Here we are with the second installation of Sunday Infinity with Erik (Zelaponeepus)! Since this week’s Late Night Wargames will be about NA2, it was time to get in some NA2 games. I played White Company, since that’s new, and Erik played Druze, an army he’s been eyeballing for awhile.
Erik found this totally bonkers map to play on Tabletop Simulator–there were some ladders on the big (unreasonably square) rock piles, but they were only accessible to things with Terrain(Mountain) or Terrain(Total).
I’d be keen to try this map again, there’s a lot of things on my mind regarding this map… more on that later. If you want the raw video, here it is:
- Mission: Countermeasures
- Forces: White Company versue Druze Bayram Security
- Deploy First: White Company
- First Turn: White Company
We wanted to play a not-killing mission, so we chose Countermeasures. I had actually built a pretty reasonable list for Countermeasures, which I was planning on taking, but then I saw the table. Since the Guijia has super jump now, I sort of had to take this list, which I had more or less made as a joke while winding down before bed one night:
It’s just a collection of good stuff White Company with (shockingly, but perhaps not for me) no links. The Guilang are there to project hacking power, and the rest of the forces basically are intended to go hull down in the midfield, like the Nokken. The Varangian and CSU are there to be corner guards and fast attack pieces to punish things that are out of position in the midfield, and the Danavas is there in case I need to set up White Noise or have some more hacking. I have coverage for all of the classifieds except for the Doctor/Paramedic ones, and a Tiger Soldier for the lulz.
Erik played PanO, i.e. he just took robots, out of Druze. The only actual Druze in his list was the Druze HMG, and I guess he threw Scarface in there.
Not really what I’d consider a Druze list, but hey, that’s the beauty of this game, you make your list your own! I think the list is absolutely fine, and is more amusing than anything else.
I had to deploy first, so I just scattered my HVTs in reasonable places and then attempted to defend them with Nokken, the Guilang’s mine, and either the CSU or the Varangian. I figured that I’d probably have to deal with some sort of hacker, so I left the Nokken KHD on the ground so it could get to where it needed to go, i.e. one of Erik’s repeaters. The Danavas went on the ground as well–I figured I could land a pitcher or something convenient.
Erik deployed his Druze link in the center with the Clipper exposed to ARO. He guarded both flanks with Fugazi and the Sierra, and then put Cordelia down nearby to pick up the TR bot. Cordelia had access to two Nasmats, so he had total coverage across the board for engineering. The Peacemaker went on Erik’s left, and then it was my time to put down the Guijia, and Erik responded by putting down Scarface.
I nominated the Karhu (eventually) as my DataTracker, and Erik chose Valerya. He starts the game with Scarface in suppression, thanks to the new command token usage option.
Top of 1 – White Company
- Data Scan
- HVT: Retroengineering
I’m entirely too ambitious with my turn, and decided I wanted to do a bunch of things:
- Blow up Valerya’s brain with the Nokken KHD
- Kill the Clipper with the Guijia, after I got rid of the +3 BS bonus
- Take care of a few of the classifieds, probably with the Karhu.
The Varangian scoots forward with its impetuous order, and then I spend a few coordinated orders to move the Karhu out of its very terrible position in the middle of my deployment zone behind an enormous, obnoxious mountain while moving the Nokken KHD and Guijia forward. There’s a Fugazi right on the other side of a hill on the left, which I convinced myself was within 8″, but was actually within 10″, so I can’t do my plan of getting rid of Valerya. I end up committing to the HVT: Retroengineering and Sabotage classifieds. It takes quite a few orders from the Karhu, thanks to failing a WIP roll on Retroengineering, but it ended up working out.
I’m pretty close to getting in LoF of Scarface with the Karhu, so I do that and manage to land a Blitzen, knocking Scarface out of suppression and into Immobilized and Isolated.
I’ve got my Tac Aware order left on the Guijia, so I discover + shoot the Hunzakut. Thankfully I pass my discover roll, so that goes quite well for me.
