Mission 50: Coming Up Short
- Mission: Uplink Center
- Forces: ISS versus Haqquislam(300)
- Deploy First: Haqqislam
- First Turn: ISS
Haqqislam threw out a solid midfield defensive network with six camo tokens for me to fret over. I figured the the right side had a Liberto + mine and Daylami but I wasn’t sure what that Hunzakut or Hawwa were going to be. I figured the hunza was actually a Daylami. Forcibly going second and opening yourself to having to deal with both a first turn onslaught and counter deployment was bold but Uplink Center favors the second player so I get the appeal. I figured that the defense was there to choke me up and bog me down in the middle. Then things like the Rafiq, Fiddler, and Twins could sweep in and pick me apart. If this could stall out turns 1 and 2, the gambit could pick the weakest side and own it for the win.
My ISS goal was having redundant attack pieces so I wanted two strong flank teams to see which side would be the weakest. For me, I had the Su Jian MBH duo on the left while the Hsien MMR would take the right side. The Hsien HMG haris would then be somewhat central to assist or exploit either flank as needed. Kuang Shi are order batteries here but I did deploy a few out of the central building to serve as guards.
The goal of Mission 50 is to use new rules and even after playing Dahshat quite a bit last year, I rarely used Booty (and would forget it often when I did have it) and Metachemistry was new to me. Both required me to remember to roll for them and actually use the new changes during the game was a challenge of mine in the past that I was trying to correct this time around. MBH got lucky and pulled a HMG while the CSU got Climb+.
Top of 1 – ISS
The Fiday deployed from reserve and messed up my initial plan to send the Su Jian out so in turn 1, I countered by parachuting the free Corsair Bashi to that side of the board. The deployment killed one of the holoechoes as a Daylami revealed and took a shot at one. The remaining echoes went and surrounded the Fiday, who refused to break impersonation. With the Fiday covered, I sent the Su Jian and biker out into the world. They got harassed by a Daylami but didn’t really lose anything. On they way, the Hsien HMG popped his head out of the building and discovered the Hunzakut and put it down. The biker couldn’t weather some of the incoming fire so I had the Su Jian ditch the duo in cat form and scamper into the far building deep in Haqq territory. This is where murder kitty does its best work as the triple shotgun can eliminate a great deal of weak backfield units. Like the Kameel EVO hacker that it easily wiped out rounding the corner of the building.
However, my main target was that total reaction bot. Now that I was in kill range, it was easy prey. Or should have been. At this range, I’m making the bot try to hit me on 5 or less while I’m looking for 17 or less. It’ll throw 4 dice to my 3 but the odds should easily yield a dead bot. Instead it crits me on the first salvo. HMGs aren’t something to just easily shrug off but in cover, the kitty basically at TAG level armor. Doesn’t matter. I take two wounds off the bat. No worries. I’ll shrug this off as murder kitty can stay conscious even after losing all it’s structure points. Kitty shoots again. TR bot crits me again. I pass only one of the saves which drops the kitty.
The HMG Hsien picks up the slack again and unloads into the bot. The dice are still in my favor but no where near as nice as before. It works this time and Hsien drops the stupid bot. I leave the disastrous left flank and focus now on the right flank. I get the other Hsien team out of their building and they work into the center to take control of the right console. I eventually get rid of the mine and the Daylami without incident but I’m low on orders and need to reform some things to defend against the counter attack coming. I don’t want that reaction bot getting back up so I put some more shots into it and it is completely wrecked. The motorized bounty hunter snagged an HMG while heading off to work today and she had sight on the Rafiq remote. She got a lucky hit in and it went unconscious as well. With the Bashi body-blocking the Fiday and the HMG bounty hunter standing guard, the left flank was as good as I was going to get it.
Bottom of 1 – Haqqislam
Starting their first turn, Haqqislam really wanted to ruin my day. The Barid throws a pitcher down to catch my Hsien and hacker in the comms net. Zulekya then hauls ass and rams her 4 shot breaker pistols down my Haris’ throat. To do this, however, she has to run through my madtrap (she completely shrugs it off), pass through Xi’s double template flamethrower (she is not even singed), evade the breaker rifle shots (total missing her), and tank the pistol hits from the Kaung Shi (which might as well be BB pellets). She unloads on my Hsien while he dodges (breaking the link team). The dodge is decent and he ends up tanking the hits as well so after the crazy matrix-style choreographed fight scene everyone is miraculously okay.
Having survived, Zulekya still had a job to do and really wanted to take down that Hsien. To do so, she ran into melee with Xi and shot at Hsien again. Hsien dodged some of the incoming fire and again saved against the few hits that got through. Zulekya was not so lucky this time and finally ended up taking a wound and going dogged.
Haqqislam still has some things to do so leaves the scrum to have Fiddler gizmot kit the Rafiq back up to full operational status. The Rafiq then moves out to engage my bount hunter. The HMG she stole was well-sighted and crits the Rafiq back down to unconscious. The Asawira comes out to deal with the bounty hunter and gets shot as well. No wounds taken but the bounty hunter is completely shutting down that fire lane and burning through the Haqqislam order pool. Finally, the Asawira tries again and downs the bounty hunter. The left flank of mine is completely open to attack but luckily, my opponent is out of orders.
