After Action ReportInfinity

Combined Crusade

Okay this was a bit of a weird game. If you’ve been following along in this tournament series:

you’ll know that the plan for round 3 was for for player 1 and player N to pair up for a game versus player 2 and player N-1, and so on. As it stood, that meant I was paired with Eric (CakeMonster) versus Erik (Zelaponeepus) and Gary (gbohon) on this table:


  • Mission: ITS14 Quadrant Control
  • Forces
    • Team WiseCake: ALEPH (200) and White Company (200)
    • Team Zelabohon: Combined Army (200) and Military Orders (200)
  • Deploy First: Team WiseCake
  • First Turn: Team Zelabohon

Now we get to look at all four 200 point lists. I had no idea who my partner would be, so I needed to have as much of a toolkit as possible, figuring that I’d need to plug any gaps my partner’s list had. I decided that I would take Phoenix as a sturdy and killy lieutenant, a pile of Netrods because I’m playing ALEPH, and the two speed demons: Eudoros and Penny. Andromeda and the Libertos might be able to hang out in the midfield, and the Agema was my ace up the sleeve.

Quadrant Control

PHOENIX (Lieutenant) Heavy Rocket Launcher, Nanopulser, Smoke Grenades / DA CC Weapon, Heavy Pistol. (1.5 | 35)
NETROD . (0 | 6)
NETROD . (0 | 6)
NETROD . (0 | 6)
EUDOROS Mk12, Nanopulser(+1B), Ecli pse Grenades / Heavy Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 42)
PENTHESILEA Submachine Gun, Nanopulser(+1B), Smo ke Grenades / Pistol, Monofilament CC Weapon. (0 | 29)
ANDROMEDA (Infiltration [+3]) Boarding Shotgun, Fl ash Pulse, D-Charges / Breaker Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 36)
AGÊMA Marksman Missile Launcher / Breaker Pis tol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 31)
LIBERTO (Minelayer) Light Shotgun, Shock Mines / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1 | 8)

8 1 2 | 4 SWC | 199 Points | Open in Army | Copy Code

Thankfully, Eric (CakeMonster) had a similar idea and took an all-rounder list with a quality 5-man link and then a pool of useful tools, namely the Peacemaker.

Eric (CakeMonster)

FUSILIER (Lieutenant) Combi Rifle / Pistol, CC Wea pon. (0 | 10)
HǍIDÀO (Multispectral Visor L2) MULTI Sniper Rifle ( ) / Breaker Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 33)
HǍIDÀO (Hacker, Killer Hacking Device) Boarding Shotgun ( ) / Breaker Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 24)
VALERYA GROMOZ (Hacker) Comb i Rifle, Zapper, Pitcher / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 21)
ORC WinterFor (Terrain [Mountain], Climbing Plus]) MULTI Rifle ( | TinBot: Firewall [-3]) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 34)

PEACEMAKER Heavy Shotgun / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 20)
AUXBOT_3 Heavy Flamethrower / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 4)
CLIPPER DRONBOT Missile Launcher / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (1.5 | 16)
MULEBOT (Deactivator, Repeater) ( ) / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 8)
DANAVAS (Hacker, Hacking Device Plus [UPGRADE: Oblivion (+1B)]) Combi Rifle, Pitcher ( ) / Breaker Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 22)
VARANGIAN Submachine Gun, Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Heavy Pistol, AP CC Weapon. (0 | 12)

10 1 | 4 SWC | 200 Points | Open in Army | Copy Code

Erik (Zelaponeepus) decided to take a similar list to mine–lots of order generators and then some big beefcakes like a Speculo, Caliban, and Anathematic.

Erik (Zelaponeepus)

ANATHEMATIC (Lieutenant, Hacker, Hacking Device [UPG RADE: Trinity (+1B)]) Plasma Rifle, Nanopulser ( ) / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (0.5 | 76)
R-DRONE Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7
R-DRONE Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)
IKADRON (Baggage, Repeater) Light Flamethro wer(+1B), Flash Pulse / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 9)
IKADRON (Baggage, Repeater) Light Flamethro wer(+1B), Flash Pulse / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 9)
SPECULO KILLER Boarding Shotgun, Smoke Grena des / Pistol, Monofilament CC Weapon. (1 | 32)
CALIBAN (Multispectral Visor L1) Spitfire, D-Charges ( ) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 38)
TAIGHA Chain-colt / DA CC Weapon. (0 | 7)
TAIGHA Chain-colt / DA CC Weapon. (0 | 7)
ÍMETRON . (0 | 6)

8 2 2 | 3 SWC | 198 Points | Open in Army | Copy Code

Gary (gbohon) went even further with the Joan Pain Train. Of great import was his inclusion of a Warcor–gotta document everything to make the NeoVatican look good, right?

