John (Aladdin Sarsippius) and I finished our round two game so quickly we re-racked and played another.
He tried out another one of his Avatar lists and I played the Steel Phalanx list I still had in my bag from my game against James:
Since there were no other available tables at the tournament, we just played on the same one. Also we didn’t want to move our stuff.
- Mission: ITS14 Superiority
- Forces: Steel Phalanx versus Combined Army (300)
- Deploy First: Combined Army
- First Turn: Combined Army
The Hector, Pandora, Acmon, Phoenix core is really becoming the core kernel of a lot of my Steel list building as of late. I think it’s quite powerful and has a lot of tools and order efficiency. I also really like the options that double Daleth provides.
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 Army | Copy Code
I didn’t really get to do a lot with Penny or the Agema last game I played with this list so I was hoping to get an opportunity to really mess around with them this game.
John’s list is the Avatar again, but with the support package changed out. Caliban’s out and Dr. Worm is in. We lose the Rindak but gain Anyat and a Zerat, the M-Drone becomes a Q-Drone, and then he’s got a spicy choice in the form a Dropsuit Taryot. Very cool!
John 2 (Aladdin Sarsippius)
AVATAR (Lieutenant [+1 Order, +1 Command Token]) MULTI Heavy Machine Gun, Sepsitor Plus / DA CC Weapon. (3 | 126)
STALDRON Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-6). (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)
Q-DRONE Plasma Rifle / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (1 | 24)
DROPSUIT TARYOT Red Fury / Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (1 | 27)
ZERAT (Hacker, Killer Hacking Device) Combi Rifle, Light Flamethrower, D-Charges ( ) / Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 27)
ÍMETRON . (0 | 6)
MED-TECH OBSIDON MEDCHANOID Combi Rifle, D-Charges ( | GizmoKit, MediKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 22)
SLAVE DRONE PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 3)
ANYAT K1 Combi Rifle, Chain-colt, Smoke Grenades, E/M Grenades / CC Weapon, Heavy Pistol. (0 | 24)
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)
10 1 | 5.5 SWC | 298 Points | Open in Army | Copy Code
I won the rolloff and elected to keep the side I was standing on. We may have finished the last game very quickly but I wanted to be able to finish this one before the tournament rounds ended, so swapping sides would’ve taken too long. John of course chose to take first turn. He set up strong side on the left, in contrast to the last game. Most of his stuff was on the left, and the Q-Drone ended up on the right.
With that, I set up my deployment similarly to last game with Hector’s link on the left where Wallace was. Phoenix was left out to ARO, which is probably unwise, but hey, I can dream. I put Atalanta on the right to challenge a firelane down the a diagonal, and then the Agema hung out on the roof. I put the Warcor somewhere sensible in the middle, just to sort of be out of the way and discourage the Zerat from doing too much advancing.
Penny came down behind Atalanta to roll up the right flank, and the two Daleth were split on the left and the right. I put the Daleth on the left all the way up on top of the buildings, intending to Climbing+ down off the roof to get the objective when the time came. Also this would give me a repeater in case I needed to hack something like the Q-Drone.
I remember at the time of deployment really disliking the Daleth deployment on the left, but I let it go due to time pressure. I think the Zerat was one of John’s reserves and I can’t remember the other now. I chose to keep the Agema in reserve. Pandora was my Key Ops and Bit was John’s.
Top of 1 – Combined Army
I take two orders from John’s pool, as that seems the most reasonable. He starts things off by landing a Dropsuit Taryot next to Pandora. I could dodge into close combat, and this seems pretty reasonable given my dodge stats and the Key Ops bonus. That’s probably more of an order drain on John, honestly, and is therefore the right decision. I decided to viral pistol instead, mostly because I wanted to use the viral pistol and not because it was better. I figured if I used it now I would be more likely to remember she has them in a future game.
