Thoughts on Qapu Khalqi
Qapu Khalqi – The Men of the Gate – are the military force of the Haqqislamite Funduq Sultanate. Tasked with the protection of Haqq trade routes (the Silk Road being only the most famous of them) both on the ground and in space, they combine regular Haqq forces, mercenaries and Haqq-aligned corsairs.
…yes, the Sultan issues letters of marquee, and naval officers of the Qapu Khalqi fleet are encouraged to show initiative against enemy shipping.
Since Qapu Khalqi is generally considered to be easier to use – and perhaps more versatile – than Hassassin Bahram, the other Haqqislamite sectorial, at the moment it is quite a popular choice.
Due to the strong corsair/mercenary vibe it is pretty colorful and flavourful. Some folks like to use Qapu Khalqi to field mercenary-themed forces that are tournament legal.
So, you’re willing to enlist – what to expect?
Qapu Khalqi – like Haqqislam in general – offers a wide choice of excellent light troops, especially Light Infantry types. Some of them can hit as hard as other factions’ Medium Infantry.
There are some Medium Infantry types that tend to get overshadowed by lighter troops, and a few Heavy Infantry units who aren’t that stellar, but will get the job done.
A single Skirmishing unit, a single (Air Deployed) Warband, two TAG choices (though rather on the light end of the TAG spectrum), and standard complement of Remotes.
Definitely, the strong side of Qapu Khalqi are its Link Teams (if you’re new to Infinity – in Sectorial armies, some troops can form small fireteams, bolstering performance of individual members, and making their movement way more cost-effective). No other army has so many options for Link Teams, no other army has access to Haris Team rule (which allows formation of a smaller, secondary fireteam from some troops).
And then there are the Hafza – but more on them in their own entry.
The weak side? As a veteran Qapu Khalqi player I’d love some more access to Smoke and Mines. Also, there are a few (personally I could point two) units that are somewhat meh, and thus don’t get fielded much – but that’s not because they’re bad on themselves, merely because there are so many better choices! I hope N3 rules will fix them, though.
Apart from that I’m fine, thank you.
Who do we have on our payroll then, Commander?
Otherwise known as Alguaciles from Corregidor. They’re getting cool new models in Operation: Icestorm (which is great, since the old ones were among the oldest figures in the range, and honestly, didn’t aged well…). In Qapu Khalqi this unit is not linkable (which is a pity – in Corregidor Jurisdictional Command, they do form Link teams standard), so their primary role is rear area security, lookouts and general Order Generators, since they come in pretty cheap.
There are a few equipment options that come cheaper than in other units, but I rarely find them worth the trouble (though the Deployable Repeater/Forward Observer variant comes useful sometimes).
The corsair airlanders. Unruly (Irregular) and somewhat difficult to use (they possess only the most basic level of Aerial Deployment skill – AD L1: Paratrooper), they come pretty inexpensive for an AD troop, have a number of interesting (and effective) weapon options and use Holoprojectors L2 to fool their enemies with decoy holo-targets. Which makes them pretty survivable.
Using them effectively requires a bit of forethought, but if you choose their landing spot well, they’re going to run a devastating rampage thorough enemy flank.
The basic Line Infantry of Haqqislam. Staple of Qapu Khalqi army, too. They come pretty expensive for a standard Line Infantry due to their Light Shotgun “tax”. N3 is going to turn the shotguns into formidable close range weapons, so once things get close’n’personal, you’d be blessing the High Command for giving you these.
Ghulam Infantry includes a variety of specialized troopers – highly qualified (for LI) Hackers and Doctors, a pretty nice Lieutenant choice, sniper rifles, grenade launchers, machineguns, missile launchers, Panzerfausts, knives, sharp sticks… 😉 And they form Link Teams. Bottom line – they are extremely flexible, and can fulfill any role, and take on any target, provided you equipped them appropriately, and succeed.
Field officers from the Sultanate’s finest military academy. One of the most iconic Qapu Khalqi troops. They provide you with excellent Lieutenant option, and you can use their Holoprojector L1 to disguise them as any other human-sized troop, allowing for some pretty interesting mind games. They have a slightly better statline than Ghulams.
So what is so special about them?
They are Linkable. And not only Linkable with other Hafzas (as it would be the case with any normal unit), but they can Link with any other QK linkable troop. Since most of these other linkable troops are usually more expensive than Hafza, it is a common way of bestowing Link Team bonuses on an expensive trooper by giving him a retinue of Hafza. Say, a Janissary carrying a HMG accompanied by 4 Hafzas shoots just as deadly as if he was accompanied by 4 other Janissaries, but for only half the price.
