Saturday, 12 March 2016

Infinity N3 - Ibuywargames Tournament

Ibuywargames in Woking, Surrey, ran their first Infinity N3 ITS tournament and I jumped at the opportunity to go an event taking place near me.

Above: My 300 point USAriadna army

Previously I have focused on Kazaks, Scouts and Tank Hunters for my army of choice. The recent release of the North Americans has given me the chance to try out something new for Ariadna. My list was follows:

Group One:
- 112 Doctor
- Dozer Engineer
- Tractor Mul, Minesweeper
- Tractor Mul, (WHAT)
- Grunt, Paramedic
- Grunt, Heavy Machine Gun
- Grunt, Forward Observer
- Grunt, Forward Observer
- Grunt, Sniper Rifle
- Van Zant (not the Executive Order guy)

Group Two:
- Hardcase, Rifle
- Hardcase, Rifle
- Foxtrot Ranger, Forward Observer
- Foxtrot Ranger, Forward Observer
- Foxtrot Ranger, Forward Observer
- Big Dog, Chain Rifle and Antipode
- Grunt, Heavy Flamethrower, Inferior Infiltration
- Grunt, Heavy Flamethrower, Inferior Infiltration
- Warcorp
- Grunt, Rifle, Lieutenant

21 orders, 16 regular, 4 irregular and one impetuous. I had played four practice games, and so far the Grunt heavy flame throwers have yet to achieve their inferior infiltration roll. The dog, and his synchronised pet dog, have been hit and miss. If they can avoid multiple fire corridors, then they have a chance of going to work, but not surprisingly, opponents usually target the big dog. 

Keith, the TO, had informed us that the missions would be:
Type of Operation - Joint Operations
Scenario 1 - Front Line
Scenario 2 - Highly Classified
Scenario 3 - Supremacy

Game 1 - Daniel - Tohaa - Frontline
Daniel knew what he was about. He has won two recent events and has already qualified for this year's Masters tournament. His very large Tohaa army had four link teams. He won the initiative roll off and chose deployment (making me deploy first) and table sides (choosing the side with the taller buildings). Being the Frontline mission I chose to go second feeling that going last would give me edge when seeing which of the scoring zones needed my attention at the end of the game. [Note to self: This would have been fine if your army was not in retreat for turn three].

Daniel placed his linked Sniper Team on the tallest building on his side, And I couldn't fart without him having an ARO. The Dog team managed to at least get into close combat, although it was only with the Antipode, as the big dog had received all the shooting attention. My link team tried to go toe to toe with the Sniper's nest but achieved little, and the Paramedic was unable to fix the unconscious HMG.

Van Zant was forced to come on in turn two to provide some resistance, and did managed to drop a couple of enemy, but even he met a ignominious end at the 'hands' of a flamethrower armed baggage bot (the shame).
Daniel's most active models were his Sudra Symbiobeast and it's Kerail Preceptor handler, who made their way across the middle of the table in an attempt to remove my picket of camo markers. By the end of turn two they had disposed of a Hardcase, Foxtrot Ranger and the lonely Antipode. The Beast had just reached the next Foxtrot when the Preceptor finally fell to my Sniper, and the beast came to an instant stop, dazed and confused (much to the relief of the  nearby Foxtrot).

However, the Foxtrot's day was to take a turn for the worse when he and his colleague fell victim to a stealthy Tohaa opponent. 
Well played to Daniel, who eventually finished second on the day. For me, this was one of those armies that impress you enough to make you consider taking a new faction. 
Also, Daniel had brought along two tables worth of really smart looking terrain; the table we played on, and the one next door with the huge crane. Impressed? You will be when I tell you that he had hinged all of the doors on every building!

Game 2 - Joel - Pan-O - Highly Classified
To the bottom table after my 10 to nil loss, and I was playing Joel and his list of knights and remotes. 
We randomly selected four classifieds from the deck (Retro-Engineering, Telementary, HVT Designation and Data Scan) and I got Innoculation for my classified. The initiative roll off allowed Joel to choose going first. The table was fairly basic, but a nice central building gave me somewhere to deposit my camo. 

