There’s Always a Hole

Showed up at game night to find 5 other people ready to play Infinity, two guys doing a demo game with Adam, and 2-3 more people working on Infinity terrain. Our little meta is so healthy! :: wipes away proud tear ::

One of the folks looking for a game was Justin, who was 2 games in so I paired off with him to do a little coaching. He looked a little familiar, and he mentioned that he showed up at the other game store I frequent about a year ago, bought into Ariadna, then life got really busy. Justin’s been reading this blog, as well as Adam’s blog, TheDiceAbide.com and so talked shop like an old hand.

I offered to do a coaching game of a simple scenario, but Justin was adamant that he wanted the real deal, no holds barred. The week’s scenario for the store was Unmasking, which is quite complicated, but we decided to try it on the ground that Justin’s a seasoned wargamer, just new to Infinity. After warning him I was bringing some serious Ariadna filth, he replied that he was playing USARF and was ready for me!

Overview

  • Mission: Unmasking
  • Forces: Ariadna versus USAriadna Ranger Force (300)
  • Deploy First: Ariadna
  • First Turn: Ariadna
Unmasking
GROUP 1 | 9 1 1

COLONEL VORONIN Lieutenant Rifle / Assault Pistol, AP CC Weapon. (0 | 21)
CHASSEUR (Minelayer) Rifle, Light Flamethrower, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 20)
CHASSEUR (Minelayer) Rifle, Light Flamethrower, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 20)
FOXTROT (Forward Observer) Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18)
FOXTROT (Forward Observer) Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18)
ZOUAVE Rifle + Light Grenade Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 20)
EQUIPE MIRAGE-5 . (2 | 71)
MARGOT AP Rifle + Light Grenade Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (37)
DUROC 2 Chain Rifles, Grenades, Smoke Grenades / AP CC Weapon. (34)
UXÍA McNEILL (Covert Action) (CH: Limited Camouflage, Superior Infiltration, Specialist Operative) Boarding Shotgun, D-Charges, Smoke Grenades / 2 Assault Pistols, AP CCW, Knife. (0 | 27)
WULVER Mk12, Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 37)

GROUP 2 | 4 1

MÉTRO (CH: Limited Camouflage, Inferior Infiltration) Rifle, D.E.P. / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 12)
MÉTRO (CH: Limited Camouflage, Inferior Infiltration) Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 11)
GRUNT (Inferior Infiltration) Heavy Flamethrower, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 11)
GRUNT (Inferior Infiltration) Heavy Flamethrower, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 11)
WARCOR (360º Visor) Flash Pulse / Stun Pistol, Knife. (0 | 3)


5.5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

I was expecting to play one of our more experienced locals, and I wanted to try out some fun Ariadna stuff, so I took the above. Voronin’s there to offset the order loss from having Margot and Duroc off the table, and then the usual Ariadna filth in the first combat group. I took a Wulver, mainly because Adam was nice enough to give me one of his spares from a mispack and my buddy PJ had been talking them up the day before. The second group is just pure filth board control. I love it.

USAriadna Ranger Force
GROUP 1 | 10

GRUNT HMG / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 21)
GRUNT Paramedic (MediKit) Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
GRUNT (Marksmanship LX) Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 18)
GRUNT (Marksmanship LX) Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 18)
ROSIE Light Rocket Launcher, Light Shotgun, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 22)

BLACKJACK AP HMG, Chest Mines, D.E.P. / Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (2 | 36)
FOXTROT (Forward Observer) Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18)
FOXTROT (Forward Observer) Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18)
FOXTROT (Forward Observer) Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18)
FOXTROT (Forward Observer) Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18)

GROUP 2 | 4 2 2

MARAUDER Lieutenant Rifle, Heavy Flamethrower / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (0 | 21)
GRUNT (Inferior Infiltration) Heavy Flamethrower, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 11)
GRUNT (Inferior Infiltration) Heavy Flamethrower, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 11)
MAVERICK Submachine Gun, Light Rocket Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 22)
DEVIL DOG Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades + 1 K-9 Antipode / AP Heavy Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 32)
K-9 ANTIPODE AP CCW. (7)
WARCOR (360º Visor) Flash Pulse / Stun Pistol, Knife. (0 | 3)


5.5 SWC | 299 Points | Open in Infinity Army

My opponent took a pretty fun looking list! Lots of specialists to do stuff and a solid Grunt core with great support pieces in the second group. Definitely a reasonable Unmasking list–the key is picking a good datatracker.

