Flash! Ahh!

Erik’s been away from Infinity for a few weeks now thanks to school and life getting in the way. He was all too happy to come visit me, catch up over some food, and then get a game in on my home table. You’ve seen it already here and here. I’m really testing out this layout just to get a better feel for what the mountain does to the table.

Since Erik was trying out Ramah for the first time, I decided to do the same to even the playing field and took Tunguska out for their inaugural run.

Overview

  • Mission: Tic Tac Toe
  • Forces: Tunguska Jurisdictional Command versus Ramah Taskforce (300)
  • Deploy First: Ramah
  • First Turn: Ramah

I’ve been avoiding playing Tunguska because it frankly doesn’t really appeal to me. The links are great, the units themselves are great, I just don’t find it all that interesting. I’m happy to use a Hollow Man by itself in Vanilla, where it’s super mobile since it’s not tied down by link members, so the idea of putting more units that I have shuffle or jump around just didn’t sound great.

I know the other stuff in Tunguska is pretty great too, I just am not all that excited about running a Securitate Link with Perseus in it, even though I’ve been beaten up by it a few times. I think what it really boils down too for me is that a) I don’t like core links in general, and b) none of the core links with the possible exception of the undeniably powerful Hollow Men core really makes me want to put down all my other favorite toys from vanilla Nomads. Bottom line, Tunguska is great, it just doesn’t excite me, much in the same way that PanO is a great faction but the idea of playing just makes me start rolling my eyes.

I forced myself to make a few Tunguska lists during my lunch break, and always found myself building a very vanilla-looking list. The usual way to get a sectorial to be “worth it” in these sorts of scenarios is to take advantage of the increased AVA you can get… but three Spektrs is pretty expensive in both missing orders and points.

The other way is to take advantage of the stuff only that sectorial can get. One bit of inspiration that helped a lot was the scenario itself. Taking an EVO Hacker in Tic-Tac-Toe gives an amazing bonus to flipping antennas: +3 WIP and burst two! EVO gives you a bunch of fun benefits:

  • +3 PH to AD troops landing rolls
  • All the EVO programs, Overlock, etc.
  • Hacking re-rolls with command tokens
  • Coordinated order hacking
  • Canceling the Sat-Lock -6 penalty

It’s always a bit of a struggle fitting all of that in. I’m wasn’t about to build an all in on Overlock list, because I think that’s a bit of a trap. Bots are difficult to deploy and vulnerable to crazy LoF shenanigans thanks to their larger bases, and that encourages you to leave stuff out to ARO on your first turn. A quality gunfighter will kill your bot anyway, so you’re just feeding your enemy things to shoot.

Coordinated hacking and rerolls are nice, but very situational. I’m likely to take a bunch of hackers, since I’m playing Nomads, so this is a nice ancillary benefit. I’m not going to think too much about this when building a list. The other two, though, sound pretty interesting. I’d been thinking about Sat Lock a bit since the White Noise episode discussing Sat Lock in the context of Dashat, so this list seemed fun:

Tic Tac ToeIt’s all good, it just… is kinda boring to me.
GROUP 1 | 8 2 1

KRIZA BORAC Lieutenant HMG / Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (2 | 54)
HOLLOW MEN Hacker (Assault Hacking Device) Combi Rifle, Chain-colt + 1 TinBot A (Deflector L1) / Breaker Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 37)

MIRANDA ASHCROFT Boarding Shotgun, Nanopulser / Pistol, Monofilament CCW, Knife. (0 | 23)
BOUNTY HUNTER Red Fury / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 21)

ZONDNAUT Hacker (Assault Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 31)
ZONDMATE Chain Rifle, Smoke Light Grenade Launcher / Electric Pulse. (5)
CLOCKMAKER Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18)
ZONDBOT Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)
SALYUT Hacker (EVO Hacking Device) Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 25)
SPECTOR (AD: Combat Jump) Boarding Shotgun, Nanopulser, Drop Bears / Pistol, E/M2 CC Weapon. (0 | 33)
STEMPLER ZOND FTO (Super-Jump) Combi Rifle, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 18)
WARCOR (360º Visor) Flash Pulse / Stun Pistol, Knife. (0 | 3)

GROUP 2 | 3

TRANSDUCTOR ZOND Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
TRANSDUCTOR ZOND Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
VERTIGO ZOND Smart Missile Launcher / Electric Pulse. (1.5 | 18)


5.5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

I started with the core of the Sat Lock plan, the Salyut EVO, Stempler, Vertigo, and two Transductors. I can zoom the Transductor up and drop sniffers and either Sat Lock through those or the Stempler’s ZoC and then start raining missiles with the Vertigo. It’s important to note that I wasn’t planning on doing this, I just wanted the tool to be in my toolbox in case I had a reason and window of opportunity.

