For the culmination of the Infinity league at Enfield Gamers, ‘The Infinity Protocol’, Steve organised a giant, 6 man Battle Royale, played over a monster 6 x 4 table. One team was made up of Haqqislam [3 players at Enfield rock the Haqq] and on the other side was the ‘Mercenaries’ [Mercs], made up of Tohaa, Caledonians and Corregidor, who presumably had been conned/bribed/threatened into doing the bidding of one of the hyper-powers. The Merc teams had seen off the worshippers of Allah in all 3 of the play-offs, including a particularly brutal turn 1 stomping at the hands of Corregidor on my part.
Steve came up with a really cool scenario, which I completely failed to read beforehand, other than points restrictions. Each player on the team of 3 brought 150 points, for 450 points per side, with all usual ITS restrictions [i.e. we each needed a lieutenant, hacker if we wanted to bring a TAG, etc.] The objectives were essentially a modified game of ‘The Armoury’, with a central building containing the ‘Omega Protocol’, which I assume was some highly important classified secret information. Alongside usual VPs for ‘The Armoury’ there were two additional upload stations, represented by the hologram ads on the buildings, where, once your team had entered the central objective room, the information could be beamed out with a successful WIP roll. Each of these objectives was worth 3 VPs. On top of that each player got to draw 2 classified missions and discard one, for a total of 3 each side.Team Haqq drew two lots of ‘Extreme Prejudice’ and one of ‘Data Scan’.
The final rule was the ‘Fog of War’. Before each turn the Supreme Commander [member with highest league placing] of each team had a couple of minutes to issue orders and decide in which order his minions would carry out their active turn. Once the team returned to the table, there would be no conferring allowed. Suffice to say I inadvertently ignored this and spent every round incessantly offering advice, to the point where I was banned to tea making duties.
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, which was proven true when two of the Haqq team [including myself] turned up with only one specialist. My QK list was as follows;
- Ghulam Lieutenant
- Alguaciles Hacker
- Iguana TAG
- Yuan Yuan x 2 [22?]
Another member of Team Haqq was running vanilla, with 4 Ghulams [one an FO], a Djanbazan, and a Janissary with missile launcher. The third member of the team was also running QK, with a Ghulam link, a TR HMG Remote, a Kaplan Engineer, and a Djanbazan. I definitely missed some units out there but that was the important stuff.
Facing us was a 5 man Alguaciles link team with a missile launcher and sniper rifle, a Reverend Healer, and a Lunokhod Sputnik with Krazy Koala accessories. The Caledonians had a Cameronian, 5 man Volunteers link team, a Scots Guard with missile launcher, what I think was an S.A.S [it never got revealed] and a Cateran with T2 sniper rifle. There was also a Tohaa army but I have absolutely no idea what they are called. One was a sniper with symbiont armour, one was a paramedic, but other than that I’m really not sure. Must invest more time in studying the artichokes.
The Mercs, having placed higher in the league rounds, were assumed to have won the WIP roll, and chose deployment, making us deploy first. In return the Haqq Supreme Commander chose first turn.
Turn 1 Haqq
Realising I was woefully short of orders I offered to take one for the team and buff the other players. My Impetuous Yuan Yuans decided to walk in just behind the Djanbazans, with the plan being to throw smoke on top of them for some MSV2 shennanigans. The positioning of my first Yuan Yuan made the smoke a face to face, which it promptly failed, and was left bleeding on the stairs, unconscious. However the second Yuan Yuan was able to throw the smoke unopposed, although in return it was shot to death by the Tohaa sniper to the right.
Nervously looking at my dwindling order pool I opted to spend one order on the Hacker, who put ‘Assisted Fire’ on the Remote. My TAG then opened up on the Scots Guard with ML and the Tohaa sniper, splitting the burst and putting two into each. Realising I was out of the +3 range I took a ML hit, but luckily made two of my saves, taking a wound. I then opted to switch to the Djanbazan for his range bonus, who also chose to split his burst, but lost the F2F against the ML, getting blown to pieces. The TAG then lumbered forward into optimal range and luckily managed to win both F2F rolls, putting the Scots Guard unconscious and taking the symbiont armour off the Tohaa. Pretty mixed first turn for me.
