Monday, 6 October 2014

Wayland Tournament Report

I'm still trying to hit my stride with writing tournament reports, so please do let me know if this is the sort of thing you'd like to read more of. :)

In addition to all the seminars happening last weekend there was also an 8-man ITS tournament on the Sunday run by Paul Quinn. Never one to pass up the opportunity to play against some new faces I signed up.

It was an unusual format - 200pts with a Spec Ops - and the missions were Supplies, Frontline and Annihilation. 200pts is normally a very restrictive format as it can be difficult to get a good mix of specialists and decent attacking units whilst retaining a full order pool, but using a Spec Ops frees up your points significantly as it provides cheap Chain of Command, heavy weaponry or hacker/doctor/engineer support as necessary.

As a complete aside, we ended up watching Celebrity Juice and Release the Hounds on the Saturday night. When did TV get weird?

Apparently this is a thing. Would be better with Antipodes though.

The Lists

Friday (when I'd actually planned on getting list writing done) went by in a haze of drinking and dancing, culminating in me falling down a flight of stairs and ending up with a bruise big enough to base a Maghariba Guard on. Needless to say that night was not as productive as I'd hoped. So eventually my lists were finalised at 11.30pm on the Saturday night with the help of my friend Robin (i0003) who I was travelling down and sharing a room with.

Okay I'll admit it, List 1 is super gimmicky and, looking back, was probably a mistake. The principle was that you take Achilles and smash your opponent with him in the bluntest way possible. There is no finesse and I wouldn't have tried it without a Spec Ops as she plugs a lot of the gaping holes in the line-up. Having said that, it's actually got a really decent mix of specialists which is vital for both Supplies and for Annihilation.

The biggest weakness for the list is going second and losing the vulnerable Netrods - or even the big A himself. The Thorakitai, the sniper and the minelayer Chandra are all there to prevent this from happening. If I can make it through to my turn with my order pool mostly intact then Achilles should do good work. In hindsight I probably should have taken the Proxy 1 Engineer instead of the Doctor as she can complete more objectives, fix Achilles if he's hit by Adhesive or EM and still patch up the Netrods.

 Aleph List 1 - Achilles and Friends | 10 models

 Achilles Spitfire Lt (80|2)
 Chandra combi (Chain of Command, Minelayer, Hacker (Hacking Device)) (16|0|12xp)
 Proxy Mk.1 Doctor (14|0)
 Yudbot (3|0)
 Proxy Mk.2 Sniper (29|1.5)
 Thorakites FO (16|0)
 Thorakites FO (16|0)
 Dakini Tacbot Combi (13|0)
 Netrod (4|0)
 Netrod (4|0)
 Netrod (4|0)
199/200 points | 3.5/4 swc
open with Aleph Toolbox  :

Got to hand it to them - Wayland know how to set up a gaming space
List 2 was somewhat better thought out. I wanted the very opposite of the Achilles list, something that had distributed threats, good board control and a lot of survivability. So I decided to cram as much camouflage and infiltration into the list as possible. Originally the list had a Deva Lieutenant but I decided that it would be both too obvious and too vulnerable whereas the Dasyu is both rather tough and easier to hide. Unfortunately this choice left me without the points or SWC for either Monomines or the minelayer skill for the second Naga.

The Chandra is probably the most controversial part of this list, but I really wanted to try out some new tech. A super jumping HMG is sweet and adds some very resilient, long range punch to the force. With her on one corner of my DZ and the Proxy sniper on the other I could lock down a table pretty efficiently.

The weakness of this list is the lack of specialists - you only have a Doctor and a Forward Observer. this could cause problems but I decided the risk was worth it as both the specialists are very, very tough and I was planning to use Achilles for the Annihilation mission anyway.

A trick I used with this list is to disguise both Dasyu (Dasyus? Dasyi?) under regular camouflage markers which makes it much more difficult for my opponent to pick out my Lieutenant.

 Aleph List 2 - You Can't See Me | 10 models 
 Dasyu Lieutenant (35|2)
 Dasyu Observer (37|0)
 Naga Minelayer (27|0.5)
 Naga Combi (26|0)
 Yudbot (3|0)
 Proxy Mk.1 Doctor (14|0)
 Proxy Mk.2 Sniper (29|1.5)
 Chandra combi (HMG, Super-Jump) (16|0|12xp)
 Netrod (4|0)
 Netrod (4|0)
 Netrod (4|0)
199/200 points | 4/4 swc
open with Aleph Toolbox  :

You may have noticed that there are some similarities in the lists as the Proxy 1 Doctor + Yudbot, Proxy 2 Sniper and 3 Netrods remains unchanged between them. Having seen the kind of terrain that Wayland had (fairly long firelanes, hills in the corners) I decided that having a sniper was going to be very useful and it just so happens that Netrods are always helpful for filling up my order pool on the cheap.

