Cannes it be Done?

Erik is a proud new homeowner! In addition to the usual stuff–repairing windows, removing weeds from the the yard, etc., Erik’s done the most important thing for a new homeowner: build your first Infinity table now that you have space to store it! He’s chosen this lovely white sands mat to go for sort of a low-tide beach sand feel. As the table develops, he’s got the usual eclectic set of terrain to start, but I’m pretty excited to see where this table is going to go, especially after discussing his plans with him!

I was honored to be invited over for an early morning game over coffee and to get a tour of his new place. He’s attending RCR Lite 2021 and wanted some more Panic Room practice, so I was happy to oblige.

Overview

  • Mission: Panic Room
  • Forces: Force de Réponse Rapide Merovingienne versus Haqqislam (300)
  • Deploy First: Haqqislam
  • First Turn: FRRM

After my poor showing last game with them, I wanted to make sure I gave Merovingia some extra attention.

I decided to mix things up a little and take a TAG instead of Knauf, and added in a second fireteam of Loup Garou. I figured having some grenades might come in handy for Panic Room, so both my Metro link and Loup Garou link had access to a grenade launcher.

Panic Room & Highly Classifed
GROUP 1 6 1

BRIGADIER BRUANT (Lieutenant) AP Spitfire, Chain-colt, D-Charges / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1 | 28)
MOBLOT (Sapper) Heavy Machine Gun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 30)
ALGUACIL (Hacker, Hacking Device) Combi Rifle ( ) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 15)
MÉTRO Rifle, Grenade Launcher / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 12)
MÉTRO (Paramedic) Rifle ( | MediKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 10)

ANACONDA Heavy Machine Gun, Chain-colt, Panzerfaust / AP CC Weapon. (1.5 | 55)
OPERATOR Spitfire / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 0)

GROUP 2 7

LOUP-GAROU Viral Rifle, Grenade Launcher / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1 | 25)
LOUP-GAROU Boarding Shotgun, Adhesive Launcher / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 19)
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MULTI Rifle(+1B), Chain-colt / Heavy Pistol, DA CC Weapon, PARA CC Weapon(-6). (0 | 35)

CHASSEUR (Forward Observer) Rifle, Light Flamethrower, Flash Pulse, Shock Mines / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 20)
CHASSEUR (Forward Observer) Rifle, Light Flamethrower, Flash Pulse, Shock Mines / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 20)
DOZER Rifle, D-Charges ( | GizmoKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 13)
112 (Motorized) Light Shotgun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 18)


6 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

The list is pretty straightfoward: Metro link with specialists and guns. Loup Garou Haris to dive into the panic room and cause problems, and then a bunch of support stuff like a Motorized 112 for smoke, TAG to shoot stuff, Chasseurs to be annoying, etc. I think in future revisions of the list I’ll drop the Dozer for something else. I’m not going to repair the TAG, it’s only got STR 2, so I can probably use the points elsewhere. I did leave a Mirage-5-sized hole in my order pool, because I think that’s mandatory for playing FRRM.

Unfortunately, I made two (minor) mistakes this game. Bruant can’t be in camo state and in a link team at the same time. Nothing was shooting at him while he was walking around, so it didn’t really matter, but it’s worth remembering for the future. Apparently, you can choose to start him out of camo at deployment, and when he’s out of the link you can camo him once. Pretty neat. If that’s wrong, direct all righteous fury at Clint (pseudonymmster) the rules guru. :3

I also didn’t realize that entering sapper state is now a long skill, aka an Entire Order. Not sure when that changed, or if my memory is spotty and it’s always been that way. Again, not a huge deal. I got a bonus to shooting in two interactions, neither of which I was likely to lose anyway. Good to remember though, and I do think that changes my valuation on the skill a bit–you’re far less efficient moving around and entering sapper state than I thought.

Erik’s list is pretty typical of his vanilla Haqqislam. Most of his lists start with Knauf, a Muhktar Red Fury, and some impetuous smoke sources. He’s added in a SpecOps because RCR allows them, Al Djabel and a Fiday because goodstuff Haqq, and then a new addition for Erik: an Asawira Spitfire Lt.

