Episode 3: Improving at Infinity and Battle Report! (Tohaa vs. Nomads | 150 Points | Mission: Custom)

I meant to write this earlier but time has been scarce this week and what moments I did have to write were devoted to my review of Adeptus Titanicus. Before getting into my game for the week I wanted to briefly touch on some realizations I've come to as I play and learn more about Infinity. I doubt any of this is ground-breaking information and it may not even be correct but it shows my mindset and I find it useful to document my own growth in how I think about a game through methods other than Battle Reports.


IF YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT MY RAMBLINGS SKIP TO THE PORTION BELOW WHERE IT SAYS BATTLE REPORT!



Deployment is the Most Important Phase of the Game

This is something I picked up on quickly and has been reinforced throughout my play. As a once upon a time Warhammer Fantasy player I'm very comfortable with Deployment being extremely important to the outcome of a game and out of all the systems I've tried I would rank Infinity second on that scale (behind Warhammer Fantasy). While Infinity is more free with its movement the act of simply moving across the board is perilous because of AROs. Movement options can be preserved by using things like Smoke Grenades but that then costs Orders which could instead be spent on other actions. For example if I want a model to move 8" and would have to cross LoF for several enemies I likely have to use 2 Orders (Move, Smoke, Move) instead of 1 Order (Move, Move).
Deployment also dictates the "matchups" for models more often than I would have thought. Because an army spends quite a lot of time pinned down, or solving being pinned down, it's quite a feat to re-deploy a model mid-game to deal with a particular threat. I recently played a game against Hasassins where a Fireteam: Core was on my left flank and I had most of my powerful models deployed on the right flank or in the center. My opponent wanted to get the Fireteam involved but would have given me too many AROs while doing so on top of spending the bulk of his Orders. The Fireteam ended up doing nothing until the end of the game when things were well in my favor.

When I win the Lieutenant roll I find myself often taking Deployment Order instead of Turn Order unless the Mission is extremely slanted one way or the other (more on that in a minute). Being able to dictate Deployment, know what should be Prone or not, and work with much better information on what is across from me all give a canny player a leg up. This seems even more powerful if you have a list that's mostly Camo Tokens because they're very resilient to alpha-strikes.



Going Second is Often the Best Option

 I watch a lot of games and it seems that going first is a very popular decision. Some armies are very good at getting first because they can play a fast, aggressive game but most lists don't seem to perform that role well as they're made up of 4-4 or 4-2 models that likely rely on Smoke to approach midfield. My Faction, Tohaa, has felt great going second thus far because of the armies strength in Reactive Turns. Triads provide my +1 Burst, making AROs more powerful, and between SymbioMates and Symbiont Armor it's very hard to lose pieces right away.

Going second allows you to get an idea of what your opponent is planning and focus on countering it, which I actually see as having the initiative. As a very methodical player I feel better the more information I have so being able to see what's going on and take that first punch is a wonderful position to be in. Going back to my game against Hasassins I thought the Fireteam Core would be the center-piece of the opposing army and I deployed to counter it. There was then a gear shift where single models started running around to try and disrupt that, in response I was able to my Active Turn and nullify several of those pieces before returning to starting positions. This left the same puzzle I presented during Deployment while leaving less Orders and models to solve it than were originally in place.

On top of that most Missions seem to heavily favor going second. Whether it's end of game button pushing or holding zones/objectives having the last word in the game is extremely powerful. Other common objectives such as killing HVTs, killing Datatrackers, and the like are fairly balanced with a slight nod to the first player. Only a few missions which feature destructible objectives swing really hard in the first player's favor.



Ending the Turn Defensively is Surprisingly Effective

I've said many times that my preference as a player trends towards defense, the more counter-punching and information gathering I can do that happier I am. As I've started playing more regular sized games the strategy of being in a defensive position during the Reactive Turn, then ranging out to get stuff done, and then returning to that sort of position has been very effective. I see a lot of other players content to stay in fighting stance with models getting Suppressive Fire or poking out with big pieces.

Instead I try to do less with my offensive Orders, taking what I can get, and putting more Orders towards holding areas of the table that I think will cost even more Orders for my opponent to contest. Usually having Total Cover with my forward elements and overlapping AROs with those and my dedicated ARO pieces is where I like to end a turn, even better if the ARO pieces are covering specific Lines of Fire that I dictate. My preferred approach won't always work as some Missions make it much harder but going through the ITS Packet I think my play-style would work well most of the time.





Battle Report

 Alright onto the Battle Report proper. I played several games this week but this is my League Game for Week 2 which is kept at 150 Points but introduces Lieutenants, Command Tokens, and some semblance of a mission. Unfortunately still no Fireteams and all that but my Tohaa have done their best so far.

This game has me against Shane and his Nomads. Shane is getting into Tohaa for the Slow Grow League, like myself, but we decided to not go Faction on Faction this time. The Mission is a custom one and pretty simple, there are (3) Consoles alone the center line of the table, two places at 12" on the Deployment Zone lines and the last in the exact center. If you end the game with a friendly model touching a Console and no enemy models are touching it then you control it. Each Console is worth (3) Points and you can earn (1) Point by destroying more army points than your opponent. Pretty simple.



