Friday, 22 September 2017

Autumn Invasion 2017: The Lists

This was taken many Autumns ago, in the fire of our youth
'All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey, I'm out for a walk on an Autumn's day, I'd be freezing off my nuts in Aberdeen, Croydon dreaming on such a winter's day.' - Croydon Dreaming, The Zone's and Fleet's

It's that time of year again. It's raining, it's windy, it's getting cold, and every single person is complaining about the weather. I mean rainier, windier, colder, and moanier of course, after all, our Summer's are English. Its's Autumn everyone, and with it we greet Hawk's annual September tournament; Autumn Invasion! If Hawk are able to release V2 this year it will also be the last V1 Invasion tournament, which heralds the end of an era!

Three of the six of us are going this time, Alex, Joe, and Mike, and is customary I have all their lists to cast my miniature, laser-sporting, electric, beady eye over and critique in this version for the very last time. Let's get on with it before I well up and romance about the good times...

Mikey Bee, Please Mess With Me - Allied Resistance

After three long years of waiting Mike's not-so-secret project has finally been finished and is ready to be unleashed upon the public! Well, kind of finished. His Infantry aren't finished yet, and he has to buy his T-Wagons on the day, but at least he's finally playing the army. The list is of the Allied flavouring which in my opinion is the stronger faction over Feral, as I find the exotics and cards to be better and more useful in a variety of situations (unless all you want to do is turn Infantry into Berserkers of course).

On first glance the list seems to lack Infantry but it is dotted about like hundreds & thousands on a glazed doughnut. The core Infantry battlegroup is a hardy one and being able to funnel twenty Occupation Vets into a building of your choice is always nice! MFR's are the best exotics in the game and although are a little vulnerable in their Super-Raven (due to lack of air saturation in Resi lists) they are mobile enough to reach and achieve any plans you make for them. Sappers will help with early game search rolls as well as providing cover on the battlefield, whilst the Freeriders are this armies most effective way of getting objectives of the table.

Anti-Air is covered in the Resistance trinity, and as long as Mike's luck holds out over the weekend it should serve him well. Zhukovs are the best air denial unit in Zone, and Gun Wagons remain as predatory and resilient as they've always been. The luck aspect of his AA trinity will be with the Pathfinder and could be key in games. With a single unit of standard Infantry he will be unlikely to have Forward Observer vision on the battlefield so will be rolling attack runs every turn. There is always the issue of a single Fast Mover turning up as well, and without it on the table he will be down to five Battlegroups. I would have chosen two Pathfinders as they become dependable, but admit it is a big points sink.

As with all Resistance forces, this list sweats Anti-Tank like a fat jogger attempting a half marathon. The Occ Vets pack four reliable E11 shots, the Thunderstorm is as obtuse as ever, and Typhoons are the best gunship in the game. Notice how I've mentioned several units being 'The Best'? That's not bad writing, the Resistance really do have pretty much the best of everything! I have no idea how they haven't won considerably more events.

Joey Dubaya, You Know I'll Smother Ya - Shaltari

Joe is venturing a little out of his comfort zone this year, peeking his little head out of the safety of his warren and jumping into a Caiman. It may be a fairly standard state of affairs to see Shaltari lists boast two or three Caimans at the moment, but for our Jojo it's out of the norm for sure. I think he said he wants to get the most out of Drivezone Commander whilst he can, and honestly why not? Because it's bullshit, that's why not.

The spread of troops is good and fits all requirements. Pungari will find the objectives you need and saturate falling masonry hits for your warsuits, Braves are great to throw into any situation, and although Firstborns may not be the best Exotics are steadfast and reliable in CQB (and being Shaltari you will normally get to pick which CQB they end up in). Mike and I managed to persuade Joe into bringing more troop gates this year and I think he will be happy with the freedom they award.

He has spent too many points on AA for my liking but you can't argue with its effectiveness! Twenty E6 AA shots a turn from the dedicated units will see Joe laughing at Scourge and UCM, and the two Totems are superb at sniping important light dropships (although perhaps he needs one more gate to see the full advantage of two Totems). I would have dropped the Birdeaters and squeezed in something else; Firebirds, maybe?

The AT is very focused as it tends to be with all Shaltari lists. The Caimans will harass units from across the board, and the Gharial and Totems provide hard hitting close quarters AT when a unit absolutely, positively has to go.

I think the list would really benefit from a Firedrake or fourth Eden, but knowing Joe's style he's more likely to zoom about the battlefield making Sci-Fi rocket noises that gate his Hogs across the board anyway.

Alex Arrr, More Abused Than Winrar - Feral Resistance

Now here's a lad who does like going Feral! It seems like only yesterday when Alex first fielded Beserkers, rolled high for their CQB and picked up what seemed like six hundred dice, and instantly fell in love. He's not even using Skulltaker and is sacrificing the superior Allied deck to back four bases into his main Infantry squad! Each to their own of course, and by rule of thumb not all of his dice can be bad if he rolls six hundred, right... right??

The theme of the list is seems very much to be that of a medieval general; 'If we can keep throwing bodies in the way, we're bound to win!', with twelve Infantry bases (eight of those being Exotic) stuffed in there! I have seen Alex field twenty Infantry that said, so I am a little disappointed by this conservative figure... He'll be strong in CQB and building occupation as long as he can get there first, but could run into trouble with extracting objectives in the late game. I'll also pass a nod to the drive-by Occ Vets in busses, one of the most janky but effective combos in the game.

This much Infantry should also couple in nicely with his Command BQ which is democentric (and also fairly copy/paste to most Resi Command BGs at the mo), allowing him to level the buildings he wants gone and cram boys and girls into the ones he does. It takes a lot of commitment to make that kind of plan work well, as you less able to adapt to a changing battlefield, so he best get his thinking hat on. The contingency of a squad of Thunder Wagons is always helpful to bring more demo when necessary and blast poorly deployed units with a fat template.

Alex has gone for a safer and more dependable approach than Mike to AA, with six Gun Wagons and two Zhukovs. This combo is well tested and can take full advantage of any accidental manoeuvres or mis-deployment by an opponent. Having more units on the ground will also make securing Focal Points and Critical Locations easier.

Let us know what you think of the boys lists, and if you are going to Invasion give 'em hell!


  1. What news? Is Mike World Champion once more?

    Any nuggets re: Version 2?


  2. He sure is, and nothing new unfortunately!