The Case for CAS

Alright, another quiet week night, another game! I was running late so I arrived to this configuration of Adam’s Ariadna table. There are a number of very dangerous corner-to-corner firelanes in this configuration, even though you can’t draw line of fire from table edge to table edge. I had no idea that this was the case before driving over, so while my list might seem a little tailored for this table it absolutely was not.

One side effect of arriving late is that we ran out of time to also play a game of Heavy Gear… womp womp.

Overview

  • Mission: Rescue
  • Forces: Haqqislam versus Combined Army (300)
  • Deploy First: Combined Army
  • First Turn: Combined Army

In preparation for our next Late Night Wargames episode on ITS missions, Adam and I decided to punish ourselves by playing Rescue. I took Haqqislam, since I haven’t put them on the table for quite some time. I wanted double Fiday to rescue folks, and I decided to take a bunch of MSV troopers to prevent Adam from using smoke to rescue stuff.

Suuuuuure
GROUP 1 8 1 1

ZHAYEDAN (Lieutenant, BS Attack [Shock]) Heavy Machine Gun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 33)
ARMAND (Multispectral Visor L1) MULTI Sniper Rifle, Nanopulser ( ) / Breaker Pistol(+1B), Shock CC Weapon. (1.5 | 39)
DJANBAZAN (BS Attack [Shock]) AP Sniper Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 31)
KHAWARIJ (NCO, Multispectral Visor L2) Mk12 ( ) / Pistol, AP + Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 38)
NAMURR Spitfire, E/Marat, D-Charges / Heavy Pistol, E/M CC Weapon. (1 | 43)
AL-DJABEL Rifle, Light Shotgun, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Viral CC Weapon. (0 | 33)
FIDAY Rifle, Light Shotgun, Shock Mines, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 27)
GHULAM (Doctor [+3]) Rifle, Light Shotgun ( | MediKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 15)
ZULEYKA Light Flamethrower(+1B), Smoke Grenades / Breaker Pistol(+2B), EXP CC Weapon. (0 | 11)

GROUP 2 5 2

LIBERTO (Minelayer) Light Shotgun, Shock Mines / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1 | 8)
MUTTAWI’AH Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Breaker Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 5)
MUTTAWI’AH Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Breaker Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 5)
DAYLAMI (Camouflage [1 Use], Infiltration) Light Shotgun, Panzerfaust / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 6)
DAYLAMI (Camouflage [1 Use], Infiltration) Light Shotgun, Panzerfaust / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 6)


5.5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

All in all this is a pretty shooty Haqqislam list–HMG, Spitfire, MK12, MSR, and regular Sniper. Lots of guns! I really wanted to try out Le Muet, too, because I have the model and have never put him on the table. It’s worth noting that this list was legal until very recently, when they finally adjusted the Daylami to be 8 instead of 6 points. I’m sure I could’ve figured out a solution though.

Adam originally was going to play Steel, but he decided to play Combined instead. He went a little heavy into his anti-Fiday package, and was planning on using his Rasyat and Ko Dali to rescue stuff. Nourkias is there to holomask and not die to Fiday.

Rescue
GROUP 1 9

NOURKIAS (Lieutenant, Hacker, Killer Hacking Device [UPGRADE: Total Control (+1 Damage)]) Breaker Combi Rifle, Flash Pulse ( ) / Pistol, Vorpal CC Weapon, E/M CC Weapon. (0 | 45)
KERR-NAU Plasma Rifle, D-Charges, Pitcher / Breaker Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 27)
IKADRON (Baggage, Repeater) Light Flamethrower(+1B), Flash Pulse / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 9)
IKADRON (Baggage, Repeater) Light Flamethrower(+1B), Flash Pulse / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 9)
ÍMETRON . (0 | 4)
ÍMETRON . (0 | 4)
YAOGAT MULTI Sniper Rifle(+1B) / Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 35)
KO DALI (Infiltration, Mimetism [-3]) MULTI Rifle, Nanopulser, D-Charges / Assault Pistol(+1B), AP CC Weapon. (0 | 41)
RASYAT Spitfire, D-Charges, Eclipse Grenades / Heavy Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (1.5 | 37)

GROUP 2 5 1 2

SPECULO KILLER Combi Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Monofilament CC Weapon. (1 | 32)
Q-DRONE Heavy Machine Gun / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (1 | 25)
DĀTURAZI Chain Rifle(+1B), Grenades, Smoke Grenades / Heavy Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 14)
R-DRONE Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)
R-DRONE Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)
GAKI AP CC Weapon. (0 | 4)


5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

Deployment

Adam won the rolloff and chose first, so I gave him what I considered to the worse side, with plenty of hiding spots for my Fiday. He castled up behind various rock formations and walls, with R-Drones facing backwards to defend against possible Ragiks. Nourkias was in the center, and then he placed a Yaogat and Q-drone down to contest each of the long corner-to-corner firelanes. Kerr Nau hung out on the left with a Gaki buddy–Adam figured he could get the Gaki over the landing pad to do some damage.

