Inconceivable Ikari

I’ve been on the fence about selling my Haqqislam for awhile now. What’s really preventing me from doing it is the Ayyar mini, which for me is a faction starter… so I decided to just make the Ayyar my Le Muet proxy. My LGS finally got a copy in and I had some hobby time to make a Saladin into a generic Combined S2 model and the Ayyar into a Le Muet proxy. Also assembled Kendrat and some other stuff that’s been on the to do list for awhile.

Assembling a Le Muet proxy and Kendrat of course meant I was going to play some Ikari with Scarface. Erik (Zelaponeepus) and I had a game on the books after a few rescheduling kerfuffles, so I decided to take on his Combined Army. I’ve had enough of the Space Station table for a bit, so Erik suggested we play on the Mt. Doom table, which has a crazy tall mountain on one side that just dominates the table.

It’s definitely not an easy table to set up, as you have to create a bunch of 3D shadow zones to prevent the models at top of the mountain from just absolutely destroying everything. There is a ton of verticality on the table, and it definitely favors S2 models due to the narrow catwalks of the Comanche terrain from Warsen.al, but with some practice you can make larges silhouettes work.

I try to divide the table up into several interactions. There’s intentionally a large DZ to DZ firelane right at the base of the mountain which is open to fire from the mountain as well as the buildings on the other side of the table. It’s an easy firelane to advance through once you’ve cleared it, but it’s tough to clear and easy to contest. The rest of the table is a lot of close in fighting with lots of catwalks, ground level cover, and ladders and stairs to create some vertical elements. There’s also another form of interaction, which is from the tops of the buildings and towers to the top of the mountain, often with both parties without cover due to the height being the same.

Overall it’s about choosing your fights, but there are plenty of options to advance and make use of various rangebands of weapons. I think the deployment zones can use some more work, but it’s been awhile since I’ve worked really hard to balance the table. One thing I will say is that it’s really really scary if there’s a big stompy thing on the mountain. You can’t allow someone to just own it, you have to contest it or at least deny it.

Overview

  • Mission: ITS13 Firefight
  • Forces: Ikari Company versus Combined Army (300)
  • Deploy First: Combined Army
  • First Turn: Combined Army

My list was pretty straightforward. I was really happy with the performance of the Daiyokai + Keisotsu Paramedic + Keisotsu out of my last JSA game:

So I decided to replicate it as cheaply as possible in Ikari, which meant the Contender/Flammenspeer Tanko and a Brawler Doctor. I don’t actually intend to doctor anything, and would be happy shooting the Daiyokai with the MediKit, but that’s the cheapest way to get a MediKit into the link. Shockingly, I have enough points to fit Le Muet and Gamma Scarface in the list, so they were in there.

Banzai v2
GROUP 1 8 1 2

DAIYŌKAI MULTI Marksman Rifle, Panzerfaust / Pistol, AP + DA CC Weapon. (0 | 48)
TANKŌ Flammenspeer, Contender / Pistol, Monofilament CC Weapon, Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 17)
BRAWLER (Doctor) Rifle, Light Shotgun ( | MediKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 19)

ARMAND (Multispectral Visor L1) MULTI Sniper Rifle, Nanopulser ( ) / Breaker Pistol(+1B), Shock CC Weapon. (1.5 | 39)

SCARFACE Loadout Gamma & CORDELIA TURNER undefined / undefined. (1.5 | 81)
SCARFACE Loadout Gamma AP Spitfire(+1B), Panzerfaust / DA CC Weapon. (1.5 | 64)
SCARFACE Boarding Shotgun, Grenades / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (- | 0)
CORDELIA TURNER Combi Rifle, Chain-colt, D-Charges / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 17)

KENDRAT Vulkan Shotgun, Chest Mines / DA CC Weapon, Heavy Pistol. (0 | 22)
FUGAZI DRONBOT Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)

GROUP 2 3 4 3

KEISOTSU (Lieutenant) Combi Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 9)
KEISOTSU (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle, Flash Pulse / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 10)
BRAWLER Heavy Rocket Launcher / Assault Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 16)

BASHI BAZOUK Submachine Gun, Chain-colt / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 12)
DESPERADO Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Assault Pistol(+1B), Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 6)
DESPERADO Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Assault Pistol(+1B), Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 6)
YUAN YUAN Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 8)


5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

Part of me playing Ikari was to play with Kendrat, so she made it, then I stuffed some orders in there. A Fugazi and Keisotsu core powering the very affordable Brawler HRL made the cut, and then it was time to include the absolutely fantastic irregular options in Ikari. It’s hard to say no to two Desperado for their amazing toolkit and ludicrously low cost, and no Ikari list is complete without at least one Yuan Yuan. I decided to include a Bashi, mostly because I’m trying to learn how to abuse Holoechoes and I wanted the ability to do some silly things with Holomask should the opportunity arise.

