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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Armies of Infinity: Pan Oceania

Pan Oceania is the largest, most advanced and richest society in the Human Sphere. Its culture is rooted in the former nations of the West - Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia- and forms a conglomerate power with the most planets under its control.

It's forces and model range include a large variety of units, including  plenty of TAGs and Remotes. Its heavy infantry are among the best in the game and even it's line troops pack a punch with their higher than average Ballistic Skill, granted them by the most advanced targeting systems and training.

In today’s post I’m going to take a look at Pan Oceania’s strengths and drawbacks, and talk about some of the great ways to play a Standard Pan Oceania force. Pan Oceania has three distinct Sectorial Armies, that are drawn from different planets and regions. Sectorial Armies are basically regional armies, but today we are only going to look at Pan Oceania lists, non-Sectorial.

Ballistic Skill (BS)
The first thing you will notice about Pan Oceania forces is that they have a higher average ballistic skill than others. This is because their technology includes advanced targeting systems that most other factions do not have access to. In the game, Pan Oceania have about one or two points higher in ballistic skill so they will make successful rolls to-hit about 5%-10% of the time. This advantage only gets enhanced when you arm your troops with weapons with a high rate of fire like HMGs and Spitfires.

Pan Oceania is the undisputed king of TAGs. It has the widest variety and the best TAGs in the game. The Cutter is a complete beast, sporting a high armor value, a deadly weapon and thermal optical camouflage. The Jotum, which has just been released as a stunning new model, has one of the highest armor values in the game, and an impressive weapon loadout. Even the somewhat weaker TAGs have neat tricks, like the Seraph that comes to battle with an Auxbot, a small remote drone that protects it and carries a heavy flamethrower. Even the light TAGs with ARM 6 have things like Camouflage that make them stand out. 

Will Power (WIP)
Pan Oceania forces have a lower average WIP score than most armies. Most troops either have a 12 or a 13, while most others will have a 13 or 14, even 15 in some cases. WIP plays an important role in hacking, doctoring injured troops, repairing remotes and TAGs and discovering camouflaged troops. 

Perhaps to make up for the lower WIP, visors are all over the place in the standard Pan Oceania list. They even have access to the rare Level 3 multispectral visor which completely bypasses the WIP roll to discover camouflaged troops. In contrast, Yu Jing has relatively few units with visors, at times forced to rely on template weapons like flamethrowers and chain rifles to root out camouflaged enemies. 

Hackers rely on WIP to hack, and need a decent BTS to win face-to-face hacking rolls. Most Pan Oceania hackers have a WIP of 13 and no BTS value. Only the Kamau and the unique character, Father-Officer Gabrielle, have a -6 BTS and a WIP of 13 and 14 respectively. These are the two primary hackers in Pan Oceania and really the only ones worth selecting for your force. 

With all those lovely visors, it would be incredibly awesome for Pan Oceania to have a good deal of smoke grenades, but this isn't the case. You see, there is this neat combo in Infinity of dropping a smoke grenade and ordering your troops with multispectral visors level 2, to fire through it, without the risk of return fire. Pan Oceania can't do this. Why? Because the only smoke grenades they get are Zero-V, meaning that no visor can shoot through them. So that is one very useful combo of which Pan Oceania cannot take advantage. 

Interestingly, Pan Oceania has no warband units. Not having them isn't really a drawback, as they can be difficult to use at first, but it does mean that Pan Oceania has no access to cheap bodies, other than Mulebots at 8 points - which are pretty useless other than the order they provide. In other armies, Warbands can have their uses in disrupting the enemy for only 5 points a pop. A Pan Oceania player probably won't lament over this though, as Warbands can also die horribly before ever making an impact on the game. 

Units of Note
Nisses from Svalarheima. Equipped with a MS-visor Level 2, Mimetism, Armor 3 and respectable BS of 13, Nisses can take on-coming fire and dish out some respectable firepower of their own.

Knights Hospitaller. One of the few (if only) heavy infantry models with the Doctor skill (as opposed to the Medikit). Both a killer combat troop and a doctor - 2 for the price of 1. 

Aquila Guard. Has one of highest Ballistic Skills in the game, an MS visor Level 3 and access to some heavy weapons. Great for taking out camouflaged models. 

Cutter: A TAG with TO camouflage, how could you go wrong?

Magister Knights. Relatively cheap Heavy Infantry Models with Panzerfausts. Fast and deadly, a wicked combination. Magister Knights are the heat-seeking missile of the Pan Oceania force. 

Father-Officer Gabrielle De Fersen. Another dual use model - a fighter and a hacker, and a damn good hacker at that. 

Those are just a few of Pan Oceania's best troops, I'm sure you'll find others that perform beyond expectations (ahem, Swiss Guard). 

Pan Oceania certainly has its strengths - its forces are going to be fielding accurate firepowerand some scary TAGs with an ability to deal with camouflaged troops. They've got plenty of tricks of their own, like loads of Thermal Optical Camouflage, but they don't get it all.

Their WIP scores are lower than most, so they won't be making as many doctor or hacking rolls as you might think. Standard Lists have little access to good close-combat troops, not that they are that important in Infinity, but still worth mentioning. In addition, their hackers, with the exception of Father Gabrielle and the Kamau, are pretty weak. Pan Oceania do have some pretty amazing units though, like all armies in Infinity. 

Personally, I'd never field a list without at least one of the following - Swiss Guard, Cutter, Jotum, Aquila Guard or Nisse. These are some of the most powerful choices at hand for Pan Oceania and they all have beautiful models, which is a huge plus for Pan Oceania. Besides the Fusilier, most models in Pan Oceania are simply gorgeous and have a respectable Ballistic Skill in a shooting-based game, so you really can't go wrong. 

In the next post on Infinity, we'll take a glance at Yu Jing, Pan Oceania's rival in the Infinity universe.  

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