Imperial Fun Police

Been grinding pretty hard on Foreign Company practice lately, to the point where it was starting to get a little frustrating. Wasn’t really sure why I was doing it either, I don’t have serious plans on getting into Foreign Company, I just wanted to get a feel for them and put some Bolt models on the table. They’re so shiny!

To give myself a break, I took something to game night that’s been sitting in the model case for awhile, all ready to go: Imperial Service. Erik (Zelaponeepus) asked me for a game of Power Pack, so I made up a list and packed it on the way out the door to work in the morning.

Overview

  • Mission: Power Pack
  • Forces: Imperial Service versus Hassassin Bahram (300)
  • Deploy First: Hassassin Bahram
  • First Turn: Hassassin Bahram
Imperial Service
GROUP 1 | 10

ZHÀNYING Lieutenant (Sensor) Breaker Combi Rifle, Nimbus Grenades / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0 | 26)
MAJOR LUNAH Viral Sniper / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 29)
DAKINI Tacbot Paramedic (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Electric Pulse. (0 | 15)
DAKINI Tacbot Paramedic (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Electric Pulse. (0 | 15)

MIRANDA ASHCROFT Breaker Combi Rifle, Nanopulser / Pistol, Monofilament CCW, Knife. (0 | 26)
BOUNTY HUNTER Red Fury / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 21)

HÙSÒNG Yaókòng HMG / Electric Pulse. (1 | 25)
HÙSÒNG Yaókòng HMG / Electric Pulse. (1 | 25)
HÙSÒNG Yaókòng HMG / Electric Pulse. (1 | 25)
SOPHOTECT Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 31)
YUDBOT Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)
YUDBOT Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)

GROUP 2 | 3 1

NINJA Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Tactical Bow / Pistol, DA CCW, Knife. (0 | 29)
CSU (Specialist Operative) Rifle + Light Shotgun, Nanopulser / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
CSU (Specialist Operative) Rifle + Light Shotgun, Nanopulser / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
WARCOR (360º Visor) Flash Pulse / Stun Pistol, Knife. (0 | 3)


5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

This list was all about enjoying models/profiles I like and not much else. It’s been literally years since I put my LE Miranda Ashcroft on the table, so I knew she would have to be in the list. I also knew that I was in love with the Red Fury Bounty hunter from Recon+ games, so he was in too. Three TR bots because I can, and it’s hilarious.

Part of the reason I wanted to play ISS in the first place is to get access to Daikini for fast specialists (and the Sophotect too), and I love the idea of Lunah firing her rifle through a Nimbus zone set up by a Zhanying Lt. I needed to fill out a second combat group and unlock remotes, so the Ninja KHD, CSU, and my trusty Warcor showed up. I should say that I also really like CSU, and I’ve convinced myself that the 12 point Rifle/LSG/Nanopulsar specialist profile is the “correct” one.

Hassassin Bahram
GROUP 1 | 10

MUYIB Lieutenant Rifle + Light Grenade Launcher (Normal and Smoke Ammo.) / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 23)
MUYIB (X Visor) Heavy Rocket Launcher, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 22)
MUYIB (X Visor) Spitfire, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 28)
MUYIB Doctor Plus (MediKit) Rifle + Light Shotgun, D.E.P. / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 27)
MUYIB (Forward Observer) Rifle + Light Shotgun, D.E.P. / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 24)

GOVAD HMG / Breaker Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 29)
FARZAN (Marksmanship L1, Forward Observer) Rifle + Light Shotgun, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 24)
FARZAN (Minelayer) Boarding Shotgun, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 23)
FIDAY Rifle + Light Shotgun, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, DA CCW, Knife. (0 | 31)
FIDAY Rifle + Light Shotgun, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, DA CCW, Knife. (0 | 31)

GROUP 2 | 1 3 3

FARZAN (Minelayer) Boarding Shotgun, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 23)
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)
MUTTAWI’AH Chain Rifle, E/Marat, Jammer, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)


5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

Erik took the same list that gave me so much trouble last time, so at least I knew what to expect.

