Combine Q Drones

Combined Q Drones

After a game playing against a total reaction remote and one using them (I am not that experienced!) I started to think of ways to counter this rule. I should note that this article is more theory than practice, so comments would certainly be welcome.

If you don’t know, total reaction allows a model to use its full burst in the reactive turn. To top it off models with total reaction usually get 360 degree fire arc, so there is no outflanking them.  At first this ability seem overwhelmingly good, however like many special rules within Infinity, there are some ways to counter it.

It’s worth noting that the total reaction ability is mainly found on remotes and available to almost all faction (Ariadna and Tohaa don’t have any total reaction remotes, although Tohaa have their equivalents). The remote is usually armed with a HMG, although there are other weapon options such as combi rifle, plasma rile etc. It’s also worth noting that the total reaction remotes are generally very weakly armored, so even a single hit has a good chance of killing them off. The availability of the remotes varies widely from 1 up to 5 (yes that’s right, Imperial Service can get 5 remotes with total reaction!).

As the rule is wide spread, it’s defiantly worth knowing how to counter it. Attacking a model with total reaction in a standard firelight is usually going to end up badly, or at the very least is a very risky option. So what alternatives are there?  Well I can think of at least 5 tactics to utilize. I have ranked them from 3 (good tactic) to 2 (OK tactic as it has substantial drawbacks) and 1 (not ideal, but better than nothing).

Hacking (rating 3): If you can get within range hacking is a great way to shut total reaction remotes down as it does not need line of sight, therefore avoiding any returning fire. This method can be order intensive as most remotes have a BTS of -3, so best used when you have a hacker with a good will power (maybe not for Pan-O Players!).

Attack from Camo (rating 3): One of the best ways to counter total reaction units is to attack from either CH or TO camo. This allows the attacking camo unit to shoot before the remote. The main downside is that this approach is often a “do or die” situation for the camo model, as they will often not survive the return fire if they fail to kill the remote.

Smoke and MSV (rating 3): If you have access to smoke and MSV, use these to kill of the remote. Much like attacking from camo this tactic allows you to kill the remote before it can fire back.  This tactic capitalizes on the fact that total reaction remotes do not have MSV’s. This tactic is often more order intensive than attacking from camo (you’ll need at least two orders to throw some smoke and then shoot from a MSV) however it is safer as the remote can only return fire with a hefty -6 modifier. Note that just using smoke on its own can also be handy to reduce the carnage a total reaction remote can do, but won’t actually kill it off.

Indirect fire (rating 2): Any indirect fire weapon can be used to take the remote out. In this case you will never have to worry about it returning fire. This tactics utilises the fact that total reaction remotes have so little armour that any hit is likely to kill them off.  However I have only given this tactic a rating of 2 as it can be fairly order intensive with the hefty modifier of -6 to hit for indirect fire. Also the opposing remote can use the “shadow” of buildings to protect them, rendering indirect fire impossible.

Combined Orders (rating 2): Using more than one model to do a combined attack can work, so long as you don’t mind making scarifies! When doing a combined order you have to half you burst, but the opponent can only make on ARO. This ARO cannot be split between two models, therefore at least one of your attacking units kill will get a chance to hit the remote. However the other attacking model is going to have a rough time, taking a full burst whilst only defending themselves with half of theirs! Due to this obvious drawback I have only given this tactic a rating of 2.

Template weapons (rating 1 or 2): Again as total reaction remotes are so lightly armoured, it may only take a single hit to take them down. Using weapons like chain rifles or flamers can cause auto hits, hopefully killing off the remote without the worry of its high burst canceling out your shots in a face-to-face roll. This tactic is defiantly suicidal for the attacking model and only has around a 50% chance of success. Because of this I was going to give this tactic a just a 1, but there are some armies with 5pts troops with chain rifles troops, so it can defiantly be worth the risk and the sacrifice if you have the right troops. Just bear in mind that the remote is around the 30pts mark, so I would not waste too many units trying to kill it! If possible this tactic should also be combined with the “combined order” tactic above, in which case I would raise its ranking to a rating to a 2.
If all else fails, get the odds in your favor (rating 1): Ok this is not really a tactic specific to total reaction models, but if all else fails get the face-to-face roll in your favor. Total reaction remotes only have a BS of 11, so attacking them with models with higher BS, with mimetism, ODD or in favorable conditions (such as optimal range bands, cover etc) can really reduce the threat of total reaction.