Raucous August Tournament Report

Well, this was the tournament that I was practicing NCA for, so time to go all in and commit! There were and odd number of players so Adam, Isaac, and I each took a Bye. Adam and I because we’re the local warcors and Isaac because he wasn’t feeling well and wanted to go home after round 2. Thankfully it was temporary and he’s fine now.

By now these tables should be pretty familiar to regular readers of this blog. A bit quiet, we only had 4 players so everyone got their pick of the tables, more or less. Worth noting here that the tournament was Soldiers of Fortune.

Game 1 – Tic-Tac-Toe (Bye)

Game 2 – Welcome to PanO

Isaac was also playing NCA and is intimately familiar with their workings and playstyle, so this was going to be an uphill slog for me. The table is also pretty brutal–hopefully I would handle it better than previous times.

Overview

  • Mission: Rescue
  • Forces: NCA versus NCA (OpFor) (300)
  • Deploy First: NCA
  • First Turn: NCA
Rescue
GROUP 1 | 10

FUSILIER Lieutenant Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
FUSILIER HMG / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 18)
AQUILA FTO (Specialist Operative) MULTI Rifle / Pistol, Shock CCW. (0 | 59)
BIPANDRA Combi Rifle, Nanopulser / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 23)

FUSILIER Missile Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 15)
AUXILIA (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle + AUXBOT_1 / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 15)
AUXBOT_1 Heavy Flamethrower / Electric Pulse. (- | 4)
AUXILIA (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle + AUXBOT_1 / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 15)
AUXBOT_1 Heavy Flamethrower / Electric Pulse. (- | 4)
BLACK FRIAR MULTI Sniper, Nanopulser / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 30)
LOCUST (Marksmanship L1) Marksman Rifle / Pistol, Shock CCW, Knife. (0 | 33)
GARUDA Tacbot Boarding Shotgun / Electric Pulse. (0 | 21)

GROUP 2 | 1 5 4

MULEBOT Hacker (EVO Hacking Device) Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 25)
WARCOR (360º Visor) Flash Pulse / Stun Pistol, Knife. (0 | 3)
YUAN YUAN Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 8)
YUAN YUAN Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 8)
YUAN YUAN Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 8)
YUAN YUAN Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 8)


5.5 SWC | 299 Points | Open in Infinity Army

Not much to say here. Four Yuan Yuan, two MSV units, and a pile of other NCA utility. I’ve long been covetous of the Auxilia when playing other factions, so I just had to play them. EVO for the Yuan Yuan and just in case I wanted to play this list for Tic-Tac-Toe. Of course, I got the Bye for that mission so…

Neoterran Capitaline Army
GROUP 1 | 10

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

FUSILIER HMG / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 18)
FUSILIER Paramedic (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
CSU (Specialist Operative) Rifle + Light Shotgun, Nanopulser / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
FUSILIER (Forward Observer, Deployable Repeater) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
BLACK FRIAR (Albedo, Biometric Visor L1) MULTI Rifle, Nanopulser, Drop Bears / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 28)

LOCUST Hacker (Assault Hacking Device) Breaker Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Shock CCW, Knife. (0.5 | 38)
LOCUST Boarding Shotgun, Grenades, Drop Bears / Pistol, Shock CCW, Knife. (0 | 30)
SWISS GUARD Missile Launcher, Light Shotgun / Pistol, AP CCW. (2 | 69)

GROUP 2 | 2 1

HEXA MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (1.5 | 32)
SIERRA DRONBOT HMG / Electric Pulse. (1 | 25)
WARCOR (360º Visor) Flash Pulse / Stun Pistol, Knife. (0 | 3)


6 SWC | 299 Points | Open in Infinity Army

Isaac decided to bring a bunch of scary TO and ODD units, which was a favorable matchup for me, mostly. I really don’t enjoy the Fusilier link. I know it works, I just don’t like it much.

Deployment

I lost the roll and Isaac chose deployment, so I ended up going first. I set up my Black Friar, Warcor, and one of the Auxilia to protect the three civilians outside the space station. I stuck the Fusilier link on the left, protected by an Auxilia from a Garuda walk on and to be ready to get the Aquila up the field.

Isaac decided to castle up on his right, with the left “only” protected by a Sierra TR Bot (and a Hexa and Swiss ML).

Most of his stuff was on the right, and he cleverly positioned his Locust AHD to protect the hallways on his side.

