Tuesday, December 17, 2013

If They Put It In The Book, It's Gotta Work, Right? Right?

Hey, folks. SinSynn here.

So despite the fact that I'm working every day 'cept Christmas this month, and I'm eight different kindsa beat up, I felt possessed to write something. Dunno why. I'm prolly gonna miss some sleep cuz of this, but whatevs. The Hamster is spinning.

So I thought I'd talk about a gaming conundrum I'm currently experiencing with Infinity, but I've gone through similar experiences with other games.

Anywho, what I'm trying to do is run a Shasvastii Sectorial List, and include a Sheskiin Link Team...using Gwailos.
It's, uh, not gone well so far.
I haven't quite thrown up my hands yet, but there have been moments of frustration. Not quite rage-inducing frustration, but we're getting there...
I'm one of those knuckleheads that'll see something in a game, and I'll be like 'ermahgerd, that's so cool. I gotta try it.'
I will completely disregard any amount of evidence presented to me demonstrating that this thing I've seen is a not-so-good idea. I will run out and buy whatever it is that I need to do this thing, and set about trying to take over the known universe with it.

*Hey, a Xenos hasta have a hobby, amirite? I'll get this done before Pinky and the Brain do...I hope*

So, naturally, Sheskiin and the Gwailos have a real 'cool factor' in my tiny mind, and not just cuz I can say 'Sheskiin and the Gwailos' the way you'd say 'Josie and the Pussycats.' Y'know- like it's a band name or sumpthin.'
Cuz yes- I get a lil' amused by stupidity like that.
Life is short, YOLO an' alla dat.

So not only does Sheskiin and the Gwailos sound cool (uh-oh...I sense a change to 'Sheskiin and da Gwailos' coming on...), but because this Infinity the models are amazing and alla dat good stuffs too.
Oh, and Sheskiin is amazing, model-wise, stats-wise...and her and the Gwailos are one of the few real options for running a Shasvastii Link Team at all.
I mean, sure...there are some other options, like the Caliban and Seed Soldier, but although Seed Soldiers have access to some excellent weaponry, they simply have too many checks in the 'cons' column for me as a unit.
And Caliban have only a single model so far, and not a lotta options regardless.
Overall, Gwailos win out for flexibility, with seven, count 'em- seven different configs to choose from when purchasing, from a bare-bones Boarding Shotgun Only, to an X-Visor/Heavy Rocket Launcher model, and a bunch of in-between options.
That's what's up...although I'm still waiting on the Heavy Rocket Launcher version, Corvus Belli.
Can we get that, please? The Shas are really lacking in 'beefy' models. Gwailos are Medium Infantry (we have no Heavies. None. Nada. Zero. Zippo. Zilch), and you can bet I'd put that Heavy Rocket Launcher to friggin' use, big-time.

*One of these guys, with a big-ass Heavy Rocket Launcher. Yes- do want*

So, yeah- I could potentially run 4 Gwailos with a variety of loadouts, and Sheskiin, in a Link.
Links provide specific bonuses for the troops involved, starting with a Link of 3, who benefit from an extra die when shooting (+1 to Burst).
The bonuses stack when you add troopies to the Link. 4 troopies gets the +1 to Burst, plus 6th Sense Level 2, plus a +3 modifier to Discovery Rolls. 5 Troopies lets you elect a Team Leader, and they'll get +3 to Burst when shooting, plus the entire team gets it during their Reaction Orders (naturally you'll swap the +1 for the +3, however).
Oh, and you can elect a new Team Leader with every Order.
I want those bonuses, and I want 'em on (A) someone with an awesome statline (Sheskiin), and (B) someone with a friggin' Heavy Rocket Launcher on their friggin' shoulder.
And so, the 'Sheskiin and da Gwailos' (yeah, I saw dat comin') concept was hatched.
Unfortunately, what should be a big ol' pile of pure awesome-y goodness...isn't, so much. In my mind, I was thinking TOTAL XENOS DEATH MACHINE. A wild, angry lil' group of aliens, rampaging about the battlefield, murkin' poor, pitiful humans left and right (stupid humans- you die now). Rockets spitting out of a whirlwind of pure, unadulterated Xenos spite.
Oh, man...I can feel it. The hate from across the tabletop. It's glorious.
Now if only I could make the friggin' thing work.

