Last week was a bit of a dud for me in terms of games that I could Battle Report but as always I return once more. Rumble on Route 66 testing is ongoing, I'm focusing on Unmasking, Acquisition, and Supplies as I feel a bit shakey on those. Firefight and Decapitation are pretty straight-forward so I'm less concerned about them.
This time I'm against (Name Redacted - NR For Short) and his Bakunin. I've only played against Bakunin once before but I don't rate them very highly as almost all their core models are overpriced. However the margins in Infinity are pretty razor-thin so anything can beat anything within reason, I just wouldn't pick Bakunin were I to play Nomads.
Tohaa Army List
Bakunin Army List
I'm not very sold on my list for Unmasking because Tohaa are one of the worst ARO Factions at the moment and you must ARO unless you go first. I'm still working out a game plan for Unmasking as well so I decided to more or less wing it, see what happens, and then use that data going forward.
NR won the Lieutenant Roll and chose First Turn, which you almost always should in Unmasking. Both sides were pretty horrible as far as being able to hide HVTs so I took the one that had slightly better angles and deployed second.
On my left is a Morlock behind a building, the Flash REM, and one HVT behind a dumpster. The Moderator Fireteam went more centered with the Combis hiding and the Snipers in ARO position. Another Morlock also went in the middle as far forward as it could. I believe both of these rolled Super-Jump as well.
In the center but heading towards my right is the Warcor behind a wall and then Kusanagi's Fireteam, the Shotgun being on the ground. The second Flash REM is peeking out to me right. Finally a Prone Camo Token Infiltrates onto each Objective and the last Morlock is far to my right, rolling Regeneration. The remaining HVTs were far to my left, near the dumpster one, and far to my right but in the open.
I ask about NR's Order Groups and get the feeling that something will be in Group 2, either Bran Do Castro or a Meteor Zond/Taskmaster felt likely. To that end I bunkered up on the left as it was my best hiding place for an HVT, dropping the Rasail, Spitfire Triad, and an HVT (Clipsos).
In the center I put the Kerail and Sniper Triad along with a Chaksa (the Morat model that's unpainted).
More along the right I had the remaining Chaksa (Ork Boyz and Sakiel) and the Kamael Triad. YOu can also see my two other HVTs, the Decoys.
True to expectations NR put down Bran Do, not in a Marker State, to be the DataTracker. We discussed if this was the right call or not and both agreed it was, Bran Do is the most maneuverable model in the list and he can hide until a path is opened.
I put the Liberto as my Reserve model, wedging him between two Consoles so he can use the Chain-colt as needed. The Mine went in the middle just to cause problems, hopefully. I chose the Kerail as my DataTracker.
After some consideration I stripped Orders from Group 2, the Moderators aren't in a position to make a run at me and if they want to get into a Sniper off it'd be B:3 on 13's vs. B:2 on 12's but I have Shock and multiple Wounds. This way I can limit Bran Do running free on Turn 1 since the Consoles are already lost.
Bakunin Turn 1
The rightmost Morlock runs out to be seen by my FO Kamael, after thinking a bit I decide to use the Combi to ARO since I'd rather kill the Morlock than stop the Smoke. My Spitfire Gao-Rael can see the far Console so Smoke is no real bother and NR can put down White Noise freely anyways. The Morlock Smoke Dodges so it's B:2 on 8's (-Range) vs. B:1 on 10's (-Range) and the Morlock wins.
Both of the other Morlocks come out, one just moves and stays out of LoF while the other runs up to see the Spitfire Gao-Rael. I shoot and I believe the Morlock Dodges so I'm B:2 on 15's (+Range) and the Morlock is B:1 on 13's (Nothing) but it lives, I believe by passing ARM.
Kusanagi's Fireteam is voluntarily cancelled so the Hacker can try to put down White Noise via the Flash REM without me getting two Sniper shots on Kusanagi, very good play as she'd likely die from that. The White Noise goes down on my left Console.