Since the EVO gives me +3 PH to airborne deployment, Raoul showed up. He’s great. I think his profile speaks for itself. That was basically the extent of the commitment to the EVO plan. Since it was Tic Tac Toe, I wanted some fast specialists, so I took a Zondnautica AHD, and the Stempler was already in the list. I didn’t take any Spektrs, mainly because they’re kinda expensive and hidden deployment with Raoul already off the table at the start didn’t sound great. I briefly considered Hecklers, but decided to force myself to take some links. I wanted a Kriza HMG Lt, because I knew I’d have to open a hole in an ARO net and who better to do it than a Kriza HMG. There is a Kriza/Hollow Man duo in Tunguska, so I took the Hollowman AHD to be a button pusher. I chose the AHD over the BSG specialist operative because of the TinBot. It helps with the Kriza too, after all.

Then, I took one of my favorite duos of all time, the Red Fury ABH and some flavor of Miranda Ashcroft. I really like these guys because they ping pong off each other really well. The ABH can get you into the midfield where Miranda can just clean house thanks to her ODD. The last guy to make it into the list was a Clockmaker and his bot, because I have enough robots and HI in the list to make that worthwhile. That and I know Ramah has lots of access to E/M weapons.

Ramah Taskforce
GROUP 1 | 10

TARIK MANSURI Lieutenant L2 Spitfire, Nanopulser, Grenades / Pistol, DA CCW. (1.5 | 59)
NAFFATÛN Rifle + Heavy Flamethrower / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 13)
GHULAM Doctor Plus (MediKit) Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 16)
GHULAM Missile Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 17)
LEILA SHARIF Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Shock Marksman Rifle, D-Charges / Breaker Pistol, Knife. (0 | 20)

GHULAM Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 16)
GHULAM (NCO) Rifle + Light Grenade Launcher (Normal and Smoke Ammo.) / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 16)
FANOUS REMOTE Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
FANOUS REMOTE Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
NAHAB Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Submachine Gun + E/Mitter, Nanopulser / Pistol, Viral CC Weapon, Knife. (0 | 30)

GROUP 2 | 4 1

FANOUS REMOTE Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
SHIHAB REMOTE HMG / Electric Pulse. (1 | 25)
MONSTRUCKER Submachine Gun, Chain Rifle, Drop Bears / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 13)
TUAREG Hacker (Assault Hacking Device) Rifle + Light Shotgun, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 35)
RAFIQ REMOTE Rifle + Light Shotgun, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 16)


6 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

Erik didn’t take as much E/M as I would’ve, but he did take a lot of my favorite profiles. We discussed his list a little after he had started deploying–Erik’s plan focused on having a bunch of linkable stuff in the first combat group with which he could then respond to threats with by forming the correct fireteam and moving forward. He some fun utility pieces like a Shihab with nearby Monstrucker and the new Nahab, which I also like, but the core of his list is a bunch of Ghulams.

Deployment

We’re playing Tic-Tac-Toe, and there are a two antennas that aren’t on the ground floor–one on the landing pad and one atop the mountain in the overlook bunker (Adam and I designed the mountain to ensure this). To address these concerns, Erik placed a TR bot atop the mountain with a Monstrucker as backup, and then put a Ghulam Doctor on the catwalk network to go after the central antenna by the aircraft. The two Ghulam ARO pieces (sniper and ML) went on the catwalk as well, with the rest of the linkable pieces scattered around on the ground floor to support one another and the nearby Rafiq.

Erik loves flash pulse bots, and so a full complement of Fanous showed up on his right, covering access to the antennas there. He made me turn around while he placed a Taureg to get the right centerline antenna, and then passed deployment to me.

I intentionally chose deployment when I won the rolloff and chose the side of the table I hadn’t played yet, simply because I wanted to see what it was like. I knew I couldn’t give Erik free reign on the mountain, so I put the Stempler all the way on the right to be able to get up there quickly and efficiently if necessary. I tucked it all the way in the back corner to protect it from a likely alpha strike, screening it with a Transductor just in case.

The other Transductor and Warcor did their usual out for ARO thing, with the Transductor being a little more conservatively deployed to protect it and take advantage of its mimetism. As Erik deployed, I was starting to get a little anxious because of all his fancy guns and such–I didn’t really bring much of an ARO presence. To deal with this specifically, I left the Vertigo out to ARO, watching only his sniper and the long firelane approach on the right. I figured this might give Erik fits as he tried to maneuver a big link team blob around the catwalk system. To keep it up and running I put a Zondbot nearby.

I tucked my EVO into total cover and hoped for the best, putting a Clockmaker nearby, and then struggled to find a place for Miranda+ABH and Kriza+Hollowman. I ended up just tucking them into a small area around the stairs in my deployment zone and hoped for the best.

