By Erin (IceCream) and Melanie (MJGrey)
- Mission: Red Deck Countermeasures
- Forces: Foreign Company (IceCream) versus Bakunin Jurisdictional Command (MJGrey) (300)
- Deploy First: Bakunin
- First Turn: ForCo
This is my first time getting ForCo on the table, so my list idea was to take all the characters, the Spitfire and MSV1 MSR Bolts, and then fill out the list with an engineer and a paramedic to accomplish objectives for Countermeasures. All of group one can link in a bunch of different ways, but I was hoping to try out the new double Haris option that ForCo got, so I split them up into a 4-unit core and two 3-unit harises. I had a couple points extra at the end, so I tossed in the very enticing Beasthunter FD8” HFT/PF and a Warcor as well!
I bounced around a few different ideas for this list before landing on this final version. It’s tailored for Countermeasures, so I wanted to make sure I could actually accomplish all the cards as needed. Originally, I wanted to try one of the new fireteam options – a haris with Avicenna, Fiddler, and Riot Grrl spitfire (all counting as Riot Grrls!). Unfortunately, using that haris as my main piece aggressively and actively pushing quickly across the board doesn’t fit my style much, so I landed on a more defensive list with the required specialists. I put together a Moderator Core with a bunch of pitchers, both on the Moderators and the Tsyklon. I downgraded Avicenna to a Daktari, though I really struggled with that choice. In the end, I decided the extra points (13 of them) were worth the downgrade. Three of those points were devoted to a Zondbot to extend her range. The Riot Grrl would function as some muscle, with the Chimera being an additional punch that could counter close combat threats while having eclipse smoke to protect myself. My Zeros and Prowler were midfield specialists (or, in the case of the deployable repeater Zero, a way to augment my hackers). On Countermeasures, there’s a large exclusion zone in the middle of the board, so they all lose some of their normal functionality, but having the Prowler’s spitfire outside of my deployment zone is nothing to complain about. The Morlock is great for smoke and got a 20 on Metachemistry (+3 PH and Regeneration) so throwing smoke became easy. Zoe and Pi-Well are pretty much indispensable for Countermeasures, providing a strong hacker, engineer, and forward observer. Lastly, the Meteor Zond could drop in where I needed it as a specialist and repeater.
The first thing I did in deployment was find a good space for my Tsyklon. I wanted to have somewhere elevated so it had some cover, had enough room to get Zoe in there if it needed repairs, and give it good sight-lines for its feuerbach. From there, I positioned the Moderators around it in a way that they would stick in coherency regardless of which was the leader. The Moderators were mainly supposed to be order generators and a lieutenant (safe in the back), but I still made sure my pitchers could fire in useful places if needed. I wanted my Daktari safe in the back, but I put the attached Zondbot in the middle of several troops so it could be there when needed. Zoe needed to be within range of the Tsyklon if it needed repairs but also be somewhere safe. I figured her hacking could always be augmented with repeaters, so I wasn’t too worried about her hacking range. I placed the Zero hacker on the opposite side of the board as Zoe so I could get hacking zone of control objectives there if needed. The Riot Grrl and Uberfallkommando ended up on the same side of the board which meant that most of my firepower was concentrated on that side. As a last note, almost everything I deployed was prone. The Tsyklon was up as an ARO piece, but I didn’t want someone else’s head taken off for just standing there.
The first thing I did before I started deploying was to ask my opponent what was up for ARO. The linked Bolt Sniper should be able to out-shoot just about anything on the table, and after getting confirmation the Tsyklon Feuerbach was watching, I plopped down my Sniper in cover, staring it down, with the plan to take it off the board and open up movement for my specialists ASAP. I added Valkyrie (Bolt), Hannibal (Bolt), and the Bolt Paramedic to this link and, in the process, completely forgot about Strategic Deployment. It’s my first game as ForCo, and who has even ever heard of Strategic Deployment? Is that even a real skill, or did you just make it up, like the Dazer?
