Earlier this year many of my regular wargaming friends and I picked up Infinity, and so far we’ve all had a heck of a lot of fun with it! Buoyed by this sense of fun, a few of us decided to enter our first Infinity tournament, The Winter Challenge, which is taking place on November 23rd down in Exeter (South-west UK for those overseas).
My first ventures into Infinity were with the standard PanOceania army, which I really enjoy for the sheer variety of units they posess. However, I’d always fancied trying out the sectorial lists, and with PanOceania having 3 Sectorial lists to choose from, my options were pretty vast. After a bit of searching on various forums, I noticed that the more popular sectorials were the Shock Army of Acontecimento and the Military Orders. There were hardly any forum threads about the Neoterran Capitaline Army, which appealed to me as it meant I wouldn’t be hopping on any perceived bandwagons, and when I looked through my units, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I’d be able to comfortably field this sectorial without any proxying at all. It also worked out perfectly that they can take a couple of Aleph units, and since I’d planned to expand into Aleph as a second faction, it seemed like a no-brainer.
I know that they say that in Infinity “It’s not your list, it’s you”, which is true to a degree, although when you introduce missions there is still a small degree of list-crafting needed in order to give yourself a good chance of actually completing the mission. This is because the Infinity Tournament Season missions rely on Specialist Troops in order to complete objectives. With this in mind, I began to throw around some ideas for a Neoterran list that I’d be happy to take to my first Infinity tournament.
My initial forays into this sectorial were pretty brutal, pitting them against my friend George and his Ariadna (he uses the Merovingian Rapid Reaction Force Sectorial). He took a bit of a pasting thanks to a pair of Aquila, a Swiss Guard *and* a 5-man Fusilier Link which I had initially started the Neoterrans with (BS15 with an HMG shooting 5 shots per order is nasty!). One of the major downsides I found with this list was that at 250pts I was horribly order-starved compared to my friends’ 13 or so orders. Granted, that’s one of Ariadna’s strong points (having a lot of men on the field), but that’s what I get for fielding 3 expensive Heavy Infantry models!
Having faced another friend Darren’s Combined Army a few times, I’d already been unfortunate enough to have had my Heavy Infantry hacked into submission, and I reasoned that having 3 of them would put me at a major disadvantage against any hacker-heavy lists. With that in mind I decided to drop one of the Aquila Guard and use the extra points to expand the order pool a little by adding in a pair of Deva Functionaries with Devabots. This gave me 4 remotes with Heavy Flamethrowers, two Auxilia Forward Observers (who are Specialist Troops and so can complete objectives) and two Devas with Devabots (one of which will also be my Lieutenant who has a mighty WIP 15, really good given that PanO usually have a relatively low WIP stat). This allowed me to split the list into two combat groups, with the Link Team in one group on their own while the rest of the force made up the second Combat Group. Losing one of the Aquila wasn’t a huge loss in the end, as I’ve found that one is usually enough to get the job done (when he’s not diving for cover if an enemy so much as even looks at him of course. He might be encased in powered armour, but it does nothing for his fairly low Willpower stat!). Having the Fusiliers in their own combat group means that they can get best use of their own orders, as Link Team is quite ‘order-efficient’, requiring only a single order to act with the whole team.
A couple of weeks before the tournament I decided to host a few practice games with two friends who were also attending the event – Darren with his Nomads and Adam with his Haqqislam. In the pair of games I played against them I got thoroughly destroyed both times. I made some real schoolboy errors during our games though – mostly down to some really stupid deployment which meant that in both games I was in retreat pretty much from the start!
With these harsh lessons learnt, a further tweak to my list saw the Swiss Guard go in favour of a pair of Hexas – one with Spitfire and one with Multi Sniper Rifle – two awesome models that I really like the look of (another wonderful part of Infinity, you can buy any model you like, army list restrictions permitting, and know that it’ll likely find a good role in your army without even knowing any of the models’ rules). I reasoned that these two would be a little more versatile than the Swiss Guard, who’s great for holding a flank, but is too slow in the world of ITS missions which need you to move up the field quickly to capture objectives. Hexas, being Light Infantry, have a 4-4 move which is very useful (although they still lack Infiltration, which seems to be the norm for most of the PanO models with Thermo-Optic Camouflage, but this is mitigated by their higher speed). This further expanded the order pool in the main combat group, which wouldn’t be a bad thing.
I managed to squeeze in another game vs Darren before the event, again vs his Nomads, and surprisingly I managed to get a narrow victory out of it! We played Seize the Beacons, which is a mission similar to the Domination game mode from Call of Duty. There are 3 Beacons down the centre line of the table. One directly in front of each deployment zone and one in the centre of the table. Specialist Troops in each army can capture a Beacon, although an opposing specialist can recapture it for their own side. I was lucky enough to have a guard-tower in my deployment zone, and so the Sniper Hexa ended up there, given a commanding view of our central objective on an adjacent rooftop. Darren had placed a pair of Crazy Koalas and a Camo Marker on the roof to guard it, although I was able to pick the pair of Koalas off, I stupidly ran my Spec Ops (a WIP 15 Hacker with -3 BTS and Climbing Plus) straight into it and had him killed for the trouble! My Aquila Guard and Spitfire Hexa were also able to provide a solid firebase from a lower roof while my Link Team advanced and attempted to whittle down Darren’s Morans and other assorted Nomads, although a Sin Eater kept the Fusiliers at bay for the most part. In the end, I was able to win by killing more Army Points as we both had claimed one of the objectives. It was a very close game though, and I was very close to going into Retreat.
As I write this, the tournament is still 4 days away, although I’ve deliberately delayed publishing it until the day of the event so that any prospective opponents don’t get a hint of what’s in my list. Because Infinity has ‘hidden’ lists where models which might be hidden using Thermo-Optic Camouflage or off table in Airborne Deployment are not shown to the opponent until they appear on table, I don’t want to tip-off any opponents before I might play them, as that could put me at a bit of a disadvantage! I don’t expect to win any of my games (given my relative lack of experience, as well as knowing how I often make silly mistakes), but I’d rather not shoot myself in the foot before I’ve even got to the event!
I’ll put a further blog post up after the event to discuss how things went!