Tohaa Army List

Gao-Rael w/ Sniper Rifle

Sukeul w/ HMG, D-Charges

Kaeltar w/ Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse, +2 SymbioMates

Diplomatic Delegate

Chaksa Auxiliar w/ Heavy Flamethrower
Chaksa Auxiliar w/ Heavy Flamethrower

Kamael (Lieutenant)
Kamael (Paramedic)
Kamael w/ Combi Rifle


I've been using this list across a lot of 150 Point games and it's performed very well. I'm trying to get as many Orders as possible to pump into my Gao-Rael and Sukeul who are both very resilient thanks to the SymbioMates. Although I have a fanatical love of Makauls I don't like having to deal with Extremely Impetuous from the get go so they're going to stay on the shelf until Fireteams are unlocked.



Nomads Army List


Spektr w/ Combi Rifle, Antiperonnel Mines

Bandit w/ Light Shotgun, Adhesive Launcher

Bran Do Castro w/ Boarding Shotgun

Zero (Minelayer) w/ Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines
Zero (Minelayer) w/ Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines

Alguacil (Lieutenant) w/ Combi Rifle
Alguacil w/ Combi Rifle, Light Grenade Launcher




Deployment

Nomads won the Lieutenant Roll and Shane, my opponent, chose to take first turn. I wanted to go second anyways because of the Mission so I had him deploy first.




Shane's Deployment wasn't of much help to me with 5 Camo Markers going in the front via Infiltrate, two of them Prone. I figured the non-Prone Markers were Mines but didn't know enough about Nomads yet to confidently say if that meant Zeros or not. Both Alguacils were in the back, one just shy of base to base with the Objective and Prone, I figured that was the Lieutenant.






My own Deployment was very defensive with almost everything being Prone. My Lieutenant and Paramedic Kamaels hid behind some Cover on the right along with the Sukeul, Kaeltar, and the loose Kamael nearby. One Chaksa also went on the right, hoping to crawl along the building and Sensor some Camo Tokens.

On the left I put my other Chaksa, the Gao-Rael, and the Diplomat to cover my rear. I knew from Deployment that Shane had something with TO Camo as he asked me to turn around and I didn't want to give up a sneaky angle into my backfield.







Nomads Active Turn 1

Shane immediately started pumping Orders into one of the Camo Tokens who Super-Jumped down the building and began scurrying towards my lines. Once he got into LoF I tried to Discover with my Kaeltar but failed. It then vaulted the piece of Terrain and revealed Bran Do Castro, putting his Boarding Shotgun into my Kamaels. I ARO'd shots with the Kaeltar and Kamael. Both Kamaels went down with the Lieutenant being killed outright. Fortunately the Kaeltar was able to blast Bran Do Castro, leaving him Unconscious as well.

Remaining Orders moved two of the Camo Tokens, one on the left and one in the center. The Alguacil near the friendly Objective went into base to base with it, staying Prone.

I got punished for some poor Deployment, giving up two kills isn't ideal. I was lucky to take out Bran Do when I did otherwise he'd just be loose in the center of my army. I still don't know how to read Camo Tokens but I should have been more spread and had multiple covering lanes.






Tohaa Active Turn 1

Not wanting to get caught out again I started moving the Chaksa on the right to Sensor, eventually revealing a Zero and a Mine. Unfortunately for me Shane did a great job with his placement and I wouldn't be able to pop out and use the Heavy Flamethrower in one Order, meaning I'd have to survive the Mine and then use another Order or bring up the Sukeul to eat the Mine. Neither of those seemed appealing so I left the Chaksa there to pin the Zero down where he'd be forced to go backwards, and stay Prone, or contend with my template.

On the left my other Chaksa did the same thing because I feared the Camo Token on the tower might be a sniper. The Sensor went off and it was found to just be another Mine laid by a Zero, more great placement from Shane. The Chaksa and Zero then got into a bit of a firefight but Shane kept making his ARM Roll, as did I, or the Zero made its Dodge.

I ended the turn with the Gao-Rael standing and putting a shot into the far Alguacil, removing it. This gave me a solid ARO piece to cover both the close Consoles and help pin both the revealed Zeros.

My turn could have been better, I was hoping to kill the Zero on the left which would open that side of the table for me to run around and make plays. I was able to put Shane in quite a bind though, most of his army is pinned down and revealed. I'm figuring the Hidden Deployment is around the middle for a late game Console grab but I'm not 100% sure so keeping things a bit back is still to my advantage.



 


Nomads Active Turn 2

After a lot of consideration Shane begins moving his remaining Camo Token, climbing a building and moving across. I try to Discover after a held ARO with the Gao-Rael but fail. Shane then reveals a Bandit and starts trying to Immobilize my Gao-Rael but I pass multiple PH Rolls after losing my SymbioMate, exhausting Shane's Orders. This ends the turn without the Nomads having accomplished much and me being fairly secure in my information.





Tohaa Active Turn 2

Wanting to remove the Bandit I move the Gao-Rael slightly but misjudge the distance and misheard the range bands for the Adhesive Launcher, this puts me at a -3 MOD and the Bandit on straight dice. I lose the Face to Face and the Gao-Rael is Immobilized-2, a pretty big blow.

I put another few Orders into the Chaksa, trying to remove the Zero on the left, but the Dodges and ARM hold up which eventually gets the Zero out of LoF. At this point I have to start moving upfield and I go in with the right Chaksa, tanking the Mine. He then takes out the Zero but goes down himself.

I spend the rest of my Orders getting the Sukeul in a position to cover the center Objective and possibly go for it, he also manages to gun down the Bandit who lacked Cover and was at a band range band.

