Episode 9: Time To Learn Something (Tohaa vs. Military Orders | 300 Points | Looting and Sabotaging)

Happy Halloween weekend to everyone in the US! My favorite time of year almost had a spooky ending as it looked like I wouldn't get a game of Infinity. Fortunately one of my locals, Evan, had a free evening and we setup for a game. Anyone who read my last, non-Battle Report article knows I was hoping to test a new list and as it happens so was Evan. It was also an excuse to play on Evan's amazing table, easily the best I've seen online or in person.



Tohaa

Group 1

Kotail w/ Boarding Shotgun, E/M Grenades

Gao-Rael w/ Spitfire
Sukeul (Forward Observer) w/ K1 Combi Rifle, D-Charges
Makaul w/ Heavy Flamethrower, DA CCW

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

Makaul w/ Heavy Flamethrower, DA CCW
Kaeltar (Chain of Command) w/ Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse, 2 SymbioMates
Kaeltar (Chain of Command) w/ Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse, 2 SymbioMates 

Group 2

Rasail Lieutenant w/ Spitfire
Chaksa Peripheral w/ Heavy Flamethrower

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

Chaksa Auxiliar (Baggage, Sensor) w/ Heavy Flamethrower

Diplomatic Delegate w/ Flash Pulse, Nanopulser



Military Orders

Warcor (Aerocam) w/ Flash Pulse

Tech-Bee (Remote Assistant Lvl 1, Specialist Operative) w/ Flash Pulse

Black Friar (Albedo, Biometric Visor Lvl 1) w/ MULTI Rifle, Nanopulser, Drop Bears

Pathfinder Dronbot w/ Combi Rifle, Sniffer

Sierra Dronbot w/ HMG

Joan of Arc w/ MULTI Rifle, Nanopulser, DA CCW
De Fersen w/ Spitfire
Knight Hospitaller w/ HMG
Knight Hospitaller w/ Boarding Shotgun
Knight Hospitaller (Doctor) w/ MULTI Rifle



Mission and Deployment

Looting and Pillaging is a Mission I hadn't played before but it would fall under the ones that I think my list can handle, swapping the Makauls to DA instead of Viral CCWs of course. I also have the Sukeul and his D-Charges but the Makauls would be my safe crackers if I could get them there. I know I'm up against Military Orders so the game will revolve around if I can break the link and derail Joan. Military Orders are a very easy army to beat in your Active Turn as their Knights aren't all that tough, you just have to weather their storm.

I lost the Lieutenant Roll and Evan chose to go first, so I of course had him deploy first. I stayed where I was because there were some open areas that Evan might have to cross to get to me and I didn't think he'd put the sniper perches to good use. My Classified Objective was HVT: Designation,which is doable with my Forward Observer, but I will probably try to get Secure HVT instead.




 
Evan deployed as expected with the Fireteam in the center, ready to make a run at my AC2. Both REMs were also in the middle, guarding the friendly AC2. The Black Friar went on my right a bit while the Warcor went far left and the Techbee far right. Finally the HVT went on my left a bit, unobstructed. The Sierra Dronbot was the Reserve model.





Right off the bat I make a mistake. I've been trying to make a concerted effort to deploy better as I usually have a few issues which makes the game harder on me. One of my focuses is on only using 2/3rds of the table, I leave one "flank" unguarded. This doesn't work for every Mission but it does for most of them and this would have been a perfect application.

Instead I deploy wide, both Gao-Rael Triads on a far flank. As I looked at my Deployment Zone I realized there was almost no forward cover, at all. So if I pushed my models up they would also be exposed so when Joan and Co. come up my middle I'll just get gunned down. Honestly this put me at a big disadvantage because my plan was to just hold the AC2 for the first turn, then break the Fireteam, and then move up the board and mop up from there. My hope was to get a Makaul Triad up the table a bit on Turn 1 so they could make a dash on Turn 2/3 but I didn't think I could do that and I went off script.

One Gao-Rael Triad went on a building on the left with another behind some scatter, back, on the far right. The Kaeltar Triad went in the middle to try and help keep the AC2 safe along with my Rasail and Kotail. The Baggage Chaksa and Delegate just tried to stay out of trouble in the middle.


 
 My Reserve model was the Kerail Preceptor so he could be in the area of both Gao-Raels for smoke.



Military Orders Turn 1

Going with the assumed plan a few Orders are spent moving the Fireteam forward with the HMG taking the lead. I manage to get a free Spitfire shot with my right Gao-Rael and put a wound on the HMG. However it then moves into Partial Cover and has a few Face to Face rolls with me, killing the Gao-Rael.




 More Movement has the Fireteam start entering my side of the table with De Fersen taking point and fulfilling HVT: Espionage for Evan.




 Not having enough Orders to move forward and take my AC2 the Boarding Shotgun model rounds the corner and has a few goes at my Rasail, putting it into Symbiont Inactive as I failed Guts to hide around the corner. It's also removes my Makaul who tries to Smoke Dodge and defend the alleyway. De Fersen then takes over again and has a Face to Face with both my Kaeltars, one going Unconscious and the other successfully Blinding him. Not wanting to press further the Fireteam positions itself behind the large screen in front of my AC2.








