After Action ReportInfinity

Pandora’s Mercy

So I’m still struggling with trying to pick a faction for an upcoming tournament. I’ve even thought about playing my randomly generated list for the upcoming Salem Shitshow in February 2023 to just resolve my indecision. In any case, it wasn’t a hard decision to keep badgering James (RomanLegion) for a game until he said yes. It’s kinda nice how much mileage we’ve been getting out of these table components. Here’s yet another fun configuration:


  • Mission: ITS14 Superiority
  • Forces: Steel Phalanx versus Yu Jing (300)
  • Deploy First: Steel Phalanx
  • First Turn: Steel Phalanx

I decided to run Steel Phalanx for this game just to give myself reps while I mulled my faction choices. I’m running Hector, Acmon, Phoenix, Pandora core and then double Dalelth to really pack in the Tac Aware. I took Penny as well, because I’ve wanted to get her on the table for while and a fast specialist with an impetuous order is great.


HECTOR (Lieutenant [+1 Order]) Plasma Rifle, Nanopulser, Grenades ( | TinBot: Firewall [-3]) / Heavy Pistol, EXP CC Weapon. (0 | 69)
PHOENIX Heavy Rocket Launcher, Nanopulser, Smoke Grenades / DA CC Weapon, Heavy Pistol. (1.5 | 35)
ACMON Combi Rifle, Panzerfaust, D-Charges / Breaker Pistol(+1B), CC Weapon. (0 | 31)
PANDORA (Hacker) Pitcher, Pulzar, Flash Pulse(+1B) ( | MediKit [+1B]) / Viral Pistol(+1B), CC Weapon. (0.5 | 26)

DALETH Rebot Combi Rifle, Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 16)
DALETH Rebot Combi Rifle, Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 16)
PENTHESILEA Submachine Gun, Nanopulser(+1B), Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Monofilament CC Weapon. (0 | 29)
ATALANTA (Total Reaction) MULTI Sniper Rifle ( | TinBot: Discover [ReRoll]) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 44)
AGÊMA Marksman Missile Launcher / Breaker Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 31)
WARCOR (Sixth Sense) Flash Pulse / Stun Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 3)

9 2 1 | 5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

Not taking Achilles and Ajax really frees up a lot of points, so I managed to pack in Atalanta and an Agema ML. The last three points are a Warcor… ’cause… yeah. James is busy tuning a Yu Jing list. A pile of Kuang Shi powers a Pheasant and a Beasthunter in group one, along with Bixie.

GROUP 1 7 1 4

CELESTIAL GUARD Monitor Combi Rifle, Smoke Grenade Launcher / CC Weapon, Pistol. (0.5 | 13)
KUANG SHI Chain Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 5)
KUANG SHI Chain Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 5)
KUANG SHI Chain Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 5)
KUANG SHI Chain Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 5)
PHEASANT IMPERIAL AGENT (Hacker, Killer Hacking Device) Combi Rifle, E/Mitter ( ) / Breaker Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-6). (0 | 28)
BÌXIÉ MULTI Rifle, Zapper, Flash Pulse / Pistol, E/M CC Weapon. (0 | 41)
BEASTHUNTERS (Surprise Attack [-3], Camouflage, Forward Deployment [+8″]) Heavy Flamethrower, Panzerfaust, AP Mines / EXP CC Weapon(+1B), Pistol. (0 | 17)


MAJOR LUNAH VIRAL Sniper Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 29)
GŬILÁNG (Hacker, Hacking Device) Combi Rifle, Shock Mines ( ) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 30)
KOKRAM (Forward Deployment [+8″], Minelayer) Heavy Shotgun, E/Mitter, E/M Mines ( | Deployable Repeater) / Heavy Pistol(+1B), CC Weapon. (0 | 41)
YÁOZĂO PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 3)
YÁOZĂO PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 3)
LÓNG YÁ (Minelayer) Panzerfaust(+1B), Flammenspeer(+1B), Submachine Gun, AP Mines / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0.5 | 17)
LÓNG YÁ (Minelayer) Panzerfaust(+1B), Flammenspeer(+1B), Submachine Gun, AP Mines / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0.5 | 17)
SON-BAE Yaókòng Missile Launcher / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (1.5 | 16)
DĀOYĪNG (Lieutenant [+1 Order]) Boarding Shotgun / Breaker Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 22)

