Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Gibson Slums Ambush- an Infinity battle report

By Gravitas   Posted at  11:34   tutorial No comments

Lt. Sevens hunkered down on the old watchtower's rusted roof and watched the car descend from the steel-grey sky to touch down on the landing pad on the low concrete plinth below, trusting in her armor's optic baffles to hide her from unfriendly eyes. Her Corredigor Intrusion Cell had arrived hours before the scheduled drop, and waited for their contact another hour past the agreed time. Now his car had arrived, but something definitely stunk. With a click of her tongue she increased the zoom on her visor, focusing on the tinted windshield.. and the empty seats beneath.

"Remote operated" she muttered, already signalling the alert to her team when the first flicker of movement entered her peripheral vision. The arms deal might have gone south, but with any luck one of the Pan-O zombies trying to ambush her team would survive long enough to point out a juicy local target or two...

I don't think it's incorrect to assume that most of the readers of this blog mostly play Games Workshop games, with perhaps a few grizzled Flames of War veterans muttering about T-34s somewhere in the background. So it is only right and natural that I bring you a battle report for Infinity, the totally sweet cyberpunk skirmish wargame from Corvus Belli.

This was a 150-point battle between the forces of the Nomads (What if 4chan, Reddit and Something Awful had SPACESHIPS) played by Andy, and Pan-Oceania (a mishmash of themes that include Catholicism, corporate power and Pacific Islanders and no I don't know either) played by Dave. This won't be exactly a tutorial, but I'll try to cover a few basic rules as they come up. What you really need to know is that Infinity is a D20, roll-under-stat system with a million special rules that include things like 4 diferent kinds of camoflauge.

Finally, I must apologise. The Infinity miniature range is one of the most good looking out there, so it is practically a war crime to do what we did and use the freely available rules to play with a motley crew of proxies and standees. I'm so, so sorry.

Setup and Deployment

The players roll against the Willpower (WIP) stat of their Lieutenant (army leader) to see who determines deployment and who has the first turn. Like most rolls in Infinity, this is done by rolling a D20 and attempting to get under the appropriate stat, with the level of success being determined by how close the roll is to the target number. A roll of the exact target number indicates a critical succes. Both Dave and Andy succeed in rolling under their targets, but Dave's roll is closer to his Lieutenant's WIP of 13 so he wins. Dave chooses deployment, and makes Andy's Nomad forces set up first. However, this means that the Nomads have the first turn.

Necromunda? Never heard of it.
The Nomads deploy three Alguaciles near the shanty shack in the center of their deployment zone, with the Stempler Zond remote in support behind the far right silo. Their intrepid Intruder lieutenant sits camoflauged on top of the watch tower in the center of the board, with the similarly concealed Zero atop a nearby tanker truck. The two Tomcat parachutists begin the game off the board, ready to be dropped in later.

Yes, those are cardboard cutouts.
Pan-Oceania (from now on shorted to Pan-O) set up one Auxilia and Aux-bot team behind the silo on their far left, with the other in support of the Knight Hospitaller behind a long shipping container. At the other end of the container, a Bagh-Mari provides cover fire for the three Fusiliers taking cover behind a thin metal fence. Only one of the three is a normal line trooper, one is a hacker, the other Pan-O's Lieutenant.

Each side is careful to set up in cover.

Turn One

Movin' on up
Nomads: Most models on the board generate an order, which goes into the order pool and then can be spent to make any member of the army perform skills like moving, shooting etc. Both moving and shooting are "short" skills, so by using one order a model could move and shoot, or move twice (though not shoot twice).

The Nomads have 5 orders in their pool, which they spend moving the Intruder up slightly, and the Alguaciles into the midfield using a coordinated order, which is too complicated to get into right now. For the moment, all you need to know is that models performing a coordinated order must perform the same actions, we'll get into this in more detail later.

Pan-O: Also move into the midfield, making sure to stay out of the enemy's line of sight. If a model acts within the line of sight of an opposing model, the enemy gets an Automatic Reaction Order (ARO) which they can use to shoot at/return fire at the acting model, or dodge out of the way of incoming fire.

End of turn one, both forces contesting the middle of the board.

Turn Two

Nomads: The Stempler Zond moves up to take cover behind a building, while a Tomcat drops in on the board edge. Finger on the trigger of his light flamethrower, the parachutist sprints down the narrow alley behind the small storage building towareds the Auxilia and Aux-Bot. Though he is out of their line of sight, he is close enough to enter their Zone of Control, allowing the Auxilla an ARO which she can only spend to turn towards the sound of running feet.

Someone's getting fired for this
Another order is spent to move the Tomcat out of cover and open fire, but this generates another ARO for the Auxilia which she uses to return fire (by rolling under her Ballistic Skill stat).

The flamethrower hits automatically (since it's a template weapon), exploding the Aux-bot and wounding the Auxilia, but before she hits the ground she manages to squeeze off a shot and take down the Tomcat.

Meanwhile, the Intruder drops from camo and opens fire on the second Auxilia. Her Combi-Rifle has a Burst rating of 3, meaning she takes three shots for each order spent on shooting. Her target gets an ARO, but because the Intruder was camoflauged, her shots happen first - and since two of the three shots hit (and one was a critical), this is bad news for the Pan-O trooper. The surprised Auxilia makes a successful Armor (ARM) roll to shrug off one shot (gaining a +3 bonus from the sturdy concrete barrier in front of her) but the critical hit means an auto-wound, and she goes unconcious before she can fire back.