I countered Adam’s deployment pretty hard. Le Muet went down watching the Q-Drone and pinning Ko Dali in place, as he was able to see both sides of the collection of crates she was hiding behind. The Djanbazan covered the black car thing by Al-Djabel, which would force the Yaogat to have to deal with the Daylami first–which I placed to just annoy everything. My Libertos secured my right side against a potential Gaki-run, and then Al-Djabel hung out near the Yaogat intending to gank him if given the chance.

I put Zulekya nearby to potentially try and assassinate Ko Dali as well as guard the back table with her templates, and then the Zhayedin and Mutts guarded the rest of that corner. Both Le Muet and the Djanbazan watched the back table edge to really deny the table edge to Rasyats, and my left corner was protected by a Mutt, the Khawarij, and a Ghulam Doctor. The Namurr went in the middle to get ready to punch forward.

Adam put a Speculo down out of reserve, and I did the same thing with a Fiday, making the WIP 15 roll to be in his deployment zone and threatening Kerr Nau.

Turn 1

Let’s talk about plans real quick. My plan:

  • Turn 1
    • Drain Adam’s orders. I’m happy to lose both Daylami and even one of the snipers if I can accomplish this.
    • Stop the Speculo from doing anything crazy–ditto with the Rasyat (I didn’t know it was there, but I assumed).
    • Kill Kerr Nau, so Adam doesn’t have access to White Noise anymore. I have a bunch of MSV things, so White Noise would be really sad.
    • Push something into the midfield if I can to get ready to grab a civilian
  • Turn 2
    • Grab at least one civilian, run only as far as I need to in order to be safe.
    • If I have resources, do some damage, but don’t commit to that.
  • Turn 3
    • Get the civilian to my deployment zone
    • Kill anything that has a civilian on Adam’s side.

I was pretty happy with my civilian defense, as Adam would have to get rid of two daylami, two snipers, and potentially even go through Fiday to get to mine on the first turn. If I needed to defend civilians for Turn 2, I could try to shift some resources with coordinated orders.

Adam’s plan, based on our post-game discussion:

  • Turn 1
    • Kill Zuleyka, reset the Speculo into impersonation.
    • Kill either the Djanbazan or Le Muet to unstick his forces.
    • Try to make progress on the civilians.
  • Turn 2
    • Get civilians
  • Turn 3
    • Disruption
    • Civilian stuffs.

Let’s see how we did.

Top of 1 – Combined Army

Adam starts off by putting a wound on Zulekya, and I choose to make her Dogged to force him to drain more orders–I should also mention that I docked the Speculo’s pool two orders, which is a big deal. So far though, that’s good. Adam won’t have to deal with my bike on his turn.

The Yaogat needs to push through the Daylami, so he starts off by popping out to see both of them and discovering the farther one successfully.

He then pops out again to see the far one and dares me to reveal. I decide to take the bait and return fire with both Daylami, forcing him to split burst. I think this was a mistake on my part. I should make him waste as many possible orders on discovering. The Daylami on the boxes dies, but the other one passes his saves.

Another shot with burst 3 against the Daylami on the rocks (now there’s a drink) crit and hits the Daylami. I pass all 5 saves and tuck away out of LoF. This finally lets the Yaogat get into view of the Djanbazan, and I pass both saves on the one hit he sneaks through.

Adam then uses the Speculo to try and kill the Djanbazan. I pass ARM again, and my Mutt dodges into a position to better protect my Lieutenant.

Adam lands a Rasyat to try and take on the Djanbazan, and I manage to dodge the Mutt into a position to make that hard for him over the course of the Speculo re-impersonating and the Rasyat landing.

