Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Infinity - SCTS 2015 III Tournament Report

THE FOURTH TOURNAMENT OF THE YEAR
THE TOURNAMENT AND PREPARATION
SCTS III would be third tournament run at the local gaming club, and another chance for the Jurisdictional Command of Corregidor to justify their reputation. This event would feature eighteen players, with a good spread of factions (including two Tohaa and a larger than usual number of Haqqislam). 

Getting ready for the tournament was discussed in this older post, but suffice to say I did not feel I had enough practise with the scenarios. Painting wise, I was pleased to have made some progress on the terrain and models, but had a bad feeling I would not fair as well as usual this time. I would be supplying two tables for the event, as usual (labelled Table One and Two). 

THE TEAMS
"The High Rollers" infamous mercenary company out of Corregidor
Group 1
WILDCAT Lieutenant Combi Rifle + Light Flamethrower, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (19)
WILDCAT Engineer Combi Rifle + Light Flamethrower, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (23)
WILDCAT Spitfire / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 24)
WILDCAT Boarding Shotgun, Flash Grenades, Deployable Repeater / Pistol, Knife. (18)
WILDCAT Boarding Shotgun, Flash Grenades, Deployable Repeater / Pistol, Knife. (18)
INTRUDER (X-Visor) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, CCW. (1.5 | 43)
JAGUAR Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, DA CCW. (10)

Group 2
ALGUACIL Hacker (Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 18)
ALGUACIL (Forward Observer, Deployable Repeater) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (12)
TOMCAT Engineer Combi Rifle + Light Flamethrower, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (22)
DAKTARI Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (14)
HELLCAT Spitfire / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 28)
REAKTION ZOND HMG / Electric Pulse. (1 | 26)
STEMPLER ZOND Combi Rifle, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (17)
SALYUT (Minesweeper) Electric Pulse. (8)

6 SWC | 300 Points
"The High Rollers" Backup
Group 1
WILDCAT Lieutenant Combi Rifle + Light Flamethrower, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (19)
WILDCAT Engineer Combi Rifle + Light Flamethrower, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (23)
WILDCAT Spitfire / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 24)
WILDCAT Boarding Shotgun, Flash Grenades, Deployable Repeater / Pistol, Knife. (18)
WILDCAT Boarding Shotgun, Flash Grenades, Deployable Repeater / Pistol, Knife. (18)
INTRUDER (X-Visor) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, CCW. (1.5 | 43)
INTRUDER HMG, Grenades / Pistol, CCW. (1.5 | 42)
JAGUAR Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, DA CCW. (10)
JAGUAR Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, DA CCW. (10)

Group 2
ALGUACIL Hacker (Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 18)
ALGUACIL (Forward Observer, Deployable Repeater) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (12)
ALGUACIL Paramedic (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (12)
REAKTION ZOND HMG / Electric Pulse. (1 | 26)
STEMPLER ZOND Combi Rifle, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (17)
SALYUT (Minesweeper) Electric Pulse. (8)

6 SWC | 300 Points

THE TABLES
Table One
The dense Loading Yards remain a controversial table, with so much scatter is can be difficult to manoeuvre for larger models. In the future I intend to replace some of the crate piles with industrial buildings and keep the streets clearer to ease movement
Table Two
The increasingly colourful Neon City
The streets feature some new additions fresh off the painting table
Table Three
Table Four - painted by Joe. Excellent work!
Table Five
Table Six
Table Seven
Table Eight
Table Nine

GAME ONE - Beaconland
As the new nation of Ariadna struggles to assert its independence, the "High Rollers" are charged with infiltrating Caledonian territory and installing observation beacons to give Corregidor an edge in the coming Trade Wars. They are surprised by the ferocity of the Highlanders, and though they reap a bloody toll on the madmen, cannot achieve their mission.
Highlanders are fought to a bloody stalemate in an industrial region
The first game of the day was drawn against a relatively new player named Alex, who was running a rather large and intimidating Ariadna force - specifically the Caledonian Highlanders. His force consisted of a Volunteer Link Team with HMG, two more Volunteers, three 45th Highlander berserkers, Tearlach McMurrough, Uxia McNeil alongside two S.A.S. operatives, a 3rd Highlander Grey with HMG, two 112 Emergency Service Doctors, a lone Cateran Sniper, and William Wallace himself. A LOT of Orders, but only six Specialists. I took my first team, with the Hellcat and Tomcat ready to come on from reserve where I needed them. 

