fredag 27. november 2015

Battle Report #15 - Haley2 vs Lylyth2 (50)

:: Prologue ::

With one game down fairly quickly we had time for a rematch. This time I think we both had an understanding that Lylyth had to play to her strengths: Put more pressure on the middle of the map and claim the board control if you go first.

:: 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
Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight - WB: +5
- Succubus
- Naga Nightlurker - PC: 5
- Nephilim Bolt Thrower - PC: 6
- Nephilim Bolt Thrower - PC: 6
- Ravagore - PC: 10
- Ravagore - PC: 10
- Ravagore - PC: 10
Blighted Nyss Shepherd - PC: 1
Blighted Nyss Shepherd - PC: 1
The Forsaken - PC: 2
Strider Deathstalker - PC: 2

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

Deployment was pretty much the same. The main difference was that in this game Legion had a tighter formation with a clear intention of taking the center. Furthermore as we were playing Fire Support the whole objective-part of the game was quite different, obviously. 

:: Game ::

Legion wasted no time in moving up hard and fast with Shadow Pack. 

So before I've even moved, I have a dilemma. The Stormwall can't reliably get to a flank where it's hard for my opponent to handle it. With 3 Ravagores shooting at it with Wraithbane it'll lose 39 boxes on average under Lylyth's feat. Adding in the Bolt Throwers, Naga, Lylyth, Pin Cushion (basically any of the above in the order you'd like) it's quite likely it'll go down. The problem is that my list doesn't have enough firepower at the required distance to take down Lylyth if she succeeds in taking out the Stormwall. If that happens, it's game over. 

Furthermore as we're playing killbox I feel I have a bit of a problem with Haley. If I don't do anything Legion can keep their position and slowly attrition me away. His position can hardly be better anyway so he won't mind basically sitting in place and watch me do the same. Lastly, Haley needs to be in a position where her feat hurts and Thorn needs to be nearby as well to lock stuff down during her feat. 

I decided that Haley behind the wall with Thorn nearby behind cover as well and the Stormwall in a somewhat defensive position would be a good bet. I TK'd Ryan to take care of the Strider Deathstalker on my left, forgetting he had stealth. I got lucky and the Mage Storm scatter killed him, but was really this worth 2 focus? I don't think so. While Haley cast Deceleration she also put focus on Thorn + Stormwall for positioning, this meant she was only camping one. While DEF22 is great, this is reduced to 20 with Wraithbane and furthermore down to 18 with aim, which at least some warbeasts will get if Lylyth feats. 

So I assume you see where I'm going with this and indeed Legion feated and killed Haley. I don't have the numbers but with 3 Wraithbanes going off there will be a hit or two. Couple that with 6 Ravagore AoEs that hit partially one third of the time (and those without wraithbane have cont. fire) and it's not looking to bright for Haley with her camping only 1 focus. Without the TK on Ryan and the focus on the Stormwall (which was hardly relevant) she might've survived, but she was on fire and Arcane Shield was on said Stormwall. Furthermore Lylyth messed up completely and only got a single shot off at Haley (2 is more realistic).

:: Evaluation ::

Slow and centrally oriented scenarios with killbox is the worst possible context for this matchup from a Cygnar point of view. Scenarios like Fire Support and Close Quarters make it nigh impossible for Haley to play to her usual strengths against Lylyth2. You are forced into the middle with Haley and due to pre-deploying the Stormwall it's often hard to get off a flanking move with this as well. It's definitely more playable if you go first. How much, I don't know. Regardless a matchup that is determined on who goes first is no-where near ideal for sure. 

The question is, given this specific context: What can Haley do? I fear the answer is next to nothing because with 3 Ravagores the Stormwall can almost always go down. The only way around this is to feat and lock them down but this cannot be done in scenarios like this if the Legion player has half a clue as to what he's doing. Effectively Lylyth needs to be in range of the Stormwall because without Pin Cushion the 3 Ravagores alone will likely leave said Stormwall on enough boxes for it to be effective but with range amplifier it's trivial for her to out-range my threat range. 

There are two things I consider that can help this matchup out a bit. One is getting Anastasia. +1 to start is huge here. However I don't believe this can be done "just like that" without impacting the way the list plays. Besides I don't see this configuration as being an optimal one for her. I could be wrong. The other approach is to swap my objective for Effigy of Valour. This allows Haley to play in a more defensive manner before she comes out to feat (as it blocks LoS to a lot as well as providing cover) but then again Fuel Cache has often given me a lot of value. Furthermore scenarios like Close Quarters and even Destruction (objective too far up ahead) make this change kind of irrelevant, for some situations at least. 

The good news is that if Legion wants to play Lylyth2 ADR there's no Vayl2 alongside her. If I stick with my original plan I think Stryker1 has a way better pairing here than he used to. I can't imagine Vayl1 being better against him than Vayl2 Tier 4. Another question in turn is how Kraye matches up here. 

So many variables! It's what makes this game fun but at the moment it's also frustrating that I can't seem to get Haley to work here. I believe it's the third Ravagore and lack of infantry (Bolt Throwers also deal damage) which makes this a mess because they reach a critical threshold for one-turn-damage-output but this is trivial to accomplish with ADR without giving up utility in other matchups. 

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