After Game 3 of the Salem Shitshow 2023, I was out of the running for any sort of placement at the tournament.
So Jeff was allowing round 4 challenges to just totally disrupt the rankings, which is pretty hilarious! I was paired with Trevor for the following reasons:
We played on this ridiculously close range Star Wars-themed table:
- Mission: ITS14 Cutthroat
- Forces: Nomads versus USAriadna Ranger Force (300)
- Deploy First: USARF
- First Turn: USARF
Still rocking my randomly generated list, which was the theme of Shitshow–everyone is rocking a random list.
Shit Show B
GROUP 1 10
GRENZER (Lieutenant, Discover [+3], Biometric Visor) Combi Rifle, Light Flamethrower(+1B) ( ) / Pistol, Breaker Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 28)GROUP 2 1
ZOE FTO-2 (Hacker) Boarding Shotgun, D-Charges / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0.5 | 25)
MODERATOR (Paramedic) Combi Rifle ( | MediKit) / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-6). (0 | 11)
AÏDA SWANSON (Minelayer) Submachine Gun(+1B), Viral Mines / Viral Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (0.5 | 23)
GRENZER (Marksmanship) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Breaker Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 35)
HOLLOW MEN Combi Rifle, Chain-colt / Breaker Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 28)
MOBILE BRIGADA Missile Launcher / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 37)
HELLCAT Spitfire / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 30)
HELLCAT Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 24)
HELLCAT Combi Rifle, Adhesive Launcher / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 25)
SPEKTR Combi Rifle, E/M Mines ( | Deployable Repeater) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 32)
6 SWC | 298 Points | Open in Army | Copy Code
Trevor’s random list is not so random, holy moley. His other list (which he later lamented he should have played) was a double Devil Dog list. He’s got a pair of Grunts and then a full-fat Marauder link with all the accoutrements.
GROUP 1 10 1 1
GRUNT (Lieutenant) Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 10)
GRUNT Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 10)
UNKNOWN RANGER AP Spitfire, Chain-colt / Heavy Pistol, T2 CC Weapon. (1 | 47)
MARAUDER AP Spitfire / Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 31)
MARAUDER (Multispectral Visor L1) Sniper Rifle(+1B) ( ) / Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 32)
MINUTEMAN (NCO) AP Heavy Machine Gun / Heavy Pistol, AP CC Weapon. (1.5 | 35)
MARAUDER Boarding Shotgun, AP Mines / Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 24)
MINUTEMAN Rifle, Light Flamethrower(+1B) / Heavy Pistol, AP CC Weapon. (0 | 22)GROUP 2 2 1
MAVERICK AP Spitfire / Pistol, AP CC Weapon. (1 | 28)
DOZER Rifle, D-Charges ( | GizmoKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 13)
FOXTROT Sniper Rifle, Shock Mines / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 20)
AIRBORNE RANGER Rifle / Assault Pistol, AP CC Weapon. (0 | 23)
WARCOR (360º Visor) Flash Pulse ( ) / Stun Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 3)
6 SWC | 298 Points | Open in Army | Copy Code
With the deployment options available to the Marauders, the link was pushed up really far on Trevor’s right. The two Grunts and the Ohio flamethrower were in the back and tucked into corners and rooftops. The Warcor stood up on the left right in front of a Maverick, and the Foxtrot sniper was held.
With the link on the left, I decided to castle on the right. The Grenzer Lt went on a roof, and then I put the Brigada and Hollowman watching the barious board edges to defend against Van Zant. The Brigada watched the entirety of my back table edge, and the Grenzer MSR lay down on the right.
I figured that Zoe wouldn’t be super useful this game, but I put her in the way of the link to give me Spotlights. I backed her up with the Spektr just in case as well. The plan was to just delay and then drop in the Hellcats, much like I did to Sam in Game 2.
The Foxtrot comes down on a roof and pretends to be a Beasthunter, so I respond by putting Aida down and protecting the Grenzer with her mine. I choose the Hollowman as my Key Ops and Trevor chooses the AP HMG Ohio.
Top of 1 – USARF
I take two orders from the first group, and then Trevor gets started. He starts by flash pulsing my Grenzer with his Warcor. I’m getting horrible flashbacks to last game!
Thankfully, the story changes when the Marauder engages the Brigada. Even though the odds aren’t great, the Brigada makes it happen and crits the Marauder with a missile:
The Foxtrot sniper tries next and the Brigada beats the odds yet again:
Finally the Maverick tries her hand at it. I dodge Aida up to ARO when it happens.
There’s a spot where Aida can’t see, and that’s enough to take down the Brigada.
The Maverick tries to take down Aida up close, but viral is really dangerous and Aida pistols the Maverick down.
The USARF link reforms and the UKR scurries up onto a roof to hide there till the next turn. Those TacAware orders really help!
Bottom of 1 – Nomads
Well, if you give me a three Hellcat list and tell me to go get a lieutenant, you’d best believe I’m gonna try. Step 1, the Warcor is watching where I want to drop my Hellcat Spitfire in, so the Grenzer exacts revenge and removes it.
