Into the Spiral

When Corvus Belli announced that a new sectorial, Spiral Corps, was in-bound, tied to Tohaa, but without the full support of the Triumverate, I was just coming to the end of my love affair with my previous army, Hassassin Bahram. Wanting to run something entirely different, I was intrigued by what little we knew about Spiral, and the prospect of painting some cool aliens was exciting, as I was getting a little bored of humans. Then the models were previewed, and I lost my mind! They were the army for me! Sneaking undercover agents, weird little alien critters, hulking close-combat monsters, all sporting cool and weird xeno-tech, unlike that of the usual factions of the Human Sphere.

Suffice to say, when the box came out, I jumped on it immediately, digging out the Tohaa bits I picked up on the cheap a couple of years back, but had never done anything with, and pulling together the bits that were usable in the brand new Spiral Corps army list. First impressions of the list were…mixed…I liked what some things could do, but was a bit put off by the lack of heavy firepower. Where were my HMGs?! Similarly, why could I only take one Kaeltar, making the choice of Mates or Bombs a bit of a one-sided one? Also, why couldn’t Reex link with everything, acting like glue like Makaul did in Tohaa?! It seemed like there were little pockets of cool, with a bit of a void in terms of the units around those key pieces.

Regardless, I started playing some games with them, trying stuff out, and deciding what I thought worked, and what didn’t. Initially, it was a bit of an uphill struggle – losing lots, or only narrowly winning, but then I started to get them – started to understand what works, and how to use them.

When ITS Season 11 rolled around, I decided that Spiral would be my competitive army, and what I would take for tournaments, the local league, to the Nordic Masters, and if I went, to Interplanetario. My first tournament of ITS11 went well, taking first place, and at the next one I came 3rd, with 2 major wins and a draw. My third, and fourth tournaments of the season also went excellently, as I walked away with the first place prize at both. In fact, I haven’t lost a competitive game with Spiral this season, which I think really is down to how well put together the army is.

As I approach the point of having everything I need and want for the list painted up, and I’m considering my options for next seasons army, I thought it was about time I did something new for the blog, and wrote and review of the army, from my experience of using them. The aim is to give some insight into how they have played for me, and what I’ve really enjoyed about this unique force.

I should caveat all of this with the fact that I’ve never played vanilla Tohaa, so the views posted below are entirely from the view of using the units in Spiral Corps, and the specific profiles available only to them and, of course.
Also, I haven’t tried everything out, only what appealed, and, of course, your mileage may vary. 

General Tactics & Playstyle

Unlike other armies in Infinity, Spiral Corps can’t really do a lot of the plays you’d see from a more generalised force. They struggle with long range gunfights, they can’t do Air Drop shock and awe tactics, they’re not really able to engage in the Hacking game, and generally speaking they can’t do massive order lists. Where I’ve found they do excel, however, is in a guerilla warfare style of play, where they use two or three strong gunfighters to harass the enemy from the midfield, then pull back to a position and make the opponent come to them; forcing them to wade through mines, or Dazers, Kriigels, or SymbioBombs, or having to waste orders dealing with cheap, or high-risk ARO pieces, before getting to my active turn pieces. That, or having to spend their time digging out an awkwardly place Impersonator or two, before being able to attempt the mission, giving me the edge on momentum in order to move up and start taking objectives, or get an early lead on kill count. 

Not having a large array of units that can handle a firefight means that you can’t really engage in open wars of attrition – you really notice when you lose that Draal, or your Kiel-Saan goes down. Similarly, your Fireteams aren’t as flexible as they are in Tohaa, so losing a member of one can be quite the blow, so do bear that in mind when you’re moving your pieces about the board.

I find that Spiral have much more success when they don’t over extended, and only leave a few choice ARO pieces out, with as many things tucked around corners, or a couple of orders away, for your opponent to deal with, and spreading the mission out across all three turns – due to the pricing, and nature of the units in the army, a Gung-Ho approach often leaves you without the pieces you need to win the game. 

Pros
  • Order efficient: With a combination of triads, high MOV stats, and solid average BS and WIP, Spiral are good at getting things done in a timely manner. 
  • Streamlined: As we’re seeing with a lot of the more recent armies/sectorials, Spiral dont have much in the way of point bloat. This doesn’t mean units are cheap, per se, but you’re not paying for things you won’t use. 
  • Fast: As mentioned above, a number of units in Spiral are blessed with a 6” first MOV rate. This, combined with some decent deployment skills, means you’re able to get your key units where you want them quickly, and efficiently
  • Solid Defence: With a combination of tricksys links, cheap camo’d ARO pieces, and some tough midfield starters, Spiral Corps have a lot of tools to blunt an Alpha strike.
  • Helots: Mentioned above, and arguably too good, these little alien mercs are amazing, and far, far too cheap!
  • Special Triads:Spiral get access to a few particular fireteams, which aren’t present in regular Tohaa. They are quite unique in composition, and give a really interesting tool box to work with. There are two in particular that are outrageously good (more on those later!) 
Everyone’s favourite!

Cons
  • Big Guns: There are a distinct lack of powerful, high burst weapons in the army, particularly HMGs, which only appear on a BS11 Neurocinetic Chaksa, and the less-than-impressive Anaconda TAG. There are alternatives, mind…
  • Limited Specialists: Probably the armies biggest weakness is it’s lack of dedicated specialists, particularly Forward Observers, of which the Clipsos is the only one. Add to that the lack of hackers, and Classifieds can prove tricky to do, and missions involving the new Liaison Officer rule somewhat force your hand in terms of build. That said, Draal being specialist operatives means you usually have someone ready to push the buttons!
  • Hacking: Whilst not a con necessarily, it is a blindspot for Tohaa in general, and it’s not much different for Spiral. Whilst having access to the Wardriver and Brawler hackers helps somewhat, the army lacks remotes to synergise the supportware benefits of these units. Similarly, no drop troops, and only 2 HI, means that you’re only taking Hackers to either complete classifieds, or be the target of enemy KHDs – a threat compounded by only having one killer hacker themselves (Hatail Keesan), and no repeaters at all! All of this culminates in there not really being much reason to take hackers, giving you an even smaller choice of specialists!
  • Limited Insertion: I think this just isn’t really Spiral’ choice format. They rely on Helots to form multiple, cheap, AROs, and with them being Irregular, that’s an order you’re down. Tactical Window, on the other hand…
Classifieds, an integral part of Infinity, are somewhat of a pain for Spiral

Standout Units

There are some real key players in the Spiral Corps army, and a few which I think the force really couldn’t do without. Below are some of my favourites, which I would urge anyone interested in Spiral to have a go with!

Draal Saboteurs: I freaking love this unit, especially the AP Marksman Rifle version! Fast movement, solid BS(13), decent PHYS plus Hyper-Dynamics Lv1 (so dodging on 15s), a WIP13 Specialist, with Forward Deployment Lv2, ARM2 (BTS6!), and Symbiont Armour to boot – the second wound has a slightly reduced statline, but it means it can take a SymbioMate! 3 solid loadouts, giving you the choice of short range gunfighting, backed up with a large template, or a more long range weapon, able to punch through armour. They can even have a Dazer, to help slow the enemy down, whilst having Multi-terrain and ignoring the effects themselves. All profiles having a Viral Pistol is also amazing, as it makes them lethal at short range. AP mines and minelayer (which plays really well with Forward Deployment) makes these beasts excellent at midfield control, able to take and hold buttons on their own, without much worry. Finally, they have a piece of equipment unique entirely to them – Stratuscloud. This tool allows them to deploy with, activate with an order, or ARO with (which takes effect from the beginning of that order!) the Stratuscloud state. Whilst  active an area the size of the round template, centred on the Draal, becomes a low-vis and saturation zone for any model that DOESN’T have the Stratuscloud equipment. This lasts until the end of the following player turn. It is essentially a hard counter to a full Core fireteam, as it negates their +3 to hit and +1 Burst, and has proven the best tool for facing defensive links I think I’ve ever used. Combine it with Suppressive fire whilst in cover, and your Draal essentially becomes a 1 Tohaa pillbox! Anyone thinking of taking up Spiral Corps should definitely explore this unit – in my humble opinion, they’re a linchpin of the army, and you should never leave home without one. 

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The incredibly versatile Draal.

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Not mine. I WISH I could paint like this!

Kiel-Saan: Another favourite unit of mine, and the one I go to when I need to get stuff dead! Again, with a fast movement, high BS, good armour, and multiple wounds (plus being able to take SymbioMates!) Kiel-Saan are normally able to get themselves where you need them, with enough orders to then wreak havoc. I personally prefer the Red Fury profile, as burst 4 means you can be quite aggressive with it, and you’re never going to be out-diced. Due to the Heavy Pistol and Panerfaust, both profiles have a +3 mod out to 32”, meaning that you can reliably leverage that high BS. It’s also definitely worth mentioning MetaChemistry, as it really can push the Kiel-Saan into unreasonable levels of excellent! There are no bad results on the roll (perhaps Bioimmunity, or Natural Armour?) but everything else can, and will, make the Kiel-Saan a night mare for your opponent. Also, the Kiel-Saan is one of the hardiest close combat units in the army despite not having Martial Arts. However, having Natural Born Warrior and Assault means you can run in from a scarily long distance, and offset your -3 from Assault with NBW if you’re facing weaker CC targets, or accept the -3 and ignore all of the benefits of CC specialists. Either way, with a total of 3 wounds, and being able to take a mate, your Kiel-Saan will be around for a while, and laying on the hurt, especially with a PH14, Double Action Shock Weapon! Finally, as a Veteran, the Kiel-Saan can achieve some classifieds, and gets an ADHL in Hunting Party, plus with a DA CCW, it can do damage to scenery items for missions like Looting and Sabotage. I’d highly urge anyone interested in Spiral to ensure they give this unit several outings, to better understand the array of things it can do for you!

The Kiel-Saan – easily the biggest hitter in the army.

Taagma: Taagma are one of those units that I probably could do without, but I’m not sure I’d ever want to. They bring two pretty important things to the table – Counterintelligence, and an MSV2 (Viral) Sniper! Counterintelligence is so important for Spiral as they can’t do many high order count builds,at least not without sacrificing some of their more important units and Triads. Whilst you’re not always going be going first, Spiral are able to throw out a pretty solid Alpha strike, and having more orders makes for a scarier threat. From experience, just the knowledge that an army has Counterintelligence is enough to stop your opponent from spending that Command Token. Having an MSV2 Sniper is always going to be helpful in a list, but when it’s your only MSV2, it almost becomes vital. Whilst not being as versatile as a Multi, the Viral sniper can be just as devastating against a variety of units – especially against those terrifying Werewolves! Couple this with the Special Triad with two Chaksa, and you have a really solid, and quite cheap, ARO unit, that can prove to be a horrible active turn threat.
The Holoprojector allows you to disguise the Taagma as something else, which is usually as a Chaksa for me (though it can be obvious having a flamer at the top of a tower), but is more useful when it comes to using the other sneaky tool Taagma have – the Tricor. This little dohiccy confers the benefits of a full Core link (Sixth Sense and +3 to hit) to the Triad the Taagma is in. The main advantage of this is that you get the shooting capacity of a full link, but with the manoeuvrability of a Haris.