5 SWC | 297 Points | Open in Infinity Army

Group two is where the utility is. James loves his Son Bae and double Long Ya. Lunah and Krit are in most of his lists as well, but this time he took the Forward Deploy version with a shotgun. Finally he rounds things out with the ubiquitous Daoying Lt and another nice utility piece: the Guilang Hacker.


I lost the rolloff and James took deployment. Unwilling to let him shove a Su Jian or whatever the Kuang Shi were powering into my face (in this case Bixie), I took first turn. It’s kinda funny, as I write these I realize that you know about my opponent’s list before I do in the report timeline, i.e. I don’t know what the list is at deployment. This can make for a bit of an odd reading timeskip situation, but probably best for you to see the context before? I dunno.

Anyway, I’ve got first turn so I want to be very aggressive and take and hold ground in order to get more quadrants than James. I also know that I need to do a few orders worth of damage to James, and flip some of the consoles if I can. That means I really need to carefully plan out the turn, starting in Turn 0: Deployment.

My general idea is to put the main link in a central location in my deployment zone with multiple points of egress. There’s a green shipping container at the front of the platform if I need go to the left and a set of white stairs if I need to go to the right. The link can then reinforce whatever needs help.

I set up the Daleths to make pushes on both near consoles on turn 1, and then set the Warcor up to take and hold the left close quadrant by tucking it into the slot between the building and the table edge. Three points is basically nothing, but if there’s nothing in that quadrant it will still hold it. That’ll at least let me be aggressive and move into a far quadrant if I think I can manage that.

Penny goes on the right. I figure I can use her impetuous to go around the building she’s hiding behind, and then coordinate her into the pocket between that building and the next one. I don’t want to push her all the way forward just yet, I just want her points in a zone. I plan on spending most of my orders on the first turn on Atalanta because she can tear down pretty much anything James sets up unless she gets crit.

I hold her and the Agema in reserve and pass deployment to James. He sets up a Long Ya on the left to screen the approach on my right as well as ARO across the center of the table on the raised platforms. The other Long Ya is on his right watching the table edge and helping the Chaiyi over there. The Daoying hides in a building, prone, guarded by a nearby Kuang Shi and the Celestial Guard. Krit’s two Yaozao are near the Long Ya, and Krit himself is hiding on a building in the deployment zone with his repeater put pretty far forward.

James’s other NCO unit, Bixie, is on the left to anchor that side, and the Son Bae watches the right side of the table. The Beasthunter takes advantage of the forward deployment to make a push on the midfield if it comes to that. The Guilang puts itself in a position to hack the link if they move directly forward. Finally, a Pheasant is on the building next to the Soe Bae (right underneath the Kuang Shi label, I missed it when labeling). I put the Agema watching Bixie’s approach as well as the approach of the Kuang Shi on the left, and then Atalanta goes on my left. I figure I can take out both Long Ya who are in the quadrants already to make James have to spend orders moving forward to attack me and then moving backwards to control quadrants–a double movement tax.

James puts Lunah on the table in the back, prone, to hide her. I choose Atalanta as my Key Ops and James chooses Krit.

Turn 1

Top of 1 – Steel Phalanx

My plan for the turn is to leave the link where it is and push the Daleth forward to get the objectives done. This takes orders away from killing, but it does get points on the scoreboard that I probably won’t have orders to go after later. Then I can use them to sensor the Long Ya out of camo and subsequently remove them with Atalanta. If I can leave the Daleth in the midfield to be repeaters, that seems good as well–they might help against Bixie.