Not a good Turn from me, I should have stayed where I was and focused on the Sukeul play to remove the Bandit from the get go. Instead I lost my Gao-Rael for nothing, giving me less over the center with a Hidden Deployment still to go. I also wasted Orders on the Chaksa trying to take out the Zero, my hope was if I dropped him quickly I could run up the field and position myself to contest Shane's near Console.



 



Nomads Active Turn 3

With few Orders left Shane reveals his Spektr, right by the center Objective as I expected. With a Coordinated Order the Zero tries to get somewhere relevant but won't be able to and the Spektr guns down my Chaksa. Shane puts the Spektr in as defensive a position as it can be and also Prone, hoping to hold on to the Console.

Huge mistake by me to leave the Chaksa exposed, if he'd lived I could have used the Heavy Flamethrower to remove the TO Camo at worst and kill the Spektr at best. I even strongly suspected where the TO Model was and just needed to be further back or forwards.

 



Tohaa Active Turn 3

Being down two Consoles I have to make some plays. After looking at where I'd need to get to while threatening the Alguacil I don't have the Orders to do it and put meaningful attacks into the model. I also can't get to the Spektr easily and with TO Camo and me lacking a strong CC Model my odds of killing him are slim.

Switching gears my Sukeul guns down the Zero on the left and starts hoofing it, climbing down the building and sweeping across to the left. At the same time I'm using Coordinated Orders to take my near Console and see how far I can get some of the backline models. In the end I have to settle for getting the Sukeul in range where he'll definitely be able to contest the center Console. I will have one Order to attack the Spektr and decide to go with the HMG instead of the Knife, needing 4's. The Spektr shots back and I whiff, ending the game.

Me and Shane both control one Console but I've killed more Army Points, giving me a 4-3 Win.




Post-Game Thoughts

I was fortunate to get a narrow win in this one as I made a lot of mistakes. Losing the Gao-Rael really made the game hard, if he was still up then I would have been covering the center Console, a simple Climb and some Coordinated Orders almost certainly kills the Spektr (I'm on 15's with B2, he's either on 6's with B1 or Dodging in place on 12's). Keeping the Chaksa alive on the last turn would also have given me another Order to work with.

I should have been more aggressive earlier in the game with the Consoles, I wasted too much time chasing that Zero on the left over several turns. I'll take that as a good learning opportunity, it's okay to give a try or two at dropping a model but unless it's do or die then anything else is overkill. I didn't even have strong odds at removing the model as it can Dodge on 12's and then pass ARM 1/4 of the time.

Shane largely outplayed me with some excellent Mine placement and going more for the Consoles than I did. I was able to win some key rolls such as against Bran Do Castro on Turn 1 and against the Bandit on Turn 2. My list is definitely more killy than what the Nomads brought which ended up mattering but I could have had a more convincing win by using my resources better.

Next week we go up to 200 Points and keep the same Mission but you have to use Specialists and WIP Checks to grab the Consoles. I still won't have Fireteams unlocked but my existing list has a solid amount of Specialists and I'm probably going to add a Rasail Boarding Team as a great all-purpose model.

Once the points scale up I'm also going to try and do both written and video Battle Reports, I think Infinity is better when the player can explain things play by play so look for that and please don't be shy with the feedback. Thanks for reading!

Episode 82: Decisions Are Being Made (Kill Teams - Heretic Astartes vs Thousand Sons)

Guess who's back, back again...

Certainly been awhile since I did one of these, and not in the same way I usually say. For those out of the loop I've spent the last month getting into Infinity and pretty much shelving Warhammer 40K, both Kill Teams and vanilla. If you're interested in Infinity I have a review of the game and a few introductory Battle Reports up on this very blog.

My future with Warhammer 40K is very much in doubt right now. My local scene has been shrinking as most of the casual players either gravitated towards Kill Teams or have went elsewhere. The competitive meta here is quite strong but isn't located as close as I'd prefer and if I'm being frank the player base is led by some very toxic individuals.

I've also grown a bit bored with 40K. Games Workshop seems either unwilling or unable to give the game competitive meaning, throughout the history of 40K I would put skill as the least important factor to winning behind your list (Number 1 with a bullet) and overall Luck (Pairings, Dice). Some headway was made via 8th Edition making skews less of a thing, always having a chance to wound is great, but it's not feeling like enough.

Once the Fall FAQ rolls in I will be able to make a more informed decision but I haven't missed 40K having not played it in quite awhile. On the flip side I've gained more of an interest in Kill Teams. On my initial read I really liked Kill Teams but then didn't like some of the rules, fortunately it turns out I misread the things that irked me and the rule set is actually even more awesome! Kill Teams also seems to be catching on as more 40K Majors are adding events for it and Games Workshop continues to support the game.

Segueing into the game itself, I'm testing custom Missions for a tournament in a few weeks. These are Missions that I've come up with because frankly the Core Rulebook offerings are very hit and miss, overall being poor for Matched Play. So away we go!



Heretic Astartes

Aspiring Champion w/ Powerfist, Plasma Pistol (Leader)
Chaos Space Marine Gunner w/ Plasmagun (Demolitions)
Chaos Space Marine Gunner w/ Plasmagun (Sniper)
Cultist Gunner w/ Flamer (Veteran)

Cultist
Cultist
Cultist
Cultist
Cultist

I threw this together based on my Combat Roster not to strictly win but to test the Missions with an elite list vs. a more numerous list. Overall I have little knowledge of what is good and bad in Kill Teams other than Plasma is really strong.



