Mission Breakdown Ep. 2: Classified Objectives

BUT CLASSIFIED OBJECTIVES AREN'T A MISSION!!!!

Yes but they're worth discussing, at least in my mind. As I've been going over some of the Missions that see regular play I've noticed that there's an interesting mingling of Missions that have Classifieds, their number of Classifieds, if they punish Specialists, and what the best Classifieds to target are. So let's dive in and break this down!



Breaking Down Classifieds By Numbers

As most people will know there are 20 Classified Objectives in the ITS Season X Deck, this is so if you didn't buy the deck you can simply roll to generate (pro-consumer move by Corvus Belli). Let's start by detailing who can accomplish Classified Objectives:

Hackers: 5* (2 are dependent on access to the Spotlight Program)
Veteran, Elite, or Chain of Command Trooper: 3
Medium or Heavy Infantry: 1
Forward Observer: 3
Engineer: 3
D-Charges: 1
Doctor/Paramedic: 3
Multispectral Visor, Biometric Visor, or Sensor: 1
Anyone: 4
DataTracker: 1
Overlap: 4 (Spotlight and Forward Observers)

Corvus Belli was smart to make it so that there's no overwhelming advantage with any particular type of Specialist although Hacker is sitting on top, provided you have Spotlight which requires a Hacking Device (no other Hacking Devices have CLAW-1 Programs). Without access to that Hackers still win and are often the most useful Specialists during play so I can say with reasonable certainty that Hackers are on top of the heap.

The remainder are quite interesting in that "Anyone" can also do 4/20 Objectives, another is tied to Equipment, another tied to Medium/Heavy, and finally a whopping three are related to Veteran/Elite/Chain of Command designations. That adds up to 9/20 Classifieds that pretty much any Faction can have access to while also using a wide range of builds.

It's worth remembering that for each Classified Objective in a Mission you draw two cards and select one, giving you even better odds of hitting something you can do. You can also trade a Classified Objective for HVT: Secured in nearly all Missions which would go in the "Anyone" category.

Past Hackers all the Specialists are well-represented although the particulars of what each Specialist can require you to do varies wildly. It's not enough to just play by the numbers, let's take a look at the nitty-gritty.



I Have to Do What?!

I'm not going to write out each and every Classified Objective as they're freely available in the ITS Season X Packet but it is worth going through them as categories. This way we can get a general idea of what a chosen Specialist actually needs to do in order to earn those points.


Hackers

By and large you'll be passing WIP Checks against either an enemy Trooper or the enemy HVT. The one exception is a piece of Terrain that is entirely in the enemies Deployment Zone with the Hacker in B2B contact.

Some of these can be accomplished with a Repeater, some can't. It depends on if you're making a WIP Roll or actually using a Hacking Program. Anything targeting a Trooper can target a model in a Null State so Unconscious models are fair game as well as being a much easier target.

Overall Hackers are often some of the most difficult to get done because they largely can't be done via Repeater and those that can require the Spotlight Program. Hackers are often quite squishy so delivering them is an issue, Fireteams or Marker States will mitigate this. Regular Hacking Devices are also typically on lower end models such as Line Troopers, this can reduce the pool of possible Classified Objectives even with a Hacker as finding a deliverable, Hacking Device model is a rarer find.


Doctors/Paramedics

Healthcare professionals will find one of the easier set of Objectives to accomplish, the most obvious being to recover a model from the Unconscious state. While this can be difficult at times against opponents with Shock/Viral most players won't double tap a corpse unless it's a very valuable Doctor target. It's also possible to engineer an Unconscious model in times of need by just walking into a single shot ARO and declaring Idle as the second skill.

The other two involve getting into contact with the enemy HVT. This is stricter than just getting into Zone of Control but Doctors/Paramedics are popular inclusions for Fireteams and there are also a surprising amount of Airborne Deployment and Marker State options. Although this ends up being a bit harder than the Hacking Objectives the role of Doctors is different, you don't have to worry about having the wrong Hacking Device, and one of the Classifieds can be done using G: Servant which is a great delivery method.


Forward Observers

As one would expect given their limited role in a game (ignoring Classified Objectives) Forward Observers have by far the easiest set of Objectives. They're all shared with Hackers using the Spotlight Program which is quite nice because you can tackle these from multiple angles if you possess both types of Specialists.

