It’s all Foreign to Me

I’ve always wanted to play Neoterra Bolts, mainly because most people used to dislike them. All joking aside, PanO as a faction has never really interested me, so I was prepared to ask one of our local PanO players for an army swap at some point in the future.

Then came the release of Foreign Company. After struggling with list building for them out of context, I decided to try and take them for a specific mission. We’ve just started doing specific missions at each weekly game night to let the local veterans help the newer players in a more directed way. It also lets folks swap notes pre- and post-games more productively as everyone’s trying to solve similar problems. This week’s mission was Looting and Sabotaging.

I threw together some PanO models the week before the game. Since I have no real intention of playing PanO, I was proxying the Swiss HMG as an ORC HMG–I’m told the PanO heavy infantry all looks the same so this should be fine right? Similarly, I’m proxying one of the many Joans as Valkyrie. I don’t really want to rebase bendy-axe plastic Valkyrie, and I really like the Joan models, so it was an excuse to finally put her together. As is usual these days, I was late to game night, and Isaac had generously already set up some pretty sweet tables for us to play on, so I paired up with him.

Overview

  • Mission: Looting and Sabotaging
  • Forces: Foreign Company versus Varuna Immediate Reaction Division (300)
  • Deploy First: VIRD
  • First Turn: VIRD
Looting and Sabotaging

KRIZA BORAC Lieutenant HMG / Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (2 | 54)

VALKYRIE Heavy Shotgun, Grenades / Heavy Pistol, EXP CC Weapon. (0 | 35)
ORC HMG / Pistol, Knife. (2 | 44)
AVICENNA Combi Rifle, Flash Pulse / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 27)

BOLT (Fireteam: Haris) Boarding Shotgun, Drop Bears / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 19)
BOLT (Killer Hacking Device) Boarding Shotgun, E/Mauler / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 21)
BOLT Spitfire / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 23)

PEACEMAKER Heavy Shotgun + AUXBOT_3 / Electric Pulse. (0 | 21)
AUXBOT_3 Heavy Flamethrower / Electric Pulse. (- | 4)
BAKUNIN ÜBERFALLKOMMANDO . (0 | 24)
CHIMERA Combi Rifle, Nanopulser, Eclipse Grenades / Viral CCW. (0 | 21)
x3 PUPNIK DA CCW. (0 | 3)
CROC MAN (Minelayer) Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 31)


9 1 1 | 6 SWC | 299 Points | Open in Infinity Army

Here’s the list. Kriza because… well. Yeah. A 3-man core with an ORC HMG, Avicenna, and Valkyrie. They’re my backup AC2 smashers, with the ORC leading the the way, gun first if necessary. The Peacemaker and Croc Man are there to remove problems and to delay my opponent in the midfield. The Uberfall are my primary AC2 smashers, and the Bolt Haris is there to go and clear out any Jammers that are lurking nearby the AC2.

Varuna Immediate Reaction Division
GROUP 1 | 10 1

KAMAU (Multispectral Visor L2) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 32)
FUSILIER Paramedic (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
FUSILIER (Forward Observer, Deployable Repeater) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)

FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)

KAMAU Heavy Rocket Launcher, Submachine Gun / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 23)
MACHINIST (Varuna Div.) (CH: Mimetism, Stealth, Aquatic Terrain) Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 17)
PATSY GARNETT Submachine Gun, Nimbus Plus Grenades, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 37)

KNIGHT OF MONTESA MULTI Rifle, Chain-colt / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 42)

GROUP 2 | 2 4

ZULU-COBRA Lieutenant (Sensor) Combi Rifle, Jammer / Assault Pistol, Knife. (0 | 29)
ZULU-COBRA (Sensor) Combi Rifle, Jammer / Assault Pistol, Knife. (0 | 29)
HELOT MILITIAMAN Red Fury / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 14)
HELOT MILITIAMAN Submachine Gun, Light Rocket Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 9)
HELOT MILITIAMAN Submachine Gun, Light Rocket Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 9)
TECH-BEE (Remote Assistant Level 1, Specialist Operative) Flash Pulse / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)


5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

Isaac’s gameplan was to get the Patsy Haris in to base to base and D-Charge the AC2 to death while doing annoying PanO things. The Zulu Cobras with Jammers make for great AC2 defenders, and Helots are a royal pain in the butt. His other AC2 plan is the Montesa.

Overview

Isaac won the rolloff and elected to go first. I took a look at the deployment sides and gave Isaac the side that on first inspection looked worse, but as we started to deploy/play out the first turn I think I picked the wrong side. In any case, Isaac opted for a balanced deployment, putting his Fusilier link on the left to power the Kamau, and the real business end of the list is on the right, which is the Patsy Haris.