I deployed first with the Wildcats and Specialists on the right-hand side. The Intruder with Jaguar and Daktari escort hid in the tallest building on the left, while the Reaktion Zond was nearby, ready to appear and cover where appropriate. Alex had the bulk of his force opposite my Wildcats, where the Intruder could not see because of the large central building. The Volunteer Link Team and William Wallace were placed on the other side. 

Opening shots from the Nomad team brought down one of the S.A.S. and the Cateran Sniper, before the Wildcats advanced and gunned down the imposing McMurrough. The rest of the Scots were out of sight, but charged forward from the cover of smoke to unleash the three 45th Highlander Rifles - their chain-rifles overwhelmed the Wildcats, and although the Highlanders were all gunned down, the Wildcats were slaughtered, leaving only the Lieutenant hiding in cover. Uxia McNeil, the S.A.S. operative and the two doctors advanced and placed four Beacons in the centre of the table - I had only managed to deploy one at this point, and rest were lying unactivated in the middle of the board! The Reaktion Zond was targeted and destroyed by the 3rd Highlander Grey and the Stempler Zond brought down by one of the doctors - a big blow as these were my fastest units. 

Stifled by the sheer number of Highlanders, the Nomads were forced to attack - the Hellcat with Spitfire did most of the work, gunning down one of the doctors, Uxia and the S.A.S., the 3rd Highlander Grey and one Volunteer (one not in the Link Team). The Intruder then gunned down William Wallace, freeing the Tomcat to place a Beacon in the enemy Deployment Zone and trigger his Demolition Charge to score my Classified Objective Sabotage

The chaos in the centre of the board around the large buildings was consuming men at an alarming rate, and with so few models left, we were both concerned about how we were going to place down Beacons. Resolving to stop the Highlanders, the last Wildcat and the Intruder hunted down the Volunteer Link Team, killing three and stopping them from running down the flank to place a Beacon in the Nomad Deployment Zone. His team was now in Retreat, and in a final, desperate act, the last doctor ran an activated Beacon back into the Ariadna Deployment Zone, risking an ARO from the Hellcat to deny me my victory. He succeeded. 

The game ended there, with the Nomads having suffered only a few losses, but not scoring any points for Beacons. The Ariadna team had secured the centre, but not achieved anything else. The final result was a 2-1 LOSS, a good show of how messy the whole thing had been. 

Alex was a great guy to play, and I really had fun. He played efficiently, and we finished on time with a full three Turns despite having such large Order pools and the scenario being slightly complicated. Both of us played aggressively, and put ourselves in positions where shooting was the only option. This resulted in the low score, as neither of us had the Orders spare to fetch Beacons and place them in the correct positions. 

GAME TWO - Transmission Matrix
Taking advantage of the chaos on the Paradiso frontline the "High Rollers" are charged with disrupting the ALEPH network and seizing several transmission beacons. They encounter resistance from the Steel Phalanx, but with the element of surprise cut them down and secure the objectives.
ALEPH forces are attacked in the overgrown ruins of a Paradiso town
For the second round, I was drawn against Alex, a friend whom I had attended several tournaments alongside, but curiously only played once. This time, he was using his nicely painted Assault Sub-Section of ALEPH. Steel Phalanx - hurray! I seem to be cursed to play against these guys in every tournament. 

Alex was running a three Link Team list, with Phoenix, a Myrmidon Hacker and standard Myrmidon in one team, Thrasymedes and two Thorakitai (one Forward Observer, one Engineer I think) in the second, and a Mymidon Officer, Myrmidon with Spitfire and standard Myrmidon in the third. The team was rounded out with a Dactyl Doctor and an Agema Marksman with Mk.12, plus, I would find out later, an Ekdromoi Drop Trooper. 