James takes two orders from me, and then we’re off. As planned, Penny zooms forward to set up for a move into the pocket on the right side of the table. The Daleth on the right snags the objective easily, but the one on the left fails its WIP roll. I don’t want to sit on the objective and waste orders trying to flip it, as I can have Pandora try it with the hacker bonus later. This commits me to moving the link up on the left, but I’m comfortable with that, the right side seems kinda weak for both of us right now, and anything James pushes will have to get through the Agema and possibly Atalanta.

Anyway, I coordinate an order on Atalanta, the two Daleth, and Penny to move them all forward. I’m hoping to bait the Guilang out of camo to hack me. It’s not great odds because of the ECM: Hacker on the Daleth this season, so James doesn’t bite and lets me move everything forward unmolested. Penny settles into her pocket to contribute later, and the two Daleth move forward towards all of James’s camo. I really don’t have orders to individually discover stuff, so I’m just going to sensor it all out of camo.

I coordinate another order with Atalanta and the two Daleth, settling them into the right spots and declare Sensor, revealing both Long Ya, their mines, and the Guilang. Not bad.

Atalanta takes out the Long Ya on the right…

and the one on the left.

Pandora quickly Oblivions the Guilang, turning off its hacking device and depriving James of another order.

I feel confident in my ability to harass the Beasthunter now, so I use the Daleth’s climbing plus to discover the Beasthunter. The Chaiyi attempts a flash pulse but misses, and then I kill the Beasthunter with the Daleth and get flash pulsed, using the guts fail to hide on the nearby bridge, prone.

I move the warcor into the zone as planned, and use Acmon’s order to poke Phoenix out slightly to defend Atlanta’s back arc. With that, I’m out of orders. Atalanta is wildly exposed, but I figure she’ll drain at least a few orders before going down especially with my repeater net up. What’s more is that I’ve had a very successful first turn removing all of James’s models with forward deployment and infiltration. Well, the Guilang is still alive but if it stands up Phoenix will shoot it, as will the Agema depending on where it ends up.

James will have to dedicate in-game and mental resources to stacking models in each zone. I’ve got Atlanta and a warcor in my near left zone, a Daleth in both far zones, and Penny in my near right zone. Certainly not invincible, but I don’t think he can take the three zones he’ll need to dominate more.

Bottom of 1 – Yu Jing

James decides to not activate the Kuang Shi and insteads goes for the killer hacker snipe on Pandora through the Daleth’s repeater. The Pheasant stands up to get into ZoC of the Daleth and is promptly exploded by the Agema.

James then spends the Key Ops orderon Krit to pick up the Long Ya on my left, with me successfully landing a Carbonite on the Yaozao so it can’t do anything else easily.

The Long Ya attacks Atalanta from cover. It’s 3 on 11s and I’m 2 on 18s. I win the face to face, but the pistol is too low damage to take out the Long Ya. Unfortunately Pandora fails her WIP roll on Carbonite here.

The Long Ya pushes forward to see both Atalanta and the Daleth and splits burst. It does take out the Daleth, and Atlanta lands another ineffective pistol shot. Pandora pushes the right button on her hacking device this time and the Carbonite lands, stopping the assault.

James then spends most of his order pool getting Bixie into position, walking her the long way around to avoid Phoenix. My positioning on Phoenix was good, as it forces Bixie to do a lot of this prone, draining even more orders.

James is trying to get the maximum efficiency out of her so he’s dodging a bunch to get 6-4 movement instead of her base 6-2. Unfortunately his last dodge is within 8″ of Atalanta, so she dodges into view to challenge Bixie’s shooting with her own. James had hoped to get into CC with Atlalanta, but this dashes those hopes. She manages to do a wound with her pistol against Bixie’s MULTI rifle.

Bixie eventually does sneak an AP round through and Atalanta drops.

James pushes his luck and tries to take out Phoenix and rolls incredibly high on all of his dice, something like 18, 18, 19. Phoenix gives me a pair of 5’s, which is enough to burn Bixie off the table.

