Monday, 29 January 2018

Wayland New Year's Bash Part 2: The Rest of the Games

Moving on to the second game, and I was up against Caelcifer playing his Hassassin force. The mission for the second round was Decapitation. I had a different list this time, using the Fireteam: Core of Senor Massacre and the Jaguars, a Haris of Wildcats with a Spitfire, and a Mobile Brigada Lieutenant.

My opponent won initiative and chose deployment, making me deploy first and giving me the deployment zone with fewer vantage points. I pushed the fireteams up my deployment zone on either side.

Meanwhile my Lieutenant was at the back of the field, intending to have good fields of fire for the inevitable Fiday trying to get an early game assassination. A couple of cheap Alguaciles covered the approaches to the Lieutenant to give him a warning if the opportunity presented itself.

Looking at my opponent's deployment, he was running a twenty model list with a defensive Core Fireteam and Haris all camped up on a building with the Lieutenant lying on a second storey rooftop with no ladders...

I snuck Senor Massacre up the left hand side, but didn't have enough orders to get past the network of mines and infiltration markers scattered around Haqq's Designated Target.

I'd early on made the mistake of having my Iguana get into a gun fight with a linked missile launcher and stuffed it, and then the Operator got isolated by a Ghazi Muttawi'ah.

Once isolated, he headed up and finished the Operator off, although it took him going Dogged to manage it.

Another Ghazi Muttawi'ah went Dogged to proper mess up the Wildcat Haris.

A Fiday revealed itself to take out one of the perimeter Alguaciles. Still, he did his job and the Mobile Brigada was able to smoosh the Fiday on my turn.

Up in the tower, my Alguacile Hacker was shot up by an infiltrating Daylami.

There was no way I could drop my Spitfire Hellcat right up close to the Lieutenant without dying, so I dropped him nearby and shot dead a whole bunch of link team in the back - but didn't have enough orders to get closer.

The infiltrating Daylami had a Panzerfaust, and my Lieutenant was down...

An HMG came to take care of the Hellcat, and that was about it. It was a 10-0 loss and I had nothing left alive on the table...

Next up it was essexdave - International Number 1. He was running Vanilla Aleph and it was a nice and simple Annihilation for the end of the day. Patrocles came up to try and mush up my entire link team but I shot him in the face with a boarding shotgun and he went away.

Patrocles seems to have no luck.

Achilles then got mad and smooshed my Iguana.

I was facing a Posthuman Mk5 with Heavy Rocket Launcher, Agema Marksman with Rocket Launcher and Atalanta in good sniper spots on the other side of the table. I worked out this beautiful elegant plan. My Jaguars threw smoke to hide them from the Mk5, then Massacre snuck out and threw an Eclipse Grenade that hid the Intruder from one of the two snipers but not the other...

I then speculative fired smoke over the Intruder to hide him from Achilles . . . and realised he was in the same order group as the Jaguars, and that was my last order.

For fuck's sake.

My Wildcat Heavy Rocket Launcher got into a fight with the Mk5 and lost.

Ajax came to say hello.

And eventually, with a few casualties, he went down.

Achilles then rampaged around, taking out more and more models...

Until my Wildcat Lieutenant took him down on the last order of the game.

Sadly, I'd just not done enough damage here and lost 9-3. I finished 10 out of 14. The drop of 4 ELO dropped me another good hundred people in the rankings, and I'm now sitting at 2,191th worldwide...

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Wayland New Year's Bash Part 1: The Responsible One Learns Biotechvore

My deployment - Wildcat link to the right, Jaguar Haris
in the middle, Lunokhod and Iguana to the right.
A Reaktion Zond would be added to the right flank
as my reserve model

Last weekend I was at the Wayland New Year Bash, a 400 point 3 round Infinity Tournament held down at Wayland Games. Now, I usually do a single post summarising the games in a tournament as I can't get enough photos, but unusually, the first game I played has good photos so I'm going to go into a little more detail.

