Erik (Zelaponeepus) has graduated from college, so to celebrate his being officially saddled with the “awesomeness” that is adulting in 2020, we decided to get a game of Supremacy (chosen by the random function in Comlog) in with my silly remote gaming setup. He was originally going to play QK, but when I reminded him that we’d probably want to play Limited Insertion due to it simplifying the remote gaming situation, he switched to Ramah.
Table hasn’t changed much since you saw it last, in fact not at all, but here it is again so you get a lay of the land.
- Mission: Supremacy
- Forces: Operations Subsection of the S.S.S. versus Ramah Taskforce
- Deploy First: Ramah
- First Turn: Ramah
SHAKTI Lieutenant Hacker (Killer Hacking Device. UPGRADE: Sucker Punch) Mk12, E/Marat / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (0 | 40)
YADU (NCO) HMG / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (2 | 41)
RUDRA Red Fury, Mine Dispenser / Electric Pulse. (1 | 40)
NAGA (Minelayer) Boarding Shotgun, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 27)
SFORZA (Holoprojector L2) Viral Rifle + Adhesive Launcher, Nanopulser / Heavy Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0 | 30)
DART Submachine Gun, Viral Tactical Bow, E/M Grenades / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon, Knife. (0 | 34)
NETROD . (0 | 4)
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)
DAKINI Tacbot Paramedic (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Electric Pulse. (0 | 15)
ARJUNA Spitfire, D-Charges / Breaker Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 36)
KIRANBOT E/Marat, Cybermines / Electric Pulse. (4)
10 | 5.5 SWC | 298 Points | Open in Infinity Army
I’ve been quietly assembling my OSS in the background, so this was a grand opportunity to put it on the table. I was originally going to play the Combined Army that my friend Stacia gifted to me, but I hadn’t had the time to repair the damage they had sustained in transit… that and I don’t have the stuff to play a proper Limited Insertion list sorted out just yet.
In any case, I had started the list with the Asura Lt L2, Yadu Haris, and Yadu HMG NCO Haris, but I moved to a Shakti-based core to fit in all the other stuff I wanted to try. That Asura Lieutenant is not cheap! This also let me try out the Rudras gunbot, which I was pretty excited about and had just finished assembling. The rest of the list is some light board control with the Naga Minelayer, and then I added some fun stuff to try. I’m much more interested in using the Proxy Mk2 AHD, so that made it in, and the Mk5 FO is just such a toolbox that it made it in too. I took Sforza to disguise him as a Proxy Mk4 and use his Viral Rifle to do some damage. Unfortunately a bunch of Erik’s stuff is Bioimmune, but I hoped I’d get to use it on stuff that wasn’t. Dart of course, and I took an Arjuna to try that toolkit.
TARIK MANSURI Lieutenant L2 Spitfire, Nanopulser, Grenades / Pistol, DA CCW. (1.5 | 59)
KHAWARIJ Doctor Plus (MediKit) Boarding Shotgun, Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 30)
KHAWARIJ (Fatality L1, Multispectral Visor L2) Mk12 / Pistol, AP CCW. (0.5 | 36)
MUKHTAR (Multispectral Visor L2) Red Fury, 2 Nanopulsers / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 37)
MUKHTAR (Fireteam: Haris) Viral Rifle, 2 Nanopulser / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 31)
MUKHTAR Doctor Plus (MediKit) Boarding Shotgun, 2 Nanopulser / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 30)
GHULAM (NCO) Rifle + Light Grenade Launcher (Normal and Smoke Ammo.) / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 16)
NAHAB Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Submachine Gun + E/Mitter, Nanopulser / Pistol, Viral CC Weapon, Knife. (0 | 30)
HAKIM Submachine Gun, Chain-colt / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 23)
FANOUS REMOTE Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
10 | 5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army
Erik went with two 3-model links: a jumpy link with Tarik and two Khawarij and a speedly link with three Mukhtar. To make matters worse he took two MSV2 units, one per link, and then stuck in a Ghulam NCO to cover everything with smoke. The Hakim and Nahab are nice tools, especially since the Nahab can be infiltrated and not airdropped in. This gives Erik another order, potentially, instead of having two off the board.
I won the rolloff and elected to choose deployment. Deployment is very powerful on this board, because it lets me be lazy and not have to move the “Opponent Cam” around. Joking aside, I wanted the table to be pretty balanced to make it less impactful on a remote game where it’s hard for my opponent to identify what a “better side” is for their list and game plan through a webcam. Essentially, I’m just choosing the turn order for my benefit.
In any case, Erik decides to go first, which is much weaker in Supremacy, because I can respond to his placement and out point him in key quadrants. He really has to do a lot of damage to my order pool and material to havea hope off keeping me from responding appropriately. If he leaves too much out to reduce my mobility, there’s a real risk that I might shoot him of the table. So he might out-point me for a turn, but the folowing turn he’ll be in dire straits.
