I’ve been playing a lot of Limited Insertion Biotechvore lately, primarily in preparation for this tournament. At least more than 1 game of this ridiculous scenario feels like a lot! Adam, our TO, has been getting more and more excited about the Showdown tournament format, primarily because we can basically hold a tournament whenever we want on any random game night. You do need to forewarn people, of course, especially for a Biotechvore Limited Insertion Showdown, but it lets you be pretty flexible in scheduling–folks are generally free on game night because they already cleared it with the family, etc etc.
That said, a few folks had last minute obligations pop up, so we were at an odd number of players. Adam did his duty and sat out, and I got matched up against James, a new ISS player. To make sure things went reasonably well for everyone and most importantly to keep things fun, I agreed that James could get some light coaching from Adam, especially since he hasn’t played against hacking or E/M before.
- Mission: Biotechvore
- Forces: StarCo, Free Company of the Star versus Imperial Service (300)
- Deploy First: StarCo, Free Company of the Star
- First Turn: StarCo, Free Company of the Star
MOBILE BRIGADA Lieutenant MULTI Rifle + Light Flamethrower / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 39)
MOBILE BRIGADA HMG / Pistol, Knife. (2 | 42)
MOBILE BRIGADA Combi Rifle + 1 TinBot B (Deflector L2) / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 37)
SEÑOR MASSACRE Boarding Shotgun, E/M Grenades, Eclipse Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW, E/M CCW. (0 | 26)
DAKTARI Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
BRAWLER (Fireteam: Haris) Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 17)
BRAWLER (Multispectral Visor L2) MULTI Sniper / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 28)
SPECTOR (Regular) MULTI Rifle, Nanopulser, Drop Bears / Pistol, E/M2 CC Weapon. (0 | 36)
EMILY (Chain of Command) Combi Rifle + Light Grenade Launcher (Normal and E/M), Nanopulser / Assault Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 35)
UHAHU Hacker (Hacking Device Plus. UPGRADE: Icebreaker) Pitcher, D-Charges / Assault Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 25)
10 | 5.5 SWC | 299 Points | Open in Infinity Army
SUN TZE Lieutenant (Advanced Command) MULTI Rifle, 2 Nanopulsers, Flash Pulse / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 65)
SÙ-JIÀN Heavy Shotgun, Light Flamethrower, Panzerfaust / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (0 | 54)
WÚ MÍNG HMG / Pistol, Knife. (2 | 39)
WÚ MÍNG Panzerfaust, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 29)
WÚ MÍNG Boarding Shotgun + 1 TinBot B (Deflector L2) / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 33)
WÚ MÍNG (Fireteam: Duo) Chain Rifle, Submachine Gun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 25)
ZHÀNYING Hacker (Hacking Device) Breaker Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 32)
CELESTIAL GUARD (Kuang Shi Control Device) Combi Rifle + Light Smoke Grenade Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 13)
KUANG SHI Chain Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)
KUANG SHI Chain Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)
10 2 | 4 SWC | 300 Points |Open in Infinity Army
I won the rolloff and decided to go first. After carefully inspecting each side of the table, James decided to take the side with a little more cover in the deployment zone and had me deploy first. Instead of just blindly deploying, like I did against Than the week before, I thought a bit about where I wanted to end up with my links at the end of the turn and settled for using Massacre to block all the necessary avenues of advance with eclipse smoke. I put Emily and Uhahu close to the middle but a little on the right. This was after carefully checking a ton of firelanes and eyeballing what I thought James’s deployment zone might be. I figured this way they’d be safe to advance up most of the board without contest.The StarCo Brigada link came down in the middle with the Brawler/Raoul Haris on the left. This way, in case there was some crazy infiltration that I didn’t predict,I could cover everyone with eclipse smoke to get them up the field. Sadly, I didn’t have smoke to take advantage of MSV2 shenanigans, but I just wanted to get everyone in place, maybe kill something on the way. Really, I’d settle for boxing James into his deployment zone. Of course, knowing a bit about his list since I was a part of the conversation that created it, I knew he was going to have 11 orders worth of ISS to get out…I couldn’t hold anything in reserve thanks to Strategos L3, so that was my deployment. I gave James a quick rundown of my forces, pointing out where my hackers were and so forth. He had wanted to get a game in with me before the tournament to see how hacking works, but we couldn’t make the scheduling work out. Anyway, onto James’s deployment. He put the Su Jian and Sun Tze on my right. The catbot was hidden, but Sun Tze was left out to ARO. Clustered up on the left was the Wu Ming link, the panzerfaust and HMG left out to ARO. Kuang Shi guarded their flanks with the their controller in the Wu Mings’ midst. One minor but releveant thing was the fact that the Wu Ming HMG was strung out too far to be the link leader on the first link activation.
