Thursday, December 15, 2016

AAR: INFINITY: 300 Points- Qapu Khalqi vs. USAriadna: ITS2016- Firefight

Credit: LordHayabusa357- "It Gets Harder From Here On Out"
After a massive break from Infinity I have decided to get back into the gaming side of things.  I have booked my ticket for the national tournament in a few months and decided to play a bit more frequently.

I cooked up a list, turned up at a one day tournament a week ago and promptly finished last!  Not the most auspicious start but I was very happy just to roll some dice and move my painted miniatures around a table.

Having broken the seal on Infinity gaming once again I teed up another match at my FLGS and set (what I thought) was a generous time limit of 3hrs.  Tournament games have to be done and dusted in about 90-120min so I figured this was ample timing.

So with a tweaked list (thanks to the help of an experienced USAriadna player) it was time to get cracking!


Haqqislam- Qapu Khalqi

I apologise for not being able to get a family photo for this.

Have some heavy infantry link team for you!
There wasn't a courtesy list and this is the best approximation I can come up with for the army.

It has the dreaded heavy infantry link team that I find a massive pain to deal with and being a few points shy of 300 once deployed- I suspected there were going to be some unpleasant air drop surprises!

USAriadna- Task Force Bruiser (CJFLCC- Paradiso) 

Make the Human Sphere great again!
aka The Critler 300!

Right!  So after my horrendous drubbing at the one day tournament- I got a little bit of tuition from a top notch Infinity player.  Between taking bites of gigantic burgers I learned that USA has problems taking on heavy hitters like TAGs and heavy infantry link teams.

How wonderful... an age old chestnut of mine reincarnated for another faction!

Still there were some important changes.... Firstly the Desperadoes were upgraded to dual assault pistols.  When you're rolling for crits- you want 4 dice!

The Grunt link team was made up of some specialists for objective grabbing.  They're not the most mobile of units being MOV 4-2 but if they happen to be advancing and firing along the way, grabbing some objectives could prove pivotal.

Lastly- the Katyusha was added- purely to add a bit of AP firepower for TAGs or a particularly troublesome HI unit.


Key terrain around the centre line of the table.
The key terrain features were:

1. The Unfinished Building- two storey building with missing roof.

2. Container Yard.

3. Billboard Buildings.  Two single storey L shaped buildings, each topped by a large billboard each.

4. Low Rise complex- two single storey L shaped buildings joined by a bridge.

5. The Store.  A single storey square shaped building with a small blue billboard on the roof.

6.  Main Street.


Panoplies along the centre line.
The mission was Firefight.

It is a variation of annihilation (the straight up kill 'em all mission)- with additional points for killing more Lieutenants, more specialists and also from grabbing treasure from the central panoplies (which gives out booty).

The other nice variation about this mission is that the deployment is up to 16" deep (increased from the usual 12") and the entire map counts as an aerial deployment zone.

There are also two Classifieds.


I failed dismally on a 15 and QK passed on a 4.

QK chose to go first and I picked the side with what I felt was the most amount of cover and elected for QK to deploy first.


I pulled up Sabotage and RetroEngineering (Engineer roll on the HVT).

QK got Experimental Drug and Data-Scan (hack roll on the HVT).


QK Deployment

16" deployment goes a long way!
The majority of the Haqq force deployed quite forward around the Low Rise complex on the left.

HI Link team and sensor bot hide out behind the Low Rise complex.
With that established, various supporting figures were sprinkled across the board.

Djanbazan HMG and supporting Yuan-Yuan.

MSV2 HMG ready!
A Djazaban HMG took up position on the bill board building just across the alley from the Low Rise complex hosting the Janissary link team.

Haqq right flank.
With the centre and left secured- a Warcor with the ever annoying flash pulse perched atop a shipping container and another Djanbazan guarded the other container.

Warcor... so annoying.

Djanbazan with rifle guards the extreme right flank.
Another bot hid on the roof of the square building on the right flank- apart from generating orders- it played no part in the game.

Camo marker appears!
Finally- for reserves... a mysterious hidden deployment figure was placed down whilst I dithered.

What could it be?


I hate going second....
My priority was force preservation.  I have no good ARO pieces so there was a lot of humming and hawing as I looked for a place to hide everyone.

Ultimately I picked the area around the Unfinished Building on my left.

Grunt link team and Dozer hide out around the Unfinished Building.
To guard their flanks, the Katyusha and a (failed) inferior infiltrating Grunt watched down one side.  A cheap 5 point minesweeper bot watched another approach on the left.

