Mission 016 Report – Unstable Equilibrium

Thanks to everyone who wrote in to discuss this month’s mission! Splitting your combat groups requires some serious thought during list building as well as some careful play during the game. I really appreciate the thoughtful replies this month, I hope that you, dear reader, get something out of them!

I think the biggest sticking point for a lot of respondents this time was how to manage their irregular/impetuous units, especially warbands, in this list building format. I’ll be honest, I hadn’t done all that much playtesting on that front. It’s definitely a hindrance having a significant portion of units in one combat group be irregular, so I think you may need to split them between groups carefully if you intend to have a lot of Morlocks or other similar warbands.

It might be worth thinking about building a 13 regular order list + 2-3 Morlocks, which would balance things out better and give you more flexibility. There’s a lot of room for exploration in this list building style, but it does require a lot of thought up front. You’re almost playing three lists over the course of three turns. The first two turns you’re playing Group 1 and Group 2 as two lists, and then the last turn you’re playing whatever’s left that you can command token together as the third list.

In any case, once again, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year, and congratulate Spencer on winning the die roll over at random.org! Looking forward to a new year of Bromad Academy! Check out everyone’s responses below!

Erik (Zelaponeepus)

My initial reaction to running a two order group list that contains less than ten units in both groups was a positive one. Since hearing the fundamental thesis behind this way of constructing lists I have been pondering what impacts this could have on the way infinity is played, and the way my own lists have always been conceptualized. I don’t want to sound too hyperbolic, but I feel this may be one of the most significant reimaginings of the game system and my personal relationship to it that I have encountered since my first year engaging with infinity. To say that this slight shift in the way I conceptual list construction and use will have major ramifications on the way that I approach the game as a whole seems appropriate. 

Erik asked for feedback on the following list… I didn’t like it… –WiseKensai

Ramah Taskforce
GROUP 1 | 6 1

TARIK MANSURI Lieutenant L2 Spitfire, Nanopulser, Grenades / Pistol, DA CCW. (1.5 | 59)
KHAWARIJ Doctor Plus (MediKit) Boarding Shotgun, Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 30)
KHAWARIJ (Fireteam: Haris, NCO) Rifle + Light Shotgun, Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0.5 | 30)

HAKIM Submachine Gun, Chain-colt / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 23)
FANOUS REMOTE Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
FANOUS REMOTE Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
MONSTRUCKER Submachine Gun, Chain Rifle, Drop Bears / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 13)

GROUP 2 | 7

GHULAM HMG / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 20)
GHULAM (NCO) Rifle + Light Grenade Launcher (Normal and Smoke Ammo.) / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 16)
ROUHANI Submachine Gun, Flash Pulse / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18)
GHULAM Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 16)
GHULAM Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 16)

RAFIQ REMOTE FTO (Fireteam: Duo) Red Fury, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 22)
LEILA SHARIF Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Shock Marksman Rifle, D-Charges / Breaker Pistol, Knife. (0 | 20)


6 SWC | 299 Points | Open in Infinity Army

It took me a bit of prodding to see this approach for what it was. When it was presented in the context of a 400 point list, I made the weird mental decision to contain the mixing of order pools within the context of that format and did not begin to see the fact that a deeper analysis was necessary for list construction as a whole. Even when a list that employed this approach was presented to me as a substitute, I did not begin shifting my internal approach to writing a list. It took an actual game to start the ripples. 

So I wrote this one, which he played… –WiseKensai

Ramah Taskforce
GROUP 1 | 6 1

TARIK MANSURI Lieutenant L2 Spitfire, Nanopulser, Grenades / Pistol, DA CCW. (1.5 | 59)
KHAWARIJ Doctor Plus (MediKit) Boarding Shotgun, Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 30)
KHAWARIJ (Fireteam: Haris, NCO) Rifle + Light Shotgun, Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0.5 | 30)

HAKIM Submachine Gun, Chain-colt / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 23)
FANOUS REMOTE Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
FANOUS REMOTE Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
MONSTRUCKER Submachine Gun, Chain Rifle, Drop Bears / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 13)

GROUP 2 | 7

GHULAM HMG / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 20)
GHULAM (NCO) Rifle + Light Grenade Launcher (Normal and Smoke Ammo.) / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 16)
ROUHANI Submachine Gun, Flash Pulse / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18)
GHULAM Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 16)
GHULAM Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 16)

