I like the idea of pilots getting out of their TAGs to get stuff done.
The idea has merit, it fits with the fluff, it makes sense in a down-to-Paradiso, how-else-are-you-gonna-do-it kind of way.
I just really don’t like the pose of the Raicho pilot:
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for dynamic poses. Infinity miniatures tend to be hit and miss about this, though. Take the Briscards for example: The only somewhat dynamic pose is the guy with the smallest gun.
So yeah, I’m not digging the pilot. At all.
Something’s gotta be done. And who better to take some inspiration from than the bootleg techbee? She’s stationary, yes, but also somewhat dynamic:
Now, obviously, I won’t be able to replicate the pose entirely, and the techbee pose isn’t all that dynamic, either. But, I’m thinking more along the lines of relaxed gunplay while leaning on something like the Noctifier’s tactical stairs… maybe positioning one bent elbow on one of her legs.
He’s anything but a silent guardian, he’s a wrathful avenger, a murder ape
In completely unrelated news, I found a bike for #ApelonzoLamas in Ariadna, of all places. Fits the mood perfectly, I think. Now to decide on a Morat who gets to become the iconic ape biker hero we need and deserve!
Now that I’ve moved through all the Morat profiles, it’s time to look at the less visceral options in the MAF. The drones, droids and Bit & Kiss are, in addition to the Hungries, the only other non-Morat troops, and they’re there for a reason.
Apart from the fact that most armies have access to the same couple of drones, namely the total reaction, rocket, sniffer, repeater and hacker drones, the Morats also get Dr. Worm, the Ikadron Batroids and the slave drones.
A couple of years ago, the Combined Army drones got a major re-design, away from the tentacle floaters and towards the Starship Trooper soldier bugs. Both have their very own aesthetic flavors, but I’m fairly happy with the new design.
Gameplay-wise, the biggest advantages the CA drones get are Mimetism on the total reaction and the repeater drone, the plasma rifle option on the total reaction drone, and an EVO hacking device for the hacker drone.
Morats get to take any of these drones, and all of them are good in their respective fields. One thing to keep in mind is Triangulated Fire ability of the M-Drone, which will hit anything in range on an 8. That includes camouflaged models behind cover.
Now, the drones would be a great way to move mostly inexpensive troops to key locations, but for the Combined Army – and, by extension, the MAF – there exists an alternative.
Flamers on Stilts
The Ikadron Batroid may be one of the most underappreciated troop profiles in the Combined Army. It comes with Baggage, a Repeater, two Light Flamethrowers, Flashpulse, Electric Pulse and a Pistol. Its ballistic skill may be only 11, but for the template weapons, that’s negligible.
It moves an astounding 6-2, and the Repeater it carries makes it an extremely annoying tool and a dangerous road block for many opponents. It’s also a bane to link teams in the active turn. The best part? It costs only 9 measly points.
The Ghost: Autotool ability is a glorified version of the Remote Presence attribute, but it does mean that in a Combined Army list with Mnemonica, the humble Ikadron could, theoretically, act as a receptacle for the lieutenant’s Ghost.
Itsy bitsy PhD
I bet none a’ y’all ever gave a passing thought to how Medchanoids reproduce, eh?
If there is one unit most other armies would kill for to have in their lists, it’s the Med-Tech Obsidon Medchanoid, or Dr. Worm as he is affectionately known. He’s not a plane, he’s not a bird, he doesn’t wear a cape and it’s up to you to put a red and yellow “S” on his chest, but he (it?) is the quiet MVP of the Combined Army, a 6-4 moving, gun-toting, objective-smoking, D-charge-carrying, 23-point answer to your prayers in the form of a slithering doctor/engineer hybrid. The slave drones are more or less his less evolved photocopies for 3 points a pop.
What makes this multi-eyed abomination so worthwhile?
In a game where most every point counts and it is sometimes infuriatingly difficult to reconcile firepower with the ability to reliably score objectives, this one mechanical invertebrate gives the Evolved Intelligence access to 2 out of 3 scoring specialists for the price of a well-armed Morat grunt.
