Garbage In, Garbage Out

I had originally planned on playing a remote game using my crazy webcam setup, which you can learn about here:

My intended game of Supplies, O-12 versus MRRF, fell through due to some family obligations on my opponent’s end, so it was serendipitous that James (Roman Legion) was looking for an opponent on Tabletop Simulator.

I took this an opportunity to

  1. Learn Tabletop Simulator
  2. Pipe clean a Twitch stream setup for Tabletop Simulator Games
  3. Play a game with a faction I don’t own.

James set up the above table from some pre-baked tables in the TTS module… I’m not terribly sure of the details, but I’ll figure it out eventually I’m sure.

Overview

  • Mission: Decapitation
  • Forces: Operations Subsection of the SSS versus Yu Jing (300)
  • Deploy First: OSS
  • First Turn: OSS
Meh?

ASURA Lieutenant L2 Hacker (Hacking Device Plus UPGRADE: Redrum) MULTI Rifle, Nanopulser / Pistol, AP CCW. (0.5 | 78)
YADU (NCO) HMG / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (2 | 41)
YADU (Fireteam: Haris) MULTI Rifle, E/Marat, Drop Bears (Throwing Weapon) / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 37)

PROXY Mk.1 Doctor (MediKit) Combi Rifle, Nanopulser / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
YUDBOT Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)
YUDBOT Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)
PROXY Mk.2 Hacker (Assault Hacking Device) Boarding Shotgun, Nanopulser / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 21)
PROXY Mk.5 (Forward Observer) 2 Submachine Guns, Nanopulser, E/M Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
NETROD . (0 | 4)

DAKINI Tacbot HMG / Electric Pulse. (1 | 21)
DAKINI Tacbot Combi Rifle + Light Grenade Launcher / Electric Pulse. (1 | 17)
DAKINI Tacbot Paramedic (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Electric Pulse. (0 | 15)
TRISHA Breaker Combi Rifle, Nanopulser, D-Charges, E/Mauler / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 27)
CSU (Specialist Operative) Rifle + Light Shotgun, Nanopulser / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)


10 | 5.5 SWC | 299 Points | Open in Infinity Army

I decided to play OSS, because I don’t own it, and it’s probably the only Aleph faction that really appeals to me. Vanilla does of course, but OSS has all the stuff I’d use in Vanilla anyway, so…

This list probably isn’t the correct one for Decapitation, but I’m just trying out TTS and flailing around with OSS. Obviously Netrod + Proxy is a must-have…

Yadu are rad, so they made it into the list, and I wanted to try the crazy Asura Lt L2 and Yadu NCO. The rest of the list is basically just about solving Designated Target problem with an LGL. I don’t particularly like the Dakini fireteam, but it seemed reasonable for this game.

Yu Jing
GROUP 1 | 10 3

SUN TZE Lieutenant (Advanced Command) Boarding Shotgun, 2 Nanopulsers, Flash Pulse / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 60)
DÀOFĚI Spitfire / Pistol, Shock CCW. (2 | 55)
TIAN GǑU (1st Section) Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Combi Rifle, Nanopulser / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 23)
HÙNDÙN (X Visor) Heavy Rocket Launcher / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 26)
LÙ DUĀN Mk12, Heavy Flamethrower / Electric Pulse. (0 | 21)
CELESTIAL GUARD (Kuang Shi Control Device) Combi Rifle + Light Smoke Grenade Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 13)
KUANG SHI Chain Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)
KUANG SHI Chain Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)
KUANG SHI Chain Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)
CHAĪYÌ Yaókòng Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)

GROUP 2 | 3 4 3

JUJAK Spitfire, Heavy Flamethrower / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 39)
ZHANSHI Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 11)
ZHANSHI Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 11)
WARCOR (360º Visor) Flash Pulse / Stun Pistol, Knife. (0 | 3)
SHAOLIN Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Shock CCW. (0 | 5)
SHAOLIN Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Shock CCW. (0 | 5)
SHAOLIN Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Shock CCW. (0 | 5)


5.5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

James took this thing, presumably to try out the Jujak and some fun Daofei action. He hid the Tian Gou as a Ye Mao engineer, but it didn’t do anything all game so whatever.

If you’d like to watch the whole thing, here you go!

Deployment

I didn’t do a particularly good job of taking screenshots this game, a lot of them are too zoomed out to really illustrate what’s going on, and I forgot to take a picture of James’s deployment. I highlighted the things that are actually relevant in the game, the rest of it is just a pile of Kuang Shi, Shaolin, and some random cheerleaders that didn’t do anything.

I ended up going first thanks to a failed roll from Sun Tze. Take that! I deployed the Asura Haris in a central building, mostly because I didn’t have a plan for anything. The Dakini link went in a building on the right, also because I had no idea what I was going to do.

