After much preparation I head to LVO this Thursday in lovely Las Vegas, one of my favorite places to visit. This will be my first LVO and my first big, big, big tournament in quite awhile so I'm looking forward to soaking up the experience. If you'll also be at LVO give me a shout, even if you aren't playing Infinity!
I wasn't able to find games last week so Battle Reports have been a bit slow, also everyone seems to be coming down with the cold which I'm also fighting off. I will be trying to get a few matches before I leave although I'm pretty firm on most of the Missions (besides Power Pack) and my lists in general. Since I don't know what the field will be like at the event there's nothing to specifically test against or prepare for, just show up and do my best. The goal is to go 3-2, 4-1 would be spectacular. However I'm sure there will be many players with a lot more experience than myself so I try to keep things realistic.
Acquisition | Engineering Deck | Power Pack
Typically when I post about Army Lists it's for my own benefit, I'm just talking through the decisions I've made and why so it's almost like a second set of eyes. Very rarely do I bounce lists off other players and that has become even rarer in Infinity, frankly most players have no idea what they're saying when it comes to list critique (even if you're a good player) so it's best to avoid weird situations.
The first list is for three similar Missions, all involve controlling the center, using Specialists, and a desire to go second. In testing my strategy of the Clipsos as a late game Console flipper has been extremely effective, Sensor isn't a common rule and I don't anticipate many attempts at it anyways. The Liberto has also been a very effective deterrent piece, especially as I've gotten more familiar with it. This gives me effective force projection in all Missions but Engineering Deck unless I want to try some Infiltration Rolls (I don't). In that Mission the Liberto just guards one of the Armory sides and the Clipsos lets me play refused flank.
As far as clearing or holding the room in Engineering Deck I'm fairly confident as I have numerous cheap Template models to work with, this is an advantage for Tohaa in that we don't throw our Warband/Templates away like almost all other Factions do. The Krakot and Chaksa Auxiliar are both the meat of my anti-Airborne Deployment setups so they often hold those positions until Turn 3, then can make a scramble. All of them being Regular also helps for using Coordinated Orders, it would be nice to have the Krakot in Group 1 to make that even easier but having the spare Kaeltar there is more important.
For firefighting I'm much better off than previous incarnations of my army thanks to the addition of a Missile Launcher. My "main" Triad is effective from 0-32" thanks to the Boarding Shotgun/Panzerfaust combo and a competent Spitfire, there's no all-star in the Triad but with durability, average BS, and tricks I haven't had an issue. The Sukeul is now largely an ARO model, and a fantastic one at that, which gives me advantages against Fireteams, TAGs, and so on. It also makes the list easier to play, I only need to develop one Triad early in many Missions and can focus on their positioning.
Overall the list is very toolboxy, as all my armies are. I have Smoke Grenades + MSV 2 for Total Reaction REMs and many normal Troopers. I have tons of Smoke in general to get where I need to go. Each Triad has a Specialist for Consoles and I have backfill for inevitable deaths. Sensor comes in clutch against forward Camo Armies (Ariadna) and I have Viral to deal with numerous threats, specifically the rise of Shock Immunity and NWI/Dogged. In general I feel like one of the major advantages of Tohaa is how easily you can so "No" to tricks while bringing your own. For example there's no counter to Eclipse Smoke or having your Impersonation degraded.
Of all the Missions for this list I feel like Power Pack is the hardest because of the Saturation Zone. This removes all benefit from Triads in most situations as the Saturation Zone is quite large. The focus then becomes layering AROs, safely, when possible as well as possible melee traps. I also have some advantages in that Chain of Command gives a +3 WIP for Consoles and for the Xenotech, not an ability most lists have, and I'm bringing Templates which largely ignore the Saturation Zone. Engineering Deck and Acquisition are overall extremely solid and outside of wonky tables I feel I have a shot against anything.
The Armory | Firefight
Firefight has put me through the most incarnations of a list compared to any of the other Missions. In a three round event Firefight is easy but when you have to pair it with at least one other Mission it becomes harder to build for. Fortunately for me The Armory is a perfect pairing as neither of them have anything for Specialists to do besides Classified Objectives.