The Doctoneer worm has a rather large footprint with a size 3 silhouette, so keeping him behind larger buildings is probably a good idea. The wormlings are a more regular silhouette 2 and move just as quickly. They also possess the Mimetism camouflage, so most enemies suffer a -3 mod when shooting at them.
Best of all, however, is the fact that despite the post-industrial mecha makeup, the Medchanoid is not a drone or a remote, and thus isn’t hackable. The same, however, isn’t true for the wormlings, so handle with care…
Bit’n Kiss – a posthuman love story
I’m sure this somehow ties back to Japan and there is most likely a tentacle-enhanced anime video of it somewhere in the seedier depths of the internet, so if you find it, please keep it and under no circumstances forward it to me.
These recent additions to the Combined Army at large and the MAF in particular fall a little outside the usual flavor, but I’m not going to scoff at the Morat’s first and only draw for a killer hacker.
Incidentally, Bit and Kiss together cost the same as Dr. Worm, but fulfill a very different role. Profile-wise, Bit is just about average, not particularly shooty and her willpower is the same as a vanguard hacker’s. She does, however, come with a BTS of 6. Kiss, on the other hand, carries an adhesive launcher (instead of, for example, twin light flamethrowers) and a repeater.
The combination is as straightforward as they come, but at the very least it doesn’t break the bank. Considering killer hackers have been popping up all over the place, it’ll be interesting to see the different approaches players take to implement and cope these new tools.
Whew, that’s about it for the Morat list choices so far. Now I have to find the next topic to write about. Maybe I can finally get around to modding a few apes…
For now, I leave you with the talented Cory McAbee and his episodic space opera:
Let’s be honest: You’re not taking a Hungries or Daturazi link unless you’re scrounging for points for something bigger. Datz in particular are a great way to fill out those order pools, they carry smoke grenades (and offer the option of a smoke grenade launcher to boot) and they’re more than capable in close combat. Not to mention the miniatures…
The Dazurazi witch soldiers have many things going for them: close combat 21, a wide array of shock, double action and armor piercing implements for crushing skulls and taking names, all the while keeping out of most enemy scopes with handy smoke grenades. Their physique of 14 lets the bare naked apes drop smoke with decent reliability, but their movement of 4-4 will need a lot of grenades along the way, depending on fire lanes and table setup.
The Hungries, on the other hand, rarely make sense without an Oznat to keep them in check, taking up your slot for a Core team. These critters aren’t necessarily bad, and moreover, they’re dirt cheap at 4 and 7 points respectively. Akin to a guided missile, these crossbreeds of spider, piranha and bullterrier can be pointed at an enemy and more often than not tear them apart with chain rifles, armor piercing claws and explosive digestive tracks. Their Oznat handler is no slouch, either, with close combat of 19 and your pick of a combi rifle/grenade launcher combination or a Vulkan shotgun. Incidentally, her physique of 13 tops her ballistic skill of 11, so lobbing those smoke grenades by hand may be preferable to firing them ahead, even in a full link.
Yes, it’s possible to field three and a half Pretas for the cost of one Datz with a chain rifle. And that may be, in some cases, what tips the scales in their favor.
Now, while the Krakot renegades are listed as light infantry, their fluff puts them firmly in the warband camp. And while they’re not linkable in any shape or form, they make up for it with double weapon setups, pushing the burst values and thereby offsetting their barely average ballistic skill of 11. With Forward Deploymentlevel 1, Kinematika level 1 and Metachemistry level 2, the renegades are highly mobile, cost about the same as a witch soldier, and with the help of Berserk and their Chest Mine, they are fearsome brawlers. And although the Chest Mines are disposable with only 2 charges, how many melees do you expect these apes to live through?
They still need a bike, though.