I think group 2 and Kendrat are my way of dealing with the main weakness of Ikari, which is that they generally have to punch their way out of the deployment zone much like ISS and NCA. They’re very good at it, but it’s nice to shore up their weaknesses with some nice tools like the absurd toolkit that the Desperados bring.

Erik’s onto yet another Combined Army list as he tries to find something that clicks for him. He’s been having trouble finding a groove in the faction, which is something I sympathize with and remember vividly from my first exploration of JSA a few years ago. It’s an incredibly frustrating and unfun process, and only discipline and sheer stubbornness got me through it. Erik is doing a good job of sticking with it through the tough times, and I look forward to seeing how his game is changed on the other side.

His list starts with a Mentor Lieutenant, a Bultrak HRMC, and a K1 Xeodron. Solid choices, all. Also, you can’t leave home without at least one Ikadron (in this case two). Not having to take an aspect means that Erik can afford a Speculo, Caliban, and a Dropsuit Taryot.

Combined Army
GROUP 1 10 2 1

MENTOR (Lieutenant) Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1 | 23)
BULTRAK Hyper-Rapid Magnetic Cannon / Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon(+1B). (1.5 | 71)
BULTRAK PILOT Vulkan Shotgun, Grenades / Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (- | 0)
XEODRON K1 Marksman Rifle, Blitzen / Heavy Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 53)
STALDRON Flash Pulse / CC Weapon. (0 | 0)
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)
SPECULO KILLER Boarding Shotgun, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Monofilament CC Weapon. (1 | 32)
CALIBAN (Engineer, Deactivator) Submachine Gun, Pulzar, D-Charges ( | GizmoKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 28)
SLAVE DRONE PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 3)
DROPSUIT TARYOT (Paramedic) Boarding Shotgun ( | MediKit) / Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 24)
DĀTURAZI Chain Rifle(+1B), Grenades, Smoke Grenades / Heavy Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 14)
R-DRONE Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)

GROUP 2 1 4 4

R-DRONE Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)
TAIGHA Chain-colt / AP + Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 5)
TAIGHA Chain-colt / AP + Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 5)
TAIGHA Chain-colt / AP + Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 5)
TAIGHA Chain-colt / AP + Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 5)


3.5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

A Daturazi, two R-Drones, and 4 Taigha round out the list.

Deployment

I lost the roll off, and Erik decided to go first. There was really only one side with a reasonable place to hide a TAG, so I chose that one and made him deploy first. Erik held the Speculo and Bultrak in reserve with a command token, then sprinkled Taigha across his deployment zone with wild abandon. Of note is the pair of Taigha guarding his Lieutenant along with a Libertos on the right. If that weren’t enough, the Xeodron tucked itself into the cubby there as well.

Erik has a healthy respect for AD droops, so he put a pair of R-Drones on the back table edge and used the Taigha and Ikadrons to cover various table edges. The Caliban, which I could’ve sworn was a Caliban Spitfire from its placement until he showed me the Slave Drone attached to it, went on the mountain. This felt odd to me, but it was being used as a midfield specialist and not as an attack piece. The SMG wasn’t really going to do much up there except challenge other things on the mountain.

I had a lot of anxiety about what was going to be coming out of Erik’s reserve. He had more than enough points in there to be an Overdron, and my primary ARO pieces were going to have some trouble a TAG, especially Le Muet versus the Albedo. The nightmare scenario was it being on the mountain. I decided that the Daiyokai was a big kid and could stand up to ARO things for one order. I carefully positioned the Daiyokai high up standing next to something it could go prone behind. It was far back enough on the landing pad thing that most things challenging it from the left of the table would have to be on top of buildings or the catwalk system. This generally meant that things like the Xeodron would have to be out of cover to engage it, which felt reasonable to me.

