Zen and the Art of Playing Competitive Morats

Reposted from the sadly defunct Pride of Rodina: This time around we have a very special guest article. Joel Traveller, aka RattlerNXT, talks about how to play Morats, getting in the right “Zen” for them.

Hola Infin-idels!

It has been awhile since I have blessed the interwebs with my deep, deep thoughts but hip-deep in Wotan, I thought I would share my thoughts and opinions on Morats.

For those who don’t know, I pick a different army every quarter and play the hell out of them. Sometimes I am just trying to work on some specific aspect of the game like when I ran nothing but 20 order USA lists for a quarter, sometimes its just cause I want to see how a faction works. What I normally do, is I pour over the profiles, read and talk to folks about the faction and then run what fits my general game style. I also and most importantly to me, take the factions to tournaments. The final criteria for me is, I will generally gravitate towards what’s considered weaker factions. The reason for this is that, I honestly want to see if I can make it work and an underdog win is so much sweeter.

So this quarter, I chose Morats. The models looked amazing and they are probably the most maligned army in all of Infinity. They cause so much consternation among the player base that Corvus Belli assigned a dedicated Moderator to any and all Morat threads on their Forum.  I get it. The faction is actually one of the most unique in all of Infinity and a lot of folks don’t approach it that way, so wjat I am going to do is write this article in a way that gives you some pull-out-of-you-pocket approaches to playing what is really a very fun Sectorial.

1) Stop Wishlisting!

My first month commanding the Morats Aggression Force, I did what a lot of folks do; I complained. I compared them to other options in other armies. I critiqued their every profile and entry and started that oh-so-human habit of putting new things in old boxes (metaphorically that is). This isn’t generally helpful in any game but with Morats, I have found it to be particularly crippling to enjoying them. This leads me to lesson 2….

2) Morats are exactly what they are. Accept it.

This was such a relief when I figured it out. I really wasn’t having fun with them. I have an amazingly strong player base in my meta. I have several top-ranked players and they will just punish you for mistakes (in-game, they are all sweet guys). Then one game I was able to do something cool that I haven’t been able to do in other factions and that really opened my eyes. I realized that I was approaching this all wrong. I had a ton of preconceptions about the army and the fluff certainly didn’t help cause they don’t play like how I thought they should based on the background

So I started to look at profiles based on what they offered, absent of what was in Haqq or Corregidor or PanO. And I started to catch the idea of this very different and honestly highly nuanced play-style Morats seem to demand.

3) Morats are high risk, high reward. Commit!

Baselining the faction, they shoot like you imagine a monkey might shoot: Not Well. BS 11 is the most common level of shooting. They have some nice 12s and some 13s that still feel like they can’t shoot the broad side of the barn. Now some of you may say well that’s the same as _____. And you are right. Except Morats are pricier so the loss feels more severe.

What does this really mean? It means that you can’t trust that you can win face to face rolls.
Except when you take mimetism. Think about it… You have Rodoks which are amazing because…they have mimetism. That’s really it. You are looking for ways to skew that face to face roll in your favor and just like Bagh Mari, mimetism does amazing things. The Q-Drone is the best TR bot because of mimetism. Zerats can win F2F rolls pretty reliably because of it. If you can take it, take it. So how much do I take Rodoks? Rarely because I think they are too easy. I know I can win with Rodoks. It isn’t even a real risk for me. That ML in a 5 man link shooting an HMG outside of 32”? Baby, that is utter destruction and it’s a beautiful thing. I love them but I have other stuff I am really working on which we will get to later.

4) Monkeys throw poo and so should you!

Like I said above, you don’t want to get into a F2F roll if you don’t have to so try this. Morats have fantastic PHY and lots of grenades. Most people don’t think about it or when they think about it, they only think about smoke tossing Daturazi, but the 14 point profile also has Grenades. Krakots have grenades. Hell! Zerats have grenades. You know what one of the only ways to kill an enemy in infinity without risking your own precious model is? It’s throwing Grenades!

Now CB didn’t just accidentally give these guys PHY 14 and grenades. Think there was a purpose there? Here’s an idea I have used. Take 5 Daturazi and link them. Now spec fire grenades at prone rooftop models within 8” at…14s. That’s PHY 14, +3 for the link bonus, +3 for range, -6 for spec fire. The enemy is dodging at most likely 11’s to 8’s if not linked. That’s pretty good odds. And hitting multiple models is even better. Take a dual chain rifle wielding Krakot and lets say you roll that +3 PHY. Yep. That’s a great opportunity to rain monkey poo down on your enemy.

Want to make this even more fun? Take an M-Drone and E-drone for Spotlight or Sat-Lock a model and now you don’t have any negative modifiers outside of range to worry about.

Some of you will break out the calculators and push up you taped-together glasses and say, “That’s not as good as ___ statistically”. Here’s the thing with stats; they only work to identify trends over thousands of iterations not in the individual game you are playing right now. So now that we have moved past that BS, lets get to the other great thing about throwing grenades: You can’y really defend against it.

Players will put specialists prone or in total cover or in supressive fire. So what, throw a grenade. Against 1 wound models, grenades are devastating because all the high level of tech the have (ODD, mimetism, sexual prowess) doesn’t mean a thing when a grenade comes sailing in.

Throwing grenades is order intensive but it can be a valid trade off in the right circumstances and one of the things I love about Morats is that I can monopolize those different angles and clear a path for more Monkey Madness like..

5) Close Combat wins games.

Morats are maligned for their “terrible” CC. Whatever. You have some models that absolutely beg for you to get them into CC. Primarily Daturazi, Krakots, Rasyats, and Hungries. These models in varying ways specialize in CC and can take down most opponents.