Deploying first but going first, I was able to take the initiative and move the Intruders through a cover of smoke, moving myself into positions where they could pick some key targets. In quick succession, the Dactyl Doctor, a Thorakitai, Phoenix and Thrasymedes were cut down by the Intruders, who then laid covering fire alongside the Reaktion Zond to stop his counter-attack. The Intruder with HMG was killed in return as Alex tried to advance, but at the end of the first turn we both had two Objectives

In the second turn the Wildcats moved up, unfortunately losing the Spitfire-armed leader to a critical ARO. In an effort to deal with the last active Myrmidon Link Team, the Wildcat Engineer rushed forward and unleashed his flamethrower, killing the Myrmidon with Spitfire and the Myrmidon Officer, though he was brought down in the process. Alex was now in Loss of Lieutenant, and used his Command Tokens to give the not-yet deployed Ekdromoi a chance to attack. He was killed by the Reaktion Zond. The Agema Marksman wounded the Intruder with MULTI Sniper Rifle before, again, the Reaktion Zond finished him. Reduced to three models, the ALEPH forces were being hunted down one by one, and in the closing stages the last two Myrmidons were gunned down, the Intruder healed by the Paramedic and the two Classified Objectives completed. Securing the Objectives, the Nomad Nation had scored a big 9 - 3 WIN. 

My commiserations to Alex in this game - it looked bad from the opening move, as my Intruders repositioned themselves to get key shots on three of his most important models. After this, my Reaktion Zond moved into a position to cover all of his survivors, and once the Wildcat had sacrificed himself to burn down the last Myrmidon Link Team, it was all but over. Some better dice may have helped, but who knows?

GAME THREE- Annihilation
The "High Rollers" are despatched to parley with Qapu Khalqi privateers following veiled threats against Nomad trade interests. The meeting does not last long before descending into a running firefight through the streets, and despite being ambushed and outflanked, the red-armoured mercenaries made good on their reputation and fight them to a bloody standstill.
On the streets of the Neon City, a trade deal goes awry
The last game was drawn against Joe, a local regular and a very good player. Joe tends to place above me in tournaments, and had been doing well in out Escalation League with his Qapu Khalqi team. I had never beaten Joe, though I had managed to lose three times against him by putting him in Retreat too early and ending the game before I could score Objectives

Playing on my own Neon City was a treat - despite owning and painting the board, I had only played on it once before. Joe's force consisted of a Ghulam Link Team (including a hidden Hafza with Spitfire), Djanbazan with HMG, Janissary with HMG (though this turned out to be a hidden Hafza Lieutenant), three (!!!) Al'Hawwa infiltrators, three Yuan Yuan pirates and four Bashi Bazouks - a crazy force that would appear from the flank and cause havoc. 

My initial moves revealed all three Al'Hawwa infiltrators and gunned down two of them, while the third ducked behind cover. The Wildcats advanced, while the Stempler Zond tried to secure my first Classified Objective - HVT: Designation. Joe's first turn was spent with the Yuan Yuan pirates and the Bashi Bazouks causing a monumental headache on my right flank, where the Wildcats were lurking. Through good placement of a Jaguar with Chain-rifle to cover my side and some excellent armour rolls, the flanking force was gunned down for minimal losses - only a single Wildcat! The Djanbazan with HMG and Ghulam Link Team made up for this, however, as they appeared from cover and took out my Reaktion Zond and both Intruders. 

I had lost my three heavy weapons and only managed to kill inconsequential units, so I resolved to take down as many points as I could and secure both of my Classified Objectives. The Stempler Zind managed this for me, finishing the HVT: Designation after gunning down the third Al'Hawwa, and then running Telemetry on the Unconscious body, though it was destroyed in the process by the Djanbazan. The Wildcats attacked the Ghulam Link Team, bringing down the Missile Launcher but then suffering the attentions of the hidden Hafza with Spitfire. In a draw out street battle with close-range shotgun fire and numerous successful armour rolls, the Wildcats were reduced to one man but managed to take down the Hafza and the team's Doctor, assisted by the Alguacile Forward Observer

The game ended there, with the Nomads in a bad state. Having completed two of my Classified Objectives, the result was a 6 - 6 DRAW. 

(With hindsight I think the score was 7 - 6 as I think there was a misunderstanding with the final tally. Nonetheless, if it had gone to a Third Turn I would have been slaughtered, so am happy to leave it at 6 - 6!)

Joe was an great opponent as ever, though I am sorry for being somewhat short-tempered with the incredible amount of time three Yuan Yuans and four Bashi Bazouks managed to eat up. Deploying them, working out their Orders, smoke grenades, AROs etc. took up what felt like half the game, and I was quite tired at this point in the day. Hopefully this was not too apparent!

With that, my tournament was over - a narrow Loss, big Win and a good-scoring Draw. Can't argue with that too much!

