Your Lieutenant, and your retention of that Lieutenant, is an important part of Infinity. Tohaa has surged ahead in its ability to field competent Lieutenants and provide them with backup. In this article, I discuss how you can use a few decisions to make your command structure do work for you, and make Lieutenant headhunting a headache for your foes.
What does your Lieutenant do, anyway? In Infinity, the Lt keeps your orders regular. The Lt also can spend a unique Lt order on itself that puts a big neon I’M THE LIEUTENANT sign on itself, once it does. There are a couple other things a Lieutenant can do, but that’s basically it.
So, immediately a new player will understand, “I probably don’t want to spend the Lt order then because then my Lt will probably die then my turn will suck because everyone will be Irregular.”
Yes. That is true. Losing your Lt does suck. But not if you can bring Chain of Command. And we have generous amounts of Chain of Command. So let’s start with presuming you are bringing Chain of Command. Yes, just do it. The Kaeltar. Probably even 2 Kaeltars, because Chain of Command Kaeltars and their Symbiomates are so good.
Okay, good, so we may presume that we can get our Lieutenant killed, and we’ll be okay. This is good for several reasons:
1. Our Lieutenant can be extremely obvious.
2. Our Lieutenants won’t easily die.
3. We can spend that Lieutenant Order with impunity.
Throw your Kamael, Sakiel, and Ectros Lieutenant in the trashbin. After what Human Sphere did to Tohaa, there are really only 5 Tohaa Lieutenants I take. You should, too, because this is my blog.
Yep, even without a Light Rocket Launcher, Neema is still good. WIP15 ensures you have good odds to pass that Lt WIP-off, and Advanced Command ensures that you drown in Command Tokens. And she’s just a strong unit to be Lt.
You can read my in-depth blather about Neema in my Miniature Review section, but suffice to say, she’s the best “Lieutenant” Lieutenant, and an absolute workhorse on the battlefield.
Pro tip: Always bring a Diplomatic Delegate with Neema Saatar. You probably won’t use all 5 Command Tokens in a normal game of Tohaa, but with a Delegate, you can spend 1 Command Token each turn to gain an extra Regular Order.
The Rasail is self-explanatory, and I’ve sung its praises everywhere. Drive this tank into the enemy and kill everything you can in a suicide run.
Pro tip: Turn 1, burn that Lt Order. First thing. Just do it. Get your enemy’s attention and go scorch the earth.
This dame is the only Lieutenant option we have that is both a Lieutenant and a Specialist. Yes, yes, it’s only WIP13 and tied to a Triad. But, I would add, a great combatant. And a great Specialist at that. Because she has D-Charges, she’s good for lots of I.T.S. missions and I.T.S. Classified Objectives. And because Makauls exist and the Sukeul has Fireteam: Triad, there is really no reason that a Sukeul FO Lt should be unable to get to an objective and get that objective.
Pro tip: I can and do often use the Lt Order of the Sukeul Lt to spend a last-ditch order, before spending one of our superfluous Command Tokens to reform her link. This can be crucial to grabbing objectives, especially in later rounds.
(In general, I see not using the Tohaa Lieutenant Order as an opportunity cost, but particularly so with the Sukeul F.O. Lieutenant.)
Like the Rasail, the Taqeul can spend his Lt Order without breaking any triads. But unlike the Rasail, the Taqeul can participate in Coordinated Orders in turn 1. This is good, because of course he brings an extra Command Token.
I still don’t love the Taqeul, but he performs quite well in specific lists that plan for lots of triad juggling, or lists that specifically include one or more of Baggage Chaksas, Kaauris, Clipsos or other non-triad troops for Coordinated Orders. Tohaa players tend not to use Coordinated Orders and therefore tend not to use Suppressive Fire, but I think those who crutch on Sukeuls should change things up and be reminded of how potent Suppressive Fire can be on a platform like the Kaauri, the Clipsos, or the Taqeul himself.
Pro tip: If you have taken a first-turn suicide Lt, plan a Chain of Command Taqeul as your long-term Lieutenant. Chain of Command makes him an I.T.S. Specialist, allowing you to put that Lt Order WIP14 to work in turns 2 and 3.
It’s the Lieutenant nobody expects.
Seriously. Every single time I have brought a Gao-Rael Lt after Human Sphere, nobody guesses. I’ve taken it to tournament and performed well with it. Unlike other Tohaa Lts, the Gao-Rael Lt does the classical Lt game in Infinity, where you want your opponent to guess.
The Gao-Rael has an excellent kit for a quiet, defensive Lt. For missions like Firefight or 20×20 where Lieutenant-hunting can be important, having redundancy and discretion is valuable. If the enemy happens to kill my Gao-Rael Lt early, great. I probably still have some Chain of Command lying around somewhere.
WIP14 is also better for the roll off, though I think it’s mostly a placebo benefit. Not significantly better than WIP13, for 1 roll.
