Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Arizona Armageddon - The Great Vegas Infinity 2017 Roadtrip

So as I promised to both my locals and the fans of POR alike, I wanted to do a writeup of our trip to Arizona Armageddon II… complete with many photos!


- Boom!

Being from the Vegas meta, a little weekend roadtrip seemed like exactly the kind of thing we all needed to kick off some gaming this fall, and what better than to head to a major national tournament here in the Southwest. 63 attendees made this one of the bigger infinity tournaments this year, so we were all very excited to be going down, duking it out with some of our rivals from the other states, and hopefully coming away with some sweet prizes.


- And speaking of prizes, look at that impressive collection!  

Due to reception being spotty and the drive being mostly desert, this is my only worthwhile shot of the road ahead, but 5 hours each way isn’t bad with a few breaks in between, and plenty of banter on the road.

As soon as we got there, we checked in at the store and began setting up the majestic lady that is the home board on table 4.


I’m also pretty impressed by how much stock these guys carry in terms of infinity products, and friggin envious as hell about how many tables and people they had gaming there. We have a small meta of only 10 of us, so a gaming store this large and this devoted to infinity for the weekend brings a small Slavic tear right to my eye J


 



After our long drive down, it was time for some drinks and dinner, with the three of us grabbing a quick bite at The Hub and trying to get some rest. Of course one drink became many…


… and here is a very tired looking Lazarus the next morning haha.


Still, nothing some good coffee and aspirin couldn’t fix, and with that, we made it to the store with plenty of time for them to announce the pairings. It would be one game before lunch, a nice juicy reveal (Hospitallers sculpts mmmm) and then rounds 2 and 3 after that.


By now the crowd was so huge I literally couldn’t fit everybody in a single shot – an impressive accomplishment for any infinity event.




I was playing Shock Army, which surprised many people who were perhaps expecting my familiar Vanilla Ariadna. The reasons for this were manifold, but mostly it came down to just trying something different,  and as my Pano are currently on the painting table, I at least got everybody up to a “painted state”, even if only a small handful of models were finished on time.


My lists were as follows:

Group 1
Group 1
Naga KHD
Tikbalang
Regular Sniper
Regular Sniper
Regular Lt
Regular FO
Regular
Regular Minelayer
Machinist + Palbot
Fugazi
Naga KHD
Bagh Sniper
Bagh HMG
Bagh HMG
Bagh Paramedic
Bagh N2
Regular Lt
Pathfinder
Trauma Doc
Machinist
Group 2
Group 2
Naga FO
Fugazi
Fugazi
Pathfinder
Tech Bee
Warcor 
Naga FO
Akali Hacker
Fugazi
Fugazi
Fugazi
Regular Minelayer

List 1 was designed for Capture and Control, Acquisition, and Power Pack. It has a durable + mobile data tracker (Tikbalang) who eats most of the orders, and then the rest of the list can provide plenty of orders and serious ARO power (2 Snipers, as many as 8 flash pulses…) and midfield scoring.

List 2 was designed for Highly Classified and Supplies. It has a good array of specialists, a flexible link, enough orders to get objectives done (important in those missions), active turn shooting, and valuable upfield scoring.

Or that’s the theory. Let’s see how it did!

Round 1 – Acquisition (Tohaa)

My first game was against Tohaa, and vs. a great guy who went on to win second for the whole event (congrats man!). Right away though, I looked at the table and noticed that the central building totally precluded using my TAG as a data tracker to sit on the central objective, and with that being worth a massive 5 points at the end of the game, I was left with the difficult choice of carrying on regardless and hoping to get a regular mook on the objective, or running with my other list.


In the end, I chose to take my Bagh Mari list, and was given turn order to go first. I setup the link just off to the left with good view of that side of the board but with some flexibility to reposition, the rest of my force off to the right, and a Naga on each side.

