Impressions from the Interplanetary 2015: Games
Like last year, this year I had the pleasure to attend the Interplanetary tournament in Vigo, Spain. Due to the amount of information I decided to split my relation from the event into 2 articles. You are now reading the one devoted to the games I had and my recollection of how the technical side of the event was run.
Let me start by saying that point that was the most complained about last year, the tables, was certainly a major improvement. All the tables I played on were up to any Infinity standard and had varying degrees of terrain density. Only two of them I felt that could have been changed as they had no big LOF-blocking buildings in the middle of the board, which meant that due to the amount of AROs present, whoever blinked first usually got blown up by the opposing player’s Link Team.
The venue for the event also moved from a sports hall in the southern part of the city to the Estacion Maritima in the port, very close to the old town, which made lunch a lot easier to do. The temperature was very accommodating as well as that was my last worry after playing in the sauna-like venue of the year before.
This year, the tournament consisted of 5 missions: Highly Classified, Supremacy, Nimbus Zone, Annihilation and Transmission Matrix. All of these missions are solid, and discounting bad luck on drawing of the Classified Objectives in Highly Classified should provide for both good fun and valid results.
All my opponents were Spaniards and I had no problems in communicating – but then again, I know Spanish. Friends who participated in the event reported no communication problems either. All the scare talk of it being impossible to communicate in English while on Spanish soil seems to be grossly exaggerated.
I placed 30 out of 98 players. Out of 50 possible Objective Points, I scored 32, with another 3 points within easy reach that I failed to score. Those 3 points would have meant me moving up by 15 spots in the general classification – the top was very crowded.
I had two lists prepared. Well, more like two variations of the same list. The list with 2 Fidays was played in missions where the classifieds were not that important, i.e they only scored 1 point each. At least, that was the idea, to which I stuck loosely, all things considered. Sometimes having a second Fiday in a good spot is worth more than having a Farzan in a good ready to score. In missions such as Highly Classified or Annihilation, I played the list with only one Fiday because instead I also fielded the Farzan. All in all, the lack of a Smoke LGL Muyib had proven problematic. I would change the lists if I were to play them again, adding the aforementioned Muyib. Moreover, a Barid hacker would have proven very useful in Transmission Matrix. I only had two Infiltrating Daylami this year, compared to last years four, chiefly because I couldn’t find the points for more of them. However, I also had 5 points backfield Daylami with shotguns guarding my back, along with some cheap Ghazi doubling down on that duty. All in all, the list worked out quite decently. During the course of the game, you would replace casualties from the primary Combat Group with fresh orders from the second Group, so that you had the maximum amount of orders possible. Although the list had 20 orders, I managed to finish all my games ahead of the round time of 105 minutes.
There was a lot to do on the first day of the event, even before the tournament itself started. You could participate in book signing, speed painting contest, painting workshops and RPG demos by Modiphus’ Chris Birch, plus there was the seminar and an obligatory closing for socializing during lunch. All in all, between the official events at the venue and the later, unofficial part of socializing done individually, you would certainly have an ample amount of side-events. In fact, enough to attract non-playing spectators from places such as Poland or Hawai’i.
First game of the event was me playing versus Dexter Schiller, rhe champion of US ITS 2014. It was a friendly game, as we wanted to play each other and weren’t sure whether we’d be able to in the tournament itself. We only had a limited amount of time to do the game – 45 minutes – as both of us wanted to participate in other activities, so we really had to do some speed gaming. The table itself was chosen by me – I wanted to play on that beautiful Bourak table that I missed last year. Unfortunately, in the end, it was one of the tables that I didn’t like as it had too open fire lanes. Not all the great looking tables are very playable, it seems.
It was a nice chance to test my list in practice and play against USAriadna, too. Dexter is a magnificent opponent to play against, and even within the short time we had, we managed to have a lot of fun. I managed to harass his Link Teams a little with my 2 Fidays and he managed to steam-roll my Link with his Marine Dogwarrior. We didn’t count the points, but he won. Score 1 for team USA.
Mission 1 of the actual tournament on the next day was Highly Classified. I played versus a Morat Aggression Force list with a Raicho, led by Kelthet, a Spaniard whom I know from playing Titanfall together. We managed to get HVT:Inoculation, HVT:Designation, HVT: Retroengineering and Test Run as our Classifieds. On top of that, I got HVT: Whatever-the-name-of-the-hacking-mission-is. Hoo boy. I decided to play 2 Fidays, even though versus an alien army they wouldn’t be as effective as they could.
Apart from murdering two Zerat hackers, neither of the Fiday did much more. I didn’t take down the Raicho and even had problems with killing a lone Yaogat Sniper that my Fiday forced to deploy out of position. I don’t like to say that luck dictated the result of the game, but that was the case here. After failing 3 times to WIP the enemy HVT for the Classifieds, I lost my underperforming Husam in a firefight during the enemy’s turn. I had a hope of drawing the game until the opponent’s last turn but after I failed multiple AROs to kill his last remaining Specialist en route to my HVT, the opponent finally managed to gain the upper hand. I lost the game, but I didn’t mind, as part of the Submarinero strategy is to get a modest amount of points in the first few rounds to avoid playing the big fish.
