Monday, May 16, 2016

Human Sphere N3 Initial Thoughts

Human Sphere's out and I'm back! Here's an article I wrote for my partner blog, Midwest Wargaming:
P.S. Expect to see sectorial analyses and more in-depth articles about HSN3 coming very soon.

If you're even mildly interested in Infinity, then you've heard about HSN3 before (especially if you've been following my articles here or on my own blog). It's out, it's finally out, so now it's time to start digesting all of the secrets that it holds within! This article isn't geared towards pointing out every single, little change though, it's focus will be on highlighting some of the biggest changes, how HSN3 will affect the future, current metas, and point out some really cool things Corvus Belli has done lately in conjunction with the release of HSN3.
I would like to say that I am working on sectorial guides, like I did for the Vanilla factions, but it'll be a little while before they're done. Do keep your eyes out for those though! It'll be a two-part saga, so to speak.
Biggest Changes
  • First up, out of my list of biggest changes, would have to be the shift that every sectorial saw. Sectorials now have access to a whole lot of cool, new options, link teams and profiles that they previously didn't have. It's possible for almost every sectorial to have a list where they have a Fireteam Core, Haris and then as many duos as they want, as well as a large variety of competitive lists
    • Infinity-Fireteam-PanOIn addition, fireteams received a much needed update:
      • Can now perform long order actions without breaking the link (so defensive hacking and speculative firing are good to go now)
      • Most of them no longer break when they're down to two troops
      • You can now use Fireteams in close combat, providing a burst and PH bonus per member, much like Antipodes did in N3
    • Slight change in the bonuses though;
      • 2 members: nothing but moving two models together
      • 3 members: +1 burst in the active turn and +1 burst for each member in the reactive turn
      • 4 members: Sixth Sense Lv. 2 for the entire team (note, normally there would be a +3 to WIP for discover rolls here)
      • 5 members: +3 to BS for BS attacks and +3 to WIP for making discover rolls (+3 WIP was changed to a 5 member bonus)
  • Second, hacking. Holy cow! If you liked hacking and felt that N3 had some holes in it, try again. With the addition of three new hacking devices (Evo, Killer, White), the world of hacking has become a lot more interesting
    • Evo hacking devices have become the epitome of support devices and tools now. First, the Infinity-Haqqislam-Remotespassives;
      • Coordinated hacking
      • Spend command tokesn to reroll failed WIP tests for hacking
      • If going second, you can spend a command token to already have one GADGET-EVO Supporware active
      • Competely negates the -6 imposed by using Satlock
      • +3 PH to all combat jumpers
      • Now let's look at some of those juicy EVO supportwares;
        • Kaleidoscope: -3 WIP for any enemy hackers attacking your own hackers.
        • Overclock: Burst 2 in the reactive turn for any REMs with repeaters
        • Reboot: Anytime one of your models declares a Reset, it imposes a -3 to the WIP of the enemy hacker
        • Teampro: Allows Fireteam: Duo in Vanilla lists and whenever a team leader of a fireteam bites it, you can automatically pick a new Team Leader without having the link break or spending a Command Token to rebuild the team.
    • Killer Hacking Device
      • Always ignores Firewall mods
      • Typically pretty cheap (mostly doesn't even cost SWC)zIXvTmz
      • Allows for Cybermask program and Sword Lv. 2 programs.
      • This device is specifically catered towards eliminating enemy hackers, even through their own repeaters and makes for an efficient, cheap and reliable Specialist for mission play too
    • White Hacking Device
      • Defensive Hacking Device on steroids
      • Allows use of Shield Lv. 3 and Gadget Lv. 1 programs
      • Always has a Firewall MOD when being attacked (except when attacked by a Killer Hacking Device)
      • Cyberalert systems
        • ignores all Surprise Shot modifiers if the attack originates from within the hacking area of this model
        • Allows the delay of AROs until the enemy's second order, if the enemy is within this model's hacking area
  • Holoprojectors were always a favorite of mine, but now they feel like they're actually worth something rather than just for being facetious or interesting
    • Can combine level 1 with level 2 now
    • Level 2 allows for replenishment of the holoechoes in the Reactive turn, as long as the model is out of line of sight
    • Now has Surprise Shot Lv. 1 and Surprise Attack Lv. 1
  • Symbiont armor made out like a bandit!
    • The armor has a chance to save against fire, it no longer instantly roasts the armor280901-0378_2
    • Combine this with Pheroware tactics that can heal Symbiont armor and revives unconsciousness models that previously had Symbiont armor, and Tohaa just became a whole lot harder to kill
  • Blind is gone and replaced with Stun wherever applicable (Flash Pulses and now Stun grenades instead of Flash grenades)
    • A model who is Stunned cannot declare any attacks and recieves a -3 MOD to any roll they perform (besides ARM and BTS)

