Infinity: Preparing For My First Tournament
I've been playing Infinity for a little over two months, and now it's time to test my meddle! It looks like there is a local tournament about to take place at the near by sandy community of Santa Cruz. My friends and I are used to playing in 40k and WHFB events, but the format for the ITS Infinity events are a whole other beast. Unlike those events, in Infinity tournaments, you're not necessarily going for your best, TAC style shoot 'em up army, but instead building a pair of lists that best covers the missions being played, as well as having some tactical flexibility against different opponents. Each player is allowed to bring two different lists of the same faction and sectorial, but knowing the scenarios ahead of time really impacts what you'll bring. Since this is my first tournament, and I'm new to the game, I'm going to write this to not only help my own understanding of the missions, but also to help anyone else who may be new to Infinity.
Before we get started on the missions, lets talk about specialists. These models are critical to all ITS missions, as they are the models which activate the objectives and help with your secondary, Classified objectives. Specialists include: Doctors, Engineers, Hackers, Forward Observers, Chain of Command, or Paramedics. It is definitely worth getting as many different specialists as possible, though don't take too many as you may lack the firepower to defend or assault the objectives you need to score. Generally, I hear that having one of each of the first four is a good goal.
This event is going to have 3 scenarios played: Beaconland, Supplies, and Frontline. All of which are standard ITS missions that can be found in the 2015 ITS rules pack.
The first mission relies around both controlling two centrally placed consoles, as well as placing a number of activated beacons in your opponents dead zone. The board has a 16" thick null zone in the center of the board, spanning the full width of the board, leaving two 4" thick zones between the deployment zones and the null zone, which are referred to as the dead zones (see the diagram below).
The consoles are basically a switch that once you activate (by moving in contact with then passing a WIP test), come under your control, your opponent can easily move a specialist of their own into contact with it, and switching it back to their control, so defending them is important.
The beacons are a bit more complex, basically each specialist in the army carries a beacon, which can be activated by passing a WIP roll and leaving the token somewhere in base contact. If a model dies while carrying the beacon, another of your models can pick it up, or alternatively, it can be passed to another model by moving into contact. You can reconfigure an enemy beacon by moving into contact with it and spending a short skill and passing a WIP roll, effectively turning it off, and if your beacon has been reconfigured, you can recover it via the same means. It is worth mentioning that you do get a single point (out of 10) for reconfiguring more beacons than your opponent, so it's nice to do in addition to having more of them activated in their dead zone.
Things to consider with this scenario are fast moving, infiltrating, or airborne deployment specialists to deliver beacons to the enemy dead zone, as well as having the capability of defending one or both consoles. Additionally, having a baggage model on the board means that you get a +3 mod on the WIP roll to connect the console, or any of the beacon tasks.
The second scenario has to do with controlling the most of 3 supply boxes.
The supply boxes start the game inside a piece of terrain or a marker called a Tech Coffin, and are removed by, you guessed it, moving into base contact with a specialist and passing a WIP roll, and once you take it out, you remove the Tech Coffin marker (unless it's a piece of terrain). After this, any model may carry the supply box (one per model, except for baggage, which can carry 3), and it can be passed around similar to the beacons above.
For this scenario, it seems that you don't need nearly as many specialists as Beaconland, as there are only 3 objectives on the board, and after extracted, anyone can carry them, but it is super important to keep them alive long enough to make it away with the booty, so again, being a fast specialist is quite nice. You also gain a +3 bonus to the WIP roll to remove the supply box from the tech coffin if you have a doctor, so it's doubly nice to take one (since he's a specialist too).
The last mission at the tournament is Frontline, a much more straight forward, shoot 'em up scenario. First divide the 24" gap of no man's land between the two players into three 8" strips that go the full width of the board.
Your goal is to dominate each of these zones, with each zone being worth more points the closer it is to the enemy: one point for the zone nearest to you, three for the middle zone, and four for the zone nearest the enemy. To dominate a zone, you simply have to have more points of models in each zone than your opponent (interestingly you get no points for dominating your opponents deployment zone).
Some fun things about this scenario are Shasvastii unit, as their seed/spawn-embryos count as full on models for the purposes of calculating points, so you must outright kill them. Additionally, baggage units count as an additional 20 points, which makes dominating the zones a bit easier. Finally, as there are no objectives to control, the need for specialists here is nothing beyond what you want to take for keeping your models alive, but are still needed to achieve many Classified objectives.
