Infinity Faction Focus: The Military Orders (A.K.A. Knights In SPAAAAACE)
God Wills It
What happens when you combine a resurgent Papacy with power armour and all the neato futuristic weapons tech you can muster? The PanOceanic Military Orders is what happens.
Warriors sworn to serve the Pope from his seat at San Pietro on NeoTerra, the Military Orders defer to the needs of PanOceania’s High Command. Serving on ships of the fleet, or on the ground as infantry who will hold the line to the last, they wade into battle against all who would threaten PanOceania and the Holy Father. Think Space Marines from Warhammer 40,000 and you’re on the right track.
Religious Troops: As befitting the Military Orders of the Papacy, almost all entries in this Sectorial have this rule. This basically means that they’re never going to fall back – though there are some situations where not standing in the open is useful, so you can still voluntarily roll to (try to) retreat.
Crusade Fireteam: The Military Orders have a special fireteam choice that includes Joan and 4 Hospitallers (or applicable Wildcard choices). Usually a bit too expensive considering your other choices, but the Joan Pain Train can be fun to throw in the mix sometimes.
There are a lot of units to cover, so I will do so in the following manner: Units 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.
Coadjutor Crosiers, Military Order Infantry (Light Infantry)
Crosiers are the new line infantry addition to the Military Orders and are, in many ways, Order Sergeants 2.0 (see below). They come with a decent number of options, the MSV 2 Spitfire being a particularly nice addition, while the Combi Rifle with Blitzen and E/M mines is quickly becoming a favourite of mine. They can form a Core Fireteam and pull in a bunch of other profiles like Knight Commanders and Black Friars, or even a Knight of Justice.
Order Sergeants (Light Infantry)
For all intents and purposes, Order Sergeants have two distinct profile types: either they can join fireteams; or they can’t join fireteams but come with a robot helper unit called an Auxbot.
In terms of individual profiles though, Order Sergeants can pack a lot of punch with their Heavy Rocket Launcher profile, while the hacker isn’t too bad either. Personally I find the Escort Sergeant profile with the Heavy Rocket Launcher more appealing because a robot helper with a Heavy Flamethrower is one hell of a roadblock piece. Order Sergeants can also form a Haris in their own right, join Crosiers, and a singular Sergeant can join any Hospitaller or Teuton link.
A specialist operative Order Sergeant assigned to the Indigo Special Operations Command who, in this Sectorial, is a Wildcard choice. He’s not bad, the infiltration profile is a bit more worthwhile because he can start up the table – but he could be useful in a Teuton core of all specialist operatives for hilarity value.
Knight Commander (Light Infantry)
The “cheap” Lieutenant choice for this Sectorial (though the Teuton is technically cheaper), the Knight Commander comes with Holomasking so he can hide as something else until he gets found out. He’s not a slouch in combat, but Chain of Command in this Sectorial is expensive, so putting him in the fight isn’t the best idea. Can hide in a Crosier fireteam and he’s not the worst Lieutenant choice if you’re going to use your Core Fireteam defensively as an Order battery.
Machinists (Light Infantry)
The Sectorial’s main Engineer specialist. Like most PanOceania Sectorials, there is a Sectorial-specific profile that can join fireteams. An extra 2 points gets you Shock Immunity, Religious Troop and some AP Mines to toss out – not a half-bad upgrade. You can give him a Palbot or two, and it isn’t a bad choice if you’re going remote/TAG heavy.
Trauma-Docs (Light Infantry)
The cheap Doctor choice, but with no fireteam bonuses possible and a WIP of 12, she’s probably more likely to kill your own guys trying to revive them than a fireteam-embedded Paramedic is (or for that matter, the Infirmarer).
Tech-Bees (Light Infantry)
A super cheap Irregular specialist operative with a flash pulse. Within the Military Orders she has a pretty good synergy with Joan, because Joan has the Inspiring Leadership rule (like Will Wallace in Caledonia). If you’re fielding Joan, a Tech-Bee and WarCor is a nice 8-point investment for two more Regular Orders.
