Aelis Keesan. She’s pretty. She’s expensive. She’s one of the most robust tools a Tohaa player can have. And she’s obsolete.
You might consider finding a Combined Army player to split the Dire Foes box with you, to get Aelis. If not, any lady Kamael should make a great proxy. Given the high box cost of getting Aelis, she’s definitely one to proxy before purchase.
Aelis is an outstanding Tohaa toolbox―really. A good rifle, a template weapon, anti-material capability, above-average-Willpower specialist, and a Sensor mean she can do just about anything. I couldn’t upsell her Sensor enough―auto-discovering everything with a roasty Makaul followup is a one-two punch I’ve used ad infinitum.
Aelis is a mix of Tohaa arsenal, PanO ballistic skill, Haqq willpower, Morat physique, and Ariadnan hacking. She’s really not deficient in anything. But she has just 1 wound, and at 30+ points—especially in the Tohaa context—that makes her a hard sell. The main selling point you should consider, if you’re going to pay for her, is her ability to put a Sensor in a triad.
The unfortunate thing about Aelis is our strong Kosuil steps on Keesan’s toes. One of the (former) best reasons to take Aelis was her value for ITS scenarios and her anti-material weaponry. Tohaa is a bit underarmed in that department. Aelis can do so at range with her K1, which was her niche until the Kosuil. The Kosuil is even a WIP14 specialist, which was also an Aelis niche. Her Viral Combi is a good choice, too, but a Viral Combi on a cheap 2-wound Sakiel is too tempting.
I would recommend Aelis Keesan particularly to new Tohaa owners who came from Haqqislam or Nomads, who are used to elite light infantry with an answer for everything.
Power creep is a bitch. Aelis was a perennial. But I now recommend to avoid her. The Kosuil outclassed Aelis, then the Sukeul outclassed her again. She has two major sources of dead weight:
The first is Regeneration. Like the Taqeul, and most other models in Infinity who have Regeneration or Automedikit, the skill is expensive bloat. She would actually be cheaper with Symbiont Armor and MSV1, for example, in the current pricing.
The other dead weight is the Defensive Hacking Device. This was a useful tool in a triad in Second Edition, but in the current edition, it just makes Aelis fodder for Killer Hackers who are now everywhere.
I would fix Aelis currently by reducing her Defensive Hacking Device to Forward Observer, reduce Regeneration to Shock Immunity, reduce her PH to 11, and remove D-Charges. This would adjust her cost to down to 22 points for the Viral version, and 21 points for the K1 version. She would be therefore worth more consideration against the Sakiel, Sukeul, and Kosuil.
The Dire Foes box is little more complicated than any other Infinity miniature, though it does come with some nice artwork and unique missions. Aelis was quite easy to assemble, and I enjoy using the Hazmat she came with as an HVT for ITS or civvie for YAMS missions.
To what Aelis represents as a model, she inexplicably has 3 pistols sculpted on her, and Starwarsian tentacle hair that may be best explained as a biotech-grafted sensor. As all female Tohaa, she point primary weapon points uselessly into the clouds―but is otherwise a lovely sculpt.
I rate Aelis Keesan 1 out of 5 artichokes.
TL;DR Waste of money. Though a good combatant and valuable specialist, Keesan’s high price and vulnerability will dissuade players from choosing Aelis over a Kosuil or Sukeul.
AD NAUSEAM Context matters: Before the Sukeul, I rated Aelis 3/5. Before the Kosuil, I would have rated Aelis 4/5 or 5/5. Power creep is an acute concern for me with Infinity. I’m interested to see what the coming rulebooks offer, and I hope continued balance is the goal.