This time I will approach my report a bit differently. Over the past quarter I’ve played 16 games during which I paid attention to when and how I am dealing with Fireteams. This study can be opened with a report from a previous mission where my Kriza was dismantling OSS’s Asura Haris:
As you can see we will need proper tools to deal with Fireteams as they usually pack a proper punch even in ARO. We will need something to outmatch them in any way and use it to our advantage. Kriza is a really good example of such a tool. He costs a bit less than a full Light Infantry Core and has a similar firepower with his HMG (BS13, +1B and Mim(-3)) and has some survivability (5 ARM 6 BTS).
Case 1 – Kriza Boracs vs Unidrons
- Mission: Looting and Sabotaging
- Forces: Nomads versus Onyx Contact Force (300)
Here in the first example I have Kriza which I held in reserve (deploying and going first) to deploy accordingly to my opponent so that he doesn’t need many Orders to reach the firing position to take out enemy ARO. In my list he was in a second group with a few Orders. I’ve been exploring Control Group approach in which I have a big gun in a 2nd group with just a few Orders to take out enemy ARO, so most of my HMGs/TAGs end up in a smaller group as I don’t want to overextend them anyway and keep the main group’s orders to completing objectives. His task was just to shoot whatever’s left standing.
My opponent deployed his TR Drone and Unidron with Plasma Sniper Rifle to ARO.
Kriza deployed in a position where he could reach LoF to Unidron in one Order and tried shooting. Apparently Noctifer saw his position so I had to split Burst but 5 B is more than enough to deal with one of them and then take out the other with the rest. If I recall correctly (damn me for not writing each of these right after the game instead of remembering it all now almost 3 months later…) I used the whole second group’s orders to deal with them because of the lucky dice of the Noctifer’s rolls.
Fast forward through the game. I approach Panoply with a Moran I think and Sphinx decides to stop me. I drop a Bashi to help out with complicated choices for my opponent (E/M Mines + Rifle/LSG shots), but lose him in the process while Wounding the Sphinx once. On his Active Turn I almost lose the Lt, actually lose all Puppets with their Master. Grief goes after my Lt bait, Kriza and Beasthunter killing them all. On my turn I drop a Carlota in a tough spot for a Sphinx to choose a proper front arc and keep firing her Breaker Combi until he dies. Chimera almost gets to the enemy AC2, but to some Malignos she loses her Pupniks and dies herself after dealing with one of the Unidrons. I use Bran to pick Malignos out and Moran runs forward to take out the AC2 with a single D-Charge. Unidrons decide to move for Panoply, and fail to reach my AC, ending a game in a win for me.
Kriza here was a good can opener, but then the fireteam wasn’t very active until everything else dropped dead, losing 2 BS is not that significant, but then I could still approach their position with my Moran and Chimera without the trouble of the sniper.
Case 2 – Stigmata and Chimera vs Hector Haris
- Mission: Mindwipe
- Forces: Bakunin versus Starmada (300)
This time I had to fight back Hector, Parvati, KHD Uberhacker Betatrooper Haris that got deep into my Deployment Zone taking out at least 1-2 Moderator and Riot Grrl with ML in a Core Fireteam. My Lt was there, but luckily my opponent decided to go after Stigmata and her Orphan Engineer in a Duo killing the Engineer.
First of all I throw a Morlock there to cover the approach for my Chimera. She dies and fails to throw smoke (I did so in FtF, but should have done it slightly behind her, so that I had 80% to put it down instead of whatever it was against 2 shots from Hector. Chimera tried to throw a smoke as well, but failed to do so and I didn’t have too many Orders, so I went all in with a Dodge, but Hector managed to kill her on approach and I had to use the Stigmata. Stigmata backed out of 16” through a box and started shooting. She killed Hector, Parvati and then got closer to finish the Betatrooper. 140 Points just went down the drain.
Again I tried 2 approaches. First was to kill Hector safely for my already -2STR Stigmata with CC Specialists. As far as I know Chimera has the best CC in the game thanks to her MA lv2, NBW and CC Attack (-3) and here she had 2-3 Pupnik to join her. This failed as she didn’t have a safe approach so I had to force my way in with Stigmata, who had 2 bonus Orders (Tac Awareness and Uberhacker Special Order), so despite losses I still had some fuel in her. This time I didn’t have as much firepower in Burst, but the rangebands and Hector being out of cover definitely helped. He burnt down like a matchstick under HRL.
Case 3 – Chimera vs Wallace
- Mission: Power Pack
- Forces: Nomads versus Kosmoflot (300)
This one seems slightly inaccurate, but I have no idea what could be wrong. SecDet was a Breaker Combi one.
Here I had two links to crack through. Wallace with 4 Varangian Guards and a Kosmosoldat with Autocannon in Haris. At the first problem I threw Chimera. His Irregular Orders were Regular, so I knew for sure that Wallace is an Lt and it wasn’t protected super well.
Chimera had to throw one Eclipse to avoid Kosmosoldat’s fire (and his damned MSV1). Once she got closer my friend realised what his problem will be, so as soon as he could he had started Dodging his Varangians out of safety to slow Chimera’s approach. Also he stood up with SecDet on a nearby roof so I had to shoot her down. If I recall correctly I did it with my Sin Eater in 2nd group with his single shots.