During the first turn, my sniper gets in a volley exchange with the Sukeul missile inside her 0 ranageband (<24”), needing 15s myself vs. her needing 7s thanks to ignoring her mimetism with MSV1 and having Mimetism of my own. One hit and a crit dealt her a wound (the Symbiomate and armor save eating the rest), and even though I won the second exchange, it was only enough to leave her unconscious with a G:servant right behind her). Damn.

While I thought about it for a minute, I moved up the Pathfinder up to see if I could at least sensor around and uncover a Clipsos (which I did, but sadly not close enough to whack with the Baghs). Then I came back to the Sukeul, and decided that if I could land my Akali next to her, he could climb up with an order and step on her neck unopposed. But first I had to clear out the sniper on the opposite side of the board. So I reposition the link and level the HMG at the Gao Rael….

First exchange, I strip the symbiomate. I figure he might guts to go prone and save himself, but instead he gets lucky in the second exchange and crits, and now I’m out of orders in pool 1. I try to move up the Naga in pool 2 (figuring I only need a couple), and despite trying to gun down the Gao Rael in my rifle band from cover (3x 12s vs. 2 dice on 9s) I can’t bring it down or even force it prone, and he even forces me to go Dogged with a decent roll. Not only did I lose the HMG and my Naga (who after going Dogged opted to shoot some Makauls in the open, but even they survived!), but now I have no way to finish off the Sukeul or get all of my Baghs to total cover if he brings her back. I brace for the worst.



His turn, and the Makauls run up, one dying from a mine and the other catching an ARO from a rifle (I believe?). Then the assistant brings back to Sukeul. I made a terrible mistake here – instead of shooting the assistant helper, I should have attempted to dodge with the link to spread them out more, but the issue was that only the snipers/HMG could even see it (not the others who were going to be suffering collateral here from guarding the short approaches). The Sukeul gets up, fires, and largely vapes the team (the HMG and Sniper surviving thanks to their own shots, but the others turning to dust). It was all downhill from here. His Clipsos takes one objective, and the Rasail gets into an exchange with the surviving Bagh sniper, both of us flailing rather ineffectually. He does eat my FO bot and the other Naga though, and passes turn.

I try to recover and finally finish off the Sukeul and the Clipsos I revealed, and I land my Akal on the right to grab the right objective and try to shoot the Gao Rael (no luck there). I’m pretty lost for options here with mostly supporting models left, so I try to kill the Rasail with the Sniper (also no luck there) and pass turn.

He moves up to take the center, pushing the Surda and Kerail into the central room. My Akali takes a shot and we both crit, so he survives and reaches the objective. My turn and my Akali kills the beast but can’t get a bead on the Datatracker Kerail on the objective, so I try to move up the Machinist to take him out. Again, no luck here, and my Sniper can’t force the Rasail away so I can’t move her onto the objective either to contest the middle. My Akali wips the right objective and sits on it, but knowing theres another Clipsos there, I know I can’t hold it, so it tries to stand in the open in the hops of gunning down the Kerail, fails, and dies to the sniper.

Loss – 0-8.

Well between a couple of mistakes and some rather vicious dice, I was not off to a good start. I’ll admit that part of it was definitely that I wasn’t prepared to have to take my other list for this mission, but c’est la vie. Time for lunch!






































- Mmmm Brisket… 

Round 2 – Power Pack (Vanilla Haqqislam)

What a table this was – giant desert mesas, scary (read: largely open) deployment zones that of course were already restricted thanks to Power Pack, and some serious height with wide open firelanes. My opponent won the rolloff and elected to choose deployment, so I thought immediately that with my very open table before me, it was time to give list #1 a chance to shine.


- Friggin sun ruining every shot of this game...

I stuck the Regular sniper firebase on the left, most of my other models on the right, and held back the Tik. My opponent deployed a few scattered cheerleaders around the backfield, a TR bot behind the wall, a Druze Spitfire hidden off to my left side, an Al Fasid HMG and Djan Sniper overwatching to the right, plenty of Ghazi on both sides… and a pair of impersonators.
Yikes.