I'm also going to go into more detail because the mission was "Biotechvore", a somewhat infamous mission in the Infinity community. For those who don't play, it's infamous because every model within sixteen inches of the two player board ages takes a really strong hit at the end of their player's turn - and the deployment zones are only eight inches.

Part way through my first turn, my opponent
had used one of his command tokens to take
two orders from my main pool (top).
Meanwhile, I'd spent five orders from my
second pool on my "no brainer" orders...

That's a massive challenge because the game is one of order management. Each order allows your model to take an action. You have four command tokens (which allow you to do a variety of things - most importantly for this mission, have up to four models move from one order, with a bunch of restrictions).

Some lists also allow you to take Fireteams, which are a group of models which can all move from one order as long as they stay together. This alone meant I chose a list that allows Fireteams - the Corregidor sub-faction of the Nomad faction.

For those of you who play Infinity, you can see my list here. The fireteams are split across the two order groups to give more "spare orders" to each group. For future missions I would likely drop the Zondbots as the "Ghost: Servant" rule forbids combined orders.

My opponent is callmetom and he's running the Steel Phalanx sub section of the Aleph Faction. This means he also has access to Fireteams for order efficiency.

We rejoin the action midway through my first turn. I've used the Fireteam rule to move Senor Massacre and the Jaguars (smoke grenade throwing close ranged skirmishers) up behind the teal building in the middle of the board, and the Wildcats (a tough and brutal regiment forged from the veterans of a number of wars in Africa) up to a safe spot on the right flank.

The scattering of other models and camo tokens on the left flank then get moved up by combining orders. They aren't optimally set up for combined orders, but my opponent had the choice of limiting me to one command token or taking two orders away - so I'd had to split the models and orders so I could handle either.

Infinity, as a game, doesn't allow pre-measuring, so knowing exactly where you need to move to in Biotechvore can be a bit of a chore. However, I remember Maths. The Iguana TAG in the top left corner has a 55mm base, was deployed right on the edge of the deployment zone and had made a ten inch move straight forward. This meant the back of his base was perhaps 4mm inside the damage zone. Highly inconvenient for him, but really useful for every other model as they effectively have a big giant robot saying "you need to move past this line to be safe".

I end up using all four of my command tokens - not because I need to, but because it leaves me a couple of orders free to cause mischief. I move the Iguana up (once everyone else is clear) to rattle off a few shots at an enemy model. It turns out that it's Patroclus using his Holoprojector to pretend to be Achilles (it'll get him killed one day), but I don't manage to take him down.

This is, normally, an awful, awful place to leave your TAG at the end of the turn. He's not in cover, he's not hugely tough - he's going to end up dead. But I'm facing an opponent list, while benefiting from three Fireteams, only has ten models, and ten orders.

He will have to spend a couple of those orders moving and firing to get rid of the TAG, and it's going to lock him down to what he's doing next turn - getting everyone out of the zone and dealing with the Iguana. There will be no spare room for setting up mischief.

I have one order left - I could feasibly move the Iguana up into cover and take another shot (if I'd killed Patroclus I'd have also had the option of entering Suppressive Fire to give me more dice in his turn, but while he can still see me I'm not giving him an unopposed shot, especially as he's toting a MULTI Rifle that can select armour piercing ammunition).

Instead, I'd spotted an opportunity to use the one new model in this list - a Wildcat with a Heavy Rocket Launcher. Some model or other was poking their nose out from around a corner and the one Doctor in the enemy list was standing inconveniently close to him...

Three incendiary rockets streaked across the board, with two hitting and one a critical hit. The model poking their nose out was tough enough to pass their armour saves (leaving them wounded from the Crit but not dead) while the unfortunate Doctor was left a smoking pile of ash.

You can also see on either side of the picture some of the other models now in place - the Lunokhod on the left, with brutal short ranged weapons and annoying mobile mines called Crazy Koalas that are horrifically illegal kawaii robots filled with an explosive charge that run towards enemy movement and explode.

