After my last two games I was facing Nate (natetehagressar), who had also been having a bad day.
Thankfully the last game of a rough day would be with an old friend. We played on this table. I forget the name of the company that makes it, but the largest buildings all nest in one another, leading to some nice space efficiencies when packing the table up.
- Mission: ITS14 Highly Classified
- HVT: Espionage
- Net Undermine
- Forces: Steel Phalanx versus Jurisdictional Command of Corregidor (300)
- Deploy First: Steel Phalanx
- First Turn: Steel Phalanx
After the last game and the absolute train wreck of me piloting that list I decided to go back to the list I was most comfortable with. It’s got a reasonable amount of board presence with plenty of firepower. It’s even got a surprise Ekdromoi!
Highly Classified and Unmasking
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)
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)
DALETH Rebot Combi Rifle, Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 16)GROUP 2 1
DALETH Rebot Combi Rifle, Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 16)
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
Nate is playing a fun Corregidor list. He’s got a Brigada/Paramedic/Evader link to move around and get work done while also having a Wildcat HRL powered by a pair of Jaguar to ARO stuff. As an additional striker is Nate’s old favorite, the Intruder MSR.
GROUP 1 9
MOBILE BRIGADA (Lieutenant) Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 32)
ALGUACIL (Paramedic) Combi Rifle ( | MediKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 12)
EVADER AP Spitfire, D-Charges / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 29)
WILDCAT Heavy Rocket Launcher / Assault Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 23)
JAGUAR Adhesive Launcher, Panzerfaust / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 11)
JAGUAR Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 10)
SOMBRA (Specialist Operative) Breaker Combi Rifle, Light Shotgun, AP Mines / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 39)GROUP 2 4 1
JAZZ Hacker & BILLIE undefined / undefined. (0.5 | 25)
JAZZ (Hacker) Submachine Gun, Pitcher, Cybermines / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0.5 | 18)
BILLIE Flash Pulse, E/M Mines / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)
INTRUDER (X Visor) MULTI Sniper Rifle ( ) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 42)
BANDIT (Hacker, Killer Hacking Device) Light Shotgun, Adhesive Launcher ( ) / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 25)
STEMPLER ZOND Combi Rifle, Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 16)
MORAN (Repeater) Combi Rifle, Flash Pulse, D-Charges, Crazykoala ( ) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 17)
TOMCAT Combi Rifle, Light Flamethrower ( | Deployable Repeater) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 19)
6 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Army | Copy Code
Jazz, a Bandit, a Moran, a Sombra, and a Tomcat round out his toolbox and provide some real midfield teeth.
I won the rolloff and elected to go first. I held Phoenix and the Thorakites Feuerbach in reserve, and set up my links on either side of my deployment zone. Hector, Pandora, and the (eventual) Thorakites went on my right, and Phoenix, Acmon, and the Myrmidon went on my left. I screened both links with a Thyreos and Daleth, then passed deployment over to Nate.
His Wildcat came down on a building, guarded by the Jaguars, and the the other link took the left side of that buliting–he was really committing to the left there, almost a refused flank. The Moran, Bandit, and Sombra showed up in the midfield, with the Moran screening the links, the Bandit in the middle and the Sombra taking the high ground.
Jazz and a Stempler hid in the triangle of negative space in Nate’s deployment zone, then it was back to me to deploy my reserves. I put Pheonix down in a spot to fight the Wildcat, and the Thorakites in a spot to cover the Evader/Brigada link’s path forward. Nate responded with his Intruder on a roof at the back of his deployment zone, and then we were off.
I chose Phoenix as my Master Breacher and Nate picked his Brigada.
Top of 1 – Steel Phalanx
My objective for the first turn was just to do as much damage as possible. I didn’t feel like any of the objectives, including my secondary classified, was going to be particularly difficult. I just needed to establish board superiority and then I could handle what I needed the following turn. That meant I needed to take out Nate’s guns. If I could bait out a shot from the Intruder, great, if not I’d have to settle for taking on the Wildcat and the Evader.