Another White Noise is placed on the center Console from the same Hacker after she shoots a Pitcher (the green token). From there the center Camo Token gets an Order and touches the Console, here we have a bit of a rules flub. To shortcut I say I'm going to shoot to which the Zero shoots back. How it actually should have worked is I Hold, the Zero tries to activate the Console, and I shoot it for free. In any case my Liberto goes Dogged from the Combi and the Zero goes Unconscious from the Chain-colt.
The Moderator Fireteam gets voluntarily canceled so that one of the Snipers can move over and see my Rasail but not be seen by the Gao-Rael Sniper. I try to Dodge into Total Cover but we bounce - B:3 on 10's (+Range, -Cover) against B:1 on 11's. With another Order I take a Double Action hit and decide to roll ARM, if I don't then it just happens again as I burn the SymbioMate and if I pass just one ARM Roll on 12's then I get to fail Guts and keep the SymbioMate. That's what ends up happening so the Rasail ducks back into cover.
On my right the Zero reveals and activates the Console, NR picks the correct HVT on his first guess. The Zero then goes into Suppressive Fire.
The remaining Zero activates his Console after a failed attempt and guesses the center Decoy for an easy target. It then moves away to shoot my Rasail's Chaksa, who Dodges toward. B:3 on 8's (+ Range, -Cover, -Mimetism) vs. B:1 on 11's, we bounce. The Zero moves again to get into cover and this time puts the Chaksa Unconscious. With the final Order the Warcor moves out to trigger my Mine, failing his Dodge but passing ARM. Both Fireteams are reforged at the end of the Turn.
Tohaa Turn 1
I start the turn off with a big mistake, giving an Order to the Kamael Triad and keeping the FO as teh Leader. She moves just a bit to see the Morlock and shoots it, it tries to Smoke Dodge. We run back the same Face to Face as on NR's Turn but this time I win and the Morlock dies. Not the best fight to take but it worked out. I then try to have a go at the Zero, completely forgetting that my Gao-Rael can see it, albeit at long range. Just my inexperience to not see the whole table in that moment.
In any case the Kamael dies, I'm B:4 on 5's and the Zero is B:3 on 8's.
I move the Kerail over to start throwing Smoke so I can clear the middle but he fails twice, eventually getting it down. The Surda Beast goes Unconscious as I move, it was that or use more Orders on Smoke so I chose to lose the model. The Spitfire Gao-Rael moves up to shoot the Zero in Suppressive, who can't see him, and removes him. I then take out the Morlock on the left-center after it chooses to Dodge.
Continuing to move up I shoot the Zero on the left, who Dodges, and I hit him but it passes both ARM Rolls. I then do a Face to Face with the Moderator who has a Pitcher, killing it after it fails to Dodge and also breaking the Fireteam. Yet another Face to Face goes between me and each of the Moderator Snipers, both choose to Dodge in turn. One goes Unconscious in the Face to Face, the other again passes two ARM Rolls and goes Prone.
Wanting to relocate I move the Gao-Rael around, killing the Warcor as I do. NR AROs with White Noise from the Repeater and a Flash REM Blinds the Gao-Rael but I'm out of Orders anyways. I'm also able to move the Rasail forward and put her into Suppressive Fire, my intention here is to stack the middle so Bran Do can't make a run at my Designated Target safely. With my last Orders I stand up the Kaeltars and move the Sniper so that everyone has angles.
Bakunin Turn 2
Bran Do gets moved into Group 1 which means Group 2 is pretty useless. The remaining Morlock decides to run at me, I Dodge with the Gao-Rael and shoot with the Rasail, succeeding with both and melting the Morlock.
RN decides to go after the Kaeltars with his remaining Sniper, putting them both Unconscious over three Orders. I chose to Flash Pulse every time which put me on B:2/1, 8's (-Range, -Cover) vs. B:2, 10's (+Range, -Cover) so it's dicey but I wasn't able to pull it out.
