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Begone puny fleshbags - Balls deep with the Avatar at INZO

Discussion in 'Battle Reports' started by WiT?, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. WiT?

    WiT? Well-Known Member

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    So today we just wrapped up the second Infinity New Zealand Open - INZO - which with 22 players is amongst the largest events ever held in New Zealand.

    Last year, I ran a single Avatar list all the way to the finals, and could have taken it if it weren't for my amazing ability to make dumb and pointless mistakes. This year, despite practicing for three months with a 20 orders Nomad force, I made a last second change to just play the Avatar again and smack down some shit.

    Firstly, the mission list;
    • Firefight
    • Transmission Matrix (urgh...)
    • Frostbyte
    • Rescue (altered)
    • Unmasking
    I ran two Avatar lists, one for every mission but transmission matrix and another with some extra killer hackers. Probably should have taken Sheskin or something for that list instead of a primary, hackable model, but I knew the E.I would approve mightily of just running the damn thing into that mission so I went with it.

    This list runs the dreaded Strategos + Impersonator combo for going first, a Noctifier to give it game when going second (which as we will see turned out to be super relevant), a Malignos to threaten pesky assault hackers, a Krakot to clear jammers or peel melee troops off of the Avatar, a Seed Soldier as a relatively cheap forward deploying button pusher, and then some flash pulse equipped orders.

    Removes my beloved Noctifier and the random Seed Soldier to cram in two more Killer Hackers. Downgrades Speculo and an Ikadron to find the points - though whether the template Speculo is a downgrade is debatable.

    Roster Image;
    [​IMG]
    This is an Exrah theme force. From left to right - Avatar (old Caskuda) & Robo-pilot, Krakot (old Iskallers agent), Speculo, Malignos x2, Noctifier (old Void agent), Seed Soldier (old Aswang), assorted robot order monkeys.

    Strategy

    I'm awful at missions, so my strategy was go first, kill important stuff, potentially lock the board with the Avatar, and then figure out missions after that.

    Game One vs Vaulsc

    Vaulsc's video battle report:


    My first match was against Vaulsc, playing Dashat on this... experience of a table.

    [​IMG]

    Towards the camera is my deployment zone, at the far end is Vaulsc's. The buildings, aside from the central Cathedral, were not accessible. There was very little to be done to mitigate an alpha strike on this board, so my plan was to double down on the original plan and rely on my super expensive, WIP 17 Lieutenant to get the drop on him.

    Vaul's list was something like the following;
    • Zuyong TacAware HMG
    • Zuyong TacAware Combi
    • Rui Shi
    • Valeria Gromez
    • Bounty Hunter SMG
    • McMurrough
    • 2x Super Libertos Minelayers
    • Various chaff, mostly with flash pulse
    So, another alpha strike list. And naturally, I lose the Lieutenant roll and end up going second. I give Vaul the... I guess worse of the two sides and prepare my anus for McMurrough. Luckily though, I've spent three months being McMurroughed about twice a week, so I was (almost) ready for it.

    Being the pro batrepper I am, I have no photo of my deployment with models, so referencing the above picture, I put the Avatar behind the bottom right building peeping out, the Seed Soldier at the cathedral doors on my side, the Speculo next to the right hand objective hiding in a cathedral nook, and the Noctifier in TO at the bottom right corner of the destroyed house. I sprinkled by crappy flashpulse cheerleaders around the random buildings at the back and called it a day.

    [​IMG]
    (Unlabled deployment below the Avatar is the Noctifier. Pro skills.)

    Vaulsc's deployment;

    [​IMG]

    Behind the Cathedral is the dreaded Rui Shi, behind the wall in the center was the link team, along the center line and in the cathedral were Libertos and mines, and there were many remotes spread around the backfield.

    How it went down

    Vaul starts with (shock horror!) McMurrough, sending him down the left side of the cathedral. He moves to discover the seed soldier and I missile him with the Noctifier. He DGAF and hides in smoke. McMurrough kills the Seed Soldier, and then spec grenades the Noctifier, who survives. McMurrough then hides behind the farmhouse in the bottom right ahead of the Noctifier's missile base. Meanwhile a Libertos discovers and then feebly attacks my Speculo Killer for many, many orders and fails to take it out.

    On my turn, I killed McMurrough and then returned the Avatar to its corner.

    Vaulsc attacks the Avatar with a linked Rui Shi at long range. He loses the firefight and fails three ARM rolls to the explosive shot, totalling the Rui Shi. He attacks the Speculo a bunch and fails too. He grabs a panoply or two and ends the turn.

