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"Project 28" - Stopping the Caledonian Behemoth

Discussion in 'PanOceania' started by AdmiralJCJF, Mar 8, 2020.

  1. Hachiman Taro

    Hachiman Taro Inverted gadfly

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    There's a few ways.

    If it gets first turn, place smoke thrower so it gets seen with an early activation. On that activation sacrifice to throw smoke on a normal roll on a long range msv2 ARO unit (I know that's not a PanO thing but it's a general question). Proceed with field day. A linked Kamau counter deployed far away with a Helot directly below it would work too.

    If you get first turn, assassinate key pieces (pick 2-3 of Greys, Lts options, Uxia, Paramedics). That'll make a game of it at least, and perhaps give him a lot of orders he doesn't have effective uses for. Or get templates on crowded pieces. Squalo would be an ok option to do both.

    Spam lists generally only have a few threats at range, and necessarily bunch up, especially if you are setting up tables correctly (i.e., unevenly so first turn often gets sparser places to hide). Then once the few key threats are gone you can establish board control with long range units.

    There's this tendency for some very good players to feel like they've solved the game when they try a certain level of order spam against a meta that hasn't developed sufficient counters I think. And orders are very powerful (perhaps too powerful for cost) in this game. But the idea this list can't be reasonably beaten (as seemed to be the position taken in the episode) overstates this case a bit IMHO.

    From memory he didn't really describe the games or his opponents factions really, as if it was irrelevant. Not sure it is though.

    When @daboarder was dominating with similarly big Caledonian lists a couple of years back people adapted eventually. Personally I learned the joy of double Intruder sniper lists, but there are other ways too.
     
    #21 Hachiman Taro, Mar 9, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
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  2. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    The major problem with this sort of list is that the tools it takes to beat it aren't necessarily the tools you'd normally have available in an average tournament. You can make countering these sorts of skew lists far easier by designing tournaments that don't require mission-specific lists, but rather allow players to manage risk across faction match-ups.

    The second significant problem is that there is no reliable way to prevent you're opponent just playing the odds on dice to take things down. 14 (in practice) orders on an LGL starts becoming a practical way to shift even TAGs (12% odds per order). So if the dice just don't love you, you're boned.

    Add that this sort of list really does a number on your opponent's mental state: most people's - even experienced player's - first response is "I have no idea how I beat that" *BSOD*

    But it's not unbeatable by any stretch of the imagination.

    On a reasonable table you should struggle to fit that many troops in the DZ without leaving them very vulnerable to templates, and you should be able to find a firelane that allows you to give up board position for added defensive depth.

    Going first, that and the fact it has 2 obvious critical pieces opens up a lot of options for crippling it means I'd honestly be reasonably comfortable going against that with a Nomad Spec Fire/Guided list: Target both Greys and it'll usually be less than 5 orders of Guided / Spec Fire to finish them off (you only need to do 1 wound), almost certainly leaving you enough to neutralise Uxia as well. But most builds that do this well will struggle get completely destroyed if they don't get first turn.

    Going second, very few builds without a strong MSV ARO have a chance (as the Grey's can use the combination of Smoke and Orders to get practically anywhere on the board to set up the fights they want). But, I'm actually a fan of the Moira Core vs that list: you take two Moira MSRs (the second still has not-awful odds, even if your opponent can pie-slice them) and deploy them way back (this gets similar performance to an Intruder through smoke, but can't lock down firelanes vs the Grey's smoke the same way).

    Core linked Grey HMG vs core linked Moira Sniper (both in positive range bands)

    Active Player
    35.01% 3rd Highlander Grey Rifles inflicts 1 or more wounds on Reverend Moiras (Unconscious)
    9.82% 3rd Highlander Grey Rifles inflicts 2 or more wounds on Reverend Moiras (Dead)

    Failures
    24.36% Neither player succeeds
    Reactive Player
    40.62% Reverend Moiras inflicts 1 or more wounds on 3rd Highlander Grey Rifles (Unconscious)
    18.56% Reverend Moiras inflicts 2 or more wounds on 3rd Highlander Grey Rifles (Dead)

    The issue then becomes the Vol LGLs. By deploying well to the back of you DZ you can manage this risk a bit, but largely you're relying on Bakunin's screening troops to delay them long enough that you can survive what orders they do get.