A few more White Noises go down over three Orders, blocking an alley where one of the Enemy HVTs is, although I can't remember why, and one going on top of the Zero. It then moves a bit, my Gao-Rael Dodges while the Rasail shoots. All bullets go to the Gao-Rael but I pass the Dodge and remove the Zero.
Tohaa Turn 2
I'm really far ahead in attrition and NR only has one Turn to get to my Designated Target so I want to make that as hard as possible. If I can stop him then I'll just win by getting points here and there on my last Turn so that's my goal.
My Makaul on the right is Impetuous and runs out to be seen by Kusanagi as I go down the ladder. She shoots while I Smoke Dodge so I'm B:1, 16's (+Range) vs. B:2 on 17's (+Range) but the grenade lands.
There's not much left to ARO with so I give an Order to the Gao-Rael, moving the Triad towards my left Console and shooting the Sniper who shoots back. I'm B:5 on 12's (+ Range, - Cover) while the Sniper is on B:1, 10's (+Range, - Cover) and I put her down.
Another Order gets the Kumotail to my Console but I shoot the Flash REM to remove a Repeater, otherwise White Noise can go everywhere and remove a lot of my AROs. The REM shoots back, I'm B:5 on 12's again and the REM is B:1 on 13's, it goes second level Unconscious.
From here I grab both the center and left Console, guessing both of the leftmost HVTs and being wrong both times. At this point I'm extremely unfavored in the game just due to the Mission so there's not much I can do.
Panicing a bit I use a few Coordinated Orders to bring up all the Chaksa into ARO positions around the building the Bran Do is on top of. I also have time for to Heavy Flamethrower the other Flash REM, which fails its Dodge. While its Order is useless it could run around with a Repeater as I mentioned before so I wanted to shut that down. Now there's one model with a Pitcher and one Pitcher in play so the setup to White Noise would be a lot more in-depth.
Bakunin Turn 3
With 7 Orders to play it's now or never for the Designated Target. Kusanagi's Haris gets an Order and moves around, she climbs the tower while the other two models take up ARO positions. She then has a few Face to Face Rolls against the Rasail, who I need to keep alive or I'll be in Loss of Lieutenant. I blow the SymbioMate on the first interaction after I Dodge, the next one I take a Wound and go Symbiont Inactive but fail Guts, Prone, against the barrier.
Kusanagi then removes a Chaksa, my Gao-Rael Spitfire and the Makaul, basically wasting two Orders for no reason to do so. Finally Bran Do stands up and Super-Jumps to the other building, sticking to the side with Climbing Plus. He gets shot by a few Chaksa, the Sniper, and my remaining Makaul Smoke Dodges just in case there's a miss or something.
Bran Do puts both shots into the Designated Target needing 8's due to Range, I Dodge with her. Sadly my Dodge fails and one of the Boarding Shotgun blasts hits, I also fail the ARM Roll and she dies. Bran Do also dies to the Sniper and I believe the last Order is spent on removing one of my Decoys with Kusanagi.
Tohaa Turn 3
At this point I'm likely too behind to win but I still make some mistakes. I move the Kerail into Group 1 with my last Command Token and looking at the board I have to get my Kumotail to the other side of the board. I can avoid Kusanagi but the Boarding Shotgun Reverend Healer will see me as I cross the middle.
My last Makaul is Impetuous so he runs towards a Moderator, throwing Smoke from his starting position. The Makaul dies but the Smoke lands so that will invalidate Kusanagi in ARO. I move the Doctor into the Smoke but no further, then giving an Order to the Kerail who walks up just shy of seeing the Reverend Healer and shoots both Decoys. One manages to pass ARM or win with the Dodge, the other dies.
With another Order the Kerail moves forward, out of cover, to see the Reverend Healer. She shoots me and I shoot back. I'm B:3 on 11's (-/+ Range) against B:2 on 13's (-/+ Range) but I manage to win, dropping her with the AP Ammo.
