First game with the new HSN3 rules. Engineering deck as per the new rulebook. ISS vs PanO, 300pts, PanO win LT roll and opt for table side/deployment. ISS take first.
ISS#1. PanO spend an command token to reduce the first battlegroup by 2 orders, this contains the SuJian, link team, and 4x KuangShi. This play doesn’t stop the SuJian going on its usual rampage however, and it bounds across the battlefield completely ignoring some long-range ARO’s from a locust BSG and auxilia combi rifle. Audaciously moving itself into a corner position on the field, it flanks a crate that was hiding the new Blackfriar, as well as a TO marker that turns out to be a Swiss Guard with HML. The SuJian, overcome with bravado at this point, lets all models ARO him for free while he fires up his light flamethrower. The missile misses (short range, cover… had it hit, the SuJian is likely to pass at least one of the armour saves), and the blackfriar is burnt to death. With TO reduced to Mimetism, the SuJian steps up and guns down the Swiss Guard with his spitfire.
Elsewhere on the field, the Kanren connects one of the consoles, the Ninja repositions outside of the main objective room, the RuiShui rolls on up and shoots up an auxilia team, before moving into mid-side position behind a crate and lays down suppression fire.
PanO#1. Reduced to only 5 visible orders. Bagh-mari, who had previously been shot long range by the SuJian as it crossed the field (might have not mentioned that) now gets revived by a paramedic. Brings his HMG to bear on the celestial guard link team, killing one of them, but his second attempt only results in smoke being laid down. There’s a hexa hacker in a shootout with the SuJian, but can’t accomplish much with only a combi rifle. Co-ordinated suppression fire goes down, actually allowing the SuJian an ARO, but he can’t crack the surviving Auxilia’s armour.
ISS#2. KuangShi continue their inexorable advance, at this point a croc-man decides to reveal himself from hidden deployment. This only results in a KuangShi making it into CC with him. The Kanren nearby also joins the combat for CC19 B2 MA1 goodness, chopping him down with a Monofilament blade. Our protagonist now opens the objective room, moves inside, connects the console, then advances to the open doorway facing PanO DZ. The last auxilia is in the mid range band with his back turned, takes two (reduced to 1 for saturation) BSG slugs up his butt. Kanren nows walks out the door, right into the face of the Bagh-Mari suppression HMG. Obviously all the aerocams are pointed on this heroic Imperial Serviceman–he walks into close combat with the locus, cuts him down with the Monoblade, before being shot by the suppression hail of fire.
Meanwhile, the celestial guard link team connect another console on the friendly half of the table, then advance nonchalantly to the opposite console on PanO’s side, and capture that as well. There are only 3 PanO models left visible on the table after the SuJian guns down the hexa.
PanO#2. Bagh-Mari moves around and looks to gun down the celestial guard link, but by spreading his burst over 3 models, only succeeds in killing one. Another croc-man comes out of hidden deployment, also shooting at the celestial guard, but finds himself within range of a repeater–Ninja uses a redrum to anti-hack him. LT on top of the building stands up, opens fire against the ISS LT who is prone behind cover yet visible given the higher angle. YuJing LT gets shot, while the RuiShui in suppression fire does the same to the PanO LT.
ISS#3. Loss of LT mode, but all four command tokens spent to put enough orders back in the pool to fuel the irregular SuJian, who moves across the PanO DZ and eliminates the remaining models.
There’s no PanO turn3, because they’re all dead!!!
Final thoughts. I really like the engineering deck mission–it was my first time playing it, but it does feel a lot better than most other ITS missions. SuJian–it was probably too powerful before the expansion, now it’s definitely too powerful in my opinion. The statline, plus the weapons loadout, plus the speed, plus the ability to sit in a 20-order list, plus the new ability to just change form at the start of a short-skill move…. it’s over the top. I think the model needs a nerf. Didn’t have much of a chance to use the new hacking, but my list felt like it just got a free 11 points from the ninja specialist option being KHD instead of assault. Kanren HPL2 is also really useful. I can’t imagine not taking a Kanren in ISS, you can definately take more than one if you want.