Episode 4: Mirror, Mirror (Tohaa vs. Tohaa - 250 Points | Supremacy - ITS Season 9 Version)

It's time for more Infinity! While I'm currently working on some production stuff to do videos and write ups I thought I'd pump out another Battle Report for a game that I really enjoyed. For this game I was against Shane, a Nomad Player who I've played a few times already, and his Tohaa for a Slow Grow League game. Fortunately this is the penultimate week which means everything was on the table, the only restriction was our amount of points. Since both of us were playing Tohaa this would make for a much more interesting game. I was also happy to play against my own Faction as that can often be a point of weakness, it's sometimes hard to counter someone that has all the same options as you.



Tohaa (Me)

Combat Group 1

Makaul w/ Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades, Viral CCW
Kamael Paramedic (Medikit) w/ Combi Rifle
Sukeul w/ HMG, D-Charges

Makaul w/ Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades, Viral CCW
Kaeltar (Chain of Command) w/ Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse, +2 SymbioMates
Gao-Rael w/ Sniper Rifle

Makaul w/ Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades, Viral CCW
Kaeltar (Chain of Command) w/ Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse, +2 SymbioMates
 Sakiel w/ Viral Combi Rifle, Nimbus Plus Grenades

Combat Group 2

Chaksa Auxiliar (Baggage, Senor) w/ Heavy Flamethrower
Chaksa Auxiliar (Baggage, Senor) w/ Heavy Flamethrower

Diplomatic Delegate

Rasail Lieutenant w/ Viral Combi Rifle
Chaksa Peripheral w/ Heavy Flamethrower


For this list I wanted a Specialist in every Triad while also being able to attack from close or from far away. At 300 Points I have more midrange shooting but I've worked less on 250 Point lists than I have for "normal" play. Having 9 Orders in the main pool suggests I may have an AD:Combat Jump or TO Camo model, keeps people guessing.

My second group is all about the Rasail with models cheerleadering for him. If he goes down then I can move models into the main group, that's a bit heavy on Command Tokens if some of the Triads start breaking down but nothing is perfect.



Tohaa (Shane)

Combat Group 1

Makaul w/ Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades, Viral CCW
Kamael w/ Combi Rifle
Sakiel w/ Light Rocket Launcher, Combi Rifle

Makaul w/ Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades, Viral CCW
Kamael Paramedic (Medikit) w/ Combi Rifle
Kaeltar (Chain of Command) w/ Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse, +2 SymbioMates

Rasail Lieutenant w/ Viral Combi Rifle
Chaksa Peripheral w/ Heavy Flamethrower

Combat Group 2

Makaul w/ Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades, Viral CCW
Kamael Paramedic (Medikit) w/ Combi Rifle
Sukeul w/ HMG, D-Charges

Clipsos w/ Sniper Rifle
Clipsos w/ Sniper Rifle



Mission and Deployment

Having won the Lieutenant Roll I opted to have Shane deploy first and picked my table side. One portion of the table had a very strong sniper perch where I could have my Gao-Rael cover multiple lanes and I really wanted it. Turn order wasn't as important to me because Tohaa are so durable it's very hard to do meaningful damage right away, if I go second then I got everything I wanted but if Shane makes me go first I can get into an aggressive position for the second round. Shane decided to have me go first after some consideration, this would put me in a very aggressive position as I'd get perfect information on deployment and also exploit it right away.






Regarding the buttons, those are for me to have an easier time seeing what model is in what Triad but it also makes it easier on you, the reader, to tell the same thing. Also Shane has quite a few proxies as his Tohaa aren't as up to speed as his Nomads.

Shane setup fairly defensively with a Sakiel Triad on the center-right building, two members hidden and the Sakiel prone. The Rasail is on the further right flank along with Shane's Sukeul Triad, hiding in the back. His final, non-offensive, Triad was on the left and again pulled back a bit.

Looking at the table I was going to have one free shot on the Makaul with the Sukeul as he'd been left hanging out a bit. Everything else was pretty locked down as expected so my focus was on getting into strong positions and letting the game come to me. My Gao-Rael went in the tower that I'd wanted, I placed the Kaletar and Makaul to cover him from anything but Combat Jump (my guess was there wasn't any). 

My Sakiel Triad and Rasail went on the right flank since it seemed to be where me and Shane would have a shootout, again I'm deployed to cover the back. Finally my Sukeul Triad went on the left, this turned out to be a mistake as the Line of Fire to Shane's Specialist Triad would see me getting very close and negate the HMG. This is something I should have checked more exhaustively during deployment. Finalizing my deployment were the two Chaksa and the Diplomat, their job is to keep guarding my backfield and stay protected from other threats.



Tohaa Active Turn 1 (Me)

Starting with my attempt to remove the Makaul I gave an Order to my Gao-Rael and put three shots into him which the Makaul was not able to evade with his Smoke Dodge, removing him from play thanks to Shock. This weakens the Sukeul as he's no longer in a full Triad so Shane will be down some offense or will have to make some very Order intensive moves to backfill.

Without further targets I started pumping Orders into the Rasail and moved him up to a position where anything on Shane's left would have to eat an ARO or take a very long path around. I then put the Rasail into Suppressive Fire.

Shifting back to the main group I began moving the Sukeul Triad forward, claiming a Console along the way. While moving the Kamael Paramedic to do so Shane revealed a Clipsos Infiltrator and ARO'd the Kamael but I made my ARM. Taking a step back I moved to the Gao-Rael who quickly put down the Clipsos thanks to his MSV2. Without much more to do I set the Sukeul Triad into a defensive position, Makaul leading, and passed the turn.

