Cracking Armour in Haqqislam

TAGs and Heavy Infantry (HI) are popular choices in Infinity, which many players find difficult to play against because they usually boast top tier weaponry, and armour that requires dedicated tools to punch through. In this article I’m going to explore Haqqislam’s options for piercing through that thick armour, and taking out those TAGs!

I’m going to split the options that I discuss into four distinct categories:

  • Conventional
  • Templates
  • Close combat
  • Zoning

‘Conventional’ choices are those that seek to remove the opposing piece through good, honest face-to-face rolls. ‘Template’ choices are those that threaten HI and TAGs with auto-hitting, direct-template weapons. The ‘Close Combat’ category is reserved for troops that can destroy TAGs in melee brawls. Finally, those units in the ‘Zoning’ category make space more dangerous for TAGs and HIs to travel through, but may not kill them entirely (I’m thinking of hackers, and E/M mines here).

Quick note: I don’t have the space to exhaustively list every option in Haqqislam that fits into these categories. There will definitely be units I miss out. This does not mean I think they’re bad choices!

Conventional

Haqqislam is often accused of being a faction that’s poor at gunfighting. I’m certainly sympathetic to this view, because we undeniably lack access to the powerhouses that other factions boast such as the Swiss Guard, the Hsien, or Achilles. However, even in this category that’s a little under-represented, Haqq still has some good choices. Let’s take a look at the Haqqislam gunfighters that can take on HIs and TAGs.

Maghariba Guard

Is it cheating to start an article about how to beat TAGs and HI by recommending a TAG? Maybe! But if I get the chance to mention the Maghariba Guard, I’m certainly going to take it.

The attraction of the Maghariba Guard is a combination of BS14 and a damage 16 Multi HMG. Multi HMGs pack AP ammunition, and therefore this unit is putting damage 16, AP shots downrange with a high level of accuracy. In fact, BS14 is the highest BS value you’ll find across Haqqislam. Another advantage of the Maghariba Guard is that it’s quite likely to withstand a hit if it fails a face-to-face roll, due to its high armour. Even if you are very unlucky and lose a point of structure, you still have two more to fall back on. Overall, the Maghariba Guard is a very competent gunfighting piece that has respectable levels of durability.

The biggest disadvantages of this unit are the cost, and its own weakness to anti-armour weapons. At 81 points for the cheapest loadout, the Maghariba is quite an expensive unit, and this means it can be quite difficult to use correctly. Losing one in the first few turns can be quite disastrous. It must also be said that there are far cheaper units in the faction which also gunfight very well – so it seems silly to take the Maghariba Guard literally for the sole purpose of winning face-to-face rolls. The unit needs to be carefully worked into a list, with a mind to using it to the fullest extent possible. This is particularly true because as a TAG itself, it’s just as vulnerable to anti-TAG weapons, hacking, and deployables as your opponents’ are. When using a Maghariba Guard you need to ask yourself how you’re going to keep the opponent’s hackers and AP weapons away!

Azra’il

The Azra’il is absolutely ridiculous when it comes to punching through armour. Not only does it possess a damage 16 AP HMG, but it also has the continuous damage rule. This means that any save your opponent fails against one of its attacks must be re-rolled until the affected troop either dies, or passes a save. It’s effectively shooting an AP HMG that sets whatever you hit on fire. The Azra’il has a respectable BS value of 13, and good enough armour to not feel too threatened by smaller weapons (though it’s far from invincible against them).

In terms of downsides, it’s important to note that the Azra’il is very vanilla. What I mean by that is that it has a distinct lack of flexibility. For example, it doesn’t have MSV, so if the opposing unit has mimetism then the Azra’il’s chances of hitting are significantly degraded. It doesn’t have mimetism itself, so it’s not difficult for opponents to hit. It has very poor defenses against hacking with its BTS value of 3. And it dodges quite poorly (on 11s), so it’s really uncomfortable when faced with a face-to-face scenario that it cannot bully its way through. The Azra’il is really good at picking on opposing pieces that lack mimetism, but it doesn’t fulfil many roles besides that. It’s very good at what it does, but it only really has one function.