    Honestly, @daboarder 's version of this scares me way more because it's far less reliant on 2 key pieces surviving if he lost first turn; and SAS Spec Fire is harder to keep away from your key pieces with a skirmish screen. Nevertheless, well played CHA is a faction that you simply cannot afford to go second against (in all but exceptional circumstances).

    Personally I hate CHA because of how skew it is by nature. A lot of sound well-built tournament lists just don't have a realistic chance against a well-played CHA list unless they go first.
     
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  3. Death

    Death Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure VaulSC didn't mean to be insulting. However, from his own experience, VaulSC has tabled people that were less experienced then him. Now of course hes missing that the podcast addressed this by saying the opponents all knew this list was coming and they are all experienced tournament players. They just all got tabled first turn before they could do anything. This tells me they had no idea how to survive the first turn vs these many orders.

    I think VaulSC criticism holds because this is hardly the first time someone has played with 3 combat groups and yeah such a list has won tournaments before. But such a list is also not unbeatable. This is a list thats putting all its eggs in one basket by saying I'm going all out offensive on turn 1 and I'm going to table you. Now if those greys are killed because you went second, ouch. If those greys die because of crits or just losing F2F rolls, ouch.

    I think something TOs need to think about when setting up a tournament is how restrictive the tournament is. If everyone is bringing lists highly tailored to play a select few missions then they might not have the counters necessary to deal with a spam list. In this case, it may be a good idea to limit combat groups to only 2.
     
    #23 Death, Mar 9, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
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  4. Tanan

    Tanan Active Member

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    I think that the root of problem is the linked LGL. Getting +3 to BS for speculative fire is a massive benefit. It outperforms other active turn link weapons, because you can't really hide from it in a meaningful way. It also conveniently ignores cover bonus to ARM and is difficult to dodge against.

    Without the link team bonus i'm sure that no-one would complain about the list.
     
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  5. AdmiralJCJF

    AdmiralJCJF Heart of the Hyperpower
    Warcor

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    You have to get that up and into position before you can really leverage it 'though.

    And there's not so much Smoke (nor any lack of responses to Smoke these days) to be certain of that delivery, whatever your Order count.
     
  6. Hachiman Taro

    Hachiman Taro Inverted gadfly

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    Couple extra things I think should be emphasised in the discussion of this list

    1) He did play at least 1 very good player (Cobra Prime who I think has been ranked world #1) and also practised against some others. I think looking at this list on paper (where you can miss some of how it is played) is different from actually facing it on the table.

    2) He only won a single three game tournament with it. When you first surprise people with something is when it is most effective. But people can and will adapt. When @daboarder ran hoard CHA in our meta a few years back he won everything for a while, prompting a lot of woe-is-me-ism. By the time of our big satellite however, people had adjusted, and he didn't win (he did win with VIRD a couple years later so hope springs eternal PanO!).

    Having said that the basic premise of the ep - considering limiting total troop numbers somehow (eg no ava total or 2 combat group max) or maybe even better not having likely undercosted very cheap and effective models in a game where orders are the basic currency, isn't a bad idea to think about.
     
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  7. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
    Warcor

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    I agree with @Hachiman Taro . Looking at this list, scoffing, and assuming the opponents were simply "bad" is a mistake. Cobra Prime is a superior player (he placed first in a 150+ person event a couple years back, which only a handful of players in the world can claim.) I's hard to know where things went wrong there without getting a more detailed account of the game.

    I particularly agree that simply surprising someone counts for a lot. Infinity's mechanics and armies allow for a very adaptive meta. Strong lists and combinations get released... Players use them to great effect... Then the meta catches on and the surprise advantage is lost. That's common.