Tohaa Turn 1

 Having lost way too much and feeling very behind I still have to try and blunt the Fireteam for next turn. De Fersen and the Boarding Shotgun Knight are the most exposed with the HMG also having a narrow band where it blocks Joan and the Doctor's LoF should I round the corner on it. I resolve to go for the Boarding Shotgun first as the easiest to remove.

One Order goes to the Kerail who throws a smoke grenade into the alley, blocking my approach with the remaining Gao-Rael. Unfortunately I'd placed them on a building so they have to Jump down, then move into position which wasted an Order. After a few more Orders I manage to remove the Knight despite it almost getting out of LoF by failing Guts.


 The Fireteam still has Sixth Sense Lvl 2 and I don't favor myself against De Fersen with only a few Orders remaining. Instead I give the Sukeul control and start moving forward, putting the Warcor into Unconscious as I do. I did misjudge how far I'd have to go though and only end up with one Order to take out the HMG but I manage to do just that.




At this point I have a few Orders left in Group 2 so taking stock of the situation I feel I need to keep the Rasail safe. I've already lost a Kaeltar and the other one is not in a safe position so avoiding Loss of Lieutenant seems wise. To that end I move the Rasail around the corner to where my Sukeul Triad is, also crossing with the Chaksa. Evan decides to shoot it with both De Fersen and the Doctor, I don't think I'm likely to survive so I just template him back. The Chaksa dies but the Doctor burns to death in a very fortunate outcome for me. The Rasail goes into Suppressive Fire.



Military Orders Turn 2

Only being down three Orders Evan allocates a few to the Black Friar, moving it up and having a Face to Face with my Sukeul. Unfortunately I didn't have the Orders or Movement to get him back into Partial Cover so he's eventually put down by the MULTI Rifle.

Moving back to the middle De Fersen assumes control over the now ruined Fireteam and walks forward, then into base to base with the AC2, as does Joan. There is one firefight between De Fersen and the Kaeltar/Surda Beast, I Dodge with the Beast and Flash Pulse De Fersen as I couldn't see Joan. Sadly I lose and the Kaeltar dies although the Surda Beast lives and ducks around the building.

It's at this point I make a gigantic mistake. I have a free ARO with the Kotail and take it, putting a Boarding Shotgun into Joan. My hope is that although I can't kill her in one go I can soften her and De Fersen while they chop the AC2 which will give me my entire turn to go after Evan's AC2 and get a tie, or win off the Panoplies. What I forgot is the Kotail has E/M Grenades, this was my first time playing with him and I just totally forgot.

What ends up happening is Joan chops the AC2 twice, each time with Burst 2, Martial Arts Lvl 2, and an extra PH from De Fersen. I roll really well on the ARM and it only takes two wounds although Joan and De Fersen take no wounds from my repeated shots with the Boarding Shotgun. Eventually the Orders are exhausted although Joan could have used her Lieutenant Order but Evan chose not to do so.

What should have happened is I get the chance to toss three E/M Grenades on both Joan and De Fersen. With the dice I rolled all of them would have landed, I don't recall Evan's saves but I think at least a few would have landed as he needs 11's to pass. This would have put Joan and De Fersen into Isolated and Immobilized-2, giving me the exact outcome I needed to recover on Turn 2 and 3.





Tohaa Turn 2

 At this point I still have not gotten anything done on the Mission but I have to kill Joan to protect my AC2. I use three Command Tokens to join everyone up and my now Extremely Impetuous Makaul on the left runs out but is able to beat the Black Friar with a Smoke Dodge.

I then start a very long string of events by dropping a Smoke Grenade on my AC2 and then moving down with the Gao-Rael to kill Joan. I start with De Fersen as he's blocking for her, removing him with a Critical and some other good rolls. Joan on the other hand takes forever and probably survives five Face to Face Rolls by Dodging and using her high ARM.


With my last two Orders, one from converting off the Diplomatic Delegate, I get the Makaul one chance to hit the AC2. He's obliterated by the Total Reaction REM but puts a wound on the AC2.



Ending my Turn Evan lets me know he's in Retreat so the game ends there with a score of 5-3 as I trade in my Classified Objective for Secure HVT. Even if the game kept going I think the best I'd be able to do is make it 5-4 by grabbing a Panoplie, my remaining Makaul was in the far back-right corner and I had nothing else that can hurt the AC2. My only remaining Specialists were the Diplomatic Delegate and the Kamael, both in just as poor of positions.



Post-Game Thoughts

 This was the first bad loss I've had in Infinity, which is to say I lost a game that I should not have. Military Orders is frankly a pretty terrible army (sorry Infinity fanboys, the balance isn't THAT perfect) and they have no ability to hang with my list in a fight. This was shown as I had no trouble leveraging my tools to remove the Fireteam, it was just my poor play that made things harder on myself. I was also very advantaged in the Mission because multiple Triads are packing everything they need to easily remove the AC2 in Smoke and Anti-Material attacks.

While I highlighted the mistake with my Kotail, which put the final nail in the coffin for me, I really lost the game during Deployment. This was a perfect example of why I should never be spreading out, leaving my Kamael and Makaul stranded meant I couldn't use them to fix up any Triads and I couldn't get them involved in the game. Had they been in the center or the left I could have used them to very good effect.