    I make a run with the Avatar, which stops short due to a repeater. The Avatar returns to base, failing to kill a Libertos on the way (137pt <<< 11pt apparantly). This leaves a gap for Vaul to attack with his squad. Not knowing Dashat, I had not really considered the Zu Yong link as a credible threat. It ran forward in the shadow of the terrain, attacked all of my weak crap, and left the Avatar without orders to do anything. I ambush it with the Malignos to kill Valeria, but it in turn dies to the Zuyong combi.

    End Result: Major Loss

    Takeaways;

    • If I had kept the Avatar out, with an aggressive location similar to that of the Noctifier, I could have contested this run and potentially kept my lead. But, a mixture of inexperience with the list (it had been approx a year since I had played an Avatar, so I was way too cagey with it), and poor threat assessment opened me up to this and Vaul took advantage of the chance.

    • My list is weak to going second, particularly so to lists fielding alpha capable pieces like McMurrough. I run the Noctifier to help mitigate this, but without ablative wounds theres only so good you can get at going second. I'm amazed that on this table, against this opponent with that list going second, I survived as long as I did.

    • Tinbots are better than I thought. As a Tohaa player, I don't really know anything about hacking. Getting a -6 to my WIP instead of what I thought was +6 BTS for them is pretty gross.

    • I also was too aggressive with my hacker, and should have attacked Valeria as the force retreated or engaged the Zuyong as it attacked my Speculo. Either case was a better use of the model than revealing on the way in to die to the Zuyong Combi. I'm going to put this one down to inexperience with hackers, which is a bit of a theme through this event.

    • McMurrough is strong. I know quite a few people were taking him, and for good reason. I'm reasonably good at stopping McMurrough from eating my army, so I did not take *too* much damage here and needed some luck to do it. If going first, McMurrough is crazy, and if going second, he can protect himself with smoke or deter with chain rifles... what a nuts profile.

    • Dashat is pretty damn good. The Libertos was ineffective this game, but I think that was more dice than anything. Attacking with few dice against good dodges is ineffective, but nothing like that. Having both two Libertos and Mimetism on the damn things is horrifying.

    • The Rui Shi is strong, but with one or two Zuyongs as pointmen and double order generators, the link is still hugely effective without it. I would consider the no Rui Shi loadout as the baseline, and bring the Rui Shi in when you can for more efficiency.

    • Didn't know that Dashat got Valeria. A hacker, even a mediocre one, with a pitcher is a big threat to the Avatar.


    [​IMG]
    (McMurrough closes in for the kill. The Noctifier is off screen to the bottom right, and a Krakot threatens from total cover behind the building on the right.

    [​IMG]
    (The Libertos attacks a Speculo with light shotguns, mines etc. She got lucky and survived despite multiple orders (probably something like 10 over the game)

    [​IMG]
    (McMurrough attacking the Noctifier. As you can probably tell by the lack of blur, I did not take this one - photo credit to Vaulsc.)

    Tomorrow I will post up the other games. They should be clearer and have more images, so fingers crossed. Hope you guys enjoy it!
     
    #1 WiT?, Jul 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
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  2. WiT?

    WiT? Well-Known Member

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    Game #2: Transmission Matrix vs Tunguska

    Oh boy, Transmission Matrix. My plan for this mission was to hope for a decent table and an opponent without too much hardcore hacking. But to help that plan along, I took a Speculo Killer and three Killer Hacker devices, just to be sure.

    Our table (picture from my DZ side)

    [​IMG]

    My opponent (sorry, I lost your handle and don't want to use your name) ran something like this;

    • Hollow Man Spitfire
    • Hollow Man Missile
    • 2x Misc Hollow Men
    • Superjump Sensor Bot
    • 2x Heckler
    • Puppetactica (2x FP, 1x Marksman)
    • Interventor LT
    • Mary Problems (urgh)
    I lost the LT roll (again!) and my opponent opted for deployment, giving me first turn. Yay I guess. I deployed a Malignos atop the central building, another tucked behind the left most orange tower, the Krakot ambitiously in the open by the left antennae, Bit & Kiss on the right antennae, and various chaff behind cover with the repeater zone Ikadron way away from where I intended to place the Avatar. I held back the Speculo and the Avatar, eventually placing the former behind the left most white building in the midfield and the latter peeking behind the large orange container in the bottom left.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    My opponent placed a hollow man link around the top left white building, an Interventor LT on top in the trans zone in total cover, Mary Problems on the left behind the left white building, the puppets at the back in total cover, and hecklers on the left objective tower and another location in the far right of the board. Their designated target is behind the "just taller than a Tag ©" walls on the far left.

