Thursday, June 13, 2024
Battle Reports

So yeah… Reinforcements.

By Tcional

I think I’ve played 11 or so games with Reinforcements Extra over a month. We had a Satellite in Warsaw, Poland late October running this Extra. I wouldn’t say most of the players were pleased with the format of the Tournament, but I wanted to play it anyway and decided to prepare as best as I could. So I played a total of 1 casual tryout for the format, and then 5 prep games and 5 tournament games.

A couple of them were reported in Shattergrounds online campaign and the first one was played on TTS. As we’re not trying to achieve anything specific during this Academy Mission I think I will stick to the shorter overview of the games I played.

Game 1

First game was Bakunin vs Qapu Khalqi back in ITS14 where I could pull off 10 orders on the Reinforcements group consisting of the Core fireteam because Stemplers still had their Tactical Awareness Orders. My friend won the Lt roll and decided to Keep Initiative and go second. We were playing an Endsong mission that revolved around controlling ZoC around the center of the board and the game itself was pretty balanced.

I dropped my Reinforcements on Top of Turn 3 to contest the Zone of Operations, but it didn’t mean much since QK dropped their 5 troopers including a Haris. They shot down a thing or two on my side, but didn’t have to do much to secure a win.

Game 2

Second game against the same opponent was a B-Pong. Nomads vs Dahshat. If I recall correctly I was going first and we both had a TAG in our Reinforcements. We had a bit of fun laughing at the ridiculousness of the Reinf. Extras, because the first two turns didn’t really matter. I tried contesting the Consoles and Beacon, but he was just winning everything back on the bottom turn of the round. My Lizard managed to clear a bit on Top of Turn 3, but then Anaconda came in and didn’t have to do much to secure a win.

Short comment on initial thoughts

At this point we figured out that some missions will be terrible for the format since you basically secure the win at Initiative Roll. Going second with 100pts with possibly 6+ orders and deploying those 100pts exactly where you need them to win the game (especially in “control the area” type of missions) gives you a huge advantage and first player has to gain a lot of ground to be able to hold you off as some of my later games will show.

Game 3

Third game was the Troubled Theft mission from Dire Foes. Again I brought Nomads and faced the CA. This time I was going second. CA started strong. Sheskiin cleared the turrets and grabbed Robin Hook. I dropped Meteor and shot a bunch of stuff in the back before he got shot before I managed to GML anything. However, over the next two turns CA didn’t manage to achieve much.

Reinf dropped and covered the Robin Hook position. The Exrah grabbed her and brought to their DZ. At this point my opponent suggested that it’s pointless to play the rest of the game as I would win. I don’t remember what I had in my Reinf group, but it was supposed to get through to his Exrah units fast and with enough firepower to release the Robin and possibly synchronize her giving me the win.

Game 4

Fourth game was against Ariadna. Ziggurat Raid. I was going first. The scenario was written by the Satellite TO and revolved around 5 Ziggurat. Each round we were rolling to see which one will be active this round. At the end of each Round the one controlling the Ziggurat would gain some points. The rest were for killing Lt and more army points. First active Ziggurat is near the opponent. I am terrified of the bears so I go for Bearpode first.

Chimera gets stopped 1-2 orders short of Bearpode. In return Bearpode charges my DZ and clears 3-4 models in it. On the second turn again the opponent’s Ziggurat was Active but the other one and I tried getting rid of Bearpode, but failed to do so and he again ran a bit further. Chernobog on the enemy team didn’t even get activated once. He didn’t need to. Eventually the Bearpod died and I could focus on the mission. I dropped Reinf on turn 3 as the central Ziggurat got activated. My Lizard exchanged a few potshots with the Chernobog, but didn’t get it off the table. Enemy Reinforcements dropped and safely secured the central Ziggurat going for a strong win.