In any case, Erik did the sensible thing and split his deployment zone in half, putting the Muhktar Haris on the left and the Tarik/Khawarij core on the right. The rest of his forces, the Ghulam NCO and Fanous went in the middle to support both links.
My deployment was a little more nuanced. I had Proxies to consider, as well as the bluff of Sforza as the Mk4. Of course, this meant I couldn’t hold the Proxies in reserve, so I held Dart instead. The first thing on the table was of course the Netrod, which landed exactly where I wanted, and then I decided to put the Naga nearby to defend it as well as put points in the near right quadrant. I stuck the Sforza opposite the Muhktars, in the back, masquerading as a Proxy Mk4 HMG. I did this to “explain” why I didn’t leave it out to ARO–something I would be much more likely to do with the HRL as fire ammo is much more dangerous than a single HMG round as it can do multiple wounds and therefore is more potent in ARO. The positioning of the Mk4 in the back is to protect it–by costing Erik more effort to get to it, as well as to make it look like I want to play to the HMG’s rangebands.
At this point to keep up the ruse I have to deploy the other Proxies, so I tell Erik that I’m going through my hidden deployment phase (ordinarily a time where I would have him turn around were he physically present), and place the Mk2 AHD on the left in a tower and the Mk5 on a bridge leading up to the central area, figuring that the SMGs will be relevant in close quarters combat on the roof.
I stick Shakti, the Yadu HMG, and the Rudras on the left, leaving the Yadu HMG out to contest the firelane against Tarik at over 24″. I’m going to fail guts immediately if she takes any hits, I just want to leave something out to delay Tarik’s link if I can. That particular 3-model core is very dangerous as every member is a competent gunfighter. If I lose the HMG it’s not the end of the world, I still have a Red Fury and a Mk12 ready to go.
I need another gunfighter on the right, so I put the Arjuna and Kiranbot on that side to screen Sforza. I finally drop the Dakini on the table sort of in the middle to serve as a “link” between deployment zone sides. It can respond to threats on either side of the table and reinforce whoever needs help.
Erik decides to deploy the Nahab KHD on my left with the intent of making an assassination run on Shakti, figuring having it on the table and able to push some buttons on the way in would be more efficient. Classic Erik, doing a good job of playing to the objective. I decide to drop Dart on a roof, since during deployment we discussed what the Mk5 could see and decided to extend the bridge railings to the edge of nearby geometry–in other words, close any strange windows in the railings. This is primarily so Erik doesn’t have a major headache calculating line of fire. This meant that the Mk5 couldn’t see the Nahab, so I needed something to help out and delay it, so Dart filled that role.
Top of 1- Ramah
Erik starts things off by flipping the objective the Nahab is next to, and then he advances towards my deployment zone. At this point, he moves out of cover and I decide to reveal Dart to fire a viral arrow at him. He’s within 8″ of my Proxy Mk2 AHD, which I probably should’ve revealed to Carbonite on 18s, but oh well.
In any case, I’m not on the best odds, but I’ve got a 74% chance of making Erik waste an order.
Of course, the Nahab crits Dart. Sigh. I’m not sure if I should’ve revealed the Proxy Mk2 here–it’s actually a guaranteed Normal roll because the Nahab moves with Stealth thanks to Natural Born Warrior and the Mk2 can’t see or respond to it until Dart reveals and shoots, forcing a shot back from the Nahab and breaking stealth.
This would certainly have locked the Nahab down pretty hard, as I’m quite 68.75% likely to land the Carbonite, and then Dart is just shooting at the Nahab if it tries to reset on a Normal roll as well. Really the question is whether or not I would’ve revealed either at all. I think Shakti can probably handle herself if it comes to it, and Dart and the Proxy are much stronger in the active turn. Plus, loss of lieutenant in the first turn in this mission is not a big deal. I’d much rather have the tools there… but I also want to delay Erik some… tough line to tread.
Erik decides that his plan is to advance the Tarik core to attack Dart, even without the threat of my Mk2 on the table. I think if he had tried to use the Nahab to deal with Dart on a new order, I reveal the Mk2 then, it’s much stronger on a new order. It’s all about pacing. In any case, Erik decides to do two things at once–advance the Tarik core into the midfield to claim a quadrant and attack Dart and possibly the Mk5 with a Khawarij.
He decides to be super conservative and land smoke to block LoF to the Yadu HMG. I think this would have been a mistake in any other limited insertion list. With Tarik’s Lt L2 orders though, it’s worth it, thanks to the Ghulam’s NCO. Thankfully it takes him a full three orders to land smoke.
There’s some question as to what Erik should do next–he’s not sure if he should try to go after the Yadu HMG with the Mk12 MSV2 or go after Dart. He eventually decides that the HMG would be outside of 24″ and sends the Khawarij Doctor after Dart with his shotgun.