    [​IMG]

    First, my Avatar stepped out and killed the Hollow Man Spitfire closest to the objective. I kept it wayyy at the back out of repeater range. Then, I began my real assault. The Speculo was to use its superior CC to smash Mary Problems, then Impersonate/smoke to the building and put the smack on the Interventor. That would clear the hackers and possibly put my opponent in LoL. But the Speculo had a different idea, and decided to roll a 1, lose to Mary's random crappy 4 or 5, and die. Moral of the story? If its super critical to your plan for the Speculo to succeed, use surprise attack even if the odds are literally 8-1 of winning.

    So the Speculo failing made my life pretty hard. I sent my plan B, a Malignos KHD, to attack her but it failed and died. I said fuck it and used Bit & Kiss too, but they also died. I shuffled the Ikadron onto Bit's objective and wrapped it up. Great first turn right there, such a strong alpha strike... against myself at least.

    My opponent nuked my exposed krakot, then jumped the hollow man missile to attack the Avatar from long distance and it died. Mary Problems advanced up the table, behind the tall walls, and dumped a repeater on the Avatar. She failed a lot of isolation attempts against its BTS 9 and WIP 17 resets. Then he drove the Puppetactica squad into the open to attempt to pass the Avatar. He shot the marksman who attempted to fire back.

    On my turn, the Avatar, emboldened by being nearly invincible to hacking (and somewhat despondant and how shit things were going) said "fuck this" and reversed out of the repeater zone at full speed, attacking both flash pulse puppets with two shots and tanking the hacker ARO. I figured, I'm pretty behind so need to just hope gambles pay off. His BTS held and he blew away both bots. At this point I realized that all of the cheerleaders in my excellently designed, last minute trans matrix list are all hackable and so unable to really do anything too. I drove my R Drone onto the central objective and called it a turn.

    On their turn, the opponent brought their hollow men forward, jumped over the wall and blew away the designated target, dying to the Avatar in the process. On my final turn, I drove the Avatar towards the designated target. One order short of rounding the corner and scoring a million points, the hacking pulled through and we lost contact with it. Luckily it was facing the board, so it spent a final turn shooting stuff that tried to head to the objectives.

    End Result: Minor Win

    Takeaways
    • For some reason, taking an Avatar on the transmission matrix list seemed a slightly crap idea. Can't quite put my finger on why though...
    • WIP 17 BTS 9 is a big deal. I got lucky with the rolls, but most attacks were one or two dice vs a strong reset and then needing like 4 or 5 to fail armour. As I saw in game one, these types of attacks can be very ineffective.
    • If you need the Speculo to succeed, double down and spend the order re-impersonating after tossing smoke. Even against random, low CC chumps. She's not as reliable as a Fiday for killing weak units in CC. Her going down turned the game into a potential rout (if she had gone all the way) to a serious slog.
    • As expected, T Matrix is all about infiltrating camo. The midfield malignos was super important, locking down an objective and being difficult to dislodge. The Hecklers would have been clutch too if I had killed the hackers and so been able to actually advance towards them.
    • I need to treat the Krakot more like a cheerleader and not aggressively deploy it. He would have been better tucked in by the civilian. Having super jump would have made him a great datatracker that can clear the wall, and putting him in the open just got him killed. I found this was a repeating theme through the event sadly.
    • Hacker fights are a bit of a coin flip. Active turn Malignos couldn't take down Mary Problems even with burst and surprise. I definitely need to work on my hacker game and understanding how to use them.
     
    #2 WiT?, Jul 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
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  3. WiT?

    WiT? Well-Known Member

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    Ok guys, your persistence getting this far has paid off. As the event went on, my legendary photography skills improved - for instance, I have approximately six times as many pictures for match three as I did for match two and less of them are blurry messes!

    Game Three - Frostbyte vs PanOceania

    My game three opponent was Hexa, running vanilla PanO. This is one of my regular sparring partners, and he did excellently at this event, coming in third at the end.

    I came into this mission with a huge advantage. I'd played against this list many times, while using the Nomads spamfest I had originally intended to bring. Earlier in the day Hexa had still believed I was playing Nomads, I think he had clued on that it was the Avatar but in his words, "I thought you might not do it".

