Sunday, 15 April 2018

War of the Worlds VII - Infinity Tournament Report

The other weekend just I attended the War of the Worlds VII tournament held at IBuyWargames in Woking. The format was escalation over three missions - 200pts Transmission Matrix, 300pts Looting and Sabotaging,  and 400pts Biotechvore.

Three of us represented the Bournemouth crew, a veteran Tohaa player and an ever-faithfu ISS player.

We arrived nice and early (too early), to set up three tables of terrain including my own brightly painted set of Warsenal buildings and Warmill roadway with Antenocitis Workshop vehicles.  I'm acutely aware of the downsides of the table I set up - really long fire lanes that favour sniper positions, which is why I don't usually offer to bring it unless really needed. It is an issue I intend to address, but there's so much I want to do, and so little time to do it.  I know there was a bit of grumbling about the table on the day, so to those people I apologise, I will continue to not offer it up until I can get some los blocking ad signs attached to the roadway, which should help with movement across the board.

On to the games...

Out in force

Mmmm, four Enomotarchos, mmmm.
Round One - 200pts Transmission Matrix
I had an awesome opponent using my old nemesis... Corregidor. Well, Corregidor on paper, because when he arrived at the shop he realised he'd left his army bag at home... doh. The TO cobbled together a bunch of models and we took full advantage of the proxy rules.  I'm glad that I'm vaguely familiar with Corregidor as otherwise I wouldn't have had a clue what was going on.

I won the Lt. WIP off, and chose sides. The terrain was such that I think my side had a favourable set up. My opponent agreed with my assessment after the game, and chose to go second.

With no targets to shoot at, I spent Orders pushing my Myrmidon Link Team up to secure the central objective. I also got to take on the Designated Target with my Data Tracker, which felt odd as my Classified Objective included having to do things to the HVT (something's not quite right there).  As luck would have it, my opponent rolled a critical for the Dodge roll and I spent further a three Orders on my Myrmidon Officer chasing down this blasted Designated Target (my own Go-Go Marlene).  That left me with a single Order to consolidate and get ready for the counter attack.

This was essentially a McMurrough-fest. Using smoke to protect himself from my Total Reaction Rebot's HMG, McMurrough took on the Myrmidon Link Team.  I tried Dodging, engaging and shooting back, but three of my four Myrmidons fell, leaving the central objective clear.  Then McMurrough turned to face my TR Remote and Flash Pulse-equipped Remote. Somehow the Flash Pulse bot passed its Dodge roll and the TR bot passed its armour save whilst taking a wound off McMurder. With two Orders left, McMurder moved one more time to place his danged double Chain Rifle template over the Flash Pulse bot, TR HMG bot and the helper bot sat behind waiting to fix things up.  Somehow the Flash Pulse bot survived... hooray. The TR bot went double Unconscious as did the helper bot (rats, the engineer was too far to try and fix things up), but McMurrough was finally dead.

With his last Order, my opponent moved his Intruder with Combi-Rifle over to the central objective in order to secure some point but risking a shot from my remaining Myrmidon with Chain Rifle.  I lost the Myrmidon to Combi-Rifle shots (screw you MSVL2), but his sacrifice was worth it, as the Chain Rifle put the Intruder down... leaving that central objective uncontested.

4-1 to me.

In Loss-of-Lieutenant and only five Oerders, I burned all of my Command Tokens and turned four Irregular Orders in to regular Orders and sent Scylla with her Charybdis to retake the central objective. She went prone behind a box whilst the Devabot took cover ready to get its Heavy Flamethrower on. Not a great turn, but not much else I could do.

My opponent was also in Loss-of-Lieutenant... what!!! Turns out the Intruder was his Lt. This was really going to save my bacon.  All the Command Tokens spent on turning Irregulars regular saw Senor Massacre lead his Link Team in a wide arcing flank manoeuvre to avoid the Devabot and nail Scylla dead. This left the central objective again uncontested... I think.  I'm not entirely sure if I could count the Devabot in its un-connected state as securing the objective or not.  I know in the past people have claimed that they can, but that seems stupid to me.

4-1 to me... still.

Four Orders plus new Lt. I spent it all on my Thorakitai Engineer, who ran up my right flank to take a single pot shot at the lone Jaguar on home defence duties. Massive fluke, but I took him out. Although I was too far away to claim that objective for myself, it was now uncontested, forcing my opponent to fight.

With a new Lt in place, my opponent had all the Orders. First objective, nobble my Designated Target, which he did (I rolled a 12 for the Dodge grrrrr). Then take out my Flash Pulse bot, babysitting my left hand side objective, which he did, and claimed for himself.

4-5 LOSS.