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Taagmas are a bit odd, but you will always find a use for them.

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Kiiutan: There’s not much more to say about the Kiiutan, other than 2 Wound Impersonator! Despite only being Inferior Impersonation, and so unable to reassume the marker state, the Kiiutan makes for an excellent assassin, with a good BS of 12, PH11 and Hyperdynmaics, and of course, 2 wounds. Depending on what you’re facing, you can choose to not deploy in the marker state at all, instead favouring to give it a SymbioMate or SymbioBomb. The profiles all having Viral Pistols is really nice, and I tend to prefer the SMG version – taking the E/Mauler if I have the SWC; this is unless I’m using them to start with points in my opponents half of the table (for missions like Frontline, or Supremay), in which case it’s the Combi-Rifle. Usually, I use the Kiituan as a distraction piece, as it’s amazing how many orders people will spend on getting to, discovering, and then trying to kill a multi-wound Impersonator, and this can be a great way to slow down an Alpha strike. If going first, and I have a decent target, I’ll sometimes try for an assassination run, or harrass single units, sometimes forgoing the marker state in favour of a Mate or Bomb, particularly if there’s a nasty looking link set up in ARO. If you’re expecting some nice, squishy targets it’s worth noting that the new Defiance character, Jaa Starr, is a more aggressive, and more expensive, version of the Kiiutan, so is worth trying that profile if you want a straight up mook killer (though the Kiiutan’s E/M and AP ammo is better for hunting armour!) Similarly, the Greif operative has an Impersonation profile for 21pts, so makes a cheap alternative, though I really do think the 5pts is worth it for the increase in stats and additional wound.

Kriigel: Whilst not appearing in every list I run, Kriigel’s have some utility that is almost unique to them. Firstly, there is a profile that has a Smoke Grenade Launcher, which is one of two smoke templates in the army (the other being the Kerail handler) – this obviously synergises well with the Taagma Sniper, and is pretty staple play in most games of Infinity. Secondly, there is another profile which wields a Phero-booster – a weapon unique to the Kriigel unit. It has several firing modes, allowing you to choose to best suit your target, and a range band good between 16 and 24 inches. As an added bonus, the weapon has the Pheromonic ammo type, so regardless of whether you wound or not, your victim becomes Targeted as long as you hit. Lastly, and this is the real winner about the equipment – hitting things with the Pherobooster counts as completing the Forward Observer skills for the purposes of Classified objectives. This is important as Spiral have a severe lack of Forward Observer specialists, as mentioned above! Regardless of which loadout you select, the Kriigel has two Pheroware tactics at its disposal; Mirrorball and Eraser. Mirrorball works exactly like White Noise, so gives the army a nice way of dealing with MSV troops, whilst Eraser is a bit trickier – it allows the Kriigel to make a WIP roll (with a -3 penalty to the enemy), which causes a damage 13 Double Trouble hit, Isolating the target if they fail. This makes for a pretty tasty attack vector, and an even nastier ARO if your opponent isn’t thinking about it – particularly against hard targets, or Rambo pieces. Be warned though, it can only target things with a Wounds value, so is useless against TAGs.

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Helots: I’ve saved the best for last, and I say that in all seriousness. Really, Helots are far too cheap for what you get – particularly the two profiles that I take in literally every list I run. With BS11, they are average gunfighters, but it’s the addition of Neurocinetics which makes them so good – multiple dice in the reactive turn is an absolute killer, especially if you’re placing a template on multiple targets! Combine that with their deployment skill – either Decoy or Limited Camo – and you get an outrageously good road block. In terms of profiles, there are only two which stand out to me – the Light Rocket Launcher+SMG, and the Shock Marksman Rifle. Whilst I’m sure the Multi-Sniper has it’s uses, long range firepower is better handled by the Taagma Viral, and 1.5 SWC is a high tax to pay on an Irregular, BS 11 unit that only gets 1 shot in active turn. Similarly, whilst the Red Fury (probably my favourite weapon in the game) is awesome – paying 1 SWC for an additional burst doesn’t seem worth it, when the Shock Marksman Rifle is an option. Similarly, I only really use the Limited Camouflage deployment, as it makes the Helot even better at wasting orders – whilst a Decoy Helot can waste time, an opponent can move to and split burst between the targets, forcing a reaction.
Using Helots really doesn’t require too much finesse, but it’s often very tempting to reveal and ARO too early. I mainly use Helots to waste orders, and the more time my opponent spends trying to Discover them, the better they’re doing their job. As a general rule of thumb, I never reveal a Helot if my opponent has Moved to get it in their sights – the logic being they will have to Discover with their next skill, and if this fails, spend more orders swapping a new active piece into view – the one exception here, is if I can catch multiple models in the Light Rocket Launchers blast template. Similarly, with Limited Camo, and being in Cover, the Helot is always -6 to Discover before other modifiers – this means that all but high WIP/Full-core Linked/MSV/all of the above units will have a hard time revealing the Helot, so I normally let my opponent Discover+Shoot if they want to, unless they’re Discovering on an 10 or less.
In active turn, I usually spend the Irregular order to reposition the Helots to be as annoying in the next turn as possible. If people choose to Discover then I’ll loose off a single shot, but this is a mistake opponents only tend to make once. Anyone trying Spiral Corps will definitely want to try out Helots – they make up an essential part of the army’s defence, with no real comparable alternatives.

Special Fireteams

 Having covered the standout individual units, I feel it’s worth probably discussing the Fireteams that I think really make Spiral Corps. These are all ones that I’ve used, to reasonable success, in both casual and competitive games, and they normally form the basic starting points of any list I write. They are also only available to Spiral!

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Taagma Sniper + Chaksa Auxilia + Chaska Auxilia: This is usually the first thing I add to a list, along with 3 Helots, as that comprises the ARO presence of my army, and is something that I will include in almost every list, regardless of mission. The idea is that you deploy the Taagma as another Chaksa, but in the best sniper tower on your half of the board, with the true Chaksa covering the angles from Impersonators, AD units, Infiltrators etc, tucked away and safe from getting shot, one of them as the Link Leader. Players wise to Spiral will know what this is, and will inevitably engage it with a high burst weapon, as you should against snipers. If you’re lucky, your 2 dice will get a few orders out of them before the Taagma goes down, and you might even kill something. I normally back the Taagma up with a Warcor or a Helot, just to make my opponents life that much harder. When the Taagma inevitably dies, you then have a Chaksa Duo to move up to the midfield, Sensor sweep, and toast any thing they can, or lay in a position to template advancing enemy troops. If you get an active turn with this Triad, use it as you would any MSV sniper – lay down some smoke, and pick off any targets that will hamper your other units. For a total of 45pts/1.5 SWC I really don’t think there is much negative to say about this link team, and they’re a real joy to run.

Kiel-Saan Red Fury + Draal AP Marksman Rifle + Draal SMG: The wrecking ball of the army! As you can imagine, this Triad can achieve a lot in a game, and I’ve even go so far as to say that I’ve won games entirely with these three models; any mission which involves pushing buttons, or doing stuff in the opponents half of the board, is likely to include them. Generally, I will deploy both Draal just outside of my DZ, with the AP Marksman’s mine in the most annoying place possible, and the Kiel-Saan safely bunkered nearby – essentially, they are placed so that either the KS or the Draal with MMR can be the link leader, both of which will receive a SymbioMate. When my turn rolls around, I will use the Kiel-Saan to lead the advance, picking off any lightly .armoured targets as the Triad heads towards their objective. If I have a link team to deal with, or something with stacked odds (Marksmanship, or Mimetism etc) I’ll switch to the AP MMR Draal, and use Strastuscloud to swing those rolls in my favour. Once they reach the midfield, or have pressed buttons (hopefully achieving a Classified on the way) I’ll bunker the link up and cover lateral lines of advance, without presenting an easy target for my opponent, or move my Helots to provide cover. With the Pulsar on one Draal, and a Viral/Heavy pistol on the other two link members, anything getting too close will find themselves having an awkward choice to make, whilst similarly the AP MMR and the KS’s Panzerfaust means that I can respond to heavy targets that step into view. As a team, they really can cover all bases, though can be susceptible to Hacking due to the Kiel-Saan being Heavy Infantry, so be mindful of that when you’re trying the trio out – trust me, you WILL try this fireteam, and you will LOVE them!

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Draal AP Marksman Rifle + Taagma Tricor + Kriigel SMG: So, this is my go to link for missions where killing stuff, and having things alive at the end of the game is the order of the day. The comparatively cheap units all benefiting from a full Core link’s bonus is a great way of whittling down the enemy force, whilst preserving some of your own points. The main idea here is that the Draal does a lot of the heavy lifting, using the MMR’s range band to keep in the +3, Stratuscloud to deal with linked targets, and if needs be, the Kriigel’s Mirrorball to take on MSV units that are locking me down. The combination of the Draal’s mines, the Kriigel’s Eraser, and the Tricor giving the link Sixth Sense, means that once you’re happy with what the link has achieved in the active turn, you can bunker up somewhere in the midfield, and use them to slow down your opponent in their turn. Having a Specialist Operative in the link too means that you can use them to grab buttons in the midfield, adding an extra bit of utility to this nifty little link.

Weaknesses and How to Deal with them…

Like all armies, Spiral have some things that will cause them headaches, but I don’t think there are any particular hard counters to the sectorial, and certainly nothing that a well thought out and balanced list can’t deal with. That said, it’s good to know what to be wary of, so I’ve listed a few things that you should keep an eye on, and ways to counteract them. 

TAGs: Love them or hate the, TAGs are one of the coolest things about the game! They post a pretty sizeable threat to Spiral, particularly due to the lack of AHD coverage. When I’m expecting a TAG, I try to deal with it in one of 3 ways. Option 1) Smoke trick it with the Viral Sniper – high damage and 2 BTS rolls per hit, but will likely take an entire turn. Choice 2) Hit it in close combat – harder, due to having to get near them, but the Kiel-Saan, Kerail, or even the Igao can do a good job here. Alternative 3) The Kiiutan. A well placed Impersonator, particularly with an E/Mauler can deal with TAG surprisingly well. The addition of an E/Mitter means you have a good ARO against them, too,  does the Kiel-Saan’s linked Panzerfaust.