Thousand Sons

Aspiring Sorcerer w/ Warpflame Pistol (Leader)
Rubric Marine w/ Warpflamer (Veteran)
Rubric Marine Gunner w/ Soulreaper Cannon (Demolitions)
Tzaangor (Comms)

Rubric Marine
Rubric Marine



Mission and Deployment

Hostage Extraction

For this Mission there are three Hostages (Models on 25mm Bases) placed in the center of the table. One is in the exact center and the other two are 6" on either side, along the center line. The Hostages cannot be attacked and do not exist other than as a Token/Marker for the game.

By ending a Move in Base to Base with a Hostage the model doing so can pick up the Hostage but cannot move further that turn. They then may only move up to 5" and may not Charge or Advance. If the model carrying a Hostage is Out of Action the Hostage is placed as close as possible to the final position of the owning model. At the beginning of each turn it will move 6" towards the center line of the table, stopping when it reaches that point. This Movement happens prior to Players moving their armies but after the Initiative Roll.

A model controlling a Hostage must touch the Friendly Table Edge to extract the Hostage. At the end of the game whoever has extracted the most gets a Minor Victory. If you extracted at least one Hostage and your opponent extracted none then you get a Major Victory. All other outcomes are Draws.





Deployment wasn't too crazy as we had a very vanilla table. My Plasma and Flamer dropped on the left after I saw where the Soulreaper Cannon would be, using the Cultists as deployment chaff. My Leader went center to try and act as a Hostage grabbing deterrent and I put some token Cultists on the right to keep at least some of the Thousand Sons there. My opponent was also fairly spread with the Flamer and Soulreaper+Comms on the right, Sorcerer in the middle, and a regular guy on either side.



Round 1

I won Initiative and started moving up, eyeing the Hostages but not wanting to break cover for them just yet. My Champion Advanced up to the right along with some Cultists while the rest on the left moved up. My Plasma wouldn't be in half range this turn but I could get there next turn.

The Thousand Sons also moved up more than I expected with the Sorcerer gunning for my Leader and the Warpflamer Advancing to grab the Hostage on the right. Most of the rest hunkered down while the Soulreaper Readied.

In Psychic my Champion took a Flesh Wound from Smite, bad play by me to not have a Cultist closer. We then went to Shooting where the Soulreaper opened up, doing a Flesh Wound to the two Cultists near my Champion. I fired Plasma and dropped the Warpflamer but my Flamer bounced. 2+ Saves are brutal against chaff stuff. Before going down the Warpflamer did put another Flesh Wound on both of my Cultists and the front one took a third Flesh Wound from a Rubric.

My triple wounded Cultist failed his Nerve Test but everyone else was fine.








Round 2

This time I lost the Initiative Roll and my Leader was promptly Charged by the Sorcerer, whiffing his Overwatch. A Rubric moved up to grab the right Hostage again while his counter-part and the Soulreaper Readied. I counter-Charged with a Cultist into the Sorcerer, grabbed the left Hostage with my Flamer, and generally moved up with everything else. Malicious Familiar was used against my Champion but failed to go off.

In the Psychic Phase Smite did a Flesh Wound to the Cultist in Combat as the Soulreaper opened up and put a Flesh Wound on my Flamer. Once again my Plasma went to work, killing the Rubric on the left and inflicting a Flesh Wound on the right.

In Combat the Sorcerer whiffed his attacks and was beaten into the ground by the Champion's Powerfist.





 


Round 3

Once again Initiative goes to my opponent who starts moving away with the Hostage while the Soulreaper Readies. I start moving aggressively as I will control two Hostages this turn and I'm hoping the Soulreaper can't do too much damage. The Champion just moves forward as he'd need a bit of a far Charge, I start extracting the left Hostage, and I tag the center one.

Shooting sees my Champion and Cultist up front get gunned down and disaster strikes as I lose both my Gunners to 1's, even through re-rolls on both. This is a pretty huge blow as I now don't have any real offense but the Soulreaper is still churning.

At this point the game played itself a bit. On Round 4 the Rubric moved back more, extracting his Hostage in Round 5. My Flamer moved more but got gunned down in Round 5, leaving me with only the center Hostage but not enough turns to get him to my table edge even if he survived. With that we called the game, Minor Victory to Thousand Sons!







Post-Game Thoughts

When I initially read through Kill Teams I thought Heretic Astartes were one of the weaker Factions but I've since revised that opinion. Having four Gunners is very good as is being able to flood the board with cheap bodies in some Missions. They're not the best at anything but I think they're very adaptable and can play into a lot of the power lists like Plasma Spam by just running at you with Cultists and tying things up.

I didn't play a very tight game with some positioning but without the Plasma Gunners melting I'd have likely gone to an easy win or at worst a draw, not something I'm too concerned about as I'm just starting to look at Kill Teams again. Improvements will happen swiftly.

For the Mission I think it was very effective, the goal is to have something that's not too punishing on elite or horde armies while also forcing movement throughout. I'm going to add an amendment that the Hostages have to be on ground floors because climbing with them is too punishing and can make terrain wonky. I'm also inclined to remove the Hostages moving on their own, it's a bit fiddly and can make for too many draws as the players take turns gunning down whoever is controlling a Hostage.

