Every Wednesday, our Field Test blog brings you new rules, missions and ideas to supercharge your games! This week, we share some ways to help Infinity players build their own mecha!
TAGs are some of the coolest things in Infinity. Sure, there are exploding metal koalas, ninjas that can cut a tank in half, nuns with sniper rifles, Scottish werewolves and Achilles. But it's those huge centrepiece models that really draw the eyes of passers-by.
We've talked before about how we'd like to see TAGs (Tactical Armoured Gear, the mechs of Infinity) made a little bit more intimidating. Now, I'd like to do something more fluffy: make my own TAG, with the tech, skills and weapons systems of my choice.
Infinity already has custom rules for Spec Ops, which I absolutely love. The options are varied enough to enable players to expand a faction or sectorial army's limitations - to add a formidable hacker, or an AD troop, etc - but there's nothing too crazy. You can't turn an Alguacil into a ninja, for instance, or a Keisotsu into a Sin Eater (I don't think). But it does add a fun, modular element to the game in the same way that the Soldiers of Fortune option does.
What if there was a Spec Ops system for TAGs?
The Keys to the Workshop
So after reading Grantt's article about TAGs, I started to ask myself what I would do if I could build my own walking tank from scratch. Would I value camouflage or mimetism over armour? Would I want an ejector seat or remote presence? What would I prioritise if I had the choice?
Then I thought, wouldn't it be fun if we just built TAGs to our own precise specifications. Really pushed the boundaries a little. Went wild. So, in this spirit, I invite you all to become clockmakers and TAG designers!
Fitting a Custom TAG into your army
If your opponent is kind enough to let you do this, fitting a custom TAG into your army is simple. Just build your army as you would normally, using the awesome official Army program, and leave enough points free for your TAG. You'll need to bring along your TAG's profile and skills, etc, so your opponent can see it when you swap courtesy lists.
Note: you might want to build your TAG first, so you know how many points you are going to need to leave free when building your army.
The Core Profile
So here are the bare bones of a TAG. You'll need to select a profile, depending on what silhouette size you're after. It made sense that a heavier Marghariba Guard-style platform would be weaker in close combat, but inherently tougher.
All of these profiles are Manned.
Once you have your platform, you need to choose Weapons, Skills & Equipment and Stat Boosts. Now some items may be much more powerful on a TAG than on a standard trooper, so I've tried to reflect that in points costs. Since this is all a bit of fun (until the lead starts flying, at least) I've included some pretty bonkers things... but I've tried to be fair with the cost of them.
You can put as many weapons as you like on your FrankenTAG, just watch that SWC cost.
The TAG pilot gets a pistol and a knife for free. If you want the pilot to have anything else, you need to buy it (see 'Pilots', below). If a pilot gets out of a TAG fitted with a Spitfire, he does not automatically get to take that gun with him; he needs his own.
Close Combat Weapons
While most of us prefer to use our TAGs as mobile gun platforms, sometimes you just need to get up close and personal with a six-foot shiv. Here are the options for a CCW. I'd suggest not allowing Dual Wield without paying a little extra for it, as some of the combinations are pretty terrifying! To this end, in order to enable the TAG to attack with two different CCWs, you need to spend a little more.
Guns are nice, but sometimes it's the skills and equipment that make a unit truly formidable. There are some tasty options here, and I'm sure the veteran players have noticed some of the awesome combos available, if you're willing to pay the price!
Here's where you get to refine your TAG's capabilities. You'll see that there are limits for some stats, and that Close Combat gets very expensive per point after a certain level.
We've been using the Spec Ops rules to build TAG pilots, with the usual limit of 12XP. This feels fair; given that the pilot will probably never leave the TAG unless absolutely necessary, we don't want to force players to spend too many points on what might be a redundant model. Also, if the points values are reduced because the trooper might not leave the TAG, this would obviously create a situation where players would be able to build a superhero for scant few points, and would be jumping him out of the TAG all the time. So for now, let's use the Spec Ops rules. They're awesome.
To the workshop!
You should be able to make some fun war machines with these rules, and I'm sure you'll also find some nasty exploits to give you the edge in battle. Do let us know whether you try this, and what your experiences were. And if you manage to build something horrendously powerful, show us!
It's the future! Where the switches are bigger and full of light!
Thanks for reading. Now for another bit of fun! If you can name the movie in which this determined mech pilot takes to the battlefield, pop it in the comments below and we'll put you in a draw for a £5 voucher!