Wednesday, 10 August 2016

List Building for the Interplanetary 2016

Can you believe that it's been a year already? Yep, it's almost time for the Interplanetary tournament in Vigo, Spain again.

For those not in the know, the Interplanetary is a 100-man tournament held in the home-town of Corvus Belli and it marks the end of the ITS season. Last year I took my Steel Phalanx and came a fairly respectable 33rd. My goal this time is to not do worse. Given my lack of tournament practice over the last year this is going to be a challenge!

My initial plan was to take a freshly painted USAriadna army with me, but after discovering that the tournament was not a Spec Ops event this year (at some point it was changed and the players weren't advised until near the deadline) my list prep was in tatters. In particular I was concerned about the faction's ability to complete Highly Classified reliably.

So I went crying back to all-knowing Aleph and once again took control of the Steel Phalanx.

The most important thing to consider when building my lists is the missions to be played. As it's a two-day event we are expected to play five games and the scenarios being used are:
  • Frontline
  • Highly Classified
  • Supplies
  • Firefight
  • Rescue

By-and-large that's a pretty fight-y combination. Only Supplies is really focused on taking objectives at fixed locations with specialists whereas for the rest it's mostly about outlasting and outfighting the opponent. Rescue is a bit of a wild-card, but the games I've played so far indicate that it's mostly a shoot-out with a last minute grab for a single civvie to take the game.

There's also the issue of all the games being strictly 1 hour and 50 minutes in length. Therefore compact lists and familiarity are going to be important.

Speaking of 'compact' brings us nicely to the first list.

 Steel Phalanx - Myrmidon Super-Friends | 10 models

Combat Group #1
 Machaon Lt (38|0.5)
 Phoenix (40|2)
 Eudaros (40|2)
 Myrmidon Officer BS CC (35|1)
 Myrmidon Hacker (31|0.5)
 Myrmidon Combi (25|0)
 Myrmidon Chain (16|0)
 Myrmidon Chain (16|0)
 Agema MULTI Sniper (30|1.5)
 Agema Mk 12 (29|0.5)

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

This list is just straight forward aggression. It's all about ramming as much ODD down your opponent's throat as possible and hoping that they can't deal with it. Classic Steel Phalanx really. The list is very much geared towards Frontline and Firefight where hopefully its durability will help it outlast and then overwhelm opponents and if I can spot (or make) a weakness in my opponent's lines then I should be able to punch through it and sweep through their DZ. At least that's the plan.

The Fireteams will probably be broken up into Machaon/Phoenix/Combi/Chain and Eudaros/Officer/Hacker/Chain. This makes it almost impossible to put me into Loss of Lieutenant without almost wiping out the army first and spreads out the specialists a bit.

The Hacker is questionable as she's bad for firefight (she's an extra specialist) and means that the link can be attacked by the cheap Killer Hacking Device, but is good for completing a wide range of classifieds and benefits from Sixth Sense L2. It's a bit of a greedy choice I think so we'll have to see if I end up regretting it. It's also arguable whether the Combi Myrmidon should have had a Shotgun instead but I value the slightly longer range and higher Burst, especially now that Phoenix has lost his Assault Pistol.

I definitely miss the +3 WIP on the Discover rolls for 4-man links since Human Sphere, but hopefully having the two Agemas will help me out and allow the list to deal with Camouflage fairly decently. I'm also looking forward to using a LOT of Smoke+MSV2 shenanigans.

Whilst I'm not generally a fan of 10 order lists, especially given that this one isn't particularly ARO oriented, I'm hoping that the overall survivability and efficiency of my troops will make up for this.

I took a 10-order list last year (Achilles, Myrmidon link and Thorakitai link) but never ended up using it because the right time never seemed to come up. I think the missions this year are better for smaller armies than last years' though as there are fewer where you need multiple specialists to take fixed objectives or where there is per-round scoring requiring you to spread your forces each turn. This means manoeuvrability isn't quite as important and survivability is more so.

Wanting to run more than 10 orders takes us neatly to the second list however.

 Steel Phalanx - Squad-based Gaming | 15 models

Combat Group #1
 Machaon Lt (38|0.5)
 Phoenix (40|2)
 Myrmidon Hacker (31|0.5)
 Myrmidon Chain (16|0)
 Thrasymedes LRL (30|0.5)
 Thorakites HMG (22|1.5)
 Thorakites FO (13|0)
 Thorakites FO (13|0)
 Probot Minesweeper (8|0)
 Netrod (4|0)

Combat Group #2
 Acmon (27|0)
 Dactyl Engineer (24|0.5)
 Dactyl Doctor (23|0)
 Lamedh (8|0)
 Warcor (3|0)

300/300 points | 5.5/6 swc
open with Army VI

Yep, that's 11 models in Fireteams, which means a lot of Burst 2 AROs and a lot of models to move around each turn. That's almost enough to make Tohaa players jealous!