I will likely post the Mission Packet when it's finished but the remaining Missions are Assassination, Capture the Beacons, Zone Control, and Sabotage, all fairly obviously named. I hope to get more Kill Teams in regularly, like I said it's picking up all over and I'm digging it so much more than 40K right now. This was actually the second play of this Mission that we did but the first had some major flaws so I adjusted some things and we re-racked for a much better result.

Thanks for reading!

Episode 81.8: I Review Titanicus! (Sponsored by PopNerdTV)

Ah, another week and another Games Workshop Specialist game for me to crack open and give some thoughts on. This time I'm taking a look at Adeptus Titanicus: The Horus Heresy, the first offering in a possible specialist game focusing on Knightly Houses and their battles. For those of you less familiar with the Warhammer 40K Universe Titans are massive war-machines, far beyond the size of even cities, that act as the final word in armed conflict. Each Titan is piloted by the coordination of multiple pilots who meld with the machine itself ala Neon Genesis Evangelion or Pacific Rim. Typically the models for Titans are not suitable for play in Warhammer 40K as they're far too many points but this game puts them front and center by drastically scaling down the models and putting the spotlight on these so called God-Engines.

So what is Adeptus Titanicus? As of now it is a stand alone miniature wargame that, like Games Workshop's other Specialist titles, borrows heavily from the mechanics of Warhammer 40K, their flagship game. It pits two players against each other as their Titans clash on the field of battle with the mechanics largely revolving around resource management and positioning along with the element of luck that's baked into all wargames.

Existing fans of Warhammer 40K will recognize a lot of the mechanics within the game but it differentiates itself by giving each Titan a Command Terminal, a large sheet that shows their stats and weapons. The game also brings back some older ideas such as Template Weapons, Firing Arcs, and Turning/Rotating as part of movement. If you're totally new to even the bones of the Warhammer 40K System the game does a great job at separating itself into two halves, one teaches you the basics such as attacking, moving, and managing the Titans while more advanced rules provide Missions, Stratagems, Formations, and all kinds of fun stuff. So let's dive in!



How Does It Play

I'm going to focus on the "Basic Rules" for now as they're also the meat of the system. When playing Adeptus Titanics both players setup a table, between 3x3' and 4x4' and populate it with terrain. Fortunately the Two-Player Starter Set comes with some terrain and Games Workshop sells more, of course you're welcome to use your own. You also need some basic things like dice (which comes in many varieties, some specific to the game), a way to measure distance, templates, models, and the various reference materials for your models. Nothing out of the ordinary for a wargame.

Right away the Command Terminal cards are the focus of a player's attention and with good reason. These will details the stats of the different Titans including Command, Ballistic Skill, Speed, Weapon Skill, Manoeuver, and Servitors. These values are all fixed and only change with damage or very special types of movement. Also on the card is the Weapons slots of the Titan, its Void Shields, Plasma Reactor, and the various Structure portions such as Head, Body, and Legs.

Each Titan is slightly configurable as Weapons are not set in stone but instead assigned as the player sees fit based on available options. Since individual parts of the model can and will take damage the placement of Weapons is important but not so much so that a wrong decision will ruin a game.

Basic play is divided into five Phases: Strategy, Movement, Damage Control, Combat, and End. Each of these Phases is shared between the players in a "You go, I go" fashion so one player would move a Titan, then his opponent would move, then back to the player, rinse and repeat. I thoroughly enjoy back and forth systems as it keeps both players engaged and guessing as to what will happen next.

In the Command Phase Titans are given Orders which can allow them to perform certain moves if they pass the check. These are used more in the Advanced Rules but cover things like moving extra fast but not being able to shoot, making extra repairs, aiming, and so on. This is the Phase where you'll setup what a Titan will do so the ability to pre-plan is rewarded.

Next is the Movement Phase where Titans are moved based on their Speed. Because of their enormous, pondering nature a Titan can only move forward at full speed and must pay 2" of Speed per 1" used when backing up or moving to the side. Titans may also turn 45 degrees during a move a number of times equal to their Maneoeuver and as you may have guessed the smaller and lesser armed Titans are also easier to get around the tabletop.

The Damage Control Phase is where Titans try to do things like repair damage, raise their shields, manage their plasma engines, and so on. It's rare in Adeptus Titanicus for a model to removed in one go, instead Titans are picked apart as various systems fail under sustained bombardment until something goes critical. By mitigating this you can get more mileage out of a Titan, although you can only do so much per turn. When multiple systems require your attention that's when it's time to make hard decisions.

Possibly the most active Phase is Combat where Titans take turns shooting and punching one another. A Titan can only shoot something it can see and most weapons only make use of the front arc of the model, making positioning a key skill for play. Titans which are being attacked also have less protection on their flanks and rear which means flank attacks, high speed, and the benefit of numbers all have a role to play.

Attacks are resolved by rolling the dice indicated on the weapon and applying modifiers such as range. For each hit scored a Titan must test against its Void Shields, successes negate the hit but failures weaken the shields until they eventually collapse. Once the shields are removed a Titan will start taking hits to its structure, gradually wearing down until a Critical Hit is achieved when the structure can't take anymore punishment. This is where truly crippling damage, or even destruction, can be found.

Most weapons in Adeptus Titanicus have special rules which indicate a preference for a specific role. Some are good at long range, some up close while others do more damage to structure than shields. This allows a player to kit a Titan for a particular role, to be a jack of all trades, etc. and then put that to use on the table.

Finally we have the End Phase which exists solely for end of round effects. These are not very common but do come up more in Missions and with Advanced Rules, so it's important not to breeze past it.