Tarik appeared out of reserve, and then I placed the Zondnautica. I deployed them dismounted, because I thought that would be better in case Erik started wandering a AD troop around that side of my deployment zone. I actually left the ABH and the Hollowman watching the left board edge for this purpose. In any case, we got around to spending orders!

Turn 1

Top of 1 – Ramah

I docked Erik two orders in his second group–I suspected there was some spicy stuff in there and wanted to disrupt him. He had so many orders in Group 1 thanks to Tarik’s Lt L2 that I think the impact was higher taking from Group 2. Furthermore, I really didn’t want the TR bot wandering around up there with a ton of orders.

Erik had formed a link with the forward elements of his Ghulams, and so the Ghulam NCO was alone. She started things off by attempting to set up smoke so Leila could get a move on, but it took three orders (including both of Tarik’s Lt orders).

With that sorted, Erik started moving Tarik around. The Vertigo could still see the Ghulam Sniper and the stairs leading up from the smoke, so Tarik was artificially slowed down by Leila and the rest of the gang shuffling up the stairs. Erik decides to just reform the link and shoot the Vertigo with the sniper, knocking it out and then spending another order to shoot it off thet able.

Erik’s linkable pieces were now sort of spread out and out of place, so he forms a link of just Tarik, Leila, and the Naffatun. The lack of +3 BS let me successfully face to face Tarik with Rhonda Burgundy the warcor. Tarik did KO one of my Transductors though. Ah well.

To set things up for next turn and prevent me from doing some secret Spetkr stuff, Erik threw a Drop Bear covering the mountaintop approach to the TR bot and then shuffled his Rafiq up the table to go after the nearby antenna. I think this was a mistake, and that using the order to reposition the TR bot was probably better.

Tarik attempted to do some more damage, but Rhonda hit him in the eye with her laser pointer and he was stunned.

Erik dropped Tarik back down to ground level so he could recover, and then passed turn to me.

Bottom of 2 – Tunguska

I asked Erik if anyone could see my Zondnaut as it moved impetuously up the stairs, and he told me that a Fanous could, so I elected to throw a full burst of combi-rifle fire at the Fanous, figuring the worse that could happen would be I get flash pulsed and then I have an order safe up there that I can maybe use later for some shenanigans. After we rolled (and nothing happened), Erik notices that his TR bot can see the Zondnaut. It’s a friendly learning game for both of us, so I let him have the shots on 2’s. Of course, he rolls a 1 and I lose the Zondnautica. Sigh.

Miranda and the Red Fury ABH scurry up the left side of the board and grab the near and mid objectives on the left, then settle in to defend the left board edge against AD troops. I don’t have the best positioning because I’ve had to crawl Miranda around and she had to get in position to push the button, but I figure I’ll fix it after handling the TR bot…

Raoul, incensed after the loss of his Zondnaut drinking buddy, sticks the landing handily and then shotguns the TR bot in the back.

I have the perfect position to get behind the Rafiq and Tarik while remaining out of LoF of everything else, who are both facing the wrong way, so I shotgun the Rafiq, catching Tarik in the blast. I roll double crits, knocking out the Rafiq and nullifying Tarik’s dodge against the template from out of LoF. Of course, with my luck, he passes both ARM saves.

I throw two more orders into this, retreating Raoul on the last order, doing only one wound.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – Ramah

Erik starts things off by undoing Raoul’s hard work, repairing the TR bot with the nearby Monstrucker. I had debated shooting it off the table, but that window to get free shots on the Rafiq and Tarik was too good to not pass up–I’d rather have Erik in LoL and I don’t see any chain of command profiles on the table.

Speaking of lieutenants, Erik throws both Lt L2 orders into the Ghulam NCO to try and kill Raoul. Raoul, the cheeky bastard that he is, dodges both spec-fired grenades handily.

Tarik makes his way forward again to get a shot on Raoul from above, killing Rhonda on the way. The Naffatun starts making ominous moves towards the ABH and Miranda too.

We talk about Super Jump a bunch, since it’s Erik’s first real opportunity to use it, and we figure out that Tarik can, in fact, see Raoul if he does a diagonal jump off a tall box. Erik does that thing and puts a wound on Raoul.

Erik executes on his Naffatun’s plan of roasting my poor ABH and Miranda, giving me the choice of flash pulsing Tarik or the Naffatun with my remaining flash pulse bot. The decision is easy.

The Transductor takes three wounds, thanks to Fatality L2, but goes down as the savior of the universe by flash pulsing the Naffatun successfully. Grumbling, Erik pushes the center console button with Leila and then prones her and Tarik to protect them from my gunfighters.

He brings on the Nahab I had suspected, atop the mountain, and pushes the button up there. He’s almost to a fully connected center row! He attempts a throw of a drop bear on top of Raoul, but fails.

His last order is spent trying to take out Raoul with his Ghulam NCO, but Raoul is on fire this game and takes her out with his shotgun.

