If you own the Tohaa Trident starter, you already own an Ectros. But maybe you’re a piecemeal collector, or you’re just waffling on the HMG Ectros. Should you pick Tohaa’s Heavy Infantry?
As always, I’d like to credit Corvus Belli’s virtuoso painter, Angel Giraldez, for the above work. Even among studio painters Mr. Giraldez should be noted highly for his huge workload and consistently great product.
Infinity veteran and WarCor ToadChild, creator of the amazing Infinity Dice Calculator, said of the Ectros in the previous edition, “I never had an HMG Ectros who wasn’t worth his weight in gold.”
That was not an opinion he reiterated in the current edition, but still: Ectros are a decent Heavy Infantry, and if you’re bringing Kaeltars (you should be), they can be used far more bravely. Here’s my breakdown of the Ectros loadouts:
Lieutenant ― With no higher Willpower than that of the rest of our non-Neema lieutenants, no unique tools over vanilla Ectros, and no ability to use his Lieutenant order without undoing his Fireteam, there is not a meta reason to bring an Ectros Lieutenant. However, if your list has this type of unit, and little room for a more favorable Lieutenant like the Rasail or Neema, the officer will be well-protected by being an Ectros.
HMG ― Because the Ectros can enter a Fireteam and has better control of his firing range, I’d rate the Ectros as a superior HMG delivery than the Gao-Tarsos. If you want a high-damage weapon, I’d instinctively recommend our Viral weapons, but twice the range and peak damage make the HMG fearsome for any trooper. Unlike many vanilla HMG Heavy Infantry, the Ectros holds onto his Nanopulser.
Viral ― Viral weapons are one of the most exquisitely deadly in Infinity. A Viral Ectros gives you a bit of an edge over a Viral Sakiel, with BS+1 and extra padding. However, a Viral Ectros under threat of fire can, in one enemy order, see his beneficial range closed and the whoosh of a Heavy Flamethrower thrown over his head. Certainly bring Symbiomate Kaeltars if you plan to bring a Viral Ectros.
Vulkan ― Possibly the most comical and wonderful reason to bring Symbiomates is the Vulkan Ectros. The Vulkan Ectros saw almost no use in the previous edition, and still sees little use now, but with a Symbiomate or Symbiobomb, the Vulkan Ectros can make clutch moves against would-be threats with his stupefyingly dangerous Vulkan Shotgun. Pair up with Makauls and enjoy.
Ectros, unfortunately, aren’t cheap. Given that many good Tohaa options cost fewer than 30 points, the bigger price tag on the Ectros is a significant detraction. Don’t be too greedy, though. The Ectros is a strong pile of wounds and weaponry. Those wounds may be easily lost to small arms fire, but consistent use of cover and tactical dexterity will keep the Ectros engaged. An Ectros even has a passing chance at CC.
A criticisms I have of Corvus Belli’s design choices with Tohaa is its vulnerability to Hacking. The justifications fall apart under the scrutiny of logic, as the background for Tohaa clearly spells out the non-computer-controlled and biological nature of even their highest Symbiont suit. But, I suppose we need something for hackers to hack. If you love your Ectros but regularly fight hacker forces, you are strongly advised to bring a Symbiobomb or Kamael Hacker.
All that said, he is a durable, agile, linkable firing platform for Tohaa with high (for us) ballistic skill. I recommend Ectros to players who like tanks. Used with care, fielding an Ectros can result in satisying payoffs.
Both Ectros models are not particularly practical pose, but are overall easy to assemble―except for those damn kneehorns. Patience, pinning, drilling, or a really good glue may be required to keep their horns attached to the knees.
I rate the Ectros 3 out of 5 artichokes.
TL;DR Ectros are not hard to hack, and easily fall to sustained fire―but they are not too pricey. With decisive and supported use, Ectros can deliver very favorable trades on the game table.