*Shudder*

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High armour, good BS, and Sixth Sense Lvl2!

Heavy Infantry Links: Eurgh, probably my biggest fear! Normally, I’d try to E/M them, but with limited options in Spiral, you can’t really go there. Try not to let them get too much leverage in their active turn, and try to cover them with a Viral Sniper, and at least one LRL Helot. In active turn, I’ve found that the Draal + KS link works well – the AP Marksman rifle or SMG negating their armour bonus, the Kiel-Saan doing the work in close combat, a Pulsar can hurt if you can get lots and you’re burst 2 (plus, a SymbioMate means you can walk into that exchange on ARM12, so can hopefully shrug off most hits), and even using the Draal’s Dazer to grind them to a halt can be effective.

Swarms: By this I mean Warbands – cheap, highly aggressive units that will rocket towards you. Being a relatively small army, Spiral can quite easily be over run, and you don’t want to really be wasting your Helot’s camo states by revealing to drop a Gaki – though, if it’s with an order or two of you, you definitely should. I try to place my Sniper with as much of the board in view as possible, and cover corners that warbands have to run around with LRL Helots, as you can sometimes catch extra targets in the blast. Having a high burst unit, like a linked Red Fury, can be a good answer, too.

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Don’t waste your Helots on these!!
Art of War Studios do the best tokens!

Smoke Tricking: Having only a couple of MSV2 units in the army, and the Brawler sniper being somewhat underwhelming means that when that Taagma goes down you are vulnerable to being picked off through smoke. The best counter here is to deal with the enemy MSV as quickly as possible, using Mirrorball to your advantage if you can. Alternatively, if you’re facing a force with lots of MSV units, sending a Kiiutan on a smoke-thrower hunt is a good way to neuter the threat.

Wrapping it Up

As far as my enjoyment of the army goes, I could probably wax lyrical for days about how awesome Spiral Corps are, or how well they have worked for me over the last half year or so of playing them, but really it’s not until you get them on the table, and starting pushing them around that they will really shine. There’s a lot more to the army than I’ve written about, from simple things like having access to 2 Warcors (well, 1 and the Tohaa Diplomat), to the Kriigel + Reex ARO link, to being able to run FOUR Impersonators, but I feel the above novela covers my real highlights of the faction. They really are a wonderful army, and not quite like any other I’ve played, and I look forward to using them throughout the rest of the season, where they will hopefully perform as well as they have so far; regardless of success, however, they will no doubt continue to be all kinds of fun!

In terms of starting points, the Spiral Corps army box is a really solid way to go. Add in a Kaeltar specialist, the Kerail Preceptors, the Taagma Sniper, and a couple of Chaksa,  and you’ll find yourself with the makings of a really solid force. Oh, and Helots! Don’t forget the Helots! 

I hope this has given you some ideas about how you could go about using a Spiral Corps army, or some things to consider should you come up against one. At some point down the line I’ll share some lists that I’m running, along with some tactics for overcoming Spiral’s strengths, but there’s still a good chunk of ITS11 to go, and I don’t want to give my entire game away 😉 

As always, please feel free to throw your comments my way, and share your thoughts on the army, what works and doesn’t work for you, or indeed of my write up – it’s always good to hear other viewpoints of things you think you know well! 

Until next time, sports fans!

February Catch Up!

Once again, time has whipped by and I haven’t done a post! Lots has happened though, and I’m determined to get something up covering it all, before the month is out (I know there’s a bonus day this year, but I’m trying to not rely on that!)

When we talk about “The Hobby”, I think it tends to include broadly 4 topics – Buying, Building, Painting, and Playing, and I’ve ticked all of those off in the last month, though some more so than others.

Last update, I mentioned playing a game at home on the still very much WIP Waipoua Prime board, and whilst I’m not going to do a full write up of it, I definitely want to talk about how much fun it was!

I’ve played countless games against Chris, and it’s always a great experience! He’s got an excellent understanding of not only the Infinity rule set, but also the tactics that can be employed during a game, and he’s more than capable of using them.

On the day, we were playing Safe Area – a mission based around having more points in the 4 board quadrants, whilst holding a button in each with a Specialist. Sounds simple eough, but it’s got a nuance to it that makes it’s tricky to execute well, and hard to get all 10 OP!

Chris was running Nomads , an army I’ve not played against in a while. There were camo tokens everywhere, a Kriza Boracs with a point to prove, and two TR bots amongst other things. He came out swinging, spending his first turn using the Kriza to delete most of my ARO units, and pushing up. My first involved putting down a TR bot, and then using a super jumping Kiel-Saan to pick off some of Chris’ specialists, before moving to try and hurt the Kriza

Turn two involved Chris repositioning the second TR bot, the Kriza moving away and around a building, whilst dropping mines around a button with a Zero , and using a Libertos minelayer to pin down my dual Kiel-Saan triad. In answer, I used a Chaksa duo to push up to a now held button, clearing the mines, and flushing out Chris’ specialists, then used the Kiel-Saans high PH, and the Kaauri’s Sixth Sense, to safely dodge the minefield, and positioned myself for Chris’ third turn.

When it came, it hit hard! The Kriza wrecking face and locking down my Heavy Infantry, moving onto 3 of the 4 buttons, and contesting all four quadrants. Some how in my turn, I was able to kill 2 of 3 Specialists freeing up the buttons and taking points out of the quad. My now Lt Kaeltar pushed up, and died for it’s trouble, and a Clipsos revealed to add her points. Finally, one of my Kiel-Saan rushed forwards, gunning down for specialists, and throwing 53 points into a far quad.

As always, it was a great game, and able to pull a win out of the bag, maybe 8-2! The board played well, though it’s highlighted that I need a bit more scatter (which I have now bought! 😀 ), and that it’s going to all look ace when it’s all painted up….though that’s a fair way off yet!

Along with playing at home, I also went to the ever excellent St. Alban’s Smackdown which was, as always, brilliant! There was a great vibe, lots of top players (of which nearly half were from HATE), wicked tables, and a very healthy prize pool. I didn’t get loads of pictures, as I was a bit too excited about the games, but I did get one of the most important thing – the doggo! 😀

I had three excellent games, facing Combined Army in round one – Safe Area – which I won 10-0, Varuna in round two – Transmission Matrix – in which I just about pulled off an 8-3 victory, and against TAK in the last round – Firefight – which I got another 10-0 in!

3 major victories, with 28 OP, saw me topping the tournament, which I was quite surprised at, as there were a lot of very good players at the event! Top work Laina for running yet another excellent tournament! You can keep track of when the next one will be right here.

I’ve also played two ace games at HATE club – a casual, training focussed game against someone returning to the game, and new to N3, and a the first round of the HATE league against my good buddie Ed. That was a pretty brutal game, with my Spiral out-lucking Ed’s TAK – how I got a shot through against a linked Vet Kazak, I don’t know, but I’m glad it was a Viral Sniper! I won the game, 10-0, and we’re now on to the next round, in which I’ll be facing Combined Army at Acquisition.

That about wraps it up in terms of playing, but I managed to get a lot of painting done this month, crossing lots off of my Spiral Corps ticklist – I’m feeling pretty confident about getting everything done not only for the Nordic Masters in May, but also for the Firestorm Satellite in April!

I finally got around to painting my second Draal, which is an absolutely gorgeous model, and one that I use in almost every game. I also used it as a way of practicing highlighting black, and trying out a NMM gold for my buckles and accessories (as I have some ideas in mind for my upcoming Combined).
I can’t stress enough just how good Draal are; they fill lots of important roles within the army, and reliably perform whenever I use them.

Another SMG wielding profile, this time in the form of the Kriigel Agent.
I somewhat bought this model on a whim, but after assembling it, I realised how much nicer it is that the version from the army box.
This then spurred me on to try the profile out in game, as I hadn’t given it a go really, usually opting for the smoke grenade launcher loadout.
Turns out that the SMG is handy, and the Pheroware booster is awesome! As long as you hit and win the face to face, it puts them in the Targeted state – which really helps for those classifieds

The Kiiutan is yet another model that has been sat half painted for far too long, especially considering that I use it in a lot of games
It’s a great model, though I feel the hood is a bit out of place – I’m really looking forward to Jaan Staar coming out, so I have a reason to paint another model like it. The large area of Symbiont Armour was a tad daunting at first, but once I’d got the hang of it, it was really fun.
I was using the open, muscly area as practice for the Kiel-Saan, which I’ll be painting up soon.

Although not a profile I use all the time (unlike the Sniper which I run in almost every game) the Taagma from the Spiral Corps army box is a lovely model to paint.
I could probably have done more with the coat, as it’s a large flat area, just crying out for some free hand, but I’ve not done any on the rest of the army, so it would look a little out of place, plus I’m not sure I was brave enough to give it a go.
The bright orange hair was a lot of fun though, and a technique I’d not really tried before – highlighting and shading in greyscale, and then glazing and tinting it to the final colour.

What army is complete without a Warcor? Certainly not mine, as a the battlefield reporter is a unit that appears in almost every list – it’s a cheap ARO, and something your opponent can’t just idly ignore.
This is the Warcor exclusive mini, and one I’ve had my eye on for a long time. I styled it on April O’Neil from TMNT, and really enjoyed the challenge of painting a large area of yellow. I tried to do all of the metals in NMM too, which came out ok, though I definitely need more practice at doing it! I must also get a shot of her with my Helots…just a shame they’re only AVA3!


I also whipped out a new HVT, after getting a bit carried away with my airbrush one night. I’ve used the model as a chance to try a technique for alien skin, which is somewhat lost in the picture, but it worked. It’s a relatively basic paint job, but I’m pleased with it for an evening’s work.
I decided to not use a resin base, instead opting for some of the materials that Chris kindly gave me. I’m really happy with them, especially as they’re straight out of the pot!

A family photo of the models I finished throughout February, HVT not included.

It wasn’t just my models that I finished off – I completed the commission I was working on for Rob.
Sheskin is a really nice model, with a daunting amount of detail, and she was a great opportunity to pull out the stops and push myself. I’m quite chuffed with how she came out, though I see a lot of errors when I look at the pictures, but most importantly Rob is happy with the finished job!

Along with finishing these models, I also built, and started painting a further 2 more HVTS (one of the missions we’re doing at the Nordic Masters is Unmasking), and began progress on the 4 Chaksa I use in my army, as well as the Kaauri Sentinel. I’m getting closer and closer to having a fully painted force, though I definitely don’t want to rush anything.

With the end in sight for Spiral, I’ve been able to get myself excited about my next force; Combined Army!
When I start a new army, I tend to write some lists and see what I repeatedly gravitate towards, or if there are any profiles that appeal to me, or how I can fit in the models that I really like the look of. Once I’ve settled on a couple of lists I want to build towards, I know what I need to start buying.

