Sunday, 6 August 2017

Interplanetary 2017 After Action Report

Well, I've just about recovered from another Interplanetary. As always it was a fun event with too much food and drink, but too little sleep! For those seeking a bit of background, you can read about the lists I took here and my exploits from last year here.

This time the event had expanded to 116 people playing 5 games each over three days and featured players from all over the globe. Last year I took my Steel Phalanx with me, with a suspiciously similar army list, and came 4th. How do you reckon I did? Better or worse? Well, read on...

Quick note on army lists: Phoenix's link consisted of Phoenix, Machaon, my Chain of Command Officer (with Shotgun) and a Myrmidon with Chain Rifle. Eudaros' link consisted of Eudaros, my Lieutenant Officer (with Combi) and two Myrmidons with a Combi Rifle and with a Chain Rifle.

Got to say a quick prayer to Toni before the games!

Game 1


Mission: Firefight
Table: 24
Secondary Objectives: Telemetry, HVT: Designation
Opponent: Bakunin - Minyo (overall 115th, last year '-')
My Army List: Myrmidon Super-Friends v2
Opponent's Army List:


Jurisdictional Command of Bakunin
──────────────────────────────────────────────────

sep.gifGROUP 1
REVEREND CUSTODIER Hacker (Hacking Device Plus) Lieutenant Combi Rifle + Pitcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 34)
CLOCKMAKER Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18)
DAKTARI Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
ZONDBOT Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)
RIOT GRRL Missile Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (2 | 33)
ZERO Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 21)
ZERO (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 19)
MORLOCK Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, E/M CCW. (0 | 6)

GROUP 2
LIZARD MULTI HMG, Heavy Grenade Launcher / . (2.5 | 87)
 LIZARD PILOT Submachine Gun / Pistol, Knife. ()
SALYUT (Minesweeper, Repeater) Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
TRANSDUCTOR ZOND Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
MODERATOR Combi Rifle / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0 | 9)
MODERATOR Combi Rifle / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0 | 9)
MODERATOR Combi Rifle / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0 | 9)
MODERATOR Combi Rifle / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0 | 9)
MODERATOR Combi Rifle + Light Grenade Launcher / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 13)

5.5 SWC | 300 Points

Deployment
Bakunin should be a dream matchup for me (not too much Camo, no MSV2). Despite a complete inability to complete the classified objectives I took the Myrmidon list to try and take advantage of Bakunin's weaknesses and to try and avoid their probably excellent hacking ability. I can't remeber who own the WIP roll, I think Minyo, but took the better cover, whereas he chose the first turn.

He deployed a couple of camo markers on the multi-story central blue building and then a lot of stuff hidden on/behind the buildings in his DZ. He put a Lizard in total cover on the right flank and a fairly lonely Minesweeper on the right.

I deployed Phoenix's link (Phoenix/Machaon/CoC/Chain) around the back left building and Eudaros' link (Eudaros/LT/Combi/Chain) on and around the grey building in the middle of my DZ. The Agemas waited prone on rooftops. Everything was carefully placed so that Minyo couldn't catch multiple troops under a single template.

Table 24 - My DZ on the left hand edge.

Turn One
Minyo clearly had a plan to just bombard people with his Heavy Grenade Launcher and he was sticking to it!

His Zero FO popped up out of Camo to Forward Observe Eudaros, but was plugged in ARO. He then launched Repeaters with his Custodier LT until he got one within 8" of Eudaros, Spotlighted him and then killed him outright with two Grenades!

Otherwise, he completed HVT: Designation, Cybermasked his Custodier Lieutenant and ran his Morlock up under Smoke cover.

In my turn I fail to accomplish very much. My Agema with Mk12 discovers his Lieutenant, and despite hitting her I fail to secure the kill so she is able to Guts her way out of LoS.

Phoenix's link pushed up the left hand side and they rummaged through the panoplies, scoring Phoenix a Motorcycle(!). Phoenix killed the Riot Grrl Missile Launcher and then I dispersed the link into defensive positions expecting more Grenades, taking potshots at a Minesweeper Baggage bot as I did so.

Turn Two
Minyo fired a LOT of Grenades at Phoenix after Spotlighting through a Repeater-bot but failed to so much as leave a scratch. Imagine a rocket launcher-toting Greek hero doing wheelies on a motorcycle whilst explosions rain down all around him and you won't be far off!

His Morlock spent some time looking through the right-most panoply to find some new gear and his TAG ended up on Suppressive Fire.