Game 5

I didn’t feel comfortable playing Nomads, so I’ve switched to Bakunin. Making lists for the 5 missions came much easier to me with Nomads. This time I player Troubled Theft again against CA, but a different player. This game was a shitshow. Speculo Impersonated near my Stigmata and killed her, Orphan Engineer and Chimera. Then Nourkias decided to make his run. He turned on Cybermasked and went to the other flank. He couldn’t figure his way around my Warbands who were dodging after him. Eventually he climbed to my Riot Grrls position to put her down while tanking a Chain Rifle from Denma and then proceeded to get stunned by Moderator Paramedic on his last Order.

I didn’t know what I could do against the Speculo, but it was sure that I wouldn’t survive Bottom of 2 if I didn’t do anything against those two. Nourkias was still in CC with my Moderator. I brought my KHD Zero from Console to kill Nourkias using Trinity and it went smoothly. Paramedic picked up Riot Grrl but I didn’t reform the fireteam. I didn’t have enough Orders to get to Speculo and she proceeded to take out the rest of my forces. Chased my GML and Lieutenant and put me in LoL.CA’s Shrouded activated the Console and grabbed Robin for a few inches. Somehow (I don’t remember how) I got rid of the Speculo, and when I activated my Riot Grrl she got blasted by a Noctifer… Some of my units pressed to the center to defend the Robin, but the Top of Turn 3 dropped with Caskuda and CA just killed everything in there, and brought Robin a bit back. Pesky Denma was very hard to kill, but eventually fell to the gunfire.

My Reinforcements tried contesting Robin’s position. Lizard was pushing forward under fire and got wounded just once. He has a few rounds of shooting against the Caskuda and Noctifer, but eventually didn’t manage to kill any of them and had to make a run for it. Last Order was popping out on the Shrouded and putting the whole Burst into him to free Robin. I think Lizard survived even that, but that wasn’t enough to win the game.  I might have lost either due to Robin control or losing all the other points.

Game 6

Last game before the tournament. Ziggurat Raid of Bakunin versus PanOceania. I lost the Initiative roll, but my opponent wanted to go first. It was the best option for me. I got to pick sides, deploy second and go second. Cutter opened hard. Took out a few of my models, but didn’t reach Uberfallkommando and correct Daemonist. This time having the opponent’s Ziggurats as active wasn’t so bad as I was going second. He didn’t have enough orders to control his Ziggurat and on my turn I pushed Chimera to take out Cutter. A few Eclipses and I failed to roll success on any of my 3 Discover rolls. Then my opponent reminded me that I can do Intuitive Attack which was successful and threw Cutter out of Marker State.

Then in the next 2 Orders Chimera ate him. I pushed my MBH a bit to screen a bit of my DZ. Central Ziggurat got activated and Top of Turn 2 PanOceanian Reinforcements got dropped. One of them was Chain of Command Bolt. Enemy MBH rolled HMG for Booty and tried going for my DZ, but exchanged himself for my MBH. Teuton from his group got to my DZ and tried going for the Daemonist in CC, but it was the wrong one and he got shot. He tried his luck again and was blasted away by my Daemonist. A close one. On my left Pathfinder got to central Ziggurat and went into Suppressive Fire.

Bulleteer shot a few things in my DZ and having not much to lose I dropped my Reinforcements on Bottom of 2. Reinforcements pushed the middle to control the Ziggurat while my Reverends Fireteam got rid of Bulleteer and almost the rest of PanO reinforcements. Last model from PanO Reinf got killed by my Rounder and it was PanO new Lt. Last turn Pano tried to something with Diggers but my Reverends got to blue DZ to clear the way for Reinforcements and eventually Jelena had ez job of securing Ziggurat on the other end of the table. 

Game 7

First tournament game was Annihilation. It was a simple job for me. Bakunin vs Corregidor. I picked a list with Reverends. I won Initiative Roll and went first. Reverends cleared 2 Alguacils and a Camo Marker and Chimera went in. She killed MBH and McMurrough. Corregidor struggled to do anything and managed to kill Chimera and something. I pushed on through with Reverend clearing almost the whole Alguacil fireteam. Reinforcements dropped on Bottom of 2, but didn’t achieve much. Maybe 1 or 2 models killed. Reverends cleared the rest of the DZ and Reinforcements cleared enemy Reinforcements. No pics this time.

