With CodeOne shelved for now, we turn our eyes to Infinity N4, the latest rule set from Corvus Belli. We started out with a smaller 200 point game to keep our game time efficient but still allow for a large enough board.
We decided to hit the Domination scenario again. The rules are basically the same so we were able to set up the map easily.
I lost the Lieutenant roll off and Sean chose Deployment. I chose to take the first turn and didn’t elect to hold any troops back. Sean put me at the bottom deployment zone but before we jump into that, let’s check out the armies.
I don’t know Varuna but Sean brought four Camo tokens for me to play with. Luckily Adil has Sensor to help root those guys out. We’ve never used fireteams so we both decided to make some and see what all the fuss is about. Sean had a Core Fireteam with the ORC, Kamau, hacker, and lieutenant. I was running mostly fireteams with a Core of the Celestial Guard and three Kuang Shi, a Haris of the Zhanying, Hsien, and Xi Zhuang, and a duo of the Pheasant with Adil.
With my team having no camo or hidden deployment or infiltration, I split my fireteams around the map, keeping Xi behind to see where I wanted to deploy him and his protective Madtrap.
Sean deployed mostly on the left flank with his Core, Doc, Lieutenant, and camo markers. My last guy, Xi Zhuang, deployed on the right with his Madtrap up the field and the last Camo was placed on the lower left of the pic above (already pictured).
With Deployment down, we started off with Pan-O spending a command token to remove 2 of my orders. I had a couple of goals for my first turn. I wanted to control and maybe turn on the left side console, move my Pheasant/Adil Duo up to threaten my right console, and get some damage done with my Zhanying Haris to command the center.
To get through to the left console, I need some smoke for coverage so I activate my Celestial Guard Core with the Kuang Shi. Since they are in a fireteam, I didn’t need to worry about the Kuang Shi Impetuous orders. I sent them out and had the CG shoot a smoke grenade to block the console’s sight lanes. It failed so I went again and had the team move out. The grenade landed this time but I was close enough to start working on his left flank team. I decided aggression would be the better option so I just kept throwing orders at the team and finally got the CG up the building (prone) while the Kuang Shi ran straight out. The Camo soldier didn’t want to get a bunch of chain rifle shots to the face so stayed hidden and I didn’t try to discover. My guys just ran blindly into incoming fire hoping to get in Chain Rifle range of his Core team troopers.
The lead Kuang Shi makes with a friend but will be out of coherency. No matter as I’m sure he’ll just die. The lone Kuang Shi in the back (right) went dogged but really didn’t have much of an option as an Intuitive attack would be a full order and I didn’t want to burn it.
I made some rules mistakes here where the lead Kuang Shi should have become Team Leader and taken a 2 burst chain rifle shot and the three Pan-O troopers. Instead, I erroneously had him and his farther-back buddy each take a single shot. It meant the first guy caught three figures while the second guy only caught one. In the end, I dropped the Kamau and a Fusilier but lost both Kuang Shi in the return fire. I was down to only a few orders left and still needed to get the Zhanying group into position.
I get Xi over to the console and he tries to activate but it doesn’t work. I pop the Hsien up from cover and use another order to blast through the smoke at a Helot that decided to reveal himself as I pop up (I popped up just to the side of the smoke before moving over). Luckily the Helot shot goes wide but my shots don’t land. I try again and this time, I drop the Helot. I decide to hide out and pop back down prone and use my last order to start getting the Pheasant/Adil duo up the board.
Pan-O is starting down a few orders so burns a lot of time moving the Trauma Doc in to try and pick up the downed Fusilier and Kamau. The Fusilier fails to respond (even after a command token reroll) but the Kamau gets back up. The Camo marker my Kuang Shi ignored moves out a little to place a deployable to form a defense. I don’t have anyone in ARO positions so Pan-O uses the rest of the time to move in and claim quadrants.
We both control two quadrants so the score is tied 1-1. I start up round two having Xi Zhuang get a console activated and moving the rest of the Haris Fireteam into position. I send the Pheasant/Adil Duo up and Adil activates the other console on my side of the board.
