Infinity: Anti-Materiel and Scenery Structures
Alright everyone, ITS Season 9 is doing the rounds, and something I've found is that it contains two scenarios where Anti-Materiel is something you need to know about. This is a seldom-used rule that is mostly made for busting open doors and other terrain features, but also used for Destroying the objectives in The Grid, and Looting and Sabotage.
What is Anti-Materiel?
Anti-Materiel is a trait found on various weapons in Infinity, and is most often found on weapons with Double Action (DA), Explosive (EXP), K1, and T2 ammo types. Those ammo types don't give Anti-Materiel, but are just often found along side it. Notably the T2 Close Combat Weapon lacks Anti-Materiel (though this may be a typo, as the T2 rules allow it to affect scenery).
The Anti-Materiel trait does one simple thing, it allows the attack to target Scenery Structures.
Most often, in ITS events, the terrain itself cannot be targeted by attacks, though you're welcome to use the Scenery Structure rules in your at-home games, and it can be really damn fun. In ITS Season 9 though, you'll need to be able to attack Scenery Structures for some of the missions. In The Grid, there will be 9 Antennas on the field (ARM4 BTS3 STR2), and in Looting and Sabotage there will be a single AC2 (ARM8 BTS9 STR3), though the AC2 can only be attacked in melee.
When attacking a Scenery Structure, there are a couple things to keep in mind. First off, they don't get to ARO, so you're free to blast them away without recourse from your enemy (unless they can ARO you anyhow). The second thing to remember is that "A Scenery Item cannot be chosen as the target of an Attack that would also affect troopers, be they enemy or allied." This means if an enemy is standing next to an Antenna, you cannot attack the Antenna with a Blast weapon, though you can attack the enemy and still hit the Antenna as well.
These rules about targeting Scenery Structures is important, as it prevents players from attacking a terrain piece with a missile, to hit the model with ODD next to it that would have been a harder target. Note that in any case, unless the weapon has Anti-Materiel, it will not affect the Antenna.
An easily overlooked part of Scenery Structures are their damage states. When reduced to 0 STR, they are not Destroyed, they instead enter the Damaged state, which is like the Unconscious state. To destroy a Scenery Structure, you must reduce it to below 0 STR, then it will enter the Destroyed state. This means that you have to deal 3 STR worth of damage to kill the Antennas in The Grid, or 4 STR of damage to Destroy the AC2 unit in Looting and Sabotage.
Notable Anti-Materiel Weapons
As I mentioned, most weapons possessing DA, EXP or T2 ammo will work to bust apart Scenery Structures, but there are some in particular that you should pay attention to if you want to get the job done efficiently.
These are your most common Anti-materiel weapons, every faction has access to these in some capacity. All of these weapons are B1 when outside of a link, and the DEP being Disposable (1) means it will never fire more than 1 shot, even in a link. In any case, the low rate of fire of these weapons mean that you need to be sure to not take any enemy AROs in the process of deploying them, but their high strength, AP+EXP ammunition makes it very possible that you can kill an Antenna in a single shot.
Another common piece of kit, the D-Charge allows a model to plant and detonate a charge on scenery structures. When it goes off, you're whacking the structure with Dam 14 AP+EXP ammo, which can make short work of most things. This can be more order intensive than shooting at antennas, you will have to spend an order to plant the charge, and another order to detonate, neither of which is a Short Movement Skill, so will have to be done with separate orders. Note that while D-Charges do have a CC mode, it cannot be used against scenery structures, as it then requires targeting a trooper. Additionally, you can ARO to detonate a single charge anywhere on the table, but ONLY if the model causing the ARO is the target of the D-Charge.
Probably the most effective gun in the game for popping Antennas, the Autocannon has the AP+EXP ammo of the previous weapons, but combines that with a brutal B2, letting you split fire against two antennas at once if you're greedy (like me). Unfortunately though, unless you play Ariadna or Combined, you won't get to play with this massively destructive toy.
It would appear that HellLois has explicitly stated on the forums that the CC Mode of D-Charges CAN be used against the AC2 in Looting and Sabotage. Additionally (on the Warcor forums), he will be looking into deploying them onto the AC2, as in the Spanish version of the rules, it is not listed as a CC Attack, only an Attack.