Building an Army
So with those three scenarios, we can see that two of them clearly need some attention paid to specialists, while the third is all about murdering face. Right there, it's pretty easy to see that it means I should probably make one list with plenty of specialists, while the other obviously will be more about firepower and survivability.
Given that I have a month to test these lists before the event, I'm sure they'll change between now and then, but in the meantime, here's what I'm thinking:
Beaconland and Supplies list:
Combined Army ──────────────────────────────────────────────────
Group 1 10 0 0 SKIÁVORO Lieutenant Plasma Rifle, Nanopulser / Pistol, CCW. (52) UMBRA LEGATE Hacker (Hacking Device Plus) Boarding Shotgun, Flash Pulse / Pistol, DA CCW. (0.5 | 43) MED-TECH OBSIDON MEDCHANOID Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (23) SLAVE DRONE Electric Pulse. (3) SLAVE DRONE Electric Pulse. (3) Q-DRONE HMG / Electric Pulse. (1 | 26) MALIGNOS Hacker (EI Assault Hacking Device) Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 41) SHROUDED (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (25) SHROUDED (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (25) UNIDRON (Forward Observer) Plasma Carbine / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (15) SPECULO KILLER Boarding Shotgun, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Monofilament CCW, Knife. (1 | 34) IKADRON (Baggage, Repeater) 2 Light Flamethrowers, Flash Pulse / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (9)
3 SWC | 299 Points
Out the gate that's 6 specialists, as well as some baggage. The firepower is a little light, only really bringing 1 SWC worth of big guns, but hey, it's a Q-Drone, which means 360° LOS of Total Reaction HMG. Using the Q-Drone to cover one objective, and the Speculo to cover another, hopefully my opponent is going to have a hard time getting points. I'm a bit worried about the lack of MSV in the list, so may consider dropping the Speculo Killer for a Maakrep Tracker with Multi Sniper Rifle instead. Another idea is downgrading one of the hackers to another Unidron Forward Observer, which would give me the points to upgrade the Skiavoro to a Charontid HMG lieutenant. In Beacon Land, it's worth remembering that there is a big (16" wide) exclusion zone across the middle of the board, meaning that infiltrators can only really either deploy 4" further ahead than normal, or have to take a test to deploy in the 4" directly in front of the opponents zone, but having 3 infiltrating specialists will hopefully mean I get a few in their deployment zone right away.
Group 1 10 0 1 CHARONTID Lieutenant (Multispectral Visor L3) HMG, Nanopulser / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (2 | 79) KO DALI Combi Rifle, Nanopulser, D-Charges / 2 Assault Pistols, Knife. (37) MAAKREP TRACKER MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 33) MORAT Hacker (EI Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 22) MORAT HMG / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 22) Q-DRONE HMG / Electric Pulse. (1 | 26) UNIDRON (Forward Observer) Plasma Carbine / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (15) IKADRON (Baggage, Repeater) 2 Light Flamethrowers, Flash Pulse / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (9) MED-TECH OBSIDON MEDCHANOID Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (23) SLAVE DRONE Electric Pulse. (3) SLAVE DRONE Electric Pulse. (3) DĀTURAZI Chain Rifle, Grenades, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (14)
Group 2 1 0 1 DĀTURAZI Chain Rifle, Grenades, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (14)
6 SWC | 300 Points
Now we're talking some serious fire power! The Charontid, Ko Dali and Maakrep are all packing MSV2 and some serious guns, while the Morat HMG and Q-Drone are still bringing some big guns in case of white noise. The Daturazi can provide smoke support to make sure the MSV's get the most out that they can, and there is still some token specialist support for the classified missions, plus it doesn't hurt to keep my Charontid alive and kicking ass. I'm a little worried about the range bands though and wondering if some Spitfires might be a better option than all the HMGs, but there is definitely something to be said about having 3 HMGs on the board, haha.
Of the two lists, I think the former needs the most testing. I've played similar lists to the second a few times, and when it comes to killing, it's something that comes naturally to the Combined. The lack of MSV in the specialist-heavy list is what worries me most, and considering one of my friends plays the Aleph Assault Phalanx, I know that I'll be really unhappy suffering that -6 to hit penalty.