After Action ReportInfinity

No Maggie’s Land

Work has been pretty tough lately, lots of deadlines right on top of the holiday season. Frank’s prepping for Beantown Brawl and asked for a practice TTS game. It’s been hard to find the energy to get back into the car to drive to game night after a long day of work, so a virtual game night sounded pretty great. I found this map in the IGL hall of fame pack, so we went with it.

Overview

  • Mission: ITS15 Frontline
  • Forces: Nomads versus Dahshat Company (300)
  • Deploy First: Nomads
  • First Turn: Dahshat

I’ve been enjoying a return to vanilla Nomads as a result of the recent Shattergrounds campaign, so I continued the trend. I had the following list prepared as an any-mission list, so that’s what I went with. I don’t think there’s anything controversial about the list if you look at each unit in isolation. I could see people being concerned that I don’t have enough orders to do stuff, but I personally really enjoy this style of list with a surprise in group two and lots of heavy-hitting, chonky units in group 1.

Secret Fury
GROUP 1 9 2

KUSANAGI (Lieutenant) MULTI Rifle, E/M Grenade Launcher, Zapper / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (+1 | 39)
JAZZ Hacker & BILLIE undefined / undefined. (0.5 | 25)
JAZZ (Hacker) Submachine Gun, Pitcher, Cybermines / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0.5 | 18)
BILLIE Flash Pulse, E/M Mines / Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)
STIGMATON (Hacker) Heavy Flamethrower(+1B), Heavy Rocket Launcher(+1B) / E/M CC Weapon. (2 | 58)
ARMAND (Multispectral Visor L1) MULTI Sniper Rifle, Nanopulser ( ) / Breaker Pistol(+1B), Shock CC Weapon. (1.5 | 39)
KNAUF MULTI Sniper Rifle / AP Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 32)
SAMSA Plasma Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 30)
MORAN (Surprise Attack [-3], Camouflage [1 Use]) Boarding Shotgun, Flash Pulse, Crazykoala / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 18)
HECKLER Red Fury / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1 | 24)
LIBERTO Submachine Gun, Chain-colt / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 8)

GROUP 2 1

TOMCAT (Engineer) MULTI Rifle, Light Shotgun, D-Charges ( | GizmoKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 26)


7 SWC | 299 Points | Open in Army | Copy Code

One interesting thing is the inclusion of Camo Moran instead of the Repeater Moran. I think the Camo Moran is going to make it into far more of my lists these days. That’s partly because I’m somewhat bored of the Repeater Moran (and my opponents know how dangerous they are so I don’t really get to use them), but also because I think they’re an excellent value, especially in a list like this.

In an (almost) limited insertion list (get your mind out of the gutter, I know what you’re thinking), it’s hard to dedicate more than 1-1.5 slots to a unit you’re comfortable leaving out to ARO. In this list Armand is the key unit for that task, so to shore up the deficiencies in ARO presence you have to introduce some passive board control with deployables. Usually you have to make the choice between a camo infiltrating specialist or a camo infiltrating minelayer. Now you don’t have to choose anymore. If you compare the Zero Minelayer and the Camo Moran, the Moran is cheaper and better across the board (with the exception of -1 PH and 1 Use Camo). While I definitely feel the loss of full-camo, I’m more than happy to trade that for minelayer & specialist instead of just minelayer.

I think there’s a real case to be made between the Camo and Repeater Morans, but if you’re just looking for a midfield camo specialist, it’s really hard to pass on the Camo Moran. I think Billie does an okay job of covering the gap, especially because she can do the E/M mine + repeater trick more efficiently than the Zero/Spektr E/M Mine & DepRep profiles. This assumes you can’t take advantage of the infiltration “free movement” on the Zero/Spektr, but I’m happy to pay a little of opportunity cost here for (at least) 13 point savings.

I’m trying out the Heckler Red Fury here. I didn’t make this list in response to Frank’s Dahshat list (I made it before I knew we were going to play), but I think it’s an excellent matchup against the Kum and Libertos that are sure to be there. One important note is that the list I have here uses the SMG Libertos. I totally missed that fact and played the game as if it were a Shotgun Minelayer Libertos. Whoops. Not incredibly impactful to the game itself and certainly not game deciding, but worth noting.

