Infinity N4 - The New Varuna
Infinity N4 just launched a few days ago, and like any other player of this magnificent game I've been spending a lot of time in the army builder. Because why read the rule book when you can just go over the unit profiles? (disclaimer: I'm waiting for my hardcopy to go over the new rules, as there are quite a few changes!)
When it comes to Infinity I have a soft spot for PanOceania, the hyper power of the Human Sphere that shoots first and asks questions later! I have most of the models released for the faction as a whole, but my primary sub-faction is Varuna. While Military Orders are all about the death ball of pain and Winter Force being all about making space with heavy armor and mobility Varuna is more about surgical precision. They operate in the shadows, but strike hard! While Military Orders and Winter Force are all about heavily armored knights that can take a few hits, Varuna is more about not getting hit in the first place using Kamau and Zulu-Cobra's to strike fast and hard.
So what has changed? Well in N4 heavy armor and TAG's have come down in price, which means a lot more room for activities! Lets take a look at a few profiles and see how things have changed up:
RIP: Richard Quinn. Richard Quinn is no longer part of the Varuna Sectorial. He was often a luxury to take as 23 points could be better used elsewhere, but with the drop in points of many troops he could have been a nice trooper to slot into various fireteams.
The Orc is the core heavy armor troop for Varuna and PanOceania in general. They are the poster child for the faction. In N3 they were overpriced, have access to a large variety of weapons, but lack in special equipment. In N4 we get a few tweaks.
First, the price of the troopers has come down significantly for the basic trooper. Special Weapon variants like the HMG and my personal favorite, the Feuerbach have not come down as drastically, but put them in a very healthy price point. 6-2 move is a nice change, but what I really like is the Harris ability being built into the core profile, and getting access to Duo. This gives the ORC a lot more flexibility for fireteam compositions.
The hero ORC, Patsy, gets a 3 point decrease.
The Zulu was a staple in Varuna lists, with most players reaching for the Jammer Lieutenant profile as soon as they opened the squad builder. I'd be lying if I didn't grab it almost every time as well. Aside from the Jammer now being a disposable piece of equipment the profile and points for the Zulu are mostly unchanged. Points and profiles are the same, the LT option gains triangulated fire. Until we see how the metas start shaking out I assume the Zulu LT will remain stapled to the top of Varuna lists. With other units getting a drop in price the Spitfire option has become a bit more interesting...
The Echo Bravo was a profile I only started using in the last couple of months of N3, but one I fell in love with very quickly, and I suspect I will love them even more in N4! The points got a very minor tweak with the rocket launcher going up 1 and the hacker going down 1. Which means the paramedic/Wild Parrot profile stayed the same, which is honestly the one to go for. The Wild Parrot is a lot of fun as a control piece and the paramedic is a great unit to capture objectives in the later parts of the game. I often used the EB in rounds 2 or 3 to capture backline objectives that have been left undefended, or to shotgun snipers.
Like the Echo Bravo, the Kamau has been tweaked with a point increase here or there. The Kamau are feared by players and many have felt that they can be oppressive. The MSV2 Sniper Kamau specifically is infamous across the community as a nasty piece, and like the Zulu LT, is often a key element of Varuna list building. With that specific profile unchanged, I expect this to continue. Like the ORC's the biggest change is the Harris ability being a core element of the unit now, which will make fireteam composition very flexible.
Wow! These guys were pretty powerful, but often overlooked in Varuna due to the access to Kamau fireteams. The Croc-Man I always more fond of in Vanilla list builds. However, now with a major points decrease in the sniper and the minelayer/forward observer being only 1 point more I will assume they will be featured in more lists coming soon.
N4 brings us 15 point EVO hackers. With the changes to the hacking programs this is a much bigger deal than it seems at first. 25 points and .5 SWC was something I struggled with sneaking into a list. But now 15 points an .5 SWC and regular hackers loosing some of the redundant programs the EVO is now a must depending on your list. This one profile change alone gives list building a lot more variety for me. Now I feel a pair of Echo Bravos with the EVO hacker giving assist to combat jumps is huge! Assisted fire to give marksmanship to the Bulleeter (which also got no changes aside adding DUO) is great for only 15 points! Look at previous Fusillier hackers for 18 points and .5 SWC and this is a complete steal!
The Cutter has long been my favorite unit in Infinity. I love this thing. I love the way it looks, and once I put it on the table and learned what it could do first hand I was blown away. Oh, its 18 points cheaper now, which doesn't seem like much, but when you realize it's also .5 SWC cheaper as well....I am very excited to get the Cutter on the table that much more now!
The Squalo also got an 18 point reduction and some tweaking to the profiles. It is largely the same and I still suspect will be a nasty TAG to deal with. While the Cutter is a stealthy more direct combat TAG, the Squalo is more about making space with it's grenade launcher. The fact has Duo on every profile just opens the doors to fun! In N3 my favorite was pairing it with Patsy as it essentially gave you 2 extra orders (the NCO order and the tactical awareness order) to do with as you please. However, now you can have a Bulleteer run around with the Squalo? Yes please!
The rest of the faction is largely unchanged with very minor point decreases here and there. The biggest thing is Helot's still being 9 and .5 SWC for the light rocket launcher/SMG variant. This was already a steal in N3. I think it should have gone up a point or four. That profile often provides a lot more value than the 9 points it's worth. There has not been one game that I've taken this profile where I've traded it for at least 40+ points of bad guys. I've actually used a pair of them to destroy a complete fireteam in the first turn. Or one rounding hero units like Perseus. They are NASTY units....
Next up we will look at how some of my favorite lists have translated over to N4.