He’s got a few more orders so he tries to take down my Daleth on the right with Lunah. I manage to beat one of the rolls but the second comes through. Thankfully I’m BTS 6 in cover and I just make the saves.

James is out of orders now, so we calculate quadrants. The Daleth that survived Lunah is in my far right, Penny is in my near right. The frozen Long Ya is in the far left, and with Bixie down, my warcor takes the near left, giving me 3 quadrants and two points! With my one console flipped, this is a 3 point lead going first in Superiority, which is very good and beyond my expectations! I played very aggressively and even though I’ve lost a Daleth and Atalanta, breaking the quadrant tie in my favor on the first turn has put me in a solid leading position. If I can continue stalling James out over the next two turns i have a chance. Turn 2 has to go very well for me though, as he still has a lot of hitting power left on the table.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – Steel Phalanx

After Penny advances, the frozen Long Ya needs to go. I need to get my link near Atalanta and the Daleth to MediKit/Gizmokit them respectively. Phoenix does his job and blows up the Long Ya.

Lunah is guarding the near left console, but Phoenix forces her prone, letting Pandora flip the console as planned.

Pandora then has a burst 3 MedKit on Atalanta, which brings her back up.

Acmon’s only burst two on the Daleth, but he gets it back up too.

I’m in big trouble here with a very advanced link that includes my lieutenant and a key specialist, so I need to both set up AROs and fix Hector/Pandora’s positioning. Phoenix attempts to take the high ground but can’t get through the Son Bae’s (lack of) armor. The Chaiyi flash pulses him successfully, which is annoying, but I use the hit to fail guts and go prone. This lets Hector and Pandora long skill climb onto a nearby roof and go prone for safety.

I’ve got the Daleth on the right’s tac aware order to spend, so I decide to really push my luck and try to take out Lunah. This is a horrible idea, and I absolutely should have used the order to finish off the nearby Long Ya, gone into suppression, or just about anything else. I’m on 5’s to Lunah’s 13.Terrible odds, and I lose the Daleth. I’m in a pretty good position still anyway, so it’s not a disastrous outcome, but definitely a suboptimal decision.

Bottom of 2 – Yu Jing

James shifts the Guilang forward somehow manages to KO Phoenix with its one order. This lets Penny dodge out of the zone that the Daleth was in, allowing me to hold my near right zone.

Lunah then KOs Acmon as well, which is not great.

Krit then picks up the remaining Long Ya, which aces the Agema with a pair of Flammenspeers. Burst 2 versus burst 1 isn’t particularly good, but this is just revenge for Bixie’s awful roll against Phoenix.

Krit challenges Penny and just ends up forcing her into total cover…

but not from the Long Ya, which forces her to throw smoke after taking a wound.

James then tries to take out the Daleth and Acmon with a Kuang Shi. He spends a shocking amount of orders just whiffing with the pistol which the Daleth dodges repeatedly. Somehow the Kuang Shi also manages to miss Acmon’s unconscious body repeatedly as well.

James made a fatal mistake here, moving the Guilang into the same quadrant as Hector and Pandora. This means I have both near quadrants, and my Daleth out points the Kuang Shi, bringing my lead to 6-0.

Turn 3

Top of 3 – Steel Phalanx

At this point I need to just take out as many of James’s specialists as possible. The Guilang is more or less out of the fight, so really all that’s left is Krit. Pandora starts her run and puts a wound on him with her SMG.

Pandora then picks up Phoenix, but kills Acmon. To make matters worse, the Daleth dies to the Kuang Shi’s chain rifle while completely whiffing on its combi shots on 14s.

I want to set up a shot with Hector on the Chaiyi which will splash plasma onto Lunah, but I need to set up smoke with Penny first. I do this and force a dodge from Krit, who was worried about double nanopulsar.

Hector then tries for the plasma splash and gets flash pulsed. UGH.

