Being able to successfully pull off going second gives you a number advantages in Infinity. Done right it gives the advantage of knowing exactly what you need to do to win in the last turn, it lets you use your full order pool (ie, no Command Token shenanigans), and it gives your opponent an opportunity to make errors you can exploit. Done wrong it can allow your opponent to cripple you with an alpha strike, cause you to concede the initiative, and make the game an uphill slog at best. This is the first in a series of articles on deploying well. Because you can’t win a game in deployment, but you can darn near lose one.
OK, so you are deploying to go second. If this is because you chose deployment or because your opponent chose to go first, then you have the advantage of being able to see the positions of the opposing models. This is a major advantage that you want to capitalize on. The first step to doing this, is to analyze the terrain relative to model’s positions and identify avenues of approach.
So the question is: How will my opponent move from his deployment zone towards my forces, Particularly on the first turn? The edges of the table are open, so it is possible for an AD troop or mobile unit to move up the flanks. Flanking maneuvers like this can be risky and order intensive though. Also, if you’re deploying second, there should be signs that this is your opponents intention. Bikes or other fast (often Impetuous) units deployed on the flanks signal that this might be a primary avenue of approach. For this example (Safe Area), my opponent will most likely move up the middle of the board to secure objectives. Here I’ve marked the primary avenues of approach in red and the secondary avenues in yellow. To slow or deflect my opponents advance I want to concentrate my fields of fire or otherwise shut down the red arrows, while keeping an eye on the yellow ones. I also want to keep my troops alive so I have orders to use in my counter attack.
Because I want to keep my models alive, the firing positions on the roof tops are not where I want to put ARO pieces. The rooftops are fine for something offensive, like an Intruder, or for something like a Hacker or LT that can serve its purpose prone. Either way, the models should not be exposed during this first turn. Yes, they get good fields of fire, but they are also easily picked off by models firing from my opponents deployment zone. Models on top of a building also tend to get stranded there. They are difficult to heal/repair, and they cannot support the rest of your forces moving forward. By placing models with good ARO capacities (DA and EXP ammo or multiple burst) in the green YES areas I can cover the primary (red) avenues of approach. The yellow ??? indicate good places for models with less of an ARO capacity (like a non-linked Combi). These might not be necessary though, if I can find a way to shut those secondary (yellow) avenues of approach.Using my infiltrating units (Bandit) and/or area denial units (prone Morans w/ Crazy Koalas) I can effectively shut down the flanks and add an additional roadblock to one of the primary lanes. I still need to keep the possibly of AD troops in mind, but the table edge available for walking on can easily be covered by facing non-ARO units those directions. The presence of Koalas (or minelayers) is a major deterrent for AD troops, which have to use their whole order to come on the board and therefore cannot Dodge. With the flanks secured by my Moran/Koalas, I can focus my attention on the center of the table. The camo infiltrating Bandit is well placed for a counter strike and at the very least will force my opponent to spend his precious orders digging it out. Most likely though, the presence of the camo marker will push my opponent to the avenues of approach to the Bandit’s left or the right.
Note: HVTs should be placed where they can easily be covered by your primary ARO pieces.
- Identify primary avenues of approach.
- Place ARO units covering the primary avenues while keeping them hidden from your opponents deployment zone. Make your opponent spend his orders coming to you.
- Cover the secondary avenues of approach
- Use infiltrators and area denial units to channel your opponent into ARO lanes.
I realize that this does not come close to covering the topic in full, but I hope it helps a little. Look out for more deployment articles in the future. Feel free to comment or ask questions, and good luck.