So, this weekend a bunch of us from the Exeter and Reading areas headed over to Hockley on the far side of London for an event put on by Corvus Belli and Tabletop Nation. This was the UK introductory event for the new Campaign: Paradiso missions and campaign book for Infinity.
All we really knew in advance is that we would be playing the first 'chapter' of missions from the book and that they would have very different requirements from previous Infinity games we'd played and that Baggage Remotes would be really important. In preparation I loaded up as many of my painted Nomads as possible and (shock! horror!) got a few new ones assembled and base coloured including an ALEPH Probot for baggage as I haven't yet got the Nomad Salyuts.
Anyway, on with some photos!
Now, that last photo shows the biggest issue with the event - there simply wasn't enough terrain on most of the tables and this lead to some very one-sided games.
On to the games. I'm not going to spell out the missions in detail (you'll need to buy the campaign book for that) but rather give an overview and a feel for how they played.
Mission One - Data Recovery
Overview - there are three alien objectives angled across the centre line of the table, the players have to search them with Engineers or Hackers and roll a die to find out which one contains an infodump. The infodump then needs to be downloaded from the relevant objective marker and uploaded, enemy Hackers can hack the upload attempt. Baggagebots help in that they allow you to encrypt the data, increasing your chances of an upload.
Plan & List - reading the mission rules more closely, the first objective to be searched is always the one that is least likely to contain the infodump. This means being able to reach all three objectives easily with a Hacker or preferably Engineer was vital. The plan, therefore, was to have a Clockmaker on one flank to try and find the infodump (which was then likely to end up at the far side of the table) and a Tomcat engineer who could then enter the table on either side, then a Hacker as backup.
On the offensive side was an Intruder with HMG, Spektr with MULTI Sniper and Tsyklon with Feuerbach who would all be able to make good use of the particularly open tables. With a special bonus for the Intruder that he could see clearly through the infinitely tall woodlands on some of the tables.
On the defence was a Lunokhod and Moran Maasai with CrazyKoalas (mines on legs) and a single Morlock all on her own in a second group.
Combat Group 1 Orders: 10
Clockmaker » Combi Rifle SWC:0.0 Cost:18
Tomcat » Combi Rifle, Light Flamethrower, Engineer SWC:0.0 Cost:22
Interventor » Hacker (Hacking Device Plus) SWC:0.5 Cost:26
Intruder » Lieutenant SWC:0.0 Cost:36
Moran » Combi Rifle, KrazyKoalas (2) SWC:0.5 Cost:21
Lunokhod » KrazyKoala (Super-Jump) SWC:0.0 Cost:29
Salyut Zond » (EVO Repeater) SWC:0.5 Cost:13
Intruder » HMG, Grenades SWC:1.5 Cost:44
Spektrs » MULTI Sniper Rifle, AP Mines SWC:1.5 Cost:43
Tsyklon » Feuerbach SWC:1.5 Cost:38
Combat Group 2 Orders: 0
Morlock » Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades SWC:0.0 Cost:10
Total SWC: 6.0 Total Points: 300
I was matched up against Tom from the Cross Gaming Club in London who I'd not played before but knew from the previous weekend when he came down to Exeter for my Autumn Challenge event. Tom was running normal Haqqislam.
Deployment - having won the initiative roll-off (against Saladin's amazing Willpower!) I immediately went for the deployment zone with the two ridiculously tall ruins that had commanding positions over the whole battlefield.
Tom deployed Saladin, a Ghulam Doctor, Kaplan Engineer and Naffatun in the ruins on my right flank, a Djanbazan HMG, Ghulam Hacker and a Janissary in the ruins on my left flank and a Lasiq Viral Sniper in the tower in the middle of his DZ.