Game 8

B-Pong versus one of top3 players in Poland. He was playing MO and invested in WIP15 through picking Joan. He won the Initiative roll and chose to go second. I tried going for his positions (which might have been a mistake considering how the game went) to kill Joan, and she escaped my Chimera by inches. The PanO went in to claim the Objectives with a specialist and Dart on Beacon. I tried fighting back on the left flank with my specialists but couldn’t get through Teuton with ML. I think Denma managed to pick out Dart, but then failed to survive on the beacon which was on a roof in a tricky position.

MO again safely secured the consoles and beacon on my half. Turn 3 wasn’t very different from the previous ones. My reinforcements dropped but failed to get through the MO’s defense and MO’s Reinforcements just cleared the way to the objectives and we ended 0-10.

Game 9

Having a 10-0 win and a 0-10 loss I was in the middle of the pack for Round 3 of the Tournament. New opponent was Yu Jing for the Ziggurat Raid. He won the Initiative roll and decided to go first which made me happy. First Ziggurat was on my left side of the table. He advanced his Beasthunter up to my MBH (which so far I forgot to mention was another Extra we were playing with: Mercenary Contractors) and Daemonist. He almost got my Lt killed during Top of Turn 1, but Daemonist deleted him instead. Rest of his Orders were spent advancing Bixie to the middle part of the table.

My counterattack was revolving around my Reverends. Moira took shots at some YJ REM and in return got hit by Hundun. Everything survived and I kept shuffling my pieces so that they could climb down. Moira took out the REM, but still nothing happened with Hundun. I relocated them all to the left side corridor so that Moira was shooting some Camo Marker on the left (Lunah) and another REM. I took them all out and set up a defensive perimeter with Reverends and Custodier controlling the Ziggurat. For round 2 far left Ziggurat activated. Bixie spent round 2 trying to get around my Reverends and a Repeater, and she managed to kill Cenobite, getting a Wound herself. Kusanagi managed to get a E/M GL in ARO and Bixie got Isolated and Immobilized.

On my turn I went in to finish the job on the Bixie, secure the Ziggurat and take a few shots in the YJ’s DZ. My Chimera advanced to the center Objective Room in preparation for the next turn. YJ’s Reinf drop. They swiftly and without casualties take out my Reverends, but fail to reach central Ziggurat which got activated for this Round. My Reinforcements drop so that they can control the Ziggurat in a few Orders and make a run for something else with one of the Stemplers with the rest. My Chimera goes in under smoke cover to kill Daoying Lt for the final point and so I score another 10-0.

This game has confirmed that it’s hard to win going first in some scenarios with Reinf. Had I lost the Daemonist the game would be much harder, but my opponent still wouldn’t get points for Round 1. We were scoring 1 OP/round for Controlling the Active Ziggurat and 2 OP at the end of the game for controlling the Scoring Zone (ZoC of the Central Ziggurat).

It feels as if I would still have very high odds of winning despite not getting 2 OPs for Round 1 and 2. He would have to bring down a lot of my models to stop me from scoring 4 OPs in the last round. If Beasthunter killed my Daemonist I wouldn’t push my Reverends up to his DZ, even on Bottom of 2, so his Reinforcements would have a much harder time picking out my Reverends in a defensive position in my half of the table. Probably leaving me with well over 250 points (including reinforcements) to put them where I please for the last one. This result would largely depend on Bixie’s performance on turn 2.

Game 10

This time we were playing Troubled Theft versus Onyx. Caskuda, Unidron Core and Kurgat + Kerr Nau + Nexus (I’m not sure about the last one) in a Haris. I don’t remember who won the Initiative Roll, but it was probably me as if I recall correctly I was deploying first and going second. I picked a list with Stigmata+Orphan Engineer+Repeater duo, Riot Grrl ML + Moderator Core and some warbands. Onyx opened with Caskuda dropping on Robin Hook, CivEvacing her and bringing her to Onyx’s table edge. From this point forward the game got a lot more complicated.

