When the Sky Falls Down: AD Troop Guide
by Pride of Rodina · Published · Updated
Phew! It’s been a while, comrades! Pride of Rodina is a busy man and he’s been extremely busy cooking up a few projects here and there. However, he has returned and wishes to spread the good word about airborne deployment troops.
However, before we dig into the article, I would like to thank the fine folks of the Infinity Brasil Facebook page for all of their support and love so far. This article goes out to you folks.
When the Sky Falls Down
Airborne deployment troops are some of the greatest troops in the game, if you know how to use them properly. Nothing like dropping an Assault Hacker out of the middle of nowhere, or bringing a HMG in behind your enemy’s front line. The element of surprise is the critical part of airborne deployment (from here on out called “AD”), but it’s a high risk, high reward situation. If you can learn to minimize the risk involved, then you can maximize the reward.
Let’s look at the different levels:
- Split the table into 8 segments
- Must pick a segment to deploy in DURING Deployment
- Cannot deploy in the enemy Deployment Zone (so really it’s only 6 segments)
- Must be placed in base-to-base with the board edge
- Same as Level 1, but now you can choose where to deploy the trooper during the Active Turn which they are coming in, no need to predetermine.
- Allows the trooper to deploy anywhere on the table, as long as a template will sit flat on the table.
- Cannot deploy in Low Visibility or Zero Visibility zones.
- Requires a PH-3 roll
- If successful, the entire base of the model must be deployed within the template
- If failed, the trooper suffers a dispersion roll. Full rules for this can be found here
- Same as Level 3, but at a straight PH roll instead of -3
- Same as Level 4, but if the trooper suffers a dispersion result that would take them off of the table, they can instead deploy within your Deployment Zone instead.
- Same as Level 2, but can deploy within the enemy Deployment Zone
It’s worth pointing out that any trooper who’s using AD doesn’t provide an order while not present (similar to Hidden Deployment). They can’t deploy prone nor in base-to-base with other models or objectives. Also, an AD troop uses their own order to deploy (i.e. Yuan-Yuans use their Impetuous Orders, Tiger Soldiers uses their Regular Order). Something else to keep in mind is that higher levels of AD can use lower levels, if they wish.
Landing the Jump
With the rules out of the way, we’ll break the AD types into two groups: walkers and droppers (yes, I realize they sound like zombie names) and go into specific details about each from there.
Walkers (AD: 1, 2, and X)
The most important part of the walkers is that you need to know where to put them. This is one of those things you need to figure out even before you put your models on the table. You should loosely already have a plan on whether you want them to deploy on your side of the table or the opposing side, what their ‘mission’ will be, and what turn you’d like for them to come in on, while making your list. Some walkers will fare better if they’re deployed on your side of the table, like the Para-Commando HMG. Some of them like to get up close and personal to wreak havoc, like Tomcats or Spetsnaz. Sometimes you might want them to do a late turn objective run or you’ll want them to drop Turn 1 and start pounding some face. It really just depends on the kind of troop you take and what you want them to accomplish. Luckily, Level 2 and X are a wee bit more lenient in this regard, but I still wouldn’t come unprepared.
Once you start deploying, you’ll want to check out the table, the scenario you’re playing, opponent deployment (if applicable), and terrain to decide between left or right. Sometimes this will also affect the choice of ‘your side or the opponent’s side’. Once you finally figure out where you want to deploy, the next problem will be walking on the walker on and not getting shot to pieces. Try to clear a path by eliminating targets when possible, use some sort of smoke grenade to smoke the landing zone, or pick an extremely secure landing zone.
Droppers (AD: 3, 4, and 5)
Droppers have the advantage of being unpredictable. They can drop anywhere on the battlefield they want and whenever they want. The primary thing to keep in mind here is that you pick a safe place to drop. Do not drop in front of a bunch of ARO pieces. This is one time when you can’t smoke the landing zone either, so you’ll have to try to pick the best spot, out of line of sight and that would be advantageous for you to drop into. Many times this is dropping on a flank behind some tall terrain, or in your opponent’s Deployment Zone, obscured by terrain. Main thing is to clear a landing zone first and try to land behind terrain. Secondly is to determine what the mission of the dropper is going to be, much like with the walkers. This will determine where you’ll want to land them and in proximity of what.
Keep in mind the Dispersion roll. Try to place your AD troop where they won’t disperse off the table (unless they have Level 5, then it’s kind of okay) or try to limit the amount of paths that will take them off the table. There is always the chance you will fail, so it’s worth taking this into consideration. If you are worried about Dispersion, don’t forget you can always downgrade to Level 2, which is usually a much safer alternative.
Also, sometimes your dropper might be a bit more resilient than your average trooper. Sometimes this might encourage you to make some bold moves and drop in front of an ARO piece. I would strongly discourage this idea, unless you KNOW it gives you the advantage you need. Troops like Fraacta, Gao-Tarsos, and even Ragiks can withstand a few hits, if needed, but it’s still a fairly bold and risky move.
Using AD Troops Effectively
Now that you’ve successfully landed your Airborne trooper on the table, it’s time to wreak some havoc. There are a few things you need to always keep in mind when using an AD trooper;
- Exploit weaknesses: The main advantage of AD troops is that they can exploit any weaknesses your opponent has left open. If you see a rather weak left flank, with no support behind it, bring in the AD troop from behind and shred them. If they didn’t leave any guards for their obvious lieutenant, drop in the dropper and cut the head off of the snake. Remember that AD troops are mostly tools to help you take advantage of openings, not necessarily to create them. They are a sickle, not a hammer.
- Earn your points back: Don’t throw your AD troops at the front-line and hope for something good to happen. There’s a reason why you’re paying points for the AD skill and not investing those points into a heavier trooper. AD troops are excellent for “trading up”, or killing more points than they are worth, so do it. Don’t waste points paying for Airborne Deployment, if you’re not taking advantage of it.
- Be a general pain in the rear: Being able to surprise your opponent is an excellent advantage. You can easily use this to waste your opponent’s Orders, block a path to an objective, or even steal an objective. Use your AD troops to be an all around nuisance and earn you more time or security to do the mission. If you can’t trade up in points, trade for efficiency and action economy.
- Cripple Order Pools: Slightly hinted at earlier, but use your AD troops to take out Order Generators and cripple your opponent’s combat effectiveness. If you can’t kill the TAG that’s sitting in the middle of the table, kill the Orders that feed it. Destroy the fuel to the engine.
Pride of Rodina
Kyle Randolph's the name and Infinity's the game! I've been playing wargames since 2006 and I've been playing Infinity since 2013. I started with Ariadna, only using Kazaks, but now I've expanded my collection to include more than 8 different armies. Find my complete bio in the "About the Authors" section as well as a link to my personal blog, all about Infinity, for a double whammy of awesome!
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