July 29, 2015 by crew
This is the Wartrader, all your Remotes are belong to us…
As we’ve seen, Hacking in Infinity N3 is a far richer experience than it was in N2, but how do we actually make use of it?
This was partly covered in the third of the Remotes articles, but as a summary, this is a collection of Programs that either buff other units (for example Fairy Dust making all your Heavy Infantry harder to hack) or in a few cases give the Hacker themselves a boost.
Of note are the restrictions on Supportware – each Hacker can only run one at a time and has to still be conscious. So if you want multiple Supportware Programs running you’re going to need multiple Hackers and you need to keep them safe as a Dead or Unconscious Hacker will no longer be helping…
One particular Supportware Program we’ve not looked at in detail is Cybermask, only available to troopers with a Hacking Device Plus such as the Nomad Interventors and Reverend Custodiers, Combined Army Charontids and Umbra Legates and ALEPH Asura.
This lets the Hacker enter Impersonation-2 state where they appear to be someone friendly to the other force and can no longer be attacked without being Discovered first.
Passive Cybermask Use
Apart from being a general good defensive tactic (assuming you’re not hoping to do any defensive Hacking) this is also an excellent way of moving your Hacker round the table in relative safely as enemy troops need that successful Discover roll first, and if you can position so that one trooper at a time can see, they’re going to have to choose between a Discover and potentially unopposed shots to the face, or holding and hoping you reveal yourself.
In effect, for the cost of getting the Cybermask program running, you get to cross very wide gaps in complete safety as not even Mines will go off against IMP-2 markers as their IFF sensors are being fooled.
Active Cybermask Use
IMP-2 state lets the user benefit from Surprise Shot when uncloaking in your own turn. This inflicts a -3 modifier to the opponents’ opposed Face to Face rolls when you uncloak and use a BS Attack or Hacking Attack. Both of which have their attractions.
The user can instead benefit from the -6 mod for Surprise Attack when entering combat, although Hackers tend not to be good enough in combat to make good use of this.
Surprise Shot: Hacking
For Hacking, inflicting a -3 mod to the target’s reaction can be a substantial boost, especially against targets with high WIP for their Reset defensive rolls.
Taking the example of an Interventor who is generally a bit meh when it comes to shooting, their WIP15 combined with the -3 to the opponent’s opposed roll can be a godsend, especially as you don’t need to move into LoF and put the Interventor at risk.
As HD+ also gives the Hacker access to the Sucker Punch program this makes enemy Hackers particularly vulnerable as that also inflicts a -3 modifier to the enemy roll and then causes two DAM16 hits on the enemy Hacker – which causes actual damage.
So although you’re looking at an extra expenditure in Orders to bring up the Cybermask, it makes the Interventor one of the best Hacker hunters in the game, especially for their low points cost.
Surprise Shot: Shooting
Shooting-wise, Surprise Attack can be very beneficial for Reverend Custodiers with their Optical Disruption Devices to take this up to a -9 BS modifier for any return fire, or for Charontids with their Plasma Rifles (eww, spit spit) and BS14.
Although the Asura Hacker also gets use out of it, she only has a Combi Rifle which isn’t very powerful for a 70+ point trooper so Cybermask is probably more useful to her for getting across the firelines of distant snipers etc.
Although I described the Interventors as being a bit ‘meh’ at ranged combat, N3 added a loadout that is a very different beast – the Boarding Shotgun. The range bands take the Interventor up to BS17 in short range and the N3 template rules make that -3 modifier for Surprise Shot apply to everyone trying to dodge, shoot back, hack back etc. to avoid the template.
Even a Heavy Infantry link team is going to be frightened by that, given that templates ignore the ARM bonus for cover.
Surprise Attack: Close Combat
Also of note is the Umbra Legate Hacker, who can benefit from Surprise Attack when moving into combat while cloaked – combined with Martial Arts level 3 you can apply a whopping -9 modifier to the opponent’s roll while adding 3 to the Legate’s already high CC21.
That’s the kind of odds where you can start taking down a TAG or another CC specialist!
So what’s your favourite use for Cybermask?
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"...a Dead or Unconscious Hacker will no longer be helping"
"Although I described the Interventors as being a bit 'meh' at ranged combat, N3 added a loadout that is a very different beast - the Boarding Shotgun..."