Game 1 - Supplies against Chris (pootleflump) using Yu Jing

Classified Objectives: Data Scan, Sabotage

The table was made up entirely from Icestorm scenery packs which created a maze of firelanes in the centre of the board. There were also lots of buildings with lips that you could comfortably hide prone behind and given that two of the Supply boxes were on top of these buildings I anticipated a very slow paced game where sneaking around would be the order of the day. I wanted the opportunity to deploy my forces right on top of the objectives if I won the dice roll so I picked my second list with all the camouflage.

Check out those corner-hills. Also worth noting that the coffee cup wasn't a permanent terrain feature.

Unfortunately I lost the die-roll for initiative and ended up going second. I picked the side with the best access to the objectives as the middle and right ones were out of sight of my opponent's deployment zone. This gave me worse deployment options but I thought the trade-off was worth it.

Chris placed down a veritable horde of Kuang Shi, four I think, accompanied by a pair of Celestial Guard (one of which was hiding right at the back and obviously the Lieutenant), a Monk, an Aragato, and an Engineer near the middle and a Camo marker on top of the left objective. His Spec Ops had Chain of Command and the Doctor skill and was also hiding right at the back with a servant bot sitting in the middle of his DZ. His held back model was, much to my dismay, a Hsien with HMG who was placed right at the centre edge of his DZ on a roof. This model was bad news as he could shut down basically all of my camo shenanigans single-handedly.

I deployed very cautiously with a lot of models prone on rooftops and out of sight. The Doctor and Minelayer Naga on the right (with a mine by the central objective), the Dasyu FO on the middle building, my Lt behind the crates in my DZ and my other Naga on the left. Lastly I put my Proxy Sniper on the left corner of my DZ on a roof with the aim of being over 32" away from his Hsien so I could force an engagement at favourable range.

Yu Jing Turn 1
An Impetuous Kuang Shi is picked off by my Proxy Sniper straight away as I set to work whittling down the Yu Jing order pool. The Aragato cancelled it's order so it wouldn't meet the same fate. A second Kuang Shi died whilst trying to 'discover' my mine next to the central objective.

The Hsien moved as close to the sniper as possible being limited by the roof he was standing on and took a shot. Fortunately I'd placed my sniper precisely and he found himself 33" away. The Hsien missed, was hit by the sniper and failed two saves. Chris then threw smoke to obscure any further AROs and used a servant remote to heal the Hsien back up. This annoyingly tough HI then took another crack at my Sniper, shooting through the smoke without penalty and hit but failed to wound. I choose to drop her prone rather than risk my luck any further. With nothing left to shoot at Chris also dropped most of his troops prone and out of sight.

Aleph Turn 1
My turn 1 was uneventful as I couldn't see anybody now. My Proxy doctor nabbed the right-most objective and retreated back onto her rooftop. I went about setting some mines and my Chandra with HMG failed to kill a Kuang Shi so I moved her back into cover.

Yu Jing Turn 2
One of the remaining Kaung Shis tried to kill my Naga with a Chain Rifle but I pass my armour save and the unlucky attacker took a mine to the face for his trouble. His Guilang picked up the objective on the left and ran it back towards Chris' deployment zone, dropping a mine as he went. The Aragato and the monk cautiously moved up whilst hugging cover.

Aleph Turn 2
Remembering that I had a mission to accomplish I spent my first few orders getting my Dasyu FO over to the central objective, picking it up and scurrying back onto a rooftop to drop prone again. My Naga on the left flank tried to chase after the Guilang but was stalled because I failed to discover the mine he dropped. I chose to leave him in the open rather than waste orders getting into cover. The Chandra steps out of cover and laid a suppression fire trap for the Aragato (blocking every single way it could move with it's Impetuous order) and my Dasyu Lt shot the Monk from behind.

A Yan Huo with your standard-issue Big Gun

Yu Jing Turn 3
As the game was coming to an end Chris went all out this turn. The Aragato, rather than heading through the hail of HMG bullets, dismounted and climbed up the building he was next to. The Hsien with HMG shot at the Chandra and kills her easily then turns his attention to my out of position Naga and a Netrod but failed to penetrate their armour!.

With all my models dead or forced out of line of sight, the plucky Aragato ran across the rooftops, gunned down my Dasyu FO and stole the crate!

