USARF: The 0.5 SWC Sectorial
USAriadna is quickly growing on me. I started the game with them, but ended up waiting to really get heavily involved with the sectorial until recently. Now that nearly all the units are available, I've been having a blast kitting them out in new and unique ways, totally throwing my opponents for a loop each game we play. USAriadna is nicknamed the ARM3 sectorial, which is pretty self explanatory, but what I've discovered while playing them is that while people do make a big deal about their ARM3, they don't seem to mention how many good 0.5 SWC options they have in the army. Let me explain... Most big guns in the game of Infinity are 1.5 SWC, which limits you to 4 in a standard game, providing you aren't using any hackers or other tools which may take up SWC, meaning usually you will often only see 2-4 enemies with hard-hitting weapons MULTI Sniper Rifles, HMGs, or Missile Launchers. While USARF does pay 1.5 SWC for their Ohio's Missile Launcher or AP HMG, they have access to a lot of weaponry in the 0.5 SWC range, and rarely (if ever) are spending their SWC on support like Hackers, so you can actually, and reasonably, run a ton of good weapons in USARF.
First up is the humble Grunt. On paper, nothing about a Grunt's profile is terribly impressive, except their ARM3, they have poor WIP and BS, and are a bit slow, though they are a bit of a pain in the butt to kill, and have a lot of weapon options. One such favorite is the Grunt Infiltrator, which for 0.5 SWC is an Inferior Infiltrator with a heavy flamethrower and light shotgun! While you can theoretically run 12 of these guys, 4 of them gets you a pretty solid chance of landing one, while not being cost prohibitive, and still leaving you with plenty of SWC to spend elsewhere.
Their other 0.5 SWC profile to look at is the sniper. One of the cheapest snipers in the game, weighing in at a mere 18/0.5 points, I can't talk enough about how much I love these guys. Putting one in cover means they'll be ARM6, and a serious enough threat with a Damage 15 gun with shock ammo, that the enemy will probably have to spend a few orders dislodging them. To make it slightly better (worse for your opponent) they're Shock Immune, so if you have any nearby paramedics or 112's, you can take a chance bringing them back, if you fail, who cares, they're cheap! Now imagine 4 snipers, in a link, with a Grunt Paramedic... We're talking 84/2.0 points to get four B2 snipers on the table, firing at an effective BS14 before modifiers, leaving you with 216/4.0 to spend on all the other stuff you could want.
Grunts also do get a cheap HMG option, for only 1.0 SWC. While not as screaming of a deal as a Grunt sniper in the SWC camp, they are well worth considering. One HMG and sniper will only cost 1.5 SWC, the price that most armies are paying for a one or the other.
The Marauder Sniper is another 0.5 SWC sniper, though on a more expensive, 29 point body. While not nearly as cheap as the Grunt Sniper, for those 11 extra points, you're getting a lot. The Marauder is BS12, Dogged, carries a MSV1, and has Forward Deployment, making him a much more effective ARO piece, able to stick around longer after being shot, ignoring or reducing hit penalties with MSV1, and being able to exploit better positioning on the battlefield. Marauders also have a Haris option (with a 1.0 SWC tax), letting you take two of them together to shut down an area similar to the Grunts, and at a similar cost of 80/2.0 points.
On their own though, they're still very solid choices, being just as tough as a Grunt sniper to dislodge, but with Dogged, could force your opponent to spend even more orders to clear a firing lane before advancing.
Mavericks have two 0.5 SWC profiles, one being a Forward Observer with rifle, the other is their light rocket launcher with SMG, and I love them both. At first I balked at paying 0.5 SWC for a Forward Observer, but in scenarios like Supplies, where getting to an objective with a specialist, and then moving as fast as possible, there is nothing better than a Maverick Forward Observer. The light rocket launcher is becoming a bit of a staple in my lists though. It is low cost (22/0.5), high speed, carries smoke and a SMG, on top of a weapon with spitfire range-bands that can kill nearly any model in the game in a single hit... Oh and it has MSV1, because why not. Being able to get into perfect position between speed and smoke, to fire off a blast of fire ammunition, then ducking into suppressive fire, just makes this model a BEAST, capable of handling a wide variety of enemy targets. There is so much to love with the Maverick light rocket launcher.
Foxtrots are one of the most cost effective camo infiltrators in the game, and not surprisingly, one of the cheapest infiltrating snipers in the game. I'm surprised that this profile gets overlooked so often. While their BS isn't mind-blowing, and they don't carry any other fun gear, the Foxtrot Sniper is a perfect sniper for handling unlinked models, or at least scaring the dickens out of them. Nobody likes getting shot at by a camouflaged model, in cover, inflicting a -9 penalty on firing back.
I know he's not 0.5 SWC, but a 1 SWC T2 sniper on a BS13 platform definitely deserves some discussion when talking about dirt cheap snipers. Blackjacks have two profiles to pick from, both cost 36 points, one with an AP HMG that seems to get all the love, but is a full 2 SWC, while the other is a truly devastating T2 sniper, complete with SMG and chest mines. Both profiles are amazing, but I'm really looking at that T2 sniper... This gun hits like a truck, able to knock most heavy infantry unconscious with a single shot or cripple a TAG, and the Blackjack is tougher than two grunt snipers, but at the same cost. Hiding in cover, this multi-wound model is a gigantic pain in the butt to shift, especially when firing back at BS13 with an incredibly dangerous weapon. Up close this guy can unleash a chest mine, or even go suppressive with his SMG. When you consider SWC as the limiting factor on how many weapons you can bring, only paying 1.0 for this guy feels criminal!
Wait, how many snipers is that?
USAriadna Ranger Force ──────────────────────────────────────────────────
GROUP 17 2 GRUNT (Marksmanship LX) Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 18) GRUNT (Marksmanship LX) Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 18) GRUNT (Marksmanship LX) Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 18) GRUNT (Marksmanship LX) Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 18) GRUNT Paramedic (MediKit) Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12) MAVERICK Submachine Gun, Light Rocket Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 22) MAVERICK (Forward Observer) Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 19)
GROUP 27 BLACKJACK T2 Sniper, Submachine Gun, Chest Mines / Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (1 | 36) MARAUDER (Fireteam: Haris) Rifle, Heavy Flamethrower / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (1 | 22) MARAUDER (Multispectral Visor L1) Sniper / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 29) MARAUDER (Multispectral Visor L1) Sniper / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 29) MARAUDER Lieutenant Rifle, Heavy Flamethrower / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (0 | 21) FOXTROT (Forward Observer) Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18) FOXTROT (Forward Observer) Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18)
6 SWC | 298 Points
Seven, for those who are counting. The primary hard-hitters here are going to be your Blackjack and Maverick with light rocket, though firing B3 linked snipers on the active turn isn't a bad choice either. You have 2 infiltrating specialists, plus a fast one to sweep up the board, obviously this list is meant more for missions with objectives, but necessarily a ton of them. If you happen to lose a Marauder sniper, which is highly likely, they're there to be ARO pieces, you can link in your Lieutenant to bring back the burst bonus. Of the army's 14 models, more are carrying sniper rifles than regular rifles, and over half of your army has a hard-hitting weapon (7 snipers, 1 light rocket). Obviously not a perfect list, but it should get you thinking how 6 SWC means you can take up to 12 models that cost 0.5.