Wednesday, 21 January 2015

One Down...

FIRST GAME OF N3 - HOW DOES IT FEEL?


Thursday night saw my first game of Third Edition Infinity against a similarly inexperienced player (a gentleman named Dan) in a 300pt Annihilation mission, and it was a great experience for both of us... or at least it was for me (spoilers!). A simple mission (we didn't even bother with Classified Objectives) but big in scale and complexity, with everything from Hackers and AutoMedikits to TAGs, Aerial Deployment and Impetuous Orders. Why take baby steps?

We were both fairly veteran with Second Edition so most of the rules queries involved trying to remember what had changed, but additionally we both used new profiles and units not tried out before - a recipe for serious confusion! 

For the Jurisdictional Command of Corregidor, I actually decided to exclusively use units from the N3 Rulebook (the PDF with all the unit profiles had only been released that night) and run the team as "vanilla" Nomads in order to get the best use of the limited number of profiles available. I had a few new units to try out, and had spent the days leading up to the game feverishly painting as fast as I could. 

Thus, the team was as follows...

The team, assembled and fully painted ready for the game

Interventor Lieutenant with Fast Panda - one of the best Hackers in the game with her pet Repeater. I had never really used Hacking before (I think I can remember one game where it paid off), but wanted to give all those Programs a try. Her extra Lieutenant Order would allow her to support the team without costing them any Regular Orders, and the number of Repeaters I planned to run meant she could stay hidden at the back. 


Interventor with Fast Panda
Bandit with Combi-Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines and Deployable Repeater - An Irregular Infiltrator with Camouflage, this guy had a LOT of potential. I chose the Deployable Repeater to give something for the Hackers to work through, deployed in the centre of the table when the Bandit infiltrates. Beyond that, I did not have a great idea of what to do with him, but that was what the game was for - trying things out!


Bandit (proxy, using Señor Massacre)
Intruder with MULTI Sniper Rifle - a Camouflaged trooper with a long-range rifle, I had never used this loadout on the Intruder before, but with the changes to the range bands on the Sniper Rifle and the different ammunitions available I hoped he would do well. 

Intruder with HMG - the old staple of my lists, this guy would bring the pain from a Camouflaged position. 

Jaguar with Chain Rifle and Smoke Grenades - a cheap and cheerful Impetuous trooper who would be able to throw down smoke to help protect the Intruders. With so many other aggressive and Order-hungry models in the team, I imagined the Jaguars would be keeping quiet most of the game. 

Jaguar with Chain Rifle and Smokes Grenades - two Intruders, two Jaguars. 


Intruders with MULTI Sniper Rifle (proxy, using the Grenzer model) and HMG (converted), and Jaguars (proxies, using the Vortex and a converted Prowler)
Hellcat with Boarding Shotgun - as soon as I saw the new statistics for the Boarding Shotgun, I knew I needed one coming in from Aerial Deployment. Cheap too! This guy was an auto-include. 

Hellcat with Assault Hacking Device - not content with the Interventor, I wanted something really aggressive to run up close to the enemy. I figured the Hellcat would suffice against most forces - Hacking their firebase of Heavy Infantry or Remotes, for example. 


Hellcat Hacker and Hellcat with Boarding Shotgun
Mobile Brigada with MULTI Rifle - Heavy Infantry with a pretty good gun, I wanted to run this guy as he now features an improved speed and because I love the model. I hoped his versatility with the different ammunitions available on the MULTI Rifle would prove useful. 


Mobile Brigada
Stempler Zond - a Forward Observer and Sensor Remote, depending on what I faced would be either incredibly useful, or a simple Order generator. Either way, he was a cheap and easy buy for the team. 

GROUP TWO

Reaktion Zond with HMG - I had started moving away from Reaktion Remotes, but with the new Hacking Programs I was hoping to buff this guy and make him rather powerful. 

Transductor Zond - a fast-moving Repeater and little else, the Transductor would speed up one side to help spread the Hacking love across the table. 


Reaktion Zond and Stempler Zond
The team would separate into several smaller groups depending on my opponent and their deployment - the Intruders would pair with the Jaguars for Smoke-related Surprise Shots across the table, the Iiterventor would work her magic through the spread of Repeaters across the table, while the Mobile Brigada and Bandit would be my wild cards. The Stempler Zond would come into play as needed, especially if I was going to face lots of Camouflaged troopers, while the Reaktion Zond would do his thing. 

There was distinct focus on Hacking with this team, something I had not chosen to look at before, and the Infiltration and Smoke Grenades of the Bandit and the Jaguars would also be new territory for me. 

In turn, Dan ran the Morat Aggression Force - big bulky Space Monkeys with some incredible firepower and a tendency to never run away. His team was lead by Kornak Gazarot - Superior Warrant-Officer (a special character with good leadership and combat ability), and included a link-team of four Daturazi Witch Soldiers (Impetuous brutes with low armour but close-range weaponry and a penchant for combat), a pair of Vanguard (line infantry, one a Paramedic, the other a Forward Observer), a Kurgat with Autocannon (one of the biggest guns in the game), Sogurat with Feuerbach (giant heavy infantry with another very big gun) and a Raicho (the immense Morat TAG, armed with a MULTI-HMG). 

Am impressive team! My own choices were looking a bit weak against the indomitable TAG, but I had some ideas. His deployment was based around a tall building, with the two biggest guns on the top supported by the Paramedic and the Forward Observer. The link-team were together on the flank, while the mighty Raicho was hidden behind another tall building near the firebase.

