South Perth Brawl Battle Reports We've recently had the biggest ITS tournament ever here in Perth, Western Australia, and it was an excellent weekend of games, camaraderie, and thankfully for me, mostly victories in my games! I played Tunguska Jurisdictional Command, and was a little worried I was playing them wrong, seeing as I didn't take a single Hollow Man or Kriza Boracs in either of my lists! Still, my plans paid off, and after losing my first game, I was able to win the rest, with three majors and a minor. So, without further ado, let's get onto the lists (which had to contend with the Tactical Window modifier)! List 1 - Countermeasures, Capture and Protect, Safe Area, Unmasking Combat Group 1 Securitate HMG Securitate Multi-Sniper Securitate Multi-Sniper Securitate Paramedic Grenzer Forward Observer Perseus Puppetmaster w/ AP Marksman puppet and 2x FO puppets Heckler Killer Hacker Heckler Red Fury Interventor Lieutenant Combat Group 2 Transductor Zond Transductor Zond Zondnautica Boarding Shotgun This list took quite a while to design, as it needed to cover a lot of bases. I knew I wanted to take the Puppets, because two of the missions involved exclusion zones, and Unmasking requires button-pushing, so their mobility was essential. Wanting to stay away from massively weighing my list down with Hollow Men, I went for a Securitate core, and opted for the sniper rifles over the feurbach option simply because I didn't know what the terrain would be like on the day. Having those longer range bands covered was really helpful, and I'd not look back having played it. Whilst you're not as solid against TAGs when you're trying to kill them, Stun rounds can shut their run down really well, so I was happy with that trade. Having taken the Securitate core, the HMG fits in as a solid active turn piece, and Perseus really makes up for the lack of tricks on the Securitate by being a really great piece for everything but button-pushing. I considered taking the Heckler jammer, but given my track record of actually jamming people is terrible, and the assumption that everyone would have that they are jammer Hecklers, I went with the Red Fury, for a solid gunfighter on the opposite flank to the fire team, and the Killer Hacker, for another specialist and the assault pistol. The last, and most inspired inclusion, was the Grenzer FO. Needing a valid Liaison Officer target in Safe Area, I had basically zero other options, but I don't regret it at all. He achieved his fair share of objectives, but crucially the high BS and MSV1 let him win some really clutch gunfights. List 2 - Firefight Combat Group 1 Grenzer Spitfire Grenzer Multi-Sniper Securitate Repeater and Boarding Shotgun Securitate Securitate Raoul Spector Szalamandra Heckler Jammer Heckler Jammer Interventor Lieutenant This list was designed to punch dicks in Firefight, and it did just that. I can castle up with my fireteam very effectively, hiding them behind the zone of jammers, and the Szalamandra should be able to drink all of the orders up and spit them out in HRMC rounds. Once an opening appears, Spector joins the party and kills the enemy LT, and that's game (assuming things go according to plan!). Nice and simple, and if that fails, the Spitfire Grenzer is starting up in good range thanks to 16" deployments and FD lvl1, so he can pick up some slack. Game 1 - Countermeasures vs Ramah Taskforce This was the mission I was least confident on going into the event, and coupled with some poor decisions on my part, and some good plays on my opponent's part, it fell hard against me. My first mistake was trying a (with hindsight unnecessary) play to have my Grenzer FO (datatracker) FO a linked Ghulam who was within 24". I should have cautious moved into cover to get the benefits against the Ghulam, but I stupidly didn't, and 2x 12's later, my Grenzer was dead. From there, I got a bit gunshy, and wasn't as agressive with the puppets as I could have been. This cost me dearly, as I left my opponent's order pool mostly unscathed, and he was able to move up on me with impunity. Perseus got unlucky, failing an engage roll against a Naffatun's heavy flamer, and did the burning man dance for his troubles, and at that point I was too far behind to catch back up. My opponent played a solid game, and despite going down 10-2, I had fun, and got my first-round jitters out of the way. Round 2 was only going to get better! Game 2 - Capture and Protect vs Combined I finished game 1 a little disappointed in my misplays, and keen to make up for it in round 2. Then I discovered I was playing an Avatar list with a full 15 orders, and I had a little panic to myself. With few ways to handle the Avatar well, I knew I had to clear out its orders asap, so it wasn't able to both defend