Starting NCA: First Impressions

I got my first game in with NCA. Sort of.

Sort of because what I actually did was deployment exercises with one of our USARF players. We rolled for initiative normally, deployed, played through the first round, then switched armies and repeated. I think looking at my list from both sides was a good exercise and I’d be interested in trying it again, but it also was a little awkward to try to act like there would be more rounds, and USARF had first turn both times. Next time we’ll trade first turn.

IMG_5799.jpg

The one photo I remembered to take. My Hexa MULTI Sniper’s view to the starting point of the Maverick she revealed and shot at in response to the Maverick’s Impetuous activation. I rolled a 20. That became a theme for both of my Hexas. Woo!

Having not played any mission to completion, I don’t feel like I have a complete feel for anything, but I have some impressions.

The first thought that came to me with the conclusion of the exercise, was that I was set up to lean heavily on three models – Swiss Guard Assault Hacker, Aquila Guard Multi Rifle Lieutenant, and Hexa Spitfire – but I didn’t provide enough orders to power them. All three were in my first combat group, which was 10 orders, and I had two orders in the second group. When I was running my own forces, in the face of fairly extreme odds, Van Zant put down the Aquila, and a Pathfinder before running out of orders while Dogged. An infiltrating flamethrower grunt knocked out both the Hexa Spitfire and the Fusilier Missile Launcher with one template. (This is going to be a later point as well.) A Combi Fusilier was targeted, and taken out by the Katyusha. Going in to my first turn with only four orders in the group, plus the still hidden Swiss Guard’s order, was very painful. I opted to convert three orders to regulars, and use the Paramedic’s irregular to try to medikit the Aquila up, and succeeded! But then he died again in his first exchange on the next order. I now didn’t have enough orders to do anything useful. I attempted to maneouvre the Swiss Guard to shoot a Foxtrot in the back, but fell short by an inch. My opponent’s first turn really pulled the rug out of under me, I never had a chance to build up any sort of momentum. It was a great opening on his part, but I think I could have weakened the blow on my part before I even got to the table if I had put more orders into the list.

Part of the reason I was so low on orders was that I wanted to include all the shiny new toys. The one I was really forcing in there is the Aquila, and that’s just because I like it a lot thematically.  I find it a little hard to justify when I could be putting in the Deva Spitfire and still getting effective camo hunting at a lower cost, though. This is a new challenge for me, as the limited access to high-tech toys in Haqqislam means I haven’t generally needed to choose between them. I’ll need to learn how to decide when a particular piece of equipment is going to be valuable when I’m making my lists. I like the Aquila enough that I’ll still try to put it in there often, but I might leave the Swiss Guard out in that case.

The Aquila poses another challenge for me. If I’m running the MULTI Rifle I want to be able to use the Lieutenant Order on it, but without Chain of Command I’m inviting, if not guaranteeing, Loss of Lieutenant at some point. In Haqqislam, in addition to having Chain of Command unless it’s QK, I tend to think about a lot of my troops, with a high order count and a lot of redundancy, as fairly disposable. With the lower order count I was working with, and the heavy reliance on a few of my models, I needed to be a lot more careful and calculated than I’m used to being. This will be beneficial across all factions, I’m sure.

Related to being more careful, I should Dodge more. When, for example, being hit by a template I will frequently shoot anyway just because I’m willing to risk the Armor roll to remove my opponent’s model. With a need to preserve what I have, I think Dodging is something I should consider more, especially with TO Camo, since choosing not to Dodge is immediately writing that off. That’s not something I’ve had to deal with before since the drop from Camo to Mimetism isn’t quite as painful. Additionally, to support that, I should try to maintain Line of Fire overlooking my other troops. That is, of course, a good idea anyway, but it feels more important if I’m planning on Dodging more.

280270-0487-maqueta1

I’m now thinking about what I want to try next.

I might feel more comfortable if I can construct a list that feels more similar to something I’d use in Haqqislam and just incorporate a few of the new toys I’m excited about at a time. The Bolts toolbox might feel a bit like the Muyib toolbox. My next game I’ll try out a core of Bolts and see how I like them. It seems like people generally love them or hate them. I hope I’m in the former group, as I now have six.

The trouble with that is I’m still at a relatively low order count. This is partially just because I am trying to stick to mostly models I own and I only have one box of Dronbots at the moment. I’ll need to pick up another one and add in Fugazis. I have, however, ran plenty of 10-12 order Hassassin lists so I think it will still be a valid experiment.