Step 1: Phoenix drops the Wildcat.
That went pretty well. Then I noticed that I could see the Evader with the Thorakitai Feuerbach if I poked out a little further, now that the Wildcat was down. Step 2: Take out the Evader.
I was prepared to take on the Intruder and gave Nate a shot on Phoenix to entice him as I pushed out to reveal Phoenix to the Jaguar. Nate didn’t bite, as he has nerves of ice, and just dodged with the Jaguar unsuccessfully.
There was even a sliver of a shot on Jazz from behind, so I took it. A bit ungentlemanly, but I know what she’s capable of, so she needed to go.
I then tucked the team into the pocket beneath the Sombra while snagging Net Undermine and Sabotage with Phoenix.
At this point I am very out of orders and I pass turn.
Bottom of 1 – Corregidor
I’ve done a fair bit of damage. Of note is that Nate still has Billie in Group 1, but Army doesn’t let you break the Jazz/Billie pair apart, so he’s got 5 orders there.
Nate starts things off by dropping the Thorakites Feuerbach with the Intruder by climbing down the ladder and getting a sneaky pie slice off.
He then sets up a Koala to help out his Brigada as the now duo of Brigada and Paramedic advance.
The Brigada pops out to see the Thyreos and challenges me to a gunfight. I could dodge, but I’ve got the Brigada on 7s versus my 12, so I decide to risk the ARM roll on the Koala. I win the face to face, doing a wound, but the Koala easily drops the Thyreos.
At this point, Nate takes a HUGE risk. He walks the Brigada forward into the Daleth’s repeater range and plants a D-Charge. Pandora Oblivons and fails the WIP roll. He then walks the Brigada around the corner to see the Daleth and pumps two slugs into it, with Pandora again failing WIP. What a disaster for me–two failed normal rolls on WIP 14 to isolate Nate’s lieutenant!
Nate then snags Net Undermine and recamos the Intruder. Seeing my crestfallen face, Nate apologizes for his run of good luck and passes turn.
Top of 2 – Steel Phalanx
Here’s where it all goes south for me. I’m doing quite well in terms of orders in comparison to Nate, and I’m doing pretty well in terms of objectives accomplished.
I’ve got to get my Daleth into Nate’s deployment zone to get the Mapping secondary classified, but I could do that last turn, or secure HVT with the Ekdromoi. I get distracted here by the potential efficiency of taking on the Sombra and Intruder on the way. Both are pretty credible threats and I know Nate will use them the following turn if I’m not careful.
What I should have done was go after HVT: Espionage and take out Nate’s lieutenant, which would have been more effective. I would still have had to challenge the Intruder at some point, which is what I think encouraged me to take this particular course of action. In any case, the Daleth rolls up the side of the building (there’s a ladder right there, but when you can add some style with Climbing+ you do it) and sensors the Sombra.
I bring the Myrmidon up and chain rifle the Sombra against its shotgun. Annoyingly, what I should have done here was roll the Daleth into close combat while shooting with a combi. That at least ties up the Sombra, possibly letting me even get Nanoespionage–ordinarily very difficult thanks to NWI. In any case, I do a wound and so does the Sombra, taking out the Myrmidon.
My other option of course is rolling Phoenix up, dodging into view, then doing Nanoespionage while the Myrmidon closes for the extra burst. Instead I roll Acmon up, firing his combi and straight up lose him over the course of two orders. Really not great.
With no other option, I roll Phoenix into close combat and score Nanoespionage. The TO ruled that Master Breacher counted as DataTracker, so I took it and ran.
With that accomplished, Phoneix beats the Sombra into submission.
This freed the Daleth up to discover the intruder…
then shoot it.
I wanted to develop my right flank a little so I stacked Hector up and drew line of fire to the Moran, plasma-ing it off the table.