Top of Turn 1 – StarCo
I start my turn off by chucking smoke with Massacre to cover the firelane covered by Sun Tze, pushed my core up the field, then covered the advance of the Brawler haris with more eclipse smoke. With the core in position in the center and the Haris an order away from cover, it was time to advance the duo. I did my usual advance while pitchering with Uhahu thing, landing a pitcher within 8″ of Sun Tze. Sadly, I misjudged the distance and couldn’t catch the Su Jian in the repeater bubble.With only two orders left I didn’t have much of a choice. I settled the Haris into an awkward position with the MSR standing over a prone Raoul, both watching the two Wu Ming, then settled the Duo into a reasonably safe position, attempting a single Oblivion on Sun Tze on the way. Sadly, he crit reset so nothing happened. It would’ve been a great first turn if I could’ve put James into loss of lieutenant.I was pretty scared of the Su Jian and the potential damage it could do. I had the repeater sort of covering the the Su Jian, Emily watching its approach, and the HMG and MULTI Rifle watching the two different avenues it could take to get to my core team. Uhahu was somewhat close to the core team so maybe could hack it as it maneuvered. I hoped to either catch it with the stun ammo of the MULTI Rifle or just gun it down with the HMG as it came in. Barring that, I could land an E/M grenade on it, maybe, with Massacre. Unfortunately, Massacre was on the wrong side of things because he had to throw smoke for the Haris… he can’t be everywhere… I just hoped to weather the storm.
Bottom of Turn 1 – ISS
This was the big turn of the game. It started off with the two Kuang Shi breaking cover and just moving through the gunfire. I got one with MULTI Rifle shock ammo, but the other only took an HMG round and went dogged. It was now lurking within an order or two of my Haris, a decidedly unwelcome situation. Massacre would get one shot, but probably not before it did some damage. Things didn’t seem great… James wanted to get the Su Jian into the fight, so he chose Sun Tze as the tool to break my hacking bubble. He pushed Sun Tze into the open, putting two shots into my HMG and one into the repeater. The HMG put a wound on Sun Tze, but I lost the repeater. Fortunately for me, this meant Uhahu had a free shot at Oblivion on Sun Tze.My wonderful Nomad hacker got me exactly what I needed and isolated Sun Tze! Phew! With that avenue of attack closed, James set about getting the Wu Ming out. He started by covering them with smoke from the Celestial Guard and pushed them up through the smoke. I warned him that I had an MSV2 trooper there, but he decided that reducing me to a single ARO was worth it. Due to the aforementioned HMG Wu Ming positioning, James had to make the panzerfaust the link leader. I shot at it through the smoke, but Adam informed us that due to SSL2 the panzerfaust was allowed to shoot back at no penalty. This was news to me, but I suppose it makes sense that SSL2 should work in the active turn too! We rolled things back a bit and I shot at the HMG instead as it moved, blowing it off the table with 4 failed ARM saves against DA ammo.The rest of the link pushed up past the smoke with the panzerfaust spitting burst against Raoul and Massacre. Even though I dropped a shotgun template on them and some MULTI Rifle fire as they exited the smoke, they passed a ton of ARM saves and just ignored my fire! This was to be a trend for the next few orders. Now that the link pushed up and out of the line of fire of the MSR Brawler, the Celestial Guard covered them with more smoke.