Aleph Turn 3
At this point things weren't looking great as I was down two crates to one. My Dasyu Lt again proved his worth shooting up the Aragato who desperately tries to dodge out of the way, before recovering the crate. With only four orders to go my second Naga climbed down from a roof, ran across the table ignoring the 'Discover' AROs from the Hsien, and with my very last order drew a bead on the Guilang. I hit once, the Guilang failed to dodge and failed its armour save also.

Final Result: 7-1

Game 2 - Supplies against Matt (s0tek) using Qapu Khalqi

Classified Objectives: Telemetry, Extreme Prejudice

Game two was set on a beautiful table with lots of walkways and small patches of jungle. I was up against QK so I was anticipating link teams and/or Djanbazan both of which would severely limit the effectiveness of my camouflaged skirmishers. I took the Achilles list as I just really wanted to close the game out quickly.

This time I won the Initiative and chose to take the first turn, wanting to be as aggressive as possible. My Sniper was deployed in the tower on the left and I had a Thorakitai or Chandra on each of the rooftops in my DZ with the Doctor hiding at the back. Achilles ended up being on top of the middle building but completely out of cover - a poor choice.

Matt deployed a TR remote in the centre of his DZ and a Kaplan link (Engineer with ADHL, Doctor with Blitzen, Sniper + 2 Hafza) in and around the multi-story building on the left. Lastly he had a camo marker also deployed on that flank half way up which I correctly identified as an Al'Hawwa Hacker. His Spec Ops was conspicuously absent...

A really beautiful table to play on

Aleph Turn 1
Immediately I regretted my placement of Achilles as he was in full view of the linked Sniper and as soon as I reached cover he'd also be visible by the TR remote. Ideally I'd have used my Sniper to take out his, but fully linked I had at best a 50/50 chance of winning the exchange and I couldn't afford to spend valuable orders on such a risky strategy.

So, I did what I had to do and ran Achilles up to cover on the walkway. Fortunately the Total Reaction Remote failed to cause any damage but the Sniper hit his mark and caused a wound. Now that I'd done the hard part I felt a bit better. I keep running along the walkway hoping to close range and managed to get a lucky hit on the sniper, taking him down. With that out of the way Achilles cleaned up the TR remote and continued his run towards the link team in the corner.

My next heart-stopping moment came when I went face-to-face against the Blitzen-armed Kaplan whilst out of cover. The Kaplan scored a critical hit, but fortunately so did Achilles and my superior Ballistic Skill pushed the tie in my favour resulting in an unconscious mercenary. Not wanting to push my luck further I dropped him prone and just ran my Thorakitai and Chandra up along their walkways a bit to try and claim table space.

Qapu Khalqi Turn 1
The Al'Hawwa moves up table a bit, shutting down Achilles ability to run further in that direction for fear of being hacked and Matt's Spec Ops makes an appearance. He was equipped with Airborne Deployment, a Viral Rifle and the Specialist skill. A very cool loadout and one that I'm a big fan of. The Spec Ops spent a couple of orders shooting up a Netrod then retreated into cover.

Matt's gorgeous looking Haqq
Aleph Turn 2
Achilles stood up and, with nobody around to see him, climbed down the building to go hide in some woods - I was (probably unnecessarily) concerned about him being hacked by the Al'Hawwa. One of my Thorakitai shot up the Spec Ops and everyone crawled forward a bit to contest the middle zone.

Qapu Khalqi Turn 2
Not much happened this turn as most of my models were out of sight. The Al'Hawwa Data Scanned a Netrod for a classified objective,

Aleph Turn 3
With no fear of losing my Lieutenant now Achilles runs back into the fray, effortlessly filling the Al'Hawwa full of small holes. He then tried to attack the ADHL Kaplan in combat but was critted (again) and became completely glued down! So much for that plan.

My Thorakitai FO spotted the unconscious Al'Hawwa netting me a classified objective. Lastly, my Sniper climbs down from her tower and shot into the combat between the glued down Achilles and the Kaplan, unfortunately hitting my own guy in the back and wounding him!

Qapu Khalqi Turn 3
As the remaining Qapu forces went into retreat and as they left cover were put down by the Sniper.

Final Result: 9-1

Game 3 - Supplies against Robin (i0003) using Combined Army

Classified Objectives: Telemetry, Experimental Drug

With that, it was time for the finals. A quick note has to be made here as Robin and I have now played each other at 9 of the last 11 tournaments we've both been to. He's beaten me 3 games to 1 so far this season so I was anticipating a bit of a drubbing.

We were back on my first table again so, given my excellent objectives and the fact that game 1 went well on this table, I decided to go for my camouflage heavy list again and play the long game. I was also very aware that he had a camouflage-heavy list available to him too which would stymie any early offensive with Achilles. At this stage I was one point ahead, so all I needed to do was play safe, complete my classifieds and knock out a couple of key models.

