
Status in N3: Not quite as hot. The much of this model’s power came from the HMG being such a beast of a weapon across all ranges. Now that its optimal range is easier to avoid, it loses a bit of impact. It will also need to spend an order to auto-find camo markers instead of just point-and-click deleting them with direct firepower.
|Still putting Ko Dali here due to the Tiger Soldier model being so ugly.|
1- Tiger Soldiers. I was going to put Ko Dali here, but the devs literally abducted her away from the Yu Jing list and delivered a very different model to the CA army. The basic Tiger Soldiers are still grand, though: Cheap, good Phys for landing where required (even if it was so much easier to just pop them in from the sidelines), amazing BS 13, access to the fearsome HMG to drop even TAGs from behind. Oh, and mimetism to make sure that even when the enemy turned around, he’ll still be facing an uphill battle.
Status in N3: Subdued. It seems that nearly all drop units are losing their heavy weapons options in favor of Spitfires and shotguns. Besides, missing the jump now makes you scatter a punishing 16 inches away (talk about nerfing something that was weak and underused to begin with!). Their high BS and mimetism are still boss, but they will now require a bit of preparation and finesse, instead of just dropping and having 2-3 orders of guiltless unchained destruction.
Which units outclassed their peers consistently in your games? Share the knowledge with us and others!