My first turn went well and I got done what I wanted. Killing the Makaul was the main offensive goal so picking up a Clipsos was a nice extra. My Kamael should have been caught out but even so I don't know if the trade would be good for Shane, I was mostly out of things to do but having another target changed that. Most of the time I probably don't keep the Kamael and then don't get the Console but it was early in the game.






Tohaa Active Turn 1 (Shane)

Being a bit boxed in thanks to my Rasail and flanking Sukeul Shane needed to break out. He started with the Sakiel Triad but had to decide between staying Prone and using Speculative Fire or standing and getting better positions/odds. He chose to stand but my Rasail won the Face to Face, killing the Makaul. With my Viral Ammunition the Makaul wasn't around to even try a Paramedic roll and Shane was without any Smoke except the Nimbus Plus on his strongest flank.

Having to solve the situation the Sakiel moved out and tried to put a few Rockets into my Rasail but I won several Face to Face rolls, removing the Sakiel's Symbiont Armor in exchange for my SymbioMate. Shane then started moving the Sukeil Triad but had to provide an ARO as he crossed to a middle building, I chose to shoot with the Gao-Rael into the Kamael Paramedic and the Sukeul shot me back. In the end I lost my SymbioMate and killed the Kamael, removing a Specialist and breaking the Triad. This left Shane with no Specialists on the right side.

The Sukeul continued moving up a ramp and onto the building, losing his SymbioMate thanks to my Gao-Rael and then stripping my Symbiont Armor in a third Face to Face. I decided to go Prone as Shane was very low on Orders and if he wanted to have a go at the Rasail he'd be at -6 to my -3 but wouldn't have the shots to put me down without really good luck.

At this point Shane realized the Sukeul was in Group 2 and he'd been spending Group 1 Orders, we fixed this by retroactively letting him spend Command Tokens to move the Kamael that died and the Sukeul into Group 1. This would have also resulted in Shane spending all his Orders so the turn ended.

For the scores I controlled my right quarter, my left quarter, and Shane only had his right quarter as the Specialist Triad had not moved.

My positioning of the Rasail really did a lot of work here and I was able to have Shane commit to very inefficient plans. The Makaul dying was a huge deal as I was on 12's with three dice against 16's with two, even if the smoke worked I'm not sure what Shane could have done. If the Sakiel team crosses they're going to get lit up by my Sukeul next turn or I can go for some melee plays. Shane likely would have gone for his Console and then got into defensive positions but I think I'd be ahead on initiative still.




 


Tohaa Active Turn 2 (Me)

For this turn I got very aggressive, starting with the Rasail and moving it up to shoot the enemy Rasail and Sakiel while avoiding the Sukeul. This continued for all my Group 2 Orders, including the Lieutenant and the Diplomats Order via Command Token. In the end I lost my Chaksa and killed the enemy one, also removing the Rasail's Symbiont Armor and killing the Sakiel. I was able to put my Rasail back into Suppressive Fire with the last Order.

Heading back to Group 1 I started chucking Eclipse Grenades to cross the gap covered by the Sukeul and get to the Specialist Triad. I was able to make this work and kill the Kaeltar with my Heavy Flamethrower while the Kamael made her ARM and the opposing Makaul Engaged me. I gave my Makaul another Order and decided to melee, this was just a straight dice roll but my only other option was to Dodge at much worse odds. I figured even if I lose then the Sukeul and Kamael would be able to get away, I won the Face to Face and the opposing Makaul melted.

My Kamael was able to hack the Console in Shane's territory, giving me two, and I started to pull back. Stupidly I walked the Makaul out and he died to the HMG, I should have just had him abandon the Triad and threaten the remaining Kamael with a template if she tried to move.

Being low on Orders I stood up with the Gao-Rael to challenge the Sukeul and Shane revealed another Clipsos to shoot back. I put one shot into the Clipsos and two into the Sukeul, killing the Clipsos and dropping the Sukeul unconscious.

At this point Shane conceded the game as he was one model out of Retreat, had only one Specialist left, and three Orders for models that were all in bad positions. At best the Rasail could challenge mine while also eating shots from the Gao-Rael and that's a losing battle. We both agreed it would be a full point win for me as my Classified could be swapped for Secure HVT, trying to hack a Console would likely end with him being in Retreat, and there weren't enough points to contest any zones.





Post-Game Thoughts

This game was very one-sided and was also very dicey. I won almost every Face to Face roll during the game but part of that was me setting up very well to do so. The Rasail in Suppressive Fire is a complete monster because you can put him wherever and he'll maintain Cover, with a SymbioMate and so many wounds that is a very hard piece to move without access to Fire templates or harsh penalties. The Sakiel did his best but losing the extra Burst really hurt as it was on -3 overall with two shots while I was on -3 and three shots with much more staying power.

I made several mistakes this game, all in my second turn. My Sukeul should have challenged Shane's, I'd be at a huge Burst advantage, could have had Cover, and retained Mimetism where Shane had no Cover, no Mimetism, and one shot. I then could have gone after the Specialist Triad with more freedom (I used two Short Skills to throw smoke instead) and could have just trapped the Specialist Triad, then going after them with a full compliment of Orders on the last turn. If I'd done all that then I pick up free models, retain my great positioning, and lose nothing.

On Shane's side I felt that using the Clipsos in ARO when I still hard Orders was a mistake. We talked after the game and he did want to use them in the active turn but I didn't give him the chance. One would have been at bad range against my Rasail, so one shot at -9 whereas I'm three shots at -9 after Surprised Attack, and the other couldn't see him. Dropping the Kamael would have made it much harder for me to get Consoles on the left but I would have still picked up another model and could have used a Kaeltar to grab Consoles late in the game with smoke coverage. Both Snipers were also a bit forward, I'd have put them further back.

