Infinity - ALL THE TAGS part 1
I love big stompy robots. As far back as I can remember I've loved the concept of pilots working monstrous walking tanks bristling with weapons. From my first love of Battletech, to Heavy Gear, Macross, Patlabor and more... it is natural that when I first laid eyes on TAGs in Infinity that I was drawn to them and just fell in love with these two story tall armored robots. Luckily the first faction I bought into with Infinity is Panoceania, so all the TAGS!
Lets take a look at all the different TAG designs, what I think about them in terms of physical design and game design. We will start with the ones I know best and work from there.
The Cutter is my first love, the very first TAG I bought, assembled, and painted and fielded. It was the Cutter which won me my first games and has brought me to victory more times than not, she is a powerhouse!
The original model is what originally drew me to this masterpiece of armored killing. It's got these cool fins coming off the back, a bit of a hunch like it's sneaking, and a real big gun! In practice the model fits the design aspect of the profile. The only weapon on this monster is it's Multi-HMG which delivers a few different ammo types, the most fun of which is the explosive round best used in the reactive turn!
The big part of the Cutter is it's stealth however, and this is where the bulk of it's utility comes into play. You can deploy her in hidden deployment, so no one knows where it will strike from Great for turn two. Or, you can deploy in camo, which has it's own tactical advantage as she can walk around the field freely without getting shot at until she is revealed. Then, when no one can see you, just use your free Tactical order to put yourself back into hiding! Super powerful!! Then of course when you do get shot, you have mimitism -6, so even tho your a big towering robot, your really hard to hit! Add cover, and that a -9 to your opponents dice before any visual or range mods, not too shabby! It's going to take a lot to take the Cutter down!
Now, the Cutter is getting a new model releasing in November 2020. The big gun got bigger, the pose a bit more dynamic, and the render makes it look bulkier. I've got mixed feelings on it personally, while I can't wait for another cutter and it still looks super cool... I'm not sure its as cool as the original.
The Squalo has become one of my goto units in Infinity. When I'm building a Varuna list if I'm not grabbing the Cutter first, I'm grabbing the Squalo. It is quite possible the most versatile TAG I've ever used.
The Squalo is a fantastic multi-weapons platform operating with a few different configurations, but in Varuna... the Multi-HMG, Heavy Grenade Launcher variant is my favorite. But the big key is the Fireteam:Duo ability baked naturally into every profile now, and with that we open a whole can of works for flexibility! What I'm addicted to is running the Squalo with Patsy in a duo. The advantages to this Duo are pretty amazing. The Squalo can lob grenades across the field, it can shoot with it's huge guns, and move around fairly quickly. But then you add Patsy. Patsy adds valuable eclipse grenades, forward observer skill for pushing buttons with the "elite WIP" stat of 13, now has 6-2 move to keep up with the Squalo better, and an SMG for any baddies who sneak up. The big key is the NCO ability of Patsy however, effectively giving the duo 4 orders naturally (tactical awareness, NCO/LT, and the 2 normal orders). This makes it the duo very order efficient which is a massive advantage.
In terms of the models there have been 2 different versions released. The first version is a little silly looking, it's small, has anime styled greebles, and while it looks cool in it's own way...it's no modern Squalo with the big HMG with integrated missile launcher/grenade launcher shoulder stock. The 'new' model just means business as it prepares to unleash death on the enemies of Panoceania.
The Seraph is just cool looking, and purchased for the rule of cool alone. First it's a super agile jumpy mech with wings, a tabard, and a giant sword! It really is an angel of the battlefield. It is a beautiful TAG to behold with a dynamic model that depicts movement and grace.
On the table tho, well that's another story. What you want to do is leap over builds, get in close, and smack people with it's big sword! But what you really want to do is stay in cover while you maneuver up the board to try and get into close combat. Luckily you got a HMG that can help at range, it's not the MULTI version, so it's probably best to hide in full cover since you have no mods for defense and slightly lighter armor for a Pano TAG. The spitfire with Auxbot might actually be the better option as it gives you a little pal running around with a flame thrower while you work on getting in close. This is going to take more game time in N4 to really get a feel for where the Seraph belongs in the lineup.
The Jotum is one hell of an armored beast that is essentially a walking wall in the game. With the N4 changes to crit's he is going to be a very tough nut to crack with his effectively 13 armor in cover. Oh, you got crits with a combi rifle? Sorry, no damage even if I roll a 1 on my armor save. With a MULTI-HMG, a heavy flamer, and a panzerfaust there is a lot of weaponry here to wreck havoc.
The model itself is as heavy as the armor 10 of this models profile. It's big, it's bulky, and its nothing but impressive! I even used it as my entry for the Q2 Mayacast Masterglass painting competition. My first time entering a competition. I didn't win, but I didn't expect too, but it did help me learn some new techniques.
The Tiklabang I've only taken out for a spin once or twice, but I'm in love with it. I have no idea why, but I can't stop building lists for it...and not taking them. What I'm most excited about is the Military Orders variant which switches out the Shock mines for an armor piercing HMG. But both profiles are a lot of fun! The AP HMG is great due to all the heavy armor that is expected to be showing up in N4. While the regular shock mines variant is great because it gives the Tiklabang a lot of options to control space between the HMG, flamer, and of course mines. A good fun trick is to toss a mine around a corner where baddies might be hiding or planning to use as an attack point while you continue on and flank. And boy is the Tik great at flanking with climbing plus!
As for the model, I own two because I love this thing! With it's huge sword in one hand and a big gun in the other it is ready to cause some havoc!
Stay tuned for part 2!