I had some trouble placing the doctor and ended up just putting it prone on the stairs leading up to the platform. I wanted an easy way to get it in position to take that all important double MediKit shot, but this was somewhat hampered by my positioning of the Tanko. Even the Overdron has to respect a BS 13 Flammespeer ARO, so I set it up to give one once I thought the Overdron pushed far into my side of the table. Unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to make the Brawler Doctor the link lead with one order, so this was pretty weak, but the nature of the terrain made this necessary, I think. The Tanko is probably out of 32″ for this, but probably within 32″ of the Caliban if it started moving around. There’s so much threat saturation in the list that I had to make ton of compromises, and this was one of them.

Kendrat went on the mountain, as I figured she could challenge the Overdron in CC by dodging and berserking into close combat. She also has the right tools to challenge the Caliban. Fire to do multiple wounds, shock just in case, Total Immunity to deny the D-Charge/Protheion strategy, and a beefy enough set of CC skills to make it a pretty even fight if it came to it. She even has an intuitive attack template if I want it.

The desperado hung out on either side of my deployment zone. I figured if Kendrat went down I could rocket one up to the top of the mountain to do some fighting, and the other was there to support the Keisotsu. I had concerns about some angles on my Keisotsu FO, which is why it’s there and not my lIeutenant. Unfortunately I wasn’t thinking about a Speculo.

I put my Fugazi watching the back table edge for Rasyats, then I put down both Scarface and Cordelia within 8″ of one another. Scarface is in the only spot that I felt was safe for him, and it had the added bonus of covering the gap between the Brawler and the Keisotsu. The problem was if he was forced into cover from that side, he’d be vulnerable to shots from the mountain… but if that happened then it’d only be 1-2 orders of it, so I hoped his armor would get him through it.

Cordelia was facing backwards, but I think I should’ve put her facing diagonally covering the gap between the Brawler HRL and the Keisotsu as well as the back table edge up to the grey boxes the Bashi is standing on. Speaking of, the Bashi was disguised as Le Muet! I put him in a spot that made total sense for Le Muet to be, high up watching an open firelane and the mountain top. The big open firelane at the base of the mountain was relatively uncontested by Erik save for some Taigha and the Daturazi (and they were probably not going to be a huge problem for my denied flank deployment on the first turn). This meant there was a “hole” in Erik’s deployment that was TAG sized both in points and positioning. The large open firelane is such TAG bait!

If the TAG wasn’t an Overdron, this would force Erik to probably shift his deployment plans. If it was the Overdron, I figured he’d spend some time maneuvering to get a good shot from the mountain, which would put the Daiyokai, Tanko, and eventually the real Le Muet into play. I was at risk of losing a good fraction of the heavy hitters in my list to the Overdron on the mountain, but there were enough hard AROs there that I could perhaps buy some time and then try to recover using my warbands on the bottom of 1.

Erik deployed a Speculo right at the base of the tower opposite my Keisotsu Lt. UH OH. Whoops. Totally forgot about those! Thankfully, I had a bunch of overlapping AROs and some template weapons back there, so I was confident in my ability to stem the bleeding if not save my Lieutenant. Then a Bultrak HRMC appeared, and I immediately felt better about this game.

The Bultrak fell for the Bashi’s bluff and avoided the big firelane, instead choosing to deploy more centrally. Later, Erik and I were discussing this, and his original plan had been to run around on top of the mountain with the Bultrak being a super jumping jerk, but “Le Muet” dissuaded him. I’ll take it! I had been looking forward to using the Bashi as a Parachutist to bully Erik’s order generators, but this ended up being a more valuable play.

It was my turn to deploy the real Le Muet from reserve, and with the mountain mostly safe now I put him prone on a tower just outside my deployment zone contesting the top of the mountain and giving up the ruse due to my use of Forward Deployment. If the Bultrak decided to run around on top of the mountain, I was less concerned. I was confident in the ability of the Daiyokai to survive a round of shooting, as well as the Tanko, and I figured the Bultrak would have some trouble getting through the real Le Muet while it was out of cover thanks to my height on top of the tower. I think this is the real key to success on this table. I intentionally give options to put things on towers to deny cover on the mountain, which helps balance things out.

