I was prepping for an upcoming escalation tournament in which we’d play Engineering Deck 2.0 at 200 points. Erik (Zelaponeepus) was also planning on going to the tournament, and we had a free evening to get a practice game in on TTS.
- Mission: Engineering Deck 2.0
- Forces: Jurisdictional Command of Bakunin versus Combined Army (200)
- Deploy First: Bakunin
- First Turn: Bakunin
Engineering Deck 2.0 is an adjusted Engineering Deck to make it a little more fun. Here’s the link to the mission document:
Essentially there’s an “X” shape of consoles on the table, and you want to control more of them at the end of every round, and then control the armory building at the end of the game for maximum points along with 2 classifieds.
I’m playing Bakunin for the tournament, so I was practicing for that. I decided to take a two-link list and ended up with this:
MODERATOR (Lieutenant) Combi Rifle / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-6). (0 | 9)
Π-WELL FTO Combi Rifle, Flash Pulse(+1B), Pitcher / PARA CC Weapon(-6). (0 | 19)
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MULTI Rifle(+1B), Chain-colt / Heavy Pistol, DA CC Weapon, PARA CC Weapon(-6). (0 | 35)
MODERATOR Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-6). (0 | 9)
MODERATOR Spitfire / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-6). (0.5 | 15)
ZOE FTO-2 (Hacker) Boarding Shotgun, D-Charges / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0.5 | 25)
SIN-EATER (Marksmanship) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1 | 35)
SIN-EATER (Marksmanship) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1 | 35)
CHIMERA Combi Rifle, Nanopulser, Eclipse Grenades / Viral CC Weapon, Pistol. (0 | 18)
PUPNIK DA CC Weapon. (0 | 1)
8 1 1 | 3 SWC | 200 Points | Open in Army | Copy Code
Sin Eaters and Chimera to help lock down the room, and then the two 3-strong links to just wander around and do stuff. Erik, by contrast, is bringing a heavy-metal Combined list with a Charontid and the wildly expensive but capable Sargosh. He’s got a Unidron plasma sniper and other useful Combined things.
CHARONTID (Lieutenant, Hacker, Hacking Device Plus [UPGRADE: (+1 Damage)]) Plasma Rifle, Nanopulser ( ) / Heavy Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (0.5 | 63)
SARGOSH MULTI Rifle, Light Shotgun, D-Charges / Breaker Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 37)
Q-DRONE Heavy Machine Gun / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (1 | 25)
UNIDRON Plasma Sniper Rifle / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (1.5 | 24)
M-DRONE Combi Rifle, Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 16)
MOTORIZED BOUNTY HUNTER Submachine Gun, Chain-colt(+1B) / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-6). (0 | 9)
DĀTURAZI Chain Rifle(+1B), Grenades, Smoke Grenades / Heavy Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 14)
ÍMETRON . (0 | 6)
ÍMETRON . (0 | 6)
8 1 2 | 3 SWC | 200 Points | Open in Army | Copy Code
Erik took deployment, so I took first turn. I probably should’ve taken second, given the mission parameters and my list composition. I’m way less afraid of deploying first and going second at the point at which I’m writing this, but at the time of the game I was still concerned.
In any case, the map we chose has an elevated objective room, so I put the Sin Eaters in positions to set up a crossfire into the objective room. I had two links in both corners, and I held the Chimera in reserve.
Erik set up Sargosh on the left and all his Drones in the back with the Q-Drone out to ARO. The Unidron plasma sniper covered the rooftops on his right, and the MBH went on the right.
I plunked the Chimera down on a approach where she could have a safe advance to the room, and then Erik put down his Charontid in a little pocket. Zoe was my Key Ops and the Charontid was Erik’s.
Top of 1 – Bakunin
I decided I would get some consoles activated and maybe missile Wolfgang into the Charontid for a very early lieutenant kill. My big concern is that my Moderator Lieutenant is in tow and I need to be a little careful. I think I was being too ambitious here, but I figured at the very least I’d get some consoles flipped which is the whole point of the mission.
Pi Well easily flips the first console at my near left.
Then I need to fight the Unidron Sniper outside of 16″ and within 16″ for me as I move up the rooftops.
The odds are pretty good for me, but Unidrons are notoriously hard to remove and I need to do three wounds in 1 order to remove one. I do have an 9.6% chance of doing that, but I don’t.
Erik wisely chooses to go dogged to drain my orders, but now I’m in 16″ and in cover. With not much to lose, Erik decides to shoot.
Pi Well takes care of the console and then I throw Wolfgang under the bus to get him into silhouette contact with the Charontid. What I should have done was dodged into contact–more order intensive but it’s safe. I was hoping to survive an HMG burst from the Q-Drone and plasma from the Chartontid, which is… just stupid of me.
What I actually did was dodge into view of the Charontid (and everything else) and then Berserk into the Charontid. Not my best plan. I had so many other options here. I did crit with Wolfgang’s DA CCW, which you would think would do well for me. 84.8% chance for 1 wound, 42.5% for 2, and 7.5% for 1. Not very good and certainly not a good return on investment.
I’m not really sure what I was doing here. I think I was just trying to punish what I thought was a weak deployment of the Charontid. This was in part because Erik and I were talking about alpha strikes and the difficulty in executing them before the game, so maybe I was a little over committed. I was feeling a little uncertain going into the game–it was a weeknight and my mental state wasn’t great so my execution was off.
I did leverage the Chimera’s impetuous order to advance a little, and used her irregular and the Moderator’s lieutenant order to retreat my lieutenant back under the watchful eye of the Sin Eater on the left.
