Monday, 17 August 2015

Infinity - SCTS 2015 IV Tournament Report

THE FOURTH SOUTH COAST INFINITY TOURNAMENT SEES THE NOMADS RETURN TO THE TABLE ONCE MORE

THE TOURNAMENT AND PREPARATION
It's that time of year again - another Infinity tournament at the local gaming club! The South Coast Tournament System is well and truly established now, and as usual, I attended with my two gaming tables and the mercenary "High Rollers" of the Jurisdictional Command of Corregidor

This time around, attendance had been filled quickly by a horde of new local players, meaning it would be a bit more beginner-friendly and lacking a few of the Big Names that normally attend these events. The usual winner of the SCTS events (Robin) was not in attendance for one, as he was at the massive Interplanetary tournament in Spain. Maybe my chances of placing well would be improved?

The missions were a lot simpler than previous events to reflect this - Supplies, Quadrant Control and Transmission Matrix. My preparation for the tournament had been sadly lacking - since taking up Dropzone Commander I had only managed to play a handful of games - two since the finale of the Escalation League some weeks ago. One big win against a Morat force and a messy draw against Tohaa had proven the team still had it where it counted but I would have preferred more combat experience. Infinity is somewhat different game to Dropzone Commander, it must be said!

THE TEAMS

TEAM ONE - THE WILDCARDS
A slightly modified Wildcard team supports my regular tournament team (the High Rollers), with the Wildcat Link Team in their own Combat Group while the main Combat Group includes a Zondbot to sit next to the Intruder should he fall. Having a Doctor to patch up the Hellcat and Intruder has proven very, very helpful in previous games, as I don't tend to use all my Command Tokens and they can be saved for those vital re-rolls.

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 Combi Rifle + Light Flamethrower, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (19)
WILDCAT Boarding Shotgun, Flash Grenades, Deployable Repeater / Pistol, Knife. (18)

Group 2
INTRUDER
(X-Visor) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, CCW. (1.5 | 43)
JAGUAR Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, DA CCW. (10)
ALGUACIL Hacker (Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 18)
ALGUACIL (Forward Observer, Deployable Repeater) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (12)
ALGUACIL Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (10)
TOMCAT Doctor Combi Rifle + Light Flamethrower / Pistol, Knife. (22)
ZONDBOT Electric Pulse (3)
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

TEAM TWO - THE HIGH ROLLERS
My Old Faithful team, this list is tried and tested with five tournaments worth of experience. Good for most missions but a little slow, I was slightly worried about the Quadrant Control mission, but reasoned they would just shoot down any opposing forces.

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
A disorganised slum, with an important surgery in one corner
Table Two
The edge of civilisation - luxury apartments afford a view of the slums beyond
Table Three
A large dump truck winds through the streets
Table Four
The busy streets of the Neon City 
Table Five
The Loading Dock is as messy as ever
Table Six
Massive renovation efforts in this part of the city give hope for the future
Table Seven
A deserted outpost awaits new occupants
GAME ONE - Transmission Matrix
Amid the loading docks of a PanOceania trading post, the High Rollers are ambushed by a crack team of Ariadna specialists with an unknown agenda. They take heavy casualties and cannot achieve their primary mission, but sabotage their target and flee into the city
The Wildcats struggle as they are surrounded by elite Kazak soldiers 
The first match of the day saw the High Rollers face an old foe - Alex and his Ariadna team. I had faced Alex before with his massive Caledonian horde, but this time he had a more elite and patient force of Kazaks, featuring (to my dismay) ten Camouflage tokens! Though I would not have to worry about Hacking, Alex had covered three of the Objectives with Camo Markers, and I was already panicking.

The game opened poorly, as the Intruder sniper failed his Discover rolls and Alex refused to fall for my bait. I was forced to sacrifice the Stempler Zond to rush forward and run a Sensor scan to reveal some of the Camouflaged troops (most of which turned out to be Mines), The Intruder with HMG tried to advanced, but I misjudged a distance and he was killed by a Mine - %$&£!

I managed to take out a Scout with Ojotnik, Chasseur, Spetsnatz (who was promptly healed), Cateran sniper and Tank Hunter with Autocannon, but that was the highlight. My team was ambushed and butchered. I lost focus after the surprise of losing the Intruder, and it cost me the game as I fed him models for the two Spetsnatz with HMGs to consume. In the end I managed to achieve both of my Classified Objectives, as the Wildcats concentrated on Sabotaging a crate and Retroengineering his HVT rather than shooting Camo Markers, but Alex held all the Objectives and scored both of his Classifieds, resulting in a LOSS 4 - 10. Ouch! 