Frank’s been playing this archetype of Dahshat for quite some time. He loves the idea of Fiddler and Maggie as a team, and is all in on the Rob Cantrell school of Dahshat: double Kum, double Libertos. I think that’s a compelling play style, especially if you are very aggressive with those pieces and your opponent leaves a hole. One downside to this style is that it starts to eat into your regular order pool pretty heavily, so constructing a list where both Fiddler and Maggie draw from the same pool is problematic.

Frank (fwashburn)
GROUP 1 6 5 1

GHULAM (Lieutenant [+1 Command Token]) Rifle, Light Shotgun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 15)
GHULAM (Hacker, Hacking Device) Rifle, Light Shotgun ( ) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 16)
VALERYA GROMOZ (Hacker) Combi Rifle, Zapper, Pitcher / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0.5 | 21)

KAMEEL (Hacker, EVO Hacking Device) ( ) / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0.5 | 15)
FIDDLER (Climbing Plus) Contender(+1B), Drop Bears, D-Charges / Breaker Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 42)
2X JACKBOT Vulkan Shotgun / . (0 | 14)
NASMAT PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 3)
LIBERTO (Mimetism [-3]) Submachine Gun, Chain-colt / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 9)
HUNZAKUT (Forward Observer) Rifle, Light Shotgun, Shock Mines ( | Deployable Repeater) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 18)
MAGHARIBA MULTI Heavy Machine Gun, Heavy Flamethrower(+1B), Mine Dispenser / AP Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 85)
MAGHARIBA PILOT (Paramedic) Light Shotgun, D-Charges / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 0)
KUM Light Shotgun, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 7)
BASHI BAZOUK Rifle, Light Shotgun, E/M Mines / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 15)

GROUP 2 3 2 1

FANOUS REMOTE Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)
FANOUS REMOTE Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)
SHIHAB REMOTE Heavy Machine Gun / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (1 | 24)
KUM Light Shotgun, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 7)
LIBERTO (Mimetism [-3], Minelayer]) Light Shotgun, Shock Mines / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1 | 9)


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

What’s funny is that Frank’s little trick of using the Hunzakut as the SMG Liberto’s mine fooled me into thinking he had made this list:

Since it was an online game, I made his list as he was explaining his deployment to me to make writing this report easier, which definitely colored my decision making as the game progressed. Anyway. Let’s get on to the game!

Deployment

Of the Beantown missions, we randomly chose Frontline. Frank won the rolloff and selected deployment. The map is pretty symmetric, so really he was trying to goad me into taking first turn. That’s a huge mistake in Frontline, so I chose to deploy first and go second. Frank’s comment on this decision: “Bold.”

I stuck the Libertos and Heckler on the left, screening Billie, and then put Armand down in a spot covering a ton of real estate into and out of the building complex on the left side of the table. My Moran and Koala went on the right to defend against AD coming on in the narrow strip along my right table edge that was protected by a wall. Also the Moran was there to protect the Samsa. Kusanagi was also there to fight the right table edge, figuring that I’d probably survive one round of shooting from Maggie, especially if backed by the Stigmata out of reserve.

Jazz covered my back table edge, and Knauf covered Kusanagi’s back and not much else. It’s tempting to leave him out to fight, but he’s going to die to Maggie real fast. Much better to fight Maggie on the active turn in the right range band. Frank deployed his Fanous to defend against AD troops. His Ghulam/Valerya link castled up on the left, with the Shihab on the right to really lock down the my left table side. As it turns out, Frank was mostly concerned with an Uberfall push. I should find a way to work the Uberfall into my limited insertion lists…

Fiddler went in the middle with her Jackbots flanking her and defending various approaches, and then the Kum came down on either flank. I put the Stigmata down behind Kusanagi to backstop her, and then Maggie went down looking at Le Muet.

Turn 1

Top of 1 – Dahshat

I decide to take two orders from Frank’s second pool, because that’s where I think Saito is. If Saito’s not there, that at least makes it harder for him to get usefulness out of the Kum or Libertos in that group. I figure that both Fiddler and Maggie (and possibly Saito) are in group 1, so they’ll all be competing for orders and might overextend. My objectives for the first reactive turn are to just bide my time and drain as many orders as possible.

