Episode 12: Broken Bones Can't Keep Me From My Fated Path (Tohaa vs. Invincible Army | Frostbyte)

I have returned, back to Infinity and back to Battle Reports! Last week I was in a motorcycle accident and broke my ankle so I was away from the tabletop for a bit, now things have stabilized enough that I can get to the shop at times for a game. I'm also finalizing my home table so hopefully I can put that to good use soon.

For this game I'm against one of my regular opponents and the person who helped get me into the game: Tim. Tim plays quite a few Factions to good effect, including ISS and Vanilla Yu Jing, but is trying out the newly released Invincible Army Sectorial. I had a look at them, and all the new stuff, before the game but I'm still not very familiar with Yu Jing and having not played in several weeks I'm out of practice in general. So for this game I was just hoping to get back on the horse and knock off some rust.

We also agree to play Frostbyte as there is a local Tournament in a few weeks with a winter theme, if you've been reading for a bit you probably remember the Crashed Sleigh Custom Mission I tested. While I'm not sure if I'll be able to attend (one leg makes it hard) I was happy to get Tim practice. I also think Frostbyte is one of the better designed Missions so it's always fun to play. Let's get into some lists!


Combat Group 1

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

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

Kaauri Sentinel w/ Submachine Gun, 2 Nanopulsers, Nullifier
Chaksa Auxiliar (Baggage, Sensor) w/ Heavy Flamethrower
Chaksa Auxiliar (Baggage, Sensor) w/ Heavy Flamethrower
Chaksa Auxiliar (Baggage, Sensor) w/ Heavy Flamethrower

Combat Group 2

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

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

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

Krakot Renegade w/ Submachine Gun, Chest Mine
Krakot Renegade w/ Submachine Gun, Chest Mine

This list is a bit of a blend of many other lists I've built. I don't know if I'd play it in Frostbyte, it's certainly not bad but there might be improvements to be made for that Mission. I am decent at getting Specialists into mid-field with the Clipsos and Sukeul but one more easy delivery would be appreciated, likely in the other Triad.

I'm still experimenting with Krakots, I really love them as either suicide pieces or just to hold back and make a Turn 2-3 run with. They very reliably trade and all but one MetaChemistry result is great for them so they are also quite reliable which I am a big fan of. I'm also taking a Kaauri instead of another Chaksa because I wouldn't have anything valuable to get with the extra two points and having an MSV1 guy around isn't that bad. Double Nanopulsers trades up well and also cleans up the back lines, people are waking up to how good Combat Jump is now so being able to hold that kind of stuff off is really valuable.

Invincible Army

Combat Group 1

Liu Xing (Specialist Operative) w/ MULTI Rifle, D-Charges

Shang Ji w/ Heavy Rocket Launcher, Light Shotgun
Pangguling FTO (Repeater) w/ Light Shotgun
Zhanshi (Forward Observer) w/ Combi Rifle
Zhanshi w/ Combi Rifle, Light Grenade Launcher
Zhanshi w/ HMG

Hulang w/ 2 Submachine Guns, E/M Grenade, D-Charges
Daoying Lieutenant L2 (Hacking Device) w/ Boarding Shotgun

Chaiyi Yaokong w/ Flash Pulse, Sniffer

Rui Shi w/ Spitfire

Combat Group 2

Liu Xing w/ Boarding Shotgun

Chaiyi Yaokong w/ Flash Pulse, Sniffer

Zhanshi Yishng w/ Combi Rifle


Pangguling (Minesweeper, Repeater)

Without knowing much about IA I can't give great commentary about Tim's list but overall I liked it. The new Hacker Lieutenant with two free Orders is great, you put up Marksmanship L2 on a REM and then can reposition her, hack something, etc. and it comes at no cost, a great buff-bot. I also like the two Liu Xing, one is very predictable but with their price I think two is less so. They clear chaff very well and are super survivable for a drop troop.

The Fireteam Core isn't as sexy as it could be, I'd be looking at a Paramedic more than a Forward Observer for this type of list. The HMG is pretty easy to remove when he's in the Reactive Turn which can leave just the Heavy Rocket Launcher guy. The LGL Zhanshi feels a bit out of place, he's a tertiary gunner at best and his only real use is Speculative Fire, often a last-resort. Overall the list has all the tools though, quite a few Specialists, all range bands covered with redundancy, and quite a few sneaky tricks for a face-punch Sectorial.

