Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sedition Wars Session-Scenario 7-Three Trigger Monte

Got together with my old pal Bil last night for a session of Sedition Wars.  We decided to play Scenario 7, which involved the Vanguard forces trying to activate three consoles to start a self-destruct sequence on Alabaster station while the Strain try to stop them.  The Vanguard have 10 turns to get all three consoles active at once, or else the Strain win.  One of the attractions of this scenario is the Vanguard have access to their battle droid, Hurley!  I had not used him before, so I was looking forward to it.  

Bil took the Strain, who get the Grendlr for free, and for his 50 points he took 2 Quasimodos, a Scythe Witch and 6 Revenants.  

Bil made the Vanguard list while I put the kids to bed, so he gave me: Barker Zosa with his plasma weapon, Morgan Vade, and 4 Samaritans.

The models were deployed on tiles 2 and 3 as follows:

On tile 1 the Grendlr was accompanied by a Quasimodo.

I turned off my flash so the pictures will be less psychedelic from here out.  Bil got the first active phase and launched an attack on tile 3.  His strategy was to occupy the teleport pad and prevent Hurley from coming into the game.  However, he did little damage to me on his first turn and lost a couple of Revenants to reflex fire. He did manage to infect a Samaritan, however.  In my turn I had a serious run on the dice.  Using the "overload" ability to the fullest, I managed to clear the teleport pad of most Strain models and activate it to bring on Hurley.

Hurley backed up a space and blasted another Revenant.  Barker Zosa entered Tile 3, and using a regular attack to kill a Revenant and his special ability allowing a second attack to damage the Quasimodo.  As a small consolation Bil had a lot of nano markers to play with after all that carnage.

On turn 2, Bil advanced the Grendlr and the Quasimodo to tile 2 where a Samaritan traded shots with the Quasimodo to little effect.  The Quasimodo on tile 3 hit Zosa and caused corrosion on him.  Bil made good use of that Quasimodo's nanivore ability to heal him fully with the nearby nano markers.

On my turn 2 I sent a corroded Zosa and the infected Samaritan to hold of the Grendlr while I mopped up tile 3. They eliminated the other Quasimodo and Barker put damage on the Grendlr.  On tile 3 I had a Samaritan open the door, allowing Hurley to blast the Quasimodo without triggering a reflex shot.  Somehow the last Revenant survived.

On Bil's turn 3 the Grendlr healed itself completely and shot Barker Zosa right in the face.  His last Revenant managed to infect Morgan Vade with a lucky tendril attack.  

On my turn 3 I finished of the last revenant and secured tile 3.  I advanced two Samaritans and tried two overload shots on the Grendlr but both missed. Only the nearby presence of Hurley prevented my infected model from getting an "override" counter and being mind-controlled by the Grendlr. In Bil's turn 4 he mutated the infected Samaritan (who had reached infection level 3) into a Revenant.  He also turned Zosa's corpse into a Revenant, as well.

I don't feel so...urkkk!  

On my turn 4 I was able to kill one Revenant and wound the Grendlr with Hurley.  My other models moved to help out, with Vade going to infection level 2 in the process.  I activated the console on tile 3 for good measure.  

On Turn 5 Bil healed the Grendlr with nano, moved the Grendlr up and simply swallowed a vanguard with its "maw" attack.

Now you see me...

Now you don't...*burp*!!

On my turn 5, however, one of my remaining Samaritans hit the Grendlr with an overload shot, and Hurley followed up with a blast from his cannon, destroying the Grendlr for good.

But wait!  If a Grendlr is killed before it can gestate an engulfed victim, they come back to the game!  Here's the Grendlr coughing up my poor Vanguard.  To his credit, he wiped off his visor and capped one of the two remaining Revenants.  Then Morgan Vade arrived and shot the last one between the eyes.  With no remaining Strain models in play, we called the game.

"I'm okay...just...slimy."

This was a good scenario and we had a fun time with it.  Although the Strain had a horrible first turn, losing 35 points of models, they were able to hold on using their nano abilities and the Grendlr to make it interesting. The game really shines when the cinematic events occur, such as the mutation of infected Vanguard or the maw attack swallowing a man whole.  Hurley and the Grendlr are both impressive.  Hurley's drone ability was never used as I always wanted him moving and/or shooting with a focused effect on his fantastic cannon.  The Grendlr can last a long time if he rolls well for nano or is otherwise supplied with it, as he can heal himself, but as you can see he is vulnerable to overload shots and heavy ordnance like Hurley.  His attack abilities are interesting, as well.

Things could easily gone the other way if my dice hadn't been hot.  There are some tactical options to explore, and Bil chose to try to prevent Hurley from arriving, which is a viable plan but didn't work.  Another would be to concentrate on contesting tile 2 and simply trying to prevent the Vanguard from activating all 3 consoles for 10 turns.  This one is worth playing again with different army builds and different strategies.  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Infinity ITS April 20

Last Saturday I played in my first Infinity tournament, using the ITS (Infinity Tournament System) modified by Certs, who ran the event.  His photoblog covers the event here: 

 I stole a few pics from him, thanks Certs!

