Infinity ITS 2017: Limited Insertion Musings
With ITS 2017 off to a solid start, the newest hotness is Limited Insertion. This optional rule allows tournament organizers the ability to restrict their ITS scenario to a single order group! 10 Models, that's all you get! Building a list where you've got a strong cap of 10 models at first seems easy, but doing so while getting enough specialists to perform missions suddenly gets really tricky. Today I'm going to write a bit more of a free-form article, pointing out a few things in particular that are going through my brain about how best to take advantage of this rule, and what to keep in mind when list building.
The first unit I thought about in this format were my beloved TAGs. Normally, I'm not a massive fan of taking them every game, as they often mean I'll be running a low-order count army. Well, with a low order count restriction, pile on these big hunks of servos and gears. Even taking a 100 point TAG will still leave you with 200 points to spend on 9 models, averaging 22 points per model, meaning you can still pack a serious punch with the rest of the list. You will almost certainly also want to take an engineer with a couple helpers if you go this route, leaving you 8 models and probably ~180 points to play with.
On the flip side of the coin, with TAGs being more well suited to Limited Insertion, so your opponents may be expecting them and loading up on Anti-TAG gear. Or your opponent will know, that you know, that he knows that TAGs will be more prevalent...
Much like TAGs, Heavy Infantry are also incredibly well suited to the Limited Insertion environment. Units like Azra'il and Yan Huo Invincibles will be incredibly useful to take, and far less of a liability to your order pool. Keep in mind that because both HI and TAGs are bound to be popular choices that it also means enemy Hackers are going to be plentiful, and a massive pain in the ass. Consider HI that can get Tinbots, like Janissary or Suryat links, or who can be hackers themselves, like Mobile Brigada.
Now, before you get all caught up on your ultra-killy HI link teams, or TAGs pounding people apart, remember that most ITS missions require specialists to accomplish the primary tasks, and all ITS missions will have some points tied to Classified Objectives. Ignoring specialists in favor of punching everything apart is incredibly tempting, but can also totally lose you the game. If you're going to take units of HI, and especially if you're taking a TAG, you'll probably want to take some sort of doctor or engineer to keep them alive. Since you know that you'll be facing a lot of enemy HI and TAGs yourself, you'll probably also want to make sure you have a hacker or two. In the end, I would prefer to have no less than 3 specialists in my 10-order list, and would much prefer to have closer to 5 for most missions. That can really put a hamper on your choice of killy units, but at the end of the game, you're trying to win, right?
A special note about doctors... Generally speaking I would probably only bother taking a Doctor or Engineer if I have something major for it to work on, like a TAG or HI link team. Spending 2-3 orders to have your Morat paramedic try and bring back a Rodok is really going to be risky anyhow, and with how few orders you're getting in Limited Insertion, I wouldn't even bother.
Order Efficiency / Link Teams
The defining feature of Limited Insertion is the single order group, meaning you will generally be capped at 10 orders. Because of this, each model is actually incredibly important and how you use those orders will make or break your game. There are things you can do to make your orders more efficient, most commonly by using Link Teams and Coordinated Orders. Activating multiple models in a single order is a massive boon to your order efficiency, and even more important when you have such a limited order pool. If you're going second, it may even be worth not taking 2 orders away from your opponent, so that you can instead spend that token re-linking a team, or performing a coordinated order yourself.
Take advantage of Haris and Duo if you can, not just Core link teams. If you play Steel Phalanx and can get 2 Enomotarchos teams, or Tohaa with 3 Triads, you're really going to be great on order efficiency.
Only two characters in the game have the Inspiring Leadership rule, but I suspect in Limited Insertion, you'll see those two pop up quite a bit. Gaining a free coordinated order every turn is a massive advantage, one that would be hard to ignore when playing Pan Oceania or Caledonia (which almost always runs Wallace anyhow).
When you only have 10 models, half of which are specialists, and the other half are carrying big guns, it's not often hard to guess who the Lieutenant is. By taking a Strategos Lieutenant choice, despite it making it obvious who is in charge, you get access to an 11th order that you can freely use in your army, that's 10% more orders than your opponent will have! When you have that 11th order, it also means losing 2 due Strategic Command Token use, isn't as huge of a deal, you'll just be down to 9 orders, effectively only having 1 less order than usual.
These guys were already big enough jerks after HSN3, but Limited Insertion just cranks them up to an 11. Now that they have 5 proxy options (but total AVA3), which all take up a single slot in your order group. This means your Aleph army could actually deploy 12 models on the board with 11 orders (using Hector). Just disgusting. That will make an incredibly flexible force that I'd really rather not face.
Put it All Together!
Limited Insertion is bound to be a fun format, letting you put your very own A-Team on the board, picking the best, baddest, most powerful aspects of your faction. Making sure you have the tools needed for the scenario is just as important as having the ability to break some heads, so don't forget the specialists!
BONUS - Here's a little something I've been toying with:
Onyx Contact Force ──────────────────────────────────────────────────
10 XEODRON Red Fury, Blitzen / Heavy Pistol. (1 | 59) XEODRON MULTI Rifle, Blitzen / Heavy Pistol. (0.5 | 58) UMBRA SAMARITAN (EI Assault Hacking Device. UPGRADE: Goodnight) Plasma Carbine, Flash Pulse / Pistol, VorpalCC Weapon. (0.5 | 43) RODOK Hacker (EI Assault Hacking Device) Boarding Shotgun, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 25) RODOK Paramedic (MediKit) Boarding Shotgun, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 21) RODOK Paramedic (MediKit) Boarding Shotgun, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 21) RODOK HMG / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 27) RODOK Combi Rifle, 2 Light Shotguns / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 26) ÍMETRON . (0 | 4) NEXUS Lieutenant (Specialist Operative) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 16)
4 SWC | 300 Points