Well, after a week of local weather that couldn’t be more UNLIKE Acontecimento, your friendly local (I’m here to help, TRUST me) Inner Hexahedron Officer is back to look at the rest of the units rolling around in nosso Exército de Choque de Acontecimento, namely our HI, TAGs, REMs, and SK (wait, this in PanOceania, how did a SK sneak in? Ohhh… that’s right…) units, to see what sort of tricks they have up their sleeves…
Well, to start, SAA is equal to the other “normal” sectorial for PanO (NCA) in the amount of HI we have available (those loons in the Military Orders are, well… loons) to use, and in fact one of them is exactly the same: the ORC Troops. Fluff wise, they’re named after their armor (In Omnia Research Corporation we trust!) and are a relatively new addition, only being available in SAA since the release of N3HS. They have a fairly standard HI stat line, with BS14, PH14, PanO WIP, ARM4 and BTS3. Their weapons loadouts are fairly standard, with an assortment of MULTI Rifles, HMG, BSG and Combi. They do have a Tinbot A available, which protects them that much more against Hacking, and an AHD.
However, that release saw them get a few tweaks, tweaks that make them quite attractive in SAA. The tweak I’m talking about is something that PanO players (myself included) have been, to be honest, whining about for a while: Haris. PanO had Fireteam: Core, and then had Fireteam: Core. Nothing else. Now, however, we have the ability to run a Fireteam: Haris (and, in fact, Duo) that, depending on what you need, be VERY cost effective. For example, for 121 points and 3 SWC, you have a MULTI Rifle (great at closer ranges), and HMG (B5 BS14, don’t mind if I do!) and BSG (do you REALLY want to get that close?) that is ARM7 in cover, and will ALWAYS be able to hit (can’t go lower than BS2) and if it’s in +3 range, will be hitting on at least BS5.
Now we move to our first “native” HI, the Guarda de Assalto (Assault Guard in Portuguese). He’s got two loadouts, both of them quite nice, either the MULTI Rifle or the Spitfire. Both also come packing a HFL, plus a N3HS tweak, D-Charges. It’s a nice thing, because it gives SAA a way to meet one more classified. Also, he’s got PanO’s one native source of smoke (and Eclipse smoke at that!), in his little Auxbot’s smoke LGL, and a LSG.
I like the GdA, very, very, very much, because he’s SUCH a great toolbox. I’ve had him take down TAGs (including a Jotum), as well as using his Shock ammo to cut Ariadna and similar forces to ribbons. I DO have to admit, with his fluff as being a “fast” HI, I would like to see some sort of change to his MOV (say to 6-4, or something like Joan’s Mobility Armor and 6-2), or Kinematika, to better reflect that. However, with a very respectable CC, PanO HI BS, plus a good price, I’ll still take him.
Finishing up the HI, we have the Knights of Montesa, an Order founded (in the fluff) to make sure Acontecimento had a native Order, rather than the Hospitallers or another setting up shop. They have Mechanized Deployment, as well as Fireteam: Duo, and Assault with a decent CC score. That Assault means that theoretically (in a first turn) you could have a pair of KoM diving into CC within two orders, with that B2 on a Shock CCW, and hitting on 17s. With the newly released SAA starter, I may have to hit up ChoKonnit for a Spitfire, and build up the rest, to give a nasty surprise. The Breaker Pistol and Chain Colt give some up close “ooomph”, quite enjoyable. The LGL and LRL also add some nice flavor, and some nice ways to break up Fireteams, either through Wounds or Dodges. And, since SAA has other Mechanized Deployment options (we’ll get to them), you can have quite a nice little strike force poised to pounce.
And, now (DRUMROLL PLEASE!!!) we get to one of the primary reasons I selected PanOceania as a whole for my principal army: the… Awesome… TAGS!!! *does a little happy dance*
Kicking off the show, Meu Filho, o Dragão (Dragões is the plural). What can I say, he is just amazing. He has been, for me at least, an absolute superstar, both in N2 and N3. In fact, the only time he’s failed me was against Brady (may his beard be ever praised!)’s Sin Eater HMG. LITERALLY the only time. He’s perforated Exrah, he’s gutted Nomads, he’s made pincushions of Morats. He’s just epic.
Yes, his name is "My Son". Why?
And why WOULDN’T he be, packing the HMC, and his trusty HFL? The statline is pure Squalo Series joy, especially that BS15. The B5 AP or Shock on the HMC means he does a wonderful job cutting through 1W troops, and the DA ammo means he’s almost as mean in the reactive turn. The combo of ranges and BS skill means you’re generally going to be at a decent to-hit, on the order of 6 or 9, but at worst 3. I don’t care how many MODs an enemy has stacked, but in the active turn I’ll take my chances, trusting the B to balance things out.
Our other TAG option comes in the form of the Tikbalangs, the Armoured Chasseurs of Acontecimento, and their dearly departed darling, Toni *sniff*. However, even with Toni’s shuffling off of the mortal coil, there are only sniffles, no tears, because now the Tiks themselves have the perks Eduardo had. Good statline, excellent BS, nice CC, etc, etc, but where they start to shine is in the skills. Mimetism, to make them harder to hit. Jungle Terrain, which I hope keeps becoming more and more handy (thank you, Camp Antela). CLIMBING PLUS, which from watching folks enjoy that (swear words in English, Portuguese, and Spanish) Sphinx, is ever so sweet, sweet, nice. AntiPersonnel Mines, HMG, HFL, and an AP CCW.
Acontecimento Gardening Service, how may we help?
C’mon, is there anything NOT to love about these guys? Especially with (from my eyes) the proliferation of more diverse board setups (more height, vertical spaces, etc), that extra freedom of movement makes them very dangerous. Their cost is also fantastic, at only 85 points and 2 SWC, which is quite economical. You could conceivably run a pair of TAGs at 300 points, with enough SWC for both the Dragão and Tikbalang, plus a Fireteam.
To finish up the force, we have the standard DronBots (Pathfinder, Sierra, Clipper and Fugazi) and normal AVA of the Bulleteers. The shining ArmBot for SAA, though, is the Peacemaker. SAA has AVA 2, and the Mechanized Deployment of the Peacemakers with their Auxbots can combine nicely with the Knights of Montesa to set up something, well, evil for the opponent at midfield. Thinking of midfield, that brings us to…
While ALEPH is MY friend, the Nagas AREN'T yours...
Our Skirmisher, the Naga. Fluff wise, ALEPH’s Special Situations Section has established a training school deep in the Great Boreal Preserve for their operatives, and then they are seconded to the SAA. This means we get AVA 2 on an Infiltrating CH: Camo (our only in the sectorial) SK, with some interesting loadouts. The Valor: Dogged keeps them going, and the Multiterrain fits with the theme, and, as noted with the Tiks, makes new missions with Terrain rules simpler to handle. I personally get the most use out of the Minelayer and KHD loadouts, especially since the WIP 14 (LOVELY!) is so scarce in, well, all of PanO, that having something that high can be a tricksey little surprise. Yes, the BTS 0 does detract, and yet still… I enjoy them!
Overall, I love the different little tricks that SAA brings to the table. I also believe with some of the little tweaks that came with N3HS, SAA (while still not SUPER optimized) is a strong choice for ITS. I find that especially true of Direct Action ITS events, where a nice, brutal, brick to the face is FUN!!! Enjoy your jungle fighting, my friends! Until next time, your friendly neighborhood Hexahedron Officer signing off! Remember, we’re from the Hexahedron, and we’re here to… well, I shan’t lie… NOT help!
Capt. R. Foster-Johnson