An article for Kenjy Kato Colin, the winner of Pride of Rodina's first giveaway.
When playing Caledonia, a lot of people like to think of it as the faction of giant swords, kilts, frothing berserkers, and Highlander. The mental image of this seems kind of contradictory to what Infinity's about; a game focuses super-super-secret black ops missions, getting in and out quietly, and having your specialists accomplish the mission at hand...but, wait. These things don't match up! Caledonia? Specialists?! What is this madness!?!?
In other words, playing specialist-based missions with Caledonia can be a bit tricky, so follow along as PoR breaks down some things you can do....
Let's break down our options first:
Your only engineer choice that comes in a variety of versions:
Standard, just a troop with a rifle and courage. You should take this choice if you're list is already running light on sources of d-charges (which shouldn't be a problem in Caledonia anyway) or when you don't want tot take Muls (which you don't really need every time, since you already have a 6 point Regular Order, with a Chain rifle and AVA Total).
Akrylat-Kanone, just a troop with a rifle and courage...plus a giant glue-'zooka! An excellent ARO piece that can terrify even the biggest and scariest of models. It loses out on the d-charges (not really that much of a concern) for the Akrylat-Kanone, which can be a good trade. It somewhat improves the Dozer's survival rate and makes them a little bit intimidating, allowing them some more freedom to operate.
Traktor Mul Control Device, now you can take Muls for artillery and baggage. Same as the standard, but you can take Muls. We'll discuss them later, but you honestly have no real need for minesweeper Muls in Caledonia with Volunteers, unless you absolutely need the baggage.
A humble trooper with no real training in medicine, besides where to stick the needle. These troopers, unlike the first two, can actually be a part of a Fireteam though, a Fireteam with access to smoke. Alone, they're arguably worse than the Dozer and about on the same level as the 112 for survival and vulnerability. In a Fireteam, they can be a force to reckon with! We'll discuss this more later, but keep these troopers in mind, for sure.
In the similar boat to the Volunteer Paramedic, she can join a rather powerful Fireteam for excellent delivery. Her Flashpulse will assist in her delivery to wherever she needs to be, E/Maulers to protect her once she's there and her assault pistol or T2 rifle to really wreak some havoc on her way there.
Honestly, they serve no better purpose than Isobel, unless you are dead-set on having a regular hacking device or Mul babysitter. However, sometimes you might need a second hacker or don't want to distract your Volunteer link packing Isobel with some trivial objective, so you can send in the Wardriver instead! Consider them "back-up Isobels".
You've got two options here:
1st Battalion Forward Observer with AP Marksman Rifle, an excellent aggressive piece. It can out-range your typical weapons and can compete with your bigger, scarier opponents. This is the kind of specialist who loves killing things as well as doing their job. If you need an aggressive specialist who excels at popping armor, this is your go-to choice.
S.A.S. FOCamo and infiltration, what more do you really need? It's not exactly packing a punch though (with just a rifle, pistol and AP CCW), but it'll definitely get where you need it to be. Kinematika Lv. 1 and a PH of 13 help ensure that as well. It also has some pretty okay CC skills if you wanted to assassinate a target or go toe-to-toe with some punk trying to take your objectives from you, but it's still extremely risky.
Ah yes, the legend herself. She has Superior Infiltration, so she'll definitely end up where you need her to be, and smoke grenades on top of that. For weapons, she's packing her boarding shotgun, 2 assault pistols (for a total burst of 5), AP CCW, and d-charges. She's a fairly competent CC choice as well, so it's not out of the picture. Her biggest downside is Limited Camo, so once she reveals herself, the gig is up. No more -3 for camo and no more Surprise Shot/Attack. You have to be extremely careful and make sure her reveal is well worth it.
Covert Action Uxia (Specialist Operative)
Delivering the Specialist
Now that we know what we've got in our arsenal, the tricky part is how do we actually get the specialist to the objective safely, to do their job.
Walk Softly, Carry a Big Gun
Use your big, inexpensive guns to clear out enemy targets and positions before you start marching in with your weaker specialists. Caledonia's specialists aren't known for their resilience, but there are other options that are. Mormaers, 3rd Greys, Scots Guard, Caterans and even Wulvers will be able to reliably take targets out from afar, so use this advantage. Try to eliminate as many threats as you can on turn one, while still advancing forward. Take out high burst weapons and snipers first.
Once most of the major threats are eliminate and your path to the objectives is relatively clear, start setting up defensive positions. Few things are more terrifying than a Mormaer in cover, in suppression fire. Make your opponent work to get to your weaker specialists and the objectives.
This can be before or after you eliminate the threat of MSV2+, but might be better afterwards (if you plan on using smoke with your Fireteam). Use your Fireteams to help push your specialists forward. A Volunteer Core, Scots Guard Core, or even Scots Guard Duos. Infinity is all about efficiency, so moving 2-5 troops for one Order is pretty great. Just make sure you move everyone safely and let the big guns take on any threats while moving.
For the Volunteers, let a 3rd Grey either toss some smoke to block Line of Sight to allow the team to move freely, or have a 3rd Grey with an AP HMG fire at a target who could threaten your Volunteers.
For the Scots Guard, use your AP marksman rifle trooper to duke it out with any incoming shots or use the molotok to dispose of any threats.
Take out any MSV2+
Honestly, when playing Caledonia, this should be priority number one. Your army has a ton of smoke, but it won't do you any good if there's MSV2+ blocking you from achieving your goals. Now, don't misinterpret this. Only focus on MSV2+ troops IF they're going to be a problem (i.e. Line of Sight to a main objective with a sniper rifle) and IF you can do it easily.
Either take them out using a Cateran, S.A.S. CRAP (chain rifle, assault pistol), Uxia, Cameronian, McMurrough, Wulvers, or some heavy weapon troops (Mormaer, 1st Battalion Scots Guard, 3rd Grey) or force them into hiding. Either way, you need to get those smoke-denying troops out of the way to ease up tension on the rest of your force.
Smoke 'em Out
Now that the pesky MSV2+ is out of the way or if you were clear to begin with, start using those smoke dispensers to block any main threats to your specialists. 3rd Greys, Uxia, Cameronians, Galwegians, McMurrough, and Wallace are excellent for this. Luckily, the 3rd Greys and Wallace can join Fireteams, so they're even more reliable when it comes to tossing out smoke. The other smoke tossers are great since they can get further up the board and are able to block out even more with their smoke. Sometimes, you might even want to toss the smoke right on the enemy troop to keep them from seeing, but allow you to see the rest of the table.