Deployment and Pre-Game Thoughts

Going into the game I felt that Tim would be advantaged as IA is the Heavy Infantry Faction and that plays very well into Frostbyte. Even with that I felt like I could win if I played well, the main focus was to keep hammering multi-Wound models until they were dead instead of just having them Guts behind Cover and live to shoot again. I was also very aware that there may be a Hac-Tao, I have the tools to kill it but if it's an HMG in Suppressive that gets VERY hard. With a Kerail for Smoke Grenades the Gao-Raels can do it but I don't have them in this build.

Tim won the Lieutenant Roll and took the First Turn, probably a good idea as his list is quite aggressive. That being said Frostbyte has some heavy advantages for going second, you get perfect information on where your models can survive the cold and you can go for some surprise Heating Unit kills.

Tim spreads out a bit, focusing his strength on the flanks with the Fireteam Core on my left and both Flash Pulse REMs, a Camo Token, and Doctor on my right. The Hulang went more central, hiding behind a building, while the Yaozao and Pangguling Minesweeper hid in the back center. At this point I asked how the Combat Groups were organized and Tim indicated 8 Orders in the main group so I knew there was something coming in off the table. In our meta we just ask each other to turn around and take pictures for Hidden Deployment, since that didn't happen I knew there wasn't a Hac Tao.

My Deployment was a bit all over, since I haven't played in awhile I figured I wouldn't do it in a way that makes me happy. The focus was to keep my back line clean which does require spreading out, otherwise the Combat Jumper can come in behind a building and start carefully moving through the army. I also saw no Template Weapons from Tim other than the Rocket/LGL and some Shotguns but nothing on models that can be thrown away easily so bunching up and hiding is viable.

Starting from my left I have a Chaksa, the Sukeul Triad, a Krakot a bit forward (6-4 Movement and Super-Climb), another Chaksa, the Gao-Rael Triad, spare Kaeltar, remaining Chaksa, Rasail, and Kaauri. My Clipsos Hidden Deployed to the second Heating Unit on my side, this is because I forgot how the Mission worked and what each Objective represented, horrible play on my part. Normally I would have put her onto the middle or left Console, with the Fireteam Core there hose will be the hard ones to reach.

Tim placed a Rui Shi as his last model, now having a more serious threat on the right hand side. I placed my last Krakot who also rolled up 6-4 Movement and Super-Climb, putting it a bit forward but outside the Exclusion Zone. After clarifying Order Pools I reduced Group 1 by two to prevent as much rush down as possible, with a Combat Jumper, Fireteam, and the REM all in Group 1 it won't be feasible to develop them all and have a run at my army.

Invincible Army Turn 1

Starting off the Daoying uses a Lieutenant Order and puts Marksmanship L2 on the Rui Shi, indicating that it's going to be his primary offensive piece for the Turn. The REM begins moving up the table and Tim starts checking Lines of Fire.

At this point I've made a few mistakes. For one I did not know that HVTs do not block Line of Fire which leaves me a bit more exposed from the far-right than I'd hoped. Also my Gao-Rael Sniper does not have arcs on him yet and the way I placed him does not give him LoF to the far-right, meaning the Rui Shi can shoot unopposed.

Tim opted for that line of play, swiftly taking off the SymbioMate and then reducing the Gao-Rael to Symbiont Inactive with another Order, I failed Guts behind Total Cover. In all honesty the Rui Shi had around a 75% chance of winning those Face to Face Rolls anyways but it would have been nice to have a try at it.

Switching gears the second Lieutenant Order from the Daoying, putting up Controlled Jump. A Liu Xing attempted to come down and after a lot of LoF checking Tim decided to drop right on my Gao-Rael Triad. With the PH Roll made I had three models that were taking a Damage 12 from Explosion LX and four AROs. My Makaul Engaged, the Gao-Rael Dodged, and both Kaeltars shot, one with a Flash Pulse and one with a Pistol. In hindsight I should have opted for two Flash Pulses, I'm not going to kill the Liu Xing before it can act in all likelihood but if it's Blind then there's not much to fear.

I get pretty lucky on the dice, Engaging the Liu Xing, landing a Wound with a PIstol, and Dodging with the Gao-Rael. Tim is now pretty pinned as it's very unlikely the Liu Xing can out-fight my Makaul and even with Bio-Immunity he's saving on 12's when you add my Martial Arts.