I really won the game during Deployment and I stand by my decision to ignore turn order. If Shane goes first and gets aggressive I had a lot of overlapping AROs and the Triads would be looking at 3 Orders to even get to me. Instead he could have grabbed two Consoles but that's not as impactful in this Mission so he either pulls back, giving me control of the zones, or eats my offensive turn which will be stronger than his AROs.

I've taken to removing the HMG from the Sukeul in favor of a K1 Combi at 300 Points, this game reinforced that decision. Triads usually work best when you dart forward, do some stuff, and move back, so having shorter ranged weapons is useful. This can open me up to long distance shooting but the Gao-Rael is one of the best snipers in the game thanks to MSV2, extra Burst, and the wounds to eat a bad exchange. I also run my Rasail with a Spitfire at 300 Points and a Kerail Preceptor, the former is better in a normal gunfight while the latter is helpful for going after Camo/ODD/etc.

I feel more comfortable with the basics of Tohaa and now I'm trying to focus on trickier plays with them, such as knowing when to break a Triad. I also need to slow down at times and look at my options, Infinity is a tricky game because sometimes you have a very Order intensive, high odds play but a 1-2 Order, lower odds play is actually better. This is something I continue to love learning because it's not just about shooting your opponent and instead you're rewarded for removing very specific pieces and playing for board control and the Mission. This is the first time I've felt like I was able to put my opponent in a bad position intentionally and I think that's the strength of going first. It's then on the opponent to get out of that puzzle and I feel like Tohaa are quite good at that because of our rampant access to the best smoke and Order efficiency. Hopefully I'll be able to keep leveraging those tools in future games.

Thanks for reading!

Episode 83: The Big FAQ 2 (and Kill Teams FAQ) Breakdown | My Retirement from Competitive Warhammer 40K

Well it finally came to pass, the Big FAQ is here. As per my write-up on the first FAQ I'm going to do a deep dive into what was done and my thoughts on how it impacts the game as a whole. It should also be noted that there were no Points Changes this time, likely because we're close to Chapter Approved '18, although I will make some inferences about likely changes based on the FAQ.

As the title says, this will also be my retirement from Competitive Warhammer 40K. I'm not a big name player so no one is going to care and the game will go on perfectly fine. I will be pursuing Kill Team and, if you missed my other posts, Infinity as competitive games. My apologies if you liked my Warhammer 40K content, it's difficult for me to continue taking a game seriously that I feel marginalized by. In any case, let's have a potentially last look at Warhammer 40K!



The Big FAQ 2

 Starting from the top we got the finality of some rules that have been tweaked in the past. Psychic Focus, Battle Brothers, and Targeting Characters are all set in stone. These were all well received changes so it makes sense that Games Workshop would keep them. Solid addition to the game.

After that we go into murkier waters. Tactical Reserves has been, at least to my ears and eyes, a very unpopular change that also had a huge meta impact. GW seems to agree and they've reigned it in a bit where Power Level is no longer considered. This is a great change to a bad rule because Power Level is not balanced and shouldn't have anything to do with Matched Play. They also clarified how things like Da Jump, Wings of Fire, etc. work with the rule.

Sadly the rule is still dog shit and accomplishes nothing but harming melee armies. Ever since Tactical Reserves was changed melee armies have declined, there are other reasons for this that combine with the rule but it's a major contributor. For the moment it also cements that armies like Grey Knights and Genestealer Cults (who had their exemption reverted for now) are not to be played seriously. As a competitive player I think one of the strengths that 40K had was positional play, being able to drop in from an unexpected angle made Deployment, screens, etc. more skillful and helped to control gunline armies. The only counter to shooting that I've seen since the change are Blood Angels and Ynaari Shining Spears and that is only because of FLY and being in Factions who can remove chaff in the same turn as they go.

This is the first of the changes that, to me, signal a problem within the GW Design Team. 8th Edition felt like a very complete product at launch but as time went on the community figured out how to break the game. Since then GW has been making very BIG changes to SMALL problems. For example it's public knowledge that after NOVA Open the design team though Smash Captains were broken. Instead of nerfing just them, they change the entire game. But we'll get to that. My point is 40K feels like 8.5 Edition right now and marrying the old with the new is causing huge issues.

Moving down we have a nerf to all the Infiltrate Stratagems. I'm a big fan of this because those created very binary games, if you went second against an army all in on that style then you probably lose and if you go first you probably win. This was extremely boring so now you just get a pre-game move. Still very useful and strong but not what it was. This is how nerfs should be done!

Rangers also got a kick in the ass, which was very much needed, in that they cannot Deploy until the end of the Movement Phase. This makes them more reactionary but also stops them from discouraging Turn 1 Deep Strike and Charges. Aeldari Players will have to bring other units for immediate chaff and won't be able to have as strong a Scenario presence, overall a minor nerf but a good one. Finally there's the ability to deploy Yncarne on the table normally, that's a small buff to Ynaari that they didn't need but overall I don't think it will have much impact. Yncarne is very frail so putting him at risk like that is unlikely to be popular.

New Matched Play Rules

Staying with new business we have some additional Matched Play rules. The first is Prepared Positions, a new Stratagem for the person going second to use. This grants Cover to all non-Titanic models that are completely within your Deployment Zone during the first turn. I really like that GW has realized first turn is a huge advantage is many games, so much so that the specialist Missions have had to deter people from just always going first. However this change isn't nearly good enough in my opinion. For one it costs CP, so it's not just a buff as it comes at a cost. The bigger problem is some armies gain very little from Cover. 3+ and 4+ Save armies get a decent benefit but anything past that the bonus isn't quite great.