I also made the mistake of exposing models foolishly. My Gao-Rael was never going to have a chance against an HMG in a full Fireteam Core, almost nothing in the game can resist that. Looking back at the game I just took the wrong table side, not noticing how little cover my AC2 had around it while Evan had a pretty easy walk up to me. Conversely the alley to Evan's AC2 was very open, granting more AROs.

Frankly I'm still unsure how I should have played the Mission against Military Orders. They seem very suited to removing the AC2 as they're already amazing in Close Combat and during the Active Turn they'll just remove any resistance you have to get to it. The best I can think of is to only deploy models where they have LoF to the AC2 so you're either overwhelmingly ARO'ing their attempts to remove you or their hope of killing the AC2, however with correct movement I think they can get a Burst 5 Joan onto it which is an easy kill. I must say I don't really like this Mission as it's much to straight forward, as the First Turn Player you can comfortably suicide whatever you need to into the AC2 and then know you'll likely tie at worst. For an enjoyable experience both objectives probably need to require longer routes to get to, either forcing you around flanks or over obstacles.

As a silver-lining my list performed well when I wasn't sabotaging it. The method of having many different tools for different jobs worked nicely and everything is pretty flexible. With just his own Lieutenant Order the Rasail can go into Suppressive Fire which is now quite a bit better thanks to him having a Spitfire instead of a Viral Combi Rifle. Similarly the Kotail brings some of his own safety with Holoprojector L2 and of course the Triads hold their own. Evan remarked that he thought my list was very strong but I might have too many Order hungry models. Upon reflection I agree with him but in an odd way, I think the Rasail and Kotail are fine but the Sukeul may not be needed. His K1 is good for handling TAGs and HI but I think the Kotail is actually more reliable for the job. Most TAGs play the back and forth game so getting to them with a K1 isn't always easy but the Kotail is super mobile and can ever Speculative Fire on 9's if needed. TAGs also usually go into Suppressive Fire so winning a Face to Face with the Sukeul wouldn't be easy.

At this point I'm a bit frustrated that I keep making the same mistakes so I'm going to push a bit harder on having notes before each game to tell me how to deploy and so on. Almost all my losses are from getting second turn and losing models for no reason. Some Missions force you to try and stop what your opponent is doing, those are the Missions I think all in Factions like Military Orders and Steel Phalanx can win in. I'll also have to try and figure out a way to play against those normally weak armies when they're at an advantage.

 As a minor remark on Evan's play I think he mostly stuck to by the book moves. Not breaking the two man Fireteam to give Joan one more swing at the AC2 was definitely a mistake, I wouldn't have even gotten an ARO and he likely puts another Wound on it. Other than that it was mostly a game of keeping things fairly safe, which is what I need to learn to do.

I decided not to do a video for this one as there's very little action via pictures and frankly I think it was a bad game so my desire to put production work into it is low. I'll try to get a video done this coming week, I'm just very picky about the games I do videos for because it's a lot of work. Sorry everyone!

Episode 8.2: Iterating on my Main Tohaa Army List

Hey everyone, I decided to write another mini article after taking a few days off from Infinity (Maplestory 2!) and then getting some inspiration to build lists. I'm continually working towards an army that works well in most of the ITS Scenarios because a lot of tournaments seem to have 1-2 "weird" Missions that you bring a very tailored list for and the remaining rounds are fairly vanilla offerings. Having a go to list for most Missions that I'm also very comfortable playing is a good thing to have, as are understanding tweaks that can be made to it once the Missions are known.

Recently I've gotten quite a few games with the list I'd worked on previously, also with help from some of my locals. It is as follows:


 GAO-RAEL Spitfire / Pistol, CCW. (1.5 | 33)
 KAMAEL (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 13)
 MAKAUL Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades / Pistol, Viral CCW. (0 | 13)
 GAO-RAEL Spitfire / Pistol, CCW. (1.5 | 33)
 KAMAEL (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 13)
 MAKAUL Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades / Pistol, Viral CCW. (0 | 13)
 KAMAEL Paramedic (Medikit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
 KAMAEL (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 13)
 KAMAEL (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 13)
 RASAIL Lieutenant Viral Combi Rifle + 1 Chaksa Peripheral / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 39)
  CHAKSA PERIPHERAL Heavy Flamethrower / Pistol, Knife. (- | 4)


 SUKEUL Missile Launcher, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Breaker Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 36)
 KAELTAR (Chain of Command) Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse + 2 SymbioMates / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 21)
 KAELTAR (Chain of Command) Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse + 2 SymbioMates / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 21)
 DIPLOMATIC DELEGATE (iKohl L1, Specialist Operative) Nanopulser, Flash Pulse / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)
 KERAIL PRECEPTOR Submachine Gun, Smoke Grenades + 1 Surda SymbioBeast / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0 | 20)
  SURDA SYMBIOBEAST Pulzar / Viral CCW. (0 | 8)

 5.5 SWC | 300 Points


While the list has been working just fine and only has one loss I've noticed several weird things about it. The first thing is the distribution of what I call the "Murderers", these are you models that are just there to win firefights. For the above army that would be the Gao-Raels, the Rasail, and the Sukeul. Everything else is either a support model or a hybrid support model, such as the Makauls and Kerail Preceptor. While there's nothing wrong with these choices I began to notice that when I lost these models the list broke down. With so much support I'd be making Triads out of Kamaels and Makauls eventually which is not the best place to be.

