Lieutenant-hunting is a higher-level way to play Infinity. Loss of Lieutenant has stiff penalties, and for many armies, Loss of Lieutenant effectively results in a lost turn. Here’s a primer to help your opponent lose his turn.
The best way to be a proficient hunter of enemy lieutenants is to play regularly. You will naturally become comfortable with the game, learn your opponent, and learn enemy armies. However, you don’t need an encyclopædic knowledge of Infinity units to learn the standard deduction tricks. There are four main clues to help you deduce your enemy Lieutenant: Lieutenant skills, basic weapons, telltale troops, and placement. We’ll start with the most obvious clue first.
Each of the following skills is a dead giveaway when in effect. If you are not sure which model has the skill, simply ask your opponent which model has it, as the following skills are open information.
Advanced Command You are familiar with Advanced Command, which grants +1 Command Token.
Inspiring Leadership Inspiring Leadership turns all Irregular troops Regular, give everyone Courage, and allows a free Coordinated Order.
Strategos Strategos turns the Lieutenant order into an extra Regular order.
G:Mnemonica G:Mnemonica is not always a Lieutenant, but due to the expense of the units who bear it, a G:Mnemonica troop is usually the Lieutenant. The Combined Army is currently the only faction that has access to this skill.
Note that this skill effectively renders the user immune to Loss of Lieutenant, so do not pursue a G:Mnemonica lieutenant unless you need to destroy its bearer.
Lieutenants usually have a rifle or machinegun. They don’t tend to have weird equipment or specialist skills. A notable few can be Hackers. They very rarely carry weapons like Rocket Launchers, Sniper Rifles, or Chain Rifles.
Rifle Rifle (Combi, MULTI, or basic) Lieutenants are the most common kind of Lieutenant. Some have an underslung Light Shotgun.
HMG Most factions have TAGs, Heavy Infantry and Medium Infantry with an HMG Lieutenant option.
Spitfire Spitfire Lieutenants are the least common of the three, and tend to be on platforms who have a very special skill, like Camouflage or a Visor of some kind. If there are no clear Rifle or HMG candidates, go for the Spitfire.
Light Infantry A basic Light Infantry with a basic rifle is a very common lieutenant. It is also a common decoy, however.
Heavy Infantry As above, a basic 2-wound no-nonsense Heavy Infantry with a MULTI Rifle or HMG is the most common type of Heavy Infantry lieutenant.
WIP During initiative, the Lieutenant roll is private information. However, you can still sieve it out. A troop with distinct (high) Willpower is a likely candidate to be Lieutenant. And if the Lieutenant roll was decided by that WIP value (such as success on WIP14 in a faction full of WIP13) then it’s certain that the model with the distinct WIP is the Lieutenant.
Camo Troop with Few SWC Weapons If you only see only a couple SWC weapons, one of the Camo markers is likely the Lieutenant. Although Ariadna has several exceptions to this, a Camo Lieutenant costs (on average) 1.5 SWC.
TAG About half the TAGs with an HMG or MULTI HMG have a Lieutenant profile.
Bunkered A basic infantry or high-WIP infantry lurking in a bunker, or deep behind friendly forces, is a common lieutenant―especially in non-sectorial factions.
Fireteam Straggler A basic rifle or HMG trooper who stays in a flanked position in his Fireteam is also a likely Lieutenant candidate.
You can also deduce who the Lieutenant is by having a working knowledge of SWC costs, but that requires more studious knowledge of Infinity.
Here’s an example of how to deduce your opponent’s lieutenant by what he has placed. We will presume for this example that you are familiar with Infinity in general, but not your opponent in particular. Lighter gray scenery is lower height, and the buildings have doors.
It’s your opening turn. You deployed your reserve model, an Igao, right up on the table edge in the middle of the board. You are fighting Nomads.
You intend to use your Igao to try to alpha strike his Lieutenant on the first turn. You look at the open information. Your Nomad opponent has (left to right) a Jaguar with Smoke Grenades and a Chain Rifle, a Stempler FO Zond, an Alguacil with a Combi Rifle, a Transductor Zond, the engineer/hacker character named Zoë, a Morlock with Smoke Grenades and a Chain Rifle, an Iguana TAG with HMG, two Interventor hackers on and inside a building, a Zondbot helper for Zoë, and the ODD robot named π-well.
