Today we are going to look at PanOceania (PanO), what they do well, units to watch out for, and some ways to take them down. Be sure to check out the Tactics Corner for more articles like this.
PanO is described as the one true hyper powers of the Human Sphere- And they reflect this on the table quite well. PanO is typically categorized as a “high-tech” faction with all of the toys and it’s for good reason. PanO has access to some of the best equipment in the game; MULTI weapons, Thermo Optical Camo (TO Camo), Multispectral Visor Level 2 (MSV2), are all widespread in this army where most armies only have limited options- if they have access to these tools at all. Now let’s see what some of the nastier units a PanO player can bring to the table:
–Father Knight Hacker: This model came with Operation: Icestorm, so there are a lot of them out there. The model has several profiles, and while all of them are useful, the hacker profile is where this model goes from “shiny” to “dear-lord-that-is-too-bright-kill-it-now”. At 14, the Father Knight has the WIP to make use of his hacking device when accomplishing objectives and attacking other hackers. With a Biotechnical Shield (BTS) of 9, Armor 5, and 2 wounds he can weather a fair bit of damage and can operate freely on the front lines. On top of being a great hacker, puncher, and shooter, this profile even includes D-charges – something unusual for a hacker, meaning he can blow holes in walls and doors, destroy objectives, and even threaten Tactical Armor Gear (TAGs).
Guarda de Assalto (GdA): A lot of people asked how to expand their army beyond the contents of Operation Icestorm and this was one of the models Corvus Belli recommended – it has been one of their best sellers since. The GdA unit is actually two models, the trooper and the Auxbot. BS 15, Armor 3, and BTS 3 are respectable stats by themselves, but add in the Auxbot’s smoke grenade launcher, it’s shotgun, and the trooper’s heavy flame thrower and you have an exceptionally dangerous unit capable of operating independently from the rest of the army. The combination of smoke plus multiple template weapons means this is an aggressive unit that is difficult to contain and will rampage through even well deployed, in cover, light and medium infantry.
Nisse: Another Icestorm model. At movement 4-2 the Nisses is slower than a lot of the rest of PanO. However it is an extremely potent sniper. MSV2 means it will ignore smoke, Mimetism, Camo, TO Camo, and Optical Disruption device (ODD), meanwhile the Nisse has mimetism of it’s own. With the combination of MSV2 AND Mimetism, the Nisse is a unit that is extremely adept at killing models while stifling attacks against it. It is also packing a MULTI Sniper Rifle, so it can threaten heavy armor, multi-wound, and “No wound Incapacitation” models. This sniper is the whole package letting it shut down vital movement lanes and pin down high value models with little fear of reprisal.
TAGs (all of them): Most armies have access to some sort of TAG, PanO has access to about as many as everyone else COMBINED. Long range fire support? Draigo. Short range? Seraph. TO Camo? Cutter. Ultra-heavy armor? Joutum. The list goes on. Some people say TAGs are a point sink, I say they have never seen a properly supported TAG wreck an entire army John Rambo style. It’s true you can take TAGs down with hacking and even lots of low powered “trash fire” but with high BTS and incredibly good armor it’s going to take lots of punishment before it dies. Either way it soaks fire for the rest of the army or wrecks everyone who isn’t ready for these meta-busting bulwarks.
Now let’s take a look at how these units can come together in a list:
This list does a few things: first it supplies a triple threat in the form of the Father Knight, a TAG, AND a GdA. Second, it gives enough orders to power the heavy hitters- 11 orders in a list isn’t a lot, but it’s enough to push forward and dominate the central area , lock down an important objective, and prevent an opponent from completing their objectives. Third, it gives multiples of most specialist types making it slightly more redundant. This list can score points, wreck anything it comes across, and has the armor to take a hit on the chin and keep on advancing.
It’s true the lone Nisse will only have only it’s own order, but put him in a good spot and he will do most of his work via AROs. Swapping out the TAG for several lower points units would allow a PanO player to bring more orders, which is always useful, but I wanted to show that all of these units can conceivably be brought in a single list.
The silver lining to the wrecking ball of pain that PanO can deliver is that they are expensive. Their Line Troops are decently cheap, but their high tech and heavy armor all comes with an appropriately high price. PanO players generally have to make choices and tradeoffs in what they are going to bring or find themselves short on orders.
That high cost can mean that multiple, overlapping specialists aren’t always possible – the loss of a specific unit can mean the difference between domination and being physically unable to complete objectives. Additionally, by over specializing PanO can find itself blindsided by unanticipated threats.
Let’s translate these weaknesses into some actual ideas on how to take down a PanO army. The way you win a game in Infinity is by playing the mission, not slaughtering your opponent so the reverse is true as well: You have to keep them from playing the mission.
Typically this takes the form of targeting specialists. PanO won’t normally have a lot of overlapping specialists. So if you can assassinate those one or two doctors or hackers then you can effectively remove PanO from taking objectives that require that corresponding specialist.
When you are dealing with PanO you will be dealing with at least one high armor unit, be it a heavy infantry or TAG. You need to have redundant methods of taking them down. Ideally try attacking from multiple vectors to force themto make a choice. By setting up a anti-tank unit near a hacker you can force the unit to choose between making a dodge face to face roll against a AP+EXP rocket or trying to reset against a hacking roll, leaving them undefended against the other. Word of warning though, PanO units can be tough as nails so try to have some redundancy built into your lists in case you wiff a roll or are simply unable to overcome their thick armor and high BTS and a TAG steamrolls your carefully laid trap!
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