My dice came back from the previous game though with an utter vengeance, and not only did my opponent fail both rolls with a pair of 20s, but the two of them scattered into really bad landing spots right in the open outside my deployment zone. Right away, Tikbalang spins up and kills Djabel outside my sniper nest, clambers onto a mesa, kills one right ghazi, the Djan sniper, does a wound to the Fasid, kills the Fiday over on the left (by leaning sideways off the side of the rock, Climbing Plus rocks…) and suppressing to defend that flank. Next, my pathfinder bot stepped on Djabel for an easy Extreme Prejudice. Finally, I grabbed the left side objective with the Naga KHD, killed his Halqa there, mined it and recamo’d.


It had been a brutal first turn, and things didn’t improve on my poor opponent’s turn either. Every single roll, no matter what, I always seemed to roll one higher than he did. The Ghazis on the left got picked off by the snipers, he buffed the TR bot and then it killed one sniper but couldn’t get to the other. The Tik killed the other Ghazi on the right, and his Fasid couldn’t outgun it while I was suppressing, so he hunkered down for the next turn by suppressing with the Druze.

My turn, and Tik finished off the Al Fasid, the Naga grabbed the right objective, and then Tik powered through the TR bot and the Druze. I knew he was close to retreat, so I marched the Tik over to his objective, camping it for the win. It turns out he was indeed in retreat, and that was that.

Win 10-0

So luck is an odd mistress. Failing both impersonation rolls was very unfortunate for my opponent (I perhaps would have used the impersonators in the midfield if I was going second?) but he had no option to deploy outside of my deployment if he wanted to go after the link as the bluffs were just too steep.

I was feeling a bit more confident now going into game 3 that maybe I could still place half decently after all?

Round 3 – Supplies (JSA)

In my experience with Supplies (assuming you build for it with 3 scoring infiltrators to grab the boxes turn 1), it can be very hard game to come back from if you don’t go first, and this game was no exception.

Thankfully, I won the rolloff this time, and that was exactly my choice. It was time for the Bagh list to earn some redemption. My turn one and the Bagh take centerfield opposite his Keisotsu link, with my infiltrators on either side, the Pathfinder bot near the middle, and Fugazi’s running delay tactics on overwatch.

Turn 1, and both Nagas grab the side objectives without incident, but the middle is proving more problematic with his missile launchers staring at it. Fortunately, while I can’t approach from my side of the board, there is a wall in front of it, so I go for a risky drop with my Akal and land nearby, planning to go prone, grab the box, and maybe make it at least some of the way home. All goes according to plan except for the Ninja KHD, who fries my poor Akal after he grabs the box and only makes it 4” closer to home.

Hmm. I know I’ll need all 3 to pull this off, so it’s time to make a calculated risk. My Bagh Sniper is unfortunately squared off against both Keisotsu Missiles, but I figured that if I can at least pop one, use the HMG to get the other, then the FO bot can come to the rescue. With them needing 10s (my Mimetism) on 2 dice each vs. my 15s with 3 total, I divide, and the plucky Bagh actually beats both to put them down. Awesome. The FO bot grabs the central box, legs it home, and I brace for impact with my Sniper, HMGs and flash pulses covering as many approaches as I can.



His turn, and Yojimbo motors up to an absolute torrent of fire from the Bagh Mari, tearing him up something fierce. The Karakuri then eat most of his eight orders marching all the way across the table, one getting stunned before taking out a Flash Pulse bot as they go, and eventually reaching the Bagh link. We get into a violent exchange on the last couple of orders, and one of my HMGs and the Sniper goes down.

My turn, and the Doc heals up the Sniper, and I focus my orders on the boarding shotgun Bagh to clear away those Karakuri. They’re pretty tough beasts, but eventually weight of dice and modifiers gets through and they’ve largely been pushed back. The rest of my orders go into pulling the boxes back even further, laying a mine over on the right, and using the FO bot to nab Telemetry on a dead Karakuri.



