…Wait that’s not a meme, that might actually be pretty good.
By the Gus (RandomCallsign)
- Mission: Annihilation
- Forces: O-12 versus Steel Phalanx (300)
- Deploy First: Steel Phalanx
- First Turn: Steel Phalanx]
I wanted to run the new roadbot highway patrol that’s been released but since it isn’t in Army Builder yet I built a 277 point list and left the 23 points free for a roadbot paramedic with the heavy riotstopper. I leaned into the internet discussions/lulz and decided to pair him with a rem driver for a combat form with CC 27 and a mobility form dodging 4” on 17’s. I supported it with some of the usual goodies. A Varangian for smoke coverage, two sensor bots for their extra orders and to climb up walls for unconventional attack angles, Aida to try and funnel midfield units towards the bot with viral mines and a couple gangbusters with their madtraps to glue down the midfield. I filled the rest of the first group with Hippolyta and Andromeda to use as attack pieces to focus on anything that was too big to send the Roadbot after. The Delta BSG was there for a hopeful obvious LT snipe.
Group two was more of a “insert generic ARO/support presence here” group. The Raveneye serves as an obvious LT bait while Cho hides in the back under holomask state.
My opponent Ray has been playing Tak through our local escalation league and I incorrectly assumed that’s what he had brought today. This Superfriends list he brought packs a huge punch and has several characters that are all capable of ruining someone’s day with an alpha strike. (More on that soon.) After our game we talked about this list’s conception as a sort of meme list to fit all the big chonky Aleph boys in one list but it turns out it’s really a pretty competitive list. You’ve got the big core to handle things and push some buttons while Ajax and Achilles on their own are capable of covering huge sections of the board in a hurry and delivering a big punch when they get there.
I won the roll off and certainly should have asked what army Ray was playing. If I’d known it was SP I would have taken first turn to avoid an alpha strike but instead opted to take the table side that I felt provided better access to mid-field defensive positions and I felt good about being able to counter-deploy and maneuver around this half of the board to mitigate my relative weakness in the 24”+ rangebands. As it stood I spent my time organizing my order tray and chewing the fat while Ray laid out his Mega Murder Men™.
There’s not much to it when you only have six models and four batteries. Achilles went down on the right flank. The four-person core on the left. Ajax was his reserve and the FP bots and Netrods hid as best they could.
*Sorry for the confusion, I used red for both mine and Ray’s deployment and just didn’t have the gusto to redo this image. Anywho…*
It was right about now that I realized Ray had just dropped several big and scary Lhost’s down on the table and I was going to be in for a bad time. I still felt okay-ish about my chances but needed to do my best to neutralize the incoming alpha strike pain train I was about to see. I set my Roadbot up in combat form to watch the long left line so that Achilles would have to face a long range panzerfaust if he charged down the side. I backed this up with a Varangian to throw smoke as well to cover himself and the Okobot if he tried it. Aida and the Gangbuster in the middle were hopefully going to slow down any Ajax advance up the middle while the TR bot supplied backup and I hunkered down Hippolyta somewhere safe on the stairs. It’s hard to see but there’s also a gangbuster prone at the top of the stairs in the top right corner of the midfield with a madtrap blocking that approach vector. Cut off by my vaunted camera skills is my LT bait Raveneye and a Beasthunter watching the long line up the right side of the table with his panzerfaust along with a second Oko bot. I dropped these two together so Ray would have to guess which camo token was an AP mine vs EM from the two minelayers. Cho, masquerading as a Dakini paramedic hid in the back watching my board edge and raveneye while looking like she was ready to sprint upfield and revive anybody as needed. Andromeda was my reserve model and I had a hard time deciding where to put her down since this was a rare instance where most of my opponent’s models could punk her in close combat. I settled on the spot that I felt could leverage her zapper best if either Ajax came up the middle or Achilles along the flank.
Top of 1 – SP
I dock Ray two orders and he proceeds to send Ajax up the middle of the field. He uses a few orders to move and then a move-dodge to get into a threatening position against Andromeda and the Gangbuster while avoiding the madtrap’s glue. Not wanting to expose Ajax to the three AROs of the two nearby models and the TR bot watching, Ray spends a couple orders for Achilles to rush him up the stairs of the building in the center left. From this elevated vantage point he can engage the TR bot alone with Achilles. It’s something like his 3 on 9’s to my 4 on 8’s but he manages to push a hit and a crit through and the TR bot goes down quickly. From here Ajax is now free to come around the corner so he moves up and combi-crit’s the gangbuster down while Andromeda dodges to get her closer to guard range. Ajax then turns his attention to her and moves close but not quite into base to base. I’m at a tough spot here and don’t want to allow him to swing into me until absolutely necessary so I opted to try and use the zapper and stop him in his tracks. Ajax passed his dodge and now we’re locked in close combat. It’s about the result I expected but at least I made him waste an extra order to do it. Ajax wisely doesn’t berserk and we dice off in CC. He crits me again and Andromeda goes up in a puff of red smoke under his hammer and Marches down the sideline at my Oko, Varangian, and Roadbot. I’m a little fuzzy on how this little three ARO net came down but through some Varangian SMG shots and panzerfaust misses the end result was Ajax (minus 1 wound) being locked in CC with the Roadbot and one order left. Ray uses the last order to berserk the roadbot and we both crit. The Roadbot is shredded but at least Ajax is down a wound and glued in my deployment zone. I was hoping to figure out a way to keep the roadbot alive since the point of this list was to practice using his transmutation between mobility and combat profiles but c’est la vie.