Yara Haddad

Yara is probably among the cheapest units you’ll find that can legitimately threaten HI and TAGs in a gunfight. For a measly 25 points you’ve got a respectable BS value of 13, armour penetrating ammunition on a marksman rifle, and MSV2. The MSV2 is important because it means she’s not bothered by opposing pieces having mimetism, and therefore this makes her more flexible because she’s happy taking on a wider range of targets. It also allows her to shoot through smoke, which incurs a -6 penalty on the target if they choose to shoot back whilst lacking MSV themselves. This can dramatically shift face-to-face situations in your favour. Aside from this there’s not too much to say about her – she doesn’t cost too many points, has MSV, a decent BS score, and a respectable weapon. Yara is a great all-purpose troop, able to take on a large variety of different targets, and thus is comfortable in a range of different lists.

Yara’s downsides mainly correspond to her low points value. She’s cheap, so naturally she lacks some of the more expensive traits and tricks. Possibly the biggest weakness Yara has as an offensive piece is with her weapon. The AP marksman rifle is definitely good, but it’s not absolutely amazing. It has a burst value of 3 and a damage value of 13, whereas a burst value of 4 and higher damage values are more desirable against the most threatening targets. Again, it’s worth noting Yara is 25 points – she’s exceptionally good value, but she’s just not the absolute top of the food chain. Finally, she also lacks any convincing defensive skills. Bioimmunity and shock immunity are really nice because they help you survive to some extent, but they won’t save you against a sustained assault.

Honourable Mentions

  • Asawira with AP Spitfire – an affordable HI with a good BS value and great weapon.
  • Shujae with AP Rifle – a light troop with mimetism-6, which enables it to prey on units without MSV.
  • Hortlak with SMG and Blitzen – a strange pick, but the Hortlak is a reasonably tough unit that has mimetism; MSV; a weapon with damage 14, AP ammunition; and another weapon with E/M ammunition.
  • Daylami with Panzerfaust – whilst Daylami are individually weak, a few Daylami operating together in a co-ordinated order can easily take down heavy targets with massed Panzerfausts.

Templates

This is a reasonably short section because there are not too many direct templates which can threaten TAGs or HI. However, one notable exception is the E/Marat, which is a direct template with nasty E/M ammunition. Obviously the advantage of using direct templates is that they guarantee a hit if the target does not dodge, and many TAGs dodge quite poorly.

Ghazi Muttawi’ah

Ghazi continue to be staple Haqqislam picks because they can threaten extremely expensive units, and cost very few points themselves. Against heavier targets I like the 9 point profile with Shotgun and E/Marat. The E/Marat is a large template weapon with E/M ammunition. E/M ammunition is absolutely fantastic because it means that any target which is hit needs to make two saves against damage 13 with half their normal BTS value. If they fail then they’re isolated, which means they can’t receive orders from the main pool, and if they’re an HI, a TAG, or a Remote then they’re also immobilized. If you can get this 9 point troop within large template range (roughly 10″) then it has a very, very good chance of removing a heavy target from the fight. That’s significant utility for such a cheap troop.

However Ghazi do have distinct downsides. Firstly, the short-range nature of the template makes approaching the target a necessity. This can be difficult and order intensive, because naturally many players protect their units from this kind of threat. Furthermore Ghazi have almost no long-range capability whatsoever. The only way they can avoid significant ARO threats is with smoke grenades. So if the path to the target is not safe then it’ll be extremely difficult for a Ghazi to approach. Troops such as this can do amazing work if they manage to get within optimum range, but it can be hard work setting that situation up.

Namurr

If the Ghazi is the cheap option that’s tough to move into position, then the Namurr is the expensive, mobile option. Climbing plus and 6-2 movement mean that the Namurr is quite adept at moving around ARO pieces, or cautious moving past them, in order to reach the target it wants to take out. It also has no wound incapacitation and total immunity so it can take an ARO hit and keep going, or even just ignore certain threats (flash pulses, for example). Finally it dodges 3″ with a PH roll of 15, so it’s very good at move-dodging its way upfield. The Namurr is on the more expensive side but it shoots reasonably well, has an E/Marat, dodges adeptly, travels around the board capably, and possesses some decent defensive skills. One of the things I like most about the Namurr is the fact that no wound incapacitation and total immunity match up really well against enemy TAGs. If an enemy TAG shoots you with a weapon that has EXP ammunition then you only need to make one save instead of three, and even if you fail that save you won’t die. What this essentially does is ensure that you get multiple chances to throw that E/M template down over the opposing unit.

