Knauf of Justice

So as many of you probably know, I run BromadAcademy.com (solo), InfinityTheAcademy.com (with HeadChime), and LateNightWargames.com (with TheDiceAbide). My opponent for this battle report, Piotr, has been consistently submitting to Bromad Academy for years now, and we’ve developed a pen-pal friendship via the emails we exchange back and forth discussing his Bromad Academy submissions. Now that cross-continent Infinity Tabletop Simulator games are commonplace, Piotr, being the smart person he is, wondered why we haven’t played each other yet!

We managed to schedule this game to fix the problem. Poor Piotr woke up at 5:30 AM to accommodate this game, so another big thank you to him for making this happen! We picked this random map literally out of a bag because it said “Supplies” on it and we wanted to have as little additional setup as possible, as we’re playing Frostbyte.

Overview

  • Mission: Frostbyte
  • Forces: Force de Response Rapide Merovingienne versus Military Orders (300)
  • Deploy First: Military Orders
  • First Turn: Military Orders

As I said, we were playing Frostbyte, mainly because I’ve been helping people prepare for the Rose City Raid. We couldn’t really decide on a mission, so we just chose from the Rose City scenarios and Frostbyte sounded fun. I’ve been working on improving my play with the French for awhile, so I stuck to them instead of choosing another army. I went with a slight modification to my list from last game:

Essentially I have a Bruant/Loup Garou Haris as a secondary attack unit, two Chasseurs to do work in the midfield, and then Knauf in the first group. If Knauf survives the first turn, I was planning on dumping a bunch of orders into him or the Chasseurs.

Panic Room, Frost Byte, Highly Classified
GROUP 1 6

BRIGADIER BRUANT (Lieutenant) AP Spitfire, Chain-colt, D-Charges / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1 | 28)
LOUP-GAROU Viral Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 21)
LOUP-GAROU Boarding Shotgun, Adhesive Launcher / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 19)

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)
KNAUF MULTI Sniper Rifle / AP Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 32)

GROUP 2 7 1

MOBLOT Heavy Machine Gun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 28)
ALGUACIL (Hacker, Hacking Device) Combi Rifle ( ) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 15)
MÉTRO (Paramedic) Rifle ( | MediKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 10)
MÉTRO Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 8)
MÉTRO Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 8)

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MULTI Rifle(+1B), Chain-colt / Heavy Pistol, DA CC Weapon, PARA CC Weapon(-6). (0 | 35)
ANACONDA AP Spitfire, Light Flamethrower, Panzerfaust / AP CC Weapon. (1.5 | 56)
OPERATOR Spitfire / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 0)

6 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

The second group is a 6-model Metro/Moblot/Wolfgang core plus an Anaconda. I say 6-model because I can reform the link as necessary to refill or otherwise be flexible. The second group is really there to power Wolfgang and the Anaconda. I’m not thrilled with the second group, as the link seems a little anemic, but I suppose most light infantry links feel pretty anemic. I kept my list to 13 orders to threaten Margot and Duroc, which I think it an absolute must. You want that big furry dog warrior and his femme fatale occupying as much of your opponent’s headspace as possible!

Piotr is being an awesome person and is doing the current Bromad Academy mission to take a Limited Insertion list! He’s also trying out Military Orders for the first time.

As such, his list is a collection of Military Order beefcakes! He’s running a cheap 5-model Crosier core with a Knight Commander and Black Friar HRL to power a trio of Knights: Sepulcher, Justice, and Montesa. To round out the list, he’s got a Trinitarian MSR to help clear the way for his units, and then Dart, because Dart is amazing!

