Sunday 9 August 2015

List Building for Vigo

I've been a bit quiet for the last couple of weeks because I've been busy painting and preparing for the Infinity Interplanetary tournament in Vigo later this month. Also I've been playing Path of Exile and it's stupidly addictive....

Vigo is a really substantial event. At one hundred participants it's by far the biggest wargaming tournament I'll have attended and at five rounds it is the longest too. Not only that but, judging by last year, the standard of competition is likely to be very high. I'm pretty awful at deciding on lists at the best of times and none of these factors were helping.

So, today I'm going to talk about what I'm taking with me and why.

Spoiler: There may be missile launchers...

The Rules

The format for the event is 300 points with a Spec Ops and two lists allowed. The missions are Highly Classified, Supremacy, Nimbus Zone, Annihilation and Transmission Matrix.

Tournaments with Spec Ops are always going to be interesting because they inherently raise the power level of the armies involved. Being able to get 'free' MULTI Snipers, Chain of Command, Hacking Devices and so on saves a lot of points and SWC for other options. Particularly more big guns. I'd also expect to see TAGs more commonly in a format like this because a Spec Ops can fill a lot of the gaps that a TAG would tend to leave in an army.

The missions are all fairly straight forward with only Transmission Matrix having a lot of weird rules. The rest just require a standard mix of specialists plus a bit of shootiness. classified Objectives are going to be very important as Transmission Matrix, Annihilation and Highly Classified all have a lot of Objective Points based on them.

Worth noting is that the antennae in Nimbus zone and the consoles in Supremacy can be targeted and destroyed. This means that I'd like to take at least one good impact template weapon (preferably anti-material) in each list.

Apologies for the lack of basing - still Work in Progress

List One - Test Run

This list is a bit spicy. I wanted to try out something different from my normal take on Steel Phalanx and this seemed just the ticket. I get to play with Scylla, a Dactyl, a Daleth and a Samekh which are all novel inclusions.

 Aleph - Steel Phalanx | 15 models

Combat Group #1
 Phoenix Lt (35|2)
 Myrmidon Hacker (31|0.5)
 Myrmidon Chain (16|0)
 Myrmidon Chain (16|0)
 Thrasymedes LRL (30|0.5)
 Chandra combi (Hacker, Chain of Command, Doctor) (16|0|12xp)
 Yudbot (3|0)
 Thorakites FO (13|0)
 Thorakites FO (13|0)
 Scylla  HD(32|0.5)
 Zayin Rebot (26|1)

Combat Group #2
 Daleth Rebot Combi (17|0)
 Samekh Rebot GML (18|1.5)
 Dactyl (23|0)
 Yudbot (3|0)
 Netrod (4|0)
 Netrod (4|0)

300/300 points | 6/6 swc
open with Army V

So this is clearly a Smart Missile Launcher (SML) list. It also has a full suite of specialists (8), a good amount of orders (15), a hard to kill Lieutenant and some decent Firepower.

Phoenix is a one-man wrecking crew and is backed up by a Hacker, who has a Combi to cover the 8-16" bracket where Phoenix doesn't get +3, and two Chain Rifles. Very minimalist. No Zero-Vis Smoke sadly.

The Thorakitai link is lead by Thrasymedes (due to SWC constraints) and comes with two FOs who are our main way of Targeting models for the Samekh. The Chandra CoC/Hacker/Doc is there to provide a second source of Sixth Sense 2 hacking and to keep the Thorakitai going. She's been given a Yudbot because I can imagine situations where I'd be happy to break the link to try and heal a Myrmidon/Scylla/Dactyl. The other option was using a Warcor, but the Yudbot is better for completing HVT: Inoculation.

Scylla only comes with one Devabot unfortunately. She's using a regular Hacking device so I can Gadget my remotes - whereas the Chandra can't without breaking her Fireteam.

The Zayin goes in this combat group because there are already so many models here to spend orders on that I want something that can just sit there and ARO.

The second Combat Group is pretty much just support for the Samekh and has enough orders for the maximum five missile per turn. The group has an Engineer (for Highly Classified and to keep the Samekh and Zayin rolling) and a Daleth as an anti-camo option. The Samekh is pretty good at direct firing in a pinch, so I should have plenty to spend order on with this group.