When it comes to criticism I think it would be fair to say that the Namurr is a jack-of-all-trades but master of none. It shoots reasonably well but BS12 with a spitfire is far from the pinnacle of shooting. It has defensive skills, but it lacks a high armour value, so it is very likely to take a wound if it is hit. The Namurr is a specialist operative, which means it’s a specialist, but it lacks the utility of a doctor or hacker. Finally, it has mobility skills which help it travel the board but it lacks mimetism, a marker state, or smoke grenades, so it can still be tricky to manoeuvre around a well constructed defence. The Namurr is very good because it ticks a lot of boxes, but it doesn’t tick any single box as well as a lot of more dedicated troops.

Honourable Mentions

There aren’t too many templates that can properly threaten heavily armoured targets, however I do want to quickly highlight one more option.

  • Tarik Mansuri – Tarik has a nanopulser with +2 damage, which results in damage 15 hits against BTS. When facing TAGs or HI with significantly higher ARM than BTS, you might want to use the nanopulser over his spitfire or close combat weapon.

Close Combat

Whilst reaching close combat can be difficult, there are a number of unit choices in Haqqislam that are reasonably able to do so. This is mostly achieved with marker states or smoke grenades. The advantage of the close combat approach is that most TAGs and HI have pretty poor to mediocre close combat abilities. So whilst reaching the opposing troop can be difficult, winning the face-to-face roll can sometimes be very easy.

Zuleyka Nazarova

Zuleyka is an absolute monster in close combat, easily capable of shredding targets five times her cost or more. In her favour she has smoke grenades, blisteringly fast 8-6 movement, and +1 burst in CC with her EXP close combat weapon. That burst 2 EXP close combat weapon can force your opponent to make six saves with their ARM value, if you’re lucky – it’s completely disgusting. To top it all off Zuleyka is 11 points, which is really very little for a troop that can cross the board and threaten a large target in just a handful of orders. She’s also capable of dodging 4″ with a respectable PH score of 13, which is exceptionally useful if you need to reach a target and don’t have enough orders to carefully place smoke.

In terms of downsides, Zuleyka offers no long-range potential and weak defensive abilities, aside from her good PH value for dodging. She is also impetuous and therefore cannot claim cover – which makes her a risky gunfighter. Zuleyka is very much committed to the up close and personal playstyle. This is a narrow role, but one she achieves remarkably well.

Al Djabel

Damage 16 hits with a viral close combat weapon, a marker state, smoke grenades, and the ability to deploy right next to your opponent. What more could you want from a close combat specialist? Al Djabel is one of the best melee units in the game, and he’s not bad at shooting either! The key to Al Djabel is the strong impersonation ability, combined with his good damage output in close combat. It’s very, very easy to remove a target when the opponent has to discover you twice before they can attack. One good way to use him is to deploy him close to the anticipated route a HI or TAG might take, because this can deter them and threaten a quick kill if they push forwards. Deploying Al Djabel in this way forces your opponent to either play more conservatively, or concede that area of the board to you because they want to avoid him.

In terms of downside, we need to note that Al Djabel is moderately expensive and not too fast. At 33 points he steps on the toes of a lot of other fantastic units, so it is worth considering his use carefully. It’s a lot of points to waste if you don’t manage to achieve anything at all with him! Furthermore, his 4-4 movement does mean that more mobile units can simply walk away from him. Al Djabel is also extremely vulnerable when he is not in his marker state because his defensive stats are very poor, so it’s essential to keep him relatively safe in your opponent’s turns, if he’s essential to your plans.