Deployment

I won the rolloff, and didn’t really have an amazing plan for going first. In retrospect I probably should’ve, especially since I thought the tables sides were pretty balanced. I wanted to leverage my three TR bots and get some order-free kills on Erik’s turn, and I wanted to go second for the scenario, so I gave Erik the side of the table I thought was slightly worse and he took first turn.

Erik set up his Muyibs on the left, scattered Minelayers around in his backfield, and then stuck a Farzan FO in the middle. His usual line of Mutts made an appearance too. He stuck a Fiday near my front lines, tucked into the corner between two buildings and then put a Govad HMG on his right flank.

He’s really keen on the Govad, because we play with a lot of low-vis/saturation zones in our meta. I really like that choice for his list, but it’s been hard to keep her alive in his recent games. I think he needs to screen her better with Mutts, but that’s quite difficult in Power Pack where everything starts so close.

I quickly realize that I’m in trouble once it’s my turn to deploy. Power Pack really messes with your assessment of deployment zones. I was hoping to deploy things in the middle on the grey building, like Lunah, and have access to more catwalk than I thought I did. With the really close quarters I knew I’d have to prep for a deployment zone run by Mutts and of course an attack by Fidays.

I put down my TR bots first, because they’re kinda bad in close quarters and they can generate a lot of shotgun templates for Fidays that might be wandering around my deployment zone. That will help me shape the rest of the deployment. The Daikini are absolute trash at defending themselves from Fidays because they can’t go prone, can’t dodge, and aren’t terribly good shooters, so I jam them into buildings. If Erik throws a Fiday in there with them just to kill a Daikini, I’m kinda okay with that. I litter the area with Yudbots (there’s on the left by the CSU and Lunah that I forgot to mark) and tuck the Sophotect into what I think is safe, with the Zhanying watching her back.

I struggle to find a place to put my CSU, and settle for putting one watching the Fiday on the left and another guarding the approach to the rest of my forces on my right. The ABH Red Fury goes on a roof and Miranda tucks herself into a pile of boxes ready to back up the CSU in front of her.

It’s at this point that I remember to roll for MetaChemistry and Booty, and both CSU roll 8-4 MOV (my favorite!) and the ABH gets a grenade launcher. Excellent!

Rhonda Burgundy the warcor is babysitting the warcor from a rooftop, so Erik counters her deployment with a Fiday. That is the right move. The Xenotech is so important in this scenario.

I’m now really concerned that I won’t be able to pick up the Xenotech on the left once Rhonda dies, since the only human I have over there is the CSU. I don’t think Erik has thought that far ahead, but I stick Lunah out of reserve on that side to back up the CSU, just in case. The board was dense enough that there wasn’t much in the way of good hunting ground for her.

Turn 1

Top of 1 – HB

Two of Erik’s Mutts roll forward without incident, but the third makes it into view of two TR bots. It’s certainly not a guaranteed outcome, but in this case the Mutt does die.

Erik then kills Rhonda with his Fiday and deploys his Multiscanner (the Xenotech is synced to his Govad).

His Muyib link starts pushing forward, trying to box me into my right deployment zone, supported by a Mutt. The Spitfire Muyib tries to take out one of my TR bots but goes down to a crit. The Doctor patches her up and she tries again, but I pass ARM on the one shot that sneaks through and Erik is forced to spend his last few orders sorting out his link team’s positioning…

Bottom of 1 – ISS

He’s made a bit of a blunder, as he’s bunched up three members of his link and a Mutt, so I start things off by spec-firing grenades with my Bounty Hunter. It takes two shots, but the second knocks out the Mutt, the Doctor, the HRL, and almost takes out the FO.

I knock out the Spitfire by shuffling the TR bot around a building. It goes dogged but that’s all I really need at the moment.

