This would have been a proper battle report, but I forgot to take pictures until long after we packed up. Chris—my opponent—is going to be writing a battle report for the Flamestrike console, so I’ll link to that when he writes it. In the meantime, I’ll like to turn my horrible performance into a reminder of how not to play Infinity.
I have a few rules-of-thumb of Infinity that, when I’m not being a beastial bait-gobbling brute, I follow to great effect. There’s a lot of nuance in Infinity, but these thumb rules have helped me avoid many mistakes, and won me many many many games, and go like this:
Rule #1: Don’t just kill stuff.
Rule #2: The objective is the objectives.
Rule #3: Let your toys get killed.
Rule #1 will save many orders. I learned this from watching our resident PanOceania player fume and lose a zillion games, event though he had excellent killing sprees.
Rule #2 will win many games. It should be very obvious—and it is obvious—but I and many players become trapped into doing other things (usually killing) when killing (usually) will not win the mission.
Rule #3 is inevitable anyway. The toys are there to get shot at, so let it happen! Better yet, bait my opponent to shoot at toys of my choosing.
This current sentence was written after the main body of this article, but even as I write it, I wring my hands at the foolish play recounted below. It was as if I forgot everything I learned about Infinity, and played as I played when I was new to the game.
I also forgot to take motherfucking pictures, which was the main reason I went to play on a pretty table. So here’s what a few minutes of Paint can abstract of the table:
For your imagination, the biggest grey buildings were also the tallest. The center building was treated as infinite height, as normal. Scatter scattered about.
The red guys up top were a Hassassin Bahram army, used by Chris, the Chris of Top Down Terrain. I should note, on that note—since I have on record that I have another product of his to review—that I have since become friends with Chris, as he is a regular at Mox. Disclaimer disclaimed. There’s your shameless plug, Chris.
Anyway: Chris had a Muyib fireteam on the big building on the top-left, with two Heavy Rocket Launchers bearing down the left side of the team, and a few camouflage markers near my deployment zone with a Fiday lounging on my rooftop. A few Mutts and Barids sprinkling around or within the larger building in his center backfield.
I won’t strip down my list, but you can look at what I brought with this army code into Army 6, if you are curious. The essential idea was a demo Kosuil triad to blow open the door and mine-spam the room, a second triad to smoke and grab data, and support troops to back up the triads and tie up enemy forces. However I failed to properly research the scenario, as the Objective Room doors are open in this version of Coffin Raiders. I would have instead brought a couple HMG Chaksas, knowing this. Oh well, vae victis. All other doors, we decided, would begin closed.
I like to play WYSIWYG if I can, which I did; and I brought a Makaul with Swarm Grenades and a Viral Sakiel Lieutenant because Swarm Grenades are going the way of the Exrah, and it fun and thematic to have an avatar of myself as lieutenant for the Flamestrike campaign. Nothing, of course, went as intended.
I was first. Opening move broke Rule 1 (don’t just kill stuff), and I moved out my Clipsos Sniper (light green) to shoot the furthest Muyib HRL (red, top left). The camo marker, a Farzan, revealed on the middlish building in ARO to return fire. So, also violating Rule 3 (let your toys get killed), I split burst 1 on the Muyib and 1 on the Farzan. The Clipsos Sniper’s TO + Cover + Surprise meant that the Farzan would have hit on threes at best, meaning I had good odds to take the ARO anyway.
The result was that I hit the Farzan, and it survived, but the Muyib hit my Clipsos, and it died.
Breaking Rule #1 again, and Rule #2 (the objective is the objectives), I moved a Clipsos Forward Observer forward. I tried to FO the clump in the biggest middlemost building, only to be reminded that all doors other than the Objective Room doors were closed. So flushed with embarrassment, I dropped her into suppressive fire to be an annoyance on his turn.
If annoyance was the objective, the Clipsos had Mines to place to fuck with the Mutts and Muyib troops. But more importantly, my rule of thumb #2! That Clipsos was a specialist, and that was an empty objective room. ARO-free objective points awaited therein.