Step 2, drop in said Hellcat Spitfire and split burst between the Grunt Lt and the nearby Dozer. Kill the Dozer, just piss off the grunt. The flamethrower Ohio fails its dodge.
Try to take on the Grunt again, but this time the nearby Ohio flamethrower dodges into view.
No matter, I have another Hellcat for this, so I drop in the Hellcat ADHL, drop the Ohio as it’s in the open within 16″.
Hellcat Spitfire mops up the Grunt Lt…
and the other Grunt for good measure.
I don’t have orders to do anything else, so that’s it! I’ll take it, though!
Top of 2 – USARF
Trevor brings on an Airborne Ranger to engage the Grenzer.
The Grenzer somehow manages to survive the shots and go prone.
Zoe isn’t so lucky, as the link pushes on her position hard. I manage to spotlight the UKR on his way in and also spotlight the AP HMG when the Unknown Ranger blaps her with his chain colt. Probably could have templated with the shotgun, but I’d rather get mods on them for the Hellcat BSG I still have waiting in the dropship.
Thankfully this takes most of Trevor’s order pool, so I only lose Zoe.
Bottom of 2 – Nomads
I move the Spektr into group one and go to work.
I need to break the link to get rid of sixth sense. That way the Hellcat BSG is more dangerous. I start by revealing the Spektr and getting a E/Mauler covering the two Marauders on the ground floor (the AP HMG Ohio and UKR are on the roof).
The Hellcat BSG comes on and forces a dodge. I isolate one of the Marauders and put the other dogged. This gets the link down to 3, which is all I need.
Unfortunately the Isolated Marauder is now watching the Hellcat, so the Spektr removes it for me.
I quickly grab the Key Ops points and kill the Airborne Ranger with the Hollowman before I forget.
The Hellcat BSG has just enough orders to take on Trevor’s Key Ops by shooting it in the back–Trevor was worried about the Spektr climbing the nearby ladder so hadn’t turned the Ohio around. I get uncontested shots and drop the Ohio as it’s in the open.
With that I’m out of orders.
Top of 3 – USARF
That’s still quite a few orders for Trevor, so he uses them.
The Hellcat BSG loses to the Unknown Ranger, which was expected.
Aida manages to fend him off though.
The Marauder rounds the corner and takes out the Spektr, but Aida drops him with another viral pistol round.
Bottom of 3 – Nomads
Long Skill Jump is pretty useful on a table like this where buildings are easily within 4″ of one another. I use the skill to parkour the Hellcat Spitfire to see the Unknown Ranger…
and finish him off.
10-0, 180-0 Nomad Victory!
Post Game Analysis
This game really shows the power of triple Hellcat plus Spektr. The ability to project force exactly when and where you need it on effective PH15 is very very good. I think the perfect illustration is dropping in the Hellcat ADHL to handle the Ohio flamethrower once it had dodged into view of the Hellcat Spitfire.
I do think that this is a uniquely Nomad/Corregidor capability. It’s not to say that other factions don’t have excellent AD troops, but no other faction has the AVA, the cheap point cost, and the PH 15 effective of the Hellcats. You can get to PH 15 with an EVO, but Hellcats can do this on their own. A 75% chance with triple redundancy I think is sufficient. You don’t need to also include an EVO–you can find other uses for those points. I’m really excited to take this archetype forward into a crafted list where I can shore up some of the weaknesses of this list.
I did also really like the pincer I was able to create with the Spektr and the Hellcat BSG. I think that was very effective and the toolkits complement one another quite well. The mines let me take shots in the 0 rangeband and keep the Hellcat safe. Good stuff.
I must say that I got very lucky this game with the Brigada doing as well as it did. I don’t necessarily think that it was game breaking, but it did stall out Trevor’s link some. As far as what Trevor could have done better–he needed to drain orders from me. Throwing the Foxtrot at the Brigada wasn’t necessary, and neither was throwing the Maverick at it.
I think there was a strong desire to “get something done” on Turn 1. It would have been significantly harder for me to execute on my plan if the Foxtrot was just standing in camo on a roof. I’d have to discover-shoot it, I might fail the discover, all sorts of things. Then if the Maverick didn’t roll up it could have attempted a run on Turn 2.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think the key mistake was not defending the Grunts adequately. Leaving link members up and watching the rooftop will get them killed, sure, but you’re trying to make me burn not just orders but have Hellcats “out of position.” Also you’re attacking into a constructed defense net on Turn 1. If you push really hard you can break something, but you have to push really hard. Let me make a mistake and break my own defensive net on my turn, then you can exploit the gap.
Given the resources I had available, it’s probably not possible to guarantee the Grunt Lt’s safety, but Trevor could have made it cost significantly more in terms of orders. This in turn would have protected his own order pool, giving him options on Turn 2. An early run with the Maverick might have been the ticket. I do think that aggressive Warcor use should enter my repertoire as well. It’s similar to close combat in that a single die versus single die is very very swingy, and the rangebands of the flash pulse are incredibly favorable. You could potentially be on 7s against a sniper rifle, which isn’t great but sometimes snipers miss.
Anyway. Thanks for reading, and thanks to Trevor for the game!