Slagging Skiavoros

ln an effort to help our local meta improve their game as well as improve consistency of game night attendance, Adam is running an escalation league over 6 weeks with two week rounds. We’re playing Battlegrounds at 150, Superiority at 200, and then Uplink Center at 300. It was pretty awesome to walk in and see 4 games already going. I had to set up a table in a whole other row of tables, which rarely happens!

We’re playing on a 24″ x 32″ table, and the back of the square building is the back table edge.

My opponent for the first 150 point round is Andy (Antilles), who we’ve already seen playing Corregidor on this blog:

Overview

  • Mission: ITS14 Battleground
  • Forces: Combined Army versus Operations Subsection of the SSS (150)
  • Deploy First: Combined Army
  • First Turn: Combined Army

I had some trouble deciding what to play for the league. I was originally planning on playing White Banner which would allow me to power a Blue Wolf with regular Shaolin orders:

League 150

ZHANSHI (Lieutenant) Combi Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 11)
ZHANSHI MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 18)
BEASTHUNTER FTO (Minelayer) Heavy Flamethrower, Panzerfaust, AP Mines / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 9)

LIANG KAI Chain Rifle, Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse / Pistol, EXP CC Weapon. (0 | 21)
SHAOLIN Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 5)
SHAOLIN Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 5)

BLUE WOLF AP Spitfire, Heavy Flamethrower, Panzerfaust / DA CC Weapon. (1.5 | 71)
BLUE WOLF PILOT Light Shotgun / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 0)
CHAĪYÌ Yaókòng Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)
WARCOR (360º Visor) Flash Pulse ( ) / Stun Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 3)


5 5 3 | 3 SWC | 150 Points | Open in Infinity Army

but this felt perhaps a little too sweaty for a grow league. I decided to challenge myself and try to pilot a Skiavoros list, which I’ve only done once before.

This had the added benefit of giving me access to Sepsitor. In the weeks leading up to the league folks had been trading meme-lists with Achilles, Joan, double TAG, that sort of thing. I figured rather than have an explicit answer to all possible threats, I’d just steal my opponent’s toys and then force them to answer their own threat.

League 150

SKIÁVORO (Lieutenant [+1 Command Token], Strategos L1]) Plasma Rifle, Sepsitor Plus, Nanopulser / Heavy Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (0.5 | 60)
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)
GREIF-OP (Surprise Attack [-3], Impersonation [IMP-2]) Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Breaker Pistol(+1B), CC Weapon. (1 | 21)
ÍMETRON . (0 | 6)
DARTOK (Hacker) Submachine Gun, Pitcher / Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 21)
Q-DRONE Plasma Rifle / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (1 | 24)


7 | 3 SWC | 150 Points | Open in Infinity Army

I needed a hacker to be able to steal unmanned TAGs, so I threw in a Dartok. I figured a Greif would be good too–I’d just park it on a roof in the far zone for points, maybe shoot targets of opportunity, and then a Q-Drone. If my opponent has no TAGs or things with cubes to steal, I can just plasma it off the table. The rest of the list is just orders.

Andy’s list is a Dakini core with a CSU in there, Shakti as Lt, and then a Daleth/Aspara pair with Andromeda to be the forward deployed chunk of points.

Operations Subsection of the SSS

SHAKTI (Lieutenant, Hacker) Mk12, E/Marat / Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 41)

DAKINI Combi Rifle / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 13)
DAKINI (Paramedic) Combi Rifle ( | MediKit) / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 15)
CSU Breaker Rifle, Nanopulser(+1B) / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-6). (0 | 12)

APSARA (RemDriver [CC=15, BS=13, WIP=14]) Submachine Gun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 22)
DALETH Rebot Combi Rifle, Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 16)
ANDROMEDA (Forward Deployment [+8″]) Submachine Gun, Flash Pulse, Zapper, D-Charges / Breaker Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 30)


7 | 0 SWC | 149 Points | Open in Infinity Army

Deployment

I won the rolloff. Ordinarily I’d take deployment and go second, but the sides were pretty symmetric and on a table this small you really have to go first. I took first turn, which meant I would have to either completely defang Andy’s list or stall him out and aggressively drain orders. I have the tools do that with the Dartok and so much of his list vulnerable to hacking. With so little room for deployment and so little data about what Andy has in his list, I decide to be very conservative. I spend the Skiavoros’s extra command token to hold a third model in reserve and just deploy the two Ikadrons, the Imetron (which fails its roll and thus has to go on the “back table edge”), and the Dartok.