On my turn, Phoenix went into the open (can't claim cover on a bike) to duel it out with the Lizard from outside suppression range. Whilst he did manage to take down the nearby clockmaker in the blast and put a single wound on the Lizard, he eventually lost two FtF and exploded messily. This started a long chain of 'Phoenix dying because I did something stupid' that would be a reoccurring feature in this tournament.

It's possible that I should have Dismounted him, but frankly I didn't want to contend with the Mount/Dismount rules at the time. I also thought that three dice on 13s vs. one on 10s would be sufficiently in my favour that it wouldn't matter.

It's also possible that I should have just dashed past on the bike and tried to clean up the Moderator link instead, but I knew that if the Lizard went down I'd have the game in the bag.

I retreated back into cover whilst taking more, completely futile, shots at his Minesweeper...

Myrmidons bunker down to try and weather the storm of grenades.

Turn Three
My Agema Mk12 was killed by a crit from the Lizard's MULTI HMG and Minyo lobbed more speculative grenade shots at one of my Officers to no avail before going back onto Suppressive Fire.

In my turn my second Myrmidon link finally killed the Morlock in the middle of the table. Machaon's link cleaned up the Repeater bot and then advanced into Minyo's deployment zone under Smoke cover to finally kill the damned Minesweeper!

My Lieutenant descended from the building he was sitting on and grabbed a panoply to tie on acquiring gear.

Final Result - 5 OP and 191 VP to 2 OP and 206 VP

Review
Honestly it was a somewhat disappointing Game 1 despite it being a win. Whilst I was definitely unlucky with Phoenix in the shoot-out it is largely my fault as I could have played him more conservatively had I been more patient. I think I did the right thing by not taking Achilles though as Minyo had a fairly broad Hacker coverage,

In the end I had killed somewhere around 6pts more than my opponent. Had my opponent focused more on shelling the relatively vulnerable Agemas he might have won the game.

Overall, Minyo was a great guy to play against, we both had a fun time with it and I'll be looking forward to seeing him again next year!



Game 2



Mission: Show of Force
Table: 9
Secondary Objective: Experimental Drug
Opponent: Tohaa - Davili (overall 73rd, last year 73rd)
My Army List: Myrmidon Super-Friends v2
Opponent's Army List:


Tohaa
──────────────────────────────────────────────────

GROUP 1
GAO-RAEL Spitfire / Pistol, CCW. (1.5 | 33)
SAKIEL Paramedic (Medikit) Combi Rifle, Nimbus Plus Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 20)
MAKAUL Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades / Pistol, Viral CCW. (0 | 13)

SUKEUL HMG, D-Charges / Pistol, Breaker Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 35)
SAKIEL Lieutenant Viral Combi Rifle, Nimbus Plus Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 24)
KAMAEL Paramedic (Medikit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)

CLIPSOS (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 25)
KERAIL PRECEPTOR Submachine Gun, Smoke Grenades + 1 Surda SymbioBeast / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0 | 20)
 sep.gifSURDA SYMBIOBEAST Pulzar / Viral CCW. (0 | 8)
KAAURI Sentinel Submachine Gun, 2 Nanopulsers, Nullifier / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0 | 12)
CHAKSA AUXILIAR (Baggage, Sensor) Heavy Flamethrower / Pistol, CCW. (0 | 10)


GROUP 2
GAO-RAEL Sniper Rifle / Pistol, CCW. (1 | 31)
SUKEUL Missile Launcher, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Breaker Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 36)
KAELTAR (Chain of Command) Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse + 2 SymbioMates / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 21)

DIPLOMATIC DELEGATE (iKohl L1, Specialist Operative) Nanopulser, Flash Pulse / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)

SWC | 299 Points

Deployment
I won the WIP roll and chose the side with better cover for Fireteams. Whilst this left a sniper tower in Davili's DZ, there was actually remarkably little that could be seen from it! Davili chose to take the first turn, which was fine by me as I wanted the last shot at the objectives anyway.

His second combat group and the Kerail deployed around the tower on the left hand side, the Sukeul HMG/Sakiel LT/Kamael in the middle and the Gao Rael/Sakiel/Makaul on the right with the delegate. SymbioMates were given to the Sukeul HMG and the Gao Rael Spitfire.

Phoenix and the Sniper deployed amongst the yellow containers and assorted boxes on the left, maintaining some ~16-24" overlapping firelanes and covering some of the shorter approaches with template weapons.

Eudaros' link deployed in full cover in the middle back of my deployment zone, around the planters and the grey building. The Agema Mk12 deployed on top, prone.

Table 9 - My deployment zone on the near edge.

