Friday, 4 March 2016

Force de Réponse Rapide Merovingienne in ITS 2015

The 2015 ITS season is now over, and it’s time for my French to take a break.

I have been playing Infinity for a few years now. I originally started with Vanilla Nomads then went on to Corregidor. After that I managed to nab myself a vanilla Pan O force. but it has only been the past six months that I have really been getting into Infinity. Before it was the occasional game every few weeks and, to be honest, most of the time I had no idea what was going on and 50% of the time was spent flicking through rule books. However, when I started to get my head around the rules I wanted to start a new force. Ariadna seemed like a good enough choice to me. Very different from nomads and Pan O and that tank hunter with Auto Cannon looks the business. I do like the vibe they give off. You have all these hi-tech governments constantly struggling for power, and on top of that you have the super advanced alien races with units like the Speculo Killer wielding a lightsaber e.t.c. But who needs any of that when you can just carry a cannon three times your own body length and somehow hide under a camo net with it?

I started with vanilla but it didn't take long to get drawn into the French for one reason - what’s more awesome than a lycanthropic hard-as-nails warrior? Well clearly the X visor, viral rifle wielding bad ass sent to chase him down and kill him. As soon as I had a good look at the Loup Garou model I instantly bought the full five man link and it just went from there. So now that the 2015 season is over I can go into detail and do a breakdown of the list I took to all the tournaments I took it to. This list did me well and I managed to win two events with it and at one point had a winning streak of over 10 games (yes, my head is massive I know).

First off, let’s look at the order pools. As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago I like to go large with orders and avoid that impetus nonsense if I can. However these pools were arranged slightly differently from a previous blog and I shall explain the difference and why. One order pool has most of my specialists in and comes in at nine orders. The other slightly smaller one comes in at eight orders on the table and only has one specialist. This was done for a single reason - to save time at events. Order pool one goes first and does as much damage as it can then order pool two goes second and cleans up objectives or sneaks into position.

As you can see the first pool has a full link with some serious firepower and a commando HMG. To put it into perspective that Loup Garou sniper is hitting on 18s with B3 when in good range and with his X visor even up close is still smashing the enemy on BS15. Nice. The only reason I have that Engineer in the first pool is because he has to be in the same order pool as his Track Mauls.

The second order pool plays in a completely different way. It’s sneaky, lightly equipped and full of specialists. I did plonk the Briscard in there so that in the first game turn I can pump out some serious gunishment using up to 18 orders if needs be. My style of play is always to do max damage in the first turn to starve the enemy of orders then run rings around them with 18 orders in the second turn. You can take a Jotum if you want, I will just spend everything I have taking away his orders. It’s a tactic that seems to work well for some reason.

And below is what the enemy can see. It’s way more satisfying when people can’t see what you have. I have started making lists for this years ITS season and I am currently playing with a list that consists of two SAS 2 Chasseurs and three Foxtrot but that's a topic for another time.

So that's the basic concept of this list - let’s have a look at each unit and discuss their merits and weaknesses.

First off, the Briscard. I have literally nothing bad to say about this guy. TAKE HIM EVERY TIME. He is an absolute bargain. One of the rare units that has MSV and equipped with a Heavy Rocket Launcher he comes in at 1.5 SWC and 23pts. Get this right, normal points-wise he is the cheapest load out? Someone was drunk when they made that stat line, and in comparison a line Kazak with a Missile launcher is six points cheaper. Considering he has a better BS better armor and MSV1 it’s a no-brainer.

The 112. not much to say. He is OK I guess. Nice model and as the only doctor option you kind of have to take him. Coming in at a meagre 12pts well worth it and never an issue when building lists. He mostly hangs back with his Briscard bro in my games to try get his mate back on his feet but has been known to take out the occasional Aquila Guard when the mood takes him. Might start taking a few as they are AVA3 in this sectorial and it would be nice to at least try some healing.

Alguacil hacker. We all know how I feel about hacking in Ariadna. It’s wank. But he is better than the Wardriver so that is something to take home. I do feel slightly bad though as he got me 6VPs in my last game of Highly Classified at the Northern Open. Was also a nice change painting something colourful instead of drab camo fatigues. Again at a tournament you kind of have to take him as a specialist for your classifieds.

Metros. These guys are the bread and butter of the French. They have completely rubbish stat lines but have so many options for load outs for very very cheap. Just messing about on the army builder you can take 12 guys with HMGs for 228pts. Silly business. Two of these guys are equipped with only rifles. I did this for two reasons - first off, nice cheap orders and second is my LT and if I equipped the other as a medic it would be so painfully obvious who was in charge. Every game they both set up prone on rooftops either side of the board so on the off chance the enemy went hunting for them it would still only be a 50/50 chance of getting the right one. This usually puts people off and as such they have never been taken down.

The other Metro was equipped with inferior infiltration and D charges. This only cost an extra 2pts and no SWC. It rarely works but if you fail so what? It’s still a cheap order covering your back lines. When you do pass, however, people start to panic as for some reason not many people are familiar with the French so have no idea what it is. Or, they know how lethal Chasseurs can be so set up accordingly to try hard counter. The satisfaction I get when people spend three or four orders getting to them only to find out it’s a load of old crap hiding under a sheet and not the threat they were fearing is a good feeling. Also the D charges are a nice bonus as you might get sabotaged as your data card so can get it done right of the bat in the first turn.

