Starting NCA: The End?

I’m going to start with some sad news. Since my last article, I have played a grand total of two games. That’s it, just I wish I got to play more often.

I went ahead and played the same list in the last two games, figuring I’ll get extra time with it for this article. The first game was a narrow-ish (I’ll elaborate below) defeat, the second was a resounding victory – my first 10-0 in quite some time.

This list was meant to let me play with the Uhlan some, which is one of the reasons I wanted to use it twice, I didn’t keep the Uhlan around as long as I wanted to in the first game.

I’ll start with the list:
──────────────────────────────────────────────────

GROUP 1 10
UHLAN HMG, Feuerbach / . (2 | 99)
CRABBOT Flash Pulse / Knife. ()
FUSILIER Missile Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 15)
FUSILIER Paramedic (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
FUSILIER (Forward Observer, Deployable Repeater) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
FUSILIER Lieutenant Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10)
AUXILIA (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle + AUXBOT_1 / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 15)
AUXBOT_1 Heavy Flamethrower / Electric Pulse. (- | 4)
HEXA Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0 | 27)
AUXILIA (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle + AUXBOT_1 / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 15)
AUXBOT_1 Heavy Flamethrower / Electric Pulse. (- | 4)
BLACK FRIAR (Albedo, Biometric Visor L1) MULTI Rifle, Nanopulser, Drop Bears / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 28)

GROUP 2 2
HEXA MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (1.5 | 32)
SIERRA DRONBOT HMG / Electric Pulse. (1 | 25)

6 SWC | 300 Points

Open in Infinity Army

The first game was Decapitation, and my opponent was playing Shock Army of Acontecimento. He brought a Dragao, so, naturally, the game opened with hot TAG-on-TAG action. It was an exciting back and forth too, with the Dragao going Unconscious and then being brought back up, and going Unconscious again in the same order that it finally took out my Uhlan with its Heavy Flamethrower. All the way to Dead. That’s how many armor rolls I failed. It’s been over a month so details beyond that are actually getting a little fuzzy to me. I kept trying to kill his Machinist and failing, and it kept bringing his Dragao back. It felt like I was slipping downhill after the Uhlan was destroyed, but when we counted points in the end it was surprisingly close. I want to say 4-5. I had both classifieds, he had one, and had succeeded at one of the actual objectives, IIRC. And then an onlooker asked “Are you Securing the HVT?” and suddenly I was losing 4-7, less close. We were playing the old version of the mission because I happened to have the Wotan packet with me, and I am paying more attention to my HVT this season, but last season I would pretty frequently not really pay that much attention beyond trying to keep specialists away and would be caught by surprise that my opponent had managed Secure the HVT. I was just starting to recognize it as a problem when this Season dropped so I’m glad it’s designed to make me play better.

My second game with this list was The Grid, and my opponent brought Steel Phalanx. He won initiative and had planned on opening with Teucer to take out some of my ARO threats before moving up his Enomotarchos, but I had presented too many AROs for him to be comfortable with the risk. Instead, he moved the Enomotarchos up. My first response was a shot from my Sniper, coming out of Hidden Deployment. In retrospect, I maybe should have waited so I could get a shot unopposed, but at the time I didn’t know where he was heading exactly. It worked out wonderfully, though, he proceeded to spend 6 orders and lose an Ekdromoi trying to dislodge the Hexa. Well worth it in my book. Probably thanks in part to sucking up all those orders, his Enomotarchos was left over extended and fairly open. I was able to run an Auxilia & Auxbot up to hit two of them with the Flamethrower, and cripple the Fireteam. My opponent had a lot tied up in that team, and that was really a game changer. I’m a little unsure what happened next, but the game details aren’t the important part for this. The actual objectives interacted with were close, but I felt like I had good control of the game most of the time, and it wasn’t a challenge to Designate an Destroy more of them for me. I had also managed to whittle down his forces to the point that he was no longer capable of scoring more by the end.

