Friday, June 14, 2024

Mission 023: Lists in Context

It’s July, and Adam and I are mourning the loss of Rose City Raid (RCR) 2020, which we were supposed to run at the end of June 2020. Adam designed a great logo for the tournament:

If you’d like to emblazon this rad logo onto your body, there’s RCR merch available here!

Rather than dwell on the loss of the tournament, I decided to turn these events into an opportunity. This month, we’re going to be focusing on list building.

The Mission

Design two lists that you would feel comfortable taking to the RCR2020. If you get a game in with your list(s), tell us about that too! Here’s the mission list, in order:

  1. Looting and Sabotaging
  2. Show of Force
  3. Hunting Party
  4. Countermeasures
  5. Biotechvore

The lists should be 300 points, no more than 2 combat groups, and should expect to face the RED classified deck.

To submit an entry to the mission, send the following to [email protected]:

  • Both of your lists (Army Codes, please)
  • Did you match lists to missions? In other words, which list are you taking for Biotechvore, Looting and Sabotaging, etc.
  • Did you plan lists for terrain or matchup? What does that look like for you?
  • A discussion of why you took each trooper in your list, for example:
    • What roles do you expect the trooper to fill?
    • What redundancy did you build into the list?
    • How did you plan for RCR’s notorious terrain-filled tables?
  • How do you plan to deploy your list?
  • The First Turn:
    • What happens if you go first?
    • What happens if you go second?
    • Which would you prefer and why?
  • If you get a game in, send us a summary or battle report using the following template!

That’s it! I’ll randomly select a winner from our respondents and you’ll get either a blister of your choice or a Bromad Academy patch!

Lists in Context

Let’s go over a few key points. First, this is not intended as a netlisting exercise. I have the strong opinion that netlisting doesn’t work in Infinity because the game is won on the table and not in the list builder. It can be lost in the list builder, of course.

Too often, I see lists posted to the internet with the simple question: “Is this good?” The answer, in my opinion, should always be: “it depends.” There’s a long list of followup questions, like:

  • What missions are you playing?
  • What kind of terrain do you usually see?
  • Do you have any opponents/matchups that you’re worried about?
  • What’s your meta like?
  • and on, and on…

Instead of a netlisting exercise, this month’s mission is intended to force you to not just build a list, but do it in a particular context, and encourage you to explain and justify your choices!

For the most part, all of us who might answer list questions on the internet would love to help you, we just need a lot more information about what’s going on specifically in your part of the world. In short, the issue is that everyone else is playing in a different environment.

Adam put it best though:

A meta is a community of people who play against each other, while the internet meta is full of people who rarely, if ever play each other.

Adam (The Dice Abide)

If you want to hear more about our thoughts on the Internet Meta, you can check out The Dice Abide LIVE – Episode 03: The Internet Meta:

So, to help you help yourself grow as a player, and to help others help you better, let us try thinking about lists in context.

When preparing for a tournament, you have several options for list construction, which you can optimize along several metrics creating a multi-dimensional optimization space:

  1. Suitability to Mission – What missions can my list cover? Half of them? All of them? Do I have all the specialists and tools (like D-charges for Looting and Sabotaging) that I might need?
  2. Adaptability to Terrain – What happens if I see a big difficult terrain zone in the middle of the table, or worse yet, just outside my deployment zone? What if I’m fighting through a low-vis, saturation zone forest or jungle? Am I prepared to fight in Zero G outside of a space station? Do I have the tools to dominate the corridors of a installation, i.e. did I pack shotguns and flamethowers? Or am I ready to reach out and touch someone with sniper rifles?
  3. Flexible to Matchup – What if I go up against a Linked Kamau MSR or Proxy Mk2 MSR? Am I prepared to fight my way through a screen of Ghazi Muttawiah? What happens if I see Margot and Duroc show up?
  4. Resilient to Damage – What percentage of my list would I consider “just cheerleaders?” Do I have the ability to push forward if I suffer a well targeted alpha strike? What happens if my forces are split by terrain or by blocking elements of the enemy troops? How do they support each other?

There are a lot of ways to do optimization along the above four axes (and there are more, to be sure), and everyone’s relative priority for each of those bullet points above will be different!

I tend to separate the missions for a tournament into two groups, and design a list to tackle each group separately, with a mix of tools to support different rangebands and terrain obstacles. I generally build redundancy into all my lists, so that tends to be present in both lists for a tournament, for me at least.

Some, however, build to fit different types of tables, especially if you don’t know what kinds of terrain you might face! You might have a list full of chain rifles and the other is full of sniper rifles and HMGs. I’d love to hear about how you solve this minigame inside the meta game of Infinity!

If you’d like more content on this, I take a deep dive into some of the lists that I took to the Best of the Pacific Northwest 2020 in Episode 4 of The Dice Abide LIVE!

You can find the written form of my lists and discussion about them here:

That’s that! Stay safe, stay sane. Good Hunting, Bromads!

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