Top of 2 – ISS
With the right flank open, I decide to start pushing for the mission objectives. First, I have to take care of the repeater my team is caught in. I grab the Hsien HMG team and send the Pheasant Killer Hacker over. I can’t really get a line on the repeater to take it out so the killer hacker will hopefully just start killing all the hackers in the area. The gambit works and the Pheasant nukes the Barid hacker. The Hawwa doesn’t want to reveal and the Ragik is not on the table yet so that shuts down everything I see for now.
The other Hsien team then moves into position, tanking a mine and getting a surprise Liberto in the face. The dice odds aren’t great and I try multiple shots with the MMR in bad range thinking dice volume will win out only to end up unconscious eventually by the Liberto shotgun blasts. I see why people hated my Dahshat Company fielding them all the time. I’m not thinking clearly here and work out another solution to send my CSU up on top of the roof (gotta use that Climb+ enhancement!) to shoot at the Liberto. This is useless and luckily I only burned two orders on that fruitless endeavor. Finally, I realize the Hsien HMG can move out and get a bead on the Liberto from across the map. Liberto decides to drop a mine and eat a bunch of bullets. I don’t have the orders to activate the console so I end the turn getting the remaining Hsien into cover.
Bottom of 2 – Haqqislam
Haqqislam decides to start nipping at my flanks. First, they drop the Bashi Bazouk on the right side trying to clear out my specialists. It lands in the repeater of my flashbot and gets targetted for its effort. It then runs over and shoots the flashbot down. Rounding the corner, it goes down to a well aimed breaker rifle shot from my Zhanying hacker.
Next, my opponent reveals an order to drop the Ragik but realizes that my hacker is still in the Barid’s deployed repeater. He debates on whether to drop or not but the situation doesn’t look like it would resolve anytime soon so he’d rather have it on the board than hold it back another round. Unfortunately, I brick it with an Oblivion hack from the Zhanying.
With options dwindling, the Asawira again steps up. It takes down my Hsien HMG and drops a Kuang Shi to strip more orders from my group. Even with most of my strong attack pieces out of action, the Asawira doesn’t want to stay out in the open so it ducks behind a central building and waits for turn 3.
Top of 3 – ISS
The Liberto mine is still there, taunting me. I have the CSU shoot and the mine is destroyed. I send in the Zhanying hacker to activate the console. With its mission bonuses, this is easily accomplished. Having used his lieutenant order on the Asawira, I realize I might have a way to secure the game by hacking it and cutting the head off the Haqqislam army.
I send the Zhanying over into range and throw Oblivion at the Asawira. Even with BTS 9, it gets through and the army has now lost its lieutenant. To really keep it down, I decide to Carbonite it as well so now not only can it not receive more orders or direct the army, but will be locked down as well with -12 mods to try to get out. I have about 4 more orders and debate on trying to just kill the Asawira to deny more opponent points but instead, I try to go and control the central objective with my Pheasant to make sure I get the minimum victory points for a total win. This was stupid as I later realize as I could have controlled the other console for roughly the same results.
Doing so triggers a reaction from the Asawira but it needs something like a 2 or 1 to reset so I risk it. Of course, it promptly resets completely and now I’m in trouble. With precious few orders left, the Zhanying hacks it again with Oblivion to keep the army in loss of lieutenant. Luck swings back my way and it works again but I have no more orders to get my Pheasant into cover.
Bottom of 3 – Haqqislam
With his army in disarray, Haqqislam turns to Zamira to try and save the day. Using the last command token to convert a crucial order, Zamira gets out of the deployment zone and lines up for a straight-line berserk attack. She has an incredible 14″ distance on her berserk but when we measure, she is just outside of melee range and so the order fails. The Pheasant promptly dodges and goes prone behind the console.
Haqqislam can’t really muster anything else as the rest of its units are out of position and left with one order each (due to loss of lieutenant).
ISS Wins! 7 – 3
Post Game Analysis
A very crazy game with a lot of key pieces dying in their active turn as the reactive shooters just punished everyone on the board. The ending was nuts with the complete reversal of fortune when that Asawira rolled a 2 to reset out of all the crippling states I put it in. Add in the fact that I didn’t even need to expose my lieutenant to trigger the reset, position her into a vulnerable 5 victory point swing spot, and Zamira being a quarter inch shy of almost instant kill range and it really was an epic game experience.
I liked the double Hsien Haris and Su Jian Duo but feel like I’m not getting enough done with the Heavy Shotgun Su Jian. The last couple of games I’ve used it, I don’t feel like the “missile” strike it does is worth the order expenditure and over commitment it needs. This game was a set of pretty terrible face-to-face rolls so it went down doing very little but even when it effectively eliminated a Tikbalang, it actually needed help from units like the MultiMR Hsien. I think I’ll switch to the Spitfire Su Jian for awhile as it plays in roles I’m more comfortable with. I have a pretty hack-heavy meta so getting a hackable, expensive unit into 8-ish inches of enemies can be rough. The other change I’ll be making will be in how I use my Kuang Shi. They have so much more potential beyond being cheap order batteries so I may explore leaving them out of a Core and push the CG Monitor into a Core I can use.
Getting a good result from the Booty roll helped keep the rule in mind and, to an extent, helped remind me of the metachemistry role. Climb+ on the CSU didn’t come into play much but did allow me to get a good line on the Liberto mine and help me overcome the disaster of my right flank.