Dirty Dancing – Showdown@Hydra
“Ever danced with the devil in the pale moon-light….” the Joker
“I’ve had the time of my life, and I’ve never felt this way before!” Patrick Swayze
So time for another one round showdown tournament and this time our host Rob Neil had chosen one of the new missions from ITS 2017 Version 1.4 – Deadly Dance!
So far I have played a couple of games of this scenario already. One practice game and one at the Woking April 2017 ITS TAG Line tournament. We were going to play the normal ITS version rather than the uber hard ‘Man Eating’ Jungle (Extremely Difficult Terrain, Saturation Zone, Dangerous Environment!). On my last outing I had taken a twin O-Yoroi list which went quite well – but this time I wanted to go for a vanilla Yu Jing list.
Mission Briefing: Dance of Death
So this mission has some unique features which make it very random and encourage the use of a TAG. After you deploy each player randomly rolls to determine which quadrant is their “Active Quadrant”. This is the bit where the scenario can be kind of unfair. If you roll a quadrant bordering your DZ and your opponent rolls a quadrant on the other side of the table (bordering his opponents DZ) that can make life very difficult. Even worse is if you both roll the same quadrant!
Going second is a powerful advantage in this mission (just like in Quadrant Control and Safe Area) as the mission scores at the end of each round (after the second players turn). This gives the second player the reactive advantage in countering the movements of his opponents first turn. Of course going first will always offer that alpha strike possibility but you have to remember to get your units into your Active Quadrant which can be hard if its on the other side of the table, or very easy if it boarders your DZ and you just need to step across the 12″ line.
- Dominate your Assigned Quadrants at the end of each Game Round. (1 Objective Point). This one is simple. At the end of the round (second players turn) add up all points from troopers and markers (e.g. TO Camo, Camo) as well as bonuses for Baggage and Shavasti Spawn Embryo’s. If you have more than your opponent you get the point.
- Have a Dominant TAG in your Assigned Quadrant at the end of each Game Round (1 Objective Point). There are different interpretations of this condition. We played it that you could only score this point if you are dominating the assigned quadrant AN have a TAG in it.
- Dominate more Assigned Quadrants than the adversary at the end of the Game (1 Objective Points). This is another one which is difficult to interpret. Apparently the correct interpretation is that at the end of the game if you are dominating more assigned quadrant than your opponent you get the points. This means both assigned quadrants (yours and your opponents – although they could be the same). So if you dominate your quadrant and the enemy has no points in their quadrant at all or your beat them on army points to control the quadrant you achieve this.
- To kill more Army Points than the adversary (2 Objective Points). Simple – KILL, MURDER, DESTROY. Count up points from any troopers unconscious or off the table (e.g. underplayed Hidden Deployment or Airborne Deployment troops). Immobalised troops still score!
- Each player has one classified objective. There is no Intel Comm (thank god!).
Going for a spin!
To add to this….. as if it needed more…. at the end of each round if you have a specialist in base contact with a console, you may make ONE face to normal roll of face to face if your opponent also has a specialist in contact with a console (using the highest WP if you have more than one). Hackers get +3. If you win the OPPONENTS Active Quadrant shifts ever clockwise or anticlockwise. The rules suggest drawing a card from a classified deck and using odds and evens – but really you could roll a dice or flip a coin!
This is a powerful tool but it can back fire. If you move the quadrant it forces the opponent to have to reposition his forces (and his TAG!) to the new quadrant before the end of the next round or not score points. BUT you can move the quadrant to a better place for your opponent (e.g. from boarding your DZ back to bordering his DZ). This is also hard for the player who goes first as they must keep their non-marker specialist in base contact for the whole of the opponents turn without them being fragged!
Now I could have taken two lists of course but I only took the one…. I really struggled to build this but decided to go for it and take the ALIVE crew! I wanted a very strong hacking game to go after the opponents TAG so loaded up with Assault Hackers and Killer Hackers.
