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Infinity Faction Focus: Caledonian Highlander Army (a.k.a. Operation Braveheart)

Scots, swords and werewolves... In space

There is a great deal of variety amongst the factions of Infinity, from full power-armoured columns of heavy infantry, to robotic forces and the alien hordes of the Combined Army. This makes choosing an army difficult, especially if you like the idea of fireteams and want to jump directly into a more specialised Sectorial. 

For me, though, I was hooked the minute I saw the Caledonian Highlander Army. A group of low-tech, kilt-clad clansmen charging power-armoured infantry with giant claymores — who also have a decent chance at winning? And also werewolves? Sign me up. 

As a disclaimer, I’m a fluff player first. I like to win, but I don’t design armies aiming to be competitive. I take what I like, first and foremost; it’s a happy coincidence if my army also happens to be good. As such, I will not be ranking or grading the units I list here.

Interested in playing Infinity, or just want to learn the difference between a faction and a Sectorial? Check out the rest of our Infinity coverage here. If you enjoy this in-depth Faction Focus, be sure to come back next time when we check out the brutal Steel Phalanx!


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Overview:

The Caledonian Highlander Army is a sectorial of the larger faction of Ariadna. Composed of overly energetic clansmen equipped with barely any equipment, along with a solid core of mostly-professional soldiers, the Caledonians were essentially the Horde faction in previous editions. The Caledonians and Ariadna as a whole rely on numbers and sheer persistence to win the day, without the high-powered technology of other factions.

However, the Caledonians do not form a cohesive whole. They’re divided along clan lines and their army is made up primarily of volunteers from the various clans who tend to serve together in their regiments. There are exceptions, like the Scots Guards and the Wulver Grenadiers, but by and large, the Caledonians are the wild men of the Highlands from Braveheart — in space. 

In the lore, the Caledonians sit on perhaps the largest source of Teseum (the Infinity universe’s Unobtanium mineral) and leverage that into their army. As such, they boast the largest amount of deadly T2 ammunition in the game, which gives their low-tech infantry a fighting chance against true power armour.


Unique Mechanics:

T2 Ammunition:
Not truly unique since a few other armies have access to it, but T2 ammunition still fits here. The way this works is if an enemy is wounded by a gun firing T2, then that unsaved wound does 2 damage a piece. This can be brutal and level the playing field against much more expensive pieces, even when they’re clad in state-of-the-art power armour. 


Units:

There are a lot of units to cover and I’ll do so in the following manner: Units are arranged by role, with characters (if any) following the main entry of the unit they belong to. Character entries will be noted in the title and, as you can imagine, there can only be one (come on, you knew there was going to be at least one Highlander reference).


Light Infantry: 

Caledonian Volunteers:

Volunteers are the basic line infantry and are equipped with their cheapest loadout: a 6-point area defense piece armed with a chain rifle. You can also upgrade them, which can sometimes be worth doing to get some specialists into your force. 

There’s a lot to be said for the 6-point version, though, not least of which is that, within Sectorials, you can get 5-man units — which is known as a “Core Fireteam.” These can be powerful assault units, or defensive groups used to power up your main assault piece. Within Caledonian forces, Volunteers are the cheap defensive version of a core fireteam. Volunteers can also be used to protect the identity of your Lieutenant to avoid assassination, but because Caledonia tends to have a predictable choice of who leads you into combat, this isn’t always an option (which we’ll address a little later).

Suffice to say, Volunteers definitely have a strong place in the Caledonian Sectorial. Their fireteam can also be joined by members of the 3rd Highlander Greys, as well as “Wildcard” troopers (units who can join any fireteam). You’ll usually see a fireteam of 4 Volunteers and a 3rd Highlander Grey toting a heavy machine gun to form a strong defensive link, which can lock down the deployment zone handily.

 

Volunteer Intel Isobel McGregor (Character):

The first of the Caledonian Wildcard entries, Isobel is one of two ways the Caledonians can bring a hacker to the table. This generally means that you bring her for missions that require a hacking specialist to round out your 5-man core team — she isn’t bad by any means, just less useful in a faction that wants to throw werewolves down the table and engage with gigantic swords.

 

Highlander Caterans:

The sniper unit of the faction, the Highlander Caterans can start camouflaged, get into a good position and pop someone with a T2-chambered sniper rifle. He’s really good. He gets a points discount for having an Irregular Order, but there are ways to offset that.

 

112, Emergency Services (Motorised):

The 112 is a 12-point Doctor specialist, which is always good for getting objectives. 

Doctors themselves have slightly less value in Ariadna, and especially Caledonian, because of the lack of Cubes (a unit with a Cube allows a re-roll for healing using a command token). Like Isobel, he’s not bad, but his job can also be done by a Volunteer paramedic for 2 points less. There’s also a biker version available for 18 points, adding some zip and allowing dashes for objectives.

