After Action ReportInfinity

Daofei Jia You

Following my suboptimal performance against James (RomanLegion),

it was time to face Frank (fwashburn). He’s practicing for the Beantown Brawl, and wanted to play some Unmasking. I found this fun map with a canal running through it on TTS:


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

I’m running the same list as I ran against James in the previous game, mostly to prove to myself that the list works and that it’s just me that sucks at this game.

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)


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

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

Frank is running this insanity of a list where he’s trying to push three buttons with a single Daofei Hacker. If that guy dies, he’s in for a world of trouble. Thankfully for him, he’s got a giant pile of orders to drive it around as well as a bunch of killing power in group two.

vanilla YJ DA v2
GROUP 1 8 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)
DÀOFĚI (Hacker, Hacking Device) MULTI Rifle, D-Charges ( ) / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (0.5 | 56)
DĀOYĪNG (Lieutenant [+1 Order]) Boarding Shotgun / Breaker Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 22)
LÙ DUĀN Mk12, Heavy Flamethrower(+1B) ( | Deployable Repeater) / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 24)
BEASTHUNTERS (Surprise Attack [-3], Camouflage, Forward Deployment [+8″]) Heavy Flamethrower, Panzerfaust, AP Mines / EXP CC Weapon(+1B), Pistol. (0 | 17)

GROUP 2 5 1 2

HAC TAO (NCO) Heavy Machine Gun, Nanopulser / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (1.5 | 65)
MAJOR LUNAH VIRAL Sniper Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 29)
CHAĪYÌ Yaókòng Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)
HÙNDÙN (X Visor) Heavy Rocket Launcher ( ) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 27)
SHAOLIN Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 6)
KRAKOT RENEGADE Chain Rifle(+1B), Grenades / DA CC Weapon, Heavy Pistol. (0 | 14)

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

Lunah, a Hundun HRL, a Hac Tao, and a bunch of CC monsters will certainly murder a bunch of stuff!


I was going first, so Frank made me deploy first on the side that I thought was worse for hiding HVTs. Good move, Frank! I held the Hoplite and Thorakites in reserve, and then set up Scylla and her bot on the left, a Samekh watching the one of the approaches to my Designated Target (I just stuck all my HVTs in the least awful positions, there wasn’t really much planning there), and then set up Acmon, Hector, and Pandora on my right.

The two Daleth were placed to give Pandora repeater coverage across my deployment zone in case a Liu Xing came calling. Then it was Frank’s turn to deploy. He started by setting up his Daoying Lieutenant on a rooftop in the back protected by a Kuang Shi nearby. This is dangerous, because I can bank a shot off the Kuang Shi with a template weapon to hit the Daoying, but it’s a calculated risk.

The other Kuang Shi were scattered across the rest of his deployment zone, and then he put Lu Duan holoechoes in some very annoying places on the left to keep me guessing. The Daofei was on the left and protected on a roof, and the Hac Tao and Beasthunter were on the right.

I put the Hoplite down to push on the left and the Thorakites down on the right to attack targets of opportunity. Frank then put Lunah on the table covering some of his HVTs.

Turn 1

Top of 1 – Steel Phalanx

Frank took two orders from me, which isn’t terribly disruptive for a Steel list with Hector, especially one with two Daleth. I decided to just do the mission as best I could with the Daleth, and I’d just deal with whatever scary Yu Jing thing came out of the woodwork. After revealing the nearest HVT, I took a shot. I failed to take it out, and I just kept going to the next console.

I think this was a mistake–I should just finish the task because it’s not clear that I’ll have an opportunity later. I think that’s a big lesson that sometimes I forget. In any case, I revealed another decoy and then poked out to see a Lu Duan HoloEcho, which turned out to be the real one. Frank took his shot, and thanks to the Marksmanship on the messenger bots I was able to take the Lu Duan out.

One wonders if messenger bots are the new attack remotes… they’re pretty dangerous now, and they have built in Assisted Fire for -1 order, effectively, thanks to the Tac Aware. I kept pushing to see the next Decoy but ended up in Lunah’s line of fire in the open. Needless to say, the Daleth went down, although this wasn’t guaranteed:

15.96 23.59 60.45

With Lunah revealed, I sent my Thorakites up the ladder to deal with her. Frank revealed a Hundun HRL, so I split burst. The Hundun and Thorakites missed one another, and somehow the Thorakites made its BTS saves against a viral sniper hit from Lunah.

I failed guts out of LoF, then pie sliced to challenge just the Hundun, taking it out. I then re-engaged Lunah, but this time she crit and my luck ran out.