Turn 1

Top of 1 – Combined Army

Anyway, with that, Erik starts his turn. I dock him an order thanks to the Mentor. I decided to do it in the primary pool, because every order counts and only 1 order in the secondary pool wasn’t necessarily super relevant to me. The first Taigha on the mountain moves, mostly to let Erik confirm which Le Muet is the real one. The real Le Muet doesn’t stand up because it’s my reactive turn, and takes a shot, downing the Taigha.

Erik doesn’t know what kind of Bashi is hiding under there, and doesn’t want to give me free shots on one of the Taigha with a rifle, so he cancels an impetuous order. The Daturazi moves forward without incident, as does the third Taigha, and the fourth is being watched by the Brawler HRL so it cancels its order as well.

Erik decides he should challenge the Daiyokai with the Bultrak, and super jumps into view. I throw double panzerfaust back. This is a pretty risky play in my opinion, even if it’s not crazy bad.

22.87 22.54 54.59

He’s got a 28% chance of doing 2 wounds, but I have a 14% chance of doing two as well. If it’s your only option I think it’s reasonable, but it was pretty unnecessary here. The Daiyokai is pinning the Xeodron, but there are plenty of other options to develop. Getting the Daturazi into the catwalk system, attacking with the Liberto or Speculo, etc. I think pushing the Bultrak towards mountain and dominating the big firelane would have been fine. It doesn’t need to do serious damage, it just needs to be be alive to do work later. In Erik’s defense, once my panzerfausts are gone, I’m in trouble.

I think the real issue is that it’s just so easy to move the Bultrak first because of NCO. It’s a “free” order and with Tac Aware it feels like you should use your big thing to get work done so the small things can then do work. Sometimes you need to get yourself out of that mindset and use those “free” orders for movement/repositioning. If Erik had just said “haha, good play with the fake Le Muet” and then re-positioned to where he wanted the Bultrak to be instead of trying to challenge a hard ARO, that would have been much stronger.

In any case, the 14% chance is the one that is reality, and I hit the Bultrak out of cover with one Panzerfaust, doing two wounds. Aside from landing both and taking it out in one go, this is really the best i could have hoped for. Erik wisely retreats the Bultrak with its Tac Aware order and activates his Speculo, challenging the Brawler first. I delayed so when it fired slug-mode shotgun at me, I shot back with an assault pistol. The Speculo is on 15’s, but I’m on 9’s. I don’t expect to win the fight here, but I do expect to beat one of the rolls and only have to make one ARM save.

This is exactly what happens. I fail my guts roll and the Brawler is force to retreat a little. All the other stuff is dodging as this is happening, but without much success. The Speculo moves out to chuck smoke to block LoF to Scarface, but I dodge the Brawler back into the gap as a result.

Erik re-impersonates the Speculo and surprise shots again. This time, I fail the single ARM roll, letting the Speculo advance. The Desperado dodges into a position where the Speculo has to challenge the Desperado first in a pie-slicing scenario.

Erik re-impersonates again, letting me get some more dodges off, but it’s not enough. I at least get out of easy close combat range from where the Speculo is. In any case, the Speculo peeks around the corner in impersonation state and ask for AROs. I delay with the Desperado and dodge with the Keisotsu lieutenant. I didn’t want him to move into base to base on the next order, and I figure if he didn’t reveal I could maybe dodge further away and force him to template me making my chances better on the next order. In most scenarios I’m taking the surprise shot penalty, so now felt fine to do it. Erik puts two slugs into my Keisotsu and downs him, but the Desperado chain rifles the Speculo down.

After some repositioning, Erik throws the Xeodron and Bultrak into suppression and passes turn. I remind him to roll for his Speculo, and she pops back up! Sigh.

Bottom of 1 – Ikari

I’m in loss, but I’m pretty comfortable with my options. My objectives for the turn are:

  1. Kill the Speculo
  2. Kill the Bultrak
  3. Kill the Caliban
  4. Set up as best I can

The turn starts with the Desperado rolling into CC with the Speculo, who CC’s back. I dump 5 dice into it with assault pistols. Not great odds.