Turn 1

Top of 1 – NCA

I started things off by landing Yuan Yuans, because I had to. One deviated and had to deploy in my deployment zone, and it gets flash pulsed by Isaac’s warcor. The other three landed where they needed to go–by his link, by the TR bot, and near his Locust BSG.

The one near the TR bot rolled a shotgun, but I didn’t want to risk it and just hit it with a chain rifle, successfully trading up.

The Yuan Yuan by the link rolled a combi rifle, so I decide to use it. The two Fusiliers I can see dodge along with the Black Friar, and the CSU nanopulsars. I split burst with the combi to contest the dodge, and whiff all three rolls with the combi rifle.

Of course, I fail the BTS save against the nanopulsar… sigh. I don’t think it was a particularly bad idea, rolling on 12’s seems fine against a dodge. I figured I’d get at least one, one of which might’ve been his Lt.

In any case, the last Yuan Yuan sets up smoke for the link, and I set about the rest of my turn after shuffling the stunned Yuan Yuan around.

I activate the link next. I didn’t include the ML in the link because I suspected a TO ML watching it. The Aquila makes short work of the CSU and Warcor, and then I go for the Locust snipe.

I push the Aquila into the open so the Black Friar can see me through the smoke. SSL2 cancels the -6 penalty from Albedo and both of us have MSV2, so I’m 3 on 18s versus Isaac’s one on 16s. Of course, this means he crits with DA ammo, and I almost lose the Aquila.

I spend another order and take a shot, finishing off the Black Friar… but I had misjudged the distance to his Locust AHD and I get isolated. Sigh. Well, I guess this is payback for all the hacking I’ve done to Isaac over the years!

I try to protect the Aquila by moving in the Yuan Yuan and throwing smoke to contest the shot from the Fusilier HMG.

My Fusilier Lt is super advanced, so I pull her, the HMG, and Bipandra back to a position of relative safety before passing turn.

Bottom of 1 – NCA (OpFor)

I’m feeling pretty okay at the moment, since I’ve got a Yuan Yuan next to the Aquila, and both are watching the Fusilier HMG. If the Aquila survives, I can start shooting MSV3 shots through the smoke that presumably the Yuan Yuan can throw. I’ve also got a single missile shot from the ML watching the HMG Fusilier, which feels pretty good too.

Isaac apparently had thought about this too, and reveals a Hexa MSR to take out my Fusilier ML. This frees the HMG Fusilier up to take out the Aquila. I think I rolled a 1 or something, and the Fusilier just pastes the Aquila.

I do get smoke down though, which lets the Locust deploy a drop bear covering the Yuan Yuan in the smoke.

In all the shuffling I did with the link last turn (UGH LINKS) I wasn’t able to retreat the Fusilier HMG all the way to cover, so when the Swiss ML reveals, it can draw LoF to my poor Fusilier! I lose it, but the Yuan Yuan can see and I dodge to clear the mine for free.

The Swiss Guard goes after the Yuan Yuan, so I dodge into the smoke.

The Swiss Guard goes after my Black Friar next, and I win the face to face and cause a single wound.

After dropping another drop bear to cover my Yuan Yuan and repositioning his link, Isaac passes turn.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – NCA

The Yuan Yuan makes it into base to base with the Locust. I die to the mine, and the Locust passes ARM against the chain rifle. Dammit! Stupid chain rifle saves.

The other Yuan Yuan pushes forward, and then I drop in a Garuda near his link team. I take out two Fusiliers with the first shotgun blast, then move on to what I think is Isaac’s Lieutenant.

It takes two orders, but that Fusiler goes down as well…

but a pistol crit from the Fusilier HMG stops my rampage. Sigh.

I push both Auxilia up, then get the remaining Yuan Yuan in position to try and protect the all important Auxilia. I set them up with my HVT in a line, so Isaac can’t shotgun the Auxbot to get all my guys since the HVT will cancel the template.

Bottom of 2 – NCA (OpFor)

Isaac uses a coordinated order with the Hexa and the Swiss Guard to take out my Black Friar, but I take out the Hexa in ARO.

Isaac’s Locust throws its last Drop Bear, hoping he got it far enough away to not hit the HVT with the mine goes off.

He then spec-fires a grenade, hitting all my guys. Whoops! Forgot they have grenades! Thankfully, the dice are with me this time and I dodge or pass ARM.

This lets the Yuan Yuan move out of template formation to annoy the Locust if it comes out.

