Makauls, sometimes even moreso than our posterboy Sakiels, are a flagbearer for the Tohaa arsenal, bringing fire, fury, and viral attacks en masse. Not only are they a crux of most Triads, they may be a crux of the Tohaa army.
I’d like to open with TheMatsjo‘s summation of the Makaul, as he tidily sums why this is a 5 out of 5 unit for our faction:
Every other faction is jealous of the Tohaa’s Makual Troops. These melee combatants are cheap, powerful, carry excellent tools, can be part of Tridents and they’re also Regular troops unlike many Infinity Warband models. Makaul are simply excellent and are very likely to shine in any force you field. They are decent at close combat, especially for their price, their Heavy Flamethrowers allow them to trade with significantly more expensive models and their Zero-V Smoke Grenades give Tohaa Tridents the ability to advance under rolling smoke, especially because throwing Grenades benefits from the Trident’s Burst bonuses. The Makaul are excellent by almost any measure, and while they’re not essential to fielding a powerful Tohaa force, they certainly pull their weight whenever they’re included.
But a point I’d disagree with TheMatsjo here is that Makauls are decent at close combat. They’re not. They’re excellent at close combat.
There’s a lot to talk about here, so I’ll be saying a lot. Let’s break open a box of Makauls and look at the profiles:
Heavy Flamethrower / Viral CCW ― Very yes. Heavy Flamethrowers gobble up anything relying on camouflage and disruption, and their special Eclipse Grenades are one of the best tools for a triad. Eclipse Smoke denies not only standard Line of Fire, but Multispectral Visors as well. And if a swordsman engages your triad, the Makaul can engage him right back. Absolute excellence at 13 points.
Heavy Flamethrower / Double-Action CCW ― Also very yes. A double-action close combat weapon is a good tool for anti-materiel demolition ops, and for warring against factions resistant to Viral and other BTS-targeting weapons.
Boarding Shotgun ― Yes. Shotguns aren’t particularly common in Tohaa fireteams―the Kosuil can bring one, the Ectros can bring one if you’re feeling plucky, and the Gao-Rael has one that nobody remembers. Eclipse Smoke is retained here, and is therefore a useful loadout.
Combi Rifle ― No. Not a bad unit, but for 20 points, the Sakiel Combi will be the better choice nearly every time.
I’ll say again, for any readers who aren’t sold on Makauls, that the Makaul is one of the best tools for a Tohaa triad.
Eclipse Smoke sometimes confuses new players, but is very important to understand: Eclipse Grenades, unlike regular Smoke Grenades, denies not only normal Line of Fire, but Multispectral vision as well. Cover up objectives for your specialists. Cover up firelanes to cross safely. Cover up enemy TAGs to blind them. Eclipse Smoke can also be used by a free running Makaul to deliver powerful Intuitive Attacks with his flamethrower. As far as the numbers go, with the 8″ +3 zone, and a PH score of 13, and Burst 2 from being in a Fireteam, you have very good odds of delivering them wherever you need.
Flamethrowers are the other big plus on Makauls. Beyond Makauls, triad-able troops have sparse options for direct template weapons. Heavy Flamethrowers are the best of the lot, especially given that they are given on the cheapest Makaul profiles. Enemy camo? Flamethrower. Enemy ODD? Flamethrower. Enemy fireteam? Flamethrower. Bad dice? Flamethrower!
Finally, Close Combat. With their good abilities and great weapons, Makauls are so good at Close Combat, that they were considered good in Close Combat in Second Edition―in Second Edition, when Close Combat was not considered a good tactic! And Makauls became even better in our current edition, exercising Stealth to skirt Zone of Control AROs.
The Makaul is the only Warband with Eclipse Smoke, and he’s the only Warband in Infinity who has a Heavy Flamethrower, and he’s the only Warband in Infinity who can link with everybody.
Are you reading this? Do you play Tohaa? Do you not own Makauls?
Own some, then own your opponents.
Makauls are real easy to assemble. 2 pairs of bodies with 4 very interchangeable arms. I think we could use a Boarding Shotgun blister, but as it is, you’ll get plenty for your box and all models are likely to see table time.
One thing I may redo on my Makauls (and flag for any new players) is that the “shoulder pads” on Makauls are actually supposed to actually be their flesh. I didn’t realize that at the time, and it still flies to paint them like armor, but, FYI—those pauldrons are just Tohaa’s burly shoulders.
I rate Makauls 5 out of 5 artichokes.
TL;DR Every Tohaa player should own a box of Makauls.