To hide the fact that the Guijia’s my lieutenant (not really a thing, but hey I could have a Guilang Lt), I spend my Lt order on NCO against the immobilized Scarface and do a wound with AP ammo. I made a mistake in the photo editing and that Dodge should say reset (which Erik failed). Whoops.
Bottom of 1 – Druze
- Data Scan
- Follow Up
- HVT: Inoculation
It’s at this point that we realize that the Karhu was next to a repeater and Erik could have been spotlighting it all this time, so I let him roll a few free WIP rolls to Spotlight the Karhu, which he does after a roll or two. The first order of the turn is thus Erik dropping guided missiles on the Karhu, killing it. Ah well.
Cordelia spends two orders getting a Nasmat next to Scarface and clearing the negative states (it takes two WIP rolls).
Erik then decided to go on an attack run with Scarface. He goes after my Guijia, who takes a hit, passes ARM, and fails guts backwards to get closer to my Danavas.
Scarface rounds the corner and takes a shot at my Nokken, who fires his shotgun back as a BS roll, but burst 5 is still burst 5, and I think Scarface crits the Nokken off the table. Boo.
Scarface keeps advancing, but I keep passing ARM.
Eventually Scarface Berserks the Guijia, with both of us doing a wound. Fortunately for me, Scarface is in hacking range of my Danavas, and I possess Erik’s TAG.
Erik doesn’t have any orders left for Scarface anyway, so he activates his link and over-extends the Druze HMG and Valerya into the midfield to get Data Scan on my Nokken and Follow up on my HVT in the center of the table. This also shifts the Clipper forward a little.
Top of 2 – White Company
- Experimental Drug
- HVT: Inoculation
I decide to punish the overextension of the Druze and Valerya by sending in my Varangian, especially after I long-bomb smoke at 15″ and block LoF to a Fugazi. The Druze chain colts and Valerya dodges, so I split burst on the Varangian’s SMG, whiffing against the Druze and hitting Valerya. Everyone passes ARM though, which is sad.
I do a coordinated order to move Scarface up and shoot with the Varangian and the Nokken, and finally KO Valerya so I can easily get Telemetry.
I am then free to spend all my orders on Scarface, which is exactly what I do. I force a dodge out of Wolfgang and the Sierra, KOing the Sierra but not Wolfgang, and keep pushing forward.
I get into Erik’s deployment zone and split burst against a ton of robots, KOing the Peacemaker and the Clipper but whiffing against the Fugazi.
I pull the Guijia back with its Lieutenant order and kill Wolfgang, who dodged up the mountain as Scarface rampaged around.
Bottom of 2 – Druze
- Experimental Drug
- Extreme Prejudice
- HVT: Inoculation
Erik fails to repair the Peacemaker…
but does repair the Sierra.
Scarface’s no longer possessed either thanks to a command token, and he luckily manages to crit the Nokken FO. Shame, I would’ve landed a Panzerfaust had he not crit!
Erik does his best to recover and then passes turn. The key is that he pushed his Brawler Doctor up in an attempt to get Experimental Drug on Valerya, just killing her instead.
Top of 3 – White Company
- Extreme Prejudice
- HVT: Designation
- In Extremis Recovery
I decide that I have a shot at taking out Erik’s Lieutenant, so I attempt to drop in a Tiger Soldier but fail the roll and end up in my deployment zone. How upsetting.
Ideally, I’ll get my Guilang Hacker into the center of the table where the Druze is to snag a bunch of objectives. I decide to attempt to clear the way with my Guijia and lose sight of the plan as I jump up onto the plateau and get AROed by everything. I wasn’t careful and could’ve easily jumped up in a place that wouldn’t have exposed myself to anything more than a Fugazi, the Brawler, and the Druze. In any case, what I should’ve done was split burst two and two against the Brawler’s dodge and the Druze, and then march my Guilang in there to get all the objectives. Sadly, I split burst the wrong way, but at least I KO the Druze.
I also get flash-pulsed, which is the worst. I send in my Guilang and try to do the thing I would do in N3, which is to put a mine around the corner and then go get the objectives done while the Brawler is dealing with a mine… of course, you can dodge in N4 now, so Erik dodges into view… now I’m dealing with a direct template weapon, thanks to the new shotgun rules.