Unfortunately for the Intruder, Pan-O's Bagh-Mari was also in line of sight when the Auxilia was gunned down, which means they also get an ARO. With uncanny accuracy they open fire on the Nomad Lieutenant, who drops unconcious on the corrugated metal roof.

This is not a good thing at all.

"The red thing's connected to
my wrist watch...Uh oh."
The Tomcat doctor drops in at the back of the Nomad deployment zone, then spends the rest of the army's order pool (yes, a model can use more than one order from the pool in a turn) in a heroic sprint across the battlefield, his climbing plus skill allowing him to effortlessly scale the tower and race to his downed commander. Pulling out his medkit, he completely fails his medical roll and kills the Lieutenant while attempting to revive her. Bugger.

The carnage that was the Nomads' turn 2

Pan-O: Inspired by the incompetence of the Nomad doctor, the Knight Hospitalier moves back and fails to revive the nearest Auxilia, their bungled surgery extinguishing what little life remained. Unperturbed, he moves over to the second, this time sucessfully treating her horrible burns. Sadly for the pan-o forces, Aux-bots can't re-link with a different user, leaving the bot in the center of their territory completely useless.

The Bagh-Mari takes a few steps backwards, draws a bead on the Doctor, and almost casually guns him down, his face-to-face dodge roll not good enough to negate the incoming fire (For a successful dodge, he must roll under his Physical (PH) stat, and be MORE successful than any successful to-hit rolls). She then moves up with the Fusiliers, the hacker heading to the center of the board, the others up the right flank.

Pan-O has a commanding position at the end of their turn.

Turn Three

Nomads: With the Intruder dead, the Nomads are suffering a Loss of Lieutenant situation. They only have two orders in their pool this turn, both of which must be spent on nominating a new Lieutenant. Losing a leader is a big deal in Infinity, which is why you don't have to declare which of your models is the lieutenant. With no orders to spend, the entire Nomad force has to remain where they are, though they will still get ARO if the enemy acts in their line of sight.

Those containers? Full of candy.
Pan-O: Taking advantage of their foe's confusion, the Pan-Oceanic forces advance. One of the Fusiliers takes a speculative shot at the Alguaciles with their light grenade launcher. This kind of indirect fire is almost impossible without a Forward Observer, and as expected the shot goes wide.

Turn 3: Not as exciting as turn 2.

Turn Four

The luckiest man alive
Nomads: Having finished drawing straws to see who gets to be the Lieutenant, the Nomads are back in the game. In another coordinated order, two Alguaciles move up and fire on the Pano-O Lieutenant at the corner of the building opposite. This reduces the burst of their weapons, but only gives their target 1 ARO rather than the 2 it would receive if they were acting independently. The Fusilier rather sensibly uses his ARO to dodge. Both Alguaciles roll to hit, and the Fusilier attempts to dodge.

Luckily for the Fusilier, he rolls a critical success, dodging backwards 2 inches and avoiding the hail of bullets marked with his name.

Give that man a medal.

Pan-O: The Knight Hospitalier cautiously advances on the left flank, and guns down an Alguacile, ignoring the wildly inaccurate returning fire. An army must go into retreat when it loses 60% or more of its starting points value, and the Nomads are 3 points away.

"Maybe standing on a fuel tanker
wasn't the best of ideas..."
On the right flank, the Bagh-Mari attempts to climb the wall of the building she's covering behind. Since she doesn't have advanced climb, she has to make a PH roll - which fails and sends her square on her ass. The ARM roll from a small fall like this is easy enough, and she passes, then goes for another attempt, this time succeeding, reaching the top of the wall behind the hover car parked on the rooftop pad. Moving forward, she attempts to discover the camoflauged Zero with a WIP roll. In response, the Zero uses its ARO to open fire, revealing itself before it can be spotted. This proves to be pointless, as its shot goes wide.

Things are looking grim for the Nomads.

Turn 5

Nomads: The Zero opens fire on the Bagh-Mari, who uses her ARO to return fire. Cementing her position as model of the match, the Bagh-Mair rolls a critical to-hit roll, killing the Zero outright, pushing the Nomads into retreat and leading to Andy conceding the game. Victory for Pan-Oceania!

Poor Andy didn't have the best of luck (Dave rolled THREE criticals in one game), but I think his biggest mistake was made in deployment. Placing his lieutenant in such a elevated, central position ensured she was going to attract a lot of fire, and you need a LOT of luck to shrug off concentrated fire. I hope this gives a reasonable idea of how the game is played - I glossed over or skimmed through some of the concepts, but the numerous wiki links should give you more in-depth information.

Really though, I just wanted an excuse to post more pictures of our scenery.

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Hatching from his egg high in the glacier crowned majesty of the Himalayas, the Megapope quickly devoured his other siblings and later on his parents, for being damned cheeky. He ran a bloody campaign of terror across the wind swept steppes of the north, coming to be known as 'That Horrid Bastard' by the terrified tribes of the region. Many years later he came second in a beauty contest, won $10, didn't pass Go and didn't collect $200.

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