In all honesty, so far all my Sheskiin and da Gwailos Link Team has been successful in doing is dying a lot and having an amusing-sounding name.
Double -_-

*Y U No kill everything dat moves?*

There's all kindsa lil' difficulties in running a link. Since they all hafta be with in Command Radius of one another, maneuvering the 5 man link is a PITA. So I chopped it down to 3. This also saves points, making the Link a bit easier to slip into a list- at 5 men, a Link becomes the primary money-maker on your team. I wasn't particularly comfortable with that- y'know, all yer eggs in one basket kinda thing...but greed, man. Greed is a powerful motivator when you're building an army list.
The bennies...I want da bennies.
I want that +3 to Burst in Reaction, and I want someone to dare to show their face where my Gwailo with Heavy Rocket Launcher (official model coming soon from Corvus Belli) can see them...so I can kill dem.
Okay, so...clearly I'm not gonna get that from a 3 man Link, so I bumped it back up to 5 again, sucked up the cost with a 'this is gonna so totally be worth it' mentality, and tried it again...several dozen times.
Shush, youse- it's not me being stubborn...it's like, determination. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I've since had a bunch of those moments when yer wondering WHY they made an option available to yer army when FER THE LOVE OF ALL THAT'S HOLY this friggin' thing doesn't werk.
I stopped short of banging my skull against the game table repeatedly, shouting 'WHY?' with every concussion-inducing thump, but the urge is there. Infinity is an excellently balanced, well-designed game. The best I've yet encountered by a wide margin, in fact. Not fer nuthin,' but it took me a while to figure out how to run Charontid, my favorite Combined Army Heavy troop, without him getting railed in the face by turn number two, so while I'm a bit frustrated at the moment, I know once whatever-it-is-this-time clicks in my head, I'll be a very happy camper indeed.

In every game of worthwhile depth, there are mechanics that separate the Elite from the Casual. This is one of them. My first mistake was trying to run the Link like a Death Star in 40k.
Har-har, SinSynn, good luck with that one. There are no Death Stars in Infinity, and anyone you expose to multiple angles of fire is going to receive multiple bullets in the face. Bet on it.
Then I tried to get all incognito with it, but what good is a Link Team when they're hiding?
No, the answer is...well, it's out there somewhere, and I just gotta work on it. Games of worthwhile depth reward perseverance and stick-to-it-eveness, so I have faith that it'll happen. I just gotta get those practice games in. Work on my tactics. How do I wanna deploy the team? What's my opening gambit? What are the optimal configs for each member of the team?
The only way to find these things out is to experiment, and to not give up, so...
Back to the drawing board...

My latest head-scratcher is this: Since I'm running the 5 man Link, I've got no choice but to build the rest of the army around Sheskiin and da Gwailos. What units will offer the support I need to get my Link Team through the game, alive and in one piece, after inflicting maximum carnage upon the enemy?

*Like this, but with moar red*

Sadly, there are no easy answers when it comes to tactics. There's always a thousand approaches to any scenario, a thousand solutions to every tactical equation, and there's not one particular answer to any of them. My particular problem is that I'm annoyed by enemy troops that aren't dead, dead, dead, so I've gotta come up with creative ways of killing them (I'm fond of the moar painful methods myself).

My pops would prolly be quite amused by my aggravation. He was a thoughtful, patient man, and if he saw me banging my head against a game table, he would likely give me a look, and lift an eyebrow and spout some thoughtful, patient kinda cliche.
I suppose it's true that nothing worth anything ever comes easy and all that jazz, and I also suppose that it's pretty darn funny that I would expend so much time and effort attempting to make something work, but, gosh darnit, I will not be able to sleep at night if my buddy Nascar turns out to be right about this whole thing.
We can't have that, no sir.

Like I'd take advise from a friggin' Haqqislam player anyhow. Their solution to issues in-game is to throw a ridiculous amount of dudes at it, like Ariadna. We're talking about cats that get confused when you tell 'em a unit costs more than 20 points.
Nah. I'll work it out. That's what The Hamster That Lives In My Head is for, after all.

Gotta hit the hay. Day number...whatever, tomorrow.
Hope everyone is well- I'll see you all back at The HoP soon I hope!

Until next time, folks- Exit with catchphrase!

- SinSynn

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