It is one of the peculiarities of Infinity that while some forces have a range of Sectorial options, there are others which (despite existing in potentia, sometimes for years) we cannot yet field as an independent force.
One of the most infamous of these is the Vedic forces of ALEPH. So called by the name and background inspiration they take from the Vedic Hindu tradition, as opposed to the Greek mythological source of the Steel Phalanx. Technically speaking these units are the Special Situations Section of the ALEPH forces, and contain largely remote and lhost units directly controlled by ALEPH.
It is important to open with a note on the aesthetic of the ALEPH forces, especially those in the Vedic options. This is one place where the anime influence of Infinity is clear, and the style of some of the minis might not be to the taste of players who want a more “military” look. However you should keep in mind that (Posthumans aside) every model you put on the table is an artificial personality within a perfect biomechanical shell. In other words, the sexy is there because that’s what we humans think “perfect” looks like… and ALEPH is always striving to give us what we want.
The Vedic Range
Vedic units form a surprisingly full range and thus offer some of the greatest play-ability “within theme”, especially when compared to other “incomplete” sectorials (Khanate, Svarleheima or Tunguska for example). They have everything from Light Infantry to Skirmishers, including both HI and a TAG, with Warbands being the only noticeable gap in their line (leaving provision of smoke as one of their key weaknesses).
The full range of “Vedic” units in the current ALEPH selection is:
- Deva Functionaries
Add the “core 4” remotes (remarkable in ALEPH only for the Climbing Plus option offered on the Sensor/Combi remote and the TR HMG for +1pt), along with the standard HS baggage remotes and Netrods, and you have the full “Vedic” selection.
While it is likely that a full Vedic sectorial would include a new MI of some kind, as well as possibly another HI, Light TAG or Remote unit, it seems unlikely that any kind of Warband would be added. In particular, especially given the design choices we see in the Combined Army Onyx First Contact Force (for which it is likely that Vedic ALEPH would be a mirror) that no smoke would be available to the force (leaving Vanilla ALEPH with the unique distinction of offering the combination of the Visor capabilities of the Deva, Asura and Marut along with Myrmidon smoke).
Why go Vedic?
Within the thematic limitation of “Vedic”, an Aleph force is already strong in terms of access to Visors, with the excellent value option of the Deva with Spitfire and MSV 2, the full range of Asuras with MSV 3 (including the Spitfire and the Hacking Device Plus) and the only MSV equipped TAG in the Marut. Although the Asuras and Marut are expensive enough that you cannot realistically put more than one on the table (except, perhaps, in a focused force highlighting those units), the excellent points and SWC cost on the Deva allows their use as an excellent backup option (or even primary MSV source when taken in numbers).
Another strength of the “sectorial” is their Infiltrating Camo options, with the Naga, Dasyu and Posthuman Mk 2 all offering highly effective selections. The Naga brings the low cost of regular Camo along with a full range of options, including a Minelayer and the rare Monofilament Mines, and they also have Dogged for added toughness. The Dasyu is an elite Thermo-Optic Camo option with No Wound Incapacitation and an impressive stat array. Both of these choices offer Forward Observer, Assault Hacker or Killer Hacker options as Specialists and Combi Rifle, Boarding Shotgun or Multi-Sniper for combat. While the Posthuman (which you are likely to end up with in every list) deserves separate consideration.
The Posthumans are perhaps the most potent option available to a Vedic ALEPH force. The Ghost Jumper rule allows you to field 2-3 separate “Proxies” which all count as a single trooper and generate a single order, with the only real disadvantage being that only one can take an offensive ARO at a time. This (combined with the mechanic which allows the retention of their order even if all the Proxies are lost as long as a Netrod remains on the table) makes them into amazing throwaway assault pieces or ARO units. The HI Mk 3 with Spitfire and Mk 4 with HMG are effective as attack options, while the Mk 2 Multi Sniper and Mk 4 Heavy Rocket Launcher give valuable lane covering ARO choices. Their throwaway nature and high WP, along with a second wound or NWI on all choices, also contribute to the value of the Mk 1 Engineer and Doctor choices, or the TO Camo, Infiltrating Boarding Shotgun with Assault Hacking Device Mk 2. All up this flexible combat and support choice really shines.
The Marut is such an outstanding unit within the Vedic ranks that it deserves its own consideration, apart from featuring as a key MSV 2 unit. The option to field the Marut as a Strategos Lvl 3 Lieutenant can change the shape of a battle entirely. This option allows you to either reserve two key units to deploy after seeing the whole enemy army while still selecting first or second turn during the initiative phase, or instead allows you to deploy your entire force after seeing the whole enemy force hit the table. It also combines MSV 2 with an impressive array of weapons and stats which make it a dominant combat platform. Lastly the Karkata Ancillary Remote Unit allows the TAG to deploy a Remote Pilot to act as a WP13 TAG which you can cover with the S7 of the Marut in order to access objectives with little to no risk.
Another key element in the “Vedic” selection is the remotes. The Dakini and Garuda Tacbots, as well as the Rebot and Probot options. The Tacbot units all share the advantages of speed and Mimetism, allowing them to act as effective attack pieces, while their access to hacking upgrades (in particular Marksmanship Lvl 2) allows for deadly gunfire. Although the Paramedic Dakini might not be the ideal synergy, it does at least offer a fast specialist option as well. Although these units are vulnerable to hacking, the wide range of excellent hackers available to ALEPH make this a risky proposition at best for the enemy and offer the potential for effective ambush combinations.
No Perfect Arrangements
Of course, no Infinity force is without some weaknesses. Although Devabots go some way to mitigate it, the absence of Warbands does hurt in terms of shock and especially Close Combat capability. This lack also feeds into the second major disadvantage, a lack of Smoke. Like PanOceania and Onyx a Vedic style ALEPH force does have the BS and firepower to be able to muscle through most challenges, but on those occasions where things go wrong this can turn into a more serious disadvantage. Like all ALEPH forces the Vedics do also suffer from a lack of cheap order generators as well, with Netrods and the 8pt Remotes being their only options for low cost Regular Orders. Between them this pushes the whole force towards a more “Elite” stance.
Building a Vedic Force
In terms of list building one option which stands out as a possibility is an Infiltration focused force, leaning heavily on the Naga, Dasyu and Posthumans. This list puts a lot of effective units into the table centre immediately and supports them with the long range HRL and HMG of the Proxy Mk 4 and Dakini (who will benefit from the Deva Hackers supportware).
Another favourite list option which I enjoy is the “screw you Sepsitor” force. This runs nothing with a cube and features many of the classic Vedic units such as the Marut, Posthumans and a sizeable contingent of Remotes. It’s a real laugh for those games where you come up against a Combined Army opponent who invested in nicking your troopers!
Overall, Vedic ALEPH can be a lot of fun to run and represent a viable force even without a full Sectorial to back them up. While they would certainly improve with the option to field a Fireteam or two, there’s a lot to recommend them already.
If you have an ALEPH army, or are thinking of getting one, then consider giving Vedic a spin!