Last night was a bit of a farce for several reasons, but it can serve as a good reminder why a good deployment is so important in Infinity. Unfortunately, I forgot to take any photos to illustrate the situation, but this post will deal more with concepts than specific scenarios.
What happened exactly last night you may ask? Me and Rich set up for a game at the club (his Yu Jing vs my Morat Aggression Force), but neither of us had thought to confirm the point-size with the other. This left us with a game where we both had 10 models, but I was fielding 300 points, and Rich was fielding 200 points. Oops! Sounds like a bit of a landslide game? Oh it was… but not the way you would imagine. For reference, we were playing Infinity 2.5 using all of the 3rd edition rules that were made public as of 7/10/14.
Rich had first turn, and had deployed with everything out of sight bar one prone camo marker on a high up vantage point. He then mentioned that I got no holdbacks, and that he had 2. Going second, I had deployed a little conservatively, but still keeping my heavy hitters with an eye on some important firelanes as well as a HRL weilding Suryat in a 3-man link watching the camo marker. I had models positioned to face likely points of AD in my back field. He then deployed Sun Tze and rolled for Infiltration using the maximum modifiers and passed.
What followed was an Oniwaban uncloaking and walking around a corner into b2b with my Raktorak link leader (facing backwards to watch for AD)going for a CC roll as it was marginally higher than my dodge, Rich went for the MA4 bonus of adding +1 burst to his monofilament blade. Crit! No more link leader… I took this opportunity to turn the HMG Suryat to face this threat. The Oniwaban then moved into b2b with this model, and upon weighing up my options and modifiers realised that CC was better than shooting with the pistol due to the Oniwaban’s TO Camoflage. Rich went for the additional burst again, and after failing a save, I removed the Suryat from the table. From here the Oniwaban continued his spree and also killed a Kurgat (watching the backfield) and Anyat who was facing forwards.
In the space of 6 consecutive orders on one model, Rich had taken me to 41% losses. With the remaining orders, Sun Tze was able to put 2 wounds into the HRL Suryat (who did not benefit from cover from that particular angle of attack). From here it didn’t last much longer and I managed to inflict 1 wound on Sun Tze and kill a single Kuang Shi to account for the loss of the rest of my force.
The leading cause to my downfall was my deployment (and some poor dice rolls, but those are out of my control).
- While I did have troops facing every which way to cover AD drop zones, I didn’t have a very layered defense with troops being able to cover each other.
This was mostly the work of one ninja, but the same applies to any deployment zone defense, especially against impersonators. It relies on accepting the likely loss of one troop, leaving the offending impersonator/infiltrating CC specialist revealed and in the open. With a properly layered defense, this would make the impersonator/CC specialist highly vulnerable when spending further orders on them.
- While I did have redundancy of troops that could easily deal with TO modifiers, with a staggered deployment (deal with 1 yaogat or daturazi there was another nearby to deal with as well), they were all covering the same flank with a large piece of LoF blocking scenery stopping them from witnessing the slaughter going on on the other flank.
This created a natural funnel for my opponent that left my expensive HI link team unprotected and an obvious target. A good deployment will have the weaknesses of one troop shored up by the strengths of a different troop nearby to back them up, and vice versa.
- I had also spread my forces across the whole width of the board. If I had bunkered up a bit more (not even necessarily even going for a denied flank deployment, but just bunched up a bit more in general), I would have been unlikely to face the same devastating losses.
This point merely enforces points one and two by the virtue of having your models closer together will, more often than not, produce the effects of a layered defence with troop weaknesses being covered by nearby troop strength.
That is not to say that a completely bunkered “turtle” deployment is a safe bet – deploying purely this way can limit the lines of fire that you are able to cover and a fast opponent will be able to advance and trap you in your deployment zone. Being able to set up two smaller bunkers that have an overlapping crossfire between them, allowing one to cover the other is a valuable deployment, but not always possible given the terrain set up. The availability (or lack thereof) of terrain to allow the ideal deployment should be a careful factor in choosing deployment or initiative.