søndag 29. november 2015

Battle Report #16 - Haley2 vs Morghoul1 (50)

:: Prologue ::

Morghoul1 is a warlock I've faced a couple of times before. I generally don't struggle too much with him but it's all about keeping his forces at arm's length and keep winning the ranged war. Sooner or later he's attritioned enough to safely engage in melee and win the game (if necessary, depends on caster). My goal for this game was to utilize my ranged supremacy in a slow game.

:: Lists ::


Major Victoria Haley - WJ: +5
- Squire
- Stormwall - PC: 19
- Lightning Pod
- Thorn - PC: 8
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 3
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution - PC: 3
Alexia2 - PC: 4
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team - Lynch, Ryan & Watts: 4
Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers - Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
- Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer - Officer 2
Tactical Arcanist Corp - Leader & 2 Grunts: 4


Master Tormentor Morghoul - WB: +7

- Molik Karn - PC: 11
- Bronzeback Titan - PC: 10
- Basilisk Krea - PC: 4
- Archidon - PC: 7
- Archidon - PC: 7

Paingiver Task Master - PC: 2
Agonizer - PC: 2
Hutchuck, Ogrun Bounty Hunter - PC: 3

Paingiver Beast Handlers - Leader & 5 Grunts: 3
Croak Raiders - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

We were playing Fire Support and this is a tricky map for me: The central piece of impassable terrain makes it hard to play the usually flexible Stormwall-game because there simply aren't a lot of places to go with it. I wasn't sure how this would affect me. I won the roll-off and took first turn, given my plan to play a slow game I pre-deployed the Stormwall in a central position, assuming I'd go left instead of right based on his deployment. Haley + TAC + B13th left flank, Thorn + Alexia right. Skorne responded with a heavy left skew. Interesting!

The flat pieces of terrain are played as hills.
:: Game ::

I ran everything up and put up Deceleration in case the Croak Raiders felt lucky.

Indeed they did! Skorne advanced up well in return, Archidons protecting Morghoul1 and Molik Karn in a defensive position with the Bronzeback taking the opposite flank.

In keeping with my plan I decided not to engage Morghoul with the Stormwall and feat. In hindsight this might not have been the best move anyway but my moves were a tad bit aggressive given that I didn't feat: I tried to clear the tough Croak Raiders and almost everyone died, but the Stormwall's shooting did very little and I was overall probably too defensive.

Skorne sent up both Archidons. I didn't realize how hard it'd be to deal with them on the hills while they were engaged. Molik Karn and the Bronzeback advanced as well and Morghoul used his feat.

With the feat up there's no way the Stormwall can reliably do anything useful here. Instead I yet again adopted a defensive position but with the lack of anything to effectively deal with the Archidons (basically due to me positioning Thorn on the wrong flank T1, more on this later) I had to feat. I taunted out the Bronzeback with Thorn who was counter-charged, he failed to deal any damage to me and I TK'd him so the Stormwall could pound him. Time Bomb was also spent on the poor lad and before the colossal went in my deadeye'd ATGM knocked him down.

Molik Karn draws closer. One Archidon frenzies (the left one) and does a lot of damage to the right one before it re-engages the gun mages. At this point in time, the Agonizer also moved up so close to the Stormwall so that I couldn't allocate it focus. I've never seen this in action before so it caught me off guard. I must admit that this gave me a few problems. The clock was running low on me as well...

In the heat of the moment I activated things poorly. I got so obsessed with killing off the Agonizer (because I really needed to channel on Molik through Thorn) that one TAC was spent ensuring this was accomplished. This in turn however meant that I was unable to put Haley in a position where the Archidon couldn't see me. I was hoping the sheer range would be enough, but given the focus I'd spent on taking care of Molik (I also cast deadeye by mistake on ATGM) I didn't have enough to TK myself beyond the wall.

So this is a typical situation where I am massively ahead but there's a bit of a long shot opening on Haley. Morghoul goes all in and charges ATGM. He fails to kill anyone but realistically it's all or nothing now so it doesn't matter. He heals the Archidon's Body and gives it +2 SPD/STR. With this buff said Archidon reaches Haley but in the process he tanks a few free strikes, including a TAC whose Pow13 rolls enough to cripple his Spirit. He rolls high but not high enough as Set Defense kicks in and without Spirit there's nothing else he can do. Lucky for me. It's almost as though I should've lost to learn to play situations like this properly.

With a pretty good control of the game I time bomb a model next to Morghoul and the Stormwall runs in on 4 focus and kills him.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

It's rare that I decide to play attrition. I'm often fixated on scenario with keeping an eye out for assassination runs. In this game I basically didn't need many elements on the right flank and both Thorn and Alexia were sorely missed on the left flank. I should've ran them to a central position behind the Stormwall T1 and awaited Skorne's reply before committing them. The impassable in the middle made it impossible to switch them over effectively. Late-game Thorn was indeed useful in handling Molik but then again with his speed I'm not so sure he couldn't have done the same from the opposite flank. 

My T2 move was a little aggressive on the right flank. No need for ATGM to move up so much when I'm not feating, Snipe ensures that I can stay away and ARM13 doesn't warrant looking for Crit Brutals. This allowed the Archidons to move up hard and engage me and indeed this move nearly cost me the game. 

I think I made the right strategical decision to play this slowly because if I move up T2 and Morghoul survives (not too unlikely) he can counter-feat at which point Molik Karn moves up towards the Stormwall in relative safety (I'm not even sure I could've reached Molik with the feat). Perhaps there are ways out of this. I'll need to re-evaluate T2 at some point. 

Overall I find Skorne to be managable. Morghoul and some of the solos here have some nasty shutdown-tech and the Agonizer completely caught me off-guard. 

Lastly I need to take a deep breath and think clearly despite running low on time. After all I finished the game with over 10 minutes left on the clock and there's nowhere near critical given my advantage.

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