Infinity Unit Review: The Unknown Ranger
Hey kiddos, now that my local Infinity league is coming to an end, I'll have time to go back to to playing the army that got me into this game, USAriadna! My friend Joel was nice enough to bring me back a limited edition Unknown Ranger from Gencon, so I've decided that to start off my series of USAriadna unit reviews, that I should start with the big man himself.
To start with, lets take a look at the Unknown Ranger's profile. A respectable 4-4 move, like a proper heavy infantry is something that is actually not ubiquitious in USAriadna on their foot troops, so while not huge, it's worth noting. In melee, CC22 and PH13 ain't shabby, and when combined with Natural Born Warrior means he's effectively either fighting at CC25 PH14 with his T2 CCW, or he's ignoring your opponent's Martial Arts and still swinging at CC22. At range, he again has an admirable BS13, with Mimetism putting him at -3 to be shot by your opponent. Rounding it out, you've got a hefty ARM 4 with NWI making him a pain to kill, WIP 13 and a specialist in both profiles, and Kinematika L1 and Scavenger.
The two profiles for the Unknown Ranger are divided primarily based on his weapon, but also on being Chain of Command or a Special Operative. Since there is some significant difference between the two, I'll talk about each on their own, instead of a blanket statement about both together.
Chain of Command
This is the profile of the model which came out at Gencon, and personally, my favorite profile. Armed with a standard rifle, this variant brings the only source of Chain of Command, not only in USAriadna, but all of Ariadna in it's entirety. This skill when combined with the units in USAriadna (though this would also work in vanilla Ariadna) allows you to do some fun tricks with juggling your lieutenant. You can play a more aggressive lieutenant, like the Ohio AP HMG, without being worried about losing him, which can actually save you SWC in your list construction so that you're not paying SWC tax on your lieutenant. Van Zant also has an Executive Order profile, which for one point makes him your Lieutenant automatically on the turn he comes in, which you can do safely, giving him yet another order to go Rambo with, and tempting your opponent further to go hunt him down.
Outside of lieutenant shenanigans, despite only having a rifle, he's an ugly option to put in suppressive fire, where your opponent will be a -9 to shoot him, provided he's in cover, and you'll be sitting pretty with ARM7. Scavenger means if an opponent nearby goes down armed with a better gun, you can run out and grab it, even something like a boarding shotgun is going to be deadly in his hands, though there are other fun things to think about like grabbing a Myrmidon's ODD, a Hacking Device, Multispectral Visors, Smoke Grenades and so on.
I call this list, The Three Amigos:
USAriadna Ranger Force ──────────────────────────────────────────────────
GROUP 110 MINUTEMAN Lieutenant AP HMG / Pistol, CCW. (1 | 34) VAN ZANT (Executive Order) AP Rifle / Heavy Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 39) UNKNOWN RANGER (Chain of Command) Rifle / Heavy Pistol, T2 CCW, Knife. (0 | 41) GRUNT HMG / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 21) GRUNT (Marksmanship LX) Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 18) GRUNT (Forward Observer) Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 11) GRUNT (Forward Observer) Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 11) GRUNT Paramedic (MediKit) Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12) GRUNT (Inferior Infiltration) Heavy Flamethrower, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 11) GRUNT (Inferior Infiltration) Heavy Flamethrower, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 11)
GROUP 26 GRUNT (Inferior Infiltration) Heavy Flamethrower, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 11) FOXTROT (Forward Observer) Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18) FOXTROT (Forward Observer) Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18) FOXTROT (Forward Observer) Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18) DOZER (Traktor Mul Control Device) Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14) TRAKTOR MUL Katyusha MRL / Electric Pulse. (1 | 11)
5 SWC | 299 Points
When you need to bring a beat stick to the table, the Unknown Ranger with Molotok is not a bad choice at all. BS13 and Mimetism really help to win fire-fights, and with ARM4, you have a disgusting Suppressive Fire piece (as I mentioned above). Scavenger on this profile will be a bit less helpful, as you already come with a great gun, though it still shouldn't be forgot, as passive equipment like ODD or MSV would be huge on this guy, if you get the opportunity to grab it. Since he is heavily armed and armored, he is going to work a lot like a Veteran Kazak. The same cost as the AP HMG variant (though 0.5 SWC less), and similarly as resilient (though lacking Shock Immunity), but he is significantly more effective in melee, which suits his shorter-ranged weapon. To really maximize his effectiveness, he should be leading the charge up the board, taking a midfield position and clobbering anything that gets close enough.
I haven't had a chance to use this variant yet, but I would use him most likely in conjunction with other mid-field units, like Marauders or Ohio Minutemen. Either variant would be particularly awesome to use him in The Armory or Firefight, where he rolls twice for Booty and automatically passes the WIP check to use the panoplies. This list is on the elite side for Ariadna, with only 13 orders, but every unit is tough as nails, and nearly half of the models in the list are specialists, so you have plenty of options. With Ohio Minutemen being shock immune, the 112 is going to have a lot of opportunity to get them back into the fight. The job of the Unknown Ranger is to take up position mid-field and go into suppressive fire, holding down a flank with shorter corridors.
USA Line Breakers ──────────────────────────────────────────────────
GROUP 110 UNKNOWN RANGER (Specialist Operative) Molotok / Heavy Pistol, T2 CCW, Knife. (1.5 | 47) MARAUDER (Multispectral Visor L1) Heavy Rocket Launcher / Assault Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 26) MARAUDER Paramedic (MediKit) Rifle, Heavy Flamethrower / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (0 | 23) MARAUDER (Fireteam: Haris) Rifle, Heavy Flamethrower / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (1 | 22) MINUTEMAN AP HMG / Pistol, CCW. (1.5 | 34) MINUTEMAN Boarding Shotgun, Grenades / Pistol, CCW. (0 | 24) MINUTEMAN (Forward Observer) Rifle, 2 Light Flamethrowers / Pistol, CCW. (0 | 23) MINUTEMAN (Forward Observer) Rifle, 2 Light Flamethrowers / Pistol, CCW. (0 | 23) MINUTEMAN Lieutenant Rifle, 2 Light Flamethrowers / Pistol, CCW. (0 | 22) 112 Light Shotgun / Pistol, CCW. (0 | 12)
GROUP 23 GRUNT (Inferior Infiltration) Heavy Flamethrower, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 11) FOXTROT (Forward Observer) Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18) DOZER Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 13)
6 SWC | 298 Points
Overall, I'm a huge fan of this model. His cost is pretty steep, and actually one of the most expensive units in all of Ariadna, which means if you're going to use him, make sure you're getting the most out of it. Fortunately, since Ariadna and USAriadna are made up of mostly inexpensive units, you can definitely take him and build a list still with plenty of orders. The drawback, is that to get the most out of him, you really are going to need a lot of experience, while he is tough, shock and especially viral weapons will make a mockery of his armor and splatter his brains across the field with ease. I would avoid him for now for inexperienced players, but if you want a good challenge and a model that could potentially be a massive thorn in your opponent's side, I say go for it!
I can't wait to get some paint on this sucker!