Frank finds a safe advancement path for both Kum and then starts the rest of his turn.

The group 2 libertos pushes past my mine, dodging past it easily. The only real impact to Frank’s play here is that the Libertos lost camo state and he had some thinking to do about if the Heckler was in fact a mine, but I don’t my Libertos profile mistake was all that impactful.

After his dodge, Frank’s LIbertos can see mine so he does a discover-shoot order. I fail a dodge and my Libertos goes Dogged, and Jazz spotlights the Libertos via Billie’s repeater.

Now it’s on to Frank’s main group. Maggie starts off by trying to take on Le Muet. The first order sees me do a wound to Maggie with an AP round.

Unfortunately on the next order Le Muet takes a wound, so I let him fall prone.

Frank is eager to prosecute this perceived weakness and comes around the long way to try and catch the mimetism-less Le Muet. I tank another round that sneaks through and fail guts completely out of LoF.

This lets Maggie challenge the Stigmata, doing a single wound to me. I pass my religious check and move out of LoF.

Maggie then moves to challenge again, but has to break cover to do so, giving me a shot on 16s to her 14s. This puts another wound on Maggie.

Maggie, now in cover, forces the issue and does a second wound to the Stigmata. I fail guts out of LoF entirely, passing another religious check.

Maggie takes advantage of the lack of AROs and fires a pair of mines, one covering Jazz, the other Knauf, before going into suppression.

Bottom of 1 – Nomads

I’ve only lost a Libertos. Not bad. I move the Tomcat into group one to give me options. I’m not telegraphing anything here–Frank has a habit of asking me how many combat groups I have, so he already knows there’s something with hidden deployment or airborne deployment coming. The Samsa can catch Maggie out of cover, so I start the turn by firing plasma in hit mode. It takes a few orders but I eventually manage to do the last wound to Maggie and knock her out.

I debate bringing on the Tomcat and detonating both mines in one order, but I decide I want that for Turn 3 to get points into a zone, so I pay the big cost of just discovering both mines with the Stigmata.

It takes more orders than I’d like, but eventually both mines are gone.

I don’t want to reveal the Heckler just yet, so I try to be cute and super jump the Samsa off the roof, splitting burst between Frank’s revealed Libertos, a Jackbot that draws line of fire to the jump, and Maggie’s unconscious bulk.

I whiff the shot on the Libertos and Maggie, but paste the Jackbot. Another order lets the LIbertos dodge out of LoF, but I do take out Maggie. My final order for hte turn is a coordinated one on the Samsa, Knauf, the Moran, and Armand. Knauf and Armand get into position to challenge the central approaches. The Moran stands up to help defend the approach on my left, and then the Samsa and Knauf take shots on their second short skill on the Kum that they can see. I hit with Knauf, but the Kum passes two ARM saves.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – Dahshat

Frank is missing his key attack piece, so he has to make do with what he’s got now. His plan? Get a Hunzakut to the Stigmata and possess it. Not a bad plan. The Kum has a go at clearing the way. I deploy another Koala with the Moran who can see this, the Samsa dodges, and both Knauf and Le Muet take shots. I’m still worried about Saito, so I put the Koala near Kusanagi.

Frank decides to double-template the Moran, knocking it out, but Knauf and Le Muet take the Kum off the table with shock ammo. Next, Frank starts moving a Libertos, which I discover with Kusanagi and delay with the Stigmata, figuring the Libertos is going to have a real hard time hitting Kusanagi in cover outside of 8″.

I get the discover easily, but all Frank was attempting was to just detonate both Koalas. The Libertos rolls a 20 on its dodge and is absolutely obliterated, but the Koalas are gone, which is what Frank was going for.

This lets him advance a Hunzakut, which I discover again using the same idea. Frank recamos behind a wall and continues his journey.

This time I don’t discover with Kusanagi, because she’s in template range, and instead discover with the TAG.

All the Hunzakut was trying to do was deploy a repeater. Sadly Kusanagi whiffs her attack, rolling a 15. Boo.

Unfortunately, after all that Frank’s only got one order left, which he spends attempting to Total Control the Stigmata with Valerya. This is kind of a mistake, because no matter what happens I’m safe. It’ll either cost Frank Valerya being isolated or me a command token.