I want to focus the start of my Combined Army around the big and stompy monsters that Combined is full of! I’ve never really painted a TAG of my own before, and I think that CA will offer me the chance to paint lots! My first lists revolves around the stompiest of the the stompy things – the Avatar! It’s the main event in the list, with everything else kind of supporting it. The addition of Kerr-Nau means I can deal with MSV troops early on thanks to White Noise, whilst Bit keeps the TAG safe from hackers. The ARO net consists of lots of Flashpulses, including burst 2 shots from REMs, thanks to the E-Drones Overclock, a Noctifer missile launcher, and the Avatar in Suppressive Fire!

The second list has a little more finesse (though not very much). The combination of the Charontid and the Daturazi smoke thrower will give me enough ARO hunting power, and anything with MSV will have to deal with a Surprise Shot through White Noise from the Anathematic, from the support of Kerr-Nau. ARO’s will be handled by flashpulses and the Noctifier Missile launcher, with the help of the Anathematic and Charontid in Suppressive.

I’m not entirely convinced the lists will be very good, but they will be loads of fun, and the models are all great (plus, it means I get the remotes painted early on, which is good!). Knowing what I need to buy to make these lists, I immediately started looking around for them. I’ve sorted a bunch of bits – the Avatar, and Kerr-Nau I swapped for some Nomads with Chris, and I bought a box of Remotes! I also found a couple of people selling various Combined forces online, which got me the Imetron, Ikadrons, Noctifer, and Doc Worm, along with a whole load of Morat units, and some more things I don’t really need…oops! I still need the Charontid, the Anathematic, Bit & Kiss, and an HVT, so the hunt continues, but there really is no rush (I keep telling myself this!) as once I have it all, it will be an exercise in willpower to not just crack on with them!
I’m very much looking forward to discovering more about Combined Army, and having a huge army list to choose from! At least until it all changes in N4!

The last part of the update, and almost the most exciting, is the announcement of Infinite HATE’s Seasonal: Spring 2020 tournament! It’s finally happening, I’m actually running a tournament!

The last part of the update, and almost the most exciting, is the announcement of Infinite HATE’s Seasonal: Spring 2020 tournament! It’s finally happening, I’m actually running a tournament!

It’s happening on March 29th at the Bethnal Green Working Mens club! Tickets sold out in less than 24 hours, which I’m massively humbled by, and I’m really looking forward to hosting what I hope will be a super fun day! I’ve been busy trying to muster up prize support, and a couple of boards for the day, which is thus far going well! You can find out all of the details of the event right here
If you’re up for coming down and checking it out, please do – the more the merrier, and the bar is well stocked and very fairly priced!


Right, that’s about me for this update, though I’ve got another, much longer post, that I’m finalising over the next day or so, so stay tuned if you want to read my thoughts on Spiral Corps! I’ve hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and please feel free to leave me a comment if you any thoughts on any of the above, or get in touch through my Infinite Ramblings Facebook page.

Until next time, sports fans!

A Long (two) Week(s)

When I started this blog, just after Christmas, I told myself that I’d update it at least once a week, ideally every Thursday when the memories of Wednesday’s club are fresh in my mind. This has only really served to do two things – make me feel obliged to do something that I should be enjoying, and making posts become battle reports. The latter isn’t terrible, as writing up games is fun, and (hopefully) reading up about them is a nice stop gap until your next game, but the former is somewhat more problematic; I don’t do well when I feel like I’m obligated to do something, it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, and that’s something I don’t want for an activity I’m intending to be fun!

With that in mind, I’m going to remove the self set goal of updating this blog weekly, and just aim to do it “whenever the mood takes me” or I feel like I have something I want to ramble on about.

That said, it’s actually been a pretty full on couple of weeks since I last posted – along with the usual work and life distractions happening, I’ve managed to attend a really fun tournament, played an incredibly tight game at HATE, done some work on the Waipoua board (I’ll likely save that for a follow up post), built a bunch of models, and got some painting in.

The tournament was organised by a chap called David Rose – a long term Infinity player, and WarCor for the local area – and hosted at Wayland Games, in Hockley, Essex. Whilst a comparatively small affair, with only 10 players in total, it was a lot of fun, and the competition was tough, with 4 HATErs (myself, Rob, Jb, and Max) making it along, and several other players that are very experienced at the game. The venue itself is a big, warehouse-like type affair, with rows and rows of tables, a hobbying area, a little canteen/bar, and a well stocked shop, which always has some Infinity goodies on the shelves. I took advantage of this, picking myself up the new Mk12 Kiel-Saan and SMG Kriigel (these are the last minis Im getting for Spiral Corps. Honest!), and caught up with the familiar faces that I knew, before being called to the tables for round 1 – Acquisition. I did my usual thing of forgetting to take pictures of the games, so you’ll have the bear with me on that one.

The only picture of any of the games that I actually got, was of this gorgeous chap – John Benford, one of the members of Totally Crit (check them out), a veteran of the ITS scene, and all round bloody nice bloke. It also happened that we got paired for round 1, which was brilliant, as I haven’t played him in ages.

John – one of the nicest, and most cheerful guys you’ll meet on the UK Infinity scene!

Having recently played Acquisition, I was quite sure of my plan – get second turn, make it hard work for my opponent to get the buttons, and then make a final turn smash and grab to take and hold as much as possible. This plan somewhat falls apart though, when your opponent wins the Lt roll, and this is precisely what happened. Fortunately for me, John chose first turn, leaving me to pick my favoured board side, and press him for deployment. He put out a scary looking nine models of O-12, with a roughly Zeta sized hole, so I deployed with as many of his pieces covered as I could, with the Taagma sniper looking as as much of the board as possible, holding the Kiiutan back. As expected, a TAG came down, and so I placed my Impersonator up on a rocky crop away from infantry, but able to see the TAG.

John’s first turn was spent dealing with my ARO net, but this was made harder for him by the overlapping lines of fire I’d deployed with – most models activating receiving at least two AROs, from a combination of Helots, WarCors, or the Taagma. Using the Epsilon through a Varangian’s smoke, and the Zeta, he dealt with both LRL Helots, and the Taagma, but in return lost his MSV sniper, took two wounds on the Zeta, and was even left in an Immobilised/Isolated state from a hit of the Kiiutan’s E/Mitter, though this, and both wounds, were repaired by his Monstrucker. 
My turn one was focused on two things – dealing with the Zeta, and getting rid of the Gangbuster, which was locking down the midfield with its MadTraps. Knowing that the Draal’s AP MMR was the best shot I had, I went about using the Kiiutan and now revealed Greif to take out the Gangbuster, taking more orders that was ideal. When this was done however, I was able move the Draal triad up, switching on Stratuscloud, and using five orders, put the TAG unconscious

In response, John pushed his Omega unit out to engage the Draal, but got caught by a Helot SMMR, and a WarCor, failing it hit anything, taking a wound, and getting stunned for its effort. John then moved his Beta up, shooting at the Kiel-Saan, but failing to wound, and taking a double crit (on 2s!) from the down town Helot. Despite not having a clear run to it, the Monstrucker moved to revive the Zeta, but failed his WIP roll, and without any Command tokens remaining (having spent two repairing the TAG last turn, and two on co-ordinated orders) finished the poor robot off, and getting gunned down my the Draal in the process.
From here, I was able to capitalise on John’s depleted ARO presence, moving my Clipsos to the console on the far right, hitting it, and recamoing. After several orders, I was also able to take out the Omega unit, and push my Kiel-Saan datatracker onto the middle button.

As a last turn surge, John moved an engineer to repair the Beta, getting shot down as it did. The Beta was back though, and stood up to shoot the Kiel-Saan again, this time winning out, and wounding it. Another engineer (who turned out to be Cho!) made a run for a button, but ate a hail of Helot fire before she could get anywhere, ending John’s turn.
On my last turn, all I had to do was move my Draal to the downed Gangbuster for a Coup de Grace classified, shooting the Beta back to dead as I did, move to the left hand console, and press the button, which I was able to do unmolested to secure myself a big victory, and a great start to the tournament – 10-0 | 272-8

As with most tournaments, after round one we broke for lunch, and had a good natter about the results of our first games. HATE currently had a 50% win ratio, though two of us were paired against another HATEr, so total domination couldn’t have happened anyway. Along with the usual banter, and Infinity theory crafting that happens over lunch, Dave also ran a painting competition – the stipulation being that you could put down any models featuring in either of your lists from the day. I like this rule, as it means that people can’t just bring the same display quality model to every event, without it seeing the table.

To say that the standard of painting at Wayland was high would be a huge understatement – all of the armies put out looked absolutely ace, with some real thought, love, and effort put into the models! There really is nothing more excellent than going to a tournie, and seeing all of the forces painted up, especially when it’s to such a high standard!

Awesomely, 3 prizes were taken by HATErs for the painting – Jb winning best overall, Rob taking best mini (apparently, I didn’t get a picture of his beautiful TAK!), and Max best colour scheme – the latter 2 prizes being created specifically to award those guys for their creativity! Top work chaps!

After lunch, we got back down to the business of the tournament, and cracked on with round 2: Power Pack. Unfortunately, I was so swept up in the excitement of the day that I failed to capture any more photos, which is a shame as the boards, and armies, looked great – you’ll just have to imagine it from here.

I was paired with another big hitter of the ITS scene for the second game, EssexDave – they chap who runs the Wayland tournaments, and long time player of Infinity. For this particular event, Dave was using Foreign Company – an army I’m not too familiar with, aside from the awareness of the big character link. Drawing classifieds (Predator and HVT: Designation) we rolled off for our Lts, which Dave one, choosing to take first turn. Power Pack is another mission where I like to have second turn, so this worked for me, and I made Dave deploy on first, on the side of the board with the harder-to-defend route to his Console, taking the one with the open corridor as my own.

Dave set up with the big link on the midway line, thanks to Hannibal’s Strategic Deployment rule combined with the Bolt being MI and having Forward deployment Lv1. A clipper bot was positioned up high in his backfield, watching over the action, whilst a Peacemaker, and 3 camo-tokens occupied the midfield. I counter deployed, with 2 camo token Helots and the Taagma triad watching where his Rem and camo tokens were, an Impersonating Greif up with his Clipper, another Helot watching the corner where his link was. I also put down both Draals in Forward Deployment, one of which was able to put a mine down to cover the members of Dave’s Core link, backed up by a Kiel-Saan. With no other real option, Dave deployed him reserve mini, a Kriza HMG, with a view on the newly deployed mine. My reserve was another Impersonator – a Kiiutan this time – which took cover in a safe spot near to Dave’s console.