my opponent's objective and pick my objective up at the same time. Thankfully, I won initiative, and gave my puppets a mission - murder all of the things! I used the Zondnaut to set some smoke up, and pushed the puppets right up the far right flank. I shot at a Daturazi, but it beat me and got smoke down, took out a flash pulse remote and a Taigha, failed to kill a Liberto, but there was a chance to move in and clip two Nox under a boarding shotgun template, and then get around and take out another 2 orders. I snuck around, eating the Liberto's ARO, put three shotgun shots down... and both Nox made two saves each against the boarding shotgun. BOO! By this stage I was just about out of orders, so I made sure that my remotes were positioned so that the Taigha left on the right flank, along with the Daturazi, would run out and eat AROs, and then spied a cheeky angle of attack from my Heckler red fury against my opponent's other Daturazi. I managed to take it out, and whilst I could have knocked a couple more orders out, I felt like I'd done a decent job of giving my opponent a problem in his deployment zone the other side of the table from the Avatar. My opponent moved his warbands out, and despite it taking a couple of ARO attempts, I eventually put down the Taigha and the Daturazi. An FO puppet took about 3 orders for a Nox to put down, and aside from two gunfights against my fireteam (which saw only one of my multi-snipers die), it was my turn again. I had survived pretty well, still had a puppet left alive, and the Avatar had no LoS across the table, thinking it was nice and safe. My turn 2, and it was Perseus' time to prove, once again, that he really isn't a sleeper agent of the Combined. I broke away from the link, ran up the table, smoked off the lines of fire across the board that would get Perseus, and moved around to menace the Avatar in close combat. I had to put down another flash pulse bot, which I thankfully got done in a single order, but between failing a smoke throw the first time to get up the field, and then the next two failed smoke throws to be able to safely engage the Avatar, it took my final order of the turn to move into smoke without stealth, force a change face ARO, and then walk into combat with the monster. The one remaining puppet ran into the mine that would have impeded Perseus' advance, so I no longer had any threats near my opponent's beaker outside of Perseus, so turn three was going to have to involve quite the long-distance run! My opponent panicked a little at the Avatar being enaged, and tried in vain to boost the odds by getting other models into base contact with Perseus. At first, it was Kerr Nau, who got stabbed in the face, and then a Daturazi, which advanced in, lost the face to face, and also went down. Phew! At that point, my opponent had spent his turn getting two of his own troops killed, and I was free to capitalise. My final turn, the Heckler killer hacker (that had been lurking like a Jammer heckler would near my console) pushed up the central piece of terrain, using the vantage point to take out an Ikadron, Kurgat, the mine the Kurgat placed, and the Libertos, and was just able to grab the beacon on his final order. Finally, I had some points on the board! My opponent's turn three saw him with only two remaining models - the Avatar and an Ikadron. The Avatar tried to bear Perseus in combat, but three orders later, Perseus had cut the Avatar to ribbons, and it was all over. In the end, a 6-1 victory for me! Game 3 - Firefight vs Acon This game was a relatively quick affair, as both my opponent and I had lists with few moving pieces and some key plays that would decide things. He had a Dragao, a Tikbalang, 3 Regulars, some other minor pieces, and 3x Akalis drop troops. I knew all of this going in, as we'd played against each other using these lists before, so we knew precisely what to expect. My opponent went first, bringing in an Akalis boarding shotgun right on the far right flank into my castle - turns out, there was a billboard hiding a single vantage point, and it was in my Szalamandra's rear arc, so he turned up opposed only by my Heckler's jammer attempt (which I failed). The next order in, and I took a crit and a hit on the Szalamandra from the Akalis, and I thought it was going to be all over soon at this rate. Thankfully, I passed ARM, my Heckler figured out where the on button for the jammer was, and things were safe for the time being. The Dragao moved up, killed my Grenzer sniper, and tried to grab some gear from the panoply, before retreating back. Fortunately for me, the Dragao wasn't quite back far enough, and after extricating the Szalamandra, I was able to shoot into the Dragao, catching it out of cover. Two orders later, and it was