The core does their best impression of a bouncy castle and they make their way up to the central mountain through the smoke. The Khawarij doctor does the last wound to Dart while the Mk12 jumps up. Ramah players take note–having everyone in the fireteam have Super-Jump is very efficient for movement!
Erik’s down to his last two orders so he decides to throw the Nahab into suppression. I reveal the Mk2 now and shoot it in the face, doing a wound. Honestly I should’ve nanopulsared, not sure what I was thinking.
Erik then decides to Assault the Mk2. I figured the odds were pretty good, me on 19’s and Erik on 22’s, both on one die. It turns out that the odds are pretty terrible:
In any case, the Mk2 gets crit and I lose her. Ah well.
Bottom of 1 – OSS
I start the turn an order down, having lost Dart. I decide to be very aggressive and advance on the left to take out Tarik. I’ve got a ton of firepower there, might as well use it. As Shakti and the Yadu HMG advance, the Rudras Red Furies the Khawarij Doctor back into cover.
This lets me flip the near antenna in peace, then I send Shakti in to have a hacking fight with the Nahab, who has already taken a wound. Sadly, it takes two orders to drop it.
I then spend the rest of my orders trying to gun down Tarik. The odds are pretty atrocious:
The odds with the HMG inside 16″ are worse, so I guess I made the right decision in terms of gun. I do a wound but nothing else happens over the course of 4 orders. The really upsetting thing is that I forgot to fire some mines over there, which would have really helped me out in taking out Tarik. This is a problem typical when starting new armies–I just forgot the Rudras had a mine dispenser. Ah well.
In any case, because I had been so aggressive, I managed to out-point Tarik and the Khawarij Doctor, giving me three quadrants to Erik’s one–his Khawarij Mk12 was in my far right quadrant, I beat Tarik in the far left Quadrant, and the Mk5 and Naga held my near two. This brings us to 2 points for me and a console each.
Top of 2 – Ramah
Erik wants to take out the Rudras, so he tries to set up smoke again with the Ghulam NCO. Thankfully, it takes him 2 orders, but it finally lands.
To prevent me from shooting Tarik for free, Erik breaks the link and shoots the Rudras with the Mk12 through the smoke. It takes only one order to drop it. Sigh. Well, that was my fault for leaving it so far advanced. Definitely my fault for losing it.
Erik reforms the link and then super jumps Tarik up to take out the Yadu HMG. Again, it’s only one order to lose the Yadu. Again, my fault for losing it–it takes basically no work.
Now that the Rudras and Yadu HMG are down, Erik has that quadrant easily unless I shift a lot of material. He decides to reinforce the Khawarij Mk12 with his Muhktar, hitting the nearby objective (my far right) and tucking the team into cover and clearing a mine on the way.
Erik ends the turn with the Muhktar Red Fury poking out to ARO covering the approach of the Arjuna. Erik brings on a Hakim to contest my near left zone, and passes turn.
Bottom of 2 – OSS
I activate Sforza’s HoloProjector L2 and push him forward into view of the Muhktar Red Fury. I’m hoping that we’re outside 24″ and I can leverage the X-Visor and surprise shot to really make things awful for the Muhktar.
The odds aren’t that great, thanks to the Muhktar’s Mimetism…
…but I crit and it doesn’t matter. Then, after flipping an objective with it, I send in the Arjuna, offering up the Kiranbot as a tempting target for the Khawarij Mk12, but Erik wisely chooses to face to face the Arjuna. Lucky for him, he passes all his ARM rolls.
I keep pushing and finally drop the Khawarij and throw an E/Marat template on top of the two remaining Muhktar, who dodge successfully.
I need to take out the Hakim, which I do easily thanks to Shakti’s Lieutenant order.
The Mk5 takes care of the Khawarij Doctor…
and then I finish the turn by shuffling the Daikini and Naga to the left near Quadrant and back up the Arjuna with Sforza.
I’ve got my near two Quarants and Erik has his, so we tie. We’re now at 2-0 points in my favor and 2 consoles each.
Top of 3 – Ramah
Erik is down to 5 orders so decides to spend a bunch on Tarik. The Daikini falls easily…
…but the Mk5 gives him some more trouble. I keep passing ARM saves and Nanopulsaring Tarik, who keeps passing BTS saves.
Eventually I ducked the Mk5 into cover and Erik snagged his classified off of the Rudras.
He goes on to try and take out Shakti, but whiffs all 4 rolls with his Spitfire. Unfortunately for me, he rolls his third 16 on his BTS save against her E/Marat. UGH.
Erik gets greedy now and tries to take out the Kiranbot and Mk5 simultaneously–for some reason he thought the Kiranbot was armed with lethal weapontry but didn’t tell me this for me to correct his assumption. Definitely talk to your opponents about what gear their troopers have if you’re on the fence about anything!