The Future and Meta Shifts
New life has been breathed into sectorials, old and new, so lots of them will see the light of day again. A lot of old units that were considered unplayable, will become playable again and some even have new purposes in the game. Expect a drastic shift to sectorials in your metas as a lot of sectorials received -a lot- of cool new options, tactics, profiles and a few even new units. Sectorials like Bakunin, Hassassins, Imperial Service, will hit the tables more frequently compared to previously when they were pretty rare.
Hackers are no longer as invincible as they used to be with the abundance of Killer hacking devices running around and their abilities to really mess with your setups (nice repeater you have there, let me just kill your Hacker Lieutenant through it). Expect to see less hackers as Lt.s now and expect to see Killer Hacking Devices more frequently. Also, even Ariadna now has hackable targets, so hackers have become useful against every faction now. It's kind of hard to argue against using one, to be honest.
If someone in your meta really loved using REMs before, expect to see them using an EVO hacker now. EVOs did get a significant price increase, but just the passives alone make them well worth it! REM armies are fully functional now and terrifying. PanO, Yu Jing, and Nomads will probably be using EVOs an excessive amount now and I honestly can't blame them.
Expect to see your Tohaa friend/enemy using more of their Symbiont troops (I know I plan on using my Gorgos now!) and Pheroware tactics, Tohaa by far received a massive buff that was much needed. Just about every hole they had is now filled in and then some. Tohaa will probably become the new Steel Phalanx due to their quirkiness and need for different tactics and strategies to fight against them. Expect to see them A LOT more than before and learn how to effectively combat them now. kaeltars
It's kind of too early to really tell how this will change the tournament scene, but I can guarantee that old, almost unplayable sectorials will become more common at tournaments and any previous "winning" lists you had will need to change to adjust for all of the new tricks and tools that HSN3 brought. Besides that, all I know is I am especially excited to see how the future pans out. I can't wait to see what big reveal comes out of Gencon this year (which I will be there for and will do a full rundown) and I can't wait to see the next expansion books: Paradiso N3, with all of the Spec-Ops and campaign rules, as well as the nicknamed "Acheron Falls" expansion, which will include a variety of new sectorials including my beloved Kazaks. HSN3 and N3 has given me a lot of hope that the folks over at Corvus Belli know what they're doing and that they truly care about this game and their fans (trust me, the game is a 1,000x better than it used to be and much deeper), so I look forward with great anticipation....That Kazak sectorial just can't get here soon enough!

Mobile Army Builder and In-game Tools
Along with the new book came a new version of the official Army Builder, Army 6 as well as a pretty sweet mobile version. Along with the mobile army builder came some instructions to help ease players into using the application as well as introducing the cool, new in-game features.
The application allows players to now build army lists on the fly as well as managing their lists while they play. It now features the ability to keep track of orders, count up retreat for you by allowing you to count troops alive, unconscious, or dead, track turns, tracks loss of lieutenant, etc. I think one of my favorite features of Army 6 so far is the ability to make lists using the typical desktop version, save them to your ITS profile's cloud and then load them up on your phone to make use of the in-game features.
Playing Infinity has never been so convenient or easy before! I know a few players who dislike how confusing the game can be due to how complicated building a list can be and keeping tack of different orders. After seeing the in-game features, they've decided to try it again and they've loved it so far! It's a wonderful feature for new players and veterans a like by allowing players to have to keep track of so many things now.
Do check out the new in-game features of Army 6 and try to get familiar with it as much as possible and make sure you read the instructions. Army 6 will be here to stay for a while and it's going to be your best friend when you play Infinity.

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