June 18, 2014 by crew
Time for another unit spotlight – the Ariadnan Spetsnaz.
Ariadna for Newbies
Ariadna is the lost colony, stranded when the wormhole to the planet Dawn collapsed, leaving an unfinished colony on a hostile planet. When the Human Sphere of modern civilisation found the planet again they found a splintered group of nations grimly fighting the elements and the native dog-like Antipodes.
Fighting grimly for survival at all costs and believing themselves to have been abandoned by Earth, the Kazaks, Merovingians, Caledonians and US Ariadnans of Dawn regard the rest of the Human Sphere with suspicion – suspicion that’s been reinforced time and again as the Corporations try to muscle their way onto the planet to access it’s raw resources.
In game terms, the Spetsnaz are a completely new unit that introduces two new rules – previews from the upcoming third edition. The Marksmanship rule makes the trooper’s shots more debilitating while the Ambush Camouflage rule helps hide the location of the trooper at the start of the game.
Camouflage for Newbies
Camouflaged troopers in Infinity are represented by a marker on the battlefield rather than a model and are largely immune to being attacked until they reveal themselves by attacking or an enemy trooper manages to discover them from a distance. Even after they’ve revealed, camo troopers are harder to hit and can potentially re-camouflage back to marker status.
Even worse, camo troopers that uncloak to attack in their own turn get extra benefits to that attack due to the surprise nature of the attack.
On top of that, until the trooper reveals your opponent doesn’t know anything about what’s hidden by the camo marker – it could be a lightly-armed and armoured Scout, a Tankhunter with an Autocannon (far scarier than a 40k Autocannon) or even an Antipersonnel Mine!
The Nitty Gritty – Shock (ammo) & Awe for Infinity Experts
Right, Marksmanship. This is a new skill that has caused endless amounts of discussion.
Marksmanship level 1 grants the trooper’s ranged weapons Shock special ammo in addition to any ammo types they already have. This means that single-wound models that fail a save will go straight to Dead state, do not pass Unconsciousness, do not have any chance of being revived on the battlefield. On a unit that can take Sniper Rifles and HMGs this is horrifying – especially for factions like ALEPH that depend on the No Wound Incapacitation skill to stay active while technically Unconscious.
Marksmanship level 2 lets the trooper ignore the penalty for shooting models in partial cover, ignoring the -3BS modifier. On a model who’s weapons are already inflicting Shock damage. Given that models in the open in Infinity tend to be regarded as dead or soon to be so, this immediately bypasses half the ‘security’ of being in partial cover – the BS modifier is what helps the model in cover win the opposed roll against the other shooter.
Level 3 is rumoured to ignore the armour bonus for being in cover as well!
During deployment, the player can place a second ‘fake’ camouflage marker with the 8” Zone of Control of the Spetsnaz. This second camo marker immediately disappears as soon as the Spetsnaz does anything (including moving while in marker state) so it’s a very short-lived benefit. However anything that increase the number of camo markers on the table increases your opponent’s confusion and inability to focus on your troops.
The Shooty Spetsnaz
This is the version that has been getting all the attention – with Ambushed Camouflage, Marksmanship 2 and either a Sniper Rifle for 34pt or an HMG for 38pt it’s cheaper than a Tankhunter with AP HMG and arguably better. I’m guessing that this is our first look at the points cost of a ‘true’ third edition unit. I’ve already faced the HMG version in a game and it wasn’t pretty…
The Droptroop Spetsnaz
The other version of the Spetsnaz drops Ambushed Camouflage for Mimetism (the -3BS modifier of a revealed camo trooper) and Airborne Deployment 1, picking an area of the table edge to walk on during the game.
Unlike the Tankhunter comparison, this version is substantially more expensive than the equivalent Paracommando but keeps the Marksmanship 2 skill – pretty nasty with Grenades and either a Rifle or Boarding Shotgun. The Spetsnaz’ incredibly high Close Combat attribute of 20 plus Martial Arts 2 also has a chance of kicking in on the droptroop version.
So, overall a nasty unit with a lot of punch and a glimpse into the future of N3, Infinity third edition…
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