I know who Erik’s Lt is, and I figure I have a chance to get in there, but I want to stack some more pressure on him. I run the left Daikini out of its hidey-hole and try to flip the central console over to me. Unfortunately, it takes way more orders than I had hoped. I wanted to flip it and set up in suppression nearby, but I end up flipping it on the second to last order of my first pool, so I just suicide the Daikini into Erik’s mine network, forcing him to spend orders to set up more mines.

I’ve got two orders left in my second pool, and with the CSU’s 8-4 MOV it’s enough to get her into LoF of Erik’s Lt. He breaks the Muyib link to let the Lt dodge against a potential nanopulsar.

Sadly, we’ve been pretty sloppy up until now, and we’ve sort of been half remembering about the saturation zone–Erik was burst two back at my TR bot from the Spitfire in reactive, etc. Unfortunately this will continue throughout the game. I was so enchanted by the stupid awesomeness of 8-4 MOV and Erik was panicking about his Lt being in danger so we both missed it in this interaction.

If we had remembered, the right thing for me would’ve been to start out of LoF, then dash the CSU across into LoF of the Muyib Lt, shotgunning the Spitfire, catching the FO, and then throwing the remaining burst into the Muyib Lt. Sadly, I just threw both burst at the Muyib Lt and it died. Thankfully for Erik, the CSU eats a DEP to the face and vanishes in a cartoonish explosion of gore. The whole interaction was a bit sloppy, but that’s why we practice.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – HB

Erik’s in LoL now and is down to a single Mutt. He throws smoke to cover th left objective and ends out of LoF of my TR bot.

Erik saves me some command tokens by coup de gracing my mineclearing Daikini for half his hard mode classified.

He then spends a few command tokens getting the central objective flipped back, which is pretty key, and then recamos the Farzan that did the flipping.

His Fiday on the ground makes a dash forward to make things more difficult for me, but gets discovered down to IMP-2 by–of all things–a Yudbot.

Erik shifts the Mutt behind the smoke to protect that objective, and then passes turn.

Bottom of 2 – ISS

I put the remaining CSU into the main group and start making my way over to the Xenotech. I discover the Fiday on the ground and try to take him out but the jerk passes ARM.

I stop messing around, sync the Xenotech, and drop the Multiscanner. Lunah can actually see the Mutt where it ended up at the end of Erik’s turn now that the smoke is gone, so I Marksmanship LX it off the table. Hooray! I did a thing I wanted to do!

The CSU seems to have things well in hand, so I start shooting at other stuff. There’s two Farzans in a line, so he crits one unconscious while the other crit dodges. The one in the back drops a mine though, which is annoying, because it covers the console in the back.

I keep pushing forward and get into LoF of the Govad, which I suspect is Erik’s new lieutenant. We forget about the saturation zone again and I put two into the Govad and one into the Fiday who also sees me.

I knock out the Govad (proxied by some PanO thing) and the Fiday causes me to fail guts around the corner after almost causing a wound.

Turn 3

Top of 3 – HB

So now here’s an interesting decision point. Erik is in loss of lieutenant again, as I guessed correctly that his Govad was his new lieutenant. He throws his remaining Muyib into suppression, and I reveal the Ninja that’s right there and tacbow him in the face. I miss, which is unfortunate.

I did this for two reasons:

  1. Free normal roll in good range for the tacbow. I have to go through that Muyib later, and this will save me orders if it dies.
  2. I want to force Erik’s attention over here, and maybe force him to pop his Farzan out of camo and get it away from the central objective so I can flip it back.

It sort of works. Erik kills the Ninja with his Farzan (we forget about marksman 1 and it only goes unconscious) and shifts the Farzan forward to get LoF. He doesn’t completely focus on the Ninja though and uses his Fiday on the roof to take out my CSU, sacrificing it to the TR bot nearby. Sadly I didn’t fail guts far enough around the corner. Sloppy.

Erik drops a mine with one of the remaining Farzans in the middle, and passes turn.