I land a hit, but unfortunately I didn’t realize that the Taryot has BTS 6, so it shrugs it off while I take a wound from the DAM 12 template. Ah well. The Taryot activates again and splits burst between Pandora and my Warcor, failing to kill either while I sheepishly dodge into close combat. I’m definitely convinced that I should’ve dodged at the first opportunity (or maybe Carbonited), but I’m in CC now. The Warcor does flash pulse the Taryot successfully, so Pandora is safe.
The Avatar activates next. It’s quite tall so it can see the Daleth on the roof by vaulting onto a building. I waffle for a bit before deciding to take the shot with the Agema and dodging with the Daleth. The Avatar splits burst between the two of them with the Agema being outside 32″. I have reasonably good odds to do one wound, a 29.36% to do 2, and a 6.82% to do all three:
Of course, 13% is quite high and the Avatar crits and drops the Agema and the Daleth. Ruh Roh. I had misjudged Atalanta’s LoF and the Avatar actually can see Phoenix first before Atalanta, so there’s a fight at 32″ with the Avatar out of cover.
I have reasonable odds to force John to spend more orders, and that’s exactly what happens. The Avatar crits Phoenix, but I pass 1 of the saves so Phoenix stays up and out to ARO.
The Avatar crits Phoenix again, and now he’s unconscious. Now the Avatar pokes around the corner and goes after Atalanta. The odds here aren’t very good, but as I actually have less chance to delay him here, but the worst part is he crits Atalanta off the table. Sigh.
The Avatar retreats behind the corner while the Zerta takes out my Warcor. The Avatar, Anyat, Q-Drone, and Zerat all go into suppression and John passes turn.
Bottom of 1 – Steel Phalanx
Well. That was awful. Penny has no interest in getting shot by a Zerat in suppression, so I cancel her impetuous order.
I’m on dangerous ground here, and I need to just pull out all the stops and stabilize my board position. I need to make room around my link to keep them safe, and put some pressure back on John to take tempo back.
The first thing I really need to do is to get rid of the Dropsuit in close combat with Pandora. I could attempt to fight it with Pandora, on pretty reasonable odds thanks to B2 from the viral pistols.
If I still had 2 effective wounds on Pandora, I would’ve attempted this, as this is quite efficient. However, 13.85% of losing Pandora is simply too high. She’s my only hacker, and if we recall the lengthy discussion from my last batrep about accounting for the the negative outcome of a play, if you have another option for solving the problem, solve it that way. In other words, even though Pandora can probably get the job done in an order, if she dies I’m going to lose this game.
Fortunately, I have an effectively 3-wound close combat monster only two orders away. I break the link, then Hector climbs the ladder and enters base to base and starts swinging:
Needless to say the Dropsuit Taryot does not survive. I reform the link but John informs me that the Q-Drone can see Hector now that the Dropsuit is not body-blocking anymore. I break the link and I take a huge risk, throwing Acmon under the bus to take on the Q-Drone in suppression. I manage to do it out of 16 by walking backwards, but it’s still not great:
So I have a 24% chance to take out the Q-Drone here, and a > 50% chance to not take a wound. I have a 30% chance to have Acmon take two wounds, and a 12% chance to have him off the table. This is not good, but necessary. I’m doing this only because I have to. I need the Q-Drone gone and I can’t move Pandora or Hector, and Acmon has a tac aware order to get this done.
Still, I have to analyze the downsides. If I can’t get this done, I’m going to have to use either Pandora or Hector to deal with the Q-Drone, throwing one of them under the bus in order to get the other out. Most likely it’ll have to be Pandora dodging away, firing a pitcher, and using Carbonite. I’ll hope to have Hector in NWI and then MediKit him back up. Either that or I smoke out the Zerat with Penny and get her to take down the Q-Drone. All of these things are awful but possible. John’s really got me in a bad position here, and in these situations I have to make big, risky plays to stabilize. This basically has to work.