Haqqislam
GROUP 1 8

ASAWIRA (Lieutenant) AP Spitfire, Nanopulser / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (1.5 | 39)
FARZAN (Chain of Command) Boarding Shotgun, Shock Mines / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 28)
AL-DJABEL Rifle, Light Shotgun, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Viral CC Weapon. (0 | 33)
SHIHAB REMOTE Heavy Machine Gun / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (1 | 24)
MUKHTAR (Multispectral Visor L2) Red Fury, Nanopulser(+1B) ( ) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1 | 36)
KNAUF MULTI Sniper Rifle / AP Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 32)
FANOUS REMOTE Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)
GHULAM HUSAM (Infinity Spec-Ops) (CC:14, BS:11, PH:10, WIP:14, ARM:2, W:2, Hacking Device(Hacker), Minelayer(Shock Mines), Doctor(+3), Engineer) Rifle, Rifle, Light Shotgun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 12)
NASMAT PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 3)

GROUP 2 3 4 5

KUM Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 5)
KUM Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 5)
ZULEYKA Light Flamethrower(+1B), Smoke Grenades / Breaker Pistol(+2B), EXP CC Weapon. (0 | 11)
LIBERTO (Minelayer) Light Shotgun, Shock Mines / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1 | 8)
KRAKOT RENEGADE Chain Rifle(+1B), Grenades / DA CC Weapon, Heavy Pistol. (0 | 14)
KRAKOT RENEGADE Chain Rifle(+1B), Grenades / DA CC Weapon, Heavy Pistol. (0 | 14)
FIDAY Rifle, Light Shotgun, Shock Mines, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 27)


6 SWC | 298 Points | Open in Infinity Army

He’s got a Shihab as well in there for fun. A pair of Krakot and a Libertos round out the list.

Deployment

Since Erik lost the roll, I made him deploy first. He’s got one more game in on his new table than I do, but was kind enough to explain to me that it was pretty “flat” and could be dominated by a single sniper (Knauf) on a rooftop. He’s playing vanilla, so many of his units were just deployed where they fit and spread out.

He put the Kum and Zuleyka in the back, protected by buildings, and then secured a building on his right with a Krakot and Libertos. He’s just trying to keep stuff alive with the biotechvore antenna in that building too, with a Fanous in base contact with it.

Thankfully, Confused Deployment kept both the Fiday and Al Djabel in Erik’s deployment zone. The things he expected to throw into the room were Al Djabel and the Asawira, so they both ended up on the ground floor. The stuff that he intended to protect and help clear the way for his other forces were the Muhktar, Farzan (mostly to keep it safe), and the SpecOps. Knauf was his reserve, but it makes sense that Knauf ended up on the roof, given the things he said about the table.

Compare his deployment to mine, which is much more cramped. My response to his deployment was to hide in the shadow zone of the objective room. I was concerned about Knauf’s potential placement and also wanted to set up such that I would have to spend as little orders as possible leaving the biotechvore zone.

You’ll note that all of my units are deployed 4″ forward from the table edge, meaning if I chose to leave them in place, I wouldn’t be forced to make any BTS saves. I did attempt to land both Chasseurs due to Confused Deployment and only landed one. There isn’t really a particular plan to my deployment other than I kept both links as safe as I thought reasonably possible.

I intended to use the Anaconda and the Chasseurs on the first turn, and not having to move the links sounded pretty good. With that, it was time to deploy. Knauf ended up on the roof, prone, and I responded by putting the Anaconda in a place where it could fight Erik’s TR bot immediately. Erik was very worried about Margot and Duroc, so his Asawira was faced backwards and in suppression. Pretty good plan, if you ask me.

Turn 1

Top of 1 – FRRM

First order of the game, the Anaconda advanced into 32″ of the TR bot and took it down. Well then. Couldn’t ask for much more than that!

I then pushed the Chasseur that failed his Confused Deployment roll into the objective room along with the one that did as part of a coordinated order. I decided the Kum were a pretty big threat and started going after them with the Chasseur. I wasn’t able to break their smoke grenade AROs though…

even though I tried on both Kum bikers.

I spent the rest of the turn pushing the Anaconda and my 5-model link forward, ending with a mine covering the Chasseur and the Anaconda, both of which were in suppression.

I had written off both the Anaconda and Chasseur at this point, but was hoping that Erik would spend most of his first turn dealing with them. Based on my experiences going first in Panic Room, you cannot just throw stuff in there and hope for the best. You have to push aggressively past the Panic Room and introduce roadblocks. A TAG in suppression with a template weapon seemed pretty good, and I figured I was reasonably safe from his Hacker SpecOps.

Bottom of 1 – Haqqislam

Erik ended up canceling all but one of his impetuous orders, which was pretty brutal. That’s a full 4 orders worth of movement getting chain rifles closer to the objective room. One Kum did make the attempt and was put dogged by the fire from the Chasseur and Anaconda. Disappointing that I didn’t take it out!

It kept pushing forward, trying to land smoke for the Muhktar. Instead, it died to the mine. Nevertheless, clearing a mine here with a dogged Kum is great value for Erik.