gone, and I snuck some shots into the back of the Tikbalang from a cheeky angle (it was waiting to blast Spector the moment he turned up). My opponent's turn 2 saw the Tikbalang, who only lost 1 wound from the HRMC rounds in the back, advanced up, and shot my Szalamandra in the back, putting it down after it fended off more boarding shotgun rounds from another Akalis. Thankfully for me, we had traded in the right order for me, as the Tikbalang is nowhere near as strong against the Grenzer Spitfire as the Dragao is. My turn 2 saw the Grenzer Spitfire emerge from a building, and pump two orders of Spitfire rounds into the Tikbalang. It was pretty unlucky, copping 5 hits out of 5 on the second order, and went down. Spector then walked in from the back table edge, advanced up to the building with the three Regulars hiding inside, and charged through the door, gunning straight for the one that had to be the LT. Despite copping 6 AROs, I was able to kill the LT, and Spector didn't take a wound at all! My opponent's final turn saw him have to coordinate the Regulars to kill Spector, put assisted jump up, and then drop the third Akalis onto the table, right next to my Lieutenant! After moving the fortress about a bit, there was a gap, and my opponent exploited it perfectly. Moving out, the Akalis put three rounds into the Interventor, who managed to only take one hit and pass ARM, whilst a Securitate was able to defeat the Akalis. My final turn, I pushed the fire team up, picked guns out of the panoply and captured my opponent's HVT, bringing it to a 9-1 victory. The game would have been quite different had my opponent taken the Dragao back one more order into partial cover, as I'd not have been able to hammer it so mercilessly with the Szalamandra. With the drop troops able to dish out some hurt, too, I was really worried about leaving the Szalamandra out of the defensive net of my jammers, too, but thankfully I passed enough ARM rolls against AP boarding shotgun shots to go the distance. Game 4 - Safe Area vs ISS Oh boy - this game was the toughest of the lot for me, and only fell my way because my opponent made his unforced errors after I had made mine, and I could make hay whilst the sun shone! He was running a really inspired and non-standard list, with a 3-strong Wu Ming core (multi-rifle + lgl, combi + e/mitter, Zhanying Missile Launcher), a Marksman Sun Tze, a sniffer Kanren, Lu Duan, FO remote, EVO hacker and Xi Zhuang, who was the Liaison Officer. I deployed in both corners, fire team on the left flank, and puppets, remotes and the Zondnaut on the other. My first turn, I could see that the firelanes on the table went primarily from left to right, rather than top to bottom, and wanted to move my fireteam up whilst I could to take advantage of that. I lost the Marksman puppet to a missile launcher hit, but otherwise prepared myself for the inevitable attack, pretty confident that I had locked most pieces into my opponent's deployment zone. Of course, I realised as soon as my opponent brought on a Garuda HMG into the area near where the fireteam started that I foolishly forgot to turn key pieces such as my Grenzer to face any incoming threats... and promptly lost my Liasison officer. The Garuda continue to gun down the Zondnautica from across the table, the Puppetmaster and the HMG Securitate (who was link leader). At this point, the writing was basically on the wall. My opponent could get 4 shots off into Perseus in the back, and he'd just take them with no cover. Stupid move on my part there, that's for sure! Still, my opponent made his unforced error here, and coordinated out Marksman Sun Tze, the Lu Duan, and the Garuda as spearhead, all targeting Perseus. Becaue Perseus had LoF against Sun Tze and the Lu Duan, he threw smoke at his feet, and rolled up a sweet, sweet 12. 4 dice later with no crits, and he was safe! My assault hacker heckler and red fury heckler revealed at this point, putting down the Garuda, and halting the deletion of my army. As it turns out, the entire game rested on that error, and it is what kept me in the game. On my turn, I took Perseus off to do what needed to be done. Sacrificing a multi-sniper to the suppressioned Mk12, he was able to shoot across and take the Lu Duan out, then move down and take two shots on two of the Kanren holos, critting against the actual model. That's kill 1 and 2. He then rounded the far back corner, taking out the FO remote, for kill 3. Closing in on Sun Tze, he shot the Combi + E/Mitter in the back, taking it out for kill 4, and then rounded the corner against Sun Tze who nanopulsed in futility as he scored kill 5 for the turn. Sweet baby Jesus did he put the reps in there! I moved back away from my opponent's pieces, so that he couldn't easily