October 22, 2014 by crew
This is the Wartrader, broadcasting loud and clear across the Human Sphere!
So, N3 – templates of mass destruction. If you’ve not watched last week’s template video from Infinity Week, do so now!
So now that you’ve watched the video…
N3 Templates for N2 Players
There are some major changes in how template weapons work in the new edition.
There’s a clearer distinction between Direct Template Weapons (DTWs) like Chain Rifles and Terminal or Impact Template Weapons (ITWs) like Missile Launchers, rather than Direct Template Weapons and Template Weapons.
Both share a number of qualities:
- The ARM or BTS bonus for partial cover is ignored – something that’s always seemed a little odd in N2 for flamethrowers etc.
- Whether a trooper can be hit by the template depends on whether Line of Fire can be drawn from the Blast Focus of the template – the middle of the circular one and the small end of the teardrop templates.
- Models that have LoF to the firer get to Dodge with no penalty (assuming they have a second skill or an ARO) compared to a -6 penalty.
- Models that have LoF to the firer get to Dodge with a -3 penalty (assuming they have a second skill or an ARO) compared with being auto-hit.
- DTWs still auto-hit and still offer no ‘protection’ for the firer in terms of an opposed roll.
- ITWs roll to hit the main target but any of those hits are then used against everyone else under the template in opposed Face to Face rolls.
Balance Changes – Direct Template Weapons
For cheap Warbands with DTWs, the DTWs become an option rather than their main purpose. On the one hand the template is far easier to avoid so is less powerful, on the other hand because the template is much easier to avoid the targets are less likely to be shooting back. In N2 the targets would always choose to shoot back because a normal PH10 trooper would need to roll against PH4 (20%) to not get hit. Now that’s bumped up to 50% it’s worth considering. Overall, this moves Chain Rifles away from being mostly offensive weapons and closer to being harassment weapons, forcing targets to duck their heads down as the Warband charges in.
For Camouflaged troops with DTWs (mainly the Ariadnan Chasseurs and Nomad Prowlers with Light Flamethrower or the Ariadnan SAS with Chain Rifle) things are a bit more awkward – they’re no longer getting auto-hits followed by unopposed rolls from the survivors – on the other hand because the targets can Dodge with a reasonable chance of success they may be getting shot less.
Against Camouflaged troops, DTWs become exceptionally useful – because the ‘first strike’ effect of uncloaking has been replaced by the -3 modifier for Surprise Shot, there’s no way to kill the template-wielder before they get to template you, other than shooting them from outside template range.
Balance Changes – Impact Template Weapons
Camouflaged troops with ITWs such as Shotguns or Missile Launchers become truly horrifying if they can position correctly – because the Dodge rolls to avoid the effects of the template are Face to Face rolls against the firer’s hits on the main target, the -3 modifier for Surprise Shot still applies. So get an infiltration camo shotgun up close (in cover but the target is out of cover) and they’ll be on BS17-18 (+6 for short range) while any shots back will be on -3 or -6 for Camo or TO Camo, -3 for cover and -3 for Surprise Shot, while Dodges will be on -3 for Surprise Shot (it’s still a FtF roll!) and maybe also -3 for having no LoF to the attacker. Youch.
ITWs overall seem to stay about the same power – although rolls by the main target can no longer protect secondary targets (in N2 you had to win the roll-off for the template to land) again everyone gets to react and firing back at the attacker also helps. That last bit rankles slightly when it comes to suspension of disbelief, but I can live with it for the sake of more consistent gameplay and balance.
ITWs really kick in against Fireteams (see the Human Sphere rules) – because everyone in the Fireteam has to declare the same reaction (or no reaction at all), if you can catch someone out of sight with the template then you’re forcing some horrible decisions on the other player:
- Have everyone Dodge so that the out of sight model has a better chance of surviving,
- Have the visible models fire back and hope the out of sight trooper survives,
- Have the visible models fire back and the out of sight one Dodge, breaking him out of the Fireteam.
None of which is ideal…
There are similar problems for Fireteams in the active turn – because all the bonuses for the Link Leader (the only one allowed to shoot!) can’t stop the template from hitting other nearby troopers, having the whole team Dodge instead of the Leader firing becomes one of the main ways to keep the Fireteam alive when faced by a reactive Missile Launcher etc. Camouflaged and Hidden Deployment Missile Launchers suddenly have some big incentives to uncloak in reaction, something that’s not normally recommended.
Now this one we don’t have as many details for. I’ve had confirmation that troopers under the template get the ‘usual’ Dodge at -3 as an opposed roll against the firer.
This definitely makes the dreaded Heavy Grenade Launcher TAGs less fearsome as most tables don’t have enough high buildings to block the incoming shots, so getting a Dodge is definitely a good thing.
Grenades are OK thanks to the doubled +3 range of 8″ – in N2 the optimum range of only 4″ usually meant that shadow zones from terrain made it impossible to place the template close enough. Units like Wulvers are going to be throwing their Grenades much more often.
Light Grenade Launchers seem to be the ones that miss out – they don’t/didn’t have the massive +3 range band of the HGL and are usually on units with much lower BS than a TAG. However if you take a typical BS11 model firing on -3 overall (+3 range, -6 for Spec Shot) so BS8, the targets will typically be Dodging on PH10-3, so PH7. Not amazing but it’s still in favour of the LGL-firer, especially if you can get multiple models at once because they’re all hiding behind the same piece of cover. For the Wulver above you’re looking at PH11 to throw a Grenade against PH7 to Dodge.
So what’s your favourite unit for the new template rules? For me it’s a toss-up between the Spetsnaz Parachutist with Boarding Shotgun (‘Ha, I ignore your ARM bonus twice, have Mimetism and good BS and by the way it’s all Shock Ammo so die sucker die!’) or the Hac Tao with Missile Launcher, popping out of Hidden Deployment to blast some poor saps that thought they were safe at the back of the far deployment zone…
Events update – the Sunday 30th November tournament will be a Doubles event pairing old and new players together, with prizes being awarded to the players that got the most in-game achievements rather than being based on missions. There will also be secret objectives, search them if you dare!
The 2014 Autumn Challenge ‘Preparation for N3′ on November 29-30th.
The 2015 Winter Challenge ‘N3 Is Go!’ on January 24-25th with N3 demos and tutorials, a seminar on moving from N2 to N3 and one of the first N3 tournaments in the UK!
Catch up on all of Infinity 3rd Edition Week!