Acid Reflux

As we come up on Rose City Raid 2022, been trying to help people practice for the tournament. Than was kind enough to drive all the way out to my place for a game and asked to give the space station table a try. I was only too happy to oblige. I’m really pleased with the reconfiguration to the space station table so there are less cut off regions of the table. Here’s the latest take on it:

We played the entrances to the corridors as Saturation Zones and the bare mat as Zero G.

Overview

  • Mission: Countermeasures (Red Deck)
  • Forces: Jurisdictional Command of Bakunin versus Onyx Contact Force
  • Deploy First: Bakunin
  • First Turn: Bakunin

I decided to try out Bakunin again–it’s been awhile. I put together the following list:

Btech, Decap, Counter
GROUP 1 10

KUSANAGI (Lieutenant) Spitfire / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (1.5 | 42)
REVEREND MOIRA MULTI Sniper Rifle, Zapper / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (1.5 | 36)
REVEREND CUSTODIER (Hacker, Hacking Device Plus) Combi Rifle, Pitcher ( ) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 31)

CLOCKMAKER Combi Rifle, D-Charges ( | GizmoKit [+1B]) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 18)
RIOT GRRL Missile Launcher / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 32)
MODERATOR (Paramedic) Combi Rifle ( | MediKit) / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-6). (0 | 11)
VOSTOK (Mimetism [-6]) Mk12(+1 Dam) / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 44)
MODERATOR (Hacker, Hacking Device) Combi Rifle ( ) / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-6). (0.5 | 14)

PROWLER Combi Rifle, Light Flamethrower, Adhesive Launcher / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 35)
ZERO (Hacker, Hacking Device) Combi Rifle, Shock Mines ( ) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 24)

GROUP 2 2 2

MORLOCK Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Assault Pistol, AP CC Weapon. (0 | 6)
MORLOCK Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Assault Pistol, AP CC Weapon. (0 | 6)


6 SWC | 299 Points | Open in Infinity Army

The list is intended to cover Biotechvore, Decapitation, and Countermeasures. BIotechvore and Countermeasures demand mobility and specialist density, and Decap demands mobility and a relatively stout Lieutenant. RCR 2022 has waived the Loss of Lieutenant rule, but there’s still no reason to give up points by taking a pushover Lieutenant! I decided to take Kusanagi, mostly because I really the idea of the Observance, and filled out her Haris with Moira MSR for long range reach and a Custodier HD+ for hacking.

The other link in the list is a Moderator link with some specialists, a Vostok, Clockmaker, and Riot Grrl ML for long range support. I figure the Clockmaker can keep the Vostok running if it comes to that. The rest of the list is a Zero, a Prowler, and two Morlocks. I could probably have put more orders in there with the Morlocks but last I played them I’d been enjoying having them by themselves in a group to discourage myself from overextending them.

Than took an Onyx list focused around a Ko Dali Haris with Kerr Nau and a Tinbot Unidron. The CA starter pack made an appearance as well: 2x Imetron, 2x Ikadron, 1x R-Drone. Dr. Worm is in there because the list needs to cover Countermeasures, and then there’s a pair of Noctifers, which is a pretty big deal. The list is rounded out by a Greif to annoy me.

Onyx Contact Force
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)
KO DALI FTO (Mimetism [-3], Forward Deployment [+4″]) MULTI Rifle, D-Charges, Pulzar / Assault Pistol, AP CC Weapon. (0 | 35)
UNIDRON K1 Combi Rifle ( | TinBot: Firewall [-3]) / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0.5 | 17)

T-DRONE Missile Launcher / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (1.5 | 18)
GREIF-OP (Surprise Attack [-3], Impersonation [IMP-2]) Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Breaker Pistol(+1B), CC Weapon. (0.5 | 20)
Bit (Hacker [UPGRADE: Oblivion, UPGRADE: Trinity]) Submachine Gun, Pitcher ( | Deployable Repeater) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 20)
KISS! (Repeater) Adhesive Launcher / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 5)
R-DRONE Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)
IKADRON (Baggage, Repeater) Light Flamethrower(+1B), Flash Pulse / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 9)

GROUP 2 6

NOCTIFER Spitfire / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 30)
NOCTIFER Missile Launcher / Assault Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 32)
IKADRON (Baggage, Repeater) Light Flamethrower(+1B), Flash Pulse / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 9)
MED-TECH OBSIDON MEDCHANOID Combi Rifle, D-Charges ( | GizmoKit, MediKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 22)
ÍMETRON . (0 | 4)
ÍMETRON . (0 | 4)


6 SWC | 299 Points | Open in Infinity Army

Deployment

Than won the rolloff and elected to take deployment, prompting me to go first. I didn’t have a big plan for deployment, because it’s very hard to formulate a concrete plan for Countermeasures. Really the best you can do is to spread out your redundant specialists and put your singleton specialists in the center, just to allow you to respond quickly to the evolving situation. Aside from that, the rest of your deployment plan should be structural–interlocking fields of fire, facings, etc.