RAFIQ REMOTE FTO (Fireteam: Duo) Red Fury, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 22)
LEILA SHARIF Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Shock Marksman Rifle, D-Charges / Breaker Pistol, Knife. (0 | 20)


6 SWC | 299 Points | Open in Infinity Army

That it felt different, was immediately clear. It felt tighter. I still had a lot of orders to work with—and within those orders a fair amount of flexibility due to Tarik’s lieutenant level two and the Ghulam NCO profile being in two different order pools, but I felt like I had less rope to move with. My first pool was docked two orders and because of this my first turn wielding Tarik felt constricted. Several well placed crits made the turn feel tighter than it otherwise would have. I took less than ideal odds, choosing to accept roughly even chances of success and loss with my unit to hopefully benefit from a swing of luck. It was just one of those situations where things are claustrophobic enough on your first turn that you try something out of the box to get a bit of movement going on. I tried that twice and paid for it both times. That ended my first turn feeling even tighter than it had started. I consolidated my efforts and settled for a defensive holding pattern and a single objective on my side of the board (this objective took a third round of trying less than ideal odds, but things finally paid off and I got what I needed to end the turn on a positive note). 

Turn two felt like an improvement. I had less orders than if I hadn’t lost a handful of units, but I felt that with my defensive bunker having survived, and those orders being detracted from the second pool instead of the first, I was in a fine position to make a game of it. Than’s army managed to preserve its resiliency through the thick of this turn. I made some small gains in the fight; but managed to do so while recovering an order from a downed bot. We were roughly tied at this point, but it still felt like he had the momentum. 

The third turn saw a swing in my favor. In addition to getting a lucky draw from the classified deck, I also made it through the turn relatively unscathed. Than had used his orders to play to the objective, which meant that Tarik could play with the open field. I finally dropped my Hakim in, who had waited in the wings and failed to see an opening until now. I was left wishing that I had dropped him for an order earlier on without actually feeling like I was short on orders. From here Tarik and the doctor Khawarij took care of business, securing me two classified objectives and two extra points because Tarik was my data tracker. I walked away with a 10-2 victory and a feeing of gratitude for being able to get in a game. The thoughts of the list building format would take a bit longer to sink in. 

Having let them sink in to some extent, I will say this: I believe that this change will have the biggest impact on armies that run tighter lists above ten points. If you’re already running a 5+ orders in the second pool list then an extra order or two from group one won’t make as huge of an impact. For armies that can easily break 10 orders, but struggle to get more than 11-13, this is going to be major (I’m looking at you Aleph). I’ve always felt a strong tension while list building in Aleph specifically because their units exist in one of two camps: really awesome and really pricey, or barebones and exceedingly cheap. When building a ten/three list for example, I would often feel like I was left in a situation where the second order pool only had enough meat on it to propel a medium level unit for one or two orders. In practice this meant that at best you were building a second group to fuel a specialist for a button sprint or a doctor/engineer roll. That worked, but it never felt like it totally justified going above limited insertion, even with counterintelligence. I don’t like the rhythm of most limited insertion lists. These two factors meant that despite high levels of enthusiasm when I bought them, Aleph began to collect dust on my shelves in favor of something that felt more flexible, like various forms of Haqqislam. When I went to try Ramah out, I encountered a similar tension once again and backed out to play vanilla with lots of irregular orders. 

What I didn’t quite realize at the time was that irregular orders in vanilla Haqqislam was mentally prepping me for the exact perspective shift that this format had laying in the wings. Already I had begun to see just how much you could get done with 5-6 regular orders when you had capable support elements in play. At the time I thought that was a feature of the handy irregular order, but today’s game has left me realizing that two orderpools at less than 10 orders is something that the high tech boys can do as well. 

I don’t think I need to even bring up the fact that this also compounds the value of hidden information, but there we go; I brought it up. Not only are you playing with less intuitive knowledge on the table for your opponent, but those effects will also be compounded by the use of lists like this in the wider meta. As this mindset begins to take root (and I believe it will), it will no longer be as easy to write off 8-9 orders in group one as being the sign of a hidden deployment trooper. 