Even with the overlap, Forward Observers are much better at accomplishing Telemetry, Mapping, and HVT: Designation than Hackers are. The reason for this is almost every Camo and TO Camo model has a Forward Observer Profile, as do many Airborne Deployment Troopers. Since delivery is the biggest obstacle to those three FOs get around it by hiding. FOs are also on Line Troopers, a popular inclusion for Fireteams in Sectorials.

Forward Observers balance a small pool with the easiest to accomplish pool overall, making them a great (and cheap) inclusion.


Engineer

Engineers are EXACTLY the same as Doctors/Paramedics but there are a few small differences. For one Engineers are on the rarer side for Specialists and generally less useful, you have to have a few REMs or be very afraid of Isolated State to take one. They're also often stand-alone models so moving them around near HVTs and the like can be Order inefficient.

A boon for Engineers is that they almost always have D-Charges which enables them to do Sabotage, one of the easiest Classifieds. Any Faction with Smoke or who can put the Engineer into a Fireteam can likely get that done and D-Charges are on the rarer side in the game as a whole.


Veteran, Elite Troops and Chain of Command

Time for the unsung heroes. Veteran and Elite Troops are more common than people think because outside of Classified Objectives it doesn't really matter what Classification a model is. ITS also makes Characters fall under this umbrella so every Faction has at least some access to these Profiles, Characters are often strong choices which makes it even easier to include them.

As for what they have to do we're running the gamut here. Getting a model across the mid-line and passing a WIP Check is extremely easy. Getting a model into B2b, and keeping it there until the end of the game, with a Null State Enemy Trooper is harder but very doable. Finally Civ-Evac'ing the enemy HVT is pretty difficult, you have to get there, into B2B, and pass a WIP Check with theconsequences for failure potentially pulling the HVT into LoF.

Overall these Classifieds ride the middle for me, Net-Undermine is very easy but the other two are highly board and game state dependent. This balances out with not having to pay extra points for the models, having at least one model who can meet these requirements is an easy inclusion and betters your odds of being able to do the Classified.


Miscellaneous

These are the super weird ones, requiring either specific Equipment or Medium/Heavy Infantry. Not all Factions have easy access to MSV and many have no access to Sensor/Biometric Visor and many Factions don't build well with Medium/Heavy Infantry. This is balanced by the Classifieds being fairly easy to do, see a pattern?

Identity Check massively rewards Sensor but MSV can do in a pinch, getting into LoF often goes hand in hand with ZoC but not always. MSV2 models typically hang back and shoot but MSV1 is often on front line troopers who can more easily get to the HVT. Biometric Visor is very rarely taken and one of the rarest pieces of Equipment to have so it's fairly easy to ignore.

Follow-Up is one of the easiest cards in the deck, just requiring a wide range of models to get the HVT within ZoC and pass WIP. Almost every Faction can do this at no cost, even Tohaa! Having some delivery Smoke is appreciated but using Terrain and clearing a path works in a pinch.


Anyone

Rounding out our deck are the "anyone" options, this just means almost any model can get these done but certain models are better at the job. In particular CC Combatants shine here as that's the only way to get Predator and they'll often be near Unconscious models for Extreme Prejudice and In Extremis Recovery. For the last two most models are fine to do them although, as always, models that can deliver themselves are best as Unconscious Troopers are often in the friendly Deployment Zone or close to midfield.

The last is Rescue and it's probably the weirdest Objective. Fortunately it's pretty easy, as I mentioned friendly casualties tend to fall in your Deployment Zone or near mid-field so picking them up and moving them isn't too hard. As always Smoke really helps avoid AROs but Marker State is still useful, you just have to reveal to save your friend. The additional benefit of being able to grab two points from Rescue also makes it very attractive, that's probably why I've never drawn it. :P



Putting It All Together

So what can we learn from my endless typing? Well there's a few takeaways, for one Hackers are far and away the best Specialists not only for Classified Objectives but general game play. Needing a regular Hacking Device to turn on all the Classifieds is a bummer, Killer Hackers and Hacking Device Plus are vastly preferred, but you can cover those with a Forward Observer if needed. Speaking of FOs, while they aren't the most useful Specialist they have very easy Objectives and are often great button pressers because they're cheap and often come with their own delivery method.