    As far as the actual matchup:
    VIRD's got good tools here, with Helots and the Kamau covering the short approaches. That's pretty common practice for deployment, since the days of Kamau MSV2 dominating the whole table have been over for a while.

    If you can deploy at such angles that both Grey HMGs have to spend the bulk of their pool maneuvering in order to see your ARO threats, you can probably minimize a lot of the incoming damage. I'd expect casualties for sure, but even pulling those gunfighters forward to try and take out your linked ARO/Neurocinetic ARO is a big win in itself.

    If you use Jammers to cover the blindspots and dense areas of table, you can also help minimize the damage done by Uxia, or help contest areas where those LGLs would want to lob shots from.

    Neither the CHA list nor the VIRD list are slam dunk wins, which is why the game has to be played intelligently by both players. Table configuration, Lieutenant roll, the ability of the VIRD player to spot what's coming during deployment, and very close-margin f2f (can the Kamau beat the Grey, does the Zulu Cobra have a safe place to project its Jammer, does the VIRD list have the attack tools necessary to punish a crowded DZ, etc) are all variables that can't really be accounted for in a forum post.
     
  8. Teslarod

    Teslarod The Squeeze has not been Sqouze

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    Well +1 to everything others said.
    This isn't exactly news.
    Going 3 out of 3 once isn't exactly a miracle. I can show you a Limited Insertion double Seraph list or a Druze list in an unrestricted tournament doing the same.

    You basically only have to get rid of enough Command Tokens and break the link(s) often enough and this runs out of steam very quickly. TO pieces of any kind, mostly MLs will do it handily. The list also doesn't deal well with a bunch of Mines in the midfield and can easily end up sinking massive amounts of Orders into Spec Fire with low yields.

    It's a good list, but theres a bunch of things that can really screw you over hard. Especially bad terrain or going second. The list isn't remotely as good after you kill 10+ Orders with Templates/Split Burst before it gets a turn. With the Greys hiding there isn't much that stops a Sphinx or Tik just laying into Volunteers from outside Chainrifle Range.
    Vird is probably one of the worse matchups, those Helots and Jammers are gonna be a pain to maneauver around and you better hope the Grey can get into +3 against the Kamau. Double Noctifier dunking a whole Link, Tohaa Pulzar Beast and B2 HFT Makaul suicide rushs are going to be nasty as well.

    I can't see JSA, TJC or Druze reliably beating this though. This is a very bad matchup if you don't have the tools to slow it down and make it pay for cramming this many bodies in a DZ.
     
  9. Freki

    Freki Well-Known Member

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    Just for the sake of providing accurate information, it was 4 out of 4.
     
  10. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    One thing I notice also is that volunteers are really limited unless it's shotgun or chain rifle time. If you force a Grey to spend some Orders... Neutralize it... Then force your opponent to spend a Command Token and more orders to reform a new link, to come and attack the same threat, that's a big drain on the list. It's a bigger challenge than, say, a conventional link or Haris that has a couple of different gunfighters within it. An example being Kamau HMG, Kamau Sniper, and 3 Fusiliers. Depending on the range, you have to kill a lot of that link before it stops being dangerous in the active turn. But 4 Volunteers are not really going anywhere once the smoke + HMG of the Grey is gone. If you lose a Grey, the CHA player has to spend Command Tokens and Orders from an entirely fresh Combat Group to address the problem.

    That's the kind of wrench I'd try to throw into the logistics/playability of this list.
     
