I was prepping for the Salem Shitshow and decided to take my random lists to game night and see what transpired. Isaac (xammy) agreed to fight me with his constructed NCA list.
- Mission: ITS14 Capture and Protect
- Forces: Nomads versus Neoterran Capitaline Army (300)
- Deploy First: Nomads
- First Turn: Nomads
Ordinarily this would be where I talk about the idea behind the list construction… but the whole point of Shitshow is that the lists are random. All I control is the combat group allocation. I had a really rough time figuring out what the combat group allocation should be, and eventually decided to put the Morlock and Warcor together in the second group. I tend to like playing Morlocks as slowly advancing board control pieces anyway, so this seemed like a good initial plan to me.
Shit Show A
GROUP 1 10
KRIZA BORAC (Lieutenant, 360º Visor) Mk12, Submachine Gun ( ) / Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 57)GROUP 2 2 1
INTERVENTOR (Hacker, Hacking Device Plus) Combi Rifle ( ) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 24)
PUPPET MASTERS (Hacker, Hacking Device) Submachine Gun ( ) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 17)
MODERATOR MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-6). (1.5 | 16)
MORAN (Repeater) Combi Rifle, Flash Pulse, D-Charges, Crazykoala ( ) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 17)
MOBILE BRIGADA (Hacker, Hacking Device) Combi Rifle, D-Charges ( | TinBot: Firewall [-6]) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 39)
RIOT GRRL (Specialist Operative) Combi Rifle, Blitzen / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 29)
CHEERKILLER AP Rifle, Nanopulser / MULTI Pistol(+1B), Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 19)
SIN-EATER Heavy Machine Gun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 32)
SPEKTR (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle, Shock Mines, Flash Pulse / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 32)
WARCOR (Sixth Sense) Flash Pulse / Stun Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 3)
MORLOCK Combi Rifle, Smoke Grenade Launcher / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (1 | 12)
6 SWC | 297 Points | Open in Army | Copy Code
Isaac’s list is of course a little better constructed. It’s got a pure bolt core, Uma, a Fusilier/Black Friar Haris, and a Garuda to boot. Aida makes a board control appearance as well. What’s interesting is that he took the Auxilia lieutenant–definitely a defensible choice (in all the senses of the word), especially since the SWC cost has been halved since my last inspection of the profile.
GROUP 1 7
BOLT (Multispectral Visor L1) MULTI Sniper Rifle ( ) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 31)
BOLT Spitfire / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 27)
BOLT (Paramedic) Combi Rifle, Light Shotgun ( | MediKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 24)
BOLT (Hacker, Hacking Device) Boarding Shotgun, E/M Mines ( ) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 27)
MACHINIST NCA (Bioimmunity, Veteran) Combi Rifle, D-Charges ( | GizmoKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 16)
FUGAZI DRONBOT Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)GROUP 2 8
UMA SØRENSEN (Surprise Attack [-3], Camouflage, Forward Deployment [+8″]) Submachine Gun(+1B), E/M Mines / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 30)
AUXILIA (Lieutenant) Combi Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 14)
AUXBOT_1 Heavy Flamethrower / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 4)
PEACEMAKER Heavy Shotgun / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 20)
AUXBOT_3 Heavy Flamethrower / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 4)
FUSILIER (Paramedic) Combi Rifle ( | MediKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 12)
FUSILIER (Hacker, Hacking Device) Combi Rifle ( ) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 15)
BLACK FRIAR FTO (Sixth Sense) Heavy Rocket Launcher, Nanopulser / MULTI Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 25)
GARUDA (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle, Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 20)
CSU Breaker Rifle, Nanopulser(+1B) / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-6). (0 | 12)
AÏDA SWANSON FTO (Minelayer) Submachine Gun, Viral Mines / Viral Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 20)
6 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Army | Copy Code
I decided to attempt to go first? Maybe that was a terrible idea. I held the Sin Eater in reserve. The first thing I deployed, rather cheekily, was attempting an over-infiltration on the Spektr and failing horribly.
I probably over-guard the beacon with both the Puppetmaster and the Brigada hackers. There’s not much I can do in terms of stopping non-hackable things, but at least I can spotlight them to make hunting them down later easier.