WarCors (Light Infantry)
Like in all other Sectorials, a 3-point Irregular Flash Pulse roadblock. Worth it just to steal an Order or two off your opponent but, like the Tech-Bee, has a unique synergy with Joan.
Crusader Brethren (Medium Infantry)
Your airborne troop choice, with three choices to taste.
The MULTI Rifle/Light Flamethrower or Spitfire profiles can be quite punishing if you make the jump, being able to camp out and do damage from range. You will probably want to bring an EVO Hacker bot along to give them a bonus on the drop roll, but you can make do without if points are tight. D-Charges on the Boarding Shotgun profile can make it able to complete some mission objectives and classifieds.
Overall, none of these profiles are bad, just situational.
Black Friars (Medium Infantry)
The Dominican Order came back in style here.
The MULTI Sniper Rifle profile is very situational, but the FTO (Fire Team Option) profiles are fantastic. MSV 2 on a Heavy Rocket Launcher, or combining it with Albedo and Biometric Visor on the MULTI Rifle guy can be very useful in larger teams that want to push up the field, and being able to chuck some Drop Bears. I’d argue the Heavy Rocket Launcher is even worth running solo simply because it has Sixth Sense and is hard to surprise.
Infirmarers of Saint Lazarus (Medium Infantry)
A Wildcard Knight profile, in this case a Doctor specialist. Better than the Trauma-Doc because they can take advantage of being in a fireteam to make the Doctor rolls more likely, but at nearly double the cost, the usefulness can be very situational. A Monofilament Close Combat weapon isn’t a bad piece of kit, threatening a high armour piece with a “Roll 13+ or die” can be an excellent deterrent, but without Martial Arts to back it up, a Lazarus isn’t going to be collecting skulls on the regular.
Holy Order of Hospitaller Knights of Saint John of Skovorodino (Heavy Infantry)
The largest of the Knightly Orders, the Hospitallers are the more expensive Core choice for Heavy Infantry, and they can also form a Crusade Fireteam with Joan.
The base Combi Rifle profile is a bit naff, but the rest can pull their weight, especially the Doctor when in a full fireteam. The Forward Deployment Boarding Shotgun guy is a neat option to combine with a Forward Deploying Knight of Justice in a Haris to get a mid-field presence going for you. You can also field a few Duos of a Knight and an Order Sergeant for a small point defence team if you feel so inclined.
Father-Officer Gabriele De Fersen (Heavy Infantry, Character)
The Last Templar is a hacker specialist who rides with the Hospitallers and can add a lot of punch to any fireteam he’s in with his Spitfire. However, his cost is a bit of an issue sometimes because, in general, he won’t have Tinbot support unless you invest heavily in Wildcards to fill out your team. If applied properly though, De Fersen is worth every point with the damage he can do to enemy hackers with his “Trinity” hacking programme upgrade.
Jeanne d’Arc (Heavy Infantry, Character)
The Recreation of the Maid of Orleans, who leads the armies of the Papacy into glorious combat with the alien menace.
For 45 points, she can be an excellent Lieutenant and adds an extra SWC to your allowance if she’s commanding the force, which could be the difference between being able to take another heavy weapon or leaving it at home. Like Wallace, she has Inspiring Leadership, but there are less Irregulars to take advantage of within her Sectorial. The main advantage is that Inspiring Leadership lets you do a Coordinated Order for free each turn with her Lieutenant Order.
Joan’s second version, where she swaps out the MULTI Rifle for a Spitfire. She’s an extra 5 points and loses a few points of armour in exchange for some dodging capability. She also costs SWC instead of adding to your pool, but she can link in a fireteam the same as her other version.
Sacred Military Order of Knights of Santiago (Heavy Infantry)
Wildcard Heavy Infantry knights with a few different profiles. In the fluff they serve as marines on starships, hence the Zero-G terrain proficiency. The Spitfire guy is a specialist operative who can also be the Lieutenant if you want for the SWC saving. The hacker has a Killer Hacking Device for taking out opposing hackers, and has two profiles: one with a Tinbot who can go in a fireteam, and one who can function as a drop trooper.
Santiago Knights overall are quite versatile and worthwhile additions to your force.