Andy deploys his Dakini link on the right, the Daleth and the Aspara in the middle, and Shakti on a building prone on his left.

The Skiavoros and Q-Drone come out of reserve in the middle and my left, respectively. I decided to put the Skiavoros in the middle because it’s reasonably safe, and the Q-Drone on the left because if I don’t move it it’ll be in an annoying spot for Andy. If I need to move it I can, and there are plenty of places within a move or two that I can leave it.

I had originally planned on just putting the Greif somewhere irritating, like on the central building, to just be points and maybe shoot at stuff, like I said before. Shakti is an obvious lieutenant, and she’s alone on a roof. The table is small enough that the penalty for failing the WIP roll is pretty minor, so I chance it and stick the landing behind Shakti.

Andy’s reserve is Andromeda, which he puts right in front of Shakti, facing the center of the table. I choose the Dartok to be my Key Ops and Andy chooses the Aspara.

Turn 1

Top of 1 – Combined Army

Andy takes two orders from me, which is the correct thing to do, and then I start things off by shooting Shakti in the back with breaker pistols. The odds are the same, as it’s either DAM 13 versus ARM 3 or DAM 12 versus ARM 2, so I choose the breaker pistols for style points. I do a wound against Shakti’s dodge on the first order.

Shakti spins around and then I spend another order. This time Andy declares E/Marat, which I think is a big mistake here–yes you probably isolate the Greif here, but I don’t really mind that, especially since I get to roll burst three unopposed to kill your Lieutenant! I think the correct play is to shoot back with the heavy pistol on a 13. I still have more burst but you can actually kill the Greif, or at least beat a few of my rolls and reduce the number of saves you need to make.

Shakti passes 2/3 saves and only goes unconscious, and as expected the Greif is isolated. I suppose that’s good, because I could have kept going and tried to drop the Aspara and the Daleth, maybe even Andromeda. As it is, there’s not much for the Q-Drone to go after except Andromeda. I’m not rolling very well here and only manage to do a single wound before I run very low on orders.

As I mentioned before, I need to stall Andy out, so I use the Key Ops order and my last regular order to fire a pitcher with the Dartok. It lands, thankfully. Anything that wants to destroy it will have to fight the Q-Drone, which is fine by me.

Bottom of 1 – OSS

As expected, Andy is in loss of lieutenant. This is excellent news for me, because this is going to be very taxing on his command token pool as well as limit the number of orders he can spend on any one model. Andromeda could easily have gone through my deployment zone and killed everything had I not pushed hard on the lieutenant. Everything else I’m less worried about, mostly because it’s mostly hackable and I’ve got so much repeater coverage even without having landed the pitcher.

He starts by trying to remove the Q-Drone with the Daleth. He’s got Marksmanship, but I have Mimetism, so we’re effectively on the same odds to hit, but if I sneak a plasma hit through it’s significantly worse for Andy. We start off by both missing on the Tac Aware order, and then on its irregular order the Daleth does hit me but I pass ARM.

Andy burns a command token to try again with one of the Dakini. I Carbonite the Dakini to force two BTS saves, and tank ARM again. I’m not rolling particularly well on the Q-Drone’s face to face, but I’m doing quite well on ARM. It helps that I’m making less saves because of Mimetism.

Andromeda shifts into view, and I can catch her out of cover, but she crits the Q-Drone and I finally fail a save.

This lets Andy spend two more command tokens to super jump the CSU (oh yeah, the CSU rolled super jump) into view of my Greif and shoot it down. I attempt a Carbonite on the other Dakini, but fail.

