It's Not The List, It's You Challenge: Final Game!
For our third and final installment of "It's not your list, it's you", we try a new ITS scenario and also challenge the concept of Spam versus Elite!
The random list builder gave me the following! Low Order count, with more than a few oddball choices.
Yu Jing ──────────────────────────────────────────────────
Group 1 9 0 0 ONIWABAN Boarding Shotgun, Nanopulser / Pistol, Monofilament CCW. (41) DÀOFĚI Spitfire / Pistol, Shock CCW. (2 | 55) HAC TAO Hacker (Assault Hacking Device) MULTI Rifle, Nanopulser / Pistol, DA CCW. (0.5 | 70) SHÀNG JÍ Lieutenant Combi Rifle + Light Flamethrower / Pistol, Shock CCW. (37) WÚ MÍNG (Forward Observer) Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (31) ZHANSHI Hacker (Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 19) ZHANSHI Paramedic (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (13) KEISOTSU Missile Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 14) TOKUSETSU EISEI Doctor (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (14) YÁOZĂO Electric Pulse. (3) YÁOZĂO Electric Pulse. (3)
4.5 SWC | 300 Points
Adam built his list full knowing the scenario as well as the army (but not the list I'll be playing). With that extra knowledge, he built an army that can really take advantage of the scenario rules where Loss of Lieutenant does not apply.
Caledonian Highlander Army ──────────────────────────────────────────────────
Group 1 8 0 0 ISOBEL McGREGOR T2 Rifle, Flash Pulse, D-Charges, E/Mauler / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 26) VOLUNTEER HMG / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 19) VOLUNTEER HMG / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 19) VOLUNTEER Paramedic (Medikit) Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (10) VOLUNTEER Paramedic (Medikit) Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (10) VOLUNTEER Chain Rifle, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (6) 112 Light Shotgun / Pistol, CCW. (12) SCOT (2nd Battalion) CH: Camouflage Missile Launcher / Assault Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 31)
Group 2 4 6 6 UXÍA McNEILL (Covert Action) (CH: Limited Camouflage, Superior Infiltration, Specialist Troop) Boarding Shotgun, D-Charges, Smoke Grenades / 2 Assault Pistols, AP CCW, Knife. (27) S.A.S. Chain Rifle, Grenades / Assault Pistol, AP CCW, Knife. (22) S.A.S. Chain Rifle, Grenades / Assault Pistol, AP CCW, Knife. (22) McMURROUGH 2 Chain Rifles, Grenades, Smoke Grenades / Templar CCW (AP + DA). (31) WALLACE Lieutenant Combi Rifle + Light Flamethrower, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, EXP CCW. (35) HIGHLANDER Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (6) HIGHLANDER Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (6) HIGHLANDER Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (6) HIGHLANDER Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (6) HIGHLANDER Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (6)
3 SWC | 300 Points
Adam stepped up with Caledonia! Huge Order pools, and lots of smoke for my visorless force. Similarly, he wasn't hurt too badly by the scenario rules for Decapitation, since Wallace is the game's most obvious Lieutenant anyway!
Wallance won the Lieutenant roll, with Adam taking side and having me deploy first. Despite losing two Orders from an already low pool, I was happy to go first. I bunkered pretty hard, making use of rooftops in my Deployment Zone and Total Cover to make it more difficult for all those Galwegians to rush me. I didn't have any Visors on the table anyway, so no point in trying to overwatch when I wouldn't be able to see anything.
The sneakiest aspect of deployment was the Oniwaban and Dao Fei buddying up together on the right flank. My hope was to use the Dao Fei Spitfire to clear lanes so the Oniwaban could sneak in and gut Wallace.