I put my Moderator link in the middle and left my Riot Grrl standing. I wasn’t intending to use the Moderators the first turn and was more hoping to leave the Riot Grrl there to deal with threats on Than’s turn. A Morlock went down in the corridors on either side with the left rolling Climbing+ (good) and the one on the right rolling 8-4 MOV (fantastic!). I then put the Zero all the way on the right and the Prowler all the way on the left. The Reverends went in the big building on the left, but I held the Moria in reserve.

Than deployed most of the Combined Starter pack on the left, supported by Bit and Kiss. Nourkias and the Haris went on the right.

I dropped my Moira on the roof and then Than made the roll to put a Greif in the middle of my link team.

Turn 1

  • Mapping
  • Nanoespionage
  • Sabotage

Top of 1 – Bakunin

For some silly reason I thought that my Prowler had D-Charges so I left Sabotage up and got rid of Nanoespionage, revealing Net-Undermine instead.

  • Mapping
  • Nanoespionage
  • Net-Undermine
  • Sabotage

After moving up the Morlocks, my gameplan was to get rid of the Greif and take down Ko Dali. Not a huge ask for the first turn, especially considering that both were out to ARO. I started by attempting a Discover from the Moira on the Greif, which Than responded to with a Noctifier missile reveal. I split burst 2 on the Noctfier and one on the Greif. Unfortunately the Greif was in 16″ so I lost that fight and went unconscious with the Noctifer going dogged.

Not the end of the world but definitely unfortunate. The Greif was revealed, at least, so I gunned it down with Kusanagi.

I decided to make the attempt to challenge Kiss and the Ikadron in the room on the right with my 8-4 Morlock, but failed the dodge to get in there. Flipping the second Morlock’s order regular would have allowed me to chain rifle the other Ikadron and both Imetrons. Than’s TR turret was watching the room so I had to be careful. The ADHL and Flash Pulse stopped me cold, which was sad.

The Morlock play was arguably not a mistake, but at this point, I made my first real big mistake of the game which was to attempt to take down the Noctifer with my Riot Grrl ML. I lose the fight and go unconscious. I remember the Zero exists (which I had thought of that earlier) and take down Kiss and the Ikadron next to it before recamoing. I use a command token to move the Zero away, reset Kusanagi’s position, and pick the Riot Grrl back up with the Paramedic before passing turn.

Bottom of 1 – Onyx

Than elects to not change the classifieds and starts advancing on my left to take on Sabotage with Ko Dali. Kerr Nau sets up some Pitchers on my Custodier and then Nourikas takes her out with Trinity.

Ko Dali gets one of her two Sabotage targets, but then Than moves the entire Haris into template formation. I grit my teeth and make the difficult decision to reveal the Prowler and lay a light flamethrower across all of them. Shockingly, the Unidron makes its dodge along with Ko Dali, but Kerr Nau fails and is burned off the table.

I had hoped to delay Ko Dali some more, but it only takes one order of shooting and the Prowler is off the table. Ko Dali gets Sabotage done. Than sets up some suppression to delay my Morlock on the left, then it’s back to me.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – Bakunin

  • HVT: Identity Check
  • Mapping
  • Net Undermine
  • Telemetry

I don’t think I can get HVT: Identity Check and Than absolutely can, so I ditch it, getting Telemetry instead. I cancel the left Morlock’s move, but my Morlock on the right dodges out of Immobilized and then cautious moves past the TR bot with her 8″ move! This lets me chain rifle the remaining Ikadron and two Imetrons, although the Morlock is burned off the table as a result. Worth it.

The rest of my order pool is spent on my trusty Zero hacker, named Acid Burn after the Hackers character, netting me all three classifieds. That said, I don’t think I could’ve gotten Net Undermine with the Zero, but oh well. Mistakes happen. It’s been awhile since I’ve played Countermeasures and looked very carefully at the cards.

Bottom of 2 – Onyx

Than gets three entirely new objectives:

  • Capture
  • Data Scan
  • HVT: Designation
  • HVT: Inoculation

Than ditches Capture, revealing Data Scan, and then spends basically his whole turn trying to get Data Scan on my remaining Morlock with Nourkias, finally succeeding on the 4th or 5th order.

He’s got a few orders left so he repositions Ko Dali and throws Nourikias into Cybermask and then kills my Morlock that dodged into a position to take on Ko Dali by revealing a Noctifer Spitfire.

