So, our Infinity group meets on a bi-weekly basis and this past weekend we met at our local game store to play a few games. The store is a bit larger than average, for a game store and has some terrain available for use. In this case, it was a desert “city block”, so we used it, making a crazy urban setting with lots of back alleys and not a lot of long fire lanes. Once we set the terrain, I decided to use my list from my Yu Jing blog entry (plus two YaoZao med bots). There were only three of us that showed up willing to play (though there seemed to be 5 in total), so there was great conversation about the anticipated changes to N3 (3rd edition rules for Infinity).
The first game I played that night was against a really experienced player. He played Panoceania (or Pan-O), which is Yu Jing’s main rival in the human sphere, if I understand the game fiction correctly. I lost the WIP roll and he chose deployment (which means he gets to choose who deploys first and which side each player will use). Which meant that I got to choose who goes first. I chose to be active first, which meant that he chose for me to deploy first. The mission was from ITS 2014 (Infinity Tournament System) and was called “Quadrant Control”.
A few things about this mission. While other games divide tables into quadrants and you fight over the space in between, this game is on a 4’X4’ table and the 12” from each edge is what is known as the “Deployment Zone”. Deployment Zones aren’t included in the quadrants. So, you’re ultimately fighting over the middle 24”X48”. That space is divided in to 4 12”X24” zones that, at the end of each of 3 turns, will be scored depending on who has the most points in any particular zone.
There was so much going on for me in that first game last Saturday. As Woody has already alluded to, I’m fairly new to Infinity and so, the list I’ve chosen has no doubles of anything, really. I want to hit as many rules as possible.
In my list, I have two infiltrators. I have a TO Camo (Thermal Optic Camouflage) figure (Shinobu Kitsune, deadly little Shinobu) and a “Regular” camo marker troop called a Guilang (Ghost Wolf, I believe). These happen to be two of my favorite models in the Yu Jing line, so far. My Guilang is the combi-rifle wolf, and looks like he’s hiding behind a wall, ready to ambush someone. Kitsune looks like she’s doing a ninja run having just drawn her deadly Katana. The Guilang has normal Infiltration and I usually park him somewhere on the middle line on my side of the table, which I can do without a roll. But, for this game, I got to play with hidden deployment with Kitsune. Kitsune is TO Camo and has Superior Infiltration. Which, as I understand it, is no different than Infiltration with the exception that if the roll is failed to deploy in the other person’s half of the board, the figure is merely revealed, in the chosen spot, instead of scattering away from where I wanted her. Bonus for me, since I’m going first. So, I deploy her 4” in to my opponent’s side of the board and… drum roll… make the roll!
So, she’s hidden on the board which means that I don’t even have to put her TO camo marker on the table. It also means that, until I reveal her, I don’t get to use her order. Additionally, since I have a Tiger Soldier “in reserve”, I don’t get to use his order, so I’m starting the game 2 orders down, but at 9 orders (8 + my LT order), I don’t think I’m in too much trouble as I’m going first.
I move my guys around into position on the closest two quadrants and then it’s his turn. I’ve set up so that I have shots on the few long lanes that exist in the jumble of buildings that we have going. I dropped a mine in my Zone of Control during the deployment phase and had moved my Ghost Wolf into a building as well.
My opponent has Pan-O, consisting of a link team of 5 NeoTerra bolts, 1 TO Camo marker, 1 Aquilla Guard, 2 Auxillias (with Auxbots) and a Warcors. He moved his forces around some, sent one of his Auxillias down a very dark alleyway (thank you hidden deployment) and moved his Bolts toward me along one board edge. He also went wolf hunting in the building I ended up in. Four orders and several flame thrower shots later, my Ghost Wolf had no more camouflage, but was alive. Not so much could be said for the Auxillia as his Auxbot was immobilized from the death of the Auxillia. I learned a lot about discovery and Willpower rolls during that exchange. Also, once you’ve been on fire (whether you make your armor roll or not), you lose your Camo, TO Camo, Optical Disruption Device, and reduce it to Mimetism. Mimetism is basic camouflage, and still pretty good overall. Definitely better than removing the figure from the table!