On the right flank, I deployed my Spitfire Bolt, Deadpool, and Laxmee. The buildings on that side boxed in the area nicely, so my Spitfire would be able to really shine. On the left, I deployed my link of Avicenna, the Kaplan Engineer, and Wild Bill. This was a very silly mistake, because it put my Doctor and Engineer on the complete other side of the map from my midrange Spitfire fighting link. You know, the guys who would most likely need a Doctor. I finished up by dropping my Warcor to watch my middle HVT, and my Beasthunter watching the left side HVT.
Top of 1 – ForCo Shoots Their Shot
Starting turn one, these Classifieds are terrible! I cannot complete Test Run, so that’s going right into the garbage. And out comes Extreme Prejudice, Predator’s little sister. I don’t have the tools to run across the board and kill a bunch of enemy troops in Close Combat, so I resign myself to the fact that I’m not going to complete any Classifieds this turn.
For my first order, I want to use my Bolt Sniper to take down that Tsyklon Feuerbach that’s locking up half of the table. We’re shooting through a Blizzard saturation zone, and unfortunately for me, we’re just inside of 32”, the Feuerbach’s good range band, so it’s my burst two on 17s vs my opponent’s one shot on a 13. That’s a bit more dicey than I wanted, and what do you know, the Tsyklon wins the face to face. Fortunately, my Bolt sniper is an absolute queen, and passes all three of her armor saves! I try the shot again, and this time, the Bolt wins out, knocking the Tsyklon unconscious.
Since I won’t be able to complete any objectives this turn without suiciding a link across the board, I just need to improve my board state. I push the Bolt Spitfire-Laxmee-Massacre link up the right side of the table to further lock down that area, and shoot a pitcher towards the Bakunin half of the table so I’ll get hacking AROs on anything that tries to move over there, and potentially set myself up to complete some classifieds in the next few turns. My Beasthunter finishes the turn by spending her Irregular order to get right up next to the HVT she’s guarding.
Bottom of 1 – Bakunin on the Prowl
Reviewing my objective cards, there was no way I was going to be able to complete Rescue, and I didn’t want to waste time and orders chasing after it. I discarded that and revealed the much more attractive HVT: Designation. Using hackers to get to useful spots on the board is much more my speed, so my goal was to accomplish that this turn. Extreme Prejudice and Predator were doable with my Uberfalls and Morlock, but those were secondary goals only to be pursued if I had the extra orders.
Ignoring my own internal advice of focusing on the mission, I first wanted to get Zoe into position to fix up my Tsyklon. Having my ARO piece back to lock down that side of the board seemed like a huge boon. The problems with that plan were numerous. Not only was there a Bolt Sniper staring down the corridor, there was also Laxmee and a Bolt Spitfire. That’s a lot of guns for someone with only 1 armor to dodge through! Instead of a mad dash across the gap, I decided on an alternative approach. I used the Morlock’s impetuous order to move up and throw smoke to start gaining some cover. That wasn’t enough, though, and I decided to reveal my Prowler Spitfire and use it to start clearing out some of the big guns. With Laxmee and Señor Massacre prone, it left a shoot off between the Bolt and Prowler, which the Prowler quickly won.
On the other side of the board, I had used my Uberfalls’ impetuous order to start to creep up and throw eclipse smoke. With a little bit of planning, I could use that to get into close combat range with the nearby camo token. With that set up, I crept my Zero Hacker through the blizzard zone (thanks Terrain: Total!) And moved within the zone of control of one of ForCo’s HVTs. The Bolt Sniper delayed as I moved across, and the WarCor failed its discovery roll, so I was clear to start spotlighting. Two rolls later, and I was done with half a card.
Flash back to Zoe who had abandoned her plans to rez the Tsyklon. She was able to easily spotlight my own HVT without moving. One card down!
