October started Infinity’s next competitive play season (ITS 14) and with it, I moved on from Dahshat Company. As I talked about last time, I’m going to use this season to focus on the Imperial Service Sectorial (ISS) for Yu Jing. Over the last month or so, I’ve been able to get in a few games to reacquaint myself with the strengths and challenges this unique army has to offer.

First up was a game of Panic Room against PanOceania’s Military Orders (MO). Last time I tried a mission with the biotechvore rules, I got smoked by Sean‘s Varuna Sectorial. The mission has a central objective room to score points in but also has a creeping encroachment of plague coming in from all sides of the board. Getting caught in that at the end of the round potentially damages units until the end of the game where they just auto die.

By forcing everyone into the center and making it the scoring primary mission objective, I tried to include units that would be good in close environments. The heavy shotgun Su Jian, the Hsien, and Adil should all work fine and the rest are either helping me get there or trying to hold off the enemy. ISS gets two haris link teams and one core so I have the main haris with the Hsien, CSU, and Zhanying and the “B” squad with Xi, the Pheasant, and Adil. Pheasant also is Chain of Command so she can step in if my Hsien falls.

I don’t have my opponent’s list but this is more or less correct. The main points here are the Crosier fireteam, Tikbalang TAG, big Knight of Holy Sepulchre, and a combat jumping Santiago. Lots of big heavies that are ripe for hacking but my army doesn’t really do a lot of hacking well.

Military Orders won the roll off and decided to activate first. I chose the side at the bottom of the setup image and deployed after seeing everything but the Tikbalang drop. I counter deployed my Su Jian, intending it to take down the Tikbalang if it decided to come out and bully the board. The only other thing I was concerned with was the Sepulchre Knight as it is a beefy unit that can eat through lieutenant orders while also playing an annoying shell game of throwing three models on the table but only one of which is the real unit.

Major Lunah got ARO duty, standing tall in camoflage on top of a building watching that main fire lane. The hope was to catch the Crosier team as they tried to move out. My main Haris was in the center, ready to rush the room and my “B” team was waiting in the wings in case things went sideways.

With everything setup, Military Orders started off by moving the Crosiers out to also contest that right fire lane. Lunah revealed and ended up killing the Spitfire Crosier right away. The Knight of the Holy Sepluchre (KOTHS) then came out and ended Lunah’s great opening, dropping her with his AP heavy machine gun.

The Tikbalang then came out to play and there were a few rounds of fire trading on the left side as he bullied that flank. No real damage to anything but the Su Jian was in a tight spot as it was stuck in the building. A few more orders were given to the rest of the MO team to develop the board and make sure no one would succumb to the encroaching biotech virus.

I knew the Tikbalang was going to be the big issue so I worked through several orders to get the Su Jian out of harms way and up the board. With the Su Jian unpinned, I next developed my main haris with the Hsien, the Zhanying Hacker, Corporate Security Unit. They were able to easily make it into the objective room and the Hsien started working on the Tikbalang. The results weren’t promising and I didn’t want to lose the room after all the effort of getting in there so I sent the Su Jian in work on the Tikbalang.

It took most of my orders but the Su Jian eventually dropped the Tikbalang with minimal damage. I forgot that the Su Jian also has a panzerfaust and should have launched one at the Order Sergeant but instead developed the “B” team haris more to help take the objective room or harass any MO stragglers. Lastly, I spread out in the objective room to help engage anyone trying to come in.

That Order Sergeant I should have shot earlier went in and took some pot shots at my Hsien. Through some lucky rolls and terrible luck on my side, the dropped my Hsien in two shots. The KTOHS then took down my Su Jian even through multiple hacking attempts on my side. With my two biggest weapons down, the KOTHS easily came in and wiped out everyone else in the room. To finish things off, the Knight of Santiago dropped in but luckily failed the roll and had to burn the rest of the turn getting to the room.

My “B” team now had a lot of ground to cover. The remaining Crosiers covered the fire lane between them and the room and the heavies inside were not going to go down easily. I made a go at it and was ably to weasel one guy through, catching and immobilizing the Knight of Santiago out of the action.

Ultimately, it didn’t matter. Unless I could kill the Knight of Santiago, it was still adding points to contest the room. The KOTHS marched over and immediately slaughtered Xi Zhuang. My options dwindled to nothing as I had nothing that could push back against the might of the Holy Sepulchre.

Military Orders Wins!! 7 – 2

Things weren’t starting off great for the Empire but I have a whole year ahead of me to figure this army out. The nice thing about getting this army rolling again is I can clear out some of the backlog that has been sitting around for years. I have a lot of ISS figures that almost made it into the painting queue before the move and the Dahshat diversion. Time to dust them off and get them ready for forced service!