Atalanta, also disgusted, uses her Key Ops order and just challenges Lunah directly, killing her in a show of ALEPH superiority. See what I did there? Eh? Eh? I reform the link with Phoenix in it, and take down the Son Bae.

I’ve got one order left, which I spend on Penny to monofilament Krit in half. I do lose Penny to the Long Ya, but now James has no specialists.

Bottom of 3 – Yu Jing

I can’t do much at this point. Phoenix can’t out-point a Kuang Shi, Daoying, and a Guilang all by himself, and I have nothing left alive on the right, letting a Kuang Shi roll into my near right quadrant.

James has 3 quadrants now, but the only one I control has my Key Ops in it, making it a

7-1, 177-85 Steel Phalanx Victory!

Post Game Analysis

I’m not happy with this game. I think my link was far too exposed on the left and it was just my early aggression and one careful move with Hector/Pandora that kept me in the game. It was rather annoying that both Phoenix and Acmon got punked so easily, but it’s not particularly unlikely given the tools that challenged them.

My Daleth move against Lunah was also completely unnecessary and cost me the right flank. Had the Daleth still been up I probably could have carbonited the Yaozao and prevented the loss of the Agema, making Penny’s situation much stronger. Speaking of Penny, I think moving her up during Turn 2 was also unnecessary, and would have kept her in a much better position at the start of turn 3.

Pretty sloppy execution on my part after Turn 1. I think leaving Atalanta so exposed was very dangerous as well, and I really just got lucky there. She can manage herself reasonably well, but I really should be taking advantage of her rangebands to abuse the total reaction. Pistols on 18s is actually still pretty good though, so that was nice. Thankfully I did place her properly to contest an approach by Kuang Shi.

I did manage to hold on to the tempo for most of the game, which was good. I’m perhaps being a little harsh on myself–James was complaining about how annoying the advanced Daleth were, and they did make things difficult. On that note, double FO bot is pretty good. I’d experimented with them before, but having the ability to sensor two 16″ diameter bubbles simultaneously and follow it up with Atalanta is pretty darn good. Steel struggles a bit with hacking threat projection–there are pitchers and such, but just having Daleth in the midfield is also good. I think I used them to pretty good effect this game, and I’m hoping to continue to milk as much value out of them as I can in ITS14.

Pandora is a great addition to the Hector link. His Tinbot synergizes well, and having a MediKit and Pulzar is great. The fact that she has dual viral pistols is also good. She’s got a lot of fun tools that really make that link more capable.

Regarding James’s lines of play, I think they were fine. I’m not sure about the Bixie play, and I quite like picking the Long Ya up, but the dice just didn’t deliver him the rolls he needed there. I don’t know. I’m a little fixated on how sloppy my play was and how many holes I saw in my own positioning. I do think that I did a good job of attacking the right things to make it inefficient for him to problem solve with the order pools he had. I would also mention that it took two command tokens to fix the Long Ya that first time, so he was down to one by the end of the game and couldn’t swap things around order-pool-wise.

I guess in summary, I had pushed hard enough and at the right things to really stall James out and force some inefficient lines of play out of him. He could have attempted some more risky lines, like trying to move through Phoenix, or challenging Phoenix with Lunah very aggressively. Perhaps that’s the key issue–Lunah didn’t feel particularly relevant until I advanced pretty far. That’s probably okay, because she’s somewhat fragile, but she felt contained and boxed in effectively.

I’ve been watching a lot of StarCraft II lately, so if you’ll allow me the comparison, it felt like I had done a good job of containing James with a bunch of siege tanks outside his natural. He had some trouble breaking that probably for unit comp reasons and was taking bad trades, but my positioning was bad. The right approach would have probably let him break out of the contain pretty easily, and I was definitely not macroing well behind the contain. Taken more abstractly, I wasn’t defending in depth well enough and my position was not robust.

Anyway. I’ve harped on this long enough by now, I think. As always, thanks for reading.


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

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