To secure his own AC2, he put down a bunch of Helots and Zulu Cobras on the catwalks. After he feinted a Fusilier Lt alone in the back, it was my turn to deploy.

I quickly discovered that there were a lot of good firelanes deep into various parts of my deployment zone, so I carefully chose spots to protect my units while simultaneously covering the AC2. I covered it the ORC HMG, Avicenna’s Flash Pulse, the Bolt Haris, the Bolt Spitfire, and the Croc Man Minelayer.

I had some real trouble placing the Peacemaker. Aside from deep in my deployment zone, there wasn’t a safe place for it to go. I settled for putting it all the way on the right to speedbump the link if possible. I then stuck the Croc Man on the left, tucked away.

Isaac put his Montesa on the same side as his Patsy Haris, which was great news for me. There was plenty of threat on the Fusilier link side, but nothing I was particularly worried that would get to the AC2 and hurt it. This let me focus my attention on the left in terms of defense. I put the Uberfall over there, figuring that there were just fewer bodies to chew through on that side. Tougher to kill, sure, but less bodies.

Turn 1

Top of 1 – VIRD

I foolishly docked two orders from his primary group. I should’ve done the secondary, which would have crippled his Zulu Cobra. Isaac canceled the orders from the Montesa, as he was afraid to run into an ARO. He spent the first couple of orders climbing his link off its building and advancing the Kamau MSR. This is great news for me, because it doesn’t really increase the threat on that side of the the table, and it read as a correction of a perhaps over-conservative deployment.

My own deployment weaknesses were quickly realized as Isaac threw a Zulu Cobra at my Peacemaker, knocking it out over the course of two orders. He spent a third failing a sensor attempt to reveal a Croc Man, then re-camoed his Zulu Cobra.

The last couple of orders were spent moving Patsy’s Haris forward, dangerously close to my Croc Man, and then settling the Fusilier link into position with only the Fusilier FO left out watching anything of consequence. What was surprising to me (not having played a bunch of armies with NCO lately) is that the Lt order can be used across combat groups by the NCO model. Interesting.

Bottom of 1 – ForCo

After canceling the Uberfall’s order (they were being watched by a HRL), I started my actual turn. Isaac left Fusilier FO Angus out against a Kriza…

and so, Fusilier Angus will have to be recovered from Cube backup. I used my Lt order, which is all the better for me. My Croc Man was in a great spot and was able to drop a mine out of LoF. This did grant Patsy a change face, but wasn’t otherwise relevant.

I shuffled the ORC HMG into view, and discovered to my immense delight what BS14 feels like.

It feels good, especially if you can set off a mine while you do it. The Kamau HRL managed to stave off death against both the mine and the HMG fire and only went unconscious, and the Machinist managed to make his dodge roll.

No matter. Another order brings the ORC into view of the Machinist, who goes down to some PanOceanian brute force.

Isaac has all of his Fusiliers in a line. I get a little excited and try to get my Bolts into range to throw drop bears, but they’re too far away. I don’t have the orders to do it, so I settle for wiggling around to bait out a Helot. It works, mainly because I get REAL close on the rocket launcher template and Isaac goes for it. The Spitfire takes out the Helot and we call it good for that turn after I climb the Uberfall off the roof.

I managed a partial recovery here–I wish I hadn’t advanced my Bolt Haris lady, but I started a bad plan and did a reasonable job of rolling things back, bagging an all-important Helot kill on the way. Much better to have done something else productive instead though. Need to come up with a better strategy in limited insertion lists to deal with Helots… still thinking about that one.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – VIRD

I didn’t have the orders to fix the Croc Man’s positioning or recamo her, so I was exposed to a bullrush from the Montesa Knight. Isaac set up Nimbus+ with Patsy first, then rolled the Knight around the corner to chain-colt the Croc Man.

I have no interest in rolling at -6 to do anything important, so I settle for rolling ARM and just drop a mine. Unfortunately, I fail ARM and the Croc Man is down for the count.

Isaac really wants his Machinist back up, so after adding the Fusilier Lt decoy into the link, he attempts a long range MediKit shot with his Fusilier Paramedic as they advance up the field. PanO ballistic skills help him land the hit, but the poor Machinist dies anyway.

If only PanO would stop issuing pistols to their medics while telling them that it’s a MediKit. I’m punished for my earlier eagerness to get the Bolts advanced and lose the exposed Bolt Haris to the Kamau MSR.

