Over the weekend I had the pleasure to take part in the Emerald City Incursion, up in Seattle, WA. Jon (WiseKensei) and I drove up together, but were also joined by a small handful of other local gamers, including Dan and James. It was the first time the later two have taken part of a larger event, but I hope not the last!
Playing Combined in Limited Insertion is always a joy. Instead of my typical strategy of making my lists for specific scenarios, I instead went for the route of creating lists for specific opponents. Overall, the armies contain a lot of the same components, specifically Kerr-Nau, Anyat, a Speculo Killer, Noctifer Missile Launcher, Q-Drone, and Charontid. I got a lot of practice games in with my first list, and was extremely happy with the results.
Kerr-Nau and Anyat were picked because they’re amazing toolbox units. Each of these characters brings a lot of versatility to the table, able to cover my attacking units with either white noise or smoke, and each is capable of handling a variety of threats from my opponent. The Speculo, Noctifer, and Q-Drone were picked specifically to waste my opponents orders, should I go second, dealing with all three will quickly consume a players entire turn. If I’m feeling particularly devious, I can even line up the Noctifer and Q-Drone so that someone has to deal with both simultaneously.
Knowing that the meta lately has been inundated by Ariadna, I opted to make my second list specifically to handle camouflage. The Charontid HMG is a beast when it comes to dealing with camo markers, potentially revealing two a turn, without fear of reprisal through smoke (from Anyat or the Speculo. The M-Drone further bolsters my anti-camouflage capabilities with the only Sensor the Combined army brings.
Here are all the tables I played on at the event, in order.
At first, I thought it would be fun to write a bit about all my games, but after playing them, it appeared that it would be anticlimactic. My first game was against Reuben (Polynikes), who is an incredibly skilled Combined player, it was also probably my closest fought game, despite losing. I learned a lot, and we had a good talk exchanging theories about how to best play the Combined.
Game two was indicative of how the rest of the event would go for me, it was against Eric (Raindog), one of the local Portland players, and a totally amazing guy. During this game, I just couldn’t make anything work for me, my HMG Charontid and Anyat spent 4 orders trying to kill a Fiday, which was already revealed, which resulted in a dead Anyat, and wounded Charontid. From there, I didn’t manage to win any meaningful F2F rolls, or even hit things with an unopposed Noctifer missile. I lost 7-0, and was lucky to only give up 7 OP.
My following three games were solely won or lost based on volume of crits. Against Jon (WiseKensei) my dice luck changed in game 3, but a lot of the game came down to me critting him at the most opportune points. Game 4 was against James (RomanLegion), another local player, where he both played well, and all of my critical attempts at turning the tide were met with a crit to the face. My final game was against an Ariadna player named Jake (SerWarwick), much like the games before, I couldn’t get anything to stick, in my first turn, a Spetsnaz with shotgun killed my Charontid, Q-Drone, and Anyat, despite him splitting shots and tanking Nanopulser hits.
All of my opponents were fantastic, and despite playing against 3 local players, I was really glad to have got a game in against Reuben, and Jake was another great guy to play with. Overall, my only win was the game against Jon, and he and I spent a lot of time talking about the Limited Insertion format.
I did win something however…
That’s right, the Obelisk Islands won the best tabl, the only award I couldn’t get crit out of!
Thoughts on Limited Insertion
Well, that was frustrating. I tried to not let it get the best of me, after all, dice are the one thing in the game you cannot control! If anything, it was a good exercise in being reminded of that. All said, it did give me a new perspective on Limited Insertion.
Generally, I really do love the format, if dice don’t go crazy, then it leads to incredibly tense games where every decision matters. Unfortunately though, when one player gets a handful of crits, early in the game, taking out important units, it can be difficult, or nearly impossible to recover from. Having 12-16 models on the table, instead of 10, allows for a bit of a buffer against critical rolls, which serves to make them less impactful on the overall game. I think I’ll still play 10-order lists, and Limited Insertion format games, because I think they make me a better player, but I will have to keep in mind the effect a critical against such a small force.
Finally, a HUGE thank you to Andy for putting on the event, it seemed to run very smoothly, and I look forward to playing again next year!