Putting together the deduction tips above, you conclude that the likely candidates for Lieutenant are the Combi Rifle Alguacil, one of the Camo Markers, or the Iguana TAG.
There are 3 camo markers also in the middle. Another camo marker is in back. Because the two camo markers to the right are pretty close, you guess that one of those in an antipersonnel mine, and avoid that corridor. This makes the Iguana TAG rather off-limits. So you decide to gamble on the Combi Rifle Alguacil, who is prone in the middle of the back.
You advance your Igao to the large 8×8 building. The Morlock throws smoke, and the Iguana delays. You continue moving safely and open the door to the large building.
The Igao is able to move unimpeded through the building to the door on the opposite side. No TO camo surprises jump out at you.
As you move the Igao out, the Jaguar throws smoke to cover the Stempler Zond and himself. The two Zonds attempt to discover, and Zoë dodges, hesitantly expecting a Nanopulser or Boarding Shotgun from your Igao.
You just continue moving, right over the scatter terrain and into close combat with the Alguacil. You are able to handily defeat the Alguacil in melee. This whole affair cost you 5-6 orders, and will cost you the Igao. However, it may cost your opponent his entire first turn. Were you correct?
As we discussed in 204, our Kaeltars and Taqeuls provide Chain of Command, which is invaluable Loss of Lieutenant insurance. We are not the only army with Chain of Command. However, only a few models in Infinity with Chain of Command. You should kill them when your opponent leaves them vulnerable.
If you want to cause Loss of Lieutenant with an army with Chain of Command, you will need to kill both the Chain of Command model and the Lieutenant in the same turn. I generally discourage pouring resources into Lieutenant hunting when Chain of Command is present. But if he leaves you an opening, punch it.
Kirpal Singh is available in PanOceania and the Shock Army of Acontecimento. He is an Airborne Deployment trooper with Chain of Command and close-range weapons. The PanO player will need to deploy Kirpal before losing his Lieutenant, in order to take advantage of his Chain of Command, however.
The Kempeitai is a light Chain of Command trooper available exclusively to the Japanese Sectorial Army. She can be taken without Chain of Command, but I have never seen a JSA player not field the Kempeitai with Chain of Command. The Kempeitai usually is linked in a fireteam of Keisotsus, and has a Boarding Shotgun.
Available to Yu Jing and their Imperial Service sectorial, the Pheasant agent is always a Chain of Command trooper, if she does not have a Hacking Device or MULTI Sniper Rifle.
The hardy Unknown Ranger has Chain of Command if he has a Rifle (not a Molotok). The Unknown Ranger is available to generic Ariadna and the USAriadna Ranger Force.
Haqqislam has only one Chain of Command trooper, the Farzan armed with a Boarding Shotgun. The Farzan is a Camouflage trooper, but you reliably deduce which camo marker has Chain of Command by the way that it is hidden. The Farzan is available to generic Haqqislam and the Hassassin Bahram faction. Note that the model is now obsolete: the Farzan no longer has a Contender.
ALEPH and Steel Phalanx may get Chain of Command through the Myrmidon Officer. The Myrmidon Officer is AVA1 in ALEPH and AVA3 in Steel Phalanx, but she is always either a Lieutenant or Chain of Command trooper. She is therefore always worth killing, particularly so in generic ALEPH.
Nomads and the Combined Army do not have Chain of Command. All sectorials, other than the six I have mentioned above, do not have Chain of Command, either.
Finally, the least friendly, most competitive, and most embarrassing way to learn to identify enemy Lieutenants is to study their armies. You wouldn’t know that a Domaru with Chain Rifle and E/M Grenades, or a Barid Hacker, for example, are usually the Lieutenant. These troops fall outside the norm for Lieutenants.
But if you’re a newbie soon to attend an important tournament, or if you’re a grognard who wants to dickwave your Infinity mettle, you can study the armies in Army V. Click on the Skills & Equipment tab, then the Lieutenant box, and it will show you all the profiles that can be Lieutenant, as illustrated below.
It’s still worth a quick scour to get an overview of factions’ Lieutenants. Lieutenant hunting is, after all, part of the game. But I won’t generate a reference chart here, and I would furthermore discourage rebuilding your opponent’s list during play to deduce his list’s private information. I don’t believe that that kind of behavior is “illegal” in Infinity, but it is certainly rude and unsportsmanlike.
TL;DR An enemy without Chain of Command is vulnerable to Loss of Lieutenant, so take advantage of that when you can.