The Kriza and Cheerkiller take positions on either side of my deployment zone, mostly to have avenues of advance, and then the Moderator is up on a roof to ARO once while dying horribly. I telegraph an Interventor lieutenant in the back right, and then set up my Riot Grrl watching a diagonal late out of my deployment zone.
Isaac sets up the Bolt link on his left, with the Bolt MSR out to fight the world. The Black Friar watches a firelane on the right as well as the back half of the beacon, and a CSU anchors the right side of the table with a Peacemaker. Auxilia hang outs on the left to watch the Bolts flank with the Auxbot. Aida watches the objective with a ine, and that’s that.
I put the Sin Eater down in a spot to fight the Black Friar if it advances, and then Isaac puts Uma down on his left to be sneaky!
Top of 1 – Nomads
At this point I realize I’ve made a huge mistake putting the Morlock in its own group with the Warcor. I have the smoke grenade launcher version, and I’d really like to get smoke down on top of the beacon and make a run this turn. I fail with the impetuous order, and don’t really have the heart to try again, especially because I’m struggling to pilot this list effectively.
I decide that I am going to try and remove the Bolt MSR. I set up White Noise with the Moran and Interventor, then send in the Kriza.
I at least take out the Bolt Spitfire pretty easily…
and then I have a problem getting through the Bolt MSR’s armor.
I get crit and take a wound…
then just straight up lose the Kriza in the next exchange with no Paramedic or Doctor on the table. Well, I guess I’ll be in loss on turn 2!
I have a shot on the Peacemaker with the Riot Grrl, but she whiffs.
I decide that since the Morlock rolled 8-4 I should use it to try and take on the Bolt, which is probably a mistake. The Bolt is effectively unstoppable and I get wrecked.
At this point I’m just struggling to get some work done so I elect to go for killing orders. The Peacemaker dodged into view of the Moran, so I take it out finally with the Moran.
I then take out a Fugazi with the Moran, and that’s it for me.
What an atrocious turn. Here’s what I should have done:
- Spent two command tokens to swap the Sin Eater out with the Morlock, especially since it rolled 8-4.
- Spent the Morlock’s impetuous and irregular order moving up and getting smoke onto the beacon.
- Moved the Moran up to where I needed to be to get White Noise down in front of the Bolt MSR
- White noise
- Dodge-cleared the mine with the Morlock. If it survives, get the beacon and run. If it doesn’t, use the Moran.
I probably won’t be able to get the beacon that far, but at least it’s away from his defensive net, and that will allow me to retrieve it later with something else.
Other options would have included using the Morlock to go lieutenant hunting or going after the Bolt with the Moran at closer range and using a Koala to force the dodge. I really need to get used to using the Moran in that way–the last time I played a ton of Morans was in N3 before all these changes to how minelayers with Koalas work.
Bottom of 1 – NCA
I’m in a pretty big pickle at this point. Isaac can really put the hurt on and I don’t have much in the way to stop him or recover.
He drops in a Garuda in my deployment zone. There’s always a spot, you can’t cover everythin!
The Bolt splits burst against my Warcor and Moderator MSR and pastes the Warcor, but the Moderator hits the Bolt!
Of course, the Bolt passes both ARM saves. Then the Bolt and the Moderator both crit one another on the following order…
and finally the Modertor gets deleted. While the Garuda wasn’t exactly waiting for this, it’s now free to take on all the stuff in my backfield. First the Cheerkiller goes down–there was just a sliver where it could get it in the back, so it was unopposed. Then the Riot Grrl can’t dodge her way to victory, and also goes down.
Unfortunately the Moran is also facing the wrong way and is visible to a spot the Garuda can get to, so I lose her too. The Black Friar tries to take out the Sin Eater but fails to crack its armor (of bullets!).
The Bolt Spitfire gets picked back up by the Paramedic, which is extra annoying given the Bolt’s sub-par PH, and then it’s back to me.
Top of 2 – Nomads
Well, I’m in loss of lieutenant with five orders on the table. That suuucks.
I decide to be really risky and take a burst 1 shot with the Sin-Eater. This is go big or go home time, and while i do hit the Black Friar, it passes ARM.
I pop the Mobile Brigada out and take out the Garuda, which is the next big thing on my list.
The Spektr goes and hides in the corner, as it’s my new Lieutenant (or will be shortly).