Engineers are surprisingly weak because while they share the same type of Classifieds with Doctors it's harder to deliver them and they're less common. REMs are also prime fodder for double-taps, especially Total Reaction REMs, so picking them up can be hard against a seasoned opponent. The inclusion of D-Charges helps a bit but given their weak role in most games, on their own merits, I'd usually leave an Engineer at home.

Doctors don't have the best deck either but benefit from Fireteam inclusion and a more useful in-game role, although your mileage may vary. I wouldn't take a Doctor or Paramedic for Classifieds, they have to benefit the list and probably the Mission itself to boot.

Finally it's clear that you can often get by with a Hacker and some Forward Observers. That gives you five Classifieds right off the bat and then another five that most armies can do, four that anyone can do, and one that's available if you have a DataTracker. Adding that up you're looking at between 14-15 viable Classifieds on top of HVT: Secured and two draws from the deck and taking the card of your choice.

But Verso, I don't have good Hackers! No need to fear fellow Tohaa Player (only half joking), just make sure you can get the Equipment and Trooper based ones done and you still have strong odds. Adding a Doctor/Paramedic is going to be your best bet instead of a Hacker or if the the Mission only has one Classified and an HVT you can even leave a lot of that at home. In actual play the person who wins often does so with a dominant board position which means that HVT: Secured is very viable and you'll always have access to it.

What really matters about Classified Objectives is not how you build your list to pursue them but how quickly you accomplish them in game. Specialists are a prime target in many Missions because they can interact with Consoles or Antennas, if you put the Classified off until late you might not have the appropriate models left. Generally I like to focus on HVT: Secured from the get-go or whatever the actual Classified is, less to worry about later when your Order Pools are dwindling. If you don't feel confident about getting Classified Objectives done fast, or keeping your Specialists safe, then invest in some redundancy. Most Factions have cheap Hackers and almost all have cheap Forward Observers, bring more than one!



Punishment

 Certain Missions, such as Firefight, award points for killing more Specialists than your opponent while also challenging you to get Classifieds done. This is where your choice will matter the most, you can't just spam FOs and cheap Hackers as easily because you'll likely lose them at some point, trading points on the Mission for your opponent gaining points AND attrition.

My preference for these Missions is either very tough Specialists or very deliverable ones. Marker States shine the brightest here but Heavy Infantry and the like also works. What you don't want to do is hide the Specialists and then make a mad dash on Turn 3, by then you might have run out of Orders, be in Loss of Lieutenant, Retreat, etc. Remember that the bulk of Classified Objectives require you to get out there and do something which means reprisal is waiting.

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That's all I have on Classified Objectives until ITS Season XI but hopefully this showed they aren't something to be scared of. I don't consider Classified Objectives when making the majority of my army lists, I need models to press buttons anyways so it typically sorts itself out.

Episode 27: Bring on the Kriigel Baby! (Tohaa vs. Bakunin | Unmasking)



Last week was a bit of a dud for me in terms of games that I could Battle Report but as always I return once more. Rumble on Route 66 testing is ongoing, I'm focusing on Unmasking, Acquisition, and Supplies as I feel a bit shakey on those. Firefight and Decapitation are pretty straight-forward so I'm less concerned about them.

This time I'm against (Name Redacted - NR For Short) and his Bakunin. I've only played against Bakunin once before but I don't rate them very highly as almost all their core models are overpriced. However the margins in Infinity are pretty razor-thin so anything can beat anything within reason, I just wouldn't pick Bakunin were I to play Nomads.



Tohaa Army List




Bakunin Army List




Deployment

I'm not very sold on my list for Unmasking because Tohaa are one of the worst ARO Factions at the moment and you must ARO unless you go first. I'm still working out a game plan for Unmasking as well so I decided to more or less wing it, see what happens, and then use that data going forward.

NR won the Lieutenant Roll and chose First Turn, which you almost always should in Unmasking. Both sides were pretty horrible as far as being able to hide HVTs so I took the one that had slightly better angles and deployed second.




