Infinity: Stars of the Human Sphere: Overdron Batroid

 

After a Tanks-inspired hiatus, Chris H has returned to us with his Infinity Stars of the Human Sphere reports! In this article he’s looking at the Overdron Batroid for the Combined Army faction:

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The Onyx Contact Force is an aggressive sectorial for the Combined Army faction, an array of alien species dominated by an artificial being known as the Enhanced Intelligence (EI). The EI has designed Onyx to lead the assault on those species not yet under its control, its agents charged with contacting and then, if necessary, using irresistible force to bring them into the EI’s vast dominion.

Onyx is a hard-hitting faction that has a distinct military feel to it that is perfectly captured by the spiky and sinister aesthetic of its heavily-armoured units. Like other sectorials, it is rather narrow in its capabilities, but when it comes to dispensing with trickery and instead waging all-out brutal war, it is hard to find another sectorial that can do it better.

Let’s master our fear and trepidation, and take a nervous glimpse at the Overdron’s profile:

The Overdron is a TAG (Tactical Armoured Gear, the mecha of the Infinity universe). Unusually for such a large unit, it has a movement of ‘4-4’, which means that it can move 4” with the first half of its order, and 4” with the second half of the order if it decides to keep moving, rather than making an attack. TAGs tend to have a MOV of 6-4, making them a little quicker than standard line troops, but the Overdron is reminiscent of the Nomad Gecko TAG – slightly smaller in stature, and a little slower than more expensive alternatives.

But even though the Overdron is smaller and slower than the larger TAGs in the game, it is laden with hardware and advanced weapons systems. Just looking at its equipment, we see that it has an ECM (Electronic Counter Measures) to help it avid being struck by guided missiles, and Ghost: Remote Presence which effectively gives it a second level of unconsciousness, making it more durable and easier to repair by engineers.

What interests me here though is the two little helper bots that support the Overdron. These are the Tinbots, each providing a different benefit to the larger unit. The first is a Tinbot A (Deflector Level 1) which defends the Overdron against hacking attacks, imposing a -3 penalty to the Willpower statistic of enemy hackers. This is essential for TAGs that don’t want to end up immobilised. The second Tinbot is fitted with an Albedo which swathes the Overdron in a ‘white noise zone’, masking it from enemies wearing Multi-Spectral Visors for the whole of the first game round. This ensures that the Overdron will be able to avoid being targeted by some of the best snipers in the game, at least until both players’ second turn.

These Tinbots give the Overdron a remarkable defensive screen against some of the most dangerous threats in the Infinity universe.

So the Overdron’s equipment is excellent. What about its statistics?

Its CC (Close Combat) of 14 is low for a TAG, and since it doesn’t carry any close combat weapons, players will want to keep enemy units at arm’s length. With a PH (physical) of 14, it’s also a little lightweight, so won’t be good at dodging (TAGs suffer a -6 penalty anyway). However, given the nature of this unit, and its role as a platform for heavy weapons, the most important statistics are its BS (Ballistic Skill) which is a very healthy 13, and its ARM (Armour) and BTS (Bio-Technological Shield), both of which are an excellent 6. To put that into perspective, an Overdron in cover, gaining +3 to its Armour, will only need a 7+ on a D20 to avoid damage from a heavy machine gun round. That’s seriously durable, especially when you consider that the Overdron has 3 Structure Points (the TAG equivalent of wounds).

So we’ve seen it’s stat line. What about its armament options?

The Overdron has three loadout options, each one costing 2 SWC (Support Weapon Cost) but with varying points costs. For those not familiar with this concept, Infinity restricts the use of heavy and/or special weapons by having a second tier of points value. Players get 1 SWC per 50 points in the Combined Army, so in standard 300 point games, each player can spend 6 SWC. It’s a great way of preventing players from spamming elite units and weapons.

The first loadout costs 74 points and includes a Hyper-Rapid Magnetic Cannon (HMC). One of the most terrifying weapons in the game, the HMC rolls 5 dice when shooting, so you can either take down multiple foes or concentrate your fire to bring down a single target under a withering hail of rounds. With options for Armour Piercing and Shock (single-wound enemies bypass the unconscious state and go straight to dead state), it also allows Double Action (two hits instead of one) and Stun, but canonly be fired with a burst of 1 dice in these modes.

An excellent long-range weapon, the HMC may incur a -3 BS (Ballistic Skill) penalty at 0-8”, but provides a +3 bonus at 16-32”. Unusually, outside its favourable range, it does not incur a penalty, so from 32-48” the Overdron is rolling on its very good BS of 13.

The second loadout is equally terrifying, and consists of not one but two Plasma Snipers for 69 points. The Combined Army has access to plasma weapons, which have a special ammunition type that causes targets to make an Armour save and a BTS save for each hit they take, losing 1 wound for each failure. This is nasty enough, but plasma weapons such as the Overdron’s Sniper Rifles also have a Blast Mode which loses 1 point of Damage (from 15 to 14, making it 5% more likely for the target to make the Armour save) but lays down a small teardrop-shaped template from the point of impact. This lets the Overdron cause mayhem when attacking groups of enemy units, especially considering that having two Sniper Rifles instead of one gives it a burst of 3 dice rather than the usual 2, making it devastating, especially in its +3 range of 48-96”.

The third loadout is twin Heavy Rocket Launchers. Similar to missile launchers, but better at mid-range and using Fire ammunition (forcing targets to keep making Armour saves until they pass one, losing 1 wound for each failure), Heavy Rocket Launchers roll 2 dice in the active turn, another benefit over the admittedly more hard-hitting missile launcher. With two of these weapons, the Overdron will be rolling 3 dice in the active turn. Heavy Rocket Launchers have two modes, one which lays down a circular template over the target (Blast Mode) and a second that has an improved Damage score (Hit Mode). This lets the Overdron take out groups of enemies with ease, or focus on damage output when up against more armoured targets – although since Blast Mode also ignores cover, Hit Mode tends to be somewhat neglected.

This third option is 57 points, significantly cheaper than the others, but is arguably just as effective at eliminating the enemy.

With these three options, players are spoilt for choice, as each is devastating in its own right. The Overdron is essentially a mobile weapons platform, able to support the rest of the Army from distance with a devastating arsenal,and as long as you keep it away from enemies skilled in close combat, it should survive more than long enough to make its mark. Make no mistake, the Onyx Contact Force has another reason to strike terror into the hearts of human foes!

 

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