Turn One
A Clipsos appeared near the Transmission Antenna and planted a couple of Mines before backing off into total cover. His Kerail popped Smoke before realising that it doesn't help at all against my Agemas (oops). Apart from that, his central link with the Gao Rael Spitfire advanced on the right side of the table to try and pin down Eudaros' link but he ran out of orders before drawing line of fire.

On my turn Eudaros stepped up to shoot it out with the Gao Rael. Fortunately I crit on my first Burst and chew straight through SymbioArmour and SymbioMate!  In subsequent attacks Eudaros took a crit too, but liberal application of orders meant I eventually won the shoot-out.

My Combi Myrmidon then attacks the Sakiel medic, knocking off the SymbioArmour and making it go prone. I crossed the central firelane under Eclipse cover, finished the Sakiel off with a Combi Rifle and consolidated into cover.

Myrmidons advance on an over-confident Triad of Tohaa,

Turn Two
The Impetuous Makaul, his Triad now all dead, rushed the Fireteam and popped Smoke successfully in order to get closer. He then attacked the Myrmidon with Combi Rifle in close combat but was crit out by my shooting on a 9.

The HMG Sukeul wounded my Agema Sniper without trouble, but the Clipsos in the middle bounced off by Combi 'Don due to my Sixth Sense L2. His Sukeul HMG tried its luck too but I successfully Smoked up. With no further available targets Davili retreated his Sukeul link and broke up the Triad in order to go into Suppressive Fire with those three troops plus the Clipsos.

Phoenix got on the move and blew away the Kamael Paramedic and Sukeul HMG from over 24" away whilst Machaon healed the Agema, thereby scoring Experimental Drug.

My Combi Myrmidon took down the Clipsos in Suppressive Fire and searched the panoply to find a HMG. The Chain Rifle Myrmidon did his own bit of looting and find a second Chain Rifle and an MSV1 (which was discarded).

Turn Three
Unfortunately, I left Phoenix out of total cover and he ate a critical hit from the Gao Rael Sniper (stupid death number two!). With limited orders left his Viral Sakiel tried its luck against my hero Myrmidon but lost its SymbioArmour to return fire. The Delegate tried to nanopuler Eudaros but I successfully dodged.

Hero Myrmidon finished off the Sakiel on my turn, I Eclipsed the central firelane and my Chain Rifle 'minesweeper' successfully dodged the Clipsos's mines around the Transmission Antenna. The fireteam then moved over to sit on the objective for full points.

Final Result - 7 OP and 260 VP to 0 OP and 155 VP

Review
The one Myrmidon with Combi Rifle killed two Sakiels, a Makaul and a Clipsos in Suppressive Fire. I definitely think he's getting a name from now on. Suggestions on a postcard please?

We each had a couple of crits at fairly key moments but I think my aggressiveness and better table edge won out. Davili found it hard to meaningfully move into my side of the table due to a lot of carefully placed ARO pieces on short-ish firelanes.

Overall an enjoyable game that I feel should have been closer than it was. Davili was a lovely opponent and kindly gave me an English version of the Extreme Prejudice card from the current season's tournament pack!



Game 3



Mission: Frontline
Table: 30
Secondary Objective: HVT: Inoculation
Opponent: Yu Jing- Rodrigaor (overall 44th, last year 8th)
My Army List: Myrmidon Super-Friends v2
Opponent's Army List: Approximate, can't remember combat group layout.

 Yu Jing
──────────────────────────────────────────────────
SUN TZE Lieutenant (Advanced Command) MULTI Rifle, 2 Nanopulsers, Flash Pulse / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 65)
SÙ-JIÀN Spitfire, Light Flamethrower, Panzerfaust / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (2 | 59)
RUI SHI Spitfire / Electric Pulse. (1 | 20)
LÙ DUĀN Mk12, Heavy Flamethrower / Electric Pulse. (0 | 21)
RAIDEN (Minelayer, X Visor) Heavy Rocket Launcher, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 21)
ONIWABAN Boarding Shotgun, Nanopulser / Pistol, Monofilament CCW. (0 | 41)
KEISOTSU Hacker (Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 17)
TOKUSETSU KOHEI Engineer Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
YÁOZĂO Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)
CELESTIAL GUARD (Kuang Shi Control Device) Combi Rifle + Light Smoke Grenade Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 13)
SHAOLIN Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Shock CCW. (0 | 5)
KUANG SHI Chain Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)
KUANG SHI Chain Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)
KUANG SHI Chain Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)
WARCOR (Sixth Sense L1) Flash Pulse / Stun Pistol, Knife. (0 | 3)

5.5 SWC | 297 Points


Deployment
This game was, interesting. The entire table counted as having a table-wise poor visibility zone.