Wow, what a game. We were told after that we could have swapped our Classified Objectives for ones not involving an HVT, but honestly I can't find those rules anywhere and if I can't read it for myself then I'm not going to do it. I really enjoyed this game - I was on the back-foot after being McMurrough'd in the face, but pleased that I didn't quit and kept fighting to the end, giving my opponent lots to work around.  I hope to play him again, with his real army as he was a top guy to play against, sporting, knew his stats (and mine), knew the rules... exactly what you want.

Round Two - 300pts Looting and Sabotaging
I moved upstairs for this game, sandwiched between two boards on either side and a dude right behind me.  The terrain on this board was really built up, with lots of overhanging balconies and such, which made moving your models at ground floor a little awkward.  It wouldn't have been so bad if we'd had an admin area, but there you go.

My opponent this round was an Hassassin Bahram player, which I don't recall ever facing, but I know I'm going to be having Camouflage tokens thrust at me.  My opponent won the WIP off and rightly took deployment; I elected to go first.

I wasted a couple of Orders trying to discover if Bob from Accounting was actually El Dribble (Al-Dajabel), but to know avail. It was time to activate plan "clobbering time". Up ran Ajax with his big fat hammer with his Myrmidon team in tow. A camo token revealed (I think a Daylami) and covered my team in shotgun-template goodness, I had to declare Dodge so all the members could benefit.  Well, I lost one Myrmidon and the Officer went NWI. Ajax was unaffected as was the remaining Myrmidon. I decided to break the Link and sent Ajax on his merry way, winning the face-to-face with the Daylami and sending it Unconscious.  Ajax continued to move towards my opponent's AC2 revealing camo tokens (including mines) from left, right and centre, then with my last Order, Ajax moved and swung, to take two Structure Points off the AC2. A Muttawi'ah managed to isolate Ajax with his jammer, which meant he was feeling really lonely in the danger zone all on his tod.

My opponent's Impetuous phase felt really really long; four Muttawi'ah and Yojimbo (forgot to mention this was a Soldiers of Fortune event).  All aimed at Ajax, who dodged and dodged and dodged and dodged some more. I don't know how many Dodge rolls I made, it was ridiculous, I dodged all the chain rifle shots from Mutts, Impetuous and Irregular, I dodged fire from Yojimbo, I dodged fire from Daylami (I think one might have hit and I armour rolled it). By the end Ajax was alive and still in base contact with the AC2.  My opponent then went after my AC2 with a Fiday in smoke. The Fiday hit the AC2 three or four times and managed a single point of damage (armour 8 for the win baby).

3-2 to me... I think.

I needed that Fiday gone, so my Myrmidon Officer set about that making full utility of her Boarding Shotgun and ODD at close range.  I moved the Total Reaction HMG-bot up on to the top of a building to watch over Ajax (turned out LOF wasn't quite that good).  It took out a lone Mutt, but couldn't see anything else. Ajax pounded on the AC2, critting and doing a further point of damage to destroy the thing for good - boom objective done! Ajax had been my Data Tracker. With the tonne of fire coming in at Ajax, there was little chance of him surviving... nevermind, he'd been more than a hero. I moved a Myrmidon with Chain Rifle up, to be a nuisance.

My opponent set about moving El-Dribble (Al-Dajabel) to do further damage to my AC2, I can't quite remember the specifics, but I think he burned to a Light Rocket Launcher hit from an ARO'ing Thorakitai before he could damage the AC2. Then came the charge of Yojimbo, lots of smoke to protect from the nuisance Myrmidon, lots of smoke to protect from the HMG bot, boom, hit the AC2 and down it goes. However Yojimbo wasn't the Data Tracker, so I was just ahead.

4-3 to me... I think again.

I finished off Yojimbo from a hail of fire from my Thorakitai Link Team, then sent things to collect goodies from the panoplies. My Myrmidon Officer grabbed a Flash Pulse... nice, then my Dactyl Engineer grabbed a MULTI Sniper Rifle... for real nice. The Myrmidon Officer was at this point in Zone-of-Control of the enemy HVT... also cool.

With plenty of Orders still around and still plenty of blasted camo tokens, my opponent grabbed three things from the panoplies, each time dying to Thorakitai ARO fire... but that didn't matter as they did what they needed to do. Then came a critical moment as a camo token attempted to sneak up on my Dactyl Engineer and Myrmidon Officer.  I declared Discover with them and also declared delay with my Total Reaction bot in case it revealed. I was really pleased with this decision. The camo token continued to move, so I rolled the discover and passed. Whatever it was shot up my Myrmidon Officer and died to a hail of fire from the Total Reaction bot for his efforts. Thanking my stars for No Wound Incapacitation on the Officer, she was still in the game and securing the HVT. With his remaining Orders my opponent stood up some dudes that were on a roof to take shots at the Myrmidon Officer; I popped Eclipse Smoke which worked out and meant she could no longer be shot at.

5-4 VICTORY to me... wooo a win.