engage Perseus, managed to successfully paramedic back up my multi-sniper, and passed turn. My opponent's turn 2 was spent in Loss of Lieutenant, which gave me some breathing space. He tried to speculative fire with the Wu Ming at Perseus, but I had moved him to just beyond 16" range, and my opponent needed 4s to hit. He rolled a 5 and I failed my dodge, so it came close, but he decided to call it a day on that tactic and moved out the building to engage my remaining Securitate instead. He killed the Paramedic, took a shot against the first sniper, got hit and passed armour, only to hide back in the building and call it a turn. My turn 3, I had to lock in three quadrants and neutralise the Zhanying Missile Launcher and last remaining Wu Ming if I were to secure a victory. My Red Fury Heckler was able to peek out from behind his planter and engage the missile launcher, because the Wu Ming was watching the back door to the building so Perseus didn't just casually saunter in and stab him in the back. It took about 3 orders to put the missile launcher down, which was starting to feel like the wrong choice, as if things went poorly for me I only had a Transductor I could move in. Still, 4 dice on 12s against 1 on 6 prevailed, and I eventually downed the Zhanying, letting the Wu Ming turn around and look at me. Rather than risking the shoot out again, Perseus advanced around to the front of the building, and started peeking into the window to see the Wu Ming. Again, we had a couple of orders spent going back and forth, but eventually I had one order left to spend, and needed to move the Heckler out of cover with it. I took a move action out, the Wu Ming dodged, and I foolishly shot. I should have just moved prone 2" more, and scored total cover behind some boxes. Still, I was in the zone; that is what mattered. My opponent's final turn saw him with three models and an LT order, and while it wasn't much, it was enough to potentially cause me a headache. At this point in the game, I was taking nothing for granted! My opponent spent an order moving out of the building he was in, and, hoping to get some traction in the scoring, tried to shoot Perseus out. Nothing happened that order, and the next he cleared the door, moving into a scoring zone. Unfortunately, I could see him with Perseus, both multi-snipers and the Heckler. The Wu Ming aimed for the snipers, splitting burst, but I won the face to face rolls, and Perseus and the Heckler both won their normal roles. The Wu Ming fell (I think to Perseus' shot), and that was really it. Xi Zhuang advanced around the back to ensure that the bonus point was scored for having a liason officer in a scoring zone, and my opponent then rolled up his bonus point. I secured the HVT with both of my Securitate snipers, and held three quadrants, leaving us with a 5-1 victory to the forces of Dragnet. My opponent was an absolute legend in this game, and it was easily one of the best I've played. Things were so tight, and it was only respective unforced errors that allowed either of us to really swing the game. Once I found out the Garuda in my back lines had a HMG, I genuinely thought I was going to be tabled then and there, but I kept focus, and thankfully my opponent made a mistake that I was able to take advantage of. Game 5 - Unmasking vs Tohaa So, being slightly hungover from the previous night's efforts, and just coming out of one of the most intense games of Infinity I've played, game 5's mission seemed... like a real struggle, given how tricky it can be! I squared up against my opponent, who I play relatively often at our gaming club, and as a result we've got a fairly good idea of what is in each other's lists. I ended up with Initative, and set myself up a defensive castle with two sniper nests of varying heights on the right flank, whilst the Puppets and Transductors held down the left flank. The Heckler Red Fury was in the centre, with the Killer Hacker on the right waiting to pounce on the console, and the Grenzer overwatching my right-hand flank and HVT, which was my designated target. Start of my first turn, I had to take out the Gao-Rael Sniper that was overlooking all three consoles. I was able to get my farthest-right Securitate sniper to fight it and avoid flashpulse AROs from the Diplomatic Delegate, so I took the opportunity. I lost, passed ARM and failed guts to go prone. I had a much more appropriate tool for this - the HMG! The HMG Securitate moved up, and spent two orders putting bullets into the Gao Rael. The first volley stripped the mate, and the second volley knocked it unconscious. The Bioengineer was just behind it on the same platform though, so I knew I had to deal with it for good. My higher sniper could see straight to the Bioengineer prone on