After Action ReportInfinity

Left Side, Many Whelps

After my less than stellar games against Frank

and James

it was time to make another attempt at Highly Classified with Steel against James.


  • Mission: ITS14 Highly Classified
    • Capture
    • Experimental Drug
    • In Extremis Recovery
    • Net-Undermine
  • Forces: Steel Phalanx versus Yu Jing (300)
    • Steel Phalanx – HVT: Identity Check
    • Yu Jing – Data Scan
  • Deploy First: Yu Jing
  • First Turn: Yu Jing

I decided that the Hoplite wasn’t doing it for me and that I needed Phoenix after all. The double Daleth was also very good and I wanted to keep using it. The Beasthunter was also giving me fits, so I put in two minelayers to slow it down.

Sekrets v3
GROUP 1 10 1

HECTOR (Lieutenant [+1 Order]) Plasma Rifle, Nanopulser, Grenades ( | TinBot: Firewall [-3]) / Heavy Pistol, EXP CC Weapon. (0 | 69)
THORAKITES Feuerbach, Nanopulser / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 23)
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)

PHOENIX Heavy Rocket Launcher, Nanopulser, Smoke Grenades / DA CC Weapon, Heavy Pistol. (1.5 | 35)
MYRMIDON Chain Rifle, Nanopulser, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 16)
ACMON Combi Rifle, Panzerfaust, D-Charges / Breaker Pistol(+1B), CC Weapon. (0 | 31)

THYREOS (Minelayer) Submachine Gun, D-Charges, Shock Mines / Pistol, Monofilament CC Weapon. (0.5 | 24)
THYREOS (Minelayer) Submachine Gun, D-Charges, Shock Mines / Pistol, Monofilament CC Weapon. (0.5 | 24)


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

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

James took a repeat of his highly classified list from the last game:


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


We’ve got a pretty similar table setup here to the last game, with a tall platform in both corners of the table, just one’s pretty big. James was going first so I gave him the smaller platform. He’s got the Kuang Shi spread out to protect against Ekdromoi, and he set up Krit and the Su Jian to attack the platform on the right.

The Daoying hid on the platform on the left, daring me to send the Ekdromoi after it, and then the Son Bae watched the “exit” of my platform. Finally, a Guilang hacker hung out on a roof on my right. Lunah and the Beasthunter were his reserves, thanks to a command token.

I counter-deployed the Guilang with a mine from a Thyreos. As soon as it stood up or tried to use any of the ladders the mine would go off. Just to tease him I put my HVT right there to dare him to try something. I figured Hector would be able to stealth his way into dealing with the Guilang when it came time, so I put Hector and the gang over on that side, with the Thorakites Feuerbach watching the platform.

I setup a crossfire with Phoenix and Acmon, both of whom were locking down the approach to Hector and gang as well as the entrance to the raised platform on the left. The Daleth provided some hacking area to everyone, and the second Thyreos protected everyone from the Tiger with a mine. I held Phoenix and the Thorakties in reserve, so once Lunah and the Beasthunter came down I put them where I had planned.

Turn 1

Top of 1 – Yu Jing

I’m generally a fan of removing orders from the smaller pool, as this is more impactful the the options available to my opponent for problem solving, and this game was no different. James started things off by advancing Krit and the Su Jian up towards my Pheonix link. That’s a very order efficient duo and I was pretty worried that I would have no left flank if they pushed really hard.

Fortunately for me, I had set up the Feuerbach and Acmon’s Panzerfausts to contest different parts of the door. There was the potential to dodge through the doors, but James failed his dodge on the Su Jian, meaning he had to spend even more orders dealing with the problem I had presented him.

First was the problem of Acmon, which James solved with Krit. It was burst two on 13s versus burst two on 13s, but Krit lived up to his name and crit Acmon, doing a wound and forcing me into cover.

Krit then tried to challenge the Feuerbach across the table, and this time I was the lucky one and did a wound.

James decided that the missile bot was the way to remove Phoenix, which is reasonable, although as we’ll see later the Su Jian works just as well. He coordinated the two Weibing and the Guilang to use the Weibing’s movement to project a repeater effectively 14″ away from where it was. His target? Hector. Fortunately for me, not only did the Guilang fail its WIP roll against Phoenix’s reset, the Weibing got too close to my Daleth and I was able to isolate it with Pandora. Thus, I was able to prevent further attempts.

James wanted to deal with Phoenix, but he had to clear out the Thorakites first. Krit finally got the job done, but I only took one wound.