Kaplan, “The Tigers”
The Kaplan are a mercenary force of one of the Sultanate’s industrial tycoons. They are however well-liked and often hired by the Qapu Khalqi for their high moral standards and flawless service record. An elite Light Infantry unit, they are quite expensive to field but they definitely deliver. Carrying a plethora of modern weapons and specialist options Kaplans are invaluable in objective-based games and a godsend in ITS or Campaign: Paradiso missions. They can form Link Teams, naturally.
Their regimental motto is “All wolves fear the Tiger”, and they will make your opponents fear them, too.
The basic Haqqislamite engineer. While not very popular (he’s completely overshadowed by Kaplan as combat engineers in QK), he’s still competent and an inexpensive choice should you need an Engineer. So don’t forget about him.
Elegant escorts and hard bitten bodyguards in one. Most of the QK players I know are consummate fans of these girls (not to mention their version of “Girl Power” is so much more graceful than that of the Bakunin’s Riot Grrls!). They are fleet on their feet, resilient, and difficult to surprise, thanks to either 360-visor or the usual favourite; 6th Sense L2, which makes them almost into a pocket Heavy Infantry choice. Their weapon options allow them to effectively engage most targets into medium range and closer – and while not experts on close combat, I’ll long remember the face of Saito Togan swinging his Ninja sword at one of them just to end with a handgun bullet between his eyes.
You don’t beat girls, Mr.Togan, sir. That’s not nice. Plus they can take a swing back at you…
Odalisques are one of the two troop choices capable of fielding a Haris Team, and in my opinion, they do it far better than the other unit.If i were to point out any downside to them – there are no Specialists in Odalisque teams. But just make a Hafza Forward Observer dress up as one of the girls, and you have that problem covered 🙂
The Security & Intelligence’s shocktroopers – think of them as QK SWAT team on steroids – are a Medium Infantry choice. And with a good reason, the most popular of the QK MI. Apart from their choice of specialists and support weapons (Djanbazan HMG being the most commonly seen, but with N3, I expect a rise in popularity of the Sniper variant), they universally bring in a MSV L2, a device that allows them to see through smoke and ignore Camouflage or ODD penalties. Also, with Regeneration ability, they’re very survivable. In short – if you want someone to kick doors, call names and the like, Djanbazan are who you call for. Preferably Link Teams of them.
Druze Shock Teams
Another mercenary outfit in QK service; and a bad ass one – contrary to Kaplan, these guys don’t actually have a reputation for high moral standards. Although well-armored and equipped for extended range combat, they’re one of the units I find meh. Don’t get me wrong; they’re tough and they shoot well, they just lack the little something that would make them excellent. Also, to make them into a full Link Team, you’d need to add a Hafza to the mix.
Qapu Khalqi’s Navy special unit, they specialize in spacecraft defense and boarding. Packing excellent personal armors, 360-visors and some serious firepower, they are nevertheless lacking something. Since the minis are really cool I hope N3 will see them fixed. Especially given they’re the other unit capable of fielding Haris Teams – which gets them compared against Odalisques, a comparison many players feel pretty one-sided…
Yup, another meh in my eyes.
Special Deterrence Group, made up out of Sultan’s bodyguards who have fell into disgrace. This is an on-the-budget Heavy Infantry unit, with outdated power armors – but carrying a virtual Swiss Army Knife choice of heavy weapons; Feuerbach, Spitfire, or Panzerfaust & AP Rifle & Light Flamethrower. Their limited Availability means that if you want a full-sized Link Team (or any specialists in it), you’ll have to reinforce it with some Hafza. But that’s okay, as the Azra’il hit like a freight train, and the Hafza can just watch their six.
One of my favourite units. And not only because they look cool.
A line Heavy Infantry regiment of Haqqislam. Apart from being Religious they actually feel pretty vanilla (perhaps save for the interesting choice Janissary Doctor presents). They’re expensive, but resilient – and Janissary Link Team with a HMG is one of the heaviest firepower sources available to QK. Keep in mind the Hafza trick, if you want to cut down on prize!
A resculpted HMG gunner model is in the pipeline, so the old Janissaries aren’t going to be around for very long.
Another Nomad mercenary and very similar to Janissary stat-wise, if a little bit cheaper. The catch? The Brigada can’t form Links, and you can have only one of them. But compared one to one, I like the Brigada better. While not being Religious, he’s courageous, so he will hold a position despite the bullets that go his way. I’ve had a case of Brigada HMG effectively withstanding assault by Achilles, and then pumping the Aleph’s puppet full of lead.
