Uninstall the Game

Steve (KingButt) and I had a final game scheduled for the Glimpses of Wonder and Warfare league. We just threw together this table with LGS terrain:


  • Mission: ITS14 Uplink Center
  • Forces: Combined Army versus Kosmoflot (300)
  • Deploy First: Combined Army
  • First Turn: Combined Army

I was playing Combined in the league:

This was my attempt to create an “oops all plasma” list while staying true to my Combined Army list building constraints:

  1. Must have an Aspect
  2. Must have a TAG
  3. Should have 4 Taigha

I chose to take a Charontid, Xeodron, and a bunch of Taigha to meet my criteria. The rest of my list is pretty normal for my recent Combined lists: a Grief, Q-Drone, Caliban, and Rindak.

League 300
GROUP 1 9 2

CHARONTID (Lieutenant, Multispectral Visor L3) Plasma Rifle, Nanopulser ( ) / Heavy Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 69)
XEODRON K1 Marksman Rifle, Blitzen / Heavy Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 53)
STALDRON Flash Pulse / CC Weapon. (0 | 0)
Q-DRONE Plasma Rifle / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (1 | 24)
GREIF-OP (Surprise Attack [-3], Impersonation [IMP-2]) Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Breaker Pistol(+1B), CC Weapon. (1 | 21)
CALIBAN (Engineer, Deactivator) Submachine Gun, Pulzar, D-Charges ( | GizmoKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 28)
RINDAK (Paramedic, Forward Deployment [+8″]) MULTI Rifle(+1B), Blitzen / Heavy Pistol, PARA CC Weapon. (0 | 37)
UNIDRON Plasma Sniper Rifle / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (1.5 | 24)
ÍMETRON . (0 | 6)
ÍMETRON . (0 | 6)
LIBERTO (Minelayer) Light Shotgun, Shock Mines / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1 | 8)

GROUP 2 4 4

TAIGHA Chain-colt / AP + Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 6)
TAIGHA Chain-colt / AP + Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 6)
TAIGHA Chain-colt / AP + Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 6)
TAIGHA Chain-colt / AP + Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 6)

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

The new bit of tech is the Unidron plasma sniper, which I had built pretty soon before this game. Steve is taking the same Volkolak missile launcher and Unknown Ranger links he took against me last time.

This time he threw in a Cateran, second Bear, and a pair of Irmaninho.

Turbo Fuel
GROUP 1 6 3 3

VOLKOLAK Missile Launcher, Chain-colt(+1B), Grenades / Heavy Pistol, AP CC Weapon. (1.5 | 40)
ROKOT (Paramedic) Submachine Gun, Grenades ( | MediKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 11)
ROKOT (Forward Observer) Submachine Gun, Grenades, Flash Pulse, D-Charges / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 10)
ROKOT Rifle, Light Shotgun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 11)
ROKOT Chain Rifle, Light Shotgun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 8)

WALLACE (Lieutenant) T2 Rifle(+1 Dam), Light Shotgun, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, EXP CC Weapon. (0 | 35)
BEARPODE Heavy Shotgun(+1 Dam), Smoke Grenades / AP CC Weapon, Trench-Hammer. (0 | 31)
IRMANDINHO Chain Rifle, D-Charges, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CC Weapon. (0 | 8)
IRMANDINHO Chain Rifle, D-Charges, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CC Weapon. (0 | 8)

GROUP 2 5 3 1

POLARIS TEAM undefined / undefined. (0 | 32)
CONTROLLER Light Shotgun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 9)
POLARIS BEARPODE Chain Rifle(+1 Dam, +1B), Grenades, Smoke Grenades / AP CC Weapon, Trench-Hammer. (0 | 23)

UNKNOWN RANGER AP Spitfire, Chain-colt / Heavy Pistol, T2 CC Weapon. (1 | 47)
PATCHER Vulkan Shotgun(+1B), Akrylat-Kanone / Heavy Pistol, AP CC Weapon. (0 | 27)
VARANGIAN Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Heavy Pistol, AP CC Weapon. (0 | 9)

CATERAN T2 Sniper Rifle / Pistol, AP CC Weapon. (1 | 23)
CORSAIR BASHI BAZOUK Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 15)

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


This game was scheduled on a weekend and I was a bit rushed so I just totally forgot to take pictures of deployment. Not much to say here though–the Cateran and the Volkolak had absolutely commanding positions. Steve tried to fake me out by deploying a Bashi as Wallace to encourage me to deploy my Greif or Speculo in a position to take it on. I set up to try and protect my Charontid lieutenant with the Rindak and Xeodron, and then the Unidron sniper was watching the Volkolak.