    Oh how wrong he was...

    Firstly, the board.

    [​IMG]
    (from my DZ facing that of the opponent. Green glass shelters were deemed inaccessible)
    [​IMG]
    (from opponent DZ. There are arguments that this side was better, but I'm overall satisfied with my choice. Laser fences were deemed solid objects and were slightly shorter than a TAG)

    This board was provided by Battlekiwi. We use it for Infinity at some tournaments, but in this case, it was supposed to be for some casual Ariestea. But it was shang-hai'd into service along with some random buildings when we were suddenly down a table. So please keep that in mind when I say that as awesome as this table is, god it was awful to play on. Theres no scatter terrain outside of the center, the rooftops are practically useless, the lines of fire are enormous, the building on my side has virtually no interior... and what put me in serious tilt mode was that the little fire exit in the bottom right, with LoF across to the large building on the left and the Seraph's attack path... I couldn't place my Noctifier there because of where the ladder access hatch was! But on the plus side, that got me looking further and gave me the edge I needed for the upcoming game.

    Hexa fielded this list;
    • Cutter
    • Seraph HMG
    • Joan of Arc (DA CCW Heavy Armour version)
    • Fusilier
    • Tech Bee
    • Monstrukker
    • Warcor
    • Helot Light Rocket (urgh!)
    • 2x Fugazi Flash Pulse Remotes
    While, as always outside of dirty transmission matrix, I brought my Avatar Speculo Noctifier list.

    Naturally, I lose the LT roll off again (though at least this time it was vs WIP 15 Joan) and get given second turn. I choose this deployment side because the stadium extended further into it. The other side had a bare rooftop, against a Super Jump TAG, and while it had a building with interiors there was practically nothing else. Both sides were bad, but going second against what I knew was coming, I preferred this side immensely.

    Deployment;

    [​IMG]
    Hexa's monstrukker was inside the building, in a different room from Joan, and his various flash pulse cheerleaders were hiding in various inaccessible spots for the whole game.

    Hexa had no reserves. My reserve was the Speculo Killer and Avatar. The former to pressure Joan or a TAG, the latter to keep him off balance in his Cutter placement.

    Going second against this list, I was worried. The Cutter is essentially an Avatar with full camo in this matchup, I didn't know where it was, and it had a Seraph to back it up. Going second my Speculo is much worse, and while the Noctifier can beat on the Seraph with good placement, it has no game against the Cutter. So feeling the pressure, I committed myself to a high risk high reward strategy.

    The Speculo appeared riiiight next to Joan, in order to encourage her to vacate that area. Meanwhile, my Noctifier had a line of sight to Joan from all the way across the board. My specialists appeared at the edge of the exclusion zone in the center near the objectives and I spread my random chaff into whatever hidey holes I could find for them.

    [​IMG]

    On his first turn, Hexa decided to attack the Avatar, which contrary to my excellent Deployment picture was peeking out to the left of that building. In the first order, he hit me twice, which bounced off of ARM 12. On the second I hit him and he failed two saves on 6 (needing 7!). Rough. I expected to come out ahead in this gunfight, but not to this extent. Really shows the power of a MULTI HMG instead of a standard one when fighting other TAGs!

    [​IMG]

    Hexa then decided to bring in the Monstrukker to assist Joan. I was worried as I had not foreseen this. The Monstrukker walked into the hallway of the building and placed a drop bear. Then he walked into missile range and I fired. The blast was something like a millimeter off of hitting Joan and potentially ending the game, but it erased the Monstrukker and its mine and spooked Hexa pretty good.

    [​IMG]
    On his next order, he simply decided to risk it with a move dodge. I feel this was a warranted risk at the time as there was no real way to extract Joan and the odds were about 50-50 of a hit and reasonably low of death. She pulled it off and hid in a corner, still close to the Speculo. The Helot broke holo to draw LoS on Joan and cover her and it was on to me.

    I ran my Krakot forward, in order to pressure Joan further and draw out the Cutter. It worked and he even dodged the shot on top of that - pretty rough there.

    [​IMG]

    With the Cutter revealed, I sent out the Speculo, who walked right past Joan (way too much CC on her for me to want to risk it) and spent most of my turn slicing the Cutter in half. The Avatar went up and blew away the Seraph and then hid again.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Joan came out of her bunker with some cautious moves and eventually shot down the Speculo. On my turn, the Avatar emerged and ran down the board to take on the Fusilier Datatracker - this was necessary to ensure that I had an uncontested exclusion zone at the end. It clambered up the side of the building and prepared to crush the Fusilier like the bug he was.