Dave started his first turn by using the Kriza to try and discover the camo token covering his link, failing the WIP roll. He then tried to do the same to the Helot looking at the Hannibal in the link; my luck was in as he failed again. As a last ditch effort, the Clipper tried to discover the mine was well, but failed to do the job. Dave left this conundrum for a moment, and moved to a nearby Camo token of his own, which moved to the middle Antenna and grabbed it. It turned out to be a Zero, who pooped out a mine in the midfield, and then re-camod.
Coming back to the problem of his link being on lock down, Dave resorted to moving and hoping for the dodge to save him – It didn’t. The mine detonated, covering Valkeryie, Massacre, and the Bolt. The Bolt passed, leaping to cover. Valkyrie and Senor Massacre both took a wound, Massacre dying of Shock, but Valkyrie going NWI. Although not being hit by the mine, Hannibal was in the sights of a Helot LRL, who dropped a template on him and Laxmee. Twice! Hannibal nailed the Dodge, but Laxmee caught the blast, and burnt to death. That all worked far better than I was expecting it would!
The Kriza now pushed up, wasting the Helot easily, and clearing the way for Hannibal and Valkrie. The heavy gunner moved to a position to get a bead on the Kiel-Saan, and across a couple of orders dealt it a wound, but took one in reply.
Now freed up, the Bolt was able to grab the left hand antenna, whilst Hannibal and Valkryie moved up in support of the Kriza, ending his turn.
Knowing that the Kriza and the link would be a problem if not dealt with, I had to give the Kiel-Saan a bit of space from the Clipper that could see down to that point. Using the Greif, I moved into LoF of the REM, and shot it in the back thrice – of course, the Clipper crit its Change Face on a 1, a survived the assassination run. At close range, I tried again, not surprise shot, and out of cover, I at least had the dice and target number advantage – three on 14s vs one on 9. Again, Dave crit, blowing the Impersonator to bits! I switched to what I should have done in the first place, and opened fire with the Taagma, leveraging long range, and burst 3. This found it’s mark, and the REM melted – costing a few orders and model more than I’d have liked, but freeing up the Kiel-Saan. I also took the chance to push the Chaska up, and sweep the midfield camo, revealing another zero
Using a skill I dont think I’ve ever employed, I Assaulted the Kriza who shot at me in return, winning the roll bu bouncing off my armour. A second order into the Kiel-Saan saw the Kriza dead however, though Valkrie took the opportunity and shot into the combat, and put my Heavy Infantry Symbio-Armour inactive. With my last order, I moved the Draal SMG to cover the Kiel-Saan, dropping a Dazer as it went, and finally reformed the link to end my turn.

Knowing that he had to capitalise on having the objective lead now, Dave made moves to hit back as hard as possible. Charging the Kiel-Saan with Valkyrie, the use of Beserk forcing the rolls to be unopposed – I could have cancelled this with Natural Born Warrior, but decided not to. Unsurprisingly, both Valkyrie and the Kiel-Saan died, which got me the Predator classified. Switching tack, Dave then moved his Peacemaker and Aux bot up, targeting the Chaksa with the heavy shotgun, catching the Taagma in the blast, and torching the second Auxilia with the bot. The Taagma won the roll, and the Peacemaker went down, long with both of my Chaksa, and Daves zero who got caught in the crossfire – a truly vicious exchange. Eyes set on my console, Dave moved his central Zero up, trying to gun down a Helot that had recently revealed to help with the REM situation. Despite Suprise Shot, and Camo, the Zero failed to deal with the alien mercenary, who made his pay by deleting the skirmisher, ending Davids turn.
With little in the way, I now moved to get some points. The Draal Duo moved to a position where they could take out Hannibal, and then climb down the walls of the building they were crow’s nested in. With another order, the AP Marksman moved to, and killed, the bolt, and with a third claimed the left hand Antenna, whilst also securing Dave’s HVT. On the other side of the board, a Clipsos FO appeared, and took the right hand button, swinging those points in my favour, and with my final few orders my Kiiutan moved from its hidey-hole to claim the button (performing a perfunctory Dodge to drop out of Marker state).

The start of Dave’s turn three saw him with no models on the table, and in retreat, so the mission ended there, with Spiral Corps taking a second major victory: 10-1 | 192-0

A short break and chat before round 3 alluded that I would likely be facing either Bobman (another Totally Crit legend) or Jb (a player from HATE of equal fame) – either way, it wasn’t going to be an easy game, but then round 3 of a tournament never should be.

Announcing the match-ups, Dave saved us for last, and called me and Jb to face-off in the final round – Firefight!

Spiral vs Tohaa – this was going to be interesting, especially as I’d never actually faced Tohaa with Spiral, and even more so as Jb often discuss lists pre-tournament, so were likely able to guess what we’d be facing. We picked classifieds (and both laughed when we got hacking based ones), and rolled off for our Lieutenants, Jb wining the roll. Normally, Firefight is usually a mission where taking first turn is a strong move, as it gives you the chance to Alpha strike with all of your most killy pieces. However, on this particular board set up, Jb chose deployment, and I really can’t say I blame him!

I’m not normally one to moan about boards at tournaments, as they require a lot of effort to build and paint, and there are a lot of things to consider when setting one up, but this one was a bit of a painful state of affairs. Both sides had good sniper spots, though one side had the highest by a good measure, but the real issue was the very open midfield. Basically, a well placed sniper would be able to see the whole board from a number of places, making it very14 hard to advance. As it happens, I knew Jb had been flirting with the Nikoul sniper. Two of them!

(Stolen from Jb – thanks mate!) The view from Jb’s side of the world, with the line of dice being his deployment zone!

Deploying first, I plopped out a Chaksa on top of a build, with two more nearby, two Draal close to hand (one placing a mine to hopefully prove a nuisance), and a Kriigel on hand for support. A Kerail pack went down to act as a fast moving response unit, whilst a Kaeltar of my own went down to act as another ARO, placing a SymioBomb on the Draal and Kerail handler.
I put an Impersonator down on a building top I thought might likely be useful to Jb, and 2 Helots down in places I knew he would have to cross at some point. I bunkered my Lt Rasail with his Auxiliary Chaksa in a building at the back of my board half, with a Kaurii in there, and a Helot on duty outside the door.
Jb deployed with a Sukuel triad on each flank – an HMG with a Kriiegel and a Makaul, and an FO with a Sakiel and a Makual- and a Draal in the middle of the board. The mid-backline had two Chaksa auxliars, protecting the ladder up to a Kaeltar, whilst another Kaeltar sat elevated on Jb’s left hand side. On the same rooftop, a Nikoul with LoF to almost everything, and on the rooftop in the middle sat a second one, with equally as excellent fire lines.
I dropped an Impersonator behind his central Nikoul, passing the WIP roll, and he dropped one with eyes on my “Chaska”. Jb stripped me of two orders from my second pool (I later remembered this should only have been one order), and we shook hands. This was going to be one hell of a game.

Taking turn one for the first time all day, I started by moving my Impersonator straight into combat with his central Nikoul. Revealing to be Jaan Staar, I eventually melted the Nikoul after a couple of orders. I then moved the Kerail to thrown smoke to a position the Taagma could leverage. Being part of a Triad with a Tricor, the Taagma stood up, baiting a response from the Impersonator (affectionately named Chiquita Dave) which I got. My three dice on 15s vs Jbs one on 14 went in my favour, and I killed the Greif operative. Now free to take aim at the remaining Nikoul, I sucessfully ate a crit, and got melted. Excellent! Reforming the Tricor link, I repositioned the Kerail, and the Chaksa, and passed the turn.
Jb opened up by using the Draal in the midfield first place a Dazer, then to try and Discover either of the two camo tokens locking down that chunk of the board. Knowing that they would die as soon as they were revealed, I made Jb work for them both times, and both times failing it. The Sukeol then tried the same, but also failed to discover the elusive aliens, instead settling for removing a misplaced Chaksa.

Going into turn two, it was hard to gauge what I should focus on – Jb hadn’t presented me with many options, as his triads were still quite far back. First off, I had to sort out the last Nikoul, so I made that my priority. The Dazer was an issue, so I moved a Helot (which had replaced the Taagma in group one) up to get a line on the equipment. Loosing off a rocket, which caught the Draal in the blast, reducing both to dust. With nothing interrupting the view, I placed a White Noise zone down, with my Kriiegel agent, and went to work on the Nikoul. My four dice on 13s vs Jb’s one on 12 meant that I was eventually able to put the sniper down. Now free to move, Jaan Staar leapt down to the Kaeltar, putting it dead, and getting me Predator, but taking a wound for his trouble. Feeling a bit exposed, and not entirely in control, I passed the turn over.
Jb’s team was short, effective, and brutal; moving his triads up, the systematically deleted all that they could see, which included both a LRL and SMMR Helot, my Draal, and Kriigel agent, and firmly pushed himself closer to my side of the board, and applying some solid pressure.

The final turn, and I was two-one up on Specialists which Jb wasn’t able to pull back on due to me not having any more to be killed! He was, however, ahead on points, had more orders left, and in a position to essentially wipe me out.
Deciding that I was probably best off to go hell for leather, I did! I ran the Kerail team up, covering their advance with smoke. Charging the Sukeul with the dog, and running the controller to the box, I was hoping I’d be able to take it out in CC, but instead the pup got put down on the way in. The controller opened the box, pulling out +1 ARM, and bunkered down for ARO duty. Standing up, the Kiiutan revealed, targeting the Kriigel, who revealed to be a Taagma and shot back, but was outgunned. The Kiiutan took shots back however, and went down to a long shot rifle round from the Sakiel. In last ditch effort to exchange points upwards, my Helot move to get a bead on the the Sukeul and Makaul, impressively finishing off the Commando with it’s single shot. With my final few orders, my Kaeltar scaled a nearby building, to get LoF to Jb’s datatracker Kaeltar, my final order being to run up and try to shotgun it as it shotgunned me – hilariously, we of course both missed! This ended my final turn, and gave Jb the opportunity for the win.
Jb started his turn by running the lone Makaul at the Helot on my left flank, which loosed three shock rounds at the Tohaa warband. Fumbling his Eclipse Grenade, the Makaul went down to the volley, halting the advance on that side of the table.
Reforming a triad of another Makaul, the Sukeol FO, and the Kaeltar, Jb turned his attention to the right flank. First up, the Kaeltar levelled its own light shotgun at my own, and proving to be far more effective, wiping my support troop from the board. Switching to the Sukeol, the triad now levelled their guns at my Kerail, outraging and out dicing it easily and putting another member of my force out of action. Continuing their rampage, the triad set their sights on my lone remaining Chaksa, the poor Auxilia preparing to meet it’s maker. Jb had four dice on 16s, whilst I had a single die needing a 5, so I really wasn’t holding out for this. However, as is the way with Infinity, the dice rolled, and I turned up that 5, critting the final wound from the Sukeol. Jb’s face dropped as he informed me that I’d just killed hi Lieutenant , thus securing me the win, whilst he was left with a Makaul who manoeuvred to open a Panoply, drawing our points there.