I also don't find myself loving the Missile Launcher Sukeul. When it hits it's great but Missile Launchers seem so much better in a Fireteam Core, it's hard to win firefights with Burst 2 but adding +3 BS and Sixth Sense Lvl 2 really plugs up a lot of the holes that the weapon can have. The weapon looks great for killing TAGs/Remotes and threatening Fireteams but in practice I don't think this will be the case. TAG focused armies usually retreat their big model with the last few Orders so a static, low Order model like my Sukeul won't be able to give chase. Similarly Fireteams just have to exercise caution until the template is removed, there is value in dictating how your opponent has to move but in this situation I don't know that it's worth the trade-off.

Lastly I've been really noticing that my army cannot "go and get" models, meaning threaten things that are in the backfield. While not every list has to have this I think it's a very strong toolbox inclusion and lets you attack Death Star armies (Avatar, Military Orders) in other ways. This led me to want another Tohaa Soloist as getting a Triad into the backfield is very optimistic or VERY Order intensive, especially with me using Gao-Raels. So I went to the drawing board.


 KOTAIL Boarding Shotgun, E/M Grenades / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 31)
 GAO-RAEL Spitfire / Pistol, CCW. (1.5 | 33)
 SUKEUL (Forward Observer) K1 Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Breaker Pistol, Knife. (0 | 32)
 MAKAUL Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades / Pistol, Viral CCW. (0 | 13)
 GAO-RAEL Spitfire / Pistol, CCW. (1.5 | 33)
 KAMAEL Paramedic (Medikit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
 MAKAUL Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades / Pistol, Viral CCW. (0 | 13)
 MAKAUL Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades / Pistol, Viral CCW. (0 | 13)
 KAELTAR (Chain of Command) Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse + 2 SymbioMates / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 21)
 KAELTAR (Chain of Command) Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse + 2 SymbioMates / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 21)


 RASAIL Lieutenant Spitfire + 1 Chaksa Peripheral / Pistol, Knife. (2 | 39)
  CHAKSA PERIPHERAL Heavy Flamethrower / Pistol, Knife. (- | 4)
 KERAIL PRECEPTOR Submachine Gun, Smoke Grenades + 1 Surda SymbioBeast / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0 | 20)
  SURDA SYMBIOBEAST Pulzar / Viral CCW. (0 | 8)
 CHAKSA AUXILIAR (Baggage, Sensor) Heavy Flamethrower / Pistol, CCW. (0 | 10)
 DIPLOMATIC DELEGATE (iKohl L1, Specialist Operative) Nanopulser, Flash Pulse / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 5)

 6 SWC | 298 Points


The above list fills the holes I mentioned and lets me do some other interesting things. As I mentioned the Missile Launcher has been swapped out for a K1 Combi, this preserves the role of the Sukeul but changes how he pursues it. As part of a forward Triad he can hunt a bit more although he loses the role of an ARO model. I retain the Forward Observer even though I dropped the Kamael, I really like having a Specialist in every Triad, and I get D-Charges for certain Missions and the Classified Objective. I was also able to save some Points and the SWC which will come up later.

Moving down I also eliminated the "filler" Triad, in my experience this was just too much filler for a list with the three Kamaels or two Kamels and Makaul just standing around. They got replaced by a Kotail, a model I really wanted to try as a backline disruptor. In early drafts I had him with a Spitfire but I want to try a Boarding Shotgun for a bit. The Kotail has the speed to get with 8" and access to either AP or a Template is very valuable, as are the EM Grenades. Now I have two models which can help out with high ARM in addition to all the tricks Super Jump and Holoecho bring.

For backfill I use the Kaeltars and the Makaul, which can be in a Triad if I want them to be. Otherwise I can just cancel the Triad whenever I want and use the Makauls Impetuous Order for Eclipse Smoke. Having that flexibility is nice as the Kaeltars are decent backline guardians, especially with a Burst 2 Flash Pulse on WIP14.

Moving to Group 2 I'm down an Order compared to my other list but in play I didn't find that to be a big deal. Previously the Orders would go to the Kerail or the Sukeul but often times neither would have a use for all of them. In this instance I can give Orders to the Rasail, Kerail, or even go for a Sensor with the Baggage Chaksa. Both the Chaksa and Kerail are typically Order light and situational while the Rasail will usually get the bulk of the pool and has access to up to five Orders with Lieutenant and converting the Irregular. Removing the Spitfire from the Kotail also let me add one to the Rasail, I think the gun is MUCH better fit for him because the Rasail needs help winning firefights which more Burst and a more forgiving range band helps with. The Spitfire is also more menacing in Suppressive Fire which will be a common state for him, even if I push Orders onto the other models he still has the Lieutenant Order.

I see the Kotail as the biggest change to the list and for the role I wanted Tohaa only have three options. The Igao is a melee bruiser with Camo but that's hard to deliver against some armies and Frenzy makes it almost a certainty that the model is one and done, not my favorite. The other option is a Gao-Tarsos but with PH12 and no way to buff the Combat Jump it's quite risky, also he can't be given a SymbioMate. I feel like the cheap Combat Jump models are the way to go because you don't really mind if they die due to a bad scatter or something.