Gary (gbohon)

JOAN OF ARC (Lieutenant) MULTI Rifle, Nanopulser / Pistol, EXP CC Weapon. (+1 | 45)
KNIGHT HOSPITALLER (Doctor) MULTI Rifle ( | MediKit) / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 35)
KNIGHT HOSPITALLER Heavy Machine Gun / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (1.5 | 37)
KNIGHT HOSPITALLER Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 29)
DE FERSEN Spitfire / Pistol, AP + Shock CC Weapon. (1.5 | 51)

WARCOR (360º Visor) Flash Pulse ( ) / Stun Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 3)

5 1 | 3 SWC | 200 Points | Open in Army | Copy Code

The rules are pretty simple. If you haven’t figured it out yet, everyone showed up with a 200 point list. Everyone gets two command tokens, and basically stuff is halved–you can only take 1 order away, you can only reserve one additional model per team, that sort of thing. AROs are handled as if there were only two players (i.e. each team is a “player” for the purposes of AROs). And finally, the weirdest and I think the most impactful thing–you must alternate order expenditure. That means if I spend the first order in a turn, my partner has to spend an order next, even if we don’t want him to.

For example, if there’s a big ARO I’m trying to beat down to clear the way for Eric’s forces to move up, and I don’t get through the ARO’s armor on the first turn, Eric has to spend an order anyway. This will be very relevant this game. I quite like this restriction, it adds a very fun layer of problem solving, but I think it’s also very polarizing–I don’t think most people will like it. I think it’s primarily a concession to ensure that one of the players doesn’t run away with the turn and the team member just sort of sits around…


Team Zelabohon took deployment, daring us to take first turn. We took second, because that’s how you win an end-of-round scoring area control mission. This did mean we needed to deploy first though, which was a bit troublesome. We decided to put the big Haidao link on the right, with the rest of WhiteCo smeared out to the left. To protect the big link, we used the Peacemaker and its Auxbot. The Varangian was on the left for the same reason.

I stuck Phoenix in the middle where he could engage stuff deep in our deployment zone on the left if necessary, and the Clipper (mislabeled as the Sierra) was doing the same thing. The Mulbot is actually pretty important for area control because of baggage. Penny was centrally located to allow for efficient responding to threats, and then it was time to deploy the Agema and Andromeda. I put the Agema on the left, figuring that something would try to either advance up the big left firelane or on a diagonal to the right, and it would be able to help in either case. I thought about placing Andromeda in the midfield, but I knew she’d die immediately and thus I put her in the deployment zone to have points and orders for later.

Erik and Gary basically split the battlefield in two. Erik would handle their left, and Gary their right.

The Caliban came down in the middle of the board, so I countered it with my Liberto and its mine, and Eric put down his Haidao to cover everything. Erik’s reserve was the Speculo, and Gary’s was one of the Crusade link.

Turn 1

Top of 1 – Team Zelabohon

Eric and I spent a command token each to take an order each from Erik and Gary. This Eric with a C and Erik with a K thing is going to be confusing for everyone, sorry. Blame the Eri{c,k}’s parents, not me! Erik starts things off by going after Eric’s ORC with the Speculo, after sneaking by the Peacemaker’s bot.

Gary moves the Crusade link forward, and I wait for my moment with the Agema. The Speculo then reveals to take shots on the ORC. I dodge Eudoros into close combat and the ORC returns fire, tanking the hits from the Speculo. The Speculo is at least handled now.

At this point, the Crusade fireteam is now moving into the open, and the shotgun carrier is the link leader. Now’s the time! I reveal the Agema and plant a missile on the center of the link and catch everyone in the blast. They dodge, but they lose the Hospitaller Doctor and the HMG takes a wound. Not amazing in terms of damage output, but the Crusade link and the Speculo are solidly stalled out now.