On my left is a Morlock behind a building, the Flash REM, and one HVT behind a dumpster. The Moderator Fireteam went more centered with the Combis hiding and the Snipers in ARO position. Another Morlock also went in the middle as far forward as it could. I believe both of these rolled Super-Jump as well.



In the center but heading towards my right is the Warcor behind a wall and then Kusanagi's Fireteam, the Shotgun being on the ground. The second Flash REM is peeking out to me right. Finally a Prone Camo Token Infiltrates onto each Objective and the last Morlock is far to my right, rolling Regeneration. The remaining HVTs were far to my left, near the dumpster one, and far to my right but in the open.




I ask about NR's Order Groups and get the feeling that something will be in Group 2, either Bran Do Castro or a Meteor Zond/Taskmaster felt likely. To that end I bunkered up on the left as it was my best hiding place for an HVT, dropping the Rasail, Spitfire Triad, and an HVT (Clipsos).



In the center I put the Kerail and Sniper Triad along with a Chaksa (the Morat model that's unpainted).



More along the right I had the remaining Chaksa (Ork Boyz and Sakiel) and the Kamael Triad. YOu can also see my two other HVTs, the Decoys.




True to expectations NR put down Bran Do, not in a Marker State, to be the DataTracker. We discussed if this was the right call or not and both agreed it was, Bran Do is the most maneuverable model in the list and he can hide until a path is opened.

I put the Liberto as my Reserve model, wedging him between two Consoles so he can use the Chain-colt as needed. The Mine went in the middle just to cause problems, hopefully. I chose the Kerail as my DataTracker.




After some consideration I stripped Orders from Group 2, the Moderators aren't in a position to make a run at me and if they want to get into a Sniper off it'd be B:3 on 13's vs. B:2 on 12's but I have Shock and multiple Wounds. This way I can limit Bran Do running free on Turn 1 since the Consoles are already lost.



Bakunin Turn 1

The rightmost Morlock runs out to be seen by my FO Kamael, after thinking a bit I decide to use the Combi to ARO since I'd rather kill the Morlock than stop the Smoke. My Spitfire Gao-Rael can see the far Console so Smoke is no real bother and NR can put down White Noise freely anyways. The Morlock Smoke Dodges so it's B:2 on 8's (-Range) vs. B:1 on 10's (-Range) and the Morlock wins.



Both of the other Morlocks come out, one just moves and stays out of LoF while the other runs up to see the Spitfire Gao-Rael. I shoot and I believe the Morlock Dodges so I'm B:2 on 15's (+Range) and the Morlock is B:1 on 13's (Nothing) but it lives, I believe by passing ARM.




Kusanagi's Fireteam is voluntarily cancelled so the Hacker can try to put down White Noise via the Flash REM without me getting two Sniper shots on Kusanagi, very good play as she'd likely die from that. The White Noise goes down on my left Console.



Another White Noise is placed on the center Console from the same Hacker after she shoots a Pitcher (the green token). From there the center Camo Token gets an Order and touches the Console, here we have a bit of a rules flub. To shortcut I say I'm going to shoot to which the Zero shoots back. How it actually should have worked is I Hold, the Zero tries to activate the Console, and I shoot it for free. In any case my Liberto goes Dogged from the Combi and the Zero goes Unconscious from the Chain-colt.




The Moderator Fireteam gets voluntarily canceled so that one of the Snipers can move over and see my Rasail but not be seen by the Gao-Rael Sniper. I try to Dodge into Total Cover but we bounce - B:3 on 10's (+Range, -Cover) against B:1 on 11's. With another Order I take a Double Action hit and decide to roll ARM, if I don't then it just happens again as I burn the SymbioMate and if I pass just one ARM Roll on 12's then I get to fail Guts and keep the SymbioMate. That's what ends up happening so the Rasail ducks back into cover.



On my right the Zero reveals and activates the Console, NR picks the correct HVT on his first guess. The Zero then goes into Suppressive Fire.



The remaining Zero activates his Console after a failed attempt and guesses the center Decoy for an easy target. It then moves away to shoot my Rasail's Chaksa, who Dodges toward. B:3 on 8's (+ Range, -Cover, -Mimetism) vs. B:1 on 11's, we bounce. The Zero moves again to get into cover and this time puts the Chaksa Unconscious. With the final Order the Warcor moves out to trigger my Mine, failing his Dodge but passing ARM. Both Fireteams are reforged at the end of the Turn.