15.63 38.67 45.69

Being on burst two in CC is better:

22.45 34.26 43.29

But the highest likelihood of success was just chain rifling at 60% for me to take down the Speculo and 67% for me to also go down. Noted and filed.

In any case, I beat the Speculo’s roll but it passes ARM. I spend the Yuan Yuan’s impetuous and it walks on near Erik’s lieutenant! I rolled +1 ARM. Sigh.

The other Desperado rockets forward, as does Kendrat. The Caliban can see Kendrat, but Erik doesn’t want to give me shots just yet and declines to ARO, so I move 4″ more, bringing me into template range. More on this later. Le Muet stands up shoots the Bultrak, forcing a dodge and a suppression break. I chose DA mode, because way back I did some math and ARM 8 is the crossover point.

The math was done in N3, but it still holds in N4. Here’s DA versus the Bultrak’s dodge:

37.85 40.07 22.07

And here’s AP:

35.87 42.05 22.07

2% is very minor but I’ll take the best odds whenever possible. In any case, I win the face to face, land two hits, and Erik fails one save. Success. On to dealing with the Caliban. The Caliban is in template range of Kendrat, so I use her chest mines in intuitive attack mode, force a dodge, and shock the Caliban off the table.

Alright! Now I’ve got three orders in the second pool and 3 command tokens. I set up smoke on my Yuan Yuan, move into the smoke, and intuitive attack Erik’s Lieutenant, rolling a 14! Heartbreaking.

I’m a little annoyed at myself, because the far more efficient play would have been to Move + Dodge into the building and then Intuitive Attack, or just roll into the room, force the dodge, and chain rifle anyway. It’s a bit of a puzzle here though. Setting up the smoke and only Intuitive attacking the Lieutenant here lets me cover with a chain rifle, but I was greedy and tried to face to face all the things. Thankfully the Xeodron whiffs due to the smoke. The Mentor does dodge away, but I can still see it where it ends up.

At this point, I’ve got orders left on Scarface, Cordelia, and all three members of the Daiyokai link. I cannot activate any of them without breaking the link, or so I think. I decide to break the Scarface duo and spend both his orders getting into position to attack the left flank, moving Cordelia up with her own order. It’s only later, after consulting the Clint oracle, or “Cloracle” as I’ve decided to start calling him, that I discover that I can use the tac aware order to move them both. Ah well.

The Fugazi moves to challenge the big firelane, as now I’m not really suspecting a Rasyat. I’ve got three more orders from the Daiyokai link, but spending them would break the link. I forfeit all three, as keeping the link alive is more important, and their position is pretty okay at the moment, especially with Le Muet standing to pin the Xeodron now. I make the Daiyokai my lieutenant and pass turn.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – Combined Army

Erik tries to rescue his Lieutenant by throwing smoke at 16″ with his Daturazi as it moves forward. I flash pulse with the Fugazi (which fails), dodge with Kendrat, and declare Look Out with the Bashi, allowing me to dodge the Daiyokai, Tanko, and Desperado to face parts of the back table edge just in case I miscalculated points and there is still a Rasyat coming.

Le Muet turns also to give some support, but he’s still watching a good chunk of the board with Scarface watching his back.

The Taigha in the big firelane moves now, but I flash pulse it with the Fugazi.

At this point Erik gives me a heart attack and drops in a Dropsuit Taryot on my Keisotsu Forward Observer. Thankfully it fails its roll even with the +3 from Firefight. It could have walked in, but we both forgot this. In any case, it ends up on the mountain, which really isn’t a bad spot for it, as it can throw itself under the bus to fight Kendrat.

Erik then moves his Daturazi backwards to set up smoke for his Lieutenant and runs it away.

He then chain colts my Yuan Yuan with the nearby Taigha (which obviously canceled its impetuous to prevent a free chain rifle on the Mentor). I dodge successfully and leave the building. Erik recamos the Mentor safely, which is a good plan.

The Taigha pushes forward some more and rounds the corner to Berserk the Yuan Yuan. We both fail to do any damage in close combat, but fortunately for me I have Le Muet in overwatch, who knocks out the Taigha.