What this is a great bonus for is Vehicles. Normally Vehicles (and Monsters) get blown away immediately but most of them have a 3+ Save, now going to a 2+. That is a big deal in some matchups, particularly if you're trying to use Transports. I would have liked to see some additional functionality, maybe -1 to Hit instead of Cover, but the rule is a start I suppose.

As everyone in the world predicted CP Farming got nerfed, although not in the way I expected. Most CP Regeneration is very weak, happening on a 5/6+, only allowing one roll per Stratagem, etc. Having the best CP Farm in Imperium was what really broke the game so I was hoping to see a targeted nerf towards that. Instead you can now only ever regain one CP per Battle Round. I think that's a fine change because it does smack down some of the ones that can go crazy, like the Dark Eldar ability, and most Factions were used to getting 1-2 back if that per Round. Looking at the big picture all that had to be accomplished was shutting down the inter-play of Guard with things like Knights and Blood Angels, which is what happened.

Further Stratagem Nerfs

Not sure why these are sprinkled throughout the packet but in any case here we are. Warp Surge was long on the chopping block as it's clear GW doesn't want strong Invulnerable Saves running around everywhere, dropping it to a maximum of a 4++ is curious since Chaos does not get Storm Shields, I would have liked to see a 3++ be the maximum. You already have to layer several things together compared to just slapping wargear on a guy like Imperium can do.
All the costs increases are justified albeit a bit lazy to me. Oathbreaker Guidance System always seemed like a horrible ability to me as there is no counter-play unless your army has Bodyguards, I think it should have just been re-tooled. On the flip side I like what they did to Agents of Vect, not only is it more expensive now but they added counter-play in the form of killing the Black Heart models. Another minor change to remove the dice roll, have it always work on the 2-5 roll, would have been the icing on the cake but it's livable as is.


My overall grade for The Big FAQ itself would be a D+. It fixed some things in a targeted manner but didn't go far enough in some places, some rules were also untouched. The inability to fix Deep Strike, or admit failure to do so, is what drags everything else down the most. Unless the Ork/GSC Codex is bonkers the game is going to exist in a world where, competitively, only Ynaari can make use of Close Combat. Blood Angels are now too costly on CP to work with, Knights will still be hoping that their skew works, and everything else has delivery problems.



Faction Erratas

Most of these changes are nothing worth talking about. However I will highlight the standouts, to me, and how they may impact the game.

Strategems and Auxillary Detachments

 This is detailed in the Dark Eldar FAQ but it's confirmation that having an Aux Detachment of a specific Legion/Kabal/Chapter etc. will unlike their specific Stratagems, but not Faction Stratagems. This is how it's been ruled for awhile but now it's codified for all to see.

One Use Weapons

In the Imperial Knight FAQ it's codified that you can only fire one Shield Breaker Missile a turn. They didn't seem to touch on if they must be fired in Overwatch or not, which has been a point of contention.
Pathogenic Slime

 Small nerf as the wording implied you could check your Hits, Wounds, and Armor Saves before declaring it. Probably how most people played the Stratagem anyways.

Ynaari

Codified that you do not get a free Relic but you do get a vanilla Warlord Trait. Most people played Ynaari like this as of a few months ago but it's good to know what's what. Sadly they also specified that Ynaari get all the Stratagems for Dark Eldar/Eldar/'Quins, etc. if their Detachments are correct, which should not be the case.

Imperial Guard

Guard received several nerfs, mostly to the unkillable Ogryn/Bullgryn. You can't improve their Invulnerable Save anymore via either their Wargear nor by using "Take Cover!", which pretty much makes the unit useless. Again, probably a needed nerf but they need a cost reduction in Chapter Approved to compensate.

Bye Harlequins

Harlequins were already a bad army in their pure form, I'd venture to say they're now unplayable. Not being able to Charge through models with Flip Belts, in a Faction that has problems clearing chaff, sets them up to just get mowed down after cutting through screens. 'Quins were also hurt by the FLY change, pretty much invalidating their entire play style and purpose for existing.

As for Space Wolves I have no idea if their changes are big or not since I haven't been keeping up with the game as much since slightly before they dropped. Sorry!



Rulebook Changes

Similarly to the last FAQs, this is where the meat is. Unlike the last FAQ round it's pretty much all negatives for me. But let's start with FLY.

In a reversal of the clarification to how FLY works per the Big FAQ 1, you may now no longer benefit from FLY when Charging. This means you cannot put FLY models on top of buildings for short distances, you cannot Charge past models, and you cannot Charge over terrain.

While that seems like a small change, it's going to cause a huge chain reaction within the game. As I said earlier, melee has been on life support for some time now. I'm not saying melee is dead. This nerf, coupled with the 'Quins nerf, means that there is no good way to deliver models into melee as the game currently stands. You're forced to Deep Strike and try the 9" Charge (about a 50/50), run across the table, or use Transports. In turn you're either heavily tempting fate and likely losing the unit for free if a Charge fails, taking losses while losing offense both in the list building phase and Turns 1-2, or paying points and giving an opponent choice of target priority. All those options are horrible.

To be a true melee threat you are now likely looking at models that can cheat Movement while being either very fast or durable, very reliable Deep Strike Charges AFTER clearing chaff, or playing against someone who is bad at the game. Only Aeldari (Quickening) and Chaos (Warptime) can do the former but I would say that Chaos lacks a strong Warptime target currently. Only Orks, Black Templars, and some other Chapters/Units can re-roll Charges but many of those Factions don't have a strong melee unit to deliver.