Equestrian Order of Knights of the Holy Sepulchre (Heavy Infantry)
These fellows got an upgrade in the latest revamp of the Sectorial, functionally becoming mini TAGs. They come with a couple of profiles, the AP HMG and MULTI Marksman Rifle (without Chain of Command) being the stand outs. With the Holoprojector rule built in, they can waste a lot of your opponent’s orders on the reactive turn by forcing them to discover which is the real one. Plus, if you use the NCO profile with the AP HMG, you can activate the Holoprojector with the Lieutenant Order.
Sacred Military Order of Teutonic Knights (Heavy Infantry)
The Military Order based on Paradiso (hence the Jungle terrain specialty), the revamped Teutonic Knights are a powerhouse in N4. You’ll pretty much always want to take three, and the specialist operative profile is incredibly cheap for what it can do on the field. They no longer have the numbers to form a Core alone, but with the plethora of Wildcard choices there’s always something you can slot in.
Motorised Knights of Montesa (Heavy Infantry)
They finally have a model! The Montesa Knights are fantastic for storming up the field and attacking from an unexpected angle. If you can get them there, they have the potential to rip through enemy cheerleader troops and deplete the order pool before the main line of heavy hitters arrives.
The Boarding Shotgun Paramedic is my favourite profile at the moment, mostly because it can do late game classifieds and score main objectives, but none of the profiles are bad.
Knights of Justice of the Military Orders (Heavy Infantry)
Knights are an elite within an elite. Trained by one of the greatest sword masters in the Human Sphere, these guys provide the sectorial with a lot of extra power when utilised to the full extent. They have a few specialist choices, and can combine with just about any fireteam to punch the enemy face in.
I’m a particular fan of the Hacker, but the Forward Deployment Spitfire guy and the Forward Observer are great too.
This fellow is an absolute monster. If he could be part of a fireteam, I think he’d make it into every list without fail. Mimetism and high armour values keep him safe, and all his attacks having Continuous Damage (including the grenades, hilariously) makes him a threat to literally everything.
Having the Berserk special rule is just the icing on the cake – a very deadly, combat-hungry cake.
Tikbalangs, The Armoured Chasseurs of Acontecimento (Tactical Armoured Gear)
Remote-controlled armoured knights operated by the Montesa Order, this is a profile unique to the Military Orders. Outfitted with an AP HMG that has a +1 damage modifier, the Tikbalang can punch through just about anything in its way and has Climbing Plus to make sure it can get there. If you can find one, or proxy it, they’re well worth including in your forces.
Seraphs, Armoured Cavalry of the Military Orders (Tactical Armoured Gear)
The other TAG option, this one is more aimed at getting into close combat and exploding whatever it engages. Coming with the choice of a Spitfire and an Auxbot helper (also with Super Jump like the Seraph so it can keep up), or an HMG and +1 shot on its Nanopulser, it has some gear worth bringing. It’s probably not worth skipping the Tikbalang for it though, in all honesty.
Dart, Optimate Huntress (Skirmishers)
A skirmisher ported over from Aristea!, another game by Corvus Belli, the Dart has a lot of kit and abilities to make her worth including in your force.
A Viral Tactical Bow isn’t something to sniff at and worth its weight in gold against Ariadna. She has Climbing Plus and Camouflage to get her where she needs to be to take the shot, but can be somewhat order intensive, so be sure you can support her attack run if you include her in lists.
Trinitarian Tertiaries (Skirmishers)
Another new addition to the Sectorial roster, Trinitarian Tertiaries are basically upgraded Order Sergeants with specialist skills. Only the MULTI Sniper isn’t a Forward Observer, but even so, he can be well worth the point investment. The other profiles will probably see the table more often, with D-Charges and Shock Mines in their arsenal, and having at least one is probably worthwhile just to hold the midfield and do some damage before the main clash.
Pathfinder Dronbot (Remote)
Forward Observer bot with a repeater. If it can get where it needs to be, Triangulated Fire can paint targets, and Sensor can help with camo markers. Not terrible, just not great.