As described on his site, we played 3 rounds using a modified YAMS (Yet Another Mission System) format.  Each player had a potential 7 victory points which could be earned through a variety of actions on the battlefield. 

My list was a "vanilla" Yu Jing (the pan-Asian future empire of Infinity) as follows:


 GROUP 1 (Regular: 10/Irregular: 0):

 Zhanshi,ĪSHĒNG Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (15)
 ZHANSHI Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (11)
 ZHANSHI Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (11)
 TIGER SOLDIER HMG / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 35)
 SHÀNG JÍ Combi Rifle + Light Flamethrower / Pistol, Shock CCW. (42)
 MECA-Engineer Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (15)
 GŪIJIĂ MULTI HMG, Heavy Flamethrower / AP CCW. (2 | 91)
 CELESTIAL GUARD Hacker (Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 25)
 ARAGOTO Combi Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (25)
 ARAGOTO Spitfire / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 29)

 5.5 SWC | 299 Points

My fully painted 300 point Yu Jing Army

Disclaimer:  I am not an expert at this game and these reports are my best recollection with no written notes.   I had played two full games of Infinity before this ITS event.  Apologies for any mistakes or inaccuracies.

My first game was against Jonathan, who I knew from Games and Stuff and my last MERCS tournament.  Jonathan was running the Combined Army, an alien menace.  I'm fraid i don't know enough about Infinity to tell you all his troops, but suffice it to say he had some drones with flamethrowers, a heavy rocket launcher guy, a TO guy also with rocket launcher, some crazy HMG guy with super jump, a big Alien-looking thing as his LT, and oh yeah fittingly he had the Sepsitorized  Ko Dali (a former Yu Jing Heroin converted by the aliens.

The game started with little for me to do as nothing was in LOS,  I advanced my Aragoto Bikes to control the crate on my left flank.  On my right a Zhanshi ran to, synched with the civvie model, and began to fall back with her.  I set up a defense of the center with my Guijia TAG (combat armor suit) and my lieutenant the Shang Ji,  a heavy infantry model.  The intent was to advance and seize the orange crates toward the end of the game to get the VP. 


I airdropped my Tiger soldier into Jonathan's backfield, forgetting his models get to turn around to face mine if they are within 8".  He died but took out a Vector Operator in exchange.  

Here you can see the left flank, with my bikes near the crate and a few Combined Army models covering the approach routes.  

My Lieutenant was not the piece to put in a overwatch position on a high point, and Jonathan advanced a rocket launcher up and opposite catwalk and gave my Lt a rocket in the face.  The same RL guy then tried to take out the Guijia abut got hit twice in a row, somehow making 8 saves.  
In my opponent's first turn I also lost an Aragoto bike on the right flank to the TO Camo guy with rocket launcher.  I had lost my LT and the initiative on both flanks.  
Losing my Lt meant my second turn was a waste as all I could do was advance the Aragoto, who got hit by a rocket but survived and fell back.  I made the Guijia my new Lt and then Jonathan went again.  On my right flank  Evil Ko Dali airdropped in and killed my Zhanshi with the civvie, she then ran off with the civvie after shooting one more Zhanshi for good measure.  

On my third turn my Guijia tried to shoot Ko Dai, did one wound to her but she fell back out of LOS with the civvie and I gave up on her.  I moved the Guijia back to the center and finished off the rocket launcher guy in the middle.  I also searched the crate with the surviving Aragoto.  I still had a chance to pull out the game if I could hold the center and perhaps cap his most expensive model.

On Jonathan's third turn he ran his TO rocket launcher guy up my right flank, blew up my last Aragoto, searched the crate, and headed up and overhang to start shooting at the Guijia.  They exchanged fire and the Guijia eventually came off the worse, losing a structure point,  Jonathan advanced his Alien-looking leader in the center to threaten the objective point.  

In my last turn I tired to shot the RL guy but missed again, the Guijia's armor preventing any damage.  I moved the Guijia forward to try to kill two birds with one stone:  kill his LT and take the crate.  The guijia dodged another rocket and engaged Jonathan's Lt.  I did one wound but could not kill him, and stayed on the center objective point hoping for a lucky break.  Jonathan advanced his leader to cover and to engage the Guijia, not counting on my heavy flamer to hit him automatically.  However he made his armor save and then the e/m weapon immobilized the Guijia.  It took all his remaining order but he was able to scrap the Guijia and take the game.  The Guijia's death was a 3 VP swing, giving him 2 VP from killing it and taking the center point, and denying me 3 as I went into retreat, lost the crate and didn't kill his leader.  So I lost 5-1 but I felt it was a very close game until the last moments.  Thanks to Jonathan for an enjoyable game.

Let me stop and say one thing about this Infinity group: no one played like a jerk.  There was no chess-like "you took your hand off the piece" talk, no disputes about LOS, and everyone was completely cool talking through the options.  For example, if I wanted to move a piece to have LOS to one model and not his buddy, all my opponents were cool with that and we would discuss where the model should go. 

