lørdag 14. november 2015

2d6 Challenge Game 4: Haley2 vs Butcher 3

:: Prologue ::

For my very last game of this year's Challenge, I drew Khador yet again. I have played tons against Retribution, Legion, Menoth and Circle. Since I basically still view my tournaments purely as learning experiences meeting "meta usual suspects" that I don't get to play a lot against otherwise is very good for my learning curve (and, as this string of reports show, experience is vital to remembering everything all the time, knowing what to do etc). Butcher3 is one such example and I was yet again excited for my game!

:: Lists ::

Major Victoria Haley - WJ: +5
- Squire
- Stormwall - PC: 19 (bonded)
- Lightning Pod
- Thorn - PC: 8
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 3
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team - Lynch, Ryan & Watts: 4
Tactical Arcanist Corps - Leader & 2 Grunts: 4
Kommander Zoktavir, The Butcher Unleashed - WJ: +4
- War Argus
- War Dog
- Ruin - PC: 10
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution - PC: 3
Madelyn Corbeau, Ordic Courtesan - PC: 2
Ogrun Bokur - PC: 3
Iron Fang Pikemen - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
- Black Dragon Officer & Standard - PC: 2
Widowmakers - Leader & 3 Grunts: 4
Kayazy Eliminators - Leader & Grunt: 3
Kayazy Eliminators - Leader & Grunt: 3

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

Our mission was Recon. I have played against Butcher3 once before: At 50 points with Eiryss2. The difference is huge. Eiryss puts so much pressure on Butcher because he can't reliably camp enough focus to simply ignore anything I can throw at him. For this game I was anticipating a very aggressive Khador style which I could only hope to keep at bay with TK, feat and Time Bomb.

Yet again I lost the roll-off and my opponent decided to go first. I could really have used that T1 advantage here to claim the middle of the table. I pre-deployed the Stormwall centrally and placed the rest of my army opposite the flank where the terrain was working with me and against Khador, diagonally across from his main force.

:: Game ::

T1 Khador has never been exciting. This was no exception. Widowmakers hugged the forest with Eliminators running up.

B13th shuffled right, putting a bullet into an eliminator and mage storming in front of the other unit. Thorn ran up, I arced a bolt through him to kill another eliminator and backed up with Reaction Drive to toe the hill. With Deceleration up I was DEF17 and I had hope to draw out Eiryss (who was hiding in the woods) to blast her apart. TAC elected to cloud already T1 because I didn't want Haley to take some odd hits to the face or whatever. Stormwall put down covering fire in the zone.

IFP used mini-feat and ran to cover as much ground as possible. Interesting choice! Eiryss decided to try for Thorn and got lucky. Disruption is painful to deal with. Butcher went to the flag with his dogs close-ish to the zone. Madelyn placed herself behind some IFP.

Now for me, this is most definitely a scenario-game. Due to having to be a bit cautious with Haley (debatable, could probably have moved up more T1) I had to spent 2 focus on TK to get B2B with my flag now. I placed another 2 focus on the Stormwall to kill Corbeau. Deadeye on B13th and Decel completed her focus. Thorn walked up, Haley charged him and TK'd out of range, Feat. B13th went up and targeted Widowmakers + Eliminators (lucky mage storm scatter killed one and the other failed command check). Lynch killed Eiryss. That unit does so much sometimes! TAC burned away a couple of IFP, freeing up the Stormwall's lane.

I then messed up. Instead of targeting the 2 IFP first and making sure to get rid of them I started boosting shots at Corbeau, wasting my focus on unnecessary high def which she simply transferred, of course. I wasn't close enough to pod her either. Oh my, what a mess. I podded the flag instead to get the lead.

In this chaos I didn't realize I needed Arcane Shield on the Stormwall (it was on Thorn to protect him from Widowmakers before Eiryss shot it off)...

So Madelyn grants Butcher 3" move. He then energizes for another 3, walks into Stormwall and casts flashing blade. Tons of times. He feats. Stormwall dies.

When you feat with Haley and lose a Stormwall which had all its boxes remaining in the following turn, you are doing Warmachine wrong.