 

Dozers, Field Engineers:

Dozers are the one and only engineer profile within Caledonia, equipped with either a glue gun or demolition charges. Useful for objectives, unsticking things that your opponent glues, and also the only way to unlock the next unit:

 

Traktor Muls (Remotes):

Traktor Muls are low-tech robots. While basically every other faction gets heavy machine gun-toting robots or robotic hacker nodes, Caledonia brings a bomb deactivation bot, and one of two missile units. 

Not terrible if you have the Forward Observer specialists to help them generate a good shot, but they’re not great either since you can only take two and their shots aren’t great at the best of times. Makes for a nice surprise unit, though.

 

Wardrivers, Mercenary Hackers:

Wardrivers are Caledonia’s second hacking option that can also pack in a flash pulse (a stun gun crossed with a Men in Black neuralyser). Not bad if you can’t afford Isobel or want your core to be purely defensive.

 

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A Warcor is a 3-point irregular order speedbump armed with a stun gun. He’s always a good choice if you have 3 points left over and you can usually convert his order into a regular one with the faction’s popular Lieutenant choice, William Wallace (more on him later).


Medium and Heavy Infantry:

The Scots Guards, 6th Caledonian Infantry Regiment (Medium Infantry):

The professional lads on the block, the Scots Guards have a variety of choices. 

With bonuses to avoid being shot, members of the 1st Battalion can form powerful fireteams to harass the enemy with strong spitfire (light machine guns basically), missile launcher, and specialist forward observer profiles. Meanwhile, the 2nd Battalion cannot join fireteams, but can pull the Cateran’s trick of setting up camouflaged, firing a powerful shot, then scooting off to do it again.

 

3rd Highlander Greys (Heavy Infantry):

Heavy infantry that avoids the usual pitfall of being hackable by being from incredibly low-tech Caledonia, the 3rd Highlanders are a nice and versatile unit. 

They carry their own smoke grenades to lay down cover and only the heavy machine gun profile lacks T2 ammunition (T2 on a fully powered-up machine gun would be properly disgusting). T2 boarding shotguns can be nasty up close, and a T2 rifle is nothing to sniff at either. 

3rd Highlanders can be in teams with Volunteers or Mormaers, but they can also form their own fireteam core if you want to go the expensive route. They have a Lieutenant option, but he’s usually skipped in favour of a Volunteer or Wallace. 

 

Caledonian Mormaers (Heavy Infantry):

The kitted out heavy infantry of the faction, the Mormaers are the most elite warriors of the clan. To serve in the regiment, the clan must provide a full suit of ridiculously expensive Teseum armour, as well as all the other trappings, which means this regiment is made up of rich noble sons and famous warlords. 

They have a raft of rules including bonuses to damage and innate Armour Piercing ammunition — they’re truly terrifying. The rifleman version also has NCO, which lets them use the Lieutenant Order freely. 

Able to form teams of two or three, you tend to see Mormaers as a rifle unit and a machine gun unit, while a 3rd Highlander with a shotgun rounds out the trio. Like the 3rd Highlanders, they have a Lieutenant option, but it’s only really popular in jank lists.


Skirmishers:

1st Highlanders S.A.S:

The S.A.S. are some of the most amazingly brutal profiles in Caledonia. Able to hide, infiltrate, blast you with powerful close-range weapons as you come round a corner, then seize the objective for good measure, the S.A.S. are a notorious unit within Infinity

Given the rest of the army is so cheap, it is entirely possible to take all four available to you, go on a rampage and still have the points left to take the named character Uxia (see below) to add to the carnage. The new Specialist Operative option helps Caledonia shore up a lack of specialists, with this S.A.S. profile able to complete any objective within the game.

 

Uxia McNeill, Corporal of the 1st Highlanders S.A.S:

The named character of the S.A.S. Regiment, Uxia has two profiles. One has the only visor able to see through smoke in the faction, while the other is a Specialist Operative with demolition charges and an assault pistol (with an extra shot). 

Uxia comes with all the normal S.A.S. trimmings, but better, and she can usually make it into your list if you want her there.


Warband:

45th Highlander Rifle:

The Highlander Rifles have three options — but one of them is a 5-point chain rifle area denial guy with his own smoke grenades, so he tends to be the favourite. 

This unit can form a special core fireteam with Wallace if you choose, but this can reduce how good Wallace is unless you simply let them loose to rampage. Irregular and Impetuous, they aren’t bad choices to throw up the board, especially with Wallace in the army (which upgrades their orders to Regular).

 

9th Wulver Grenadiers:

While not heavy infantry, Wulvers are one of the few units in Caledonia with a true 2-point Wound stat who will happily rampage up the field and get into glorious hand-to-hand with whoever dares fight them. 

Human-Antipode hybrids in control of their mutations and armed with a variety of weapons to boot, including a new Armour Penetrating spitfire profile, these units are a good strike force that combines toughness with order efficiency in a 3-man fireteam. Wulvers can also form the core fireteam if you take all four, plus the Wulver named character Cadin (see below), Isobel, or Wallace as a wildcard for a fifth man.