Fortunately the sacrifice of my Yuan Yuan was not in vain, and my teammate scored a big success for us, taking out both the missile launcher and sniper Alguaciles with his smoke-obscured Danbazan, seriously blunting the threat from the link on that side of the board. The shock ammo left his paramedic spattered in blood and unable to save his buddies, muhahaha.
The Kaplan Engineer then climbed the building ready to transmit the Omega Protocol, but was gunned down. The Nasmat ran up the stairs of the building ready to offer assistance and promptly failed the WIP roll, stabbing the Kaplan in the eye with his morphine syringe to leave him dead, then passing his own armour saves.
The final Haqq player blew up the door facing him with his ML Janissary [lack of specialists again!] and then put the Tohaa sniper unconscious with his Djanbazan. Finally, two of the Ghulams coordinated into the objective room, with one going on suppressive fire. Things were looking pretty good for the Haqq after turn 1.
Turn 1 Merc
Turn 1 for the Mercs started with the Tohaa player carefully overlapping zero-vis smoke to afford the Paramedic cover while it moved up to doctor the Scots Guard and sniper. To the hilarity of everyone [on the Haqq side of the table], the Paramedic then failed both doctor rolls, killing both! Adding to the hilarity was the fact that restoring an unconscious player was also one of the classified objectives for the Mercs, which they would fail to get all game. Other than moving into cover that was pretty much it for the artichokes.
The Supreme Commander of the Merc team, running Caledonians, then stepped up to the plate to show us how it was done. Unfortunately that’s exactly what happened. The Cameronian shrugged off an HMG shot from the TAG to run across to the objective room, before being left frantically scratching and howling at the door as the Caledonian player realised that a specialist was needed to unlock the room. Undaunted, the Caledonian Volunteer link moved up, popping the door on the second try.
The dog then bounded into the room, throwing smoke, and double chain-rifled the two Ghulams, putting them unconscious but going down itself. The camo marker [maybe an S.A.S?] then walked into the room to claim.
The Nomad player finished off Merc turn 1 by walking on his Tomcats on the right hand side of the board near the Haqqislam HVT.
Mercs 1-0 Haqqislam
Turn 2 Haqq
The Haqq player on the left opened up proceedings by sending his link team up the building to try to succeed where the Kaplan failed and upload the Omega Protocol for 3 VPs. AROs from the Volunteer link plus prone Alguaciles plus shocking dice rolls saw the entire link go down after failing the WIP roll. Note the Nasmat still standing, who was now left impotent due to his mistress getting shot in the face.
The Haqq Supreme Commander then spent a lot of orders trying to take out the Volunteer link with the Djanbazan and Janissary, but failed nearly every roll. He did manage to land a missile launcher shot on the Tohaa link on the far right building, putting the Tohaa player in Loss of Lieutenant.
My Iguana, Ghulam and Hacker then coordinated 3 times, with the Hacker creeping towards the Merc HVT. The TAG took a further wound, and fortunately the Ghulam [my lieutenant] shrugged off a viral combi-rifle shot, passing both of her BTS rolls. The plan was to get the TAG in the room, but then we realised it was too big, despite trying to fit it in sideways. Actually, the Cameronian was also too big to fit, but we didn’t realise that until afterwards. Disappointing turn for Haqqislam.
Turn 2 Mercs
Mercs came out strong turn 2. The Corregidor player advanced his Tomcat Engineer to the Haqq HVT, successfully passing the WIP roll to complete the classified [Retro-engineering?] before moving up behind the building with the upload link, ready for the final turn.
Mercs 2-0 Haqqislam
The Tohaa player spends most of his orders getting his link team down from the building and towards the Haqq HVT, successfully passing a WIP roll to claim the second classified [Scan HVT]. I was slowly coming to the realisation that I shouldn’t have left the HVT unattended.