With the way clear to Phoenix, the Su Jian pushed and revealed itself. It looked just short of 8″ to me at the time, so I threw smoke. Unfortunately it ended up being within 8″ and the Su Jian templated Phoenix. One of the downsides of my battle report backlog is that I’ve often played these games a month or more ago, so anything that I learned about rules mistakes by writing a report isn’t going to be affecting the next game in the queue, so to speak.

In this case, I had already discovered that Phoenix isn’t two wounds and is NWI. He can’t actually get doctored back up after taking two wounds and is just off the table, but this will still be an uncorrected mistake in this and subsequent Steel games. It won’t matter here though.

The Su Jian then shotgunned down the Myrmidon, taking a wound from a long-bomb Thyreos SMG shot.

Acmon was next, and with that the collapse of my left flank was complete.

Bottom of 1 – Steel Phalanx

I’ve lost 5 orders this turn, which is a big deal.

I have, however, learned from my mistakes, and decided to play to the objectives. First up, Experimental Drug. Pandora has a pretty good chance of doing this thanks to her MediKit +1B, but she ended up killing the Thorakites. Sigh. She’s really not doing so hot on that lately.

I need to get to the left to try for another Experimental Drug, which also has the benefit of giving more more options. This requires sneaking past a Weibing, but I decide to just challenge it head on with Hector. While I lose the face to face, Hector passes BTS and fails guts to get some free forward movement. Nice.

This brings me into view of Krit, and this time Hector comes through for me and drops him. That’s a big chuck of James’s ability to accomplish objectives gone. I’ll take it!

My Daleth uses its order to take down the nearby Weibing. I was planning on getting Pandora up on a box to see someone to MediKit them, so I move Hector forward and climb her up to make it happen.

I decide to get some order efficiency here and climb the Daleth up near the Su Jian, figuring as part of my next order on Pandora to move her I can isolate the Su Jian or something. Unfortunately for me, James does the smart thing and dodges the Su Jian on top of a box to see Pandora! I can still contest the roll with hacking, but the Su Jian hits Pandora with a Panzerfaust. Thankfully it only does one wound, and I manage to make it to safety.

i am, however, out of orders aside from the remaining Daleth, which can see the Su Jian. I Triangulated Fire, primarily to expend the last panzerfaust. I land two hits but I can’t get through ARM 8 effective with a combi.

With that, I’m out of orders having achieved no objectives and I have Hector and Pandora in really bad spots! Thankfully I’ve pinned the Su Jian with Pandora, so I at least have to force James to deal with that first.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – Yu Jing

James goes for the Lieutenant “snipe” by trying the same coordinated order moving the surviving Weibing up to isolate Hector with the Guilang. Thanks to the Tinbot, it doesn’t work. This does let me dodge the nearby Thyreos to try and get it into position to see the Weibing, but the Weibing easily kills it. Boo.

The Beasthunter makes his move now, forcing a dodge on one of my Thyreos… which brings it into LoF of Lunah.

Lunah does what she does best and drops my last Thyreos.

The Beasthunter challenges Pandora, who dodges his Panzerfaust. The second Panzerfaust does the trick though, and she’s off the table.

With my hacker gone, James decides to keep pushing on Hector, but I manage to fend off the Su Jian with some good rolls.

This does let me dodge the Daleth into close combat though, ending James’s ability to keep trying this.

Lunah moves all the way up to a roof in the midfield to try and pin me down, then James passes turn.

Bottom of 2 – Steel Phalanx

Well that’s a lot of damage. I bring the Ekdromoi into group 1 and set about getting something done. Shockingly, my four models still generate a whopping 8 orders.

My Daleth on the right takes out the enemy Weibing with its order, which is great.

Hector gets In Extremis Recovery…

and then Net-Undermine.

I’ve got to get past Lunah and the Son Bae in order to secure James’s HVT and/or be in a defensible position against the Su Jian, but I have to challenge them both simultaneously. I try to bring on a Ekdromoi behind the Son Bae, but fail the roll and put it near the Su Jian instead.

Hector makes the push, challenging both Lunah and the ‘bot. I somehow make the rolls and both go down! This was incredibly risky, but this is what Hector is for–taking risks in rough situations. I can survive a Lunah hit, and probably a missile hit, but not both. I figured I could win the face to face against the bot easier, and it was more dangerous, so I chose to fight the ‘bot.

All I needed to do was sneak a single hit through and plasma would do the rest, and that’s exactly what happened. I needed to be in cover, so I move-moved all the way up the stairs Krit and the Su Jian had approached from and passed ARM against a Kuang Shi’s chain rifle.

With that, I was out of orders. I didn’t bother spending the other Daleth’s Tac Aware order to force James to fight his way out with the Su Jian. I can keep dodging the Ekdromoi closer as he tries, so I’m okay with this.

