Gaming Thoughts: ‘Beginner’ ITS Tournament Aftermath

This weekend, I and several members of one of my local clubs took a trip down to Bournemouth for an ITS tournament. The event was advertised as a beginner-friendly event, and so Adam, Darren and I coerced some of our clubmates to attend, since they were just finding their feet with Infinity. All in all, 5 club members (myself and Darren included) made the trip down, along with Stuart, a tournament regular who lives nearby in Bristol, and Adam, who isn’t a club-member but is one of my regular opponents and friend of mine for 10 years now.

I had some reservations about this particular tournament in the lead-up to it, mostly due to the choice of missions and a single list format, which I felt was more akin to the old 40k tournaments of old (missions mostly about the killing and less about the objectives, and a single-list rather than the two-list format of other ITS events).

Ashamedly, this line of thought had actually led to me feeling a bit down about the event, and up until the night before I was having some serious doubts as to whether I would enjoy it. However, I was happily proven wrong, and the event was a great laugh, with faces both old and new in attendance!

One of the nicest things about the Infinity tournament scene is that everyone is friendly and because we’re such a small community everyone gets to know everyone, so it was good to chat with opponents from previous tournaments between rounds to find out how they were getting on.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’d decided to leave the Tohaa at home and go for something a little more familiar for this tournament, and so took my Neoterran Capitaline Army, with a few tweaks:

NEOTERRAN CAPITALINE ARMY


GROUP 1 8 0 0

DEVA (G: Synchronized) Combi Rifle, Nanopulser+Devabot / Pistol, Knife. (26)
DEVABOT Heavy Flamethrower / Electric Pulse.
DEVA (G: Synchronized) Combi Rifle, Nanopulser+Devabot / Pistol, Knife. (27)
DEVABOT Heavy Flamethrower / Electric Pulse.
AUXILIA (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle + AUXBOT / Pistol, Knife. (20)
AUXBOT (Forward Observer) Heavy Flamethrower / Electric Pulse.
AUXILIA (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle + AUXBOT / Pistol, Knife. (20)
AUXBOT (Forward Observer) Heavy Flamethrower / Electric Pulse.
HEXA Spitfire / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (1.5 | 31)
MACHINIST Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (15)
BOLT Combi Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (22)
AQUILA HMG / Pistol, Shock CCW. (2 | 60)
PALBOT Electric Pulse. (3)

GROUP 2 5 0 0

BIPANDRA Combi Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 24)
FUSILIER HMG / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 19)
FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (10)
FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (10)
FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (10)
PALBOT Electric Pulse. (3)

5 SWC | 300 Points

Click to open with Infinity Army 4

Neoterra Capitaline Army - click to enlarge
Neoterra Capitaline Army – click to enlarge

I kept my fairly standard core of a pair of Devas with Devabots, two Auxilia Forward Observers with Auxbots, an Aquila Guard with HMG and Hexa with Spitfire, although this time I wanted to squeeze in the Machinist for those Engineer/D-Charge Classified Objectives if they came up. Unfortunately this meant I had to drop my Hexa with Multi Sniper Rifle to fit him in, but the points left over meant I was able to squeeze in a new Neoterra Bolt, as Lieutenant bait.

I also wanted to give Bipandra a go, as I’ve only used her once, so I dropped the Trauma Doc and crammed her into the list too. Along with the 3 ordinary Fusiliers in my list, I had a potential of 7 models who could be possible Lieutenants, which proved to be quite useful in my final game!

Game 1: Quadrant Control vs Will Emery (LordofGoats) – Military Orders

My first game had paired me against fellow club-member Will on a table full of wonderfully detailed and interesting scenery from Warmill, some of which appears to be unreleased.

I felt a little bad since I knew what Will’s list was as I’d printed it off for him the day before the event. However, this didn’t stop him catching me out with it! I won the roll-off and decided to choose deployment as I’d spotted quite an advantageous position behind some barricades which would give me plenty of cover and allow me to hold a quadrant while remaining safe from retaliation.

Game 1: The table - click to enlarge
Game 1: The table – click to enlarge

The above image was taken from my side of the table. Will had elected to go second, so I made him deploy first. His Order Sergeant Link Team was placed in a tower on my right, a Teutonic Knight was deployed behind a barricade nearby. De Fersen and a Knight Hospitaller were placed hidden behind a wall in the centre, while a Magister Knight was deployed on my left. Because I knew there was a member of the Crusader Brethren with HMG waiting to drop, I made sure to deploy flame bots near the edges ready for the inevitable AD2 arrival on the board edge. I’d placed my Auxilia near the centre, and my Fusilier Link on my left-flank ready to advance up the table. I’d put the Hexa in hidden deployment near the Auxilia too. My Machinist and Bolt were on the left ready to move forward and ‘heroically’ hide behind the barricade and contest their quadrant. My Aquila was placed near the barricade on my right ready to shift forward and deal with the Order Sergeant link who had quite a good view of the board.

Early on I’d neutralised the Order Sergeants with the Aquila, and had shifted forward to claim 2 quadrants. Will didn’t move forward much in his first turn, so that put me 3 points up. However, Will had managed to catch me out brilliantly with his Crusader, who, rather than walking onto the board (as I’d been convinced would happen, given PanO’s low PH value and from my own experience), he dropped him deep into my deployment zone out of sight. I’d left everyone facing forwards or towards table edges waiting for him to arrive! The Crusader then attacked one of my Devas (which, unknown to Will at the time, was my Lieutenant), wounding her. Thank goodness for No Wound Incapacitation! I decided to drop her back into cover to keep her alive, and was able to change the Aquila’s facing as he was nearby. Will decided to go for the Aquila with his next order, however an extremely flukey Crit on my part put the Crusader out of action almost immediately.

