While the Nikoul is not innately an aggressive piece as other Tohaa stars, he has traits that situationally make him a superior defensive platform than even the dreadful Heavy Machine Gun Auxiliar. Look no further than the Sniper Sapper Zouave to see that we are getting a bargain. And look below for the magnified reasons why the Nikoul is quite worth his price.
The Nikoul’s Sapper skill is perhaps his most important feature. If you haven’t played much Company of Heroes and don’t know what a “sapper” is, it’s essentially a soldier who digs foxholes. You can start the game with him already sapped, and you’ll want to. What being sapped gives you in Infinity are several key things:
- A sapped Nikoul gets 360° cover. While the Nikoul does not get 360° vision, like the Heavy Machine Gun Auxiliar gets, to get cover from all angles is very good indeed.
- The “foxhole” transforms your Nikoul to Silhouette 3, as modeled. This is important, as it lowers the Nikoul’s exposed height, but still allows him to peer over the usual ~1.5cm ridges on most model terrain rooftops.
- While sapped, the Nikoul gains Mimetism. In addition to the usual -3 penalty for cover, your opponent takes another -3 penalty for the Nikoul’s low-profile camo.
- The Nikoul has Courage as long as he is sapped. If he takes a hit—or even a wound—he has the pluck to stay put, even if the rest of his comrades are in retreat.
You can even use Dodge while sapped. In rare occasions that shooting is a disadventageous choice, the Nikoul can duck bullets, but still remain in his rocky foxhole.
Unlike the popular Auxiliar defensive piece, the Nikoul can take a hit. Two, in fact. His moderate armor and BTS, and perma-cover with his foxhole, will keep him alive far longer than the fleshy Chaksa peering over the rooftops.
Be aware that as all cover, the Nikoul does not get the defensive bonus when facing flamethrowers and other template weapons. A case like this is a great time to use Dodge as described above.
The Nikoul comes with a Multispectral Visor L1. Although the venerated Multispectral Visor L2 is often considered superior in every way, in many cases, an MSV1 does just as well. It evaporates the penalties from Camouflage, Mimetism, and any low visibility zones. It also halves the penalties from Thermo-Optical Camouflage and Optical Disruptor Devices.
The Nikoul therefore is especially valuable in natural terrain boards. Trees, low visibility and saturation zones have little effect on the Nikoul as a defensive piece. At long range in the woods, he can survive shootouts against TAGs.
It’s the Viral Sniper Rifle. The weapon that makes Ariadnan troops tremble before Haqqislamite Lasiqs. The Viral Sniper Rifle is one of the most powerful weapons in Infinity, using a very generous range band, with one of the deadliest ammunitions, at the highest damage level.
When considered along with the benefits of the sapper skill, the Symbiont armor, the Mimetism, and the MSV1, the Nikoul’s mighty Viral Sniper Rifle is a ferocious and occasionally unfair weapon.
As far as assembly goes, the Nikoul is a no-nonsense model, with wide contact points and a broad base to mount him on. Short of dropping him barrel-down, you should never have a problem with little bits breaking off.
As many Tohaa options, you can play a great game without bringing a Nikoul. But if you like the model, or the idea of him, but are on the fence—let me give you a push:
Buy a Nikoul. Only bad dice should cause regret!
I rate the Nikoul 4 out of 5 artichokes.
TL;DR With decent stats, great skills and equipment, and one of Infinity’s most evil weapons, the Nikoul is a great unit, even if he doesn’t get lots of bullets to fire.