October 29, 2014 by crew
This is the Wartrader, spreading the news about those dastardly underhanded Impersonators.
‘Bob, why are you looking at me like that?
Bob, you’re pointing your gun at me, please don’t do that, you know how nervous it makes me.
The Hassassin Fiday recloaked as ‘Bob’, who had died several days earlier, and set off again having accomplished his mission.
Impersonation for Newbies
Impersonators in Infinity are a step beyond Camouflage. Able to deploy anywhere on the table, even in the enemy deployment zone, they are perfectly suited to first-turn Lieutenant kills. Even worse, they have two ‘layers’ of protection – where a Camouflage marker or Thermo Optic Camouflage marker only needs to be Discovered once to reveal them fully, an Impersonation marker needs to be Discovered once with a -6 modifier and then again but with no modifier.
Haqqislam Impersonators – The Hassassin Fiday
Fidays are the cheapest Impersonators in points and come with a variety of load-outs. Of particular note is the one with Mines as someone turning up in your deployment zone and shoving Mines round corners is particularly worrisome. Martial Arts 3 lets them strike before their opponent in close combat, hoping to kill them before they get to strike back. Armed in close combat with either an Armour Piercing CCW or (much preferable) and Explosive CCW that forces three armour rolls.
Hussein Al-Jabel is more expensive but even more vicious. Hicher CC and BS for and Martial Arts 4 to counter enemy model’s lower Martial Arts skills and let him sneak around without letting people turn to face him. He replaces the basic Fiday’s AP or EXP CCW with a Viral CCW, arguably even nastier than the EXP CCW with it’s ability to kill outright without passing unconsciousness.
Combined Army Impersonators – The Speculo Killer
The Speculo has several advantages over the Fiday – with Impersonation Plus she gets both levels of protection against alien races while the Fiday loses the first -6 level when facing a Combined Army or Tohaa force and her Automedikit potentially lets her get up again from Unconsciousness. Thirdly she gets the much-feared Monofilament CCW, capable of ignoring all armour and taking any model directly to Dead regardless of armour, wounds etc. For 40k players, think ‘Vortex CCW’ but with a 40% chance of avoiding the effect. For everyone else, think ‘Lightsabre’.
Defending Against Impersonators
Is hard. There’s no two ways about it, Impersonators can be incredibly hard to deal with. If you have an obvious Lieutenant and go second then you’re probably going to start your first turn in Loss of Lieutenant, effectively losing a turn.
What you can do, even with an obvious LT, is punish the Impersonator for their attack – make sure you don’t have lots of isolated troopers scattered round the table as they’ll get picked off one by one and make sure you have multiple troopers with Line of Fire to your LT. Don’t be afraid to shoot into combat even at the risk of hitting your own trooper – they’re probably going to die anyway! Any troops with Direct Template Weapons such as Chain Rifles or Flamethrowers are even better – they won’t be able to shoot the Impersonator while it charges as a marker, but after the combat they can hose down the area if the Impersonator tries to do anything else. lastly, troops with Multispectral Visor 2 or 3 can help a lot in case the Impersonator tries to use smoke grenades to cover their activities.
Impersonators and N3
From what we’ve seen so far of N3, Impersonators are getting a noticeable reduction in power – something that I’m very happy about even as a Haqqislam player who sometimes uses Fidays. Impersonators add a nasty level of rock-paper-scissors to list construction and match-ups. Either you have an obvious LT or another critical model that goes down without much you can do about it, or you have a list with lots of possible LTs/a camouflaged LT. Let’s go through the various changes and their impact:
Revealing along the whole move – in N2, an Impersonation or Camo marker that moves into combat only reveals once it reaches base contact, limiting the charged model to Dodge or CC reaction and forcing nearby allies to shoot into combat if they want to shoot the Impersonator. In N3 Camo markers (and presumably Impersonation markers) count as having revealed themselves along the whole move. This means that the charged trooper can shoot as a reaction or even use a Flamethrower etc. while other nearby troopers can shoot without suffering the -6 to shoot into combat, and can again use template weapons that couldn’t be used to shoot into combat. This one is huge, it means that moving into combat with a Fiday is much more likely to be a suicide run if there are any other troopers nearby.
Combat Camo becomes Surprise Shot – the Impersonators appear to lose a lot more from this than Camo and TO Camo troops mainly due to lacking the hit modifiers to shoot those troops. The target(s) getting a -3 modifier to their Dodge or BS Attack rolls still gives the Impersonators an edge but it’s much less powerful. It also makes throwing smoke when surrounded by enemy models more risky.
Deploying in the enemy Deployment Zone – we haven’t heard anything about Impersonators as such, but given the changes to Infiltration over the halfway line (fail and end up back in your own DZ) I can’t see it staying as ‘you succeed in getting into position but are revealed’. Pure speculation though.
Martial Arts – now this one is a net gain. The first strike ability of Martial Arts 3 (MA3) in the current game is a double-edged sword as fluffing that single roll to hit or your opponent making their ARM roll generally meant a dead Impersonator – a particular problem for the Speculo with her Mono CCW which ‘only’ has a 60% chance of taking out the opponent. Changing this to +3 CC for the Impersonator (and rumours of their CC going up by about the same) while inflicting -3 on the target’s actions is going to make most troops very unlikely to win even if they’re models the Impersonator can’t take out in one hit. Add on another -3 or even -6 for the so far undisclosed Surprise Attack skill for doing a CC Attack from marker state (the CC equivalent of Surprise Shot) and it gets even nastier.
Shotguns – ooh boy. Fidays come with either a Rifle + Light Shotgun or a Boarding Shotgun and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Speculo get something similar. For all I mentioned the loss of Combat Camo being a negative thing, +6 in short range and -3 to enemy BS or Dodge reactions is going to be freaking vicious. Not as vicious as from a Camo or TO Camo model, but they don’t get to start in the enemy DZ.
So what’s your favourite/most horrific Impersonator incident? The time I managed to catch a Yu Jing LT, Doctor and Reaction Remote all in the same Boarding Shotgun blast lives on in the local club annals years after it happened…