  11. Make PanO Great Again :P

    Make PanO Great Again :P Varuna, with the deadliest reptiles in the sphere

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    so, more or less, not taking into account the combat groups distribution, this is what i think translates from all this chat
    Varuna Immediate Reaction Division
    ──────────────────────────────────────────────────
    GROUP 1[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]10
    KAMAU (Multispectral Visor L2) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 32)
    FUSILIER Combi Rifle + Light Grenade Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 14)
    FUSILIER Hacker (Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 18)
    FUSILIER Lieutenant Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    FUSILIER Paramedic (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
    PEACEMAKER Heavy Shotgun + AUXBOT_3 / Electric Pulse. (0 | 21)
    [​IMG] AUXBOT_3 Heavy Flamethrower / Electric Pulse. (- | 4)
    ECHO-BRAVO Boarding Shotgun, Light Rocket Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 25)
    ZULU-COBRA (Sensor) Combi Rifle, Jammer / Assault Pistol, Knife. (0 | 29)
    CROC MAN (Minelayer) Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 31)
    CROC MAN (Minelayer) Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 31)
    GROUP 2[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]3 [​IMG]4
    ZULU-COBRA (Sensor) Combi Rifle, Jammer / Assault Pistol, Knife. (0 | 29)
    FUGAZI DRONBOT Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    FUGAZI DRONBOT Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    HELOT MILITIAMAN Submachine Gun, Light Rocket Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 9)
    HELOT MILITIAMAN Submachine Gun, Light Rocket Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 9)
    HELOT MILITIAMAN Submachine Gun, Light Rocket Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 9)
    TECH-BEE (Remote Assistant Level 1, Specialist Operative) Flash Pulse / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)
    6 SWC | 300 Points
    Open in Infinity Army
    pray to go first, suicide templates, cleaner AD LRL, mines, jammers, chance for link LGL back and all that VIRD defense has to offer
     
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  12. Make PanO Great Again :P

    Make PanO Great Again :P Varuna, with the deadliest reptiles in the sphere

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    This is more of a "forget about the gray`s, just clean as much chaff as possible and then close the board like they just cough their way out of a YJ transport"
    if you win the Lt roll i think this has a chance
    Varuna Immediate Reaction Division
    ──────────────────────────────────────────────────
    GROUP 1[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]10
    KAMAU (Multispectral Visor L2) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 32)
    KAMAU (Multispectral Visor L2) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 32)
    FUSILIER Lieutenant Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    FUSILIER Hacker (Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 18)
    FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
    ECHO-BRAVO Boarding Shotgun, Light Rocket Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 25)
    ECHO-BRAVO Boarding Shotgun, Light Rocket Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 25)
    FUGAZI DRONBOT Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    FUGAZI DRONBOT Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    GROUP 2[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]5 [​IMG]3
    PEACEMAKER Heavy Shotgun + AUXBOT_3 / Electric Pulse. (0 | 21)
    [​IMG] AUXBOT_3 Heavy Flamethrower / Electric Pulse. (- | 4)
    ZULU-COBRA (Sensor) Combi Rifle, Jammer / Assault Pistol, Knife. (0 | 29)
    ZULU-COBRA (Sensor) Combi Rifle, Jammer / Assault Pistol, Knife. (0 | 29)
    MULEBOT (Minesweeper, Repeater) Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    MULEBOT (Minesweeper, Repeater) Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
    HELOT MILITIAMAN Submachine Gun, Light Rocket Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 9)
    HELOT MILITIAMAN Submachine Gun, Light Rocket Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 9)
    HELOT MILITIAMAN Submachine Gun, Light Rocket Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 9)
    6 SWC | 300 Points
    Open in Infinity Army
     
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  13. yoink101

    yoink101 Well-Known Member

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    I think a pertinent question to ask before building a list to counter is: which mission? While the two lists you posted have good counters to this one CHA list, they’re not going to do well in a handful of missions.
     
  14. Make PanO Great Again :P

    Make PanO Great Again :P Varuna, with the deadliest reptiles in the sphere

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    yep, its not for everything, but the original Caledonia list isnt for everything either, in the interview he said that you can use modifications for different missions.
    For more button pushing there is a need for changes, but the priority here is how not to get steamrolled turn one if you go second and how to effectively disjoint his list if you go first, This is going from the blunt side, you dont know where the greys will be or how he will deploy..... but you know that this amount of minis with short range will clutter the DZ really good, so lets work with that.

    This is just a place to start, a less paranoid scenario can change the 2 ZC to KHD and FO ones and still work 95% fine in defense with great pushing capability.
     
