Infiltrator Tactics

Game Theory

Camouflaged infiltrators are an Infinity favorite.  This article is written with Tohaa in mind, but you’re playing another faction, you probably have a infiltrator similar to the Clipsos.  If you’re not familiar with infiltrators, or are looking for alternative strategies, here are some Clipsos tactics that you may not have considered.

―ALPHA STRIKER

Infiltrators are great for alpha strikes for reasons similar to airdrop troops.  This is simply because they require fewer orders to advance upon the enemy.  Also, having Camouflage actually increases your odds of a successful shootout by lowering the odds of a successful hit in the face-to-face roll.  This results in a higher average number of hits, making the Clipsos’ modest BS weapons more “accurate” than the same BS weapons boosted in Tohaa triads.

Consider also that the infiltration gamble of the bloodlusty Igao is only 5% more likely to succeed than the Clipsos—but we’re instinctive to infiltrate the Igao, and often less so with the Clipsos.  If you got the initiative, you may consider attempting to infiltrate the Clipsos.  It can be quite a gamble, but certainly worth a moment’s consideration.  Camo troopers in your backfield are a deadly threat to line troops.  A Clipsos with a combi can easily swipe 3 to 5 orders from the opponent in an alpha strike.

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―COORDINATED MINELAYING

A faction with fireteams generally needn’t blow through command tokens to secure ground.  But an aptly spent Command Token early in the game can be critical in denying ground to your opponent.  A group of Clipsos, along with any other mining troops you might have (Kosuils, Rasails, Nikouls) can quickly cover the board in mines, and disappear just as fast.  I’ve previously recommended thinking of Clipsos as reaction pieces, but using similar methods, you can turn an alleyway into a death trap, without directly risking a triad to do so.

Make sure to eliminate Sensor units if you plan on dousing the board with your antipersonnel mines.  Mines won’t usually defeat your foe, but they slow progress, waste orders, and make short work of ALEPH troopers relying on their No Wound Incapacitation.

―COUNTERREACTION

It’s quite common for players to bring 1 or 2 reaction pieces to the game table.  This can be fireteams or specialized troops, but it’s often Remotes like a Reaktion Zond or a Bulleteer buffed with Hacking programs.  Other factions may make great use of speculative shot to disable such nuisances, but due to the N3 fireteam nerf, speculative shots (and throws) are far less common for us.

Intuitively, a linked HMG Ectros or Spitfire Sakiel will be the counter of choice for many players.  But Clipsos are very reliable counters to Total Reaction Remotes, Sin-Eaters, an enemy HMG Auxiliar, or other effective reaction pieces―even when your Clipsos is just armed with a plain jane Combi Rifle.

Having any Clipsos means you can react to reaction bots, without having to bring other specialized tools.  But because Forward Observers and Minelayers are so popular, you’ll usually have a Combi Rifle, and that’ll do just fine:

Sparky the Reaktion Zond rules over all the lesser zonds, buffed with Marksmanship L2, ready to gut any artichokes who dare cross its eyes.  But Coreen the Clipsos can handle it.

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Take note of what type of weapon the hostile reaction unit has.  Usually, it will be an HMG or Sniper Rifle—get in close!  Find a route that can get you close into Combi rifle range. If the reaction unit has a close range weapon like a Heavy Shotgun, you can apply the same principle with a Clipsos sniper (if you brought one), inversing these penalties to your favor at range.

Remaining camouflaged, and avoiding contact with all other foes, Coreen will make a beeline toward Sparky.

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Move along the route toward your target, interacting with nothing else along the way, if you are able.  If your target has Marksmanship L2 or Camouflage, you may want to move within 8 inches, just to be safe.  Otherwise, moving within 16 inches will do.  What you want is to stay camouflaged all the way to your target—in the moment that the Clipsos reveals herself, she imparts a -3 surprise penalty to the opponent’s reaction.  You want that reaction piece to suffer it.

Coreen advances, but will wait to reveal herself until the critical moment, at danger-close range.  Sparky sees Coreen’s mirage and gets ready to shoot.

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On a new order, move in view of the reaction piece, and let them declare their ARO or delay.  When using a high-burst reactive weapon with Total Reaction, Neurocinetics, or Suppressive Fire, an opponent’s instinct is to delay and then fire back, as high burst usually results in hits or crits.  What your opponent may fail to realize is that you have stacked the penalties so harshly that their bullets will hit nothing but air.  In the cartoon example, Sparky will suffer a -6 from TO camouflage, a -3 for Surprise penalty, and a -3 for close range.  Coreen’s negative cover modifier does not apply to Sparky with his Marksmanship, but the net penalty will be -12.

Coreen opens fire, but even with his mighty marksmanship, Sparky can’t hit her back.   Silly bot.  Coreen destroys Sparky.

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After you have declared your move and your opponent has declared their ARO, open fire. In most cases, the penalties are so steep that your opponent will only be able to crit, at best; if at all. You, on the other hand, will have around an 80% chance of downing the target.

If the target was a Remote, and a hostile Engineer or Servant is nearby, continue firing upon the carcass.  A Remote carcass cannot fall prone, so you will continue to have line of fire.  Failure to double-tap a remote may result in you having to do this all over again next turn.

An informed opponent seeing this maneuver won’t shoot back, but dodge instead.  Dodging a camo attack offers a better chance to survive for a shootout when your Surprise penalty no longer applies. The odds are still in your favor, however:  They still take the Surprise penalty to dodge, and if they are Remotes, they take an additional -3 for being Remotes.  Remember this note when facing enemy camo with our HMG Chaksa—you are highly advised to dodge with his handsome PH12, as the Chaksa will fail even with burst 4.