Mobile Brigada and Bandit (proxy)
THE GAME

Set-up wise, the Nomads were split between two large buildings, one dominated by the Reaktion Zond and the other the Intruder with MULTI Sniper Rifle. A Jaguar sat at the bottom of this sniper tower, while the rest of the team were spread out nearby, hidden out of sight. The Bandit infiltrated to the centre of the board, while the Hellcats waited for their deployment off the board. The Morat Aggression Force were also built around a tall building, with the Sogurat and Kurgat dominating the board with their heavy-calibre weaponry from the rooftop. They were joined by the Vanguard Forward Observer and Paramedic, adding to the potential AROs. The Raicho sat behind cover nearby, while the Witch Soldiers were set up together on the other flank. The game would come down to who could dismantle the other players firebase first, and then leave the ground troops (and TAG, in Dan's case) to mop up.

The Nomad Nation stole the initiative and opened proceedings with the Bandit placing his Deployable Repeater in the centre of the combat zone while the Interventor loosed her Fast Panda. The Jaguar at the bottom of the sniper tower then threw down a Smoke Grenade to cover the Intruder sniper as he opened fire on the Morat firebase.

Suffering several rounds of shooting, the Sogurat was wounded but undaunted, hefting his mighty Feuerbach and spraying wildly into the smoke. The Reaktion Zond then appeared atop the tower to the right, unleashing a burst from the HMG that brought down both the Kurgat and finally felled the wounded Sogurat. The Morat heavy support was down, but the Raicho and the Witch Soldiers were ready to reply, advancing forward.

Hugging the cover, the Raicho demolished the Intruder's sniper nest with a single burst from his huge MULTI HMG, then turned a corner and brought down the Reaktion Zond. In doing so he had ventured too close to the Bandit's Repeater, and was shut down by a CLAW attack from the Interventor. Wasting time trying to reset the TAG, the Raicho was forced to back down and let the Witch Soldiers move in, where they could destroy the Repeater and let the TAG have free reign to move.

The Bandit dodged their attack, but the Repeater was destroyed and the Interventor's web was disrupted. To counter, the Transductor Zond then moved up into range of the TAG and the Hellcat Hacker appeared, using the Repeater on the Zond to Expel the pilot of the Raicho out into the street, albeit safely out of sight of the Nomad forces.

The domination of the Nomad Hackers was causing a nightmare for the Morat strike force, but it was not just the cyber war they were losing. Across the city, the Intruder with HMG brought down the Vanguard Forward Observer, allowing a clear fire lane for the second Hellcat to ambush the Witch Soldiers with his Boarding Shotgun. All four of the hulking brutes was caught in the cone of fire and shredded, though they did manage to bring down the Hellcat in the process. An incredible shot!

Having suffered so many brutal blows in succession, the Morat Aggression Force were on the ropes. The Superior Warrior-Officer charged forward as the TAG pilot got back into the Raicho, bringing down the Transductor Zond with his Mk.12. In turn, the Mobile Brigada made his presence felt and strode out to meet him, first exchanging fire with the Raicho and bringing it down with several rounds of AP ammunition before switching to Shock ammunition and taking out the Morat leader. The Vanguard Paramedic made a last ditch charge against the Nomads, but was splattered across the street by a Double Action round from the Brigada's MULTI Rifle. 

The Morats were all dead, and the Nomad Nation had their victory.
Interventor with Fast Panda and Transductor Zond
A brutal game, one that really showed me the power of Hacking in concert with serious heavy firepower. It was fortunate for me that Dan had chosen a TAG in this game, otherwise the Hackers would have made less of an impact, but that would have meant more Orders for the rest of the team, so who knows. The Programs are a lot easier to use than I had initially expected, though I think I need to learn them a bit better to work out what is best to use for what situation.

This game really showed me the importance of a good network of Repeaters, and I will endeavour to include some more Deployables and Markers in my other forces. When using the Jurisdictional Command of Corregidor I will probably use a Wildcat Hacker as they have a good BTS value, alongside another unit with an Assault Hacking Device - either a Hellcat or Bandit.

The new rules for Smoke, Surprise Shots, Hacking and Retreat were all clear and concise, and though I only used my Command Tokens to make the Irregular Orders of the Bandit Regular, it will be interesting to try out their other uses.

Weapon-wise, the new range bands on the HMG helped me immensely as the Mobile Brigada got too close for the Raicho to hit properly, while the Shock ammunition on the MULTI Rifle was great for bringing down Kornak Gazarot and his No Wound Incapacitation. The Boarding Shotgun is also an absolute beast at close-range, and I had the perfect shot against a tightly bunched link-team that has guaranteed the inclusion of a Shotgun-equipped Hellcat in all my future games.

The MULTI Sniper Rifle-equipped Intruder did well, and will probably be a better investment than the HMG in the future.

I was disappointed not try any combat, especially with the Stealthy Bandit, but that's something for next time.

Star of the show? The Interventor obviously earned her place in shutting down the Raicho and dominating the field from her hidden position at the back of the board, but the real killers were the Hellcat with Boarding Shotgun and the Mobile Brigada - this may have been a different story if I was playing against a force with stronger Hacking abilities, however.

Overall, a brilliant first performance for the Nomad Nation, and commiserations to Dan for his team falling apart under him. N3 is a lot of fun, and I look forward to playing against some different factions and using more complicated scenarios.

Thanks for reading,

George

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