This drained basically all my orders, but I really wanted to get rid of Lunah. I decided to go for broke and dodged the remaining Daleth into view and did a triangulated fire to take her out.

Bottom of 1 – Yu Jing

Not a huge amount of damage for either of us, but it’s enough to notice.

Frank’s only got one specialist, so he has to make it count. The Daofei steps off the roof and gets discovered by the Daleth as Acmon holds.

The Daofei challenges Acmon who panzerfausts within 16″. This doesn’t go well for Acmon, but he makes his ARM saves.

Another order sees Acmon shot off the table.

After the Daleth goes down, the Daofei reveals the nearby HVT as a decoy and takes it out before re-camoing.

Frank reveals a Hac Tao HMG and starts pushing my left flank, taking out the Devabot and recamoing before passing turn.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – Steel Phalanx

Thankfully, while Hector is alive, Steel handles attrition reasonably well.

I swap the Ekdromoi into group one and start the party by landing next to his Lieutenant. The Kuang Shi is prone so I can get pretty close in my landing.

I super jump down the stairs into base to base with the Kuang Shi and threaten double chain rifles on the Daoying. Frank dodges with the Daoying and chain rifles with the Kuang Shi, so I fire the heavy pistol at the Daoying. I pass ARM, the Daoying does not.

Now that Frank’s in loss of lieutenant, I need to deal with the Hac Tao. I send in the Hoplite and successfully discover the Hac Tao. The Shaolin and nearby Decoy fire their pistol and dodge, respectively, but the Hoplite doesn’t care.

After forgetting that the Hoplite is kinda okay in close combat and attempting to shoot the Hac Tao, I remember and move into base to base with my last order. I hit, but the Hac Tao passes ARM.

Bottom of 2 – Yu Jing

Frank still has plenty of orders, but he’s in loss of lieutenant.

Things are still pretty precarious for me. I’ve put Frank on the back foot, but he can still fight his way out of the situation. He starts by rolling the Beasthunter into close combat with the Hoplite. Even though the Hoplite doesn’t have to worry about the EXP CCW, burst three is still burst three, and the CC Attack +DAM is enough to take it out. I do manage to get a spotlight off on the Beasthunter from Scylla though.

Frank feels the pressure to reveal another HVT with the Daofei, beacuse he knows I’ll be able to take it out on my next turn if he doesn’t and it’s his only specialist. He takes a huge risk and moves in front of the Samekh before pushing the central button on the second short skill. Sadly, I whiff the shot and Frank reveals another HVT.

The Hac Tao then makes a move on the revealed HVT, which thankfully is only a decoy. Scylla carbonites while the HVT dodges so Frank splits burst, critting Scylla but missing the HVT.

Frank recamos the Daofei and passes turn.

Turn 3

Top of 3 – Steel Phalanx

I’m down to 6 orders and a frenzy order on the Ekdromoi. I need to make this work. I just need to take on the designated target and remove the Daofei and I should have this.

I don’t need the Ekdromoi, I just need its order, but I might as well deal with the Kuang Shi to take an order from Frank. A frenzy heavy pistol shot in close combat handles that neatly.

Now I need to deal with the Daofei. I reveal it with Pandora…

and then do a bait and switch and melt the Daofei with Hector.

Pandora reveals the Designated Target, and Hector splits burst between it and one of the Decoys. I manage to take out the Designated Target (you can see it in the next photo) but not the Decoy.

Bottom of 3 – Yu Jing

My Designated Target isn’t revealed, so I’m safe. At this point I’m just trying to preserve victory points.

Frank chain rifles Hector and Pandora. Hector had already taken a wound from a pistol shot from this Kuang Shi while he was taking on the HVTs last turn, so he dodges. He fails and takes another wound, as does Pandora who finishes off the Kuang Shi with a viral pistol shot.

Frank sends the Hac Tao after the Decoy it couldn’t kill on his last turn, and it shockingly takes another 2 orders to drop it.

It goes after Pandora next, but she dodges away.

Frank tries to Panzerfaust Hector with the Beasthunter, but the spotlight pays off and I plasma it off the table.

Frank is committed to taking out Hector, so he sends in the Krakot, chain rifling Hector in the back. Rude.

The Krakot then Beserks Pandora who trades with her Pulzar.

Frank then tries to go for the table with a Kuang Shi against the Ekdromoi, but I successfully dodge prone.

Frank has killed two Decoys to my none, but I have my Designated Target and he doesn’t. I’ve also got more activated antennas. This makes it a

7-3, 20-106 Steel Phalanx Victory!

