First ITS Tournament… Mini Battle Reports.

My very first ITS tournament ever. Holy crap, was it fun (mostly). There were 11 of us in total. I was the last to arrive, due to some poor planning on my part. For which, if any of the guys in my meta or the guests from Texas read this, I am truly sorry. I got up with plenty of time, but by the time I got everything loaded and headed to get money and food (lunch), I was already late. So, driving as fast as I could stand, I got there and got everything in place.

Check in was easy. I walked in, and spoke to the TO, who took my ITS info into his tablet and, after spending my 10 bucks to the venue (awesome FLGS called Games HQ), I was set. All in all, check in might’ve taken 10 minutes.

At this point in the day, I’m still very nervous with the possibilities of the day. I hoped to have fun and wanted to win. I brought two lists, with Spec Ops (per the Tourney requirements), and I knew my lists abilities, but the game still is a little fuzzy to me. So, I nervously waited for the first game to be called out.


 

My lists were as follows my “Monk Swarm” list was : Army4 (copy the list below into the link) –

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Group 1

Gui Feng (Zhanshi Spec Ops) – Hacker, -9 BTS, Combi Rifle
Tiger Soldier – Paramedic, Combi Rifle, Light Flame Thrower
Celestial Guard (LT) – Combi Rifle
Celestial Guard – Multi Sniper Rifle
Yuriko Oda – Engineer, Combi Rifle, D-Charges, Mines
Guilang – Camo, Infiltration, Forward Observer, Combi Rifle, deployable repeater, Mines
Aragoto – Mimetism, Spitfire
Lu Duan – MSV1, Holoprojector2, Mk12, Heavy Flame Thrower
Shinobu Kitsune – TO Camo, Superior Infiltration, Combi, Nanopulser, Monofilament CCW, Smoke
Zuyong – HMG, Automedkit

Group 2
4 Shaolin Monks with Chain Rifles, Shock CCW, Smoke


 

Second list was my “Spec Doc” list: Army 4 (copy the list below into the link) –

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Group 1

Gui Feng (Celestial Guard Spec Ops) – Doctor, Mines, Spitfire
Tiger Soldier – Paramedic, Combi Rifle, Light Flame Thrower
Celestial Guard (LT) – Combi Rifle
Celestial Guard – Spitfire
Yuriko Oda – Engineer, Combi Rifle, D-Charges, Mines
-YaoZao (engibot)
Guilang – Camo, Infiltration, Forward Observer, Combi Rifle, deployable repeater, Mines
Aragoto – Mimetism, Spitfire
Lu Duan – MSV1, Holoprojector2, Mk12, Heavy Flame Thrower
Zhanshi Hacker – Combi rifle,
Zuyong – HMG, Automedkit

Group 2
Yaokong Husong – Total Reaction, 360 degree visor, HMG, mines
Pangguiling – Total Reaction, Combi Rifle


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First game, far left flank – Aragoto Biker, Lu Duan (with Holo Echos), Shaolin Monk and a Zu Yong in the pill box

 

Of the two lists, I had the most fun with the swarm, but I basically set the swarm for two mission sets and the Doc list for the other two. As this was my first tournament I sort of “hard set” both lists for this. I think in future, I may continue with the “fun” list, regardless. There were at least 5 guys from Texas there that day. I met 4 of them… Well, to be fair, I think I met all of them, but I played two and talked to two others, so I’m sorry if I forget your name in this piece. All of the guys were really cool.

