Daylami are old favourites in Haqqislam’s roster. For some time they have been renowned when it comes to interference and ARO potential. However, N4 changed the Daylami profile in a number of crucial ways and therefore I think it’s worth taking a fresh look at these humble troops.
Daylami Infantry are comprised of the guerilla militia recruited from the Iran Zhat Al Amat region. This central region on the main landmass of Bourak has been largely terraformed into pristine beaches and resorts, however large areas remain as inhospitable, desert wasteland. Daylami infantry consist of the hardy people that continue to inhabit these latter areas.
The desert and the people that live within it exist as an almost separate nation to mainstream Bourak. Cut off from the excesses of society they carve out lives marked by tenacity and adaptability. The warrior caste of these clans are permitted by the Haqqislamite state to form territorial units, in order to protect their own homes and train their own people. They receive no additional, formal military training.
Daylami ask for some action infrequently so that their fresh recruits can ‘come of age’ and become fully fledged members of the clan. The reputation of these troops is built on a long history of campaigns and operations in the service of both the Sword of Allah, and Hassassin Bahram.
In terms of real-world history, the Daylamites were a group of people who populated what is now the northern, mountainous area of Iran, near the Caspian Sea. They were among the only peoples to resist the early Muslim conquest of Persia, which occurred in the seventh century. This idea of resistance and separation might have influenced the portrayal of Daylami in the Infinity lore as mountainous people who exist apart from mainstream Haqqislamite culture. In addition, the Daylamites were said to be fierce warriors who were employed by various Muslim empires as soldiers – a clear parallel to the Infinity lore, I think.
This is the profile for Daylami Infantry, as they currently stand in N4.
Looking solely at attributes alone, Daylami are very mediocre troops. However their cost is absolutely critical to consider. Eight points for a troop with a shotgun, panzerfaust, single use camouflage, and infiltration is incredible. Daylami are so cheap you can easily take two or three without incurring significant costs, and with this realisation you can see how they afford a Haqqislam player a way to quickly build up a solid force of harassing units. They might be mediocre individually, but two or three acting together start to look very appealing.
The Daylami profiles with single use camouflage and infiltration are very well equipped and order efficient. Being able to place a shotgun in the middle of the board without spending a single order is fantastic. That’s exactly where a shotgun wielding unit wants to be. Being able to place a shotgun in the middle of the board, which the opponent has to discover before it can shoot, without spending a single order is remarkable. This combination of skills allows Daylami to quicky get into position and start taking shots.
In terms of weapons loadout, we can see a variety of profiles. The light shotgun and panzerfaust combination (abbreviated to S+P) is a stand-out choice. The shotgun grants Daylami a way to make up for their poor BS skill, due to the +6 modifier to hit targets within 8″. Alternatively a Daylami can just choose to use the direct template in order to guarantee a hit or two against an attacker. In contrast, the panzerfaust is a weapon the excels at longer ranges and with its AP + EXP ammunition it can threaten the toughest targets. This means the S+P combination covers multiple range-bands very competently and is effective against a wide range of different units.
I must confess that the profiles without camouflage look rather tame side-by-side with the profiles that feature it. In fact the S+P loadout is only 2 points more when you take it with camouflage, which makes the non-camouflaged version a tough sell. One of the significant weaknesses of the Daylami profile is that there’s really only a single loadout that most people take, and it’s the camouflaged S+P combination.
It’s also worth noticing that the camouflaged profiles do not feature any level of mimetism. Of course for the low points cost you really couldn’t ask for much more, and it’s completely reasonable that they lack mimetism. But nevertheless, they don’t have it. The effect of this is that they’re not too difficult to discover when they’re camouflage markers, and once they’re revealed they’re really simple to kill. Furthermore it’s always very obvious to your opponent which camouflage markers your Daylami are because they’re deployed as camouflage (0), with no modifier to discover rolls, whereas almost all of your other camouflage markers will be camouflage (-3), with a -3 modifier to discover rolls. You cannot therefore fake a camouflaged Daylami as something else. There is one exception to this currently, which is the Liberto, because it also has camouflage without mimetism.
One final weakness is that the panzerfaust profile can lose its teeth once it’s fired both of its shots and it becomes unloaded. A Daylami placed in an elevated position in order to take panzerfaust AROs can quickly become very pointless when it loses the use of its panzerfaust. Be mindful of this when deploying!
I’m going to be completely honest – this upcoming section will focus on the camouflaged, infiltrating Daylami with S+P because it’s just so prevalent in Haqqislam lists. I think you’d be putting yourself in a difficult position trying to argue for most of the other loadouts. For example, the grenade launcher and marksman rifle profiles seem too unreliable with their low BS. The shotgun profiles without camouflage might as well be upgraded to the camouflaged profiles for either 2 or 3 points. The remaining profile, the camouflaged shotgun and rifle version, could be useable, but giving up the panzerfaust for a rifle is a hefty loss.
Many Haqqislam players use Daylami primarily as reactive threats, however I would argue that they can function as effective active turn troops too. Daylami deploy in the midboard, start in the camouflage state, and pack weapons that can make up for their poor BS value of 11. They also cost so few points that if they die it doesn’t really matter. And their irregular order goes to waste if they’re used as a static, reactionary piece.
