2nd report, but the first game of the night. For this game, I had one thing in mind and that was to finish T1 with a position that would be nigh impossible for Cryx to effectively counter and leave me with little choice. Setting up for divide & conquer allows me to play the attrition game which I think you often have to in Cygnar vs Cryx, assuming I don't mess up. While I do believe Cygnar has a slight edge in this matchup, I also find them to be more unforgiving in this particular setting.
:: Lists ::
Major Victoria Haley - WJ: +5Opponent:
- 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
Lich Lord Asphyxious
Satyxis Raider Captain
Bane Lord Tartarus
max Satyxis Raiders
* Satyxis Raider Sea Witch
max Bane Knights
min Bile Thralls
* Skarlock Commander
:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::
I won the roll-off and decided to go first: I find deploying first with this army to frequently be a lot harder (despite getting the initiative) than going second and counter-deploying my opponent. I wanted to try ATGM clustered around the Stormwall in the dead center with Haley, TAC + B13th on on my objective/flag flank and Alexia + Thorn on my opposite flank. Cryx responded with Bane Knights behind their objective + flag, Riders centrally and Satyxis Raiders opposite Haley & co:
:: Game ::
I immediately decided the Stormwall needed to skew slightly left, Thorn needs a central position, ATGM needs to go vs Satyxis and the rest can basically just move up. Alexia also has to go for Satyxis because of souls. Haley gets off Temporal on the Stormwall so it can really utilize its massive ranged presence T2.
Cryx respond by hiding away 3 Riders behind clouds, Knights moving up dead ahead and Satyxis moving for sort of a jam on B13th. Only 1 model actively moves up though and 4 models are B2B to protect the UA. I double-check with my opponent to make sure he knows Mage Storm isn't blast damage: With this being a friendly I really want to stress-test the matchup and if his plan was to keep the UA alive and be immune to mage storm then the premise of his move is faulty. Anyway, he knew he wasn't immune so we played on!
Having the Riders clouded and un-targetable is a bit of an issue for the Stormwall because I'd ideally want it as far back as possible to utilize its guns. This turn is a bit messy because I'm not thinking straight about what the position on the board will be nor where I want Haley when I'm done. As such I end up throwing out (another) pre-mature feat. I have to start thinking more thoroughly about this. Largely because of this mess Thorn ended up in a really awkward spot. The Stormwall received 4 focus to blast out the 2 Riders to the left of the cloud wall and I killed them both. Alexia threw a Hellfire at the Satyxis and they failed their CMD. This helped the B13th (who received Deadeye to hit the DEF16 girls) as I didn't have to un-jam Ryan and her Mage Storm killed off the entire cover. Lynch + Watts took out the UA. ATGM, also with deadeye, followed up on the Satyxis murder. Junior tried for a Knight but came up just too short and Eiryss picked off one with Snipe.
Asphyxious is in a bit of an iffy spot: Partially because Cryx lost so much but also partially because of a combination of killbox + being directly in front of basically everything. One option is to get over to his own hill and hope for attrition but then what will the rest of the army do? The Satyxis are effectively dead and with the failed command they can't do anything. The Riders can't touch anything due to my feat and the Knights can't reach anything useful.
Instead he opts for an aggressive move which really puts the pressure on me: Gaspy moves directly towards Haley! Game is on for sure! He is surrounded by Riders and Orin throws out his no-spells-within-12" bubble. Gaspy camps all 7 focus.
Perhaps there are other angles here, but I have never experienced a Gaspy move like this before. In hindsight, and I'll touch on this in the evaluation, I actually did have some options. Anyway, due to clock issues (it would've potentially taken me so much time to figure this out that despite being in a good position before the turn started I could effectively find myself clocked out later on) and the nature of his aggressive move I decided it was Assassination run time. I put 4 focus on the Stormwall and the idea was to have Alexia + TAC remove 2 Riders with B13th taking care of Orin and helping out vs Riders.