Rodrigaor chose to use his Classified as an Intelcom card, which honestly I completely forgot was a thing. Mine was worth a whopping 6pts so I kept it as a classified instead.

He deployed with a Raiden HRL on the far left tower and a Warcor on the far right. Sun Tze took cover beside the armoured vehicle in his deployment zone alongside the Rui Shi and Monk, and he had his Impetuous troops scattered along the edge of his DZ.

Phoenix's link deployed amongst the walled area on the left of my deployment zone with Phoenix prone on top and the other three members scattered about in and around the scenery at ground level. My Sniper took a commanding position on the tower immediately in front of them.

The Agema Mk12 took a prone spot in the right-hand tower and Eudaros' link were spread out prone on the building and covering the short approaches at ground level.

Table 30 - My deployment zone on the near edge.

Turn One
The Sniper in the tower gunned down two Kuang Shi and a Monk, put the Rui Shi unconscious at about 26" and then wounded the Su Jian. The Su Jian eventually made it into cover and then within 16" before finally knocking the Agema out using its Spitfire. Rodrigaor pulled back the Su Jian after this, gave Assisted Fire to the Rui Shi and put a whole load of stuff into Suppressive Fire.

My Agema Mk12 carefully worked his way through his tower, killing the Warcor. Phoenix stood up to Discover the Raiden in the opposite DZ, but the Raiden shot back and won the face-to-face roll causing a wound and a burn - very unlucky! The Mk12 Agema then easily finished off the Raiden before also putting two wounds onto SunTze who I managed to catch out of cover. Unfortunately that wasn't enough to score the kill and he failed his Guts roll in order to get out of line of sight.

I considered healing Phoenix, but chose to spend the orders getting everyone prone and out of line of sight instead.

The Myrmidons wait for their time to strike whilst the Agema takes opportunistic shots from the tower.

Turn Two
The Su Jian ran up the left flank, finishing off the Burnt and injured Phoenix without issue. He made a try for Machaon as well, but I Smoked up the fireteam. A successful Dodge and a failed Intuitive Attack later, he was forced to retreat and go back into suppression whilst face down on a wall - which I subsequently learned should not be possible!

It was go-time for me! Eudaros' link charged up the middle of the table and the Myrmidon Hero-don climbed the ladder behind the Su Jian. A couple of Bursts later the Su Jian was dead, but my Myrmidon was pretty crispy. Eudaros then climbed up too, knocked the last wound off of Sun Tze and survived the return fire from the Rui Shi thanks to the Poor Vis Zone!

Turn Three
Rodrigaor was not in Loss of Lieutenant, somewhat restricting his options. First up, his last Kuang Shi ran towards Eudaros and my LT, but took a wound. He then put Assisted Fire back on the Rui Shi who tried a shot at Phoenix, but I tanked the hits and dropped prone. The Rui Shi advanced, climbed the side of the building and finally gunned down both Eudaros and a Myrmidon with Chain Rifle. It took damage from the Chain Rifle shots however, so I was happy with the trade.

Last up, an Oniwaban appears in mid-table and shot my LT in the back but I successfully changed facing.

In my last turn, Machaon's link moved up to contest the nearest Zone against the Oniwaban plus any Intelcom value. My LT then moved into the farthest zone, killed the Servant remote guarding it and tanked a couple of hits in order to claim the chunk of objective points and secure the HVT.

Final Result - 7 OP and 149 VP to 0 OP and 84 VP

Review
Unfortunately there were some translation issues, especially with it came to the Intuitive Attack rules and the exact mechanics of the Poor Visibility Zone, and I'm not sure we ended up playing the latter 100% correctly. In particular, Rodrigaor did not seem to think that the penalty applied to Dodge rolls.

I probably missed the 10-0 win by not moving a Chain Rifle Myrmidon into the central zone to claim that too, but given how hard it can be to accurately estimate the zone boundaries I chose to play it safe.

Overall it was a bit of a scrappy game that had some contentious rules issues. I'm glad I got to try one of the Poor-Vis tables, but I'm not sure it's something I would include in my own events.