Well this SUCKS! In order to help, I attempt to get the Guijia out of LoF and reset out of Stunned, but fail the reset and take the last wound from the Sierra. This is really bad. The mine around the corner trick is pretty dangerous when the thing you’re trying to kill has a direct template weapon and nothing to lose!
The dice swing my way and I’m able to gun down the Brawler while not dying with the Guilang, and then I snag Extreme Prejudice off of the Druze. What a comedy of errors!
Bottom of 3 – Druze
- HVT: Designation
- In Extremis Recovery
- Net Undermine
Scarface advances, gunning down my poor Tiger Soldier and shrugging off a Total Control attempt from my Guilang.
He then directly takes a shot at my Guilang and takes him out.
I do manage to dodge the Guijia Pilot out of her TAG though (which I think is legal?) and then take an SMG shot at Scarface.
He kills the pilot easily, then snags In Extremis Recovery and Net Undermine.
This gives Erik Data Scan, Follow Up, In Extremis Recovery, and Net Undermine to my Extreme Prejudice, HVT: Retroengineering, Sabotage, and Telemetry. We both have the DataTracker bonus, which makes it a unsatisfying
Post Game Analysis
I’m very disappointed with my deployment. I think I should’ve been more aggressive and put things on the mountain. Part of the reason I didn’t was because it was very flat without much cover, but unless something was up there with me, I’m generally in cover thanks to the new N4 rules. The other reason is that the mountain I was on had very few ladders on it, which I guess was the tradeoff intended by the map designer? I’m not sure I’m a fan of it, but sure.
I think this cost me the game, because I could definitely have used the Guilang shotgun on the mountain to help his brother Guilang hacker out against the Brawler. Also, I was in such a hurry to finish the game on Sunday morning to go make lunch that I didn’t really think carefully about the placement of the Guijia when super jumping it. Furthermore, even though I was getting AROed by all the things, I should’ve just thrown all my dice at the Druze and Brawler, which were what was gating my way to victory! I could’ve then just waltzed the Guilang in there and gotten all the things done! Very upsetting.
A comment on the vanilla-style list–who doesn’t want to play a combination of vanilla PanO and Yu Jing? I have access to all the things that I would reasonably want. I don’t like links very much, so I was pleasantly surprised to have it work so well. There’s definitely something to be said regarding Tiger Soldiers in a 10 order list, but I suppose it’s a high variance option. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I definitely got a fair amount of work done with Scarface, but I think I could’ve done better.
Anyway. Erik, as always, played very well. I did not, and made some very stupid mistakes because I was distracted. I did, however, learn to be way more careful with the mine around the corner trick. I hopefully won’t make that mistake again. I’ve noticed that N4 seems to really want your troopers to be able to mutually support one another, which penalizes vanilla in exclusion zone scenarios. I’m going to think very carefully about what I do with my coordinated orders in the future–I definitely wasted them in the first turn and could’ve really used them on my last turn.
Also, I’ve now played a few missions with exclusion zones, which has definitely colored my assessment of the edition. I think my list and deployment would’ve been much better without the exclusion zone, mostly because I had so much trouble covering the middle of the table. I also think I could’ve been more aggressive with my Danavas’s pitcher, potentially snagging Total Control on Scarface on the first turn and going on a rampage with him in Erik’s deployment zone. At the very least, landing a repeater there would’ve been important.
I think I lost this game because I mis-prioritized a few things–I had a couple of very good attack paths on the first turn that I could’ve sunk a whole order pool into–perhaps even killing Scarface outright with the Karhu instead of wasting time on the Nokken KHD, or the aforementioned Danavas plan. The biggest blunder was not shooting the Brawler and the Druze and just sacrificing the Guijia. Things would’ve been very different if I had a TAG on the hill at the bottom of 3!
In any case, this was an example of lots of small mistakes on my end snowballing into a loss. I prioritized the objectives just fine, which is historically a thing I’ve had trouble with against Erik, so there’s demonstrable improvement. Looking forward to the rematch! Thanks for reading, and stay safe out there!