I started with B13th. Ryan took out Orin. The rest of their shots tore into the Riders with Brutal damage. I did 4 boxes or so. Alexia followed up with Thralls being summoned in their back arc because MAT6 isn't exactly super reliable. This presented some issues for me because I didn't want Gaspy to have +4 DEF from melee vs TK or Eiryss. As such the last Thrall killed off one my own (the first 2 killed off the remaining 2 Riders) so only one was locked with Gaspy. ATGM cleared off Bane Knights together with Junior. Haley boosted TK on Gaspy after Thorn moved in. It's an iffy move, deciding on whether I should go for the 7+ re-roll with Squire and get Temporal on the Stormwall or boost TK and simply TK the Thrall away. Anyways I got Gaspy "unlocked" with the TKs instead and reaction drove Thorn away. Eiryss moved up and was around ~11" away. Needing a 4 was just what I needed as I rolled a 3 and 1. The Stormwall thanked her for the assistance and beat poor Gaspy to a pulp.
Victory to the Swans!
:: Evaluation ::
While this game was fairly short, I found it interesting with lots of points to consider. First of all I'm very happy with my start: I got all the things in their right places in T1 and my deployment allowed me to counter him perfectly. Setting up the Stormwall BAM! in the middle of the table effectively served to divide his army in 2: The ones on the left flank of the Stormwall ("danger zone") and the ones on the right flank of the Stormwall ("I can wait with you guys zone"). Although I did end up taking out a few Knights T2, this was largely pot-shots and a few due to poor target priority.
Speaking of which: When I started T2 I should've taken an extra minute or 2 to really make sure I knew what to do with Haley. I could've spent 2 focus on TK here to get myself next to the flag and put pressure on Cryx. Given a feat, this is what I should've done I believe. However I think the better choice is to slow the game down, save the feat and ensure that the TAC can cloud me up properly. As we were, I did a mixture of both which is really wasting my feat, doubly so because I didn't hit the Bane Knights (which in turn was because I pot-shot a few of them off. My opponent forgot Vengeance, I offered to let him have it anyway, see the Satyxis Raiders comment above during Cryx T1 but he declined). In effect then I'm basically spending the feat to ensure Riders don't charge the Stormwall. That is a huge waste. With better planning, Thorn could've been way around on the left side, helping out T3 indirectly (being close to Fuel Cache with both jacks is really good with Haley) already. I'll blame part of this on his T1 move as well, it could've been slightly better. Overall though, my fault here was not co-ordinating my army T2.
Gaspy's move completely caught me by surprise. This goes to show how important Eiryss can be. I probably should've kept her closer, being in the woods was a precautionary measure against Arc Node + Gaspy spell offense but to be fair this is a bit of a long shot for Cryx which is hardly worth it. Deneghra1 can deal effectively with this situation, Gaspy2 cannot I believe. If Eyriss had missed I think I would've been in trouble: With the Stormwall rolling damage on dice -3 Gaspy is likely to survive, in which case I don't really rate Haley's odds all that much. This again goes to show that my feat was pre-mature.
Lastly, what I could've done with Gaspy was to simply throw him. Put 2 focus on the Stormwall and spend the rest dealing with the Knights. Time Bomb would've been beautiful here, basically confining Gaspy with an ensuing Stormwall throw. Alexia could've thus summoned Thralls from a safer position and re-supplied souls from Satyxis while being in range to Arcane Vortex Parasite on the Stormwall. With the Knights dead and Gaspy thrown away (with -2SPD from Time Bomb) I think the attrition game is more or less over to be honest (in my favour). There are some Knights left to deal with but there's nothing else barring Gaspy and his feat to deal with the Stormwall but I believe the attacks will be too piecemeal to effectively win this game: Even if he kills his own Knights with Thralls to feat them up and kill the Stormwall he's no-where near having the tools to deal with the rest of my list. If he doesn't feat T3, the Stormwall does not go down and my T4 then is a world of hurt for Cryx.
I've said it before and I say it again: I don't like assassinations. They are too dicey. The question in this scenario is whether this assassination is dicier than throwing Gaspy away with the Stormwall. It should be noted that ingame I didn't stop to consider this, but if I had, I'm effectively weighing hitting a 7 on a boosted attack roll (the melee attack from Stormwall) vs a 4 on Eiryss' shot on Gaspy. In addition I wasn't sure Eiryss was in range, which is a big deal here for sure. Mathematically, the two are close enough so as not to make a difference (see this link). In either case I think a miss means I die: The burrowed jack is right next to Haley and it's not jammed out and Gaspy can feat up stuff, potentially in Haley's back arc. It's a bit of a toss-up then but the important thing is to remember looking for alternatives. Throw is something I rarely use but it's very powerful when coming from a Stormwall: The range is huge and can completely change the game.