Erik decides to try and take out Le Muet to unpin the Xeodron, and he sends in the Liberto. I discover with the Daiyokai, so the Liberto just puts two slugs into Le Muet. Unfortunately he’s just outside of 8″ and whiffs thanks to Le Muet’s Mimetism -6 even though I fail my dodge. The Daiyokai sees this and fires DA ammo… probably should’ve fired shock as I only do one wound, meaning the Liberto is dogged.

The Liberto climbs down the ladder to get some additional reach and tries again, but even in 8″ it’s not enough and Le Muet doesn’t take any damage. The Daiyokai finishes off the Liberto with a pair of DA shots.

At this point, Erik’s run out of orders and passes turn.

Bottom of 2 – Ikari

My objectives for the turn are:

  1. Do a bunch of damage
  2. Get classifieds and points
  3. Set up for the next turn
  4. Try to murder Erik’s Lieutenant

I forget that Kendrat is totally immune so she fails to dodge a flash pulse and is stunned. I wasn’t going to spend many orders on her anyway, just get some free movement, so this is fine.

My Desperados move forward, and the one on the left assault pistols down a Taigha that was lurking in the midfield. I pass the chain colt save too, so I’m feeling pretty ok so far.

The other Desperado starts taking shots on the Daturazi, but gets crit smoked.

The Yuan Yuan cancels its impetuous because it would get suppressed by the Xeodron and instead spends its irregular to CC the Taigha nearby to finish it off and start my Predator classified.

The Desperados move forward, with the one fighting the Daturazi getting even closer and failing to beat its smoke yet again. Looking at this I’m a little annoyed I didn’t chain rifle, that looks like chain rifle range to me, but oh well. The Taigha dodges into close combat and I get flash pulsed, but that was my last order in the pool so I don’t mind.

I’ve got 9 orders in the main pool with the Daiyokai’s NCO order. I run all the way across the table to gank the Xeodron in close combat, grabbing a MULTI sniper out of a Panoply, which I immediately use to shoot at the Dropsuit Taryot, but it dodges successfully. I have some flash pulses to contend with but I decide to just tank them as I’ll definitely get at least one non-flash pulsed guy into combat and swing once at least. I manage to get both into combat without getting stunned, which is great!

On the first order the Daiyokai is link leader and hits twice against the Xeodron’s suppression, with it passing all 4 DA saves with BTS6. The Tanko is better at killing TAGs, so I decide to chance it and hope that on burst two, Erik will fail at least one save. I hit twice again, and this time Erik rolls a 3, which means the Xeodron is very dead.

This nets me Predator. I’m concerned that Erik is in retreat, so I move Kendrat into base to base with a Taigha to get Capture. This lets the Dropsuit dodge into view, but I’m okay with that.

Scarface uses his Tac Aware to get up onto the landing platform, shouting “come at me bro!” after which I pass turn.

Turn 3

Top of 3 – Combined Army

Turns out Erik isn’t in loss, so the Taigha and Desperado kill one another to start things off, with the Daturazi moving forward.

Erik decides to try and kill Kendrat with his Ikadron, but I tank the pistol shots that make it past my dodge.

It keeps going, but I drop it with a Panzerfaust from Scarface.

Erik does a coordinated order to try and take on Kendrat with the Dropsuit, but moves his Mentor (in camo) into view of a Desperado as he does so. I discover, so Erik is forced to throw smoke on top of the Mentor with the Daturazi to extract it from under Le Muet’s watchful eye. I’m on 10’s here, which is better than 16, but I think it was still unnecessary to take this risk.

The Dropsuit does manage to wound Kendrat though, so she’s down.

I think it’s reasonable to want to run the Mentor away from the Daiyokai and Tanko, but not a the cost of risking getting shot by Le Muet.

Bottom of 3 – Ikari

Well, all I have to this turn is get the rest of my classifieds as best I can and kill Erik’s lieutenant. He’s out of camo now, so I send in the Desperado, clearing a R-Drone first.

The Daturazi could actually put up a decent fight, so I have to kill it first. The Desperado manages to do it, even tanking a flash pulse on the way in.

Finally, I hop off the bike and assault pistol the Mentor down.

I can’t get Capture or Test Run, so I have to secure Erik’s HVT. The Fugazi is fast enough, so I spend the orders I need to spend and it’s on the top of the mountain.

