Chainsaw Senpai

I’ve been playing a lot of non-Combined Army lists for awhile, but I was planning on playing Combined at the September tournament at Mindtaker Miniatures. I was pretty unsatisfied with the amount of testing I had done with my Combined leading up to the tournament, so I asked the incomparable Tim (Chainsaw) for some help.

Given we live in different places, we had to do this via Tabletop Simulator:

Overview

  • Mission: ITS13 Supremacy
  • Forces: Combined Army versus Ramah Taskforce (300)
  • Deploy First: Ramah
  • First Turn: Ramah

I’ve been tuning an Anathematic list. The Overdron is really important for reaching out and projecting lethal power, and Bit and Kiss are really important to project hacking power. The Caliban is there to keep the Overdron running, and maybe eat something, and I really wanted to try out the Rindak’s toolkit.

Santa Kaitok Blargh
GROUP 1 8 2

ANATHEMATIC (Lieutenant, Hacker, Hacking Device [UPGRADE: Trinity (+1B)]) Plasma Rifle, Nanopulser ( ) / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (0.5 | 76)
OVERDRON Plasma Sniper Rifle(+1B) / Shock CC Weapon. (1.5 | 58)
STALDRON Flash Pulse / CC Weapon. (0 | 0)
Bit (Hacker], Killer Hacking Device [UPGRADE: Oblivion]) Submachine Gun, Pitcher ( | Deployable Repeater]) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 21)
KISS! Adhesive Launcher, Pitcher(+1B) ( | Deployable Repeater) / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 6)
CALIBAN (Engineer, Deactivator) Submachine Gun, Pulzar, D-Charges ( | GizmoKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 28)
RINDAK (Paramedic, Forward Deployment [+8″]) Boarding Shotgun, Blitzen(+1B) / Heavy Pistol, PARA CC Weapon. (0 | 35)
GREIF-OP (Surprise Attack [-3], Impersonation [IMP-2]) Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Breaker Pistol(+1B), CC Weapon. (1 | 21)
KAITOK Heavy Rocket Launcher / Heavy Pistol(+1B), CC Weapon. (1.5 | 24)
LIBERTO (Minelayer) Light Shotgun, Shock Mines / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1 | 8)
IKADRON (Baggage, Repeater) Light Flamethrower(+1B), Flash Pulse / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 9)

GROUP 2 4 4

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)


6 SWC | 300 Points Open in Infinity Army

This version of the list has a Kaitok HRL, mostly as a SWC sink, and then the requisite 4 Taigha and Combined Army order generators.

Tim’s list is a work of art. It looks pretty mundane but there’s some serious efficiency baked into the list. Let’s talk about the two links. The primary defensive link is a Ghulam based core with a lot of utility. The most important piece is the Zhayedan, as it counts as a Ghulam and is on 18’s without vis mods. There’s very little that can safely challenge that ARO unassisted. To increase the reach and lethality of the link, there’s also Ghulam sniper. The link itself powers Maggie with orders, along with a handful of order generators.

Maggieee 2
GROUP 1 5 3 1

NAMURR (Tactical Awareness) Breaker Rifle, Light Shotgun, D-Charges / Heavy Pistol, E/M CC Weapon. (0 | 41)
GHULAM (Doctor [+3]) Rifle, Light Shotgun ( | MediKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 15)
GHULAM (NCO) Rifle, Grenade Launcher, Smoke Grenade Launcher / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1 | 15)

FANOUS REMOTE Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)
FANOUS REMOTE Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)
WARCOR (360º Visor) Flash Pulse ( ) / Stun Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 3)
CARMEN Chain Rifle(+1B), Smoke Grenades / Heavy Pistol(+1B), DA CC Weapon. (0 | 17)
BÂTARD Trench-Hammer, AP CC Weapon. (0 | 5)

GROUP 2 8 1

MAGHARIBA MULTI Heavy Machine Gun, Heavy Flamethrower(+1B), Mine Dispenser / AP Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 85)
MAGHARIBA PILOT (Paramedic) Light Shotgun, D-Charges / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 0)
FANOUS REMOTE Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)
NAJJARUN Engineer Rifle, Light Shotgun, D-Charges / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 15)

GHULAM (Hacker, Hacking Device) Rifle, Light Shotgun ( ) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 16)
GHULAM (Doctor [+3]) Rifle, Light Shotgun ( | MediKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 15)
GHULAM Sniper Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 16)
GHULAM (Lieutenant) Rifle, Light Shotgun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 11)
ZHAYEDAN Missile Launcher / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 28)


5 SWC | 298 Points Open in Infinity Army

The other group has a Namurr haris. This is where the magic is. The Namurr is the tac aware version and is grouped with a Doctor and NCO Ghulam to add more orders and to keep everyone running. The pool also has Carmen and Batard as a first turn missile. Hopefully that’s all that they can do and that they’re down by the time turn two rolls around.

