Flanks and Blanks

Eric is still out on vacation so he called me out on game night for a rematch. We’re practicing for an upcoming tournament, so we chose one of the missions, Power Pack, to try out. I was trying out a Zondnautica list again, and Eric brought a more traditional HB list than the last one I played. I don’t get to see Fidays and Mutts on the table much, and while I don’t want to see them, ever, practicing against them is definitely required for my development as a player. That, and Eric is a very gregarious, entertaining opponent. How he manages to high five everyone in the store while playing a tight, clean game I’ll never know. Love it, though!

Overview

  • Mission: Power Pack
  • Forces: Nomads versus Hassassin Bahram (300)
  • Deploy First: Nomads
  • First Turn: Nomads

List B


GROUP 1 | 9 1 2

INTERVENTOR Hacker Lieutenant (Hacking Device Plus) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 25)
MORAN (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle, CrazyKoalas (2) / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 22)
ZONDNAUT Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 24)
ZONDMATE Chain Rifle, Smoke Light Grenade Launcher / Electric Pulse. (5)
KRAKOT RENEGADE 2 Chain Rifles, Grenades / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 14)
LUNOKHOD Heavy Shotgun, Heavy Flamethrower, D-Charges, CrazyKoalas (2) / Electric Pulse. (0 | 25)
HECKLER Combi Rifle, Jammer, 1 FastPanda / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 23)
BANDIT Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Light Shotgun, Adhesive Launcher / Pistol, DA CCW. (0 | 25)
KRIZA BORAC HMG / Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (2 | 54)
INTRUDER HMG, Grenades / Pistol, CCW. (1.5 | 42)
PUPPET MASTERS (Minelayer) Submachine Gun, Antipersonnel Mines / PistolKnife. (0.5 | 14)
PUPPETBOT (Marksmanship L1) AP Marksman Rifle / Electric Pulse. (0 | 14)

GROUP 2 | 3 3

MORLOCK Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, E/M CCW. (0 | 6)
MORLOCK Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, E/M CCW. (0 | 6)
MORLOCK Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, E/M CCW. (0 | 6)


5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

Hassassin Bahram


GROUP 1 | 8 2 2

GHULAM Lieutenant Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
GHULAM Doctor Plus (MediKit) Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Stabby Knife. (0 | 16)
GHULAM Missile Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 17)
GHULAM Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 16)
LEILA SHARIF Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Shock Marksman Rifle, D-Charges / Breaker Pistol, Knife. (0 | 20)

ASAWIRA (Fireteam: Haris) Spitfire, Nanopulser / Pistol, Shock CCW. (2 | 44)
ASAWIRA Doctor Plus (MediKit) AP Rifle + Light Shotgun, Nanopulser / Pistol, Shock CCW. (0 | 45)
MUYIB (Minelayer) Rifle + Light Shotgun, D.E.P. Antipersonnel Mines, E/Mauler / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 24)

MUTTAWI’AH Chain Rifle, E/Marat, Jammer, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)
MUTTAWI’AH Chain Rifle, E/Marat, Jammer, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)

GROUP 2 | 3 3 2

FARZAN (Chain of Command) Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 26)
FARZAN (Minelayer) Boarding Shotgun, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 23)
FIDAY Boarding Shotgun, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW, Knife. (0 | 29)
DAYLAMI (CH: Limited Camouflage, Inferior Infiltration) Light Shotgun, Panzerfaust / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 8)
MUTTAWI’AH Chain Rifle, E/Marat, Jammer, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)
MUTTAWI’AH Chain Rifle, E/Marat, Jammer, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)


4.5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

Deployment

I won the rolloff and knew I had to do some damage before the Mutts and Fidays were allowed to go, so I chose to go first. The table sides were pretty equal for a normal game of Infinity, but I think Eric grabbed the better one for Power Pack. Definitely the right call. Power Pack deployment is such a big change to the usual that you really need to stop and think. It forces all kinds of pressures on you, while simultaneously removing access to some firelanes that look pretty juicy. In short, I think one should dedicate some orders to putting stuff in the right positions on your first turn. My right side had both my HMGs. I tucked my Kriza into total cover and put my Intruder on a roof with the Puppeteer, just at the edge of the deployment zone. I backed them all up with a Morlock and a Zondnautica, all the way at my board edge. The Krakot sat in the front of everything, hoping to rocket up the board and do some damage after rolling Climbing+ and 6-4 MOV.My HVT sat in the middle with my Heckler nearby, orbiting my left deployment zone. I screened my Interventor with two Morlocks and a Lunokhod, then put down the AP Marksman puppet as my left side attack piece. The Intruder was my hold back, I wanted to find some angles, but Eric didn’t leave me many.Eric responded with a typical HB deployment. Asawira Haris on the left, Ghulam Core on the right, both screened by Mutts. Eric didn’t want me to be able to get anything into the area where his Asawira were, so he littered the area with mines from his Muyib and Farzan Minelayers.¬† He copied my HVT in the middle deployment, and then dropped a Daylami right outside my left deployment zone and put a Fiday on the roof a building in my backfield as his reserve. I knew from the start that this was going to be a rough game and I’d have a lot to do in terms of getting myself extricated from his awful situation. Without much preamble, we started things off–I needed to get rid of that Daylami.

