Supplies Showdown@Hydra Gaming Club, High Brooms, Kent.
Another Showdown at high noon 7:30pm. This time we were playing a classic mission that’s been around since the beginning of ITS, Supplies! Lined up against us, some of the best players in the South East, including some of the Totally Crit Crew! We randomly selected the pairings – and once again I get to play Chris “Pootleflump”! Chris “MeekRebel” paired off against Jason, a fellow Yu Jing player.
So supplies, what’s it all about?
Mission Briefing: Supplies
Supplies has been virtually unchanged since the start of ITS A few years ago. It’s a classic mission for a reason – although deceptively simple, it brings out the best in Infinity with different approaches, army builds and tactics. It’s one of those missions where it doesn’t matter how many enemy troopers you have killed just who has the boxes at the end of the game!
Quite simple. 3 supply crates along the central 24” line at 12” intervals. Table layout is important in this mission. You want a table where the Supplies are all on ground level outside of buildings. Having one in a building isn’t too bad, but more than one makes it very difficult if you are going second as you can’t easily cover them. Only people who want to play on hard mode should put the crates in elevated locations! You also want buildings/cover between the crates so they are not all visible from each other, as otherwise it becomes too easy for the reactive player to defend them in the ARO with only a few units. One top tip is to place the crates and then build your table around them.
The scoring is all about the crates. It takes a specialist, and an WIP roll (Attack) to get the supplies from a crate. Doctors and Paramedics get a +3 to the roll (although there are few factions that could make good use of this! The Taurig TO/Camo Doctor+ would be one though).
One thing that many people forget is you have to remove the crate scenery item once you get the supplies! That can catch you out in the open without cover if you are not careful. If someone carrying the crate dies, it drops with them and can be picked up by anyone (you don’t have to be a specialist to loot a corpse!). You can also take the crate off a friendly trooper by spending a short skill (again you don’t have to be a specialist for this).
- For each supply that you are carrying on a non-null state trooper 1 pt (3 max)
- Having more supplies that the opponent 3pts
- Opponent has no supplies 2 pts
- 2 Classified Objectives
So what are some different approaches to this scenario? Well the first part is all about on one side getting the supplies while the opponent tries to defend. If you turtle up in this mission as the reactive player and have no ARO’s on the supplies you could find yourself losing real quickly!
If you have smoke in your faction, it is a real advantage in this scenario. Either having an infiltrating smoke trooper, a trooper with a smoke grenade launcher, or just moving up in cover and throwing it over the supplies means you can now access the crate without any ARO threat…. Well unless your opponent has MSV2. In true Rock/Paper/Scissors/Lizard/Spock tradition, MSV2 beats smoke, so if you are using smoke you should be prepared to knock down the opponents MSV2 Snipers etc (although many factions, like JSA and Ariadna, have limited or no MSV2!). Tohaa of course trump everyone as they have Eclipse Smoke which blocks even MSV2 (as do some other units like Senior Masacre).
How else can you as the reactive player defend vs a smoke, grab and run approach? Infiltrators and perimeter weapons! Mines, Koalas and Mad Traps deployed on the midline near the crates will cause the opponent waste valuable orders to get to the crates!
Another approach if you go first is not to go after the crates at all, but play as a normal mission. Go hunt your opponent, move up the table and then drop a load of troopers into suppression and aggressively cover the crates. If you have nerves of steel, you can weather the reactive turn as he tries to dislodge your suppressing units, and then fight back the opponent to give yourself space to safely get the crates. This is a good tactic for non-smoke heavy factions like Onyx and Pan-O.
Grab and run!
Once you have the supplies then what? Do you stand and fight, and risk the supplies being taken from your bullet ridden corpse? On do you run and hide? Running back into your half of the table offers the advantage that your opponent will then need to get through your lines to get the supplies back – something which is going to be very order intensive. If your trooper is slow, just let a fact one grab the supplies (Aragoto Bikers, a Su Jian, a 6-6 Flash pulse REM or even a 6-4 servant remote!). Once you have the supplies back in your half you can turtle up, lay down suppression, mines etc.