THE PAINTING COMPETITION
It seems people have been busy! A much greater number of painted (and fully painted!!!) teams were out in force this time, and the painting competition at lunch time was a lot of fun to look over. As I had feared, local painter extraordinaire Joel had finally finished his team and entered them to win the prize. They look stunning, and his work with making his own decals is something to behold. I look forward to playing against his fully painted team on a proper table one day in the future.
Adam's Military Orders
A closer look at the Remotes
My own Nomads
Alex's Ariadna
Ben's Nomads

Andrew's Tohaa

Alex's ALEPH

Joel's PanOceania

Sadly, I have lost all the pictures of the teams and cannot reproduce them here. You'll have to take my word that they were fantastic...

RESULTS
Final Standings!
Fourth Place - respectable! Obviously a LOT of other players scored sixteen points, so I only came so high because of the Victory Point difference. Thankfully, I had been a bit more reserved with my team and managed to keep them (largely) alive, especially in the first and second games. Looking back on it, I think I earned another point for the third mission, but this would not have changed my placing so am not too worried about it. 

Overall a good show from all the players, especially Joel who managed to escape claiming the Wooden Spoon (commiserations Ben), Alex for winning the "Most Crit'ed" Award, Robin for winning (again!) and Chris for holding up the store reputation with his Tohaa. 

CONCLUSIONS AND LEARNING POINTS
TOURNAMENT THOUGHTS
As usual, a well-run event from Simon and Karl. This being the seventh or eighth tournament in the past year, I think they should be getting pretty good at it by now! The morning before the official start was a bit of rush and this did not help when setting up the tables, but the games played out on time and the tournament ended on schedule - important for me when I have to pack away so much scenery! 

The tables were all good (I think my own were the most controversial in terms of density) and the prize support excellent, as ever. The scenario choices were... unconventional, but after the griping stopped the missions played out nicely, with some interesting scores. I look forward to the next event! 

GAMING THOUGHTS
Suppression Fire gets a mentioned again - I used it well in the first and second games, but forgot about it in the third where it could have made a big difference! 

Overall I did not use my Command Tokens very much - a couple of Coordinated Orders in the first game and reforming the Link in the second, but that was all I can remember. 

This was the first tournament I can remember never winning the initiative roll at the start of the game - this meant I deployed blind and went first in all three games. I think I need a better Lieutenant! 

UNIT BREAKDOWN AND THE FUTURE
The Jurisidictional Command of Corregidor played as well as usual, with their wealth of heavy firepower, Aerial Deployment troopers and occasional Camouflage tricks causing havoc for my opponents. 

In the first game, I was misplaced my Reaktion Zond and Intruder, leaving the Wildcats to advance without covering fire - this would result in them being crippled and the force the Hellcat and Tomcat to come in and save the day - albeit too little too late as the Beacons were lost. A better deployment may have resulted in a better score there, but I was really happy with the performance of the Hellcat in that mission - Ariadna troops are easy to kill when their cover is blown! 

The second game belonged to the Intruders, who dominated the first turn and reduced Alex to a handful of models in several quick Orders. The Reaktion Zond was also instrumental here, flanking the Myrmidons and covering most of the board to stop their advance. I must mention the Wildcat with Light Flamethrower, who sacrificed himself to burn down an entire Link Team and really stopped any chance of a counter-attack from the Assault Sub-Section. 

Game Three against Joe was the biggest challenge as he knew my list inside out, and with some good placements managed to deal with my Intruders and Reaktion Zond quickly. The Wildcats held their own, but it was barely enough, and the Stempler Zond saved the day my scoring both of my Classified Objectives. Again in this game it was a key decision with the Stempler that cost me vital points - if I had enacted a series of Orders in a different sequence, I would have been able to keep the Zond alive and had another unit ready to cover against the Ghulam Link Team. Suppression Fire with that model and the Alguacile Forward Observer would have also been far more useful, and resulted in a different score. 

The team as a whole, however, performed admirably. Barring some bad placement (not my fault as I was forced to deploy first in all three games) and a couple of bad decisions, I can't fault them or the dice. 

So what does the future bring? Having just invested in Dropzone Commander I am not ready for another Faction just yet, but will be experimenting with some different unit types - McMurrough, Jaguar Link teams, Bandits etc. Hopefully by the time of the next tournament I will be able to field something different and still perform well!

Thanks for reading, 

George


3 comments:

  1. Very nice looking tables. I like that they are themed. Where did the cool mat for neon city come from?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cheers! The mat is from MicroArt Studio

    ReplyDelete
  3. I enjoy reading your tournament report very much. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete