The Gao-Tarsos changed a bunch in the new edition. Or did he?
In the story, Gao-Tarsos numerical significance is “pi”. I wish I thought to post this on Saturday. It was Pi Day! In the fictional Tohaa understanding, it represents omnipotence that alters destiny on a biblical scale.
Again, the above is the impressive work studio painter Ángel Giráldez. His collected work may be gawked at here.
The Gao-Tarsos probably won’t change your destiny, but it is regarded as one of the better Combat Drop troops in the entire game of Infinity. With high armor, dependable weaponry, two effective wounds, and little dead weight, the Gao-Tarsos tends to play as handsomely as he looks.
While probably dethroned by Ko Dali or the Fraacta for “Best In Class Drop Troop” award, the Gao-Tarsos still ranks highly. All four loadouts are useful, though in many situations others may certainly be more useful.
Combi Rifle ― As with the next two options, the vanilla Combi Rifle Gao-Tarsos brings a dependable weapon, with an anti-materiel tool. When objectives demand or circumstance permits, the D-Carges are a great way to demolish a scenery element.
Boarding Shotgun ― A highly superior weapon, if you succeed the airdrop roll. This loadout is now a favorite option among many Tohaa players, although sadly there is no available sculpt.
Paramedic ― An unloved but useful option, the Paramedic loadout remains a deliverable Specialist in most ITS scenarios, and is not significantly more expensive than the vanilla option. If you don’t bring medics in your Tohaa Triads, the Gao-Tarsos Paramedic is a valuable on-demand healer.
HMG ― While the most-loved option in Second Edition, it has probably become the least-loved option in Third Edition. Because HMGs are now mid-long range weapons, and Combat Jump troops typically end in close-mid range, the HMG has obvious setbacks. A cluttered gaming table can compound them. Still, the HMG is a powerful weapon that may act as a great airdroppable turret through use of Suppressive Fire. Of relevance is Star Traveller’s thread on the Tiger AD troop for Yu Jing, and how one can use the AD skill as (effectively) Strategos on a long-range AD platform. Note than this loadout loses D-Charges.
Altogether, the Gao-Tarsos has not changed much for the N3 edition, with the only obvious setback being to the HMG option. Worthy of note is that with 12 Physique and 3 Armor, the Gao-Tarsos can be fairly cavalier about enemy fire.
However, lacking Direct Template Weapon or Stealth or the ability receive Symbiobombs and Symbiomates, you may be unenthused to choose the Gao-Tarsos. That is fair. The Gao-Tarsos is premium-priced, too, representing at least a tenth of your army value. Be choosy when you make the jump.
But what else is there to say about these guys? They are silly good in all the obvious ways, and poor in little else.
I like taking this trooper much more now that we have access to a cheap(er) hacker with the ALIVE mercenaries, which makes boosting the Gao-Tarsos’ jump much less taxing. I recently ran this outrageous list with two Gao-Tarsos and the Bit & Kiss merc, fun and effective.
On a thread about players’ favorite miniatures by faction, the Gao-Tarsos was mine and most players’ favorite miniature within the Tohaa lineup. Aesthetically I could not be more pleased, particularly with the akimbo Combi Rifle & Pistol model. But physically…
Damn. Are these guys a pain to assemble! Higher-level skill, patience, and probably pinning will be required to keep Gao-Tarsos in one piece: but he comes in 10. 6 wings, 2 arms, and head and body, make many breakable little bits. By appearance I couldn’t rate him higher, but as a model to assemble, I couldn’t rate him lower.
I rate the Gao-Tarsos 3 out of 5 artichokes.
TL;DR Buy a Gao-Tarsos if you want a badass shock troop. But be ready to pay the price in points and patience…