Akalis, Sihk Commandos

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Akalis.jpg
Akalis are one of the three airborne troops available to PanOceania. Coming from the Shock Army of Acontecimento, they have access to assault hacking and act more as an mid-to-close range attack piece that is cheaper than Crusader Brethren.

Akalis Profile.png

Offensive Tools

With only access to Spitfire as its main SWC weapon, the Akali tends to want to be up close to the opponent. Out of the three combi-rifle profiles, they do gain access to E/Mitter which can be good in isolating enemy units to limit the order pool in their turn or shutting down a TAG. And at a respectable BS 13 Akali can compete well in most firefights and hit something out of cover reliably if you get the drop on them. However, Akali's only access to E/Mitter means he is not that varied against TAGS or HIs, nor does he have any template weapons to deal with Camo markers.

With this in mind, he is good with deal with your opponent's Order cheerleaders and lieutenants that are staying in the back or stray specialists who get out of support of their ARO pieces.

Defensive Tools

With only two ARM and no BTS, he is only to be protected from stray combi-shots 45% of the time while most things can make mincemeat of him. Hence you want to get him to cover as soon as possible. Having AD: Combat Jump, it means you can keep him alive off the board until the right time to strike. Keep in mind if he does not come in, then he counts as in the null state in determining retreat and points removed in scenarios like Firefight. Religious Troop also is a benefit for keeping him around in a good position should he pass his ARM roll and continue to hold down a corridor if needed or continue the push up the opponent's flank.

Special Tricks

+As mentioned before, Akali has AD: Airborne Infiltration which means that they can be held off the board before needing him for something important or to start putting pressure on the sides in the mid-to-late game.

+Another thing to use is his E/Mitter to shut down TAGs. While it is not common, it works to be an annoyance that your opponent will have to deal with. The best case scenario is that he does shut it down and your opponent has to spend orders trying to reset it.

+The Assault Hacker can be a good late-game specialist to go and score objectives after their forces have been worn out.

Counterplay

Outside of being a religious troop, Akali is not going to take a whole lot to put down. With being an AD trooper, keeping eyes on your sides before he comes in can deter him from coming up the board on your side. As well, he is not going to take that many hits to put down with him only at ARM 2. As well he has no native BTS so this means that he is also going to go down by shots from Viral or any types of ammunition that targets BTS. With this in mind, he does have a reasonable WIP 13, meaning that Akali can relative pass his Guts roll if he does need to hide so it is something to keep in mind.

If your opponent is taking the Assault Hacker Loadout, this does leave him expose to infowar specialists with KHD and other Assault Hackers with access to higher WIP and BTS. More than likely if you can get Redrum off from the opponent's KHD from marker state that Akali hacker is not going to survive it.

List Composition

The Akalis should not be the primary focus of your force. Instead, they should be used to attack from vectors where your opponent is going to be taken off-guard or to help score objectives in a semi-quick manner if you are taking the Assault Hacker. The profiles that are most important to this are the Spitfire and Boarding Shotgun for mid-to-close range engagements. Combi-rifle does have the burst and range over Boarding Shotgun, but it lacks the hitting power over Boarding Shotgun. Other than that, you take the hacker to get up and start taking the objectives depending on the scenario keeping in mind the weaknesses mentioned before.

While they are AVA 3 in Vanilla and AVA 5 in Shock Army, it is not wise to spend points on more than two as it eats from the order pool and is putting a bunch of eggs in one basket for the AD skill. As mentioned before, their application should be viewed in terms like real-life airborne troopers- a support unit that get goes in behind enemy lines or exposed flanks and supports the main army.

Deployment

As mentioned of being an AD: Combat Jump trooper, you are able to hold Akali back before you go on and able to use them. This said, you want him to come on the sides of the board using Airborne Infiltration instead as he is only making his dispersion roll 55% of the time at PH11 unsupported. Not only that, but you also up the risk of generating more than one ARO which can put him down. As well, you want him to Airborne Infiltrate out of LoS of the opponent to keep Akali alive to go around the flanks.

If you are playing with the Assault Hacking loadout, then you want to airborne infiltrate close to the objective if possible or potentially use combat jump if you are clear of enemy AROs and think you can get into good position to score.

Active Turn Role

Being that most of their load-outs favors close-range engagements, Akali is a decent active turn killer provided if he is able to land in the right position before hand. Most of what he wants to engage is the opposing player's order generators to make him order starved or specialists in order to prevent him from scoring the objective in the mission. Things that Akali should be hunting is line troopers and basic troopers that he can down in an easy manner. If the E/Mitter profile is taken, he can use that to shut down TAGs or HIs that he cannot usually down with Combi. However, it is only a burst one so it works better as a weapon used in the reactive turn to scare your opponent. This does not mean that it cannot be used in the active turn but needs to look for attack vectors that gives the opponent no chance for AROs.

ARO Options

With most of Akali's loadouts favoring active turn use, they are going to be limited in the application of ARO options. That said, an Spitfire or Combi Akali can go into suppression to lock down a flank if needed. Being that Akali is going to be in close quarters often, this can work to hold down an objective for him to hold or others to score next turn. As mentioned with Akali being a religious trooper, he is able to keep his position for the most part in suppression and able to keep it up.