Nahab

The Nahab is probably among the best light infantry in the game for a whole host of reasons. For the purposes of this article though, I’m focusing on its potential to remove armoured targets. The Nahab profile with d charges and the killer hacker profile are both best at this. Every profile has a frankly ridiculous close combat value of 29 once berserk and martial arts is factored in. Their close combat score, combined with the destructive power of a viral close combat weapon or d charges, makes them absolute monsters to face. They’re extremely likely to win face-to-face rolls in close combat, and subsequently force your target to make between two to four saves, depending on the weapon you used and whether your scored a critical hit. The profile with the killer hacking device has less destructive potential because it lacks d charges. However, it can use cybermask to become a marker, which allows it to enter close combat more safely. Aside from this, all profiles can either infiltrate or parachute onto the board, so it’s not too difficult to get the Nahab to where it needs to be, and they can use assault to close into melee from 8″ away.

Nahabs have very few obvious weaknesses. One slight downside is that their ranged abilities are passable, but not fantastic. A Nahab’s aggressive options against heavier targets are mostly limited to close combat. Another issue is that Nahabs can go down surprisingly quickly. Having no wound incapacitation is excellent, but its low armour value means that it will quickly die to sustained fire. This is a pattern with many Haqqislam light infantry units – they might have skills that allow them to take more hits before going down, but low armour values mean every hit you take has a good chance of doing damage. The Nahab is definitely a piece that requires a bit of finesse to reach a target successfully, particularly because most of its profiles lack a marker state and none have a way to block line of fire, such as smoke grenades. They’re extremely strong troops, but definitely require some planning to use well.

Honourable Mentions

  • Yasbir – Yasbir has been disliked by many people for some time but he is an interesting option. His 34-point holoprojector profile gives him some level of defence through the use of holoechoes, he has smoke grenades which allows him to safely reach targets, he hits very hard in melee, and he has infiltration so he starts close to enemies.

Zoning

Zoning refers to the use and control of space. Units that are good at zoning out enemies have abilities that allow them to make areas of the board more dangerous. Your opponent needs to be able to move around the board in order to apply pressure, and therefore you can counter this by making their movements harder to plan or more risky to execute. This can be achieved with equipment such as mines or hacking devices.

Al Hawwa

The Al Hawwa hacker is a fantastic anti-TAG / anti-HI zoning piece. With a respectable WIP score of 14, the Al Hawwa is a competent threat when it comes to cyber warfare and, as with all hackers, it projects a 16″ wide threat bubble. One of the most important aspects of hacking attacks are that they can target enemy units without requiring line of sight. This means that a hacker on a rooftop can fire off repeated attacks against enemy TAGs without exposing itself to significant danger. The Al Hawwa has infiltration so it can deploy in a central location and immediately get to work doing exactly this! One other significant aspect of the Al Hawwa is that it deploys in a marker state. This is extremely advantageous for two reasons. The first reason is that it renders it very safe against enemy troops. The second reason is that it keeps your opponent guessing about all of your camouflage markers. If you deploy three markers, for example, the opponent might guess one of them is an Al Hawwa, but not know which specific one. In this way you can use your camouflage markers as fake threats.

In terms of downsides, the Al Hawwa is very vulnerable once it leaves its marker state. Poor armour, poor BTS, only one wound, and a low PH score means that it’s not very good at dodging attacks or taking hits without dying. It is also a very mediocre gunfighter. The Al Hawwa is a fantastic troop when it’s tucked away safely and left to fire off hacking attacks, but if the enemy reaches it then it’s likely going to be in serious trouble.

Hassassin Shujae

The Shujae was mentioned briefly in the ‘Conventional’ section because it fights extremely well, as a result of its BS13 and mimetism-6 combo. In this section I’m going to focus on the zoning potential of the Shujae by examining the 24 point version with E/M mines. As I discussed above, E/M is extremely threatening for heavy armour. Forcing two saves at half BTS means that even a single E/M hit can easily isolate and immobilize a HI or TAG. The value of E/M mines is that they can be placed pre-emptively in order to keep opposing units away, or they can be placed proactively in preparation for a fight. The pre-emptive use is reasonably self-explanatory. By placing a mine somewhere where the opponent is likely to go, it forces them to either avoid that area, or remove the mine first. This is primarily a defensive move. However, mines can also be used offensively. The Shujae is capable of hiding around a corner and deploying a mine in such a way that if the enemy were to declare an ARO with the next order then they would trigger it. If the Shujae subsequently comes around the corner and shoots the enemy unit, it forces them to dodge because if they don’t they will be hit by the mine. But of course if the enemy unit declares a dodge then that means your Shujae can shoot at them without fear. Consequently, careful use of E/M mines means that a Shujae can be a huge threat for opposing HIs and TAGs.