Turn 1

Top of Turn 1 – Nomads

I spent a command token to flip my back left Morlock’s order regular so I could cancel impetuous for the Morlock right next to the Daylami. For some reason I was anticipating getting my Lunokhod shotgunned too, which simply would not have been the case. After covering the Heckler’s approach with some smoke and pushing up my Morlock and Zondnautica on the right without incident, it was time to problem solve this Daylami. I moved the Heckler into position through the smoke and then full-order intuitive attack Jammed the Daylami out of camo, then pushed the Heckler back, keeping him out of 8″ to gun the Daylami down. Three orders and a command token to deal with this nonsense. Ugh. At least the Puppeteer protected me from getting orders stripped!Next it was time to start breaking apart the Ghulam link. The AP Marksman Puppet was in the right spot, so I just pushed him around the corner to take on the Ghulam Sniper. Two orders later and Eric finally failed an ARM save, shocking the sniper off the table. Thanks, saturation zone!I knew I’d have to do some more damage, so with the Sniper down, I threw smoke for the Intruder and took some shots at the Asawira Spitfire, failing to punch through the armor. I settled for dropping the Ghulam ML unconscious next, but knew that this would be short lived thanks to the presence of Dr. Stabby Knife nearby. I should’ve just pushed forward with the Puppet and hoped to get within 24″ of the Ghulam ML, or shocked it off the table once unconscious. Probably a much better plan. In any case, I attempted to take out a Mutt with the Moran, but couldn’t beat the Mutt’s smoke. I was forced to settle things into more defensive positions with a coordinated order, and I just didn’t allocate enough resources to setting up a reasonable ARO net for the next turn. I really should’ve left the Puppet out, and probably pushed the Kriza out as well. Alas.Out of orders, I passed the turn.

Bottom of Turn 1 – HB

After throwing the Fiday into the first order pool, Eric puts the Mutts to work. I lose my Lunokhod which I had pushed up to cover the left approach to some fancy Mutt smoke tricks. I elected to shoot back, forgetting about the Heavy Flamethrower because I haven’t played Lunokhods recently. The Koalas weren’t pushed up all the way because I was concerned about getting jammed by the Mutt on the other side of the cream-colored building, which would’ve negated the Koala. Probably should’ve moved and then dropped them off, but it was part of a coordinated order so that wasn’t really great either. In any case, lots of stuff to think about.After jamming my AP Marksman ‘bot successfully, the Mutts on my left are out of orders.I had also left my Zondnautica out to dry on the right. In the future I think I’m gonna have to start hopping them off their bikes in the reactive turn, just to have an ablative chain rifle. So many things to think about after this game. Eric’s Mutt on the right had plenty of orders to play with, and hopped over the building and ate my right flank. After killing the Zondnautica, the Krakot, putting the Morlock dogged, and failing two Jammer attempts on the Kriza and the Intruder, the Mutt’s rampage is over. Incredibly, the Mutt tanked something like 6-7 chain rifle shots to the face from all the chain rifles there before finally going down, and I didn’t make a single successful save in defense (both Jammer failures were on the Mutt’s side). I guess all my guys on the right are firing blanks or something. Come on, dice! Wake up!It’s now the Fiday’s turn. I manage to break one level of impersonation with the pieces I have on the left, but it’s not enough to negate surprise shot on my Intruder and puppeteer, so I lose both. Eric’s last order is an attempt on my Moran, where I made my first ARM save of the game!Eric celebrates with me and then passes the turn, my right flank in shambles.

Turn 2

Top of Turn 2 – Nomads

I have something like 4 orders left and way too much to do. Anya the Morlock and Eric’s forward Mutt exchange warband greetings, chain rifle style, and both tank each other’s shots. I cover my Moran with smoke from my remaining Morlock, and get Jammed for my trouble. Sigh.This does free the Moran to climb off his roof, grab the central objective, and attempt to clear out some mines by the Asawira Haris. Sadly, I lose the Koala in the process, and I guessed wrong on which token was the Farzan Minelayer. I had intended to get the Moran in place next to the Asawira, but having the Farzan right there makes it a bit of a non-starter. I had hoped it would at least be around the corner. There was also some pressure from a Mutt’s pistol dictating my movement, so that didn’t help either.I settle for retreating the Moran, forgetting about the Fiday temporarily, which is an easy order away from shotgunning the Moran, and reluctantly pass the turn.