The second turn was very exciting for me. I moved the Ghost wolf into the upper floor of the building and set a mine. No, that’s not the exciting part. Then, I moved the sniper into position to shoot his wounded Aquilla guard, which had wounded my Shang Ji in a fun firefight that left him unconscious. My sniper didn’t fair too well against the Aquilla’s Multi-rifle (I think) and that left the sniper unconscious. Now for the exciting part! It’s a two parter, because there were two really cool things that happened. I brought Kitsune, deadly little Kitsune, out from hiding and ran her around the corner and stabbed the face of the Auxillia that was in the dark alleyway. Once the second Auxbot was immobilized from lack of an operator, I moved her back toward the Aquilla Guard with the intent to get him in the third turn.
I got to try out Airborn Deployment! That was crazy. Basically, you put the model somewhere that the large round template can fit, point the 1 toward the center of the table and roll a Physical test (lower than your physical score, in this case 12) to land where you want, within the template’s surface. This took some time, as I was trying to surprise attack the Bolts and my initial spot wouldn’t fit the template, so we found a spot that it would, which would be a compromise, but would still leave me with some good opportunities to do what I wanted. This part was really cool, because my opponent was almost as excited as I was that I was doing Airborn Deployment level 3 and rolling the die to see what happened. The spot that was chosen was about 8-ish inches away from where I initially wanted to be, but it would work. I rolled a 14, which is 2 over my stat. I’ve failed! Deviated from the plan! I read so much about the variables that happen when you roll, but I did it anyway! Woe and agony and despair!
Sort of… 2 over my stat means that for every one over, I’ve deviated 2.5”. So, I deviate 5” total. Not horrible and, as it happened the way the template was positioned, I deviated toward my original target, probably 3” from where I originally wanted to be. Success through failure! Wahoo!
One thing that I noted that was different from my other wargaming experiences is that I wasn’t the only one celebrating my minor victory. Perhaps because I’m “the new guy” in our group or because my opponent has superior sportsmanship skills than other opponents (including myself in previous years), but he was just as pleased as I was that my tiger landed where it did.
I did a move/shoot order. None of the Bolts were facing me initially, though this was a suicide move. Any people not hit could use their Automatic Reaction Order (ARO) to turn around and since I had fired my small flame thrower, I couldn’t do much else, so he was going to die. I knew the risks when I gave him the job, so it was all going to be gravy after that. After surviving the landing, a shot from a TO Camo Swiss Guard, I laid the small teardrop template over 4 of the 5 figures in the link team. Killing 2 and leaving one unconscious. Link was broken immediately and, having removed three figures from play, the Tiger definitely earned his points.
By that point, my opponent was in pretty bad shape with regard to orders, I think he had 6 orders, plus his LT order. So, he had 6 guys left and his lieutenant was one of those 6 guys. He moved some stuff around and his Aquilla Guard entered close combat with Kitsune, my CC specialist! They traded blows for a while, I think I beat his roll, but his Aquilla guard was heavily armored and wasn’t wounded. This was possibly a shrewd move, as it left me with an order that I had to spend on my next turn. It was also possible that he only wanted to use one or two orders on that action.
As it happened, I ended up putting his army in “Full Retreat”, having removed or incapacitated the requisite number of points to meet that requirement, by the end of my active phase of my third turn. So, for his active phase, we shook hands and had a great talk about the game and my luck in rolls. We tallied the points and I won the game, as putting him in retreat wasn’t the aim of the mission and I “controlled” the most quadrants.
Though, we forgot to tally the score at the end of each turn. It might’ve ended with a different score, but the way my rolls were going (read horribly lucky), the result would’ve probably been the same, according to my, very helpful, opponent. I have a new found love of infiltration and TO Camo as well as airborne, hidden deployment and this new game of Infinity.
That was a great game. I’ve run a bit long on this one. When I get time, I’ll do a part two and get it in a different post.
For part 2, go here.