Throughly annoyed at having “thrown away his Ghulam,” Erik passes turn back to me.

Bottom of 2 – Tunguska

I have a lot to do this turn. I’d like to get my left column of antennas all flipped to me, but I need to chew through a lot of AROs on that side–the Ghulam ML, Sniper, and two Fanous flash pulse bots. I elect to go with my backup plan which is to kill Tarik. This requires that I kill the Naffatun, the Ghulam ML, and the TR bot and the climb either the ABH or Miranda up to gun down Tarik.

I start things off by taking out the Missile Launcher with the ABH’s Red Fury.

66.31 25.93 7.75

I have great odds on this, and it goes the way it should.

Next, I need to get rid of the Naffatun. I can’t just climb the ABH up, because there’s a heavy flamethower up there, so I need to take him out some other way. Thankfully I have my own super jumping troop.

53.67 28.87 17.45

It takes way too many orders, but my Hollowman gets it done with his combi rifle, with me even needing to pass an ARM roll or two.

Next the TR bot needs to go. Raoul attempts a repeat performance of his trick from earlier. The TR bot passes ARM this time though, and the Monstrucker finally lands a Drop Bear.

I’m forced to spend another precious order doing this, succeeding at KOing the TR bot this time but losing Raoul to the mine.

Here it is! Moment of truth! I climb the ABH up to take out Tarik!

54.52 25.05 20.43

I only had one order to do this, and it paid off. I land 4 hits and one wound sneaks through, knocking out Tarik. I use the power of Fireteam: Duo to hide Miranda properly as well.

Erik’s Monstrucker takes a pot shot with his SMG at max range, but I pass ARM and prone the ABH.

Turn 3

Top of 3 – Ramah

Erik’s in Loss of Lieutenant with one command token left, so he spends it on recamoing his Taureg after going prone and cheekily flipping the antenna right by Miranda back to him!

Leila gets a Redrum crit on the Hollow Man, knocking him out in one order. Pretty high odds of doing this, actually:

43.41 27.55 29.14

The chance to KO the Hollowman is a surprisingly high 21.79%. GROSS.

Erik shifts his Nahab forward to overwatch the board, and does the same with his remaining troops, and then passes turn. He’s got a pretty nasty flash pulse net watching the far left objective, thanks to moving up all his flash pulse bots.

Bottom of 3 – Tunguska

Well, this is what the Kriza was made for. I lieutenant order him around the corner and wipe out Leila and the Nahab, chewing through both wounds, in a beautiful showing of Nomad brute force. It’s like I’m playing PanO or something!

At this point, it’s a pretty straightforward exercise of button pushing for me. I clear the way for Miranda by sacrificing the ABH to take out one pesky flash pulse bot who can see her approach to the button.

I use my last two coordinated orders to get it done just under order budget. Miranda flips the Taureg’s antenna back to me, negating Erik’s 3-in-a-row, and then I run her to the near center antenna, flipping that on double 16’s thanks to the EVO bot.

The Stempler does its job too, leveraging some climbing plus shenanigans to get into place and flip the last antenna on the right. I’ve got three in a row, all on my side, and no one has their classified, making it a

7-0 Tunguska Jurisdictional Command Victory!

Post Game Analysis

I’ll start things off by saying I really like Duos. Unlike in academia, this two body problem is really easy to solve. The simplest Duo is just a big gun + a specialist, which is exactly what I took. In fact, I took two. They’re easy to move around, there’s not much in the way of cognitive load–kill stuff with the guns, push buttons with the specialist, and they’re a pretty cheap investment.

Aside from a few silly things, like my poor Zondnaut, I was very happy with the performance of the list in general. I think I got lucky into pressuring Erik to worrying too much about the Vertigo. Had he not fussed about with smoke and super jumping around, he could’ve made some more dangerous inroads into my deployment zone.

I think I won this game thanks to the pressure exerted by the Vertigo on Erik’s first turn, and then by Raoul on Erik’s second turn. I also would’ve been in a much more precarious situation if he had sent the Taureg after Miranda. Had I lost Miranda and the Hollowman, there was no realistic way the Stempler could’ve done everything. It would’ve been very dangerous.

The Kriza could’ve easily cleared the way but then I’d have been out of orders to push buttons with the Stempler. It only worked because I had the right tools in the right place. I actually think I overextended Miranda a bit. In any case, it was a great game. I’m really starting to get a feel for how the table works and what you need to do to be successful on it. You either can both ignore the mountain entirely, or you need some way of attacking pieces on the mountain. Not an easy task. At the Rose City Raid, Rida actually had a Maghariba Guard up there, firing wildly into his opponent’s deployment zone. Needless to say…

Thanks to Erik for a great game. I’m looking forward to exploring Ramah more with him!

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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