The core link isn’t particularly mobile, but it doesn’t need to be. The Namurr link, Maggie,and Carmen are very mobile, all of which are very dangerous and reasonably resilient. We’ll see how this works out in game.

Deployment

I forget who won the rolloff but I ended up with deployment and Tim had first turn. He castled up his defensive link atop a building that had the only real missile launcher rangebands, then tucked the Namurr into a hidey hole nearby. Maggie went on his right to contest both the central diagonal firelane if necessary as well as pushing on the right if necessary.

I really don’t have much in the way of experience with the Anathematic so I was very scared and put it on a roof prone. The rest of my list spread out on and watched table edges for AD troops, and then I put the Rindak, the Caliban, and the Greif (after Tim’s turn started, I forgot) down in the midfield.

Bit and Kiss covered my left flank (they should have reversed their deployment), and then the Kaitok watched the center of my deployment zone, just in case. Tim’s reserve was Carmen and Batard, and there was a spot where the Overdron could see them so I put the Overdron there. I could have put it further back, but there was no spot for it to hide there with a guts move.

I think this is a good illustration of what N4 has become, at least in my personal play experience. I have a bunch of AROs, but none that really reach across the centerline. My strategy for surviving an alpha strike is to drain orders by forcing inefficient movement. Tim’s list is all about efficient movement, thanks to Maggie’s ability to vault over a ton of the terrain as well as the Namurr having climbing+. Carmen and Batard are just fast, so they don’t generally need to worry about not being able to go somewhere. I could have leaned into more AROs here, but that gives Maggie more shots. Not having enough AROs allows Carmen and Batard to advance. The table is actually surprisingly closed due to the billboards that block off firelanes, so I’d really be giving Maggie a bunch of shots at her preference of rangeband.

Turn 1

Top of 1 – Ramah

I docked orders from Carmen’s pool, figuring that two more orders of Maggie wasn’t going to significantly increase the amount of murder that she could accomplish. Tim proves why he’s a top tier Infinity player and just spends Carmen and Batard’s impetuous order. I fire on them with the Overdron and beat their dodge. Tim was really pushing it here, but he wanted Batard to be able to dodge as well as get movement for both of them. It’s not safe, but the likelihood of him failing two saves is only 23.51%, and Carmen is dogged. It’s also possible he could beat my dodge or I could just miss.

39.33 18.42 42.25

I hit and Batard is immediately vaporized, but Carmen makes it through dogged.

Maggie goes to work and drops the Overdron. I had an opportunity to guts out of there with only a wound on me but I elected to stay.

9.68 27.40 62.92

Now that I’ve seen the odds, I definitely should have guts’ed out of there. After this deployment, this was my first big mistake.

With the Overdron down, Carmen could continue. She found an angle on Bit. I managed to get Kit out of the way with a dodge…

but it wasn’t enough. Another move got Carmen into range and Bit went down along with my Taigha. Thankfully the Taigha took Carmen down with a chain colt to limit the damage.

Maggie spends the rest of her order pool firing mines everywhere and reloading with Baggage. Then Tim uses the Namurr’s climbing plus to go and kill the Greif. That was completely unexpected for me–I thought it would take far too many orders. This was definitely a learning opportunity for me and an opportunity for Tim to do some light dunking.

After moving his Warcor into the far left

Bottom of 1 – Combined Army

The Taigha pushed forward and then it was time to pick up the TAG. The Caliban snuck down the stairs but got revealed by a Fanous.

I did manage to get the Overdron back up after spending a command token, but it took most of my orders to do so.

I had a few more orders to get something done, so I decided to challenge Maggie with the Overdron from the flank, figuring that since most of the links where on the other side of the table I’d be safe. As part of the movement I shifted the Caliban and the Kaitok into slightly better positions.

70.98 23.36 5.67

The one order I’ve got has me do one wound to Maggie. I actually had a 17.40% chance to drop her unconscious. It just took far too many orders to do. Maybe I should have just Gizmokit the Overdron. Tim’s advice post game was to have retreated the Overdron. If I had more orders, this was probably the correct play, but with limited orders retreating might have been better.

In any case, with only the warcor in one of the quadrants, I spend a Taigha’s irregular order and move into that quadrant.

This puts me up to three quadrants, giving me 2 points for the turn.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – Ramah

The Kaitok’s new position isn’t safe, and I immediately lose it to Maggie.

Maggie dodges the Liberto’s mine and sets up some more mines of her own.

The Namurr terminates the Taigha that scored me the points. I was convinced that it was out of 8″ and so dodged instead of chain colted, but oh well.

I actually didn’t do any damage to the second order pool, so with a huge pile of orders, the Namurr and her friends dashed across the table, flipping a console on the way.

At this point the Namurr presents an awkward problem for me to solve. Namurr don’t have stealth, so I dodged into view with the Overdron on the approach as it dodged into view of both the Overdron and the Caliban. Then the Namurr activates again and moves into base to base.

