As of now, Infinity is my favorite table top miniature war game in the world. It has a strong and loyal community of players who seem to have the best ratio of jackass:human. The minis are fantastic, the rules are deep but rewarding, and the third party support is brilliant.
Games Workshop is still around, the sheer bulk of the player base is too hard to dislodge. Privateer Press is doing well and their game is tight and well-crafted but has more of competitive game vibe. I’ve stepped away from the war game and have dug even deeper with the role playing game. Knight Miniatures, Spartan, Hawk, and Mantic seem to have a great set of games but the local play groups is lacking and the support from the company is not yet stable.
Now Infinity is not perfect but it strives to get better all the time and give its best before leaving the mothership at the Corvus Beli.
I still have some wants and the first of those wants is getting a new sculpt for my favorite TAG of the game, the Szalamandra. Let me explain why it's so awesome.
I’ve wanted this TAG to be updated since Campaign: Paradiso. Since then I’ve seen the updates for the Guijia and Su-Jian, the Maghariba Guard, and Squalos. We also finally got sculpts for the Seraph, the Stingray, Jotums, and Iguana.
Mechanically the Szalamandra it is my favorite TAG. I sports my all time favorite of the range weapons: the HMC or Hyper-Rapid Magnetic Rail Cannon.
Few weapons can compare that that thing. The MULTI Heavy Machine-Gun, is the closest thing you can find to compare to the HMC. It has three fire modes, similar range bands, damage 15, and a high Burst value.
It has better range bands. At 8 inches or less the HMC sports the normal -3. The HMC is either a 0 modifier to range shots or +3 to range shots until you get to 48 inches. The cousins (HMG and MULTI HMG) go down to -3 after 32 inches until 48. This means the HMC is effective at all ranges and has a sweet spot for being very effective, between 16 and 32 inches. Few weapons in the game have such forgiving range bands.
So the Szalamandra is weak within 8 inches and it lacks a CC weapon but it does have a Heavy Flamethrower. The Heavy FT is a Burst 1 weapon, that does 14 Fire Damage with a large teardrop. That means it's hard to dodge, affected targets enter the Burnt state, and until the target dies or succeeds an ARM roll they must keep rolling ARM rolls to avoid damage.
Fire and the Burnt state is a problem for anyone with the any of the Camouflage and Hiding (CH) skills, all levels of Impersonation, ODD, and Holoprjector. Even if you make your initial ARM roll anyone who kisses the flame is considered Burnt. Dodging template weapons is harder without LOF to the attacker and causes a -3.
It is also an Intuitive Weapon meaning that the Szalamandra can shoot against an enemy in a state that would normally make him ineligible as target of Attack without previous Discovery, such as Camouflaged, TO Camouflaged, etc... It also a WIP roll instead of a BS and the Szalamandra sports a WIP 13.
Lastly with an ARM 8 and a BTS 9 makes it the toughest TAG the Nomads can kick out the door. That means ARM 11 when behind cover. BTS 9 is as high as it gets with BTS making those pesky viral, plasma, and stun ammo types a wee bit less effective. It also helps when a hacker is trying to kill you putting the odds of shaking off whatever infliction they send your way.