All wasn’t lost for Will though, as in his second turn he almost single-handedly wiped out my Link Team with De Fersen, and was able to push forward a little to claim a pair of quadrants, netting us both a single point for turn 2.

It all hinged on turn 3, and I was unable to clear out any other quadrants with the orders I had left, so I opted to reinforce the two I had to prevent Will from denying me of them, and we again earned a single point at the end of the turn. I had been unable to get any of my classified objectives in this mission.

Result: Victory (5-2)

Game 2: Frontline vs Stuart Coutts (Fathi Amirmoez) – Shasvastii Expeditionary Force

My second game was against Stuart, who had travelled down with us, and who I’ve played at a tournament before, so was also fairly familiar with. Sadly, this also meant he was likely familiar with what was in my list!

Stuart’s Shasvastii had plenty of camo markers, as is traditional for them, and so I was relying on my Aquila to do the damage, a fact which Stuart knew all too well.

Here’s a shot of the table from my perspective:

Game 2: The table - click to enlarge
Game 2: The table – click to enlarge

I forget who won the roll off, but I know that Stuart elected to go first. This game was incredibly close, and I took a lot of casualties early on from Stuart’s various camo attacks. I lost the Aquila and Bolt pretty quickly, and both of my Devas were wounded. My Hexa had advanced up and attacked a few things, putting a Q-Drone Total Reaction HMG out of action, and causing Stuart a few headaches when I re-camoed it and let it stand there while he tried to bait it into revealing itself. My Link Team had been decimated quite early on, leaving Bipandra on her own, who I spent three turns crawling forward out of sight to try and heal one of the wounded Fusiliers, which I’m pleased to say she did on turn 3. This also had the bonus of regaining me a few Victory Points, which were being used as a tie-breaker situation.

In the final turn, I had to make a last-ditch gamble in order to turn a loss into a win. I shifted my Hexa to attack Stuart’s Aswuang with Spitfire, killing it. That would possibly have put me ahead with the control zones, although since they can’t be measured until after the game ends, I wasn’t sure. With my final order, I pushed a wounded Deva forward as fast as possible, although a Malignos Sniper, who had racked up an impressive kill-count throughout the game was the only thing which could stop her – I elected to dodge as the second half of the order in the hope that I’d be able to avoid the inevitable ARO with Double Action ammunition. I threw my dice to dodge and failed (rolling something like a 15), and awaited Stuart’s shot. He rolled his dice and the Malignos (thankfully for me) missed! Probably the only time he didn’t hit all game, I think! When we totalled up the control zones, I had control of my closest one and, thanks to the last minute push from the Deva, also controlled the central zone, leaving Stuart with his own closest zone.

Result: Victory (5-1)

Game 3: Annihilation vs Matt B (Drastic) – PanOceania

For the final game I was paired against Matt, who I’d faced before at the Spring Challenge. Sadly, I forgot to snap a picture of this table! It initially appeared very dense, until a closer inspection revealed that many of the large container pieces were actually just frames, and so Matt and I quickly agreed that we should count them as completely solid. Matt won the roll-off and elected to go first, so I chose deployment.

Game 3: The table - click to enlarge
Game 3: The table – click to enlarge

Matt managed to knock a couple of Link Team members down, so I dropped the team prone to avoid any further shots. The game was a really tense back and forth. Early on, I’d rushed a Deva forward to try and reduce Matt’s order pool a little, knocking out his Machinist, and trying for a pair of Fusiliers who were hiding at the back of Matt’s deployment zone, one of which I thought may have been his Lieutenant. Unfortunately, it turned out his Jotum TAG was the Lieutenant.

Matt had spent a lot of time trying to determine who my Lieutenant was – since he was familiar with PanOceania, and this made me thankful for having so many possible Lieutenants!

I really enjoyed this game, and it went back and forth so many times – in the end, there were only 4 VPs in it, which gave us 3 points each, although Matt had managed to complete one of his Classified Objectives, so he gained another 2 points for a 5-3 win! I’d tried several times to get one of my Classified Objectives (Telemetry), but sadly wasn’t able to pull it off!

Result: Defeat (5-3)

The final standings were as follows:

Final standings - click to enlarge
Final standings – click to enlarge

I placed 12th out of 24 players – mid-table, which suited me fine, as it wasn’t near the bottom like my last 3 tournaments! If only I’d managed that classified in game 3 it would actually have gained me 3 places and put me into 9th place! (Reassuring and disappointing at the same time!).

It was good to see that fellow blogger and tournament regular Rob Neal had placed first – good on you Rob!

Our lot had also done pretty well all-round – Darren placing 6th, Adam and Jez in 9th and 10th, myself in 12th, Will in 17th and Dan rounding out the field in 24th (ok, so Dan didn’t do too well, but he did get a prize and free entry into the next event, which I’m sure he’ll do better at!)

Thanks must go to Karl, Simon and the rest of the team for running a great event! The next event for me is a little 10-man ITS at Pigmar at the end of August, so it’s practice-practice-practice with Tohaa for me until then!

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