In any case, my Proxy Mk5 wins the fight and KOs Tarik. I lose the Kiranbot, but that is completely irrelevant at this stage of the game.
Bottom of 3 – OSS
It’s worth noting that the positioning of the Kiranbot was such that Erik couldn’t claim cover at the grey S5 height wall in the top right of this picture.
Since the Kiranbot doesn’t go prone in N3 when unconscious, the Muhktar won’t be able to claim cover and see through the bot. This will go away in N4 so use it while you got it!
In any case, I set about maximizing my score, so Shakti climbs up and flips a console over to me, putting me at the maximum of 3 consoles. There’s a Muhktar watching Shakti’s path into Erik’s deployment zone–my classified is Mapping, so I decide to use the Proxy Mk5.
The Fanous is contesting the path, so I face to face with an actual Forward Observe skill to get the bonus, succeeding against the Fanous’s flash pulse.
I then split burst against the Fanous and the nearby Muhktar Doctor, KOing the Fanous and tanking the Doctor’s shotgun.
This gives me enough movement to get into Erik’s deployment zone, tanking another shotgun blast on the way, and then I nab the classfied with my last order.
I’ve got three quadrants again, so all told it’s an
8-2 Operations Subsection of the S.S.S. VIctory!
Post Game Analysis
I want to talk about pacing here, specifically with regards to the reveal of the Mk2 and Dart. Erik’s goals for the first turn of the game, presumably, looked like this:
- Get out of my deployment zone
- Push buttons
- Take out some of my opponent’s stuff!
His placement of the Nahab was designed to do 2 and 3 (note that I’m not suggesting that this was Erik’s priority valuation, I’m just numbering things for writing convenience).
I revealed Dart to delay Erik’s ability to do 2 and 3, but this encouraged him to do 1 by pulling Tarik and crew out of his deployment zone. Thankfully, it also ate his whole turn and prevented him from getting his Muhktars involved. The Mk2 was a bit of a waste, I think. I probably should have just left Dart in camo and then fought the Nahab with the Proxy Mk2 alone.
Here’s the big takeaway though: I didn’t deploy well or use my material efficiently in responding to Erik’s attack on turn 1, BUT I did successfully shape the course off the game by delaying his Nahab and forcing him to use Tarik.
In turn, this allowed me to keep the Muhktars busy until Turn 2, where I could engage them with the right tool. I let them come to me and get into an optimal exchange for me with Sforza. Erik was always going to get one of his two links out of the deployment zone. I needed to keep it to just one, and I was going to have to lose something to accomplish that goal. I wish I didn’t have to lose two things, but that’s the power of Proxies. You can lose them but not lose an order. Dumb.
This also illustrates the power of going second in Supremancy. Erik has to advance into quadrants if he wants to win the game, and then I can choose the engagement at my leisure. I had a significant advantage by having multiple infiltrated units, letting me be more flexible with my first moves because I didn’t need to think about or dedicate orders to securing my quadrants. In fact, I could just focus my resources on taking Erik’s quadrants form him.
I complained about losing the Rudras and Yadu HMG because I overextended them, which is true. However, by securing that third quadrant, I got an early 2 point lead that can’t be taken away. Having more quadrants at the end of turn 1 is comparatively rare. What I should have done was leveraged the mobility of the Rudras to retreat out of line of fire, costing Erik more orders to deal with it and the Yadu.
Alternatively, you could say that I could have contested the far right quadrant, the one with the Khawarij Mk12 in it, with my Arjuna or Sforza. I think this would have been a mistake, because the Muhktar link is sitill in play. A quick smoke grenade from the Ghulam and I’m in trouble. Instead, I let Erik bring the Muhktar into otpimal engagement range for me, and then pounced. He’s forced to do this because he’s first player, and I can apply the exact right tools because I’m second player.
Turn order is so important for area control missions and requires a backup plan if you go first. Mine was to hunt down the Ghulam NCO to remove Erik’s access to smoke, and then try to take out Tarik to disrupt his first turn. Then on my second turn I can clean up whatever remaining mess there is.
In any case, this was a tough game for both of us–Erik forced some difficult decisions on me and I reacted suboptimally, and Erik had a hard time fighting his way out of his deployment zone and retaining control of quadrants. I like that both of us got our classifieds this game, and focused heavily on objective play.
Usually, Erik wins our games because he focuses harder on objectives than I do, so I have to think harder about it to win. Since we both started at the baseline of “playing to the objective” it let the differentiating factor in the game be who could dictate pacing better, which I think I accomplished. I had to sacrifice some power pieces to do it, but Aleph’s unique tookit allowed me to do so without significant disruption to my order pool. As always agreat game, and I’m looking forward to our next one, Erik! And congratz on graduating!