In the midboard Daylami are going to be mostly surrounded by skirmishers, and a general rule of skirmishers is that they have low PH scores. Daylami bring direct template weapons to the party, which means they’re in a great position to take on a skirmisher. Using the camouflage state you can maneuver closer to an enemy camouflage marker, and then take a discover roll. Daylami are let down slightly by their mediocre WIP score of 13, but it’s not the worst odds to succeed. If you do, then you’re obviously staring at the opponent’s skirmisher, which probably costs significantly more than eight points, and you’re armed with a gun that counters their mimetism. Enjoy. If you fail the discover roll, you can always just leave that Daylami next to the enemy camo, ready to take another discover the instant they activate, or even a shot if they foolishly reveal. It really is peak Haqqislam strategy to use eight point troops to legitimately threaten 20 to 30 point skirmishers. And doing this means you can productively use their irregular orders, instead of having them go to waste. If you have an auto-hitting template in the middle of the board you might as well use it!
An alternative idea for offensive Daylami is co-ordinated panzerfaust shots. Taking two or three Daylami together means you can co-ordinate them and get simultaneous shots on a target. Remember that even if your opponent has a burst value higher than one when they ARO, they are not allowed to split their burst. (This is mentioned in the ARO rules). So against a total reaction remote, the opponent is forced to put all four shots into a single Daylami (poor dude), and then you’ll get unopposed shots with the rest. It’s one thing to do this against a total reaction remote, but quite another to do it against a TAG. Active turn, co-ordinated Daylami are reasonably good at taking on armoured targets.
This is the most common useage for Daylami, because they pack a lot of punch for a low price. Therefore they can act as solid deterrants, and there are few consequences when they die. Defensive Daylami can be sorted into long-range ARO pieces, and midfield ARO pieces.
The most immediate factor to bear in mind is that Daylami have camouflage, which gives them a reasonable amount of protection as defensive pieces. Don’t want to be shot? Don’t reveal! The opponent either has to attempt the discover roll, or just move on. This is advantageous not only in terms of survivability, but also when it comes to opportunity. You do not need to reveal and shoot the first troop that crosses your path. If you want to stay in camouflage state until your opponent reveals a big target then you can do that. Of course from the opponent’s perspective, they might be unwilling to reveal their important troops until the Daylami is dealt with – but this is still a win for the Haqqislam player because it means the Daylami is stalling the opponent’s push. Camouflage grants the Daylami greater interference potential because it gives you, the user, more control over when they expose themselves.
In terms of long-range AROs, it goes without saying that the panzerfaust is a fantastic weapon for this. Its AP and EXP ammunition means that even the heaviest targets need to respect its potential. This is significant because it means that unlike a lot of ARO pieces, a Daylami needs to be killed or unloaded before it can be ignored entirely. If we accept that one of the core roles of an ARO piece is to waste the opponent’s orders then the fact that Daylami can’t be ignored is critical to understand. It’s a hard life for Daylami, because as a Haqqislam player, even a single order of shooting going into them is preferable to shooting going into one of your more expensive troops. However, the fact that an eight point unit can command that respect is phenomenal.
When it comes to midfield AROs, the role of a Daylami is pretty simple; hiding around corners or in narrow corridors, blocking the path and threatening nasty direct template reactions. Opponents generally don’t want to declare dodges in the active turn because it’s a waste of time when they could be shooting. Of course if the opponent does not declare a dodge against a template then they’re guaranteed to get hit. In this way Daylami are remarkably good at discouraging lighter infantry from entering an enclosed space. If they do come into range then they’re forced to take dodges, and if they don’t dodge they take a hit.
List Building With Daylami
As Daylami are cheap and reasonably disposable units they’re usually not troops that warrant significant support, rather it is more usual for them to act as support for other troops. The question isn’t, “what do I take to support my Daylami?”, but rather, “how can my Daylami support the rest of my strategy?”. The answer to this question depends on the rest of your list, and the functions you lack.
The most common answer to the above question is, “Daylami can provide long-range AROs, because few other units fulfil this role as cheaply and effectively”. As I discussed in the defensive section, the combination of camouflage, a panzerfaust, and their low cost, make Daylami very compelling in this niche. However, on the other hand I would point out that when used in this way it is usual for their irregular orders to go to waste, and it is also common for them to quickly become useless when their ammo is expended. There are also distinct disadvantages to the long-range ARO role in general; it’s quite easy to play around (smoke grenades, cautious move, and simply avoiding them does the trick), and the exposed position puts the Daylami in front of the opponent’s best guns. So whilst they’re accomplished in this role, I would actually suggest that this useage can sometimes be a bit of a trap.
A less common answer is, “Daylami can provide midboard interference, because few other units can do this as cheaply”. Whilst it’s absolutely true a lot of other Haqqislam troops can also fill this niche (Al Hawwa, Farzan, perhaps even Fidays in some circumstances), most of these options would appreciate a Daylami clearing the way before they make their run. What would you rather risk, the Daylami or the Farzan? Using the Daylami in this way makes good use of their irregular order, and there’s little difference between the damage 13 templates of a light shotgun and the damage 14 templates of a boarding shotgun. (Though of course, those boarding shotguns are far more useful against heavier targets with their actual hit mode). Furthermore, when you’re finished with your run, you can leave the Daylami poking around a corner to take panzerfaust AROs too! I personally like this role a bit more than the last because I believe it makes better use of the troop’s entire loadout.
Haqqislam players have been throwing Daylami around on the table for a long time. However, I feel their usage changed a lot in N4, with the introduction of direct templates on shotguns. This change allowed Daylami to be sigificantly more dangerous and reliable at midboard skirmishing. As a result of this I think they are now far more flexible troops and have legitimate, compelling reasons to be both active and reactive.