The overall feel of the game is one where you're fighting multiple battles at once. Not only are you trying to wear down enemy Titans but you're attempting to keep your own upright. Since Titans degrade slowly there's more immediate decisions to be made on balancing offense versus defense, focusing or spreading attacks, and so on which will typically give a player plenty of choice. I found this to be a more satisfying experience compared to small scale games where models are removed nearly instantly and huge swings are common.



Advanced Play

Once the basics of the system are understood it's recommended that players move onto the Advanced Rules. These details things like Terrain, Orders, Stratagems, Machine Spirits, Plasma Overload, Squadrons, and the different play modes. I'm not going to go extremely in-depth on these as they mostly add to existing rules, providing more tactical depth.

Stratagems and Orders perform similar functions in that they enable a Titan to do something it ordinarily couldn't, or do something that it can always do but better. This includes everything from moving several models at once to bringing Titans on from unexpected places. Fans of Warhammer 40K will recognize both of these well as it's necessary to balancing your pool of resources against what they can do.

Machine Spirits and Plasma Overloads are also similar rules and detail what happens when a Titan is pushed to far. A reactor overload is never good and can cause anything from additional damage to complete destruction, adding more risk versus reward gameplay as Titans ask more and more of their engines. Machine Spirits represent the consciousness and will of the Titan itself and when they take over the Titan has to make actions outside of the player's control.

Missions add quite a bit of depth to a game that would otherwise quickly descend into just attacking each other, providing the usual assortment of destroy this object, hold this point, keep this area clear, and so on. While the Missions aren't inspired they are very straight-forward and add dimension to the main rules which is exactly what they should do.



Recommendation

Adeptus Titanicus is unabashedly a Specialist game, meaning there will be limited or irregular support for it moving forward. The models that are included with the game are also not for use in any other game which diminishes the value proposition of the product compared to something like Kill Teams or Shadow Wars: Armageddon.

With that said the system does a great job of recreating what it's like to command a few Titans, the ponderous nature of both damage and movement feels very weighty and the moments of glory for Critical Hits are very enjoyable. There is also infinite replay value as with just the included rules you can create many different armies and individual Titans which combined with Missions and varied Terrain create a familiar but new game each time you setup.

I would recommend Adeptus Titanicus to players who love that aspect of the 40K universe and want to experience it on the tabletop. If you're a fan of things like BattleTech or MechWarrior you're also likely to enjoy the setting and pace of combat. Finally if you're looking for a game that has some depth, works well on repeat 1 versus 1 play throughs, and doesn't require much or any additional purchases than this would be a solid title to have on your shelf.
As for cautions I would keep Adeptus Titanicus away from younger children as the rules and play will be hard for them to grasp, I would also stay away if you're looking for something with a competitive play scene or if you're hoping to expand the game regularly. There are other, similar, titles that will get you more bang for your buck in that regard.

Episode 2: Scaling Up a Bit (Tohaa vs. Haqqislam 200 Points - Mission: Frontline)

Back with another game as I trudge towards trying to be decent at Infinity. I've come to the realization that Infinity Battle Reports are probably better done as videos because the game is much less cause and effect than Warhammer 40K is, I will be experimenting with that format again soon. Before I can commit to that I need to figure out the ideal amount of photos for a game and work on a few other things so the production quality is at least reasonable, so until then feel free to enjoy my lovely writings.

This game put my against Patrick, unsurprisingly someone I had not played before. Prior to our 200 Point game we played another at 150 with him taking three Ghulams, a Maghariba Guard, and Tuareg Sniper. Oddly enough the game was decided on dice as the Maghariba Guard was crit three consecutive times by my Sukeul and then the Tuareg was crit by my Gao-Rael. After that we thought it would be more fun to play a larger game and put the normal rules for things like Lieutenants, Fireteams, etc. in that aren't used in the Slow Grow League just yet.
 
Please note I do have a few proxies as I don't own a second Sakiel yet and my other Kaeltar is being painted. Sorry!



Tohaa

Makaul w/ Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades, DA CCW
Makaul w/ Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades, Viral CCW

Sakiel w/ Combi Rifle, Nimbus Plus Grenades
Sakiel w/ Viral Combi Rifle, Nimbus Plus Grenades (Lieutenant)

Kaeltar Specialist w/ Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse, 2 SymbioMates
Kaeltar Specialist w/ Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse, 2 SymbioMates
 
Gao-Rael w/ Sniper Rifle

Sukeul w/ HMG, D-Charges
 
Kamael w/ Combi Rifle

Chaksa Auxiliar w/ Heavy Flamethrower



Haqqislam

Ghulam w/ Rifle, Light Shotgun
Ghulam w/ Rifle, Light Shotgun
Ghulam w/ Rifle, Light Shotgun (Lieutenant)
 
Khawarij w/ Boarding Shotgun, Panzerfaust
 
Asawira w/ Spitfire, Nanopulser

Fasid w/ HMG, Smoke & Normal LGL, Anti-personnel Mines

Janissary Arkbar Doctor w/ MediKit, AP Rifle, Light Shotgun




Pre-Game

Both of our lists were made up on the spot, I hadn't prepared a 200 Point list for the League yet and normally I would still not have access to Fireteams but for this game we waived that. We also agreed to do Frontline as the Mission but I foolishly didn't have the packet on my Tablet so we did not do the DataTracker Portion, just the scoring for zones to make the game more interesting.