His turn and he’s pretty low on orders (~5 and 4 in each pool?) and still has got to get some serious aggression going to take back those boxes, so the Rui Shi comes storming down the table to deal some damage, taking out the Bagh Mari shotgun and the Sniper before positioning for the next turn. The Ninja then climbs down from her perch, surviving all manner of flash pulses and the mine and killing my other Bagh HMG. I have the boxes still, but my FO bot is right there and he’ll have the last turn, so I could well lose out on full points.

My turn, and the trauma doc stands up, blazing away at the Ninja and eventually taking her out thanks to lack of available cover. My last remaining Bagh Mari gets heroic, rounding the corner and getting into a spat with the Rui Shi. It’s a shotgun in my good range and his 0, but it sinks too many orders, so eventually I just rush to the open and finish the damn thing off at point blank range. 


Unfortunately, I don’t have enough to data scan his body with the Naga (I rolled, I would have passed) or reach his HVT, but it’s a solid victory all the same.

Win 9-0

Really first turn was very decisive here, and despite my opponent having a lot of mobility here, it’s always tricky to get the boxes back from a well-entrenched opponent. We both had a lot of laughs though with this one and he definitely had me sweating quite a bit through this game, so I was quite glad to have a break until tomorrow for rounds 4 and 5.

Dinner

Lance had a lot of money riding on a bet (which paid off handsomely, I might add!) so back to The Hub we went for dinner! This time easily half of the players joined us, making this a truly memorable night of drinks and banter!


Round 4 - Highly Classified (Vanilla Aleph)

The next day we were up and my back was killing me from an incredibly soft hotel mattress (and this meant fewer photos, sorry!), but with a solid chance of placing well, it was time to power through. Amusingly enough, my opponent this time was my round 4 opponent at the top table at LVO (Case), so let the grudge match begin!

We drew Data Scan, Espionage, Test Run and Innoculation, with me having Experimental Drug as my secondary and him having Extreme Prejudice (damn). I won the rolloff and opted for deployment, as his side would make short range attacking way too easy and that would be a problem for my list vs. Vanilla Aleph. 


- The view from his side of the table, and as you can see, approaching from the right would be way too easy for an Achilles/Asura rampage. 

He chose turn one, dropping your usual array of Posthumans, Dasyus and of course…Achilles! About the only unexpected choice was a single Naga Minelayer to keep his backfield secure.

Turn one and the Achilles rampage begins, taking a couple of orders to move up the table and gun down my left Fugazi in the process. The Posthuman 2 Hacker in the other pool appears, data scanning the Fugazi’s corpse and hiding by the building. 


Back to Achilles and he wheels around, eventually getting a bead on my Regular Minelayer, and then turning around the building to get extreme prejudice on the aforementioned Fugazi (sigh). Finally, Achilles ended his rampage pretty deep in my deployment zone, suppressing for defense. He was right by my repeater bot, but with no hacking AROs on my turn and no AHD on the board, my opponent wasn’t worried. Finally, the Posthuman 2 attempts to recamo, but my Naga KHD interrupts it and brings it down to NWI, leaving him injured.



Thankfully for me, it was Akali time! Eyeing up the table and noting the lack of overwatch, I dropped just outside of my deployment zone and thankfully didn’t have to worry about any hidden deployment AROs. The Akali scatters off to the right but lands nicely behind some boxes, and then Oblivion’s Achilles neatly. Absolute hero. 


In the main pool I wasn’t quite so lucky, and the Naga attempts to finish the Posthuman with some Redrum, only to waste 2 orders and get immobilized in turn. My Bagh Mari then march up, kill a Netrod with a Crit (lol), shoot Achilles (he survives both saves and sensibly ducks for total cover) and cross the board towards the Posthuman 2. I coordinate my Doc, FO bot, and Machinist upfield in the hopes of getting some classifieds next turn, and as my FO bot crosses close to his HVT, the Posthuman 2 I forgot about shotguns it, thankfully missing at long range! Whew. The Akali then proceeds to Espionage his HVT (yes!) and with a couple of orders left out of 4 to play with, I figure hey, I might as well, and immobilize Achilles for 2 turns just for good measure. Not too shabby.
Then I switch back to the Bagh Mari so I can deal with that Posthuman. I pour a couple of HMG bursts into the Posthuman 2 in the open with my 5 man Bagh Mari link but have no luck at all and the damn thing is still alive (Seriously?!). I reposition defensively in the midfield, with the Sniper covering my backfield from aggressors and largely avoiding LOS.

