Sunday, March 24, 2013

OIA Spec Ops Doubles Tournament!

Last Saturday, Fandom II and the Ottawa Infinity Association hosted a Spec Ops Doubles Tournament.  The rules are available for download here if you're interested in running a similar event, or even just in making use of the scenarios for your own amusement.  Heck, we even had enough interest and questions that a small FAQ was generated.  Check it out!

Here are a bunch of pictures from the event itself.  The lighting in the basement is a bit subpar, and my flash wasn't working all that well, but hopefully they give you an idea of the fun that was had!

-The Competitors-

David - ALEPH
Henshini - Yu Jing
Overlord - Bakunin
Robock - Bakunin
Tevesh - Haqqislam

-The Boards-

Scenario Alpha - In the Dark
Scenario Alpha - In the Dark
Scenario Beta - Facility
Scenario Beta - Facility
Scenario Beta - Facility
Scenario Gamma - Blindside
Scenario Gamma - Blindside

-The Highlights-

Tevesh's Husam squares off against a Vortex.  And 4 mines.

Overlord's Bakunin and Henshini's Yu Jing corner the market on terminals.
After laying all her mines in the middle, Overlord's Zero menaces a Naffatun.

Tevesh's final model - a Naffatun - braves three Shoot AROs and a mine.
The Naffatun torches a Zero that stands in his way.
The immortal Naffatun's ARM rolls against those Damage 13 AROs...


Players evaluate terminal locations.

Henshini's Guilang gets dangerously close to Aleph's terminal, and David responds in force.
Henshini's forces secure a friendly terminal.

David's Deva eyes an enemy terminal...with enemy Camo in the way.
Opposing sides lay down their defences...
Robock wonders how he'll get to that terminal.  Luckily for him, his Vortex just got Super-Jump...
Robock's Daktari tries to chase Overlord's Zero away.

Tevesh's Husam gets away with a big-headed civilian.
Robock's Vortex stalks around the park perimeter...
Robock's Zero lays down Suppressive Fire on a Guilang...
...and is snuffed out like a candle on the next turn.
David's Aleph gets away with a big-headex civilian, but Henshini's Guilang gives chase...
...and, against the odds, finishes the job.
Robock's Morlock lays down Smoke, anticipating fire from Camo markers upfield.

-The Results-

In the end, Henshini came away with first place, followed by Overlord in second.  Everyone had a lot of fun, and learned way too much about how Mines work.

I hope you enjoyed all the photos and the tables we built.  Until next time!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Campaign Paradiso - Ariadna Impressions 7

A few days ago, I squared off against Bayruun in Mission 301.  Now, our local group is playing at medium difficulty (15 minute turns, the ship explodes on an 8+), so our game didn't last all that long. In fact, the ship exploded just before either of us got a third turn.

As a result, there's really not much to say about this mission.  Most of the units we took sat there and did nothing while specialists zipped around, trying to make sure that everyone could board the escape pods just in case the ship didn't blow up at the very first opportunity.  That didn't happen, of course, but that doesn't mean we didn't try...

My side.
His side.

My side, behind the wall.  Lego dropships!
I ended up running two combat groups.  One (Task Force Red) was made solely of Infiltrators and included Uxia McNeill (Covert Action version); the other (Task Force Blue) consisted mostly of fire support for an Irmandinho and a Kaplan Engineer.  I went into this mission really lamenting the lack of an infiltrating Engineer/Hacker/Specialist-other-than-Uxia, because it made me feel like I was really limited in terms of the options I could bring to bear against my opponent.  This lack also made me feel like I had to bring Uxia or lose the match before it even started.  Not my idea of good mission design.

One highlight, though: my Loup-Garou (with Viral Rifle and Flash LGL) drew a bead on at least three models, putting down two of them as they tried to run for the objective and/or kill my Irmandinho.  I'm definitely enjoying the models that generate multiple-wound AROs: they're useful against pretty much anything, and necessary against factions like ALEPH.

In short, though, I think Bayruun and I were both frustrated that the game was over in under 15 minutes - the suggested length of time for a single player to take a single turn at this difficulty.  Neither of us live very close to our LGS, so we were hoping for...I don't know...more of a game for our troubles.  In the end, I walked away with 3 objective points and Bayruun had scored one.  He'd lost his Spec Ops model to a Camo attack, and I lost Uxia to the ship's explosion.  All in all, it hardly seemed worth it.

Bayruun and I sat around and talked for a while afterwards, though, so not all was lost.  Still...I was really expecting more from 301, especially after hearing that people were scoring in the teens.  Oh well, 302 should be better.  Right?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Here's the thing...