Penthesilea being a badass

This time I lost the roll-off and decided to set up on the opposite side from last time. The shipping containers in the corners gave plenty of things to hide behind and I didn't have to worry about supply boxes this time.

Robin placed a lot of camouflage markers onto the battlefield. Two on/by the building on the left of his DZ and one on the right with a fourth on the building in the centre. There was also a single Daturazi at the edge of his Deployment roughly in the middle of the battlefield.

I placed everything as regular camo except the Proxy 2 and put down a mine to lock down the movement of his infiltrator on the middle building. I had my Proxy 1 Doctor and Chandra in amongst the crates on my left and my Dasyu Lt on the right. Robin's hold back was a Vector Operator on the left flank at the edge of his DZ and mine was my sniper placed to ARO against it at the opposite corner where she could also cover the approach to my Lt.

Combined Army Turn 1
The Daturazi ran up a little bit and the Vector Operator moved up to get into better range of the Sniper but is shot down straight away by a lucky hit. Ko Dali dropped onto my right flank and blows up two Netrods with her Assault Pistols. This is all done in clear line of sight of my Proxy 2 Doctor but Ko Dali passed four consecutive armour saves against the rifle fire!

Aleph Turn 1
I really wanted to deal with Ko Dali this turn and my Chandra with HMG was the best tool for the job, but I couldn't jump her up until I was confident I wouldn't be shot by the two camouflage markers opposite. So I spent a few orders discovering the mine and the Corax Seed neither of which were a cause for concern. I also managed to complete my Telemetry classified. With that out of the way, the Chandra jumped and splatted Ko Dali.

Lastly, my Naga dropped a mine to discourage the Daturazi from advancing further.

Combined Army Turn 2
The Daturazi cancelled his impetuous order, not leaving Robin with an awful lot to do. He ran a hidden deployed Spitfire Noctifer up the battlefield with an eye on killing my Dasyu Lt. I held my nerve and stayed camouflaged and fortunately he failed his discover check.

Aleph Turn 2
The Dasyu tried to attack the Noctifer from camouflage but all the bullets bounced off its cover. The Noctifer backed off round the corner and rather than pursue it I decided to re-camouflage.

My Chandra hopped up again and took exception to the newly hatched Corax, causing two wounds and leaving it as a Spawn which unfortunately granted me no points. Stupid Shasvastii and their stupid gross egg things.

Combined Army Turn 3
The Daturazi cancelled his Impetuous order once more. The Noctifer changed its approach and ran the long way round into combat with my Proxy Sniper.  Fortunately I managed to wound it with the Chandra on it's way in forcing it to go Dogged and it only managed to cause one wound on the Proxy before reaching melee range. They then proceeded to have a limp-wristed slap-fight until Robin ran out of orders and the Shas skirmisher expired from its injuries.

Aleph Turn 3
My Sniper Proxy destroys the Noctifer Spawn in close combat granting me some much needed points. My proxy 1 Doctor then sent her servant remote over to try and heal the Sniper Proxy but with 75% odds I failed, naturally. Does one proxy killing one of its own bodies count as suicide? I ended the game by spending my last few orders on failing discover rolls.

Final Result: 7-4

Enjoy Infinity? Thanks Bostria, I think I will!


With the game over I ended up in first place by a fairly decent margin and bagged myself a second Bounty Hunter - looks like there will be some conversion work on the horizon.

The first list I'm not pleased with at all. It's far too top heavy and over-reliant on Achilles and it has no real backup plan, although it did have a good mix of specialists. If I was to modify the list I'd probably try him with Patroclus or Eudaros and use the saved points to round the list out better. Honestly, I was lucky in game 2 as Matt had all the tools necessary to deal with Achilles and very nearly did on turn 1.

I was very happy with the second list and would gladly run it again in the same format. Although, I may change the Chandra around and find some way of giving her a specialist skill of some kind - possibly changing the HMG for a MULTI Sniper Rifle or a Spitfire and using the spare xp for a Hacking Device, I suspect that Super Jump + Sniper + Hacker will be a useful N3 combo.

Spoils of War - October 25th

A quick plug, if I may. I'll be running my first open ITS tournament at Spoils of War this year. It will be held near Bristol, England and tickets are currently for sale.

If you are interested then please do sign up on the official forums and I hope to see you there.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, I'm still getting the gang of the right words to pictures to details ratio. I'm glad you liked it. :)

  2. Really nice report. Was easy to follow and fun to read. I look forward to more!:)

    1. Great, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'll probably try and stick to this sort of format with each turn broken down separately then.