Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Deep Thought: Why I Play Kazaks Without an Official Sectorial

Just like this picture, the Kazaks hold up Ariadna and make it the powerhouse it is


As the self-appointed "Pride of Rodina" and voice of the Kazaks, I always get folks who ask me a massive amount of questions:"Why do you only play Kazaks? Why do you play an unreleased sectorial that has no official rules? Why do you hate yourself so much? Why not spend your time playing a real faction? You know Kazaks are a ways off, so why do you play them so much?" and all kinds of other things.


Today marks the day I'll answer most, if not all, of these questions (do feel free to skip to certain sections that pertain to your interests, I realize this is a lengthy one):




Background


I started playing Kazaks in 2013 when I finally pulled the trigger to buy my first Infinity army. I accomplished a rather large life event and I was ready to make a transition in my life to living a better life. I got rid of Warhammer 40,000, made other important and influential life choices such as start to look into Infinity. At this time, I just started playing Metro: Last Light and I really digged the aesthetics, themes, and messages behind the game. Without getting too poetic, it really spoke to me, so it was no surprise to find myself falling in love with Ariadna (who clearly has a lot of Metro influences in it) and more specifically the Kazaks. I liked the French as well, but a lot of their models were too old or weedy for my tastes (looking at you Moblots) or packaged awkwardly (boxes with key models inside) to make buying what I wanted hard, unless I wanted to play MRRF, which I did not at the time. I finally decided to stick with just Kazaks, being told a sectorial wasn't too far off at this point and only playing with the models I liked and appreciated.

Once I finally settled on the models I liked and the profiles I digged the most (spending many hours reading through Army and the Wiki!), I purchased myself 200 points (N2 standards) of Kazaks and started playing a few games against myself (it's hard playing Infinity by yourself...and lonely) and a friend. I fell in love with the elite feel of the Kazaks, they're brutal lethalness, and Ariadna's ability to ignore hacking; I had found my faction. I knew what I wanted at this point and it was only a matter of time before the sectorial was out, so I was going to simply wait it out and keep playing Kazaks until they became official. Once I started playing more, though, I started to realize just how limited I was and how boring it got with a lot of choices being extremely expensive for what they brought. I was also jealous of all the cool stuff other factions could do and the official sectorials. I started looking into buying an official army to tide me over. I stopped playing Kazaks and picked up Hassassins instead, but then something incredible happened...

Third Edition
Hello beautiful Spetsnaz, though released right before N3, not in N3 itself
Spetsnaz were out, new point costs for all of my favorite Kazak models, and new life was breathed into some older profiles that seemed to have grown stagnant. All of this brought me back to my Kazaks as well as some beautiful and amazing resculpts. I immediately purchased them all, put Hassassins on the back burner and started enjoying all of the new life my Kazaks received. Soon after this is when I decided to write the Kazak tactica (at this time, it was quite common to see plenty of threads about starting Kazaks, thanks to all of the new and sweet resculpts, hence why I created the tactica) and set in stone my Kazak pride. I was proud to play Kazaks and I knew it was a bad idea, but I did it anyway to prove a few things:

  1. In Infinity, it's about how good you are, not what you bring...to some extent
  2. Kazaks deserved a sectorial and soon
  3. Kazaks were playable, awesome, and all I needed from Infinity
Since that day, the tactica has continued to grow, I continue to play my Kazaks almost exclusively, and there are plenty of Kazak players around the world.

Why Play Kazaks Only?

I had/have a few reasons:

Infinity is a game about how good of a player you are and not what you bring...to some extent
This used to be the mantra in N2 and I wholly believed it, since that's what made Infinity interesting to me. I decided to set out and prove this theory on my own and to do this by playing my Kazaks. People constantly told me I wouldn't get anywhere for playing only Kazaks or that I was silly, but I told them "watch me". Have I won any tournaments with my Kazaks? Yes, one. Do I usually get wrecked when I play my Kazaks? It's gotten to be about a 70-30 Win-Lose ratio nowadays. As I get better, so do my Kazaks and I plan on keeping getting better until I can't anymore and I'll keep winning and losing with my Kazaks until then to prove that Infinity is more of a skill-based game than a model-/list-based game

Kazaks demanded a sectorial
I figured if I could make a big enough splash in the Infinity scene with my Kazaks, I would show people that the Kazaks were ready. There are no other almost-sectorial, sectorials out there that deserved it more than Kazaks. I guess you could say it was kind of like a cry for attention to get Kazaks noticed and on the board, but it really flopped when I wasn't winning any of the big tournaments and when you can't really record that "player X was playing Kazaks" in the ITS tournament recorder. I decided to resort to writing instead and better learning the game through my tactica, as well as help others who wanted to play Kazaks too. I knew I couldn't be the only one in the world, so I thought it would be nice to rally my fellow comrades under the Kazak banner and inspire them to play what they wanted.