Isaac shuffles the Fusiliers around some more, trading fire with Avicenna at long range, but nothing happens.

Isaac then throws Patsy into suppression watching the left panoply area and passes turn.

Bottom of 2 – ForCo

I spent WAY too many orders getting the Uberfall into CC with the Montesa. I need to throw smoke too block a bunch of AROs, in particular a right-to-left cross map shot from the Kamau, and I fail a ton of unopposed smoke rolls. Very frustrating and expensive. At one point the Tech Bee manages to stun a Pupnik, which is not a big deal, but then remembers that she has a pistol which is a thread to the Chimera. I’m forced to spend more orders throwing smoke against that, and then I’m finally into base to base with the Montesa.

If I’m understanding right, Isaac has to choose which of the Pupniks (or Chimera) to CC, and then I can get Normal rolls off another one. I’ll chalk my mistake up to relative inexperience with the Uberfall, and I have the Chimera in base to base. Even with i-Kohl and NBW, I lose her to the Montesa. Should definitely have let the Pupniks handle this one. The odds are pretty good for me though with her involved:

80.85 11.30 7.85

Funnily enough, canceling the Montesa’s MA1 isn’t really all that relevant. I could’ve used the +3 CC +1 DAM mode of NBW and it would’ve been fine too:

81.78 9.99 8.23

Three pupniks would’ve easily handled the Montesa, with a 82% chance of knocking it out with normal rolls. On the approach, I had a ~70% chance of sticking the grenade versus a ~30% chance of combi-rifling down the Tech-Bee versus her pistol shot, so I think that was a reasonable call.

At some point during this I lost the Bolt Spitfire shooting at a linked Fusilier out of cover, both of us in good range. This a much closer fight that I anticipated, so I was definitely better off just saving the order and not doing anything here:

39.84 37.03 23.13

In any case, I’ve got two orders and a Lieutenant order left after that fiasco, so I get one round of shooting in on Patsy with the Kriza about about 28″, which is enough to take her out against her dodge (about 50% odds to cause two wounds. Not bad.).

I had hoped the Uberfall would be able to handle the Montesa and Patsy, and then they would be in position on the left to make a play for the AC2 on Turn 3. At this point I’m just hoping to keep Isaac off my AC2 and hope for a tie. He’s already spent orders on grabbing stuff out of the panoplies, so I’m already a point down there. He’s in a similar position as well, so…

Turn 3

Top of 3 – VIRD

The Montesa starts its attack run, fails a dodge, and then fails ARM against the first mine…

and the second.

With his options gone, Isaac’s link moves up to secure my HVT, losing a Fusilier to Avicenna’s combi at outside of 32″.

The Kamau MSR takes revenge though.

Isaac’s last order is trying to take out the last remaining Bolt, but legendary PanO BS comes through for me (yes, double meaning intended) and I take out the Fusilier.

Bottom of 3 – ForCo

I basically don’t have much in the way of options now, other than to clear out the Fusiliers and move the Bolt up to secure Isaac’s HVT. That will tie me up with 1 point versus his 1 point from Panoplies. No thinking for this plan, just murder! Okay boss!!

The Bolt lines up a shot on the unconscious Fusilier and shoots it, dropping a template on a live Fusilier and the Kamau. I beat the live Fusilier’s shooting and the Kamau’s dodge, knocking out the Kamau.

The Fusilier survives for another order at least…

then I come around the corner and take out the last Fusilier.

With his link destroyed, Isaac isn’t securing my HVT and I’m securing his.

1-1 Tie!

Post Game Analysis

First impression of ForCo is good. I like the available tools, I just need more experience. For some reason I like the Uberfall in ForCo more than in Nomads, not because they’re better there but because I think I’ll learn more about them in ForCo. Can’t really explain why though.

My initial plan was to clear out the Zulu Cobra Jammers with Jammer-immune Bolts, but that proved to be too expensive in orders. I could’ve done a much better job of this if I had picked the other side of the table, letting me start the Bolts on a catwalk. I think with my list composition, strategy, and deployment choices, I could’ve dealt with the Zulu Cobras or the Helots, but not both.

I made a relatively minor mistake with the Uberfall, which removed my chances to win the game. I think I needed to spent the orders developing the Valkyrie link instead of the Bolt one, which we already determined was a mistake to move. Isaac did a great job boxing me in–I needed to be a bit more aggressive and efficient in getting out. Also definitely need more table time against Helots (or more likely, with Helots) to really determine how to best address that particular problem.

All in all, a decent first outing with Foreign Company. Lots to learn, and good moves by a good opponent! Thanks to Isaac for the game!

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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