Yu Jing Turn 1
When Wallace was dropped close to me, surrounded by his linked Galwegians, I knew I had an option. The Dao Fei revealed, clearing one of the Galwegians and a Camo Scots Guard missile, opening the lane for the Oniwaban who ran forward as a marker. The Oniwaban rounded the corner with a short skill, close to Wallace and in Line of Fire of Wallace and two Galwegians. Now Adam had to make a choice. Wallace's link had 4 bodies in it, giving +3 to Discover and 6th Sense. The link could do nothing, letting Wallace keep 6th Sense and taking his chances in close combat, or the link could break and they could all make Discover attempts, forcing me to act while visible.
Adam opted to sit tight, and I used a fresh Order to get the Oniwaban into melee. Swish swish, and the Oniwaban went down in a hail of fire but not before he crit Wallace with that Monofilament weapon!
I tucked the Dao Fei back into cover, but there wasn't a chance to do much else with my pool so low.
Caledonia Turn 1
...And here come the Impetuous troopers. McMurrough rolled up the table unopposed and McMurdered my Tokusetsu Doctor, Coup de Gracing for a Classified, but I snuck in some lowly Combi shots from the Zanshi Hacker that got the job done. Two shots, two hits, two failed ARM saves prompted a face palm from Adam, while I did a little dance on my side of the table. Having McMurrough get into my backline would not have been fun. The Caledonians still followed up with a pile of Galwegians, one of whom Berserked my Dao Fei to death while another did swoop into my Deployment Zone with Adam's last Order to lay a template over a palbot, a Zhanshi Paramedic and the Wu Ming with Boarding Shotgun. Knowing he was on his last Order, the Zhanshi and Pot miraculously Dodged, while the Wu Ming tanked the Chain Rifle hit and nailed the Galwegian with his boarding shotgun in Order to put him down.
Yu Jing Turn 2
Now I was in the lead, having taken down a Lieutenant and survived the counterattack. I just needed to hold on and not bleed too many points for another two turns!
This turn consisted of simple riflework, using the Hac Tao and Shangji MULTI Rifles to try and put down Dogged Galwegians and try to stop them from getting too close. With my Order pool pretty heavily depleted, every Order became critical. I did an okay job pruning the incoming Galwegians, but there was still a wave of lurking Camo Markers out there...
The turn ended with everything tucking back into Total Cover, still wary of the linked Volunteer HMGs lurking at the far end of the table. I pushed my luck with the Wu Ming shotgun barely managing to knock a Wound off a Galwegian who was far too close to my Deployment Zone for comfort, taking out a potentially key threat.
Caledonian Turn 2
Uxia rolled in and took down the Zanshi Hacker, but couldn't touch the Hac Tao who put an end to her shenanigans with a Double Action round. The rest of the SAS were right behind her though, with one of them taking down the Wu Ming in a mere 3 Orders using nothing but Speculative Shot grenades. He ran up and tried to repeat the trick against my Lieutenant hunkered on a rooftop. The blast took down the Keisotsu missile who had faithfully (but rather uneventfully) stood on overwatch all game, but the Shang Ji failed guts out of range of the toss just as Adam's Order pool was running low. I narrowly dodged that bullet... Er... Shrapnel!
From here, neither of us had the Orders left to make a reasonably effective push for more points. I was able to Scan Uxia's Unconscious body for a Classified, and the game wound down.
I had managed to take down Wallace, but it was still up in the air regarding how many points we'd manage to eradicate from one another. Adding up the totals, we found that the Yu Jing were ahead my a mere 1 point. If my Palbot had been knocked out by that Chain Rifle, Adam could very well have stolen it!
Adam - This was the closest game we had by a long shot, I could feel victory in my grasp. When I sat back and though about it though, even if I had won by that Palbot dying, it wouldn't really do much to make me feel like my list obviously trumped his skill, haha. I had all the knowledge outside the game going in my favor, taking advantage of a scenario that doesn't require specialists by taking a Caledonia army, playing a huge order pool against a random list that often only has 10 models... I was actually more confident going into this game than any of my previous against Michael. This has been an incredibly fun experiment, and I'll definitely challenge myself with random lists in the future, but I think going 3-0 has shown, at least for me, that there is no doubt that Skill trumps List.