Tohaa Turn 1

I start the turn off with a big mistake, giving an Order to the Kamael Triad and keeping the FO as teh Leader. She moves just a bit to see the Morlock and shoots it, it tries to Smoke Dodge. We run back the same Face to Face as on NR's Turn but this time I win and the Morlock dies. Not the best fight to take but it worked out. I then try to have a go at the Zero, completely forgetting that my Gao-Rael can see it, albeit at long range. Just my inexperience to not see the whole table in that moment.

In any case the Kamael dies, I'm B:4 on 5's and the Zero is B:3 on 8's.



I move the Kerail over to start throwing Smoke so I can clear the middle but he fails twice, eventually getting it down. The Surda Beast goes Unconscious as I move, it was that or use more Orders on Smoke so I chose to lose the model. The Spitfire Gao-Rael moves up to shoot the Zero in Suppressive, who can't see him, and removes him. I then take out the Morlock on the left-center after it chooses to Dodge.



Continuing to move up I shoot the Zero on the left, who Dodges, and I hit him but it passes both ARM Rolls. I then do a Face to Face with the Moderator who has a Pitcher, killing it after it fails to Dodge and also breaking the Fireteam. Yet another Face to Face goes between me and each of the Moderator Snipers, both choose to Dodge in turn. One goes Unconscious in the Face to Face, the other again passes two ARM Rolls and goes Prone.





Wanting to relocate I move the Gao-Rael around, killing the Warcor as I do. NR AROs with White Noise from the Repeater and a Flash REM Blinds the Gao-Rael but I'm out of Orders anyways. I'm also able to move the Rasail forward and put her into Suppressive Fire, my intention here is to stack the middle so Bran Do can't make a run at my Designated Target safely. With my last Orders I stand up the Kaeltars and move the Sniper so that everyone has angles.




Bakunin Turn 2

Bran Do gets moved into Group 1 which means Group 2 is pretty useless. The remaining Morlock decides to run at me, I Dodge with the Gao-Rael and shoot with the Rasail, succeeding with both and melting the Morlock.




RN decides to go after the Kaeltars with his remaining Sniper, putting them both Unconscious over three Orders. I chose to Flash Pulse every time which put me on B:2/1, 8's (-Range, -Cover) vs. B:2, 10's (+Range, -Cover) so it's dicey but I wasn't able to pull it out.



A few more White Noises go down over three Orders, blocking an alley where one of the Enemy HVTs is, although I can't remember why, and one going on top of the Zero. It then moves a bit, my Gao-Rael Dodges while the Rasail shoots. All bullets go to the Gao-Rael but I pass the Dodge and remove the Zero.







Tohaa Turn 2

I'm really far ahead in attrition and NR only has one Turn to get to my Designated Target so I want to make that as hard as possible. If I can stop him then I'll just win by getting points here and there on my last Turn so that's my goal.

My Makaul on the right is Impetuous and runs out to be seen by Kusanagi as I go down the ladder. She shoots while I Smoke Dodge so I'm B:1, 16's (+Range) vs. B:2 on 17's (+Range) but the grenade lands.



There's not much left to ARO with so I give an Order to the Gao-Rael, moving the Triad towards my left Console and shooting the Sniper who shoots back. I'm B:5 on 12's (+ Range, - Cover) while the Sniper is on B:1, 10's (+Range, - Cover) and I put her down.



Another Order gets the Kumotail to my Console but I shoot the Flash REM to remove a Repeater, otherwise White Noise can go everywhere and remove a lot of my AROs. The REM shoots back, I'm B:5 on 12's again and the REM is B:1 on 13's, it goes second level Unconscious.

From here I grab both the center and left Console, guessing both of the leftmost HVTs and being wrong both times. At this point I'm extremely unfavored in the game just due to the Mission so there's not much I can do.



Panicing a bit I use a few Coordinated Orders to bring up all the Chaksa into ARO positions around the building the Bran Do is on top of. I also have time for to Heavy Flamethrower the other Flash REM, which fails its Dodge. While its Order is useless it could run around with a Repeater as I mentioned before so I wanted to shut that down. Now there's one model with a Pitcher and one Pitcher in play so the setup to White Noise would be a lot more in-depth.