One ape girl against the world
One more entry, and the only Skirmisher available to the Morat Aggression Force, is the lovely Zerat. She’s the smaller, nimbler sister to the vanguard, and drops a point from her close combat capabilities to show for it. However, her loadouts make up for that, with combi rifle, boarding shotgun, a light flame thrower and even an E/Mitter. Just forget about the sniper rifle with a ballistic skill of 11, no link options and no visor.
To top off her impressive armament, there are several profiles that offer mines and an assault hacker with D-charges. The Zerat even comes with a Forward Observer flavor for only one more point, and no associated SWC cost for the Flashpulse that goes with it.
Mimetism boosts the Zerat’s survivability, Multiterrain gets her where she needs to go despite her standard Morat 4-4 movement, and Infiltration gives you the chance of starting close to your objective, however wise or unwise that may be.
Pair the Zerat with the renegades, and her odds of success suddenly increase dramatically. While she won’t be winning too many face-to-face rolls, she’s capable of reaching hard-to-get-to objectives and, as a Forward Observer, has a decent chance of scoring them, too.
There’s certainly a lot to like about the more irregular members of the Morat army. While from a fluff perspective, it may be a bit difficult to reconcile meagre line infantry being led by an elite member of the Tempest regiment, supported by two renegades and a pack of Hungries, it certainly makes for fun and creative list building…
It seems like the Morat motto is go big or go home.
Between the two heavy Morat infantry choices, there is a lot to be discussed. That’s not to say that either of them is bad, quite the contrary.
They’re both. Ridiculously. Awesome.
Let’s start with the Sogarat, the heavy heavy infantry, with a whopping armor 6, BTS 3, close combat 20 and physique of 15. They’re silhouette 5 models, closer to TAGs than troopers, and they carry an AutoMedKit. What this means is that, if this towering mountain of ape killiness loses both wounds, there’s a 3 in 4 chance he’ll get back up the next turn. Physique 15, remember?
The biggest drawback of the Sogarat isn’t the red gorilla rage machine himself, but rather the fact you can only link two of them with Kornak. That isn’t in itself a bad deal, and it’s going to get a lot of enemy troopers killed, but there exists an alternative: The Suryat full link team. 180 odd points of Morat goodness, heavily fire-themed and ready to put the primal fear of apes back in the hearts and minds of the Human Sphere. The Suryat are easier to keep in cover due to a silhouette of 2, they pack a somewhat less impressive heavy armor of 4 but up the ante with a BTS of 6. They’re not as immediately close combat oriented as the Sogarat with their CC 21 and AP bowie knives, but a full link hits with CC 19 and burst 2. The Suryat also bring along a Tinbot for good measure.
Compared point for point with the Sogarat Tempest Regiment, who get to choose between an AP heavy machine gun and a Feuerbach (stream of fire, for all the non-German speakers out there), the Suryat might seem a little less ballistically blessed. However, similar to the Rodok, a Suryat team can lay down an inordinate amount of templates in ARO. Vulkan shotguns, light flame throwers and a heavy rocket launcher are at your disposal to level a medium sized city block.
And that is not all. The Suryat assault heavy infantry can also link with Kornak, in both a Haris and a Core link (3 and 5 apes, respectively). In addition, they can also link with the Raktorak medium infantry officer, whom I mentioned briefly before.
The Raktorak is a bit of a mixed bag:
While the profile isn’t anything out of the ordinary (really just a glorified vanguard), your pick of a Vulkan shotgun, a heavy flamethrower or a Red Fury is what makes this ape tick. And his ballistic skill doesn’t even matter all that much for the shotgun and the flame thrower. In a full link team, he fires the Red Fury at a ballistic skill of 15 at burst 5, with Shock ammo no less. Oh, and he’s the only specialist operative available to the Suryat team. The models are also kinda neat.
I can’t help but smirk at the thought of the comparatively diminutive Raktorak screaming orders at the line backer Suryats under enemy fire…
Somewhere along the rites of passage and the internal gauntlets and fights for command and whatever else interstellar warmongering murder apes do, this albino upstart comes along and he’s the bee’s knees when it comes to tactics and hitting the enemy where it hurts.