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Now, for how I feel about this list. I was really having fun using Bolts, and I would enjoy to use them more and probably will, but this list is not only fun, but it works for me. And that was my goal, to get to a point where I know how to make the sectorial work for me. The Auxilia finally clicked now, and that’s big. I’m also starting to think about how I present AROs to my opponent differently and that in conjunction with the strength of Hidden Deployment has really maximized my enjoyment and utility of the Hexa MULTI Sniper. Having your threat vectors hidden from your opponent is so powerful, even a canny opponent who can predict what’s missing will have a harder time predicting where it is and an even harder time predicting when you’ll use it.

The Uhlan is, of course, the cornerstone of this list. And I love it. The durability, the mobility, Camo, great weapon combo, it has everything. I think I would actually rather have the HMG + Feuerbach combo than a MULTI HMG. Would a Flamethrower be nice? Sure, but I’m only using EXP in ARO anyway and the Feuerbach has a better long range. As I mentioned my first run ended a little early, but it was fun. The second time the Uhlan was scary enough to keep my opponent at bay, and when shots were actually fired it delivered. It’s mobility and the Feuerbach are how I destroyed nearly all the objectives I had Designated. I was a little worried that the list wasn’t optimized for the mission, but it certainly got the job done. The Camo state is, of course, a fantastic defensive tool for a TAG as well by negating a lot of the indirect ways you can engage with them, namely Hacking. I also had the Hexa Killer Hacker deployed near it so I could have a KHD handy to take care of any Hacking attempts, but that hasn’t actually come up yet. I never even took it out of Hidden Deployment in the second game. That was certainly a mistake, but it didn’t make a difference. That is one thing that nags me about this project not being complete, though. Having the KHD out there to protect the TAG is sound in theory, but I haven’t actually done it yet. I’ll return to nagging things after a brief interlude.

96d-uhlan-dossier-2015-gris

I think the weak link for me right now is the Black Friar. The model is cool, Albedo is cool, Biometric Visor would be cool if I weren’t the only one regularly running Impersonators in the area, but it just sits there in every game. Sometimes the Albedo is enough of a threat that my opponent prioritizes killing it, and that’s alright, those are orders they aren’t doing the mission with, but it’s slow and I’m always running the MULTI Rifle. Maybe I’d prefer the Sniper, but I don’t generally have the SWC left for it and the Rifle is theoretically more flexible and Drop Bears are great, but it’s just never the model I want to spend points on. It’s primarily there so I have a source of MSV. I don’t know where I want to go with that. Should I switch to a Deva? Not worry about MSV? Leave it alone? I also don’t know if the fact that I haven’t been spending orders on it is purely situational, or if I’m missing something I could/should be doing.

While I’ve hit the primary goal of start a new sectorial and get to a point where I think I know what I’m doing, there are a few things that are still nagging me. I mentioned that Hexa KHD. The Spitfire, I think, also has a lot of potential and I haven’t done much with it. There are a few things I’ve only played one game with that I just know could be amazing, namely the various incarnations of the Swiss Guard, and maybe that’s good enough, but I don’t have the success story with them yet like I do with the models I described earlier. I have not picked up more Dronbots, so I haven’t played with max Fugazi AVA. I haven’t picked up a Bulleteer or a Peacemaker. I haven’t used a Peacemaker to put Supportware on a Garuda I walk in on the far side. There are just a lot of things that have occurred to me to try, but I need to decide where to draw the line at some point. The biggest thing, though, and the reason I will come back to this even if I’m tying it up for now, is the Aquila Guard. I’ve ran the MULTI Rifle several times. I have since used a number of units that are fantastic and I had a ton of fun playing with, and might be just better than the Aquila. MSV3 is a little niche, I can’t deny that. But the Aquila Guard HMG was the first thing that made me think about doing this. The model is great. The killing potential is certainly there. I do play against a lot of ODD and Camo. And theres the name, it always tugs at my Classicist heart strings.

I think it’s time, though, that I call this project completed, and return home to Haqqislam. The tiny metal soldiers of NeoTerra will once again grace MDF rooftops and neoprene roads, though, whenever I grow bored again because I’m flighty like that, and when they do, the Aquila Guard will be there.

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