Two games this weekend, and by the second one we were barely slowing the game at all with our various wiki searches. It felt really good.
Our first game was a 5 player free for all, and it didn’t go well for me. I’d opted for a fairly elite 5-man squad, which at 150pts was a little low on orders. Mirage team 5, my cateran sniper, a t2 mormaer, and a kazak. (I might have been 1pt over, but we’re being fairly flexible as we figure things out).
I airborne deployed mirage team 5 pretty badly. Duroc was shot to pieces taking down two moderators (I think, that nomad player is still proxying with space marines), and margot survived only long enough to ARO a grenade at some coordinated yu jing; she wounded one but then died herself. The mormaer didn’t accomplish much more, and the kazak ran away. It was like an exercise in poor planning and worse execution, but the what if’s really hammered home the importance of sequence in limiting AROs. Had margot made a shot before Duroc charged, he might only have had one ARO to deal with instead of two. Anyway, I did terribly; our new nomad player (from my pathfinder group) and the yu jing player were the only factions not torn to shreds, so they shared the victory.
Second battle was a lot more interesting.
Our yu jing general had an economics exam Monday morning, so the second battle was a 2vs2 team, Nomads vs Ariadna/Haqqislam. I changed my list up significantly for this one, opting for way more models on the table; my Haqqislam teammate stuck with his elite 4-model team of tarik, 2x viral lasiq, and avicenna. I fielded an HMG mormaer as my lieutenant, leading a paramedical paratrooper, a highlander cateran, 2x volunteers (both with rifles), my emergency services doctor, and a proxied viral loup garou. My first turn mostly consisted of taking moving some units forward and grabbing some defensive positions. The cateran sniper started out on the iso containers, maintaining a fairly commanding arc of potential fire while being fairly well covered where return fire was concerned.
The 112 EMS and the loup garou proxy backed up the mormaer lieutenant’s advance, the 112 dropping prone to follow on our next turn. Or so I thought. On the Nomad turn, one of their units managed to advance to within 8″ of my lieutenant and drop a repeater, allowing their lieutenant to hack-mark my lieutenant. An introduction to guided missiles followed immediately. I came remarkably close to surviving all 5 missiles, but unfortunately was not quite lucky enough, and my mormaer lieutenant was more or less vaporised, along with his HMG. The real kicker was that tarik was killed the same turn, and so instead of advancing, shooting, or accomplishing anything, really, our next turn was spent choosing new lieutenants. At this point, we were feeling pretty doomed.
Fortunately, after their next turn, when the Nomads had advanced even further and were about to wipe us out completely, I managed to pull an ace from my sleeve. My paratrooper, who I had originally intended to back up my mormaer and 112, was slated to drop in on the battlefield edge immediately behind the fellow slinging repeaters. That’s right, she parachuted in about 9.5″ behind him, and shot him full of holes. She then advanced a little between the two buildings and drew a bead on the first of two nomads advancing on the Haqqislam contingent, dispatching him before moving on to the next, effectively clearing a lane for my cateran sniper to change position. She finished her movement by moving out of the immediate ZOC range of the repeaters, and my remaining orders got the cateran up and onto the roof of the fish shack, where he could more effectively cover the remaining half of the Haqqislam contingent.
With marking attempts a little more difficult, fewer remaining soldiers, and a cateran sniper holding sway over much of the battlefield (the fish shack is the low mottled building that Haqqislam started out on), the Nomads began to struggle at this point, and we were finally regaining our hopes of victory. Most of my orders went to the 112 EMS doctor, who ran up the field shooting repeaters, and then settled into some cover a short distance from the surviving Nomad lieutenant and whatever that robot thing is. He ran out of orders before opening fire, so I thought it was probably a pointless sacrifice, but when the robot attempted to move, my 12-point doctor made a brilliant shot with his light shotgun, destroying the ‘bot and decimating the nomad hacker lieutenant with a hail of exploding shell and robot shrapnel. Victory!
I definitely feel like I’m getting a much better handle on some of the tactical realities of infinity. I felt much better about the performance of my Cateran sniper this time (I found him much better sightlines – especially in the second game – and took smarter shots), and my paratrooper’s stellar performance really drove home the value of holding off on airborne deployments until the enemy has advanced a little and potentially opened up some blind spots. At 75 points, I can’t keep dropping Mirage 5 into positions that require charging from the front. They often take a lot down with them, but I think I tend to use them like a suicide squad (not intentionally, but AROs are something I need to treat with more respect). Finally, this weekend’s first game was my first attempt at an ‘elite’ list, and it got crushed. Definitely want to continue shooting for balance in future army lists.
In terms of follow up, a couple quick questions for the more experienced player or two that I know occasionally read this blog:
1) A model gets shot at from outside their LOF/ZOC. Do they get any sort of ARO (even a change facing upon their survival or something)?
2) What if something happens in a model’s LOF? For example, if I’m not in model A’s line of fire, but I shoot and kill model B, who is in model A’s LOF, does model A get any sort of ARO for witnessing the death of his comrade? Or only if he can see an enemy model that acted (me)?