Game 4



Mission: Decapitation
Table: 36
Secondary Objectives: Experimental Drug, Extreme Prejudice
Opponent: USAriadna - Odez (overall 11th, last year 17th)
My Army List: Myrmidon Super-Friends v2
Opponent's Army List:

 USAriadna Ranger Force
──────────────────────────────────────────────────

GROUP 1
GRUNT (Marksmanship LX) Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 18)
GRUNT (Marksmanship LX) Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 18)
GRUNT (Forward Observer) Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 11)
GRUNT (Forward Observer) Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 11)
GRUNT Paramedic (MediKit) Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
GRUNT Lieutenant Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 10)
GRUNT (Inferior Infiltration) Heavy Flamethrower, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 11)
GRUNT (Inferior Infiltration) Heavy Flamethrower, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 11)
VAN ZANT AP Rifle / Heavy Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 38)
DESPERADO Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / 2 Heavy Pistols, AP CC Weapon. (0 | 11)


GROUP 2
MARAUDER (Multispectral Visor L1) Sniper / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 29)
MARAUDER (Multispectral Visor L1) Heavy Rocket Launcher / Assault Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 26)
MARAUDER (Fireteam: Haris) Rifle, Heavy Flamethrower / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (1 | 22)
FOXTROT (Forward Observer) Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18)
FOXTROT (Forward Observer) Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18)
DOZER (Traktor Mul Control Device) Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
TRAKTOR MUL (Minesweeper) Electric Pulse. (0 | 5)
TRAKTOR MUL (Minesweeper) Electric Pulse. (0 | 5)
112 Light Shotgun / Pistol, CCW. (0 | 12)

SWC | 300 Points

Deployment
This was going to be a game. Odez and I both attended the Customeeple doubles tournament on Thursday - single 150pt list, random mission and partner each round - and we played on the same team in the finals. In the end he came first and I came second, so this time we were keen to play against each other instead.

I had serious concerns about waves of Grunts with Heavy Flamethrowers combined with all the Snipers that USAriadna could bring. On the upside, at least I didn't have to deal with Chasseurs or Spetsnaz.

I won the WIP roll and chose my preferred table edge, keeping the good sniper spots out of Odez's hands. He chose to take the first turn.

Odez deployed his Grunt link at the back left corner of his deployment zone in and around the tall building there. Two Snipers were placed on the balconies and what I presumed was his LT was tucked behind. The Marauder Sniper was placed on the two yellow buildings connected by a walkway on the right with the rest of the Haris at ground level. The remaining troops were scattered through his Deployment Zone with a slight preference towards the left hand side to shield the LT.

One Grunt passed its infiltration roll and the other failed.

I had Phoenix's link on the left about as far back as I could put them and Eudaros' link on the right in positions where the other three members of the link covered all the routes to my Lieutenant. the Agema Sniper was placed far right in line of sight of the Grunt HFT that passed its infiltration roll and of the Desperado. The Agema Mk12 was placed prone on a roof on the left, ready to pop up as needed. The majority of my troops were placed far away from any Sniper Rifles I could see!




Turn One
Odez cancelled the Impetuous order of his Desperado and took out my Agema Sniper with the sniper from his Marauder Haris. I really should have deployed him further back! The Sniper also took a shot at my Combi-don but I successfully dropped Smoke.

The Desperado bolted down the right flank and traded off with my Chain Rifle Myrmidon there, which was fine. The HFT Grunt attacked Phoenix, but I broke the link to successfully Dodge whilst my Officer blew away the Grunt with her shotgun. Odez tried to Paramedic the Grunt at a distance with his 112 but kept missing, so just had one of his Foxtrots drop a mine and re-camo'd in the middle of the table to limit my movement instead.

I decided to make a go of hunting Odez's Lieutenant and Phoenix's link went up the left side, avoiding the mine. I broke up the Grunt link by picking off both Snipers and also killed a Paramedic, Forward Observer and the 112. His Foxtrot broke camo to take a potshot as my link walked past but missed.

Turn Two
Once again his Marauder Sniper shot at my Myrmidon with Combi but was thwarted by Smoke. The Haris moved across the table from right to left, eventually leaving the Sniper stranded on top of his building, and they engage Phoenix's link.  They eventually managed to kill off Machaon using either a Heavy Pistol or HFT (my notes are unclear!) and then re-positioned defensively whilst bringing up a Grunt HFT, the one that had failed its infiltration roll, to prevent me advancing further up that flank.

My Chain Rifle Myrmidon rounded the corner of the building he was hiding behind and wounded the HRL Marauder in combat with a critical hit, but the Ariadnan HI went Dogged. Phoenix charged the second Marauder, flames harmlessly deflected by armour, and cut that one down too. He then tried to rush the Grunt Heavy Flamethrower that had moved up to cover my link, but I failed my dodge and both subsequent saves. Rather unfortunate.