His turn and the Dasyus emerges on my right, killing my Akali behind the boxes but getting stunned by my flash pulse bot as she crosses into the open. Achilles is basically out of luck, so my opponent focuses on moving the rest of his forces upfield. The Dakini Paramedic over on the right runs after my Doc to try and hunt her down, but the doc survives to duck around the corner, and my sniper blows it apart (he was hoping for unconscious so he could Test Run back to life, but linked DA ammo is painful). The Posthuman 5 has a go at fighting my Bagh Mari Shotgun, but with both of us outside 16” and me actually having pretty decent odds, he gives up with that plan and leaves the Posthuman 4 HRL to erase my FO bot and cover the gap instead. My stuff is pretty well hidden, so not a lot happens on his turn.

My turn and I need some Classifieds. My Naga KHD AGAIN attempts to finish off the Posthuman as she walks away to get to his backfield for a Data Scan, and AGAIN gets immobilized, this time at the base of the ladder. My Bagh Mari HMG plans to try again to get rid of the Posthuman 2, but this time has to contend with the Posthuman 4 HRL on the other side, but I eventually force it back to total cover and finish off the Posthuman 2. Unfortunately this whole process takes too many orders, so I don’t have enough to try and get a REM killed and/or repaired for Test Run, and I can’t go for Data Scan either (inoculation being a non-starter for either of us). In the other pool, my Naga lays a mine for the return of the Dasyus and I pass turn.   

- No picture. Too much back pain!

His turn, and Achilles creeps around the corner with his only order, killing my Bagh Sniper watching my backfield. The Posthuman 4 creeps around the building to deal with the mine, and then watches the open lane so I can’t go for an easy test run to get back my Remote. His Dasyus kills my Fugazi, goes for my HVT + passes Espionage, and he finishes his turn by suppressing the Dasyus, the Naga Minelayer, and the Thorakitai for a last ditch defense. So he’s got 2/4 middle classifieds and his own secondary Classified. Hmm.  

My last turn and I’ve got to play a bit of catch-up to pull off some classifieds, but I’m confident I can do this. My Naga FO in the baby pool lays a mine for the Dasyus (if I can kill her, I have secure HVT), comes around the corner and combis her in the open, but she survives everything unscathed. Dammit.

So I attempt my secondary classified. My doctor attempts to heal the Sniper, but fails (even with my last command token for a reroll). Ugh.

Alright fine. Main classifieds. My Naga fails to data scan his Thorakitai after 5 rolls (!). Sigh. Now I don’t have enough orders to pull off Test Run by killing my own REM (or rushing up to heal the FO bot). But maybe I can tie?

Back to that Dasyus. The 4 man link of Bagh Mari round the corner and spray her, dealing no damage and the Posthuman 4 killing the HMG. The remaining Bagh HMG rounds the corner and sprays her… and he crits on a 6.

Loss 2-8

Well then. Not a lot I could say about this one. What I really should have done is lept my own REM off a crate for an easy Test Run, but even if I had remembered to do that, I’d have only given my opponent the same idea and he easily could have done the same instead of suppressing his backfield. Beyond some frustrating dice this was otherwise pretty textbook, and now a wonderful rivalry is born!

Round 5 – Capture and Protect (ISS)

Well now I’m fighting for top half in placings. It’s an interesting setup with this beautiful board, and once again I win the rolloff, choosing to go first with the Tik list.


My opponent has an incredibly elite ISS build (10 orders, 1 missing so I know that there’s a likely Ninja), but with a severe lack of long range weapons, he had a tough fight ahead of him. He strips the Tik pool of 2 orders and we’re away.