At this point I can see I won't have enough Orders to get the Doctor even to the Console, much less activate it and kill the Designated Target with anything. I try to kill the last Decoy for points but fail and the game ends there with a final score of Bakunin - 6 and Tohaa - 3.
I'm going to admin I was very salty after this game and I shouldn't have lost. One of the stories of the game is all the important rolls for my opponent going their way which cannot be said for me, for example Bran Do had one shot at the Designated Target, on 8's, vs. a Dodge on 11. When you run the math on that it's almost a 39% chance Bran Do succeeds, it's a 38% chance I succeed, and a 28% chance we all fail or I pass ARM. Frustrating.
What was more frustrating was how badly I played, let's run through the mistakes quickly:
- Got the Kamael FO Killed for no reason, making it so I couldn't get to the third Console.
- Stood both Kaeltars up for them to get killed for no reason. Also didn't Dodge as ARO.
- Exposed the Rasail's Chaksa for no reason, losing it.
- Placed the Mine near the Warcor who is the ideal model to trigger it.
- Didn't kill Decoys on Turn 2.
- Didn't go after Kusanagi on Turn 1/2 with my Spitfire.
Fixing any ONE of those mistakes, except the Mine, wins me the game. Even keeping the Chaksa alive is super important because I could have taken multiple fights at once with it and the Rasail. Having said that though I did badly outplay my opponent, or at least I think so. While I made mistakes he made more, mostly waiting until the last second for a very risky assassination, taking lots of dicey fights, and wasting a huge amount of Orders on White Noise and so on that weren't needed. The army also never developed and he was either ignorant or didn't care about my MSV2 + Smoke which cost him a huge amount of models.
I'm also very unhappy that Unmasking is being used at such a large event because it's a bad Mission. I lost in part because I guessed wrong, if everything had been the same but I correctly guessed the Designated Target I win without any difficulty. Now obviously my mistakes made that even harder on me but I did enough to win a typical Mission. That's where most of my salt came from, we both played badly but I still played better and didn't walk away with a win. In a casual game I don't mind but it could easily happen in tournament which I'm not happy about.
This game did prompt me to change my list as I've been finding the Gao-Rael Sniper to be a worthless model. Even without Forward Deployment L1 the Spitfire is always better because of B:4 and an amazing range band (best in the game for my money). The Sniper was there to fight things that were far away from my Spitfire but that happens so rarely with a working 28" threat range that I just won't want him in the list anymore. Corvus Belli has also been putting Shock Immunity on every model that rolls off the assembly line so it's Viral or nothing.
Ive been trying to find a model that can break Fireteams easily or at least take out 1-2 Models, the Gao-Raels can't do this because of Sixth Sense L2. Against most Snipers, HMGs, and so on they're disadvantaged even in the Active Turn so that's been a major struggle. To that end I'm going back to the HMG Sukeul, she's favored against everything but the most elite wielders (MSV1/2, BS13+, Fireteam Core) and even then I have a small advantage due to Burst. My other big drop is the Kumotail, Doctors just aren't that good in my book (in Tohaa) because we're so naturally durable. I'm just downgrading her to a Kamael Paramedic for the Classifieds and a chance at picking someone up if needed.
I don't really like NR's list although I don't know what else it's meant to play into. The Zeroes are good and Bran Do is what he is but the Haris Team is so expensive and isn't that tough against a list with the proper tools. The Moderator Link is usually something I like (Line Troops being buffed) but BS10 is garbage, if all your Fireteam bonuses put you at equal odds with good gunfighters, on your Active Turn, there's an issue. Without Turn 1 I think the list gets badly exposed, it'll lose half its army if you ARO, otherwise you lose all the Zeroes and thus the Mission.
That's all I have this time, sorry if my mindset shone through but this was a very frustrating game. All I can do is try to get better and learn from my mistakes. Fortunately the new book will be out before Rumble on Route 66 which means Tohaa get way better (barring devastating SymbioMate nerfs) so I'll likely start practicing with some of their models soon.