søndag 29. november 2015

Battle Report #17 - Haley2 vs Skarre2 (50)

:: Prologue ::

Skarre2 is a caster I've never faced before. She was bringing the infamous Cryx DJ which I haven't faced either. I was anxious to face her and she's been the topic of much discussion lately, usually revolving around whether her feat is a good anti-Haley feat or not. Personally I believe that with Time Bomb and Lightning Pod, Cygnar should be able to control the vital elements of her feat even without counter-feating. The state of the game of course determines whether counter-feating is viable or not, but given that it is I think it's a really hard counter to Skarre's feat since there's always -something- to focus on. Let's get to the 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

Skarre, Queen of the Broken Coast - WJ: +6
- Deathjack - PC: 12
- Deathripper - PC: 4
Aiakos, Scourge of the Meredius - PC: 3
- Leviathan - PC: 9
Satyxis Raider Captain - PC: 2
Ragman - PC: 2
Bane Riders - Leader & 4 Grunts: 11
The Withershadow Combine - Malevolus, Admonia, & Tremulus: 5
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls - Necrosurgeon & 3 Grunts: 2
Satyxis Blood Witches - Leader & 5 Grunts: 4
- Satyxis Blood Hag - Satyxis Blood Hag 2

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::
We were playing Two Fronts and I put down the Stormwall centrally. Cryx got T1 and responded with Skarre on the left flank - opposite my zone. I immediately thought that I could play a game of attrition here: It's not realistic for Cryx to score before T4 at the very least. As such I deployed counter-skew aggressively with Haley on the right flank, behind his zone, threatening a 3-0 scenario T2 lead. 

The flat terrain pieces are hills. The terrain piece in my zone is a trench.
:: Game ::

Cryx runs up but a bit cautiously because of my ranged firepower. Skarre throws up +2ARM on knights. 

I have made the mistake of underestimating Riders before, I do not intend to do so again. The plan for this turn then is to start killing some Cryxian knights. Haley puts 4 on the Stormwall and grabs one from the Squire. I put deadeye on Eiryss, cast decel and move up behind cover. Eiryss shoots off the ARM-buff. The Stormwall moves up, boosts to hit and boosts damage to kill off 2 Riders. The rest run up to set up for a T2 scenario game with the left flank holding back to secure my zone, basically. I did pod in my own zone to start creating problems with scoring later in the game but I quickly realize the mistake: As I mentioned previously Cryx weren't in a position to score before T4 at the earliest and with Skarre being able to kill the pod followed by giving the Deathjack a full advance, I could be in trouble. Having to advance on the closest would perhaps keep me safe but even giving Cryx the option in the first place is a mistake. I was anxious to see what he'd do.

I don't know if my opponent considered the opportunity to kill the pod and move up or not, but he didn't do it at least. Instead he placed the remaining Riders to screen mr DJ. Said DJ cast Black Spot and this is a bit of an issue because of Haley's replication: The result was that Skarre chose to feat rather than let me have a 4 focus Stormwall target the Riders with a Black Spot debuff, which I can understand perfectly fine. However the problem was largely that in doing this, the zone was incredibly open, not to mention that shielding DJ like this is redundant when Skarre feats anyways. At best I can hit DJ with a pod and Time Bomb partial, not exactly a hard counter.

So, given the position I decide to go for scenario. Following a string of amazingly bad dice rolls (the Stormwall letting loose with all its shooting, including 2 damage-boosted big gun shots and 1 damage-boosted metal storm shot) the objective just wouldn't die. I was down to Haley having to kill it herself with an 11+ on a boosted Hand Cannon shot (at this point I was visible in a TAC cloud). Luckily I got it and thus didn't have to cast Arcane Bolt boosted but could instead TK to safety. I used my feat and took the 3-0 lead. 

The premise of the game is a bit poor here because if Skarre considers her Riders' positions better in T2 then I basically can't do this. However we decided to play on because the back-tracking was so heavy (a full turn) so the interesting question was whether Cryx could swarm the zone sufficiently. TL;DR a lot of models got in:

So that's Leviathan, Aiakos, Ragman, 2 Blod Witches, 2 Riders and the Deathjack. 8 models. You'd think it'd be trivial to remove something like this? The Riders were +2ARM again and Eiryss was locked in combat. I started with her and luckily she hit, taking the ARM-buff away. Haley kept all the focus to herself and when my first Domination on the Leviathan failed to hit (despite the Squire re-roll) I was sure this would be an uphill fight. The second Domination attempt landed however, luckily, and I moved it out the way. I used the remaining focus to kill off the Raider engaged with her after the TAC failed to finish this job. 

This left Alexia on 2 souls and the ATGM to finish the job. The former took out the Blood Witches while the ATGM all aimed and readied themselves for Thunderbolts. I killed Ragman and Aiakos (they'd be pushed out anyway) and managed to push out the Deathjack and the remaining Rider. 5-0 and...

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

For the first 2 turns, I thought the Deathjack had reach. When I discovered that it in fact did not, it kind of changed how I perceived its ranged threat. It just means that pod+time bomb on it is a pretty fail safe way to deal with it for the Stormwall, assuming you can judge roughly 10-11" (the important part is 8.5", really). 

I think my strategical approach to the game was good, but I wasted part of the B13th T2 because I got desperate to take out the objective. It really did take a lot of beating and I really screwed up my activation order (in fact I had a minor take-back with the Stormwall as well but I can't remember if the damage I got from this was essential because Haley's final attack roll on it was huge). Junior for example didn't get to shoot because I clouded first. Boosted Pow12 would've been nice here! 

However, while the approach was solid I'd love to see how this would play out if Skarre had put a Rider in the zone. I would likely counter-feat and push up the Stormwall while still targeting the objective, but Haley and the support units would be in a completely different spot and we'd have ourselves more of an attrition game, but then again I suppose Cryx would've had to jam up the zone quite heavily regardless because I could've just done the same post-feat and gone to 3-0 at this point in time instead. Next time I'm sure he'll remember, that is if he plays Skarre2 in a zone-based game where he is the first player ;)

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