The Swiss ML takes out the Auxbot (talk about overkill)…

then the Locust dives out of the corridor and takes shots at the Yuan Yuan and Bipandra. Everyone survives, and the Yuan Yuan dodges closer.

Turn 3

Top of 3 – NCA

I’m low on orders and options, but I make my play. The Yuan Yuan is in chain rifle range of the Locust, but of course I die to the shotgun and the Locust survives. Again. ARGH.

I push the middle Auxilia forward, attacking the Swiss Guard with the Auxbot. Isaac thinks he has a shotgun shot, so he takes it. We place the template and he doesn’t, so I get an unopposed flamethrower on the Swiss Guard, burning it off the table.

You can see the back of the troublesome Locust in the picture above, in the top left corner. I could shoot it in the back with the Auxilia, but instead choose to go grab a civilian, then shoot it in the back…

Of course, I fail all three WIP rolls with my last orders. Isaac says: “Welcome to PanO!” and starts laughing.

Bottom of 3 – NCA (OpFor)

I’ve still got a chance. Bipandra, another Auxilia, and the Warcor are watching the Locust’s path to the only civilian he has orders to get to… everything has to go perfectly!

Of course, it does. Bipandra goes down, and then the Locusts just dives through a flash pulse and combi-rifle ARO and syncs the HVT on Isaac’s last order.

Pretty bloody game, literally came down to the last roll.

1-0 NCA (OpFor) Victory!

Post Game Analysis

I think my primary problem this game was pacing. I had some great Yuan Yuan landings, and probably should’ve left the one by the link until after I’d done some damage first with the Aquila.

Isaac commented after the game that he thought I should’ve used the Auxilia to go after the link on turn 1, and I agree. Probably could’ve done some more damage with lower risk that way. Using a combination of the Aquila and the Auxilia would’ve been appropriate.

He also thought that I could’ve brought in the Garuda on turn 1, but I don’t think there was a safe opening until after the Black Friar and CSU were both down, which was well after I started committing the Aquila. In any case, disrupting the link better with the Auxilia (and hopefully having the Auxilia survive near a civilian) would’ve been a better play.

Turn 2 could then have been spent getting the Locust up to grab some guys, or maybe the second Auxilia, then Turn 3 after Isaac exposes something, I go after the weak parts of his deployment with the Garuda. Basically I just needed to play to the mission more. A turn 3 run isn’t a good plan in Rescue. There’s just not enough orders by that point to do anything effective.

Isaac did a great job leveraging his TO camo guys, especially being patient with them and not revealing as Yuan Yuan rained from the sky. I had hoped to bait some out and then go hunting with the Black Friar, but he kept a cool head and didn’t let me do that.

I’m reasonably pleased with the performance of the Black Friar, but I think I want to investigate the MULTI Rifle version next. I don’t think there were any serious deployment mistakes on my side, I just didn’t develop the right things early. Lots of new tools in the toolbox, so I’ll chalk this up to inexperience with PanO for now.

Game 3 – Hyperpower Hubris

I played my last game against Erik on the same table, but switched table sides and lists for some variety.

I feel a bit more comfortable with this table, but it definitely punishes deployment mistakes and misplays more than other tables, I think. There are simply less access points to certain areas and it costs a lot of movement to go around to a corridor entry point. Makes for a very separated table.

My mental state wasn’t the best starting this game. I went into this game preoccupied with the last one and rushing to wrap up the tournament. We had started on time, but we had some games run long, lunch ran long, you get the idea. I had a social engagement after the tournament with some folks from out of town and their schedule was tight, so I was just not 100% focused.

I say this not to detract from Erik’s excellent play in this game, to make excuses for any bad decisions I made, but rather to provide a real world example of mental state affecting a game. It’s real, it happens to players of all skill levels, and it’s hard to handle. It limits the effectiveness of your planning and can force you to rabbit hole hard on a particular avenue of play. I didn’t have a huge problem with this, but I did have some issues. I’ll highlight them when they happen.