While the Kotail has some anti-synergy (SymbioMate removes the shell game of Holoecho) it seems like the best and most flexible option. Super Jump is a very strong rule and with Holoecho granting Surprise Shot it's very likely to make the initial shots hit. I like the Boarding Shotgun because it helps with the mediocre BS (for an expensive combat model) and it's more flexible. Typically I favor high Burst for winning firefights instead of deadlier weapons for better odds at removal but being able to strip Partial Cover via Super Jump, access to +6 from the Shotgun, and Surprise Shot should be enough.

Right now the only thing I don't like about the list is being 2 Points down. This isn't a big deal as I can upgrade the Baggage Chaksa into something else, I just need to see if that's worth doing. My initial choice would be a Kaauri Sentinel but both models have niche uses. The Chaksa isn't the best backline coverage because he only has a Template but Sensor is very good for stripping forward Camo or trying a sweep at Hidden Deployment. The Sentinel excels more as a backfield watcher because of the SMGs, he also has Templates, and a Nullifier which is really only good against Combined (for me). He's okay at Discovering Camo thanks to MSV1 and he stops Impersonation dead although that's not the most common rule and it's already degraded in most situations against Tohaa. On paper I prefer the Chaksa because Camo/TO Camo being much more commonly played rules than things like Combat Jump but time will tell.

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My philosophy about Tohaa lists has continued to evolve as I've played more of them and learned more about Infinity. Tohaa seem to thrive with a mid-range amount of Orders, not spammy with 18+ and not with one Combat Group but somewhere in the 14-16 realm. This is because we lack truly cheap Orders, our line troops are 12pts minimum and our cheapest Regular Order is 10pts. While spammable Fireteams do make horde style lists more effective our cheap models don't do a good job of holding up their end and taking them en masse ignores most of the Factions strengths.

I used to try and sneak in all the Triads I could but now I feel 2-3 is a great number. Having 1-2 shooters and a Makaul is a very strong Triad especially when a shooter can be a Specialist Sakiel or Sukeul. While Kamaels are cheaper the +6pts to upgrade it to a Sakiel for +1 BS, +1 Wound, Nimbus Plus Grenades, and Courage is a pretty good trade. If I had the wiggle room in my list I'd certainly take it. In fact I have the option of downgrading the "loose" Makaul to a Baggage Chaksa and swap the Kamael Paramedic to a Sakiel Forward Observer and I may just take that after some testing.

The reason I favor fewer, more elite Triads is because I think of them like real-world tanks. They're slow and there's some places they can't get to but their frontal assault power is unmatched, it's vrey hard for armies to blunt a multiple wound model in the Active Turn. Having a fleet of tanks is a wonderful thing until you take an engagement they're not suited for, which is why I find myself loving the solo models more and more. Usually these can scalpel out whatever my opponent tries to entrap me with which then frees up the Triad to go to town.

It's also starting to feel like Tohaa are not supposed to have dedicated ARO pieces. Most Factions have Total Reaction REMs and Tohaa does as well with the HMG Chaksa, however the inability to buff it and a lack of Remote Presence are big hits and I don't like them all that much. I've also tried a Missile Launcher Sukeul and Sniper Rifle Gao-Rael, I think the Sukeul is the closest offering because of Mimetism and BS 13 making up for the low Burst. Instead it seems better to condense your army for AROs because of how mobile Tohaa are, collapse for the Reactive Turn and expand for the Active Turn. The idea is to overlap so many AROs that at best your opponent will be trading whatever he brings in. I have to get better at moving my army like that but it feels like the best solution to me, leaving things out to ARO usually just results in them dying to expend a few Orders. Sometimes that's what you want but often times it isn't.

In any case that's where I am with Tohaa for the time being, I hope to get a few games with my new list this week so stay tuned for that. I've made quite a few changes to how I'll be doing my video Battle Reports, I'm very excited to get another one up this week and get feedback on it.

Episode 8: The Runback (Tohaa vs. Nomads | 300 Points | Safe Area)

Time for more Infinity! This week was a slow one for me as I only got two games in and stupidly forgot my camera for one of them. I'll have an article out touching on the game at some point as I made a lot of mistakes from a micro perspective but did a great job at the macro level so I'll talk about that a bit.

This game has me up against Dylan and his Nomads again. Dylan is a very regular opponent of mine from when I played 40K and he's a great person to play, in all the time I've known him he never gets angry, makes excuses, or is a poor sport. Both of us are trying to jam as many games as possible to prepare for upcoming tournaments but this time we just randomized a Mission (shoutout to the CommLog App, Arizona grown!) and got Safe Area.



Tohaa

Combat Group 1

Gao-Rael w/ Spitfire
Kamael (Forward Observer) w/ Combi Rifle
Makaul w/ Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades

Gao-Rael w/ Spitfire
Kamael (Forward Observer) w/ Combi Rifle
Makaul w/ Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades

 Kamael (Paramedic) w/ Combi Rifle
Kamael (Forward Observer) w/ Combi Rifle
Makaul w/ Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades

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


Combat Group 2

Sukeul w/ Missile Launcher, Light Shotgun
Kaeltar (Chain of Command) w/ Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse, 2 SymbioMates
 Kaeltar (Chain of Command) w/ Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse, 2 SymbioMates

Diplomatic Delegate w/ Flash Pulse, Nanopulser

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


For this game I made a minor tweak to my list that I've wanted to test for awhile, swapping one of the Forward Observer Kamaels for a Makaul. The reason for this is to have some more offensive output in that Triad, more smoke access to deliver the Paramedic, and just to have another Makaul around for backfill. This may be how I play the list moving forward, I still have tons of Specialists to go around.