The major story of Joel's first turn was a remote and pal bot's attempt to burn my link team hidden in a building. My lowly 112 was all that stood in the way. The 112 went down, and although his shotgun missed the pal bot, it immobilised the Dronebot, and the flaming death that threatened my link was averted. Considering how devastating this could have been Joel took this very well. Personally, if it had been me, all the toys would have left the pram.

Above: The aforementioned remote and pal bot. Weirdly I have also framed Ian the store owner, Ian, in the top of the picture sitting at his desk.

Above: My brave 112 takes one for the link team......

Above: .......who are hanging out in a building without a care in the world. 
I have played Infinity for some time, and I always enjoy the cinematic stories that each game tells. However, a problem for me is the habit of moving my figures so that they look directly ahead as if they are normal people. For example, unusually my Heavy Flamethrower armed Grunt had managed to pass his -3 inferior infiltration Will Power on deployment, and decided in turn one to shoot at a Croc-man in ARO. I placed the Grunt on the table from camo looking directly ahead at his opponent, even though, other opponents were just around the corner behind him waiting for an opportunity to take him down. I realised my mistake far too late and the Grunt was shot in the back of the head (time for me to jettison toys from pram). 
Lesson: Don't get so carried away with the shooting attack that you forget what will happen next. It may be totally beneficial for your figure to stare directly at a wall if it means enemy models will generate you an ARO if they approach from either side, no matter how stupid it looks. This is a game, not a film!
The Dog team went down fairly cheaply, but my link team did start to make use of the HMG model and destroyed a second remote and Pal Bot. One of my Foxtrots managed to designate the HVT and carry out Telementary, and later in the game, my adventurous Dozer managed to also retro engineer the HVT.
Joel's army contained a total reaction remote, and I struggled to deal with it, until Joel kindly showed me how (more about this in game three).
Van Zant choose his moment to arrive on turn three. I position in one of the few places on the right flank where he did not cause a shooting ARO. However, after two rounds of him shooting, he had failed to roll any hits, needing 14 or less! Mr Zant crashed and burned.

We had both completed three of the four table classifieds, and our own personal classified, and so the game ended in a draw. I must thank Joel for being such an understanding and helpful opponent. I think the result may have been same, but without his advice, I will have finished with far fewer models. Following my foolish mistake with the Heavy Flamethrower Grunt, and the abject failure of Mr Zant, I had turned into Mr Glum. [Note to self: Try to avoid wearing your heart on your sleeve and wear instead, your poker face].

Game 3 - Michael - Supremacy
I recognised Michael as we had both been at a Totally Crit tournament last year but we had not played before. The opening moves of the game concerned Michael's bad luck. Phoenix had taken a prominent position on a building on the right of the table. However, I had managed to position a Grunt Heavy Flamethrower on the ground beneath him in deployment. My first turn, and a Foxtrot managed a wound on Phoenix, followed by another wound from the Flamethrower, and the model was no more. Unfortunately for Michael he was hampered by bad dice early on, which helped me to activate three of the four consoles.

Total reaction bots have been the bane of my past Infinity games. The solution, simple really, use 4 camo troops who can get line of sight on the model and activate them with a Command Token and target the troublesome model. The target can only shoot at one of your models whilst the other three get unopposed roles (thank you Joel). And thus, using a mixture of Foxtrots and Hardcases I took out Michael's remote.
Near the games end, and Michael's AD Parachutist had been far more effective than Mr Zant, and had immobilised a Tractor Mul. Michael had out scored me during the game on zones controlled, but my greater number of console activations would have left the game as a drawer. However, my immobilised Tractor Mul was about to come to my rescue, as my Classified was Test Run. Not only did I remembered to send the Dozer over to fix it, but after he failed his first Will Power roll (drat!), I then remembered that I could use a Command Token to re roll the result, and in doing so I achieved the classified, which eventually gave me the win ( I would like to say that Getting the Tractor Mul immobilised on purpose was the cunning plan, but it wasn't).     

Thanks to Michael for being a really nice opponent, especially when the shop suddenly filled with customers (we were right next to the front door). Overall, Rob from the Totally Crit crew won the event and I finished 12th out of 18. It was also good to see Kris and Doug from the Hydra Club and Nathan from Tolworth.

Thanks to all taking part on the day, and especially my opponents, Keith the TO and Ian for allowing us to use his shop. I look forward to their next tournament.

Happy wargaming to you all.

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