Grunts keeping out of trouble.
Katyusha and flame thrower Grunt keeping the corners clear.
It wasn't the best deployment for the Mine sweeper but I had run out of spots to place him (in total cover)- and I  ended up deciding that a cheap early warning detector would be useful.

112 and Maverick protect the Grunt link team right sided approaches.
With the Grunt link team being my main killer unit, I decided to protect their right flank by stationing the 112 close by and a Maverick to watch the right sided approaches.

Second Maverick protects the far right.
With the Mavericks down, I infiltrated a Foxtrot and a Hardcase up around the Low Rise Complex to watch the Janissary link team.

For extra problems- I (successfully) inferior infiltrated a Grunt with a flame thrower onto the roof of the Low Rise Complex.  I didn't expect them to achieve a lot- just cause problems for the Haqq player.

Another Foxtrot, I hid in the alley close to the shipping containers (hopefully giving me some options to steal some gear from the panoplies).

Blackjack- front and centre!

Finally, for my reserve figure- I placed the Blackjack next to the 112 in the centre of my line.

Watching each other's backs.
Ready to rumble.

With that done... it was time to play!


QK Turn 1

I quickly threw in a command token to reduce the main combat group by two orders.

Now it was time to grit teeth and weather the storm!

Impetuous orders go first!
The Yuan-Yuan closest to the low rise complex loped forward and found himself out of view of the infiltrating Grunt.  With no opposing roll, the Yuan-Yuan tossed a smoked grenade blocking any view of the Billboard building or the alleyway approach.

Another Yuan-Yuan walks on...
... watched by the nearby Minesweeper than can do nothing except "alert" in ARO.

Another Yuan-Yuan!
A third and final Yuan-Yuan makes a successful leap onto the unguarded side of the Unfinished Building.

Chain rifles make link teams nervous...
I would hate to see my Grunt link team taken apart by a Yuan-Yuan's chain rifle....  I didn't have a lot of time to dwell on the foolhardiness of deploying in a line at ground level because my attention was quickly drawn to the Low Rise complex.

MSV2 + Smoke combo!
The Djanzaban HMG casually made his way over to the smoke cloud and spied the infiltrating Grunt.

The Grunt tried to dodge the hail on incoming HMG fire- but with a -6 modifier, that wasn't going to happen and the Grunt dropped unconscious.

Edging forward.
With the Grunt knocked out, the Yuan-Yuan by the Low Rise complex crept forward under the cover of the smoke...

Perplexed by all these camo markers.
The camo marker conumdrum.
To try and sniff these annoying markers out, the Djanbazan stared intently at the green camo marker on the roof.

I contemplated ARO-ing but with the smoke in the way, shooting or dodging seemed a poor choice.  So I elected to do nothing (and cross my fingers).

Drat!  Well, standing still and looking like a tree didn't help...

Djanbazan fires up the HMG again....
The Foxtrot tried to dodge (in vain)- and is hit by two bursts of HMG fire....

But passes both armour rolls!
... and drops prone, counting his blessings!
With the Djanbazan cursing the Foxtrot's luck, attention turned back over to the Yuan Yuans.

The minesweeper bot watches helplessly.
Having rolled an ADHL glue gun, the Yuan Yuan spied the Blackjack in the distance.

The Blackjack shifts nervously in place....
A wad of glue sailed through the air as the Blackjack HMG fired back desperately.

I see your glue gun and raise you an AP HMG.
Luck was with me again in this exchange and the Blackjack blew the annoying Yuan Yuan away.

I breathed a sigh of relief!  That could've been ugly!  

But I wasn't out of the woods yet....

More Yuan Yuan!
As the last Yuan-Yuan made his way around the Unfinished Building onto Main Street- I revealed my Hardcase to try and shoot this annoying figure in the back!

From his position in front of the Low Rise Complex, the Hardcase had a good view down Main Street and this time I had equipped him with a rifle.

With an unopposed roll- surely good things were about to happen....

The Hardcase's ARO shot went harmlessly into the atmosphere. 

Relieved, the Yuan Yuan then threw some smoke to stop any AROs from my camo marker in the alley next to the bill board building.  

Annoyingly, my Dozer was perched at the wrong angle to get a view down toward the Yuan Yuan who then sauntered past.

Stopping just shy of the corner, the Yuan Yuan pops smoke.

Hand to hand!
Racing into the smoke cloud, the Yuan Yuan assaults the link leader.