Tcional
10 1

KNIGHT COMMANDER (Lieutenant [+1 Order]) Combi Rifle, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 28)
CROSIER Combi Rifle, Blitzen, E/M Mines / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 13)
CROSIER (Paramedic) Combi Rifle ( | MediKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 13)
CROSIER (Multispectral Visor L2) Spitfire ( ) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1 | 22)
BLACK FRIAR FTO (Sixth Sense) Heavy Rocket Launcher, Nanopulser / MULTI Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 25)

KNIGHT OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE (NCO) AP Heavy Machine Gun / Heavy Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (1 | 56)
KNIGHT OF JUSTICE (Forward Deployment [+4″]) Spitfire, D-Charges / Heavy Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (1 | 50)
KNIGHT OF MONTESA (Paramedic) Boarding Shotgun ( | MediKit) / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 31)
DART Submachine Gun, Viral Tactical Bow, E/M Grenades / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 34)
TRINITARIAN MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 28)


6 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

If you’d like to see this game from Piotr’s perspective, you can do so here:

Deployment

I won the rolloff and made Piotr deploy first without really looking at the map–it looked very symmetrical so I figured this was a safe way of getting second turn in Frostbyte. Unfortunately for me, once I started deploying myself I noticed how protected the central consoles were from my side! There were walls on both of the flank objectives–only the central objective was really open to both of us easily.

Piotr deployed his link first, clustering them up in the center of the table, using a large building to screen his Black Friar HRL from direct shots across the middle of the table. The Black Friar could basically cover my approach to both flank objectives, but not the center. Woof. That was going to be a bit of a problem for me. He then put the Montesa on the right and the Knight of Justice on the left. Dart went on the left as well, to back the Knight of Justice up, and the Trinitarian cheekily deployed on a roof all the way at the edge of the exclusion zone on Piotr’s right.

There are some very long firelanes on this map along the roads (by design) so I was pretty reluctant to deploy on the roads against PanO. I also needed to solve the problem of getting to the consoles. Given the exclusion zone and the map, the risk-reward ratio of attempting to over-infiltrate my Chasseurs seemed good. I really wanted to land them, but if I didn’t, they’d just power my links to go get the objectives, which was the backup plan.

After some more thought, I was really worried about a first turn suicide push by the Knight of Justice, Dart, or the Montesa (or the TAG that I thought might be coming), so my first Chasseur went down right next to Piotr’s Dead Zone heater, just outside of his deployment zone. I figured he’d at least have to spend some time thinking about it and I would at least be able to attack his link if it survived. I landed the first Chasseur. Given that, I figured I’d try the second one in a more objective-focused position, right next to the Trinitarian, funnily enough. Piotr had me guessing with Dart standing–I thought there was a Trinitarian minelayer on that side to get the well defended console.

I decided to cluster my links in the center, with the core deployed a little further forward. I wasn’t quite sure what he had in his list yet, so I needed to honor a Knight of Santiago AD trooper (or the Crusader), and deployed accordingly. The Bruant link went on the left, just tucked in. I figured I might be able to stop the Montesa if it really pushed, and I stuck my Alguacil hacker in a corner covering all my Metros (it’s between the Moblot and the Paramedic, I’m just now realizing that it’s not in the picture below).

I did some eyeballing, and from a prone position on a gas truck in my deployment zone it looked like I could see the Knight of Justice if it stood up, and I could already see Dart. So that’s exactly where Knauf went. Piotr counter-deployed Knauf with a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre, and then I was left to deploy my Anaconda. I had originally planned to put the Anaconda on the right, poking out to cover the road and challenge the Montesa as it approached, but with the Knight of the Holy Sepulchre in the middle and Dart with E/M grenades on the table, I was too chicken to do so, and my Anaconda went down in total cover on the left.

Piotr nominates the Sepulchre knight as his datatracker, to effectively give it 3 extra orders and I choose Wolfgang.

Turn 1

Top of 1 – Military Orders

I docked him two orders, which didn’t really matter thanks to NCO and the Knight Commander. After the Montesa scooted forward, Piotr got serious and activated the Sepulchre knight. I had no idea which of the Sepulchre knight holoechoes was the real one so I just delayed against the one I could see. In retrospect, shooting instead of delaying is best if you can only see one… but anyway.