    [​IMG]
    (The Avatar, preparing for its unstoppable assault)
    [​IMG]
    (Pictured: The Fusilier's CC roll. Yes they are CC 13)

    After stabbing the Avatar in the face, the Fusilier went down to a second slap. The Avatar then drilled his brain to accomplish some sort of classifed that I had, but ended the turn stuck on the roof facing the table, with LoS to Joan prone behind the orange fences in the middle.

    On his last turn, Hexa sent in his close combat assassin to tie down the Avatar...
    [​IMG]

    But luckily I did not lose to the 7 and smashed it to death. That would have been humiliating =/

    Joan escaped while my Avatar was tied up, and went after the HVT for points. On my last turn, I smashed the Fugazi and retreated to the exclusion zone. I then pushed some buttons with my Malignos, and pointlessly ran it to hold an HVT too. It died to the cold before claiming the points.

    End Result: Major Win

    Takeaways;
    • God this deck wants to go first. I felt so badly on the back foot going second in this match, without the Noctifier jank out I would have had a tough time.
    • Krakot and other impetuous are excellent for flushing out TO camo, its probably the only time I used him well during the event. He was pretty useful in this mission in drawing out that Cutter, which could have kept the Avatar on the back foot by staying in hiding and then appearing to take the initiative against it.
    • The Speculo is a great threat piece. However, its actual strength is way less consistent than people assume.
    • Knowing a player's list is a big deal
    • Tables need scatter terrain and need to be set up with the game in mind
     
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  4. WiT?

    WiT? Well-Known Member

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    Game Four: Rescue vs Steel Phalanx

    The next game was against KNIGHTH00D's Steel Phalanx, in a modified version of Rescue.

    Great. Phalanx on the saturation map. And theres also some trees on the board too for maximum hit modifiers... oh boy.

    But there was hope! Instead of a blanket saturation/terrain zone, there were various large "Civilian Areas". These areas had those rules, and also a 1" speed bonus for TAGs, HI and MI. While I'm not sure if this is the ideal fix for the mission, I can certainly say that limiting the derp zone made Rescue a ton more playable!

    KNIGHTH00D is a more casual player than I am, and doesn't attend most of our tournaments. He tends to take cool stuff and pretty stuff instead of super efficient stuff, and it showed when (of course) I got my only Lieutenant roll of the event and opted for first. Players like this are why I feel that certain units, such as the Speculo, are not super healthy for the game as they can lead to some serious NPE.

    I don't have KNIGHTH00D's exact army composition, and the draft I've built is 15 points over, but it looked something like this;
    • Hector Plasma Rifle LT
    • Myrmidon Officier CoC
    • Eudoros
    • Myrmidon Assault Hacker
    • Netrod x2
    • Agema MULTI Sniper
    • Teucer Feuerbach
    • Thrasymedes Infiltration
    • Thamyris Hacker/Pitcher
    And of course, the board. Note the infinite central room and the location of the civilian zones (one on each flank, one at the front and back of the objective room.

    KNIGHTH00D had a sniper tower on the left, a forward tower on the right, a large wall, and several small buildings. I had a rather unhelpful and gigantic flat building center left, a couple of small walls on either flank, and not much else. A good asymmetrical table imo.

    [​IMG]

    I ran my standard list. I set up my Malignos as a marker in front of the center right tall tower for more orders, the Seed Soldier on the left behind the small orange sign to have a path to civilians on the other side, the Krakot in a civilian zone behind the central room, a Noctifier in a concealed location on the right hand wall for later use and my chaff in various hiding spots.

    KNIGHTH00D placed an Agema Sniper in total cover on the tower roof, Teucer in the lower part of the tower, the hacker in the small building behind the forest, Netrods in various corners, and the link behind the wall. Thrasymedes was on the far left flank behind a building. I deployed the Speculo at ground level near the sniper tower and the Avatar at the small walls behind the Malignos' tower.

    On my first turn, the Avatar advanced up the right flank uncontested by ARO pieces, and attacked the link team. Hector and the Assault Hacker died, and Eudoros & Officer smoked themselves safe. Not bad for a direct attack from a 140 point model!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I retreated the Avatar and sent in the Speculo, who took down Teucer.