If you are the opponent faced with this situation, watching as the supplies disappear into the opponents back lines, what do you do? Well a late game Air Bourne Deployment can be perfect. Drop a Tiger right in amongst the sheep! Have a Van Zant pop up behind the guy with the supplies. Hold back your Infiltration units the late game and go hunting!
1st or 2nd?
Most people will want to take turn order and go first in this mission. The idea of grabbing those crates in the first turn and making a dash for it is tempting. But the patient player who goes second can cause the whole game to flip on the last turn. Your opponent may have 2 or three supplies in turn 3, but if they die and you manage to pick up the supplies the who game can flip from a 8-0 loss to an 8-0 win! Just remember in this mission RETREAT is in effect. If you kick the living daylights out of your opponent before grabbing a crate, well you have yourself a 0-0 draw, as the mission will end on the turn of the opponent, if that started that turn in retreat! (Note they have to start the turn in retreat, it doesn’t matter if you go below the retreat value during your turn).
Remember if you have the option of killing the opponent of securing the supplies remember – there are no points in the game for killing the opponent!
I decided to give Imperial State Service another go, and went for the Pheasant, and 4 Bao link team. The Pheasant is also a specialist with Chain of Command, so can move the link up later in the game a grab some supplies. With two MSV2 Snipers, they would be able to cover the crates even against smoke. In additional to this I had the Hsein HMG with MSV2 in a Haris with two Zhanying (one with Fire Team: Haris and the other a Hacker). The Hsein’s job was initial fire support and offense, but also to get the Zhanying Hacker up to the crate to grab the supplies. Finally, I decided to go with the rule of cool – and take the all new Miranda Ashcroft in a hunting part duo with an authorised bounty hunter (Proxied by my Druze Killer Hacker). Now Miranda is a specialist she would also be able to grab the box and then hand it off to the hunter before grabbing another one! It was all rounded off by a WarCor in combat group 2(which I forgot to pack, so I proxied with the Dragon Lady – of course the press is impartial).
GROUP 1 (10 Regular)
- PHEASANT IMPERIAL AGENT (Chain of Command) Boarding Shotgun, Stun Grenades / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 29)
- BÀO TROOP (Multispectral Visor L2) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 29)
- BÀO TROOP (Multispectral Visor L2) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 29)
- BÀO TROOP (X Visor, Multispectral Visor L2) Combi Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 27)
- BÀO TROOP (Biometric Visor L2) Boarding Shotgun, Contender / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 22)
- HSIEN Lieutenant HMG, Nanopulser / Pistol, AP CCW. (2 | 61)
- ZHÀNYING Hacker (Hacking Device) Breaker Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 32)
- ZHÀNYING (Fireteam: Haris, Sensor) Breaker Combi Rifle, Nimbus Grenades / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 27)
- MIRANDA ASHCROFT Combi Rifle, Nanopulser / Pistol, Monofilament CCW. (0 | 24)
- BOUNTY HUNTER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 16)
GROUP 2 (1 Irregular)
- WARCOR (Sixth Sense L1) Flash Pulse / Stun Pistol, Knife. (0 | 3)
6 SWC | 299 Points
- Mission: Supplies
- Opponent: Chris “Pootleflump”
- Faction: Military Orders
- List: A
So once again I faced of vs Chris, who is one of the UK’s top players. Our last showdown had been a close one and had gone his way on turn 3. I was hoping to do better this time, but realised I should have bought a second list. My list was really good vs and Camo/TO/ODD or Smoke heavy factions, but the Military Orders was just a bunch of Knights with guns! So all those MSV points were a bit of a waste! Note to self – next time bring a B list!
I won initiative and decided to go first. My idea though was not to get the crates, but to spend the first turn entrenching and covering them well – hoping to win on the ARO. I set up first, keeping on the of Bao Snipers back.
Chris had bought a 10 order list of Joan and Friends. Joan (Heavy Armour/Multi-Rifle version), 3 Magister Knights with Panzerfausts and Boarding Shotguns, De Fersen with Spitfire and 3 Hospitaller Knights (one with a HMG). To round it off, he had a Tech Bee and WarCor whose irregular orders became regular with Joan’s Inspiring Leadership. He started off the three Magister knights as ARO pieces on a walkway as part of a link with two Hospitaller Knights, so they had the burst 2 and +3 BS in the ARO with their Panzerfausts. The rest of the knights etc were all hidden behind buildings.