Bottom of 1 – O-12
Well…Ouch. I’m starting my first turn, down five orders and on my back foot; but the whole point of making this list was to get the Roadbot into CC and I’ve at least got that going for me. Which is nice. Hippolyta uses her impetuous order to move upfield a bit. My plan is to get her over to take out Ajax but first I have to deal with Achilles in the window. She opposes his spitfire on 9’s with eclipse smoke on 17’s but gets beat and takes a wound. I don’t want to spend an order on Hippolyta again, especially since she’ll have to move into Achilles’ good range bands so instead I bring on my Delta BSG to try and get Achilles that way. He spends an order to move up to the corner of the building but without stealth and in ZoC Achilles dodges to modify his firing arc. I pop the Delta around the corner to try and leverage my good rangeband on the BSG but get shocked off the table from his heavy pistol. With my other avenues now down I spend an order on Hippolyta to move and dodge against Achilles and she safely moves out of danger. I used the Oko’s tac aware order to take some free shots at Ajax and succeed at putting a wound on him. Now he’s glued and in NWI but I’m out of orders in the pool that can hurt him. With group two I take the Raveneye on a crazy push upfield to try and leverage his multitude of EM weapons against the Hector Core. Hector and the Raveneye do some dancing along this far edge. Hector has some great dodges and manages to avoid my E Marat and EM mines and my turn ends with a beasthunter watching Hector while the Raveneye retreats back to split his LoF against Hector and the middle corridor in case Achilles heads that way.
Top of 2 – PlayerA
Ray uses Ajax’s impetuous order to crit his dodge and break out of the glue while avoiding the Oko and Hippolyta’s AROs. One more order of burst split between the two and the Oko is dead but Hippolyta manages to get her shot off and finally down Ajax the Great. He activates Hector to take out the Beast hunter at long range and retreat behind the building but eats the E Marat from the Raveneye and winds up isolated and immobilized for it. Hooray! Bad news: now Hector is in total cover and right next to an engineer who spends an order and fixes Hector up to good as new. Hector’s safe and the Raveneye has no backup so it’s time for Achilles to do Achilles stuff. He moves across the board and move-dodges to clear the madtrap near the building. From there he takes some shots into the back of the Raveneye who miraculously makes his saves and turns to stare him down. Two more orders and the Raveneye gets cut to ribbons by Achilles to end the turn.
Bottom of 2 – PlayerB
Not a lot of orders left but much to Ray’s surprise/confusion I’m not in LoL. I spend the rest of my command tokens to move everyone but the single surviving Oko over into group two. It uses its tac aware order to push forward and take some shots at Achilles but goes down from an ARO. Then I stand the gangbuster up who dies with the same result. I’m bleeding orders and a bit on Tilt at this point and forgot about Hippolyta so I sent Aida after Achilles with the rest of my orders and she winds up going down too.
Top of 3 – PlayerA
Not much left here to threaten so Ray spends his orders Marching Achilles down my right flank to take out the turret, RemDriver, and Cho-Kini. With his last order he’s able to pop out far enough to catch Hippolyta in her bad range band I see the writing on the wall so I shoot for the fun of it and she goes down for the tabled 10-0 victory.
Post Game Analysis
Not much went right for me in this game. I felt like most of the time I wasn’t able to get myself into positions where the dice were heavily in my favor and 50/50 rolls or 60/40 face offs just can’t be counted on with any kind of reliability. I probably shouldn’t have used the Delta against Achilles and just counted on Hippolyta to get herself over there. Maybe then I could have killed Ajax sooner and saved the Oko bot. I liked the play with the Raveneye though and his synergy with the Beast hunter. It was certainly entertaining to see Ray’s reaction to me taking what he thought was my Lt. on a suicide run so early in the game. I didn’t get much of a chance to run the roadbot but I like the profile. I’m probably going to run it with the RemDriver at least one more time before I stop spending the 12 points on buffing it.
I’m getting a little bored of throwing two Gangbuster KHD’s in every list I make and need to force myself to move away from them for a bit. It is hard to walk away from an infiltrating specialist with such an optimized kit for only 22 points though. Feels similar to starting an Ariadna list with a couple Chasseurs and then moving on to what to do with the rest of your 260 points. Bottom line is I still like this list I came up with; I don’t think it’s really great for Annihilation though. The Gangbusters should have had BSG’s and swapped one of the Oko’s for an engineer or something. I’m probably going to run it as is without any changes for a different opponent/mission and see how it does.