For my FireTeams I went with Gao-Rael and the Kaeltars, Makaul, Sukeul, and Sakiel, and then the Lieutenant Sakiel, Kamael, and Makaul. These are all close to the Fireteams I want to use at 300 Points so I figured why not try them now?

Winning the Lieutenant Roll I chose to take Turn Order and go second, Patrick then had me deploy first and took what he thought was the better table-side. I setup fairly defensively with my Sukeul and Gao-Rael having good firing lanes on the right and left sides respectively, their cohorts deployed on the ground to cover flanks. The Lieutenant team went on the far left flank to cover there and also scoot up the table as needed, finally the Chaksa went up a bit so I could use his Flamethrower if needed.






Patrick responded by dropping all his Ghulams in a building on the left along with the Khawarij along the same side but ground level. The Janissary and Asawira both hugged a building on the right-center and the Fasid went on the same side but on a building for better LoF.







After asking about the Equipment and Special Abilities for each model it seemed like the murderers were all on my right side and one of the Ghulams was likely the Lieutenant (remember I have basically no knowledge of other armies still). That means my Sukeul is likely going to have to hold his own in at least a few Face to Faces but Mimetism and a SymbioMate makes that a lot less scary as I'll likely be on 13's against either the Spitfire or HMG, having Burst 2 thanks to Triad, whereas Patrick will be on 10's/11's with better Burst.

I chose to go second because it's very powerful for a lot of Missions as you can last minute scramble for Objectives/Zones and see where your opponent is committed, it also forces me to get better at Deployment because I have to absorb the first turn. If I was to do this game over again I would put the Sukeul on the ground around a corner and let Patrick come to me if he wanted while testing the Gao-Rael, then I could have counter-attacked.



Haqqislam Active Turn 1

 With a fairly elite build of 7 Orders Patrick went to work, double moving the Khawarij up just shy of LoF from my Gao-Rael. It then poked out and fired the Panzerfaust, which I responded to by shooting back. I lost the Face to Face but burned the SymbioMate as I wanted nothing to do with Explosive ammunition.



After some consideration Patrick moved to the Fasid and Asawira with the former having to long skill Climb down the building. Both hugged a center-right building and the Asawira poked out to have a go at my Sukeul but we canceled each other. The Asawira tried again, taking out my SymbioMate as I intentionally failed my Guts Check and went Prone.





Overall the turn could have been worse as I just lost my two get out of jail free cards, leaving me able to answer back. Going Prone with the Sukeul prevented a third Face to Face which was only a bit out of my favor, 13's on two dice against 11's on four, but Patrick didn't put the Asawira back totally behind the building so he's still exposed.



Tohaa Active Turn 1

Hoping to capitalize on the exposed Asawira my Sukeul stood up while the Sakiel and Makaul moved up slightly, still hiding. Patrick responded with shots from the Asawira and Dodge with all the Ghulams. I put three shots into the Asawira and one into two of the Ghulams, hoping to net some cheerleaders or a Lieutenant. I managed to take a wound off the Asawira but one of the Ghulams made his Armor Roll and the other Dodged, both going Prone along with the third who I did not shoot.



With another Order and a full burst I dropped the Asawira, then putting another Order into him to kill it and prevent any shenanigans from the Janissary. Content with my work on the right I moved to the Gao-Rael and aimed for the Khawarij but Patrick got a crit and my Gao-Rael disappeared into a bloody mist. 


Moving to a backup plan I started moving the Sakiel Lieutenant Triad, making the Makaul the Leader, throwing Eclipse Grenades to cover my advance. After several Orders and some Dodges by Patrick I pinned him in combat and the DA CCW took the Khawarij down. This also got me into a pretty good position to threaten the Ghulams in the future and be in a forward zone for the Mission.


The turn finished with an Order on my Sukeul Triad, putting him back to Prone while I positioned the other models. My Sakiel covered the alley and the Makaul got on the building, Prone to hold up an advance there if possible.


Fortunately for me I was able to capitalize on a mistake from Patrick leaving the Asawira out and not at least trying to fail his Guts Check after the first exchange or putting it back behind cover. I've noticed in Infinity that it's seldom a good idea to burn all your Orders on offense, instead you want to pull into a safe position with important models and present more of a puzzle to solve and not just let them shoot back on the Active Turn.

I'm also in a strong board position as the Ghulams are getting cornered, if my Gao-Rael was alive they'd be completely pinned. I'm expecting the Fasid to try and break out either himself or the Ghulams but also positioning for zone control might be tough as an add-on.



Haqqislam Active Turn 2

Now with 5 Orders Patrick immediately allocates to the Fasid, moving across the gap to the far right flank. I have no AROs as my HMG is Prone and the other Triad members are defensively positioned. With a second Order the Fasid does a Speculative Fire with the LGL, hitting my Sakiel and Makaul. Both Dodge and fail but the Makaul makes his ARM, the Sakiel uses the SymbioMate. Patrick then does it again but the Sakiel makes his Dodge and the Makaul goes Unconscious.
With another Fasid activation he moves up to get LoF on my Sukeul when I stand and also places a Mine in the alley to cover against being rushed. The turn then ends with the Janissary moving forward a bit to get involved and make a play for the zones.

Bad positioning from me had a heavy cost this turn, I was aware of the LGL but I thought Speculative Fire worked a bit differently, mainly more penalties. Having to Dodge on -3 and no Cover was pretty bad and I easily could have lost both my Sakiel and Makaul. I should have put the Makaul further back and slid the Sukeul right more, it preserves everything I wanted to do but invalidates templates. Fortunately I didn't pay too badly for it but certainly something to keep an eye on in future games!



