Opened the Box

After all the Caledonia, I decided to take Steel to the next tournament. James was available for a game, so we set up this sort of Mount Doom-esque table.

One of the missions was Highly Classified, so we decided to practice that.

Overview

  • Mission: ITS14 Highly Classified
    • Capture
    • HVT: Kidnapping
    • Net-Undermine
    • Predator
  • Forces: Steel Phalanx versus Yu Jing (300)
    • Steel Phalanx – Telemetry
    • Yu Jing – HVT: Identity Check
  • Deploy First: Yu Jing
  • First Turn: Yu Jing

We drew a pretty bleh set of objectives. At least I had Telemetry as my secondary objective. I’ve been running out of points to run Phoenix, so I took a Thorakites Feuerbach in the Hector/Pandora/Acmon link. I wanted to try out the Hoplite, and a second Hacker seemed pretty good, so I took Scylla and her ‘bot to link with the Hoplite.

Sekrets
GROUP 1 10 1

HECTOR (Lieutenant [+1 Order]) Plasma Rifle, Nanopulser, Grenades ( | TinBot: Firewall [-3]) / Heavy Pistol, EXP CC Weapon. (0 | 69)
PANDORA (Hacker) Pitcher, Pulzar, Flash Pulse(+1B) ( | MediKit [+1B]) / Viral Pistol(+1B), CC Weapon. (0.5 | 26)
THORAKITES Feuerbach, Nanopulser / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 23)
ACMON Combi Rifle, Panzerfaust, D-Charges / Breaker Pistol(+1B), CC Weapon. (0 | 31)

HOPLITE Heavy Machine Gun / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (1.5 | 41)
Scylla FTO & Charybdis FTO undefined / undefined. (0.5 | 40)
SCYLLA FTO (Hacker, Hacking Device [UPGRADE: Trinity (+2 Damage)]) Boarding Shotgun, Pitcher ( ) / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (0.5 | 28)
CHARYBDIS FTO Heavy Flamethrower / Heavy Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 12)

DALETH Rebot Combi Rifle, Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 16)
DALETH Rebot Combi Rifle, Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 16)
SAMEKH Rebot Missile Launcher / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (1.5 | 18)

GROUP 2 1

EKDROMOS Chain Rifle(+1B) / Heavy Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 20)


5.5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Army | Copy Code

I’ve also really been enjoying the double Daleth, and with two hackers with repeaters, the missile bot seemed good. I had a few points left over, so I threw an Ekdromoi in the second group as a surprise.

James built this list around the Weibing and Krit as the primary objective getters. He’s got his ubiquitous Kuang Shi and Beasthunter in there as well.

HC
GROUP 1 6

WÈIBĪNG Yaókòng Combi Rifle, Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 15)
WÈIBĪNG Yaókòng Combi Rifle, Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 15)
SON-BAE Yaókòng Missile Launcher / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (1.5 | 16)
GŬILÁNG (Hacker, Hacking Device) Combi Rifle, Shock Mines ( ) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 30)
TIGER SOLDIER (Paramedic) Combi Rifle, Light Flamethrower ( | MediKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 31)
DĀOYĪNG (Lieutenant [+1 Order]) Boarding Shotgun / Breaker Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 22)

GROUP 2 8 1 4

MAJOR LUNAH VIRAL Sniper Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 29)
SÙ-JIÀN Heavy Shotgun(+1B), Panzerfaust / Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 50)
KOKRAM FTO Feuerbach, Chain-colt, D-Charges / Heavy Pistol(+1B), CC Weapon. (1.5 | 42)
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)
CELESTIAL GUARD Monitor Combi Rifle, Smoke Grenade Launcher / CC Weapon, Pistol. (0.5 | 13)
BEASTHUNTERS (Surprise Attack [-3], Camouflage, Forward Deployment [+8″]) Heavy Flamethrower, Panzerfaust, AP Mines / EXP CC Weapon(+1B), Pistol. (0 | 17)


5.5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Army | Copy Code

The Tiger Soldier is also a fun include and has a lot of utility both for getting classifieds and just straight up murder.

Deployment

James decided to go first so I made him deploy first. He set up his favorite Son Bae watching a long firelane and Salt Bae’d his Kuang Shi across his deployment zone. He put a Weibing on either side for repeater coverage and castled the Su Jian and Krit on the left with the Daoying in a tucked corner.

The Guilang went in a little pocket on the high ground to basically try and do area denial. I didn’t know where the Beasthunter was, so I tried to defened against it by screening with the Daleth on the left to protect the Hector link. I held the Thorakites and the Hoplite in reserve, and then basically set up the Samkeh prone to cover the right side of the table and not much else.