I had accomplished most of my goals for the turn and still had a few orders left. I didn’t have orders to repair any longer, but I could start to set up my repeater network. The first of what I assumed would be many repeaters went down.
I had two orders left at this point.. For the first, I used a coordinated order to flip the Zero and Prowler back into camo.(Note: This actually isn’t legal in the rules! My Zero and Prowler were in different groups so it shouldn’t have worked!) With my final order, I put my Riot Grrl into suppressive fire. With that, I felt like I had locked down that side of the board.
Top of 2 – Bill goes Wild
Refreshing the Classifieds between turns revealed Experimental Drug. Despite having CC specialists in my list, I discarded Predator. The red version of Predator has been nearly impossible to complete in my experience, and in Countermeasures, where your opponent can discard it if you’re getting close to finishing it, it just doesn’t seem worthwhile to attempt. As a replacement, I flipped up Telemetry. Looks like my decision to fire that Pitcher is about to pay off!
I wanted to start the turn by getting some points on the board, and Telemetry was looking like a juicy target. Laxmee could Isolate Zoe, and then have free reign to Spotlight targets. I opened by attempting to hack Zoe through my repeater, and she hacked back. My two dice on 14s vs Zoe’s one die on a 12 sounded like pretty decent odds to me. Unfortunately, the dice did not agree. Zoe broke through my repeater’s Firewall, and locked down Laxmee with Oblivion.
This is where I realized my major deployment mistake. My Bolt was down and needed Avicenna, and Laxmee needed my Kaplan Engineer, but the two groups were on complete opposite sides of the map. Oops.
Well, I’m only one order into turn two, so let’s start spending some orders on that Avi-Kaplan-Bill Haris, and see what it can do! The Haris started to move out, and with the Uberfall and the Riot Grrl so close, I decided I needed to remove some threats before moving too aggressively. Bill led the team forward, and unloaded his Multi Pistol into the Chimera. She tried to dodge, but Bill landed two crits and took her off the table.
Up next was the Riot Grrl. Bill pushed ahead, ready to blast away the Grrl with his Contender. Except I’ve apparently been playing too much JSA, and forgot the regular Contender is only B1, unlike Yojimbo’s. We’re firing through a Blizzard template, and I don’t like the idea of my one die vs the Riot Grrl’s two. I’m already here, so I guess it’s time for more Multi Pistol. The Riot Grrl outshoots Bill, and he drops down to No Wound Incap. That’s actually pretty good news for me, since Avicenna is right behind Bill, and Experimental Drug is one of the classifieds. I decide to make a slightly risky play, and Bill withdraws into total cover, firing at the Riot Grrl as he goes. He wins the shootoff this time, and although the Riot Grrl passes her saves, a failed Guts check breaks her out of Suppressive Fire. Avicenna heals Bill, and I’m halfway to completing my first objective.
On the other side of the table, my downed Bolt Spitfire is a move and a Medkit shot away from my Bolt Paramedic, so I take the chance to finish up Experimental Drug and try to heal the Bolt. Unfortunately, I’m still not playing JSA, and instead of everyone in my army having PH 13-14, Bolts have PH 11!? Since when are Doctors better at healing than Paramedics!? Following in the footsteps of many PanO medical personnel before her, my paramedic kills the other Bolt. Oops.
Finishing out the turn, the Beasthunter gets up on top of the building in front of her, still in camo, threatening a huge area with her awful AROs.
Bottom of 2 – Can’t Stand It, I Know You Planned It
There was no way I was going to let Erin complete Experimental Drug, and she already had one of the two heals completed! That was quickly discarded to ruin her chances, and Sabotage was revealed in its place. My Prowler was already in the middle of the board and had D-Charges specifically for this reason, so I made that my priority. With my nascent hacking network and Laxmee locked down, I was thinking I could knock out Telemetry as well.