Bakunin Turn 3

With 7 Orders to play it's now or never for the Designated Target. Kusanagi's Haris gets an Order and moves around, she climbs the tower while the other two models take up ARO positions. She then has a few Face to Face Rolls against the Rasail, who I need to keep alive or I'll be in Loss of Lieutenant. I blow the SymbioMate on the first interaction after I Dodge, the next one I take a Wound and go Symbiont Inactive but fail Guts, Prone, against the barrier.

Kusanagi then removes a Chaksa, my Gao-Rael Spitfire and the Makaul, basically wasting two Orders for no reason to do so. Finally Bran Do stands up and Super-Jumps to the other building, sticking to the side with Climbing Plus. He gets shot by a few Chaksa, the Sniper, and my remaining Makaul Smoke Dodges just in case there's a miss or something.

Bran Do puts both shots into the Designated Target needing 8's due to Range, I Dodge with her. Sadly my Dodge fails and one of the Boarding Shotgun blasts hits, I also fail the ARM Roll and she dies. Bran Do also dies to the Sniper and I believe the last Order is spent on removing one of my Decoys with Kusanagi.




Tohaa Turn 3

At this point I'm likely too behind to win but I still make some mistakes. I move the Kerail into Group 1 with my last Command Token and looking at the board I have to get my Kumotail to the other side of the board. I can avoid Kusanagi but the Boarding Shotgun Reverend Healer will see me as I cross the middle.

My last Makaul is Impetuous so he runs towards a Moderator, throwing Smoke from his starting position. The Makaul dies but the Smoke lands so that will invalidate Kusanagi in ARO. I move the Doctor into the Smoke but no further, then giving an Order to the Kerail who walks up just shy of seeing the Reverend Healer and shoots both Decoys. One manages to pass ARM or win with the Dodge, the other dies.



With another Order the Kerail moves forward, out of cover, to see the Reverend Healer. She shoots me and I shoot back. I'm B:3 on 11's (-/+ Range) against B:2 on 13's (-/+ Range) but I manage to win, dropping her with the AP Ammo.

At this point I can see I won't have enough Orders to get the Doctor even to the Console, much less activate it and kill the Designated Target with anything. I try to kill the last Decoy for points but fail and the game ends there with a final score of Bakunin - 6 and Tohaa - 3.






Post-Game Thoughts

I'm going to admin I was very salty after this game and I shouldn't have lost. One of the stories of the game is all the important rolls for my opponent going their way which cannot be said for me, for example Bran Do had one shot at the Designated Target, on 8's, vs. a Dodge on 11. When you run the math on that it's almost a 39% chance Bran Do succeeds, it's a 38% chance I succeed, and a 28% chance we all fail or I pass ARM. Frustrating.

What was more frustrating was how badly I played, let's run through the mistakes quickly:

- Got the Kamael FO Killed for no reason, making it so I couldn't get to the third Console.
- Stood both Kaeltars up for them to get killed for no reason. Also didn't Dodge as ARO.
- Exposed the Rasail's Chaksa for no reason, losing it.
- Placed the Mine near the Warcor who is the ideal model to trigger it.
- Didn't kill Decoys on Turn 2.
- Didn't go after Kusanagi on Turn 1/2 with my Spitfire.

Fixing any ONE of those mistakes, except the Mine, wins me the game. Even keeping the Chaksa alive is super important because I could have taken multiple fights at once with it and the Rasail. Having said that though I did badly outplay my opponent, or at least I think so. While I made mistakes he made more, mostly waiting until the last second for a very risky assassination, taking lots of dicey fights, and wasting a huge amount of Orders on White Noise and so on that weren't needed. The army also never developed and he was either ignorant or didn't care about my MSV2 + Smoke which cost him a huge amount of models.

I'm also very unhappy that Unmasking is being used at such a large event because it's a bad Mission. I lost in part because I guessed wrong, if everything had been the same but I correctly guessed the Designated Target I win without any difficulty. Now obviously my mistakes made that even harder on me but I did enough to win a typical Mission. That's where most of my salt came from, we both played badly but I still played better and didn't walk away with a win. In a casual game I don't mind but it could easily happen in tournament which I'm not happy about.

