Paradiso Missions 101-103
Can’t believe we’re almost half-way through 2014 and I’ve barely played any tabletop games at all.
However, I have been slowly working my way through the Infinity Paradiso Campaign with regular opponent JPS – pitching my vanilla Aleph against his Panoceanian Knightly Orders.
John and I seem to have the same outlook when it comes to playing tabletop games and neither of us are particularly competitive, preferring narrative objective gameplay with some fun and dramatic moments.
Just as well, because Campaign Paradiso is really not for the gamer who wants a collection of well-balanced competitive missions in which to test their tactical mettle.
Looking back, my first exposure to Paradiso was at the Tabletop Nation launch event where a couple of the Corvus Belli chaps came over to run some games for us. It became clear very quickly that there were many ambiguities in the way the objective and campaign rules were written and that much was left to the players to interpret. House-ruling was even happening on the day from the design team. This wasn’t a pre-release playtest session, mind, we had the shiny new printed hardback rulebooks in our hands!
Oh well. That’s what you get from Corvus Belli.
But of course, you also get awesome miniatures and that wonderfully cinematic game system. A flawed masterpiece I think you could call it.
Anyhoo, JPS and I made a pledge to play through the campaign this year and, despite falling behind our planned monthly schedule, have managed to play the first three missions thus far.
I won’t do a full battle report for each (largely because I can’t really remember the specifics of what happened) but a quick overview and the standings so far.
Mission 101 Data Recovery
Objective of the mission was to identify which of three found alien tech devices contained some key information, and then proceed to extract that information and upload it.
As in many of the Paradiso missions, engineers and hackers are key to objective taking, which is nice as it forces you to build more varied lists without focusing on maximum kill-kill.
John’s PanO knights took an early lead in the game and made some key advances through the central buildings. His engineer identified that the data was held in the central device and this turned out to be advantageous to me terrain-wise.
My Myrmidon flanking team then came into their own and the PanO struggled to cope with their ODD stealth fields. One Myrmidon wielding a spitfire machine gun proved to be particularly devastating and a requisition report was immediately dispatched to PanO tactical command for a shipment of multi-spectral visors.
Enough damage done, I was able to send in a posthuman hacker to de-cloak, grab the alien info and upload it for victory.
Result: Aleph 5 – PanO 1
Mission 102 Triangulation & Recovery
I can’t recall too many details on mission 102, wherein we had to determine a convoluted sequence of five terminals to hack in order. As a bonus for success in mission 101 the Aleph had prior knowledge of the correct sequence and deployed with that in mind.
Didn’t really help much as the Knightly Orders, smarting from the slight to their honour in the first engagement, proceeded to systematically wipe me off the table. Due to an oversight I had missed a small fire lane and got lieutenant Phoenix killed on my first turn – a critical error on my part (too harshly punished in game terms IMO) as it effectively cost me a turn.
One of my Posthumans managed to hack the first device in the sequence, netting me 2 objective points, and then an interesting thing happened. It became clear that I could still win if my opponent tabled me – his red mist meaning he wasn’t grabbing objectives – so I was quite happy to play recklessly and lure him to bringing the game to an early close.
Unfortunately this turned out to be gamesmanship on my part as John wasn’t aware of this specific game end condition for Paradiso campaign missions.
We decided to play the game out and allowed the Knights to hack as many terminals as they could in the remaining turns.
Phoenix, veteran though he may be, is unlikely to be trusted to lead again when he’s downloaded to his next clone body.
Regardless, the Knightly Order now had the upper hand in the race to discovering the mysterious aliens being hinted at in clues found on the jungle planet of Paradiso.
Result: PanO 6 – Aleph 2
The data from terminals in mission 102 led the Knightly Orders to a crashed alien vessel deep in the jungle (read: table covered in the Sarissa Precision urban terrain that every Infinity game at our club must be played on, it seems!) Aleph comms monitoring must have caught wind of their intention to extract the vessel and hastily sent a tactical squad to prevent this, ideally stealing the mysterious vessel from under their noses.
In game terms there was another convoluted and hard to understand sequence of objectives to achieve in order to do this. Something along the lines of gaining access to the vessel, disabling its security system, hacking a remote terminal, stabilising the vessel, and attaching a homing beacon to it for extraction. We ended up misinterpreting the sequence from the jumble of scenario rules but things worked out ok the way we played it. Like I said before, be prepared to house-rule Paradiso!
It became clear pretty quickly that the central zone where the vessel “room” was located was going to be especially tough to reach in the three game turns allowed – particularly given the lack of terrain immediately surrounding it (a mistake in our setup).
Again, the Knightly Order got off to a positive start and had deployed very effectively with a sniper in a key tower position and approaches well covered. Before too long they’d managed to hack a remote terminal and get a Palbot into the vessel itself.
Suffering from the loss in 102, Aleph had resorted to the big guns and deployed the fearsome Marut TAG to deal with the situation, John’s eyes rolling to see me take that thing out of the bag as we were setting up our forces. Despite being slightly crippled by having to deploy in two evenly sized order groups, the Marut was still the star of the show; single-handedly dealing with most of the enemy link team as well as the sniper.
But it was too late in the game to change the result. The PanO Palbot, despite being fumblingly remote-controlled by an engineer, eventually managed to gain the upper hand in the vessel and Mission 103 went to PanO.
Result: PanO 4 – Aleph 2 (I think?)