Tim decides to put that to the side and instead moves his Fireteam, getting the HMG and Heavy Rocket Launcher into very dominating ARO positions. This is because the table has multiple, long and open corridors, not something I normally like but Tim took good advantage of them.

To my surprise Tim brings in another Liu Xing, this time from Group 1, sticking the PH Roll and landing in my Deployment Zone. The placement was a bit off and I'd be able to ARO with my Kaauri and several other models, however since his intent was for the Kaauri not to see me I let him adjust that. This dropped a Template on my Kaeltar and the Rasail's Chaksa, killing the latter, but again I do a Wound with one of the Kaeltars.

The Liu Xing then gets an Order and Idles, I respond with the same AROs to shoot back. Tim spreads his shots, one into the Gao-Rael and each Kaeltar, putting the Gao-Rael Unconscious but losing the Liu Xing to my Light Shotgun.

Now Tim is in a rough spot, the second Group is all about the Liu Xing but it's stuck in Combat. Because my Triad is broken I can CC for "free" with the Makaul, likely killing the Liu Xing or worst case just keeping it stuck there. With that in mind Tim decides to CC me, which I win but he makes the ARM Roll.

Not wanting to do that again Tim goes back to the Rui Shi, moving up and killing my Krakot who fails to Dodge. I might have had a Chest Mine ARO looking back but I'm not sure it would have reached, I should have tried though as the Dodge was very unlikely to work. The Rui Shi continues on and decides to shoot into Combat, which is risky. Unfortunately for me Tim's dice roll perfectly, missing two shots and hitting the Makaul twice. As the Makaul was only being hit on 1-9 and the Liu Xing on 10-15 I was hoping for a trade at worst.

With the Liu Xing now free it gets an Order and Idles, I shoot back with both Kaeltars. I believe Tim again split his shots here but I win both Face to Face Rolls and remove the Liu Xing in a nice break after Tim's great dice. With the rest of Group 2 being relatively dead the Yisheng goes into Suppressive Fire and Tim passes the Turn.

Tohaa Turn 1

I start the Turn down two Orders in Group 1 and one in Group 2, I declined to use the Krakots Impetuous Order as he'd be mercilessly gunned down by the Fireteam Core the moment he leaves his little shack. I also have to remove the Rui Shi and take back my side of the table, unfortunately I'm lacking a solid model to do so. The Rasail is available but if I break cover to get LoF I'll also take shots from the HMG.

To that end I reveal the Clipsos in a Marker State and move into LoF, Tim Delays. I Surprise Shot the REM but it ignores my TO Camo as it has MSV2, which I knew but just forgot in the moment. I'm still favored though with more Burst and Surprise Shot but we end up just bouncing on dice.

Instead of using the Clipsos I use the Group 1 Kealtar, putting two Light Shotgun blasts into the REM. With me being on 17's and Tim on 12's I win the Face to Face and put the REM Unconscious.

At this point I was unsure of what to do. I'm pinned down by the Fireteam so to deal with them I'd have to throw at least one Eclipse Smoke and then start slicing the pie with either the Sukeul or Gao-Rael, however this would be pretty Order intensive from my starting position. I leave that on the back burner and instead start putting Orders into the Rasail. At this moment we realize we forgot about Data Trackers, I nominate my Rasail and Tim chooses his Daoying.

We now enter a very strange part of the game. I move the long way around the building to avoid the HMG's LoF but I will take multiple Flash Pulses on the way. The first is unopposed and lands, I risk it and just take the BTS Save which I pass. The next is opposed, which I lose, but I make the BTS Save again, at this point I've used my Lieutenant and Data Tracker Orders. I move forward again and have a third Face to Face which I win, putting the REM Unconscious. However I did enter the LoF for the Fireteam, I was hoping to just not get Crit which is what happened so I burned the SymbioMate.

With some additional Orders the Rasail continues on, killing the Yisheng and putting the other Flash Pulse REM Unconscious. With the right side being relatively cleared out I want to then hide my Rasail. Now I don't clearly remember my thought process with this last Order but I end up crossing the LoF again, both guns are at -3 overall and I have a Dodge so the odds aren't terrible, looking at the game now I should have just put him in a defensible location. In any case the Rasail takes two Wounds and goes Symbiont Inactive as I fail his Dodge.

Moving to Group 1 I leave the Makaul Prone and throw two Eclipse Grenades to cover the Triad's escape, landing both. I then start moving forward, hoping to nab a Console and maybe some kills after I was fortunate enough to scrap the Flash Pulse REMs. I start with the Hulang, incorrectly using my Sukeul to face off against him. Tim Dodge'd but took a hit, made the Save and failed Guts to go Prone.