Turns out the one I could see was the real one! I was on 10’s thanks to Surprise Shot, but I was just outside of 32″, putting the knight on -9 overall!

20.21 44.51 35.28

Not the best odds for either of us. Unfortunately for Piotr, I roll a crit, and he fails 2/3 saves.

The Black Friar HRL tries next, with significantly worse odds:

61.45 15.66 22.88

It goes about as you might expect, and now Piotr is down two big guns and his link is broken. After advancing the Knight of Justice to protect the console on my right, Piotr zooms the Knight of Montesa over to paramedic the Sepulchre knight back up but fails the PH roll.

I really felt for him–it SUCKS when that happens.

Piotr’s out of orders and is forced to pass turn after re-linking his Crosiers with the Paramedic as leader.

Bottom of 1 – FRRM

I take a look at Piotr’s remaining models. In terms of specialists, he’s got the Montesa and the Crosier Paramedic. There might be a Trinitarian or two on the table, but I decide to remove as many of his specialists as possible. I do the math in my head and it looks favorable to use my Chasseur to go after the Crosier Paramedic:

62.32 26.84 10.84

One paramedic down, one to go. The Knight of Montesa had dodged into view of my Chasseur on that shot, so I decided to let Piotr deal with that instead of spending orders on it. I figured I might be able to flamethrower him down in ARO, or at the very least force him to come close combat me and therefore have to spend a few orders getting off the roof. I’m pretty happy with any of those options so I decide to just let it be.

My other Chasseur heads towards the console on my left, leaving a mine on the way, just in case. I activate the console and turn on my deployment zone heater. After this, I push my Anaconda forward to develop its position.

Now that the AP HMG is off the table, I’m feeling pretty safe, especially with Dart in the opposite table corner. Piotr telegraphs a TO unit by almost declaring an ARO, but decides against it. The Anaconda is in cover now, so if I have to deal with a TO unit I figure I’m pretty safe even against a sniper since I’m now ARM 10. Piotr was guarding against an attack on the right console from the right table edge, so his Knight of Justice has her back to the center of the table. This means I can have a shot on him with Wolfgang, and I start making my way over there. Piotr chooses this moment to reveal his Trinitarian MSR, which I think is the correct call. Wolfgang is stupidly good at dodging, so I decide to dodge. With his extra dodge movement I’ll at least be out of LoF if I make it.

54.50 13.12 32.38

Piotr has a reasonable chance of KOing Wolfgang right now–15.05% to KO, 1.03% to kill. Thankfully I made the dodge roll and get to safety.

The Trinitarian is in full view of Knauf (and my Anaconda), so I start things off with Knauf:

63.97 21.48 14.55

My dice luck eventually has to end, and it does here, with Knauf unconscious on the roof of the truck.

My Chasseur rolls forward and threatens a flamethrower. The Trinitarian dodges, and I shoot him instead. I whiff, and the Trinitarian decides to stay up.

22.82 40.07 37.11

My Anaconda don’t want none of this and takes down the Trinitarian on somewhat uncomfortable odds for me:

40.68 43.92 15.40

I’d just like to point out that even at ARM 7 base, it’s still better to choose DA over AP (which is what Piotr chose). The chance to wound the Anaconda increases ever so slightly to 16.34% from 15.40%. The crossover for where AP is better than DA is at ARM 8. If you want more math, here’s an old graph from N3, just looking at ARM rolls on a successful non-critical hit.

In any case, with the Trinitarian down, I can push Wolfgang into the Knight of Justice’s rear arc. I don’t have stealth, but thankfully the Knight doesn’t dodge. I’m able to dump shots into its rear and do a wound.

71.97 19.98 8.05

I actually have a 37.62% chance to one-shot the Knight but roll pretty poorly and only do one wound. Piotr makes his religious roll and fails guts into cover.

