Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Shock Army Tactica Part 1: Samba, Sikhs and Scylla, Oh My!!!

Good evening everyone!  Or morning, depending on 1) when this is actually posted and 2) your physical location within the Sphere.  Everyone’s favorite Hexahedron officer here (that’s the INNER Hexahedron, for those keeping track…) to dive into a sectorial for PanOceania that’s getting a decent amount of love (what with new releases and all), O Exército de Choque de Acontecimento!

The Chrismon of Acontecimento

Taking a quick glance at the good ol’SAA, one thing to bear in mind is the fluff behind the Sectorial.  Acontecimento is a forested world, lush and green, and the troops that come out of it are VERY well equipped to then handle the unique horrors of combat on Paradiso.  Indeed, the SAA is responsible for an entire front on Paradiso under the auspices of the Green A Combat Group.

Game-wise, that means that many of the troops from the SAA will have some sort of terrain skill.  Joined to that, the concept of “shock” in the army means they tend to be fast moving and with slightly less armor than other members of the PanOceanian Military Complex.  We’ll get into some more specifics farther down.

Now, to dive into the troops themselves!  I’ll go in the “normal” order they show up for me in Infinity Army 6, and we’ll go from there!  Also, as a note, since I am, shall we say, SLIGHTLY pedantic, if the name is in Portuguese, I’ll be writing the Portuguese form…

Regulares de Acontecimento:  Fluff-wise, these are the Fusilier Regiments of Acontecimento. They’ve been to Hades and back (including losing the First, Second and Third Regiments during the First Paradiso Offensive) and as such are allowed to take certain…  “liberties” that a NeoTerran or MO-attached Fusilier can’t.

Stat-wise, this shows up as -1ARM, +1WIP and Jungle Terrain.  Profile-wise, there are a few differences.  Regulares run with a Spitfire, rather than an HMG, and their MSR has the addition of Sapper (for +4 points).  Now, to note the cause of much pranto e lamentação e ranger de dentes:  the SWC tax on the Regulares Forward Observer and Hacker.  On the FO, to quote Angelica Graynamore, “I have no response to that”.  I don’t know why it’s like that, but it simply is.  Remember, this is the HYPERPOWER!!!  They have to handicap us, otherwise it wouldn’t be fair to the rest of the Sphere.  At least on the Regular Hacker the 1SWC instead of the .5SWC of the Fusilier Hacker can easily be explained by the FastPanda and the Light Grenade Launcher.

I DO have to admit, I miss the ML in the Regulares, and personally feel that having a little more OOMPH would be nice…  however, it’s not to be.  *sad face*  Of course, the Regulares are one (of two) Fireteam: Core options in SAA, and can be QUITE flexible.  I, personally, like to use them as my Core option, and tend to run a full 5-man Fireteam with them.  I’ll usually have a Spitfire, a Paramedic, an FO, an MSR or Hacker, and a Combi Rifle version.  I feel it gives me good flexibility, since I can meet most any challenge with that team.  Also, it’s a good back up to some of the heavy hitters that we’ll get to down the line.

Drakios and Scylla:  I have to admit, my own personal tic of not proxying and not playing it unless I have it painted has kept me from being able to give these guys a spin on the table top.  However, from a purely theory point of view, I like what they bring.

Drakios and his Albedo, plus either the one or two Kydoimos Devabots, can make MSV hunting FUN!!!  He brings two good load outs, with the ability to take on 1W troops (Red Fury) or go HI/TAG hunting (Blitzen).  Free Agent means you can use him in whichever of your combat groups is bigger, letting him do some damage, and his Valor: No Wound Incapacitation keeps him out there to DO that damage...

Scylla brings her own fun to the table, with three of the four Human Sphere Hacking Devices available to her, and upgrades on BOTH the AHD and the KHD.  Her Charybdis Devabots have the added bonus of carrying repeaters, which means she can, with everyone positioned properly, have a 24 inch Hacking Area, even without any further Repeaters.  Add to that the ability to (in her KHD load out) run Cybermask, and you can conceivably lock down an objective with TWO IMP-2 Heavy Flamethrowers, enough to make anyone think twice.  And if they say they don’t, estão mintindo…

To round out the LI options (outside of a SpecOps, of course) available to SAA, we have the Machinist, our (stupid WIP12!!!) engineer and the WarCor, and, of course, the single deadliest trooper in the entire game, the Trauma-Doc.  Our joking house rule locally is if the Trauma-Doc successfully heals, the PanO player auto-wins.

In the MI department, we have an interesting mix of troops, with two troop types, but a character for each of those troops, plus one of my (for no other reason that he’s AWESOME) favorite characters, who (going against my pledge to go in order) we might as well start with…

TEUCER!  Bold wasn’t enough for him, I needed to add the all caps, because, well, he rocks.  Two weapon choices, both of them quite nasty to armored troops, either the Feuerbach or the K1 Sniper Rifle.  Both weapons have an MSV2 option, great for gelling with the SAA, and the Feuerbach also has an X-Visor option.  I, personally, have only used the X-Visor option when I need to save on SWC.  Of course, I think most every local player expect for me has SOME flavor of Ariadna, so CH: Camo heavy lists are a common occurrence, for me at least.  Free Agent on Teucer also allows him to move around and get more orders to wreak havoc with.  For me, the cherry on top is the Marksmanship: Lvl X.  That BS+6 MOD is nice, and when added to the MSV2, means that it’s not uncommon to be in guaranteed-hit range.

The REAL Immortals

The first of our two MI troop types are the Akalis Sikh Commandos (YAY new sculpts!), who, as with all AD troops, need a bit of finesse (which I, sadly, lack).  They’ve PanO MI BS13, which is nice, and generally standard load outs, Combi, BSG, Spitfire, and AHD.  They all pack an EM CCW, which can be nice, but the kicker comes on the final load out:  E/Mitter.  Not the most common of weapons, it can come in very handy IF you can get it off.  With the E/M2 ammo, and NOT being a Disposable weapon, it can work well against HI and heavier troops, and for +2 points, it’s my go-to profile.

Next are the (BEAUTIFULLY re-sculpted) Bagh Mari.  How much do I like them?  Well, to the tune off having eight of the buggers (two old Combis, old HMG, old MSR, and new box) and loving fielding them in a Fireteam, be it Core or Haris.  The tweaks they got in N3HS just made them…  EPIC.  The skills and equipment (MSV1 and CH: Mimetism) mean you can’t see them so good, but they see you doubleplusgood-good.  The Combi+LSG is just evil, and ability to run a Number 2 to protect your Fireteam is wonderful.  No, they don’t have MI BS13, but they compensate for that with being able to get to a full Fireteam: Core.  With their ARM2, getting that Fireteam into a good defensive position means they are awfully hard to shift.

It's not a PROBLEM, honest!

We’ll close out this installment with our two characters, Sgt. Kirpal Singh and Lt. Stephen Rao.  We get a little flavor of Martial Arts (our only source in SAA) from Singh, and an Assault Pistol to make things more interesting at close range, plus the Akal E/M CCW.  I’ve not much experience with Singh, but the few times I’ve used him it’s gone well, especially since I’ve managed to land out of LoS, and use Stealth from the MA to sneak around.  Rao gives us that TRULY rare thing in not just SAA, but PanO as a whole, a WIP14 Lieutenant!  It’s nuts… and I love it!  Using him up close in a Fireteam with that Assault Pistol has helped me shred folks on several occasions.

So, that’s the first batch of my thoughts on SAA, a Sectorial that (as my photos to accompany the NEXT article will show) is close to my heart, even if it’s not optimal for ITS.  I… don’t… CARE!!!


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