This week, I switch armies yet again as Sean and I face off. I don’t quite have the resources to pull off the ISS sectorial that I’d like to run so I’m giving that a break until I fill those holes. I’ve wanted to run the Invincible Army for a long time and was collecting a few of their models to play generic Yu Jing. I’ve picked up more and got impatient, finding that I could put a rag-tag army together to get my feet wet.

And looking at the list now, I realize I screwed up. I thought I had the Daoying Hacker Lieutenant but it seems like I have the regular one in. I wondered how I was able to afford that War Cor… Hmm. I’ll have to do better at that for next time.

I don’t really think this list qualifies as a true Invincible Army one as I really only have the Mowang and Tai Sheng as my heavy infantry. The rest are light infantry mooks or remotes and it doesn’t feel very invincible.

Sean was playing more Varuna very similar to his last list. Sean seems to be dialing in what he likes about the sectorial while I flail around and anything new and shiny. He has his 5 man core with Orc (Feuerbach), Kamau HMG, and some specialist chaff. His Croc Man favorite and double Helots are out there being ARO nuisances while he switched around some remotes for a combi one and a flash pulse. The rest of the army had some additional chaff specialists and two Zulu Cobras. The Nisses in the picture is slumming it as a Helot.

We were playing another 20 x 20 mission, this time we had to bounce around to hack consoles in a specific order. If you were on the bottom, you had to go consoles 1, 2, 3, 4; if you were on the top, you went in reverse order. 2 points at the end of the game for each console plus to bonus points if you have more than your opponent. The “twist” was we had to aggro Mercs setup in the middle. They were basically Combi turrets for all intents and purposes.

I lost the lieutenant roll and Sean decided to deploy first. I took second turn as I tend to like the “end of game” scoring opportunity that having the last turn affords. Sean put me on the bottom of the screen and made me deploy first. I held the Mowang back and realized I didn’t get him in the picture above. He eventually went to the left side of the HMG TR Bot building.

Pan-O starts off the game setting up a repeater from the Croc Man and taking sacrificial specialists and sending them out to get the first two consoles.

I deployed with very little ARO going but the Yuan Yuan’s on the buildings were doing their fair share of reactions. I wasn’t as diligent as I should have been with them and likely let that first specialist slide.

The Zulu hacker did go unconscious from the merc though so it wasn’t all for not. Sean ends his turn throwing out a few mines on the building top with his Croc Man and then waits with a few orders unspent, leaving me to deal with the Mercs in the middle.

I burn a couple of orders taking down the Mercs with my Rui Shi.

I shuffle more orders around getting troops into position and claim my first console. I really didn’t think this through because all my specialists are one side except my Lieutenant hacker. And now I feel really dumb because I just realized non-specialists could WIP roll to try to turn them on too.

Instead of just sacrificing my War Cor and moving to the console to turn it on (or try to- in the lower right corner of the pic), I run him out to be a nuisance flash bot (getting targeted by the repeater the Croc Man set up earlier). Ah well, War Cor was an illegal add to the army anyway. Maybe I deserve the screw up.

After getting the Rui Shi and Mowang into coverage positions, I put them in to suppressive fire. Here I’m thinking to “movie-like” where the duo cover each other’s backs. I’ve angled them so they can’t provide double coverage to each other’s flanks because I’ve angled them so badly.

Targeted with an ORC swinging around, the War Cor is an easy obstacle to get rid of. The Croc Man drops the Rui Shi and with the Mowang not able to also threaten him, there is no further retaliation. I have a Combi rifle TR bot waiting as well but the Zulu Spitfire easily drops him as well. The Machinist is able to go uncontested to the next console, pushing the console war three to my lonely one. The Machinist runs back to hid behind the new Holo-ad but gets targeted by the Lu Duan’s repeater (deployed at game start).

I swing my core-linked missile bot out and do a long range shot at the Croc Man, taking him out. I then have my Engineer and peripheral bot rez up the Rui Shi and Combi TR bot. I burn through orders on resources that I technically don’t need but Pan-O still has a lot of things in play to thwart my advance.

I kick the Mowang into gear and have him force some AROs. I remove one of his core link members, making his ORC with the Feuerbach less scary. The rest go into hiding. I keep moving him along to take out the Zulu Spitfire as well but in the process get into range of the Croc Man’s repeater. Pan-O forgot to use but I was essentially pinned by it because if I activated again, I’m sure an Oblivion hack was coming my way.

The Lu Duan comes out to take care of his remotes also providing cover along with bringing his Helot out of hiding. The Helot survives and ducks behding cover. I don’t have enough orders to get anything more accomplished so I push out the Rui Shi to cover the last console along with my hacker in waiting.

Despite this, Sean is able to get a bead on the Rui Shi and drops him. Without him, the Zulu hacker is revived by the doc + palbot, re-camos, and stealth’s through lines. I’m able to get off a double hack attack unopposed since Sean doesn’t care if the Zulu lives as long as it flips the console. WIP 13s both fail and the Zulu is able to duck back into cover and go into suppressive fire. I now have to get all three remaining consoles operational to tie (or win via kill points).

The plan is really tight but I have enough orders to do it if almost all the dice go my way. That is a complete crap shoot but nothing wagered, nothing gained. I burn all of my group 2 orders to push my Engineer to the console and turn it on. The path was mostly clear except for the end, just order consuming. He makes it as there was no really play to stop it.

With console 2 on, I have to go through the hornet’s nest and get to console 3. I start my Core moving and Tai Sheng takes point. She gets pinged by both the Feuerbach ORC and the Zulu. I come through the ORC shot fine but land a crit on the Zulu. She passes the breaker BTS saves and holds her position. Zulu just won’t go down. She is holding everything back so I have to go again. This time, my dice fail and Tai Sheng goes down.

This breaks the fireteam and I’m out of command tokens to reform. I’ve been moving the team out since Sean was focusing fire on the leader so my hackers are decently up the field. Unfortunately, there are a host of hostiles still between. I rush the first hacker up and target his Fusilier cutting off one of my lanes. I spotlight him and succeed but she dies in a hail of reaction fire. My missile bot then rains down a guided attack on the Fusilier and both the Fusilier and the hiding hacker both take the hits. The Hacker melts but the Fusilier blocks all three saves and makes his guts roll to stay put. Pan-O knows no fear!

Not much else to do at this point except run my last hacker through the gauntlet and hope she gets lucky. She doesn’t and easily goes down. Had it worked and left me with enough orders, my Lieutenant on the other side of the map was going to make the next Hail Mary and run the other gauntlet to activate the last console and tie on points (but likely not kill points). Without the 3rd console activated, I couldn’t attempt the fourth and the game was over. Pan-O 10 points, Yu Jing 4 points.

Pan-O Wins!

The pictures really remind me of all the ways I played this mission wrong and all the ways Sean was playing it right. Going for consoles early has been Sean’s Achilles’ heel in several games. With him pushing hard on those from round one and setting up fire lanes for me to chew through to get to mine, he really forced me into some hard catch-up scenarios. I also put way too much faith in single unit AROs and also forced them into deeper sight lines than I ever needed to.

All-in-all, it was a good learning game for me. I had some new units to mess with that I need to get my head around a little more but that will come with time. Maybe. I keep trying to use these games to keep my painting regime up so don’t be surprised if next game features a completely different list. Soon the paint backlog will dry up and I’ll be able to hunker down on really learning my units. Until next time!