    [​IMG]
    My opponent shuffled out the Agema and brought Thrasymedes forwards to threaten the civilians.

    My Avatar came forward and attacked the Agema through civilians, which was disadvantageous to me. It took multiple turns for me to bring it down, then it retreated again carrying one civilian.

    [​IMG]
    KNIGHTH00D ran out Eudoros into the right hand civilian area to face the Avatar, and the Officer went down the left side of the central room to have a go at the civilians. At this point, because it was going badly and my opponent may not know the new CA stuff, I told him that the camouflage marker was a Seed Soldier which could template him, so he held the units back.

    [​IMG]

    The Avatar and Malignos spent a few turns dealing with Eudoros, and then the Avatar ran up the table and dismounted to take a second civilian. I found out later that this isn't possible (hey, I had never used a pilot bot before today cut me some slack!), but it ended up not mattering. I ran the Avatar back to cover my DZ and stood up the Noctifier.

    KNIGHTH00D said fuck it and ran out Thrasymedes into a Noctifier, Flash Pulse, and Avatar shot to approach the civilian. He dodged them all (!) and survived. But on his second activation of move + synch, was blown to pieces.

    [​IMG]
    "Better to go out on your own terms" - Thrasymedes

    At the end of the game, my second civilian was 1/2 an inch out of the exclusion zone, turning a 10-1 into a 6-1, which I was very annoyed about until I found out it was illegal anyway. Rescue managed to have its dirty way with me in the end!

    Result: Major Win

    Takeaways
    • I don't really know how to address this, but the issue of more casual or newer players against some of the dirty shit in this game is a big one. I can't afford to bring a more casual list as the competition is too tough
    • Rescue is one of the few missions where I actually considered the objectives during my practice games, mainly due to it being such a PITA. I can see the difference in scoring results - I had planned multiple different avenues to the civilians and how to deal with them, instead of just 'figuring it out' at the end.
    • Pilot Specialists are clunkier than I expected and interact poorly with civilians. Also, a WIP 13 robo-pilot, while better than most, is still a very mediocre specialist and fails a fair few rolls.
    • The list is so much stronger going first than it is going second, that I can take heart that my tournament placing would probably have been better with less janky LT rolls.
    • Rescue is a much, much better mission without the blanket slow/sat zone.
     
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  5. WiT?

    WiT? Well-Known Member

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    Game #5 - Unmasking vs Ikari Company

    Fathyom's Batrep: Round 5 to be found in the quoted post.

    My last game of the event was against Ikari Company, another alpha strike focused faction. I cross my fingers that my WIP 17 LT will pull me through, and of course for the fourth of five games I fail the roll and have to weather the storm. Yikes.

    Fathoym's list, to the best of recollection;
    • Brawler MSV Sniper
    • Tanko Missile
    • 2x Keisotsu
    • Kempetei
    • Japanese Doctor
    • Blitzen Tanko
    • Flammenspear Tank
    • Brawler LT
    • Desperado
    • 3x Yuan Yuan
    • Ninja Killer Hacker
    • Rui Shi
    Having played QK a fair bit in the past, I know first hand how effective Yuan Yuans can be. I also know how terrible this list is if it loses its order pool, and how vulnerable my cheerleaders are. So I expect an all in attack to strip my order pool and maybe tie up the Avatar in CC. I deploy conservatively with this in mind, setting up my various cheerleaders to hopefully trade with any attacker and to cover the Avatar.

    I chose my table edge because I felt it had more locations for non-prone cheerleaders and LoF for the Noctifier and Avatar to defend with. In hindsight this may have been a mistake. My own DZ has a stronger tower for the link, but a better hiding spot for the Speculo. It is also more susceptible to the Avatar, where in an Avatar coming down the right flank has better LoF across the DZ.

    I kept my Noctifier and Speculo in reserve.

    [​IMG]
    Not Noted: Rui Shi, somewhere in the vicinity of the tanko team
    [​IMG]
    The board & Fathoym's deplyoment.

    I've left this batrep a bit long and am forgetting or mixing up the details, so apologies if this is a little brief. But really the game came down to a few key points which I remember pretty well, the rest is just details.

    My opponent set up a Tanko/Brawler MSV/Keisotsu link on their building, a Tanko x2/Brawler LT Haris peeping out from behind the trucks in the upper left, the Desperado to come down the right flank and various cheerleaders hiding at the back. He hid a TO Ninja somewhere near the middle on the right side.

