Now where is this faction going? Kerails are finally out, and they’re not too far off (or perhaps they are very far off!) from expectations. This isn’t a formal review, as I’ve neither played a proxy game nor yet own the models, but this is the so-called “Tohaa Blog”, so here are this author’s mandatory thoughts on our new Tohaa combatant.
EDIT 10/18―Here’s my formal review. I like these guys, but they don’t always fit into my lists. I do wish they were designed as an assign-a-beast thing, like the Kaeltars. Solo Gao-Raels+Beasts would have been sweet.
The first thing that startled many of us is that the Kerail has Symbiont Armor. It’s a great Symbiont armor to have―I consider Movement to be the second-most important attribute in Infinity after Wounds, and given Tohaa’s already swaggering mobility, 6-4 movement on a 12-point trooper is pretty damn impressive, and personally pretty damn welcome.
I had hoped for Symbiobeasts to be assignable G: Sync units, in the way that Symbiomates and Symbiobombs are assignable tools to Symbiont troopers. According to the Kerail’s background, the Surda and Mutan are controlled by Corahtar through to ancestral husbandry practices. This is a pretty neat bit of fluff, and if Kerails were ever revamped in later editions to have Corahtar Discipline Level X or some such, I would applaud the move, even if it were purely nominal.
We can see the Kerail was clearly pitched and modeled with a heather jumpsuit as Kamaels, Makauls, and Clipsos are dressed. Now, while I love Symbiont armor and think it is well worth its price, it clearly demonstrates that Corvus Belli’s design process is not a clean cut affair. Even the Kerail logo was changed!
I do not mean this as a criticism, just an observation. Having worked on a lot of different projects in life, and being friends with many game designers, I’m well aware that nothing is solid until release―and even then, PDFs or DLC exist to make later adjustments. I just wish the Symbiont armor had made it onto our sculpt. When I do receive my Kerail, I shall have to sculpt some Symbiont greebles onto his waist.
This super synchronized beastie list (or one like it) I plan on running for my Kerail proxy game sometime soon. Because the Surda Kerails are equipped with vanilla Smoke grenades, many Tohaa players can now flex the Gao-Rael in new ways. I won’t be doing that here. The smoke tactic has never interested me personally―it strikes me as Infinity’s equivalent of ghosting or spawn camping.
But smoke shots are now an available Tohaa tactic, so rejoice, Gao-Rael lovers!
The speed of the Kerail team is the biggest interest to me. Coming in second is the CC strength of the Surda. If you compare the above stats of the Surda to an Antipode:
…the Surda is very impressive, for 8 points.
Stronger, a better close-combat weapon and close-combat skill, and not Impetuous, our Surda Symbiobeast looks like the best synchro-beast on the market. It even has its own large template weapon to close a gap.
I previously demonstrated in the Kotail review that Super-Jump can be used to deny cover to targets. We can use the steep vertical angles to negate cover, and flank nested troopers. I plan on using the Mutan in the same way:
An implied question I have seen is: Will the Kerail be useful, even though we have Rasails and other similarly-equipped units? I believe, yes. In context, the Kerail presents another choice in the same way that Dog-Warriors, Devil-Dogs, Cameronians and McMurrough present several choices of the same vein.
Agility is one of my favorite attributes in games, and Infinity is no exception. The Kerail is bringing lots of firsts for Tohaa. First SMG, first Dogged, first Pulzar, first vanilla Smoke grenades. Hopefully it won’t be the last fast Super-Jumping trooper added to our ranks. 🙂