I’m not particularly thrilled with this deployment, but I tried to defend against Tiger Soldiers/Liu Xing while also trying to protect against the Su Jian advancing quickly. It’s quite difficult to defend against the Beasthunter, especially because it has super jump and can take some paths that you might not see or be able to cover safely.

Speaking of covering things safely, the real reason you can’t leave stuff out against Yu Jing is Lunah, so she showed up on a building in the back and the Beasthunter set up to make his run on Hector’s link (James spent a command token to hold an extra in reserve). I put the Thorakites and the Hoplite down to try and contest the approach of the Su Jian, without really thinking too hard about the Beasthunter, which would prove problematic! Spoilers, I know I know.

Turn 1

Top of 1 – Yu Jing

I took two orders from the smaller group, which I generally think is a good idea. That sort of limits the damage to a single group, and two orders in a big pool isn’t necessarily going to be game winning. Not being able to use a tool in the smaller group without overextension might be game winning though. In any case, James starts off by KOing the Daleth on my left with the Beasthunter, getting spotlit by Scylla as he does so, giving me my secondary classified.

I do manage to dodge the Thorkites back to see the Beasthunter, so everyone takes shots at him when he goes after Acmon. Acmon gets exploded in close combat, and in spite of spotlight, I whiff every shot on the Beasthunter save a single pistol shot from the Thorakites, which isn’t enough to take down the Beasthunter. This is particularly frustrating as Hector is on 13, the Thorakites is on 15, and the Samekh is on 12s and are all rolling unopposed. Of course the least scary weapon hits! Bah.

Anyway, this allows the Beasthunter to jump down and template Hector, who takes a wound while finally finishing off the Beasthunter with some good old fashioned plasma to the face. Can I say plasma is old fashioned? Probably not.

James then goes after my other link and gets a Tiger on behind them. I do get a spotlight off though, which negates its mimetism.

The TIger then splits burst on the Hoplite’s back arc and my other Daleth, KOing the Daleth. This really isn’t going well!

Thankfully the Hoplite is ARM6 in cover and withstands the assault.

Eventually, even not great range I sneak an HMG shot through and KO the Tiger.

Krit challenges the Hoplite next, and in spite of having Total Immunity, sometimes you just fail ARM saves. The Hoplite takes a wound and guts out of line of fire to prevent any further damage.

The really irritating thing is that Lunah can see the Samekh if she climbs an entirely different building in the midfield, so she does that and on the last order manages to draw LoF to the Samekh’s base, taking it out.

Bottom of 1 – Steel Phalanx

Well this is pretty disastrous. James has achieved Predator by taking out the Daleth and Acmon with the Beasthunter, and I’ve lost all of my Tac Aware units. I’ve lost a whopping 7 orders for the affordable price of a Beast Hunter and Tiger Soldier.

I decide to go for objectives, but I need to remove Lunah first to clear the way. I move the Ekdromoi into Group 1, and then send the Hoplite after Lunah. We’re both out of cover and burst 5 wins the day.

Lunah is still on the table, so I drop in the Ekdromoi and declare CC attack on her to get the first part of Predator.

I come around the corner and heavy pistol the nearby Weibing against its flash pulse, knocking it unconscious…

then complete Predator by killing it in CC.

I figure if I can kill the Guilang I’ll be able to shift Hector forward to try and fight the Su Jian effectively the following turn. I super jump the Ekdromoi behind it, and go for the kill. Unfortunately, the Guilang crits, knocking out the Ekdromoi and giving James the extra predator point. Sigh.

The Hoplite takes out the Kuang Shi controller to deprive James of smoke, and then I decide to get a little cute.

I walk Scylla to a rooftop and fire some pitchers to delay the Su Jian and Krit. Unfortunately, I misjudge the distance and I don’t have the movement or orders to have her prone at the end of this, so she’s just sort of standing around.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – Yu Jing

I haven’t really done much in the way of damage, and I’ve lost a lot of my units and ability to project power.

Furthermore, Scylla is in a very bad position, and I’ve advanced the Devabot forward into a dumb spot to try and cover the HVT. I felt under a lot of pressure to achieve results given the bad first turn, and I didn’t have a good way to attack into Krit or James’s lieutenant, which is probably what I should have done with the Ekdromoi.

In any case, I immediately lose Scylla and the Devabot to Krit’s Feuerbach due to my poor positioning. I’ve noticed that I have a tendency to just not plan the last few orders with Steel because I rely so heavily on Hector’s extra orders to carry me. Ah well.