The main downside of the Shujae is that it has many of the same weaknesses as the Al Hawwa, but these are further exacerbated by the lack of a marker state. Whilst the Shujae itself is hard to hit, it’s extremely flimsy if it does take a shot. This means that traversing the board with a Shujae can be difficult. Even one stray bullet can end its run. And its even more vulnerable in the opponent’s turn because it lacks a marker state to fall back on. Any MSV unit that comes within range of the Shujae should have a reasonably easy time removing it.

Honourable Mentions

  • Hassassin Barid – An extremely cheap hacker that comes with pitchers, which enables it to dramatically increase its hacking area.
  • Leila Sharif – A cheap and capable troop that packs E/M mines and a killer hacking device.
  • Ragik – Why worry about moving your hackers into position when you can simple walk on the side of the board? The Ragik has the highest WIP score out of any airborne deployed troop in the game.
  • Tuareg – Thanks to the user badger81987 for pointing this one out. The Tuareg is a WIP15 hacker with hidden deployment – an excellent ambush piece against HIs and TAGs.

In Conclusion

Whilst Haqqislam might not have the flashiest guns or best long-range gunfighters, that does not mean that the faction is defenceless against heavier units. Our options against heavy infantry and TAGs span a wide range of archetypes from aggressive fighters to more clandestine hackers or mine-deployers. In fact, with the natural Haqqislam willpower score of 14, you should find that what the faction lacks in direct gunfighting, it can easily make up for in hacking and other alternative methods. With a little bit of pre-planning and careful movement you should find yourself swiftly and cleanly dealing with enemy armour!

9 thoughts on “Cracking Armour in Haqqislam

  1. Can I ask a dumb question about the mines. If you go unconscious state if your attack is unsuccessful and lose the opposed roll, the mine wouldn’t go off because it wont go off if friendly units even when unconscious or am I missing something?

    Ps I’m fairly new to the game

    Cheers

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    1. This is not a dumb question!

      Mines stay on the table and can still trigger if the troop that placed them goes unconscious.

      In the example I gave, the mine is placed so that it’ll trigger as soon as the enemy troop declares an ARO. That means it’ll go off with the next order you spend, regardless of what happens with the face to face roll, if you choose to shoot. As soon as the enemy declares an ARO, that mine is triggering, regardless of what happens next.

      Note that you’re placing the mine so that you’re not blocking it’s trigger area. You don’t want to be in the way or it won’t go off. You achieve this by placing it in front of you, or to the side.

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      1. Aren’t (in the example in the article at least) you in the range of a small teardrop template from the mine thus preventing the mine from going off even if you still go unconscious?

        I don’t get how it will go off unless you drop it around the corner properly and move back around the corner?

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      2. First order:
        – You move to the edge of the corner, where you can’t be seen.
        – You drop the mine so that it’s poking around the edge.
        Second order:
        – You move around the edge of the corner, usually going behind the mine.
        – The enemy AROs.
        – The mine triggers. You’re not blocking it because you’re behind it.
        – You shoot the enemy.

        The small teardrop from the mine goes from the front edge of it towards the enemy. You’re behind the mine, so it doesn’t hit you.

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  2. Thanks for the clarification!
    I thought mines shoot in a 360 though so if you are standing behind it after a move-shoot I was under the impression that it would go off as you would be within the 360 small teardrop template

    That is unless you move shoot and go back behind the corner and out of template range from the mine which I assume you are doing here?

    Really appreciate the info

    Like

    1. Ah I see!

      No, they’re not 360. You can actually angle the small template in any way that you wish (as long as it hits the enemy that triggers it!), but generally the template originates on the edge of the mine closest to the enemy that triggered it, and then travels towards the enemy. The blast is therefore just a very small wedge shape.

      Due to this you can be behind or to the side of a mine and be completely unaffected, and still have it trigger.

      As for whether you should poke out and then return to cover (essentially move out and then back in); yes. That’s always a good idea. Not because of the mine though. Just because if you get hit, it’s useful to be in a place that’s easier for a doctor to reach.

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