There are a lot of things I like about this list:
  • The Myrmidon link is super powerful and capable of taking on pretty much any threats.
  • I get to play with the new Thorakitai HMG. A linked HMG is a complete novelty for Steel Phalanx and I haven't had a chance to use one since Human Sphere was released. Shame he doesn't have ODD too though...
  • The Dactyls give me a Burst 2 Flammenspeer and Panzerfaust which can be reloaded with the Probot. That adds a surprising amount of long-rage firepower.
  • It has an amazing mix of specialists for Highly Classified - 2 Engineers, 2 Doctors, 2 FOs and a Hacker should let me complete everything I'd ever need to.
  • It has a solid amount of orders.
  • I might get to steal someone's Netrod/Imetron using the Probot.

There are also some things I dislike.
  • My Lieutenant is obvious and is going to be at the forefront of the army as part of the main assault link, but has no Chain of Command to back him up. Losing games to this is very, very possible. 
  • There's no anti-camo tech such as an Agema or Daleth Rebot. My Daleth was MVP last year and I'm a bit upset because I couldn't fit one in this time.
  • I've got a Lamedh Rebot which just makes me a little sad too. I'm not keen on them but I only have AVA 1 on Probots and couldn't find a use for 4 points when using a second Netrod instead.

It's possible that I should have just had Acmon and a Dactyl as a duo to free up points for other stuff. Dropping the Engineer (and swapping the Lamedh for a Netrod) would have let me take a Zayin for example. I really fancy the idea of using their disposable weapons as a potentially powerful tool with the extra Burst though.

Cutting the Hacker for a CoC Officer would be a reasonable choice, but would restrict my access to some Classified Objectives and Remotes. I'm not clear which is the better option at the moment, but it's worth noting that only Supplies really cares about generic specialists.

There are also arguments to be made for the Dactyl and the Thorakitai links to be swapped between combat groups. Depending on which classified objectives are drawn it may require careful order management to get Engineers into position, for example, but I really wanted the Thorakitai's orders to cheaply power the Myrmidon link.

So that's definitely going to be my Highly Classified list. I'm a bit unsure about which I'll use for Supplies and Rescue and there's definitely pros and cons for each. I'm not so worried about Rescue because the exclusion zone works in Steel Phalanx's favour, but my complete lack of turn one table presence is a concern for Supplies, especially if I'm going second.

Whilst it's too late to change anything now suggestions for what I should have done differently are still welcome, so let me know what you think. :)


  1. Thanks for posting this! Playing Aleph at the moment but want to try a SP list soon. This has given me a few ideas! Can't offer an suggestions this time as I'm still a bit green I'm afraid!!

    Good luck for the tourney!

    1. Thank you. :)

      Let me know how yo get on with the Steel Phalanx!

  2. Hi phlyk!

    The first list seems ok....a risky one, low order/high agressive, you should take care of every Guy to win and make a perfect deploy of the agemas...and go first! :P

    The second list...very versátile, but no visors and no sensor...i would think to trade a dactyl for a daleth. Just to help with the usually saturated midfield of the table. You lose in the reactive turn, but win to deal with the camo spam. Or try to get the points for the daleth from other site, but i would bring one.

    Good luck in Vigo!


    1. Thanks Urian, really, you think going first with that list? I was considering choosing better deployment and just absorbing the opponent's attacks on turn one. It's a hard list to hurt!

      Yeah, I might regret the lack of Daleth. The more I play with them the more I love them! Losing +3 WIP for Discover rolls really hurts. :(

  3. Im worried you can be easily outnumbered if you dont hit hard the enemys order pool in the first turn. The agemas can be killed by a lot of heavy hitters, and if you lose them, youll be weak against that midfield template weapons, WBs...cause your only reactive guy will be fenix, and maybe eudoros, but if the enemy has orders and smoke...
    Why do you want to go second? May depend on the scenery of course, but i think your first turn with only 10 orders its very important.

    1. The plan would be to just turtle up and not offer much ARO resistance. Just keep everything to 16" or 24" fire-lanes and reduce their order pool by 2. The expectation is that with no more than 8 orders in their main pool they won't be able to do much damage to a Myrmidon fireteam that's hiding at the far end of the table. Then, when it's my turn, I don't need to move so far to attack. It also means I get the full amount of orders each turn.

      Obviously this is no good for Supplies and HC, but that's being done by the other list anyway. Frontline could be tricky and I'm not sure which list I'll use for it, but Firefight and Rescue it should be fine for. There's nothing really to defend early on!

      That's the principle anyway, in practice it's going to depend on opponent and terrain. If there's no good DZ then I'm more likely to try and go first.

  4. Well, looks like a good plan. But be carefull with another link teams and msv2, the order saving and the bs bonus can counter the myrm spam...