With Massacre’s angles cut off, the Kuang Shi was free to make it all the way around the corner to chain rifle my Haris. I broke the Haris and had both of the Brawlers dodge. Raoul just tanked the shot and dropped a nanopulsar on the Kuang Shi, killing it.The Brawlers dodged or passed their ARM saves, letting me push the Brawler Haris behind the building and the Brawler MSR further back. I probably should’ve dodged him further out to be a nuisance, but oh well. James pushes the Su Jian up, shooting the HMG Brigada with a Panzerfaust on the way. The Brigada rolls better though, shaving a wound off the Su Jian. The Su Jian’s next move pushes it past Emily’s LoF, and she sticks it with a E/M grenade, locking it down while the HMG shaves off another wound, putting into NWI.
James sinks the rest of his orders into killing the remnants of my Haris. The Zhanying stepped out of cover to gun down Raoul. Instead of contesting the roll, I just threw a drop bear out to cover the link and the Celestial Guard. I did lose Raoul, though, who had already taken a wound from the Kuang Shi and gone into NWI.In a unbelievable display of ARM rolling prowess, James move-moves the link into position. The mine goes off hits two Wu Ming, the Zhanying, and the Celestial Guard, and they all just tank the hit. Ugh. My Brawler MSR has his own streak of luck though and eats something like 2-3 orders of shooting from the Zhanying. At one point we roll three crits between the two of us! In any case, James uses his order expenditure to move his Wu Ming into safety, tucking the chain rifle behind the building, the panzerfaust into cover, and the boarding shotgun into a corner.
James’s turn ends with the Celestial Guard, Sun Tze, and the Su Jian passing all of their BTS rolls against the biotechvore zone, even with the Su Jian rolling twice. James’s dice are on fire!
Top of Turn 2 – StarCo
I break the link and gun down the boarding shotgun Wu Ming with my Lieutenant’s MULTI Rifle. I reform the link without the Brigada HMG in it because I don’t want to grant Sun Tze free shots, then gun down the Zhanying and Wu Ming panzerfaust with Massacre’s boarding shotgun. At some point in the exchange one of them lands a crit on Massacre, but I pick him back up with the nearby Daktari and achieve my Experimental Drug classified. I reform the the link again, this time with all the members. My last few orders are spent on Uhahu and Emily to get my Sabotage classified. I break the duo and use a coordinated order to get the remaining brawler into position while detonating the D-Charge and fixing Emily and Uhahu’s position.
Bottom of Turn 2 – ISS
James is in Loss of Lieutenant now. He spends Sun Tze’s order trying to take out the Brigada HMG, but my Brigada guns him down for good. The Su Jian is stuck, so James pushes the Wu Ming chain rifle into the open, knocking down Massacre again. The Wu Ming tries to take out the Daktari too with the Celestial Guard’s order. Even though the Daktari outguns him, the combi rounds just bounce off his armor along with the Brawler’s shotgun. James’s ARM rolls this game! With that, it’s back to me. We did forget to make biotechvore rolls on the Celestial Guard and Su Jian, but with James’s luck he would’ve passed them anyway, hah!
Top of Turn 3 – StarCo
I use my Lieutenant again to take out the remaining Wu Ming, then use the Brawler and Brigada TinBot to take out the Celestial Guard over two orders. Emily dashes into position to assault pistol down the Su Jian (my first assault pistol kill ever!) and I pick up Massacre with the Daktari to raise my surviving point total. We tally up the points and it’s a
9-0 StarCo, Free Company of the Star Victory! 235 to 0 surviving points.
The next highest scoring player only accomplished 1 classified, giving him an 8-0 victory and thus me the tournament. James did a great job pushing through a lot of suck. There were some options for him to get the Su Jian into my lines that he missed, but otherwise he made the best of some pretty bad predicaments, especially given that this was his fourth game ever, I think? I’m looking forward to seeing him across the table again! A big thanks to James for a great game, Adam for organizing, and Than and Pete for rounding out the tournament! Showdowns are high variance, it really comes down to who you play and how your dice do. Peter won his game against Than, but Than apparently got crit off the table by Swiss (Peter had put only 80 points of NCA on the table at the start of the game. Yikes!). James got to see gloves off StarCo, and took it on the chin like a champ. He’s got a good sense for things already and is an experienced gamer. A few more games under his belt and he’ll be taking tournaments!