As the dust settled on the game, we totalled up the points – me killing more specialists, Lieutenants, and points, and securing one of my classifieds, which secured me my third major win for the day, and won that, really, I had no business winning: 7-0 | 118-88

Three exceptionally fun, if a tad tense later, and I was definitely ready for a beer (I’d actually been drinking throughout the day, but you know what I mean!). Once everyone had finished their games, Dave had recorded the scores, and done the necessary ITS admin, we mustered to announce the overall placings for the day, and the painting prizes that I mentioned earlier.
Astoundingly I placed 1st overall, with Bobman and JohnB taking 2nd and 3rd respectively, and HATE’s very own Rob and Jb coming 4th and 5th! At the end of the day, the club took home 4 major prizes (the three painting awards, and topping the tournie) so it really was a top result for the club.

Among the loot for my prize, I got the limited edition Wild Bill model and badge, a gift voucher for Wayland Games, an ITS 11 winners medal and, excitingly, a Kiel-Saan patch! Result! I al

Our spolis of war in hand, we said goodbye, and headed pubward to discuss the high and lowlights of the day, talking over the tense moments, or the swinging moments that brought us joyous victory, or remorseful defeat. The debrief over beers is easily the best bit about HATE on Tour days out, and this was just as good as ever, but soon I was headed homeward, with the urge to build my new toys!

Along with my newly won/bought swag, I got home to find my new HVT had arrived from Shae-Konnit!

Dave’s events are always a good laugh, and get some really ace player along to them, so if you’re ever able to, I would highly recommend getting down to one and joining in. They often run beginner friendly tournaments, or weird and fun formats too, so there’s always a giggle to be had – hopefully I’ll see you at the next one!

With the buzz of the tournament still coursing in me, I was quite charged up to do a some hobbying, and so building the new models, along with priming, zenithal highlighting, and gloss-washing them, ready to paint. Along with the minis from Wayland, I also made a start on a new commission – Sheskin, for our man Rob! – and even made a fair bit of progress on the terrain for my board. I’ll cover this in another post though, as this one has got rather long.
I also got a game of Transmission Matrix in, against my good buddy, fellow HATEr, and author of the excellent The Responible One’s Wargaming Blog, Tim! The game was a full-on blood bath with ll manner of madness going down, so I’ll write that up soon! Finally, today (February 1st) I played my first game on Infinity in my “new” house, that I’ve lived in for over a year now, against another HATEr, Chris! We used my Waipoua Prime board, and it was epic. Far too epic to cover in this post, so yet another to follow….I should probably get writing! :\

Until then, enjoy some pictures of the various things I’ve done over the last couple of weeks!

Until next time, sports fans!

Battle Report: Nobody Expects the Spiral Acquisition!

Welcome back, and thanks for reading! I’m following up my last post with another battle report; this time pitting my wits against another HATE regular, Kai, in a game of Acquisition. With a tournament this coming weekend featuring said mission, I figured it would be good to have some practice, as I haven’t played it in ITS season 11 yet. Being the gent that he is, Kai willingly obliged.

Acquisition focuses around taking the Tech-Coffin in the middlle of the board, and holding it until the end of the game. To throw in some extra work, there are 2 Communication Antenna to press and hold, a classified objective, and bonus points for your DataTracker being the one holding the centre. There is also the inclusion of something new to ITS11 – Liason Officer.

Scored at the end of the game, the points break down thusly:

  • 1 point for each activated Communication Antenna
  • 1 point for each controlled Communication Antenna
  • 3 points for controlling the Tech-Coffin
    • 2 bonus points for controlling it with your Datatracker, OR
    • 1 bonus point for controlling it with your Liason Officer
  • 1 point for your Classified Objective.

Liaison Officer – This is bit of an odd addition to Season 11, where you must select a Forward Observer, who can be in marker state, to report back your army’s intel back to O-12. In game terms if your LO is in a non-Null state at the end of the game, and completely outside of your deployment zone, then you get to make a WIP+3 (which can be re-rolled with a Command Token!) receiving 1 extra Objective Point, which can’t take your score above 10. Cheeky!

Having set up the board, and secured ourselves some drinks, Kai and I drew our classifieds (I got Net-Undermine. Again!) and threw down our Lt dice, in the hope of getting the initiative. The dice gods smiled down on me, and I passed the roll on a higher roll that Kai.

Kai is another regular to the HATE gaming group, and another absolutely stand up bloke! Always smiling, even when his dice decide to thwart him at every opportunity, games with him are always great fun. We’ve played a load of games together at club, and he’s commonplace on the HATE on Tour tournament outings we do.

Well versed in USARF, which are regularly his tournament army, Kai switched to the way of the Samurai and took up JSA when they made a break from their Yu Jing overlords, and his earning great honour with his command of the army. Running a limited insertion list, I was expecting some nasty tricks backed up by some big guns – neither of which are a particularly fun prospect for me.

We’d set up on a snow covered, but still well fauna’d planet, think various tall buildings, some move-through-able interiors, a garden around the middle console, and diagonal fire lanes. With 16″ deployment zones, we we cautious to keep the tallest buildings in the centre of the board, so that snipers didn’t have full reign of the board, though one side did have a better ARO set up.

Knowing that second turn is a big benefit in this mission, I considered both board sides, and opted to choose deployment, taking the side with the best view over the fire lanes and, more importantly, all three buttons. I gave Kai the honour of deploying first, and chose to take first turn, and started to put out his army.

The view from the Spiral side of the world

Although we were playing with Tactical Window (probably my favourite format for Infinity at the moment!), Kai rocked up with a limited insertion list, featuring an O-Yoroi, a Daiyokai, a Karakuri Forward Observer, a Rui Shi, a Shikami, and a number of support units and order monkeys. TAGs and heavy armour aren’t Spiral Corps’ favourite foe, so I was a tad worried to say the least. Still, no hidden deployment or Ryuken….yet.

Featuring a couple of stand ins, the JSA force of heavy hitters is a scary looking elite army

With a Rui Shi to my left flank, a Karakuri to my right, I was stuck in the middle with an O-Yoroi. I decided to put my viral sniper in the prime spot, looking at all of the boxes, with 2 Chaksa nearby on anti-Oniwaban duty. Nearby I plopped a camo’d Helot Shock Marksman Rifle on top of a building just inside my 16″, whilst two more (both the light rocket launcher version) went to cover a box each. A WarCor and Tohaa Delegate offered additional ARO support in the middle, whilst a Kaeltar bravely hid in a building on the right flank. My freshly painted SymbioMates (more on this later) went to the Kiel-Saan Red Fury (this game it rolled Regeneration), and the Draal AP Marksman Rifle, who placed a mine overlooking the right side button, with a Draal SMG completing the Triad. On the left hand flank, I had an Impersonator Greif Operative prone on a roof top in Secure HVT range, whilst a TO marker deployed not far behind it, on ground level. Perplexed as to why it wasn’t hidden, I nominated it as my Liaison Officer, placed my HVT tucked into a corner on the far left and passed back to Kai.

A somewhat blurry Spiral Corps gr

To my surprise (and relief!) Kai’s reserve wasn’t a hidden deployment close combat monster, but instead a motorbike riding close combat monster, in the form of Yojimbo. He deployed over by the Rui Shi, with his CrazyKoalas in tow, with a clear ride down my left flank. Naming his O-Yoroi as his DataTracker, and his Karakuri as Liaison Officer, it was time for me to place my last piece. I placed another Impersonator, this time a Kiiutan, on a roof top near the O-Yoroi, and the hunkered down Keisotsu. Finally, I chose my Kiel-Saan to be my DataTracker, and we were ready to go! Shaking hands, we grabbed our dice, and got underway.

Spiral all set up and ready to receive some high velocity shells and Samurai!

Kai opened up with his compulsory Extremely Impetuous order, and gunned Yojimbo forward, unfortunately appearing in the cross-hairs of a Helot, who revealed and put a blast template down on the mounted Samurai, catching a Koala, and the Shikami in the blast. Yojimbo dropped smoke successfully, but the Helot did hit, killing the Koala and putting a wound on the Shikami and knocking it’s ODD down to Mimetism. Meanwhile, the second Koala got melted as it ran into view of the Viral Sniper Taagma, removing any doubt around that flamer Chaksa watching from a rooftop. Undeterred, Yojimbo pressed on, trying to get close enough to Nanopulser the Taagma, but fell short and got taken down by two well placed shots.

Moving up in smoke, the Rui Shi tried to discover the camo in the middle of the table, but didn’t quite make it. Pushing up further, the remote got the left hand Helot into its sights, and deftly wasted it. Switching to the other side of the board, Kai used the Karakuri to move and discover the middle Helot, who revealed and put three shots into the Geisha-bot, who easily bounced them. Deciding that the Taagma must die, the Karakuri pushed up into cover, taking three more rounds from the Helot, this time one of them wounding – it also triggered a mine in doing so, but it really didn’t care. Now in cover again, the Karakuri leant out and fired its Combi-Rifle at the Sniper, landing a crit and taking my main ARO piece out of action.

Next up, the Daiyokai stepped forward and took aim at the SMMR Helot, riddling it with shells and putting it dead. With a couple of orders left, the O-Yoroi activated, trying to discover the last camo token, which took a chance and fired some rockets. Laughing, the TAG put full burst into the alien and wasted it in one fell swoop. With a final order, the Shikami leapt up and discovered the Greif, removing it’s chance to surprise in my upcoming turn. With a wry grin, Kai passed the game to me.

Top of my turn 1, and all of my ARO pieces are dead. I have a TAG to deal with, as well as a nails hard robot to take out, with my best weapon being an AP Marksman Rifle. Fortunately, the Greif was in a pretty strong place to wreak some havoc on the Rui Shi and Shikami, so I decided to start there.

I don’t like to complain about my dice as, usually, they’re pretty solid, and actually more often than not they carry me quite far. This game, however, they deserted me. They deserted me hard!

Unable to avoid the Daiyokai’s shot, the Greif crawled along the wall a bit to escape being seeing by the Shikami. Standing up, she put two shots into the Rui Shi, and one into the Daiyokai. Fortunately the monster Samurai missed it’s mark, and so did I. The Rui Shi, however, found it’s mark, whilst I did not. Fortunately, I passed my save, and lived to try again – surely this time could come off!

Nope! Both shots into the remote, and the shot at the Daiyokai all sailed wide, which is impressive at almost point blank range. For her trouble, the Greif took a hit from both of the JSA guns, and fell to the Spitfire. Nice, three orders achieving me one dead unit from my army!