Post Game Analysis

Well I’ll say it. I should have lost this game horribly. The fact that Frank only had one specialist was the reason he lost. I squandered my Hoplite link by throwing it at the Hac Tao. I did pilot the Hector link well, as well as the Ekdromoi, so that kept me in the game long enough to make things tough for Frank. Having him in loss Turn 2 kept it from being a total rout as well.

I gotta hand it to Frank though, he took some big risks and they paid off for him. Running the Daofei in front of my missile bot to grab a console and reveal an HVT could have been game winning for him. I think my big mistakes this game were, like in the last game versus James, trying to reposition the Devabot along with Scylla and the Hoplite. I didn’t strictly need to, even though I didn’t know there was a Hac Tao.

In my defense, I was expecting a Liu Xing or Tiger or two to walk on the edge, which is why I moved the Devabot to the board edge to get eaten by the Hac Tao. Sadly I didn’t get a screenshot of that. I gotta say that Hector really saved my ass this game. He’s such a late game powerhouse and problem solver. I definitely handled the Ekdromoi well this game too.

As far as concrete takeaways, I think the Hoplite/Scylla link is a bit odd. They want to get close, sort of, but also have some resiliency issues. Also they’re not lethal enough, it seems that HMGs aren’t enough these days with all the high ARM. The Hoplite itself is… fine. I like that it has total immunity but ARM/BTS 3 is quite low for expecting it to really get out in front of something and survive in ARO. I think it’s fine in the active turn, and maybe the HMG will get work done for me long term. I’m curious to try some of the MULTI Rifle armed profiles, to see if I like that toolkit better.

I was very impressed with the performance of the Daleth though–they got a lot of work done for me. I think this season’s improvements to them are very good, and I will be considering using them more often even if they lose the buffs. I hope the buffs remain next season or better yet they get integrated into the statline. What’s interesting is that CB did this weird thing where they capped the max model count to 15, but they seem to be adding back in all these sources of extra orders, which seems like a walk back of their policy to me.

It’s a different situation, of course, because if I take out a multi-order trooper, e.g. Hector or something with Tac Aware with Acmon, I’m taking out multiple orders so the game does speed up, whereas if I was spamming Galwegians or something I have to take out multiple models which might be all over the table. There were definitely some problem units, e.g. Galwegians and Kuang Shi, but one wonders if capping AVA would have been a better solution instead of bolting on all these additional orders.

Still, like I said, it lends itself to a pretty limited insertion (LI) style playstyle for me, which is my preferred way to play. LI is sort of meaningless in N4, because you don’t get the protection from docking orders anymore. Really what I mean now when I say LI is low model count, high point density lists. So if you end up with a 12 model list, that still fits in my mental model.

You’re looking for a few things in a good LI list:

  1. Order Efficiency, specifically with regards to movement. This means you want either links or something like a 6-4 MOV guy, specialist bikes, etc.
  2. Resilience to Damage – Hector is a really good example of this. if you don’t kill him, he’s always adding 3 orders to the pool each turn. Also, he comes with BS 13, X-Visor, and Plasma, which is a good way to kill just about anything in the game without expending a lot of orders because of the multi-save nature of plasma.
  3. Variance Mitigation – infinity is a dice game, so you need to be able to tolerate bad rolls. This means high ARM/BTS and multi-wound or NWI models to help you take a bad FtF and keep on going

So basically you want a lot of capable units that move around the board efficiently that have multiple wounds to take a bad face to face and keep going. Adding in the multi-order generation is helpful as well, as it gives you some resilience as I said.

I often say “you should play LI if you want to get better,” but that is more of an N3 statement as opposed to an N4 one. if you played a lot of N3 LI back in the day, this probably makes sense. In N4, basically I’m saying: “you should take a lot of highly capable models, where most of your pool is 30+ point models,” because each one can win the game on its own, but you don’t have so many resources that you can afford to just trade and/or try again with another unit.

This means you will have to be careful about target and objective prioritization, spend orders on retreating units to preserve troops, capability, and orders for following turns, etc. in a way that a 15 model list might not have to. It’s more about mindset than anything. you could play a 15 model list with this mindset and you’ll do very well. What I’m advocating here is constructing a list to FORCE you to have this mindset or you lose, which is what N3 LI did for me.

That was a bit of a tangent, but I hope it was helpful. Thanks for reading, and thanks to Eric (Yaelindarra) for sparking this thread of discussion in our discord while I was writing this report.


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

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