I am running more Specialists than I prefer but there are reasons. On the Kosuil I really don't like the K1 Combi profile all that much with the other guns in my list and being a Minelayer is not very useful in The Armory because you can't place the Mines close. For the Kaeltars I just refuse to play noramlly without 4 SymbioMates, it's one of the defining strengths of the Faction and if you take 0-2 I think you're gimping your list. That being said the Kaeltars should be quite safe in Firefight and while the Kosuil will get involved he has a SymbioMate on his side. I also really like having the ability to remove Isolated in both lists, in general it's easy to play around but it's also very damaging to get hit by.
The Clipsos has been moved to the surprisingly unpopular Boarding Shotgun profile. While having another Minelayer is great for Firefight it's bad for The Armory as mentioned so I wanted a profile that is good in both. I think a TO Camo model with a Boarding Shotgun is a killing machine, it's easy to get the +6 Range, you have -6 for TO Camo, and Surprise Shot is in the mix. I think this helps the Clipsos' normally "meh" damage output, Combi Rifles are fine for killing light troops but that's about it. Nullifiers are crap in Tohaa but if I go against Combined Army it has a corner-case use.
Lastly a Chaksa has turned into a Kaauri Sentinel, I think these guys are a tad underrated. They aren't sexy but MSV1 is useful for dealing with mid-field Camo Troops and two Nanopulsers makes for a great trading piece. Kaauri are also pretty good bait for unattentive opponents because of Sixth Sense L2, it's easy to use them as an anti-AD model and "expose" them to an angle which instead just results in a Template. I wish I had the points for the Combi Rifle profile, although it's a bit over-costed in my opinion, having Nimbus is just really great for Fireteams.
Mentality & Preparation
I normally approach tournaments very differently than most people, regardless of the game. The plan most follow is to jam a bunch of games and get comfortable with whatever they're bringing while practicing the Missions. Not a bad approach by any means but I already play enough to have a reasonable degree of comfort with whatever I'll be bringing. Infinity Missions also drastically differ depending on your opponent's composition, the end goal is the same but how you attack it will change. Because of that I think jamming games can over-prepare you for one or two styles unless you have a very diverse play group and leverage it, which most don't. This isn't helped by the niche appeal of even popular wargames compared to say card games.
Instead my preference is to lock myself in "the lab". This means a lot of study towards what's on meta, why is it on meta, what are the gatekeeper threats (Avatar, Mass Camo), what tools do I have to combat that, do I need more tools, etc. Fortunately for me Infinity really rewards that approach compared to say, Warhammer 40K or WarmaHordes. Those games have VERY established metas and you don't get as much reward from research because you know what you'll face in most rounds.
For the past few weeks I've been working on Google Documents for every Faction and Sectorial in the game which are 99% done now. These detail every model that has Camouflage, TO Camouflage, Airborne Deployment, what versions of those rules the model has, what all their Profiles can be, models with Frenzy, and general notes about the army. At some point when I'm happy with these I will make them publicly available. For LVO apparently it's fine to use Army Builder during the game, however in a crowded convention hall I don't think Data or WiFi will be working well so I plan to port these over to my Tablet for offline use.
This is a big part of my mental preparation, the less time I have to spend thinking about something or frantically looking it up the more time I can spend on the game. I also have a printed card that reminds me to check LoF at the beginning and end of every Order (not always necessary but it's to build habits) as well as my list of questions to ask prior to each Turn. Some of that also won't be necessary because of Courtesy Lists but I don't think everyone will have one so better safe than sorry. These are based off what I noticed I wasn't doing well in my previous tournament and lost models to negligence.
Other preparations are just things that people talk about but don't do. Always have water on hand, wear extremely comfortable shoes, organize all your models and gear the night before, eat properly, etc. I don't drink when I have to play the next day and I like to have headphones on-hand so I can chill by myself between rounds. Most of these are fairly minor "advantages" but mostly I just don't enjoy feeling like crap after gaming all day so every bit helps.
My final comments will be about mentality. I always set reasonable goals when going into a tournament, winning the event outright is almost never a reasonable goal. I get very easily tilted by certain circumstances and to win a five round event you really have to get Major Victories every time and then some. It's just not worth it to ruin a vacation and a fun time with my hobby to stress over that so I just want to have a positive record, whatever else happens is fine. My mentality is also improved the more research I do because I hate being caught out by the unfamiliar, particularly game rules. Infinity is perhaps the most rules dense of the "popular" wargames so I have my work cut out for me but I'm doing the best I can
Thanks for reading my largely useless post that will almost assuredly stay in the single digits for views. As I said this was more for me than for entertainment but maybe some use came out of it. And hey if you play me at LVO you'll know what my Camo Tokens and TO are.