Tonight saw the first round of Campaign Paradiso, which I’m loosely responsible for organising at the excellent Enfield Gamers. To say I am excited about this campaign would be a huge understatement. The combination of the awesomeness of Infinity plus being able to develop a Spec Ops character [can’t wait to paint his name on his base – once he earns a name that is] has me salivating. In order to even up the number of teams I get to run both my QK/Haqqislam and also my new NCA/Pan O army. We’ll be playing one scenario a month, so I’m guaranteed at least two games each month for the next 14 months!
First up is 101 – Data Recovery, which must have been the inspiration for the 20X20 mission of the same name, as they are very similar. A summary of the mission requirements can be found here – not my work but that of a bloke called ‘Dude’, who is, well, a bit of a dude for doing this. Engineers and hackers are a must for this scenario, and points mean prizes – each Objective Point is worth 1 XP, which can be spent on improving the Spec Ops model or giving you, as the general, additional ‘Military Specialties’, such as increased points allowances, or even being able to bring two lists.
My randomly assigned opponent for round 1 was toting a Morat Aggression Force. Yet another game I would go into blind, as I had no idea what tricks the red-faced space apes had up their hairy sleeves. Quite a few it turns out… My opponent was relatively new to Infinity, having only played 3 full games. Despite this his knowledge of the rules was bloody impressive, and he rightly called me on the rules a couple of times. Top bloke as well.
The icing on the cake was my mate Tom being able to make it over to the club too, braving an hour and fifteen bus ride across town to bring his USAriadna to face off against Tohaa in the same scenario. As Tom set up, we realised that everyone else had expected everyone else to bring extra terrain, leaving Tom and his opponent with only the Operation:Icestorm and USAriadna starter set terrain. Rooting around in the back room [which is like an Aladdin’s cave of gaming history] Tom managed to put together a great looking ‘industrial complex surrounded by forest’ table, and is now a big advocate of using scenery rules, as it “added a new dimension to their game and encouraged risk taking”.
The complicated nature of the scenarios in Paradiso isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it encouraged me to try out some new models, in particular the Kaplan Technical Service I had been hearing so many good things about, and a Haris link team. And, most excitingly, the latest addition to my TAG garage, Scarface and his sister Cordelia!
I won the WIP roll [again] on a crit, and, for a change, decided to choose deployment rather than first turn, choosing the side with the slightly better lanes of fire over a greater density of terrain.
MAF turn 1
The Kurgat Engineer edged around the biker bar, ignoring the temptation of the flashing neon dancing girls to stay focused on the mission. Using three orders, the Kurgat moved up to the closest console, successfully bypassing the defence protocols in the hope of finding the Alien Info. The Kurgat was to be disappointed however as the console indicated that the vital intel would be found in the central unit, out in the open at an intersection of the road with minimal cover. This was going to get bloody… The Engineer consoled himself with achieving an objective point for the Morats.
MAF 1-0 QK
Another order was spent by the Zerat Hacker to give ‘Assisted Fire’ to the Cockroach Remote [Q-Drone] with HMG, who opened up on the Sekban HRL in the building opposite. One shot on target was all it took, putting the Sekban unconscious.
The Sogarat with HMG opened up on Scarface, but after drawing out the TAG’s two Panzerfaust missiles, took a wound from the Mk12s. Cockroach Remote then took over, taking a structure point off Scarface, who failed to calibrate his targeting array to take into account that he would be hitting on 4s due to mimetism [i.e. I didn’t realise], and fell back out of LoS after failing all of his ‘Guts’ checks. In front of his sister too.
The Morat with ML in the 5 monkey link edged round the ATM but lost the F2F against the Kaplan Sniper, who’s turn it was to surprise with his mimetism. Missile launcher down! That was a big turning point in my favour as those weapons can be nasty. The Sogarat then went on ‘Suppression Fire’ to end the Combined turn.
QK turn 1
Haqqislam opened proceedings by spending an order on the Kaplan link, with the Sniper pumping rounds into the unconscious ML Morat until it stopped twitching. After spending a couple of orders to maneuver one of the two Engineers close to B2B with the console, I made my first big mistake – not realising the Morat behind the biker bar would gain LoS, I declared the Engineer rather than the Sniper as the Link Team Leader, and moved the whole team up. The Kaplan Sniper faced an unopposed roll from the Morat link, but fortunately for me the monkey was only packing a puny combi-rifle, which with range and mimetism was wildly off target. Realising his mistake, the Kaplan Sniper sheepishly shot the Morat in the face, winning the F2F roll against a ‘Dodge’, before his link team buddy successfully hacked the console. I realised later that this was a complete waste of time and orders, as an OP was only available for the first time a console was checked.