GROUP 1 10
O-YOROI HMG + Heavy Flamethrower, CrazyKoalas / EXP CCW. (2 | 83)
O-YOROI PILOT Contender / Pistol, CCW. (0)
NINJA Hacker (Assault Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Shock CCW, Knife. (0.5 | 40)
GŬILÁNG (Forward Observer, Deployable Repeater) Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 27)
ALIVE Anti-establishment Group . (1 | 50)
CYPHER 2 E/Marat, E/Mauler / Stun Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 20)
BIT Stun Light Grenade Launcher + Pitcher + FastPanda + KISS! / Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 15)
KISS! Adhesive Launcher / Electric Pulse. (0 | 4)
SWITCH 2 E/Mitter / 2 Stun Pistols, Knife. (0 | 15)
TIGER SOLDIER Hacker (Assault Hacking Device) Combi Rifle + Light Flamethrower / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 33)
PANGGULING Hacker (EVO Hacking Device) Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 25)
TOKUSETSU KOHEI Engineer Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
ZHANSHI Lieutenant Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 11)
YÁOZĂO Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)
GROUP 21 / 1
ZHANSHI Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 11)
WARCOR (Aerocam) Flash Pulse / Stun Pistol, Knife. (0 | 3)
4.5 SWC | 300 Points
The Dance Begins
- Opponent: Chris Penfold
- Faction: Aleph
- List: A
- Mission: Deadly Dance
This game was meant to happen! After Woking 2017 Chris finished 2nd and I finished 3rd, we had unfinished business. Chris has taken a 10 order list as he though this was going to be limited insertion, but then again aren’t most Aleph lists only 10 orders. I’ve only play a couple of Aleph players so my unit knowledge of this faction was sorely lacking – and I was about to get some schooling!
Chris won the Initiative and took the brave move to choose turn order and go second! This meant I got to deploy second and go first – an ideal start but I would lose the restive tactical bonus of going second!
Chris deployed in a very defensive way with his Marut TAG just looking out from behind a taller than S7 building, an Engineer nearby and 4 came tokens around the building…. I think he was expecting a Shinobu! He laid down 3 Netrods – two landed well the other scattered to near the half way line. Then I went away, and when I came back the only other thing on the table was a servant bot and a flash pulse 8 point remote….. so it was going to be like that! Also because he has Strategos Level 3 I got no hold backs and he got 2!
I deployed and we rolled zones. I got one boarding my DZ to my left, Chris got the opposite boarding his DZ on his right – but importantly on the other use of the table from where he deployed his Marut.
Turn 1 JSA
I lost two orders from my primary group leaving 6 on the table. 1st action was bold! I dropped my Tiger Soldier Assault Hacker in directly behind the Marut. With my Evo Hacker I landed on 15’s and nailed it – but I was inside the Maruts ZoC and he ARO’d Change Face on PH -9 (8’s) and got a 1. The Marut swivelled to see my Tiger! At this point I bottled it…..I should have pressed the advantage and used the Tiger F2F with the Marut but I went for a “sneakier” option. I bought up Bit and KISS across the table. KISS went around a corner first towards a camp token which was a mine, but KISS made the ARM save. Bit then fired off pitchers to within 8″ of the Marut…. rolling on 14’s in good range and fluffed both! This was not a good start. So she throws out her fast Panda and moved up KISS to create a wall of repeaters. As my last action my TAG Jumped up onto a rooftop behind a bill board in cover to get into my zone, and as part of a co-orindated move 3 other units also “jumped” one of which was the Guilang who was in LoF of the Marut and got himself discovered.
Turn 1 Aleph
First up Chris reveals a Naga Minelayer with board shotgun who lines up a shot and takes out both KISS and the fast panda behind him! He next moved the Naga around the building, drops a mine around the corner and then re-camo’s him and takes a surprise shot at the Tiger. Not liking the odds on the face to face with -9’s the Tiger just Flamethrowers him and takes both the mine and a boarding shotgun blast on the chest making both ARM roles. Meanwhile the Naga burns to extra crispy!
Next up he reveals a TO Camo Hidden deployment Dasyus right next to my Guilang. The Guilang and the Ninja Assault hacker (in Hidden Deployment) both delay (so the Ninja becomes a marker) and the Dasyus drops a nano-pulser over both of them. The Guilang shots back and misses and the Ninja dodges and fails, but both make their ARM save. Next the Dasysus moves (into his assigned quadrant). The Ninja dodges and the Guilang shoots, but the Dasyus lays a mine, and the Guilang misses again!