As with the last tournament, Alex was a great opponent, very patient with his Camouflaged troopers and skilled with their use. I played... poorly, and never really got over the first couple of bad rolls with the Intruder sniper and walking the second Intruder into a Mine. The Wildcats did well to hold off the Ariadna advance and score the two Classified Objectives, but ultimately it was too little, and far too late.

MVP - The Wildcat Engineer, for detonating the Demolition Charge and scoring the Retroengineering Classified Objective, while also evading several angry Russians through the stacked crates.

Hall of Shame - The Intruder with HMG, for casually walking into range of a Mine I knew was there and dying. 42pts well spent.

GAME TWO - Supplies
In the streets of the Neon City, the Wildcard team steals merchandise under the noses of a heavily-armed PanOceania recovery team. They suffer heavy casualties, but the PanOceania forces are similarly bloodied

The second game was against a local player named James, who usually runs Military Orders but today had gone for vanilla PanOceania. His force consisted of an Aquila Guard with HMG, (hidden) Swiss Guard Hacker with MULTI Rifle, Nisse with MULTI Sniper Rifle, Akalis Sikh Commando Hacker (off the board), a smattering of Fusiliers, Pathfinder DronBot and Bulleteer.

James hid almost all of his force on the first turn, allowing me to work forward and secure two of the Objectives with the Wildcats, who then holed up in the Bar in the centre of the board. The Alguacile Forward Observer achieved my first Classified Objective on his HVT. Several troops advanced to enter Suppressive Fire and the Reaktion Zond hunted down his Pathfinder. First blood!

In turn, James tried to advance with his Bulleteer, killing one Wildcat but being destroyed in turn by the Intruder sniper. Having covered his left flank with my firebase, James was forced to bring out the Aquila Guard to try and break it. In this, he was unsuccessful, wasting several orders and only succeeding in killing one more Wildcat. The Swiss Guard appeared on the right flank, working forward to reach the third Objective, while the Fusilier Hacker moved to try a Data Scan the Wildcats, but failed.

The second turn revolved around a massive firefight between the Aquila Guard, Intruder sniper, Reaktion Zond and Swiss Guard, which ultimately ended with the removal of both PanO heavy-hitters. Excellent work! James then attacked with the Nisse, who took down both of my heavy-hitters in turn. The Nisse sniper dominated the table from this point, taking down several troopers and denying me a chance to secure the third Objectve. Running out of guns, I resolved to cover the third Objective and stop James from scoring, with some key zones of Suppression Fire denying him his counter-attack.

The game ended a WIN 8 - 1, though James did score more kills. It was a brutal mess by the end, with four Unconscious models and several dead troopers surrounding the third Objective. Ultimately James played too cautiously on the first turn and positioned his Swiss Guard poorly, leaving me able to grab the Objectives and then deny him any chance of getting them back or securing the third. A brutal game, no doubt!

MVP - The Reaktion Zond, for covering most of the board and taking down both the Swiss Guard and the Aquila Guard with some great shooting. Nice one!

Hall of Shame - The Tomcat and Hellcat team - normally these guys win this style of mission for me, but today, the Hellcat was shot down in ARO and the Tomcat wasted three orders trying to revive him (he never succeeded). Not great.

GAME THREE - Quadrant Control
The High Rollers turn the tables on their PanOceania pursuers, starting a brutal firefight on the edge of the city where the luxury new-build C.A.S.Hstak apartments give way to the slums
The Wildcats ambush the Fusiliers and cut them down with a deadly crossfire, before holding their nerve against the Squalo TAG and bringing it down too
Game Three was drawn against Joel, local painting extraordinaire and PanO enthusiast. Joel likes his TAGs, and today was no exception. A mighty Squalo, Fusilier Link Team with HMG and Missile Launcher, Machinist, WarCor, three Bolts, Deva Functionary and an Auxilia with Auxbot made up his team - obviously the big threats would be the TAG and the Link Team, but I could not afford to ignore that Auxbot (with heavy flamethrower) either!

Joel deployed defensively, hiding most of his models behind several large crates. Taking the first turn, the Nomads opened with the Reaktion Zond, who wasted three Orders trying to cut down the Fusiliers before being blown up by a missile, before the Wildcats advanced. They exploited the labyrinth of crates, isolating and cutting down the Auxbot before ambushing the Fusiliers with a double-tap flamethrower attack that killed two Fusiliers and a Bolt. The Spitfire-armed Wildcat shifted forward, removing another Fusilier. The rest of the Nomads moved in support of the Wildcats, covering the alleyways of the table and stopping any free movement for Joel.

