After Action ReportInfinity

Big Evacuation

Nathan (Jhokalpus) was kind and patient enough to play me while I was also playing Marko in this game:

It was only fair that we play a mission of Nathan’s choosing. He was practicing for an upcoming tournament (at the time, now passed) which had ITS15 Evacuation in it, so that’s what we did.

Overview

  • Mission: ITS15 Evacuation
  • Forces: ALEPH versus Yu Jing (300)
  • Deploy First: Yu Jing
  • First Turn: Yu Jing

I’ll be honest, I’ve given approximately zero thought to Evacuation as a mission since it’s release. I sort of just filed it away in my brain as “more different Rescue.” Rescue is already not my favorite mission, so I wasn’t exactly rushing to play Evacuation, much less think about it. I pulled this list out of ye-old model bag, mostly because that’s the only thing I had packed except for the JSA list I was already playing and a Combined Army list that was 301 points thanks to the Anathematic getting a full Pulzar.

So Sneaky
GROUP 1 10 1 2

MAXIMUS (Lieutenant) MULTI Marksman Rifle(+1B), Panzerfaust / AP + DA CC Weapon. (0 | 71)
PILOT MAXIMUS MULTI Rifle / Heavy Pistol, AP + DA CC Weapon. (0 | 0)
EUDOROS Mk12, Nanopulser(+1B), Eclipse Grenades / Heavy Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 42)
PENTHESILEA Submachine Gun, Nanopulser(+1B), Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Monofilament CC Weapon. (0 | 29)
PROXY Mk.2 MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 28)
PROXY Mk.3 AP Spitfire, Nanopulser / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 23)
NETROD . (0 | 6)
NETROD . (0 | 6)
NETROD . (0 | 6)
ATALANTA (Total Reaction) MULTI Sniper Rifle ( | TinBot: Discover [ReRoll]) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 44)
LAMEDH Rebot Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)
LAMEDH Rebot Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)

GROUP 2 1

AGÊMA Marksman Missile Launcher / Breaker Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 31)


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

I’m not really making a case for this list being particularly good, but I do think there’s a strong case for the list being fun(ny). I just liked the idea of having your opponent problem solve Atalanta and then springing an Agema ML on them. There rest of the list is just an order package for Maximus, Eudoros, and Penny. In contrast, Nathan’s come up with this list, specifically tuned for Evacuation. The basic gameplan is use the Blue Wolf and its specialist pilot to go grab all the HVTs and evacuate them, with the rest of the stuff there as backup/support.

Bixie Blue v2
GROUP 1 6 1 1

DĀOYĪNG (Lieutenant [+1 Order], Hacker, Hacking Device) Boarding Shotgun ( ) / Breaker Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 30)
PHEASANT IMPERIAL AGENT (Hacker, Killer Hacking Device) Combi Rifle, E/Mitter ( ) / Breaker Pistol, PARA CC Weapon(-6). (0 | 28)
BÌXIÉ MULTI Rifle, Zapper, Flash Pulse / Pistol, E/M CC Weapon. (0 | 41)
GŬILÁNG (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle, Flash Pulse, Shock Mines / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 26)
RUI SHI (Multispectral Visor L1) Red Fury ( ) / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0.5 | 20)
LÓNG YÁ Panzerfaust(+1B), Flammenspeer(+1B), Submachine Gun, AP Mines / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 16)
SHAOLIN Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 5)

GROUP 2 6 2 1

BLUE WOLF AP Spitfire, Heavy Flamethrower, Panzerfaust / DA CC Weapon. (1.5 | 71)
BLUE WOLF PILOT Light Shotgun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 0)
CHAĪYÌ Yaókòng Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)
PANGGULING (Deactivator, Repeater) ( ) / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 8)
MECH-ENGINEER Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 15)
ZHANSHI (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle, Flash Pulse / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 12)
LÓNG YÁ Panzerfaust(+1B), Flammenspeer(+1B), Submachine Gun, AP Mines / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 16)
SHAOLIN Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 5)


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

Deployment

I won the rolloff so I took the side of the table that would make it easy for my simultaneous game against Marko. Nathan set up his Long Ya to control the table and the approaches to the civilians. I think he should have found the points for the minelayer version, it’s so important in this mission. He attempted to over-infiltrate the Guilang to take advantage of my HVT placement, but failed. The rest of his stuff just sort of tucked itself way in the back, with the the Blue Wolf in reserve.

