Exploit the Verticals!

We’ve got a treat for you today, a battle report from inane.imp! –WiseKensai

I’ve been having fun with vanilla Nomads at the moment, taking a variety of units and some old staples. I’d decided to take them to a tournie where one of the missions was Decapitation. The ITSX scoring for Decap is weird: 5OP for killing the HVT with your DT makes achieving this (almost) a must if you want to win the mission.

So, what tools do you use for it? It’s a Spot Removal job, but needs a profile that can survive if you end up going second. It also needs to be a legal Datatracker (so not a Marker, AD or Irregular). Most of my favorite Nomad Spot Removal pieces are Markers, Irregular, fragile or a combination of these (so Bandits, Bran, Uberfalls, Hellcats). This leaves two different types: Spec Fire (Lizard, LGL Alg/Mod or Krakot are the ones that don’t drop Marker state but Intruder or Prowler are also non options) and high mobility (6”+ Move, C+ and Super Jump).

I decided against the Spec Fire route (HGL centered lists are relatively common in my meta, so I wanted to do something different). Instead I surveyed the high mobility options. Tunguska brings us 2 solid ones: Perseus and Hollowmen.

Both of these are survivable: Hollowmen through ARM and 2STR, Percy through ODD CC ability and NWI. They have slightly different strengths but both can excel at getting to difficult to reach parts of the table and killing things. I ended up choosing the Hollowman as it is slightly beefier and faster.

The rest of my list was focused around defending my HVT and LT. I also took a second Spot Removal piece (a Bandit BSG) for DT assassination (if that was an option) or for going after a LT kill and I took an Intruder HMG as my main gun. The Krakot was included as a DT option (if Spec Fire was going to be a better choice, as an option to guard my HVT or as an option to act as an initial assault piece to clear the way for the Hollowman.

Decap


9 1 1

HECKLER Boarding Shotgun, E/Marat / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 19)
HECKLER Combi Rifle, Jammer, 1 FastPanda / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 23)
ZERO Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 21)
ZERO (Minelayer) Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 19)
INTRUDER Lieutenant Combi Rifle + Light Flamethrower, Grenades / Pistol, CCW. (0 | 35)
INTRUDER HMG, Grenades / Pistol, CCW. (1.5 | 42)
BANDIT Boarding Shotgun, E/Mauler / Pistol, DA CCW. (0 | 26)
SIN-EATER Spitfire / Pistol, CCW. (1.5 | 31)
HOLLOW MEN Spitfire, Chain-colt / Breaker Pistol, Knife. (2 | 36)
KRAKOT RENEGADE 2 Chain Rifles, Grenades / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 14)

GROUP 2 | 1 3 3

PUPPET MASTERS (Minelayer)[/k Submachine Gun, Antipersonnel Mines / PistolKnife. (0.5 | 14)
MORLOCK Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, E/M CCW. (0 | 6)
MORLOCK Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, E/M CCW. (0 | 6)
MORLOCK Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Assault Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 8)


6 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

I’ve played this list twice, both against Hassassins and both playing Decapitation. I’ll discuss the first game, because I made the most use of Superjump in that one (also because I won; whereas in the second I snuck away with an ignominious draw by CIVEVACing my HVT and hiding it in a room with a shut door).

Deployment

My opponent was running a triple Fiday, 4 Gazi and 4 Daylami Ltd Camo + Ghulam Core list. He deployed a Fiday on each flank so no matter where I put my HVT he’d be able to smoke it. The Daylamis owned the midfield supported by some Farzans.

I deployed my HVT on my right flank covered by the Jammer Heckler and BSG Bandit, the rest of my deployment was very defensive to avoid getting destroyed by Daylami LSGs (essentially a refused left flank anchored by the Sin Eater and two Morlocks deployed centrally at the rear of my DZ). Al Djabel was his DT, and counter deployed my HVT. I, in turn, counter deployed Al Djabel with my Hollowman (facing him down with about 18-20” of open LOF between them).