Changing tack, I switched the to Triad, and pushed the AP MMR Draal up to engage both the Karakuri and the O-Yoroi, one die and three, respectively. Shooting back, the Karakuri missed, as did I, whilst I landed a hit on the TAG, who shrugged it off. Swapping link leader, the Kiel-Saan stepped to see the O-Yoroi, and loosed its Panzerfaust at it. A 17 and 18 turned up, as Kai rolled low winning the face to face. Armour 12 in cover, is apparently not good enough, and I lost a wound. Stepping sheepishly back, the Draal moved up, shooting the same targets again, missing all of it’s shots, and losing a wound for its trouble. Activating Stratuscloud, I leveraged the -3 mod, and finally started getting somewhere, eventually downing the Karakuri and putting 2 crits on the O-Yoroi, forcing it back into total cover. My last order pushed the Draal AP MMR and the Kiel-Saan back to lock down the potential Rui Shi’s approach vector for Kai’s next turn.

A Draal and Kiel-Saan lock down an avenue of approach for a Rui Shi, and also hide a bit=

Not only had I achieved very little in my turn one, I’d also given Kai basically full run of the board – an opportunity he did not waste.

With nothing that could ARO, Kai focused attention on getting his TAG back up to health. With a string of bad luck that is often associated with his dice, it took Kai two orders, and three command tokens (it was later pointed out that you can only Command Token re-roll Engineer on TAGs with G: Remote Presence – something I knew, but didn’t twig at the time!) to get his O-Yoroi fully armed and operational again. Once he’d done that, his TAG went to deal with my remaining Impersonator. Having to climb up a building to get LoF to it, gave me the opportunity to ARO, which I did, revealing a Kiiutan that fired off a E/Mitter. The shot landed, and for a moment I thought the tide might turn, as Kai needed two dice to roll 11s or more lest his TAG be Isolated and Immobilised on top of a building! Of course, there is an advantage to your dice rolling high, and Kai made the most of it by shrugging off the hits. Now revealed, and with no cover, my poor Kiiutan wasn’t long for the world, and was swiftly removed by the O-Yoroi. Climbing down from the building, the TAG then moved it’s remaining Koala to near the Tech-Coffin, and parked up in cover gunning down my Delegate, and Chaksa Auxilia, and nearly killing my WarCor en route. Finally, with his last order, Kai used his last Command Token to put the TAG, the Daiyokai, the Rui Shi, and the Engineer into Suppressive Fire, ending his turn.

It was at this point that I thought to myself “This game is Kai’s!”. His DataTracker TAG was locking down the midfield, with back up from the Daiyokai, he still had a fast moving specialist, and a Rui Shi! To cap that off, he still had 8 orders, plus the TAGs Tactical Awareness order, and NCO on the Daiyokai! To win this game, I had one option: Kill the O-Yoroi!

Activating the SMG Draal’s Stratuscloud, I moved the AP MMR Draal into position. Suddenly, Kai’s two dice on 5s vs my four on 9s wasn’t such a bad prospect, so I went for it. Across the next four of the five orders I had remaining, I managed to drop the O-Yoroi, much to mine and Kai’s surprise and shock, respectively. With the last order, I pulled back again, putting the MMR Draal covering the alley with the Rui Shi, keeping the Stratuscloud Draal nearby, I push the Kiel-Saan out to keep an eye on a couple of doorways, . Passing the turn to Kai, a glum look had come over his face.

Things took a downwards spiral for Kai from the end of turn 2

As it turned out, the O-Yoroi was Kai’s Lieutenant, and in killing it I’d inadvertently left Kai in an almost impossible position. Will no Command Tokens left to convert to regular orders, none of his units had the speed or placement to get into a scoring position. After some deliberation, Kai decided to make my life as hard as possible, as I had also scored 0 at this point in the game.

With the intention of stripping me of orders for my last turn, Kai pushed the Rui Shi out to get line of fire on to my Draal. Thanks to it’s nearby friends Stratuscloud though, the remote only had three shots, needing 12s vs the Draal’s two dice on 15s. Winning the roll, the Rui Shi was forced to make an armour save, which it passed.

Kai’s next attempt was using the Shikami, who jumped into position and opened fire with his Contender, but it was long range and needed a 6. The Draal again returned fire having two dice on 12, again landing a hit, but failing to wound.

In doing this however, Kai had manoeuvred a unit to secure my HVT, though I still had a TO marker within 8″ of his.

Across the other side of the board, the Tokusetsu Butai engineer made a bold move and stepped out to stare down the Kiel-Saan, levelling it’s Combi-rifle. My two dice on 13s prevailed over Kai’s three on 5s, and the engineer went down.

Unable to have much influence on the game thus far, the Keisotsue decoy Lt moved up to get to a position where it could see through the building, and cover the Kiel-Saan’s dash for the Tech-Coffin.

The last remaining offensive piece was the Daiyokai, who was already in a solid position overlooking the centre point and in Suppressive Fire – this would be my final hurdle.

With that, Kai passed the turn over to me.

With no points so far and only 6 regular orders to work with, this was going to be tricky, but I had a plan in mind that I thought might work. I moved the last remaining WarCor to the main group, and got going.

Activating the Triad, the SMG Draal stayed put, whilst the Kiel-Saan ran away around the corner, and the link leader AP MMR took aim at the Rui Shi and Shikami. Impressively, the Draal missed all 4 shots, and got hit by a Spitfire and a Contender, failing it’s save. The link broken, I now used the Kaeltar’s Lt order to move towards the right button. I then used a Co-ordinated order to move the Kiel-Saan and the Kaeltar further up field, before spending another order for my Chain of Command Lt to run up, activate the Console, and remain on controlling it.
Being brave, the Kiel-Saan ran out in front of the Rui Shi and the Keisotsu, both of which shot in ARO. Shooting back, I downed the remote, and tanked the save from the line trooper, choosing to fall back out of line of sight.

My penultimate regular order had my Kiel-Saan complete Net Undermine, meaning that I didn’t need to secure Kai’s HVT, but by doing so, I denied him securing mine.

My last regular order had a lot hinging on it – I had one wound left on the Kiel-Saan, was a few inches from the Tech-Coffin, but had to shoot my way past a Suppressive Fire Daiyokai; basically the Kiel-Saan’s equal. As I stepped into the line of fire, and onto the objective, I realised that it was Kai’s three dice on 13s vs my four dice on 10s – statistically speaking a 50/50 roll.

As it happens though, I rolled a double crit, putting it to NWI, and ending my move on the button with my last order!

The final thing to check, was my Liaison Officer roll – the Clipsos FO had to roll a 16 or less, which I did, netting me 1 further point

The Kiel-Saan takes the Tech-Coffin, whilst the Kaeltar secures the Communication Antenna

An absolutely epic game, where I somehow managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, and one that I’ll remember for ages to come.

FINAL SCORE: Spiral Corps – 9 OP 162 VP JSA – 0 OP 141 VP

Thanks again Kai for an absolutely wicked game!

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In other news, I managed to get some hobby done this week – not loads, but enough to be on track for the Nordic Masters. I’ll be adding the SymbioMate pics to the Gallery, and will give further updates as I progress.

I’m off to Wayland tomorrow, for a tournament, so expect more Battle Reports to be incoming!

Until next time, sports fans!

Battle Report: Supplies, Mother Funker!

As a rare treat, I was able to make it over to HATE on a Sunday, for my first game of the year! In preparation for the Nordic Masters in May, my good bud Rob and I decided to have a go at Supplies – a mission which has been part of the ITS mission list for as long as I’ve played Infinity.

The premise is simple – there are 3 boxes across the midway line of the board. You need to get to the boxes, open them to secure the supply package, and then keep them safe for the game, keeping them out of the hands of your opponent. In addition to this, you have 2 classified objectives to complete.

The objective points breakdown as follows:

  • 1 point for each Supply box carried at the end of the game
  • 3 points for having more boxes than your opponent
  • 2 points if your opponent has no boxes at the end of the game
  • 1 point per completed classified objective.

Rob is one of the HATE regulars, and a veteran Infinity player. Of all of those who play Infinity at HATE, Rob is probably the one I’ve played most, and we generally win against the other as regularly as we lose. We attend tournaments a lot, and have travelled to other countries for some of them. He’s a long term Shasvastii player, but also collects Caledonia, TAK, and is now starting USARF.

For our game of Supplies Rob was using TAK, and was trying a couple of new units. We are playing using Tactical Window (15 units) so he was able to comfortably fit in a few hefty units, which is a somewhat terrifying prospect!

With our board set up, classifieds picked, and beers bought, Rob and I rolled off for initiative, both of us passing; me on a 3, and him on a 2, giving me the choice. The board (set up by Rob) had some good fire lanes, and angles and cover, and a pretty solid sniper nest in one of the DZs. My main concern was being able to see all three boxes, and one side allowed me to do that. It was also the side that let me approach all three boxes with some semblance of cover, so I made my choice to deploy second, on the sniper tower side of the board.

The view from my side of the board

Predictably, Rob chose first turn, which is less than ideal in a mission which scores at the end of the game, but definitely better than deploying first, and giving me first turn! He bunkered up a defensive core link in the building on my right side of the board, having both a Frontovik sniper and a Kazak missile launcher looking across a lot of the table. Next to the link, a 112 doc sat waiting in case someone needed bringing back, whilst a WarCor stood behind some crates in the middle of the DZ. On my left hand hide, Rob deployed a Frontovik haris containing a Vet Kazak paramedic, with an Irmandinho in support. Then came the camo tokens, and man were here a lot of them – 7 in total – mainly dotting the midfield.

Rob’s beautifully painted, albeit slightly blurry, TAK army,

Feeling like I’d somewhat committed to the idea of a sniper tower, I went with the plan, and placed a “Chaksa Auxiliar” up there, with a Kumotail doctor prone behind it, and two more Chaksa within close range. Nearby, I placed a camo token (Helot LRL/SMG) to add an extra ARO on the box. On the other side, in the cover of the raised wall, I placed two further Helot camo tokens, with a WarCor in the middle. This covered all 3 of the boxes, and gave me four AROs should Rob decide to activate his Core link. I placed down two Draal (one AP marksman rifle, one SMG), with a mine covering a nearby box, and a Red Fury Kiel-Saan. I rolled for it’s Metachemistry, and the dice Gods obviously favoured me as it turned up a 20 – Total Immunity. (Turns out that, whilst some what edge case, this is horribly bent!) Safely behind that wall, I placed my Chain of Command Kaeltar who gave the SymbioMates to the Draal, a Tohaa Diplomat sat in the middle of the DZ, ready to respond where needed, and I secretly deployed my Clipsos near the left hand box. Rob then placed his reserve model, yet another camo token, and I put down an Impersontor Greif, prone in the back of his DZ, looking at a suspiciously mundane Line Kazak. Our troops deployed, we shook hands, and started the game.