Commando. This guy is awesome. With AM2 and Mimitism he is quite survivable and given a HMG is rather good at handing out naps. The trick with this guy is to show restraint. I try bring him on in turn two or three. That way what little the enemy has left will be pushing forward trying to grab objectives and people really don't expect to see him in the last turn. Another tactic I use with these guys is to take two on missions like Frontline and walk them on in the last turn. It may seem like a waste but dropping over 60pts on the table and not giving the enemy any chance to stop it is always good.

Engineer and Track Maul. I always take these three guys. They total out at 25pts and generate three orders and extra 40pts of baggage AND give a specialist. Engineer is a bit of a non-event just a basic line troop stat but does have D charges, this can come in handy when teamed up with those Loup Garous that have Adhesive Launchers. The real appeal to this option is the baggage bots. In tournaments total army points are counted to break any ties at the end. Simply taking these guys instantly gets you a boost of 120pts at the end of the day and that can easily mean a lot. And of course they are great in missions like Quadrant Control giving the extra points on the board. One thing to remember they can replenish disposable weapons I like to take a Moblot with Panzerfaust in a separate order pool and put them next to each other so you can just blast away all day. Also handy when you run three Chasseurs all equipped with mines.

The only downside is they have no offensive weaponry so if you are playing classified and you get the data card to fix a STR point you can't as your opponent just lets them drive on by without taking his ARO knowing you can’t threaten him back. This happened in my last game at the Northern Open and it stopped me from getting a 10pt win. Oh well.

The good bit now. Loup Garous. As I mentioned before these guys along with the Swiss guard are my favorite unit in the game. Everything about them is a winner. They look cool, they have cool fluff, have awesome weaponry, they are quite cheap and they are named after the French version of a werewolf. Well actually a better version of a werewolf that can change at will and has control over itself not just the having the pleasure of being a rabid dog once a month if you happen to go outside.

Anyway these guys are freaking awesome on the table. They pack a viral rifle and X visor with BS12 for a mere 21pts! Or, for even cheaper, a Boarding Shotgun and Adhesive Launcher for only 18pts! We all know how good big link teams are but with units packing X visors as standard that a burst 4 Viral rifle shot at up to 48 inches at BS12 throwing out a potential 8 BTS saves that make you deader than dead! Every time I play French I use these guys. I did tinker with a five man link of Moblots one time but it cost more points and was nowhere near as good. So as it stands I can’t hype these lads enough except for the one downside - they can’t take any specialists.

Oh and here is the fluff on Loup Garous in case you were curious.

"The Loup Garou (also can be known as rougarou) is a French legend of a human who changes into a wolf at his/her own will. The word 'loup' is a French word that means wolf and 'garou' is an old Frankish word similar to 'werewolf'. The legend says that when a person comes into contact with a loup garou and sheds the blood of the beast, the Loup Garou will then changed to its human form and reveal their secret. The victim then becomes a Loup Garou for one hundred and one days. If the victim speak of the encounter to anyone, they become a loup garou themselves. But if they remain quiet about it, they will return to their human form and continue on with their lives. In the legends, the loup garou is said to be someone the victim knows, such as a jealous former lover. 

The legend was often used to scare children when misbehaving (ex: "make your bed or the loup garou is gonna get ya'!" ) What makes them different from the common werewolf is that they don't change with the cycles of the moon and have complete change over their actions. So, what makes these creatures so dangerous and terrifying is the fact that while in their wolf form they are completely aware and as intelligent as they are in their human form. With their enhanced abilities and senses, it make them difficult to destroy. These are magnificent, intelligent and blessed creatures (in some tales), but beware le Loup Garou..."

And finally the Chasseurs. For those of you unfamiliar these guys are the best skirmishers in the game hands-down. If anybody tells you otherwise they are a filthy liar and you should not be associating yourself with them. Stat lines are standard for a skirmisher and they have all the standard options, FO, Minelayer, Sniper etc... but the selling point is someone had the genius idea of giving them Flamer and sixth sense LV1. These guys are essentially walking mines that can drop mines. They are perfect for hunting the enemy LT with camo and forward deployment giving you stealth and all the nice little tricks you can pull off with them. Sixth sense is highly underrated. Having the option of delaying your ARO then smashing people with a flamer has given me the upper hand in many situations. These guys are still quite good in vanilla. The SAS do have a chain rifle option for more points, giving you that massive template but that does not come with a rifle or mines like the Chasseur so in my books that makes them not as good. Chasseurs are nice and cheap coming in at roughly 20pts depending on what you want to give them.

So that's all the units and order pools I have been using. The list is not without its weaknesses but the strengths way outweigh them. Let’s have a quick round up.

  • Feeble hacking game
  • Only one of each specialist
  • Baggage bots have no offense
  • No smoke
  • Strong Link
  • Lots of deadly AROs at long and short range
  • Instant board control with all the forward deployment units and mines
  • Numerous heavy hitters
  • Strong AD unit
  • Lots of regular orders
  • Everything is cheap so it’s hard for the enemy to kill off army points en masse
  • Viral
  • Hard to kill LT

So there, you been told. That was my musings on my French list I used for 2015. I threw in a few other lists using link teams of Metros as you have to submit two lists for tournaments but I never even bothered using them on the day as this list does it all. 2015 will probably still see me using Ariadna but most likely vanilla as I have been missing my Tank Hunters. This being said though I don't want to be going to events and seeing people using this - you’re just not allowed. Going to have to find your own way of getting that sweet, sweet ITS model.


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