Deployment

I won the rolloff and elected to go first. The sides weren’t terribly skewed (I threw together the table out of terrain scrap in about 5 minutes) so Justin gave me the side I was already standing on thanks to “gamer inertia” as he put it.

I put my HVTs down straight across the table, with the real one all the way on the right, then protected them with Chasseurs and their mines. I put the Foxtrots on either side in a place that would be hard for Justin to get to, and then gambled on Justin’s real HVTs being on the left by putting the Zouave LGL over there.

Voronin set up his lawn chair on the only building with a lip on the roof and settled in to enjoy some reading material and a cigar, occasionally barking orders over his radio. I put my Warcor on a building to delay Justin, and then started attempting to land inferior infiltrators.

My first Metro DEP failed, so he went on my right table edge. The second passed and hung out on a roof just outside Justin’s deployment zone. The two Grunt sadly failed, so they became Van Zant guards, and then I put my Wulver watching the back table edge too, just for good measure.

Then it was Justin’s turn to deploy. He make quite the deployment puzzle for me to unpack. His grunts were watching the back table edge pretty effectively, with Foxtrots right up against the exclusion zone, ready to push up and do some butt(on) touching. Justin didn’t fall into the trap of using his forward deployment unnecessarily and instead elected to keep his Grunt snipers at long range and build a web of interlocking AROs in his deployment zone.

He too had Grunt Infiltrators, one of which made it near my Chasseurs (and more importantly, my Designated Target), and one failed, so that guarded his right table edge.

He then put down a Devil Dog and a Blackjack, all in a nice line for me to shotgun behind some barricades. Another one of our locals swung by to have a look and encouraged him to fix that bit of his deployment, but Justin was happy with it and decided to leave it. In all honesty, given my list composition, it was probably fine. Justin already assumed Duroc and Margot were going to make an appearance (and mentioned this to me), so he understood that there were going to be templates.

Given that the Devil Dog and Antipode buddy are great at dodging and the Blackjack has great ARM, it’s actually a bit of a tough nut to crack with DAM 13 or 14 weapons. I could go after it with Uxia or Duroc, but there are enough AROs there to make it not worth my while. I’m not sure if Justin had arrived at the same conclusion as me, but I decided to NOT try and punish that deployment because it would be too order intensive and risky–I’d only get one shot at it, thanks to the Grunt standing there with his flamethrower.

In any case, it was my turn to bring something out of reserve, which was Uxia. I had briefly considered putting Uxia on the table early and then responding to Justin’s deployment with Margot as a DataTracker, but given no information about his deployment when I had to decide, I elected to just keep Margot circling overhead, ready to make the jump.

I did some quick math and found that there wasn’t enough SWC missing for a Foxtrot to be the Lt, so that meant the Lieutenant was unquestionably the Marauder. I did some careful analysis of his deployment zone and found a hole where Uxia could go. She’d start right on the edge of his deployment zone and be a 4-4 MOV away from total cover from everything. Perfect. I’m pretty sure Justin’s reserve was his Maverick, which went on the left.

Turn 1

Top of 1 – Ariadna

Justin had done a frankly impressive job of protecting his deployment zone against Van Zant, AD troops, and a strong, fast rambo coming out of my deployment zone. There was a small, Uxia-shaped hole though. There’s always a hole, and this game I was lucky enough to find it!