    I set up my Speculo (combi, unfortunately...) and my Noctifier to counter his link. The Noctifier had LoF into the middle of the link team - oh boyo!

    90% of my plan was "annoy the link team, don't get Yuan Yuan'd", 10% "how to stop Fathyom winning the mission" and 0% "how to win the mission". For the lead up to this event, my focus was on trans matrix (yay, no remotes, yay game round scoring) and on rescue (yay sat zone, yay terrain, and not having the full rescue modifications until the day). I had decided that Frostbyte and Unmasking would be "figure that shit out" missions that definitely took a back seat to the big scary missions mentioned before.

    As a result, I was not well prepared for this mission. Combine that with going second, a skillful opponent and no experience facing Ikari, and I was not expecting to do very well from the get go.

    Firstly though, I unsubtly redeployed my Noctifier. I placed it with expected LoF to the team, then had to get my opponent to turn again so I could fix it. This confirmed any suspicions that my opponent had that I had some hidden deployment doing something janky, so I was lucky to get value from it at all.

    So, right off the bat, my opponent defied expectations. He wanted to drop his Yuan's near the link team, presumably to provide smoke for an MSV engagement of the Avatar. He attempted to drop Yuan 1 into the link team, and I waited with bated breath, but it scattered and the Avatar blew it up. The second Yuan landed in the same place, and drew a missile from the Noctifier that wrecked him, the MSV brawler, and something else (Kempetai?)

    [​IMG]
    (Noctifer's LoF on the link team. The Yuan landed right next to the visible model through the bridge. Man I love Noctifiers!)

    The last Yuan Yuan walked on a table edge in a safe spot down the right side, and the desperado drove into the middle and deployed smoke. A Ninja appeared, and pretty much just ran to all of the consoles and tapped them, using camo, smoke, and a paucity of LoF to reach them all in one go. A Rui Shi advanced to attack and kill my Noctifier, and the opponent used his Keisotsu to smack down on my Speculo.

    [​IMG]
    (Quality photography of the Keisotsu shooting up the Speculo)

    On my turn, the Malignos appeared and spent a few orders frying the Ninja. My Avatar went on an attack run to eliminate the Rui Shi, wound the flammenspear tank, and wipe out the Desperado before retreating. Crucially, I deployed it slightly too far back to cover the approach of the tankos to their target. Doh!

    This is where I went from the back foot, to total wreckage. First, the Yuan Yuan approached my Avatar. I dodged to reposition the Avatar where I should have left it last turn. Then, from super long distance, the Yuan threw smoke and the Avatar fired. He rolled a 1, and I rolled a 20 (needing 18), so now there was smoke on my precious Avatar. Between smoke and my misdeployment the Tankos advanced on the civilians and the datatracker got its kill. Fathoym ran his impetuous missile tanko up to kill the Malignos, but failed. It then positioned itself to speedbump the Avatar.

    On my turn, the Avatar murdered everything, then derped around slowly getting a civilian with its clunky pilot rules. I detected the wrong civvie, so made a run at the second console. I needed to spend all of my orders on movement, so I gave a Keisotsu a random ARO hitting on ones, which it managed to do and the Avatar keeled over. I wasn't particularly surprised or upset by that, as the game had already been lost fair and square.

    Results: Major loss

    Takeaways
    • I had let other missions blind me to preparing for this one, which meant I came in unprepared.
    • Unmasking is an order intensive mission, the Avatar is not necessarily the best pick
    • TAG specialists are clunkier than I had come to expect, and randomly end up absorbing half and full orders of random movement into base contact etc. Not ideal on a mission like this, or a limited insertion list.
    • Noctifier is MVP yet again.