Overview

  • Mission: Safe Area
  • Forces: Neoterra Capitaline Army versus Haqqislam (300)
  • Deploy First: NCA
  • First Turn: NCA
Racous August
GROUP 1 | 10

BOLT Lieutenant Combi Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 20)
BOLT (Multispectral Visor L1) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 27)
BOLT (Killer Hacking Device) Boarding Shotgun, E/Mauler / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 21)

AUXILIA (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle + AUXBOT_1 / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 15)
AUXBOT_1 Heavy Flamethrower / Electric Pulse. (- | 4)
AUXILIA (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle + AUXBOT_1 / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 15)
AUXBOT_1 Heavy Flamethrower / Electric Pulse. (- | 4)
DEVA (Multispectral Visor L2) Spitfire, Nanopulser / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 33)
BLACK FRIAR MULTI Sniper, Nanopulser / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 30)
GARUDA Tacbot Boarding Shotgun / Electric Pulse. (0 | 21)
MULEBOT (Total Reaction, Repeater) Combi Rifle / Electric Pulse. (0 | 21)
PATHFINDER DRONBOT Combi Rifle, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 16)

GROUP 2 | 2 5 4

MULEBOT Hacker (EVO Hacking Device) Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 25)
MACHINIST (NCA) (Bioimmunity, Veteran L1) Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 16)
PALBOT Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)
TECH-BEE (Remote Assistant Level 1, Specialist Operative) Flash Pulse / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)
YUAN YUAN Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 8)
YUAN YUAN Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 8)
YUAN YUAN Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 8)
YUAN YUAN Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 8)


5.5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

This list was basically just a retooling of the first list, swapping Fusiliers for Bolts and getting a TR baggage bot, Deva, and Pathfinder by dropping the Aquila. Not particularly an amazing list or even well thought out, really it was just to force me to try some new stuff.

Haqqislam
GROUP 1 | 9 1

MUYIB Lieutenant Rifle + Light Grenade Launcher (Normal and Smoke Ammo.) / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 23)
FARZAN (Chain of Command) Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 26)
KAMEEL (Minesweeper, Repeater) Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
BARID Hacker (Killer Hacking Device UPGRADE: Lightning) Rifle + Pitcher / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 16)
FIDAY Boarding Shotgun, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW, Knife. (0 | 29)
TUAREG Doctor Plus (MediKit) Rifle + Light Shotgun, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 33)
NAMURR Spitfire, E/Marat, D-Charges / Heavy Pistol, E/M CC Weapon, Knife. (1 | 44)
MUKHTAR (Multispectral Visor L2) Red Fury, 2 Nanopulsers / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 37)
HUNZAKUT (Forward Observer, Deployable Repeater) Rifle + Light Shotgun, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18)
RAFIQ REMOTE FTO (Fireteam: Duo) Red Fury, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 22)

GROUP 2 | 7 4

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)
MUTTAWI’AH Chain Rifle, E/Marat, Jammer, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)
DAYLAMI (CH: Limited Camouflage, Inferior Infiltration) Light Shotgun, Panzerfaust / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 8)
DAYLAMI (CH: Limited Camouflage, Inferior Infiltration) Light Shotgun, Panzerfaust / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 8)
DAYLAMI (CH: Limited Camouflage, Inferior Infiltration) Light Shotgun, Panzerfaust / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 8)


5.5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

Heavy on the board control with a few key active pieces. Erik does love his Muyib LGL Lt.

Deployment

I deployed first and put the Bolt MSR on the roof to go Mutt hunting with the rest of the link on the ground floor, separated, to limit the fallout from a Fiday or Daylami. The Auxilia went nearby for similar reasons.

I stuck the TR Mulebot on the left with the Pathfinder, mostly because a TR bot and Triangulated Fire over there seemed pretty good. The other Auxilia went into the corridor system, and then I put the Deva down nearby to get into the building and shoot at Mutts if necessary.

Erik dumped two Daylami on the roof behind the Bolt MSR, then scattered Mutts everywhere. He’d seen my lists before the tournament, so he knew what was coming. The Rafiq went on the left with the Muhktar and Namurrr, and then he deployed his Muyib Lt pretty far forward to make use of the LGL. The Hunzakut and Kameel were on duty to secure his near right quadrant.

I put the Black Friar down on the roof to be aggressive. I knew this wasn’t a great idea, because I knew there was going to be a Fiday nearby. I didn’t wait to overthink it, I just did it because I knew Erik was going to put a Fiday there.

If Erik just left the Fiday in impersonation state and let me go to down with the Black Friar, great. If Erik revealed the Fiday, then I would get to shoot the Fiday with something else. I had the added complication of the Daylami, so it was a delicate balancing act of whether or not Erik would reveal the Fiday if the Daylami could handle the Friar on their own.