Rather than CC the Namurr, I elect to fire the plasma sniper on 10’s. Originally, Tim had intended on templating the Overdron and the Caliban, but the plasma does have the potential to drop the Namurr in one hit so he has to CC back. I was pretty convinced he was going to template, so I dodged with the Caliban anyway.

I get D-charged twice, but I pass enough saves to keep the Overdron on the table.

Maggie keeps dispensing mines but wisely stays out of repeater range of my Ikadron.

Bottom of 2 – Combined Army

I decide I need to get the Rindak into the fight and climb/dodge off the roof against Maggie’s HMG fire.

Sadly I get flash pulsed on the way to the console.

I decide to just go for broke and Gizmokit the Overdron back up. I succeed, but the Namurr dodges back into base to base with the Overdron.

I walk the Caliban into base to base and start swinging. The Namurr takes one wound thanks to getting more dice from the Overdron, but I don’t get any extra wounds because of some fire from the Ghulamns on the way in.

Since this is a practice game, Tim encourages me to advance the Anathematic. I climb off the roof and am immediately revealed by some discovers from his core link. Tim claims he wasn’t trying to trick me, and I guess I believe him… * narrows eyes *

I haven’t really had the presence of mind or orders to get more things advanced to take another zone, so we tie here.

Turn 3

Top of 3 – Ramah

Tim tries to extricate the Namurr by flash pulsing into the right, but fails. He does move a Fanous close enough to allow his Ghulam hacker to perform Carbonite (not Oblivion like I annotated in the photo), kicking the Overdron out of the fight.

This frees the Namurr to engage the Caliban, but I am better in CC ever so slightly and KO the Namurr, going up to three wounds while the Overdron successfully resets.

The Zhayedan splits burst on the Overdron and Caliban and kills them both in one order. I fire back with the Overdron, hoping to splash plasma onto one of the Ghulam, but I whiff horribly and then fail all my ARM saves. Tim wants to pick the Namurr back up with his doctor, but has to go through the Rindak to do so. I make him spend a good pile of orders chasing my dodging Rindak around

But eventually he gets the kill.

The Namurr gets back up thanks to Haqqislam’s excellent doctor skills, which also gets Tim Experimental Drug!

Tim’s core link pushes onto a building in the midfield to lock me down and passes turn.

Bottom of 3 – Combined Army

I’ve got two orders left in my main pool and two Taigha. Tim has 2 points right now from a console and a classified. There’s really no way for me to outpoint him, so I need to get another console and a classified myself to tie the game. I think I can secure HVT on the right and just hope the Anathematic can survive all the AROs. I try to clear them out with a Taigha, but the Zhayedan and Ghulam sniper both dodge.

The other Taigha goes around the back, dodging a mine and a flash pulse.

I’ve got just enough movement to drop the Ghulam doctor with a chain colt.

The first Taigha drops the Zhayedan, having passed ARM against Maggie’s flamethrower.

I then just push the Anathematic forward.

I get the console flipped, just barely even with the bonus…

and then go as far as I can, but I’m 10″ away from Tim’s HVT.

This makes it a

4-3, 238-103 Ramah Task Force Victory!

Post Game Analysis

So I definitely didn’t deploy well, but it wasn’t atrocious. A few things:

  1. Bit and Kiss should have been swapped. Bit is squishy and generates orders, Kiss is expendable.
  2. The Kaitok was kinda useless this game, mostly because it was just food for Maggie. Moving it was a waste, I probably should have just left it there prone to generate an order. It can’t fight Maggie.
  3. The Rindak was fine, as were the Taigha.
  4. The Anathematic was too passively placed, I need to be more aggressive with it.

I definitely misplayed and overextended the Overdron. I was pretty happy with my Taigha this game, as well as my solve for the Namurr. Having both the TAG and the 3 wound Caliban fold to one order was just brutal though.

One big takeaway for me is that I can’t solely rely on forcing inefficient movement, especially against a player of Tim’s caliber. The Namurr and its combat group basically soloed my list with a little assistance from Maggie and the Zhayedan. I probably should have used the Kaitok to protect them better–there was probably a spot to help screen my left flank.

Tim’s big suggestion was to be very aggressive with the Anathematic, and that I had deployed it too conservatively. In general I agree, but I’m not certain what specific line of advance would have been worthwhile. I think Tim’s initial alpha strike made things really difficult because I lost a lot of efficient force projection. I’m pretty happy with my recovery in the sense that I kept the game so close, but that was really more due to Tim’s sloppiness (his own admission) than any skill on my part.

Really I didn’t adequately protect the Greif, the Kaitok, and Bit, and I myself had a lot of inefficient movement. In short, I had a shaky, non-committal start. I ended strong but at that point it was too late.

WiseKensai

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

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