The first goal was to get my Prowler into position. It was already near the center of the board, and it made more sense to me to select terrain close to it and not right next to the Avicenna, Kaplan, and Bill Haris. I selected a planter and fountain next to Laxmee and started moving over. With Laxmee prone and the Bolt killed by her own troops, there wasn’t really resistance. I planted the D-Charges and easily scored the card.
With that out of the way, I wanted to try to snag the Telemetry objective. I was out of orders in group 2 from using the Prowler, so I would have to use my Zero instead of Zoe. It shouldn’t have been a problem since I was already in position and just needed to make my rolls. Of course, while I was attempting to hack Bill, I was also getting flash pulsed by ForCo’s WarCor. On the first order, we both missed… On the second, the Zero failed and the WarCor hit. I was locked down for the rest of the turn.
This is where things started to get really painful. I was watching the Avicenna, Kaplan, Bill Haris dismantle my defenses on that side of the board (which were already weakened by pulling my Prowler out of position). I had some orders and wanted to shore up my defenses, so using the Daktari’s ZondBot to heal my Riot Grrl made sense. The bot has mimetism and good movement, so I wasn’t too worried about the shots from Bill. My mistake. I got the heal off, but the bot went down. And then the doctor roll failed. Not wanting to lose my Riot Grrl, I burned a command token to reroll it… and failed again. Another command token spent resulted in… another fail. My Daktari managed to kill my Riot Grrl. I was really regretting not spending those points on Avicenna now.
Top of 3 – Are We the Baddies?
With Laxmee locked down, there’s probably no way for me to complete Telemetry with the orders I’ll have available, so that’s getting tossed. Up comes Net Undermine. Things are looking very, very dire, but with a couple of good dice rolls, I can complete all three of the available Classifieds, and take the lead! Bill or Avi can make a dash for the enemy DZ to complete Net-Undermine, and there’s some weak troops on the way that could be used for Extreme Prejudice. Laxmee is locked down, but she’s still a Hacker, and can still finish Data Scan.
Starting off, Laxmee uses her Irregular order to try and Data Scan Melanie’s Prowler. It fails. Melanie then, very helpfully, reminds me that Isolated troops can’t receive orders from the order pool. I forgot about that. Shoot. Unless some magic happens on the other side of the board, I can only play for a tie from here on out.
Bill leads his Fireteam forward, and comes up behind the de-camo’d Zero. Four shots into his back and the Zero is off the board. I’ve got a problem now. Bill has BS Attack (Shock), but I need unconscious models to Coup de Grace for Extreme Prejudice. I’ve got a brilliant idea. Those poor, defenseless Pupniks over there, just sitting around without their master, disconnected, not a threat to anyone? They’ve got Total Immunity. Bill breaks off from the fireteam, and splits his Multi Pistol burst between the three of them. He lands his shots on all three of the harmless, defenseless animals, and they all drop unconscious. Living up to his name, Bill walks up and just starts wildly stabbing the bodies. Wow Bill. They’re innocent animals. That’s pretty messed up…. But Extreme Prejudice is complete, so… uh… I guess this is why you bring a psycho on the team. Pleased with his work, Bill then trots off like nothing happened, and also finishes out Net-Undermine.
We’re tied on Classifieds now, so I just have to hope Melanie gets unlucky with her new card draws, and I get some good AROs.
Bottom of 3 – ZoC (Zoe of Control)
HVT: Kidnapping wasn’t going to happen, but Data Scan and HVT: Espionage were both right up my alley. I always try to build lists that can utilize a lot of hacking, and with Zoe left on the field I was in a good position to get them done. I discarded HVT: Kidnapping, and it was replaced with Capture. Good thing the other two were more my speed!
The key to this turn was going to be making use of Zoe to complete either of the hacking objectives. It would take me two orders to get into position, and I had a total of four to spend on her. The biggest obstacle is that Zoe would have to move directly in front of Bill. I moved and then dodged, and luckily the potshot Bill took at me missed. Now within range of the HVT, I completed HVT: Espionage. I realized I was in hacking range of Avicenna, so I used Zoe’s last order to grab an extra point by completing Data Scan. Last but not least, I used my final order to walk my Meteor Zond onto the board to make sure I got the victory points for it.