This game did prompt me to change my list as I've been finding the Gao-Rael Sniper to be a worthless model. Even without Forward Deployment L1 the Spitfire is always better because of B:4 and an amazing range band (best in the game for my money). The Sniper was there to fight things that were far away from my Spitfire but that happens so rarely with a working 28" threat range that I just won't want him in the list anymore. Corvus Belli has also been putting Shock Immunity on every model that rolls off the assembly line so it's Viral or nothing.

Ive been trying to find a model that can break Fireteams easily or at least take out 1-2 Models, the Gao-Raels can't do this because of Sixth Sense L2. Against most Snipers, HMGs, and so on they're disadvantaged even in the Active Turn so that's been a major struggle. To that end I'm going back to the HMG Sukeul, she's favored against everything but the most elite wielders (MSV1/2, BS13+, Fireteam Core) and even then I have a small advantage due to Burst. My other big drop is the Kumotail, Doctors just aren't that good in my book (in Tohaa) because we're so naturally durable. I'm just downgrading her to a Kamael Paramedic for the Classifieds and a chance at picking someone up if needed.

I don't really like NR's list although I don't know what else it's meant to play into. The Zeroes are good and Bran Do is what he is but the Haris Team is so expensive and isn't that tough against a list with the proper tools. The Moderator Link is usually something I like (Line Troops being buffed) but BS10 is garbage, if all your Fireteam bonuses put you at equal odds with good gunfighters, on your Active Turn, there's an issue. Without Turn 1 I think the list gets badly exposed, it'll lose half its army if you ARO, otherwise you lose all the Zeroes and thus the Mission.

That's all I have this time, sorry if my mindset shone through but this was a very frustrating game. All I can do is try to get better and learn from my mistakes. Fortunately the new book will be out before Rumble on Route 66 which means Tohaa get way better (barring devastating SymbioMate nerfs) so I'll likely start practicing with some of their models soon.

Episode 26.3: Working on Ironing Out Mistakes and Brief Spiral Corps/Tohaa Talk

The week has come and gone but I am empty-handed, no Battle Reports this week. That's not to say I didn't play at all, I actually got my customary two games in but both had problems. One I forgot to take pictures of against OSS, I ended up winning 2-1 in Acquisition. Very messy game although I wish I had photos of it, lots of mistakes to learn from.

My other game immediately fell apart and I conceded on Turn 1. This was against Invincible Army and I was ruined by badly playing a Camo Token, losing me a Kumotail and Makaul on my Active Turn. From there I mentally checked out as not only was this a huge mistake but I had multiple ways to handle the situation while being safe. Rather than get extremely salty (at myself) I ended the game.

Both of these games got me thinking about where I am with Infinity right now and how I can overcome my current obstacles. At this point I understand the ebb and flow of the game from a macro level, I understand the Missions well, and I've been making strides at figuring out likely Reserve models, Camo Tokens, Airborne Deployment, etc. Figuring these things out is largely a time issue so I'm not really anything special.

My current obstacles are keeping the game in front of me while not messing up the small touches. This is where I think the complexity of Infinity lies and I've spoken about it in passing before. It's one thing to know what you should be doing but keeping up with that while keeping your models positioned correctly and thinking a turn ahead is extremely difficult as any chess player will tell you. Originally I put a lot of this to "muscle memory", basically something becoming to second-nature that it doesn't take any of your mental cycles. Sadly, in reality, this hasn't panned out so I'm looking for other methods. One particular frustration for me is making the same mistakes over and over, that's unacceptable for a competitive player. So what is there to be done about it?

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As this Blog can attest I am a big fan of writing things down. I don't have a very good recall ability so I work within my limitations and write things down, one of the first documents I threw together for Infinity was for each Faction/Sectorial and their options at Lieutenant, Airborne Deployment, TO Camo, Camo, and miscellaneous notes about them in general. That way I don't have to remember every Faction, I can just check what I might be dealing with before the game. Easy!

When reaching for a solution to a problem I'll go back to the same thing that worked already, to that end I went back to the written word. My two main struggles right now are to deploy as I know I should, but I get flustered in the moment, and focusing myself during each turn. Infinity is a very distracting game, you're running odds in your head, thinking of plans, keeping track of models, considering the Mission, the list goes on.

