Is That Your Lieutenant?
This week I will be going over Shasvastii’s favorite Lieutenant option, the fearsome Aswang! But, is there more to this unit than just hiding in the deployment zone under a camouflage marker? I think so, but first let’s look over the rules for the Aswang.
The Aswang is the first Shasvastii that I have covered that has Camouflage and Hiding skill CH. In this case, it is Level 2, Camouflage. Level 2 keeps the -3 to any BS attacks that Level 1 Mimetism has, but adds the ability to deploy in a marker state, Camouflaged. There is a lot of information about the Camouflaged state, so I’m not going to regurgitate it here, but follow the link above for all the details.
The important part for this discussion, is that the Aswang may deploy in a marker state, and your opponent will need to make a Discover check before any attacks can be made. Not only does this make your opponent spend more orders to achieve their goals, but during the Aswang’s active turn if it attacks an enemy while still in a marker state it will apply a -3 BS MOD for Surprise Shot, or a -6 for Surprise Attack.
Camouflage and Hiding is one of the more powerful skills in Infinity, and something that Shasvatii has in spades.
The second skill that the Aswang brings is Protheion L2. Protheion is a bit hard to explain, so I’ll allow the wiki to give you an overview.
Protheion is a bio-genetic enhancement that allows the owner to extract nutrients and organic matter from other biological entities in order to regenerate their own wounds or to increase their physical resilience. This morally questionable enhancement provides those who own it with a greater autonomy and capacity to survive in hostile environments. Protheion not only improves the physical functionality of its user, but also lets the user feed and recover from any damage received while operating without support or behind enemy lines.
Infinity Wiki, Protheion.
However, beyond the tactical advantages this enhancement provides, the offensive capability of Protheion is exceptional and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by military instructors. A specific close combat technique has been developed around Protheion, a technique that combines blows and maneuvers from various combat arts adapted to the advantages provided by this bio-genetic enhancement. As a result, all Protheion experts are fearsome opponents in close combat, because they add the psychological impact of feeding on their opponents to their combat capabilities.
So, Alien Martial Art, with a side of Vampiric feeding. Got it.
In game, Protheion works a lot like Martial Arts, allowing its user to modify either their, or their opponent’s, CC skill depending on the level. The big difference is if you wound an opponent with the Protheion skill, and your opponent has the wounds characteristic, you may increase your wounds characteristic by 1. You may do this 2 times. It’s a bit convoluted, but if an Aswang makes a successful CC attack against an opponent with wounds, he is now a 2 wound model. If he does it again, he can go up to his maximum of 3 wounds.
This is a powerful ability that can take a model that is just an annoyance, into an absolute multi-wound terror on the battlefield.
Finally the Aswang is classified as a Veteran Troop, which in ITS Season X, allows them to do 3 classifieds in the new deck.
Only 4 profiles to go over here, but I’m going to start with the basics. BS 12, so they are decent shots, CC 21 with Protheion L2, so not a unit to take lightly in melee. PH 13, but with Protheion L2 this bumps your damage up to 14, which is great. ARM 1 and BTS 0, they continue the theme of fragile Shasvastii units. Aswangs also have the Shasvastii rule that we have covered before, unfortunately, they don’t come with the automedikit.
I’m going to start with the most used profile, the Aswang Lieutenant. For 26 points and 0 SWC, you get a LT that you can hide in a marker state. He comes equipped with a Combi Rifle, and an Adhesive Launcher.
This is the profile that you will be seeing more often when you come across an Aswang in the wild. It makes for a strong LT choice as it can be hidden quite effectively in your back line. Even if it is a bit obvious as the only S2 token in your deployment zone. If your opponent wants to go LT hunting they are going to pay the price in orders.
This is one of the first profiles I add to my list. I would say in 80% of my lists I have an Aswang LT, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that percentage is higher. The best LT option in Shasvastii, with the ability turn 3 to move up and fight, or complete classifieds. Also, no slouch when it comes to defending itself when it comes to that.
The non LT Combi Rifle profile is just the standard Aswang, for 26 points. It isn’t bringing anything exciting, other than the adhesive launcher. Maybe, you could use it as a decoy marker in your deployment zone, but that is better achieved in other ways. I don’t think this is a profile I have ever taken, I’d much rather have the Spitfire or Boarding Shotgun.
For 1 point less you can take a Boarding Shotgun variant Aswang, also equipped with an Adhesive Launcher. This is a great close range fighter profile, but the problem is it starts in your deployment zone, so that is a long ways to go, generally, to take the fight to your opponent. I would consider this profile in the Hunting Party mission, as all veterans get an Adhesive Launcher, so the Aswang would have 2. Burst 2 Adhesive Launcher!
The last Aswang profile is the Spitfire. For 31 points, and 1 SWC you get the Spitfire, but also lose the Adhesive Launcher that the other 3 profiles have. BS 12 Aswang with Camouflage makes a great midfield fighter, and when your opponent wants to get up close, you are no slouch either. The biggest problem with this profile, is for 1 point less, and .5 SWC you could take a Noctifer with Spitfire, equipped with the more powerful TO Camouflage. But you do lose out on the great CC ability, so its a bit of a toss up. But I lean in the Noctifer’s direction.
My number one wish for the future of the Aswang is that we get another Lieutenant profile, maybe the Boarding Shotgun? I think as is, the Aswang is a profile that doesn’t need a lot of attention, but some less obvious choices in list building is always appreciated, and it lends itself to more interesting games.
Even though Shasvastii is known for all their surprises, and camouflage tricks, that one S2 Camo token in your deployment zone is a big giveaway that you are trying to hide an LT. Variety is still the spice of life in far future sci/fi skirmishes, and Shasvastii on the whole, and the Aswang specifically, could use a bit more.
Thanks for taking the time, please leave a comment below if you have any comments or questions! Or for any reason whatsoever. I love them all.
It’s 34 days until Adepticon, and my Spawn-Embryo is ready!