I try again, with the Knight now shooting back with its heavy pistol from cover. Much worse odds for me:

32.93 45.27 21.80

I lose the roll but pass ARM. Funnily enough, I have a 40% chance to wound with Wolfgang’s chain colt versus the 32.93% chance. That does increase my likelihood of taking a wound to 47.99% though, with a 1.51% chance of getting crit and failing both rolls. 8% increase isn’t bad, I should remember that for next time.

I’m low on orders now and don’t want to over-extend Wolfgang, so I retreat him to the safety of the link and add him into it, throwing one of the Metros out. I’m not thinking about it and make the mistake of elevating Wolfgang on some stairs, which will make him visible from the very back of my deployment zone! Whoops!

I shuffle some Metros around with the last order of getting him into position, and throw one under the bus so to speak to delay the Knight of Justice. I’m not sure if I should have stood the Moblot up to challenge the Knight of Justice, but I ended up not doing it–that seems like an excuse to have a dead Moblot.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – Military Orders

As I suspected, the Knight of Montesa is obliged to go after my Chasseur on the roof in close combat. I can see it with both Chasseurs and shoot with the far away one and flamethrower with the close one. I get splattered by the Knight’s close combat, but the rifle shot crits and Piotr fails both rifle saves and the flamethrower save, taking the Montesa off the table. Phew! I’m reasonably certain that the camo token is Dart and there are no more Trinitarians on the table, so all I have to do now is keep Wolfgang alive.

The Knight of Justice makes a play for Wolfgang, absolutely obliterating my Metro that I threw under the bus with two crits and two hits on his first shot.

The same goes for the next Metro in line. Not great, but expected.

The Knight can now see Wolfgang and fires at him from just outside of 16″. I misread the distance and shot back on pretty dismal odds.

5.26 31.45 63.29

It gets a little better if we were in 16″, but not much:

10.69 51.72 47.58

Dodging is definitely the correct call here:

29.77 27.36 42.87

I’m super lucky though and tank both shots that make their way through. After coordinating Dart and some other stuff around, Piotr spends a command token throwing his Crosiers and the Knight of Justice into suppression, daring me to move Wolfgang anywhere.

Bottom of 2 – FRRM

I don’t bite, and engage the Knight of Justice with the Anaconda at just outside of 24″. It takes two orders, but the Knight of Justice goes down.

My remaining Chasseur flips the central console over to me, activating my Dead Zone heater. I set up for the next turn by shuffling my link around a little and then extreme-range MediKit Knauf back to consciousness.

Turn 3

Top of 3 – Military Orders

Since this was Piotr’s first game with Military Orders, he didn’t realize that Dart isn’t a Specialist Operative.

It really seems like somewhere in that mess it should say Specialist Operative, right?

I’ve often made the same mistake, so we agreed that since it was a friendly game and he specifically spent resources advancing her towards the console, we’d say she was a specialist. Unfortunately, she failed her WIP roll on a 14! Damn you PanO WIP! Wait that doesn’t seem right…

Anyway, at this point, things are looking pretty dire for the PanOceanian forces. We take stock of what his options are and decide that going after Wolfgang with a viral bow seems pretty good. Unfortunately for Dart, my Chasseur can see this and has something to say about it, putting a wound on her.

Another order sees both of us whiff our shots, but now Dart is out of LoF of my Chasseur.

Piotr’s literally got one order left and goes for the long-distance E/M grenade. I’m on 17’s thanks to a 4-model link and he’s on 4’s. Needless to say, nothing happens.

Bottom of 3 – FRRM

I try to rifle down Dart with my Chasseur but she dodges into cover. I flamethrower her next, but lose the Chasseur to an SMG or Viral Bow shot. I forget which, I think it was the Viral Bow.

I activate the link and stand the Moblot up to take a shot and move Wolfgang forward at the same time to get into the exclusion zone. I whiff against Dart’s dodge again! Drat!

I push Bruant and his link forward and take a shot on Dart and roll 5 misses! UGGGGGGH. She dodges into cover and I’m out of orders in my second group. I brute force through Dart with a linked Wolfgang:

45.18 37.27 17.55

With nothing left to stop me, I push Wolfgang into the midfield to secure it and secure Piotr’s HVT.