We’re tied on Lieutenant kills, I have two classifieds, and I definitely killed more stuff including specialists, and even got stuff out of the panoplies, which I never do.

7-0, 247-33 Ikari Company Victory!

Post Game Analysis

Well, I hope this serves as a counterpoint to some vocal opposition to Ikari’s fireteam changes on the internet. I very much enjoyed playing this style of Ikari and am very happy with the fireteam options. I do mourn some of the losses, but there’s still so much to enjoy in the faction! I also think it illustrates a pretty reasonable way of recovering in a loss of lieutenant turn. Deployment was particularly important in this game as well. I hope my description of it was helpful in unpacking the details there.

I’m pretty happy with the list. I think everything in there performed well and did it’s job. I made some suboptimal decisions, like challenging the Speculo with the Desperado and all that, but honestly I think it went fine. One thing that I absolutely did wrong was bring in the Yuan Yuan on my loss of lieutenant turn. I should have waited till Turn 2, moved it to the primary combat group, and then gone after Erik’s Lieutenant. I keep forgetting that Firefight allows Parachutist Deployment Zone for everyone. I just planned for a Rasyat and responded to facing mistakes with Look Out!, so I was covered, but I didn’t think about leveraging the tools for myself.

Not bringing on the Yuan Yuan probably would have made things difficult for me, because so much of Erik’s second turn was trying to protect his Lieutenant. It’s entirely possible he would have just made a play with the Xeodron instead to try and do some damage. Not entirely certain, but I figured he’d have a tough time getting through both the Daiyokai and Le Muet outside of 24″. The Libertos play probably still happens, and then maybe some Xeodron shifting. Unclear. Or maybe he goes in with the Dropsuit harder for Kendrat. Either way, I have more options at the bottom of two by walking the Yuan Yuan in along the relatively undefended back table edge, and then I have command tokens to spare as well as a bigger order pool. I just got a little bloodthirsty and wanted to go after Erik’s Lt in my LoL turn. Foolish.

This also gives me an opportunity to kill the Lt in Turn 2 and also kill the Xeodron (which might have gotten closer), which gives me the ability to kill another on Turn 3, giving me a 9-0 victory instead of a 7-0. Gotta chase that 10-0 dragon! I do think Erik made a good decision in going after my Keisotsu lieutenant on Turn 1, but could have done it much fewer orders. Being so conservative by re-impersonating I think 2 total times was just so costly. Then that leaves orders for the Caliban to try and engage Kendrat, maybe even kill her.

In any case, I think the main issue with the game on Erik’s side was losing the Bultrak instead of just repositioning it for free (I couldn’t see it if it didn’t superjump) and spending too many orders on the Speculo. The Speculo was just a little suboptimal in this case if the only objective is to murder the Keisotsu Lieutenant. There are faster ways to do it and then you can do other things. The big mistake was the Bultrak. Challenging Le Muet with the Xeodron just charging forward isn’t terrible either. Alternatively, just shifting the Libertos forward into template range of Le Muet’s tower can keep his head down in my Loss of Lieutenant turn.

I think this game is a good example is an overcommitment to doing damage in the first active turn. I’ve been talking about unfocused play with Erik, and I think the choice to attack the Daiyokai is a great example of that. Why the Daiyokai? It’s scary, yeah, but it’s not actively pinning anything unless you start superjumping, and it has the tools to mess up a TAG. Better to lean into taking out softer targets and developing the board positionally. Once the Bultrak was down I felt pretty in control of the table. Like the Xeodron could kill something, even Le Muet, but my counterstrike will take care of it.

I do think that the play to take on the Brawler HRL was good, but I think the plan is kill the Brawler (or try to), then chuck smoke covering the gap, then go straight to the Keisotsu Lt. If the Speculo doesn’t die, then it can do other things, but it can scalpel out the Keisotsu Lt without having to spend like 6-7 orders or whatever it was. Probably too much effort on retreating the Lt as well. Le Muet is not going to kill the Xeodron in ARO, it can just walk around the corner and not see the Daiyokai, then kill the Yuan Yuan, then the Lt is safe and can just recamo with the Lt order.

I don’t want to seem overly critical of Erik here. Rather I’m looking for concrete improvement strategies. I’m sure if you have thoughts he’d be interested as well. In any case, 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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