Wallace started Dodging with intention to go backwards, but failed to do so and 2 Chimera’s Orders after the above pic I launched everything at him in a rambo attack, because I obviously had to fail all my Eclipse throws.
Obviously Chimera died from Varangian’s fire and I could put my attention elsewhere. For some reason there was a Zenit-7 CoC nearby (2 camo markers visible on the pics), but I didn’t realise it at the time.
Then I could start trying to get rid off Kosmosoldat, but this dude was just too tough. Puppets, Cralota to the back and a few other things failed to put even a single scratch on him until my last turn, where he was basically in my Deployment Zone and I managed to put a single Wound into him, but it definitely wasn’t enough. Looking back I should have had more Pitchers and had tried to put one below him to strike him down with Guided Missile Launcher, but at the time it looked like too many Orders would be needed to even try that, so I wasted soooo many more Orders to lose all my assets in the game.
Funny thing for me about Smoke Grenade throws on 16s is that they seem to succeed 30-40% of the time. Bran is barely above 50%, but this game failed to Infiltrate. If my Chimera had succeeded in throwing Eclipse on Wallace the fight there would be much cleaner, but I think it was her last or second to last Order so I had no time to try again. As for the Kosmosoldat I just forgot that I have 2 tools to deal with these kinds of things. First of all I had Jazz and a Moran nearby. White Noise that guy, get close, relocate White Noise and then either kill him at close range with bonus -6 for White Noise or Spotlight and nuke him from orbit. As much as I love the utility that HD+ bring to the table I just need to play more with it so that I remember to use it when facing something like that.
Case 4 – Stigmata vs Riot Grrls
- Mission: 20×20 Destroy Fuel Depot + Ammo Supplies
- Forces: Bakunin versus Bakunin (300)
This one was a total fail on my part. I opened the game by KHD Zero blasting Custiodier with Trinity and then I just pooped. Stigmata tried fighting the Riot Grrl with ML, but got wiped off the table with a single FtF. Opponent went in with his Haris which I chipped a bit with my Moderators. I think just the Cenobite after 2 turns got to my objectives. I however managed to force her to go Prone and went in with Chimera. They threw a Smoke and managed to engage Riots’ Fireteam Leader. Then with their last Order they went all in on one of the tanks but failed to destroy it completely (which would cause an explosion possibly destroying the neighbouring one). Cenobite however managed to get rid of my tanks, winning the game.
This game was a failure on my part. I had no proper tool in a good place to deal with Riot Grrls. My Riot Grrl just failed her FtF with the enemy (14s vs 16s) and ever since loss of the Stigmata the game was just going downhill. I find failure in preparation to play against Riot Grrls (I knew I would be going versus Bakunin).
Case 5: Avatar vs Security
- Mission: Endsong 03: Occupation
- Forces: Combined Army versus Starmada (300)
Scenario revolved around running over dead bodies and controlling the enemy Deployment Zone. I was super hyped for my Caskuda when I saw a line of Kappas, but then we realised that enemy DZ is an Exclusion Zone. So I dropped her on approach to Parvati, Nyoka, Betatrooper Haris (I think). On the way there was a Varangian and TR Fuzzbot (yes, the Baggage REM with TR). I shot them twice and on the second time I got 3 hits from Fuzzbot and failed all my saves. There goes Caskuda. At least Varangian died.
Time to use my 2nd tool. Avatar. He goes ham. And when I mean ham, I mean all he saw was white rage and nothing could even put a single scratch on him.
Went far on the right flank and started shooting stuff, either one by one or 2 at a time. At the end he entered Suppressive Fire. Cyberghost threw a Pitcher and tried Isolating him 6 times, but Avatar tanked all of them. On my turn Daturazi pushed forward to tank WildParrot and destroy the Repeater. He tanked the mine and Avatar was free. So he continued GOING HAM. No enemy model stood longer than 2 Orders when facing Avatar. Even the damned Fuzzbot got shot from over 40”. I had to take a breather halfway through the enemy Deployment Zone, but then on a third turn I went in and finished the job. Well… Almost. On the last 2 Orders I was fighting the last enemy model, Parvati. And she managed to survive. Below is the pic midway through my top of 2. All the PanO markers are ID dropped by Dead Starmada models that I have to collect more of and I do so by just touching them during Move skill.
To sum up. Took big dakka. Enemy had bad dakka. I went dakka dakka and won. EZ
On a serious note I don’t think there’s much to learn here. Maybe that Avatar gives you what you pay for and the enemy HAS to be prepared to deal with him and even then that might not be enough.
So my approach seems to be simple. Either have superior firepower to deal with the ARO or have a trick to deal with it, other members of the fireteam or just ignore it altogether.
Superior firepower would include high BS, high Burst, getting into disadvantageous rangeband while you keep your bonuses and visual mods (Mimetism vs non-MSV models).
Trick would involve stuff like Smoke, Eclipse and approach with Warbands, Pitcher+Spotlight+Guided Missile Launcher, White Noising the hell out of MSV ARO and just dealing with other members. If you can make it work you won’t need much luck. If you can’t, luck is all that could help you. Especially if your meta likes to play more open tables and a single sniper could lock down half (or more) of the table. Most of the factions could force the approach with TAG or Kriza-like units. Others will be forced to rely on tricks and player’s skill in using them.