Notes for Me
- I needed to put out more pitchers to better cover the Su Jian and Sun Tze.
- I wasn’t really happy with my positioning on the Brawler Haris. At the end of the day it worked out but it could’ve been much better. I should’ve had the MSR further forward and covering better angles. If I had more orders I could’ve put them on the roof, maybe.
- We need to remember to do the BTV rolls on the second and third turns. Would’ve saved me some orders dealing with the CG, Sun Tze, and the Su Jian later, potentially. And moving Emily in to kill the Su Jian might’ve gotten her into the zone too. Who knows.
- I’m glad I left Emily out to ARO the Su Jian or Sun Tze on their approach. As it turns out I had tucked her into cover a little too far, but James was gracious enough to let me put her where I actually wanted her after the fact. I really need to be more careful with my positioning, I’m used to playing with Adam where we talk about intent and are a bit more sloppy with positioning for the sake of play speed.
- James had a lot of strong attack options this game. I was lucky that I edged out some dice rolls where it mattered, like with the Kuang Shi. That could’ve gone much worse and I could’ve lost the Haris and part of the core.
- 8″ cautious moves with the Su Jian would’ve been truly awful to deal with. I don’t think Uhahu or Emily could’ve stopped it, and I would’ve had to rely on my link’s dice being hot. Thankfully for the Su Jian to be in range to do the most damage SSL2 would be in effect, so I would know what to do.
- Bottom line, once James gets more comfortable with the rules and his ISS he’s going to be a terror! Can’t wait.
Notes for Opponent
I got some feedback from my local group that it might be helpful to provide feedback on my opponent’s side of the game, especially since these batreps are designed to be both a form of record keeping as well as an educational exercise. It’s can always be a bit touchy when proving feedback, so I’ll preface with the disclaimer that these are just my opinions and prioritization of issues that I observed. I’ve got a few years of study of this game under my belt, but I’m by no means a master at it. So with that, here’s the debut of this new section of the batrep! Hope it helps any readers that come along, especially newer folks.
- There were a lot of risky orders that game that paid off because you had fantastic ARM/BTS saves all game, like walking the whole Wu Ming link in front of a linked BSG, letting the mine go off in the link’s face when it was covering two LI, etc
- Perhaps a little too much trust in ARM/BTS to carry the day a little too much–many experienced Infinity players are very cautious around template weapons. that isn’t to say you don’t move the Wu Ming link around, but there were more conservative ways of doing it that a) increase survivability and b) possibly even kill some of my dudes
- none of those things were major mistakes though, i think it just comes from lack of experience. The Wu Ming needed to move up the field to get out of the zone. Could it have been done better? Sure, but being risky got the job done in a pretty efficient manner… always a tradeoff. HI with W2 are when to take these sorts of risks, but not usually on the first turn.
- The only things that border on major mistake land were:
- Using sun tze to clear the repeater when the Su Jian can do it 100% safely (aside from taking some HMG fire, but that’s what it’s for)
- Not cautious moving the Su Jian up into my midfield and eating my link team.
- The decision to not do either of those things is a very minor lack of experience thing, but they both snowballed into losing the game because
- It let me isolate Sun Tze
- It also let me nail the Su Jian with an E/M ARO. This is actually two things:
- Granting me an ARO: Emily had basically a tiny silver of LoF that could have easily been cautious moved through. There are a lot of tools to use in Infinity, and cautious move is a powerful one to think about.
- Not contesting Emily’s ARO against the Su Jian and just MOV-MOVing: You definitely want to shoot back in 99% of the cases, don’t just give me a normal roll, especially if you’re an HI and I’m shooting E/M at you.
When all’s said and done, James has about 4ish games under his belt with ISS now, which is not a particularly easy faction to play. Adam put it best: “Yeah I really don’t think it’ll take long for James to catch up, and I’m afraid of when he decides to run a Su Jian Duo some day…”