Advanced Combat: Hacking

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In a modern battlefield, computer and electronic systems are just as important as bombs and rifles, since they are the ones ensuring that everything works and moves in the right direction. Long distance communications are carried out with quantronic devices rather than by radio, which is now relegated to emergency situations and mainly used for short distance communications. Without proper communications, supplies and backup will never get anywhere, the artillery will never be able to take up a position, missiles will never be guided towards their targets, and troops will be unaware of the battlefield conditions and will not know what they are up against. A situation of general confusion reminiscent of the battlefields from the dawn of the twentieth century will take place. The only troops that can cause or prevent this kind of situation are the Tactical Hackers: experts on infowar, cyberassault and electronic defense and combat. They are the troopers equipped and trained to use Hacking Devices in the maelstrom of the modern battlefield.

Hacking Devices are small quantronic computers, specially set up for infowar and cybercombat. They are used both to attack the enemy computer systems and as a defense against these kinds of attacks. Each Hacking Device uses specific skills and hacking programs to fulfill a particular role in combat.

Hacking Rules

In the Infinity universe, cybercombat and infowar operations are collectively referred to as Hacking. Operatives equipped with a Hacking Device are called simply Hackers.

Hacking Devices come in various models with different degrees of specialization and Hacking Program suites.

Depending on their intended purpose, Hacking Programs allow their user to deploy offensive or defensive measures, support his allies, interact with his environment, etc.

Hackers may only use the Hacking Programs available to their Hacking Device.

Dabbling in Hacking
Hacking rules are advanced rules. This doesn't mean they are complex or convoluted, but they are extensive and committing them to memory in one sitting may be a daunting task. To ease you into the use of these advanced rules, we recommend an incremental approach.

Hacking works very similarly to other mechanics in Infinity, for example CC Special Skills. Start by reading the first few sections: Types of Hacking Programs, Hacking Area, Hacking Devices and Hacking Programs: Characteristics, Firewalls, and the legend to the Hacking Programs Table.

Next, choose the Hacking Device you intend to use (we recommend you try out a basic Hacking Device at least for the first few games) and check its entry in the quick reference table. Familiarize yourself with the programs available to you and how to use them. Hacking Programs are fairly straightforward. The info included in their table entry should be enough to give you a good idea of what their purpose is, but you can find a more detailed explanation in the rules text for each individual program.

Once you feel comfortable assessing the merits of a given Hacking Device, compare them to find which model suits your tactical needs best. With a solid grasp on the virtues of each available Hacking Device, you will be able to take full advantage of these advanced rules in no time. Get connected!

Hacking Rules Human Sphere N3

As an addition to the Hacking Devices shown in the Infinity N3 rules, this book introduces three new different versions of this piece of Equipment. The Killer Hacking Device is an offensive infowar tool possessing new and exclusive Hacking Programs, while the White Hacking Device is a more advanced version of the Defensive Hacking Device.

Another new addition introduced in this expansion book is the EVO Hacking Device, a specialized device with unique Hacking Programs designed mainly for support tasks, but also capable of using UPGRADE Programs.

Types of Hacking Programs

For ease of reference, Hacking Programs in Infinity are organized in a number of ways. They are primarily divided into a series of Types, according to their function and effect on the battlefield.

The different Types of Program are further organized by Level. Access to one Level automatically grants the Hacker access to all lower Levels of the same Type.

  • Control Programs (CLAW). Offensive programs designed to disable and stall enemy targets.
  • Attack Programs (SWORD). These programs are deployed with the specific purpose of incapacitating enemy Hackers.
  • Defensive Programs (SHIELD). These programs are used to defend from or neutralize the effects of enemy attacks.
  • Utility Programs (GADGET). A miscellaneous group of programs Hackers may deploy to affect their environment, their allies, or themselves.
  • Upgrade Programs (UPGRADE). Custom-made software tailored to the style and preference of specific infowar operatives. These programs are too complex for standard-issue Hacking Devices.
  • Utility EVO Programs (GADGET-EVO). A new and different category of support programs uploaded only by EVO Hacking Devices. (Human Sphere N3)

Program Categories

Hacking Program Categories help sort programs for ease of reference.

  • Anti-Hacker Protocols (AHP). Anti-Hacker Protocols are attack programs capable of incapacitating or killing enemy Hackers.
  • Comm-Sat. Comm-Sat programs enable tampering with the communications system of the enemy datasphere.
  • Defense Protocols (DP). Protective software deployed to fend off cyberattacks that rely on Anti-Hacker Protocols.
  • Infowar. Infowar programs are very diverse, but they all impose or cancel states on troopers, hackable or otherwise.
  • ITAG. ITAG programs are offensive pieces of software specifically designed to penetrate TAG defenses.
  • Supportware. These programs are designed to aid allies in the fight, granting them certain combat bonuses.
  • Toolbox. Toolbox programs exert a passive effect on the environment, maximizing the Hacker's chances of survival.