Turn 1

Top of 1 – NCA

I knew I needed to get some big wins out of my Yuan Yuans this game and break out of the Daylami/Fiday net. I landed all my Yuan Yuans where I needed them. One near the Muhktar and what I suspected was a Farzan Chain of Command, one near the Rafiq, one near the Hunzakut, and I walked the last one on near the Daylami.

I had that Yuan Yuan spec-fire some smoke to cover one of the Daylami. I didn’t want to waste orders moving up first, so I decided to just smoke one of the Daylami to “isolate” them. I then climbed the Auxbot up. The visible Daylami shotgunned, so I just flamethrowered them both.

The other Daylami dodged successfully, and the shooting one tanked the flamethrower. Thankfully I also tanked the shotgun shot. The second flamethrower blast finished off the Daylami in smoke (the wrong one to kill, if I had to choose!) and then I lost the bot to the visible Daylami’s shotgun. Sigh.

I could feel myself going on tilt, so I decided to focus my attention elsewhere. I moved on to the Yuan Yuan near the Muhktar. Thanks to the Muhktar being visible, I was able to catch the Farzan in the chain rifle template (and the Mutt too!).

The Mutt pistols down my Yuan Yuan and tanks the chain rifle, the Farzan dodges, but at least the Muhktar takes a wound. Not great. I move onto the next Yuan Yuan and chain rifle the Rafiq and nearby Mutt. Sadly, the Mutt survives as well, but I at least take down the Rafiq. The Namurr in the back finishes off this Yuan Yuan with a Spitfire shot.

After dropping the Multiscanner with the Techbee and Xenotech, I turn my attention back to the Fiday and Daylami problem. I activate the Black Friar in an attempt to bait the Fiday out. Erik obliges, shooting a Panzerfaust at my Friar and attempting an Engage with his Fiday. I split burst with the Friar’s MSR, hit both, but fail to kill either one with DA ammo. UUUGH.

I try again and kill the Daylami, but the Fiday shotguns down the Friar. Sure, fine, that’s not unexpected. Next I climb the Pathfinder up, which lets me see enough of the Fiday’s base from behind and take a shot. Hit twice, two ARM saves. Seriously!?

I figure the Bolt MSR can do it, and I want to reposition the link, so I activate them and throw one die at a Mutt that’s in view already and the Fiday. The Fiday crits with his shotgun outside of 8″, and I whiff the shot against the Mutt.

My Bolt Lt is behind the Fiday, so I get into view and start shooting. Two orders of unopposed combi rifle at BS16 later, the Fiday is still alive.

So with that disastrous first turn over, and my Lt revealed (I used an Lt order), I pass the turn.

Bottom of 1 – Haqqislam

Thankfully, not much happens with Erik’s first turn. He moves some Mutts around and on the second try manages to isolate the Yuan Yuan in the midfield I had hoped to go after the Hunzakut with. I decided not to go hunting on my first turn primarily because I wanted to drop the multiscanner, but in retrospect I think I should’ve been a little more aggressive.

The Mukhtar advances and tries to take out the Auxilia without an Auxbot but fails as I dodge out of the way…

then takes out the other Auxilia before retreating.

The Namurr escorts the Xenotech to do her thing, and then it’s back to me.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – NCA

I send in my Bolt Lt, primarily for the range and burst, climbing her onto the roof. It takes me three orders, but I drop the Farzan and the nearby Mutt. I had hoped to get enough orders to slingshot the Bolt KHD into view of the Muhktar to shotgun it, but not with it taking 3 orders to down two models. I’m winning the face to faces too, Erik is just making ARM rolls like a boss this game.

I settle for shooting the Muyib Lt through a gap in the crystals instead.

My last order is to set up to fight the two Mutts on the left with my ‘bots and Deva, and then for some stupid reason I think I should contest the last Mutt on the right. Because I’m in a hurry, I put the only thing I can see out to ARo at the edge of the roof, my Lieutenant.

Bottom of 2 – Haqqislam

Erik’s in loss of lieutenant, but he still has to do his impetuous orders! The first Mutt on the left dies in a hail of fire.

As does the second.

Erik dumps a bunch of orders and command tokens into using his Muhktar to take out my Lt, the Yuan Yuan, and my last Auxilia before passing the turn.