Once again a superb opponent, who could have gotten really salty with all the Dodge rolls I made for Ajax. Kudos to him for having a really well organised set of camo tokens all numbered up and clearly marked on his list.  He played a really clean game, had a sporting attitude and once again was everything I could wish for in an opponent.

Round Three - 400pts Biotechvore
400 points really suits Steel Phalanx, with our unlimited Enomotarchos Link Teams and expensive units to lead them; the more points the merrier. My opponent was sporting a really nicely painted Qapu Khalqi army, with an Iguana, five-man Kaplan Link Team, an Odalisque Haris, a Druze Duo, a couple of Yuan Yuans, a Total Reaction HMG chicken bot and a Djanbazan sniper. My opponent won the WIP off and chose to go first.

I'd hidden most of my troops, except for a Thorakitai HMG and Thorakitai Forward Observer staring at the Total Reaction HMG chicken bot on my left and a Thorakitai Feuerbach staring down the Iguana. Smoke from a Yuan Yuan protected the Total Reaction bot's route forward and the Odalisques safely got out of the Biotechvore virus zone. The Iguana moved forward too, winning the face-to-face role against the Feuerbach before settling into a nice Suppressing Fire position.  The Kaplans and Druze also moved out of the zone to safety, covering my routes in plenty of ARO opportunities. The only troops to not make it out of the Biotechvore virus zone were the Yuan Yuan's (due to my command token usage) but they passed the BTS save.

Oh rats! Hector and two remaining Thorakitai were covered in AROs, including the Iguana in Suppressing Fire and a sniper Djanbazan.  I kicked things off with my other Thorakitai team led by Thrasymedes and managed to knock out first the Total Reaction HMG chicken bot, then using the Light Rocket Launcher on a pair of Odalisques... sweet opening moves. I moved one of my Myrmidon teams up to safety, then started to wonder about what to do with Hector... then it hit me and of course, so obvious. The first Myrmidon link team threw down some Eclipse Smoke, then my other Myrmidon team lead by Eudoros moved up the far right flank, popping even more Eclipse Smoke, Dodging some shots in the process... all hail ODD. This gave Hector and his two Thorakitai buddies all the smoke cover they needed to move forward. One of the Thorakitai couldn't make it out of the danger zone and succumbed to the virus (sad face).  I popped Hector and a Thorakitai Combi-Rifle dude into Suppressing Fire.

With the smoke gone, Hector and his buddy Thorakitai had a host of enemy staring at them.  My opponent ran the Iguana forward breaking him out of Suppressing Fire and used his flamer on Hector and the Thorakitai.  Hector burned and burned and burned some more, but not before critting the Iguana and doing a further wound. The blast from the plasma rifle also caught a Kaplan, knocking that five-strong link down to four. The Thorakitai tanked the flamer hit but failed to wound the Iguana further. The Iguana pilot then ejected into my Biotechvore virus zone, right by the Thorakitai team led by Thras and the first Myrmidon team, with a Line-of-Fire to Eudoros.  The pilot went a bit suicidal, trying to hit Eudoros, which resulted in further Eclipse Smoke, whilst many shots from Thorakitai and Myrmidons finished him off. A great turn for me despite losing Hector (my Lt).

With Chain of Command, my Lieutenant switched to the Myrmidon Officer, I went aggressive with the Myrmidon team, using the Spitfire to attack the Djanbazan, a Yuan Yuan and one of the Druze. At some point he went down before the Officer took over with her Boarding Shotgun and fighting some Kaplans. I forget the details, but it was bloody.

I think my opponent's morale was a little broken, but he doggedly set about doing what damage he could, the remaining Druze went aggressive, but went down to AROs from Myrmidons. The remaining Kaplan tried to get some shots off but again AROs caused him to fail courage and go prone.

Victory was assured, by how much was the question, I sent the Myrmidon Officer to kill the remaining Kaplan, whilst Machaon ran around healing up what he could.  My opponent had a single Odalisque remaining.

An 8-0 VICTORY for me... easily my best result in a tournament setting! I was over the moon.  Once again an amazing opponent to play with, knew his stuff really well, really sporting and unfortunately for him the victim of far far too many critical hits.

Two wins and one loss got me into 9th place out of 20... a new record that's for sure. I've never made top half before although I do feel like a lot of that boiled down to good dice and not skill.  I'm so lucky to have had three amazing opponents that I would really enjoy playing against any day, which is another first for me. Despite a slightly cramped venue and a few awkward tables of terrain (including my own), I had a simply fantastic tournament experience.

I'm quite inspired to get my remaining Steel Phalanx painting finished off (including Andromeda... don't, just don't) and crack on with some terrain so I can feel confident about providing a good playing experience on a fully painted board.

Thanks for reading, once again epic fail on my behalf to take photos.

Winner Dave

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