A Quick Guide to Infinity Sectorials
So you’ve read the Getting Started in Infinity Guide and are still researching the Factions and army types but heard the word “Sectorial” thrown around; what does that mean? Essentially an Infinity Sectorial is a themed sub-faction you can choose that alters the availability and functionality of some models. Confused? Here’s an example: You can choose to play Yu Jing, doing so allows you to use every model in that range with the standard availability. However you can also choose to play the Japanese Sectorial Army (JSA), a Yu Jing Sectorial. Choosing the JSA will drastically limit the number of models you have access to but will also give you a wealth special abilities and unit Availability. At its most basic, a Sectorial is someone saying “I wish I could have a whole army of X” and Corvus Belli adding extra rules to make that army more balanced despite its lack of flexibility.
There are similar concepts in other popular games you might have heard of. If you’ve played Warmachine and Hordes by privateer Press your familiar with the idea of a theme list (You are restricted on model options while receiving a benefit for remaining in those restrictions). If you come from a Warhammer 40k background you may recognize the similarity between Sectorials and formations, though things are a bit more loose in Infinity. Having themes and sub-Factions is a great way for game developers to give you more content and dynamic rules without having to introduce a new model line; i.e. just add rules to increase depth and fun!
I highly suggest you take a minute and look the army builder and the Corvus Belli model line to get better idea of what I’m talking about. You’ll begin to see how Sectorials are each a little (Heavily themed) slice out of their bigger faction and how that can look on the table. I’d also extend a small warning that playing a Sectorial adds rules from the “Advanced Rules” section of N3 and if you think you will feel overwhelmed by too many rules, just play a full (or “Vanilla”) Faction; you can use the same models (at different availability) but cut down on rules a bit.
So having read that, why play a Sectorial? As mentioned earlier, you’re not just playing from a smaller pool of models for no reason; there are special rules that are a bonus to you so that Sectorials are balanced well against “Vanilla” Factions. At the heart of it, choosing to play a Sectorial comes down to three basic concepts; Unit Availability, Fire-Teams and Theme. Each one of these concepts has its own pros and cons, and your interest in them is completely subjective. That being said, if you really want to maximize the effectiveness of your Sectorial you’ll need to learn to get the most of the bonuses they offer you.
When you play a core faction you have all the models in that range. Someone playing Yu Jing, or “Vanilla” Yu Jing, can access all models in its faction and the number of those units they can field is governed by the model’s Availability stat. When playing a sectorial the availability of certain models will change. Usually you lose access to a large portion of the core faction’s options but have an increased availability in others. For example, when playing Vanilla Yu Jing the Haramaki has an Availability of 2; while playing the Japanese Sectorial Army (JSA) grants an Availability of 6. While this seems like a no-brainer, the JSA has far fewer options in the way of TAGs, remotes and other infantry. What we are seeing is a trade-off, is the increase of availability for certain models enough to outweigh the loss of access to others? Tuning the Availability of units can make armies that contain similar models have vastly different strategies in-game.
Fire-Teams fall under the “Advanced Rules” category of the Infinity rule book, so I would advise caution when jumping straight into these guys. Essentially, in Sectorials certain units are identified as “Linkable” meaning that they and other similar models can be joined together in a Fire-Team. Linking models in groups of 3-5 allows for a new level of Order efficiency as you now can open one Order for the whole team to move. Each team has a Fire-Team leader (this model is counted as the one actually spending the Order) that everyone has to be in 8 inches of. This leader receives a bonus to his attacks when that’s what he chooses to do with his Order, but is the only model in the team able to attack at all. Other models in the team are able to use AROs but that’s about all they can do on the offensive. This is just a primer, the rules are much deeper but you can see how Order efficiency plays a big part into a Sectorials strategy (You have to use this to your advantage!).
There is a lot more to learn about Fire-teams and how they operate; what I’ve described is the tip of the iceberg! Click here for a fantastic breakdown of the fire-team rules. You can also find the rules as written in pages ZZZZZ of your rule-book. Be sure to take your time learning these advanced rules as they are vital to Sectorial play and can easily frustrate the uninitiated; as with any faction, the best thing you can do to have a good game is know your army and it’s rule interactions. While I can (and will) write an entire post on fire-team rules, I just wanted to get the basic idea out there and stress it’s strength: Order efficiency.
This last part comes down heavily to personal taste: Theme. By theme I mean the back story and fiction of the narrative. Using the example above, the Japanese Sectorial Army (JSA) is a Sectorial of Yu-Jing. This force represents the JSA in the current political and economic climate in the Infinity fiction setting. They are a marginalized, slighted and have a stain on their honor; as such they lack much of the higher technology and toys of the full Yu Jing faction. If thematic play is your style (and I suspect it might be) then picking a Sectorial allows you to zero in on your favorite fiction and represent it on the table. Theme can also be a great way to add personality to over existing army; back stories add flavor!
Below you’ll find an extremely well put together synopsis of each Infinity Sectorial and a guide to their starter box. This content comes from the great guys at Data-Sphere who have really outdone themselves! Click the Sectorials name for their background and the “Starter Box Guide” to see how to get the most from your initial purchases.
–Japanese Sectorial Army– Starter Box Guide Unavailable
– Jurisdiction Command of the Bakunin– Starter Box Guide Unavailable
Sectorials of Ariadna
-US Ariadna Recon- Starter Box Guide Unavailable (These guys just came out!)
–Shasvaasti Expeditionary Force– Starter Box Guide Unavailable
-Steel Phalanx- Starter Box Guide