Hacking Area

This term refers to the Area of Effect of Hacking Programs when it covers not only the Hacker's Zone of Control (ZC), but also the Zones of Control of all usable Repeaters.

Using friendly Repeaters carries no penalty, but using Repeaters deployed by the enemy is only possible within their Zone of Control and carries some negative MODs (see Repeater).

See also Advanced Combat: Hacking#FAQ

Hacking Devices and Hacking Programs: Characteristics

Hacking Devices and their suite of Hacking Programs obey a series of general rules:


Certain pieces of Equipment, Hacking Devices, and programs incorporate defense mechanisms against Hacking Attacks. These defenses are codified in the Firewall rule, which applies a series of MODs to hinder the Attack and enhance the target's protection.

In game terms, Firewall imposes an additional -3 MOD to the WIP of the trooper who declared the Hacking Attack. Additionally, Firewall grants the target of the Attack a +3 BTS MOD.

Firewall MODs apply only once per Roll, regardless of the number of intervening Firewalls.

Firewall Example

A Hacker declares a Hacking Attack through an enemy Repeater against another Hacker equipped with a Defensive Hacking Device. Both the Repeater (which was deployed by the enemy) and the Defensive Hacking Device deploy Firewalls against the Attack, but the Firewall MODs apply only once, not once per Firewall involved. Consequently, the attacking Hacker suffers a -3 MOD to her WIP, and her target enjoys a +3 MOD to his potential BTS Roll.

Hacking Programs

This Hacking Programs list is organized by Type of Program and Level.

Hacking Programs: Labels

Like Common Skills, Special Skills, and pieces of Equipment, Hacking Programs have one or more Labels that quickly mark them as having certain game features (see Labels) and relay their Type of Program and Level.

Hacking Programs Chart

Hacking Programs Chart

Hacking Programs (CLAW-1)

Hacking Programs (CLAW-2)

Hacking Programs (CLAW-3)

Hacking Programs (SWORD-1)

Hacking Programs (SWORD-2)

Hacking Programs (SHIELD-1)

Hacking Programs (SHIELD-2)

Hacking Programs (SHIELD-3)

Hacking Programs (GADGET-1)

Hacking Programs (GADGET-2)

Hacking Programs (GADGET-EVO)

Hacking Programs (UPGRADE)

Hacking Examples

Hacking Example 1

During her Active Turn, the perfidious Interventor Morgana decides to Hack two enemies, an Orc Troop and a Father-Knight, two PanOceanian HIs that she thinks are both inside her Hacking Area, within 8 inches or less of her FastPanda equipped with a Repeater. She declares the Basilisk Hacking Program, and splits the B3 of the Program: two Attacks against the Father-Knight and other against the Orc Troop.

The Father-Knight declares a Reset ARO. The Orc Troop thinks he is not inside the Hacking Area and declares a BS Attack.

When the measurements are checked during the Resolution step of the Order, the Father-Knight is within the Hacking Area, however, the Orc Troop is not because it is nine inches from the FastPanda. Therefore, the Attack against the Orc Troop is invalid and it can make a Normal BS Attack Roll.

A WIP Face to Face Roll occurs between the Interventor and Father-Knight. The Interventor performs two WIP Rolls for her two attacks (B2) and the Father-Knight makes one WIP Roll for his Reset. The Hacker gets 6 and 11, while the HI gets an 8. The result of the rolls - the Father-Knight's 8 cancels the attacking 6, because it is a lower success, but the 11 of the Hacker is even higher and the HI must make a BTS Roll to avoid the effects of the Hacking Attack.

Hacking Example 2

During her Active Turn, the perfidious Interventor Morgana decides to use the Spotlight Hacking Program vs. the savage Dāturazi Jedak. While the Dāturazi does not have the Hackable characteristic, the Spotlight Program indicates that it is not necessary for the target to have it.

In response to this attack, the Dāturazi declares a Reset ARO. This produces a Face to Face Roll between the Interventor's WIP-3 (the Attacker MOD of the Spotlight Program) and the Dāturazi's WIP. If the Interventor wins the roll, the effect of the Hacking Program is applied and the Dāturazi is marked, entering the Targeted state without making a BTS Roll.


N3 Frequently Asked Question FAQ Version: 1.4, Sep 2018
Q: How do enemy Repeaters extend a Hacker’s Hacking Area?
A: If a Hacker is in the ZoC of an enemy Repeater, all enemy Hackers on the table are inside their Hacking Area.
Related Pages: Hacking Area, Repeater