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  15. Savnock

    Savnock Nerfherder

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    We all know that the order economy of Infinity breaks down at the higher numbers of orders. Playing into it is lame, even if one does so completely within the conventions of the game. You can do it to prove a point, sure. And players could adapt if they know this list in specific is coming. But neither of those things is fun or lends to very fluid play.

    2-group limits would be a welcome addition to tourney rules. Tac Window is a bit too tight, but no more than 20 troops slots accommodates the strengths of Ariadna well while not giving lists like this a chance to break the basic math of the game.
     
  16. FlipOwl

    FlipOwl Well-Known Member

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    While I agree that the current state of the game gives a very large advantage to order heavy lists, I do not agree that artificial limitations like max 2 combat groups are a good fix.

    As I have stated elsewhere, I think more work should be put into creating missions that punish having too many bodies on the board. The simplest being to add scoring based on number of models killed rather than army points. My experience playing CHA is that I will often defeat my opponent, but suffer more casualties. This is only a viable strategy because the game does bot disincentivise it at the moment.

    Adding hard limits will only mask the problem by limiting the options available to players, so that we never have to learn to deal with this type of list.
     
  17. Savnock

    Savnock Nerfherder

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    What is the difference between masking the problem and fixing the problem? In this case I'd say a 20-order limit is a fix, not a mask (meaning ineffective treatment leaving a serious problem).

    Limiting lists to two groups does effectively deal with the problem (limits overwhelming numbers of orders and bodies which emphasize the asymmetry of the active/reactive turns).

    It also does not introduce new problems, that I can see. Open to hearing how it could. I don't see removing game-breaking builds as "limiting options," unless that option was to break the game. The game breaks down at some number of bodies between 20 and 30, and the natural limit point is 2 order groups. One could argue that's too low, but I don't think that argument is stronger than the argument that 20 is the best limit to avoid game-breaking numbers of orders.

    So that's a fix, not a mask.

    Scenarios that make higher order counts difficult will create other problems, like handicapping armies that have say 6 valuable bodies and 4 cheap ones, allowing opponents to pick off the squishy bits. Might be interesting for one mission, but not a good patch across all or even most missions, which is what is needed.

    So that would not be a good fix, IMO. That would be my definition of a mask (leaves a big, leaky problem and introduces new problems), rather than a fix (like a hard 2-ordergroup-limit, which really cuts off most of the problematic asymmetry of orders and bodies-attrition).
     
    #37 Savnock, Mar 13, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2020
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  18. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    +1 to “there is no need for >2 CG lists to be legal”.

    I mostly argue for soft buffs / nerfs to drive list size so that optimal list size matches community expectations / fun gameplay. But, honestly, you lose nothing by limiting things to 2 CG.

    The 2 C2 version of that CHA list is just as,if not more, scary.

    The real inflection point is ~15 orders. Soft buffs/nerfs than incentivise players to stay below 15 orders (mission design is an option) while still allowing players to opt to go above 15 if they choose would, I think, be a better systemic approach.
     
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  19. Savnock

    Savnock Nerfherder

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    @inane.imp not sure 15 orders or lower is a good sweet spot for CHA or vanilla Ariadna, or even ISS. Taking things below 2 full groups would definitely feel like hamstringing them, to a lot of players.

    200 troops slots is a decent stretch-point for the system to allow a bit of skew without completely breaking things. It's still a potential 30+ orders with Impetuous, but without a matching number of bodies to stretch the dice out too hard on attrition as well (although one can fit a lot of G:Synch units in some factions, still not game-breaking at 2 groups IMO).
     
  20. SpectralOwl

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    While we almost always play at 300 points, Infinity's rules are meant to scale up to higher numbers if necessary so the Combat Group limit may not be an effective solution- 20-order MRRF at 600 points is even worse than LI MRRF at 300. A more effective measure that may work at all point values is to boost the cost of a Regular order as well as very cheap primary guns (Chain Rifles mostly, maybe SMGs). Regular CR wielders are the biggest enabler of outsize lists right now.