No, Kornak is no Achilles. He doesn’t need to be. He has Strategos Level 1, which allows you to use his lieutenant order as a normal order. 11 order order pool. No Wound Incapitation effectively gives him 2 wounds. Berserk I have mentioned before, Kinematika gives him an additional inch of reactive movement. Sprinke all that with close combat 22 and BTS 9. And willpower 14.
Yes, he’s decent, not overpriced at 41 points and he comes with a Mk12 (damage 15 combi rifle with a bit more range) and a light flame thrower. He also carries a double action melee weapon. The model is ok, though not as dynamic as the Raktorak.
Kornak shines in a link team, and without having extensively field-tested him, the Suryat full link team seems more promising than the Sogarat Haris.
In keeping with my Starship Trooper anecdotes,
Does the 5-ape heavy infantry link team seem worth it?
Limited insertion is your answer. Being forced to cope with a single combat group and 10 orders, there’s no reason not to go apeshit and pack it with all the fun stuff you rarely get to take for a spin. Like a 5-ape Suryat team, a Yaogat sniper, a Datz with a grenade launcher and, hey, why not a Rodok hacker?
Depending on the mission, it might be feasible to mix and match with a Rasyat to secure/kill an HVT, or a Zerat to guard a console, some remotes to control fire lanes or a Kurgat Haris in case you need more than one engineer. I don’t know what for, but it’s possible.
The real issue with almost any heavy infantry is speed. This entire list, with the exception of the Rodok (and he doesn’t wanna go by himself, the big baby) is slow. As I mentioned before, Krakots need bikes. #ApelonzoLamas
Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX/Shutterstock (14317a)
MUHAMMAD ALI – 1966
I started on the profiles in my last post, and I reckon that’s as good a spot to continue as any. Smooth segues are my forte, after all.
Where was I?
As I mentioned before, what really sold me on the Morat Supremacy was the Combined Army at large, since killer robots, shapeshifting assassins (hello, Olivia) and Cylons tickle me in spots that are usually reserved for Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. The Onyx Contact Force, a more xenophilic faction of the Combined Army, uses the true and tested tools of carrot and hyper rapid magnetic cannon to bring less enlightened civilizations into the fold. Enter Rodok.
These guys are a cross between the Martian marines from the Expanse and an enraged, charging Krogan. Their SWC loadout is eerily similar to the vanguard – which is not a bad thing, mind you – minus the sniper rifle. These apes are the polar opposite of subtle. They’re shotguns with legs, and two shotguns. A fire team of Rodoks can lay down a ridiculous amount of templates in ARO.
Pair them with an Umbra Samaritan in Onyx who brings along his vampiric wound multiplying skills, mad dodge (doge?) mobility and a breaker combi rifle or a spitfire. Or, interestingly, get a 0 SWC lieutenant option in MAF (but 1 SWC in Onyx). The Rodok profile really isn’t something to scoff at:
Compared to the vanguard, the cheapest Rodok ups the cost by 5 points (returning readers will notice a pattern here). For that, you trade the combi rifle for a boarding shotgun and antipersonnel mines. Mines are evil. In Infinity, however, mines are stupendously good.
The Rodoks are a little better at hand-to-hand combat (those armored gloves sure come in handy), they shoot a little better and they can take a little more of a punch. They also have Mimetism, which is like camouflage clothing, but better.
The biggest drawback of the the Rodoks really is the competition within the family: For MAF, the vanguard do much of what the Rodoks do, a little worse but also considerably cheaper. A full link team of vanguard will add up to somewhere around 85 points, a Rodok team is closer to 120. That’s a big difference in terms of what you get for your money. To put it into perspective, for the difference in cost, you can field a Rasyat drop trooper or a Yaogat sniper alongside the vanguard.
And that isn’t considering the Cylon link team that Onyx can field, hack, buff and pair with either a Nexus or an Umbra for great effect.
