Monday, 18 April 2016

Aleph in Human Sphere: Top 5(ish) Changes

My Human Sphere book arrived today and I immediately started poring over it to try and spot all the new changes and how they might affect my favourite faction - Aleph. Unfortunately there's just so many of them that it's almost impossible to mention them all.

So I decided to make a list. Everybody likes lists, right?

Human Sphere N3

The Good

1. Posthumans

Dear Lord, where to begin? I predict that these are going to be in every single Aleph list from now until N4. Every single rules issue has been fixed, there are two new profiles and they've points cuts pretty much across the board. Frankly they are disgusting and I apologise in advance to all my opponents. Also every single profile has a Nanopulser, because why not.

Proxy Mk1 - 4 points cheaper each but otherwise unchanged. Amazing value.
Proxy Mk2 - Unchanged.
Proxy Mk3 - 4 points cheaper (21/2) and 6-2 MOV. Probably still too heavy on SWC for just a Spitfire.
Proxy Mk4 - Tough HI with elite stats and carrying a HMG (25/2) or HRL+SMG (20/2).
Proxy Mk5 - Similar stats to the Mk1 but with Forward Deployment instead of Mimetism and slightly better armour. (17/0.5) for a Marksmanship LX Mk12 or (10/0) for an FO with 2 SMGs and E/M Grenades.

The new FO option on the Mk5 and the cheap Mk1s are my favourites so far. Being able to buy 2 tough specialists for 20 point is insane.

A summary of their new rules is something like this:

  • You can have two or three Proxies for your Ghost Jumper
  • Each Ghost Jumper counts as one trooper for the purposes of providing orders, taking up space in Combat Groups, being moved between Combat Groups etc.
  • During the Active Turn you can just activate whichever Proxy you wish by putting the Active Proxy marker by it and this does not reveal a Camouflaged Proxy.
  • In the reactive turn just place the Active Proxy marker by whichever Proxy you would like to ARO with. Inactive Proxies can Change Facing, Dodge or Reset only.
  • If your Active Proxy becomes Null or Isolated then just move the marker to another non-Null, non-Isolated Proxy.
  • If all your Proxies are dead then you still keep their order as long as you have an AI Beacon on the battlefield.

I really hope these guys get a killer new box set soon!

2. Thorakitai

At first glance Thorakitai seem like they've had mixed blessings in Human Sphere. They lose 360 Visors on the majority of their profiles and gain Religious Troop instead - which isn't necessarily helpful as a lot of the time you want to fail Guts checks! It's also a sad day for those of us who converted up a Spitfire option as it is no longer available.

On the other hand they can now wield Feuerbachs (22/1.5), HMGs (22/1.5) and Marksman Rifles (15/0) all of which grant Steel Phalanx a significant boost in firepower. They can also take Light Rocket Launchers at a meagre (15/1). I'm not sure where the SWC to pay for all this will come from however as Steel Phalanx runs very tight on SWC as is.

You'll be happy to know that the Paramedic and FO options do retain their 360 Visors though, so the humble Thorakitai FO is probably still the best model in Steel Phalanx.

3. Drakios

A surprise entrant on this list given his recent release but I believe his new profile will have a significant impact on Steel Phalanx. He can now be armed with a Red Fury (DAM 13, Shock Spitfire with 24-40" -3 bracket) + Light Flamethrower for (39/1) or (45/1) with one or two Devabots respectively.

Drakios gets a raft of new skills including Free Agent (the ability to move between Combat Groups without spending a Command Token), Assault, Jungle Terrain and a new piece of equipment called Albedo.

Albedo (also equipped to his Bots) gives him a personal White Noise zone for the first two player turns of the game, granting near immunity to anyone with a Multispectral Visor. If easily taking out troublesome MSV units using a Spitfire on turn one doesn't pique your interest then you probably aren't a Steel Phalanx player.

