Let’s do this again. Twinfinity mission breakdown number two is Safe Area. This mission is really straight forward, but with a little twist at the end.
Nine of the ten Objective Points available here cannot be secured until the end of the game. With Retreat in play, the strategy of trying to decimate your opponent can have a serious drawback for the over-zealous. Slow and steady is best way to approach this, and moving up in good order without taking too many hits is the goal.
Scoring in Safe Area is at the end of the game, with 5 points given for having more Sections Dominated and 3 points for having the same number as your opponent (provided you have at least 1). To Dominate you must have more Army Points within the Section. Trooper miniatures or markers both count toward your point totals. 1 point is also gained for each of the 4 Consoles that you control. To control a Console you must be the only player with an active Troop in base contact with that Console. Also, that Troop in contact has to be a Specialist (although a non-specialist Troop can deny control). Trooper’s cannot be in a marker state when controlling a Console. There is 1 Classified Objective worth 1 point.
Deployment is the standard 12 inches. There are no specialist bonuses and no exclusion zones. Retreat, Intelcom, and Baggage are all in play and can have a big impact on your game.
Retreat is triggered when a player has less than a quarter of his original forces (75 points without Baggage). If a player starts his turn in Retreat the game ends at the end of his turn. This means that a player going second, for example, might lose a turn altogether. So if you are really tearing your opponent up, maybe you should move Specialists onto those Consoles and get your Classified.
Intelcom has an even larger effect on the game. Interference Mode doesn’t do much, as cancelling a model’s Specialist status will only take 1 point away from them. Support and Control Mode though can easily change the outcome of the game and should be considered. In exchange for giving up 1 Objective Point a player can “add the value of the INTELCOM Card to the total Army Points he has in the Zone of Operations (ZO) of his choosing, but only if he has at least one trooper in anon-Null state inside that ZO.” Since going from a tie on Dominated Sections to Dominating more is a 5 point net swing in points, that can be a big deal. This has to be declared from the start of the game, so it can’t be done at the last moment and it shouldn’t catch you by surprise. Just make sure you don’t forget.
First or Second
Going second has an obvious advantage here as whoever goes first will likely have a hard time keeping specialists on a Console throughout their opponents entire last turn. Going second also means you get to make the final moves before the game is scored.
TAGs and Heavy Infantry are more useful for this mission than a number of others. The rules for how Sections are Dominated mean that Immobilizing a TAG or HI with EM weaponry or hacking does not stop their points from counting. You have to take them down to unconscious, which might be difficult if you lack actual anti-armor weapons (looking at you, Mutts). The addition of Specialists profiles to the TAG Pilots (Remote or otherwise), means that these are great last turn objective grabbers. The high points cost of the TAG will probably secure the Section that it’s in, and the pilot can easily grab the objective. In fact, due to the way Mount/Dismount works, “By declaring Move, a trooper may Mount or Dismount a Motorcycle, TAG, Vehicle, etc. at the start of his Movement at no cost, the new troop profile will be applied during the whole sequence of the Order,” a pilot can actually use their TAG as cover while they dismount. This is only really useful for the player going second, but with Specialist profiles at a premium at the end of the game, it’s a valid option.
I Like the Way You Move
Mobility is always useful, but in this particular mission it can be downright devastating. Dog Warriors, Remotes, TAGs, Motorcycles, and any other particularly fast Troop can have a really big impact. So can AD Troops, which can drop into a Section at the last second and turn the tide. Remember that 5 point swing from a tie on Sections to having more? Being able to sprint up the table at the end can leave your opponent helpless, but only if you’ve kept those speedy troops alive till the last turn.
There’s a lot of guessing involved in this mission. “Is this model in this quadrant or that one?” “How many points is that model worth?” “Do they have room for AD troops?” This mission really rewards the ability to judge distances and a basic knowledge of what models your opponent has on the table. Take a second when deploying to look for landmarks at the center line and in the middle of your Deployment Area. You cannot measure for these during the game, so pick a couple out and maybe even write them down. As for the knowledge of your opponent’s models, I would make sure to ask your opponents after practice games what different models cost. Perhaps even browse Army when you have the time. Knowing a Overdron is most likely about 60-75 points or that Asuka Kisaragi can move her 27 points 14 inches with one order is going to be a big help in closer games.
In every game of Infinity it is important to try to keep your models alive. They are your order generators and they give you tactical options. In this mission you also need to keep them alive so you can score. The 4 points available from the Consoles are just icing. To win you need to control Sections, at least as many as your opponent. Although you could theoretically get a tie if you lose the Sections and win everything else, doing this means being able to place a couple of Specialists on your opponent’s half of the table. That’s going to be difficult at best. Don’t get too caught up on the Consoles. Other than being aware of them, they shouldn’t get much in the way of consideration until the last turn.