    Final Takeaways;
    • Avatar is unplayable in certain missions, particularly those that are specialist and order intensive.
    • When the Avatar engages on its terms, ie at range against targets without MSV, it is incredibly powerful. In cover it is incredibly tough against non AP weapons, and the BS 18 shots or AROs are just nuts. As a sledge hammer this thing is very, very powerful.
    • That said, most of the time, you don't get to use it this way. It dies to asymmetrical attacks, such as melee or hacking. You have to be cagey with it, as if it dies, your list is trash. Memnomica is also awkward with repair options, as using it causes the Avatar to be removed from play, and not using it puts you in LoL unless you invest in an expensive Caliban.
    • This list is at least as much about its support pieces as it is about the Avatar. These pieces can be used without fear of just losing the game if you goof it up or end out of position, and are very powerful in their respective niches.
      • The Speculo is very strong with first turn and strategos, and you get at least one of those two effects every game.
      • The Noctifier is my MVP pick for most games. It gives you so much game going second given you are practically an all in alpha strike list, and it gives an ARO that is similar in power to that of the Avatar with the potential to be from Hidden Deployment as well.
      • Krakot did very little this event, but I still respect it. He needs to be used more as a cheerleader with upsides rather than a primary piece, and probably should not spend his impetuous order unless you are specifically planning to use it for something. There is a solid argument to use a Datz instead, mainly for smoke, but it brings some other perks too. I mainly like the Krakot as it can opt to sit safely someplace not using impetuous without draining my order pool.
      • Malignos is strong. I didn't get much mileage from it, but I am inexperienced with hacking. He covers your button pressing, can hide safely and use mines and dazers to absorb enermy orders or attacks.
    • I think BS Speculo is the way to go. Yeah, sometimes a Speculo, particularly going second, can get a clutch angle at long range with the combi. But for each time that happens, there are two or three times where a +6 ARO will help protect the Speculo, or the template will be very useful. I saw that here, along with several times in other games.
    • The TAG pilot is not nearly as good a specialist as I thought, as it's rules are clunky and tend to waste orders.
    • The Avatar is surprisingly resilient to hacking. I had many, many hack attempts bounce off him in transmission matrix. But its very swingy, they are either wasting orders, or pretty much winning the game, depending on one or two dice rolls.
    • Infinity is more about the missions then it is about the list. You need an action plan for every mission, both going first and going second. My lack of a plan for Unmasking in particular had a huge impact on my list building.
     
    Jonno, Willen, Asreon_ and 2 others like this.
  6. Willen

    Willen Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the report. I just adquired some CA along with an Avatar, the model is gorgeus, and was thinking how it would play on the field.
     
  7. WiT?

    WiT? Well-Known Member

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    You have to play white-knuckle, balls deep with it. Its a 140 point monster that can dominate the table, but folds like wet tissue paper to certain weapons or tactics. Since it's so expensive you absolutely have to leverage it to win, so it leads to some pretty stellar wins and crazy blowout defeats too. I've found Avatar lists to be the most enjoyable lists to play for this reason.

    When you do use the Avatar, my biggest tips are;
    • The Avatar is fast, so don't be afraid to use some orders advancing or retreating it, and use command tokens when doing so if you need order efficiency. It is generally a good idea with elite TAGs to get in, do damage, and get out if you are even remotely concerned that the enermy can attack it effectively on their turn. Playing these lists effectively requires a very fine balance between attacking with the almighty Avatar on the active turn, defending or denying areas with him on the reactive turn, and keeping your massive 140 war machine hidden safely in total cover at the very back of the board like a bitch. Get that balance wrong and your effectively playing 140 points down, or the Avatar will die, or your opponent will score all the points or kill your cheerleaders and beat you without ever facing it.

    • The Sepsitor is hot garbage and a bit of a trap. The amount of times I find it doesn't work against an attacker, vs the amount of times that it is a WIP 17 "insta-kill" flamer with a janky upside, leaves me seriously wishing we had a flamer option. I would definitely see the mind control element as a very niche application, as you will almost always have better things to do with your orders (ie, spend them on the 140 point death machine) than you will on their random troop.

    • The Avatar is about 50% huge death TAG and 50% strategos and likely first turn. A Speculo can often leverage first turn and almost always leverage strategos deployment, giving you an initial attack angle that does not risk the Avatar. I usually start the Avatar on the defensive and begin with the Speculo for this reason.

    • The Avatar is a very effective BS based ARO that can secure a large portion of the table. Give it a line of fire that covers a large horizontal area mostly on your side of the board, rather than deep into the opponents table half. This makes it harder to get effective guns into position to engage it - an Intruder through smoke can and will turn your 140 TAG into 140 points of wreckage with about five orders on average. Make sure it has tall cover to Guts into if it is attacked from the likely vectors.

    • Be wary of the Ikadron's repeater areas interacting negatively with your Avatar.

    • Keep a trooper reasonably close to the Avatar to deter a CQB attack, a troop walking on and engaging it, or similar situations where it ends up in base contact with an enermy. In this situation it will either die or attack very inefficiently with it's melee weapon
     
    Willen and KestrelM1 like this.
  8. MicroWarp

    MicroWarp Active Member

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    Great reports!