Overall today’s game has left me feeling excited for infinity in the upcoming year. I had started losing a lot of my gusto for list building some time before life made me take a several month pause on playing the game. I had a feeling that although I was far from the best player even in our local meta, I had reached a point in my relationship to the game where major conceptual shifts would no longer play a part in my skill development. I thought the next few legs on the ladder would involve intense rules study and internalization, and disciplined execution of game-plans on the table. It’s a good feeling to be in the midst of a large rethinking of my perspective on the fundamentals of the game. Im looking forward to more time with infinity in the future. I’m also looking forward to building some lists, and that’s the best feeling in the world for someone who’s always taken joy in fiddling with the army builder. 

Spenser (Terrordactyl)

Dahshat Company
GROUP 1 | 5 2

VALERYA GROMOZ Hacker (Hacking Device UPGRADE: Expel) Combi Rifle + Pitcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 21)
BRAWLER Doctor (MediKit) Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 20)
BRAWLER Lieutenant Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 16)
BRAWLER (Multispectral Visor L2) MULTI Sniper / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 28)
SFORZA FTO (Holoprojector L1) Viral Rifle + Adhesive Launcher, Nanopulser / Heavy Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0 | 28)

HUNZAKUT (Forward Observer, Deployable Repeater) Rifle + Light Shotgun, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18)
HUNZAKUT (Forward Observer, Deployable Repeater) Rifle + Light Shotgun, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 18)

GROUP 2 | 5 1 FASID HMG + (Smoke and Normal) Light Grenade Launcher, Antipersonnel Mines / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (2 | 53)

ZÚYǑNG Paramedic (MediKit) Combi Rifle / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (0 | 29)
ZÚYŎNG (Fireteam: Haris, Tactical Awareness) Combi Rifle + 1 TinBot B (Deflector L2) / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (0.5 | 34)
RUI SHI Spitfire / Electric Pulse. (1.5 | 20)

BOUNTY HUNTER Submachine Gun, Akrylat-Kanone / Breaker Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
WARCOR (360º Visor) Flash Pulse / Stun Pistol, Knife. (0 | 3)


6 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Infinity Army

I ran the above list for a game of Supplies last night.

I often struggle with small, split combat groups like this, because I tend to feel like I don’t have the orders I need to do anything.

This was only my 2nd game with Dahshat, and there was a lot of new stuff I tried here, so that wasn’t helping me any either. I do feel so far like the sectorial does better with high order counts. I think I would have been happier trading the Fasid for more redundancy, but that would likely push me out of the order count in the brief.

Round 1

I don’t have much in the way of speed bumps, since I don’t feel like I can sacrifice anything. Only the Bounty Hunter and Warcor are on ARO duty. Yojimbo rolls up and kills my LT. My opponent’s core team grabs the box on my right. He has mines protecting the other two.

On my turn, I’m especially hamstrung. I don’t have the command tokens to do anything, and fix my fireteams. I burn all my command tokens bringing my LT back up. I have one regular order and a tac awareness order, so I reposition the Haris slightly. I have stacks of irregulars left, but no good way to use them, so I pass the turn.

In retrospect, I think I should have just burned all my command tokens to sacrifice a Zuyong to clear mines.

Round 2

My opponent kills more of my core team, and the tac awareness Zuyong. He takes the other two boxes, and kills one of my Hunzakuts.

I am no longer in LoL, but now just lack orders completely. All I can do is fail to doctor Valerya, and then try to kill an Arigoto and lose my Sniper. The Fasid kills a few things.

Round 3

My opponent immobilizes the Fasid, and secures my HVT.

All I can do is attempt to deny the HVT secure. I have 3 orders, but only kill ⅓ models securing my HVT.

Nathan (Jhokalpus)

Nathan wrote in with one battle report, and I’ve written up another where we faced one another. Check ’em out below!

Luke (Pandamonium)

Luke sent in another of his great battle reports as well, with tons of pictures! It’s a Table Top Simulator game, which is pretty cool to look at if you haven’t seen that before.

I definitely think that when trying this new “format” of split combat groups, having more than one irregular order in each combat group is pretty punishing. Certainly doable, just very difficult.

Piotr (Tctional)

Piotr joins us again from Poland with another great battle report!

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