I've attempted to write out reminders that I can look at before and during games to help me with those two struggles, one for a reminder on the Mission I'm playing and one to help me focus during play. I'll post the one meant to be looked at during my turn below:



Turn Check Sheet



Beginning of the Turn

·        What is your goal for this Turn?

·        What models do you need to meet that goal?

·        What enemy models are stopping you from meeting that goal?

·        Who can best handle those enemy models?

·        Does the opponent have any Mines, Crazy Koalas, etc. in play?

·        Can the opponent put down White Noise via Hacking, and if so where?



Half-way Through an Order Pool

·        Are you meeting your goal, if not why not?

·        Is it time to abandon the current goal – if so what is the new goal?



Final Two Orders of a Combat Group

·        Verify all Lines of Fire on your models.

·        Verify Prone/Standing on your models.

·        Are you exposing yourself to Templates from any direction?

·        Are your models exposed when they shouldn’t be?

·        Should you be in ARO, if so with what against what? What could cause that ARO to fall apart?



 I just copied it from Word so the formatting isn't as nice on here but I think the point shines through. Almost all of the bullet-points I have are common sense, you run through them during your games at times and don't even think about it. Having them written down just gives me something to focus on and reference, removing (hopefully) some of the haze that often enters my mind during a game. The most useful will be the beginning of a turn and nearing the end of one as I think this is where most of my mistakes come from.

It's also apparent that this list has some things specific to my army and my style of play. For example I'm reminding myself to check for Deployable Weapons before I commit to a course of action, those who have checked out my Las Vegas Open Battle Reports will remember why. I also want to make sure I know where White Noise can come from and go to as that shuts down a lot of my offense in the lists I've been favoring, both of those points address things that can not only shut a plan down but do so in a very disruptive way.

Similar to the start of my Turn I'm also trying to make sure I end each Turn strong by moving models back to safety, questioning my ARO or lack of ARO, and focusing on Templates. Shotguns have been a major issue for me lately and I regularly give up 2+ models to a shot which is an unacceptable mistake.

I don't yet know if these attempts will have any impact on my play but it doesn't hurt to try. My first trial run with them should be this week and I'll pay some attention to how having reminders changes my play for better or worse over a few games.

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With that being done for the moment it's also an interesting time for me in Infinity as very soon my Faction is likely to undergo changes. Tohaa are one of the main focuses of the upcoming Daedelus Falls release with us getting new models and what also appears to be a new army comprising of Tohaa, New Tohaa, and Mercenaries. I tend to not follow rumors too closely for Infinity so I'm largely in "wait and see" mode but I will touch on some possibilities.

A big rumor is that Tohaa are going Out of Print due to being a low selling, unpopular Faction. Personally I'd be happy with this as I like the Faction I main to be on the rarer side but ultimately it's a business decision for Corvus Belli and I don't much care one way or the other. Since it's confirmed that Spiral Corps will overlap at least some Tohaa models I don't see the Faction going OOP unless it's partial.

Another topic of discussion are changes to SymbioMates. As far as I know SymbioMates are a major focus of hate from the player base, I don't see why as they're well balanced but that's neither here nor there. Kaeltars are rumored to be AVA 1 in Spiral Corps who also bring along their own Pheroware stuff (not via SymbioBombs) which I think would be a great trade-off. SymbioMates are pretty boring and pricey, I run them because they're the best competitive option. I'd gladly trade the ability to use my more interesting abilities regularly (like the Tohaa Hacking it's supposed to be) and trade SymbioMates for that.

On the topic of SymbioMates I'm not sure what they could change about them without making them useless. Just treating it like another Wound feels the most likely as it removes the ability to absorb multiple shots in one go, as long as we get Guts off that as normal I'd be happy. Of course anything is on the table and I'd be fine going down to one Kaeltar and saving points.

I'll certainly take a look at Spiral Corps when they drop and possibly main them, it really just depends on their makeup. What draws me to Tohaa is their robustness in a game where everything dies at the drop of a hat, if that's taken away from both then I'll look at playing something else. I'm not fearful of Tohaa changing for the worst though, at least not yet.

That's what's dancing around in my head for today, I'll be back this week with some Battle Reports, including some Tournament play at some point.....