Turn Three
Rather unexpectedly, Van Zant decided to make an appearance this turn! He appears at the back of my deployment zone, wounded the Myrmidon with Combi but my LT Smoked up when attacked, thankfully.

A second Foxtrot in camouflage moved into the centre of the table to try and secure my HVT and at some point my Myrmidon with Chain Rifle on the left got killed.

With my last few orders the Agema with Mk12 finally made his presence felt by killing both Foxtrots. Unfortunately I then had insufficient orders remaining to score either Extreme Prejudice or Secure HVT! I could have made a break for completing Extreme Prejudice on his unconscious Desperado with my LT, but that would have meant braving face-to-face rolls against Van Zant's Heavy Pistols. Deciding that I didn't want to risk an unlucky critical hit, I called the game there.

Final Result - 5 OP and 135 VP to 4 OP and 133 VP

Review
This was an incredibly tight, tense game. WE actually played out the last couple of orders after the game, just to see what would have happened and my LT would have successfully survived Van Zants attacks and performed Extreme Prejudice. I'm still glad I didn't try it during the actual game though!

By turn three I had completely disregarded the possibility of a Van Zant push, so I was lucky to not get punished moreso. My LT was decently well bunkered though.

There was one point of contention though after the game though. The mission rules state "To kill the same amount of Lieutenants as the adversary (2 Objective Points)." but lack the typical clause where you would still need at least one kill each for it to count. We were told this by a TO after the game and this meant that we each scored two additional OP for 'killing' Lieutenants, but having spoken to other players I'm not sure everyone knew that this was the case.




Game 5



Mission: Annihilation
Table: 51
Secondary Objective: Experimental Drug
Opponent: Qapu Khalqi - Kristoff (overall 21st, last year '-')
My Army List: Myrmidon Super-Friends v2
Opponent's Army List:


 Qapu Khalqi
──────────────────────────────────────────────────

GROUP 1
DJANBAZAN Doctor Plus (MediKit) Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 31)
DJANBAZAN Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 31)
DJANBAZAN HMG / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 35)
HAFZA Lieutenant Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 16)
HAFZA (Forward Observer) Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 17)
HAWWA' Hacker (Assault Hacking Device) Boarding Shotgun, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 26)
KAMEEL (Minesweeper, Repeater) Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
KAMEEL (Minesweeper, Repeater) Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
YUAN YUAN Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 8)

GROUP 2
AZRA'IL AP HMG / Pistol, Knife. (2 | 41)
ALGUACIL Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
SHIHAB REMOTE HMG / Electric Pulse. (1 | 25)
ALGUACIL Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
ALGUACIL Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
BASHI BAZOUK Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 16)
YUAN YUAN Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Shock CCW. (0 | 8)

5.5 SWC | 300 Points

Deployment
I lost the WIP roll and Kristoff chose to take the first turn. I picked the side I felt had better total cover.

I was pretty scared of Djanbazan links, Yuan Yuans and Hafza with Heavy Rocket Launchers in this game. I chose to put down more Myrmidon spam again this game purely because at this point it was comfortable and easy to do so. In hindsight, the other list might have been better in this case.

Kristoff deployed with his Azra'il holding down the right flank with a couple of Alguaciles, a Total Reaction remote and Al'Hawwa holding down the left and the Djanbazan link spread amongst the crates in the centre. Interestingly, his Hafza were holoprojecting as Hafza with Rifles - a weird choice I thought.

I had Phoenix's link on the far right, Eudaros' link and the Sniper in the centre and the mk12 guarding the left flank from AD troops. I deployed such that AD2 troops wouldn't stand much of a chance of landing and to try and limit the effectiveness of any Chain Rifles.



Turn One
One Yuan Yuan landed in front of my Deployment Zone, wounded my Chain Rifle Myrmidon, bounced off the Agema and took a Rocket to the back for his troubles. His second Yuan Yuan arrived in his Deployment Zone as there were no other good places for him.

The Azra'il moved up, wounded Machaon on a crit and so I fell back into full cover and he went into suppressive fire. The Djanbazan link rocked up, wounded the Agema with their HMG and then fully retreated back into his deployment zone to hide. They took a shot at the back of my Combi Myrmidon too but all four of his hits bounced off the Myrmidon's armour!

I moved Machaon's link laterally across the table, killing the Azra'il with a fairly lucky shot from Phoenix on the way. Machaon healed himself, the Chain Rifle Myrmidon and the Agema before moving back into starting positions.

The game was effectively back to square one, but I was 49pts ahead and had my classified.

Turn Two
The Djanbazan link did the same journey again, this time outright killing the Chain Rifle Myrmidon and the Agema sniper before retreating once more. His scattered troops went into Suppressive Fire.