I love Ariadna. In fact, I love it so much that it is my adopted homeland. Every time I take to the field with my low-tech tough-guys (and gals), I get a little more confident that Ariadna is a faction for the skilled and the gutsy.

That said, I absolutely can't wait to play another faction in Campaign Paradiso. Argh.

Corvus Belli has done a great job of making sure that we want to take previously-unused loadouts and models, specialists and baggage-bots, in the campaign. This seems really cool until you realize that the distribution of these fancy toys isn't quite as even across the table as you'd think. Infiltrating Hackers, for instance, are available to every other faction except Tohaa. Combined Army and Yu Jing even get three, while Haqqislam (our low-tech buddy) gets two. AD Hackers are available to every other army as well (barring Tohaa), and in some cases the drop-troop hacker is a real badass like the Ragik or the Tiger.

That's just one wrinkle in the campaign fabric. I'm feeling very frustrated with Mission 301 at the moment, as it's basically begging to take an infiltrating specialist - and hey, Forward Observers (that thing we have so much of) don't count this time. AD can't be used in this mission, of course, but that doesn't stop almost every other faction from having at least one infiltrating hacker (if not more, with AVA 2+) to do the job for them. Some factions even benefit from infiltrating specialists with more than one wound, just in case of accident (Yu Jing's Daofei, Aleph's Dasyu).

It's not all bad for us. We do have Uxia O'Neill, Covert Action version. She's a Specialist with Superior Infiltration, which seems tremendously handy for missions like these. Here's the catch, though: she's rolling at what an Engineer normally rolls -3, and if the Engineer has a penalty (as in Mission 301), you're probably going to be spending a lot of orders getting the job even remotely done. And orders you spend on getting the job done are orders you're not spending saving Uxia's life afterwards. This last bit is especially bad for our local group's campaign, which is being done hardcore-style: just like Spec Ops models, named characters can die and be brought back with MEDEVAC and CUBEVAC. In other words, unless Uxia is lucky enough to not die, she's going to blow up along with the ship and everything on it. That, or - in another mission - my opponent will put the final round in her to finish the job. Now you see the reason for my earlier argh.

Things aren't all bad, though. Ariadna has a few advantages that I've really grown fond of, and they help make Paradiso a lot of fun. That's a topic for next time, though. If you've got any stories about faction woes that you'd like to share, post them up and we can commiserate together!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Campaign Paradiso - An ISS Ghost!

Because we have a few people that are coming into (and leaving) our local Campaign Paradiso, I had the pleasure of playing an extra match this week.  Endalyon and I squared off again, only this time I brought my ISS force to the field.

I was initially planning on playing regular ol' Yu Jing, but all the negative comments about the Bao really made me want to try them out for myself.  While they didn't really impress me, a lot of their performance woes came from the way the dice fell.  I'm more than willing to give them another chance, because cheap and mobile and plentiful MSV2 models seem really awesome to me.

This week, Endalyon and I played Mission 204, and he brought his much-feared Aleph to the table.  Once again, I had to face off against the Asura and Sophotect objective-taking team, and this time Endalyon added a Myrmidon Officer Lt. to the mix.  I really had my work cut out for me.  This time, at least, I had a few visors to deal with that pesky ODD...

As I might have mentioned in previous posts, we're playing this campaign through with only 250 points so that our newer players have a chance to work their way up to 300 for the next one.  Here is what I brought to the field last week:

Sophie stayed back for much of the game, mostly because Endalyon's Asura occupied the mid-field (with some support from a Naga Sniper).  She popped her head out to finish the job that one of my Bao started, though, and put the very last wound on the Asura.  I was originally going to rush her forward to claim objectives, but the presence of three durable Aleph specialists on Endalyon's side of the table made me want to take a much more aggressive approach with my Su Jian.

Su Jian
Speak of the devil and he (it?) shall appear.  The Su Jian was my "heavy hitter" for this game, and its speed allowed me to bypass a lot of obstacles and draw a bead on Endalyon's Asura and one of his two Myrmidon Officers.  I was a bit confused at first, because both Officers were the only legal Lieutenant choice in Endalyon's army, but I soon realized that one of them had to be his stupid Chandra.  As a quick aside, we have absolutely no Combined players in the current campaign, so our two Aleph players can basically run their Spec Ops without fear of death (as an Ariadna player, this really pisses me off!).

Anyway, back to the rampage.  Endalyon took this opportunity to de-holoproject his Chandra and opened fire on my Su Jian with both Chandra and Asura, but we were well out of optimal range for Combi Rifles so I poured all my Spitfire bullets into the Chandra.  Turns out that this Asura was a crack-shot, because she managed to put a wound on my transforming robot.  Still, I dropped the Chandra and continued to press the attack, ultimately putting a wound on the Asura and making her retreat behind total cover.

