Classy guy Armand wanted to get in a GenCon practice game in, and I’m not going to pass up a chance to get beat up by him. This was a nice counterpoint to my last report, where I played a newer player and did quite well: I got steamrolled.
We played Transmission Matrix.
My first mistake was, I think, in listbuilding. I took Kriza. Kriza is very, very, very good… except when he doesn’t get a chance to shine. I failed to give him that chance in this game. His cost also means I have to take a lower order count list: where I feel more comfortable playing with 12-14 orders, including him and the new Puppetactica pushes that down, hard.
I won the roll and chose to go second. He deployed a Ghulam defensive link with all of the snipers in the center, tucked some Muyibs behind cover on my left, and dropped a ton of camo tokens on the center antenna.
I placed the Moran in a building near enough the center objective, hid most everyone behind buildings so I could ARO as things approached. I protected my LT with the Puppetmaster and his mine; normally I hold him in reserve (for obvious reasons), but I needed that mine to protect the Interventor and know his reserve model would be a Fiday. I placed the DT along my far right flank thinking, “I don’t think he has any AD.” The mine discouraged the Fiday from placing near my LT, so instead he placed him near the DT. He did so out of marker state and made him his DataTracker. I counterdeployed Kriza against that, and badly: I could not get LOS to the Fiday.
Not only was I unable to ARO against him with a BS attack on his first order, I also got caught in a shotgun blast and took a wound. Then one of the camo tokens revealed itself as a Daylami with a Panzerfaust, and put the Kriza down. His Assault Hacker learned that Nomads are dangerous in Transmission Matrix, but Mary still went down.
I’m already on my back foot. I want to try dropping the Fiday, but that doesn’t score me points, so everything becomes about getting enough points on the center antenna. My Jaguar advances to throw smoke to cover the approach of the Puppetbots… but get shot instead. The Puppetbots make a run for it… but take too many AROs. In the end, I lose all of my Puppets and clear out his Daylami: I know that if I can get a Bandit in there and take out one of his camo markers, I should have just enough points. Cutting things close, with the Bandit’s order, my remaining regular order, and the other Bandit’s order converted, I’d have just enough to get him into a room next to the antenna, then Intuitive Attack the marker to force it to reveal, then CC it down. We did this wrong, though: I’d goofed and thought the E/Mauler was a template, not a mine. He dodged (which would have been the wrong call if it had been a template, but he definitely wouldn’t have made it if it had been known to be a mine). I CC’d him down. We realized midway through turn 2 that we’d done that wrong.
End of turn: I’ve got more antenna, he’s got my DT with his DataTracker.
Leila joins the Muyibs, and moves forward to clear out the Bandit. Mutts move forward and clear out the other Bandit, camped on an antenna.
I start the turn with 5 orders. I accomplish basically nothing with those orders.
It’s clear he’s got the game in the bag; he pushes his Muyibs forward to Sabotage a building. Then he gets to work mopping up my few remaining troops.
I start the turn with Moran and an Interventor. Fortunately, he gets a Mutt close enough to my Interventor to DataScan it, so I’m able to shave out one more OP. That’s it.
I really got my clock cleaned, but took away a lot: for one, I’m not going to screw up the E/Mauler again (if I can help it). I LOVE Puppets, but will probably restrain them to missions where I need them to push buttons. More importantly, Kriza is both a crutch and a weakness: I need to drop him from my lists and focus on taking lists with more orders, more options, and more flexibility.