Turn 3

Top of 3 – NCA

I’m in loss of lieutenant, primarily because I was in a rush, and now I’m in big trouble. I basically do a lot of irregular order shuffling around, and use the remaining Bolt’s order to throw my Pathfinder into suppression on a console. I have no idea what to do with the EVO’s order, so I move it into view of the Mukhtar and dodge, hoping I can just keep dodging it forward into the scoring zone if the dice gods (and Erik) are kind.

Bottom of 3 – Haqqislam

Erik has a Taureg in play, so he just uses it to kill the Bolt KHD, the Tech Bee, and then secures a console with his Taureg and another with his Hunzakut. The Namurr grabs a third, and I’ve got one with my Pathfinder.

8-2 Haqqislam Victory!

Post Game Analysis

I’ll admit that I was getting to be on tilt this game. A lot of dice that I felt were in my favor just didn’t happen. The key standout is the Fiday. It took four models trying over two turns (with a fair number of orders each turn put into it) to remove the Fiday. Decent rangebands, catching the Fiday out of cover when possible, etc. I expected to lose the Black Friar, as I was within 8″, but the Bolt MSR getting crit really sucked for a number of reasons.

I think that I needed a better close in gunfighter on the roof, as I should’ve expected that Erik would put a bunch of annoying crap up there. This is also a good example of having backup plans. I had four models in place to work on the Fiday. It took all four: the Friar, the Bolt MSR, the Pathfinder, and the Bolt Lt. Sometimes the dice go really poorly, like they did in this game, but I had backup plans to deal with the problem.

I was extremely aggressive in my deployment, and very rushed this game. I got punished by some competent deployment decisions by Erik, and it drained a TON of resources on my first turn. I also totally forgot about my Garuda, which was dumb. I’m getting more and more convinced that I’m a second turn player, or I need to practice more with alpha striking. Having a full turn to problem solve when you know your opponent can’t do anything after is incredibly powerful in this game.

I just didn’t do enough damage on the first turn. There are too many bodies to chew through in a board control Haqqislam list. I brought the right tools to the party for this with my four Yuan Yuan, but chain rifles are really high variance. Speaking of Yuan Yuan, I think I should’ve waited on the Tech Bee/Xenotech situation till Turn 2, and gone after the Hunzakut and Kameel turn 1 with that Yuan Yuan. It was there for a reason, and I just wasted it. Erik managed to deal with it with only impetuous and lieutenant orders, so it wasn’t even a real resource drain on him.

Kinda disappointed in my performance this tournament. Aside from leaving my Bolt Lt out on Turn 2 this game, I don’t think I made any seriously boneheaded decisions, but I didn’t make very many good ones either. I was a little surprised that Erik didn’t go after my Lt on Turn 1, but I suspect he just wanted to drain more resources on my turn 2 and had already written off the Fiday. Probably the right thing to do there would’ve been to spend the one order re-impersonating him. I didn’t have anything watching him, so that would’ve been particularly irritating.

Lately I’ve been having trouble with pacing in games. The cadence of NCA is different than what I’m used to, and I think that playing more NCA will help my order of operations in other factions that I’ve historically had trouble with, like JSA.

I’ve now clocked in time with most factions, barring the other PanO sectorials, all of ALEPH, and all of Combined. I certainly am not qualified to comment on PanO yet, but I can say that it doesn’t fit like a glove in the way Ikari did, for example.

Confidence and experience matters. If you look at my two recent games of rescue:

I’m definitely more confident and experienced with JSA than NCA–that was my first game with NCA, after all. I made better decisions, knew what units were “for,” and paced the game much better. It still came down to the last turn run, but I felt like I was more in control of the situation. Right now, as I flounder about with NCA, I’m still building that muscle memory with the units, trying out weird combinations of things, and making mistakes.

One interesting thing is that I’m assuming that PanO BS (pun intended) will help me muddle through face to face rolls. It wasn’t a conscious decision on my part, but as I look back on these games I’m just making aggressive decisions and shoving things around on the board like a drunk Fusilier. In most cases, NCA not significantly better on BS than other factions, it’s just a point or two more here and there. I really don’t have all that superior odds, but I guess I got wrapped up in all the Hyperpower hype.

I’ll probably switch away from NCA for a bit and let them rattle aroun in my head for a bit before coming back with a more nuanced and conservative playstyle with them. I think the correct thing to do is go back and read all of Barakiel’s battle reports and learn what I can. Honestly that’s a good plan, period, and is faction-agnostic. Thanks for reading.

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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