:: Prologue ::
3 games tonight! I really like getting in more than a single game when I go down to the club. First up was against Protectorate of Menoth. I have mainly played against Harbinger from this faction and she's gotten the upper hand several times. I fondly remember one of the first games I had against her when I thought my DEF20 Haley was safe... For this game, my opponent wanted to play High Reclaimer. I have no experience with him but judging from his abilities he looked like a poor caster to face Haley with. I offered my opponent to play something else but he wanted to learn how to play High Reclaimer and I can respect that. Onto the game!
:: Lists ::
Major Victoria Haley - WJ: +5
- 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
The High Reclaimer - WJ: +6
- Reckoner - PC: 8
The Covenant of Menoth - PC: 2
Vassal of Menoth - PC: 2
Initiate Tristan Durant - PC: 3
- Redeemer - PC: 6
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord - PC: 2
Choir of Menoth - Leader & 3 Grunts: 2
Holy Zealots - Leader and 9 Grunts: 6
- Monolith Bearer - Monolith Bearer 2
Exemplar Bastions - Leader and 4 Grunts: 8
Idrian Skirmishers - Leader and 9 Grunts: 10
- Idrian Skirmisher Chieftain & Guide - Idrian Skirmisher Chieftain & Guide 3
:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::
We were playing Incoming and I grabbed the initiative. I put the Stormwall center, Alexia + B13th on my left flank, ATGM swarming the colossal and the rest on the right flank, behind my own zone. The idea was to contest his zone and go for scenario. The response was jacks + caster behind own zone, Bastions centrally and Zealots towards my zone. Idrians took the hill (proxied by Errants for the time being).
|The 2D piece of terrain in my zone is a trench|
:: Game ::
I sent everything up T1 with Arcane on Thorn and Deceleration going up.
The response was a hyper-aggressive Zealot move, aided by their mini-feat. His Skirmishers tried to hurt Thorn but didn't get more than a couple of boxes. They went to ground. Clouds went up from mr. Reclaimer.
The problem with playing against Haley is that you have to contest the table. Given the situation, this did not look like something the Protectorate forces could adequately do here. Thus, when I moved up and used my feat now he was more or less dead in the water and I had pretty good board control. I killed lots of Skirmishers with a lightning pod + full-focused Thorn, granting Alexia 3 souls. ATGM went up and claimed his zone with Eiryss disrupting the Reckoner. Covering Fire + Mage Storm created some good no-go zones and I shot off 15 wounds or so off of Bastions with Temporal on the Stormwall.
Struggling to deal with my feat the Protectorate forces were left to throw away the Zealots to prevent me from getting a head start. The left zone was also hard for him to get control over. The Reckoner got lucky and killed Eiryss despite not having any focus so that was a start, but from my point of view things were still looking rather good.
Number 1 priority was to wipe out Zealots. I opened with a Time Bomb on their UA which in the process also hit 2 Bastions to ensure they stayed where I could control them. ATGM pushed out the Reckoner with Thunderbolt and with Thorn the Skirmishers in the zone were all cleared out. The Stormwall put covering fires on either flank to make it exceptionally hard for my opponent to enter my zone and the TAC clouded Haley. Alexia went up aggressively and summoned Thralls to occupy his left flank, killing off 2 from the choir and having them fail their CMD check from terror to boot. B13th + Haley finished off the Zealots with aid from Junior. Stormwall took off 9 boxes or so from the objective.
Protectorate was struggling to contest the left zone, let alone the right one. Powerless to slow down my scenario count, I went to 3-0 and with his objective so low and even the left zone likely to go down, he conceded the game.
Victory to the Swans!
:: Evaluation ::
This was my opponent's first game vs Haley. Playing vs Haley is a bit of a unique thing to do and something that requires previous experience. The other times we've played have been at 35 where I've fielded Caine2 and Siege and those games are, needless to say, completely different.
This game was reminiscent of a game I had against Circle a few weeks back. My opponent then did not have previous experience with Haley either. The problem is that you need to set up your army prior to her feat going off. If you don't, it'll completely stop you dead in your tracks. In this game, I felt like the Skirmishers and the left flank were needed way higher up the board to contest Haley's strong scenario position. The Zealots were very aggressive T1 and the only reason they could do this was because they spent their mini-feat. If not they'd be completely shredded to bits.
I don't think High Reclaimer is a good pairing into Cygnar. This might sound a bit bombastic based off of one game, but in him I see no abilities or spells that I fear, not even his feat! I think he struggles to contest her control-based game and I don't even think clouds + feat stop me from winning an attrition game. I could be wrong! A start, regardless of caster, is to try and fight Haley's board control which is in my opinion where she often wins her games. With a hesitant opposing force, her feat is completely devastating. In this way I feel Haley embodies what Warmachine is about: When in doubt, go aggressive!