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Submondo: N4 and Infinity RPG

Confused.

Is Submondo not a faction in the skirmish game?

it is not and neither are corps… however, the Druze Byram Security (NA2) are connected to the Druze syndicate (see Infinity: Outrage) while many of the other merc companies and even some of the more traditional nation state factions will do the bidding of corporate interests (e.g. the PanO WinterFor protecting MinesCorp interests in Operation: Kaldstrom).

also, fwiw, some submondo characters like Taowu show up in different sectorial armies. so they are in the wargame but they are not a playable faction.

Thanks, @borisgreymenace.

If I wanted to run a small skirmish against a Yu Jing Submondo group, which army profile would you suggest as a proxy?

kinda tough to answer off the cuff because this is more of an N4 list building questions and i think it depends on what models you have/can proxy, how big your N4 game is gonna be, and what you’re looking for (i’m guessing taking a triad tong character and running them as a gang in N4?).

i think off the start, you could just look at vanilla Yu Jing (i.e. not a specific sectorial). You can run either Taowu profile as your boss’s right hand man. i would just take Zhanshi as the rank and file enforcers. YJ has access to a bunch of merc profiles off the bat–Knauf, Aida, Wild Bill, Miranda, Authorized Bounty Hunters, Octavia, Liang Kai, Lunah, regular ninjas or Kunai, and REM racers. Assuming this is for narrative play and not for balanced list making, any of those profiles with a new name and a proxied model make for a NPC personality within the triad. iirc, Kanren are used to infiltrate gangs, so there’s another profile that’s a natural fit. you can augment with remotes (if merc companies can buy them, why not mafias?), Libertos, and even some heavy infantry (armor suits that fell off the back of the truck). depending on how far down the head canon rabbit hole you want to go, you can easily imagine imperial agents using the triad to further some hidden agenda, getting their hands dirty on behalf of the emperor to exact some justice.

if you’re just looking to jump into N4, building a competitive list is a whole different ballgame. based on what i think you’re going for, vanilla Yu Jing and the Imperial Service sectorial will probably scratch that itch best, though the best lists for YJ will rely on some heavy infantry regular troops that (to me) don’t have the submondo vibe. You also have Ikari Company in NA2 which is essentially the JSA with Wu Ming soldiers representing the forces loyal to the criminal defection of Colonel Ikari. they have access to Yuan Yuan, Druze, Al Fasid, and Brawlers, representing a different kind of criminal/fight dirty element that might also be up your alley.

Very helpful @borisgreymenace!

And, you’re reading me correctly - I’m looking for something more narrative in addition to simply wanting to take the new rules for a spin without building a large army list.

Frankly, I might have been asking the system to do something it wasn’t exactly designed for (I don’t really know because I’ve not played the skirmish wargame). I was thinking of just dipping my toe in by play testing a sample combat of an Imperial Agent vs. a couple of low level Submondo thugs, just to give me a sense of the system.

Probably should’ve provided some context.

happy to help!

now that i know a little more about what you’re looking for, i would recommend using the zhanshi stats as your submondo thugs. they’re your basic line troopers and they don’t get much simpler than that. stats and gear for any number of imperial agents are available in the army builder.

that said, a head to head combat between the two won’t really give you full a picture of what the wargame is about. in brief, infinity is based on an action economy whereby players can spend order pool (usually based on total models) to activate any model, in any order, as many times as they want up to their max available orders. so if there were say, three zhanshi, in the active turn you can activate all three once, or one three times. on the other end a single pheassant rank agent would only be able to activate once. further, in the active turn, the models get full burst value of their weapons while in reactive they only get a single shot. so in a short 1v3 skirmish with everyone having only one wound and combi rifles (burst 3), your crane rank agent would be outgunned by a potential 9 to 3 shots on three activations whereas they would be at best 3 to 1 or at worst 3 to 3 shots on a single move on the other end. while the crane agent shoots better (12 ballistics skill to 11 for the zhanshi) with superior armor soak, the weight of numbers for the ‘submondo’ team negates these advantages. add in the cover mechanics and line of sight/arc rules and the three zhanshi have more tools and resources to get the job done. it’s not 100% percent in the zhanshi’s favor, but it would feel different from a PC or an elite NPC facing some trooper profiles in the RPG.

that said, i wouldn’t discourage you from trying it out. i started with the skirmish game myself. if you wanted to try out the combat you’re thinking, i would give the imperial agent “tactical awareness” which is N4 lingo for another irregular order to spend on the imperial agent. that closes the gap in orders between the sides and gives the pheasant rank’s superior stats a chance to shine.

there are also a fair amount of intro videos, done either by Corvus Belli or other wargames channels. they usually start with a 3x3 of line troopers (e.g. fusiliers vs. zhanshi) and go over the basic concepts of the turn order, order pool, order structure, combat, damage, etc. CB still has the old N3 quickstart rules up if you want to take them for a test spin. the only difference (i think) between these rules and the new edition comes down to damage roles so it shouldn’t be too outdated to start out if you decide you want to go to Code One or N4 after.

Man, really appreciate the advice, @borisgreymenace.

I’ll run it using all of your suggestions (straight and 3v3) to get a grasp. Fell like I may even retreat to the N3 QuickStart because the N4 pdf is . . . a little daunting.

Use the Code One rules. They are made to be an entry point for new players and are only a few month old. Not exactly simple, but let’s be honest infinity isn’t made to be simple.

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but let’s be honest infinity isn’t made to be simple

You feel that is a feature or a bug?

For context, I have no position on the complexity - I’m simply curious.

both, imo

on the one hand, the complexity adds tactical depth, you can find different successful combos and counters across all lists and armies, and i feel like the game rewards good players over good models (usually). you can compare it to a game like Frostgrave (which i also think is really good, but more straight forward) and i think “generalship” in Infinity tends to matter more. i find that kind of stratergy rewarding in its own right, even if the learning curve can be steep.

on the other hand, Infinity’s complexity leads to gotcha moments where players can be punished for not knowing every rule as well as generating some unsatisfying resolutions to match ups. with Code One and N4, CB has tried to address the un-fun part of the complexity, for example “un-nesting” some troop profile skills. used to be that Martial Arts of any level contained Stealth and Courage, but only Martial Arts would be listed on a profile. now, it’s broken out. i don’t know that they’ve fixed everything, but the designers are trying to be responsive in places where the complexity hinders instead of enriches.

Good to know, @borisgreymenace. Appreciate the insight.

Will look into CodeOne. Assume the rules for that are physical only, ie no pdf?

Edit No worries on Code One, I found them. Will take a look and come back with any questions.

Am glad CB provides PDFs (free, too!). I find a lot of war game companies don’t. I’m not a diehard and I often don’t want to invest in a $50 physical book just to read the rules.

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As usual with Corvus belli the rules are 100% free.
Is the complexity of infinity a feature or a bug? A feature mostly. I’ve played a lot of different wargames and I didn’t realize how boring they were for the most part until I played infinity. The learning curve can be brutal however, because the game tend to punish bad decisions heavily, and playing with someone with a wide gap in experience can be frustrating for both sides without the proper mindset. Still it’s a very competitive game who also lend itself well to roleplay and atmospheric play. My friends and I usually take a few minutes to develop a narrative around the mission we are about to play and it’s really cool.