onsdag 2. desember 2015

Battle Report #21 - Haley2 vs Morvahna2 (50)

:: Prologue ::

Morvahna2 is one of the biggest attrition-locks in the game. I can understand why Cygnar often struggles with her. I've only met her once before today and I learned a few lessons I was eager to try and implement.

:: 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

Morvahna the Dawnshadow - WB: +5
- Gorax - PC: 4
- Warpwolf Stalker - PC: 10
Blackclad Wayfarer - PC: 2
Gatorman Witch Doctor - PC: 3
Reeve Hunter - PC: 2
War Wolf - PC: 1
War Wolf - PC: 1
War Wolf - PC: 1
Gallows Grove - PC: 1
Shifting Stones - Leader & 2 Grunts: 2
- Stone Keeper - Keeper 1
Warpborn Skinwalkers - Leader & 4 Grunts: 8
- Warpborn Alpha - PC: 3
Reeves of Orboros - Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
Tharn Bloodtrackers - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
- Nuala the Huntress - Nuala 2

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

I created this map and I deliberately placed the house in the dead center to present a challenge for players to overcome. It frequently gives me headaches as well so clearly it's working. The scenario was Fire Support and my idea going into this (I was the second player) was to avoid the Bloodtrackers taking me apart and instead focus on dealing with them at a distance, with unfavourable targets opposite them. I was also looking to out-attrition Morvahna because I believe Haley can do it due to superior ranged game. 

I pre-deployed the Stormwall centrally as per usual and responded with an opposite skew to the Circle deployment. My left flank was so heavy that Bloodtrackers avoided me altogether, taking the Circle strong flank. 

The flat terrain pieces are hills

:: Game ::

T1 saw Circle go up but a bit cautious, which is in my opinion usually the wrong way to start a game. Against Cygnar's ranged threat though I can see why this is valuable. Fog of War went up, as did Carnivore on the Skinwalkers.

So right off the bat I wanted to start trickling down the Skinwalkers but I wanted to slow the game down: The Wolves on the left flank gave me an opportunity to walk up with Alexia and gain souls. In hindsight I should probably have put a couple of focus on the Stormwall and tried to ping off a couple of wounds. Anyways I went heavy on the left flank and got my 3 souls. Thorn was the prey target so he ran to the left as far as he could. The Stormwall covered the Bloodtrackers' approach with covering fire and the ATGM spread out.

Morvahna's next move was to try a cheeky little nuke on my clumped up guys next to Thorn via the Grove but Alexia negated it. The Skinwalkers took a pretty offensive position but the Bloodtrackers were contained so their threat was isolated. It did prevent me from moving up with Haley (doing so would've been a big risk) but it also presented me with a solid target to start killing off.

This was a bit of a deja vu to my last game vs Morvahna where I committed the Stormwall in a similar position. I could've done so here and used my feat to grab the objective and cover said Stormwall but there was a play here I considered to be stronger: Move Haley back to the edge of the killbox and cloud, pulling most things away from the Circle lines and picking off models. I put focus on the Stormwall and went to town: 3 Skinwalkers died, they lost Carnivore and I took out a couple of Bloodtrackers as well. Alexia ran up to be a juicy target, I figured anything going for her would be toast and with 3 souls + deceleration nothing short of the beatstick could reliably kill her. Trading a 10-point beatstick and the only real threat to my colossal for Alexia is more than fair for me.

The bait was taken and the Warpwolf Stalker with Lightning strike went in. The Bloodtrackers tried to get the ATGM but DEF15 base + concealment + deceleration proved too much.

A golden opportunity to deal a decisive blow and I reckoned I didn't even have to feat to cover this. Awesome! Thorn walked up to within 8" of the Stalker, very easy to measure given that he was on a straight line between Haley and said Stalker. I boosted TK to pull him back, cast Decel and the Stormwall charged in, killing it off. ATGM picked off more Bloodtrackers and the left flank finished the Skinwalkers with Brutal shots. TAC had a perfect cloud screen and Thorn reaction drove behind the clouds as well.

Circle tried a desperate effort to take down the Stormwall. While it lost ~20 boxes or so it was no-where near dying, despite Gorax committing.

With Morvahna's feat out I felt safe to go up. I took the flag, smoked up and feated. The Stormwall killed off Gorax.

Realizing the hopelessness of the situation my opponent conceded.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

Playing an attrition game with Haley is demanding but rewarding. It takes a lot more time than going for scenario because her decisions have to be precise and coordinated. There are tons of ways to fuck up and create openings for your opponent. As a result I was behind on the clock here until the turn where I took out the Stalker (and this turn basically played itself due to obvious decisions). This is unusual for me but it also goes to show that I have to learn how to play attrition better.

T1 I should've put more emphasis on shooting Skinwalkers with the Stormwall. I must start paying attention to how far my opponent moves and triangulate the distance from the Stormwall to a point of interest mentally. Not too hard given that we start 31" apart and my threat range is 9" + 14" = 23". In a game like this, getting shots off as early as possible is crucial to getting ahead in the attrition game.

Last time I faced Morvahna I had a terrible start with Bloodtrackers going berserk on Thorn. This time I figured that if I simply moved him out of the way they wouldn't really have any good targets. This indeed proved to be true and in a usual style Thorn proved to be a key piece for changing the pace of the game (something Haley does extremely well but needs her signature arc node to accomplish). The Alexia sacrifice worked out perfectly. Having her summon 3 new guys every turn is a recipe for disaster.

Overall I felt comfortable playing this game. A few hiccups here and there with my forces being too tight but I had a plan which I managed to execute and capitalize on. I strongly believe Haley2 has a very good attrition game and I must learn to play her this way. 

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