I deployed the Intruder HMG on the top of the right ruin (prone as a camo marker as Tom would be going first), the Spektr in hidden deployment on top of the right one, Interventor Hacker with Tsyklon and Lunokhod in the bottom of the right one, Clockmaker with Maasai and EVO Repeater Salyut in the bottom of the left one. The Morlock was tucked into the side of the left ruin as an airborne deployment defender and the Koalas were scattered around the place to dissuade AD troops again and also to potentially hit enemy models searching the objective closest to me.
Early Game - the Djan HMG came around the corner to get line of fire to the Morlock, but this involved moving out of cover. This appeared to be safe as I'd deployed with everyone as far out of sight as possible, but bought him into sight of the hidden Spektr sniper. Normally I never reveal hidden models in reaction but this was too good an opportunity to miss. Unfortunately even at extreme range across the table the Djan agreed and got a crit on the Spektr who spent the rest of the game lying on top of the ruin quietly bleeding out. After a bunch of successful Dodges by the Morlock
Tom hadn't read the mission as closely as I had and sent his Kaplan Engineer out to search the closest objective, succeeding on the first attempt but getting a bit miffed when the infodump turned out to be on the far side of the table, in the objective right in front of my Clockmaker Engineer.
I was worried about the Lasiq Sniper in the tower and revealed the Intruder HMG out of camo to attack the Lasiq via Combat Camo, making her unconscious before she could shoot back. He then had a few shots at the Djan HMG, shooting through the woodland. This didn't kill the Djanbazan but he did move out of sight to stop further shots.
This played into my hands as the two models that could cover the objective near the Clockmaker were now either down or hidden. The Clockmaker leaped through the window in the ruins, got to the objective, siphoned out the infodump on the first attempt and then ran very quickly back into the ruins like the sensible coward that he was!
Mid-Game - the Djanbazan and Intruder exchanged several rounds of fire inconclusively with the Djanbazan then laying suppressive fire over any spot where the Intruder could see him.
Tom's Ragik drop troop then walked on to the table on my left flank in the spot that had been protected by the Morlock. unfortunately, due to the positioning of the ruin being slightly inside the 12" deployment zone there was line of fire to the Ragik tfrom my Tsyklon with Feuerbach who scored a hit in the +0 24-32" range bracket. As the Feuerback has DA ammo the Ragik had to take two saves and failed them both, stopping him from using his Dogged skill to go on a rampage with his HMG before dropping dead. The Feuerbach is a loadout that I never normally take on the Tsyklon as the Spitfire is almost always better, but the openness of the tables made that +0 instead of -3 24-32" range band much more important.
The Janissary advanced up the middle of the table and the Kaplan Engineer started heading for the middle objective as we'd just realised that you got objective points for searching objectives even if they didn't contain the infodump. The Ghulam Doctor put suppression fire across the gap that my Clockmaker would have to cross to get to my EVO Repeater to encrypt the upload.
The Intruder decided 'enough of this nonsense', recamoed, walked into the suppression fire corridor of the Djanbazan and shot him down before the Djan could react. The Tsyklon then shot down the Ghulam Doctor, leaving the Clockmaker clear to get to the EVO Repeater, encrypt the data and then upload it. Only to be stopped by the Ghulam Hacker, giving Tom his second objective point.
End Game - Tom's Kaplan made it to the middle objective and searched it while the Janissary advanced some more and the Naffatun moved out to get LoF to the objective on my right flank, scuppering my plans to bring the Tomcat on there.
The Tsyklon then took several orders to eventually put down the Naffatun, the Tomcat then came on and searched the objective while getting shot down by the Kaplan. Tom's Ghulam Hacker again stopped my infodump upload!
When it got to Tom's turn he was in Retreat and he decided to end the game there before I got another turn to try and upload the data. Although it had been an uphill struggle for Tom all the time (apart from critting the Sniper) we actually both ended the game with four objective points, the win going to me on the number of surviving points left on the table.
Meanwhile, on the tables on either side we saw an Engineer valiantly leap off the back of a Maghariba Guard when it got hit by a Mine and a silly number of twenties being rolled - unfortunately for shooting rather than for armour...
