I hadn't played vanilla much this year as I'd been leaning heavily on my Steel Phalanx, but for this tournament I wanted to try out something a bit different. In particular I wanted an army with lots of big guns and table presence, both things that Phalanx can easily lack.
The missions played were Supplies, Supremacy and Highly Classified. I don't like making lists for specific missions if I can avoid it so I wanted a list that had a good chance of defending the Supplies in the first round, holding the table areas in the second and completing any mix of classifieds in the third. A tall order indeed!
If you are curious, the second list I took was Camo-Spam which didn't end up being used.
Aleph | 16 models
Combat Group #1
Machaon Lt (38|0.5)
Proxy Mk.1 Engineer (14|0)
Proxy Mk.2 Assault Hacker (21|0.5)
Dasyu Observer (36|0)
Deva Spitfire+MSV (33|1)
Zayin Rebot (26|1)
Dakini Tacbot Sniper (21|1.5)
Dakini Tacbot Paramedic (15|0)
Thorakites FO (13|0)
Combat Group #2
Zayin Rebot (26|1)
Bounty Hunter Sniper Rifle (19|0.5)
Daleth Rebot Combi (17|0)
300/300 points | 6/6 swc
open with Army V
So what does this list have that makes me like it?
- Good mix of specialists. There's a Doctor, Paramedic, Engineer, Hacker and three Forward Observers. Every single Classified Objective can be completed by a specialist with No Wound Incapacitation and some kind of defensive skill (Mimetism, TO Camo or ODD).
- Strong reactive elements. The two Zayins, Dakini Sniper, Warcor and ABH Sniper are more than enough to contain the opponent on the first turn. That's a lot of annoying stuff to fight through.
- Plenty of orders. Fifteen is enough for most missions and those from the second combat group can be used to power the first with Coordinated Orders.
- Infiltration. Two Infiltrating specialists with Hidden Deployment give just enough mid-table presence to snatch objectives early. It would be nice to have a Naga Minelayer as well, but you can't have everything!
- Good range of weapons. Two HMGs, two Snipers, a Spitfire and a decent amount of Combis (plus a Shotgun) is a potent combination. You almost always have a big gun exactly where you need it.
- Tough and/or disposable. Everything in this list is a pain to kill, or doesn't matter if it dies. It should be very hard to go into Retreat.
And the downsides?
- Obvious LT. Machaon's near enough un-killable though so it doesn't matter and he fills many holes in the list. - WIP 15 Doctor, Smoke and good assault unit. He does it all.
- Weakness to Mines. This particularly caused problems in my second game where two Coordinated Orders were used to drop 4 mines from camouflaged infiltrators and then re-Camo them again. The Daleth helps a little, but it is awkward to play around.
- Limited turn one Orders. If you go first and the opponent lowers your order pool then you only have seven for your main group. This can be somewhat remedied by using Command Tokens and Regular Orders from the second group to power the first.
- Limited Smoke and anti-Camo. The list definitely lacks a source of normal Smoke for the Deva and doesn't have too much tech to deal with armies that spam a lot of camouflage.
So how did I do?
Round 1 - Haqqislam in Supplies: My opponent just couldn't fight past all the TO, Total Reaction and Snipers in an effective way, especially once his Djanbazan Sniper got plugged by my Dakini. He had a Fiday but chose to go first so I deployed Machaon at the far end of the table from it. Final score was 8-1 but I could probably have scored a 10 had I not foolishly put him into retreat on turn two!
Round 2 - Combined Army in Supremacy: I don't play against CA much and it really showed. My opponent had a lot of (TO) Camo, Mines and Impersonators which my list struggled to fight through while trying to gain ground also. I made many dubious decisions such as badly placing the Deva, and forgetting about the ramifications of certain rules relating to Shasvastii, AutoMediKits and Impersonators. Final score 3-7 which was all down to user error, although a rather crowded table didn't help.
Round 3 - Yu Jing in Highly Classified (HVT Espionage, HVT: Inoculation, HVT: Designation, Extreme Prejudice & Sabotage): I went first and completed all the shared objectives on the first turn. My four command tokens were used on Coordinated Orders (using the regular orders from the smaller group) to propel Machaon's Yudbot and the Proxy Hacker over to the HVT. The remainder of the game was spent Sabotaging and then containing the Yu Jing forces. His HRMC Yan Huo was kept in check by all the ARO elements of the army. Final score 10-2.
Overall I came in 5th out of 20 and it was a fun army to play with. I definitely could have done better had I been more on the ball and I'd definitely consider using this list or a similar one again.