Campaign Paradiso at Enfield Gamers was now in full swing, with a Spec-Ops naming competition and painted model bonus providing extra XP to add to the spoils from mission 101, soon spent on tooling up Spec-Ops or buying Military Specialties. I had stashed my first haul of XP tighter than a miser’s purse, content to wait until I had built up enough loot to buy some choice goodies.
For mission 102, a ‘push buttons in a certain order’ mission [summary here], my Qapu Khalqi would be facing off against Caledonians. Last time out against the space Scots had seen me roll so many crits I spent the majority of the game apologising, before claiming an overwhelming, and incredibly flukey, victory. Surely lightning [or lucky dice rolls] couldn’t strike twice?
Haqqislam Turn 1
Kicking off proceedings was my Yuan Yuan, who, for a change, decided to come screaming in via Inferior Combat Jump rather than a boring, yet much safer, parachute entry. The mercenary nailed his landing, earning a 9.5 from the judges, before showing even less consideration for his own safety by running at the Scots Guard link, hip-shooting his chainrifle. When the smoke cleared the kamikaze Yuan Yuan was lying dead, aerated by bullets, but had managed to put down a Scot, and, more importantly, broken the link.
With the expendable human now dead it was time to send in the more precious Shihab Remote. Rounding the corner, the plucky little machine, it’s internal wirings hotwired by an Assisted Fire hack, headshotted a Highlander Gray armed with an AP machinegun before sending another round into the forehead of a Scots Guard. Its work complete, the machine powered down into overwatch mode, locking down the link, with my opponent looking decidedly uncomfortable, no doubt experiencing a sense of deja vu.
Hoping to give the Al’Hawwa Hacker a clear run at the first Techno-device, The Kaplan Sniper, usually an absolute beast, climbed the ladder to bring the Katyusha Traktor Mul into sight. Grinning with confidence I rolled my three dice, only to see the primitive remote turn up a crit, the shock ammunition sending my Kaplan into the arms of Allah. Hmmm.
Realising that they were here to find some alien intel and not just kill space Scots, the Al’Hawwa Hacker, who had revealed to put Supportware on the Shihab, was ordered to re-dissimulate, the specialist climbing the ladder onto the roof of the building. Although a Cateran Sniper and another Volunteer had oversight of the Techno-device, the hacker was confident that his camouflage would conceal him. This bravado proved horribly misplaced as first the Volunteer Discovered the Al’Hawwa on his way up the stairs, before the Cateran took a cowardly shot while he attempted to hack the console. The joy of successfully downloading the alien info was short-lived as the specialist failed his armour save, the T2 ammunition sending him straight to dead. Great start to the turn, shocking ending, and clearly a repeat of last game against the Scots was not on the cards. At least the Haqqislam force now knew the order they had to access the consoles in – right , left , central , top left . Over to the Caledonians.
Qapu Khalqi 2 – Ariadna 0
Ariadnan Turn 1
The Ariadnans kicked off by, boringly, sending the prone hacker to download the alien data from the Techno-device on the roof of the titty bar. Things soon became more interesting as an S.A.S operative revealed to Forward Observe the Sekban HRL, the rocket fired in return bouncing harmlessly off the Scotsman’s woolly jumper. Now in a Targeted state and painted with a laser, the Sekban was a sitting duck for Guided missile shots from the Traktor Mul.
Qapu Khalqi 2 – Ariadna 2
The first missile salvo resulted in a Crit for the remote, leaving the Sekban needing to Crit Dodge.
Shocking rolling from the Caledonaian player combined with startling agility from the Sekban resulted in the Traktor Mul failing to hit even once, the order pool drained, and the naval unit unharmed.
Haqqislam Turn 2
Turn 2 for Haqqislam began with the Evo-Repeater Kameel Remote climbing the roof to rescue the alien data from the dead Al’Hawwa. Surviving two order’s worth of shots from the Cateran marksman, the remote was within touching distance of cover before being sent unconscious. The second Kameel scuttled over to interact with the damaged machine, downloading the intel from its robot brain.
The remaining orders were spent advancing the Kaplan/Hafza link up the table, murdering the Cateran Sniper and putting the Urugan Traktor Mul unconscious for good measure.
Caledonian Turn 2
The Caledonian turn began in Loss of Lieutenant [who had been in the Scots Guard link hur hur hur]. The Dozer repaired the Traktor Mul, the now fully functioning remote mauling the Kaplan link team. The Aridanan hacker then made a beeline for the central Techno-device, successfully hacking the console. With that, Caledonia was out of orders.
Qapu Khalqi 2 – Ariadna 3
Haqqislam Turn 3
Time to get moving on the mission again. The bulk of the Haqqislam orders were spent bringing the Kameel over to the left-hand Techno-device . Successfully downloading the data, the Kameel advanced towards the central console , before being sent straight to dead by AROs from the Traktor Mul.
Qapu Khalqi 3 – Ariadna 3
With the win increasingly unlikely, it was time to switch to denial tactics. The Sekban Haris link activated, the rocket launcher stalking the hacker on the central console. Rounding the corner, the Sekban dropped his HRL for an assault pistol, opening up on the hacker with an extra burst. Despite the hail of shots the specialist emerged unscathed, while the unfortunate Sekban went down to multiple AROs. Switching to the Kaplan/Hafza link, the spitfire Hafza, also my lieutenant, advanced upon the central console, sending the hacker unconscious but bearing the brunt of multiple AROs to go straight to dead. Loss of Lieutenant for me next turn! The turn finished with one Sekban going down to the 112, one of only two specialists left on the Ariadnan side, before the remaining member of the link downed Doctor Fireaxe.
Ariadnan Turn 3
After some discussion we decided to call it at this point. The Caledonian player did not have enough orders to get his one remaining specialist, his Dozer, over to the central Techno-device. In Loss of Lieutenant and all my Command Tokens spent, I was similarly short of enough orders to reach another console in my last turn. *handshake*
Qapu Khalqi 3 – Ariadna 3
All that for a bloody draw? Actually, this may have been one of the funnest games of Infinity I have played to date; definitely in the top three. The complexity of the Paradiso missions isn’t everyone’s mug of stewed leaves, but I love the challenge. The days of clutching fistfulls of dice hoping to roll more 4s than was statistically average [AKA 40k] seemed an age away. I actually had to use my brain in this one! With the same model needing to hack all of the Techno-devices this mission was a lot tougher in reality than on paper, and meant that I had to stay focussed on the mission and consider how every order was spent.
My dice were hot at the start but then started to go horribly cold, and this game really could have gone either way. The turning point was my Hafza Lieutenant with spitfire going down. I decided to switch up my Lieutenant for this game, rather than going with the suspicious looking lone Ghluam standing suspiciously at the back looking suspicious. Didn’t work out this time, but at least I have three more lovely XP to spend on kitting up Mohammed Norris, my Spec-Op, who has had his beady eye on a viral rifle…
No MVP again – this was undoubtedly a team effort, with no one model rising above the general mediocrity. Next up, the final mission of the chapter!