I did have a plan for the Mk2, which was to put it on the centerline and to go attack targets of opportunity, along with the Mk5. I put the Mk1 on the left, and my Netrod failed its roll and ended up in the open in my deployment zone.

I can’t emphasize enough how little of a plan I had. I figured I’d just respond to James’s deployment and see what happened, i.e. do I use the Proxies, Asura Haris, or the Dakini.

James deployed his warbands on the flanks and basically everything important in his list in or near a big central building in his deployment zone. We eventually remembered that we’d have to deploy a Designated Target, so I stuck my near my Proxy Mk2 with the intent to synchronize it and walk it away. A plan!

Turn 1

Top of 1 – OSS

James had left Sun Tze a little bit exposed to flash pulse a table edge, so I sent in the Yadu Haris to go deal with it. After forcing a Warcor prone, I took out the Chaiyi on the way to attacking Sun Tze. I managed to land a single hit, but he passed ARM.

Annoyingly, I forgot the entire game that Yadu are 4-4 and not 4-2, which really was a big drain on my orders. Anyway, with the Chaiyi down, this let me get my Mk5 DataTracker in position to easily gun down James’s Designated Target.

I did a coordinated order to pull the Mk5 back along with the Yadu Haris, and then reformed the Haris to scatter some Drop Bears around.

I now had two orders to synchronize and hide Go Go Marlene, my Designated Target. I had a lot of trouble estimating distance and end up just barely being able to tuck her into the doorway of the building my Dakini were in.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough movement or orders to put the Proxy Mk2 into a position where it would be safe… so that was going to be fun.

Bottom of 1 – Yu Jing

James sends in a Shaolin to smoke up the Proxy. I probably should’ve left it on the corner as a very annoying ARO, even with just a BSG.

Unsurprisingly, I get shock CC’ed off the table.

James decides he wants to dismantle my link with his Daofei Spitfire, so he sends it in and starts blasting. My Dakini LGL link leader survives for two orders, even doing a wound on the second order, so James sends in a Shaolin.

The Shaolin chain rifles both the Dakini LGL and the CSU. I lose the Dakini but tank the chain rifle on the CSU. Go Go Marlene attempts to stun pistol the Shaolin and fails.

With the link broken, James decides to attack the CSU and Go Go with his Daofei. Go Go survives but my CSU is shot off the table. Fortunately, I declared Nanopulsar in response and take out both the Daofei and the Shaolin! I’ll take it.

James smokes up an approach for his “Rui Shi” and then sends it in. I’m confused by the fact that it’s not shooting through smoke, but I figure it’s going to try and sneak past my Mk5 to attack the Yadu, which makes sense to me… until it reveals itself as a Lu Duan and heavy flamethrowers my Mk5! I pass ARM and disable the Lu Duan with a SMG shot. Good work, Mk5!

James is out of orders at this point and passes turn.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – OSS

I decide that the Hundun at the front of James’s deployment is within Nanopulsar range of a rooftop that the Mk5 can easily get to, so I move there, forcing a Shaolin to dodge into cover as I do so.

Unfortunately for me, the Hundun is at 9″, so I settle for discovering and shooting at it with the Mk5’s SMGs. Its ARM3 saves it, and I decide to try and recover from some of the damage on the right side of the table. Trisha blows up the last of my command tokens trying to revive the downed Dakini LGL, and the Paramedic helps Go Go into a corner.

I’ve still got the NCO orders to spend, so I detach the Yadu HMG and burn the last of my orders getting into position to gun down the Hundun, retreating the Yadu HMG into a position to watch the approach of the Shaolin and Kuang Shi that are inevitably coming that way.

I spend my last order moving the Dakini HMG out to contest a firelane that the Jujak will have to traverse.

Bottom of 2 – Yu Jing

James is obligated to run the Shaolin and Kuang Shi out in front of my Mk5 if he doesn’t want to cancel their impetuous orders, which is exactly what he does. They both pass ARM, rolling an 18 each! The other impetuous models on the other side of the table are bogged down in some table geometry and don’t really take part in the game.

James does attack with his Jujak, easily dismantling my Dakini HMG. Go Go manages to survive one order of Spitfire…

but not two. You gotta give her credit, she’s scrappy with that BS6 stun pistol!

the Jujak guns down Trisha next. I’ve got a Yudbot attached to my Doctor right there, so I decide to let her go unconscious instead of Dogged.

James spends more orders on the Shaolin that’s fighting my Mk5, eventually getting smoke down and walking into base to base.

Thankfully the Shaolin rolls a 1 to CC and I roll well enough to take it out with some SMG fire as it leaves the cloud of smoke.