My second reserve was the Greif, which I attempted to land in Steve’s deployment zone but failed, so it ended up all the way on my left deployment zone edge to do a whole lot of absolutely nothing.

Turn 1

Top of 1 – Combined Army

I took first turn and managed to get my Libertos all the way into Steve’s deployment zone, threatening a shotgun template across all his Rokots. Steve dodged, so I dropped a mine.

The Rokots dodged again, clearing the mine safely, although the Liberto was able to hit them both with a shotgun slug. Of course, they both passed ARM.

I kept blasting away against the Rokots, but they kept making dodge rolls or ARM saves and eventually ended up in close combat with the Libertos. I tried to get out but lost the face to face and the Libertos. I had one order left after this, so I tried my luck taking on the Volkolak with the Unidron plasma sniper and lost the Unidron.

At this point, I’m at a massive disadvantage, because I’ve sunk my entire order pool into losing two units with absolutely nothing to show for it. With the Unidron down, I don’t have much to stop a bear at range, so I’ve just got to see what I have left after Steve’s first turn. I probably shouldn’t have tried to take on the Volkolak with the Unidron, but really I didn’t know what else to do there.

I throw the Xeodron into suppression with its tac aware and do the same with the Charontid’s lieutenant order.

Bottom of 1 – Kosmoflot

Steve sends in one of the bears. First the Rindak dies. I had an opportunity to dodge as it came close, but there really didn’t seem to be much of a point given the bears have climbing+ and berserk.

The bear then takes on the Xeodron. I do manage to take down the bear with the supressive fire, but I take two wounds from the Beserk.

The Irmandinhos advance. One of them had rolled an MSR so it takes out one of my Taigha.

Then both Irmaninhos flip the antennas. I elect to not reveal the Caliban, since it’d just get chain rifled.

Steve threatens a discover-shoot, and I let him have it, as there was always a chance he’d fail. I suppose I could have dodged into close combat, that’s not necessarily a guarantee either. Hard to say what the right play was here, but it certainly wasn’t completely incorrect to force the discover. In any case, the Irmandinho kills the Caliban.

Then Steve threatens to get the Varangian into close combat with my Xeodron by throwing smoke on it, granting a dodge, which I take to move out of the smoke.

Steve knows what to do here, which is to send in the Patcher and AP slug the TAG down. I stymie his plans by critting the Patcher though, doing a wound.

I manage to stall him for another order…

but losing the TAG is inevitable given the tools Steve has there.

The Unknown Ranger takes out a Taigha and then it’s back to me.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – Combined Army

Yeah this isn’t going well at all.

I let the Taigha die to the Volkolak, as if the dice don’t do something for me this turn I’m not going to be able to do anything for sure.

I might as well try, they’re certainly not going to hold off the Unknown Ranger and another bear for long.

The Charontid does a manage to shrug off a T2 sniper round and take down the Cateran though.

I can’t take out the Volkolak though, and that’s game.

Bottom of 2 – Kosmoflot

We just call it here at a

0-10, 57-269 Kosmoflot Victory!

Post Game Analysis

I apologized to Steve for wasting his time on a quiet Saturday evening, making him drive out in the cold Pacific Northwest rain. His time would have been much better spent at home with his family, I was sure. I debated even writing up this embarassment of a “game,” as I wasn’t really sure what anyone would learn from it. This game was also a mere few days after the last horrendous tournament where Steve had beat me soundly:

I’m sure that didn’t help my play either. I’d love to be able to discuss deployment well, but I just don’t have enough pictures to do that adequately. What’s clear is that I needed to deal with that Volkolak and the Cateran before I could do much of anything else. They were commanding far too much of the table, and I just wasn’t thinking about smoke when I made my list. That’s obviously something I should reconsider, but that’s not much help in figuring out what I could have done better at the game table.

I had a few options. My initial plan was to use the Libertos to take on some of the Rokots to get rid of the Volkolak’s link bonuses and then kill it with the Unidron sniper. That felt like a solid idea, but I can’t really do anything about 2-3 passed ARM saves and a few passed dodge rolls against the Libertos. There was also the possibility of just attacking straight on with some of my other tools like the Rindak or Xeodron.