Meanwhile, on the right, the Reaktion Zond, a HMG toting gun platform programmed to be particularly effective in shooting enemies as they move, covers some of the lanes of advance.

So, Achilles comes around the corner, all gung ho and ready to take out the Iguana . . . who proceeds to roll a critical hit on him first go and causes him a wound.

Meanwhile, Ajax's fireteam doesn't do too well either, and another member of the team goes down to the Wildcat's brutal heavy rocket launcher.

Achilles gets his vengeance and causes another wound on the Iguana, leading to a bail out. I decided to place aggressively and force him to deal with it. On reflection, I might have done better dropping back and hiding with the ejection mechanism this turn and going aggressive next turn.

Achilles starts sneaking up and I realise I haven't sorted my facing quite as well as I should have...

I manage to hear him trying to sneak up and successfully turn around...

And in the end, the link team manage to neutralise the TAG Operator, and he's out of the game.

Meanwhile, on my right flank, Ajax and his remaining buddy have managed to get close . . . and one of them is a hacker!

My Reaktion remote is hacked and immobilised.

My turn! The Jaguars sneak up into the mid field and throw smoke so Patroclus and Achilles can't see. The Jaguar is armed with a brutal weapon called a chain rifle, that essentially fires out lengths of chain at high speed, much like a cannon's chain shot. Achilles shrugs it off but Patroclus, already wounded, succumbs and falls.

There now entails a careful game of "don't let Ajax get into close combat. I've shuffled back into the Biotechvore zone, but that's fine - as long as everyone is out by the end of my turn! One of the Wildcat link is armed with stun grenades, and he merrily lobs one blindly over the shipping crate - Ajax is well protected but his poor hacker is left blinded and unable to react.

Ajax, in his anger, surges forward, but the gap is too small for him to get through.

And a boarding shotgun, poking around the corner to the left and over the immobilised remote, blasts him into unconsciousness with repeated shots.

There is not much for Aleph to do at this point - the fireteam on my left advances, and Achilles enacts a brutal vengeance on the killing of his friend.

You will recall an unconscious, bleeding Ajax on the right flank. I have two classifies to complete - to Data Scan a hostile trooper and to gain some Telemetry on the enemy by completing succeeding in a Spotlight hacking programme. Both of these rolls need you to succeed in a WIP -3 roll. For a Wildcat, this is rolling 10 or under on a D20.

Behold my frustration at spending seven orders to do this simple task on an unresisting, unconcious enemy! Sometimes, probability hates you. Fortunately, it wasn't hating me with anything where I'd directly lose troops as a result.

Senor Massacre (a Deadpool "tribute" character) who is part of the Jaguar Haris Fireteam, decides to see who is the better fighter in hand to hand, him or Achilles.

You will notice Achilles is still on the table, and he is not.

For my opponent's final turn, he just needs to kill a three point, basically unarmed remote that allows my Doctor to heal people next to it. This would let him Secure my High Value Target as a substitute for completing one of his Classified Objectives.

It was not to be. His dice matched mine earlier, with the failure to Forward Observe and Hack Ajax - but in this case, he ran out of orders before succeeding, bringing the game to an end.

So, lets score this game up!

I had 168 points left alive, while my opponent had only 139, so we both scored 2 Objective Points for surving points.

However, I had killed more, netting me a mighty 3 Objective Points!

I had scored two classified objectives, to his one, scoring him 1 point and me 2, with me getting a bonus point for scoring more classifieds.

This left the final score as 8-3 to me, a Total Victory to Corregidor!

Monday, 15 January 2018

Malifaux Battle Report: Neverborn Collodi vs Guild Justice (GG2018)

One of my Things for the New Year (I'm avoiding calling them Resolutions) is to get much fitter, and one of my friends is a personal trainer, so I decided to pick his brain about all this Health stuff, and he cunningly suggested we get in a game of Malifaux at the same time. We sorted a suitable time and booked a table at Dark Sphere.