With nothing to heal this turn, Phoenix's link moved up the right flank and blew away an Alguacil and nearby Baggage remote as well as a Total Reaction remote before retreating back into better cover.

Turn Three
Here's where things (finally) got messy. His Djanbazans finally showed up to tackle my Myrmidon link, albeit lurking under Smoke cover. Machaon manages to win the first FtF roll, putting Eclipse between him and the Djanbazans and on top of an otherwise defenceless Phoenix.

A Bashi Bazouk with Shotgun drops in on the flank too along with his two Holoechoes. Unfortunately, at this point I got distracted whilst declaring my AROs and shot one of the visible Holoechoes with a Nanopulser instead of dropping Eclipse over Machaon and my Officer! D'oh!

Net result is that the Bashi wounded both Machaon and the Officer who both tried to throw down Eclipse and then they were both cleaned up by Djanbazan light shotguns. They finished the turn by killing the prone Myrmidon with Chain Rifle who was hiding on a crate and then Doctored the unlucky 'volunteer' who was Nanopulsered in return.

In my turn I completely ignored that flank to run up the left with my other link and contested his HVT in order to win on classifieds.

Phoenix feels rather surrounded....

Final Result - 6 OP and 165 VP to 4 OP and 202 VP

Review
This was a strange game as Kristoff actually killed more stuff than I did, despite me winning! It's very possible that I should have played even more defensively on my 2nd turn and forced Kristoff to cross the table if he wanted to engage me, which he would have had to do. I just couldn't help myself when I saw some easy kills though.

I made a stupid mistake against the Bashi Bazouk that fortunately only cost me a few VPs. Had Machaon and the Officer survived I'm not sure I would have done things differently as they would have been very surrounded by MSV2 light shotguns! I was also probably too focused on positioning to defend against Yuan Yuans at the expense of positioning myself against his Djanbazan link.

Otherwise it was the most careful and cautious game of Annihilation I have ever been a part of, a very intriguing and enjoyable game indeed.


Final Result

5 wins, 12TP, 30OP, 900VP.

The haul for this year!

The Good
The Myrmidon with Combi Rifle was an absolute boss and survived all five games - or at least his cube did. He's definitely going to get a promotion sometime soon and maybe deserves a conversion of some kind...

Phoenix was a solid troop as always. Despite dying in a variety of unnecessary ways he almost always put out a good amount of damage and was instrumental in many victories. I'd consider having impact template weapons almost essential these days.

The Agema Mk12 also performed admirably. Despite not doing much for the first two games, although he was so close to killing the Custoider LT, he pulled it back in games 3 and 4 by doing a solid amount of damage.

Going second. My opponents took the first turn in every game, but my Myrmidons were able to consistently hold off all threats. Why would I want to try and attack an entrenched army with only 8 orders on turn one?

All my opponents were good fun to play against and I ended the tournament with five memorable games. They didn't even whine too much about having to play against Steel Phalanx!

The Bad
My Sniper did little more than act as a, generally brief, speed-bump. Either it was placed too far away, facing threats that never materialised, or it was picked off early. Only against Yu Jing where it was in an extremely commanding position did it excel. If I could have thrown Smoke in it during that game it would have been incredible! I've had it suggested that I could replace him with Atalanta, freeing up points by taking the Combi Rifle away from one of my Myrmidons, and it's something I'll definitely experiment with.

I missed having Machaon as my Lieutenant and not being able to complete most of the classifieds, or just kind of forgetting about them in game 4, wasn't ideal.

I never found the right time to take the Achilles list. Without any Engineer or Killer Hacker support I just didn't feel comfortable trotting him out, although there are certainly games where in hindsight it may have been correct to. If I'd lost my first couple of games though then I'd probably have let the blonde monster loose for some giggles though.

The Ugly
Despite getting some practice in with the Customeeple tournament on Thursday I was honestly pretty rusty as my last ITS event was in 2016! I'm going to try and be a bit more active on the tournament scene for the upcoming season.

There were multiple times in the tournament where I could have made risky plays in order to secure more objective points, but I chose the safer options that just guaranteed me wins instead. As much as the better tiebreakers would have been nice I had no intention of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

I might also be more careful at the beach next year as I got rather sunburnt two days before the tournament and was basically chugging painkillers every day. Oops!


Conclusion


In the end, I had exactly the same overall standing as last year - albeit with fewer Objective Points than either last year or the year before. I'm super happy with getting all five wins and only needed a 3 TP win at the end to get 2nd place, but just couldn't quite make it happen unfortunately.

