Tic-Tac-Toe would be the mission for Saturday’s installment of Infinity, chosen from the back of the new HSN3 book. With a couple of tournaments coming up, one a mini 4 person affair against local gamers in nearby Berko and another, much more daunting prospect in Leeds against tournie regulars, it was important to get games under my belt. In the words of David to Joshua in the film ‘WarGames’, “Come on. Learn, Goddammit.”
In the interests of putting more painted models on the table I opted to run my Qapu Khalqi. My opponent for the day would be Matt, with vanilla Nomads, who had stomped my Pan O in our last match-up, a game of Supremacy. I first met Matt back in my 40k days, and his Space Marines then didn’t have any arms. This seems to be a running theme in Matt’s armies…
Winning the WIP roll, Matt chose deployment, taking the side closest to the garage door, while I chose first turn.
Nomad deployment. Kinda hard to make out what’s what as they’re mostly unpainted and there was quite a lot of proxies, with Wildcats standing in for Algauciles [which I was completely fine with, not everyone spunks their entire income on Infinity models like I do] and a distinct lack of arms…
Qapu Khalqi Turn 1
Aieeee! The first of the Yuan Yuans came screaming out of the skies, completely failing her PH roll and spiralling wildly out of control, narrowly missing a burger bar and ending up standing out in the open, dazed and in full view of the Nomad guns. Luckily, the crazy mercenary had somehow managed to find extra armour on the way down from the dropship, which helped her to pass both of her armour saves.
The second Yuan Yuan was not so fortunate, the mustachioed mercenary scattering off the table and being forced to deploy at the rear, becoming as irrelevant as the X-visor that he rolled on the Booty table.
After reading the Human Sphere Guide Book, I learned that ‘Yuan’ is the Yu Jing currency, so ‘Yuan Yuan’ means ‘Money, Money’. The third soldier of fortune [represented by a Ragik] was right on the money, nailing his landing and finding a combi-rifle in his spare trousers.
Returning to the first Yuan Yuan it was time to introduce the ship-dwelling techno-punks to Mr Chainrifle. The Alguacile on the building opted to Dodge, with his counterpart on the ground also choosing to throw himself out of the way. The Nomad on the roof moved too slowly however, failing his armour save to go Unconscious. Another chainrifle volley sent the remaining Alguacile Unconscious.
Turning to the combi rifle toting Yuan Yuan it was time to go Lieutenant hunting. Convinced it was the Mobile Brigada, the mercenary paused to ‘Coup-de-Grace’ an Alguacile before focussing his burst on the heavy infantryman, sneakily shooting him in the back. One failed armour save resulted in a wound, with the veteran troop turning around and bringing his flamethrower to bear. In a remarkable display of courage or stupidity the space pirate was immolated, but not before he had put a Crit and another hit on the Brigada to kill him outright. Would it be a turn 1 Loss of Lieutenant for the Nomads?
Buffed with an ‘Assisted Fire’ hack, the Shihab Remote cycled up, attempting a Discover Shoot at the neon green camo marker in the distance. This turned out to be a wasted order as the MODS from camo and cover left the robot needing to beat the odds by rolling a 7 or under. Which it didn’t.
Turning back to the remaining relevant Yuan Yuan it was time to get a little cheesy. Climbing the side of the building and sighting on the downed Alguacile on the roof, the mercenary opened up with her chainrifle, catching the camo marker in the blast. The mystery model managed to throw itself out of the way however, finally revealing to be an Intruder with multi sniper rifle.
With Matt having spent a Command Token to reduce my main pool by two, it was time to hand over to the Nomads. Happy with that first turn though.
Nomads Turn 1
Disappointingly, the Mobile Brigada wasn’t Matt’s Lieutenant, and, after strong first turns in my last couple of games had been followed by shocking rolling for the remaining rounds, I was feeling a little apprehensive. Adding to my anxiety was the fact that I hadn’t even attempted to hack a console yet. In my favour was the mauling the Yuan Yuans had given to the Nomads in the first turn, and Matt was forced to spend three Command Tokens to bring his main order pool back up to the maximum.
Proceedings began worryingly badly for the Defenders of the Gate, the Shihab Remote being outrolled into second level Unconsciousness by the now-revealed Intruder.
Fortune soon swung back in my favour however as a Hellcat, despite having Superior Combat Jump, managed to Disperse in front of Scarface, who, in a malicious display of overkill, blew her into pieces with a panzerfaust rocket. A Tomcat Doctor Infiltrated onto the board, killing Cordelia before being Critted by the Alguacile Hacker. Oh, the irony! Lucky break for the followers of Allah, as my link team had decided to line up in a shape roughly the size of a boarding shotgun and/or flamer template.