Turn 1 ISS
I had carefully started with none of my forces visible which was a good thing as the three Magister Knights had a commanding view over the centre of the table. Chris had stripped my order pool by two so I didn’t have a lot of orders to play with – but those Knight ARO pieces had to be dealt with before I could move up. First up I activated the Hsein who was in a building. He could move around the door way and slice the pie to get a shot on the left most of the three. We were at 35” long range for both, but I had more dice 5 on 8’s v’s 2 on 9’s. I won and knocked a wound off, and the “valiant” knight went prone (apparently Joan gives Courage: Valour to all troops so they can choose to override Religious and go prone…).
Next up I move out my Bao sniper on ground level who takes a shot at the right most Magister Knight, and lands two hits of DA and blows his head off! This bought the link down to 4.
I switch back to the Hsein and take a crack at the last Knight, but take a Panzerfaust hit. Luckily with armour 4 (halved for AP) +3 for cover I managed to only take a wound. The Hsein went again and the Panzerfaust had been expended and this time put the knight (who tried to dodge) down on unconscious.
Now that all the ARO pieces were either prone or off the table I could move up. I moved Miranda and her Bounty Hunter up (the bounty hunter had only rolled a Flash Pulse for his Booty Roll….). I knew they would not get to the objective so I positioned them in cover with the supplies visible and placed them both on suppression with a co-ordinated order (breaking the Duo).
With only one order left I used it on the Bao link to stand up the other sniper (who was prone on a building so he didn’t get shot in the initial exchange). Now I had a high sniper and a low sniper.
I then decided to use the Hseins Lt order, breaking the Haris to move his HMG to cover across the table, then spent a command token to reform the Haris again.
Not a bad first turn. 2 enemies down, and one wounded!
Turn 1 Military Orders
Chris kicked off by using Joan’s LT order as a co-ordinated order to move Joan and the three Hosp Knights up together. He then spent a command token to form a new link made of the three Hosp Knights, De Fersen and Joan.
I now had to hold out for 8 orders!
8-> His HMG Hosp Knight moves out and gains a shot on the Authorised Bounty Hunter. 5 Dice on 12’s vs 3 on 6’s – he CRIT’s, then I roll and CRIT!
7-> The HMG goes again. He lands several hits, and I CRIT! He goes down to 1 wound.
6-> The HMG goes again! This time however he takes the Bounty Hunter off the table!
5-> The HMG leads the link team forward, and goes face to face with the War Cor who ARO’d with a Flash Pulse. It must have been because I was proxying, but my WarCor went down to the first shot.
4-> The HMG Continued to move up, and got LoF onto my Sniper. With a base BS of 14 +3 for being in a link, +3 for range, -3 for cover He was rolling 5 on 17’s and I was on 2 on 15’s in the ARO. Down went my Sniper
3-> The HMG moved on drawing an unexpected LoF to my Hsein. 5 on 17’s against 2 on 14’s. He takes three hits, manages to save 2 and goes down, unconscious due to his previous wound.
2-> The HMG moves on and draws LoF on the last Sniper who now is on;t on 12’s and puts him down!
1-> He spreads out the link team and goes prone, ready to deal with Ms Ashcroft who is nearby on suppression.
Turn 2 ISS
So I’ve lost 4 regular orders and my WarCor, and I’m down to 6 Orders! Luckily my Chain of Command kicks in and the Pheasant is now my Lt.
First up I break suppression with Miranda and move her around to engage the HMG Hosp who ARO’s with a pistol. Miranda lands 2 shots on him but he saves and ducks back into full cover. She then moves around to draw a LoF onto one of the Hosp’s with a Shotgun. It’s a good match up, he’s out of cover so I’m rolling 3 on 15’s vs his 2 on 11’s, but she gets beaten and fails the ARM roll!