Onto something positive they changed the targeting timing with shooting so you can no longer "bait out" defensive abilities. This came to the forefront with Knights are people would say I'm shooting x, y, and z targets but not announce with what guns, leaving the opponent to guess on how to use abilities. Solid change that should have always been around.

We also got clarification on how re-roll 1's for Damage works, which is nice, and confirmation that same name Stratagems cannot be used in the same turn in the same way Psychic Powers work. Both of these are good as they just make things smoother going forward but most people already played them correctly.

Other small clarifications are how anti-Deep Strike Stratagems interact with Characters (you can't shoot them unless they're the closest) and Heroic Intervention. Not being able to Intervene on your own turn is a small nerf to some armies, and another melee nerf. Mostly it impacts Yncarne who just should have gotten an update to disallow it but again we see overreaching on changes that don't need to exist.

Of the final important things it was confirmed that models like Leman Russes can be taken up to nine times by only using three of the Data Sheet and models with same names but different Data Sheets do not count against each other. I disagree with this and think the flat three of a model should be in effect no matter what, the other part I'm fine with. The only exploitation of the same name portion is with Demon Princes and even with that Chaos still sucks. It's not changing the meta much and it's not a bad game experience so I have no issue with leaving it as is.



Summing It Up

The fallout from the FAQ is going to be very obvious to begin with. Imperial Soup as it was is no longer viable in any type of competitive play, you will not have the CP to power both Blood Angels and an active Knight.  Blood Angels have also taken an extreme viability hit and will not be as popular. To keep the same composition you're looking at playing the Captains as more of a counter-puncher and loading up on CP via a Battalion and Brigade while also leaning much more on the Knight. While that is viable it's likely not competitive.

You're going to see more Guard in Imperium as they're now probably the strongest Faction with Catachans and Cadians not being touched. Taking a Brigade/Battalion or two Battalions seems like it'll be very good, you can use the Catachans to screen and take ground while the Cadians provide covering fire and watch your back. This can be complimented with Blood Angels or Space Wolves for punchiness against big targets, Tallarn Baneblades, and so on. While that type of build has always existed it was previously overshadowed.

Custodes are also in for a rough time as they're extremely CP hungry and a nerf to FLY really hurts them. I don't expect to see much of a Custodes focused army like Geoff Robinson is known for as it cannot keep up the pace anymore although the Bikes are still great at clearing chaff.

Ynaari is without question the most powerful army and will likely stay that way until at best Chapter Approved. The nerf to FLY did hurt Shining Spears but they can just double or triple move over screens and their shooting is excellent against chaff. The lack of Heroic Intervention on the friendly turn may shut down Yncarne builds because that was the big trick with him but good old Yvraine + Shining Spears + Gunline is as good as ever. You'll still take Agents of Vect as a counterspell even though a lot of the powerful Stratagems were heavily nerfed because being able to say no to a re-roll wins games. I expect more Dark Eldar stuff from Ynaari until Chapter Approved with Rangers not being as useful or as needed anymore.

I don't see any of the other Xenos Factions doing anything without points changes. Orks get their Codex soon but unless they have much better gap closing tools they'll make no waves. GSC are interesting as it was strongly implied they'll regain their access to "good" Deep Strike with a Codex and obviously will be buffed up as well. If I were to bet on the meta I say Aeldari/Ynaari run everything until Chapter Approved at the most competitive level, a Guard focused Soup takes second place, and the rest is who cares as it was before. The game is going to become even more focused on gunlines which might allow Tau to sneak into some top placings but with how bad they are at Missions that remains to be seen.



Kill Teams FAQ Overview

With all the negativity purged from my body, let's move onto greener pastures. Kill Team got both a Designer Commentary and an FAQ. I was pleasantly surprised to see not many changes, more clarifications, but the changes that they put in I liked quite a bit.

Starting with the FAQ we have some clarification on Wounds and Injury Roll interactions, this is how I'd been playing the game but it is a bit wordy in the Core Rules so it can be hard to understand. They also added Flesh Wounds as a drawback for things like Falling, which was likely just an oversight to not have from the get go.

Scouts were buffed as their Tactic was useless, now I expect them to see a lot of play as +2" Movement is very powerful. They also nerfed Comms/Leader a bit which is good because their Auras could be a bit too strong and offered no counter-play. Some Specialist Roles have been moved around with a lot of models gaining Medic and Guard losing access to super easy Comms.

Chaos pick up Combat Specialist and the all-mighty Flail for Death Guard gets a nerf, both of these I like. The Flail was the best weapon in the game for melee and it was odd that Chaos didn't have a Combat Specialist. Much of the remainder is really small changes to Keywords and things like that but two big changes remain. One is that Fusion Pistols for 'Quins now always get the Melta Bonus, this gives them some viable shooting in what was a one-dimensional Faction. The other is Necrons Tesla always works on a unmodified 6, that keeps it consistent with other rules and buffs a Faction that many see as a bit weak.

Much of the Designer's Commentary is just clarifying very specific interactions but how some Stratagems work is very important. Another big clarification is that Line of Sight can be drawn from ANY point on a model, this allows for extremely defensive positioning while only putting out a model's hand or foot. That doesn't seem super important but it can totally hide the model from other enemies, allowing models like Gunners to only have one model in their sights and vice versa.

Necrons got another buff in that the highest Injury Roll MUST be used, that's a bigger chance of Reanimation Protocols activating. With all the changes to Necrons they seem to be the tankiest Faction now and Tesla gives some needed offensive punch, I'm curious to see how they play. Speaking of tanky Death Guard got a massive nerf in my eyes as Disgustingly Resilient no longer mitigates Injury Rolls from Multiple Damage, it either blocks all of it or none of it. This doesn't hurt as bad with the clarification on how Multiple Damage Weapons work but it is a big blow to their durability.

