The excellent Yashar was running another tournament under the auspices of Hackney Area Tabletop Enthusiasts at Bethnal Green Working Men's Club. I failed to get any practice games in whatsoever so took my existing Countermeasures / Highly Classified list and a new list of A Bunch Of Shasvastii good stuff.
The first game was Countermeasures, against Kovacs, who was running vanilla ALEPH.
Basically, ALEPH kicked my teeth in. I lost 8-1, with only 38 points surviving while ALEPH had taken no lasting casualties. I just bounced off the ALEPH units, while the Asura couldn't be stopped. Eventually, Victor Messer managed to Isolate and then Immobilise the Asura but by then the damage was done and it was just mopping up.
For the second mission, Yashar had picked "Emergency Transmission", a mission from an old season that requires a lot of button pushing. I was up against Murkage, who is a really experienced and skilled player, who was running Invincible Army. I won the Lieutenant roll and picked deployment, pushing him to pick the first turn.
He deployed his links relatively far forward and left them a bit vulnerable to Speculos, which was unfortunate as I'd brought two. I dropped the Boarding Shotgun right by his first link and the Minelayer in an awkward spot with the mine covering his Haris team. This was a tough spot to be in, and would be heavy on orders to solve, but it was eminently solvable.
If, you know, poor Murkage wasn't horribly, horribly betrayed by his dice. He wasn't able to discover the Boarding Shotgun Speculo with models outside the link, so bit the bullet and activated them to rip the plaster off. The majority of his cheap orders, and his only paramedic all died instantly, putting him on a back foot he wasn't able to dig himself out of. By the time his MSV 2 Sniper got crit by a Noctifer Missile Launcher, it was pretty much all done. I ran out of orders and only got one failed chance to push the central button, to score a 9-0 win (from having scored an additional point with the Predator Classified).
Finally, it was the nice, simple mission of Supremacy, against pillar of the community and all around excellent person Headchime. Who was playing Haqqislam. We were both exceedingly pleased to be getting an in person game in with each other, but also a little bit "Oh God, it's Haqq against Shasvastii and we're both very tired".
Headchime got first turn and spent it carefully rooting out and taking out both of my Speculos. There were some stressful moments as various things didn't go quite according to plan, but in the end both were taken down and double tapped to stop them getting back up again.
We both held pretty steady for the first couple of turns, scoring equal zones for the first two rounds, and both getting two consoles activated. But it was at the cost of a slow attrition of Shasvastii units to Haqqislam, and on the third turn, I simply couldn't get it together to capture a third zone, leaving the final score as 8-4 to Haqqislam and a well deserved win.
My particular observation here was that while both sides had some real shenanigans, my list was far, far more reactive and relied on opponents walking into ambushes or failing to deal with threats rather than having much offensive punch. While Haqq swung for the Shasvastii, they mostly went down, while about half the time that the Shasvastii swung for the Haqq models, they didn't.
With that, I'm likely moving on from Shasvastii for the remainder of this season. I've dug out my White Company models and my O-12 are also nearly ready for play. While Shasvastii are a perfectly serviceable faction, they do struggle a bit against the lists people are currently taking. With Sensor remotes having a significant boost this season meaning they're seen more often, and Shasvastii struggling to survive some of the brute force attacks some factions are bringing at the moment, its definitely an uphill battle to get wins with them.
I'm not sure if O-12 or White Company are particularly "strong" either right now, but they're very different play styles to the Shasvastii and I definitely need a bit of a change of scenery. It'll be good fun to try some new things out and see what I learn.