Daturazi – Are just great. 14 points for smoke, MA4, Grenades and a High PHY. That MA4  can really really hurt. Top table at a tournament a few months ago, Turn 1 I run one up the board and CC a Su Jian to death. Yep. That a trade I will make every time. Burst 2 against medium to low CC models is your sweet spot with these guys. Throw smoke and go chop chop.

Krakots – Krakots are my specialist hunters. So there’s this debate about which profile to use…whatever don’t really care. I use the 14 point double chain rifle with grenades because with Advance Deploy 1 I start closer to weak infiltrating specialists. I roll on meta chemistry and most likely get some mobility enhancing option. That means I am into that specialist in one order. I can chain rifle him or get into a grenade F2F or just CC him.  Whatever. I have an answer no matter what ARO that specialist chooses and my odds are better. With the mobility mods I can climb or jump up to catch guys hidden in sniper nests. These guys are my fire and forget missiles. Don’t forget they have Berserk which gives you Assault which means that you could move 10” and CC a model in your LoF. So fun. Also DA + Berserk can get you crits. A 14 point model for 1-2 wounds on Achilles? Yea boy.

Rasyats – “Traveller, I would never get these guys into CC, they’re too expensive and not THAT good at it”. Morat CC is about using the right tool for the job and Rasyats aside from their Eclipse smoke which can support your entire force by blocking LoF from MSV2 troops, are one of your most versatile solos. They can shoot reasonably well, throw smoke, but its that smoke+decent CC and Natural Born Warrior that’s solid. Add D-Charges and they can score you a Classified Objective or use them in CC and take out a TAG. Or Achilles. Remember that Natural Born Warrior? Yea, that turns off his MA. Would you trade a 28 point model for  a 70 something point model? Yea, me too. NBW + CC21 + DA CCW +PHY 13 can really get work done and can scare the crap out of players with an expensive models even if they have good CC.

Hungries need their own write up. There are a lot of tricks with these guys but they are excellent at killing one wound models. At CC 19, even if they don’t win, they have a chance of blowing up. Explode L1 of the Gakis also provides Shock. It crates one of those ideal situations for you where your opponent is damned if they do and damned if they don’t. They can attack you in CC and possibly get blow up or they can eat the AP CCW. Whatever way they go, you win. Or you don’t and that was a 5 point model wasted scaring the dookie out of your opponent. All good to me.

All together what you get here is you have the breadth of CC options on fast delivery platforms. That provides you opportunities to trade pieces very efficiently even though you are “more expensive”. But all of my comments so far have been about these abilities that don’t cost SWC right?

6) SWC don’t mean a thing.

I rarely max my SWC out with Morats. I take 20 order lists with 2.5 SWC because I just don’t need it. Because you can’t count on winning the F2F against dedicated gunfighters, I don’t need to take dedicated gunfighters so SWC isn’t necessary. CC, grenades, Mk12s, Boarding shotguns are all SWC light. And they are great. What I do take as SWC hits are: Vanguard LT (1), Hacker (.5), Q-Drone (1). If you are taking Rodoks or a Haris or a Yagoat for some of that wonderful smoke+shoot then your SWC cost will be higher, but I rarely, if ever have to trim back.

SWC means something to other armies but the real joy I have found with morats is being freed from constraints like LoL, Retreat, and SWC. I just don’t thin you need them. Now because you are light on SWC you can play with thinsg that are fun like Sogorat HMGs or Yagoats or solo Rodok HMGs and not stress.

7) Mine your own business, or Don’t Touch my Bananas

Morats are actually pretty good at zone control. We have talked about all these ways they can get up in your face and create bad AROs for the opponent but the last one I want to discuss is mines. Zerats have mines, Rodoks, and Kurgats all have them. That’s a lot of profiles. Then you have Baggage bots that move 6-2” and can reload. It becomes very easy through a use of coordinated orders to lay mines and create tough choices for your opponent. Most specialists are 1W PHY 11 models and they HATE mines. Good. Give them mines. Make them spend precious orders sacrificing models to the Mine Gods or just sweating out their decisions. Make the enemy roll dice and possibly fail. Morats don’t want to roll dice. You want to force the other guy to. A Haris of Kurgats which is a strong little haris can put out 9 mines as they move up the board. That’s awesome.

Summary Time. 

Morats are a blast for me because they have really expanded my thinking of the game. I have to think more asymmetrically with them than other factions because I want to avoid bad F2F options and force poor decision making on my opponent. I want him to feel like the Humans in any of the new Planet of the Apes films; like any one of these threats can ruin him so he gets tactically frozen with indecision. Honestly, if you want to have fun with these guys, throw all your preconceptions out the window and play Morats as Morats. Not as Nomads with better CC or as Haqq without Holo. Morats are a different beast and for the player that can divorce himself from the vocal forum groups or even his own past experiences and take in the Morat ideal of warfare from a new perspective, I think you will really enjoy them.

Because we all like them, here’s some lists I like to run.

Twenty models, 32 orders including Impetuous, 8 grenade platforms, Tons of CC, Lotsa Smoke.

With only 250 points in list and still 17 orders you can add a lot to create some more interesting opportunities. What would you add?

I have gotten a lot of good mileage from this list. Rodoks are just fantastic. This is pretty much my go-to Rodok list. I am not a fan of a hacker in the list because of the KHD presence out there.

One thought on “Zen and the Art of Playing Competitive Morats

  1. YogiMorat says:

    awesome idea, i will upload it in future games,honestly my latly games was on 1 group and 14 orders with suryats,raktarok,kornak ,datu…. but this,what i see here is mindblowing possibilties,or just blowing possibilites

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