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!

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