Last weekend we ran our monthly casual day for Infinity. We only played one game, but we took our time with it; Steve and I were both playing some unfamiliar stuff so there were a lot of things to look up. Steve was running Varuna; for me, it was Ikari Company. We fielded 150pts each against Aaron’s 300pt Nomad crew.
When the Non-Aligned armies came out, I was excited by a couple of them. Both StarCo and Ikari included some models I already owned, and when I managed to get some old Wu Ming and a Yojimbo for cheap, my decision was made (while I was certainly interested in many of the Nomad models in StarCo, the idea of Yojimbo leading a pair of Desperadoes was too good to ignore). Casual day is the perfect opportunity to try something new, especially because I have a pretty bad track record with bikes in this game (they show up, they blow up). I brought:
Keisotsu x2 (1 paramedic)
Al Fasid (HMG)
Bounty Hunter (Spitfire)
No lieutenant for me, as my crew were paired with Varuna, and Steve had the better lieutenant.
The Keisotsus performed admirably. They missed a lot of shots but managed not to get killed themselves. The paramedic attempted to save some folks but without success; all of his patients failed their PH rolls and died. The Brawler accomplished very little beyond taking a bullet that might have killed somebody else, the very first shot to hit him was the DA round that killed him. I definitely underused the Al Fasid. He made some good advances and claimed a Quadrant in the final turn, but the first two turns I barely touched him. He was a little too buried in cover to be especially useful in AROs, and those pesky Nomads kept landing repeaters next to him, which had me playing a little more hesitantly than was probably really necessary.
The bikes, though! This was quite possibly my first game in which I had bikes last beyond the first turn. Both were killed, but they both went down in admirably violent outbursts, which my friend Peter (who fields many a Haqq bike) assures me is what bikes are for. Yojimbo took out a couple of threats with his CrazyKoalas. I was a little surprised to see he had no rifle/long gun (since there is clearly one strapped to his bike) but he still took out a pair of serious threats; next time maybe I can get him into close combat…
With the way cleared, my Desperado sped up the left side of the board unopposed and took used his shotgun to do a bit of damage.
Kablam. He managed to take out a trio, and it would have been 4 had the last fellow not had No Wound Incapacitation. This was probably the crux of the game; it left Aaron with neither the points nor the orders to claim sufficient quadrants in the third turn (we were tied after the first two, 2-2), and I still had the Al Fasid to advance into his quadrant to claim a couple points for our coalition.
Final Score: 4-2 for Varuna and Ikari Company.
So. Unlike the Maverick from the USARF box set, the pair of Mavericks come with little cargo containers that hang off the rear of the bikes. While they’re actually designed to have a fair amount/variety of surface contacts, they still struck me as pretty doomed without a bit of help, so I broke out the pinning gear again.
Look at these monsters…
The 3-surface bond actually made pinning a little trickier because it meant each surface was a little smaller, but left me feeling really good about how solid the joins are now that they’re done.
And who am I kidding? I was always going to be pinning this miniature…
I cannot picture these exhausts staying attached otherwise.
With all the finicky stuff out of the way, they do of course shape up into great looking units.
Personally, I particularly like this one, the fellow reaching for his sidearm. It’s such a dynamic pose that I was actually surprised not to find a heavy pistol in the profile.
The resin bases are from Antenocitis Workshop, purchased through Warsenal a while back. I went to look into getting some more (the USARF box set means I have 5 bikes, and I only have the 4 forest bases), and I guess Warsenal has been clearing out the AW stuff; the 55mm bases were extra cheap so I snapped up another forest set and a badlands set. While I was at it I grabbed a set of 6 ‘Access Terminals’ that I’ve been eyeing for years. Definitely happy with those.
Simple but effective, and they seem a lot sturdier than the fancier stuff we’d grabbed in the past.
Back to the forest bases. They look great, but the level of detail makes them pretty brutal to get paint coverage onto them. Lots of hard to reach nooks and crannies, but they pick up drybrushing like nobody’s business.
(That’s a Desperado and the USARF Maverick, I haven’t washed/primed the bases for the new ones yet, since I was waiting on that order to come in before I could base both of the ones from the boxed pair).
This past Sunday saw our first Hunger Games Tournament. It was also or first streamed infinity event, with mixed results. Unfortunately it was pretty choppy, but still pretty cool. One of our regular players just moved down to Michigan for a job, and he was able to check in on our games from afar; hopefully we’ll have it running a lot more smoothly by the time our August tournament rolls around. It’s potentially still in the ‘previous broadcasts’ at http://www.twitch.tv/thundergamesandgifts, if anybody wants to take a peek. Nomads had a very strong third round (their bshot bounty hunter rolled a multi sniper rifle as booty), but Tohaa took the day with a very strong showing. My Ariadnans did okay the first round, but might as well have been absent for the second and third; I had my worst tournament ever. Which is fine, but wow. Second game I was blown away in my deployment zone before doing anything, when the Tohaa ran up, marked me, and hit me with smart missiles, catching everybody in two shots. Third game the Nomads killed me before the Tohaa had even come out of hidden deployment. I was actually rolling plenty of successes, but they were all super low – like rolling a 1 to dodge a 4-round HMG burst, and so on.
Bright side? I didn’t go home empty handed; my Ariadna force was voted the best painted three man Hunger Games Squad!
All done, looking pretty good…
I used a Vallejo Sepia ink on the sniper, which was darker and browner than expected. It came out okay, but it’s dark enough that it really toned down the green in the green-black I used for the uniform. It prompted me to use the GW reikland fleshshade wash on the shotgun unit instead. I’d just fine with too dark a colours to make good use of a dark ink at my skill level, I think.
We are really enjoying Hunger Games. It scales well with varying numbers of participants, the small and precise army limitations are a fun challenge and generally result in similarly built (and evenly matched) lists without eliminating everybody’s fun tricks, and even units that traditionally have sorry lifespans are getting the opportunity to do a little more (Haqqislam’s bikers, for example, are less likely to die to sniper fire when no one individual is fielding several of them). Plus, added bonus… with only one table to build, we can cherry pick the available terrain without needing to spread it amongst several tables.
Tried out the NOVA 2014 Hunger Games scenario last night. There were only 3 of us, but we wanted to get a feel for it and see how it played..
We treated smoke as lasting a full round, since the Hunger Games rules seemed to indicate this should be the case; it definitely improved the value of smoke templates within the scenario.
With only 3 of us we had lots of opportunity to get a handle on the basic interactions between units; with up to 8 on the board I think I’d want even more LOF blockers. I’m definitely looking forward to trying out a full free for all at some point. Yu Jing deployed between Haqqislam and Ariadna, so they got lots of AROs but also got hammered from all sides.
On the fourth turn, I’d totally left my Spetsnaz in the outer 6″,so he got hit with fire. The result? A dogged Spetsnaz sniper with zero wounds left, standing in the middle of a massive blaze, *on fire*, advancing through the flames to shoot down the last remaining Yu Jing soldier from across the battlefield. Upon making the third shot, the Yu Jing soldier was dead, my Spetsnaz collapsed in a heap, and my Veteran (over two feet away as a result of the Yu Jing metachemistry roll; he got super movement and booked it) won the Hunger Games.