Sierra Dronbot (Remote)
Total Reaction HMG bot, can be decent and, in this Sectorial, you can take two. Plonk it on a good firelane to annoy your opponent endlessly.
Clipper Dronbot (Remote)
Guided Missile bot, could find some synergy with Forward Observers like the Trinitarians, but honestly there are better options.
Fugazi Dronbot (Remote)
Cheap repeater bots with a stun gun, providing a Regular Order to share with your more effective soldiers – which, in the Military Orders, you need. Not bad as a filler if you have points to spare.
Armbots: Bulleteer (Remote)
The choice of a Heavy Shotgun or a Spitfire, with a healthy -6 to hit it through having Mimetism, makes the Bulleteer a nice remote to have running around in the backfield. If you can swing it, hacker support to make it better at shooting is never a bad thing.
Armbots: Peacemaker (Remote)
Once again the choice of a Heavy Shotgun or a Spitfire to run downrange with its own Auxbot helper. Useful to clear out your backfield, and a Heavy Flamethrower template is nothing to sniff at.
Baggage bots with either a repeater, EVO Hacking Device, or a Total Reaction Combi. The EVO Hacking Device profile is pretty much a necessity if you want to drop Crusader Brethren into the combat zone. The 8-point repeater is also quite handy to thicken up your repeater network and pass its order along to better units, but most of the mileage from this one comes from having Baggage to secure zones you run your knights past.
Helper bots, same as everyone else gets.
A note for these two lists is that they’re very meta dependent.
In my local area, a Joan Pain Train won’t be immediately shut down because we don’t have heaps of players who utilise hacking to the full extent. Heavy Infantry lists can be countered hard with proper hacking defences, so be wary of what your local meta reflects. If you just want to have fun and perhaps shout “Deus Vult!” a few times, then these lists are right up your alley.
List 1 – Jeanne’s Pain Train Extravaganza
Combat Group 1 (1 Lieutenant Order, 10 Regular Orders)
Jeanne d’Arc (Lieutenant)
Hospitaller with MULTI Rifle
Infirmarer of Saint Lazarus with Boarding Shotgun
Indigo Brother Konstantinos (Fire Team Option profile)
Knight of the Holy Sepulchre AP HMG
Teutonic Knight Specialist Operative
Teutonic Knight Specialist Operative
Teutonic Knight Specialist Operative
Now this list is by no means a perfect one, but it works well in missions with a central objective room, or where you simply have to murder your way through everything. De Fersen could perhaps be swapped for a Knight of Justice Hacker, but that would make Joan’s Crusade Team more brittle. With a bunch of specialist operatives you can break off to push buttons, as long as De Fersen can keep the Heavy Infantry Pain Train safe from hackers, you can probably muddle through.
There’s nothing subtle about this list. It kicks doors and takes names – all punching, all the time. Joan can use her Inspiring Leadership to do a free Coordinated Order each turn, which can have some good mileage for getting the Teutons down the field and ripping things to pieces. But the main strategy will be digging in and refusing to let go of zones.
Combat Group 2 (2 Regular Orders, 1 Irregular Order)
WarCor (Sixth Sense)
This list is similar to the first one in that there’s a pain train Core Fireteam, made up of the Santiago, Teutons and the Knight of Justice Hacker. While PanOceania can’t hold a candle to dedicated hacking like Nomads, the Knight of Justice has a good chance to shrug attacks directed at him, and the fireteam can break after the first turn if you need it to for the Teutons to run wild. The Order Sergeants form a Haris team that can chuck templates in ARO at oncoming threats, while the Tikbalang moves up the field to form a second thrust. The Machinist is mostly there to support the Tikbalang by sending the Palbot along to unstick it if it happens to get glued or whatnot.
Combat Group 2 is there purely for having a couple of repeaters on the field, and to be transferred into Combat Group 1 as people die. Utility pure and simple – though the Fugazi and WarCor might manage a surprise stun or two.
Hopefully you’re now ready to take up your sword in defense of the Holy Father, and purge the alien for their temerity to enter humanity’s domain. Next time we’ll take a look at one of the other hard charging close combat armies: the Japanese Secessionist Army!