Mercs 3-0 Haqqislam
The Caledonian player kicked off by taking out my Ghulam lieutenant with a Cateran sniper, putting me in LoL and irregular for my final turn.Bollocks. However things improved slightly when I managed to crit the Cateran with my Iguana to send it unconscious.
Things then took a HUGE swing towards Haqq, showing how brutal this game can be. The Volunteer link moved into the building, with the Janissary missile launcher declaring Shoot as its ARO. Crit! All but one of the Volunteer link went down, plus the camo maker, all needing crits to dodge. 5 models dead in one shot. The remaining Volunteer, covered in the remains of his buddies, stood looking dazedly around the room, before getting shot to death by the remaining ARO from the Djanbazan.
Turn 3 Haqq
Having only a Remote left, the turn of the left-hand Haqq player didn’t take too long, remaining in place ready to ARO any last minute attempts to grab VPs. Desperate to build upon the success of last turn, I used my last command token to make one of my irregular orders into a regular, and spent them both on the Hacker. Moving the model towards the Merc HVT I noticed out of the corner of my eye something hiding behind the Panda sign [of the lovely Antenocetis Workshop building, gotta get me one of those]. Realising it was a Krazy Koala, I was left with no choice but to take a Koala hug to the face and try to scan the HVT. Rolling a 10 for the WIP roll, my heart was in my mouth as we checked the WIP of an Alguacil – 13, so a crit hack! The smile was soon wiped of the Hacker’s face [actually there was no face left] as the Koala bounded in and gleefully exploded, taking the Hacker out.
Mercs 3-1 Haqqislam
The Haqq Supreme Commander then moved his Ghulams and Janissary into the objective room, taking out the unconscious Cameronian to gain ‘Extreme Prejudice’ x2, looting the panopolies for an adhesive launcher and smoke launcher, and taking up position to repel any attempts to claim it during the final Merc turn. For the first time in the game Haqqislam were provisionally in the lead, as long as the Mercs weren’t able to take the room and loot the panopolies more than twice.
Turn 3 Mercs
Having no conscious models, the Supreme Commander of the Merc team handed over affairs to the Nomads. The Tomcat Engineer climbed the roof of the building, successfully uploading the Omega Protocol for 3 VPs and taking a last turn lead. Unfortunately this triggered a load of AROs, taking out the Tomcat.
Realising they would need to take the room to have any chance of winning, The Alguacil link tried to move off the building, but, facing multiple AROs inluding a TR HMG Remote, were all sent unconscious. In a last desperate bid to take the room the Tohaa link moved through the building, but were shredded by a missile launcher and the TAG’s HMG.
With that the game was at an end, and adding the 3 VPs for holding the armoury at the end of the game, it turns out it was a… Haqq victory! Allah Akbar!
Final score – Haqqislam 8-6 Mercs
Whew, what a game! we were all a little unsure about how a 6 man game would work, what with all of the AROs, but I actually think it worked really well. The larger table size, plus lots of terrain [the objective room in the middle blocking LoS prevented tons of AROs] meant that the game flowed really smoothly and avoided models being pinned down too much. Despite a worryingly long first turn, things sped up remarkably quickly once the models began to be removed. It was a bit of a “suck it and see” type of affair, with a few last minute additions, but kudos to Steve, it was a great scenario.
We messed up the rules for the objective room, firstly because the Cameronian shouldn’t have been able to get into the room, and secondly because the Haqq side was drawing LoS through a destroyed doorway, which should actually deny LoS. They probably balanced out though [maybe!]
The Haqq victory swung on one roll of the dice, the crit with the missile launcher. In the last four games I’ve played the winner has been the one who has managed to land a hit with this beast of a weapon. I feel like we were carried quite a lot by the Haqq commander, who obviously put a bit more thought into his list than me! Any excuse to take a TAG…