Understandably frustrated, we talk through the potential scenarios. I’m of the opinion that he should just grab an HVT and book it towards his deployment zone. The Rasyat is likely to get shot up by the Djanbazan and Le Muet on the way, but at least the civilian will be closer and easier to grab. Adam really wants to kill the Djanbazan, but we talk through it and we eventually decide that dropping eclipse smoke and absconding with the civilian is a better idea.

As predicted, the Civilian is now very close to Adam’s deployment zone, but Le Muet revokes the Rasyat’s diplomatic passport and blaps him with a sniper round.

Bottom of 1 – Haqqislam

Turn goes over to me. One of the Mutts is pinned down by the Q-Drone so he just sits there. The other one moves into view of the re-impersonated Speculo and makes the discover at point blank range. I break the second level of impersonation with the Daylami on the rock…

then break the Speculo with a burst of Spitfire rounds from the Namurr.

Okay. Immediate threat over. Time to deal with Kerr Nau. I split shotgun slug shots on Kerr Nau and the Gaki, killing them both against their dodges. Unfortunately, the R-Drone zaps the Speculo with its flash pulse, so I fail guts out of line of fire and close to the rock.

Now I’m in a much better situation. No more White Noise on the table, the Rasyat and Speculo down, and both snipers still up. There’s still the matter of dealing with the Yaogat, so I send in Al Djabel. Should be an easy task, right?

57.10 35.45 7.44

It takes 4 orders of shotgunning the Yaogat in the face, but I finally kill it.

I’ve got my NCO order left, so the Khawarij jumps up and max-range throws a few Mk12 shots at the R-Drone on Adam’s right, taking it out.

I re-impersonate Al-Djabel and the other Fiday and pass turn.

Turn 2

At this point, Adam’s down a Speculo, Rasyat, Kerr-Nau, Yaogat, Gaki, and an R-Drone with two Fidays alive. In contrast, I’ve only lost one Daylami and Zulekya. Things are not looking good for the gribbly aliens in purple. My plan is looking pretty good so far. I really would’ve liked to push the Namurr forward, but I didn’t have enough orders after it took a ridiculous amount of time to kill the Yaogat.

Top of 2 – Combined Army

Adam still needs to unstick himself from the situation he’s in, and for him that starts with trying to get rid of Al Djabel. I make him spend an order breaking the first layer of impersonation, then I miraculously dodge around the car as the Daturazi blasts away with its heavy pistol. Thankfully he had to do all this prone to avoid getting shot by the Djanbazan, which helped drain him of orders.

At this point, Adam’s got 6 orders in his main pool. There really isn’t a huge amount he can do to improve his position. I haven’t lost anything, really, all of his guns are dead, and there’s no way to move forward without getting shot by a quality sniper. We debate at length what the best thing to do is, considering the following possibilities:

  • Do Nothing – Pass turn with six orders still available.
  • Push with Nourkias – The best option for him to advance was Nourkias thanks to Cybermask, but moving his Lt forward would almost assuredly get his Lieutenant killed leaving him in LoL on Turn 3.
  • Push with Ko Dali – Ko Dali was doing a really good job locking down my Fiday and preventing him from grabbing the HVT right next to her. So moving her wouldn’t have been all that helpful. Plus, shooting at Le Muet wasn’t great, even with MSV2 and if she managed to scoot into 32″. The odds are pretty in my favor:
44.08 31.05 24.86
  • Develop the Ikadrons – This would let him try and kill Al Djabel, and maybe get a sync off on one of the civilians. It would also make it harder for me to do stuff as I’d have to either clear the Ikardrons first or somehow contend with the flamethrowers.
  • Kill the Fidays – I think this is probably the most important thing for him to have done, the issue was that he tried to kill Al Djabel with the Daturazi, and the only thin to go after the other Fiday would’ve been the Q-Drone, which was watched by Le Muet.

After much hemming and hawing, Adam decided to try and make the Ikadron plan work. Le Muet got one…

and the Djanbazan got the other.

Oof. Well, that’s pretty brutal. Adam ends the turn by throwing Ko Dali into suppression and scooting Nourkias into a better spot.

Bottom of 2 – Haqqislam

Okay, here’s the plan: Get Al Djabel to a civilian, sync it, and get the hell out of there! But first, my impetuous orders. One Mutt is still pinned by the Q-Drone. I guess I could’ve shot at it last turn against its dodge with Le Muet, but I’d much rather force Adam to spend orders doing that, especially since I have Fidays where I need them already, and the Q-Drone isn’t covering my retreat paths.