Kill Teams Summation

My only disappointment with Kill Teams is how much Plasma is running the meta, particularly with Guard and AdMech. While there are counters to Plasma I feel like the amount of access to it should be reigned in, it should cost more, or it should blow you up on a 1 and not an unmodified 1. Honestly I didn't expect the Kill Team FAQ to drop with the General 40K stuff but it makes sense and I expect that to be the norm going forward. That means it's likely Chapter Approved will have Kill Team changes unless there's an announcement I missed.

I also think Kill Team is in a great spot right now. Initially there was a bit of a power gap between some Factions, Harlequins, Necrons, Eldar, and Dark Eldar were very meh. Death Guard got some nerfs, people learned how to play against Death Watch/Space Marines, and some of the other Factions weren't as bad as they looked. Now Necrons got a few buffs and 'Quins got a big one, I still see Aeldari as being pretty low on the ladder though. With some of the higher up Factions being taken down just a bit I don't see any matchups that are unwinnable and the Command Roster certainly facilitates that. Sadly I have not had time to look over the two new Kill Team Factions but from what I hear they don't upset the balance and are pretty much in the middle of the power-curve.



Why I'm Quitting 40K

I left this for last because frankly I doubt many people care. I am not a star in the 40K scene beyond having a very successful Battle Report thread on DakkaDakka and I truly thank everyone who took some time out of their day to read my content. While I never got beyond more than a few hundred views per post it's very encouraging to see people enjoying what I write and how I write it. I will continue to make content for the games I enjoy and who knows, one day I may come back to 40K proper.

My desire to shelf 40K as a game started long before the FAQ dropped, I'd say it came on strong after the Imperial Knight Codex. Prior to Knights the game had large models but there were poor competitive choices, I liked this because it made the game more aesthetically pleasing and prevented skews or an overly centralized meta from forming. Knights shattered all that and turned the game into a binary experience: Can you kill 1 Big Knight or 3 Little Knights? The Knight Codex also made me see how little understanding Games Workshop has of their own game. They don't know what's good or bad until the community tells them, this means their play-testing is an objective failure. That's even more shocking when you realize how many top tier players are involved in testing the game and it's been strongly hinted that GW ignores a lot of the feedback they get.

That's the part that is the current design team's fault. What is not their fault is how big the game is. 40K has too many units, too many armies, and too many combinations to balance effectively. I don't know the inner workings of the team but with Allies having been around prior to 8th Edition it was likely they couldn't remove it even if they wanted to for fear of mass invalidating purchases. That gave birth to Soup which has been the top way to run an army since Day 1 and always will be. I'm going to say this now, Warhammer 40K will never experience anything close to balance, to parity, until soup is completely removed from the rules. Except for the very beginning of the game all three soup armies have ruled with an iron fist, Chaos only fell out of the running due to repeated nerfs.

Finally, Warhammer is a very low skill game. I reached my peak, I can't get any better at 40K than I am now. I would always make mistakes but everyone does that, you can watch any high level match and they make mistakes all over the table. Other than those small mistakes you make due to stress, fatigue, misunderstanding, etc. I know as much as I can know about the game rules, tactics, and meta. In 40K you reach a level where you're at that top level and there's no where to go but work on theory, that's the only part that never interested me. I'd say on the whole I'm as skilled of a PLAYER as you can be with only a wider presence and constant Theory-Hammer keeping me from that extremely top level. I say none of that to brag, 40K has a very low skill ceiling compared to other games and it's very easy to reach the top if you want to.

My final realization to leave the game was when I picked up Infinity. I am a very middle of the road Infinity player because of my wealth of experience with other games. But people who have been playing Infinity for a year, three years, five years? I can't touch them yet. The skill ceiling in some games is so high that there's always something to learn, something to work on and refine. That's what I want from the games I put time and money into. It makes me laugh that 40K players jerk each other off obsessively now that I've seen how much deeper a game can be. It's honestly humbling which I am very happy about because I was starting to turn into one of those guys too, applauding that I'd reached the pinnacle of a game that's the base of a mountain compared to others. My only regret is that I never won a Major Tournament but honestly I know I was good enough to and that's all that matters to me. Now I have other things to focus on.

If you're reading this and you're a competitive 40K Player, I'd say leave. Grow other games that deserve your time, money, and fandom more than Games Workshop does. Warhammer and Age of Sigmar are supposed to be casual games, there's no argument against it. Pretending that they're anything else, as I did, is a waste of time and shouldn't satisfy anyone who truly wants to learn and grow as a tactical thinker. I play miniature games to learn and grow, otherwise being good or even the best is meaningless.

As always, and for perhaps the final time to some, thanks for reading.

Episode 3.2: Continuing to Adjust to Infinity - What I've Learned and What I Want to Test

Hello hello, I haven't had an Infinity game that I felt like I should do a Battle Report for in a bit so I thought I would continue to chronicle my journey into Infinity without a game to back it up. I have played quite a few games since my last Battle Report but they have been extremely one-sided. When the games are one-sided against me this has largely been due to mistakes in Deployment that gobbled up a lot of my models in Round 1, while disappointing I've made adjustments and should do better there. Sadly the game I wanted to report on 9/24 was lost due to extremely poor dice with my opponent winning all but two Face to Face Rolls over the course of two entire Rounds even when things were heavily in my favor. Very poor dice are the one thing that really tilts me and I chose to concede the game in favor of just playing another and wiping the slate clean.