And then I burn some command tokens to take out the Black Friar from the side with the Brigada. I foolishly leave the Brigada out, thinking it can stand up to some punishment…
Bottom of 2 – NCA
Well Isaac can easily sweep the board if he wants to, so he sets about doing that.
The Brigada doesn’t stand up to anything at all and gets iced by the Bolt Spitfire. The Bolt link did have to move pretty aggressively across the board though.
This does allow the Bolt MSR to see the Sin Eater outside 32″, and that’s that for my ARO presence, if I ever really had any.
The Fusiliers form up with the CSU and that link makes its way towards my beacon. My Moran’s Koala takes out the CSU and then Isaac is out of orders to make it forward.
Top of 3 – Nomads
Well, I’m in retreat.
I’ve got just enough command tokens to get the Spektr in position to, out of spite, split burst between the Bolt Spitfire, the Machinist, and the Bolt MSR, and somehow down all three. Where were these dice earlier?!?
With that, the game is over.
1-1, 73-142 Tie!
Post Game Analysis
This game loss is entirely attributable to me just making a silly, undisciplined decision to throw the Spektr over the centerline and the following up with a sloppy first turn execution. I did it because I knew any game versus Isaac was going to be a fun spectacle, and what’s sillier than starting right next to the objective?
I obviously shouldn’t have done that, and I should have put the Morlock in the first group at list “construction” time. I think it’s pretty clear what I did wrong, and it all centers around that first turn execution. You really need to have a coherent plan for a first turn alpha strike that starts at list construction, is then carried through deployment and first turn execution. I was missing the first part of that, entirely.
I think I handled the rest of the game pretty reasonably, but there really weren’t any opportunities for me to make big or impactful decisions. I just had to do some things, i.e. the Garuda had to go, and I had to spend every resource on that that I needed to.
I think this game really underscores importance and value of the marriage between list construction and execution, aka why netlisting doesn’t work very well. These battle reports are all over the place in terms of time, but this game occurred a little under a week after the last tournament, so my brain wasn’t quite prepared to shift from a highly tuned Druze list to a random Nomad one.
The only reason it didn’t turn into an outright loss was because Isaac wasn’t aggressive enough in prosecuting the beacon on turn 2. I think I had done enough damage to both order pools to make a difficult choice as to which tool to push forward with, and the Sin Eater was still up. I just didn’t have the board presence to stop something like Uma making a run though. I think the deployment choice there, putting her on the flank, was a mistake on his part. Me taking out the Peacemaker was also very good.
Had I been playing Isaac’s list, I probably would have leveraged the Black Friar and Bolt links to remove as many pieces as I could–the Black Friar could have challenged both the Riot Grrl and the Cheerkiller, and the Bolts could have handled the Moran and the Sin Eater–in fact they did the latter in reality. That erodes both my order pool and my defensive net. I’m then forced to further disrupt my defensive net by making a play on the Beacon, or trying to disrupt Isaac’s ability to.
Honestly, I probably should have been playing to that once turn 2 came around. Really I just got lucky that Isaac played a little passively turn 2 and focused on removing my orders instead of making the run. He also mathed slightly wrong on evaluating if I was going to be in retreat. The Brigada certainly wasn’t going to be able to get through the entire Bolt link to the Beacon, so he could have left her alone and then won the game.
I did learn a lot from the game though. This list itself has pretty limited force projection–I have to risk my lieutenant to really get work done. There’s just so many combis on expensive platforms–a side effect of algorithm used by the random list generator. Really it’s a weighted random. I can get some work done with the Spektr and Moran, but I’m going to have a hard time pushing forward.
I have don’t have all the tools I might need, so I need to think laterally and really play to the objectives in these games. I also think I need to take risks outside my usual tolerance level. I think that’s going to be a big part of the next phase of my growth as an Infinity player, is identifying and executing on those small windows of risk where the risk is great but the payoff is great. The problem is managing the cost–in this case getting rid of the Bolts was good but the cost was too high in both orders and models, and the risk was too much. Much better to leverage the tools I had like Koalas and such.
I’m excited to be playing random Nomad lists. I think it really generates scenarios where I have to engage in unconventional problem solving, which is what draws me to this game. Thanks to Isaac for being an excellent sparring partner and to you for reading.