Turn 1

My opponent’s first turn consisted of attempting to Smoke my HVT so Al Djabel could execute it without taking fire from my Krakot and Hollowman. My HVT kept successfully dodging and leaving the Smoke, making this painful for him. The turn ended with my HVT dead, my opponent’s HVT surrounded by a castle of mines and Camo markers but Al Djabel exposed in LOF of my Hollowman.

My first order was to BS Attack + Move with my Hollowman. The reason I declared it this way was to force my opponent to choose to Dodge rather than shoot back on bad odds. If I’d declared Move + BS Attack, my opponent would have been able to BSG back in 0 range with no cover. Instead, I presented him with a situation where the ‘correct’ choice was to Dodge which allowed me to Move towards my objective (the enemy HVT).

Key takeaway: Good mobility is only useful when you use it.

My second order was to Move my Krakot (who’d picked up 6-4 Move and Climbing Plus) into LOF of my opponent’s defensive castle. 2 mines detonated and my opponent declared BS Attacks from his Fiday and 2 Farzans (the Krakot died). The Krakot chain-rifled all three SK (killing all of them). I made certain that I split burst so that only one chain-rifle hit the HVT. Decap in ITSX is heavily reliant on your DT killing the HVT (it’s worth 3 OP), so I needed to make certain that my Krakot did not inadvertently make the HVT Dead: Unc is fine, because I could always have my DT shoot the corpse to flip it into the Dead state (the last trooper to inflict a Null state on an enemy trooper is the one that counts as ‘killing’ it for ITS purposes).

The remainder of my turn consisted of my Intruder clearing out as much of the midfield as I could. Partly this was an attempt to strip orders, but mainly it was to ensure that my opponent wasn’t in a position where he could trade against my relatively expensive pieces with his Daylami.

Turn 2

My opponent’s second turn consisted of attempting to push a Farzan past my Sin-eater and Jammer Heckler to kill by HVT. He ended the turn alive but staring at my Jammer Heckler across a crate. He also had moved his link into position to ARO vs anyone pushing to get LOF to his HVT.

My second turn had a single objective: Hollowman, shoot HVT.

Which meant that I first removed threats with my Intruder, surgically destroying the remaining ARO pieces. Superjump allows you to orchestrate advantageous engagements but (because you lose cover) often leaves you worse off in straight firefights.

Key takeaway: Use the right tool for the job. Superjumping troops are best exploited when they choose their engagements: resist straight fights where you don’t leverage your strengths.

Only after these threats were removed did I activate my Hollowman. I jumped onto a platform getting line of site to the HVT. I deliberately jumped up far enough outside of 8″ so that at the peak of my jump I’d be in the positive rangeband on my Spitfire: a 6″ vertical jump can add significantly to the range, something that can be useful or a hindrance but is worth considering. This scored me my 5 OP. To move into a location where my Hollowman could draw LOF would have taken approximately 5 orders (total, across 2 turns), by Jumping I managed to achieve it in 3.

Key takeaway: Superjump allows you to path in different ways. These can be faster or unexpected. Exploit this.

Turn 3

My opponent was short on orders at this point and didn’t really have much he could do. He pushed his Ghazi around a little and then stood up the remainder of the link to ARO.

Fighting two Ghulam FOs and Leila at the same time is beyond even a Hollowman to do reliably, instead I used Smoke + MSV2 to isolate each trooper in turn and execute them with my Intruder.

I then activated the Hollowman and jumped onto a platform and from there onto a shipping crate. The platform itself was ~3″ high, the shipping crate was another ~3″. So standing on top of the crate, my Hollowman was about 6″ off the table. Jumping vertically up as far as the Hollwoman could go (6″) gave me LOF from a height of about 14″ (6″ of terrain + 6″ jump + 2″ SIL). This allowed me to see my opponent’s LT who was prone on a roof behind a parapet: getting to him otherwise would have been FAR too many orders.

Another, similar, use of vertical jumps is to strip cover (which I didn’t need to do in this game). Parapets often only cover about 1/3 of the height of a SIL. This means that if you’ve above the height of the top of parapet they don’t cover 1/3 of the SIL and, consequently, don’t provide cover. As below:

Key takeaway: Exploit the verticals!

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