Note that this tactic falls apart when facing troopers with MSV3 or Sixth Sense.  Don’t send a Clipsos against an Aquila or Maakrep unless you can flank it.

―CAMO RESPONDER

Clipsos in hidden deployment are also natural responders to other camo troops.  Let me illustrate how:

Aarti the Kamael is stranded, and it’s our enemy’s turn.  For the first part of its order, an enemy camo marker comes up to the corner to face her.  We don’t delay Aarti, knowing that she is going to have terrible odds shooting back at the camo marker—so we announce that she will dodge.  During deployment, we noted this chokepoint and, still in hidden deployment, placed a Clipsos with a Boarding Shotgun.  We delay him, which requires us to place a TO Camo Marker, but does not reveal Clipsos.

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A Naga reveals to fire, declaring his full burst into poor Aarti.  Since the Clipsos delayed, and his opponent could not declare any burst into the TO Camo Marker, the Clipsos’ reaction shot is unopposed.

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And hopefully Aarti is avenged. ❤

―I.T.S. OBJECTIVES

It should go without saying―but a 25-point Clipsos Forward Observer is quite fit for ITS and campaign objectives.  I strongly recommend bringing 1 or 3 infiltrating Forward Observers in every list.  Other factions often receive Assault Hackers as infiltrating specialists, too.  Not only are such specialists highly survivable with their camouflage, they save you valuable orders by being able to start the game a skip away from an objective.  Objectives ultimately win games.

TNTStandalone10―ROCKET TAGGING

More and more I find myself bringing our now-cheap Rocket Chaksa in my lists.  In the last edition, the Rocket Chaksa was discouragingly expensive, but he is now so cheap in points and SWC I have a hard time not bringing one.  If you’re already bringing Forward Observers, bringing guided weaponry is a naturally good integration.

Tohaa is smothered in Forward Observers, and the Clipsos may be the best candidate for the role.  Starting upfield, and with camouflage and surprise penalties to your opponent, your Clipsos is best for tagging critical targets, clusters, and fireteams, and for the delivery of softening alpha strikes safely with smart rockets.  Note that its fire will damage enemy camo and completely disable Optical Disruptor Devices―a very useful point when combating Bakunin and ALEPH.

TNTStandaloneClipsosTactics02―STRETCH MINES

Clipsos of course can be Minelayers, and they can really shove the mines out there.  A point players often undervalue with the Minelaying is that the mine can be placed anywhere within the zone of control.  Many [new] players have a tendency to place their mine adjacent to the minelaying trooper, but you can easily place it on the other side of a wall, on the roof of an adjacent building, or on the stairway below you.

As Certs noted in the comments, mines cannot be placed past the center line, unless your Minelayer has also successfully infiltrated past that center line.  Even so, the free 24″ infiltration zone + 8″ zone of control, you are afforded great flexibility, able to place mines divertingly far away from your Minelayer.  When you place a mine diagonally up or down, you can reach almost a foot (29cm) away with placement.  Vertical maps can therefore highly favor minelayers.

If you need to check whether the mine is placed legally, run your measuring tape from the mine, not from the Minelayer.  Sweep it back and forth to obscure where your Clipsos might be, and adjust as needed.

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―GRENADE DELIVERY

Clipsos grenadiers work wonderfully in both in active and reactive turn―especially against Fireteams.  A PH15 Nimbus Plus Grenade nerfs into the goddamn ground all of the benefits that a Fireteam is built to enjoy.  Note, however, that the Surprise penalty does not apply in your reactive turn.  An active turn Clipsos can follow up with a split-burst pickoff, imposing a -12 penalty to enemy ballistic rolls before range and cover, while shooting on 5s herself.

Because Nimbus Plus Grenades have the Targetless trait, you do not need to suffer camouflage and cover penalties of your enemy―simply throw the Nimbus cloud where you want.  And because Nimbus affects Dodge rolls, a Makaul or Igao followup is pure murder.  The Nimbus Plus penalties are so steep that, in many cases, a revealed Clipsos can walk by enemies, in full view, and render enemy reaction shots impossible with a -6 from Nimbus Plus, a -6 from TO Camo, a -3 from Partial Cover, and further possible penalties from range.  But remember that the maximum net penalty is -12.  A PanO TAG could still hit your Clipsos through Nimbus, albeit rolling for 3 or fewer.

Speculative throws are also viable.  Even before the N3 fireteam nerf regarding Speculative throws, I was having a hard time making use of grenades from common Sakiel and Makaul troops.  A player tipped me off to the Clipsos being a superior delivery system, and I have loved her as a grenadier since.


Always be on the lookout for new tactics!  Infinity has robust, flexible rules, and those concerning camouflage are robustly flexible indeed.

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4 thoughts on “Infiltrator Tactics

  1. Good comprehensive guide. One that may need correcting, but deployables, like Minelayer, now follow the same restrictions as their owner. So they can’t be placed past the centerline anymore unless you also aggressive infiltrate with the Clipsos. Burned me up when I first learned about that in respect to all my Nomad Crazykoalas, especially for scenarios with exclusion zones.

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  2. Good article! The Clipsos is an amazing unit, and the combination of low-cost with TO camo and 3 AVA is a strength for Tohaa. It’s great to see you blogging again.

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    1. Thanks, brother! It’s good to be back. I’ve found that product reviews get the most views here, so it’s nice to be able to write other articles that folks like.

      Camo infiltrators are really, really robust, to the point that I’m surprised that they are not all more expensive.

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