What all other Skirmishers wish they were

Give Kazak-enthusiasts hope
This is probably the strangest reason why I kept playing Kazaks. When I first started meandering around on the forums, I noticed every faction and sectorial kind of had an authority figure on the faction/sectorial in question. Now, there were Kazak players, but no leader for the Kazak players. There were people who dissauded them and told them to play Vanilla instead or didn't reply at all, so I kind of gradually took to helping out all of the new comrades that entered the forums looking for help. I got so tired of answering thread after thread about how to play and start Kazaks since no one else would give them advice, I started to finally cook up our own tactica. Shortly after that, I decided that we Kazak players needed a figurehead of sorts, someone we could all point to and say "yeah, he knows how to play Kazaks, ask him for help". Someone to inspire others to continue playing what they loved and not falling to peer pressure to play other things. I decided it was time I became the "Pride of Rodina" and in order to do this, I had to keep playing Kazaks to learn them even better and to better help those aspiring Kazak players. 

Playing what I enjoy
When I played Warhammer 40,000, I played Tau. I played an army that was almost shoe-horned into what they could take to be competitive. I was so sick and tired of feeling restricted in what I could play to be good, I decided to start this new game fresh and play what I wanted. Sure, when I played Tau (until the new codex finally came out), I was still so used to being curb-stomped all the time and being the underdog, so it wasn't a hard adjustment for me to play just Kazaks. Now I continue to play them because I absolutely love playing them. I don't play to win, I play to have fun, and to enjoy the game. People who try to cram "competitiveness" and "winning is the only kind of fun" down your throat are not very fun to be around nor are they fun mentalities to have, so I told them to get out of here in hopes of truly enjoying a game for what it is: a game.

Veteran Kazaks: the meanest, drunkest, and toughest troops in all of Ariadna...
Possibly all of Infinity!

Quite honestly, what's not to enjoy about playing them? They have some of the most lethal shooters. They have some of the best specialists in the whole game (you can't tell me Scouts and Veterans aren't amazing). They have some of the best line troopers in the game (fight me, Line Kazaks are better than just about anything else: Ghulams, Fusiliers, Alguaciles, etc). They have Antipodes. They have a bunch of camo, courage, shock, AP, special skills, weapons, and stylish boots. No other force in Infinity scratches my itch for such an utilitarian, shoot 'em up, brute force, tricky, and sturdy force like the Kazaks do. They're pretty much my play-style spot on...needs more Heavy Infantry, No Wound Incap. or 2 Wound models to be perfect. Some other Infinity factions are close (Tohaa and Hassassins), but not right on like Kazaks.

Practice for the full sectorial's release
Yup, just imagine how good I'd be when I finally get a full sectorial with all of the rules, if I'm used to playing so significantly ham-stringed. My Kazaks will know no bounds and they will have no fear. Someday, we will have that official Kazak sectorial (Tartary Army Corp, or "TAK" for short, as CB calls it) and I will be ready, but I'm not sure my opponents will be. It was a very similar case with my Tau in 40k: they started off so weak, but I got so good with them, when we finally got the newest codex and people were already complaining how cheesy overpowered it was, I took it to the next level and started sweeping tournaments. I plan on doing the same with my Kazaks...well, not sweeping tournaments (I'm not that big on tournaments these days), but having a whole lot of fun kicking butt in style.




Sure, I'm probably one of the most atypical Infinity players out there for playing my Kazaks, but I do what I enjoy. If you have any further questions or wish to join the awesome Kazak side too, you know where to find me comrade...where there's mention of Kazaks, you can expect to see me.


3 comments:

  1. I am looking to expand from Pano and start a Kazak themed Ariadna list. Do you have a beginner list or any recommendations?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why of course, comrade! You are talking to the Pride of Rodina, after all. I've had four years of experience playing just Kazaks already, I'm sure I could help you out ;)

      First of all, I suggest you check out this: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cJ8sTsJWj9bYUMRClqNpNVzwJfJIGLmo8Nlw_suFAe8/edit?usp=sharing
      It's my Kazak tactica, with all of knowledge and experiences compiled into one place. It also has suggestions for a starting list and where to go next, as the last section. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask me! You know where to find me.

      Delete