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; Spoiler 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. 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. (Unlabled deployment below the Avatar is the Noctifier. Pro skills.) Vaulsc's deployment; 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. (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. (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) (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!