After bringing Duroc onto the table on my left, I run Uxia through that 4-4 MOV path I talked about earlier, and end out of LoF. Justin elects to not reveal his Foxtrot, and most of his guys delay. The Warcor fails her discover, and then I’m behind his Lieutenant. I pop out to see the backside of the Marauder and throw one burst at a Grunt Sniper who can see Uxia and dump the rest of the dice into the Marauder.

The Marauder goes dogged and the Grunt passes ARM. I had fallen back to out of LoF, allowing me to slice the pie again, this time taking out the other Grunt sniper who was facing the wrong way before. I win the face to face thanks to Uxia’s silly assault pistol nonsense, and KO the Grunt.

I force the other Grunt sniper away with some more Assault Pistol fire…

and then KO the Devil Dog with a full burst from the assault pistols.

Duroc is sort of in a weird spot, so I just super jump him forward into cover and pass turn, forgetting about Voronin’s order. Voronin’s engrossed in some centerfold ad in his magazine that he reads “just for the articles” or somesuch and can’t be bothered to yell into his radio.

I’ve got a whole second order pool, and a Grunt Infiltrator that really needs to go. I walk the Metro DEP onto some boxes to get high enough to see the back of the Grunt’s head and start blasting away. I whiff the first set of shots, and hit with the second but fail to wound. This lets the Grunt turn around and flamethrower me on my third round of shots, but he passes ARM again! Thankfully, I pass ARM against the heavy flamethrower too. Last regular order in the pool, I declare Idle, Justin declares flamethrower to the face, and I decide to throw the DEP at the Grunt. Stupid ARM 6!

I lose the Metro, but the DEP does its job and I sneak through two wounds, taking the grunt off the table. My last order I shuffle my Warcor around and flash pulse Justin’s Warcor, purely for entertainment value.

Bottom of 1 – USARF

Aside from some pretty nasty alpha strike elements, I deployed pretty conservatively so nothing’s really around to ARO. Justin’s in Loss of Lieutenant, but he’s read this blog and knows it’s not a big deal, especially on the first turn. He tries to set up some smoke with a Maverick but whiffs the roll, sadly.

One of his Foxtrots is only two orders away from the central objective, so he makes it there and flips the objective on his second try, revealing one of my Decoys.

Justin tries to pick up the Devil Dog with his Grunt Paramedic, but whiffs the MediKit shot. I’m not a huge fan of trying to Paramedic stuff, especially when it costs you command tokens, but getting the Devil Dog up for Turn 2 on a PH 13 roll is very attractive. I might’ve done the same thing in his place.

Justin’s last order is spent taking out my Warcor with his Blackjack to remove some AROs and set up for the next turn. He had more orders after that but didn’t want to push things up aggressively without having more orders to fix their positioning. Very reasonable.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – Ariadna

The closest thing to Duroc is the Grunt Infiltrator, which shifted up a bit, so I jump up to the roof the building and attempt a discover on the Foxtrot hiding there.

I fail, but I try again with an Intuitive Attack. The Foxtrot’s pistol beats my roll, but Duroc’s armor stops the low-velocity round.

I need to get some objectives done, so my own Foxtrots go to work. I flip the right antenna and reveal the leftmost HVT to be a Decoy. I take out one of Justin’s Foxtrots by re-camoing and doing surprise shot…

but get iced (or should I say fried to a crisp) trying to take out the Maverick with light rocket launcher. I flip the left console with my other Foxtrot and revealing the middle Decoy… meaning Candy Double all the way on my right is the real designated target!

I return my attention to the Foxtrot near Duroc. I eyeball the situation and decide that I can chain rifle both the Foxtrot and the end of the template will cover the Blackjack. We measure and I’m right. I spend two orders on this, but absolutely nothing happens. The Foxtrot dodges twice, the Blackjack whiffs its HMG shots twice and passes ARM 4 times.