First game called out and my opponent was a guy I’m going to call “E” on a mission called Lifeblood. “E” is from Texas and was pretty cool. I am not sure what I looked like, but I felt kind of weird. I’m sure I was very nervous. We rolled for initiative (I won and chose initiative), he chose the side he was on and that I would deploy first. After deployment, I said that I’d go first. The game is a bit of a blur, but I tried to stay true to the spirit of my list… With 5 impetuous troops, I moved almost everything forward every active turn. I was in his side of the board quickly and my favorite little ninja (Kitsune, deadly little Kitsune) was in his backfield by turn 2. Evan was playing Yu Jing as well. He had his Kuang Shi, the human bombs) lined up with a Zhanshi (LI). Basically, 2 Kuang Shi with 1 Zhanshi, “conga-lined” together, very nearly base to base. I found that I had LoF with one set and shot a Kuang Shi, it died, exploded and took the Zhanshi with it. The other Kuang Shi made his armor roll to the explosion! It was so cool! (I mean, I wanted it to explode, but it was fun to see the lone thing survive) I brought in my Tiger Soldier, who moved up, shot another “conga line” of Kuang Shi and Zhanshi, only this time, I got all 3 for one shot. With that, I grabbed some objectives with my Guilang and Paramedic (Tiger Soldier) and then ended up blowing up (with my DA sniper) 2 boxes. I think I had 2 boxes by turn 2 and he had 2 boxes by turn two. Top of turn 3, I spent orders facing off with his TAG. After spending the majorty of the bottom of turn 1 and 2 being very afraid of his TAG, it was a rather nerve wracking experience. But somehow, through a combination of lucky rolls for me and (un)lucky rolls for him, the TAG ended up dead, then the pilot met it’s end when it popped out of the shell of the TAG. With the immediate threat gone, my Guilang moved around and sync’d with a third box. During my turn 3, I ended up removing the last of his specialists, which ended up winning me the game 7 – 3. I couldn’t get any Classified objectives on this mission. Well, I didn’t see any opportunity to do so anyway. Perhaps I just missed it. I shook hands with him and told him I had a great time playing (which I did) and stumbled off with my win.

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Still first game – Set up on the Warsenal table.

Second game called and I got to play “C”. I have played “C” several times on our Saturday gatherings. Each game has been more difficult (for me) than the last and always a challenge. This game would prove to be no different. Quadrant Control with the swarm list, was a lot of fun. Playing with smoke and the like against Ariadna was interesting. The only thing that made it less than fun for me was the fact that “C” and I played on the exact table that he and I had played on two weeks prior. It was a different mission, though, so it made it alright. Once again, the swarm list proved to be more fun than I thought. I had a great time running forward with my impetuous troops and covering their advance with my regular troops. I moved up and around the board, but in the end it was a tie (3 to 3, I think).

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By the third game I had a raging headache in the upper part of my neck. The game was called and I would play “T”. I couldn’t move my head very well and my eyes were fairly sensitive to light. It doesn’t change what happened, though and isn’t intended as an excuse. I got stomped, plain and simple. There are no two ways about it. Everything I tried was expertly countered and, when I needed a roll, I got nothing. It didn’t seem to matter if I was active or reactive. I could not catch a break. I played the Spec Doc list and, in retrospect, given the terrain density, might’ve had a bit more fun with the swarm. But, regardless, I ended up with a 0 – 9 loss. At that exact moment, in the heat of frustration and my headache, I mentioned that I could walk away and be perfectly OK with that. I feel very bad about saying this, because “T” didn’t do anything wrong, I was just very, very frustrated and should’ve just kept my mouth shut. “T” was an excellent opponent and a good human being showing genuine compassion and concern for my frustration. Given the opportunity, I’d like to play him again as it was the first time I had ever played Nomads.

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Fourth game was back to amazingly awesome. I was playing “B”, another dude from Texas, who was a fun guy to play. The mission was Annihilation, which means you kill as many of theirs without getting all of yours killed. More fun than I thought it was initially. Perhaps, due to the nature of the game, perhaps due to the “mindless” nature of the mission, perhaps due to getting some liquids in my system, I felt a little more at ease. I played the Spec Doc list, just for the 3 spitfires, 2 HMGs and 4 mine-layers. Had a blast playing “B”. Great banter back and forth. We really created a narrative and it was a lot of fun to play. My “man of the match” was my Aragoto biker with spitfire this match, because he ran up the board and took out around half of his orders. That was a great run and caused the best surprise for me, at the end of his run, he was shot by a Cutter TAG. Well, it wasn’t going to be the end, but it was ended by the really awesome entrance when the TAG uncloaked. It was a pretty crazy and fun match, ending in a 4 – 4 tie, after the dust settled and points were counted.

Ended up 8th out of 11. Which is a pretty good result, in my opinion, considering I’ve never really played on any tournament scene.

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I’d like to thank all of my opponents for the lessons I learned and the good sportsmanship they showed. I hope, for my part, I showed at least a similar level of good sportsmanship. I hope to play them all again very soon.

 

Jake out.

Batrep #1 (part 2)

For part 1, go here. Unless you’ve already read part one. In which case, please keep reading.

Game number 2 for the night was a little different for me as it was the first time I lost the beginning WIP roll and my opponent chose the side of the board I was already sitting at to be his deployment side of the table. I had to move! To be clear, I’d lost the roll before and it was no trouble to move, but it was comical to me that he wanted “my side” of the table. It was cool though, getting to play the same board from a different side of the table, which I hadn’t done to this point.