The Rasyat and the Yaogat
Natural Born Warrior is an interesting animal. Despite its name, this ability is really more of a defense mechanism, denying opponents the use of their own close combat skills like Martial Arts, i-Kohl and Berserk (except Assault). It also grants Stealth, letting the Rasyat move cautiously through enemy zones of control and even into base-to-base, and Valor: Courage, putting the Rasyat a little at odds with his baser Morat nature. For victims who don’t have any close combat training, Natural Born Warrior has a secondary option with a +3 attack mod and +1 damage.
Really, there is a lot to like about the Morat diplomatic division, who employ their own, very alternative Morat brand of diplomacy. The cheapest option at 28 points comes with a boarding shotgun, D-charges for objective demolition, Eclipse grenades and a double action close combat weapon. There is also an anti-tech option with an E/Mitter, as well as a 1.5 SWC loadout that drops the Eclipse grenades for a Spitfire. In all honesty, this last one seems like the most unattractive one, giving up a lot of usability and survivability for only a slight boost in deadliness.
Which brings me to the Yaogat, the only Morat with a visor. This being a multispectral visor level 2 (MSV2), it allows the Yaogat to see through and shoot through conventional smoke without penalty, ignore camouflage, hiding and optical disruption devices (ODD) as well as the dodge effect of smoke ammo.
The Yaogat, however, are disproportionally expensive for what you get profile-wise. Whereas the Rasyat is a close combat beast who makes do with a template weapon, combat jumping and Eclipse grenades, the Yaogat are marginally better at close combat than the vanguard and Rodok, shoot as well as every other medium Morat infantry and only have one more point of armor than either the Rodok or the Rasyat. Their BTS is nil, to make matters worse in a firefight with the pesky Tohaa. The Yaogat do, however, like to carry a Panzerfaust (Panzerfäuste?). These disposable, two-shot bazookas are good up to 32 inches, with a damage of 14 and the armor piercing and explosive properties, requiring three armor rolls at half armor value. Excited, yet?
One of the more redeeming features is the 0.5 SWC option of taking a Yaogat Haris link and the 0 SWC lieutenant option.
The drawback? Even the cheapest Yaogat with a boarding shotgun and no Panzerfäuste costs a whopping 13 points more than the cheapest vanguard. There is no paramedic option and the Yaogat hacker is just as good or bad as his vanguard comerade.
A full link team of Yaogat costs over half the army points in a 300 point standard game. That is, however, with a Yaogat Number 2.
The Number 2 skill is the fire team-specific version of Chain of Command. Whereas the latter kicks in once the lieutenant bites the dust, Number 2 takes over once the link leader falls unconscious, dies or becomes isolated. However, the Number 2 loadout also comes solely with a boarding shotgun and grenades, no Panzerfaust. It costs 1 point more than the barebones Yaogat, with no associated SWC cost. In other words, it’s just about the cheapest item in this luxury brand.
There is one more entry in the list of medium Morat infantry, but I feel that discussing the Raktorak as a stand-alone entry instead of a stand-in for a Suryat link makes little to no sense.
You know this means I now have to think about modding a Morat into a Lieutenant Rico, and that just means anyone who’s seen Starship Troopers will know who my LT is…
Profiles. It’s all about the profiles, baby.
Let’s begin with the vanguard infantry. These apes are solid, if somewhat bland troopers. They’re a little on the pricey side, and compared to, let’s say, Neoterra, they’re somewhere in the middle between the Fusiliers and the Bolts.
For 4 points more than the Fusilier, the vanguard gets a small bump in close combat, a point less of ballistic skill (the forte of PanO), and a bonus on physique as well as willpower. And the Morat trait.
Let’s take a look at that red ape physiology: The Morat trait provides two extra skills, one of which is a bit of a double-edged sword. Veteran Level 1 allows all Morats to ignore Loss of Lieutenant and Retreat. They also, neatly, ignore the Isolated state. This should make Morat heavy infantry a pain to remove from the equation, but unfortunately, there are still some nasty tricks like Immobilized. Religious, the other skill from the Morat bag of tricks, also lets them ignore Retreat. However, it also forces them to hold their ground after passing Armor and BTS checks, instead of diving for cover. In fact, religious troops have to pass their guts checks in order to go to cover.