Turn 3

Top of 3 – Bakunin

  • ??
  • HVT: Designation
  • HVT: Inoculation
  • Predator

There’s no way I’m getting HVT: Designation, but Than isn’t either so I leave it. I forget what I didn’t like, but I ditched it, revealing Predator. That’s very bad for me with Ko Dali and Nourkias on the table. I’m basically only going to be able to to get HVT: Inoculation, so I go for that. My Vostok takes down the TR Turret with ease, but it takes 3 orders to try and get HVT: Inoculation.

I want to make things difficult for Than, but I make a mistake here and instead of discover-shooting Nourkias, I elect to split-burst on the Riot Grrl ML on Dr. Worm and the Noctifier Spitfire. Everyone whiffs. This leaves me with only my Lieutenant order to try and take down Ko Dali. I’ve got a perfect, unopposed shot on her with Kusanagi on 14’s but only hit once with Ko Dali passing ARM.

Bottom of 3 – Onyx

  • Follow Up
  • HVT: Designation
  • In Extremis Recovery
  • Predator

Than ditches HVT: Designation to get In Extremis Recovery. Ko Dali uses her MULTI Rifle to fight her way out of LoF of Kusanagi and gets Follow Up and In Extremis Recovery off my downed Morlock. Sigh.

At this point, all Nourkias has to do is kill three things to get Predator. He starts with the Riot Grrl, passing 3 ARM saves against two Combi-hits and a Mk12 hit. Acid Burn is attempting to Oblivion this whole time but can’t roll lower than an 18 for several orders.

Nourkias just marches down the line, tanking Combi hits. Acid Burn is repeatedly spamming Oblivion and whiffing.

I finally drop Nourkias with the Vostok on the last CC attack, but at that point it’s too late.

That makes it a 5-4 classified edge for Than, and a

7-4 Onyx Contact Force Victory!

Post Game Analysis

Well, we both got very lucky (ignoring my mistake with Net Undermine) and got a run of 3 objectives that were relatively easy to get. Predator shouldn’t have happened–that was a lot of rolls to have gone Than’s way, many of them (the Oblivions) unopposed! Both of us also had a pretty unlucky streak–me with HVT: Inoculation and Than with Data Scan, so at least that was parity.

I made several key mistakes:

  1. Using the Riot Grrl at the Top of 1–should’ve just left it alone.
  2. Not setting up White Noise on Ko Dali and taking her out with the Prowler.
  3. Not Discover-shooting Nourkias

The Noctifer was a big problem, as it pinned both links, but I could’ve done work with the Zero and the Prowler first turn, and should have. Instead I wasted a wound on the Riot Grrl and the order to bring her back up. My plan to use the Moira to engage both Ko Dali and the Greif was fine. It was a shame that I lost it to the Greif and not the Noctifer, but hey, these things happen.

I could have, instead, done the following:

  1. Used the Clockmaker solo to take on the Greif with its WIP 15, or even set up White Noise first (probably unnecessary)
  2. Used the Custodier to set up White Noise on Ko Dali, then used the Moira to gun Ko Dali down. I probably would’ve been forced to dodge against a free Noctifer shot in this case though.

Really the real money was going after Kiss and the Ikadron with the Zero, which opens the door for the Morlock to make its run on Turn 1, doing some pretty big damage to Than’s secondary order pool.

Anyway, aside from the obvious and avoidable Riot Grrl mistake–there wasn’t even really a reason to do this aside from wanting to get the Moira back into the fight by long-bombing a Medikit shot with the Paramedic–Turn 1 went okay. Some minor missteps and misplays, but where things really collapsed was at the top of 3.

At that point, I had a full 3 classifieds to Than’s 1. I extended my entire link to get a single classified. Instead, I could’ve spent all my orders on Kusanagi and/or maybe the Vostok taking out Ko Dali and then Nourkias. I don’t need to go for the classified. The red deck is very difficult so by depleting orders and denying easy access to Predator targets I’d have been in a better situation.

In any case, I think this was one situation in which trying to get more classifieds (and thereby more objectives) was a mistake. Instead I could’ve focused on points denial by depleting Than’s tools and order pool. Ah well. Countermeasures can be a pretty frustrating mission to play because of the randomness generated by the cards, but I think it really just forces you to adapt to a rapidly changing situation on the table. It’s a different ask of competitive players–it’s not really about your ability to formulate and execute upon a multi-turn plan, it’s a mission of snap decisions and local optima.

As far as my list is concerned, I like it, but it’s pretty fragile. I’ll need to think about it some more. Bakunin has plenty of access to 24″ guns but less access to 32″+ weapons. I may try the Taskmaster haris next–it opens some interesting archetypes. 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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