4. Ajax

The big hammer-wielding lunatic hasn't changed much himself but one of his skills has. Natural Born Warrior is incredible because it now has two very powerful modes available to it:

Mode A negates most opposing combat skills including Martial Arts, Surprise Attack, i-Kohl, Protheion and Poison meaning that Ajax can now go toe-to-toe with almost any fighter in the Infinity universe.

Mode B gives the user +3 CC and +1 Damage instead. This pushes Ajax up to CC 31 (with berserk) and PH 17 with an EXP CCW when he's dismantling anything that isn't a close combat specialist. TAGs beware.

5. Dactyls

Another surprise entrant on the list. There is no longer any reference to models activating V: Dogged being forced out of their Fireteam so suddenly those Dactyl links are looking a lot tougher to take down!

Acmon can now Duo with another Dactyl in Steel Phalanx or in vanilla Aleph with the help of an EVO Hacker. Even though having Burst 2 Panzerfausts and Flammenspeers was pretty nice in a Dactyl link it did feel like three models was too much of a commitment. It's possible that an Acmon/Doctor Duo could be the sweet-spot for Dactyls in the future.

Bonus. Andromeda

It would be rude not to mention Aleph's most recent acquisition in this list. Andromeda is a Stealthy, Mimetic, Forward Deploying, Kinematic, NWI Specialist guarded by some unpleasant beast (Guardian L3). That's a lot of special rules and it'll be interesting to see how it plays out.

She's fairly lightly armed with an SMG+Nanopulsar, Combi or Shotgun as a primary weapon and Flashpulse, Breaker Pistol and DA CCW as a backup, but for 28/32/33 points you can't have everything.

I'm not sure how often she's going to show up in lists but I suspect it's going to depend on how awesome the model looks!

Bonus 2. Atalanta

Her Spotbot is no longer a figure but rather is now a type of TinBot. It simply grants its user +3 BS/WIP for BS Attacks and Discover rolls respectively. This is a fairly minor change at first glance but it makes her much easier to use.

Oh and she gains Courage now too to bring her into line with the rest of the Agemas.

The Bad

1. Netrods. 

They can now be Minesweeped (Mineswept? Minesweepered?). If a Netrod is Minesweepened then it joins the same Combat Group as the Minesweeper and starts generating orders for the opponent instead. Be very wary about how far up the table you are willing to try and deploy them.

The good news is that their rules are much, much cleaner. They are now entirely considered to be Equipment, although the order they generate is still turned Irregular by Retreat and LoL. They still take up space in Combat Groups too.

2. Phoenix

Poor guy got hit hard by the nerf bat. He may have lost Frenzy and gained a Heavy Pistol but that does not make up for a 5 point increase and the loss of his Assault Pistol. 

Everyone is still going to take him because he still carries the only >24" gun in a Myrmidon link though.  Maybe not being Frenzied will mean more people will take him in vanilla?

And at least my opponent's might stop complaining about him, right? Right?

3. Enomotarchos (in general)

Despite getting a minor buff in that the Fireteam only breaks when reduced to a single member, the loss of +3 WIP for Discover rolls when in a four-man team is significant. MSV2s and FO Bots will becomes much more important in Steel Phalanx from now on.

I can also imagine that 3-man links will become more common, although Sixth Sense 2 is still pretty useful!


  1. I like a lot your Aleph themed posts dude, really useful as usual.

    Posthumans are broken....a great xD

    I cant agree with you about Andromeda so, she should be a really nice model to buy it and paint it, but i think she is not going to be played...what can affort?

    1. I can't wait to start using them, they seem so strong!

      I'm not sure about Andromeda either, will definitely need some experimentation in both Steel Phalanx and Vanilla to see if we can make her work. :)

  2. Thanks for this breakdown. My Human Sphere arrives tomorrow, so keen to get my teeth into these Aleph changes!

    1. No problem, there's going to be a lot to explore in Human Sphere!