the rooftop though, so one more order and it was goodnight Irene. Other than that, my puppets moved up, connected the left console, and guessed the Designated Target first shot. Score! My opponent's first turn came around, and whilst he was a couple of orders down, he made no bones about aggressively advancing up my right flank. A Sukeul FO and 2x Makaul Triad made their way right to the front of my deployment zone, killing the HMG Securiate, connecting the right hand console, and also guessing the Designated Target on the first attempt! My opponent was a couple of orders short to be able to seal the deal then and there, however, so advanced up under Eclipse smoke to surround my camo token with both Makauls, whilst the Sukeul got ready to contest Perseus once the smoke went down. My turn two, I had no choice but to deal with the Makauls with the Killer Hacker Heckler that was standing now entirely behind one of the Makauls. I moved into cover from the Sukeul, and Alex broke his Triad to try to turn face with the Makaul I could shoot in the back, and then revealed that the second Makaul was actually the Taagma Schemer all along. That was great for me, because it meant that I could comfortably empty the clip of my assault pistol into the Makaul without getting bathed in fiery retribution! Somehow, the Heckler survived, and went on to kill the Taagma with the assault pistol, too. The Grenzer moved back so I could form a 5-strong core again, and Perseus started to shoot at the Sukeul Commando. Two orders later, I had knocked the symbiont armour off of it, and it had ducked prone. I advanced the Heckler up, and took a risk to connect the console on the right, eating two rounds from the Sukeul HMG for my troubles. I connected the console but died in the process, but still - nothing ventured nothing gained. On my left flank, the Heckler Red Fury moved out and up and took down one of the Makauls in the HMG Commando's triad, and was feeling pretty chuffed with himself. My opponent's second turn was spent inflicting harm on my order pool and castling up to defend the designated target from Perseus' eventual move on it as the Data-tracker. The Sukeul HMG moved across, picked up a Kaeltar Specialist to make a Triad again, and then sliced the pie and killed both of my snipers. On the left flank, the Kaeltar peeked the corner and shotgunned my Heckler out, but that was about all that got done. My third turn saw me need to get Perseus up to murder the Designated Target, and hopefully kill one of the decoys. Down to a three-man Core at this stage, Perseus advanced up, smoked off line of fire to the Nikoul and Sukeul HMG, and eventually was able to drop breaker rounds into the Designated Target, killing it. He then moved through the smoke into contact with the Sukeul Commando to tie my opponent's Data-tracker up, and hopefully score more points if he tries to fight me. The Paramedic Securitate was on back-up duty, and the Grenzer had to watch the right flank, to make sure a Clipsos that failed to infiltrate didn't sneak past to assassinate my Designated Target, which was now undefended. My opponent's final turn saw him try to engage the Grenzer, first with the Clipsos, but then realising, spent his lieutenant order on the Sukeul Commando FO that had hidden prone earlier. I won that face to face, putting the Command down, then punked the Clipsos on the next order, and in a last-ditch hail mary, a Kauuri Sentinel tried to sneak past. Once again, however, the Grenzer did his thing, and took the Kauuri out before it could cross the gap and get a bead on my designated target. At the end of the game, I had a comfortable 9-1 victory, but that score didn't represent accurately how hard I had to work for those points, nor how hard my opponent fought back. It was an excellent game to finish the event with, and a great way to close out a really fun weekend. Conclusion In all, I feel I played really well over the weekend, and was able to walk away with 4th place. I was really pleased with that, especially seeing as, going in to the event, I knew I didn't have some of the key power pieces that I was used to using. I genuinely didn't feel like I was missing anything without either the Hollowmen or the Kriza, which was good to see, and surprised me quite a bit. I also really enjoyed using the Grenzers, too. The FO in particular is such a good toolbox of pieces that you can really get a lot of work done with them. They're a little expensive, but utility and flexibility is worth it's weight in gold. Whilst I intend to take a short break from Tunguska for the upcoming couple of months, I will have to finish painting my minis up, and maybe try to find a spot for a Spektr or two and see if I can't get them to do work for me for a change.