Now with only 4 orders left I move up the Pheasant and remaining 2 Bao. It takes 3 orders to get into place. On the last order the Bao with Boarding Shotgun goes prone and moves around crate shooting his Boarding shotgun as a Hosp with combi. The template catches the HMG and (who is in his LoF) and also catches Joan (who is out of LoF). He gets three hits. The two Hosps fire back and cancel some of the hits but both of the Hosps make their ARM rolls. Joan takes all three hits though (as she is still part of the link and he didn’t want to break it and lose the +3) but she makes 2 saves and takes a wound.
Out of orders I take a gamble and spend my Lt order. The Pheasant rank also has a Boarding Shotgun and take a shot on the same two hosps (not managing to catch Joan who had fallen back). One makes the ARM saves but the HMG goes down.
Now I have 2 shotguns from aimed at his link, plus the third Combi/Light Shotgun looking through a window over the knights (but can’t see them as they are prone).
Turn 2 Military Orders
So….remember that first Magister Knight form the 1st turn who took a wound and went prone….well he was not Impetuous. He stands and runs straight towards my Bao and Pheasant, shooting his shotgun as he goes. Both Bao and Pheasant land a hit back but he tanks the ARM rolls. He moves again, and this time wins. The Bao goes down, but the Pheasant makes the ARM roll. He moves again, and takes another hit on his ARM. He is now inside 4”. He activated for the last time with his shotgun, firing as he gets into base to base. The Pheasant uses her MA2 and DA CCW, and wins scoring 1 wound. The Knight goes unconscious, but is still Engaged with the Pheasant! (This is not a rule that I am a fan of!)
Now that the Pheasant is Engaged, she has no LoF onto Joan and her fire team.
The Fire Team activate and the Boarding Shotgun guy stands up and looks in through the window to take on the Bao with Combi/Light Shotgun, and wins, but the Bao saves and steps back into cover. He then moves with Joan and manages to get around to the other side of the Bao and shoots him down.
The Pheasant now stands alone. He has only 2 orders left! He moves in Joan and De Fersen and one other knight into base to base with the Pheasant. Joan is the link leader rolling Burst 3 with MA3 vs 23’s, while my Pheasant rolls in 19s with her MA2. The Pheasant wins, and lands a wound on Joan putting her on NWI.
Now with one order left he breaks with link and moves his Knight with Shotgun up to cover the middle supply crate.
So you’re thinking, why didn’t he just attack me with Joan again? Well if the Pheasant has died I would have gone into retreat and the game would have ended 0-0! He hoped to kill the Pheasant and use his last order to get the supplies, but the Pheasant stood firm!
Turn 3 ISS
I have 3 orders left. I move the two Zhanying towards the right most supply crate. On the second move the lead Zhanying engages the Doctor Knight with his Breaker Rifle and lands a hit, and the Knight falls back. I am now only 4” away from the supplies, but I would have to cross the LoF of the Hosp knight with boarding shotgun. At 8-16 range he still was hitting on 14’s so I decide instead to shoot hit and put him down.
Out of orders I decide to spend my LT action and let the dice do what dice do! Only this time Joan puts her sword through the Pheasant. Really I should have left it and made him burn orders in his reactive turn!
Turn 3 Military Orders
Chris is down to 5 orders, enough to get the job done. De Fersen opens up with his Spitfire and puts down my Zhanying. He then moves back to the supplies and grabs them on the first roll. He then Data Scans one of my downed troops – fails once, and gets it on the second turn. The Doctor Hosp Knight then moves to the centre crate and fails to grab it getting immobilised by my last Hacker Zhanying. He does however get with 8” of my HVT and secures it.
Well it all swung on that last turn!
Chris “Pootleflump” Decisive Victory 3 TP 8 OP (1 Supply 1 VP, More supplies 3 VP, Enemy has no supplies 2 VP, and 2 classified 2 VP)
Stuart “sam2064JSA” Loss 0 TP 0 OP
A brilliant and very tense game. Was really close going into turn 2 for Military orders with my Shotguns lined up on his Joan link, but the Impetuous Magister Knight really won the day! Still don’t like that Engaged while unconscious rule though! Look forward to the next one?