In short, good sportsmanship and a sense of fun ruled the day and that was very gratifying for me a guy who rarely gets out to tournaments and does so to relax.  So, thanks to all the Infinity guys for that.

On to round 2: I played Mike, fielding the ALEPH Assault Subsection.  That meant, Achilles, Ajax, and their Greek pals.  I had heard about this list and was quite concerned that I was going to the hurt locker.

Mike got the first turn so I got to set up second.  Mike had Ajax on my left flank with a link team.  In the center he set up a link team of Thorakitai.  And on my right flank Achilles himself was holding it down.   

I deployed the Guijia in a great covered position with a lot of good lines of fire on my left flank.  My other troops all deployed out of LOS if possible.  My Aragotos set up on my right flank in the hopes of blitizing the crate.  

Well painted Guijia in cover.  (Nice, right?)  

Here is my setup on the right flank.  

And a good view of the overall setup.

On turn one, Mike Advanced Ajax and his men on my left, but the Guijia picked off one of them before they dropped smoke to cover their positions.  mike chose not to charge the Guijia with Ajax.  Achilles, on my right, advanced up to cover and picked of an Aragoto bike.  He then got greedy and headed over to challenge the Guijia, as seen below.  Mike was shooting at me rolling 4 dice and needing 15s or less to hit thanks to my cover.  I needed an 8 or less thanks to his ODD and cover, thought I had explosive ammunition so if I hit Achilles had to take 3 saves.  I rolled an 8, a crit!  Achilles took a wound automatically and saved one more.  He fired again.  I then rolled another 8.  Achilles took another wound then failed two saves, dying for certain.  Wow.  

Achilles on the bridge.

Achilles not standing on the bridge after I roll two critical hits in a row.

On my first turn, the best thing I saw to do was infiltrate my Tiger Soldier on my right flank which was now wide open thanks to Achilles' untimely demise.  The Tiger soldier managed to advance al the way to the center and wipe out an entire 5-man link team despite their 360 visors.  The trick was he was able to engage them one at a time with his HMG and rolled quite well.  This sent Mike's force into retreat with only Ajax and his 3 pals left alive.    We determined that I would have been able to make all my objectives and so Mike conceded with the score at 7-0.

Ajax and his boys decide enough is enough after Achilles and an entire link team bite the dust.  

So going into the third round I was 1-1 with 8 VPs and I got to play against Ben, an Infinity vet who brought the Tohaa, the newest Infinity faction.  We were told we were basically playing for 2nd place, which was surprising.  Again, I have little idea of what was in Ben's force.  It was IIRC a mix of heavy and regular infantry with a couple of TO camoflage guys (I discovered) and an infiltrating dude with HMG (I also discovered.  The game was on an odd mostly indoors table that left me baffled as to how to deploy.  

I have few pictures of the game, alas but suffice it to say things did not work out.  Although I had the first turn Ben had deployed cleverly and set up a base of fire in the central courtyard.  He also had set out two TO camo markers which turned out to be mines.  Ben loves mines.  My Aragoto bikes both fell victim to him on my first turn, one dying to fire and another to a mine.  Ben also dropped smoke to protect his based of fire from long-range attacks, annoying me.  I brought up my Shang Ji to try to synch with the civvie but failed twice.  Ben revealed a TO camo guy who fired at the Shang Ji to no avail.  The Guijia walked over and flamed him to death but not before he dropped a mine.  I then advanced teh Guijia to try to flame the guys hiding in the smoke.  He proceeded to take a wound from the mine and then fail his willpower roll to conduct an intuitive attack on Ben's guys.  As it turned out I had over-extended myself quite a bit.  

Ben's deployment in the building.  Guijia on my side of the table.

Guijia peeking in windows.  He did shoot one of Ben's guys in the side room but that jerk survived as well.  The three guys in this link team are hiding in smoke and laughing at the helpless TAG. 

Ben proceeded to show me that turnabout was fair play by bringing in an AD jump troop and despite my Zhanshis being lined up to face it, killing three of them in quick succession.  The Tohaa HMG troop then took a window seat behind the Guijia and let rip.  I failed two saves and the Guijia was down.  Game over, really.  But we played it out a bit and Ben was not able to complete all of his objectives, so I only lost 6-0.  :)

As a result, I placed 4th out of 6 in my first infinity ITS.  I learned quite a bit and had a very enjoyable day thanks to Certs and my very pleasant opponents.  I retrospect my list has a couple of issues.  First, my specialists are basically overkill.  I never had a chance to use the doctor, engineer, or hacker.  There was some call to use the doc and the engineer, but I almost always wanted to use the orders for combat troops.  The hacker did nothing although Ben noted I could have tried to hack his Air Drop dude (you have to guess they have it and then spend and order to make a roll with about a 25% chance of success) but that seemed like a low margin move when there is shooting and moving to be done.  Also I learned not to expose my LT unnecessarily as losing 25% of your game (one turn is lost establishing a new LT) is very bad!  

So thanks again to Certs and the crew.  I had a great time and look forward to a lot more fun with Infinity!  Now to paint up some PanOceanian troops!