I set up the Proxy Mk2 in an overwatch position just outside of the exclusion zone, with the Lamedh covering my two HVTs. The Mk3 went on my left to protect the left table edge and my Netrod. Eudoros went on the left and Penny on the right. I wasn’t thinking particularly clearly about deploying Atalanta and just set her out to ARO the world with the Agema set up in a more conservative position. I figured the Mk2 would support Atalanta well enough and then I could spring the trap with the Agema ML.

Nathan’s reserve was the Blue Wolf, and mine was Maximus, both in total cover. Nathan clued me into his HVT deployment strategy after the game, but I’ll go over it here. He deployed his HVTs on the centerline to make it as order-intensive as possible to get them to a console, but that has the trade off of making them undefended.

In contrast, I put the HVTs in defensible spots, but dangerously close to my console. Not the best plan, in retrospect, but one that I understood and set up properly, given my general lack of preparation for the mission. I think I had a good plan to make it difficult to get to the HVTs and then the consoles (primarily the Agema and the Lamedh), but if I had designed the list and deployment properly I would have done something different with mines, etc.

Turn 1

Top of 1 – Yu Jing

I ended up taking orders from the Blue Wolf, figuring that would be the most impactful since Bixie has NCO orders to use. This was especially true since Nathan moved one of the Long Ya into the other group for a coordinated. Not a really strong argument either way I think–taking orders from either pool is fine. Nathan started with the Shaolin’s impetuous orders.

The Shaolin successfully discovers the Proxy Mk2…

and then drops a chain rifle template, which I attempt to dodge and fail, taking a wound and going prone.

I should have shot instead of dodging. I wasn’t thinking clearly about it because I was busy piloting a Samsa on the other table, but it’s a pretty clear decision. I should have just shot the Shaolin with high likelihood of taking it down, and then I can make a decision about whether or not I want to drop prone or not after I made my ARM save against the chain rifle. I think this would have made a pretty big impact on the game overall, especially given what happens next.

Nathan moves the Blue Wolf into position and then coordinates an order between it and the two Long Ya to take down Atalanta. I choose to face to face the Blue Wolf, figuring it’s got the most dice and it would be nice to put a wound on it. This is of course would have been harder if the Proxy was still standing, and had I done a better job of deploying Atalanta. I was originally had the Agema in her position and her in the Agema’s position, but I decided that I wanted to swap them last minute for no good reason.

In any case, I beat the Blue Wolf but fail to wound it, and a panzerfaust gets through and takes Atalanta out. This is by no means a disaster, but it’s not good. It would be much better if she was still up, but I have plenty of gunfighters and stuff out for ARO. In fact, the Lamedh that can see the Blue Wolf during all this successfully flash pulses the TAG.

Bixie is next to activate, as she’s the backup to the Blue Wolf and Nathan really wants to get to my HVTs before I can react. I choose the moment that Bixie is in the open and reveal the Agema. I roll low, and Bixie successfully dodges the missile.

Nathan tries to get rid of the Agema with the Long Ya that can see it (the green hexagonal building is too tall to see the other one) by firing burst two flammenspeers, but I sneak a missile through and put a stop to that nonsense.

Nathan doesn’t want to risk Bixie, so he pushes the other Shaolin forward.

It’s not unreasonable for the Shaolin win the face to face with its pistol and close to chain rifle range if the pistol fails to drop the Agema, so Nathan gives that a shot. Sadly, I win the face to face and the Shaolin disappears.

The remaining Long Ya takes out one of the Lamedh guarding the HVT to free up Bixie to make her run.

She dodges past the Agema’s missile again…

but when she challenges him directly, I land a missile and KO her.

Bottom of 1 – ALEPH

I moved the Agema into group one, because why not, and then set about problem solving. The Blue Wolf had to go. Once that was gone I would be in a much better position. Eudoros takes out the remaining Long Ya, appearing just within 16″ to give me the best dice odds.

I manage to sneak past the Blue Wolf with the Proxy Mk 3 and do three wounds in 1 order. Can’t complain about that!

I then use Eudoros to grab one of the civilians and one of Nathan’s HVT’s. Of course, I keep forgetting that impetuous units can’t do this. I really wish they would get rid of that restriction, it’s not really all that impactful and would just remove an exception that we have to keep track of. In any case, we fix this error later with what I think is a pretty reasonable retcon. It does, however, take me something like 4 orders to do this, which is very annoying.

Turn 2

Top of 2 – Yu Jing

Nathan grabs a civilian with the Guilang that failed its over-infiltration roll and attempts to extract it.