Anyways, so what have I learned? Much of this is framed within the confines of my Slow Grow League because that is where a lot of my games are being played. As of 9/24 we are at 250 Points and have just added all games rules, so Fireteams are finally on the table. This has been very helpful already because my Faction, Tohaa, are incredibly reliant on Fireteams to actually play as intended. Prior to this I'd been using fairly common tactics of cheap Orders pumped into 2-3 better models but I found that boring and didn't feel it worked well with the army I'm playing.



Deployment, Deployment, Deployment

As I touched on during my last post, I quickly came to the conclusion that Deployment reigns supreme in Infinity. I was able to use this to my advantage at a very low level by abusing Prone but as I assumed that strategy would quickly become non-viable as the size of my games increased.

From a Tohaa perspective I've been trying to find the right combination of hiding Triad participants besides the main gunner while also getting use out of them. Tohaa Fireteams are very hard to break when taken head on, because we have a lot of Wounds as a Faction there's not much danger in taking 1-2 ARO fights per team. However removing just one member from the Triad will remove the Burst bonus which is a substantial blow and almost all popular Triad fillers are very light on defensive profiles.

Initially I thought to just hide the weaker Triad members until I start breaking out but there are a lot of strategies to pick off even resilient models that don't have immediate support. Marker states are obviously great at that role but Combat Jump is also a real threat thanks to the buff in ITS Season X. Fortunately Triad fillers are often well-armed for a defensive role with Makauls and Kaeltars being my two favorites by far. Makauls pack a Heavy Flamethrower which can setup trades at worst but with clever positioning their excellent Close Combat ability can shut down a lot of close range by using Engage or blocking the path of approach. Most Combat Specialists need at least two swings to remove a Triad leader and that can become harder if i-Kohl and Martial Arts are in the mix.

Kaeltars are more adept at a variety of ranges than the Makaul but don't have the specialty of being great up close. A Light Shotgun is a very strong equalizer when it comes to covering against close range pieces, shutting down models that are hoping to get one swing and one kill unless they're in possession of strong defensive skills. On the other side a Flash Pulse on WIP14 is a solid deterrent to models just trying to run across the table.

So farm my struggle has been deploying all these pieces correctly. I've been heavily favoring Deployment Order when winning the Lieutenant roll because most players spread their army out when they don't know what you have. When that happens I'm able to overload one side or one firing lane while trying to stay very defensive against the other side. If an opponent challenges me where I'm strong I can try to win some firefights just through weight of dice, if they try to get around it can be Order intensive and may leave them out of position. The counter-play that I've thought of and seen for that is to just focus on Objectives that I can't see and/or setup one's own defensive position for my turn. The Mission is very important for that strategy as some you can ignore until later but some you can't.

The reason I think that overloading one area works for Tohaa is that when I don't do this I often lose my Symbiomates for nothing. An opponent will get Line of Fire on me with a powerful model in theri Active Turn, I'll lose the Face to Face that I'm disadvantaged at, spend the mate, lose another Face to Face and often fail Guts to go Prone or hide. This effectively removes an advantage that I pay for both in my lists and in my design space as a Faction. On the other hand if I have 3+ AROs for one model it's very hard for them to feel good about their odds.

A similar principal applies to Triads which are shorter range, such as the classic Sakiel+Makaul+Other. If I can lock down one angle of approach with both a Makaul and a Sakiel then I have lots of options. I can Smoke Dodge to protect the Makaul or the Sakiel on future turns as he tries to fight off the Face to Face, I can Engage, I can put down a Template and threaten a trade. A successful Makaul smoke ends the threat unless they want to continue in melee, which isn't common, and if the model continues on then I've lost nothing and have strong positioning.

In future Battle Reports I'm going to devote a lot of time to Deployment because I see it hugely glossed over by most other content creators and I find it to be the most interesting phase. I feel like a good Deployment can really swing the game right away and so far I've had no games where I wished I could have gone First or Second in specific but I always wish I could have seen what my opponent had and where right off the bat.



Triads Are Overrated

This probably seems like a weird conclusion for someone who plays a Faction that by and large relies on Triads but I think the devotion to them overshadows other options. My 300 working list for play with most ITS Missions had four Triads in it, two with Sakiels, one Sukeul, and one Gao-Rael. What I noticed was that in my games I was almost always leaving one of the Triads in the dust because it's more effective to put Orders into 1-2 Triads. I also had no obvious back-fill for my Triads so if I really needed to fill one it had to steal from another.

I've since moved to 3 Triads, which I think the Tohaa gods would approve of, and added models who can join as needed. This also makes it much easier to put models that contribute into the Fire Teams as every one of them has a Makaul, a shooter, and a Specialist. While each Triad has some weakness (usually either close or far shooting) they can all interact with the Mission, cover their approach with smoke, and put out damage in close combat and some range band.

Lessening reliance on Triads also opens up some of the very powerful solo models that Tohaa has. Both the Kerail Preceptor and Rasail have been favorites of mine as the Rasail makes for a great Suppressive Fire model that can hangout in annoying places and the Kerail provides regular Smoke Grenades and can go hunt pesky backfield models with the best of them.

Adding some other Makauls, waiting to step into a Triad, also helps with some of the lost Order efficiency by letting the Makaul move up and smoke so the Triads don't have to. That does demand careful placement of the model so he doesn't run into the open and get gunned down but it's a worthwhile risk.



Firefights Are Not As Simple As They Appear

This is a bad habit that I wish I had not developed from playing small games but firefights are much more complex above 200 Points. In smaller games most of the time the Active Turn player is going to win, it's fairly simple to make sure you're at good range, have Partial Cover, etc. At higher points players can access more diverse models though and start putting forth things like TAGs, TO: Camo, defensive Fire Teams, and so on. The Active Player also may have to sink Orders into more careful positioning so as to avoid unrelated AROs or too much exposure in the subsequent turns.