The Rindak would have been 4 dice on 12s versus 2 dice on 12s. I have a slight edge here, but really not enough to make it attractive. What’s worse is that I have a whopping 20% chance to just straight up die:

31.55 41.01 27.44

That’s really not that great. The Xeodron doesn’t fare much better:

32.19 41.93 25.88

It even has a 5.5% chance to go straight to unconscious, which is uncomfortably high. Still, both are better than my actual choice of using the Unidron:

25.09 10.44 64.47

None of the options were particularly good, and I don’t think I set up my deployment well enough to really defend against bears if I hadn’t done enough damage, which I obviously hadn’t. I had options to use the Q-Drone to better protect some stuff, and maybe I could have gone on a tear with the Caliban instead of the Libertos, swapping their deployment as well as my usage there. Rolling the Caliban into close combat with the Rokot might have been pretty nice. Unclear.

I deployed like something would go my way on the first turn, and perhaps that’s the mistake? If I had deployed better the disastrous outcome from the first turn might have been better mitigated. For example, I could have delayed the bear by forcing the Unknown Ranger to fight the Q-Drone or something, and thus maybe saved the Xeodron.

So in short, I just didn’t deploy defensively enough and didn’t have enough board presence. Had I taken 3-4 orders away from Steve on the first turn as planned and executed reasonably well, I think I could have made a game of it, but I Just didn’t have any redundancy in my list or my deployment. It’s worth nothing that Steve and I also set up the table to be more open that we’ve been used to playing, which obviously helps his Volkolak and Cateran pair.

It’s been long enough since this game that I’m no longer seething with self loathing at my poor performance and can chalk this up to the growing pains of an intentional meta shift towards more open tables. It’s not something I particularly wanted, and I’m not even certain I enjoy the shift to more open tables. However, Jeff from Shiv Games is taking a stand here, and he’s a big part of our meta now, so the shift is happening regardless of my personal opinions. In his defense, he’s also not advocating for all open tables, just more of a mix.

There’s been a lot of back and forth in various circles about whether or not more open tables is good for the health of the game, but that’s wildly outside the scope of this battle report. For me personally, at the moment I think it’s a new challenge to adapt to. I have never shied from a new tactical puzzle to solve on the Infinity table. This is exactly the sort of thing that I have long promoted as the person behind Bromad Academy–shake up your playstyle somehow to force player growth. As I write this from 15 or so battle reports in the future (on more open tables too), I’m really still uncertain if I enjoy the game more this way, but it’s certainly different. It’s forced changes in my list construction (duh) and my approach to order expenditure, target prioritization, etc.

I will say that at the time of the game and the disastrous tournament immediately preceding this game I had definitely put way too much emphasis on the win, and far too little on the fun of the game. I think part of that has to do with the fact that all of my games are written up, good or bad, and judged in the court of public opinion. It sucks to lose, it sucks even more to lose publicly and then have to explain why. It’s so easy to just be like: “well, the dice screwed me.” I think that’s a fair statement this game–my Libertos got nothing done after dumping 7 orders into it.

Unfortunately, at the level of play Steve asks of his opponents, you have to be able to recover from 7 orders wasted. More importantly, I should have _stopped_ and done something different to address the issue. There’s just so many other avenues of play that I could have explored, but I was just so all in on the sunk cost fallacy of “well I got my Libertos here… might as well commit.”

This and the past three games of me just absolutely shitting the bed and sucking at this game are a great example of how to not have emotional resilience in gaming. I was in a bad headspace for all four games and just couldn’t back my way out of it. Work and family life have asked a lot of me these past few months, so it’s made it even harder to pull myself out of a funk during a game. Really this just makes it all the more important to have some sort of healthy reset mid-game to hit that reset button and try to widen your viewpoint, try things from different perspectives, etc. It’s easier to do that without the crazy time pressure, but most games are two hours, you can afford a minute here or there.

We could continue to talk about a lot of different in game mistakes that I made, goodness knows there were a bunch. Really though, I think the takeaway from this game is that I got stuck into some lines of play and didn’t let myself think creatively and fight the sunk cost fallacy. I think my fundamentals playing this game are solid enough that if I give myself the space and more importantly permission to try something new, I could probably have made something work. In any case, there are some actionable items for me that I’ll talk about in future games. That’s enough bellyaching for now. Thanks for reading. I hope this is helpful to you.


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

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