I definitely think that Steel Phalanx have everything they need to make it to first place one year and that the list with 8 Myrmidons and 2 Agemas is super strong. It was interesting that not once did I face any list with fewer than fourteen orders, but nor did I face much camouflage. Ironically, this year being all killing missions meant that I think my Steel Phalanx weren't as well placed as they could have been. Everyone else was all out on just fighting too and that meant that my opponent's were generally better prepared to break up things like Fireteams and deal with ODD.

It's also worth noting that despite the TAG theme of the event, I only saw one TAG all tournament. Not only that but Show of Force featured no TAGs, Hackers or even Hackable targets!

Next year I'm (once again) planning to take my USAriadna along for the ride, but as always it's going to depend on the mission selection. Although who knows, maybe the Vedic sectorial will be out by then, or maybe I'll just fancy getting 4th place for a third year in a row...

On another positive note, I also nabbed bronze in the Warcrow conversion category for my USAriadna cavalry. It's definitely a category that I plan to enter next year too.

So that's it for this year - now I just have to look forward to Interplanetary 2018! Hmm, where are those satellite tournaments...

14 comments:

  1. 1st Game against nomad - phoenix was succesfully dodgin on motorbike? Is it -3 to dodge? Or grenade launcher was doing speculative shots?

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    1. Aye, he was alternately dodging on 10s, Minyo was missing outright or I was making armour saves. It was statistically unlikely I think!

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  2. Great report, sounds like you had a great time! Congratulations on achieving 4th place (again)!

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    1. Cheers! You'll have to come along one year. :)

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  3. Great BatRep. Are you using Moodle as a platform for your blog? One year I have to do this! I like the fact you have managed to get all the opponents lists (sometimes players are reticent to give them over)

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    1. No idea what Moodle is I'm afraid. All my opponents were happy for me to photograph their lists after the game, except in game 3 where I forgot to ask. Whoops!

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  4. Great write up Peter, I'm really interested in getting your thoughts on only running 10 orders. I play SP as my only Infinity force and it was only when I started taking 15ish orders that I started to win games. I find 10 orders just too few to get anything done. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Thanks! The 10 order list works simply by being really hard to kill and through solid deployment. Myrmidon links are hard to break under ideal circumstances, let alone when you have to cross the entire table with a depleted order pool to do it.

      What sort of 15 order lists do you run?

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    2. I like a link of Myrms (usually spitfire,machaon,ChR,CoR), a defensive link of Thorakitai (hate the models, but they're so cheap and usually carry the game for me). Something hard hitting like Teucer to put things down. Then some dactyls to help grab the odd objective. Naturally, 2 of those orders will be netrod supplied

      I know deployment is a key factor and I don't think I'm particularly good at it...the amount of times I took flame shaped templates to the face is just crazy. Plus as you said, the command token remove 2 orders things is just so debilitating. If that rule gets nullified for single group lists, I might go back to it.

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    3. I think one of the issues I had with lists that size is actually putting down so many troops in a way where template weapons wouldn't be an issue! Deployment is is incredibly important and one of the experiments we've done locally is just to play the first turn of lots of games to help people practice it.

      Do you Haris your Dactyls? I like the idea of Burst 2 disposable weapons backed up by a Baggage bot, but in practice it hasn't been reliable.

      It hurts my soul not to see Phoenix in that Myrmidon link though - he just kills so much!

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    4. Hah my Phoenix along with my Atalanta is cursed to die within the first 2 orders :) I typically prefer Eudoros over Phoenix, he's been my hero several times. The Dactyls are tricky, as sometimes I need the doctor to be in another place to perhaps tend to Atalanta/Teucer's wounds. More often than not though they are in a 3-man link.

      I played last night and the engineers went hunting, took a gecko out with a single flammenspeer shot. Well, that relied on my opponent having a series of bad armour saves.

      I do find it really hard not to get my guys bunched up, that was my take home from last night's game, was that I got a bit bunched up around some shipping containers, allowing my opponent's boarding shotgun to become a menace...well at least I didn't do it in deployment.

      I really like the idea of grinding the first turn, I might suggest that to my group.

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    5. Do it for sure, it helps so much! Just get people to throw stuff like Mirage-5, Van Zant, lots of skirmishers, Speculo Killers, Ko Dali and whatever.

      Don't get me wrong, I love Eudaros, but why not both? Whilst Atalanta is a bit squishy, there's no reason that Phoenix should be getting popped so soon if deployed with care. Good work with the Dactyls, but like you said it does sound more like a lucky shot!

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