Now, let’s compare this to the Bolts, who command another 5 point cost increase over the vanguard: The fancier Neoterrans also gain Veteran Level 1, as well as Bioimmunity. The latter skill gives them an edge against viral and shock ammo (or the equivalent melee instruments), which is neat but rather situational. More so, I daresay, than guts checks, at least.
The Bolts also match the vanguard in their propensity for fisticuffs, add another point to their ballistic skill and gain a rather substantial boost to their BTS. And a second point of armor, for what it’s worth.
The SWC options are more or less on par, with the PanO troops having access to a MULTI sniper rifle instead of the K1 version, whereas the Morats get the fancier EI hacking device.
Curiously, really, the willpower bump makes the Morats better hackers. Huh.
Another relevant difference is the named character option. Treitak Anyat is, without a doubt, a very useful kit, giving the arguably squishy vanguard a bit more defensive mettle with access to smoke (the only other options being the somewhat suicidal witch soldiers and the feral Oznat). She’s also a specialist operative, has some anti-TAG capabilities with a K1 combirifle and carries E/M grenades.
Compare that to Bipandra, who is a doctor and… that’s about it. She has Valor: Courage, meaning she can choose the outcome of her guts rolls, and she carries a Nanopulser, which is a small template BTS weapon. In a full link team, with a burst of 2, this could conceivably be devastating.
Point for point, Anyat seems just that much more badass. It helps that her sculpt looks a lot nicer, and that she’s a murderous space ape.
It amuses me to great extent that the vanguard and Anyat are basically the only “light” infantry of the Morat army, unless you count the Kurgat engineers (who, curiously, can form a Haris link but between the three of them can’t manage to carry an autocannon). The latecoming Krakot renegades also count as light infantry, but probably only because heavier human armor doesn’t fit over their burly frames, and they’re renegades. From a fluff perspective, I think the warband moniker would have suited them better, along with the witch soldiers and the feral skull mask lady apes.
Everything else is either medium (Rodok, Yaogat, the Rasyat “diplomats” and the Raktorak officers) or heavy infantry (Sogarat, Suryat). The point of distinction between light and medium infantry seems to be a single point of armor, incidentally.
My thoughts on the profiles so far? I need a Krakot renegade biker, immediately. Apelonzo Lamas needs to be a thing, with a Red Fury and a baseball bat.
Since I haven’t really played a skirmisher – or any kind of tabletop war game – since the slow and agonising demise of Anima:Tactics (rest in pieces, Azur Alliance), I thought it was high time to get back into the game. Literally.
And what better way to do that than to play something completely different?
In all honesty, I had gotten a bit fed up with playing the sneaky gitz, what with glass cannons failing to crush the opponents’ armor and dying miserably to counter-attacks and cover fire.
Not that the same thing isn’t possible in Infinity, but hey, homicidal space apes!
What really sold me on the Morats is the rest of the Combined Army. Giant robot aliens, shapeshifting assassins, vampiric ninja horror zombies and Cylons. There may be the small issue of smaller order pools and the lack of good hackers (at least in the Morat Supremacy), but dang, do those apes look good.
The new ones. The old ones, on the other hand, were rather… meh.
So, what are the first steps? Since I’m hard-pressed for time to actually get painting, I’m rather slowly building up my miniature collection. A blister here, a discounted box there, it’s growing at a glacial but constant pace.
Once I get around to it, I’ll drop by the local meta and watch a couple of games in person. Sure, Youtube and channels like Radio Free Neoterra have taught me some of the basics, but that’s not the same as being there.
Of course, I can’t help but mod the apes a little… I’m rather fond of the swaps and mods I did with the Anima miniatures. For the time being, I have a few designs to give a try, like turning the Raicho into a simulacrum of the Harvester from Terminator: Salvation.
And who would make a better spec-ops monkey than Solidok Snakeyat?