Erik does the right thing and tries to remove the Agema with the Caliban Spitfire. He wins the face to face, but I pass ARM and the Libertos dodges into a position where it can see the Caliban.

The Crusade link is still pinned, so Gary just prone crawls the Warcor around to avoid triggering AROs. Erik sends a Taigha in to try and remove the Libertos. I’m fine with this and just lay a mine covering the Caliban, and the Libertos passes its save against the chain colt.

The Warcor keeps crawling around while the Crusade fireteam sweats. Erik throws then Berserks the Taigha into the Libertos, killing it, but not before losing that Taigha to the mine and letting the Libertos drop its last mine.

The Warcor keeps shimmying, trying to run out the clock. The second Taigha comes rocketing in to dodge clear the mine and dies to the mine instead, but at least the Caliban is safe.

At this point Gary’s out of orders, so it’s all up to the Caliban. Unfortunately for the Caliban, the Agema rolls just under my target number meaning the Caliban will have to crit, and it doesn’t, so it evaporates instead.

Bottom of 1 – Team WiseCake

Cannot complain about that turn at all! Definitely have negated the deploy second, go first advantage, I’d say. I decide to risk Eudoros to fight the Speculo using his impetuous order. If I lose Eudoros, great. There’s an ORC who will blast the Speculo off the table right next to it. If I win, then I still have Eudoros and the Speculo is solved. Either way the problem is solved, one is just more expensive. I don’t have a choice as to who wins, so I leave it up to the dice, and the dice say Eudoros is lightsabered in half. Oh well.

The Varangian takes its impetuous order next and just shuffles forward, and then Penny tries to throw smoke in front of the Agema for additional fun and profit, but whiffs. Her PH is so low to be throwing smoke well. Ugh. Very annoying, but she’s so good otherwise.

Impetuous phase over, it’s time to start spending normal orders now. I went first in the Impetuous phase, so I have to spend my orders first. Penny scoots forward, ready to attack the Anathematic. If we can stop that thing we’re good.

The ORC attempts to do its one job and lights up the Speculo, who tries to throw smoke. Eric’s dice are better than Erik’s dice, but Erik passes all of his arm saves against Eric’s ORC’s MULTI rifle fire. Sorry, I had to do it at least once.

I spend Phoenix’s lieutenant order to long bomb smoke onto the Agema and succeed, allowing Eric another try on the Speculo. Still no luck.

Penny rockets in and threatens a double nanopulsar on the Anathematic, courtesy of the nearby Ikadron. You gotta stop doing that, Erik. See future game where you do this with a Taigha. The Ikadrons light up Penny with flamethrowers and the Anathematic dodges, but I was just trying to break camo. Penny dodges the flamethrowers, but the R-drone stuns Penny with its flash pulse.

The ORC reloads and empties a full magazine into the Speculo, finally killing it.

Now we turn our attention to the Crusasde fireteam. I clip 3/4 of the remaining members with a missile from the Agema. They could have fired back, but enough of them were on bad rangebands that they decided to dodge instead. I removed the downed Hospitaller Doctor from the table and put a wound on Defersen. Joan makes it out unscathed.

Eric pushes his Peacemaker forward to attack the Anathematic, and then I get another shot with the Agema, this time taking out the Hospitaller HMG who was already wounded.

I want to tie up the Ikadron that can see the approach to the Anathematic, so I drive Penny into base and crit dodge all the incoming fire including plasma fire from the Anathematic. Thank goodness for being stunned lowering my target number to what I rolled! This also has the added benefit of body-blocking the R-Drone from being able to flash pulse.

Eric’s Peacemaker is now in range, and it fires on the Anathematic but fails to wound.

This does allow the nearby Ikadron (not the one Penny is dealing with) to dodge into view of the ‘bots. I’m out of orders so it’s the Eric show. The ORC shifts out and blaps the Ikadron down, freeing up the Peacemaker.

The Peacemaker and its friend keep working on the Anathematic, and it keeps dodging…

right into hacking range. Valerya nails it with a successful Oblivion, and the game is now firmly in team WiseCake’s favor.

Turn 2

We tie on quadrants, so the score is 1-1 for now.

