My gaming group have been warming up for the upcoming Infinity National Team Challenge being held in Exeter. In fact we have managed to put together two teams of three gamers! The selected missions include Nimbus Zone, one of the odder and stranger missions in the ITS pack and as such we have all started practicing it.

the fog preacher

Watch out for the fog! Sorry, I mean Nimbus…

Mission Overview

The give a quick overview of the mission, there are 4 antenna which emit the Nimbus Zone, which covers 8” either side of the central line along the table’s width. In addition there are three antenna along the central line of the table. The aim of the mission is to discount more antenna than your opponent, extract data from each consoles (which can not be done until the 2nd game round), and end the game controlling more consoles (by having more specialist in base contact with a console) as well as two of the usual classified objective. The mission also has an exclusion zone which restricts infiltration, aerial deployment etc.

The defining factor of this mission is of course the Nimbus Zone itself, which is an area of low viability and saturation. This makes all skills that require LoS suffer a -3 (such as shooting, discovering etc), as well as reduce the burst of weapons by 1.

 

Nimbus and Shooting, the odds!

For those interested in an odds in practice, here is an example of an Alguacile shooting another Alguacile. Imagine the Alguacile are within 16” of each other, in cover and both elect to shoot. In these conditions there is ~47% chance that the attacking Alguacile will shot and wound its rival. As soon as you factor in the Nimbus Zone the odds of causing damage drop to only ~30%, which gets worse if the targeted Alguacile decides to doge instead of shoot, as the odds drop to ~27% of inflicting damage! All stats are taken from http://inf-dice.ghostlords.com/n3/.

Thoughts on the Nimbus Zone Mission

  • Shooting in the Nimbus Zone is tough, but any negative modifier to hit soon adds up to make shooting even harder. I try to use models with some types of camouflage and use suppressive fire where possible. Even more so than usual I try to take models with some form of MSV, to try and counter my opponent capitalizing on this.
  • Within the Nimbus Zone selecting dodge as your ARO may be preferable to shooting, so worth considering more than usual.
  • Combat is unaffected by the Nimbus zone, so it can be more worthwhile than usual.
  • Splitting burst can be useful to reduce the impact of the Nimbus Zone, especially for burst 2 weapons. This is because the burst is first split and then reduced by 1 for the saturation zone.
  • Although defensive ARO-ing models (such as snipers) are less threatening (as they don’t hit as easily) they are harder for your opponent to remove (as the odds of nothing happening from a firefight are higher than usual). Personally I find this makes ARO-ing units more useful as they often can’t be ignored, which forces your opponent to potentially waste orders dealing with the ARO model.
  • The Nimbus Zone does not cover your deployment zone, so you can still do some good old fashion “rambo-ing” with Aerial deployment troops or those with superior infiltration. The exclusion zone does however restrict standard infultration, so these units are harder/riskier to use offensively.
  • Anti-material weapons can be very handy, as they give you the option of destroying antenna, denying them to your opponent. However it’s worth noting that the antenna are resilient with an armor value of 4 and 2 structure points (so require three wounds to be destroyed), plus being in the Nimbus zone this option can be hard to achieve.  I have seen combat units (with explosive CCW or DA weapons) work better than shooting units, but it’s very army specific.
  • Engineers and hackers are of course useful, as both have a bonus to WIP rolls within this mission.

The Plan

Like many ITS missions, I think the focus of your depends if you go first or second. below are my general thoughts and plans, but of course this is very theoretical as terrain load out and army list changes my tactics massively. Still I like to go into the game with some sort of plan in mind!

A-Plan

Going first

If going first I’d try to concentrate on disconnecting the antenna, ideally disconnecting the two nearest antenna and destroying/disconnecting a third antenna. This would bag you 3pts on the first turn, which the opponent could not contest latter in the game. In my second turn I try to focus on getting the data from the consoles. In the third turn I’d try and get any remaining data from the consoles and then protect my specialist that are trying to capture the consoles as best as possible, setting down mines and/or suppressive fire. As there is a lot to get done I would probably not go out of my way to attack my opponent, any more than required to get the objectives done (i.e. I would not spend a turn “rambo-ing” models).

Going second

If going second I try and set up good ARO threats to make it hard for my opponent to disconnect the antenna. In my first turn I’d consider if it’s order efficient to go after the antenna (if they have not already been bagged by my opponent). If its is not order efficient, I’d just try and damage my opponent’s army and get into a good position for turn 2. In the second and third turn I’d go after the data in the consoles and try to control them by the end of the game.

Final Thoughts

Before trying Nimbus Zone I strongly believed going first was preferable, as you can discount antennas before your opponent and therefore hopefully secure 3pts straight away. After trying the mission a few times I think this is balanced out by how tough it can be to get those 3pts, compared to going second which allows you to concentrate on controlling the consoles at the end of the game (even if that is worth 2pts rather than 3pts). Now I think going first or second is fine, it just changes on how I play the mission.

Overall the mission is very interesting and I am looking forward to playing it more. I’d be really interested in knowing what other people’s thoughts on the mission are and how then tackle it!

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