Facebook is a fantastic forum for staying in touch with far-flung family members, a perfect platform for sharing in life’s little successes and setbacks, and an excellent example of cutting-edge technology being employed to bring communities, countries, nay, the human race, closer together. It’s also a cracking place to get into pointless arguments with complete strangers in a petty attempt to ruin their day. ‘All Things St. Albans’ residents’ group was my latest battlefield, lines drawn up on either side of the momentous matter of whether commuters should be permitted to park their cars outside other peoples’ houses to save themselves the cost of sticking their Merc in the train station’s multi-storey. Leading the charge against the sadistic space stealers I dealt what must surely be a mortal blow with the comment “Yeah, but what if they’ve got kids, or are disabled even, and you’re stopping them parking outside their house?” Logic you way out of that one Colin, you twat. However, no sooner had this ferocious attack left my furiously typing fingertips, a riposte was immediately returned; “If only those selfish wankers with garages would actually park their bloody cars in them rather than use them as sheds, we would all have a parking spot”. Conceding defeat, I retreated from social media in order make my lists for the mini-tournament I was holding in my garage that weekend.
Determined to go ahead despite a late dropout, four players became three, with Tom, his USAriadna and his ginger beard making their way up from Walthamstow and Matt, also sporting a glorious set of golden whiskers, driving over from leafy Berko with his beloved Corregidor. Hoping to reduce the strain on my pudgy body and foggy brain as I make my way back from illness, I opted for a Limited Insertion tournament. Continuing the theme the missions would be simple and straightforward; Biotechvore, Supremacy and Decapitation. Kill and move up. Move up. Kill.
With Tom receiving a bye into the next round while he sat on a train, round 1 would pit my Onyx against Matt’s Nomads. I tried to make two lists but the second one came out a bit shit due to the restrictions of Limited Insertion, so I just went with this one.
Round 1 – Biotechvore
Winning the WIP roll I put myself into bat first, Matt making me deploy first.
Onyx Turn 1
Leaving the stairs for lesser mortals the Xeodron disdainfully Super-Jumped onto the roof of the nearest building, sighting the Gecko in the distance. Because Multi-Rifle range and mini-TAG and dice the shooting was largely ineffectual from both sides, although the expensive link had moved away from the Biotechvore Plague. Would they manage to escape its deadly clutches?
Enough fannying about. The Noctifer clambered up the stairs, launching rocket after rocket towards the puny human itinerants, catching both TAGs and the Camo-Marker in the blasts.
The smoke cleared to reveal two Unconscious Geckos and an Unconscious Intruder. No better sight than Nomads in a Null State, especially when they make up half the points’ cost of your opponent’s army!
Caught up in killing space pikeys I suddenly remembered the huge acid cloud waiting to chew through my army, with multiple Command Tokens spent on a mad dash to get away from my table edge, aliens frantically running, crawling and gliding towards safety. A Unidron and the M-Drone just failed to make it clear and dropped screaming as the virulent biotechnological plague eroded their armour and flesh.
Corregidor Turn 1
With things not looking too good for the ship dwelling space hippies Matt resignedly moved his Wildcat with Heavy Rocket Launcher into the open to draw a bead on my Xeodron. Needing 7s I rolled a 6, with Matt missing! One failed armour save from the Shock ammunition and this one was all but in the bag. Matt had other plans, however, and, rolling the first of many annoyingly unlikely armour saves that day the Wildcat shrugged off the shot, sending another rocket the way of the TAG. This time the F2F decided to follow the laws of probability, the explosion catching the Noctifer and burning it to a crisp, poor armour rolls ensuring that his big friend joined him in an agonising death.
Not content with murdering 90 points’ worth of aliens with one shot, Matt shifted his attention to my left flank, the Wildcat sending more little explosive packages of death arcing towards my Unidron link, to devastating effect.
Mirroring my rookie mistake Matt used his last few remaining orders to advance the Nomads away from the Biotechvore Plague. Unfortunately for the star gypsies the acid nom-nom’d through most of the remaining troops, leaving them desperately short of bodies.
Onyx Turn 2
Thing began poorly, with the should have been dead Wildcat taking out my Umbra Samaritan Lieutenant and stripping two Structure points from the remaining Xeodron. At this kind of moment every general needs a hero to arise, and the Q-Drone did not disappoint, plasma-ing all but one of the techno-tinkers before being dropped by a lucky Combi-Rifle Crit from the sole survivor.
Corregidor Turn 2
With Matt in Loss of Lieutenant he had one hail Mary play to snatch victory. If he could drop the last Structure Point from the Xeodron with the one remaining Combi-Rifle Wildcat using its sole Irregular Order, he would have killed more points than me! With a whispered prayer to the Mexican General the elite medium infantryman squeezed the trigger, smiling as he saw the Xeodron stagger under the impact of two perfect hits to its torso. His smile faded as the TAG shook its head and righted itself, the alien abomination clearly unharmed, the expression becoming a rictus as the return fire hit home.
Onyx 3 – 0 Corregidor
Minor Victory to the Onyx!
Close one! When I saw those two combi shots hit home I really thought I was toast, but luckily I pulled some armour saves out at just the right time, keeping the E.I. happy with a win. A major victory remained out of my reach as I drew two classifieds that required an engineer, was an agonizing inch away from securing the HVT, and a few points shy of having 75 points left on the table. Matt made a list designed for going first and establishing overlapping fields of fire, so me winning the WIP roll combined with losing the two Geckos early on was a massive blow. Kudos to him for coming back so strongly, with the Wildcat HRL accounting for 172 points of dead alien.
Limited Insertion can perhaps best be described as low-stress Infinity or Infinity-lite, with this game over remarkably quickly, especially with the Biotechvore Plague adding to the mayhem! One of the issues that came up at Garagefinity I was the difficulty in getting through all 3 games, as no-one wants to be a stickler for timings in the more relaxed environment of a mini-tournament; I believe I got told to “Fuck off and let us play” when I did make an attempt to keep things on track. Restricting armies to 10 orders ensures rapid rounds and encourages taking all those big shinies that you can just never justify in ‘normal’ lists. On the other hand, it could be argued that it gimps armies that rely on lots of orders such as Ariadna, and undoubtedly has a big impact on how the game plays, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Sitting on the lead with 2 Tournament Points it was now my turn to take a bye, so picking up my paintbrush I poured a pint of Magic Rock Cross Pollination honey IPA; bloody lovely it was too, if deceptively strong! Would I be facing Matt or Tom in the final showdown?
Alien of the match could have gone to the Q-Drone, who undoubtedly saved me from a loss, however, with a grand total of 150 points’ worth of kills, it could only be the Noctifer. Nice one, son.