Top of 2 – Team Zelabohon

All of the dodging that the Crusade fireteam was able to do let them get up to a cliff wall blocking the Agema’s view, so Defersen was able to start the turn off by finally dropping the Agema.

Erik shifts some stuff in the backfield, then Defersen takes out the Peacemaker from long range. The Anathematic then recamos. I think that’s legal because technically Penny can’t see this, as she’s engaged with the Ikadron? Not sure.

Bottom of 2 – Team WiseCake

Objective for this turn: get more quadrants, kill stuff. The Varangian shuffles forward to make its way to the far quadrant.

Penny chops the Ikadron in half easily with her impetuous order, and then it’s time to start the regular pool. I go first again and intuitive attack the Anathematic out of camo.

Eric pushes his link forward, and then Penny does the thing she’s designed for and lightsabers the Anathematic in half.

Eric’s Haidao deletes an R-Drone on the way forward…

and I shuffle Penny and Andromeda around with a command token.

Eric’s now so far ahead he can take shots on Defersen with the Haidao sniper and easily removes Defersen.

I move Penny towards Joan, and then Eric stretches out his link to claim the Quadrant while downing the Imetron with the Haidao KHD.

Penny gets smoke down and goes in to fight Joan. I win but Joan passes her Monofilament save.

Turn 3

We have more quadrants and quadrants on the enemy table half, so it’s a 4-1 lead now.

Top of 3 – Team Zelabohon

Erik is in retreat but Gary’s not. The Hospitaller Boarding Shotgun attempts to fight Andromeda, but Guard wins out and the Hospitaller gets D-Charged in the face, dropping it.

We call the game here at an

8-1, 298-55 Team WiseCake Victory!

Post Game Analysis

The two headed giant alternating order expenditure format is quite fun, but I don’t think pairing folks at the top of the tournament with those at the bottom is particularly fun. Eric was having a great time, as he and I were vigorously discussing strategy and going through the decision making process together, but other Erik and Gary were having a tough time and sort of had to just commiserate through it together.

I think the game went the way it did mostly because both Erik and Gary’s lists didn’t have much in the way of positional redundancy. Once the Caliban and Speculo were down, it’s the Anathematic show, and Eric and I had exactly the right mix of tools to take it out. That coupled with the hard stop of the Crusade fireteam with the Agema was just painful to watch. Usually I don’t like to point at lists to explain the outcome of a game, but in this case I think it’s worth discussing. Neither Erik nor Gary’s list had anything in it to really limit movement. Compare that to Eric and my lists, where we have the Agema, Phoenix, a Clipper, and a Haidao MSR.

Both Erik and Gary had very powerful active turn lists but both lists fall down in reactive, I think. Slotting a Q-Drone or a Trinitarian MSR would have helped immensely. I know Gary was of course going for the meme list with just 6 models, and I can’t really argue with that. It would have worked fine if Erik’s list had more tools and wasn’t relying so heavily on the Anathematic, Caliban, and Speculo. I think he wildly overextended the Speculo, and the Caliban was effectively hampered by the Libertos–that one Libertos managed to kill both Taigha in ARO. I’ll take it.

I do think that I have a bit of a practice advantage here over Erik and Gary because I’ve been playing multiple games at once. It’s not quite the same, but I think it better prepared for the alternating orders mechanic in this format. I will say that neither Erik nor Gary’s list were designed for that, whereas both Eric and my list were–we had plenty of fast, dangerous units that function their own, and then some dangerous heavy hitters. Erik and Gary had dangerous heavy hitters, but not enough support.

In any case, I would love to play this format where you can choose your teammate and discuss lists before the tournament. I think that would be very fun, especially since then a meme list like Gary’s can actually be well supported. Simply swapping partners would have solved the issue too–had Erik and Eric been together, Eric’s list would have provided a solid base of support for Erik, and I could have done the same for the pain train (albeit less well).

Essentially this game came down to two high variance lists with little positional redundancy fighting two low-variance lists with high positional redundancy. The dice and positioning worked to my and Eric’s advantage, and then the game just snowballed away from Erik and Gary. In any case, it could have been an extremely demoralizing game for the two of them, and I just want to thank them both for sticking with it, staying engaged, and being as positive as possible in such a context. Thanks for reading.


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

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