Guesswork: The Next List Resource

Guesswork

The resources that exist that allow you to build armies in Infinity are Points, Special Weapons Cost, “SWC”; and Availability, “AVA”.  However, given the types of options and restrictions that exist in Infinity, I think there may be room in the future for a fourth army resource.  This is a pure game theory article, as I consider what might be if, down the road in Infinity, Corvus Belli introduced something like “CRC”, Command Resource Cost.

putinawesomesunglasses


BASICS

This resource is designed to reflect the organization and command elements which already exist in the game, but so far are reflected mostly in points and Special Weapons Cost (SWC) in their pricing.
sep.gifSo let’s say it’s 2018, Acheron Falls has published, and CRC is a new resource along SWC in your army lists.  CRC, as a game currency, accumulates like SWC.  That is, 1 CRC per 50 pts in the game.  300 pt games are 6 CRC games, like 6 SWC, as normal.  These are the kinds of rules, skills, and equipment that cost CRC, and the rationale behind them:

COMMAND TOKENS  At the point of army list creation, you are ascribed 1 Command Token per 1 unspent CRC.  In effect, low-point armies like slo gro armies and Ash’s Recon system armies necessarily have fewer Command Tokens than traditional 300-pt armies.  Likewise, larger armies, at 400 pts and above, therefore, might get 6 or 7 command tokens, depending on how a player spends his CRC.

COMBAT GROUP  Each combat group after the first costs 1 CRC.  Naturally, therefore, elite lists get an extra Command Token.

LIEUTENANT  In most cases, there would be no added SWC cost for Lieutenants, but rather a CRC cost of 0.5, 1, 1.5, or 2.  Thus, strong “Advanced Command” Lieutenants like Sun Tze, Taqeul, or Neema Saatar, would simply cost 0 or +1 CRC, rather than having a special skill.

ADVANCED COMMAND  Now subsumed in CRC pricing, this would an obsolete skill, and axed for reasons detailed above.

CHAIN OF COMMAND  Depending on the troop, Chain of Command might cost 0.5 to 1.5 CRC, rather than SWC.  This frees up Special Weapons Cost to be applied to actual weapons.

FIRETEAM: HARIS, FIRETEAM: DUO  Special fireteams like Haris and Duo would cost 0.5 CRC instead of 0.5 SWC, for the same reason detailed above.

SPECIALIST SKILLS  Some specialist skills, like the Regular Forward Observer, or Indigo Bipandra, would cost CRC instead of SWC, where applicable.  That is, if Corvus Belli continue to want to impart those resource taxes.  Free Agent and Number 2 might also be recosted through CRC.

Thus, given those conditions, we would have a system where a 300-pt Tohaa army including Neema Saatar as Lieutenant and a Chain of Command Kaeltar would use 1 CRC and kick off the game with 5 Command Tokens, whereas a game with a Rasail Lieutenant and CoC Kaeltar would have 4 Command Tokens.
sep.gifFactions like Ariadna, PanOceania, and Nomads would have the SWC cost removed from the runt lieutenants, and moved comparably to CRC.  Units across sectorials and vanilla factions would have points, SWC, and CRC retweaked to ensure that the standard Lt./Fireteam/Haris Fireteam/4 Command Token setup was still commonly available.
sep.gifSome weapons with an SWC cost may be fractionally increased to even out the new resource allotted by the existence of CRC.  For example, in our faction, the Sukeul HMG and Missile might now cost 2 SWC each.  In PanO, the HMG Nisse might bump up to 2 SWC and the LRL Montesa might bump up to 1.  Et cetera.  But a CRC system could open up much more than just a rejiggering of point and skill calculations:


NOVEL ELEMENTS

With a presumption of “Command Resource Cost” as an army list resource, novel game elements naturally arise.  Here are a few such novelties which might exist:

AVAILABILITY  For all non-personality troops, you could spend 1 CRC to force a unit’s AVA to increase by 1.

COMSAT  Next to the New Group and Spec Ops buttons in the Army list window, there is a Comsat button. Comsat is a 2 CRC option, exclusively permitted on lists with 1 combat group, granting +1 Regular order per turn, including Loss of Lieutenant situations.  In effect, the elite player may trade 2 Command Tokens for +1 Order per turn.

SERGEANT  Some troops have a Sergeant option.  A Sergeant could be taken, if you have a second Combat Group.  The Sergeant costs 1 to 2 CRC, and would act as a Lieutenant insofar as he receives a special Sergeant Order for himself.
sep.gifHowever, the Sergeant is not a Lieutenant for the purposes of the Lieutenant requirement, nor does a Sergeant automatically become Lieutenant if the Lieutenant dies.  Like a Lieutenant, the Sergeant’s order turns into a Regular order if the model has a Strategos skill.  Sergeant profiles might also be commonly combined with Number 2 or Chain of Command options.
sep.gifLike Comsat for the mono-group player, Sergeant for the multi-group player is trading Command Tokens for +1 Order, albeit upon a single model.  A Sergeant would be a common choice for a player who is less interested in using Command Tokens, and could be an expanded option to incentivize to the player to not simply hit the spam button on Fireteams in sectorials.