Krit spends a few more orders challenging the Hoplite with Krit, and even though I ignore the AP+DA, I eventually fail an ARM save and the Hoplite goes down, completely collapsing my right flank.

Krit and the Su Jian find an angle to remove Scylla’s pitchers, and set up for the last turn.

The Guilang covers itself with a mine, then James passes turn.

Bottom of 2 – Steel Phalanx

Well uh, this is hilariously bad.

J decide to just push on the Guilang and hope I can make it to Turn 3 near his HVT with Hector. I have a shot on the Su Jian out of cover with the Feuerbach on the way, but only do a single wound. Pandora grabs Net Undermine, and then it’s time to deal with the Guilang.

I have Hector facetank the mine, expecting him to pass ARM, but he fails, putting him into NWI. Thankfully, Pandora manages to isolate the Guilang, turning off the hacking threat at least temporarily.

I figure I need all possible wounds to last into turn 3, so I go for a burst 3 MediKit on Hector with Pandora. I hit twice, then roll 15, 16 on his PH roll and Hector dies.

Well, that’s game.

Turn 3

Top of 3 – Yu Jing

James goes for the kill on Pandora with the Guilang, but I dodge into base to base foolishly. The Kuang Shi move forward to make things difficult, and Krit handles the rest of the classifieds.

Well this is decidedly awful. The Thorakites dies to a Kuang Shi climbing up onto the roof, and then it’s my turn again.

Bottom of 3 – Steel Phalanx

I’ve got a command token so Pandora can do stuff, so she takes out the Guilang in close combat with her viral pistols.

James has HVT: Kidnapping, Net Undermine, and Predator+1. I’ve got Net-Undermine, Predator+1, and Telemetry. Since Telemetry my secondary, this puts us at a

7-6, 26-165 Yu Jing Victory!

Post Game Analysis

James was pretty pleased at having broken my 25 game winning streak, which he should be! It’s been awhile since he’s taken a game from me, and this was a very tight game in spite of the horrible attrition I suffered. I think I made some pretty big mistakes this game, and I think most of them were related to mindset.

There was definitely this artificial pressure at the bottom of 1 to get some tangible result. The issue here was that I conflated that with the need to also get the Ekdromoi into the fight to have the orders over the next few turns. I don’t think that was strictly necessary. I spent a long time looking at James’s deployment zone looking for an opportunity to attack Krit and the Su Jian with the Ekdromoi, but there just wasn’t a good one. I settled instead for going after Predator. While not bad it wasn’t good.

The other really horrible outcome was me dramatically leaving Scylla and the Devabot out. I had several avenues of attack that I squandered. There really wasn’t a reason I couldn’t just walk Pandora up to the Guilang and take it out, especially since Hector has Stealth. That would have been significantly faster and give me the option to stack up a Predator kill as well as Net Undermine.

Using Scylla to land some pitchers near the Su Jian and Krit was great, but not after having spent all those orders on the Ekdromoi. I think I was just playing too fast and loose. Here’s how I think stuff should have gone:

  1. Kill Lunah with Hoplite
  2. Kill the Guilang with Hector after Oblivion or Carbonite with Pandora
  3. Set up pitchers on Krit/Su Jian
  4. Clear out as much as I can on the left, maybe take out the nearby Weibing with Pandora
  5. Set up the Thorakites watching the Su Jian

Then James has a turn of trying to deal with with the pitchers and the Thorakites, and I have most of my stuff intact. Whatever he does, he probably has to end in a less than optimal position in the midfield, and then I can bring in the Ekdromoi. This is in keeping with James’s feedback post game too–he was saying he has the most trouble when I advance the Hector link. I didn’t really do that this game.

I will say that I like the Hoplite, it’s affordable for what it is, I just wish it had a little higher ARM. The Scylla/Hoplite/Devabot haris is interesting. I’m not sure I like it just yet, but it’s… there. I lost this game basically because I failed to stabilize at the bottom of 1 and over invested in a counter-strike. It didn’t go well and was far too inefficient. What’s worse is I fed some valuable troopers and orders to James. Losing Acmon and not being able to pick up any of my bots really sucked too. I need to treat him with kid gloves in deployment more often. That’s one negative thing about the list composition, it’s not particularly good at protecting its links.

I need to look at the new Thyreos minelayers to help with that some. In any case, very well played by James. I had a chance to recover, but not after losing Hector to Pandora’s MediKit. It’s pretty high risk–not sure I should attempt that often, especially at such a pivotal moment. 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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