Before retreating to a better position.
I was a bit perplexed at the move- until I realized it was to chain rifle the entire link team should they activate in my turn.


With the left side of the Unfinished Building locked down the Yuan Yuan...

Djanbazan HMG moves to cover the other side of the Unfinished Building.
... The Djanbazan watches the right side.

Having inflicted sufficient mayhem, the Haqq camo maker reveals and Data Scans my HVT for 1 Classified.

Scanning options...
With some points on the board now, the Yuan Yuan by the Low Rise Complex went after the Hardcase.  Jumping out of the smoke cloud, the Yuan Yuan chain rifled the Hardcase.

But takes a pistol shot to the face!
The Hardcase tanked the hit and luckily made his armour save.  Excellent!

Link team time!
With the Yuan Yuan dead, the Janissaries stepped up to the plate.

Still covered by smoke.
Getting into position.
Climbing into view.
Missile man fires on the Hardcase.
Emerging from the smoke, the Janissary missile launcher critted with his dice roll- blowing the Hardcase to smithereens.

With the Hardcase dead, the Janissaries had a commanding view of the battlefield with their heavy weapons.

Did I mention how much I hate heavy infantry link teams?

USAriadna Turn 1

I guess it could have been a lot worse.

That Janissary link had to go but I couldn't think of a good way to get rid of it.  With the full five members it had +1B in ARO, +3BS and Sixth Sense Level 2 (meaning it was face to face rolls for everything... even shots from out of view!).

I wasn't game to risk the Blackjack or my Grunt link team. 

Oh well... Impetuous orders go first anyway!

Vrooom!  Vrooom!
One of my Desperadoes raced forward and came into view of the Janissary missile launcher. 

I opted to fire off smoke and luckily I won the face to face roll!  The smoke obscured the view of the Janissaries and allowed my other Desperado to ride forward unmolested.

Into the smoke!
With that going my way, I looked back towards that annoying Yuan Yuan locking down my Grunt link team.

Hoping to chase the Yuan Yuan away, my inferior infiltration Grunt moved forward and shotgunned the Yuan Yuan.  Despite needing 17s to hit- he only hit once and watched the shot bounce off the Haqq figure.

Shots don't get any better than that!
The Yuan Yuan chain rifled back- and luckily the Grunt's armour held.

Both failed their guts checks and ducked back out of view.

Reveal and shoot!
The Yuan Yuan's back turned and attention focused on the Grunt- my last Foxtrot revealed and unloaded a magazine into the Haqq figure and killed him outright.

Unopposed rolls are deadly!
With a bit of breathing space now- I advanced the Blackjack...

I see you!
Djanbazan HMG!
The Djanbazan missed his ARO shot and the Blackjack landed three hits- killing him.

With the right sided approach to the Unfinished Building now safe- the 112 moved out.

Someone call a doctor!
This axe won't hurt a bit....
Critical heal!

With that gamble done, I reformed the link team.  

I was still a bit shy of challenging the Janissary link team with their heavy armour and +3BS bonus, so I went looking for easy kills....

And got blinded for my troubles!
I stupidly moved my Foxtrot out of cover to shoot the Warcor and got blinded instead by a flash pulse.  I should've stayed in cover and gotten the cover bonuses.... but I was playing for speed and misstepped.

With that disappointing exchange I threw caution to the winds.

Pistols blazing!
Charging out through the smoke, the first Desperado fired on the missile launcher Janissary with double assault pistols.  Hopefully those AP rounds would count for something....

No dice!
The assault pistol rounds bounced off the Janissary's thick armour.  

But fortunately for the biker- the other ARO fire either missed or in turn was turned away by the paper thin armour he was wearing.

Surely another round would work out better!

Tossing four dice- the biker missed.

Every.  Single.  Burst.

Yeah, exactly!
These dice!!!

Return fire blows the Desperado to smithereens.
Well that didn't work so well!  But with no other (good) options....

Send in the second Desperado!
He did a little better this time- putting a wound on the Janissary missile launcher before being gunned down by the other members of the Janissary link team.

With a wound on the missile launcher Janissary... there was blood in the water!

I brought on my Airborne Ranger out of view.

Getting an easy kill.
The Ranger sprayed the nearby Remote in the back with his AP SMG and put it out of commission.

I contemplated walking him up the ladder and then shooting the Janissary in the back but I didn't have enough orders to pull it off.  

Reluctantly, I went back to my Foxtrot... risking another specialist.

