sThey are the proud servants of Tohaa, and one of the most crucial pieces in many veteran players’ arsenals. Have you picked up Chaksa Auxiliars yet?
If you didn’t already recognize the masterwork, that’s Angel Giraldez’s work, the studio painter for Corvus Belli and Infinity the Game. All the models, from our lithe Tohaa to boring humans, are painted by him.
If you didn’t buy the campaign books, or care to read the fluff, it’s still worthy of note that the Chaksa are the Tohaa’s premiere “pupil” race. Tohaa, like all people, prefer that other people fight their battles, and these humble goat-dog beasts whom they exalted with sentience have been only too pleased to fight for their creators. In practice, all Chaksas are servants or supplemental fire. The Chaksa Auxiliars fall into the latter category.
They may not be as handsome as artichokes, but Chaksas are excellent allies. All Chaksas has some form of Courage, and Auxiliars are no exception. Should an Auxiliar take a hit―and survive―you can make him hold his ground without a flinch. With a Physique score equal to Morats, and no penalty to Dodge that come with traditional auxiliary robots, Chaksa can avoid danger when necessary. Also compared to traditional robots, Chaksa excel at Close Combat Skill.
Chaksa are bukly, but don’t like their armor deceive you. Unlike their Symbiont-bearing overseers, a Chaksa will go down in one hit. Unlike “Remotes” robots of other factions, Chaksas die to Shock ammunition.
But this means that an Auxiliar, as an Infantry, can easily Dodge and go Prone. While giant killer robots might have a good time stomping around, giant robots are giant hackable targets. Also unlike the parallel robots from other factions, Auxiliars are not fast. So think of Chaksas chase down foes. Just gun down your foes on their way in.
Don’t worry about attacks on these guys. Chaksa Auxiliars are meant to face harm head-on and fire back. A box of Chaksa Auxiliars usually runs between 25 to 35 euros or dollars. Inside comes four model loadouts—a Heavy Rocket, and a Heavy Machine Gun, and two Heavy Flamthrowers. Although the Auxiliars share traits, each loadout fulfills a different purpose. Here’s a breakdown of each loadout:
Heavy Rocket Launcher — The Heavy Rocket Launcher is a powerful tool for many factions, but ours on the Auxiliar is uniquely a “Smart” one, meaning that you can fire guided rockets to any targets marked by a Forward Observer. Given the popularity of low-cost Forward Observers in the Tohaa army, a Heavy Rocket Launcher Auxiliar fits in nicely—and cheaply. In Second Edition, the Heavy Rocket Launcher Auxiliar cost 29 points. Now, he’s just 15. Almost certainly, since you’ll already have Forward Observers, you might take a Rocket Chaksa, too.
If a difficult camouflage opponent, like a Swiss Guard, is grouped with an easier target, like a Fusilier, you fire at the easier target (the Fusilier) and hit both with the explosion at no penalty. Rockets, like all fire weapons, disable Camouflage and ODD. The Rocket Chaksa is specifically valuable as defensive weapon in the Nimbus Zone scenario.
Heavy Machine Gun — The Heavy Machine Gun is a ubiquitous and popular weapon. High damage, medium-long range, and lots of bullets make it generally very deadly. Its Neurocinetics skill inverts the Burst delivery, so that in your active turn, the scatterbrained Auxiliar fires only one burst where you direct him―but in your reactive turn, the HMG Chaksa throws four DAM15 dice at anyone who crosses his view. Beware other HMG Remotes with Marksmanship, they will eat the HMG Chaksa alive.
Note that unlike the mighty neurocinetics Sin-Eater in Nomads, the Neurocinetics Chaksa has a 360° visor. Use the Neurocinetics Chaksa as a mobile turret, easily concealed, and generally dominating.
Heavy Flamethrower — Arguably the best-equipped of the bunch, the Heavy Flamethrower Auxiliar totes supplies for his time and roots out hidden opponents. An equipped Sensor allows you to discover everything within 8 inches (20 centimeters) of the Chaksa. Simply roll a 19 or less, and anything within that range is revealed—even invisible Thermooptical Camouflage troops in hidden deployment. Sensor also allows the Chaksa to perform triangulated fire with his pistol.
Once discovered, the Heavy Flamethrower is a guaranteed-to-hit weapon, sure to cook off camouflage, and make the opponent cower with no cover. At only 10 points, the Heavy Flamethrower Chaksa is able to make highly advantageous trades with expensive enemy models. An Anathematic might not fear an HMG Chaksa, but it will be cautious around a Baggage Chaksa with a flamethrower.
Finally—the Heavy Flamethrower Auxiliar comes with the Baggage skill, which counts as 20 more points than normal, and allows him to refill friendly troops with Mines and Flammenspeers. These bonus 20 points don’t let you buy extra units, but they do help the Chaksa stand in as a larger unit on ITS scenarios with territory control, and keep your nose above water when the need to “Retreat!” normally arises.
These guys are a still great, even with the Kaauri. Like the Kerail and Rasail, you have two “good” choices, so take whichever one you like better, or take both.
But I’ve been thinking about this―I think the reason the Kumotail has less stock these days is the volume of Shock that is available to our enemies. Previously, the Kumotail paired naturally with Chaksas, as she was really good at rezzing those unconscious HMGs. Now the HMGs just die to Shock.
Chaksa Auxiliars are not hard to assemble, except for Rocket Chaksa and the ammo chains. The Heavy Rocket Launcher is modeled separately from the Chaksa, with a small flat attachment point, and no socket for the bulky piece to fit in. Pinning is therefore emphatically recommended for the Rocket.
The Chaksas’ ammo chains are optional, and you might decide not to place them. Aesthetically, I liked the chains best on the Heavy Machine Gun and Heavy Flamethrower models. In attaching them I would recommend drilling a wider socket on their back mounts, or else adding a lot of adhesive, as the ammo chains tend to break off easily.
I rate the Chaksa Auxiliars box 3 out of 5 artichokes.
TL;DR Widely considered a “must-buy”, Chaksa Auxiliars fill a very broad range of functions, and provide many heavy weapons to the Tohaa army.