My WIP Spiral Corps

Rob opened up his first turn by running the Irmandinho around the corner covered by my Chaksa in the sniper tower. Those not familiar with Spiral Corps should know this; if you ever see a heavy flamer toting alien, standing high up on a building, it’s actually a Taagma MSV2 Viral Sniper, and it’s in a Triad with the other two Chaksa. Knowing that his Smoke would be no good, Rob dodged my two dice shoot ARO. He failed, I failed, we all failed – Nice! Rob then started moving a camo token up the board, getting to a position where it could see my Taagma. When there, it revealed to be a Spetsnaz HMG, and surpise shot me. His four dice on 15s vs my two on 9s went as you would expect, deleting my sniper. He then pushed the Spetsnaz forward, baiting and dealing with the left hand Helot. Moving up to the middle box, the Spetsnaz reminded my WarCor why a battlefield is no place for a reporter, and re-camo’d, and Rob moved over to use his Haris team.
With that side of the board clear of ARO pieces, the Haris moved up easily, completing the Mapping classified (coincidentally, one of the 2 I drew) en route, and grabbing the left hand supply box. Re-positioning the Haris to lock down my two remaining Chaksa, Rob passed the turn.

I needed to deal with the Spetznaz. I also needed to deal with the Haris. I also needed to deal with that Core link – this was going to be a tough turn. First off, I ran the Chaksa Duo out – one towards the Vet Kazak locking me down, and the other to the safety of the wall to the right. Rob shot the nearest, and I kept moving. One Chaksa went down, but the other was now out of harms way, and close to the camo-ed Spetsnaz. Moving the Chaksa closer, I used Sensor to reveal the elite gunner, which caught Rob off guard. So far, so good. Dealing with a full link would be tricky, but I thought the Draal AP Marksman Rifle would be up to it. First moving and activating Stratuscloud, I positioned for the shot, and made sure I (and Rob) knew how the unique rule worked. Next, I stepped out and levelled a round at the Frontovik, knowing that four dice on 10 vs one (due to Stratuscloud) on 15 were likely my best odds. It paid off and the sniper went down. I then switched to the SMG Draal who, using his link-mates Stratuscloud, levelled four shots at a penalised Spetsnaz. I won the roll, but he shrugged it off. Moving closer, Rob dodged this time, so I shot again, putting the Spetnaz down. Switching to the Kiel-Saan, I lent out and dealt with both Frontoviks from range, and consolidated in the mid table, ending my turn.

A linked Red Fury Kiel-Saan is probably my favourite unit in Spiral Corps.

Not wanting to lose all of his strike pieces before killing any of mine, Rob positioned his Vet Kazak medic to get a bead on those of my units in the midfield which he could see – both Draal, and the last Chaksa. Rob was somewhat outraged when I explained that Stratuscloud lasted until the end of his turn, but he took it in his stride. Putting one shot on the Chaksa, and one onto each Draal, I dodged with my Auxilia, shot back with my Draal AP Marksman rifle, and chanced it with SMG (who was facing the wrong way!) I got lucky, and Rob missed the Chaksa and SMG, and I won the AP marksman roll, but the Vet Kazak shrugged it off. Rob also triggered an ARO from the Helots, but I only revealed one of them, who missed his single shot, affected by Stratuscloud as he was. Rob changed tack, and activated the missile launcher to shoot at my Helot. Deciding that wasting his orders was better than killing his guys, I replied with just one Helot, and also took a pot shot with my Grief, hoping to get a hit on his unsuspecting Kazak. I of course missed with everything, and my Helot went down. Next order, Rob moved to deal with the Grief – my next Helot revealed and shot, and the Grief took a shot at the Kazak again. All of my shots missed again, and I lost the Grief for my efforts. Now revealed, the Helot was a sitting duck, which Rob deftly removed with a Strelok, which also triggered a mine on it’s way out. Spotting a chance to hurt my main strike piece, the Vet Kazak ducked out and loosed three shots at the now visible Kiel-Saan, who answered with a a burst two Panzerfaust. I won the dice off, but only managed to do one wound – it at least made Rob consider trying that again. Finally, Rob decided to deal with the Draal AP MMR, using another Strelok with a T2 Marksman Rifle, it took a total of 3 orders, one of which was coordinated with the Vet Kazak to put it unconscious. After a long turn, and one which was painful for the both of us, Rob passed control to me.

First things first, I ran the Kumotail’s servant to the Draal, taking a T2 marksman rifle to the face as it went. The Draal was up though, and I reformed the link. Without many targets to aim for, I used the Kiel-Saan to remove the Kazak doc running for the downed sniper, and the Irmandinho who was accidentally locking down my Clipsos. Though I didn’t kill the Missile Kazak, I did force her prone, and so was able to move to the middle box, and grab a Supply of my own. Low on orders, I re-positioned my middle Triad, and then revealed the Clipsos to run to a terrain piece and achieve Net-Undermine.

Forgetting its training, my Impersonator completely failed at giving Rob any Greif whatsoever….

Going in to the final turn, it was one box and one classified a piece. Rob moved ANOTHER camo token up, to get a shot into the back of my Clipsos. Rob hit, but against all odds I tanked the roll, and retreated to cover. Low on orders, Rob moved to a terrain piece and did his second classified – weirdly, it was Net-Undermine (at which point I called out that we’d both drawn the exact same classifieds!). Doubtful he could get a second box, Rob moved the Core link up to make my life as hard as possible, getting to a point where all four remaining Kazak would get a shot off at me. Rob also loosed a missile at my bunched up Triad (rookie error), which I shot back at. The Kiel-Saan hit and killed the Missile Launcher, but both of his rolls hit. Fortunately, only the SMG was caught, and he still had his SymbioMate, so I shrugged off both hits. With his last order, Rob put his Strelok into suppressive fire, watching the box.

My last turn had 6 orders, and some work to do. I started with the Kiel-Saan, who dispatched the remaining Kazaks without any hassle, moving the SMG Draal to secure Rob’s HVT as I did. Next up, I had to deal with the Strelok, which took me three orders, but eventually I brute forced it into the grave. With my penultimate order, I moved my Draal AP MMR up to the unopened box, and grabbed myself a second Supply. With my final order, and now nothing to lose, I stood the Kumotail up and levelled my combi-rifle at the Vet Kazak. Able to answer, due to Sixth Sense Level2, Rob shot back – one die on 13 vs three on 11s meant I was likely to win the roll, but less than likely to do that final wound.
As luck would have it, I hit thrice and Rob missed, and the Vet Kazak went down in a hail of bullets, dropping the box as it did.

As the dust settled on a bloody and brutal game, we totalled up points. Really, I was carried by a Total Immunity Kiel-Saan, which we discussed over beers later to be a bit *too* good – we really couldn’t think of anything that could deal with it (short of hacking, which isn’t an option for Ariadna) – but I secured a 9-2 win nonetheless, with 191 VP to 23.

As always with Rob, it was an excellent game, and it really pushed me to think about how to use the units on the board. I’m quite happy with this list, but will definitelying being try it against other armies and opponents in the run up to our trip to Finland in May.

A long post this one, so thanks for sticking around if you made it this far! Next time, I’ll be sure to grab more photos, and try to be thinner on the details.

Until next time, sports fans!

Lights, Camera, Background

Well, I missed the goal of doing an update every Thursday (great start!), but in fairness, I was still somewhat hungover from my New Years Eve celebrations! Saying that, I have been doing some work on the page, and even managed to get some hobby time in – tidying my painting desk, and trying out my new Scale75 NMM paints!

Probably the tidiest my desk has been in about a year!

For the page, I’ve mainly been updating the Miniatures Painting page with galleries of the models I have painted over my few years involved with Infinity, and it’s highlighted something to me which, really, should have been obvious; decent photos make a huge difference!

Whilst I’m not the best painter in the world, I can turn out pieces which get praise, and when looking over the photos I’ve taken of my miniatures, it’s nice to see the progression I have made over the last few years. What’s interesting is how much better models can look when they’re taken against a neutral background, whilst on a plinth or stand, rather than being held, with my painting desk in the background!

Whilst the Zuyong isn’t actually as well painted, the overall look is far more professional, and everything pops a lot more, with less distraction in the background.

I think, at some point in the future, I’m going to have to look at having a semi-permanent setup for taking photos of minis. Whilst I mostly take pictures on my phone, and don’t feel a decent camera will add that much more, I think using the pop-up background box, and a tripod will really improve the images I take and share – guess that’s another thing to add to my list of hobby resolutions.

In other news, I picked up the Scale 75 NMM paint sets over Christmas, and finally had a chance to try them out last night. I grabbed some O-12 minis to do this on, as I’ve already had a go at painting all of the golds on them in a non-metallic metal style – something I’m neither very experienced, or very good at. The Scale75 paints are a lot heavier, and far more matte, than the Vallejo Model paints I’m used to, but they are really very nice. Whilst no where near perfect, I’m quite happy with the results that I got, pictured below (in shots without backgrounds….)

That’s all for now – I’ve got a few hours spare so I think I’m going to do a bit more painting ahead of my game tomorrow, which I’ll be using as my first ever battle report!

Until next time, sports fans!

‘Tis the Season

As is tradition this time of year, Christmas has rolled around again.
Unlike most years, I’ve not actually had any time to do much in the way of hobby, as I’ve been away to my girlfriend’s familial home, and then back to mine – neither of which are exactly the ideal place to put paint to mini, or dice to board (beer to mouth has been present, as usual though).

That said, I’ve still been thinking about Infinity as much as usual, and have thought up a number of goals that I’d like to achieve throughout 2020.

I also thought that it would make for a good first blog post; outlining what I’d like to do in the coming year – if for no other reason than to get a bit of commitment from myself to get it done…fingers crossed my new foray into amateur journalism will serve as encouragement, and not as distraction!

So, things I’d like to do in the coming year:

  • Paint up my Spiral Corps – I need 2 x 300pt forces for The Nordic Masters in May, but would like to get everything in the army done.
  • Have a functional and good looking board for home – I have the buildings built, and a design in mind, just need to crack on with painting them, and getting it together! I’ll be giving regular updates of this project here
  • Start a Combined Army force – with both Defiance and N4 dropping this year, I’d like to have a new army to use. The alien menace seems to be a good idea for that!
  • Attend as many tournaments as possible – ideally one a month, if not more, though this is dependent on availability!
  • Run some tournies! As a WarCor, I’d like to be pushing some competitive events in the London area. I’m looking to run the first in March, so stay tuned.
  • Maintain this site! A hobby blog is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and I’m determined to stick to it!

More than enough to be getting on with then. For now though, back to beer, chocolate, and Christmas TV 😀

Until next time, sports fans!

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