This is a simple article to new players with a 300-point Tohaa collection who are interested in a good “cover all your bases” primer on making competitive lists.
You can definitely use this article if you aren’t playing Tohaa, as other Infinity factions have analogues to Tohaa units, but it is of course geared for Tohaa players. A good list is not about countering a faction; a good list is about having a toolbox you’re comfortable using.
There are really only a few must-haves in your Tohaa lists:
SPECIALISTS If you are playing 20×20 or I.T.S., specialists are highly important. Unless you know that the scenario does not require many or any specialists, the rule of thumb is that a list should have 4 specialists.
DIVERSE WEAPONS I was once challenged to take a legal 31-wound 10-man Tohaa list to tournament, just because I could. I had the models, but in the end I refused, because the weapons were mostly homogenous. It is crucially important that you can cover both close and long range engagements in your list, with varied ammunition types. You don’t need twelve sniper rifles to do it. However, you should add at least two HMGs, Missiles, or Snipers for long-range, and a Spitfire or Rocket for mid-range. You should also add at least one Fire, Shock or DAM14+ weapons for light threats, and one AP, K1, or Breaker weapons for heavy threats. Alternatively, DA, EXP, and Viral are effective against both.
MAKAUL Take at least 1. I hate to say it’s an autoinclude, but the Makaul is relevant against every skew, as you will see below. One Makaul can provide so much to your army―even in Limited Insertion―so take one.
C.O.C. KAELTAR The Chain of Command Kaeltar is the best support unit in the whole game. Outside of tournaments, I recommend not taking the Kaeltar to improve your skill. Otherwise, the Kaeltar is an autoinclude due to her utility.
Swarm lists are a common kind of skew lists that field 16-20 orders. In the factions who run them, swarm lists also tend to mean many Smoke throwers, and 1-wound Courage-dependent platforms. Swarms therefore perform poorly against Shock and Viral ammunition and/or Multispectral Visors L2 which can see through their smoke. For this reason, the Gao-Rael Sniper is our all-in-one swarm-killer. A Nikoul is strong, but not against smoke. A single Clipsos placing a few decisive mines is also deadly against swarms.
Swarms are generally pretty simple to counter, if you chose the right tools. If you bring a couple heavy anvils like Ectros or Rasail to stand their ground, with a Gao-Rael or a minelayer to hammer the chaff, a swarm will usually kill itself against your army.
We’ll talk in 202 about the pros and cons about running your own swarm list, but if you don’t run them yourself, beware that swarms can easily overwhelm an unprepared commander.
Elite lists bring several strong units with a tight order pool. What this means is that although they spend fewer orders, each order is brutal. Most factions do “elite” better than us, and punch hard, but that doesn’t mean we can’t punch back.
If you aren’t playing your own elite Tohaa force, you can still defeat heavies with AP, E/M, K1, Breaker, and Viral ammunition. Notable platforms for those munitions include the Kotail, Sukeul, Ectros, Rasail, Neema Saatar, Aelis Keesan, and the Gorgos himself.
However still, I should mention the Makaul here again, since his Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades, and close combat package means that he is singlehandedly equipped to counter basically every elite unit besides Achilles. In a pinch, you can also mob a TAG in a close combat with a Kerail or Rasail, to at least tie it down, if not kill it.
Camo spam is a particularly dangerous and highly effective kind of skew list. After Smoke, I would say, Camouflage is the most generally useful element in Infinity. Camouflage protects the user, increases his accuracy by decreasing the accuracy of enemy return fire, and is applicable against most troops. There are a few countermeasures to consider:
EXTREME B.S. Extremely high or high-disparity Ballistic Skill (“BS”) attacks are good against camo units who traditionally rely on a BS-3 trait instead of extra Armor or extra Wounds. If the BS is high enough, MSV isn’t necessary. Extreme BS also tends to need extreme Burst for this to be effective. However, in Tohaa, we only have a few such options: Sukeul, Nikoul, Ectros, Taqeul, and Gorgos.
MULTISPECTRAL VISORS A multispectral visor (“MSV”) cancels some or all of the penalties of camouflage. However, without Sixth Sense, even a Multispectral Visor Level 2 cannot fully cancel the penalties that surprise shot Camouflage imparts. For this reason, you generally want to keep the MSV unit at effective (long) range, or bundle it up in a single kit like the Kaauri or Nikoul.
MINES AND BUGS Mines, Symbiobugs, and other perimeter weapons require neither visibility nor discovery to activate on a marker unit. A few antipersonnel mines or refillable Symbiobugs from your Taqeul are a great deterrents against most camo units. Since most camo spam lists use very light duty troops, and antipersonnel mines kill light duty troops with their Shock damage, antipersonnel mines tend to be the most cost-effective perimeter solution.
SENSORS/TEMPLATES Sensors reveal camo troops, and templates hit them without a roll. Luckily for us, we have 2 sensor/template troop options, Aelis Keesan and the Baggage Chaksa.
AIRBORNE DEPLOYMENT Airborne deployment (“AD”) troops aren’t as common in modern Infinity lists, due to the unnuanced Dispersion rules and the ease of Hacker interference, but you may occasionally face an AD troop in your flank. Massed AD troops is pretty rare, but do beware. Notable AD troops include Combined Army’s Fraacta and Ko Dali, Haqqislam’s Ragik, and Ariadna’s Van Zant and Mirage 5.
HACKERS You probably won’t have hackers in your Tohaa list, but your opponent might. Enemy hackers can interfere with Ectros, Gorgos, and Gao-Tarsos. For that reason, it’s good remember that you can put down Nullifiers to cork enemy hacks, or Symbiobombs (if you have them) to halt or kill them.
HOLOPROJECTORS You’ll be familiar with the threats of a holoprojector after running your Kotail. Holos aren’t extremely scary, but a cunning player will use a holoecho to detonate your mines and symbiobugs, so beware.
IMPERSONATION Impersonation is a rare but powerful skill that allows a troop to deploy in a marker state right outside of your deployment zone. Impersonation units carry Smoke and are extremely dangerous in Close Combat. Unlike camouflage troops, they are unaffected by Multispectral Visors. However, a Gao-Rael is still useful, as he can see through their Smoke Grenades. Direct Template weapons from any troop and Biometric Visors from Kaauri are two best tools to deter Impersonation. You will recognize Impersonation markers as smiley faces.
As of now, there are only 2 Impersonation units in the game; the Fiday of Haqqislam, and the Speculo of the Combined Army. Since Tohaa is a faction of “intrigue”, I expect we will get also an Impersonation trooper in the future.
TAGS TAGs are a big problem, and since Tohaa doesn’t have offensive hackers―unless you are bringing the ALIVE mercenaries―you’ll just have to shoot it. One K1 gun in your list is enough to kill or scare off most TAGs. Viral is equally effective, though less obvious.
TOTAL REACTION HMG Remotes, Sin-Eaters, and other troops may give you a high-burst threat in reactive turns. A linked Sukeul, Sniper at long range, or camo infiltrator is usually sufficient to counter this kind of unit in the first round.
I recommend this as your list’s foundation for your first three or four competitive games. Proxy what you don’t own:
2 Viral gunners of your choice
2 Paramedics of your choice
GAO-RAEL Sniper Rifle / Pistol, CCW. (1 | 31)
KAELTAR (Chain of Command) Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse + 2 SymbioMates / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 21)
MAKAUL Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades / Pistol, Viral CCW. (0 | 13)
CHAKSA AUXILIAR (Baggage, Sensor) Heavy Flamethrower / Pistol, CCW. (0 | 10)