After Zulekya set up smoke for him, the Muhktar gunned down the Chasseur next. I forgot the Chasseur had sixth sense and could shoot back without penalty through the smoke, but I still would have been on -6 due to cover and Mimetism, so I dodged instead. I probably should’ve just shot. That’s what happens when you don’t play an army for awhile, you forget these things!

In any case, Erik made the wise decision to not waste time trying to shoot the ARM 10 Anaconda with the Muhktar’s Red Fury and instead opted to advance his Fiday. He briefly considered going after the TAG with his Asawira, but I would be 3 on 10s and he’d be 4 on 11s, which is too close for comfort! The threat of Margot and Duroc tipped the scales just a little bit, and Erik kept the Asawira facing backwards, still in suppression.

The Fiday threw smoke, blocking the view to the Fiday’s approach as well as the view to the Shihab, which was picked up by the SpecOps and its Nasmat.

The Fiday advanced into the smoke cloud and dodged into close combat. I was going to lose suppression in a moment anyway, so I attempted a dodge and failed.

Erik attempted a close combat attack, but ARM 7 is really hard to crack for a Fiday and I shrugged off the hit. Erik always plays to the objective, so he impersonated Al Djabel and ran him into the Panic Room, ignoring my Chasseur’s mine and out-pointing the remaining Chasseur in there.

The smoke also allows Erik to push his remaining stuff out of the biotechvore zone safely, and the Muhktar goes into suppression.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – FRRM

Erik’s got two points, one for having more points and the other for having a character in the room, and I’ve got none. Not great! I have to contend with the TR bot again, so I put the Moblot into sapper state and blast it down, using the order efficiency to push some link members into the room, in particular Bruant.

I need to free up my Anaconda, and Mozart is the tool to do that. He climbs off his roof and takes some shots at the remaining Kum, shocking it off the table with a lucky hit. I mean, rolling 5 dice isn’t really “lucky,” but you get the idea.

I push the Loup Garou BSG into the room and set up for a flank with the Viral Rifle Loup Garou while Mozart shoots at the downed TR bot. I want to take it off the table, so I elect to shoot it with DA ammo on Burst 3. Mozart does some wacky things. I eventually knock it out completely, and then I’m free to fight the Fiday.

I can’t Berserk because I want to move the rest of the Fireteam around, so I settle for a face to face roll with the Para CCW for the -6. The Fiday manages to do a wound to Mozart, sadly…

but my next order sees Mozart trade himself for the Fiday. I keep the link up, daring Al Djabel to take a free shot on my Loup Garou and eat a mine in the back.

I don’t really want to shoot it out with the Muhktar, so I rely on my ARM 7 and just roll up to hit it with a chain colt. I tank all the hits from the anemic Red Fury and do a wound to the Muhktar, who goes prone.

I try to see it by vaulting up on a box. Sadly I can’t see the Muhktar, but I can see the SpecOps and I delete it quickly before aggressively taking on Erik’s order pool.

I template the Liberto, a Krakot, and the Fanous in the building he was hiding them in and manage to get everyone but the Krakot before passing turn.

I shuffle Bruant into the room while Paramedic healing Mozart back into consciousness. Not too shabby!

Bottom of 2 – Haqqislam

Erik elects to try and take on the Anaconda with the Krakot that survived the chain colt. I shoot with Mozart and template with the Anaconda. The Krakot fails its dodge and dies. I wish I had dodged Mozart into cover instead though, that would have been really convenient…

because I immediately lose him to Knauf who stands up and starts blasting.

My poor Alguacil on loan from Corregidor is Knauf’s next victim.

Now that the TAG isn’t in suppression anymore, Erik takes it down with his Asawira, ejecting the pilot in a cloud of smoke. Zulekya sets up smoke for the Muhktar, who takes out my poor Metro grenade launcher that I had set up to watch the door to where the Krakot would have to go, had it handled my Anaconda.

Erik’s a bit low on orders, so after attempting some nanopulsar hits on my Anaconda pilot with the Muhktar, he has to call it quits. The Muhktar and Asawira go into suppression with Knauf watching the back table edge and the Anaconda pilot. The remaining Krakot dies to the Biotechvore zone.

Turn 3

Top of 3 – FRRM

I’ve got more points in the room now as well as a Character, putting us at a 2-2 tie so far, since Al Djabel is still alive in there. Knauf is vulnerable though, as he’s not facing entirely forward, allowing a Loup Garou to down him with an unopposed Viral Rifle shot.