Bottom of Turn 2 – HB

I stop the Mutt on the left with an engage with Anya, but the other¬† Morlock goes dogged to the Mutt’s chain rifle. Eric heartlessly shoots into the combat with a now-healed up Ghulam ML, blowing Anya off the table with a lucky roll.The second Mutt sneaks around the corner and gets taken out by the Heckler and Zero Cool, my Interventor, but I lose the Heckler in the process. Zero Cool was just outside of chain rifle range. Eric’s out of orders over there so he decides to just let the Mutt fall over unconscious. The remaining Mutt on my right takes out my Moran, but I engage with my Bandit.You know how my Bandits never fail me? Well, Cereal Killer manages to fend off the Asawira’s blade for three orders, 4 against 1! She even manages to put a wound on him before succumbing to statistics.Eric self-admittedly gets a bit greedy here, so after grabbing the objective next to my Bandit, he guns down my Kriza in one order.This, thankfully, puts me in retreat, which ties the game up. Eric definitely won this one though.

3-3 Tie!

What a brutal game! I haven’t had a game like that in awhile, so I really appreciated the sound beating. I made a ton of mistakes under pressure, and Eric exploited them. I’m always happy to get beaten soundly when you get a lot of learnings from it. HB is a tough matchup, probably my toughest in recent memory due to the excellent amount of board control they can get so cheaply. Mutts really demand special attention and thinking due to their out of LoF Jammers. I definitely think I had the tools to handle them this game, just didn’t have the right positioning or mindset in my first turn. A big thanks to Eric for a great game!

Notes

Notes for Me

  • I had some really bad priority calls this game.
  • Should’ve left the AP Marksman bot out to contend with the Mutts
  • Should’ve dealt with the Fiday by blocking the ladder with my Heckler Jammer in camo state. If he shoots, I jam. If he full-order climbs down, revealing himself, I jam. New tools, need to learn them better!
  • The Intruder could’ve been on the other side, and I think I should’ve bullied with my Kriza a bit. The left firelanes were much more appealing though. I don’t think I could’ve done much to shift the Asawira effectively on the right.
  • I pushed the Zondnautica too far up for no reason. I could’ve pushed it back for safety, or split them.
  • Too many coordinated orders for too little gain. I think I need to be careful with that. I spent a lot on positioning, which seems good, but I always need to ask myself why.
  • The AP Marksman bot kept scooting in and out of cover. I think I need to think about the pros and cons of that better–I want to leave it out, so why am I doing the scoot?
  • Puppets can’t be part of coordinated orders, which sucks. It also sucks getting them isolated.
  • I definitely felt a lack of board control this game, not because I didn’t have the tools–I had 4 Koalas on the table, after all. it was really because of bad positioning from the Moran and Lunokhod. The Koalas are there to deal with the Mutts, and roof Koalas, while enticing, are really bad for mobility.
  • My kingdom for a pitcher! I still have to eat through that BTS 9 on the Asawira, but it would’ve been pretty great to get an isolate off on the Asawira doctor. Sadly there is no Icebreaker equivalent for Oblivion. I really wanted to get the Moran in place, but there was a Mutt and another mine there… not really the best way to get a repeater in place.
  • I think I was just far too scared of getting gunned down in the active turn. Gotta remember the Saturation Zone helps vanilla more than a sectorial in reactive.
  • Lots of tiny little lessons, but here’s the big takeaway: I failed to control the board after my first turn, and that is the way you lose against HB.

Notes for Eric

  • Well, you beat the hell out of me so clearly you’re doing it right!
  • I think you did a great job of keeping the pressure on throughout the game, and piloted both the Fiday and the Mutts extremely well. I’ll be stealing your tricks for sure when I return to Haqq.
  • As we discussed post game, you could’ve easily let my Kriza live, which would’ve kept me just out of retreat, and instead focused your efforts on grabbing objectives. It’s why Infinity is so great–it’s not about killing everything!
  • My Bandit was clearly out of the fight too, so there was no need to do anything, although it’s really hard to pass up the hilarity of getting 4 dice in CC.
  • Great game, looking forward to a rematch!

 

WiseKensai

WiseKensai

I primarily play Infinity these days, but I have PHR fleet for Dropfleet Commander and I will eventually get my CEF for Heavy Gear built...

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