With his last orders he activates his Marut who shoots the tiger up with HMG fire. The Tiger ARO’s with Carbonate, gets beaten in the F2F roll but then I re-roll using an Ego-Hacker command token and roll even worse. Scratch one Tiger! The Marut continues on and gets a shot at Bit who tries to dodge and fails and goes down to 4 HMG shots (later I curse myself as I completely missed the ARO my Yoroi had on the TAG from across the table!
End of round 1 I had one quadrant with a TAG in for 2 points and he had one quadrant with his Dasyus in for 1 point
Turn 2 JSA
I now had to deal with the Dasyus – but the mine was a real issue! So I took a gamble – my WarCor moved across a roof top and managed to critically the Dasyus with a flash pulse! That left the mine…. I didn’t dare activate the ninja or Guilang as they were both in the blast effect so I took a very long range shot with a Zhanshi from across the table. The Zhanshi discovered the mine on the first attempt and then took 2 attempts at shooting it on 5’s but missed!
I decided to change focus and go for the Marut with my Yoroi. We were at 34″ so both rolling bad dice. My 4 dice on 8’s v’s his 1 dice on 9’s…. but he kept beating my face to face. Luckily with ARM 10 in cover I needed 6+’s to save and got away with only taking 1 would and dealing out 1 wound.
Low on orders I tried the long shot with the Zhanshi again and got the mine. I had 1 order left for the Guilang to move 2″ and shot the Dasyus a point blank in the face…. and he missed all three shots!
Turn 2 Aleph
Chris came out shooting with the Marut. He close the range down to less than 32″ and opened up, but I kept beating his F2F rolls. Finally I took a hit, made the ARM save and decided to fall back into full cover – which in hind site may have been a mistake. This have him freedom to move. The Marut moved and got a LoF on the Guilang and put it down, and then onto the Ninja and put it down as well. He then moved up another Dasyus coming out of HD at into base contact with a console. Finally he moved a camo token up into LoF of my TAG just inside the range of my Crazy Koala’s (which confused me as he had already got 10 orders on the go, but it turned out to be another Proxy!). He then dug in by placing a Dasyus, the Marut and another Naga in suppression.
End of round 2. I scored 2 points for a TAG in my dominated quadrant. He scored 2 for the Marut in his dominated quadrant. He made his WP roll and moved my assigned quadrant anti clockwise (boardering my DZ but to my right). This put me out of position for the last turn!
Turn 3 JSA
I started by trying to bring up Cypher. He ran out in front of the Marut and Naga (both on suppression) and put down 2 E-Morats over the Marut, but the Marut dodged (on 11’s). Cypher took a hit from the suppression but made the ARM roll. He did it again and the Marut dodged again – but this time the Naga’s suppression fire took him down with a CRIT!
I had to break out with my TAG to moved quadrant. So I moved out and went for the Dasyus in suppression, in cover, with TO camo, and at 0 modifier range… so I was on -12’s and needed 2’s to hit. He shot back CRIT and a hit…… and I rolled a 2 on the arm save when I just needed greater than a 3….. down went the Yoroi.
With my last orders the Yaozao servant bot jumped onto the roof behind my TAG and tried to ENG it but failed and it blew up! I was left with no real units left to use. I tried to do a hail mary with a Zhanshi taking a long range shot on the Marit but got cut to shreds.
Turn 3 Aleph
He just needed to mop up now! Chris moved units into my Assigned quadrant and used the Marut to silence the press and kill the WarCor!
Chris Full Win 3 TP 9 OP (Classified 1 OP+ More army points killed 2 OP + 3 held quadrants and 2 with a TAG 5 OP, + more dominated quadrants in the last turn 1 OP)
Stuart Loss 0 TP 4 OP (2 held quadrants with TAG 4 OPs)
Chris went on to win the Show Down! It was a great game. Really a nail biter with bad dice and good dice on both sides. My TAG going down was the real decider though! If I had to reply I would have spent the first turn hunting down the netrods first to cut his orders – or tried to be more aggressive with the Tiger Soldier. Although I never got off my planned Co-orindated hacker with 4 hackers onto his Marut – I did enjoy playing the list!