The second Mutt makes it all the way to Ko Dali and spends the first Mutt’s irregular pistol-ing her. Ko Dali unfortunately dodges. Adam reveals Nourkias to take a shot at this Mutt too, but I make ARM. I think that was a mistake, and I don’t think it was necessary because I basically had no more orders aside from the Libertos’. The Mutt is guarding the only Civilian in striking range, so I just leave him there and move the Libertos in a way that will secure Adam’s HVT.

The Daturazi’s not dead, it’s still there annoying Al Djabel, so I force it back into total cover with some supporting fire from the Khawarij.

The Daturazi is able to dodge into view when I sync the Civilian, so I’m forced to spend another order on the Khawarij to force it back behind the car.

Al Djabel absconds with his civilian and hides in a safe spot behind a building in the midfield. I figure I should go after Ko Dali now, as she and Nourkias are the only credible threats left. A quick burst of rifle fire from my Fiday takes her out.

I have one order left, which I try to use on the Fiday to take out Nourkias. Sadly, he makes his ARM saves.

Turn 3

Top of 3 – Combined Army

The Daturazi throws itself under the bus to get smoke up for Nourkias to make a run on the Civilian the Rasyat slingshotted closer to Adam’s deployment zone. Le Muet serves as the bus here. Nourkias comes through the smoke, kills the Fiday and tanks the wound from the Mutt’s chain rifle.

He moves into base to base with the civilian, taking a hit from the Mutt. Le Muet misses for the first time this game, but this is Adam’s last order, and he fails to sync the Civilian!

Bottom of 3 – Haqqislam

The Mutt tries to fight Nourkias in close combat–it doesn’t go well, but both survive (the Mutt is dogged), and Nourkias is at least tied up. Now to clear the way, finally. Le Muet blaps the Q-Drone unconscious easily, and then I’m free to move Al Djabel into my deployment zone.

I’ve even got enough orders to get the Khawarij out to a Civilian and back to my Dead Zone.

This puts me an

8-0 Haqqislam Victory!

Post Game Analysis

Well, I got pretty lucky with some of my ARM rolls, particularly on my Daylami and Djanbazan. Al Djabel also did a good job at not dying, which was perhaps a bit anomalous as well. Losing Kerr-Nau to my Fiday was really bad, and I think that did a lot to win me the game. Now that I’ve had the benefit of a few days to think about this, I think Adam probably should’ve opted for deployment, waited till Turn 2 to drop the Rasyat, once I was out of position, and pushed Ko Dali forward.

There weren’t many places to keep her safe, but after the Yaogat went down, I think he was in real trouble in terms of getting up the table. I think there was a way to push her forward, hopefully eat a Mutt to get the extra wounds, and then challenge Le Muet in favorable range bands. This all relies on me pushing for the midfield and having first turn to do that, but I think that would’ve been the case had he chosen deployment.

In any case, the title of this battle report is “The Case for Close Air Support (CAS).” Typically you’d just call in artillery or an airstrike if you were pinned down by fire in this way. I think to that end, Adam attempted to use his Rasyat to remove the Djanbazan, and maybe I was wrong in advising him to walk away with an civilian. I don’t think that the Djanbazan was the real problem, but Adam commented that its absence would have let Nourkias advance on my left. I would’ve had the Khawarij and Namurr there to punish him, but that’s still at least an option.

I think being more aggressive with the Rasyat on my left, before I developed the Khawarij, would’ve let him challenge Le Muet. Adam’s reasoning behind this was that he thought the Daylami were mines, which would have been impossible once the Yaogat revealed them, so it still could’ve happened. In any case, I think Adam chose to go after the Djanbazan hard, and it didn’t work out. Coupled with some deployment issues, like Kerr Nau’s positioning, and the snowball effects of the damage that I caused over Turn 1, and it was a very hard game to recover from.

This seems to be characteristic of a lot of my games versus Adam that result in a blowout like this–we’re generally pretty evenly matched, but then one of us will make a relatively minor mistake or suboptimal play. Dice go horribly, and then we over-invest a little too much, and then the game becomes nigh-unrecoverable. The table absolutely wasn’t helping Adam at all either, so there’s that as well.

WiseKensai

I primarily play Infinity and Heavy Gear nowadays, but I dabble in plenty of other game systems.

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