Overall I like the excellent hacking ability present in the army and it should be a strong force for Transmission matrix as the Myrmidon and Chandra completely negate the power of Stealth on HI/TAGs/Hackers. I'm excited at the prospect of Targeting the objectives in some missions and blowing up nearby troops!

Edit: I've been informed that this doesn't actually work! It's not possible to declare a scenery structure as the target of a Forward Observer attack because it does not have the Anti-material trait. Not only that, but scenery structures can;t be the target of an attack that would effect any troopers (friend or foe)!

Things I don't like about the list are the lack of MSV2, the limited number of competent assault units and the absence of Machaon. With a bit of (bad) luck, my opponent may be able to deal a near crippling blow to this army on the first turn (kill Phoenix, destroy Samekh) so I have to be wary when deploying.

I'm planning to use this list for Supremacy, Highly Classified and possibly Transmission Matrix - depending on whether I think I can out-hack my opponent!

Side note: Aleph Rebots are such a pain to put together. Four separate legs which have to hold the weight of the body and have to be attached in such a way that it balanced nicely on the base. Seriously, who came up with this?

First Aleph model painted in ages, not up to my usual standards!

List Two - Achilles Hair Commercial

I agonised about the second list for a long time. There were a couple of other options in contention including a sweet brew with two Agemas, Phoenix and a Chandra Sniper that I was thinking would rock Nimbus Zone pretty hard, as well as the traditional Myrmidon-spam list.

Ultimately though I went with Achilles.

 Aleph - Steel Phalanx | 10 models

 Achilles Lieutenant (73|0)
 Agema ML (27|1.5)
 Phoenix (35|2)
 Machaon (38|0.5)
 Myrmidon Officer BS CC (37|1)
 Myrmidon Chain (16|0)
 Thrasymedes LRL (30|0.5)
 Chandra combi (MULTI Sniper Rifle, Doctor, Engineer, Hacker) (16|0|12xp)
 Thorakites FO (13|0)
 Thorakites FO (13|0)

298/300 points | 5.5/6 swc
open with Army V

I'll be honest, I'm not 100% confident in this list. Only having ten orders definitely seems risky, even if all those models are tough as nails. On the upside I get Achilles, Phoenix, a Sniper and a Missile Launcher. That's an unusual amount of firepower from Steel Phalanx!

I wanted to use Achilles primarily for the shock factor - I don't think he shows up that often in Spain as Steel Phalanx are apparently not a popular army over there. He's also amazing at killing TAGs. He only gets a MULTI Rifle, but honestly it's not worse than a Spitfire a lot of the time and the 2.5 SWC cost is huge for a meagre benefit.

The Agema has a Missile Launcher, and is included mostly because of Nimbus Zone. In that mission he's almost strictly better than a Sniper as it'll be shooting at Burst 1 either way. I've not used this weapon option much before, but I think it has a lot of potential.

The rest of the list is pretty straight forwards. There's a high-power Myrmidon link that can work as a great toolbox with two types of smoke, tough specialists and a variety of weapons. The Thorakitai are also pretty standard with a super-specialist Chandra Sniper and then the default Forward Observers and Thrasymedes. The Chandra could have had a HMG, but I couldn't decide on which Specialist option to drop. A Burst 3 Sniper is good enough most of the time anyway.

I have most of the Classified Objectives covered, even if there is a lot riding on the Chandra, so I may find that it is unusable in some circumstances. That's just the cost of fielding Achilles though.

My preliminary plan is to use this list for Annihilation and Nimbus Zone. In Annihilation I can fully unleash Achilles and in Nimbus Zone the Agema should be a star. The only certainty is that I won't play this list on Transmission Matrix as Achilles is pretty vulnerable if his manoeuvrability is curtailed by all the repeaters.

So there we go, just a few models to finish basing and I'm ready to go. Let me know what you think of my choices and wish me luck for the event, I'm going to need it!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Peter!

    I know how you feel about list building. I have the same indecisions every time I have a game.

    Both your list seems very good to my limited knowledge of the game.

    Hope you enjoy Vigo and the tournament. I look forward your reports.