I then take on Zuleyka with my Moblot HMG and do a damage, putting her dogged.

I then delete the Asawira with the Moblot. I’ll take it!

The Loup Garou BSG discovers Al Djabel, and I attempt to get behind him with Bruant but get discovered by the Muhktar (dropping suppression) on the way. I don’t want to lose the character point on Bruant, so I elect to go after Al Djabel with the Loup Garou. It takes two orders but he eventually drops.

I take down the Muhktar at long distance with the Loup Garou viral rifle…

and then get my In Extremis Recovery off of Al Djabel with a Metro.

At this point, Erik only has the Farzan left, so we call it. He rolls BTS for the Farzan, who dies to the zone.

7-2 Force de Réponse Rapide Merovingienne Victory!

Post Game Analysis

I’m much happier with my play this game. I carefully positioned things, was aggressive with my TAG in the right way (that was still a big risk that paid off), and played to the objectives carefully. I liked the list a lot, and even with my Sapper/Bruant in a link mistakes, I think I know how to leverage those tools without getting the rules wrong now.

I definitely made some minor mistakes and could have been more proactive about protecting the TAG better. For example, putting a mine down on the right side of the Chasseur instead of going into suppression would probably have been better and saved me some trouble.

Even though it worked, I think pushing the Anaconda that far forward was a risk, especially with the Asawira right there. I think Erik should have just gone after the TAG with that tool, but there are many reasons that he shouldn’t have as well. His plan was to use the Asawira in the objective room, and he really doesn’t like being aggressive with his lieutenants, even with the Farzan Chain of Command present (his words, not mine).

It’s a tough call, really. The TAG surviving wasn’t an integral part of my plan–him having to deal with it and exhausting himself against it on his first turn was. If the TAG had immediately died to shots from the Asawira like Erik’s TR bot did, well, that would have been really disappointing and probably would have swung the game in Erik’s favor significantly. Still, Erik was dangerously close to not having anything in the panic room at the bottom of 1–he had to remind himself to stop trying to go after the TAG and get Al Djabel in there. So from that perspective being aggressive with the TAG was a success.

The only real threat to the TAG was Knauf or the Asawira, and Erik used neither in his first turn–that probably was the biggest mistake he made all game, if you can even call that mistake. I think he’d probably characterize it as a gamble–preserving material for later turns at the expensive of letting me keep a TAG. He knew I was going to remove the Fiday with Mozart too–he said as much, but the fact that Mozart can drag the Loup Garou forward as he does so (and he was in the other group from the TAG) made that a pretty efficient scenario for me. Bottom line, I am very happy with the TAG in Merovingia and will be using it more!

Also, having used Mozart a few times now, I am really impressed. He really brings a lot of benefit to the sectorials he’s in. Corregidor has some great close combat tools, but being able to add one to a link that is also two wounds and a decent gunfighter is really really good. Having him in Merovingia is just amazing–he really beefs out a Metro link and adds unique attack vectors to Briscard and Loup Garou links as well.

I liked the way I handled the list–push the main link up with the Chasseurs and Anaconda on the first turn, and then hit whatever’s left with Mozart and the Loup Garou on subsequent turns if I need to. I was really feeling the lack of MSV though, and will probably find a way to work Knauf in, probably by dropping the Dozer. The Anaconda doesn’t need an engineer, it’s going to die and that’s okay. It’s cheap enough to be expendable. I may feel differently in a situation where I have to deal with a lot of hackers, but for now it feels okay.

The 112 did nothing, mostly because of the Muhktar… that’s definitely skewing my evaluation of the situation, but the list slots are pretty tight and I really want to get Knauf back in the list.

On the other hand, I think the Loup Garou add a lot to the list, and are more helpful than the Briscards (even though I love Briscards). I think you have to make a choice between the two links (Briscards versus Loup Garou), especially since taking the Anaconda sort of boxes you into taking the Metro core for points reasons. Knauf is a more than reasonable replacement for a Briscard Haris. Perhaps something like this:

I lose the Engineer for Highly Classified, which is pretty rough, but gain Knauf. Perhaps I don’t need Bruant, but being able to deliver a character camo token to the room seems good. There’s something to be said for perhaps taking an Anaconda/Moblot Engineer duo, but I’m reluctant to spend that many points on something so situational. I suspect playing this list in Highly Classified and drawing some engineering classifieds will change my thoughts pretty quickly. Not sure what I would drop to include the engineer though.

I’ve also swapped Bruant and Mozart… still not convinced that’s a good idea here, but we’ll see. Need to get more games in, right? Thanks for reading.

WiseKensai

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

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