In my larger games I've been taking a large number of marginally advantaged firefights and as one would expect, winning them a marginal percentage of the time. What instead seems to be better is use the Orders to get 1-2 chances at a very highly advantaged firefight and trusting in how deadly Infinity is to do the rest. A good example is me using a Sukeul with HMG and picking fights with something like a Sniper straight up. I have Cover, good range, and Mimetism where they will have Cover, good range, and often something similar defensively/offensively to my rule. This creates a situation where we are hitting on very similar numbers but I have more dice, a marginal advantage. Instead I would be better off foregoing shots to put my opponent at a bad range or deny them Cover and swing the numbers and amount of dice in my favor.

One of the reasons I felt comfortable just holding down the trigger is because most Tohaa shooters can lose 1-2 Face to Face Rolls without going down while other models often can't. By playing that way I'm risking what makes my Faction so strong, tossing away Wounds for no reason. Tohaa are also great at applying the right Triad to the right problem which is pushing me to favor more specialized guns. Normal teams, such a Core, often have to have every role filled out because they're a large points investment and a focal part of a list. For example a Triad "led" by a Gao-Rael with Sniper Rifle is going to have a hard time finding advantaged fights but will be great at preventing disadvantage. If you can layer something on top of that, like Smoke Grenades, then the model is much more capable of winning fights than it could be by itself.

At lot of this ties into my previous paragraph about Triads being overrated because the Skills and Equipment that synergize with Triads often cannot be in a Triad. I think of most one off models in Tohaa like the enablers and the Triads themselves as the follow-up, they don't work as well alone.



ITS Vanilla List

While it's a reality that your lists revolve around the Mission at hand Infinity uses a two-list system for a reason. From what I've seen in the ITS Packet most Missions are very similar in that you need to be able to make WIP Checks with Specialists and take/hold territory. This makes it pretty easy to have a "catch-all" list to get comfortable with and make very small changes to for events as necessary. The other list can then be freed up for more off the wall Missions like Biotechvore. This is what I hope to test (for now) as my catch all.

Tohaa - 300 Points

Group 1

Makaul w/ Heavy Flamethrower, Viral CCW
Kaeltar w/ Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse, 2 SymbioMates
Sakiel w/ Viral Combi Rifle, Nimbus Plus Grenades

Makaul w/ Heavy Flamethrower, Viral CCW
Kaeltar w/ Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse, 2 SymbioMates
Sukeul (Forward Observer) w/ K1 Combi Rifle

Rasail (Lieutenant) w/ Spitfire
Chaksa Peripheral w/ Heavy Flamethrower

Kerail Preceptor w/ Submachine Gun, Smoke Grenades
Surda Symbiobeast w/ Pulzar, Viral CCW

Makaul w/ Heavy Flamethrower, Viral CCW
 
Chaksa Auxiliar (Baggage, Sensor) w/ Heavy Flamethrower
Chaksa Auxiliar (Baggage, Sensor) w/ Heavy Flamethrower


Group 2

Makaul w/ Heavy Flamethrower, Viral CCW
Kamael (Paramedic) w/ Combi Rifle
Gao-Rael w/ Sniper Rifle

Rasail (Lieutenant) w/ Spitfire
Chaksa Peripheral w/ Heavy Flamethrower

Clipsos (Forward Observer) w/ Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines

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There's a few things I like about this list as it sits. For one it has a lot of Specialists, every Triad has at least one and the Clipsos can run free to do her thing. 2/5 are on WIP14, 3/5 are on WIP13, which gives me good odds. I had played with the idea of a Kamael Hacker but they're pricey and do nothing for my army other than push buttons better. In a Mission that's literally all about the Consoles I might take her but otherwise the cost is too much.

Offensively I think the list plays a lot more how Tohaa are geared to work, they want short range firefights. I swapped my HMG Sukeul for a K1 Combi, this should give me better firepower against TAGs and Heavy Infantry than I previously had. While the HMG is overall a better gun in my eyes I didn't like the range bands as getting 16" away from the target of your choice can be very hard. Now the Makaul can deliver the Suekeul which makes it easier to pick fights and I'm getting up the table for board control.

While my only long ranged pieces are the Gao-Rael and debatably Rasail I think they form a good ARO tagteam if the Rasail can go into Suppressive Fire. The goal with the other models is to get in, do what they need to do, and pull back. With all the Triads having access to Smoke Dodge and the forward ones having strong, short ranged, shooters with a template weapon as backup running at them with anything but cheap trading pieces can backfire.

My second Group will either pump Orders to the Rasail or the Gao-Rael depending on need as both are going to be on the Move + Shoot gameplan in most situations whereas the Triads will be doing more with Missions. I also keep the Paramedic back because if there's nothing else to do she can shoot some Medikits at people and more easily respond to Unconscious models while the Kaeltars get to use their WIP.

The first Group is where most of the action is but has some cheerleaders in the Chaksa. I really like having access to Sensor for when Camo players try to get too cute but they're mostly 10pt Orders who will deploy to defend the backfield and function as a sacrificial trade. I also grabbed a Kerail to either enable the Gao-Rael to win firefights or go up a flank and cause trouble. I really wanted that combo because many other Factions bring Total Reaction or Flash Pulse REMs to pin you down via AROs and I only had the Clipsos to counter that which isn't always desirable. I also put the spare Makaul in that group because they're the most likely to take losses whereas the Gao-Rael is at the most risk and if he dies I don't really care about the Triad remnants.

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That's all I've got for now, I hope to put up some more Infinity content sometime this week. Thanks for reading!

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!