You thought the Bashi Bazouk were unruly? Yuan Yuan are the(Irregular Impetous) air-droppable Warband of pirate origin, and they are really naughty, undisciplined bunch. While they can’t shoot straight, they usually pack Chain Rifles, so it isn’t much of an issue. They are also the only source of Smoke in QK, and the only Aerial Deployment L3: Combat Jump troop we get. But they’re absolutely, positively crazy, and if you want to throw a wrench into enemy’s battleplan, Yuan Yuan is the perfect choice.
An additional fun fact – these guys have Booty L1 skill, so they show on a battlefield with a random piece of equipment they looted somewhere. From time to time, it proves to be very useful.
Oh, and they’re cheap as dirt, a rare blessing among AD troops.
“The Snake Charmers”, are a Naval Special Reconnaissance unit and our only Camo Skirmisher choice, but an excellent one. A Sniper profile comes with Mines, two Boarding Shotgun (and Demolition Charges) profiles are specialists – Hacker and Forward Observer – who are a godsend in any Objective-based scenario.
I love them, especially the Combat Camo Hacking trick (which will be gone in N3… but let’s see what we’ll get in return, apart from the close-range Shotgun bonus) but beware – they’re squishy, and survival ratio among Naval Scouts isn’t great…
Sometimes you’re also able to pull the favourite al’Hawwa trick: Immobilise a HI or REM (or maybe a TAG), then waltz from cover and festoon it with D-Charges like a Christmas tree.
This REM is basically a mobile repeater. Very mobile and at MOV 6-6 it is the fastest thing QK can field. It is also very cheap so you could fill a hole in your list with it to generate a Regular Order – provided you have a Hacker or TAG already. I used it once to fulfill an objective in enemy Deployment Zone in a YAMS game (not much more than “just get there”-type objective, and – being late in the game, I was somewhat short on Orders), but since it generally can’t do much more, I’m not a fan.
Rafiq (Caravan Guide)
This REM is a standard scout remote, with Sensor and Forward Observer. That last part also makes it a specialist, which will be useful in ITS and Paradiso-like missions. One advantage it has over similar models from other factions – instead of Combi rifle it packs a Haqq standard rifle + Light Shotgun. With N3 changes, it might be an interesting choice – fast, and hard-hitting.
Another REM that is also standard type, with Total Reaction, 360-Visor and a HMG this time. There are two flavours – one has HMG and AP mines, the other HMG and light E/M grenade launcher. Since the launcher is difficult to use effectively, I usually go for the cheaper, mine-equipped model.
Total Reaction REM is a very effective defender assuming you provide it with appropriate placement – line and range of fire will become even more important in the light of N3 HMG range adjustments.
This REM is our Guided Missile launch platform. Since it is difficult to set up a proper target-acquisition network in QK it is not very popular – I’ve used it just once in my career, and wasn’t impressed with the results. But yes, it is there and you can try your time with a GML.
Another REM and it is our baggage remote. It carries campaign provisions (which has a beneficial effect on the force’s morale), but can be also used for casualty evacuation. Oh, and it has some other uses too, depending on the model – one is a Minesweeper (and a very cheap Order generator, on par with the Fanous), another is an EVO Repeater every Hacker will be happy to have as his support, the third packs a Total Reaction Rifle+Light Shotgun.
The third one is most expensive and save for close-range rear area security, I can hardly see an application for it. Maybe CasEvac, but it rarely is a factor in my games.
An outdated TAG QK rents from Corregidor – yup, another Nomad Merc. While outdated and somewhat fragile the Iguana is a typically Nomad bag-of-trick. It carries a proper HMG and Heavy Flamethrower and has standard TAG mobility, and functions a Repeater. Should it be destroyed it ejects it’s Operator – a Heavy Infantry armed with a HMG – to carry on the fight. If you decide to keep the Operator safe the TAG doesn’t count as destroyed against your Retreat Threshold – pretty cunning, don’t you think?
While other players do often worry much about their TAGs – after all, once an expensive TAG goes down, you’ve lost a significant amount of points, and a lion’s share of your offensive potential – with Iguana, you can be aggressive. It isn’t that expensive and even if it’s out, you just have to keep the Operator alive and apply your secondary attack vector. Disposable TAG, how does that sound?
Scarface & Cordelia
Mercenary Armored Team, aka Psycho & His Fairy Godmother. He runs a TAG, she… keeps her brother’s TAG running. Cheaper than Iguana, and even easier to keep alive as Cordelia is an Engineer, and as long as one of them is alive, the points are not counted against the Retreat Threshold. Way easier if you keep them separate, just keep in mind to give cordelia a G:Servant Remote. Scarface is patented nutjob, and his TAG is rather light, but running with guns blazing he can cause some serious losses to the enemy.
Plus they come in cheap, which means you can have something else up your sleeve.