I’m out of orders for Duroc, and on the last chain rifle I scooted him away prone to protect him from any active turn threats. I’ve got a whole second pool to go through though. After some fancy footwork I get the Maverick knocked out with my remaining Metro…

but fail to take out the Grunt Paramedic. I somehow manage to pass all the ARM saves from the rifle and rocket launcher fire that comes back my way from the Paramedic and Rosie, and then fail guts to go prone on the roof.

Bottom of 2 – USARF

Justin tries to pick up the Devil Dog again, but fails the PH roll on a 20. Noo! I was rooting for him. Ah well.

The Foxtrot on the roof tries to scurry away from Duroc, but I grenade him as he makes it to the ladder so his unconscious body falls next to the revealed Decoy, who is one of Candy Double’s… doubles?

Justin then spends the rest of his orders flipping my right console back to him, guessing correctly that the right HVT is my designated target. He discovers a mine along the way too.

Turn 3

Top of 3 – Ariadna

Duroc jumps off the building into base to base with the poor Grunt infiltator. The Blackjack whiffs, but Duroc takes a wound from the flamethrower.. or maybe it was the other way around. Doesn’t matter. I chain rifle the Decoy down.

Duroc’s in base to base with the Grunt now, so Duroc squishes him as the rest of the USAriadnans look on, helplessly.

I had shifted Margot into group two for more orders, which was important, as it took most of my orders to recamo my remaining Foxtrot and get him to the center objective–I got discovered on the way and had to re-camo him again behind a convenient barricade.

Margot comes on behind Candy Double, guns her down…

and wipes out the remaining Decoy.

I try to take out the Foxtrot on my right with a Chasseur, but it takes all the rest of the orders in my first pool to fail twice. I’ve got one order left, which I just throw at the Foxtrot in the open in the form of spec-fired grenade from Margot. I get lucky and Margot crits.

Bottom of 3 – USARF

Justin tries to get the Maverick up, and this time succeeds, but at the cost of taking a long long range shot from the Chasseur, KOing the Paramedic.

The remaining Grunt sniper pastes the Chasseur, opening up the way for the Maverick.

The Maverick tanks a mine…

and Justin decides to kill Margot for a Moral Victory!

After the smoke clears, it’s a

8-1 Ariadna Victory!

Post Game Analysis

Well, thanks to Justin for a really fun game. He plays extremely well for his third game of Infinity ever. I’m looking forward to our next game already! His deployment was really strong, and that’s generally a thing that newer players have a lot of trouble with. We talked about some things that could be improved, like leaving a Grunt Sniper out to ARO a long lane would’ve been good, and also just how to prioritize things.

I did jack up the pressure really high very early on with Duroc and Uxia and the lurking threat of Margot. Some minor improvements would’ve been to do things like:

  • Pop the Blackjack in suppression in the loss of lieutenant turn instead of popping out and back to gun down a Warcor.
  • Set guys up to make a run on objectives in Turn 2 by playing very conservatively with irregular orders instead of investing heavily in advancing a single Foxtrot to flip a console.
  • Protecting the Maverick was important too.

The choice to paramedic the Devil Dog on Turn 1 was good. I initially pooh-poohed the idea a little on game night, but now in retrospect I think if Justin was going to invest any resources in something…

That gives him back Sensor, letting him deal with my Metro and other camo tokens in the midfield, and he can go Foxtrot hunting. One weakness of my list that I didn’t really think about was the dearth of specialists. Once I fired Uxia into Justin’s deployment zone like a missile, I was down from three to two specialists.

I think I should’ve used the Chasseur to attack the Foxtrot and the Maverick instead. Running up and flamethrowering them both would’ve been great, and would’ve let me have two specialists on Turn 3 (maybe) instead of just one. Not a big deal, but definitely something worth thinking about, especially if Justin had picked up the Devil Dog and killed one.

In any case, Justin is shaping up to be a real monster on the table, especially if this was his third game ever! Looking forward to hanging with him more!

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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