Nomads

  Combat Group 1

Intruder w/ HMG, Grenades

Kriza Borac w/ HMG

Tsyklon w/ Spitfire, Pitcher

Interventor Hacker Lieutenant (Hacking Device Plus) w/ Combi Rifle

Bandit Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) w/ Light Shotgun, Adhesive Launcher

Moran (Forward Observer) w/ Combi Rifle, CrazyKoalas

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

Jaguar w/ Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades
Jaguar w/ Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades


Combat Group 2

Spektr (Forward Observer) w/ Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines
Alguacil w/ Combi Rifle



Mission and Deployment

 Safe Area is a pretty straight-forward Mission so we'll likely just be shooting each other and making a Turn 3 play for Consoles and Quadrants. In Missions with Xenotechs I like to try and get them done right away, otherwise you can lose the model that it's sync'd to and it just gets messy. I also have plenty of Specialists and some should make it to the end of the game to at least play for my "home" Consoles.

For the table I have been working on improving at setting up terrain, there were a few long lanes of fire but not without plenty of scatter and corners to poke out from. I'm partial to larger buildings in the center to prevent things like HMGs and Sniper Rifles from setting up shop all game. I've also come to the conclusion that Infinity tables should not be setup "fairly" because of how strong Turn 1 can be, having meaningful choices between an alpha strike or good positioning feels correct.


 Dylan won the Lieutenant Roll and took first turn, probably the correct choice for the Mission. Although everything comes down to a last turn grab the first two turns are all positioning and fighting so if you can hit hard and fast it makes sense to do that. I had Dylan deploy first.

Starting on my right we have the Tsyklon on the far flank, supported by a Camo Token more towards the center. There's a Prone Algaucil on a building with a Jaguar and Moran nearby and a Prone Interventor on a building in the back. Moving towards my left is another Camo Token, the HVT, another Jaguar, and the Kriza with the Xenotech. Finishing off is a Camo Token on he far left flank.




 One of the tenants I'm trying to stick to for Deployment is to only put models on 2/3rds of the table so I can bunker up and have more meaningful AROs. Looking at the table there is a small Line of Fire to the Tsyklon if it pokes out and without much else over there I decided to focus on the center and left. One Gao-Rael Triad goes on the far left with the other in the center and the Sukeul team takes a building in between. I put the Rasail in the center with my Xenotech and use his Chaksa as well as the Diplomat to feign on the right a bit. Lastly the Kamael Triad goes behind the building, the FO poking out a bit to help with AROs.




 For Reserve models Dylan puts down another Camo Token, I know he's playing the same list so I strongly suspect that's the Intruder. It goes down near the Moran with a Jaguar nearby for smoke assistance. I place my Kerail Preceptor near the Kamael Triad, ready to support both of the Gao-Rael teams.





Nomads Turn 1

 Having reduced the Main Group Orders by two Dylan gets to work and uses his Lieutenant Order to put Assisted Fire on the Tsyklon and then pokes out with it just enough to see only the Sukeul. I'm at straight dice and the Tsyklon is only at -3 because he's ignoring my Partial Cover and has an X-Visor, sadly I lose the Face to Face and have to spend the SymbioMate.


 Dylan then moves the Kriza forward, staying out of LoF from my Sukeul, however his second move does open up a Flash Pulse shot which goes off and Blinds the Kriza.


 Switching gears again Dylan uses a Coordinated Order on a Jaguar, the Reserve Camo Token, and another Camo Token, just moving up with everyone. A Jaguar then takes two Orders to drop a Smoke Grenade with another Order going to the Camo Token, revealing the Intruder who shoots my Sukeul.



I will be at -12 overall if I shoot back because of Zero Visibility, Camo and Surprise Shot so I choose to Dodge Prone for slightly better odds. I fail but the Intruder only lands one shot, which I pass the ARM for, and fail Guts on purpose to go Prone.


 With the Order Pool being low a Camo Token gets an Irregular Order, tipping me off that it's a Bandit, and just moves a bit. There's then another Coordinated Order to put the Kriza, Intruder, Interventor, and Moran into Suppressive Fire. The Tsyklon also repositions slightly for the coming turn.




Tohaa Turn 1

I made it through Turn 1 without any losses despite a great run at my Sukeul but now I have to fight for the mid-field against quite a bit of Suppressive Fire models. After some consideration I give the Lieutenant Order to the Rasail and move forward, forgetting about the Tsyklon. I try to Dodge as I'm not going far but I fail and eat the Wound, hoping to save the SymbioMate.

Another Order goes on the Rasail who moves forward again along with the Chaksa, the former getting shot by the HMG and the latter taking a Spitfire shot. The Jaguar also Smoke Dodges, I fail my Rasail's Dodge but pass on the Chaksa, burning the SymbioMate, and the Smoke Grenade lands.