SPECIALIZATION  A common frustration in ITS is the lack of intelligently-designed specialists.  Options like the Specialist Operative Riot Grrl are an obvious and derivative answer to that frustration.  So, a check mark could exist on standard, non-SWC troop profiles.  Profiles like the Combi Riot Grrl, or Combi/LSG Bagh-Mari, or Rifle Minuteman, or Rifle/LSG Tuareg, etc.  Checking this box grants the unit the Specialist Operative skill, thus allowing players to sacrifice their command resources for more specialists.

UPLINK  Some units pack skills which provide an orbital weapon, off-site artillery, or air-to-ground weapon that strikes from off-table.  This allowing players to put their Forward Observer and Spotlight skills to work, without necessarily having to bring guided weapons.  Baggage Remotes and support Medium Infantry would be great candidates to bring an Uplink in a players army.  The Uplink skill would have a flat BS11, benefit from the +6 MOD from the Targeted status as normal, suffer U-Turn MODs as normal, and would always have the Disposable trait.  Some example Uplink weapons might be as follows, and might also cost SWC where appropriate:

U: AIRSTRIKE (Ariadna option)
Cost:  1 pt / 0.5 CRC
DAM15 Fire, Circular Template, Guided, Disposable (1)

U: PRECISION ARTILLERY (Ariadna option)
Cost:  1 pt / 0.5 CRC
DAM13, Circular Template, Guided, Disposable (2)

U: ORBITAL MISSILE (non-Ariadna option)
Cost:  1 pt / 0.5 CRC
DAM14 AP/DA, Anti-Materiel, Circular Template, Guided, Disposable (1)

U: ORBITAL RAILGUN (non-Ariadna option)
Cost:  1 pt / 0.5 CRC
DAM15 AP/Shock or DAM15 DA, Guided, Disposable (2)

U: ORBITAL PLASMA CANNON (exclusive Combined Army option)
Cost:  2 pt / 0.5 CRC
DAM14 Plasma, Circular Template, Guided, Disposable (2)

VETERANCY  A button on the right of a profile could allow players to bump up a troop’s veterancy at a scaling cost of CRC.  A unit could be made Veteran L1 at the cost of 0.5 CRC, and Veteran L2 at the cost of +1 CRC beyond that.  (Thus, making a Bolt or a Zhayedan into a Veteran L2 troop would cost 1 CRC, not 1.5 CRC.)  This would give armies without Chain of Command a way to insure themselves against Loss of Lieutenant by losing a bit of CRC.
sep.gifThis option, I would think, would be best left exclusive to troops with the Veteran Troops descriptor, or else exclusive to Medium Infantry.  If the options were applied to all troops, I would expect it to scale up the CRC cost on more potent troops.

gdistationphiladelphia

Altogether, a 2018 ISS list, with CRC rules, might turn out looking like this:

logo_202.png Imperial Service
──────────────────────────────────────────────────

COMMAND TOKENSsep.gifsep.giflogo_202.png3
GROUP 1sep.gifsep.gifsep.gifsep.gifsep.gifsep.gif orden_regular.png10 orden_impetuosa.pngImage result for blue dot 1
logo_22.pngSUN TZE Lieutenant MULTI Rifle, 2 Nanopulsers, Flash Pulse / Pistol, Knife. (0 | +1 | 60)
logo_9.pngNINJA Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Tactical Bow / Pistol, DA CCW, Knife. (0 | 29)
logo_1.pngCELESTIAL GUARD (Kuang Shi Control Device) Combi Rifle + Light Smoke Grenade Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 0.5 | 13)
logo_1.pngCELESTIAL GUARD (Forward Observer) Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 0 | 13)
logo_1.pngCELESTIAL GUARD Hacker (Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 0 | 21)
logo_1.pngCELESTIAL GUARD Spitfire / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 0 | 19)
logo_4.pngIMPERIAL AGENT (Chain of Command, Fireteam: Haris) Red Fury / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (1 | 0.5 | 31)
logo_3.pngBÀO TROOP (Multispectral Visor L2) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 0 | 29)
logo_3.pngBÀO TROOP (Multispectral Visor L2, Veteran L1) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 0.5 | 29)
logo_10.pngKUANG SHI Chain Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)

GROUP 2sep.gifsep.gifsep.gifsep.gif orden_regular.png4  orden_impetuosa.png1  Image result for blue dot 1
logo_28.pngKÂNRÈN Forward Observer (Sergeant) Boarding Shotgun, Chain-colt / Pistol, Monofilament CC Weapon, Knife. (0 | 1 | 26)
logo_16.pngWÈIBĪNG Yaókòng Combi Rifle, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 16)
logo_21.pngPANGGULING (Minesweeper, Repeater, U: Orbital Railgun) Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 0.5 | 9)
logo_10.pngKUANG SHI Chain Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)

SWC | 3 CRC | 300 Points


And that, I think, would be a neat addition to the next edition of Infinity.

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