Spinning up the Bad Things Happen app, it generated a Standard deployment, with the Strategy Ply for Information and the Schemes Surround Them, Undercover Entourage, Show of Force, Take One For the Team, and Vendetta.

I selected Undercover Entourage and Take One for the Team while unbeknownst to me, my opponent selected Show of Force and Vendetta.

There were all sorts of interesting new folk with the Guild, such as The Jury and some Monster Hunters.

Meanwhile, I had my usual crew of meddlesome puppets. The plan was to send a few sacrificial models up the right, while Collodi made a push up the left side for Undercover Entourage.

To start off the annoyances, the Mysterious Emissary left some Hungry Land right in the way of the Guild advancing into the centre.

A ?Thallarian Queller? put down a marker that gets rid of your built in suits on your stats. I don't like this new Guild stuff, it seems good! ;-)

Push Teddy forward just a little, trying to tempt the Guild towards him...

Then send a little Marionette Fast and send it careening into a Monster Hunter. The first hit causes some solid damage.

The second hit gets a massive hit, with a double positive damage flip, and . . . black Joker. No damage at all. Bother.

He manages to destroy the Marionette in revenge, while Collodi Slows him up and a Changeling gets ready to mess him up next turn.

The other Monster Hunter is somehow failing to kill my Marionette with Take One For the Team on it, and is annoyingly scoring the Strategy. (White stones are the models who've scored the Strategy, while the clear stones are my opponent's activated markers.)

Francisco and Justice head into the middle... I believe they are scoring for Show of Force at this point. And then it all gets a bit frantic! We rejoin the action a little later...

Justice rushes the left flank and starts pureeing poor innocent puppets!

A Wicked Doll poisons her from range, teleports into close range with her and Interacts to score the Strategy...

The Monster Hunter gets healed up a bit and makes a break for the centre, while the Thallarian Queller tries to deal with the Changeling - both scoring the Strategy strongly.

Collodi comes out and pulls his party trick of "become Slow and your action belongs to me". The Jury potters over and removes the action theft condition, because The Jury hates Fun.

Meanwhile, the struggle on my left flank means that the Monster Hunter on the right is activating late and losing the Strategy. I try and bait them into killing the blasted Take One For the Team target, but no dice!

The Emissary swings up in to the centre, and Teddy pulls right to Hug his friend the Brutal Effigy. Then his puppet friend from the Guild gets all tired and needs to have a long lie down... (I'm trying to bait some more models to come over to nearer the Schemed Marionette so it can become a convenient target of opportunity.)

The Monster Hunter Stalks Teddy and puts him down, revealing his Vendetta against the monstrous child's toy.

Meanwhile, I'm properly, properly bogged down on the left hand side and need to get Collodi free.

Pulled this way and that by his puppets, Collodi is pulled up the board...

Before finally managing to shoot up the board by going Fast, and suddenly the penny drops as to what one of my schemes must be...

I was all set up to remove the Strategy condition from The Jury when it goes and makes the Emissary Slow, so I can't get into range and complete the condition removal. Curses! Foiled!

Justice chases after Collodi, but can't quite take him out. He Runs Away Home into the deployment zone to end the game...

In the end, I lost 8-4. We scored the Strategy 2-1 (with the 2nd turn tieing, me grabbing a point through sneakiness and weasel, and the Guild getting two points through appropriate application of force). Meanwhile, the Guild scored the full 6 off their schemes, while managed to mess up Take One For the Team badly (I'm usually excellent at Frame for Murder-like schemes) though I did still score the full 3 for Undercover Entourage.

I was pleased to do so well given how long it's been since I've last played. It loved that we both played with fully painted crews and it gave me a lot of enthusiasm both for getting some more Malifaux in and also for getting more of my stuff painted!