Templates of Doom
The full template rules can be found on Template Weapons and Equipment (pay particular attention to the many diagrams) but here's a summary and some of the in-game implications.
First off, Templates are divided into two types:
- Direct Template Weapons represent Flamethrowers and similar weapons such as Chain Rifles, with a teardrop template extending out from the firer's Silhouette or occasionally a circular template centred on the firer.
- Impact Template Weapons cover all weapons that cause some kind of explosion at the point of impact, including Missile Launchers, Shotguns, Grenades etc.
All Template Weapons
- Templates in Infinity are 3D, so the teardrop is actually a cone with a rounded end and the circular template is actually a sphere, although it's almost always a hemisphere due to the ground.
- Everyone whose Silhouette touches or is inside the template is affected by the template.
- The template(s) will be placed on the table when declaring the Attack.
- Because you can only attack enemies, any template that touches a friendly or Neutral trooper (even an Unconscious one) will be cancelled.
- Any template fired into a close combat counts as hitting everyone in the combat, so will only be possible in multiplayer games with three or more sides.
- Total Cover (but not intervening troopers, smoke clouds etc!) will limit the area of a template.
- ARM/BTS bonuses for Partial Cover are ignored.
Placing the template as soon as you declare the attack is really important - not just to find out if it's been cancelled due to friendly troopers but also because any reactive trooper affected by the template will have a Dodge reaction triggered, even if they don't have Line of Fire to the firer and aren't in Zone of Control.
However if the reactive trooper doesn't have LoF to the attacker, there will be a penalty to the Dodge. This -3 MOD applies for any of:
- Affected by a template without LoF to the firer,
- The Template Weapon is a Deployable Weapon such as a Mine,
- The trooper is declaring a Change Facing ARO.
Note that this is the same -3 MOD and doesn't stack with itself, so being affected by a Mine's template from out of sight would still be -3 rather than -6.
Remember that non-moving troopers on both forces block Line of Fire, so if there are several troopers lined up behind a corner, you can often hit several of them without LoF as the one at the front is blocking the LoF of the ones behind.
DTWs do not roll to hit, instead they automatically hit everyone in their area who doesn't successfully Dodge. This is a two-edged sword - on the one hand you don't need to beat your opponent's Roll in a Face to Face Roll, on the other hand if they decide to take the hit and shoot you, you don't have the protection of a Face to Face Roll either.
Although DTWs are offensive weapons (especially Flamethrowers), because most troops are able to Dodge them on straight PH they are also harassing weapons to allow Warbands and similar troops to advance into combat by encouraging the target to Dodge instead of attack.
Note that although you can't directly attack a Camo or TO Camo marker without Discovering them first, if they're next to a valid target they're going to get hit by the template unless they Dodge, and either Dodging or getting hit is going to reveal them as a model anyway. He he he…
Impersonation markers, on the other hand, count as friendly troops until revealed, so will cancel the template if affected.
Remember also that being affected by a template grants reactive troopers a Dodge ARO even without LoF, although given the dimensions of the small and large teardrops, the reactive trooper will usually have triggered Change Facing AROs by moving first. However, this is only going to apply if the template-firer is in the active turn - if you have several troopers near to a reactive trooper with a DTW then any of those troopers is likely to trigger a template going off, and as it's your turn the rest of your troopers won't get any Dodge AROs…
Note that none of the troopers in Icestorm have ITWs, although some of their alternative loadouts do. For example Fusiliers, Alguaciles and Grenzers all have Missile Launcher loadouts.
ITWs work more like a normal BS Weapon, with a Roll to hit and opposed Face to Face Rolls. As with all template weapons, you place the template when declaring the attack, with circular templates being centred on the main target and teardrop templates hitting the front edge of the main target and then extending behind them, directly along the line of fire.
When you get to the Resolution step of the Order you roll to hit the main target, but any successes are then compared separately against everyone's Rolls. So even if the main target manages to beat your Roll, that doesn't protect the secondary targets affected by the template, they will all have to shoot, Dodge etc. and beat your Rolls. Obviously, if you fail your Rolls (or the weapon turned out to be out of range) then the template doesn't hit anyone.
This has a whole load of in-game implications:
- As with DTWs, Camo and TO Camo markers can get hit by shooting someone who's a valid target.
- Bunched up troopers will suffer really badly from template weapons. Notably if there is a trooper standing on the corner with other troopers behind the corner, a circular ITW is going to hit some of the other troopers. As with DTWs, this is particularly devastating if the template is being fired in reaction, as only your active trooper is going to get any protection from the blast.
- Following on from the above, watch out for Extreme Impetuous troopers running forwards at the start of your turn and triggering templates fired in reaction that clip your other nearby troops…
- Because you only roll to hit the main target, you can sometimes ignore MODs to hit a harder target by shooting someone else near them. For example instead of shooting the revealed TO Camo trooper in Partial Cover (-6 BS for TO Camo, -3 BS for Partial Cover), shoot the normal guy standing in front of the cover.
- Unconscious enemy troopers (which are always left on the table until they enter the Dead state) can make very good "shotgun pivots" because their Automatic Skills (such as TO Camo) and Automatic Equipment (such as Optical Disruption Devices) shuts off, giving you good odds of getting successful hits against anyone standing behind them, using your movement to move round and get the teardrop template pointing the right way.
- Similarly, Immobilized targets work very well for this, making Hackers with Shotguns particularly nasty in the right situation.