Tohaa Active Turn 2

Still holding onto 8 Orders but with two broken Triads I had some immediate plans. I gave an Order to one of the spare Kaeltars and double-moved towards the Sukeul, then I used a Command Token to reform the Triad with the Kaeltar, Sukeul, and Sakiel.

Shifting gears I went back to the other Triad on the far left, throwing an Eclipse Grenade into the alley to cover my advance. Another Order kept the Makaul as Leader, allowing him to move up and use the Heavy Flamethrower on a Prone Ghulam, who shot back. The Ghulam then burned to death while I made my ARM. One more Order netted me a more defensive posture with the Makaul covering the East/West alley, the Kamael looking South, and the Sakiel North.


Having some Orders to burn I gave one to the Sukeul Triad, keeping him as Leader, and stood up while also moving the Kaeltar a bit closer. Patrick shot and I shot back but after a few exchanges I'd only managed to wound him once, with a crit, as his ARM 8 held fast. I then put the Sukeul back Prone and gave an Order to the spare Kaeltar to get it up the center of the table and into a building.

This turn was more me not knowing what I should do than anything. Patrick was presenting ery few targets with the Ghulams all holed up in a building, the Fasid being very tanky, and the Doctor pretty well hidden. I could have rushed the Ghulam bunker with the Makaul and flame'd all three, that probably would have been the best play as they're likely to die needing 14's, I get to place two templates as well. Just not a play I saw in the moment.

I also don't like my Triad defensive placement once more as I'm vulnerable to templates, which Patrick has with his Shotguns. There wasn't a very safe place to be as the Fasid can get LoF down the alley and the Ghulams can round the corner with a Shotgun, it would have been better to just pull fully back behind where the Makaul was. That would be much more Order intensive to reach and give me better positioning.



Haqqislam Active Turn 3

Clutching 4 Orders and going into the last turn Patrick has to make a lot of moves. True to expectations he starts using Coordinated Orders to move everyone, mostly going for movement. The Fasid ends up in the middle of the table along with the Janissary while both Ghulams climb down with one heading into a building and one rounding the corner for some Shotgun fun.

Over two Face to Faces I lose the SymbioMate on the Sakiel, make two Dodges on the Makaul (after a Change Facing from ZoC) and the Ghulam is fine.



Tohaa Active Turn 3

I have a lot more Orders than Patrick was reduced to on his final turn so I go for Scenario plays. Two Orders on the left side Triad gets my Makaul into melee with the Ghulam who is swiftly knifed down. This leaves a Ghulam in Patrick's Zone but I have a Sakiel and Kamael there so it belongs to me.

Next I start moving the Sukeul Triad up, with the Fasid being behind a building I can pretty much go where I please. Eventually I get the Triad to the center zone and have a go at the Doctor with my Sakiel, he in turn tries to blast the Sukeul with his AP Rifle. The Doctor misses and I roll TWO crits, dropping him instantly. From there I do some Coordinated Orders of my own and end the game controlling all three zones.






Post-Game

So far this was my most fun game as I knew a lot more about what I could and couldn't do than my previous larger game and there were some tight moments. The two biggest events in the game were losing my Gao-Rael to a crit on the last Panzerfaust shot and Patrick losing his Asawira because it wouldn't go and hide. Had it lived I'd be forced into some tight firefights eventually whereas if the Gao-Rael lived the Ghulams are pinned down forever and I can be way more brazen about going and getting them.

I typically focus on my side of the board for mistakes and so forth, I had several bad moves and several good ones. Making sure the Asawira was totally gone was wise and I was active with getting my models up the table while also hunting things down, a good combination for the Mission. Bad plays were not getting into defensive positions efficiently and putting myself in template formations, those are both things to work on. I also didn't see the play to flame all the Ghulams but I think a discerning eye for that kind of thing will come in time.

The list I played incorporates parts of what my 300 Point list will be and I was impressed with all of them. In a bigger game the Sakiel gets a Viral Combi just like his pal and the Kamael has a MediKit for Specialist stuff and getting people back up. I really like pairing the Kaeltars with the Gao-Rael, none of them want to move up the table and it lets me keep my Chain of Command out of harms way. Having Light Shotguns and Flash Pulses means they can either clean up the backfield in some situations or poke out to very specific LoF and provide Stunned support.

My murderous Triad also worked out as I'd hoped, having access to 0-16 Range, 16-32 Range, and a Smoke/Flamer/CC model is so fun to play with. The Sukeul with an HMG has proven to be a strong ARO piece while a lot of the time the Sakiel or Makaul get the Active Turn attention.

Playing a game with a Mission and a larger scale really shows how good of a game Infinity can be, I feel like I played better than Patrick in this match but I still made so many errors and little things that can be corrected. I'm also liking the not balls to the wall playstyle of the game, which fits Tohaa very well, as you push forward and then back off when your Orders start dwindling to make it less efficient on your opponent. Do they burn 1-2 Orders getting a good LoF back, do they go for Mission, or do they focus on something else entirely? Posing questions is always a solid way to win because quite often an opponent chooses the wrong answer.

I will try to get some more games up soon, I'm leaving the 150 Point games out as they're a bit boring for my taste but plenty of locals seem fine with skipping ahead to bigger games for fun. Thanks for reading!