Pro tip: The Gao-Rael Lt is for a triad-heavy build that isn’t making the Chain of Command Kaeltar use Chain of Command. In this specific setup, the Chain of Command Kaeltar is there to pass out Symbiomates and to be an active Specialist. Keep the Gao-Rael quiet in backfield or midfield, and include 1-3 redundancies in Lt options (such as Sukeul FO, Viral Sakiel, or Viral Ectros).
BUT MUH SAKIEL
Okay…yes. The Viral Sakiel Lt is a great option in low-point games. However, given our options, it is foolish to choose a Sakiel Lt or Ectros Lt in most cases. It’s usually an opportunity cost. There are a couple lists where I will do it, but it is in lists where I have an entire suicide triad, but I don’t make the points for Neema, which isn’t really often.
The Kamael Lt does not exist.
Yes, so, I’ve watched and read a lot of Tohaa battle reports since Human Sphere, and Command Tokens tend to not get spent. The reasons are real simple: we can’t use Coordinated Orders on triad troopers, we can’t use Coordinated Orders on G: Sync troopers, and we don’t bring Kumotails anymore. So what the fuck do we do with all these Advanced Command skills?
There are still 4 main uses for them. I’ll list the simple ones first.
1. Reroll WIP rolls.
You won’t have opportunity to do this often in Tohaa, but don’t forget the option. Especially if you still have 3 or 4 command tokens to pop off.
2. Netrodding the Delegate.
I mentioned this up there under Neema Saatar. With all these extra Command Tokens, a clever use is to plan to turn your Delegate’s Irregular Order into a Regular Order, every turn. In this way, think of her not as an ARO piece, but as a 5-point Netrod with an ARO option. That still leaves 2 Command Tokens for reforming triads.
3. Coordinated Orders.
Yes, do Coordinate Orders, even if it breaks a triad. When orders are tight, you can use Coordinated Orders to inch forward up to 4 triad troops once more, before reforming those triads again. You’re getting 1.25 order of moved out movement for 2 or 3 Command Tokens, but it can be worth it. Especially in competitive Limited Insertion matchups.
If your list only has 1 to 2 triads, you probably have 2 to 4 units who are fit for a Coordinated Order. You can therefore march forward a couple Auxiliars or Kaauri and your Kotail or whatever, along with a couple triad troops, and reform that link before the turn ends. You’ll eke out an extra half order or order or more of movement for your team, and be in a better position for subsequent turns.
4. Juggling triads.
When you’re running heavy triads, always remember that your triad troops can rejoin with other triad troops, at any time on your turn through Command Tokens. Remembering this can save you a lot of orders and extra rolls.
In this example, your enemy has left a Yan-Huo vulnerable to a left flank. You want the K1 Sukeul for the job. The K1 Sukeul is in a triad with a Spitfire Sakiel and Makaul, towards the right. However, the Yan Huo and a Rocket Raiden are overwatching your K1 Sukeul triad on the right. In the bottom left, you have a light backfiller triad with a Kaeltar, Kamael, and Makaul. A bunch of other shit is off to the right that we don’t care about for this example.
Many players will do the smart thing and avoid a face off with the Makaul against the Raiden, knowing that the Sakiel will be probably hit by the rocket’s splash, and the Makaul might fail the face off against both the Yan Huo and Raiden. You wheel in the backfiller triad to make your Makaul throw unopposed Eclipse smoke on the approach. This allows the K1 Sukeul triad to safely across the gap to get at the Yan-Huo’s flank.
But don’t do that. There is a smarter thing. Just make a new triad with the K1 Sukeul and the backfillers. This new triad can move straight up on the left flank, without progging AROs. You don’t need to burn 2+ orders to make a safe path for a triad, when you can just make a whole new triad.
And don’t forget to reform the Kaeltar, Sakiel, and Makaul into a triad before your turn ends. As you’ll have the orders now, you should also reposition the flank triad into a more defensible position before the turn ends.
When you aren’t juggling triads for order economy, you can still juggle triads to play hot potato with your specialists, or decisively repositions gunners for more advantageous threat ranges against the pending enemy turn.
WHEN TO USE LT ORDER?
You mightn’t always bring Kaeltars. And Kaeltars are ultimately easy to kill. So it isn’t wise to use that Lt Order every time. In general, it’s wise to go ahead and reveal your Lieutenant if doing so will (1) accomplish something that you would otherwise not be able to accomplish without spending the Lieutenant order, and (2) you will likely still have a Lieutenant on your next turn. In Tohaa specifically, there is also the (3) criteria of, it’s worth it to break a triad.
If two of those conditions look untrue, and your opponent hasn’t already deduced your Lieutenant, it’s usually smart to hold off. Once you spend the Lt Order, there’s no guesswork for your opponent.
Still, a Kaeltar provides astonishing insurance—even if she did not have Chain of Command. But because Kaeltars field both Symbiomates and Chain of Command, and both of those skills are so important to our Lieutenant retention and our faction in general, I have to recommend them in basically every Tohaa list. Again, I see not using the Lt Order in Tohaa as an opportunity cost, so I plan to reveal my Lieutenant in most Tohaa lists.
TL;DR You can afford to make explicit use of our Lieutenants and Command Tokens in Tohaa, so use them.