Thankfully I get one hit through and drop the Q-Drone. ~25% is very likely! This frees Hector up to start shooting at stuff to try and stabilize my board position. I start by removing the Zerat. I’m pretty confident we’re outside of 24″, so I feel very safe in engaging the Zerat at this range with Hector. John relies on his Mimetism -6, but Hector has X-Visor, meaning I’m on 7s.
I end up only getting one hit, and it’s a crit. A single plasma hit is usually enough to take out something like a Zerat, so the crit just doubly ensures that the Zerat is removed from the table. In fact, I have a 42.31% chance to do more than one wound.
Next up I engage Anyat, who is in suppression. We’re inside 16″, so the odds here aren’t quite as favorable, and this is quite dangerous because Anyat is firing K1 ammo.
Anyat wins the first face to face, but thanks to cover Hector stays at full wounds. Hector wins the second face to face and Anyat melts.
Hector bullies his way through Anyat, and that’s all the nearby major suppression targets handled, and 4 orders down for John. Now to see about the Avatar.. Pandora picks up Phoenix, but I’m out of command tokens to reform the link so I’m forced to just go for it with Phoenix by himself. The odds aren’t amazing, but throwing one order at this seems not crazy, just to break suppression.
We’re outside 24″, so as I desired, John breaks suppression on the Avatar. However, he also crits me again. This time it’s an EXP round and Phoenix is off the table.
Editor’s Note: Worth mentioning that Phoenix is NWI and not 2 wounds, so I can’t have him go unconscious and then pick him up later, but I ended spending two orders on killing Phoenix again, so this really worked out for John.
I’m extremely low on orders now, I’ve only got one regular left and the Tac Aware on the remaining Daleth. I’d been so focused on removing imminent threats that I haven’t been setting up for controlling quadrants. Fortunately, I’ve removed all midfield models for John except for the Avatar.
We’re not sure if the Avatar is in the near or far right quadrant, and I can put a Daleth in the near right just in case and flip the console there, so I do that. I figure the Daleth is going to die soon so I’d better do that now as opposed to later.
Then I run Acmon into the near left quadrant in hopes that the Avatar is in the far right quadrant. Acmon is horribly exposed, but if I can get two points now that would be a great recovery.
It turns out that the Avatar is in the near right quadrant and clearly outpoints the Daleth, so we tie on quadrants. This puts me at a 1-0 lead thanks to my console.
Top of 2 – Combined Army
I thankfully haven’t lost anything new (sorry Phoenix), but I’ve done some damage to John’s list:
The Daleth is in a bad spot so the Avatar tries to take it out. Fortunately for me it’s in hacking range, so Pandora attempts an Oblivion, forcing a a reset on the Avatar and letting me declare flash pulse on the Daleth. I hit with the flash pulse but the Avatar beats Pandora’s roll.
Unfortunately for John, the Avatar does not beat the flash pulse save and the Avatar is stunned! With the Avatar effectively useless this turn, John picks up the Q-Drone with Dr. Worm’s bot, granting a dodge to Acmon who tries to get out of LoF.
The Q-Drone tries to take out Acmon and I return fire as it retreats around the corner, but both of us miss. While Dr. Worm’s bot was picking up the Q-Drone, the good doctor was making its way up the field as well. I fail a spotlight attempt, but the Daleth does dodge to safety.
John had spent most of his orders on Dr. Worm this turn, and with the Avatar stunned so far so good.
Bottom of 2 – Steel Phalanx
The Q-Drone is back up, which is bad for me.
I’m low enough on orders that I’m feeling compelled to spend Penny’s impetuous order and contest the Avatar’s shot with smoke. This is far riskier than I had hoped, especially since the chance for her to take two wounds is a whopping 41.42%. I shouldn’t have done this.
It works out for me, thankfully, and Penny gets some smoke down and some movement forward. Now it’s time to demonstrate why it was so important for Pandora to survive. I set up a pitcher near the Q-Drone and the Avatar and start hacking.