The Tikbalang stomps up the table, putting a burst into the Hsien Multi rifle leading the Haris (injuring him before he ducks for cover), and killing the CoC Pheasant who was unfortunately not as well protected as it first appeared. I knew the Lu Duan poking around the corner was likely fake (and was happy to risk the MK12 shot to find out), so I left that alone.

Unfortunately, the gap between the truck and the building to get to his flag was rather tight, so I decided to bring the Naga KHD through to nab it instead of wasting orders going around with the Tik. The Naga reaches the flag in camo state (he delayed ARO, I kept moving), and then spends a fresh order to pick it up and get back through the gap, getting killed by unopposed Bao troop fire in the meantime. I’m okay with this though, as now the Tik can grab the flag and at least make it part of the way home.

Now I have a bit of a choice to make, but I decide to go for the objective. I rush up with my Pathfinder bot and take the flag off Tik, before running all the way home (even converting my two irregular orders to make it way the hell away to safety). I know Tik has a solid chance of dying, but if he does I own the flag, my opponent is already down 2 orders, and my defense means he can’t kill Tik AND have a hope of going for the objective.



This proved to be a good move. The Hsien Haris kills my Warcor on overwatch, kills a Fugazi (orders I’m more than happy to lose) and then rounds the corner to blaze away at Tik with his last 6 orders. The multirifle is about 18” away though, and between that and my shooting back on 15s, and cover, the Tik only takes a wound. He tries again, and I know I’m done for sooner or later, so I shoot one of the Zhanying’s instead, killing it in the open and taking another wound. His ninja reveals and then he tries that instead, successfully bringing down the Tik, but not before the snipers frag her crossing the open gap. The Tik is dead but he’s still in a tough bind thanks to the snipers cutting off many good places to stand – does he leave the Hsien facing the Tik in case I opt to run the palbot up for repair, or facing the Naga on the right flank who will otherwise be able to shoot it in the back in the open?

He opts for the latter, and now the writing is on the wall. The palbot makes it to the Tik, I repair it twice for good measure, and then the Tik blows away the Hsien in the back (his Lt). I then stun the last Zhanying with my Tech Bee, and the Naga finishes it off. The Naga Telemetry’s one of the bodies, and then I pull the Tikbalang home to safety, suppressing in my deployment zone.


His turn, and he’s only got 6 orders while in Loss of Lt. The Lu Duan fires at the Tik, loses, and then the Sophotect repairs it. His Kanren on the left moves up to inch closer to my Deployment zone for a potential last turn dash, and the Bao troops in his backfield just reposition.

My turn, and Tik kills the Lu Duan again, lays some mines on the approach to my flag as he retreats back to my DZ, takes the flag back off my bot, and then all remaining orders go into a truly ludicrous defense – 3 mines, 2 snipers active, all the flash pulses, and suppressing with my Tikbalang, Pathfinder and Minelayer Regular. His last few models try to run up in the small hope of potentially critting the Tik, but they die to the gunfire and that’s it.



Win – 10-0

This one was pretty much set from the get go I think, as part of it was due to the fact that the board setup favored my longer ranged shooting, and part of it due to me having enough orders to both grab the flag turn 1 and successfully defend my own with AROs and mines.

The end result – 13th out of 63, which I don’t think was bad for a 3-2 W/L weekend!



- Awards Ceremony

Conclusion

With an awesome array of prizes, I chose some Mavericks to flesh out my US Ariadna and a couple of lovely tokens, plus there were a few leftover coupons which will no doubt go towards boosting our local store. 


All 3 of us had an amazing time, with my buddy Lance taking 19th (and winning the table raffle woo!) and our newer player Andy taking 41st, which is pretty kickass for a player who only started two months ago and playing his first tournament.


Thanks to everybody for having us here in Vegas, especially Tom Schadle and the others who organized this event. We look forward to seeing you all next year at LVO!

(Oh, and more QK content coming soon folks!)

- Lazarus0909    





       



1 comment:

  1. Your second list is 2 points over. Curious if you know where the error is. Great report of the event and your games. Wish I could've played there.

    ReplyDelete