The Aspara moves a little closer while maintaining total cover, and then Andy passes turn.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – Combined Army

My objectives for this turn are just to continue to remove orders, which will basically make my forces safer. I can’t really attack the Aspara to get credit for the Key Ops kill, but I Just need to get orders off the table. I bring the Skiavoros around outside of 16″, seeing the CSU first, which dodges prone. I slice the pie and see the Daleth and drop plasma templates on it and the CSU, melting both off the table.

I retreat the Skiavoros to relative safety, and guard the approach with both Ikadron. One of them stands up to see Andromeda as I do this, and she SMGs so I flash pulse to get the best odds. I successfully land the flash pulse but it’s my last order so it doesn’t matter.

Bottom of 2 – OSS

Andy’s decided to spend his turn on picking Shakti back up with the Dakini Paramedic. I’m not sure what the benefit of this is, because it’s going to take a lot to get her off that roof and into a scoring zone. I think it’s probably better to just go and kill the Skiavoros with something, maybe even the Aspara. It has the orders to do it. I’d suggest Andromeda, but she’s already wounded and there’s two Ikadron in the way. I suppose this would strengthen his turn 3 if everything survives.

In any case, the Dakini Paramedic gets flash pulsed, but apparently the MediKit skill doesn’t have an attack label so you can still use it in base to base, so Shakti gets up…

and shoots my Ikadron. Boo.

Andy pushes the Aspara forward to be just out of his deployment zone and then passes turn.

Turn 3

Top of 3 – Combined Army

Andy was concerned that I might drop in an AD troop behind Shakti, so the Dakini is facing backwards and standing (not enough orders to go prone). Unfortunately for Andy, I can pie slice to see it first, and I plasma both it and Shakti off the table.

I’m really low on orders now. The Skiavoros is then forced to split burst against the Aspara and Andromeda, and I take a wound from Andromeda but kill the Aspara.

With that, I’m out of orders and I fail guts out of LoF.

Bottom of 3 – OSS

All that Andy has left is Andromeda, and it’s late (we started late), so we call it here. I’ve got the middle and near zones, and Andy’s got his near zone. I’ve also killed his Key Ops and mine is alive, so it’s a

6-1, 96-30 Combined Army Victory!

Post Game Analysis

Well plasma continues to be very, very good. My list has only one level of redundancy in it after the Q-Drone went down. Things got a little scary when I was taking shots outside of 16″ with the Skiavoros, but it worked out. I think my plan for the lieutenant snipe followed by pressure on the order pool was good. I was prepared to lose both the Q-Drone and the Greif, but it would have been nice to have taken something out with the Q-Drone in the reactive turn.

In terms of things that Andy could have done to improve–putting your lieutenant on a roof alone is generally a bad idea. Having it faced into a corner pocket just makes the problem worse–this isn’t a criticism, just an observation. Andy’s very aware that he needs to work on facing and is still thinking actively about it instead of having it be second nature. This means that decision fatigue or forgetting to correct facing occurs, and you end up in situations like this. I think one very small optimization for the deployment would have been been to put the Aspara where the Daleth was, the Daleth where Shakti was, and Shakti where the Aspara was. This is much safer, as the CSU or Dakini can help fight the Greif.

In this case, I probably go after the Daleth on the roof instead with the Greif and continue applying pressure from the rooftop, but Andy could’ve landed a Spotlight to help. Edit: RolandTHTG pointed out that Shakti only has a KHD. Whoops. In any case, it’s important to remember, especially as you’re starting out, that there’s a lot to consider in a game of Infinity. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with lots of interactions that don’t make sense or require a lot of thought. Focus on a few things. Andy’s done a great job of limiting his focus to learning how to use link teams as well as keep correcting his facing after each order. These are very related problems, and are good things to focus on at this stage of his Infinity journey.

Regarding the Skiavoros, I think it’s fine. It really doesn’t work very well in a remote heavy list with very few Mnemonica targets, as you’re less likely to want to take risks with it, but sometimes you just have to. I’m thinking about carrying the Skiavoros through the 200 and 300 point games just to see how my opinion changes on it as I can build more redundancy and support into the list. I do like that it has structure, which makes things like the Caliban even more relevant. It doesn’t have remote presence so I have to be very careful, but it’s at least an option.

We’ll see what the rest of the league brings. 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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