I had to fight back for Robin and I did so by making a run with Chimera. She took out Caskuda in one Order. On Turn 2 Onyx got Robin back in CivEvac and got her on a building near Haris. They tried shooting a bit of my stuff but didn’t achieve anything significant, I whipped out my Secret Weapon. Meteor finally has space to land behind the building (Caskuda was positioned at the edge of the board facing my, but that was enough to see the whole edge and stop my Meteor). I drop the Meteor and my Stigmata starts Spotlighting. A few Move+Spotlights to get a better position for Turn 3 and GML clears the Haris. Then Meteor moves so that he can get Kurgat with Portable Autocannon in Repeater range and I blast him away as well.

At this point my opponent was quite frustrated, My MBH rolled HMG and managed to get the best of Kurgat in reaction a few times and his Haris didn’t do anything valuable. Reinforcements drop, kill the Meteor and try to dig in. Turn 3 I push my MBH forward to clear the area from any AROs from Reinforcements that might inconvenience my Stigmata. My own Reinforcements clear pesky Unidron Plasma Sniper and Denma trades himself off as well in Impetuous.

Stigmata has to get through a few Unidrons with Plasma Carbines. They save like crazy and win some FtF rolls, but I get just 1 Structure hit over the way. Eventually I can’t hit the Unidrons properly so I have to make a run for it and manage to survive and CivEvac the Robin Hook to secure another Victory.I got 7-4 and failing to win this last run would still score me a win, but 6-3 or so.

Game 11

Round 5, Power Pack against Steel Phalanx. I felt confident that I don’t want to go second against Steel Phalanx. I won the Initiative roll, kept the Initiative and deployed first. Again I had  Stigmata + Meteor list. I opened by dropping Meteor behind the SP heavy link. I think he had Phoenix, Eudoros, Acmon and Machaon Lt. Stigmata Spotlighted Acmon and GML got rid of him. Meteor went in to FO both Phoenix and Eudoros and GML deleted them as well.

Chimera got to total cover in preparation for the 2nd wave of attacks. In return Hippolyta made her run. She wounded Stigmata and knocked down Chimera before going into Suppressive. Machaon killed Meteor and hid near his chassis. On my turn I killed her. Denma ran to take out Pandora, I repaired the Chimera and sent her Pupniks after Thorakitai. Turn 2 for Phalanx was short. Relocation of Machaon for a more protected position so that I don’t put him in LoL for Reinf Round. On my third turn Reinforcements drop. I use them to control the objectives and attack Machaon from 2 positions.

Lizard from one side and Stigmata from the other. They failed to kill him after all and that left us with SP’s Reinforcements. 2 enemy bots deployed next to my Stigmata on SP’s Console. The rest are in position to activate Antennas. CC bots just touched the Console to stop me from controlling it. The rest took out my single defender near central Antenna and activated 2 Antennas. Bashi dropped on my table edge and used 4 orders to get to my Console leaving us with 6-3 win for Steel Phalanx.

Summary

Reinforcements seem to be out of balance. They shook the meta and how I approached the games, but not in a good way. Over the games I played: Annihilation, B-Pong, Ziggurat Raid, Power Pack, Troubled Theft and one Endsong mission. Almost all of them were checking control of sorts at the end of the Game/Round and playing first felt like an uphill battle, because even securing strong 3 turns didn’t secure a win. It’s best visualized in my last game versus Steel Phalanx, where after 3 turn of almost complete steamrolling through my opponent and leaving just his Machaon alive I lost 3-6 because his Reinforcements took all the objectives from me.

It’s a small sample and I know I am trigger happy when it comes to choosing between doing missions and stopping my opponent from doing them, and just shooting first and doing missions later, but at the tournament I don’t think I’ve heard a single positive word about the format from the most competitive players. Hopefully CB will take a good look at how it performs and make some changes to the basic rules which throw it out of balance the most to which army options in the Reinforcements roster just add.

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