We decided the mission should be quadrant control again, because this was the easiest to do (see part 1 for a better explanation of quadrant control).

I tried to survey the board, look at the massacre points and plan to not populate those areas when this opponent’s heavies came through. My opponent for the second game was playing the Combined Army. What I know about the Combined Army I can sum up fairly quickly. It’s an alien army of evil! Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. All I know is that they are supposed to be organic constructs and other alien technology and even that I’m not too sure of. (Look! The new guy hasn’t done his game-fiction homework!)

Since I lost the WIP roll and my opponent chose to go first, I chose to make him deploy first. Once he deployed,

I moved sides and suddenly my game plan opened up. There was one high spot on the board that my previous opponent didn’t make use of, but I chose to do so as I had a sniper. I placed my sniper in the top floor of a ruined building, giving her range and sight to see a majority of the battlefield. My intent was to use her as a deterrent and then pick people off that ended up in plain sight, just out in the open. Additionally, I took the same list as the first game, to assist my learning the game.

After deploying everyone else and successfully hiding Kitsune (DLK), I said I was finished and realized a “fatal flaw” in my initial plan.

My opponent was going first. Dun-dun-dun.

She was a deterrent for one model’s complete move, gaining an ARO (see part 1 of the batrep for definition/translation) on at least one move. Then he had another unit drop smoke in my way and then, utilizing a troop with visual characteristics that allowed to see through smoke, shot my sniper dead without much going on. Though I seem to remember it taking him several attempts to do that. Once he took my high ground advantage away, his turn was done.

My first turn was mostly moving into the closest two quadrants with my Guilang changing quadrants to the zone on my far right. The only thing in this quadrant at the time was a “palm tree-looking” model that, by my opponent’s description was an AD order generator and once placed, it didn’t move until destroyed and some sort of simian with a firearm. Once my 29 point Guilang moved into position at the very edge of that third quadrant, my turn was essentially over. I owned 3 zones, to his one, so 3 points to me at the end of the first turn.

Second turn is currently fuzzy to me, but I know one of his troops came around and killed my Shang Ji (yet another game where my spitfire is silenced too soon!) and then he did some other maneuvering to finish off his turn.

I do remember that, yet again, the second turn was exciting for me. Kitsune came out of hiding and avenged the fallen Shang Ji. Not really, I just wanted to make sure that when contested, I had the appropriate number of points in the quadrant. Then I moved her back around with the thought of killing his “palm tree”, but thought better of it and just kept her TO camo’d in a corner of the third zone. 50 points to his, now, 4. There was much debate on the entry of my Tiger Soldier, but eventually, I just dropped his level down to 2 and walked him in on a table edge. Though I should’ve declared it from the beginning of the game (I had every intention of walking him on from the start of the second game, I just didn’t know I had to declare it), I put him in a position to claim zone 2. With Zone 1 (my immediate left closest quadrant), Zone 2 (immediate right closest) and Zone 3 (furthest right quadrant) all buttoned up, I called my turn as I couldn’t get any shots without fully exposing my troops to very strong firepower. With that turn over, it was 6 to 0, my favor.

It was a great game and a lot of fun. He decided to call it as it was 6-0 with only one turn left, the best score he could muster would’ve been 6-3, without secret objectives. We shook hands and talked about the high points of the game.

We decided, early on, not to do secret objectives. While this was absolutely fine, I do rather wish we had. But, since starting with a 150 point “annihilation” game to now (about 5 games in total), I suppose taking mission based play in steps is probably the best practice.

I have to admit, I really like the Quadrant Control mission. It’s a lot like annihilation, but with a goal other than wiping your opponent off the board. In the second game I did a bit more turtling down and a lot less hunting, but since I was going second, I could react to his actions and then put myself in the best position to win.

A lot of any wargame is luck, but a fair amount is tactics as well, and I found myself playing the mission closely on the second game where I tried to go hunting in the first. Neither is a horrible tactic with regard to this particular mission, but it really felt like I was playing my game when I finished the game. The more I play, the more familiar this game gets. I’m really looking forward to N3 when we’ll ALL be new.

And when you’re having this much fun, it’s hard not to want to play more.

 

Jake out.

Batrep #1 – Sort of… (Part 1, apparently)

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.

 

Jake out.

 

For part 2, go here.