The Intruder turned his attentions on the pesky pirate Yuan Yuan, using his X-visor to ignore the negative MODs from using his sniper rifle at close range. Successfully carrying out a ‘Smoke Dodge’ and landing the smoke on top of the Intruder, the smile slowly fell from my face as Matt gleefully informed me that the sniper had MSV2. Know thy enemy indeed! The mercenary sucked up another order before finally going down to Double Action munitions. She had more than earned her points back, and drained Matt of a fair few orders, so I was very happy with her performance, especially as I now didn’t have to pay her.
Focusing on the mission, the Nomads successfully hacked two consoles, a sneaky Zero hacker revealing while the Moran programmed the centre console.
Qapu Khalqi turn 2
Haqqislam opened proceedings by mirroring the Nomad player and using three Command Tokens to replace the lost orders from the deceased Yuan Yuans and Cordelia. The Doctor Plus then cruelly sent the cute little Nasmat to play with the Krazy Koalas. The Nasmat dodged one explosive hug from the Koala plus a combi rifle burst from the Moran, before passing an armour save to prevent being exploded by the remaining boom bear!
“Doo doo doo, come on and do the conga!” – the Kaplan/Hafza link moved up, the sniper lucky to survive unscathed after a spitfire Prowler revealed on top of the L-shaped building, the clear line of sight through the crates obvious to everyone but me. The spitfire Hafza was not so lucky, losing a F2F to drop unconscious, despite having five dice to throw. The Nasmat, feeling invincible after last turn’s events, attempted to reach the downed Hafza but was shot in the back by the Moran. Reforming the link with my last Command Token, the Kaplan sniper decided to show the link how it was done, sending the Prowler straight to dead with Double Action ammunition.
One of the Kaplan engineers then successfully WIPed the nearest console.
Nomads TIC-TAC – Qapu Khalqi TIC
Determined to prove that he wasn’t just an IT guy, the Kaplan engineer rounded the corner to give the Moran four of the best, combi rifle bullets putting the lanky Masai warrior down. The sniper Kaplan then won a F2F against an Alguacile with a decidedly scary missile launcher, the Double Action ammunition again proving lethal.
Blinded by rage at the loss of his sister, Joe ‘Scarface’ Turner advanced towards the nearest enemy model [i.e. we remembered that Scarface was now Impetuous]. Unfortunately for Joe, the nearest enemy model happened to be a Zero with an assault hacking device…
Nomads Turn 2
Standing up from a Prone position, the Intruder sniper sent the exposed Kaplan Unconscious, the sticky return fire from the adhesive launcher going wide.
The Zero hacker then crawled into ZoC of Scarface, successfully Possessing the raging TAG! With no Command Tokens left, Haqqislam were impotent to excise the machine. Ignoring the foul words spitting from the pilot, the Intruder turned the TAG on its former masters. The Ghulam Lieutenant managed to Dodge out of the storm of MK12 bullets behind the truck, although the Doctor Plus wasn’t so lucky. A close shave – if the Lieutenant had gone down I would have been in trouble in my final turn.
Fortunately Matt was getting short of orders, so the destruction caused by the TAG was limited to one casualty.
Qapu Khalqi Turn 3
Used to exaggerating how big an inch is, I again misjudged a Catious Move, which put the Ghulam Lieutenant in line of sight of Scarface and subsequently Unconscious.
The remaining Kaplan engineer then successfully hacked two consoles, the last console programmed with the final order, to give me a vertical line down the table.
Nomads TIC – Qapu Khalqi TIC-TAC-TOE!
Nomads Turn 3
With no remaining specialists, Matt spent his final few orders using Scarface to kill Kaplans out of spite.
Nomads 0 – Haqqislam 10
A total victory for the Defenders of the Gate, this was a great game, against a great opponent. It really could have gone either way, with one big turning point being the Hellcat Dispersing off target and in front of Scarface. It was stupid of me to line up my link team like I did, and I probably deserved to be punished for that. Another crucial dice roll was Dodging my Lieutenant out of the way of Scarface. With his four dice to my one, the odds really weren’t in my favour, and, had the Lieutenant gone down, I wouldn’t have been able to connect my line, resulting in stalemate.
Honorable mention goes to the Kaplans again, who are my go-to link whenever buttons need to be pressed. The Nasmat will be lovingly repaired and given an oil bath and a spanking new paintjob for his bravery in the field. However, the MVPs were undoubtedly the two Yuan Yuans, causing chaos in the Nomad back line and scoring me a Classified to boot. 8 points of pure gold.