Bakunin wins – 6 to ForCo’s 2!
Post Game Analysis
Since this Bromad mission focuses on the new fireteams, I’ll talk about those first. This is my first game with ForCo, but I’m already loving their new fireteam options. Having a four unit core and two three unit Harises just feels nice to play with, and I’d highly recommend trying it out if a sectorial you play has that option. Having lots of mix and match options and getting +1B across almost the entire list is strong and enjoyable to play with, and as soon as I finished my game, I was immediately thinking about ways I could tweak the list to make it better and make my teams more effective.
I’ll need to play some more games, but the changes to four and five member fireteams feel good to me at the moment. Breaking up the old 5-unit +3 BS bonus into three different +1 bonuses makes it feel much less mandatory to always add a fifth unit into a Core once it has four members. Additionally, staring down the Bakunin Core linked Tsyklon feels much more reasonable now. Before, I was typically dicing off against two shots on 15s, and that would force me to always bring some very specialized tool to cut through it. Now that it’s two dice on 13s, it’s still very powerful, but there’s a lot more options for clearing it out of the way. I think this change has pushed Infinity more towards the “lots of soft counters” area of game design, and pulled it back from focusing on “several hard counters.” To me, that’s a good thing.
A lot of the biggest problems I faced in this game were due to being inexperienced with ForCo. I already mentioned forgetting about Strategic Deployment, getting the burst wrong on the Contender, and woefully assuming a normal PH was higher than it actually is, but there were tons of other mistakes like this. I’ve read these profiles tons of times over the past few months, but there’s a kind of learning that only really happens from actually playing the game, and apparently I’d forgotten that.
I cheated in my list composition by including a fireteam that was possible in the old rules, and I didn’t include any of the new fireteam compositions. The revised rules did make a difference though – with the new composition rules my Tsyklon lost its usual +3 BS and instead only had +1. It didn’t make that big of a difference in the end; my Tsyklon still won its first roll, and I was always prepared to lose it while using it as an ARO piece. What did surprise me was that my Moderators didn’t get penalized for losing my Tsyklon because of the composition rules. Once it was out of the link, the Moderators still received +1 to their BS instead of the old +0. I hadn’t considered that when planning, but it was nice to still receive a bonus even though the link had been knocked down to four.
While I wanted to branch out and try something new, I really settled back into a list that was pretty standard for me, which was slightly disappointing. It worked in the end, so I can’t complain that much! What did surprise me was that hacking didn’t end up playing as big of a role as it usually does in my strategy. While I started to build a repeater network using a Moderator’s pitcher, it never came into play. I also didn’t use the repeaters in my Tsyklon, Meteor Zond, or Pi-Well. All that being said, I still loved having Zoe and the Zero, and I can’t imagine making a Countermeasures list without at least having two hackers. Zoe in particular proved to be a champ, and I didn’t even get a chance to use her engineering which would have made her even more valuable.
One thing this list did make me consider is how good Avicenna is. Erin successfully used her to save Bill, and my Daktari only managed to murder my Riot Grrl. Having that +3 to the Doctor roll and 2 more WIP by default would have made a big difference! Speaking of Bill, he’s a beast! Letting him get close was a mistake because that Multi-pistol is nasty.
I do feel I made some mistakes in both my deployment and play. When my Tsyklon fell, that whole side of the board was fairly open to Erin’s haris pushing forward. If not for a few lucky rolls on my part, it could have ended much worse. I only used one of my Zeros, and Pi-Well and my Meteor Zond never got use at all.
Countermeasures remains one of my favorite scenarios, and while this was my first time playing it with the red deck, it still proved to be a lot of fun. I’m excited to tweak this list some and get right back to burning through objectives!