Taking the lead as the Link Team Leader again, the Sniper edged around the L-shaped building to gain LoF on the Sogarat. Things went the way of the Kaplan, with the Sogarat finally going unconscious after making a ridiculous amount of successful armour saves. Inspired by this act of bravery, Scarface finally regained his courage, coming around the crate to bring the Cockroach Remote in LoS of his twin Mk12s. However, cover and mimetism plus the ‘Assisted Fire’ buff on the Remote led to the TAG losing his second structure point, although he did manage to pass his ‘Guts’ roll.
Cordelia then made a risky Engineering check, critting on a 13 to bring Scarface back up to 2 structure points. Scarface then opted to go on ‘Suppression Fire’ with the final order, which was my second big mistake. For some reason I didn’t think ‘Suppression Fire’ generated an ARO, although obviously it does. My opponent kindly allowed me to mulligan, and I put the order back into my pool. Here’s where I feel really bad. Not knowing what to do with my final order, I decided to go balls out and opened up on the Cockroach Remote again, needing 4s. The Remote hit the TAG three times, which probably would have made him eject, but I critted on a 4, putting the Cockroach unconscious. Game changer.
MAF Turn 2
The balance in rules favour was evened out a little as the Sogarat failed his first automedkit check. Not knowing if a cube allowed a Command Token re-roll from an automedkit, we decided that it probably did, although a quick rules check following the game proved us wrong. The freshly revived Sogarat split fire into both the Kaplan Sniper and TAG but lost the F2F and went straight to dead, leaving Doctor Worm exposed. The Morat Sniper from the mauled biker bar link peered around the corner and won a F2F against the Kaplan Sniper, putting it unconscious. This made getting to the central console, which contained the Alien Info, a real pain in the ass. The MAF then pulled out some dirty alien tricks, with the Kornak Lieutenant peering around the crates to take a bead on the TAG.
“He’s got a K1 combi rifle.” My opponent informed me.
“Nice, what does that do?”
“It ignores armour”.
WTF? Luckily for me, Scarface passed his cover save, avoiding being forced to eject.
QK Turn 2
The Sword of Allah began their turn two by doing what they do best, ‘Doctoring’.After I restored the Haris link, the Sekban Doctor Plus moved in to patch up the Sekban with HRL to full health. The HRL then opened up on both the Kornak Lieutenant and Doctor Worm, successfully putting both unconscious and leaving the Morats in ‘Loss of Lieutenant’. All of the orders from the main pool bar two were then spent to move the Sekban link towards the large central building, where the HRL would be able to gain LoS on the Morat Sniper. One drawback of my list was the lack of long-ranged firepower, so this would be an important roll-off. Edging around the corner, the Sekban HRL won the F2F and took both the Sniper and the Morat behind him down, with the remaining monkey caught in the blast managing to successfully swing out of the way.
With that the TAG moved up and put himself on ‘Suppressive Fire’, this time managing to avoid generating an ARO.
MAF Turn 3
More Combined shenanigans were revealed as my opponent announced that his Morats ignore both ‘Loss of Lieutenant’ and ‘Retreat’. In a gutsy play, the Zerat Hacker attempted ‘Overlord’ with his EI hacking device in a last-ditch effort to take control of my own TAG. Unsure if this is a F2F roll, we decide it probably is, and the Zerat got minced by Scarface’s twin Mk12s. With that we call it, as there was no turn limit and I would have easily been able to download the Alien Info [2 OPs] and also transmit it [2 OPs].
Final Score MAF 1 – 4 QK
My first Paradiso experience certainly lived up to expectations! I really enjoyed playing against an army I had never encountered before, and my opponent was a great bloke, which made for a friendly and enjoyable game. We discussed events afterwards, and both agreed that the turning point was my lucky crit against the Q-Drone. Just like a real cockroach, that thing is a bugger to kill. If it had still been up for my turn two, there’s no way I could have gotten my Sekban link into position.
Next up, my Neoterrans will be taking on Nomads in the same scenario. Now, what should I spend that XP on…
Link to Operation Flamestrike here