Stand up and shoot!
In a furious exchange of fire, I put all three burst into the missile launcher Janissary- and luckily knocked him unconscious.  

But unsurprisingly, the Janissary HMG made mince meat of the Foxtrot with unopposed rolls.

Still, the link team was broken!  Excellent!

Time for objectives!

Trying to grab a panoply.
Fumbling with the panoply, the Foxtrot on my left flank burned one order!  Clearly the Flash Pulse had made things a lot harder.  

Luckily the second order succeeded (picking up +3ARM!) and he ducked back into total cover.

With a point on the board... I moved my Grunt HMG link into view of the Janissary HMG and hosed him with bullets.  I either missed or he made most of his saves... bar one.  Hooray!

QK Turn 2


I could only watch on in consternation as a Janissary doctor climbed up the ladder onto the roof and made his way over to the Janissary missile launcher.

Back on his feet!
A successful doctor roll later- the missile launcher is back on his feet (with one wound) and the link team is reformed.  And claiming another classified in the process!

Drat!  All that effort in Turn 1 for nothing!

Somebody gonna get hurt real bad....
The now reinvigorated Janissary link team sauntered over to the parapet and fired on the Airborne Ranger.  

I failed my dodge roll and two missiles slammed home, turning the Ranger into pink mist.

Tuareg sneakiness- Dozer overwatches.
Now it was down to specialist hunting.

The Tuareg plundered the Panoply for some treasure before going after the Foxtrot.  He peaked around the corner and fired on the Foxtrot with his shotgun.

Needless to say, the Foxtrot died (I forgot about the +3ARM he had picked up) and the Dozer- curse his useless pogue hands- missed with his unopposed ARO shot.

Another exchange of fire followed but this time no damage was done to either side.

A few more orders were spent arranging the Janissary link team into better overwatch positions on the Low Rise Complex roof... making it my turn!

USAriadna Turn 2

We had run out of time, so I went straight to some high risk play!

Van Zant!
I trotted VZ onto the field and walked up into some cover.  With all the Janissaries looking the wrong way (or obscured)- VZ managed to put 2 shots into the back of the missile launcher Janissary and knocked him unconscious... again!

With the attention on VZ....
... AP HMG fire slammed into the Janissary on street level- inflicting a wound.

The Blackjack gets some action.
Managing to slice to the pie on the link team, the Blackjack killed one of the Janissaries with a critical and three hits.

VZ saves the day!
We truly had run over time by this point- and with me edging ahead on Victory Points (just!) we called it a day.

USAriadna Victory!!!


That taste... of Americana!
Good points I took out of the game on playing the game- always bring a laser line marker, laser pointer and your acrylic silhouette markers.  They were great in resolving line of fire queries and determining whether figures got cover or not.  The "One Third" of the cylinder is actually a fair volume of the silhouette and the eye can play tricks on you.  So just bring them and save yourself the grief!

As for the actual game- I found tangling with a link team of 5 heavy infantry quite difficult.  Suiciding two Desperadoes into it- and then a Foxtrot- doesn't strike me as a particularly good way of doing things but I'm at a loss of how else to deal with them.  The Sixth Sense Level 2 and +3BS on 2 wound, high stat models really makes them deadly in active AND reactive turn.  

Risking my Grunt link or the Blackjack just doesn't seem like a good play of the odds- without surprise shot nor camouflage bonuses- a Janissary or Riot Girl missile launcher would make mince meat of them.

Another thing- I must- MUST- kill unconscious figures.  Having a doctor walk by and fix them- especially Haqq with their high WIP- is just so annoying!

In using my own soldiers, I'm finding the Grunts hard to use offensively.  The 4-2 MOV makes it harder for them to get in position... though to be fair, the fear of the Janissary AROs pretty much locked them in place in any case.  

I've found that this USAriadna list doesn't do reactive turn well at all.  I have no good ARO pieces to pop out of camo- nor heavy hitters that can weather a lot of lost face to face rolls.  Another list I might cook up would include Marauders in a Haris team- which might have some ARO power... but at one wound a piece... I suspect they would die pretty quickly.  

MVP has to go to Van Zant.  Coming on AFTER the Airborne Ranger had softened things up was great- and getting his shots in and breaking the link team was absolutely pivotal to me then being able to send my heavy hitters forward.  

Yes, yes- I hear the crowd calling him a crutch... but you know what... he's my crutch!  So there!  LoL!!!!

Until next time... Happy Hobbying!