 

Cadin “FirstStrike” Donn, Point Man of the Grenadiers Regiment (Character):

The named Wulver character, Cadin won’t break the bank since he costs about the same as regular Wulvers. He has a few stat boosts over his vanilla brethren, but nothing amazing. 

He’s a wildcard, which means he can slot into any fireteam, and you can get decent mileage out of him by placing him in a Volunteer core and rocketing up the field. He’s no slouch at what he does, though he does wish he could be the Wulver mercenary available to other factions, the fantastically/poorly-named Wolfgang Amadeus Wolff.

 

2nd Irregular Cameronians Regiment:

The Cameronians are savage combat monsters, permanently transformed Dog-Warriors who can no longer fight in their human form. They’re also the reason Caledonia is known as “Dog Force One” within my gaming group. 

A bargain at 20 points each, they come armed with close-range chain rifles, their own grenades, and smoke to cover their advance. Order hungry but powerful, they can murder TAGs in hand-to-hand on occasion. You can take three of them in a list, plus the next guy:

 

McMurrough, Mercenary Dog-Warrior (Character):

Only a little more costly than Cameronians, McMurrough is more commonly known as McMurder for his ability to rip faces off. With the same loadout as Cameronians, only with a better weapon and some upgraded stats, he can and will shred whatever you put in front of him if he makes it into melee range.

 

William Wallace (Character):

 

Finally, we come to the guy who is the Lieutenant choice within Caledonia, William Wallace. An artificial recreation of a figure similar to Hector or Joan of Arc, Wallace has gone rogue and fights for the other side instead of his A.I. master ALEPH

Wallace brings a plethora of rules to the table including Inspiring Leadership, which converts all Irregular Orders to Regular while he is alive. Caledonia already gets a discount for having so many Irregular troops — now you can power them all up together. It also lets him use his Lieutenant Order for a free Coordinated Order each turn, which is never a bad option to have available. He also boasts the one and only Cube in the faction (see the 112 unit above for an explanation), and his Lieutenant version is a wildcard that can slot into any fireteam.


Sample Lists

The following are a couple of starter lists for playing Caledonia, which will hopefully give you an idea of how the faction can play in a proper mission.

List 1 – Dogs and Havoc:

Combat Group 1 (Lieutenant Order, 10 Regular Orders due to Wallace, 4 Impetuous Orders):

  • William Wallace (Lieutenant option)
  • Volunteer with Chain Rifle
  • Volunteer with Chain Rifle
  • Volunteer with Chain Rifle
  • 3rd Highlander Grey with Heavy Machine Gun
  • Cameronian
  • Cameronian
  • 45th Highlander with Chain Rifle
  • 45th Highlander with Chain Rifle
  • Highlander Cateran with T2 Sniper Rifle

Combat Group 2 (5 Regular Orders due to Wallace):

  • Caledonian Mormaer with T2 Rifle
  • Caledonian Mormaer with Heavy Machine Gun
  • 3rd Highlander Grey with T2 Boarding Shotgun
  • S.A.S Specialist Operative
  • S.A.S.Forward Observer

This is basically a Kill Everything list. The core with Wallace and a 3-man (Haris team) of Mormaers and the 3rd Highlander Grey hold position defensively and light up whatever they can see. Meanwhile, the Cameronians romp forward and the S.A.S. mix it up in the backfield. The Cateran is mostly there for taking out a dangerous piece with his one surprise attack, and the S.A.S. troops have the ability to push a few buttons if needed. 

Your Lieutenant is obvious, but Wallace always is. Plus, with a core, he can probably escape being assassinated.


List 2 – Professional Soldiering:

Combat Group 1 (Lieutenant Order, 9 Regular Orders):

  • Volunteer with Chain Rifle
  • Volunteer Paramedic with Rifle
  • Volunteer Lieutenant with Rifle
  • 3rd Highlander Grey with T2 Boarding Shotgun
  • 3rd Highlander Grey with Heavy Machine Gun
  • Wulver with AP Spitfire
  • Wulver with T2 Rifle
  • Wulver with Heavy Shotgun
  • Uxia McNeill Specialist Operative

Combat Group 2 (3 Regular Orders, 1 Irregular, 1 Impetuous):

  • Caledonian Mormaer with T2 Rifle
  • Caledonian Mormaer with Heavy Machine Gun
  • S.A.S Specialist Operative
  • 45th Highlander with Chain Rifle

Similar to the first list, this one aims for a few harder-hitting pieces and leverages more order efficiency out of fireteams, with a core (Volunteers and Greys), a Haris (the Wulvers), and a duo (the Mormaers). 

The first group can either power the Wulvers up the field to storm an objective and clear the way, or if Uxia can go push the button, fuel her sprint there. The second group is a Mormaer Duo, with a 45th Highlander providing smoke cover and backfield protection. A paramedic specialist in the first group can also be used in a pinch to score some points, and your Lieutenant could be a few different options, which reduces the risk of assassination.