Having secured the consoles, I don’t have much else to do so I have the Duo move up and threaten the right flank of the board. The Pheasant hangs back to cover the far console on Pan-O’s side while Adil moves up to prepare for next turn to sweep around and eliminate that side of the board (where only a Helot and a camo figure is). Crucially, Adil is in the Pan-O right quadrant.
To finish out the turn, I break the Haris Fireteam and put the Hsien Warrior in suppressive fire (using an “unloaded” token). Xi Zhuang also moves up to make a push into more Pan-O territory.
Pan-O reforms his Core Fireteam and starts to move up. Meanwhile, he wants to take control of that right flank so runs his camo out to cover but Adil has Sensor and just barely spots him to reveal a Zulu-Cobra (needing 19s and getting a 19). The Zulu-Cobra then spends the next 3 rounds pumping shots into Adil. Adil tries dodging so he can get into CC but the Zulu-Cobra shots are just good enough to get one shot through. Adil is a beast in his rolls and tanks every shot. With Courage, he just stands his ground and takes it like hoss until Zulu-Cobra calls it quits and runs off out of sight and re-camos. With the remaining orders, his Core moves out to get to the main left flank building. My Hsien is completely obstructed from any ARO over there so they set up shop around the building and, in the process, they send a prone paramedic over to try to activate the console. It fails and Pan-O is still down on consoles 2 to 1.
When we check the end of the round, the Zulu-Cobra is the only figure in his right quadrant but Adil is there too and beats him out in points. Yu Jing now has more quadrants and the score is now 3-2.
I use my last turn securing the defenses for Pan-O’s final turn three push. I have a one point lead so he will need to get more consoles than me or more quadrants than me to tie things up and hope his kill points are greater or do both to secure a win.
I pull everyone up into firing positions and this includes the Hsien moving back a little bit to cover the whole board in front of him and firing down on the prone medic by the Pan-O console. The medic falls and I put the Hsien and Xi in suppressive fire. Adil reveals the Zulu-Cobra again using sensor and swings around the corner but fails to take him down. As a little bit of insurance, I move up the Chaiyi remote to the right quadrant. Adil goes into suppressive fire as well and we wait for the Pan-O rush.
Pan-O sends the Zulu-Cobra on a suicide to the console taking incoming suppressive fire from Adil. He falls but he makes it to the console and activates it. Then, the camo token Croc Man rounds the corner to get to my activated console. When he uncamos to try to activate it, the Madtrap rushes him and my Hsien opens fire. Croc Man fails the console and dies in the incoming barrage.
With no way to threaten my quadrants (even the right flank Pan-O side quadrant, Pan-O is out of options and the game ends.
Final scoring has Yu Jing take another 2 points for having more quadrants in control and 2 points for the two consoles activated. Pan-O gains 1 point for controlling at least one quadrant and 1 more for an activated console. The final score is a victory for Yu Jing ISS: 7-3
That final Console play was interesting because had it worked, the scores would have been 6 to 4 and Pan-O would have just needed to steal a quadrant from me to tie up the game at 5-5. Alas, the dice were not with Sean in the second and third rounds and he was running order-poor to really threaten a quadrant. If the medic had turned on the console before dying on my turn, then he really only would have needed to flip one of my consoles to make it a tied 6-6 game.
Fireteams were interesting but I know I messed up their rules multiple times. I didn’t see the Pan-O Core Fireteam threaten much but felt like my Core, Haris, and Duo got a lot of stuff done that I normally wouldn’t be able to do when running my usual generic Yu Jing teams. The game also didn’t really feel more complicated than CodeOne and with the same amount of figures on the board, it didn’t play any slower.
This doesn’t bode well for CodeOne with our group as there are more options in N4 for players, not only rules-wise but also in unit selection. We’ll leave CodeOne behind for now and start really focusing on N4 play to get used to the game and try out all the revised units.