Infinity Unit Review: Brawlers
Expendable scum and despicable fighters, Brawlers are the lowest of the low when it comes to mercenaries. These foot soldiers fill a variety of roles in both Druze and Ikari (and StarCo), providing specialists, cheap hackers, MSV2, and even a budget lieutenant option.
Stats and Special Rules
Across the board, their profile is fairly standard, but not bad. Their respectable PanO BS 12 comes with PanO WIP 12, making them a bit iffy when it comes to accomplishing ITS objectives, though Cubes at least help them out if their Doctor tries any amateur surgery. Arm2 and BTS 3 gives them a bit of survivability against any kind of attack. The only special rule they come with standard is Fireteam: Duo, letting them pair up, adding to their order efficiency for movement. While their point cost is on the slightly higher end for Light Infantry, they do carry a good bit of equipment, to back up their solid combat stats.
In addition to forming Core fire teams mixed Druze, in Druze Bayram, they have a variety of special Haris in Ikari and StarCo. For Ikari you get to mix Tanko with Brawlers, letting you form an inexpensive link with that +1 burst on a Tank Missile Launcher, or take a cheaper Tanko to back up a B3 MSV2 MULTI sniper. Meanwhile, in StarCo, you can mix in a CSU and/or Raoul Spector into the Haris, great for enhancing Raoul's natural abilities.
Rifle + light shotgun. The standard load out for the Brawler is fantastic, lacking the +3 to hit within 8" for the rifle, you're saved with the +6 to hit from the light shotgun. For their cost, the basic Brawler has a good combination of survivability, and ability to hold up in a fire fight. Not that they're amazing, just in a good position for the points.
Heavy rocket launcher, assault pistol. My favorite weapon in the game makes an appearance in Brawlers, and with it's usual side arm to boot! Not only is this piece a terribly effective long-range attack weapon, but that B5 assault pistol when the enemy gets up close can be both surprising and devastating! Despite it's perks, and it's incredibly inexpensive cost, the HRL seldom makes it into my lists due to the SWC requirement. It's absolutely a solid piece, and if you have the SWC, go for it, but most of my lists eat up that SWC elsewhere.
Multispectral visor L2, MULTI sniper. Speaking of eating up that SWC, the Brawler MULTI sniper provides the only MSV2 piece for both Druze and StarCo, while in Ikari it is in competition with the Rui Shi. When you have access to cheap smoke (easier in StarCo and Ikari than Druze), it is well worth taking, giving you the classic MSV2 + Smoke combo, though even without smoke, it's a valuable tool for taking out enemy camouflage and ODD units. This is the most expensive Brawler, so if you want that MSV2, you gotta pay for it.
Assault hacking device, submachine gun. This is my favorite Brawler profile, not because I'm a huge fan of assault hackers, it's because I'm a MASSIVE fan of 17/0.5 point assault hackers! Dirt cheap, and a pain in the butt, I always get a Brawler AHD into a 4-man link (or more), giving them Sixth Sense L2, which prevents enemy HI with Stealth from creeping through your repeaters, and lets you delay your ARO as well. When combined with the amazing repeater network that Druze can put out, this cheap piece can really stick a wrench in your enemy's plans.
Engineer, and Doctor. I'll be honest, not my favorite unit for the job, but in Druze you have no choice! Brawler Doctors and Engineers are fairly expensive, and have that pesky WIP12. On the up side however, they're still a Brawler with rifle + light shotgun, and they can be linked! Having a mobile Brawler Doctor in a link who can keep your troops fighting can help a ton for your link resilience, similarly, an Engineer to fix up your Druze link's Clipper isn't a bad idea either. Don't forget that they can use Nasmats, or other similar helper bots!
On the Table
As mentioned, Brawlers come with a wide variety of gear to plug holes in the mercenary factions (sans JSA), they are versatile and generally well priced. Their diversity is their main feature, if you need specialists, they can do the job, if you need MSV2, look no further. Just about anything you need done, they can help with. It's tempting to only take them in links, especially since they can create a lot of useful and unique fireteams, but even on their own, they're a competent troop, and taken in a Duo, they can move up the table very effectively. Try combining a HRL, or MULTI sniper with a doctor, between the two you've got +3 (or better) from 0" out to 32" or 48", and can cover your advance to get to an objective.
Now I just need them to make a kit... Well, not really, I'm making a set based on Muyibs.