Infinity Unit Review: Taagma Schemer
With the fall of the fall of the Daedalus Gate new players have entered the arena of battle in the Human Sphere. The Spiral Corps, once a small mercenary company, has been purchased and reconstructed into an anti Shasvastii security force by the Tohaa. While the public images is that of using human mercenaries as a way to bolster the Tohaa’s military which can no longer receive reinforcements from their home system, the Spiral Corps is often used as a cover for the clandestine operations within the Human Sphere by the infamous Tohaa Triumvirate. The chief agents of this cabal operating the Spiral Corps are the Taagma Schemers. As one of the people who started playing Infinity at the same time as Adam, and who’s first, and primary army is Tohaa, I was asked to write up my thoughts on the new units available to Tohaa and the new Spiral Corps sectorial, and I think there is no better place to start than with a unit which is sure to be a staple in Spiral Corps list, and many vanilla Tohaa lists: The Taagma Schemer.
Looking at the stats of the Taagma Schemer we have a pretty basic LI profile, the only real standout is a BS of 12. While this may not seem impressive to some factions, up until the release of these new profiles, BS 12 was reserved for Symbiont Armored units within Tohaa, and even among Spiral Corps the only human with a higher BS is the Anaconda.
What is really of note is that all Taagma Schemers are equipped with Holoprojector L1, and have the Fireteam: Triad, Counterintelligence, Shock Immunity, and Stealth skills.
Combining Holo L1 and Counterintelligence allows the Taagma to deploy as any S2 unit in Tohaa or Spiral, (depending on which army is being played), and due to Counterintelligence being private information, the opponent will never be able to be certain they will get the full effect of their strategic use of a command token until they spend it. The AVA for this unit goes from 1 in Tohaa to 3 in Spiral Corps, and contains a number of unique profiles only available in Spiral Corps, can create a special Triad with 2 Chacksa FTO, (which is the same as the Baggage and Heavy Flame Thrower profile), and also count as brawlers to bring the Brawler Fireteam up to 5 units for full bonuses.
Breaker Combi Rifle, Nanopulser: This is the basic profile and is the only profile usable in vanilla Tohaa. At 16 Points and 0 SWC this profile brings breaker ammo for cracking those high ARM low BTS units, as well as all the benefits discussed above. In Tohaa this profile can be hidden in a number of different ways. Hidden as a strong ARO piece such as Armand Le Muet or a linked Sukeul Missile launcher, I think it is best to deploy them prone out of sight on a building or ledge. This can cause the opponent to either set up one of their stronger units as an ARO should the disguised Taagma stand up, or get them to hide rather than set up AROs, which can allow your attack units to have better reign of the board. When disguised as a strong attack piece such as a Gao-Real Spitfire or Sukeul HMG, I think it is best to deploy in such a way that you opponent must spend a number of orders to get to a point to attack it if they want to end its threat on their turn. This can lead them to either spending those orders, committing a strong ARO piece to cover the threat, or again hide units so they will not be attacked in your active turn. This also does not even get into the ways you can hide the Taagma as a decoy Lieutenant, as a Diplomatic Delegate to hide the Irregular Order brought by a Libertos, as a Kriigal to keep your opponent from getting too close, or even a Baggage Chaksa which can wait in the wings and patch up a broken Triad, or even go off on a shooting spree should the need be required. Keep in mind the Taagma can be deployed without any Holoprojector L1 tricks so the opponent is aware of this Counterintelligence unit on the table, but even then it may just be a Kotail deployed in Holo L1 disguised as a Taagma.
In Spiral Corps this profile is your least expensive way to get the Brawler Fireteam up to 5, and there is a Lieutenant profile with this same loadout and point cost. For 1 point more this loadout is used for the Spec Ops profile for those tournaments using that extra.
White Hacking Device, Breaker Combi Rifle, Nanopulser: For 20 points and .5 SWC, this is the specialist profile for the Taagma. Without remotes which require a hacker in order to be added to the list, and no offensive hacking capability, this profile finds its use by providing access to the programs Fairy Dust, Exorcism, Hack Transport Aircraft, and U-Turn. Fairy Dust is only relevant if you bring Heavy Infantry as well, but boosts the Kiel-Saan’s BTS to an effective 9 and Neema’s to an impressive 12. Exorcism is only relevant if you bring an Anaconda and it becomes Possessed. Hack Transport Aircraft turns an enemy unit’s Phys roll for Combat Drop into a face to face roll. U-Turn provides some additional defense against Guided attacks. All of these programs can be accessed for fewer points through a Wardriver with Defensive Hacking Device, but if the points are tight and a Triad needs a specialist, or a Brawler Fireteam needs its 5th member, the Taagma White Hacking Device could be useful. There is also a Lieutenant option with this load-out which is the only specialist Lieutenant option in Spiral Corps.
Tricore, Breaker Combi Rifle, Nanopulser: For 21 points, 1 SWC, and unlike a lot of other skills in Infinity, you may only bring one unit with a Tricore per army, but despite the cost and restrictions Tricore brings a lot of power with it. When in a Fireteam Triad, Tricore grants the full benefits of having a 4 and 5 unit core link on top of those provided by being in a Triad, meaning Tohaa units now have a way to get Sixth Sense and a +3 to BS Attacks and +3 to WIP on Discover rolls on top of the extra burst for being in a Triad. The most obvious application is to pair it with a strong attack piece such as a Draal with AP Marksman Rifle to make them an even stronger attack piece, or a strong ARO piece like the MSV2 Taagma, but it is worth remembering a Kriigal Agent in the link would gain Sixth Sense, and could ARO against units with Stealth trying to sneak up on its triad. With the flexibility of Triad composition this profile is extremely versatile, and even though the benefit from Tricore is lost if the Triad loses a member, there is nothing to prevent the Taagma from forming a new Fireteam Triad and applying all the benefits to the new Triad. One final note is that while the Taagma can hide itself, the bonuses provided from Tricore would not be hidden.
MSV2, Viral Sniper: At 25 points and 1.5 SWC this profile is not only well suited at taking out long range targets, but also at keeping the opponent guessing until the Taagma strikes. With a combination of Viral Sniper Rifle, and MSV2 this is your best option for taking out any dog warriors from range, and are the absolute bane of Steel Phalanx, and can benefit from being part of a Tricore Triad, or the 5th member of a Brawler Fireteam. Thanks to its long range prowess this profile also allows for a more baiting use of Holoprojector Lv1 by disguising it as a seemingly poorly deployed short range Triad member, or one which could not see through smoke, in order to lure opponents into its sights. With the number of units it can disguise itself as, and its easy inclusion in a Triad, I expect this profile will be ubiquitous in Sprial Corps. This Loadout can also be used on a Lieutenant profile. While I would not recommend deploying a Lieutenant out as an ARO piece, in the second or third turn this could be used to take out some targets of opportunity. Just keep in mind using its Lieutenant Order will break it out of the Triad.
That is it for my first unit spotlight of the new profiles for Tohaa and Spiral Company. As I go through other units from time to time, I reference back to the Taagma and how disguising one as the unit could be used to confuse the opponent. Just like any good schemer would.