Bottom of 3 – ISS

I have to kill the stupid Muyib now, but it flash pulses the TR bot that I send in on the second order. At least it’s out of suppression, so the Red Fury ABH goes in. It takes two more orders.

I fail to drop the Farzan on the central objective with another order. This is getting pretty silly.

I break the duo so Erik can’t light shotgun the bounty hunter and catch Miranda and rely on her ODD to get her to the objective safely. She flips it, tying up the game.

I’ve got one more order and nothing to do with it, so I just breaker rifle down the Farzan for fun and we call it there.

5-5 Tie!

Post Game Analysis

I was really happy with the list–I used a ton of the units that made me excited about ISS and had a good deal of fun, which was in stark contrast to the slogfest of trying to get stuff across the field with ForCo in Looting and Sabotaging. Erik’s comment to me after deployment was: “This doesn’t look like any ISS I’ve ever seen, where’s your cat?” Adam had a similar reaction: “You and your stupid hipster ISS list. There’s barely any Yu Jing in there!”

I definitely need to change up the combat groups some–those CSU need orders, and I think I need to fit in a Garuda if possible. I’m not used to playing with REMs so aggressively, especially S2 REMs, and I forgot that they have so many levels of unconsciousness… I was hoping that the Daikini would’ve died to the mines and made room for my CSU. Thankfully, Erik was able to help me out. What a pal!

As far as the tie is concerned, I was probably wrong on the priorities for my first turn. I think I should’ve gone after the left antenna, which would’ve been much harder for Erik to grab back in loss of lieutenant. It was, however, guarded by a Fiday, so that was a bit annoying. After failing the first WIP roll, falling back to cover and throwing the Daikini into suppression was probably better, which would’ve given me some more orders to mess around with in my main pool.

I also should’ve gone after the Muyibs a little harder, which would’ve freed up the right antenna for an easy grab by one of my specialists there. I had plenty of movement with the CSU, I could’ve shotgunned the Spitfire easily and then also shotgunned the Lieutenant, and then that whole area would’ve been unlocked. I also think I should’ve used the right Daikini to grab the middle antenna, the left side was pretty light and losing options there hurt.

In retrospect, revealing the Ninja was also a mistake, I think I should’ve just spent the order trying to push the button on turn 3. If I fail, I fail, then I’m back in the same situation, sans having to discover the camo token on the center objective, but that’s what my Lt is for. Set up the discover, and then triangulated fire from outside 24″ to make it really hard for the Farzan to do anything. It sort of worked out, in that I accomplished my goal of pulling things to my right, but it wasn’t enough, and I didn’t take out the important stuff there.

So I think I had this game, I just made a few small mistakes. Erik did a great job of playing two turns in loss of lieutenant. I’m going to use this game as an example of how you can easily play in loss of lieutenant and still do really well. Had I failed a few more WIP rolls Erik would’ve won ths game, no problem. A lot of playing in LoL comes down to having great positioning. Erik had high WIP midfield specialists to fill this need. He also did a great of of prioritizing targets and order expenditure and put just the right amount of stuff in my way to make it difficult for me to fight my way out of my deployment zone. I could do it, it just took too long.

I’d venture to say that there isn’t much of a skill gap between Erik and I these days (in fact judging by recent data he’s surpassed me), so small mistakes on either side of the table can really snowball into a loss or in this case a tie. There’s lots of little interesting decisions now in our games, instead of one big pivot point where everything collapses.

In general I’m a fan of this style of ISS list, I just want to iterate on a few key pieces of the toolkit, such as adding in a Garuda and maybe adding in smoke. I’m not particularly fond of the Kuang Shi spam + Rui Shi hunter killer archetype of list. There’s no denying its effectiveness, Pete took second at Adepticon playing that stuff, it just doesn’t appeal to me from an enjoyment perspective. I’ll probably end up playing it at some point, I’m sure. All in all, I had a great game against a great opponent!

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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