In general, I think the following would have been far stronger:
- Flip near left console with Pi Well
- Flip near right console with Zoe
- Kill Unidron with Pi Well
- Flip far left console with Pi Well
- Castle Wolfgang/Pi Well
- Castle Zoe
I had the orders to do that, and that would have given me a far stronger and more resilient midfield. I also might not have had to retreat my Lieutenant quite as far, but the MBH was going to give me trouble for sure so I played it safe.
Bottom of 1 – Combined Army
I was worried about a strong counterstrike from Erik, but he was a little more careful. He started off by getting smoke down in front of the Sin Eater on my right with his Daturazi.
Another smoke blocked the other Sin Eater’s view into the center of the objective room. This gave the Chimera a dodge to correct positioning a little, which was nice.
With all the approaches covered in smoke, the M-Drone made it into the objective room and flipped the center console.
Lucky for me, Sargosh failed all his rolls on Erik’s near left so I was up on points at the end of Turn 1. Erik ends the turn throwing the MBH into suppression.
I’ve got more consoles, so I’m leading 2-0.
Top of 2 – Bakunin
Even with Wolfgang down, I have an opportunity to win this if I’m careful and consistent. Spoiler alert! My turn starts off well with Pi Well downing the M-Drone with a shot to the rear.
Here’s where I fall prey to the gambler’s fallacy. I want to move Pi Well into view of the MBH, forcing a -9 to the MBH and only a net -3 to me. Erik informs me that Sargosh can see this, so I decide to dodge into view of Sargosh first and then Triangulated Fire. Of course I fail like 3 dodge rolls and keep assuming I’ll get it on the next order. When I finally do get into view of Sargosh, Erik dodges since he would have been on bad numbers anyway. I do manage to crit him but he passes both saves.
I should’ve just moved into view of the MBH and taken it out immediately, which I do without any issue.
The real issue here is not the delay in taking out the MBH (which is threatening my Lieutenant), it’s more that I don’t have the orders to flip the central console and more importantly deal with the Daturazi in the objective room. I get one burst off but the Daturazi passes ARM and I retreat Pi Well around the corner.
Bottom of 2 – Combined Army
Erik still has plenty of guns. He starts by dicing down my Sin Eater:
He then sends in the Daturazi to try and take out Pi Well but has to throw smoke against the other Sin Eater. I get a successful Spotlight off to cancel mimetism and dodge the Pupnik up to stop him before anything horrible happens.
Erik finally flips a console with Sargosh and throws him into suppression.
We’re tied on consoles, so I’m up 3-1.
Top of 3 – Bakunin
I need to get rid of this Daturazi, flip the central console, and try to cram some stuff into the room. It takes some doing and lot of dodging with the Daturazi but I finally bring it down in CC using the Chimera.
Pi Well finishes off Sargosh…
and zeros out the Q-Drone to take it down. I flip the central console for good measure.
I try to get the Chimera into the room but it dies to a lucky plasma hit from the Charontid. I decide to snag Predator with Pi Well off the Q-Drone, and then I’m out of orders.
Bottom of 3 – Combined Army
If Erik doesn’t get more consoles, I’ll be at 6-1… however, he can still tie it up by getting two classifieds and getting the Charontid into the room. He’s got 4 orders. First order is taking out Pi Well.
Second and third orders are getting Data Scan and Telemetry with the Charontid, and then the 4th order is walking into the objective room and not dying to the Sin Eater and the Moderator Spitfire I have watching the room.
I manage to put the Charontid into NWI, but that’s not good enough. Erik evens things out to a
6-6, 93-75 Tie!
Post Game Analysis
I’m a little annoyed that I basically mispiloted my way into a loss here. It’s a pretty subtle mistake–it’s not like I got an entire link melted by a Noctifier or something. It was more that I was overconfident with Wolfgang, was upset about it, then overcorrected to being too timid with Pi Well on Turn 2. This meant I lost Wolfgang as a resource without any real return on investment other than a single wound on the Charontid. A better play is to dodge Wolfgang into close combat, which forces Erik to spend resources dealing with him.
While I probably lose Wolfgang to the Daturazi, I force an impetuous cancel (or better yet an additional order walking backwards and a failed impetuous smoke throw–a man can dream). That keeps pretty much everything safe and Erik is forced to answer a threat in addition to doing objectives. My overcorrection was the real disaster though. I should have just gone for the MBH with Pi Well and let Sargosh dodge. Evaluating the odds would have been good there. Of course, knowing my luck, Erik would have shot and crit or something. Still, I think that’s the play. He’s still on -9, but it’s just so iffy with suppression in addition to Sargosh’s ARO.
Really I had just pushed so hard with Wolfgang and felt like I was under so much pressure from the Daturazi in the central room. I didn’t think that I had the ability to push any other way, but in reality I had a Moderator boarding shotgun and spitfire on the board. I could have easily developed my other flank and kept Pi Well where he was. It just goes to show you how important mental state is in this game–overconfidence leading into trepidation cuts off lines of play, and the position stagnates.
I think that’s a key finding here–if you look only at the first level of error, I ran Wolfgang in and screwed it up. The second level of error isn’t necessarily committing to the Pi Well dodge but more likely not committing the units on my right to the fight. I had a unflipped console at my deployment zone edge the entire game, with Zoe so close! I was too nervous and concerned about the Daturazi to commit, and that cost me. This is 100% why I lose games–because I get caught in my head about something I should or shouldn’t do and lock myself into a particular line of play. For some reason I can’t seem to break out of the cycle, but at this point it’s not a game thing it’s a life growth thing. At least I can practice in a game with no real-world stakes!
Thanks to Erik for a great game and to you for reading.