Post number 10 [this is starting to feel like a real blog!] will be about my go to choices when fielding my beloved Qapu Khalqi. Originally setting out to review Haqqislam as a whole, I quickly came to the realisation that too many of my top choices were only unlocked when running ‘The Men of the Gate’. Therefore, this post will focus solely on the brave defenders of the Silk trade.
The rankings below are based upon tabletop effectiveness vs. points cost, rather than aesthetics, although, this being Infinity, most of the models are bloody lovely anyway. In addition, the following list is purely my opinion, based upon a limited number of games, and I would appreciate your thoughts and feedback. Are there any glaring omissions? Would you change the order? What’s at the top of your QK army list?
5. Ghulam with missile launcher
Last spot goes to the humble Ghulam. I’ll qualify that a little by adding that it’s not really her body I’m interested in, but more her weapon. This knock-kneed little beauty is the perfect platform for, in my opinion, the best weapon in the game, the missile launcher. Put this bad girl in a 5 man link for Burst 2 and +3 MOD to hit, meaning that, if you get the range right, you’ll be hitting on an impressive 14, usually enough to win any F2F, barring bad rolls. Remember with impact templates that, in the event of a successful shot, everyone within the template has to beat the original roll[s]. Therefore, if you roll high enough, only a crit dodge will save that expensive link team from being [literally] exploded. If that wasn’t enough, the impact template ignores the +3 cover save bonus. Finally, the Explosive ammunition means each model affected must make 3 armour saves against damage 14.There are other more durable platforms for the missile launcher, such as the Janissary, and you’ll have to pay the points for the link to make her really worthwhile, but she can [and has been] a game winner, both in the active turn and in ARO.
4. Shihab Remote
What came first, the chicken or the egg? Judging by the appearance of the Shihab Remote, both at the same time, in the form of some kind of warped chicken/egg hybrid. It may be awkward looking [some might go as far as to say ugly] but I always take at least one, and QK unlocks the option to take two. At only 5 points more than a Ghulam with the same weapon, the main selling point of the Shihab is the Total Reaction skill, granting you full burst in ARO. Find a spot with nice lanes of fire and it can lock down whole sections of the board by itself, making it one of the best defensive units available. Don’t forget to put the ‘Assisted Fire’ Supportware on the Shihab, which will grant it Marksmanship Level 2 until your next active turn, allowing it to ignore the -3 Cover MOD, and giving its ammunition Shock. This offsets one of the drawbacks of the little fella, the BS11, meaning in most cases you will be needing to roll 14s once you factor in the +3 Range MOD from the HMG. Another drawback is armour 0, so cover is a must. He’s a tough little guy though; after losing a structure point he drops into the first level of unconsciousness, and can soak up another wound before being taken out of action completely. Stick an Engineer or Nasmat Prone [Edit – Nasmats can’t go Prone, but the Engineer can! The Remote should block LoS to the little Nasmat though] behind it ready to restore it to full health with one successful WIP roll.
3. Djanbazan Sniper
One of my all time favourite poses on a mini, you can tell straight away that this sucker means business by the way he’s cradling his sniper rifle, waiting patiently for the perfect shot. The most expensive of my 5 choices, clocking in at 31 points, I always try to justify dropping him in favour of cheaper sniper options, such as the Al’ Hawwa or Ghulam. However, unless you’re absolutely sure that your opponent won’t be bringing smoke, you’ll want to have one of these in your back pocket. Although Regeneration is handy, what he’s really bringing to the party is his MSV LVL2. Being able to see through smoke can be huge, especially when an angry Dogface is running towards your lines, and this guy is your only smoke-penetrating option in a QK list [and for that matter the only unit with MSV2 in the Haqqislam arsenal]. Even if I know I’m facing an opponent who doesn’t have access to smoke, it’s difficult to justify dropping him. Drop some of your own smoke on his head [see Yuan Yuan], declare idle as your first action, and watch your opponent’s face drop as he declares Shoot as his ARO and realises he’s hitting at -6. Drop a Doctor Plus prone, or a Nasmat behind him and, even if he gets an unlucky crit, chances are you’ll have him back up and happily sniping away in no time.
2. Corregidor Alguaciles
Taking second spot is, somewhat surprisingly, not technically a Haqqislam unit. Instead, it is the indispensable infidel, the Alguacil. They are an ever present for me, filling out the specialist roles that are nearly always necessary in order to complete the main objective, but also to cover the Classified Objective bases. The hacker and forward observer options do exactly the same thing as their Ghulam counterparts, but at, respectively, 2 and 1 point[s] cheaper. Not massive points savings, but, as a leading supermarket would have us believe, every little helps. You’re going to need cheap cheerleaders, and other than irregular options, they don’t come cheaper than this. Finally, if you bought Operation Icestorm, which most of us did, then you already have three!
1. Yuan Yuan
First place goes to the Yuan Yuan, an auto-include in any self-respecting QK player’s list. 8 points gets you two orders [Impetuous and Irregular], a chainrifle, and either an AP or Shock CCW. Oh, and now your Haqqislam army has smoke. The Yuan/Djan combo, as already outlined above, can be deadly if your opponent isn’t expecting it. If that wasn’t enough reason to take at least one, then the Yuan Yuan also has AD:LVL3, Inferior Combat Jump. More importantly, this also grants it Level 2. Rather than praying to the dice gods for a roll of 11 or below to drop it in, instead you can walk it onto any table edge outside of your opponent’s deployment, and introduce their expensive, bunched together link team to your chainrifle. With armour 0 this pink haired killing machine will probably die, but at 8 points, the trade-off will almost always be in your favour. A whopping CC value of 19 allows it to take on and tie up anything up to and including TAGs in close combat. Don’t forget to roll on the Booty table to tool her up even more, with the potential for exciting extras capable of turning her into heavy infantry [+4 armour], or gifting her a TAG neutering adhesive launcher. An absolute gem.