This is really not going well for me. I made some pretty bad decisions early in this turn, and even though it got me one of the harder classifieds, it wasn’t worth both the Myrmidon and Acmon.
Bottom of 2 – Corregidor
I’ve definitely caused a bunch of problems for Nate now, let’s see if I can keep him off some objectives.
Nate’s Bandit rolls by and grabs HVT: Espionage. This is in range of Pandora, and she whiffs a third uncontested WIP roll. PANDORA! Get your head out of your box!
The Bandit then manages to do a wound with Trinity, even through my Zero Pain response.
The Alguacil Paramedic goes ahead and snags Nanoespionage, bringing Nate to a complete set of primary objectives.
Top of 3 – Steel Phalanx
I need to get Hector and Pandora into position to get HVT: Espionage. It’s not going to be easy, because I have to get past the Bandit and the Brigada. Hector starts things off by trying to plasma down the Brigada. It takes more orders than I’d like as the Bandit dodges away.
The Bandit is now in the open relative to Phoenix. This should be an easy shot, but it is my 13 versus the Bandit’s 13’s on dodging. The next three or so orders are the Bandit either passing multiple ARM saves or just outright dodging the HRL shots until finally I drop it.
There’s no way I can make it to the HVT now with the orders I have, so I settle for just taking out the Brigada…
and the Alguacil Paramedic.
The Ekdromoi comes on and survives the Koala guarding Nate’s HVT, so at least I get my secondary classified.
Bottom of 3 – Nomads
Well, Nate is in retreat, so we call it there.
6-7 190-45 Nomad Victory!
Post Game Analysis
There’s definitely a clear point of failure here, and it was my turn 2. I approached the Sombra problem incorrectly and it cost me essentially the entire turn, and then I couldn’t recover. I really should have just gone after Nate’s Lieutenant, especially since he hadn’t achieved Nanoespionage yet off my Daleth. I had plenty of killing capability and exercised it well, but made one small mistake in tool usage and threat prioritization and was left a game loss.
I think after the last game I was trying to execute well and efficiently. Things had gone exceedingly well for me on my first turn and I think I got a little complacent on Turn 2. It wasn’t like I got tunnel vision either–there were legitimate reasons for me to go after the Sombra and Intruder. The Intruder was pinning Hector and the Sombra was a threat to Phoenix and his link. I also needed to get the Daleth into Nate’s deployment zone. I just chose some awkward ways of dealing with the problem that drained too many resources.
I do want to call special attention to what Nate did, which was not attack Phoenix’s link and the Daleth with the Sombra. He thought about it, because we chatted about it at the end of the game and he was asking questions about mine triggers on the rooftop. Had he done that it would have drained precious orders from his ability to do the mission, which is ultimately what won him the game here.
I was actually really lucky that I could pull of Nanoespionage in the way that I did. It’s easily one of my least favorite classifieds, because it’s generally so difficult to pull off as it requires so many factors to go in your favor that just aren’t really in your control. Anyway. Nate played an excellent game, carefully considering his options, priorities, and tools. He executed his plan very well, and I fully deserved to lose.
It was incredibly frustrating to just lose three straight games, especially since there were clear paths to victory in all of them–maybe not a strong path in game 2, but a path nonetheless. It wasn’t even a I had to wait to the battle report phase thing–we were able to figure out the right plan at the table, right after the game, which really stings sometimes. These things happen though, and just goes to show you how coming into a tournament in a suboptimal mental and emotional state can really throw you off. It wasn’t even like I was just making terrible decisions, it was lots of small, suboptimal ones that just don’t stand up to good players like the opponents I faced.
In any case, after the tournament we went to get some food, beers, and cake, so I at least had a pleasant time with some sympathetic friends. Definitely not my best showing and it’s not been good for my ELO at all, but we all have bad days. I hope this tournament series has been instructive for you, it definitely was a reminder, especially after a long winning streak, that the edge between victory and defeat is razor thin. Thanks for reading.