The Wildcats had to be dealt with, and Joel moved up with the Squalo and the remaining Fusiliers. For all his power, he was at a bad range, and the Wildcats rolled incredibly well. Joel poured orders into the firefight, and by the end of his turn, the Fusiliers were dead and the Squalo a broken mess. I had suffered no casualties. Holy &%$£! Two critical hits from the Wildcat and some very poor dice from Joel had seen his TAG, and then his entire force collapse.

The TAG was down, and the blood drunk Wildcats quickly destroyed it with several Demolition Charges. In their frenzy, they then killed the last Fusilier, the Machinist and the Auxilia, before turning on the scattered survivors and shooting down the WarCor. In hindsight, I should have held back, as this left Joel in Retreat and the game ended with his two remaining Bolts and Deva Functionary running around uselessly.

Playing only two turns, the game ended a WIN 7 - 0, as I had scored a Coup-de-Grace for the Classified Objective. Turn three would have brought it up to 10 - 0, but that felt unnecessary. I really did not feel the game would go this way - Joel did not deserve his TAG to screw up so badly and suffer like that. Had it taken down the Wildcats as I had imagined, the game would have been a lot more even. As it was, once the TAG was down and the Link Team gutted, it became a methodical slaughter.

MVP - The Wildcats, oh my yes. They scored every single one of my kills in this game - totalling over 250pts worth of PanO filth.

Hall of Shame - After his great performance in the previous match, the Reaktion Zond was back to his usual self in this match, missing several times before being blown up by a missile.

PAINTING COMPETITION
Joel's stunning PanOceania - finally finished and with their own display board
The Jurisdictional Command of Corregidor strike a pose on a large pile of crates and barrels
Alex's Ariadna forces - the overall winner of the painting competition - well done! 
Ryan's pastel shade Yu Jing ISS - featuring lots of bounty hunters!
Andy's Combined Army - featuring a bit more paint than the last time I played against them I think
AFTERMATH AND RESULTS
After a middling loss and two big wins, I had managed to finish in SECOND PLACE! Nice one! Third and fourth were only behind me by one point, showing how close the final results were.

Chris managed first with a rather impressive 29/30 points, showing the full power of the Tohaa in the hands of a very accomplished player. I was lucky to avoid him this tournament, as although we managed a close 2-2 Draw in the club last week, I doubt the game would have gone the same way again. 

CONCLUSIONS AND LEARNING POINTS 
Once again, another excellent tournament by Simon and the Lvl Up team. It was a shame the numbers had fallen so much the in the last few days, as originally there were twenty players signed up. In the future they are planning to expand and host at a larger premises, allowing for bigger tournaments. I look forward to that!

A nice spread of different Factions, with one Tohaa, one Combined, two Ariadna and then the usual smattering of Nomads, Haqqislam, Yu Jing and PanOceania. Strangely enough, there were no ALEPH players at this tournament - a real turn from previous events where most of my opponents were Steel Phalanx.

The High Rollers performed as well as usual, though my Intruder with HMG did not fire once in the entire tournament! For the Wildcard team, the Hellcat with Spitfire was another complete failure. The Wildcats did very well in this tournament, achieving the Classified Objectives in the first game, securing two Objectives in the second and killing almost everything in the third game - including a mighty TAG. They can stay! The Reaktion Zond was also stellar in the second game, causing massive casualties in combination with the Hacker's Support Programs.

The tournament saw my forces getting ripped apart in the first and second games - I've never suffered so many casualties. Is the game getting bloodier? Was it the terrain - playing on my own two tables for these games? I think my playstyle has definitely become more aggressive and willing to sacrifice models to achieve Objectives - this was certainly the case in the first and second games, and to an extent the third (though it did not work out that way!)

I'm starting to get Corregidor-fatigue, finally. After over a year of playing the same Sectorial - sixty five games, and eight tournaments, I managed to get into the top rankings of the ITS and get listed as one of the top Corregidor players. Sweet - but is it time for a change? How much of a change? Go Vanilla or change Faction entirely?

At the moment I am rather busy painting three thousand points worth of Dropzone Commander, and after that I will be working on my Alien versus Predator models (plus maybe some Batman and more terrain) so I am not really sure at the moment, but I think going pure Nomads and investing in some sweet Hacking and Camouflage would be cool. We shall see! 

Thanks for reading, 

George

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