I successfully Oblivion the Avatar first to give -9 to reset, then Carbonite it and the Q-Drone.
The Daleth uses its tac aware to kill Dr. Worm and settle into the little nook by the console.
Penny then rockets into base to base with the Avatar. Both it and the Q-Drone successfully reset, but I’m in base to base now and start swinging with Penny’s monofilament pool noodle.
Two orders in, I haven’t crit and the Avatar is passing its saves. Bah!
Thankfully, Acmon and the Daleth are holding two quadrants and the Avatar and Q-Drone are both in the same Quadrant, giving me a 3-0 lead now.
Top of 3 – Combined Army
Only Dr. Worm went down, so it’s not much different from last turn.
The Q-Drone blows up the repeater but gets hit with Carbonite again.
With the repeater down, John decides to try and flash pulse Penny with an Ikadron, but ends up successfully flash pulsing the Avatar again.
The Ikadron somehow manages to beat Penny in CC next and successfully hits her with its Para CCW.
The Avatar then tries to dodge out of CC, but fails. Unfortunately, this lets Penny dodge out of Immobilized as well!
With that, John is out of orders and it’s back to me.
Bottom of 3 – Steel Phalanx
Nothing’s died this turn, so I’ve got all my orders available to me.
Penny finally chops the Avatar in half on her impetuous order, even against burst two.
The Q-Drone fails its reset, which lets Acmon drop it while it reset again.
The Ikadron is easy pickings for Penny, who crits it off the table.
The Daleth and Penny both grab a console each and settle in to quadrants to dominate them.
This makes it a
7-0, 171-60 Steel Phalanx Victory!
Post Game Analysis
That was a tough but extremely enjoyable game. Phoenix got crit no less than 3 times, and if memory serves the Zerat crit the Warcor as well. Aside from the Daleth, all of the models that I lost I think were from crits! John really had me on the ropes for this one, especially with that Q-Drone in suppression. Had Acmon not clutched out a wound there I think I would have rapidly been in an unwinnable position.
I do think that this game is a good example of the things that I’ve been thinking about lately. You have to be prepared to take risk, so long as you understand all the possible outcomes and have plans to mitigate them. Good examples of this are:
- Choosing to CC the Dropsuit with Hector instead of Pandora, because losing Pandora would have eliminated hacking as a tool for me.
- Using Hector to go after Anyat, even though she has K1, because I was reasonably sure I wouldn’t straight up die.
Marginal examples are:
- Acmon going after the Q-Drone in suppression, because I didn’t have much in the way of better options.
- Penny trying to smoke out the Avatar. I didn’t need to do this.
I guess the big takeaway if you want to apply this sort of logic to your games is as follows: The next time you have a round of bad dice that should have gone your way, ask yourself if you legitimately thought about the negative consequences. I think a lot of people just assume the bad thing won’t happen, and then get conformation bias when it doesn’t… then get salty when it does. Salt leads to bad decisions, leads to more problems, leads to a game loss.
Infinity has really become more of a test of my mental reserves and decision making than anything else right now. I’m enjoying the process, probably because it offers a risk-free ability to achieve agency that is hard to get in real life right now, I think for all of us.
In any case, this was probably the most enjoyable game of Infinity I’ve had in recent memory. This isn’t a commentary on John or my other recent opponents, it’s really just a commentary on how challenging all those crits made the game. I really enjoy fighting from the back foot and finding a line of play out of a bad situation. It really forces you to take stock of your available tools and look for the optimum play, which fits very well with how I’m engaging with the game right now.
As John said, I wish this was our tournament game instead of the previous one, but I’m glad to have had the opportunity to have another game with such a fun opponent. Also, the extra game made up for having taken the bye during round one. A big thank you to John for being such a wonderful opponent and really making the whole experience enjoyable in spite of some really crazy outcomes in both games.
Thanks for reading.