Turn 3

Top of 3 – Yu Jing

After shuffling some combat groups around with command tokens, James brings on a Tiger Solder and gets Net Undermine.

The Beasthunter goes for In Extremis Recovery, but ends up trading with my Daleth on the right instead. This is good for me, as he could have gotten both In Extremis Recovery and Capture if I wasn’t careful!

The Tiger tries to extricate the Su Jian from trouble by splitting burst into close combat and against the Ekdromoi. The Ekdromoi chain rifles and the Daleth dodges. Sadly, only the Ekdromoi dies. The Su Jian got hit, but of course passed its saves.

With his orders dwindling, James sets up for Capture on Phoenix and passes turn. Of course, if I wasn’t so late on battle reports, Phoenix would be off the table and this would be impossible but he could have easily walked into base to base with the Myrmidon instead and it wouldn’t be a big deal.

The Su Jian them attempts to kill the Daleth, but somehow I manage to successfully Para CCW it! This is HUGE as the Daleth is back in play on my turn. With his options limited, James decides to go after Hector with the Guilang, which I think is crazy.

He tanks a mine and then tries to take Hector out at crazy long range. Nothing happens, but that was entirely unnecessary, because James was securing my HVT as I was securing his.

Bottom of 3 – Steel Phalanx

Shockingly, with just Hector and a Daleth on the table, I’m not in retreat and I have 5 orders to spend. RIDICULOUS.

The Guilang needs to go so I can Secure the HVT. If I can’t, I can at least get HVT: Identity Check with the Daleth, but the Guilang could conceivably drop the Daleth even at this range. I don’t mess around and Hector plasmas the Guilang off the table.

This frees the Daleth to do what it needs to do. I take down the Tiger Soldier with the Daleth and that’s that.

I’ve got In Extremis Recovery, Net Undermine, and Secure HVT (my secondary) while James has Net Undermine. This makes it a

8-1, 85-105 Steel Phalanx Victory

Post Game Analysis

Well, that was a nail biter of a game! I’m really not impressed with Steel’s ability to resist a strong alpha strike. Hector and the Daleth make them very resilient to one, as we saw with my continued ability to achieve results due to the extra orders, but Steel has a difficult time handling stuff in the short range. This is odd, because you’d think they’d be amazing, but against something like a Su Jian which really doesn’t care what you hit it with or what your dodge stat is due to its burst 3 shotgun, it’s just awful.

I was impressed with the Thyreos and their ability to stall the Beasthunter just with their mines though. The ability to get Minelayer is a big deal for Steel and gives them much needed board control. Perhaps I would have been better off putting one of the Thyreos on the left and forcing the Su Jian and Krit to deal with it. I would have considered this if their dodge stat wasn’t so low at PH 10! They do have Dodge +2″, which seems to encourage you to put them in the midfield and threaten to dodge into close combat as stuff walks by, but they’d be dodging on 7s. Furthermore, your opponent can just give them a wide berth and then shoot them. They’re not exactly difficult to kill.

I’m a little at a loss to how to use them effectively, but they poop out mines in deployment, which helps a lot. I think James made a huge mistake standing the Guilang up at the end of the game. It wasn’t necessary, and would have forced me to spend orders to get HVT: Identity Check with us tied on primary objectives. This would bring us to a 5-2 win for me, which is obviously better for him at a tournament.

The Su Jian is just such a royal pain to deal with. It’s basically the Yu Jing equivalent of Hector in terms of durability, and doesn’t really have much in the way of weaknesses other than hacking, and it’s not really easy to hack either. I’m not really disappointed in my deployment, I think it was okay. I’m not really sure what I could have done better there, other than maybe stacking more AROs on the door to really force the issue. Not having Phoenix watching the door effectively was perhaps a mistake?

I will say that I have continued to be impressed with the performance of the Thorakitai Feuerbach. It’s not very good against vis mods, but it does stack up favorably in ARO and the active turn. I’ll continue to use it. One important consideration is that Feuerbach doesn’t drop to -3 after 32″, it’s 0, which is a big deal as well. Back to the game.

I think I won this game because I focused more on the objectives and James focused more on killing Hector. This of course is reasonable, given the fact the Hector is just so damn important to my list, but he could’ve also just won the game. If only I could keep this lesson in mind in the future! Foreshadowing! It’s been interesting writing these with a stack of 10+ unwritten reports waiting, as I know the future and can give some more nuanced commentary… sort of.

In short, I think this game was a ton of local optimizations. James was able to solve a lot of small problems, and most of them were “how to kill things.” The final model count really shows how much more effective he was at this, but I was solving the “get the objectives done” instead, which I think just snuck me the victory. Thanks for the read!


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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.