Moving over to the Gao-Rael he moves left to get LoF on the Intruder, who shoots back, but I land a critical and drop it to Unconscious. This largely frees up the right side of the table as only the Tsyklon is threatening on that side and will need a few Orders to get back into the action.



With one offensive threat down I take a look at the Kriza, tapping the Sukeul to handle him. Dylan left the Kriza out of Cover so I would be at straight dice against it while I can put the HMG at -9 or possibly out of range. With a few Orders to move while Prone I get the Sukeul in position but only put the Kriza on a -9, which means I wasted an Order moving too much.


 In the Face to Face I land both Missiles, dropping the Kriza Unconscious. Sadly I wasn't able to use Blast Mode because of the Xenotech, otherwise I'd be clipping the Camo Token and likely take that out as well. With two Orders left for Group 2, should I convert the Irregular, I see a play with the Kerail. If I can eyeball the distance just right I can Pulzar the Kriza, not hit the Xenotech or HVT, and grab the Camo Token because it's not Prone. Unfortunately I didn't have the Movement to get there and try so I just set the Kerail and Surda Beast as defensively as I could.


Going back to Group 1 I give an Order to the Rasail, moving him up more, and Dylan reveals a Spektr on the right side. Once again I Dodge and the Chaksa survives, having now exposed the TO Camo as an added bonus. Another Order plants the Multiscanner successfully.


 To finish the Turn I move the Rasail again and put him in Suppressive Fire to cover to alleys after the Chaksa eats a Krazy Koala on purpose, dying in the effort. My Gao-Rael on the right also has a go at the Jaguar there but he makes his ARM Saves and fails Guts into Total Cover.






Nomads Turn 2

 Both the Alguacil and Spektr get moved into Group 1 with the last of Dylan's Command Tokens, giving him a full compliment of Orders. Once again the Lieutenant Order puts Assisted Fire on the Tsyklon who moves up more and shoots the Rasail. I respond with a Dodge as I'm out of range, passing and moving around the corner to avoid LoF.


Getting more Orders the Tskylon is able to remove my Diplomat and then start shooting the Gao-Rael. I answer back by shooting and Smoke Dodge with a Makaul, all shots go to the Gao-Rael. My Eclipse Smoke lands unopposed but I lose the SymbioMate, then going Unconscious on the next Order and breaking the Triad. This was a pretty dumb mistake on my part, I should have just put the smoke over my whole Triad to protect them as the Gao-Rael was at B2, -6 to B4 +3.




With his robotic bloodlust not yet sated the Tsyklon crosses two buildings, getting LoF to quite a few models. I Dodge with the Surda Beast and Smoke Dodge with the Kerail, also tossing a Flash Pulse in for good measure. The Surda Beast goes Unconscious as there's no reason to Dogged and I could try to pick it up later if needed.


All remaining Orders reposition the Tsyklon, a Camo Token (Bandit) and the Spektr so everyone is in better fighting positions. However the Xenotech is still unclaimed and there's no bodies on Consoles yet so Dylan's last turn is likely to be very movement heavy. With that I want to remove as many Orders as I can so I can have a fairly unopposed final turn.




Tohaa Turn 2

With one of my Makauls now being free he runs towards the Tsyklon, who shoots, and I Smoke Dodge, winning the Face to Face. Looking at the board there are three Camo Tokens left but I'm far from two of them. Both Jaguars are far back and in Total Cover while the Alguacil and Interventor are Prone in places I can't get to. This leaves the Tsyklon, Spektr, and Moran as the easiest targets to pick off, this would net me two Specialist kills as well.


Knowing that I dropped my Eclipse Grenade as far as I could while staying within 8", giving me a free run to the Tsyklon. With two Orders the Makaul got into Melee, bouncing off the first time and putting the REM Unconscious with another swing.

I then move up and put down another Eclipse Grenade to protect myself from the Moran, taking an Order and engaging the Spektr who is easily put down thanks to Martial Arts and i-Kohl. Looking at the Order pool I won't be able to make it to the Moran so I just back off hope to have a go next turn. What I should have done is put him near the Console so if the Camo Token or Moran goes for it I can Engage or hit them with the Heavy Flamethrower.




Not having many Orders left the Kamael Paramedic tries to revive the Gao-Rael but lands both MediKits with the Gao-Rael making and failing PH Rolls, keeping him Unconscious. The Sukeul then hoofs it to another building so he can either shoot or ARO the Moran. Because of how few Orders I have he eats a Flash Pulse unopposed, being Blinded, and then takes a Combi as well but isn't damaged. I place the Kerail in Suppressive Fire.



The last Orders for Group 1 go to the upright Gao-Rael who moves and then does a Discover+BS Attack on what I know to be a Bandit. It shoots back but I kill it.



Nomads Turn 3

Unfortunately I'd killed a bit too much and Dylan said he was in Retreat, ending the game. This gave a score of 5-1 as I traded my Classified Objective in for Secure HVT and had placed the Multiscanner but we held the same amount of Quadrants.