An ORC Haris is also something I’m now looking at trying, as I like Haris teams in general, but that will wait for another time. The next thing in my assembly queue is some more Bolts to fill out that Core link. After that I may pick up the new repacked ORC blister to get the full Haris and give it a try. In Hassassins I really enjoy the Asawira Haris with two Muyibs. A full ORC Haris will be much more expensive, for a much worse Haris option (that Spitfire Haris Asawira is just solid gold. Having to take a Boarding Shotgun for pretty much all the other ones always hurts after being used to the Spitfire) but has many more wounds and could be a pretty effective way to deliver a specialist through heavy resistance. I certainly wouldn’t scoff at a burst 5 HMG at BS 14.

Advertisements

Starting NCA: Expectations

I have mentioned Infinity in previous postings on this blog. My next several updates will be about Infinity. There are a lot of guides to starting new sectorials and to starting specific sectorials, and I won’t assume I know the answers to everything and provide that, instead I will be documenting my experiences delving into a new sectorial. I have not started yet, so this first article is about my expectations.

Starting in the next few weeks I will commit to playing the NeoTerran Capitaline Army at least until I’ve found my groove with them and feel like I understand the sectorial. It has been nearly two years since I last played PanOceania. I have only ever played Vanilla PanO before. I have decided after spending time on all the flavors of Haqqislam, to take a vacation to the lovely vistas and villas of NeoTerra.

As I’ve never played NCA and I’ve only played against NCA once, I don’t really know what I’m getting into. I do have expectations, though.

First, things I expect to enjoy about playing NCA, outside the table:

  1. I like the sectorial thematically as a Classicist.
  2. I like the Latin names, and especially the Aquila for ties to Rome.
  3. The NeoVatican relations are also fun.

These are the things I expect to enjoy on the table:

  1. TO Camo. Haqqislam only has one TO model in the Tuareg, and as I play more Sectorials than Vanilla, I’ve used the Tuareg… twice? I’m expecting to have a lot of fun with Hexas and Swiss Guard.
  2. MSV3. I’ve been running a lot of Djanbazan cores lately because I run in to a lot of camo/ODD in my meta. Auto discovering and ignoring surprise shot from all those camo tokens is going to be beautiful.
  3. MULTI weapons. Haqqislam has very limited access to MULTI Snipers, and no MULTI Rifles or HMGs. I do love my Shock Ammo, but I am going to enjoy shooting DA again.

Clausewitz-Uhlans-und-Acontecimento-Tikbalangs--2

While I am really looking forward to that sweet, sweet tech, there are things I know I’ll miss about Haqqislam, and I may find myself wishing I had them or needing to find an alternative method to solve the problems I’ve used them to solve.

I expect I will miss:

  1.  Viral Ammunition. It’s so good.
  2. Shotguns on everything.
  3. Shock Marksman Rifles.
  4. Smoke. NCA doesn’t even have PanO’s single access to Eclipse smoke (the Guarda de Assaulto) so no smoke tricks, and no cover for movement.

I expect the specific things I’ll miss, as well as just some of the differences in what Haqqislam is good at vs what PanO is good at, will give me some difficulties. Especially losing my Haqqislam crutches because not all of them translate directly to something NCA can give me. The most glaring crutch I don’t see a replacement for is Warbands. I love my Warbands. I lean very heavily on Muttawi’ahs and Yuan Yuans in Haqqislam. I’ll still have the DTWs from Auxbots, but those are not Warbands. Without anything to just unleash and cause general chaos more pressure will be put on my main forces to keep the pressure on my opponent. I think I’ll need to improve my ARO game overall and think harder about my deployment.

 

I said that I want to stick with NCA at least until I’ve found my groove. Everyone has their own play style, but I think that style can be different and sometimes needs to be different from faction to faction in Infinity since the sectorials can be so different from each other. I feel like NCA is well suited to both a very heavy assault approach and to a more delicate approach of powering a few TO units. I expect going in guns blazing will be fun and novel for me, but I’ll tend more to being sneakier and running multiple Hexas with a defensive Fusilier link and inexpensive remotes to power them. I am drawn to those expensive power pieces like the Aquila Guard and the Swiss Guard so I will probably split the difference and build my list around one powerhouse and then Hexas to push buttons and move around the table more freely, and then Fusiliers. I’ll have to give a Bolts Core a try at some point, but I suspect they’ll be more mission specific for me. I’ll probably always have an Albedo Black Friar.

I mentioned several specific units just now, and I’m excited to use all of those, along with a few others. The things I want to make sure I try and am excited to put on the table are:

  1. Aquila Guard
  2. Swiss Guard
  3. Black Friar
  4.  Hexa
  5.  Uhlan
  6.  CSU
  7.  Auxilia

BlackFriar-Multirifle2

So those are my expectations. I think this is going to be a fun experience for me, and I hope it’s useful and/or interesting to others to be able to read about my experiences delving into this new sectorial. I received a lot of positive commentary about my analysis videos during Wotan, so I intend to bring those back as part of this series.

My closing question for this post is: What would you like me to reflect on during this process?