July 16, 2014 by crew
This is the the Wartrader, drumming up a storm through the aether. This week we shall be talking about those most dastardly of battlefield weapons, Antipersonnel Mines. Banned by Concilium Convention, yet somehow those goody-two shoes PanOceania and ALEPH forces still make use of them!
Mines in Infinity have a variety of uses from passive defence through camouflage marker-induced confusion to active aggressive use.
Newer players tend to get stuck thinking about Mines purely as speedbumps to the opposing force but they can be so much more than that!
Mines for Newbies
Mines in Infinity are small camouflaged units with sophisticated IFF systems to make sure they can’t ever detonate in a way that would affect friendly troopers, even Unconscious ones. They’re placed as camouflage markers which means they can’t initially be shot without taking other actions first.
With a directional blast that uses the small teardrop template (very similar to a 40k Flamer template) Mines have quite a reach but are useless against targets outside that template range. So a typical way to deal with a camo marker that you think is a Mine is to Discover it from outside it’s 8″ template range and then shoot it from safety. This already helps the Mine’s owner by forcing you to use up your precious Orders to activate models, but it’s still better than having one of your models die. Thanks to Shock ammo (see The Shadowy Spetsnaz), most models damaged by a Mine will go straight to Dead status and can’t be healed in-game.
Defensive Use of Mines
Mines are often used for area control – trying to dissuade your opponent from taking a particular route or to protect your troops from being attacked.
Positioning of the Mine is vitally important for this – placing it out in the open is not going to do anything beyond slow your opponent down by about half an Order. Instead, try to find a position where nobody can draw Line of Sight to the camouflaged Mine without being in range of the Mine’s template.
Even better, if you’ve got an infiltrating model with Mines, retreat backwards leaving a trail of Mines tucked behind corners – this way you’re creating defence-in-depth and hopefully forcing the opponent to waste multiple troopers getting through that route or making them take a different route – ideally one that’s defended by multiple models.
The Minelayer skill is worth a mention here, letting the user place one of their three Mines within 8″ of themselves during deployment. As the Minelayer troop often has camouflage as well, this can lead to swathes of camo markers across the table, forcing your opponent to guess what’s under each marker.
The Nitty Gritty – Offensive Use of Mines
Every so often I come across a player saying that Mines never have any effect in their games, either being avoided or being Discovered and shot before anyone gets close enough to set them off. For the second part, see above.
For the first we can take advantage of a unique ability of Mines – they’re pretty much the only thing in Infinity that can react to a reaction. So if you place a Mine near an enemy trooper and then force that trooper to react, BOOM!
Typically this is done by the model that has the Mines moving up just behind a corner and laying the Mine in base contact so that the Mine is ‘around’ the corner. Then with a second Order either the mine-laying trooper or a different trooper shoots the hapless enemy – giving them the nasty choice of reacting and setting off the Mine or not reacting and getting shot unopposed. Ouch.
So in example 3a we spend an Order on A to place the Mine where it covers the enemy trooper E. Trooper E can’t react to the Mine because it’s not a trooper and it can’t see A to be able to Shoot, Dodge etc.
The next Order can be spent on A again to move out into the open and shoot E, or if we have another trooper B then preferably we shoot with them as they can hug the corner and keep in cover. Because the Mine can’t go off with a friendly trooper in it’s area of effect (the teardrop) A wouldn’t be able to hug cover in the same way.
Some units that use this awesome Minelayer rule are…
ALEPH Nagas, Nomad Zeros, Ariadna Chasseurs, PanOceania Croc Men, Hassassin Muyibs and Tohaa Clipsos!
So, go forth and blow stuff up!