In spite, James pops the Jujak out a doorway and guns down my poor, defenseless Netrod. James spends his last order standing up his Warcor, and between my Yadu HMG and the Mk5 it doesn’t go well for the Warcor.

Turn 3

Top of 3 – OSS

I figure I should attempt to take out Sun Tze one last time, but there’s a Kuang Shi in the way. After losing an order to my stupidity of thinking that Yadu are 4-2, I get the Yadu HMG into position and shoot the Kuang Shi with my heavy pistol… and roll double 18s. The Kuang Shi hits my Yadu and almost wounds it… so I kill it with the Proxy Mk5 which is what I should’ve done in the first place.

I’ve basically got one order worth of shooting on Sun Tze, and manage to land three hits!

Sun Tze passes two saves and ducks out of cover. I spent my last order trying to revive Trisha. Something goes horribly wrong and I fail my roll, killing her. I had hoped to speedbump the Jujak, at least.

Bottom of 3 – Yu Jing

James sends in the Jujak. I attempt to engage it with the Yudbot that killed Trisha, but fail.

Thankfully, I had the foresight to cover its likely approach with the Mk5 on the last turn as I shot up the Kuang Shi, so I’m able to flash pulse the Jujak on its way to try and take out my Asura.

At this point, I’m winning on army points, so James takes the risk of sending in Sun Tze, first with a flash pulse…

and eventually he drops the Yadu with the last order of the game.

With the loss of the Yadu, James has killed more army points, making it a

6-3 Yu Jing Victory!

Thoughts on Tabletop Simulator

First things first. Tabletop Simulator is functional, if fussy. I’m really not a fan of how you move models around. Oftentimes I want to move along an arc and not in a straight line, i.e. around a corner or something, and the tools make it difficult to do this elegantly. Also the measurement is in 3D space and not along the table surface, meaning that you’re going to over- or under-estimate the movement depending if you’re climbing stairs, vaulting, what have you. It’s sloppy and there’s probably a good 1″ worth of slop in each movement.

I’m sure it’ll get better with experience, and it’s certainly better than not playing the game at all. There’s also imprecision in movement on physical tables with physical models, but this just seems… more pronounced and irritating. It’s possibly because you get a very precise-looking 7.93″ measurement using the in-game tool and then when you let go of the model to place it it lands in a totally unexpected spot out of cover.

A huge amount of my frustration stems from some engineering-software-related muscle memory. I’m very used to spamming the <ESC> key to get out of various tool modes and return the interface to default, and so I kept opening the game menu instead of doing the thing that I actually wanted to do. Anyway. Don’t let any of my above whinging talk you out of trying TTS if you were on the fence. It’s certainly less mental load and effort than me moving two players’ worth of model and running back and forth between table sides while being filmed by webcams.

Bottom line, TTS will run on a potato, so there’s really not much of an excuse considering the $20 USD price tag–basically the cost of an expensive blister. If you’re looking for an Infinity fix and you don’t know someone with enough mental dysfunctions to set up a crazy webcam setup like myself, go get it. I think I still prefer my crazy physical setup, and I’ve heard similar feedback from others, mostly because of the “cleaner” movement.

Post Game Analysis

Okay, onto the game. This is basically an example of what happens when you don’t have a plan at either the list-building or execution-on-the-table phase of a game. Garbage in, garbage out, as the programmers say.

I made a ton of mistakes, and it’s a testament to the elite quality of ALEPH models and the favoritism of the LFSR generating random numbers in tabletop simulator that I got as far as I did.

Clearly I should’ve remembered about Yadu being 4-4. In most games it doesn’t matter, but when you’re trying to get from one side of the table to another, repeated loss of 2″ of movement adds up quickly. I think I leveraged my Proxy Mk5 very well, but threw away my Mk2 for just boneheaded reasons.

I had a version of this list where I just had the Yadu/Asura Haris and no other links, which I think I much prefer. I just threw the Dakini link in there with the LGL as a last-minute change and I think it was not a good decision for me. I would have been much more comfortable with things spread out on the table a little more. Next time.

Leveraging my Mk5 and Mk2 more heavily in the first turn of the game would’ve been much stronger than what I did, especially since I ended up having to spend a bunch of resources retreating them. Just because I have the L2 orders doesn’t mean I have to use them. I was also pleased with my response to the Daofei attack, but disappointed in my forgetting about Trisha’s E/Maulers, which would’ve helped immensely against the Jujak.

At the moment, I think OSS will eventually fit my playstyle reasonably well, and TTS lets me address the faction envy problems we all have. I do think James did a good job of attacking me and pressuring the right things with the right tools–I just got lucky right up until the last roll of the game. Honestly it should have been much more of a blowout game.

Until next time. Thanks for reading. Stay safe, stay sane.

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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