10-0 Force de Response Rapide Merovinnginne Victory!

Post Game Analysis

I think it’s pretty clear that the dice did not favor Piotr on the first turn. Once the Knight of the Holy Sepulchre and the Black Friar went down, things were dire. After spending all those orders to eventually kill the Sepulchre knight with the Montesa’s MediKit, the game got significantly harder. The first attempt to go after Knauf with the Sepulchre was reasonable, especially since we were at close to 32″. I think it was 34″? It’s hard to eyeball ranges in TTS, so misjudging the distance is expected there.

However, going after Knauf with the Black Friar I think was definitely a mistake. I think Piotr should have just left it alone and focused on the mission. The Montesa was in a good position to go after the console on my left, where my Chasseur was, and could have gotten there without triggering AROs from Knauf. Sure, I’d be able to go after it the following turn with my Chasseur, the Loup Garou, or my TAG, but I think making use of the Montesa’s speed would have been a better plan than tying it up on the second story of a building.

That also would have denied that console to me, and make it much harder for me to make use of the Chasseur on building with the Trinitarian. In fact, there’s something to be said for doing the following on Piotr’s first turn:

  1. Flip the console on my left with the Montesa
  2. Flip the center console with the Montesa
  3. Stack the Knight of Justice on the console on my right, throw it into suppression
  4. Get the Crosier Paramedic into a position to potentially pick up the Knight of the Holly Sepulchre.

Yes, Knauf was watching the Knight of Justice if she stood up, but all it took was 1-2 orders of prone crawling to get out of there. Perhaps there was even a Cautious Move available that we didn’t see. In any case, I think starting the first turn only one model down, two consoles pushed, and the Montesa and the Knight of Justice guarding the midfield would have been a much more difficult game for me.

Having to take down the Black Friar with the Chasseur is pretty rough for both of us, and it’s possible that Piotr could have stacked two AROs on the Chasseur there, making it near impossible. I’m then much less likely to push Wolfgang forward, and then Piotr has a larger order pool to attack with the Knight of Justice on his second turn. Were it not for my Chasseur on the roof as his Trinitarian, Piotr could even have attacked Knauf with the Trinitarian on Turn 1, on better odds:

15.89 31.55 52.56

Much better than the Sepulchre:

35.24 40.06 24.70

Anyway. I left very little out to cover the board, figuring that I had time due to the pretty dense board and Piotr’s comparatively low order count to blunt the first turn’s attack. In short, I think the game really was decided on Piotr’s first turn. Even though the Trinitarian option wasn’t really open, the Montesa can still grab two objectives basically unopposed. I think that would have been a stronger line of play.

As for me, I think I need to be more careful with my deployment zone choice–Piotr’s side was definitely better and the table was not symmetric. I wasn’t particularly happy with my deployment or the stuff I left out–perhaps a weakness of the list. In any case, putting the two Chasseurs on Piotr’s side of the table was quite effective and I was very happy with the results. Had Piotr chosen to not interact with Knauf–really he could have just straight up ignored Knauf and zoomed the Sepulchre knight around, forcing me to declare delay against all the Holoechos–I think he would have been in a much better position. Knauf could see a lot of the board, but he also wasn’t really looking at the street level too much.

In other words, I think my deployment was comparatively weak and could have been exploited by choosing to not interact with Knauf. Had that happened I would have had to spend a lot more of my orders and effort dealing with quality PanO HI. I might’ve been able to still win, but I think that’s a very different game–if nothing else it would have been a much closer game.

Thank you again to Piotr for waking up so early and for making the effort to get this game scheduled. I have a lot on my plate these days, but I really appreciated him taking the time to hang out with me. I was also really impressed with his calm throughout what must have been a pretty demoralizing first turn and rest of the game. Piotr is such a great guy and really a good example of the best parts of the Infinity community! 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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