After that I'm fairly short on Orders so I try to grab a Console with the Sukeul and fail, then I just resign myself to defensive positions. The Makaul books it and hides in some total cover while I position the Gao-Rael to cover facing up the table and the Sukeul covers the left. I also left a sliver where the Sukeul can see past the Gao-Rael, I'm not going to have cover against the Fireteam if they move out anyways so I'd rather get the additional shots against the Hulang.

Invincible Army Turn 2

With Group 2 in ruins Tim moves the Pangguling into Group 1, giving him 8 Orders. The Hulang starts to move out, I shoot back with the Gao-Rael and Sukeul as it does with Tim putting SMG shots into the Gao-Rael. I burn my SymbioMate but do a Wound in return.

The Hulang moves again, this time getting in close for the +3 Range Band. Tim intentionally peeks out from the corner so I ARO with both models again, the Gao-Rael using its Pistol this time. The Gao-Rael takes a Wound and the Hulang passes a Save, dipping out of LoF from the Sukeul.

Taking a break fro the center Tim sees an opportunity to kill my Data Tracker and also get his in the Exclusion Zone for what would be a massive Points lead. The Daoying Climbs down the building it's on and then uses the second Lieutenant Order to walk just shy of my Rasail. Now Tim was under the impressing the Daoying had a Combi Rifle when it actually had a Boarding Shotgun, we have a Face to Face Roll which I lose but pass the ARM Save, failing Guts out of LoF. Should Tim pursue my Kaauri will also have LoF, he'd be on -6 BS but it is a risk. Tim opts to just stay put and place the Daoying a bit more defensively.

Moving back to the Hulang it shoots my Gao-Rael without the Sukeul being able to see and finally puts him Unconscious. With the last Order the Hulang goes or my Sukeul but loses the roll and dies.

Tohaa Turn 2

With my Rasail somehow alive I look over the board but decide to start with him, if I kill Tim's Data Tracker I will effectively win because I'll have control of the Exclusion Zone and my Tracker would preserver the points for being alive. My Rasail moves so that both of us are out of cover but Tim crits and my Rasail dies.

Now I'm in a horrific position as the tables have completely turned. My only goal is to kill the Data Tracker now or I cannot win but I have nothing in the area. From here I do a few things that I don't have pictures of as we were trying to speed up the game: the Makaul moves and throws a few Smoke Grenades for the Sukeul who then hoofs it to the right. I'm able to get LoF on the Daoying but I'll take an HMG ARO, since I still have the SymbioMate I decide to risk that. The Daoying Dodges but I win the roll and put it Unconscious, had this failed I would have only had one more chance and it would have had cover on the next set of rolls.

For Group 2 I put the Clipsos back into Marker State and use a Coordinated Order to move a few models forward in Group 2. Tim Discovers the Clipsos as she goes but I end the Order Prone behind a crate, near the Consoles which is all I wanted.

Invincible Army Turn 3

Without much to do but play for Mission Tim is in Loss of Lieutenant, having three Command Tokens to work with. The Fireteam starts moving but leaves the Heavy Rocket Launcher behind as it would take too long to get him off the building.

After a few moves the Forward Observer gets near the Console, the HMG goes wide and the LGL runs interference. I believe the Pangguling got left behind as well so as not to risk its points but I don't recall. The HMG has a go at my Makaul but we bounce once and I make the ARM Save on exact dice for the second, moving out a bit with Guts. Tim also tries to use the Console but fails the first attempt and has to leave the Fireteam with the Forward Observer, making the second roll and choosing his furthest away Heating Unit so the Pangguling will live.

Tohaa Turn 3

So Tim is up by one Point and didn't get his Classified done. I also won't get my Classified done (Follow-Up) so I have to get a Console and get more Army Points.

My Extremely Impetuous Order goes to a Smoke Dodge against the HMG, which I win. I then throw another Smoke Grenade to cover my Sukeul so he can have as many attempts at the Console as he needs, eventually succeeding on the third try. I choose my forward Heating Unit as it'll be easy to get everyone into it's aura.

 The HMG is also in my Heating Unit so I do need to kill it in order to safely move some models up and have them survive the cold. I move the Krakot and Tim Dodges with the HMG, shooting with the other two Zhanshi. I opt to use the SMG as it has better odds but Tim makes the ARM Save and my Krakot dies.