For the rest of the game, my Su Jian survived a whole barrage of small-arms fire (utterly wasting both Panzerfausts in the process), and ended up holding my left flank until Endalyon retreated off the board.  This is definitely one of the units I miss when I play my Ariadna.

The Bao Hitsquad
My Bao unit consisted of one of each type of Bao (Combi/Light Shotgun, Boarding Shotgun/Contender, Multi-Sniper) and a Pheasant, all of which held the middle of my line (or died trying).  The Pheasant had Chain of Command and a Combi Rifle/EMitter, which helped to make me feel comfortable with my selection of Specialists in this mission.

The Bao Sniper (and link leader) spent a few orders getting up within line of sight of the Naga Sniper, only to be promptly shot down with a crit on the ARO.  I have to admit, was nice rolling to Discover from halfway across the board on a 17 or less.  Go Bao.  After that catastrophic failure, though (and the brutal death of my Contender Bao at the hands of an active-turn Asura...), I moved up the Combi Bao and got my vengeance on the Naga Sniper and the Asura (causing the second of three wounds on this model) before the Bao was shot in the back by a flanking Sophotect that raced towards my zone to take an objective point.

The last piece of my Bao hitsquad - the Pheasant - was fantastic.  He did very little at first, but his presence dissuaded Endalyon from guessing which of my Celestial Guard models was my Lt, because it didn't really matter anyway.  This, in turn, kept his Sophotect back in total cover, which gave my Pheasant an easy opportunity to gun her down in cold blood on his way to my own objectives.

I had earlier managed to chase the real Myrmidon Officer Lieutenant behind a few buildings on that flank, and Endalyon had carefully moved her to take advantage of a nearby dropship scatter.  Since I hadn't managed to activate the required panels to bring down my own dropships, I had to find a way to stop Endalyon from running off with the landed dropship's engineer.  The Myrmidon's ODD was going to be a big obstacle (and I didn't have any Bao left), so my Pheasant stepped smartly around the corner with his Monofilament drawn.  After a moment's hesitation, Endalyon committed to a counter-swing, and our first CC in a long time had begun.

The models were very closely matched, but in the end I was looking to tie up Endalyon's last objective-taker while pushing towards the objective myself.  If the CC had lasted well into his turn, I would have been a hundred percent ok with that.  Fortunately for me, this particular Pheasant decided to bring out his inner angel of vengeance, cutting down the Myrmidon Officer with a well-placed slash of his Mono CCW.  Awesome.  Endalyon's forces ran off the board shortly after, giving him a 2-0 victory against my ghost-self, but dealing that killing blow with the oft-maligned Pheasant was totally worth it.

Celestial Guard Cheer Squad
These two jerks didn't really do anything impressive.  One was my Lieutenant, and one was a possible Lieutenant baffle.  I really haven't played ISS that often, so I'm still trying to come to grips with how to put together various lists.  I wanted to avoid using Kuang Shi this time just to see if I could, and it seemed to work out ok.


Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this brief interlude!  Next time, more Ariadna mayhem as I square off against one of the few OIA players I haven't yet faced!

Unpacking - Combined Army Raicho

Here, at long last, is the Combined Army's Raicho TAG!  Courtesy of EdDator27 and Yasbir over on the Infinity forums.

Unpacking - Tohaa Hatail Spec Op

Here is the Tohaa Spec Ops model, the Hatail!  Courtesy of EdDator27 and Yasbir over on the Infinity forums.

Unpacking - Tohaa Makaul Box

Here are the Tohaa's Makaul warband, courtesy of EdDator27 and Yasbir over on the Infinity forums!

Unpacking - Combined Army Void Operator HMG

Here is the Combined Army's Void Operator with HMG, courtesy of ToadChild over on the Infinity forums!

Unpacking - Combined Army Speculo Killer

Here is the Combined Army's lethal Speculo Killer, courtesy of ToadChild over on the Infinity forums!

Unpacking - Combined Army Shrouded Multi Sniper

Here is the Combined Army's Shrouded with Multi Sniper Rifle, courtesy of EdDator27 and Yasbir over on the Infinity forums!

Unpacking - Combined Army Shrouded Combi

Here is the Combined Army's Shrouded with Combi-Rifle, courtesy of EdDator27 and Yasbir over on the Infinity forums!

Shrouded Front

Shrouded Back

Unpacking - Haqqislam Sekban

Here is Haqqislam's Sekban, courtesy of EdDator27 and Yasbir over on the Infinity forums!

Sekban Front

Sekban Back

Unpacking - ALEPH Probots Box

Here is the box of ALEPH's Probot baggage remotes, courtesy of Sylvannas over on the Infinity forums.

Probot EVO

Probot Total Reaction Combi