He fails the first roll, and basically all the subsequent rolls in that group. This is basically the same experience that I had at the bottom of 1, so we commiserate while Marko looks on from the other table in amazement at our dice luck.

Nathan wants to take out Eudoros, so he sends in the Zhanshi he’s got on that side. The Zhanshi forces the Proxy Mk 3 prone…

then grants a dodge to get me LoF again, this time in Nanopulsar range.

I template and Nathan shoots the combi, but no wounds are dealt.

This does let the Zhanshi get to Eudoros. I successfully spike an eclipse grenade against the combi fire and the Mk 3 finally nanopulsars down the Zhanshi.

Bottom of 2 – ALEPH

Penny rolls up on the remaining Shaolin, who dodges into view.

I debate CCing the Shaolin for the lulz, but decide to threaten double nanopulars to force the dodge instead. Nathan obliges and I SMG the Shaolin off the table.

It’s at this point we realize we’ve made a mistake by allowing Eudoros to sync civilians, so we retcon the situation by assuming I did it with Maximus instead and swap their places. I offer to spend the orders and re-roll WIP to sync the civilians with Maximus, basically adding (at least) a 2 order tax on top of this, and Nathan agrees. We also make it so that Penny is not impetuous so she can grab civilians later if she wants (and I pay an additional order to replace the impetuous one).

This seems about as fair as we can make it (a 3 order tax is pretty steep), and I spend all of my orders getting Maximus to the console and sending the civilians on their way (proxied by new Saito).

This does lead to a bit of a weird situation with the Zhanshi–it’s possible that Nathan might not have tried to challenge Maximus in the same way, but Maximus would have just been in the open too so who knows.

Turn 3

Top of 3 – Yu Jing

Nathan finally sends the Guilang’s civilian packing.

The Daoying then makes a play for another civilian.

Thankfully, this time it gets evacuated on the first try.

His last orders are spent moving the Panguling into a position to annoy Penny. I’m convinced this is a Lu Duan so I dodge Penny, but it turns out it’s just a normal old Panguling, which I erase with the Agema.

Bottom of 3 – ALEPH

Penny snags another civilian and Nathan’s other HVT, then extracts them safely.

This makes it a

Nathan, however, did absolutely wallop me in a follow-on game of Calico, 63-49. We were teaching the shop owner to play, and Nathan hate drafted the green flower tile I needed in a massive upset that broke one of my patterns and completed a 5-long mega cat. Well played sir, well played.

Post Game Analysis

I think I got pretty lucky with the Agema this game. Bixie should have taken it out in the close range exchange with an over 5:1 odds difference:

Instead, I got lucky on a 8.3% chance to KO Bixie. The difference is that once Bixie and the Blue Wolf were gone, that was kinda it for Nathan’s options. In contrast, I felt like I had plenty of guns and options moving into the mid- and late-game. I think the list needs more teeth and some more redundancy. I also would probably approach list building differently for this mission, because it’s so order intensive and you really want some passive board control (i.e. mines).

I don’t think there’s a whole lot of complexity to the arc of the game. Nathan made a big mistake (which he definitely realized and admitted to quickly) in not adjusting his Blue Wolf’s facing to cover the Mk 3’s approach. By the time I exploited that hole, it was too late. The dice also went my way in some key interactions. I had enough redundancy in my list to cover for bad dice, and Nathan had less, which gave me the win. I think our retcon of the impetuous/civevac situation was fair, and didn’t really change the outcome of the game much.

I do want to spend some time on the mission itself though. Is it balanced? Suuuure? I guess? Is it fun? I don’t think so. If your opponent did literally nothing, to 10-0 the game you’d have to pass 14 WIP rolls and do your classified. So of the ~45 possible orders you have to spend in a 3 turn game, about 1/3 is just WIP rolls, ignoring the movement it costs to get to the HVTs and back. You really want to optimally plan your route to hit all the HVTs the most efficient way. If I wanted to solve the traveling salesman problem, I’d just have stayed at work.

Both players obviously have to contend with the same set of problems, and there’s an interesting question of setting up for attack/defense in deployment both of your list and the HVTs… but it just sounds so incredibly unfun to have to push the HVTs through a minefield to score points… and then sink a bunch of orders just failing WIP roll after WIP roll. To be hyperbolic, “don’t fail a WIP roll” is not a particularly interesting tactical puzzle for me. Nevertheless, it’s always a pleasure to play Nathan. I look forward our next game! Thanks for reading.

WiseKensai

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

One thought on “Big Evacuation

  • Interesting insight and cool use of stats in the end there.

    Reply

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