Next, I would move the Spitfire Sakiel triad up to the objective room to—you guessed it—break Rule #1 and #2 again. I had good odds with the dice, but, the dice. Dice can’t be helped, but tactics can. I had the smoke and the orders to snag at least 2 to 4 objective points, without AROs, but instead my turn resulted with the Spitfire dying.
The high-WIP Kosuil discovered and killed one Daylami. Because the triad activated, the Daylami made an unopposed Panzerfaust ARO to Dasaan the Sakiel, but this triggered the Kosuil’s Minelayer mine on that Daylami. The result was that both Daylamis died, while Dasaan ate the Panzerfaust without a scratch. As long as I was breaking my own rules, what I should have done was move my goddamn Baggage Chaksa up to Sensor, then moved my Kaeltar around to shotgun the two of them. It would have taken 1 more order, but much more smart and much less dangerous.
And then my turn was over. What had I accomplished? I broke 1 triad, and lost 2.5 | 49 points, sheerly for the chance at killing models. I remember what was going through my head (“I need to drop that Muyib link”), but what a poor goal, and what a poor execution. Some other things you might have done, if you were I, toward that goal:
• Move up a Clipsos Forward Observer and lay mines around corners near the Muyibs
• Move the Clipsos Sniper back, to put the HRL Muyibs into negative range
• Forward Observe a Muyib, then activate the Rocket Chaksa
• Spam mines on the enemy path to the objective room, then recamo
• Withhold activating the Clipsos Sniper to ARO snipe a Muyib on Chris’s turn
• Smoke advance a triad into enable danger-close ARO threat on the Muyib turn
Any of these decisions would have been better than the ones I made, yet still inferior to just collecting the objectives as per Rule #2.
Chris’s turn was long, but rather painless, for him. The Fiday with the Muyibs quickly killed the Nikoul who, before his death, was able to snipe a couple Mutts running forward.
A Daylami Panzerfausted and killed the Paramedic of Dasaan’s triad, breaking the triad. The other irregular troops advanced to varying success, eventually ousting the stupidly Suppressive Firing Clipsos with a Chain Rifle. The Fiday would later die to the Nikoul’s Mine and Viral Combi hit from Dasaan.
The Muyib team, having removed their primary antagonists, had a quick and clear path down from the building and into the main field, killing most of the advanced Tohaa. Now, Chris was playing the long game here, positioning his team to kill off the remainder of my forces on my turn, but I imagine he might have been better off just cleaning house in the objective room.
My turn, I had four or five orders. Demonstrating further misunderstanding of the scenario, thinking that the game would end if I went into Retreat. I wasn’t getting anything out of that Objective Room. So, I thought if I could go into Retreat and get my Classified Objective, I would win. I haven’t gone into Retreat as Tohaa since N2, but I tried to get him to kill my troops. I thought I was so clever.
I used Dasaan’s Impetuous move to get himself killed, and he got killed. I advanced the Kosuil to try to kill a Muyib, and get killed himself, which he did. And finally, I tried to Forward Observe the downed Muyib for the win, but both WIP rolls failed, and the Clipsos died to a single ARO rocket.
I announced my failed gamble, my Retreat, and said GG, but at that point Lootenant Dasaan was shamed further, as Chris corrected that the scenario ends due to Retreat only if Retreat had begun at the beginning of my turn.
Chris kindly offered me to backtrack, but I declined. Mistakes need punishment to be corrected. So, Chris would win by d-charging a scenery piece for his 1-point Classified Objective on the following turn.
That’s what I get for playing so infrequently this year. It was very poor play. So, don’t take from this here how to play Infinity. Take the inverse, how not to play Infinity:
Rule #1: Go after threatening enemies
Rule #2: Save objectives for later
Rule #3: Don’t risk your forces
And, I suppose, I should add:
Rule #4: A quick read of your scenario is sufficient
Do that, and you’ll have many more games like mine.