With some a Coordinated Order in Group 2 I move the Clipsos just shy of seeing the HMG and also put some other models into the Heating Units range. I then have a go at the HMG who shoots back, I'm Burst 3 at -6 for Range/Cover, Tim is -6 for TO Camo and Range/Cover. I manage to win the roll though and the Zhanshi dies to the Combi Rifle.

From there I just Coordinated Order everything into my Heating Unit. At the end of the game I get more Army Points so we end with a 6-3 Victory for Tohaa.

Post-Game Thoughts

Frankly I'm embarrassed over this game as I played so terribly at nearly every turn that I don't feel comfortable winning. Let's start with Deployment, I clumped up way too much which gave Tim great Explosion LX targets, it was just lucky for me that they didn't do much. Tim could have failed some PH Rolls but on 15's it's quite in his favor, against Yu Jing and IA I need to spread out more in the future. Also while I did a good job of covering my back lines I was too spread out, Tim could have landed the Liu Xing in a hidden position and then started going through me. So a mutual mistake there, I deployed badly and Tim got greedy.

My Gao-Rael Sniper shoudl not have been watching the backlines at all, he can do it if he has a long LoF but that was not the case this game and I just flubbed his positioning. It's unlikely that would have stopped Tim from coming at my with the Rui Shi but it gives me a chance to stop him. As per usual I regret spreading throughout the board, it would have been best to focus on the right side, use Smoke to cover the lanes, and then go at the rest of the army.

On Tim's side he was too aggressive on Turn 1. We both agreed bringing in the second Liu Xing was a mistake, it had no upside and just gives me free models. Leaving the Rui Shi so exposed was also bad, it moved up to try and free the Liu Xing but that's a low odds play and it should have just been written off. Tim had the range advantage so moving back and holding the line makes me waste Orders on Smoke and Movement. Similarly the Hulang was badly misplayed, all it needed to do was kill the Gao-Rael in melee and then stop, or shoot it to death and stop, whatever worked.

I also think Tim's Deployment was poor, the Fireteam was on a flank alone which can be fine but the rest of his army had no support. Two Flash Pulse REMs will not stop an Active Turn attack and then the Lieutenant would be very exposed. If I'd deployed first that would be one thing but deploying into an unknown list I think there was a lot of risks taken there.

Back over to me I think I made so many mistakes on the first two Turns that I can't even cover them all. I never should have gone after the Hulang in the position it was in, I should have grabbed a Console and left. I also had general poor placement in several areas which made the game harder on me than it need to be. I won't dissect everything but I'm very unhappy with my play as I mentioned.

Going forward I noticed a few things that need to change. After numerous attempts with the Viral Combi on the Rasail I've come to the conclusion it's the incorrect loadout if you have SWC available. The Rasail needs the extra Burst, he has nothing to help win Face to Face Rolls except pulling models out of cover while he has Nanoscreen. The Rasail is also not fast so 8-24" is so much better than 0-16". The only selling point of the Viral Combi is lethality and skirting NWI/Shock Immunity/Dogged which I really don't care about. I have a Sniper for that against most models so I'll be going back to the Spitfire.

Overall I wasn't impressed with the Kaauri, he's not really in the list for any reason other than he's better than a Kamael and I had 12pts. I think instead I'll swap him and one Krakot out to pick up a Kamael Forward Observer and a Kamael Paramedic. Paramedics are great in Tohaa and I find myself missing them when I don't take one, my current list was also barren on backfill for the offensive Triads. Now I can try to get people up and I have a third Triad, which means better AROs, for the cost of a model I didn't care about and a Krakot. Having one Krakot feels correct because they're either standing around or trading. In the few games I've use them I got a bit too aggressive, their role seems to be removing obstacles that I can't get around with Smoke. For example if I can Smoke to cross a LoF but there's another model in the mid-field that will see me when I leave the Smoke I can send the Krakot in, remove the roadblock, and carry on.


That's all I have this time, I'm hoping I can get back into playing regularly by organizing some rides. Infinity skills do not stay sharp because of how complex the game is so I need to be playing at least one serious opponent per week. I also just missed the game as it's still super fun and there's new stuff out now, I'm pretty excited about the Libertos in Tohaa as it gives us something we never had before: a cheap, Camo Trooper who trades well. I think right now they're one of if now the best ARO model in Tohaa for avoiding armies that want to rush you. Thanks for reading!

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