Second game was on an interesting table – the outdoors one that we nicknamed “Endor“. We played Supremacy. While it could definitely use some more elevated positions, I found that the table had enough LOF-blockers in the form of tree trunks to make for a good game of hide and seek. Definitely something refreshing and different from playing on the Urban tables. My opponent this round was a newbie Steel Phalanx player that was observing the games last year and has gathered enough experience to play in the tournament this year.
The opponent brought 12 orders and Ajax, Achilles and Pheonix between them. The game quickly became one-sided (or so I thought) when I managed to ARO-kill Pheonix’s Linkmates with a Missile Launcher (I had a choice of shooting at a Myrmidon unopposed or trying a F2F with Phoenix. I chose the former option) and continued to crit Pheonix himself with my Husam VSR in a later ARO. I assumed that Achilles, brought down to 1 wound only by my Lasiq Sniper and Panzerfaust Ghilim would eventually go down to some ARO. I was wrong. He managed to survive my active turn and murdered my order pool in his next turn. After I managed to put him into unconscious, he was eventually picked up by a paramedic and carried on to survive the game. There were some situations that put a smile on my face, such as the one pictured below – exploiting the mistakes of your opponent is a very important part of playing Infinity. I managed to control the table quarters each round, but I hadn’t achieved any of the Classified Objectives. In the end, I won the game with 7 points.
Third game was Nimbus Zone, versus Semy’s Tohaa of 14 orders. His list was ARO-strong, as he had 2 HMG Chaksa and a Gao-rael sniper in a Triad. I managed to crit his Spitfire Gao-rael on his first order, which put a serious wrench in his plans. I managed to take the 2 right-hand side antennae with my Rafiq remote, chiefly thanks to its 6-4 move. Unfortunately, I had to leave the 2 left-hand side consoles to my opponent, due to the amount of AROs present there. Semy later disconnected the 2 antennae, which took my 3 points away. In the end, after a bloody battle, we tied 2:2. His Neema survived the whole game and was probably the MVP, having staunchly defended the midfield and prevented me from capturing two of the consoles.
Last game of the day was Annihilation. It was really tiresome to play 4 games on the same day and both me and my opponent, Txarly from the Canary Islands, made some silly mistakes that we probably would have avoided if not for the fact that we were already worn out by previous games. He played a Tohaa list with around 12 orders that had a strong midfield presence in the form of a Neema/Makaul Triad and Armand Le Muet. The table itself was decent, although it seemed empty at a first glance, it turned out that the cross-shaped structure succesfully obstructed LOF. Not much can be aid about the game itself. I only lost about 70 points so I managed to score max points in this mission thanks to my Baggage bots. I managed to first isolate Neema with my Ghazi and then kill her with my Missile Launcher that fired from within a link.
After the fourth game the cosplay contest and the seminar took place. More on that in my upcoming, second article.
Last game was played on the second day. I played against a very nice Spaniard running Corregidor with an Iguana and a Jaguar link. The table was the worst of all the ones I have played on being flat on all sides, which meant that my better link would dominate the battlefield. The enemy Iguana was afraid to move much, as the mission played was Transmission Matrix and I could have hacked it easily. As I had the initiative I decided to diminish the order pool of my opponent. Unfortunately, my Ragik failed his PH roll. Unfazed by that, I moved him, spending some orders from the bigger pool, to shoot at the Iguana. One ARO crit later, my Ragik went into Dogged. Two more orders later, the final outcome of the fire-fight were 2 Crits on the Ragik and 1 Wound on the Iguana. Oh, well. I moved around to capture both of my home antennae and the centerfield one. In the opponent’s turn I eventually managed to destroy the Iguana with massed ARO fire, but lost both my Sniper and Husam VSR in the process. The Missile Launcher was already dead at that point. Interestingly enough, it turned out I didn’t capture one of my home antennae, but neither did the opponent – the table was too open to move around safely. My Lasiq managed to ARO-crit the opponent’s Intruder which meant that I punched out most of my enemy’s teeth. In my active turn the Lasiq went on a rampage killing all the Jaguars in the Link and thinning the opponent’s order pool. Having done that, the game was only about maximizing points to squeeze all I could from my Submarinero attempt.
All in all, I had 5 very enjoyable games with 5 Spanish opponents. They all played with lists of 11-14 orders, and were surprised to see my spammy 20 order list. The other Poles who participated in the event finished 1, 2 and 4, which are very impressive places. It seems I dragged the national average down a little bit. Next year I’ll try to do better. The event was very enjoyable and I hope next year we will see even more players – the rumours put the registration limit at 115 players, which would again make it the biggest Infinity event in the world. I hope to attend next year and You should be there as well!