If you think this situation looks bad, I agree. The only good news is that I'm up 2-0 which will go to 3-0 regardless. What this means in essence is that I have to kill his objective to win, either this turn or the next. It's about impossible for me to block him from contesting me, which means I get my third point now, the 4th in my following turn (assuming Haley is alive) and the 5th from the objective.

I took about 15 minutes to consider what I could do. Basically I need to kill off IFPs to reduce the amount of jam he can produce. Two time bombs helps keeping me safe from Butcher and Beast. One needs to be boosted because of the Stormwall cover marker.

So this all works well and in the meantime TAC do some serious work on the IFPs. This helps me out a bit as it seriously reduces Khador's abilities to provide a sustainable contest of my flag, i.e. I don't have to spend a lot of effort to get rid of it.

Butcher takes a moment to see if he can get to Haley. He can't. Good! Instead he goes for my objective and dominates the middle for 3 points, making it 3-3 as the last Eliminator jams Haley.

I have a lot of things to spend my focus on but I also have a bit of a problem: Khador's objective is a bunker, which means my ability to trickle it is a bit limited. Junior with Arcane Bolt is one of my better solutions (and that's saying a lot!). Haley needs to get Beast away, I can't risk a pow18 boosted free strike on Thorn. Temporal Acceleration goes up, I kill the Eliminator and what I have left try their best to trickle the bunker. It takes a couple of boxes and it boils down to our favourite arc node.

To make matters more exciting, the Bunker has 6 boxes left and I have one boosted melee attack left as my final dice roll this turn. At Pow13, I need 11, which is exactly 50-50. The dice gods decide that today is my day and Thorn rolls a 12.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

Well. I have never played against Madelyn Corbeau before but I have considered her many times for Haley2 in particular, as well as Caine2. She really brought Khador back into the game from what I perceived as a very favourable Cygnar position after I used my feat. I simply forgot about her ability to transfer hits. What I should have done of course was to get within range of pod, simply let butcher have his CP for the flag and covering fire'd the IFP or something. 

The good in this game: My overall strategy worked well. With more careful decision-making re: Stormwall I think it's somewhere between hard and near impossible for Butcher to get back in the game. The fact that I won despite losing the Stormwall under my feat tells me that I'm doing -something- right. 

The bad in this game: Obviously the Stormwall T2. However...

The ugly in this game: Not putting Arcane Shield on Stormwall T2. Even assuming I won't need it, there's just no reason not to have it there. 

Overall I went 4-0 along with 2 other players. My Strength of Schedule was below theirs so I ended up taking 3rd. I am of course happy with that, especially bearing in mind how many mistakes I made which pure luck saved me from. It was a good tournament and I learned tons. 

With regards to what I set out to learn: Are ATGM essential? The short answer is yes. 35 points is not a fair grounds for comparison because you can't have both ATGM and utility if you want Thorn + Stormwall but at 50 points you can have both - the utility you give up is different. Perhaps it's playstyle dependent and it most definitely hinges on your meta, but I've reached my conclusion and it's quite clear that ATGM are essential to me. In every single game this tournament I was missing Thunderbolt. Game 1 it would've been nasty with deadeye because of crit knockdown, Game 2 I could've controlled jacks better, Game 3 I'd have an answer to that annoying hunter behind the wall which I never could prioritize and Game 4 the targets were just all over the place. 

I'm looking forward to going back to 50 points and I'm hoping to get some games in sooner rather than later, with reports to follow ;)

EDIT: As I wrote in this post I was disqualified from the tournament a couple of days after it finished:

"...I played in a tournament this weekend, Challenge, which I've written about here. The rules pack for Challenge stated both lists had to be played (for those bringing 2 lists, bringing a single list was also allowed) and I did not do that. I forgot this until the last game and when I was made aware of it I talked to the main organizer. To make a long story short I was under the impression that I was givan an ok signal to play the same list yet again. This generated negative feedback and opinions so we decided to disqualify me from the tournament (as I was organizing Challenge as well this was the best choice, we felt). The games were great regardless and there'll be plenty more tournaments later on. My intention was not to cheat my way to victory but I can understand why people feel this way and I sincerely apologize for the situation."

Ingen kommentarer:

Legg inn en kommentar