After that we got to spend our XP (the number of objective points you'd got) on army and Spec Ops upgrades.
Mission Two - Activation and Triangulation
Overview - this is a truly insane mission. There are five objectives on the table. You need to get to one and search it with an Engineer or Hacker (directly or via a helperbot/model with Repeater). Once you've successfully searched it, you find out what order you have to activate the other objectives. Using the same model. If the 'current' moving searcher goes down, you have to get another appropriate model to the body and then carry on in the same order from where the first model left off. Either that, or start again from the first objective in your list! Once you've activated four objectives in the right sequence you can do a triangulation but only if you have baggage on the table. If the enemy has baggage on the table then their Hackers and attempt to hack the triangulation. Players who won the previous mission got to pick one of the four objective activation sequences automatically without having to search an objective first.
In only four turns.
Plan - knowing how horrifically open the tables were, I decided on a strategy of covering the table with smoke to hide the searcher model but keeping most of the smoke models in a second combat group so that there would be plenty of orders for the searcher to move around. I went for a list that had a Chimera (zero-vis smoke grenades) in the main group and three Morlocks for their smoke grenades (one had a Light Smoke Launcher) in a second group.
The searcher was Pi-Well due to his fast move, Optical Disruption Field making him hard to hit and his Repeater letting my Interventor Hacker Lieutenant activate the objectives.
As a backup searcher there was a Tsyklon with Spitfire (the increased burst over the Feuerbach made it more likely to survive running through the open), a Clockmaker with helperbot and (coming with Pi-Well anyway), the Hacker/Engineer Zoe and my Spec Ops Moderator who now had a Hacking Device.
Long range offence came from (again) the Intruder HMG and Spektr MULTI Sniper, plus the Tsyklon.
The list also included an EVO Repeater baggagebot.
The Game - in this round I was matched up against John who I'd not met before. John was running a Japanese Sectorial Army but had only been playing for a couple of months and was using the models he had available.
I don't want to go into too much depth on the second game as any enjoyment was ruined by the openness of the terrain combined with an uncanny ability for me to make armour saves. We ended up on the same table I'd fought on in the first round but on opposite sides due to John winning the roll-off.
The game started with the three Morlocks running out into the open with a coordinated impetuous order and making all their smoke rolls against the Keisotsu Link Team up in the left flank ruin. The Chimera then tried the same but got beaten by the Keisotsu Missile Launcher and HMG. She then proceeded to make all four saves (no Explosive ammo effect due to her Total immunity). One Pupnik died to the missile blasts, which turned out to be my only loss in the entire game.
The Keisotsu Link Team then got surgically dismembered one-by-one but this was partly due to different assumptions about the ruins - as Infinity defaults to everything using true line of sight, the deep walls of the ruins gave the Keisotus very limited fire arcs, and as a result John's club (they have some of the same ruins) use a house rule that models touching the wall could see through any nearby windows. In hindsight I should have suggested that he redeploy them but I didn't think of it in the heat of the game. The Tsyklon Spitfire took out the only model with LoF to it, getting rid of the +3BS bonus. The Spektr (in the same tower as Tom's Lasiq in the first game) stood up and shot the only Keisotsu that could now see it, removing the Link's Sixth Sense bonus. The Intruder then gunned down one of the remaining three models, breaking the Link.
The rest of the game involved John's models trying to get to the objectives and getting gunned down by my Sniper's reaction shots and the very carefully positioned Intruder, plus Pi-Well running around behind smoke to activate the objectives before the Interventor triangulated.
XP time again, I went for a +3 bonus on initiative roll-offs, an increased Retreat threshold and a few bits for the Spec Ops.
The attendees had been split into two groups of eight, the two highest-scoring players in each group now went through to the third mission, with Scarface and Cordelia up for grabs for the two winners.
Part 2 to follow, in the meantime here's a sneak peek of the group photo I shot after the games and army judging:
UPDATE - part two is up.