Looking over the game on Army Builder it doesn't seem like this was the case though as Dylan had around 100 Points left. This was likely just a miscount on the points so now we enter the murky "What would have happened" waters. I think with 6 Orders and the Lieutenant Dylan would have hard-pressed to get everything done that he needed to, the left Console and Xenotech are under heavy ARO watch but the right Console is pretty open. The play would probably be to get one and then just try to kill stuff.

On my turn I can put Triads wherever I need with Eclipse Smoke, almost certainly dominating more Quadrants as I just pile in on the left. My free Makaul might be able to remove whatever model was on the right Console but I think the most likely outcome is a 8-0 win.



Post-Game Thoughts

I'll start with myself on this one. I think I had a good Deployment as there were few free avenues for Dylan to approach, losing the initial Face to Face with the Tsyklon was a bummer but B2 +/- vs. B4 -3 is very dicey, I should have put something else along that avenue to distract some of the shots. Looking back I'm also not sure what the plan was with my Rasail on Turn 1, he should have just waited until I cleared out at least the Intruder. I'd still have eaten the Spitfire shot as I just tunnel-visoned and missed the REM but there was also room to move him with smoke if I hadn't done that.

My plan with the Kerail was also a bit bold, I had to be very accurate with the template placement and I should have just waited another Turn to try that. Moving up that far got the Surda Beast killed for nothing, I really just need to keep that duo back unless they're going to get a lot of the Group 2 Orders for a specific goal. While I don't play the model well I'm realizing how it fits into my list with more games played so hopefully I'll improve.

Beyond that I think I played pretty well, fighting for the middle well and picking good firefights. I am noticing it's hard for my army to "go get" models that are hiding, Prone, etc. but I think that's normal outside of Combat Jump/Infiltrate access. My fear is that long-ranged pieces will shoot me and then just hide out with the remaining Orders, quite a bit of that depends on the table and Deployment though.

Moving to Dylan, he had a bad game as much as it saddens me to say. Leaving the Kriza exposed so much, not putting it in Partial Cover or spending an Order to try and drop the Multiscanner, and giving me a free Flash Pulse were also big blunders with arguably the most important model in the army. Once it died there was very little to challenge my Sukeul and I could start throwing my weight around if I wanted to. Similarly the Intruder was exposed, I think the last Orders would have been better spent moving him back or even into Total Cover. While a Suppressive Fire HMG is scary there's quite a few ways to deal with models in that state so the decision becomes are you trying to keep the model alive or exchange it for a bunch of Orders. I think at that point it would have been best to keep the model alive.

With both of those models dying being the big turn in the game the Tsyklon was a fiend and buffing it with the Lieutenant Order was very cheeky. Since I have nothing to Hack and there's very little to endanger he Interventor it's a perfectly good strategy, I was lucky to remove it with the Makaul because if he went down it's probably the Sukeul's task.

I know Dylan doesn't have all the models he wants, mainly more REMs like the TR and Flash Pulse Bots. I think using those in a second, small Combat Group would be much better than the Spektr. As is he doesn't have enough Orders to work with to go on a rampage and the list isn't about him. I'd also probably move the Intruder back to a Multi-Sniper, the HMG is scary but the Multi-Sniper is more versatile with AP or DA.

I would probably drop the Spektr and a Jaguar along with the Alguacil for two Transductor Zonds and a Reaktion Zond. Looking over Morans I also don't know if I'm a fan of them, I don't know Nomads the best but they have awkward skills. Infiltration but no Camo/TO Camo, just Mimetism, with not the best gun selection and a Repeater for ~20pts. Feels like Zeros just overshadow them, being only 1 BS worse, but having Mines, actual Camo, and slightly cheaper. It's not as though you're hurting for Repeaters in Nomads and there's better models to just walk around winning firefights with.

Normally I wouldn't do this but because I know Dylan personally, I might fool around with something like this:


 TSYKLON Spitfire, Pitcher / Electric Pulse. (1 | 31)
 TRANSDUCTOR ZOND Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
 TRANSDUCTOR ZOND Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
 REAKTION ZOND HMG / Electric Pulse. (1 | 26)
 ZERO (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 19)
 ZERO (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 19)
 KRIZA BORAC HMG / Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (2 | 54)
 BRAN DO CASTRO Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, DA CCW. (0 | 33)
 INTERVENTOR Hacker Lieutenant (Hacking Device Plus) Combi Rifle, 1 FastPanda / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 27)
 INTRUDER (X-Visor) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, CCW. (1.5 | 43)

GROUP 22 
 CLOCKMAKER Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18)
 ZONDBOT Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)
 JAGUAR Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, DA CCW. (0 | 10)

 6 SWC | 299 Points



Nomad Players feel free ti light me up if that army is an abortion but it seems to have good bones. Four Specialists, all of whom can be VERY safe during the game, with the Clockmaker and Jaguar being in Group 2 as not very Order hungry. Either throw a couple of Smoke Grenades for the army or run the Zondbot around and fix up the REMs.



The Main Group has all the killers but there's more variety. Need to shoot stuff from far away? Hit up the Kriza and Intruder. Need to get up close and remove problem models? Brando Castro for the win. The Tsyklon also still hangs around for mid-range shooting and a forward Repeater while the Interventor now also has his own Fast Panda. The ARO game is also much improved with the REM additions and overall there's less models which feel like they're in the list for no reason, at least to me.

That's all I have this time, thanks for reading!