In any case, I successfully Oblivion Valerya on Frank’s last order in his main pool. I do lose Billie to the Libertos his second pool, although it does take some doing.

Frank’s last orders in his second pool are spend losing the TR bot to a shot from Knauf. The odds are pretty even here because of Knauf’s mimetism, so this was a pretty risky play.

Bottom of 2 – Nomads

Plan for this turn is to cripple Frank’s list, get some classifieds done, and set up for Turn 3. That means keeping Frank out of retreat. Still, there’s enough on the table that I can take shot at the Ghulam hacker with Jazz. Of course, I lose the face to face through the repeater and Jazz is isolated. Well that’s irritating.

Well, no need to keep the repeater around then. The Samsa dumps plasma into the repeater on 16s, bypassing the Hunzakut’s Mimetism and taking both off the table.

I’m a short walk away from snagging Sabotage, so I do that.

Now I need to get rid of the remaining Libertos and Kum. Fortunately Frank’s remaining fangs are really cheap so there’s no danger of putting him into retreat. The Heckler drops the Libertos…

and then the Kum.

I’ve got some orders left, but Frank calls the game here. He’s pretty convinced that he can’t recover from this point and it’s quite late for both of us, so I don’t take much convincing. I’ve got the middle and near sections and effectively two classifieds with the Heckler getting close to Frank’s HVT, making it a

Post Game Analysis

Frank and I spend the time we would have on Turn 3 dissecting the game. Essentially what it boiled down to was an over-fixation on my Sigmata. Frank spent most of the first turn trying to deal with it, and then all of Turn 2. I think his use of Maggie to drop the mines was quite good, I think not retreating Maggie and then throwing her into suppression so close to the Samsa was a mistake. So in short, in terms of actions that he took during the game, he over-extended Maggie and then committed Turn 1, then used all his resources to attempt to get a Total Control off on the Stigmata with no orders left to take advantage of it.

Frank’s initial take on his first turn was that he was satisfied with his mines basically negating my first turn–aside from dealing with Maggie I spent the rest of the turn dealing with the mines. I think that I’m more than happy with my turn–yes I could have been more efficient with the mine clearing by bringing on the Tomcat, but I’d much rather have it for later. Really the way I view that first turn is we both got nothing accomplished really, turning the game effectively into a 2 turn game (assuming we played the the last turn). The only difference is that I’m down a Liberto and Frank is down Maggie for those two turns, which is not equivalent.

I also think his list has some problems. Not in the contents of the list, but in the order group organization. He wants to use both Maggie and Fiddler, but they’re sharing the same order pool. Move one of them into the second order pool and that becomes a stronger list just with that one edit in my mind. His take on Fiddler is that she’s very dangerous in the midfield hunting skrmishers, and his thought was that I didn’t give him the opportunity. I think it’s more that I had a good defensive net when she would have been relevant, and she can’t fight her way upfield against snipers. That’s what Maggie is for. Had he put Maggie in group two and forced Le Muet prone, there’s probably a window for him to take out the Samsa and the Moran with FIddler, which stabilizes Frank in the midfield.

I think the other thing is that he’s not pushing with the Libertos and Kum nearly as hard as he should. I had some defenses but not enough, and the whole Rob Cantrell school of Dahshat (at least my understanding of it) is that you want to just hit with whichever group isn’t docked orders. I’m not going to really effectively fight Maggie directly on my turn, I don’t have the right tools for that, or at least that’s not how I feel like I’d approach that problem. I’m far more likely to get a pitcher down or something than try to attack Maggie where she’s strong. Or maybe do the Bille E/M mine then hack trick.

In any case, I think the list is organized in such a way that is counter to what Frank actually wants to do with his units, and then he over-extended Maggie and committed to that plan when she was on one wound left. Super high risk, minimal reward. I have so many tools to attack that and the payoff for me is so high that I’m happy to throw a few units under the bus to take her out. In any case, I always enjoy these late night games with Frank where we do a deep dive after the game. Thanks to Frank, and thanks to you for reading. It’s nice to be back. Hopefully it won’t be so long before I get another game in.

WiseKensai

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

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